Mason Crawford

Through The Storm

By Mason Crawford and Olivia Romano

Jacob you are louder than a giant
Sophia, they’re all staring, keep your voice down.
Jacob you said that already
Sophia, you pee the bed. Every night
Jacob you are too annoying
Sophia, mom cried when you were born
Jacob you have a mother who desperately needed you

Jacob, Sophia, only if they knew how hard you tried to stay with us, how scared I was of you
That our parents were told us you were babies of convulsions, disasters, and death. That you are going to meet Mister Mayhem only weeks after they adopted you.
That I would want to forget you sometimes.

That you were a four leaf clover drenched in pesticide
That you were a baby baptized in tears and diagnoses.

But buddy, baby, I want you know, I’ll be your keeper
Your Welcoming Sign doormat
And the place you can hide

I’ll be the lion inside your chest ready to attack
Whenever threatened
I’ll be the one who holds your hand when you cross the street
I’ll be your punching bag
Your safe place
The reason you want to come home.

And I’ll still love you unconditionally
I will never stop loving you unconditionally.

I’ll still be there when you need another piece of gum
When you want to play dress up with big girl clothes
When you need a friend for black ops 2

So listen up, just for a moment

I want to make an apology, for not talking about you to my friends,
For not raising the bar because no one thought you could grab it
And for not believing in you.

I know Jacob you’ll never fully understand the meaning behind this, and I’m sure you’ll fight me saying you do but just remember I’ll always have the next piece of gum awaiting for you.

You might be a disaster, but you are the most magnificent disaster I have ever known.

So Jacob,

Never be told you are too loud, because voices tend to put you down anyways
Never stop believing in princesses and ice cream and cartoons with daddy.
Never stop repeating yourself, be the drummer in a war
Never stop swallowing the sun, you are my favorite rainbow
Never stop being you, I need someone to tell me when Friday is coming around

Never stop loving me,
Because I will love you through a million storms
I will never stop carrying you home.

Mason Crawford is a junior at Tunkhannock Area High School and can usually be found trying to get his parents to take in another beloved cat. He has performed on stages as local as The Ritz, Keystone College, and TwentyFiveEight Studios. He has also performed on stages as big as the international festival, Brave New Voices. One of his biggest accomplishments is opening a show for nationally acclaimed artist, Rachel McKibbens. He has been an active member of the local non-profit, youth run organization the Breaking Ground Poets run by Katie Wisnosky. You can now find Mason trying to answer this simple question with to many answers, “Where is the happiness?”

Olivia Romano is an active member of the Breaking Ground Poets. She has just graduated Tunkhannock Area High School, and now can be found scaring it up at Reaper’s Revenge. Olivia has performed on the Brave New Voices (an international youth festival) stage two times. She can usually be found trying to discover life’s mysteries and crying at Grey’s Anatomy. 


CNN Headlines and Burning Bodies

By Mason Crawford

Tyler Clementi, 18,
jumped from the George Washington bridge.
Drawn in by the Hudson’s siren love song,
Spit out on the banks of a muddy bay,
Victim from start to finish.

Matthew Shepard, 21, abducted and dragged into a field.
Beaten and hung on display
for transgressions we would normally call Love,
mistaken for a scarecrow.
Turned to ash,
his name was all they could salvage

Leelah Alcorn, 16,
Walked into the oncoming
winter metal of a tractor-trailer
Fettered to her Biblical upbringing
Alone she wrote:
“My death needs to mean something”

Yaz’min Shancez, 31,
Lit on fire
Left to die behind a dead end dumpster
Her dignity scraped from the concrete
A fallen soldier in the war no one knows they’re fighting until it’s too late.

The world doesn’t know how dangerous it is be us

Coming out of the closet should not be a shock.
It should not be a car crash, a twisted metal face;
Too many kids crash into the fists of their loved Ones,
Hung lifeless in the fields they ran through as children.
Mothers rejecting their babies,
Dirty and unwanted.

CNN strips stories from lifeless bodies
To let the world see their sins

It’s true, We may never love the way this world wants us to.
But we are not the definitions you have written all over us.

I am not lisp and girly clothes
I am not weak wrists and show tunes

Will the world only know my name when I am killed for this poem?

Florida and Wyoming,
can you smell their flesh burning
New York,
Do you look into the water and still see his face?
Ohio? Social media sucked up her story like a cyclone
and dropped it just as quickly.

Every day we face a silent war
Our tiny victories in big courtrooms
Make us forget how badly we are losing it
In 2014, We lost 25
How many will go this year?

Tyler Clementti
Matthew Sheppard
Leelah Alcorn
Yaz’min Shancez

I have not forgotten you

Our orientation is not our gender.
Our ability to love does not change who we are.

They will call us the kids
who came out wrong.
Nameless until death,
The world will finally know our names
We wear them with pride

I will not die for this poem.

My name is Mason, 16, chin up, walking through the ash.

I am still surviving,
I am still here to remember all your names.

Mason Crawford is a junior at the Tunkhannock Area High School. You can usually find him debating with himself on what education means to himself and persuading his parents to add another cat to their growing number of them. Mason has performed on stages as local as TwentyFiveEight Studios, The Ritz, and Keystone College. He also has performed on stages as world wide as Brave New Voices, an international poetry festival. He has opened a show for nationally acclaimed poet, Rachel McKibbens and now is still trying to create a chapbook. He is an active member of the Breaking Ground Poets, a youth run, non-profit organization run by Katie Wisnosky. Mason’s biggest question in life is, “when will we all find happiness.”

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