Who Am I Without Others' Labels?: A Poem

Updated on September 14, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

At the Dusk of Life Beingness Becomes Timeless
At the Dusk of Life Beingness Becomes Timeless

In this time before I die,

and please make it very long,

long before that final sigh

with no words left for another rhyme,

and no lyrics for a song;

even with no requiem---

give me just sufficient time

to let me find out who I am.

Who am I?

They gave me a body, manly and strong

and a bunch of rules to make me complete,

along with a flag as excuse to belong;

also a childhood, too short and rarely sweet

and a god to call should things go wrong.

Innocent in ignorance, but always good-willing

with legacy of lies inherited from others

they passed it on to me to make it my ceiling

with a love of parents, with a care of brothers.

Who am I?

Sometimes at a junkyard a flower may grow

after all masks and fig leaves are torn.

With all those calendars so little to show

and just left with enigma of being born.

But driven from within by a stubborn quest

like caterpillar surprised by a pair of wings

I drifted through my years in a search of my best

with humbleness of beggars, and dignity of kings.

So who am I really, and does it matter?

For this joy of being doesn't need a label,

as if I got it all on a silver platter

every single crumb on my royal table.


Please, see the video below to get an additional message about who we are NOT.

Don't Label Me

Others' Definition of You vs. Your Own

How do you see who you are?

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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Michael, my old buddy,

      Sometimes we ask ourselves these questions which test our depth of experiencing our true identity. With my superficial insight into your spirituality---I never claim to know much about anyone's intimate world---I suppose you might have found your answer there. Or at least a vague sense of your connection to that Higher Identity that's telling a lot about your own.

      And yet, it's somehow so much easier to know who we "are NOT"---and maybe let the enigma unfold itself at some later date when knowing will come so spontaneous that we won't have to ask this question. - Be well, my friend.--Val

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      MsDora---It's pleasure seeing your smiling friendly face---and then your comment is a bonus on top of that. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      18 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great to see your expertise on poetry also. Very fitting for your subject matter on your desire to know who you are.

    • Michael-Milec profile image


      18 months ago

      Oh, Vladimir Karas, "In this time before I die..." give me chance to throw a shade on your deep, deep challenge to Michael's stronger ID then myself.

      Easier as can be , or harder as can be, soon or later a desire to know nobility of our existance leads us to follow the intuition. One solid direction points towards the desirre knowing who am I ? Ow come I amd here, Who send me here and why? I am one of many millions and we all are different. Someone gave me parents, gave me body soul and spirit.( The big people arond this little child were talking serious matter). A search has stop early in my childhood as soon as I have found the answer of whose am I. His great revelation in the Name " I AM."

      Peace with us my friend.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Linda---Thank you, my friend and fellow-Canadian for your kind words. It's not only the change in style, but also a little practical break from writing those articles of over 1500 words each time, LOL.

      Namely, I am done with a poem in some 30 minutes, and that includes little hardship of having to write poetry in a language which is only second to me. If English had been my native language I would have written much more of both, prose and poetry. But well, maybe it's better this way---I got other hobbies and practices to attend to as well.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      18 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I loved reading one of your poems, Val. This one is thought provoking, like your prose. I hope you share more of your poetry.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Ruby Jean---Thank you for liking my poetic attempts. I may hang around it for a while and then I'll get back to my previous style. If I had not lost my Pat-Boone-ish voice maybe I would even try expressing myself with some videos, because change is good in the way we express ourselves.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      John---Thank you my friend. Maybe the question is a kind of illogical, like "Where is the end of space and time?"---because the one asking the question about their true identity IS their true identity, and as such impossible to conceptualize. But, stop me...

      Anyhow, it's true that we somehow need to know, but---life goes on just fine without knowing it, right?

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Larry---Thank you for visiting again.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Rachel---Thanks for the nice comment. Listen, if you believe that you are a child of God, then stick to that belief with all your heart. You are such a nice person, and you might as well be correct about being that.

      I don't know much about God, but I am sure He appreciates having a child like yourself. Stay as good as you are.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Dana---I greatly appreciate your kind and wise comment. Well, I am just expressing myself poetically for a bit---before I continue boring you with my smart-ass thinking in prose.

      It feels good to express my thoughts in form of a poem. I can easily see myself going on and off with it.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Jamie Lee---Thank you for your kind comment.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      MizBejabbers---You are right, and it may translate into a realization that not needing a label makes us a little happier than those folks who regularly identify themselves with their labels.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Louise---Yes, I would say it's a pretty common question we ponder upon---and then we just go on with life, maybe because the question didn't really matter all that much.

      Thank you for commenting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I've asked myself that question many times. Your poetry is soul searching and wise. Well done!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      It is good to finally read a poem by you Val. I have seen in your other hubs on occasion that you used to write poetry. I love the message here, and no we don't need a label to just enjoy life and being. Who are any of us really? Good job.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      18 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting perspective.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      18 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Val, I enjoyed reading your poem. Who are we really? I hope I'm a child of God. You said it all very well.

      Blessings to you.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      18 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      'Sometimes in a junkyard a flower will grow" I love that line. This is what is says to me:

      You can still see a glimpse of beauty even among things considered trash...

      There is always hope, even among destruction...

      And my favorite way of thinking... Beauty exists in ruins, sometimes you have to look for it.

      I love experiencing this different, creative, style from you. You know, for anyone who knows their self-worth, they would know that the only label that matters which is "human being" is more valuable than gold.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      18 months ago from Reno NV

      Thought provoking and well written. Thank you. Jamie

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      18 months ago from Beautiful South

      You're right, we don't need labels. We are beings, and being ourselves is all we need. Nicely written.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      18 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes, sometimes we all wonder who we are and why we were born. That's a lovely piece of poetry.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      jgshorebird---Thank you for sharing how you experienced the poem.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Vishnu---Thank you for interesting comment. I wouldn't call myself a poet though; just at times I get an inspiration to write something poetical.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Hari---Thank you for reading and for the nice comment.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Three Keys---Thank you.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Stirring, grave, doleful, melancholy, joyful, cheerless, comforting, nihilistic, haughty and...transcendental. A bitter-sweet ride.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      ID is what every human likes to attach to.Poet shows quiet sensitivity to this human crave!

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 

      18 months ago from Bangalore

      A bit autobiographical and inspirational too. Search never ends. Excellent.

      - hari

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Full bodied and intense.


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