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Who Am I Without Others' Labels?: A Poem


Val enjoys writing prose in rhymes by always leaving a message of a life truism in each piece.

Image by Pixel 2013 from Pixabay

Image by Pixel 2013 from Pixabay

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.

All those labels as if meant to annoy

something else demanded by each

not letting me stay just a little boy

everybody with something to teach.

Years passed and life happened in a hurry

fragmented sense of self becoming more so

making reality undefined and blurry

and me in it just as unclear also.

Many times as they called my name

there was something phony in that sound

like a missing picture from a signed frame

in that gallery of empty frames all around.

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

© 2017 Val Karas


Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 17, 2017:

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

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 10, 2017:

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

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 10, 2017:

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

Michael-Milec on April 07, 2017:

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.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 06, 2017:

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

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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?

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

Larry---Thank you for visiting again.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 06, 2017:

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

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on April 06, 2017:

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 from Oklahoma on April 06, 2017:

Interesting perspective.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on April 06, 2017:

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 from LOS ANGELES on April 06, 2017:

'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.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on April 06, 2017:

Thought provoking and well written. Thank you. Jamie

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 06, 2017:

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

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 06, 2017:

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

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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.

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

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

Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 06, 2017:

Three Keys---Thank you.

jgshorebird on April 06, 2017:

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

Vishnu on April 06, 2017:

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

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on April 06, 2017:

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

- hari

threekeys on April 05, 2017:

Full bodied and intense.

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