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?

See results

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Vladimir Karas 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 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


        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 months ago from Canada

        Larry---Thank you for visiting again.

      • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Vladimir Karas 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 months ago from Canada

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

      • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Vladimir Karas 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 months ago from Oklahoma

        Interesting perspective.

      • Rachel L Alba profile image

        Rachel L Alba 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 months ago from Reno NV

        Thought provoking and well written. Thank you. Jamie

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 

        21 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 

        21 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 

        21 months ago from Canada

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

      • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Vladimir Karas 

        21 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 

        21 months ago from Canada

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

      • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Vladimir Karas 

        21 months ago from Canada

        Three Keys---Thank you.

      • profile image


        21 months ago

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

      • profile image


        21 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 

        21 months ago from Bangalore

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

        - hari

      • profile image


        21 months ago

        Full bodied and intense.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)