"We Were Artists"

We were artists
exploring ways to
express our sufferings
put into words the crazy
thoughts and dry syllables that hung
to the roof of our mouths
like a foreign language.
thirsting for ways to
contextualize our
empty experiences into
conversations, artistic crafts
and other works of arts.

We were artists
looking for ways to
create within the instability that
consumed our minds,
the world we lived in, 
by breaking our fear to be visible.
So they called us crazy
for following our dreams
teaching for social justice
and creativity, advertise
us as Mad Men, creative
engineers chartered outside
the edge of the common core

We were artists
striving for ways to
grow, a yellow brick road
of some sort. A Teaching Path,
Blueprint for the Arts, a plethora
of creative avenues bridged across
multiple intelligence's, practices, 
techniques, simultaneously
strengthening our voices
through the art of collaboration,
until our minds became
a Graffiti Wall of ideas.

We were artists
drawing pictures from
personal experience, using
our imaginations to anchor
a community, discourse. 
We were artists. Blank
pieces of paper that would
not be crumbled. Airbrushed
with strokes of encouragement
and teachable moments
that reminded usthere
are no mistakes in art
only opportunities for creativity

-Jay Howard (Written for Community Word Project's 2015 TATIP Graduation)