Sameer's Writing Playground

My scratchpad of life thoughts

Tag: WDS

Gas Lamps

An old street lamp
Two yellow lights
Hang dimly above
This engraved pole

Gas lamps replaced
With electric lights
He sits and rests
Against this tree trunk

Listens to friends
On this park bench
By the Willamette river
Whispering friendship

The yellow light
Casts a grey shadow
Of four bodies
Shade in the night

This tree has seen
Many friends sit
Some on the bench
Some closer

Today it remembers
The days when gas lamps
Did not exist


(Written in August 2016 while at WDS in Portland. Other pieces written during that week – here and here)

Inspired by Zach Anner at WDS 2016


I absolutely loved Zach Anner’s talk at WDS 2016 in Portland earlier this month. Full of humor, adventure and feeling. Here’s a little poem inspired by his words, written after his talk while we were still in the theater.

I paused in between
Words spoken
Through the corner of my eye
I noticed her black eyes

And a tear down her cheek
Presence shows itself
In small ways

He spoke with humor
Lightness and joy
The most confident person in the room
Cannot walk
The most disabled
Lights us up

How does he do it
What does his voice say
In moments of quiet
When no one’s listening?

He could not do it alone
Obviously, clearly
This dude full of love
With his cerebral palsy

He needed his friends
For everything
For hikes through the forest
Kayak trips in the lake

To lift him up
To climb the stairs
“So many fucking stairs”
That he could never take

But what about us others
“Disabilities invisible”
What right do we have
To ask for help?

Just stop for a second
Stop that will
To do it alone
Prove the impossible
Bare chested in the cold

Please for a moment
Look around
These others around you
They need your hand
The one that reaches out
And asks to be led
They need your love
More than your head

A voice spoke out
From a different place
Was held by a look
And a tear down her face.


Update: Zach’s WDS talk is now available at
More videos at
Photo credit – Armosa Studios.

And here’s another poem from WDS this year – Help Me See.