a tribute to Mr. Ronald Webb, the fifth grade teacher who opened my eyes to poetry and the power of knowledge and learning. This poem was written for a tribute party where hundreds of his former students came together to show their love for him when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. So many people flew in for the event that they ended up having to split it up into two different days.

Tribute to Mr. Webb

My words are cliche in a pocket full of sunshine way.
Every exaggeration and platitude spewed through the air by a mouth too juvenile to tell the truth.
But you - you trained it - reigned it - brought it up
taught it to thirst like there's not enough knowledge or wisdom in all the world,

and if I could just open my eyes
and let my brow furrow -
I could taste it all
'Cuz I knew where to look.

3 generations in a well-polished suit 
planting the seeds that would yield the fruit before you,
and the harvest swells like a millions voices shouting "cogitate" 
to the world you helped and taught us to create.

Just one solitary man expanding the sum of humanity
through exponential ideas in his free-verse community
extending his legacy like the scrolling script on the papers of our hearts
and the chalkboards of our minds.

Most authors fade into obscurity,
dusted volumes rusting from misuse -
but you -
You live in a million quests for knowledge -
in countless passions sparked, burned, and donated
to endless degrees of separation.

And we - we bow before the king at the banquet
in gratitude for the platitudes you so willing bore.
And together -
together, we feast on forever.

I learned many lessons from Mr. Webb, but here’s a little nugget he taught me that really has guided my life: true intelligence isn’t knowing everything; it’s knowing where to find the answer to anything.

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