by: Kenny Lord
IT’S TIME TO FLY MY LITTLE ONE
FOR YOU TO TEST YOUR WINGS,
IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO SEE THE WORLD
WHATEVER YOUR LIFE BRINGS,
THOUGH YOU MAY FALL, YOU’RE WINGS AND ALL
AGAINST A LONELY SKY,
TO SEE THE LEAVES OF FALLEN TREES
DETERMINES HOW YOU FLY,
THE NEST IS BARE FOR ALL ARE GONE
NOW YOU MUST FLOAT WITH MIGHT,
THE TINY TWIGS AND BITS OF STRAW
WILL KEEP YOU WARM AT NIGHT,
TAKE TO A BRANCH THAT’S REALLY HIGH
SO YOU CAN SEE THE PREY,
YOU’RE EYES AROUND, WITHOUT A SOUND
TO FLY ANOTHER DAY,
SO SPREAD YOUR WINGS MY LITTLE BIRD
BEFORE THE WINTER COMES,
AND LEARN THE WINDS OF OPEN SKIES
TO BUILD YOU’RE NEST WITH LITTLE ONES.
Kenny Lord is 59 years old and recently retired from Toronto Police Services after being a police officer for 27 years. From being a crown ward in the care of Toronto CAS between the ages of 2 and 6, he was adopted by a Jamaican family and moved to Jamaica. He was with them for hardly a year before the adoption broke down, at which point Kenny’s adoptive grandparents stepped in to raise him. His grandparents enrolled Kenny in a private military boarding school in Jamaica.
When he was almost 17 he decided to come back to Canada to live with his adoptive aunt and uncle, and to finish his post-secondary education.
Kenny has been a volunteer with the ACO for almost two years now, including connecting with the Youth Network and acting as the Keynote Speaker at our Youth Network Conference Day in the fall of 2016.
For National Volunteer Month, we thought we would get an idea of why he does what he does.
Why do you volunteer?
...we will surprise ourselves by seeing how much our own experiences in life can help someone else.
Some people say it’s a way to give back, but I don’t really phrase it that way. How I explain it, is it’s just a way to give, period.
After you’ve had some experiences in your own life that have led you down different roads you kind of see that there’s a lot of people and a lot of situations that need helping where there is no funding.
How do you think volunteering affects the community?
The situations and the people that you do help, they can really benefit from your own experiences. It’s one thing to stand up there and to teach people and to tell them this or that will happen to you in a particular situation but I think it really hits home when you can look at someone and say ‘I know that this will happen because it happened to me.’
I just give because I think that it will honestly help someone. They will appreciate that standing in front of them is an individual that has gone through some hardships in their life. And that volunteer is saying “You know what, you can really get there if you just stick to things, you can really have a positive outcome in life,”
Why do you volunteer at the ACO?
It feels like home to me.
I think you have to be a particular type of individual that has a certain heart. I know that I came from an adoption background, and there is a want for you to do the same for someone else.
There are not many places in my life that feel like home, the ACO feels like home because I know that’s where I came from.
What’s been the highlight of volunteering with us?
Meeting people that have similar experiences in life. People that understand you, and people who you understand and they’re all trying to do the same thing.
And those are the type of people that I’m working with. Everyone thinks the same, everyone has the same common goal for the benefit of the children. It makes you feel good meeting people with similar desires.
What do you want to say to other volunteers this month?
It’s important for everyone to volunteer because we will surprise ourselves by seeing how much our own experiences in life can help someone else. The most important thing that we have on this planet is people. We have to realize that the people that are going to be running this world are the children that are growing right now, and we have to help them. It’s helping the world to evolve in a sense.
If we don’t show the human element inside our hearts, maybe they won’t have the same desires. So we have to go out of our way and increase the tranquillity within individuals.
It’s also National Poetry Month, what got you into poetry?
For many of us who have been adopted, sometimes we are afraid to voice at an early age, we’re afraid to communicate, we find it very difficult.
When I was around 10 years old and I was going to that boarding school in Jamaica, there was a school magazine that came out once a month called the Glass Onion. There was a teacher that asked if anyone wanted to write a poem for this. So I just started writing.
For many of us who have been adopted, sometimes we are afraid to voice at an early age, we’re afraid to communicate, we find it very difficult. We’re watching things around us spin fast and we’re confused. We don’t know what’s going on. People are sending us places, they’re telling us things to do. We don’t know who to trust. So communication is hard for us.
With writing, I found it easy to get into my own world. I could write whatever I wanted on paper. And I just found it easier to express myself through writing than through speaking because I also had a speech impediment in my early days.
So I started to express myself in writing, and I submitted my first poem to the Glass Onion.
What does poetry mean to you?
When I was younger, it was good form of expression for me. It was difficult to express yourself at a time when everything was going on around you and you were finding it difficult to explain things. But when you sat down in quiet and you thought slowly and you put pen to paper everything came out naturally. It didn’t matter how you spoke, what accent you had, what voice you had. It was going from heart to brain to pen to paper. And I never stopped doing it.
It’s kind of my own peace within myself.
What would be your message to aspiring poets this month?
There are quite a few styles of writing poetry, but you don’t have to do what everyone else does. You can enter into your own world and write it your way. No one can ever tell you that your poem is wrong.
I think it’s really nice that your thoughts and your heart are going on paper, and one day someone that has the same thoughts might think they’re all alone until they read your [poem]. It might give them a positive feeling or it might help them to explain different things in life.
I hope that my poetry could inspire people that are in a shell, sometimes in a bad shell. I hope they can look at this and see that other people find ways of getting out of that shell. They find ways of expressing themselves put a smile on their face. It’s amazing what you can get out of a poem!
It’s fun to write!
Kenny has written and published four poetry books with more to come. http://www.apoet.ca/book/
Listen to Kenny talk about his books:
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