The Sins of My Father

The sins of my father rest
Upon my shoulders, sinking my chest.
Like a yoke with two buckets
Straining sinew in my knees.

The buckets are full to the brim
Five gallons each, contents grim.
The lids are on, I dare not open them.
To do so would force me to face what is within.

I carry this yoke ignorantly by choice
Perhaps to avoid having to voice
My true feelings, hunkered inside
My chest, now failing, falling towards feet.

My back is tired, it creaks and cramps
I should have left the lids over those lamps
If I had, I would not have seen the buckets
I would not have seen the yoke, I would not carry it.

I question why I am the one who lifts,
Why I am the one whose foot shifts.
Is it love? Is it hate? Is it a way to be civil?
Am I just being complacent? Compliant?

I have to believe it is love.
We all have those things which shove
Us to our feet- demand payment.
I choose to help lift, to carry these burdens

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It’s now or nothing, something or never.

Some days I want to submit
Selling my time is easy, no pressure.
A man with more money than he admits
Pays me hourly for short-changed measure.

Other days I want to fight.
Seize the day, stand for my humanness
Give myself my undeniable human rights.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

But most days I fall under the shroud
I sit back and dream of what I will be.
Each day slipping further into the crowd
Where I sell my time, to someone other than me.

The reasoning of a premature high schooler’s mind,
That someday when I grow up I’ll be something,
That I have dreams to accomplish, and plenty of time.
Truth be told, the clock is ticking, soon there will be nothing.

It’s now or nothing, something or never.
Do I sit back and watch my dreams die?
Do I devise some scheme barely clever?
Or do I say no and actually grab that ladder and climb?

What if instead of just reading you actually wrote?
Or are you afraid your words will be lost?
What if instead of listening you actually spoke?
Or are you afraid of what your words might cost?

Macklemore made it by confessing his sins.
Johnny Cash rose by breaking the status quo.
Chance the Rapper can barely sing, but wrote Blessings.
Do you really think these self-starters submitted?


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The Messy Bun

A messy bun sits neatly on her head.
I never understood the name.
Messy, yet done perfectly-
Every hair in place, every thread.

Except those ones that frame her face.
They are neatly tucked on the side,
Hiding the tips of her ears,
Right where they need to be, in place.

The frame showcases her freckles,
Hiding slightly in the winter,
Returning from hibernation in summer.
Like light on a jewel, a freckled face sparkles.

Call me out!

Ripped pages lie on the ground,
My writing desk, they surround.
Broken ideas, wrong thoughts-
Scattered like broken pots.

They are the fodder of my mind.
The chaff of my kind
Born to share and write,
Born to hide in plain sight.

I am always watching others,
Noting their steps and stutters.
Will they notice mine?
Or do I cover them fine?

I offer my wrists for you to see.
Study them as your own, for me.
Call out my contradictions
and convictions
Make me face them as if in rehab
For addictions

Give me grace and truth,
Sit me down, in a corner booth.
Listen to my sedimentary whine,
Until 2am and we resign.

I will call you the next day,
And share the same stories.
This time, with more details,
And more lies

Between Two Trees

Sheridan Park, between two trees
Strung by two strings, a hammock hangs
Water below rises and lowers
The grass bends to the water’s will
But these giant blades of grass resist
Even long after the green left
These two trees, dead decaying giants

A branch falls, a warning to me
An obnoxious old couple
Who love their lawn well decorated
One small sapling sits in the lawn
Protected by her parents from me
Their leaves sacrificed to give sun
When the two fall, there will be one

A hammock cannot be strung on
One small tree, descendant of giants

Nobody cares for you down here.

Nobody cares for you down here,
And if you want to survive,
You best admit your fear,
Then when it trusts you,
Stab it in the back.

Your heart’s desires may roar like thunder,
But hiding them is your best chance.
Hide them so that others must wonder,
How they can hurt you.
Keep your heart safe.

And when you finally fall,
Bring down those who forced you,
And ignore those who send a loving call,
So that your enemies think they’ve won,
So that your friends can finally win.

The biggest lie your enemies tell,
Is that nobody cares for you down here.

Burning Fuel

“I’m not coming.”
The famous words,
Whispered over the phone,
Making a man’s value drop, two-thirds.

It was expected,
It was not wanted,
Nonetheless it was expected.
The cold silence on the line haunted.

I sat silent,
My car immobile,
Yet fuel was burning quickly.
Abandoned once more by a man who’s “Noble.”

The Table

At the table we are all dealt different cards.
It is how we play them that matters.
The rules may be the same,
But whoever plays by the rules,
Loses by the rules.

The bartender serves strong drinks,
In hopes that you will sink
More money into the game, and his pocket.
He is a twisted man, yet a family man.
The more you spiral, the more his kid eats.

The person across from you, feels no guilt.
They will take your money, and your quilt.
If they give their sleeve a slight tilt,
An ace will slide from a pocket they built.
In the other, you notice the shine of a hilt.

You should not be at the table.
Yet through some profound scheme,
You are.

Metal Cans

Metal cans line the street of my mind.
If only I could throw my memories
in them, and leave them behind.

The cans scrape across the cold cement.
I conjure up images of chalkboards,
and a feeling, of abandonment.

I feel pain in my ears and my chest.
Maybe it’s the voices of friends that have left,
or the family, that gave up our crest.

Regardless, the lids remain closed.
I leave them on the street, for someone else,
to open.

Academia is Dead

They say God is dead.
And we killed Him.
As if we could kill God.
Yet, we bow our heads with a slight nod.

I walk to the front of the chapel,
To pay my respects seems, natural.
Forced to look upon the face,
And forced to offer my disgrace,
When I notice this is not the face
That I was expecting in this boxed place.

It is academia who lies in the coffin.
For students sit silently in rows too often,
While information is spewed onto boards,
We string her up like strange fruit with cords.

Laptops are guillotines for creativity.
They steal ideas like the sharp blade,
That falls at the will of gravity.
As we sit and “take notes,” we fade.

Academia wishes she had died fast.
I know this, because I heard what she said last.
As I looked at her face, she spoke to me.
“Bury me alive, so I don’t have to see.”

Perhaps she would have preferred a cross,
A death more tedious than the growth of moss.
At least everyone would have noticed her as she died,
and there would be no excuse not to fix your eye.

Academia is dead.
We have killed her.