The Treasure Hunter

I don’t often give context to my poetry. I think that poetry is something which the people should interpret for their own. This poem calls for context. It is about a father figure in my life who passed away in early October. I call him the treasure hunter, because that was his job and his passion. Collecting treasures to sell and give to others. He was the most generous man I have ever met, and I miss him dearly. This is free verse, it cannot and will not be contained, much like the treasure hunter. This is poetry for the hurting, poetry for those in need of healing. The treasure hunter knew that many things could not be healed materially. I hope that you find these words well and as a form of medicine for the heart.

It has only been three months
Since I last saw the treasure hunter.
I drove near his house today
Over the ashen roads.
They remind me of his smile
Crooked teeth between taught cheeks.
They hold back stories of childhood
Of simpler times before iPhones
A time where a four-wheeler
Was better after a bout of beers.
That is not to say I condone it,
Nor do I understand his stories
But I cherished them.
And I cherished him.
He was not my father.
Yet, he was my father.
That role that was already filled.
I never knew that it could be coordinated
And I’m certain that it was not meant to be.
I’m certain that it will never come to be again.
Yet, I am forever thankful that it was.
For the treasure hunter was a man
Who collected everything in the land
Taking what he could, the garbage of others
Giving all he had, to sisters and brothers.
If he saw the ash on those roads today
He would have something to say
Hooking up some plow that he found
Clearing away and salting the ground.
If he were here today
He would have something to say.
Maybe a story of old, laced with proverb
One that would make many bothered.
Yet he would tell it with that crooked smile
And drag you in, even if only for a short while.
For he not only hunted for treasures
He hunted for hearts, non-material pleasures.
A conman of the people and for the people.
Now, my final memory of him is in a steeple.

May you all find your treasure hunter.
May you all cherish them as my mother did.
May you all respect them as I did.
May you all love, as he did.

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His Wolfness is Gone

The wolf sits in wait, surrounded by sheep
Hidden in his jacket of wool, giving no peep.
He baas like the rest of them, giving cover
Holding back his howl, hiding his blubber.

He has been there for over a year
Learning their ways, dismantling fear.
Most would have struck by now,
Most would have eaten their chow.

He does not. He waits, patiently by shepherd.
Knowing one will stray from the white herd.
When that moment comes, he will lunge
Into white turned red madness he will plunge.

His friends ask him when he will go
“A little longer” he replies, “until the show.”
The longer he waits, hunger makes him sway.
His sleek coat becoming matted and gray.

Then one day it happens, a sheep strays
He looks to it and jumps towards his prey.
Teeth snarled, eyes beaded, legs tensed
He opens his slobbed jowls, howls commenced.

There is no howl, only a baa, unrecognizable.
His wolfness is gone, replaced by the undeniable.
He has become that which he was around,
A sheep descendant from wild hound.

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The Tall and Sturdy Oak Tree

Through the iron bars I can see
That tall and sturdy oak tree.
Though these bars are rusted
And my cellmate untrusted,
That tree stands tall and mean
In that wild field of green.

A remembrance to men like me
That at one point we were free.
Tall and sturdy, green and rooted
Till one day to jail we were booted.
For a crime I of course did not cause.
That’s what everyone says to cover flaws.

That jury convicted- full of ghosts
Practically sending me to the host of hosts.
Good as dead I tell you, in this box
I get one pair of shoes, two pair socks.
Three set of jumpers, indoors and out.
One for cleaning, but they ain’t using Shout.

You called me lunatic, unworthy, and killer.
You turned that true in this house of stone pillar.
I fight to survive, I have no choice, I slash.
Thrown to solitary, for my visions to mash.
They merge with reality, what is true?
Am I what they say? This killer created by you?

There is one constant I can rely on in general pop.
It’s that oak, and Lord I pray they never chop.
It is my only glimpse of freedom from here
That I can dream, and someday not fear.
Till then I sit and watch the leaves change
While I hope that I myself may rearrange.

I watch that sturdy oak tree
Through iron bars it is all I see.
It stands tall and mean
In that wild field of green.
When I leave this place in pine box,
Lay me under the tree, in my dirty socks.

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If you were awake at night,
Unable to sleep, unable to rest,
Would you look over the edge?
Observe your own death?

The indeterminate space between
The living and the dead
Where creativity lives
Closed arms and crossed legs

I stare into her eyes every night
A reluctant Salvador Dali
Walking in the equilibrium
Of that taut wire nightly.

I can see the Inbetween
I speak with the greats,
I attempt to paint with them,
I am no good, compared to these fates.

They care not, they only accept
Grateful for the company
Creativity eases her stance
Staring at my heart hungrily.

She is queen here in the Inbetween.
These relics she hangs with, her servants
The monarchy is not dead here,
She is worshiped, by minds overburdened.

Overburdened by a lack of sleep
From looking over the edge
From seeing something they must mimic
Something not-of-this-word, full fledged,
Eager to show the real world,
What their tormented mind sees.

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One-Hundred Years From Now

One-Hundred years from now, what will I be?
Hopefully remembered in grand-child’s strong memory.
Two-Hundred years from now, things are different.
I am a faint picture on the wall, whose quality they resent.
Three-Hundred years from now, the picture off the wall.
Forgotten and laid to rest, yet do you know the beauty of this all?
For this inglorious succession to happen, to even begin,
I must exist. I question the beginning not, for I understand the end.
The end undeservedly requires a beginning and a middle.
The beginning we learn to walk and finger fiddle;
The middle we learn what it means to live;
The end we learn what it means to give.
We give our last breath to this world.
And with my knuckle curled.
All I ask of my descendants,
Is to be remembered.

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That Cracked Fallen Tree

In my woods, only about ten feet
Off the path lies a tree.
Fallen and cracked, covered in peat,
It works as a seat, big enough for three.

It was there that we ate dinner
Taco meat, made in a gray teapot
If I could choose anyone, it would have been her
To sit and make a fire, and possibly be caught.

I cannot forget that day we shared.
It is burned into my memory like that scar
We left on the forest floor we swept bare.
Someday we will travel back there, despite it being far.

Now we sit in our kitchen, far from woods.
The teapot in storage, waiting for us to leave.
We cook on electric stove, improving our goods.
We will return my dear, to that cracked fallen tree.

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Art’s Gravestone

Power is like bourbon stinging the tip of my tongue.
Swelling to sweetness as it moves.
Warming as it sinks to my stomach.

There was a time where the heat did not work.
Where I used bourbon to move warm my fingers
So I could rattle my keyboard a little more.

I wonder if this induced heat did more than warm.
If it awakened in me the pain that I could spew
Onto the paper in quatrain-couplet unconsciousness.

Like Hemmingway, but in the wrong era.
Alchohol is still glorified, but the product of it-
My induction to art, is dead in the grave.

Burried only 4 feet deep, a shallow grave
It’s not too late to dig her back up.
On the gravestone it reads in mossy chisel:


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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.