For Better or Worse

Sitting in solitude, lonely, I know

Glancing and gazing out of this window

I wish that the hands of this clock would move slow

But everyone seems to have somewhere to go

Why must every journey turn into a race

Why do we seem always have something to chase

Spending life sprinting and quickening the pace

When we could instead make the most of our place

Donning these things that we don’t even need

So we can catch up, get ourselves up to speed

Is it all vanity, is it all greed

Or is it the way we’ve been taught to succeed

Think of your values, what things do you want

Are they sincere or just things you can flaunt

Words are all words, no matter the font

Their meanings don’t change be you poor, debutante

The Song of Greed

Once upon a time before the universe existed

There lived someone who thought and said “well maybe I should twist it”

Lo behold, the worlds were born because He was assisted

By those He made to fill the realm, the humans He enlisted

He started simple, started quick, for there was so much work to do

It was decided to give humans all the tools to think things through

He gave them family, gave them love, for that was all he thought they’d need

But little did he know that humans sing one song: The Song of Greed

It did not matter what He gave, these creatures always cried for more

He tried to hide inside his keep but those He made knocked down the door

Rushing in they cried out “Sin! You know what we are looking for”

Let us explain, it isn’t rain, it’s the entire storm’s downpour

Hearing this He hung his head, closed his eyes to contemplate

How right before his very eyes they made His love disintegrate

And so it goes, everyone knows, we want more than what’s on our plate

How do I wish one day we’ll find a way to just appreciate

Song Writers Deserve More Credit

First of all, as a writer myself I should probably admit the fact that I might be slightly biased with what I’m about to say – so to be fair, I want to get that out there before going into this. That said, I feel the need to make the following statement:

As far as songs and the music industry in general are concerned, songwriters deserve much more credit and respect by the population at large.

Most would probably agree that when we think of our favorite songs and lyrics, we tend to associate them with the artist or vocalist who sings them. In fact, I would go as far to say that in the majority of cases, the average person couldn’t even tell you or hasn’t ever heard of the writers behind the words (obviously this doesn’t pertain to artists who originally write their own material, which is another thing altogether). Personally, I feel that this is an egregious disservice to the sentiments and messages that go along with the writing. Sure, the individual delivering said messages via their a better talented/more aesthetically pleasing voice deserves recognition – but we are remiss if we think that the writers’ significance is less deserving than the singers’ reciting their work.

If anything, the entire meaning and mood that the writing instills, which as I’m sure we’d all agree can be inexplicably impactful, touching, and inspirational, exists because of the persons responsible for artistically crafting the lyrics. An incredible voice can do wonders for how the melody makes us feel, but for those who are more influenced by the actual rhetoric rather than the audible tune/melody, these folks are invaluable. Now I know some of you might be thinking “well anyone can write stuff, but only a gifted few can sing.” And you’d be right. But for anyone who hasn’t tried their hand at creative writing, be it prose, poetry, or music, please take my word for it when I say that it’s a hell of a lot harder and more complicated than it sounds. Not only does it require the creativity, wisdom, and experience to be concoct the message and meaning in the first place, it also requires a cocktail of natural talent, artistic expressive capabilities, and acute awareness of the human condition and what content resonates with us as people. In many cases, deep, profound writing even calls for emotional trauma or particular sensitivity to common struggles and challenges we face as a collective unit all trying to navigate through the cold, harsh bitch that is life on Planet Earth.

So please, make an effort to at least tip your cap or otherwise acknowledge the hard work, sweat, and tears we as writer pour into our scribbling. I’m not saying you should go build a shrine to us, but an occasional pat on the back or nod of the head would be nice, ya know? And thank you to the ones who already make an effort to be aware of this stuff.

Rant over. Good talk…I’ll see you guys out there.

We Done Lost Our Minds

Okay ya’ll.

I haven’t written an actual blog post for a looooong time. I’ve pretty much used my site for poetry, short stories, etc. But today…oh boy. Not today.

Many of you are probably familiar with the dating app, Bumble. If you aren’t, here’s a quick crash course: Tinder, but yellow. Just kidding; basically Bumble is another one of the “swipe right to match, left to pass” apps that lets folks create profiles and easily scroll through up to six photos without having to read one sentence about the actual individual they’re judging. I do it, you probably do it, like 70% of everyone does it. We enjoy meeting people. Sue us.

Anyway, users of these apps are also familiar with the occasional advertisement that flitters by, briefly interrupting their swipetime. Today, something happened that I NEVER would have expected to see in the middle of my Bumblebee-tuna.

I was bombarded by political Leftism.

Yes. A liberal slap in the face right smack in the middle of a dating app.

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That’s right. Bumble is banning guns. #SJW

 

I suppose you’re wondering how on Earth these two things, dating and gun control, could possibly be related. Well, luckily they tell us. Apparently, if you’re seen shooting a gun in your photos, you’re a dangerous swipelicant. That is to say, the (most-likely red-blooded eagle-scouted) applicant you see in front of you poses danger should you take the risk and swipe right.

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Yes, report them so we know who to ship off to Antarctica when tempered reason finally sweeps the nation once more.

 

And before the super justice warriors berate me for being insensitive, let me nip it in the bud and say this: if you’re offended by my light hearted poke in the ribs here…please get a life. I say that genuinely. Because I’m laughing at this, and so should you.

Anyway, I don’t think I need to say much else to illustrate how absurd this is. So instead, I’ll just say go to Amazon and buy my book, Continuity. Type in Matt Shao in the search bar, because I’m not important enough yet to pop up when you just search the title. Its a fun read, and book 2 comes out soon. We blast into space and things.

Cause, you know, with stuff like this going on…I think its about that time.

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Believe

There is but one thing that is scary

And that is to be ordinary

Not unique, nor one of kind

Though many seem to pay no mind

 

No thoughts that wander, thoughts that fly

Thoughts that others can’t deny

It is so frightening in this place

Endless darkness; timeless space

 

Naught becomes of stagnant dreams

No flow, just dams to stop the streams

The waters, still and motionless

Confusing movement with progress

 

Act with purpose, not in vain

Pick your target, then take aim

Take the steps that lead you there

It all begins with one small stair

 

The climb is long, you must stay straight

Do not lose focus; concentrate

You will accomplish, before you know

And when you turn to what’s below

 

You’ll thank yourself, grin as you look

At all the chances, risks you took

If you believe in this one thing:

Yourself – you can do anything.

Pyramid

Pain

It fills my veins

Evades the remedies

Reaches all my extremities

A life of love so temporary, I allude

I opt instead for darkness, and solitude

Pen and pad are all I want, they’re all I need

Though I try to hide the pain, each day I grieve

Search for calm and peace of mind, a still reprieve

It will not matter now or then, the things that I achieve

The only thing that matters is creation, look and see what I did

Read and read and keep on reading, at the end you’ll see – my Pyramid

Together

In my chamber, losing sleep

Rocking, thinking, silently

Watching broadcasts quietly

Observe this world, so violently

I wonder if the day will be

When people live, peacefully

Shedding war, with treaty

No longer loving fearfully

It all could change, if only we

Would be the change we want to see

We must admit, reluctantly

To fix the “us”, it starts with “me”

Don’t take offense, the truth, you see

Is no one lives life perfectly

We’re all together, I decree

To live, one human family

What We Are

At night, I know, my mind has proved

For that’s when all the mask’s removed

We work and play, and yet we think

Of all the things we want, a link

 

A link to all we want to be

So instead we make a fantasy

We dream and wish and wish and dream

And then when morning comes, we scream

 

We live the lives we’re taught to live

And bottle up the love we’d give

The sense it makes, you know its true

And yet we still uphold the glue

 

We’re holding on, to something that

Is natural, don’t fear it, Matt

But lies, deceit, it rules in fonts

Because we can’t admit our wants

 

This self deception, shining clear

Is why we’ve dug this hole right here

One day we’ll know, just what we are

Just animals, we’ve not gone far

Don’t Wait

Oftentimes, I’ll look to see

The person looking back at me

Watching through a hazy lens

At who that strange reflection is

 

Staring forward, several blinks

Is he the person that he thinks?

Does he do the things he speaks?

Is practice coming from the preach?

 

My eyes still glare, this man ahead

I’ll wonder what, that day, is said

Right now I live, and yet I dread

What memory, of me when dead

 

What mark have I bestowed upon

The family that I belong

I hope they say, when I’m a thought

That happiness is what he brought

 

Improved the lives, of all the men

The girls and kids, the children

For life is but a journey, yes

We walk and run, we talk and dress

 

We do the things we love to do

To make ourselves enjoy the dew

Every day, a precious gift

So smile wide, and heart uplift

 

This path is short, don’t waste your time

Just search and search until you find

The purpose you’ve been looking for

Unlock and open passion’s door

My Dog

My Dog

I wonder if my dog

Knows he’s a dog

Or if his cute little brain

Is clouded in smog

And instead he assumes

He’s a human like me

With thumbs all opposable

And not paws as his feet

I wonder if he thinks

That I’m his pet to keep

Keeping my water bowl full

Allows me on HIS bed to sleep

Whatever he thinks

It’s funny and sweet

So come on, my dog

Let’s get you a treat

What are we Doing?

Why do you work?

Think about it

Please, I’m not joking

Actually think.

Because you get paid, no?

It’s simple, agree?

Don’t you agree though?

Now keep up with me

Lets take one more step, huh?

Get onto this bus

Why do we get paid, huh?

Whats money to us?

It lets us buy things

Okay that makes sense

So take one step further

Why do we buy things?

Cause people will like us

Wait what do you mean?

Well, people all like stuff

It’s attractive to gleam

So wait you’re saying

That people are fake?

Not really just saying

That thats why they wake

They wake to get up and

Just go to a job

The one that they hate, and

So they can buy stuff

Well, what if instead all you

Stopped caring for stuff

And rather looked into

All these people and love

The whole world would never

Ever be the same

And if you don’t get this

You’re the reason we hate

My Dog is Famous

Oooookay!

Where do I even begin? I suppose a little background context is a good place to start.

So my dog, Mr Baxter, has a nasty habit of chewing his leashes. He’s pretty much the perfect pup outside of that one annoying, economically burdening trait. Most of my brainstorming for writing is done with a beer, on a dog friendly restaurant patio somewhere – so naturally he has ample opportunity to inconspicuously gnaw his way to freedom while I’m immersed in my journals and outlines. So every time he successfully liberates himself, I’m forced to buy a new leash. I’d get a metal one, but toting one of those around gets annoying and clinky.

Anyway, so the other day I left my office to grab lunch and run into PetSmart to return his latest leash. Obviously I couldn’t take him in because he wouldn’t have a leash on the way in. So I left him in the car. By the way, it was 64 degrees outside and I was only going to be gone for like two minutes. In and out.

Well as I return to my car, I’m confronted by a lovely social justice warrior taking photos of my beloved Mr Baxter in my car. So I’m like “um, what are you doing?” 

The girl then proceeds to berate me and tell me how abusive I am to my dog, and that I was lucky she didn’t bust my windows out and next time she would. So I tried my best to explain how my dog is literally like a son to me (he’s all I have), and that he probably gets better treatment than most humans. She wanted nothing to do with that. Instead, she informed me of how illegal it was for me to leave him. A comment to which I responded “well if what I just did is illegal, then that’s a stupid law.” And I may have told her she was the problem with America, but whatever. 

Anyway, I go back to work and mention my recent encounter on Facebook to get a laugh. Then, in my post thread, someone tagged a photo of my hometowns FB page where she had posted a pic of my car, license plate, and peacefully slumbering dog – telling the whole world I was a monster basically. 

Naturally, as these things always do, there was a huge outcry of differing opinions. Most were pretty reasonable thank god, stating that he looked fine. So I then commented her public post myself and explained what had happened. 

That’s when the business went down.

Suddenly an enormous surge of awesome, logical folks came to my defense. It was amazing, and I’m still speechless at how good it felt to have so many kind hearted people to have my back. 

The post has since been deleted. But now, at the behest of some of these community members, we are going to host a #vivamrbaxter event where people can bring their dogs, have fun, and get educated on the legal standpoint of this type of thing. Like when you can and cannot be a hero.

Point is, now the community has turned what could have been an overly dramatic fight into something that will raise money for animals, and everyone wins.

That, if I may say so myself, is how the world should work. 

I freaking love my city.

The Con of Cons

To give a little context, below is a reflection of my experience (as a volunteer) at the first Game of Thrones conference ever held. Working the Con provided a pretty good view of how things went administratively. I daresay the vast majority of the weekend was a massive success, but there was (understandably) a slight hiccup here and there. You know, little stuff that’s an inevitable part of any big event like this.

Without further adieu – fonas chek, everyone!

 

THE CON OF CONS

Alrighty my friends

Just a sec, listen up

The sad end has arrived

So let’s all raise a cup

And bid fond farewell

I hope you all will agree

To meet up next year

For Freefolk, are we

So many great friends

It seems we’ve all made

Which means Con number two

Will put this one to shame

Much more stuff can we plan

Since we all made a mate

Epic fun is in store

So be sure to hydrate

And before I forget

As a Con volunteer

All the suggestions ya’ll made

Will help planning next year

Rest assured, worry not

All the kinks will be gone

This year taught one thing:

How to properly Con

And one other thing

If Valyrian pass, did you claim

Sincere apologies, accept

If you thought it was lame

But fear not, VIPs

For next year you shall see

That the perks you’ll enjoy

Will be worth all its fee

Your photos shall print fast

All in focus – not a glitch

But for real, jokes aside

Working photos…was a bitch

Now let’s all look ahead

At two thousand eighteen

And as friends, all await

Until we next reconvene

 
On a serious note – I can’t describe how grateful I am to have met you guys. This weekend was the most fun I’ve had in quite some time. This was also my first Con, so thank you all for making it such an unforgettable one! Next year can’t get here soon enough!!

Love you guys!

Matt
Oh, and while I’m here: if you’d enjoy more of teh rhymez, here’s a link to one that was my favorite to scribble.

https://howtheworldshouldwork.com/2016/12/16/an-ode-to-the-alphabet/

The Glamour

The Glamour

There’s Queens and there’s Kings

Yet so many things

Get trapped and caught up in the day

They really don’t see

The you and the me

The flutter, the flitter, the fray

Our lives are our own

Yet so many know

Only glamour, the glit and the glee

A lie, truth be told

But some day, when old

We’ll make fun of ourselves and be free

New Project: Children’s Writing

So this Puggle Fish thing today just got my head spinning a thousand times an hour. I think its time for a new project: Children’s Writing.

Something I never even considered. But truthfully, that’s the best way to help shape the future! To help children understand and perceive the world in a certain way, right? So I think writing a book that children can read which will mold their minds into something that promotes generosity, goodness, compassion, etc. is the most substantial way to effect the future. And if it catches on, who knows – maybe it could change the world.

Anyway, I’m going to use this page to post poems and whatnot that are catered to children until I get enough material to compile and send something for publication. I’d really like to be able to create some sort of “coming of age” universal book that all children could read to get a grip on how a true, just, fair, good world should work. Wouldn’t that be cool?? To start with a blank slate and train every child, from this day on, to be GOOD? So! This page shall be my home plate for this project.

Oh, one last thing. I’m gonna go ahead and preface this with the fact that my view of “right” and “wrong” obviously isn’t like a universal law in my eyes. Clearly the way I think is my own opinion, and you might disagree with my stances on one thing or the other. If that’s the case, know that I respect your point of view and by no means think my beliefs trump yours. Cause I hate when people do that. Its very disrespectful. So anyway, let’s do this.

Mr. Puggle Fish

Quietly swimming, all alone
Through a sea of madness and blue
A tiny creature sighs to itself
And wishes it’s dreams would come true

“What’s wrong?” You might ask
“What makes this fish sad?”
“Oh why does this creature feel blue?”
It’s simple, my friend
This fish is alone
Just one, out looking for two

Struggling, searching, with tears in its eyes
The creature has only one wish
To someday be whole, to one day be loved
To find it a Miss Puggle Fish

“How sad!” You will say
“This cannot be so!”
“We must find a two to his one”
You’re right, I would add
So what do we do?
Oh what can be did or be done?

Well while he was swimming, just darting about
Our Puggle swam into a girl
Who stopped on the spot, and lovingly thought
“He’s cute, let’s give him a whirl”

“At last!” We all cheer
The fish has found love
He’s filled that small void in his soul
Alas, all my friends
This Puggle Fish tale
Illuminates life’s greatest goal

Hey Johnny

 

“Hey Johnny!” They shout

Their toys all about

The chaos of footballs and feet

The playground’s abound

There’s kids all around

Who try to be sly and discreet

“Its time!” They all say

They’re ending their play

The test on their lessons they meet

Do right, don’t do wrong

As life leads you along

And gain knowledge, with no need to cheat

Mr. Puggle Fish

Quietly swimming, all alone

Through a sea of madness and blue

A tiny creature sighs to itself

And wishes it’s dreams would come true
“What’s wrong?” You might ask

“What makes this fish sad?”

“Oh why does this creature feel blue?”

It’s simple, my friend

This fish is alone

Just one, out looking for two
Struggling, searching, with tears in its eyes

The creature has only one wish

To someday be whole, to one day be loved

To find it a Miss Puggle Fish
“How sad!” You will say

“This cannot be so!”

“We must find a two to his one”

You’re right, I would add

So what do we do?

Oh what can be did or be done?
Well while he was swimming, just darting about

Our Puggle swam into a girl

Who stopped on the spot, and lovingly thought

“He’s cute, let’s give him a whirl”
“At last!” We all cheer

The fish has found love

He’s filled that small void in his soul

Alas, all my friends

This Puggle Fish tale

Illuminates life’s greatest goal

Life Flitters By

But Mom! 

Says the little girl, pouting about 

To the woman, 

Who feels left than thirteen

‘Twas Tom!

The girl cries, as she wrestles and shouts

Pulling hair 

As she’s acting so mean

Have I grown?

Asks the mother, all riddled and scared

To herself,

For yesterday seems

Like she was 

Just the poor little girl in this poem 

Who’s pulling 

Her hair while she screams. 

On the Eve: 10

Queen Jocasta – Sovereign Ruler of the West

Lies.

They plague our souls, causing us to act in ways of which we never believed ourselves capable. Yet we often cling to these falsities; desiring the reality we’ve fabricated over the painful truth that is life. Ignorance is bliss, they say. Perhaps there is some validity to the sentiment. But willful ignorance? There is no greater atrocity.

I have been deceived. All these years, lied to. Ulric, who, as Jordain’s Hand, was only charged with protecting the crown, came to me years ago with that crushing dispatch. News that the love of my life had been unfaithful, and intended to replace me as Queen with the Vice-Regent, Elaine. I believed him.

Last night I was greeted by an emissary who represented my former husband and King. Ulric’s journal, cataloguing his sadistic, manipulative thoughts, was presented to me. I was told Jordain has spent all these years tirelessly searching for anything to clear his name and prove his loyalty to me. After all this time, his efforts finally produced this journal. This, evil, disgusting journal that revealed everything he did was a lie.

Jordain’s actions, in light of this, have illustrated precisely the man I so fiercely loved. The sting of the irony is a dagger in my heart. He never shed his honor. He agreed to let me govern the Western lands. He conceded to my terms those many years ago, rather than waging a war that would cost the lives of thousands. And he did so knowing that my revolt was grounded in deceit. Despite his attempts to convince me otherwise, I refused to believe him. I believed Ulric’s fabricated tale of my husband’s infidelity. The enormity of my regret regarding this is inexplicable.

Tomorrow, we shall ride and face Jordain once again. My armies are not aware of the information this emissary has revealed. Tomorrow, all shall be unveiled.

On the eve of what will become a day fabled for ages, my mind is at ease.

There is no provider of solace equal to that of the unabridged truth.

On the Eve: 9

Hadrian Merlfang – Lord of the North

I told him it would end this way, the fool.

How many years now? Things never end as we intend. No, not ever. Our fresh, inexperienced selves, energized with the fervor of youth, see nothing but the ideal and the desired. Then, as it always is, the bitch that is reality bears its teeth; sinking its fangs into our ignorant dreams of yesteryear.

What is worse – knowing that Jocasta is on a false errand, yet I still participate as if I am none the wiser, or the fact that Jordain might actually come out on top after all this? I cannot say. I’ve grown tired of these earthly quarrels. My only role left to fill at this old, rotting age is to write the ending to a story that has far too long been authored. The time has come to usher our tired souls into the unknown darkness that lies beyond our meaningless comprehension.

I told him it would end this way, the fool.