New Beginnings

Some things are wanted

Some things are earned

Some things are instinct

Some things are learned

No one is born

With silver in hand

They may think they do

But don’t own their land

Life, it’s a battle

Fought by warriors, for ground

No parcel is given

No acre is found

Nothing is owed in this journey we’re on

And kings can be toppled by anyone’s pawn

Pride, it dost come ‘fore the vain who will fall

As no one escapes a true reckoning call

Righteousness might be the flag that you bear

But everyone knows there’s no substance in there

Vanity’s victim, though maybe you’d care

If only your mirror made you self-aware

But that’s how it goes

This story I tell

And those who preceded

Knew all too well

Nothing they said would be thought of until

Their bones had been buried, and yet even still

So many things they wrote ended up true

And yet here we are, still saying “well you”

Nobody gets that the issues within

For nobody wants to admit that they sin

We live and we laugh in a world; make- believe

Then we still wonder why we can’t achieve

Achieve all the things which we claim that we want

Ironically by our own ghost are we haunt

Truth is not easy, such burden to bear

Yet in its embrace we’d see how much we share

Some things are wanted

Some things are earned

It’s time that we listen

And forget what we’ve learned

The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Written

Something’s happening, and a lot of people aren’t realizing it. They can feel it, sure; but they aren’t quite able to put their finger on the sensation that they’re experiencing. So let me try to do it for you. I’m going to describe the phenomenon to which I refer in one, concise, statement:

Your consciousness is becoming one with everyone else’s.

I know. Sounds crazy, dunnit? But if you truly absorb what I’m attempting to articulate at the moment, you will realize that I’m being deadly serious. So before you dismiss this as the random bantering of a metaphorical space cadet, please allow me to explain.

Much of what I’m about to tell you is going to sound absurd. That word is emboldened to try and illustrate the fact that just because something sounds crazy to you – doesn’t mean it’s crazy. Because again, I’m fully aware that this will, at first glance, sound nuts. So we need to acknowledge that before we get into this. That way, hopefully you’ll (paradoxically) see that since I understand that, you’ll have an easier time empathizing and realizing that what I am saying is not, in fact, absurd.

Basically, if I’m normal enough to acknowledge how bizarre this is going to sound…then surely I must be grounded enough to deserve at least a small handful of sane credibility.

Phew.

Back to the topic at hand. The first thing I want to address can be summarized by a simple question.

Who are you?

A mundane, rudimentary query, I know. But seriously…think about it. Who are you? What does it mean for you to be reading these very words right now; to have the ability to discern what thoughts, ideas, and concepts are going through my mind at this very moment? In other words…

What does it mean to exist?

Well, I’ve put a lot of thought into that question. A hell of a lot more than most people probably do, if I may say so myself. And to be frank, the only answer I find myself able to come up with is that I have absolutely no clue, whatsoever, what it means to exist – but I’ll be damned if that doesn’t stop me from trying to figure it out.

Which brings me back, again, to my point.

Considering the fact that I’ve begun this process by acknowledging the possibility that I’m nothing more than a speculative ignoramus, I can come to only one conclusion to that question. And it’s quite simple.

We are our thoughts.

What do I mean by that (sorry if that was anti-climatic)? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I’m going to try my best to elaborate. You see, humans (and the human conditions which afflict us all) are enormously complex vessels. We’re born, naturally, with a kagillion unique characteristics that enable us to self-identify. That is to say, we’re all special (not rolling my eyes, I promise). This is a point with which I doubt anyone will take issue. We’re all unique, are we not?

And yet, if you really sit down and think about it…we’re all the same. We all go through good times, hard times, embarrassing times, and proud times, no? Truthfully, the only things separating any of us from each other are the exclusive-to-our-own-plight-in-life situations, which to be perfectly frank, we all have to deal with. Considering that, they really shouldn’t matter in terms of validating ourselves to other people (since that’s what we want, right?)

Ahem.

So, back to the point (for the third time now, I think? I’m not keeping score, I’m sorry). If we are to examine, closely, the things I’ve mentioned in this wall of words above, it shouldn’t take very long to discern the fact that everyone, ever, has shit going on in their lives with which other people can (with an almost eerie sense of congruence) relate. It could be money problems, career problems, familial/marital problems, the-neighbors-dog-shat-on-my-recent-and-meticulously-manicured-lawn problems…you get the point.

We’re all going through shit.

And that’s just it. I’m fairly certain that all of you reading this has recognized, in one way or the other, that literally everyone on the planet has an imperfect life. And we’re beginning to wake up to that coffee-smelling fact. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you find yourself tiptoeing over…there will always be actual millions of people who are sharing your exact same struggles. The challenge is simply to find them, and to be open enough with each other that you both mutually understand that by judging someone based upon the transgressions, misguidances, and otherwise misfortunes of a person’s past is the quickest ticket to a life of loneliness & obscurity ever.

And that’s exactly what I mean when I say our consciences is slowly becoming one. We’re beginning to understand and empathize with each other, because we’re seeing all of these things people have been going through via social media and the internet. The ability to share thoughts and ideas en masse, like we can now, is without a doubt the most game-changing component of societal congruence the Earth has ever seen.

So allow me to share a toast to the human condition, and everything else that we’re fortunate enough to experience together in this once-in-a-billion-years era of time.

Because without a lot of you guys…I’d still be thinking I’m alone in the world.

Who Am I?

Do not break rhythm, just to rhyme

To replicate the pantomime

Do not spend life trying to climb

A ladder that’s a waste of time

Seize the day, right at its dawn

Do not exist as someone’s pawn

For ’tis not what you’re meant to be

So live your life, and live it free

Lay the pavement, craft your path

Worry not for aftermath

For it will never worry you

This may be harsh, but it is true

Worlds are large, worlds are great

And we should all appreciate

That nothings given, nothings owed

We only reap what things are sewed

Be who you would always dream

Create your motif, and your theme

Everything is up to you

You are defined by what you do

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

The Lonely Dove

Look at the sky, that lonely dove

It carries thoughts I’m thinking of

A tied up message on its wings

Aware not of the pain it brings

Delivers truths that cannot hide

No matter how it feels inside

And though dismays the song it sings

It does not know what scroll it brings

There are things we all must face

They do not care for time, or place

No cause, concern, for things we say

For truth will always find its way

Sadly, what we want in life

Be it husband, be it wife

Alludes our grandest wants within

And if we chase them, we must sin

Love, it can intoxicate

Introduce your true soulmate

So sad it is to fit the norm

And be conditioned to conform

Why don’t we embrace the wait?

What once was good could now be great

Why do we let this life become?

Why do we make our feelings numb?

I gaze again, that little dove

It carries thoughts of life, and love

Fly away, my feathered friend

I’m here with you, until the end

A Life Unfiltered

Stop all of this judgment

Please, cease all of the hate

It’s okay to like attention

And it’s fine that’s who you date

Misery loves it’s company

Spiteful comments are it’s mate

The genuine embrace truth

And don’t live a life that’s fake

It changes one’s perspective

Embracing positivity

Shedding stresses that are caused

By worrying constantly

If someone doesn’t like you

For who you truly are

Just laugh at such a closed mind

Say only “au revoir”

Perhaps it was their raising

Or an absent mom or dad

Though likely mere resentment

Happiness they’ll never have

So live without a filter

Time is short upon this Earth

Don’t let such thieves of joy

Cast doubt on your self-worth

You Can’t Please Everyone

Live, and laugh, and love they say!

Don’t ever wear a frown

But let’s be real, sometimes we feel

Our smiles upside down

It does not matter what you do

Nor what you’ve done before

There will be, always, one of them

Who drags you to the floor

One person who just won’t believe

That goodness, you have brought

Ironically it’s mostly ‘cause

Their own life matters not

It does not matter to themselves

So then they wish on you

To share their melancholy days

And all their sad boo-hoo

So if you’re good, and ever should

Feel low because of some

Do not regret, and don’t forget

You can’t please everyone

The Good Die Young

A man enters a lonely room, we’ll call him Mr. Bad

Another joins the other, Mr. Goodman, his comrade

They act and play and do the things that all the people do

And every time that Goodman wins folks’ love, Bad smiles too

“Sure it’s great, I do not hate, for Goodman is the best!”

But on the inside, Mr. Bad is beating on his chest

He writhes around until he’s found someone who hates Good too

And plots with them behind the scenes ‘cause that’s what people do

“Come here my dear, now tell me clear, why is it Good you hate?”

Bad asks the girl he found when he pretends they’re on a date

“He’s about him, he’s arrogant, it rubs me the wrong way!”

The words this little lady said what bothered her that day

“I know!” Said Bad, “The facts are had!

To tell you the whole truth

I hate him too, here’s what we’ll do,

we’ll end it in the booth”

And so it went, although Good meant, to only lend a hand

He died that day, I’m sad to say, on this election stand

And so it goes, as we all know, that’s how these things play out

When jealousy, toxicity, takes hold and causes doubt

So if I may, let me please say, if you’re a Mr. Bad

Take my advice: change your life, or you will wish you had.

When I’m Gone

It saddens me that people are

So short-sighted, they don’t see far

And that these words will not be read

Until I live no more, lay dead

It is the truth, I do not care

What you might think, you’re unaware

Just what these things I say right now

Might truly mean, and yet somehow

You live inside your same old box

And if the truth stops by and knocks

You plug your ears, say it’s not so

Pretend it’s not there, even though

Late at night, all that remains

Is blood that flows inside your veins

You can’t escape that which is true

That greed and envy consume you

‘Tis why so many are not read

Until they lie alone, and dead

Mentors of me, they say it’s so

Their names are Edgar, and Van Gogh

Yesteryear

I ask myself, exactly how

Did I not see as I do now?

What things went on in yesteryear

To blind what I can now see clear

Perhaps it is with every age

Our lens grows sharp with each new page

Time, it makes us wise and true

And strips naïveté from you

The young, the old, we’re all the same

Just wand’ring souls in life’s bored game

We drift and dwell and dream and drink

And hardly ever stop to think

It is the way we’ve always been

‘Twas even said when we’d begin

It will not ever change, I fear

I long for what’s lost: yesteryear

Within

I am not who I was before

The man ‘twas me I so deplore

He’s hanging, cuffed, and sins no more

Locked deep behind my closet door

In darkness he now dwells, alone

His mem’ry cuts straight to the bone

It weighs me down like rock and stone

And hates that I’ve, at last, outgrown

People change, I can attest

All my wrongs I have confessed

If hatred can’t forgive, lay rest

Your mind is but infant, at best

Perfection does not dwell in thee

Forever, it’s an absentee

Look in the mirror and you’ll see

No better you are that, than me

The One: First Entry

Can we be honest with ourselves for a moment? I want to talk about some things. Things like Facebook. Twitter. Instagram, perhaps. Hell, even Tinder…anything that lets people advertise who they are (or at least who they want to be) without having to concern themselves with the real world.

Yeah, I know.

It’s not easy to examine one’s self. We’d all much rather be judging someone else. But right now, let’s do the hard thing and focus the lens introspectively.

Sure, it’s easy to look on at the spinning wheel that is social media, watching as the people we know and grew up with move on with their lives. Comparison is the theif of joy, ain’t it? That’s what they say, at least.

It’s funny though because everyone’s aware, whether consciously or subconsciously, that social media is just a highlight reel. If only we knew who we all are after each one of those many layers of social graces and obligatory formalities got peeled back. The real, you know? Because as much as we market how cool our lives are, at the end of the day…it’s validation that we really want.

Most of us, that is. And you know what? That’s perfectly normal. Not at all a thing to be ashamed of.

After all, most of us just want someone who knows us. Who understands us. Who IS us. We want to enjoy life with a person who gets, more so than anyone, who we truly are. And I’m not talking about the person at three o’clock, bringing in coffee with the same fake grin we all wear knowing we’re just waiting for the hour hand to get knocked ahead a couple notches. I’m talking about the person we are when the day’s facade is over, the candles go out, and the door closes. That person you see when the ambient light from the TV flicks on as it highlights the it-was-a-long-day-fucked-up-hair and feetie pajamas silhouette. That’s the person we’re searching for.

And you want to know something? I bet you’ve already met them.

I know I have.

Winds of Change

Softly cup my hand to ear

As wind blows whispers that I hear

Sadness, loss, regret they bring

All shadows from my yesteryear

Words escape me, ones I’ve lost

I never knew how much it’d cost

When I thought not to buy a ring

The path I should, I never crossed

Now I’m forced to walk, move on

Time has passed; those moments, gone

And though I wish to have them back

I must stay focused on the dawn

For life is cruel, it won’t concede

Regardless if I pray and plead

And though I may not be on track

Faith in myself is all I need

Things in life, they come and go

And as I lift this small window

I look outside, only to see

That we reap the things we sow

Every action, every word

Is seen, or felt, or tasted, heard

And whether it is you, or me

Life’s purpose always seems so blurred

So, to you, who has a past

Do not let your transgressions last

We’re here, together, throughout our time

And everyone has sins amassed

Live with love, try to arrange

The life you want, an open grange

Do not break rhythm, just to rhyme

And always, ride, the winds of change

How I Write

The hours late

I close the gate

My shutters, clasp and lock

 

I ring the bell

Fill my inkwell

And glance, toward the clock

 

An evening chill

It greets my quill

As letters join, to words

 

The only sound

Which can be found

Is chirping, of the birds

 

My thoughts now drift

Away, they lift

As dim, I fade the light

 

Now ideas flow

My stories grow

For this, is how I write

Toe in the Water 

It looks so cold 

This water, bold

As evening reaches crest 

And yet I know

Aft icy blow

The warmth will be abreast 

Is it so hard?

Why do I guard?

No logic can be found 

Just jump right in

But wait! I grin 

I will! The next time round

I promise, then

I’ll dive right in

I know the shock is short

Okay, let’s go!

Hang on! Go slow

No wait, I must abort

I must prepare 

And get some air

For easy, it is not

To take the leap

It looks so steep 

One chance is all you’ve got

This life’s not long

So sing your song

Leave worry in the past

For when you’re old 

You’ll wish you’d told

Yourself to have a blast 

Don’t be the one

To miss the fun

Make every second count

As fortune faves

The bold in waves 

The risk worth all amount 

Your life is yours 

Not boring chores

This, please understand 

It starts with you

That water, blue

Don’t waste away in sand

Just take a toe

And dip it slow 

The cold will soon feel hotter 

The time is here

No more “next year”

It starts with toe in water

White Girls

The time has come, I think it so

To say something that we all know

There’s groups, there’s squads, there’s little cliques

But none compare to Team White Chicks

Like ohmigosh! Kisses, hugs

While sipping lattes, wearing Uggs

These leggings fit, or make me fat?

C’mon girl, just ask Snapchat

Great idea! They’re just so tight

Wait! This latte’s skinny, right?

Girl you know I order true

Never whole milk, that’s just ew!

Phew! Yes girl, you I trust

Come on now, tan we must

Those beds are hot, just like fire

Girl! My VS coup is ‘gon expire

The mall it is, we mustn’t wait!

Clothes and shoes, that white chick bait

On the way we pass the lake

Jeep’s windows down, playing Drake

Phone’s are out, texting “him”

Tweeting, gramming, oh! Re-pin

Now we’re done, clothes are bought

Night is ours, so what’s the spot?

Girl its midtown, call a cab

This Tinder match looks so damn fab

Let’s meet up, what do you do?

You’re self-employed? Boy that means ew!

C’mon girl, this bar is bust

And plus I think I drank too much

Let’s go home and take some pics

Oh don’t you love some Team White Chicks?

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

Brock Keckler: Full Interview

Millennials Making a Difference: Brock Keckler

What is a general description and title of what you do? 

I am the Marketing Director for the Edwards Porter Group Wealth Management. We do financial planning, investment strategies, retirement, 401k plans, life insurance, and estate planning.  My job is to help my firm be the premier financial institution in Wilson County.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Helping people with their financial future. Everyone has to start somewhere and its awesome to make an impact in people’s lives.

What things do you do/have you done to benefit the community?  

I am leading the MJYP [Mt. Juliet Young Professionals]. The Edwards Porter Group is extremely involved with local networking groups and events. We are always open to helping the community in any way.

What made you decide to chair the MJYP?

Joining this firm in my hometown, I wanted to find an additional avenue to help the city. The Young Professional population is growing exponentially in MJ and I want to be someone who gets them connected within the community. MJ is a special place to me and my family, so I want to do my part to help it succeed. As the city gets bigger, this group could be best professionals group in the mid-state.

What events does the MJYP have planned for 2017?

We have speakers lined up for the entire year along with some local tours and social events to promote networking. One thing we are focusing on is getting together at all of the local restaurants for some social time to get to know people outside of the business setting. New people and new connections are the foundation to our city and we look forward to all of the events we have planned for the year!

As always, I like to find out the “why” behind the “what”. Why do you enjoy the aforementioned career choices/extracurricular activities?

I worked for several years for a big corporation and I have seen what it takes to grow a business, and having the opportunity to grow an amazing  local company, in the city I grew up in, is a dream come true. I work with lifelong friendships, to people that just moved here, and I get to share my MJ experience with them. I enjoy playing golf, Basketball in our local rec leagues, and running the trails in providence.  My wife, Michelle, and I are expecting our first son, Carson, in the Spring.  We spend a lot of time at the local events and restaurants. We look forward to raising our family in Mj and helping this community flourish.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please check out some of my other work at How the World Should Work

On the Eve: 6

King Jordain

She knows exactly where my heart lies. Buried deep within that sheath of angst, she knows the truth.

She knows I cannot raise my blade to her. This foolhardy campaign is fueled by her insatiable desire for revenge; her misguided malfeasance. Yet reality continues to elude her. The entirety of her army’s morale rests upon the simple assertion that I, King Jordain, committed the treacherous act for which I was accused. Why choose now to invade – does she wish to reunite East with West? Her accusations, ones which she herself believed to be true, were the very catalyst that ripped these lands apart to begin with.

And now, here I sit with the watchful eye above penetrating my soul. On my honor, woman, nothing occurred between the vice-regent and myself those many years ago. This divisive plot was a meticulously crafted story by that scum of a Hand, Ulric. The same Hand who deceived her, my Queen, for all these years. Slicing his throat was the greatest gift our God could ever bestow upon me, and for that I am eternally grateful.

We will hold these lands. God willing, we will reunite.  Jocasta shall at last hear the truth.