A Waste of Time

A Waste of Time

How often do we fall for things that people say and do?

How often do we wonder if the things they say are true?

And when there’s doubt we call them out when stories don’t connect

I wish I had a dollar for each lie that we collect

What makes us do it? Is it fear?

I fear that I don’t know

But to be real I sort of feel

Like life is just a show

So many actors, all their staff

Just dancing on a stage

And sadly I’d say that I’d laugh

If not for this here page

Pen and pad have saved my life

They’re my only true escape

Avoiding this sharp cutting knife

That’s carves life’s packaged shape

Every night I pray to He

Who I don’t even know

For his hand to help me stand

On nights when I feel low

It’s hard, sometimes, when life’s cold rhymes

Rip out your true heart

I’d give anything, if I could bring

A better, fairer start

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.

Persevere

I care not for opinions, the things I say are true

My conscience guides and truth resides

in action, not with you

If you must talk then walk the walk, because otherwise

You’re all the same, the fact remains, you’re jealous and unwise

Weakness fosters hate for those who climb above the rest

They try to drown and put you down because they are depressed

Hate is part of this old game, it hasn’t changed at all

It’s been played since the first day that humans learned to crawl

Care not for those who bet you’ll fail, because they are the worst

And even though they think it so, don’t ever lose your thirst

Success will come to those who wait, for patience is virtue

The only ones who’ve seen it done are those who know it’s true

One Day

Listen, can you hear it?

Such beauty, violin

It’s strings are humming softly

To remind us where we’ve been

Such time it took to get here

So far, the journey seemed

So quick were we to make it

We’ve forgotten why we dreamed

Our life was so much simpler

Our souls, they all were freed

When nothing seemed to matter

For love was all we’d need

Just how did all this happen

Where did we go astray

Is it lost forever

Or can we find our way

Such sadness sweeps, such sorrow

Alone and thinking, every night

My heart, it longs so dearly

To feel that things are right

My hope, I fear is empty

Despite how deep I yearn

To live with pain, this broken

Is something I can’t learn

I wish this world was kinder

I wish we could all live

I wish we’d act as equals

I wish that we’d forgive

We lost our love, compassion

Somewhere along the way

Yet hope will live in my heart

To find ourselves, one day

Smoke and Mirrors

Animals. Miscreants. Products of society.

Monsters making mice of men and dodging notoriety

When will people realize that this world’s not what we think it is?

If you’re naive and say it is just do a quick analysis

Peace. Love. A child’s future without war.

All these things they advertise are not what they are fighting for

Human nature guides our acts, but most of us are ignorant

The truth is that our leaders are deceitful and indifferent

Some of you will understand and some of you will tilt your head

Scoffing and believing in the things you’re told and lies you’re fed

All the actions humans take are driven by their minds, you see

Every single move we make is driven by priority

If we care we do it, the bottom line is crystal clear

Pretense is the mask we wear to tell you that we’re all sincere

But deep inside you know it’s true, yet no one seems to take a glance

Afraid that mirror might make us examine our own circumstance

Fingers seem to flex a lot when pointing at the ones out there

But flip the script and things appear to always seem so laissez faire

Why must we get so caught up in pointing out the obvious

None of us are perfect, stop expecting all this godliness

We’re driven by our motives and my friend, we’re all just animals

Behaving so predictably it’s like we’re all mechanical

Its why the ones who run the world all falsely claim benevolence

Then grin to hide corruption and intolerant malevolence

This world of ours is not the one they taught you in your church or school

We’ve let the thieves into our homes and put them on the throne to rule

Now the future we must face, as freedoms what we’re fighting for

The path ahead is free of fog, no smoke and mirrors anymore

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

The Fear of Death

Some time ago, I sat upon a balcony, just staring on

My mind, my thoughts, my very soul, sat wondering where it all goes

I pondered whether, when we die, the scrolls are true, or just a lie

And as I sat there, lost in thought, a child came, a book he’d brought

Sitting down right next to me, he looked me in the eye, said “see?”

“Can’t you tell that he’s up there, and wants to free you from despair?”

Softly smirking, to he I said “my child, so many things I’ve read”

“Allah, Buddha, Krishna too; the testaments, both old and new”

Sadly sighing, this boy looked down and shedding tears, began to frown

“But mister,” this boy said to me, “our souls live for eternity”

“And if you doubt this, so I’m told, you’re cast aside ‘till time grows old”

I paused a moment, listening, and thought back to my christening

“Listen, son, for Matthew says, seek the kingdom; righteousness”

“The truth is all I want to know; to gaze upon a clear window”

“Do not let past transgressions rule, do not let dogma play the fool”

And then, with one last final breath, I said to him: “Do not fear death.”

The Why Behind

Why do people do all of the things that people do?

I fear that there’s a very simple way to get the truth

Just think about it. This isn’t a joke; I mean it

A person’s actions show you that very person’s characteristics

So let’s put that into context, shall we?

As a human I desire love, happiness is all I need

And how about that friend you have who really gets along?

That person honestly just wants their friendships to be strong

Let’s broaden the lens, now tell me what you see

This world is run by people who want power and money

It’s simple when you think about it, cause if that wasn’t what they want

They wouldn’t run for office to feel superior and vaunt

You see, people who want power are the ones who want control

They’ll do anything to get it, even if they have to sell their soul

This is the reason that most are held down and oppressed

The people who desire power think they’re better than the rest

Well guess what, Planet Earth? I’ve got some news for you

Ironically the inverse is what’s valid and what’s true

The very basic fact is that the ones who want to rule

Are self-obsessed and want to be above the me and you

So please, folks, understand the human mind

Use your intuition, and find the “why” behind

For once you realize who they are, the ones we look up to

Are nothing more than selfish frauds, the change will start anew

My Hands

Never idle, on the move, ink pours on the page

The force that drives, a needed guide, is with me on this stage

I try to be an optimist, but sometimes I’m consumed by rage

Thinking of how things are done and how they could so quickly change

Yes all the world’s a stage you know, it’s something that you shan’t forget

The sun and stars would get along if only they’d shake hands and met

Humanity could follow suit, we’ve got the tech but somehow, yet

We manage to exacerbate the very things we should forget

Fossil fuels and everything, you know that it’s all temporary

But tell me more of how it works, and how mining isn’t mercenary

If you truly want to change the world into a gilded sanctuary

Then play the long game not the short, and hire you an actuary

Maybe they can run the numbers, project a truth that you won’t like

Their findings likely point to truth like human beings should take a hike

Sure, we all know that we need to build that interstate or that turnpike

Yet as we do this trees are cut, it’s like the land of the Third Reich

Yes it’s so, the world’s a stage, it’s just a game of checkers, chess

We put our pieces on the board, where we think they’ll help us best

And when we find a new chance to establish ourselves, let me guess

You want to build a military presence just to clean the mess

Sure my man, come on down, bring your gadgets and your tech

Cause I don’t really care what happens as long as I get that big check

You see this is why the world is wasted, all it’s countries are a wreck

We let the people be in charge that only care for their own neck

Maybe one day you’ll wake up, realize that this dream of yours

Doesn’t have to happen this way and you won’t be on all fours

Rising up and taking charge, you’ll fight and finely take these lands

Until then I’ll try my best, just writing with my moving hands

Letter to My Lost: 2

My dearest Lilliana,

Not a day goes by without my thoughts eventually falling upon you. Those carefree, restless nights spent together I always think of as I sit here in the trenches, covered in the grit and dirt that this advance has cast over me. Every day we are inching forward, further and further as we push back the filth who see this world in a way that our loving God surely wishes to admonish.

Your last letter struck the deepest chords of my heart. I long for nothing more than the knowledge to tell you I shall be returning soon, and yet I fear there are many more battles to come. The officers have assured us that this war will come to a swift end, but many of us withhold our doubts. There is even talk that things are growing so perilous that the Americans will be giving their support in the way of rations and arms. The men say that it would be better if they would send their troops, but it seems as they are careful not to get themselves directly involved in the atrocities that the sons of Europe have been forced to bear witness to.

I cannot say I blame them, much as we would welcome their aide. No God fearing man on this Earth should be forced to shoulder the burdens this war has created.

I so hope that I shall see you before long, my love. This tiny locket I carry does not do justice to the image of you I dream of each time I lay down for the night.

Pray for me, my Lilliana. God willing, I will hold you in my arms soon.

Forever with you,

Your Braden

It’s Cruel, You See

Gazing in this mind of black

At all the things that I’d take back

If only it was kind to me

But time, regret, its cruel, you see

The things I wish I hadn’t done

They never fade, they never run

They occupy my mind at night

And fill my heart with doubt and spite

Oh, to have it back, now lost

I’d pay the toll, at any cost

To right the wrongs, that I transgress

To heal the pain, as I regress

Alas, its time that’s cruel, you see

And as I look back, woefully

The past, it grows so rapidly

To haunt my wounded memory

Doubt

Some folks believe me

Yet others still doubt

It’s funny to me, really

When I say what I’m about

I’m climbing this here ladder

Right in front of their blind eye

Yet they still keep on hatin’

As if the fucks I give could fly

So let me put this plainly

These words, do not mince

We’re righting world wrongs

We’re not trying to convince

We’re not trying anything

“Try” means we could fail

Sorry, that ain’t an option

This ships already set sail

So be on board, or don’t

That choice ain’t up to me

I’ll just keep on writing

Making minds more bold and free

And when this ladders finally scaled

When at last we’ve reached the top

I hope you brought your sailor shoes

Cause this ship ain’t ever gonna stop

This is Cozy

Let’s take a moment and talk about the real deets

Some of y’all are prolly thinking when’s he finally gonna peace

Well I hate to say this but I’m actually kinda comfy here

It’s really fun, it’s helped me write, and I’ve shed a couple tears

The people here are just that, they’re the real deal

Not a mask, not a hat, I never get a fake feel

So I hope we can get along without getting jealous

Cause you know that’s natural, guys were just competitive

That’s all. Just in case anyone’s annoyed. It’s the natural way of things. I still luh you.

My Life

Monday, Friday

Every day through the week

Working, writing

Never hanging with the weak

Paying, my dues

Those that came before me

Same grind, same time

Time off? Please that bores me

No sir, no ma’am

Sure, I talk politely

At night? All night

Writing, it consumes me

Let’s take a break

A break from what, Matt?

That rhythm there

Oh, you don’t like that?

Okay, no way

See what I did there?

Symmetry, those beats

Flip it over still the same thing

Hold up, last verse?

No the one before, damn

Oh shit, that’s right

What’s this poem about, man?

Who knows, I don’t

All I know is writing it

Has been, no joke

Fun as hell and now it’s ten

Sure is, turn in?

Bitch you must be playin

No chance, next glass

Man Baxter is sleeping

So what? Wake up

All these tasks on my hand

Right now? Yes now

His ass can sleep at work, man

True that, no doubt

That dogs my dog, see

No joke, I know

Little guys my world, B

Okay!

Lets hold up

Time to pause for a cause

So I can fill my cup

Okay!

For real this time

Tomorrow imma read

Laugh my ass, this rhyme

Okay!

Time for bed, for real.

Cmon Mr Baxter. Seriously. Come on.

The Tiki Torches: 3

“Alright, everyone. This evening we have an excellent opportunity to show these people just what we mean. We’ve tolerated centuries of oppression, decades of condescension, and countless years of bigotry! I say unto you all, stand up for your rights! Stand up for your freedoms! Stand up for the God Given, inherent capabilities of existing as a human being!”

Hurrah!!

Standing tall in front of a melting pot of human beings, the mayor of the city of Perth gives an emboldened speech at the municipalitie’s town hall meeting. As a champion of all races and creeds, he has garnered the support of pretty much the entire town. Except, of course, a small minority of closed minded bigots who refuse to adapt to change.

“We will stand strong with our brothers and sisters, no matter the cost!” The mayor shouts from his podium inside the town halll. “This is but a small town, but we are a united town!” He adds, a finger shaking in the air to reiterate his point.

“We will not allow a small contingent of oppressors to light up the evening! We will stamp out the flames of injustice!” Hurrah! “We shall stop them in their tracks!” Hurrah! “We shall meet them on the battlefield of intellectual opposition, and let none leave without exposure to our light!” HURRAH!!!!

As the mayor lets the crowd’s energy die down, he holds out his arms.

“My friends.” He says. “Let us begin preparations. It’s been reported that there has been a spike in Tiki Torch sales at the Wal-Smart across town. Let’s show them that these torches shall not have been bought in vain! We shall show them the error of their ways.”

Hurrahhhh!!!!!!

Slowly walking off his town hall stage, the mayor finally takes a moment to catch his breath.

“Great speech, sir!” One of his constituents says.

“Yeah. It was. But it was just that. A speech.” The mayor snaps back, obviously caught up in thinking about something else.

“But sir, you moved the entire town! That surely must count for something.” The constitutant says.

“Yes. They’re motivated. And for that I am grateful. But there is so much else left to do.” The mayor says.

“Come, we must prepare for the Torches.” He adds with a sly wink, clearly indicating that he has something in store for the folks riding his way.

For Better or Worse (Ch 8)

IMPORTANT: HUMAN BEINGS ARE VOLATILE, DANGEROUS, AND EMOTIONALLY UNPREDICTABLE 

***Handle with utmost caution. Do not allow these creatures outside of the included habitat***

Setting her instruction booklet aside, the little girl takes one final look at her “teenie-weenies”, before clearing the tank to make room for her next batch of creatures.

“Sorry little guys!! I know you’ve been having the time of your lives in there, but I’ve got some new teenie-weenies on the way!! Daddy says they are even more exciting than you guys! Much smarter and more fun to play with. I’m sooooooo sorry!!!!!!”

Grasping the enclosure with her trunk, the little girl dumps the entire habitat of human beings into the drain inside her bathroom, flushing them down into the abyss below. 

“Have fun down there!!” She shouts, smiling as the very last human swirls around in a vortex of death. 

“All clean Daddy!” The girl shouts, waiting for her father to bring in her new pets. “These humans were fun.”

For Better or Worse (Ch 7) 

“Ho hum ho hum deedeedee!”

Joyfully skipping around her bedroom, the little girl is singing and humming to herself as her furry pigtails bounce around behind her. 

“Now, what are my teenie-weenies up to today?” She asks, skipping over to the terrarium.

As she peers inside, she sees that her little creatures have erected an enormous statue of her. Chiseled to perfection, the monolith displays her every feature, dimpled smile and all. 

“Wow! Well look at that!” She squeals in delight. “How did you guys do that without me noticing?!”

Leaning back to admire the sculpture, she beams at the tiny inhabitants inside, who appear to be bowing before her.

“You guys are just so adorable. Thank you for my statue!” She says to them.

Entering her room, the girl’s father approaches the tank as he puts his hand on her head. 

“Time for bed, sweetie.”

Noticing the statue, he chuckles.

“And what have we here?” He asks.

“My teenie-weenies built me a monument, Daddy! Look!” The little girl says, pointing to the newly erected obelisk.

“Very impressive!” Her father laughs. “You are clearly a generous God. Now come, let’s get you tucked in.”

“Okay Daddy.” The girl says as her father lifts her up, placing her under the sheets. Kissing her on the forehead, smiles at her before walking out the door.

“I love you, kiddo.” He says. 

“Love you too Daddy.” The girl replies, yawning as she softly falls asleep.

For Better or Worse (Ch 4)

“All better!”

Pulling her arm from out of the tank, the little girl slides the lid back on her glass habitat after setting down the little newborn she’d taken out the night before.

“Those nutrients will make you a super pet!” She shouts, watching the parents finally reconnect with their baby.

“Anyway,” the girl says, sounding bored, “What are the rest of you guys up to?”

Stepping over a few feet to observe the little colony of creatures, she scratches her head.

“Why do you all keep doing that?!” The girl cries. “Stop splitting up!”

Since she first got them, the creatures have shown a tendency to huddle together in small groups. Some are lighter colored, and some are darker, and they seem to prefer grouping with those they resemble. 

“You guys are sooooo weird,” the girl says to them. “You know you’re all the same little things, right?” 

Looking back to a bookshelf against the wall, the girl grabs the instruction booklet that came with her pets’ terrarium. Opening it up, she turns to the pages that cover their interactions with one another.

“The creatures will have a tendency to keep close proximity with ones that look most like them.” She reads. “Do not worry if they display this behavior, as it is expected of them.” 

Taking a moment to look at the tank again, the little girl shuts the booklet.

“Huh! Well I guess it’s normal after all, weirdos! But just so you guys know, I think that’s pretty dumb. You’re all made of the same stuff.” She says, sliding the booklet back in its spot on the shelf. “Anyway, its sleepy time! Good night little ones.” 

Flicking off the light, the girl throws the wide veil over the dome and crawls into bed.

For Better or Worse (Ch 3)

“Aw, yay!”

The day after disposing the dead creature, the little girl is pleasantly surprised to see that two of her pets have had a baby. Standing over the dome with a wide grin on her face, she looks down at the two tiny creatures nurturing their teenie, fragile newborn.

“Good job, you two! I hope the others take after the example you’ve set.” The girl coos, giggling as she watches the little family huddled together in the corner of the glass enclosure. 

“Oh! But wait!” She says, remembering the chapter in her booklet that teaches how to properly take care of the creatures. 

Sliding the lid open, the girl reaches down and grabs the newborn pet, pulling it up out of the dome. As she does so, the parents become visibly distraught, running to the edge of the glass as they watch the little girl carry the baby across the room. 

“It’s okay!” She shouts back at them with a smile, seeing their distress. “I’m just making sure she’ll grow up nice and strong!” She adds, placing the small newborn in a separate, much smaller container. 

Obviously not comprehending the reassurances of the girl, the baby creature’s parents remain at the edge of the glass for the remainder of the day, helplessly peering across the room at their new offspring, wishing they could be together.