Cause & Effect

Hatred, malice, walls, no door

Cities, countries, all at war

Fighting just to stay alive

Families struggling to survive

A world of waste we’ve made, it seems

Turned to gray our once blue streams

Pillaged, they have done to Earth

All just to increase their net worth

Sickening, it is to me

That they thought these things were free

That all this came without a cost

And yet, on them, these words are lost

As no one seems to think things through

For if your cause would effect you

The actions that you choose today

Would be quite different, I would say

Your children’s lives, you all neglect

Yet sadly, that’s what I expect

From a kind who’s quick to take

And never thinks of what’s at stake

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.”

My Life

The sand, the dirt, the grass, the trees

The sticks, the stones, the light, the breeze

The things this world has made for me

Have warmed my heart and set me free

I look at the stars as I rest on my knee

They twinkle and spark, this light that I see

I gaze at them wondering, what could they be?

As I listen to waves hit the rocks under me

So calm it all is, out here with the leaves

No fear of the world, or it’s warriors and thieves

My mind is at rest, this feeling I’ve sought

A needed reprieve from the torment I’ve thought

The darkness within isn’t something I share

I keep it behind the false mask that I wear

It’s not that I’ve feigned, and not that I’ve lied

I just don’t want to release all the pain that’s inside

I want to be happy

I just want to live

Her death, it has gripped me

And it’s hold will not give

My words carry weight

Of this, I know

But now I see nothing

Through her bedroom’s window

It used to be filled

With her smile, her love

As she watched us all playing

With a ball and a glove

Those days are all gone now

And it hurts me so much

Please take this away, God

Please heal me, your touch

I don’t care if they read this

It’s my only escape

These pages have saved me

From a much harsher fate

I beg you, my Father

If you truly are there

To take this away

And heal my despair

These words that I’m writing

They’re the realest I’ve penned

I beg of you, God

Will I see her again?

Scars

They’re carried each and every day, they never ever go away. I cannot seem to find a place where minds are clear and thoughts erased. They stay with me, they’re always there, it seems a saddened love affair. My heart is blackened when the air begins to flow with fervent prayer. The things I’ve done, the things I’ve not, they occupy my every thought. The questions that I ask myself are known to me; and no one else. The answers lie in of itself, or maybe on my dark bookshelf. Our past, it haunts, it makes us see, that which we often disagree. For truth is that, and nothing else. It doesn’t care for time, or self. It shines its light, and nothing more. It opens every locked, closed door. Yet when we see the things we’ve done, we often want to turn and run. Such deeds exist, there in your past, and if you let them ever-last, your further will be chained and cast to those who judge and those who blast.

Let your scars, while they remain, fade away into the plain. You’ll always have them, they’ll maintain, but use them for your growth and gain. Learn their passage, learn their plight, and if you ever have to fight, your scars will tell you what to do; if it’s wrong, or if it’s true. Some see them as the wounds of life, but I prefer to use them like a knife. Every time I’m broken, down; my scars remind me that I’ve found. I’ve always found that this will pass, and every time, it always has.

Love can be the best of things, but think before you exchange rings. Be certain that they are the one, that love and bond won’t come undone. Take a look back at your past. Make sure this time that it will last.

And if you doubt things, look to the stars. Then, look back, at all your scars.

Keep it Close

It’s funny really, sit back and watch

At all the people, climbing notch

Try to break an industry

That only wants to catch, release

They all want content, what they need

A mind like mine, that doesn’t feed

On all the bullshit, all the fake

And how much money can I make

This game is changing, get on board

Here I’ll help, on my accord

You heard me right, what you’re surprised?

It’s weird, I know, a stand-up guy

See all these disrespectful lines

Just show me how small are your minds

And treating people like you do

It’s getting old, get with the new

Yeah, I said it, deal with it

I don’t care what trash you spit

Your game is awful, get in line

Cause none of y’all can top this mind

I know you’re mad, and feel like fools

That’s natural, we’re animals

That’s what happens when you’ve lost

Hey, keep it close, these keys I tossed

My Black Inkwell

This is a story, of that I’ll tell

As I fill my black inkwell

A pen and pad, it works you see

Yet naught compares to quill, and ink

To sit within this room of black

And think of all the world shall lack

The pain I feel, I think it so

The same as Edgar Allen Poe

A Telltale Heart, a seedless plum

A tortured Pit and Pendulum

F. Scott Fitzgerald knew it too

Society is just a ruse

A dance, a game, a twist, a turn

We writers ask “when will they learn”

The answer lies so far within

A world of malice, hate, and sin

The times have changed, the people, not

For money’s always paid and bought

It’s ruined folks, brought out the worst

The evil, bad, their power thirst

The ones who see it, smart they are

The stronger intellect goes far

The ones who don’t, who lie and cheat

Shall have their shame drug on the street

No, B!

Why does he just stare at me

As I’m driving, silently

Watching oh so creepily

Licking chops so hungrily

Does he think of eating me?

Does he want his bowl to be

Filled with water, does he see

How his gaze drives me crazy?

I must breathe, I think I’m free

Surely he is not hungry

For my flesh and bones, I think

He just likes to look at me

Phew I’m calm, finally

I’ll just turn and drive, as we

Wait…whats this you’re doing, B?

NO! Oh my God, someone help me!!

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

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

When Finally, It’s Built

The last years of your life

So confined and constrained

Arthritis was rife

It hurt, and it pained

No solace you had

But to lay in your bed

Retreat to your books

Build a world in your head

I’ll never forget, Mom

All the stories and shows

We’d read and watch together

To forget this life’s woes

CSI, Nora Roberts

Your favorites, I know

You’d gleefully immerse

In her books, or that show

Oh Mom, how it hurts

To think of these times

It rips me apart

But keeps me alive

All that’s ahead

Everything I achieve

Is all due to you, Mom

And your love for me

You deserved so much more

How so badly I yearn

To turn back the clock

Give the life that you earned

The impossible, I want

The impossible, I need

Yet I’m forced to move forward

And to carry this grief

Your love for those stories

They’ve inspired me, Mom

And I promised you one day

That’d I’d carry that love on

One day, Mom, I swear it

No more tears will be spilt

When I cut that bright ribbon

When finally, it’s built

What If They Died

What if they died?

What if that artist

Who painted their works

So great, yet shunned

For personality quirks

What if that singer

Who hit impossible notes

Wasn’t caught up in drama

Or the brunt of your jokes

What if you focused

On content they write

Instead of the bullshit

The cheap and contrite

Why is it, so often

An artist, who yearned

Must die to achieve

The recognition they’ve earned

It isn’t the painter

Whose genius, they leave

It’s ego that chains us

A jealous reprieve

For when you are dead

You’re no threat to us

So sure, we can like you

Just stay off of my bus

Some day, I do hope

The people will see

That passion is living

And envy is greed

You

What things go through your head

When you lay down and no one is there?

When you know that no one is listening

Is it a dream, or perhaps a nightmare?

Do you think of the rest of the world

And how we’re all stuck in a cell?

Or maybe those shoes you’ve been wanting

Or if there’s a heaven or hell?

Think hard, for I say this

Not to judge; no fingers I point, I can say

But your thoughts? They truly define you

Not facades, nor roles you portray

Live. Love. Be honest

Please, be true to the core

For when you find the real you

Your reason to search – it’s no more

Critique

You know what’s fake?

Saying “well, that was good”

“But now let’s try another take”

No, instructor, that’s not right

If the first take wasn’t good

You should’ve had the balls to type:

“Hey, I’m sorry, I’m just being real”

“But that take there wasn’t good”

“It simply didn’t hit the feel”

See? It’s easy, don’t you agree?

So please, next time you decide to critique

Give ‘em an answer they can build from, please

To You, Mom

I’m so close, Mom

I can feel it

I’ve kept my post, Mom

Done what I said I’d do

It’s all about to take off, Mom

Please, stay on board with me

Your soul has been my compass, Mom

It’s the only thing that’s driving me

Everything ahead is ‘cause of you

And the thing I’m leaving behind me

Is a life of stress and judgment

Not at all the things I want to be

All I want Is what you deserved

But never seemed to truly get

I’m so sorry Mom, I really am

I miss you so much, now eyes are wet

It doesn’t matter though

You’ll always be a part of me

Every piece of good and kind

Came from your hand holding me

Mom, I miss you so much

I can’t even describe it, no

And everything I’m about to do

Will be because you loved me so

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.

A Respectable Career

I did what you said

I did what you taught

I practiced and practiced

I studied a lot

I did all those things

You said would pay off

To get a career

So I wouldn’t be lost

You know what? It’s funny

All of us writers are linked

Try to fit this world mold, still unhappy

I mean come on, what’d you think?

You tell us that dreaming is stupid

Get a job, blink your eyes and wake up

Keep punching that card every morning

The weekend will hand you a cup

Sure, I did college at Vandy

It taught me a hell of a lot

A degree in Econ/Corporate Strategy

But the lesson in life’s what I bought

The people I met all around me

The times and the fun that we had

That’s the career that surrounds me

The job to make people feel glad

To give people love that they can’t get

From working a 9 until 5

After all if it wasn’t for these things

What’s the point in being alive?

Forward

It’s often that i see this

If truth were to be told

Despite the goal: inspire

It turns warmth to bitter cold

If ever you are struggling

If ever you are down

Remember they don’t matter

And that words can’t bring you down

For often will you hear, when

You are looking far ahead

That all your dreams are fiction

Come and fit the mold, instead

Be strong, my friend, for as we

Chase our dreams and live as one

Your calling will come one day

That it’s justified, your run

Don’t ever tell yourself “no”

It just simply can’t be done

Instead get up, get grinding

Until that day has fine’ly come

Our time on Earth has limits

It’s too short for stress and strife

Just find what makes you happy

And live your dream, this life

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.

Family Ties

It’s times such as these

When you want to say please

What more can I do?

What else will appease?

All you want is a pat

Maybe “Hey, way to go”

Or “I’m proud of you, son”

“It’s hard work, that I know”

But none of it fits

Beyond all my wits

I can’t do what is right 

Im up thinking at night

I just don’t understand

I just don’t comprehend

I just want to be proud 

I just want to fit in

The people I’ve met

Who never I’ve seen

They’re beautiful, dancing

All over round me

My family ties

And this, I detest

They’re toxic to me

Will be, till I rest 

Why is it so hard?

Why can’t you support?

I’ve written alone

My mind is my fort

For blood isn’t born

Its gained and it’s yearned 

And true family ties 

Cut deepest, when earned