Fame is Not What it Once Was

Fame is not what it once was

It did not do what it now does

A King would rule, a Saint – anoint

To serve the people – fame’s case in point

Yes, fame is not what it once was

So widely grasped for “just because”

No noble cause, just pride and gain

To serve the selfish, indulge the vain

Those who lived by what was right

Replaced by attention’s appetite

We lost ourselves along the way

Our cultures plagued by moral decay

And while, in light, we all agree

The darkness proves: wicked, are we

Perhaps one day fame will return

To what it was: no one’s concern

Back to roots we know once were

When life was not a fast-paced blur

When people cared for what was true

For those you love, and who loves you

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

King in all but Name

Put my whistle to the wind, there’s naught another ‘round

Divided is the road I’m on, my choice shall prove profound

“Go left,” says he, “Go right!” says she

The demons, they’ve misled

I ask “which way?”

“That way!” They say

And so I point my sled

Every choice we make is a decision in our head

A string of choices, such is life, that’s all until we’re dead

When these choices come to you, what ever will you say?

Will you take the high road out or will you run away?

Make the choices that they love, My Lord you’re looking great

Undermine the ones they want and soon you will find hate

Treat the people as you would yourself, and you’ll find fame

They’ll sing your praises, call you King, in everything but name

The Old Unknown Aristocrat

Some people get it, most people don’t

Some people will, most people won’t

Some people love, most people hate

Most people: good. Some people: great.

 

Maybe I’m the one who’s been mistaken after all

Maybe all this fighting’s a good reason for a wall

The more I see the more I hear the less I seem to understand

It’s almost like this world is pieced together and events are planned

 

Confusion is the currency they’ve built all of their kingdoms on

White homes do not host their crowns they’re places that they place a pawn

Puppets playing House is what we’re looking and we’re pointing at

And all the while he’s up there, the Old Unknown Aristocrat

 

We don’t even see all of the strings and pieces he commands

But he’s the one who wrote all of the things for which your flag now stands

His name: unknown. His work: unknown. He dodges notoriety

The master of this game knows this is how you mold society

 

Five steps ahead, he always knows which side he has to pick

Its easy when you know the things that make the people tick

This Old Unknown Aristocrat said of Earth, and all its flaws

If I control its money, I care not who makes its laws

An Address to the World Concerning the Ford/Kavanaugh Debate

Alright.
 
I’m going to attempt something that may never have been attempted since the dawn of humanity: I am going to try and bridge this ridiculous divide and help people see this Ford/Kavanaugh thing from both sides. While I’m pretty sure this ain’t gonna change anything and everyone is still gonna throw rocks at each other, at least I can sleep knowing I tried.
 
Get comfy, because this is gonna take a minute. But this is a very important issue, and imo one that we SHOULD spend the time considering.
 
———————————-
 
So, to:
 
TEAM KAVAUNAUGHTY
 
First, try to understand the sheer magnitude of frustration and emboldened passion for their world views that most liberals and leftists are experiencing at the moment. Not only do they have no upper hand in Congress, but they recently lost one of the most emotionally charged Presidential elections in American History. Never has the general populace been exposed to the political process as intimately as we have been since the internet and mass communication entered the equation. So try and cut them some slack for being just a wee bit exasperated; any normal human being would be. It’s natural for people to speak up more aggressively/assertively when they are in a weakened position such as the current balance of power; the psychological instinct is to feel a need to defend their beliefs, which is perfectly understandable. Now I’m not saying you should put up with the hatred and vitriol a lot of liberal supporters/media outlets have been spewing, but on an individual level, try and at least get along and be considerate of the struggle when you butt heads. And let’s be fair, when Obama was in office I sure didn’t see a lot of love coming from the right, even when he did things that deserved positive recognition. If the tables were turned, I imagine many of you would be acting in a similar fashion (which is precisely what we saw from 2008-2016).
 
Now, as far as our current case of America’s divisive flavor of the week: the Ford allegations. Yes, the law and socially-accepted standards of judging whether someone is guilty or not is on your side. We all get that, and to my knowledge there aren’t any liberals/dems refuting that. What they ARE trying to make you understand, however, is that the simple fact that we are undergoing this process to begin with; primarily because it’s regarding a candidate for one of the most powerful positions in human history. A Supreme Court Justice has the ability to affect, and to a certain degree literally dictate, how we as citizens conduct our lives. Paying EXTREME attention to their character, reliability, and general trustworthiness is absolutely paramount when deciding if an individual is worthy of the power to tell us how we’re allowed to live. So yes, the fact that this hiccup has occurred is, in and of itself, profoundly alarming.
 
This is the main point of Ford’s side that you need to consider when discussing and debating this matter. Because at the end of the day, pretty much everyone falls into one of two categories: you either see past this, or you don’t. EITHER OF WHICH is a completely, rationally justifiable conclusion. It is not at all unfair for someone to say that they would prefer we find a candidate whose history is void of this kind of concern, false or not. Sure, as far as we can all legally say, it didn’t happen. But those who are shaken by the simple possibility that this MIGHT have happened is enough to keep someone up at night. After all, its not like they’re advocating we throw the guy behind bars. They’re just concerned. A reason, which you should know especially if you’ve ever hired someone before, that can be enough to move on to the next resume for some. It’s just a personal preference; nothing more.
 
Anyway, there are a lot of other moving parts to this side and their motives, but that’s my general take when I try to stand in your opponent’s shoes, Naughty peeps. Please be mindful of these things when you’re telling liberals they’re the devil for trying to deceive their way into power. Not everyone is as evil as we tend to make them out to be, hard as that might be to believe.
 
Moving on to
 
TEAM FORD
 
This won’t take as long because as I mentioned, it doesn’t take a lot of explaining when the law and society’s behavioral status quo is on your opponent’s side. Their argument is pretty easy to understand. Like it or not, the inarguable truth is that barring some kind of DNA trace, picture/non-existent-at-the-time cellphone video, or other form of empirical evidence somehow magically transporting itself through time into the hands of investigators…this ain’t gonna be provable. Even Ford herself gets that, evident through the fact that her attorneys announced that they don’t intend to refute Kav’s testimony. At the end of this week’s FBI probe, the chips will fall where they may, and life will go on.
 
Its pretty much that simple for Team K. They are the type of folks who view due process as the governing dictator as to how we should formulate opinions and conclusions. Again, perfectly reasonable; especially considering that the entire legal system our forefathers created for us is based upon this exact sentiment. You are innocent until proven guilty, period. Making judgments based on anything less is impermissible and an egregious violation to a dignified, fair society. The line is blurred in this instance, however, because it’s not technically a “legal” matter; it’s an interview. So the question we have to ask is can we take a concern of unsubstantiated allegations into account since this is a slightly more discretionary situation than a formal legal matter? As with all of this, your answer will reflect your own personal beliefs; there’s no black and white correct answer here.
 
So for you Ford folks, that’s basically what you should consider when you’re accusing Kav supporters of “mansplaining”, bigotry, etc. They are simply a different type of person than you; not the kind who let’s the existence of (you must admit) un-provable doubt bother them when weighing the merits of a candidate. A conflicting, but equally as understandable and fair as your own, world view. This does not in any way make them “insensitive”, condescending to women, or otherwise sinister. I want to be clear on that, because I have seen a ton of these kinds of comments arising out of this case. #METOO is an inexplicably important and beneficial movement, but let’s not get lost in the momentum and unjustly overextend its influence.
 
———————————-
 
And that’s it, everyone. My point is that we all need to realize that human beings are a very dynamic, diverse, and different (alliteration ftw) group of individuals. The day when we all agree on everything will never arrive, much as we’d like it to. Debates such as the one we’re having right now will always hinder our ability to unite as not only a country, but a species in general. The only choice we have, if we are to ever achieve this unity thing we always hear about (which, confusingly, no one seems to ever do anything about), is to place ourselves in the minds of others and sincerely try to understand them and the forces driving their views. You’ll find that most people have honest intentions.
 
Oh, and speaking of sincerity. This essay was all a waste of time unless you have asked yourself this very important question: do I SINCERELY, genuinely care about any of this? Dam I truly even concerned about the grand scheme of things and people getting along? Because if we’re speaking plainly, it’s a biologically wired instinct among the Animal Kingdom to be content with our own lives and relationships, without much thought as to what’s going on outside of them. Doesn’t make you a bad person. I say this because it seems a lot of people instead just use these little pop-up conflicts as a convenient means to satisfy the need to share their own opinions, ignoring any concerns to the contrary (the satisfaction of winning Facebook tiffs must be very real, indeed). So if you’ve never looked in a mirror and asked these things, I strongly suggest you do a little soul-searching and self-discovery. Find out who you really are and what you care about; because I think we all know that the biggest lies we tend to tell are the ones we tell ourselves.
 
One last point. There is another group of people that none of this applies to (and tbh, the cynic in me is concerned this might actually be the majority, if social media is any indicator). These are the ones whose decisions and stances on these things are driven solely by their partisan politics and personal predispositions. No matter how much evidence, logic, or reason they are presented with; they ain’t gonna budge, because they are basically God and always right about everything, ever. These are the guys who will sooner go the grave before admitting they might be wrong about something or attempt to be more open minded. You all know who I’m talking about – those friends and acquaintances who you’ve literally never heard say “I’m sorry” in their lives. Yeah…don’t be one of them.
 
So to summarize every one of the almost 1,800 words you just read – for Christ’s, Allah’s, Buddha’s, Brahman’s, Vishnu’s, any other Gods I’m leaving outs, and the Universe’s sake: PLEASE try to get along. Like, really make the effort. Next time you feel the anger sharks swimming in your head, take a deep breath. Be the bigger person if someone’s being an ass and kill them with kindness. That’s how you win anyway, isn’t it? Don’t let the jerks think they said anything significant enough to affect you. Set the example they should aspire to.
 
There. If you made it this far, thank you for listening. If you feel inclined to share this message please do, because this is something which desperately needed to be said and we all know our media/politicians aren’t going to be advocating for the masses coming together anytime soon. If we could begin to think more along the lines mentioned here and start coming together, the power and influence we would hold as a united unit is immeasurable to the point of the world quite literally being transformed. After all, isn’t that the “change” we all like to talk about and wish for? We’ve waited long enough you guys.
 
This is how it happens.

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.”

Piece of Mind

Come close, softly whisper all the secrets in your mind

What’s buried in its darkest depths, shrouded and confined?

Until the veil is lifted and what’s hidden is exposed

No one knows just who you are; the truth is undisclosed

 

So many fail to understand, refuse to comprehend

Ignoring harsh reality for a world where they pretend

And yet I find that there are times, most often late at night

I envy them; condemn my thoughts as not a strength, but plight

 

So dearly how I wish that I could adequately say

My core convictions and beliefs without getting in my own way

Split my skull and slice a shard of brain, my thoughts I’d find

Yet fear that most could handle just a small piece of my mind

 

I long to liberate my peers, to free them of this place

Where hatred, malice, deceit, and lies all rule the human race

I’m gripped and tasked by unknown forces; I mustn’t lose belief

Relentless faith shall fuel the drive, till death or my relief

 

 

 

America Then Vs. America Now

Lemme take you to an age before the days of Netflix

A time before you and I, when people made their own bricks

That’s right you pussy boys and girls – “Hold on a sec what year is this?”

One fucking seven, mother fucking seven six

That was the year that we stood and said, E-NUFF

“Take your shit back to Brit, this weak ass tea and other stuff”

“Hold on hat, you don’t like that? Go on get out your handcuff”

“I’m sick of all your taxes rather jump off Martha Vineyards bluff”

Waaaaait boyz, come on give me a break

The world’s been sleeping soundly now it’s fine’ly bout to be awake

Haven’t you heard? Healthcare should be a human right

Or could I be wrong? If so I don’t know why we fight

We’re changing the world, we stand here holding up our fists

All of you girls, get up and shame misogynists

We don’t like a President who judges people by their skin

Thank the God that we don’t think is real that none of us are Indian

Hooooold up, this isn’t what we fought for

We’re so ashamed at what became we’re rising out of Rushmore

It’s obvious that all you dweebs are needing this here crash course

So thank God you’re talking to the fucking eagle-blooded source

This. Isn’t. What. We. Had. In. Mind.

All. You. Do. Is. Bitch. And. Whine.

Man the fuck up, grow some balls and make this country free again

Turn off your TVs and fucking re-learn how to reason, men

Um, excuse me please, but you just sound like a big jerk

America today is different, watch us dance and watch us twerk

So get used to this new way of the world and new reality

How dare you scoff at human rights and my gender mentality

Meanwhile, overseas…

HA! Look! We’ve got them right where we want

They’re so accused of being used they can’t tell New York from Vermont!

Now it’s time to move while they have this dumb discussion

We shall crush them all with haste and make these morons Russian!

Muahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

Pussies.

The Worst Tinder Date Ever

Come here close, come here, see?

“Are these the things you said I need?”

“Wait a second, what is this?”

My trick worked, now you do belong to me

Come on down, don’t be shy

“I think that we should let it be”

Just you wait, you won’t regret

“You’re really starting to scare me”

You worry wart, this room is safe

“Are you just playing hard to get?”

Ask yourself, would I do that?

“I’m not sure sir cause we just met”

Here we are, just take a look!

“This place seems like its cool I guess”

You’re oh so right, now have a seat

“I see the checkerboard and chess”

There there now, let’s have a peek

“A peek at what, you silly man?”

A look at at all the options, see?

Because you’ve walked into my plan

“Wait a minute, what’d you say?”

Don’t fret now darling, just relax

Get yourself a comfy seat

And sit there till I sharp my ax

“Haha man, very funny,

Quit the acting, come here now”

You think I’m acting? Oh my dear

It’s not a joke, I’ll show you how

There we are, buckled in

“The hell is this you’re being weird?”

That’s okay, for very soon

I’ll show you what you all have feared

I think I’ll start with toenails, yes?

Shucking them like oyster shells

Soon you’ll realize who I am

And wish you were in seven hells

But wait right there and say a prayer

You aren’t going to see the light

And when I’m done and had my fun

You’ll wish you hadn’t swiped me right

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

Between the Lines

Never have I ever wanted to fit into normalcy

Every time I thought of it I knew that it just wasn’t me

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it’s society

There’s nothing bad of being glad and fitting in the mold, you see

And if I’m being candid it’s a life I’ve started to envy

All the happiness that comes along with having a family

Sometimes I think about the path I’m on and start to think so differently

A wife and kids don’t sound so bad if I’m looking at things honestly

But then I think back to that day, when I got down on one knee

I told her I would change the world, no matter what, I’d make it be

That was the day I started walking, embarking on this journey

Using every tool I could, my sharpest sword is words it seems

This pen and pad are all I know, through time they’ve ‘come a part of me

Now my purpose has been found, it was her death, ironically

That made my prior motives lost, I’m born anew and finely free

To do the things she would have done if she were here and she was me

Understand the “why” behind this, then you’ll know the realest me

I truly do not care for fortune, or the fame that others seek

I want a world where all is fair, without the animosity

I guess I’ll post this poem online, but we all know it won’t matter, see

People want their news to heed the sickness and the tragedy

They care not for the positive; the things that most will never see

I pray one day this changes and we have a new reality

But until then I’ll post this, sure, but no one really cares to read

Ballad of the Bimbo

Lemme tell a story, it’s about this crazy bimbo

That booty was so strong ya’ll, just like a Slice of Kimbo

I took her back to the crib, thinkin’ I’mma get some some trim, yo

Next thing I knew she bends on down, “You gonna lick this rim, tho?”

“Hold up girl, wait a sec, I gotta check my bills, ho”

“I don’t know if I can pay for this,” my mind starts movin’ real slow

“Wait up girl, the fuck is that?” She just pulled out a dildo

Fourteen inches, girth of Thor, I laugh and tell her “HELL NO”

But wait a min, the shit is this? Whips out a Pokémon handcuff,

“Come on now, don’t be shy, stop actin’ like you hard n’ tough”

Locks me up and bends me down, grabs the dildo, lookin’ rough

Stares at me straight in the eye, “This gon’ Peek-on-thru that Jigglypuff”

“Oh my God!” I screamed out loud. “My butt isn’t that durable!”

“Sorry bitch,” she said to me, “this tickets not transferable”

I’m sorry ya’ll, I cannot tell, what happened was unbearable

Let just say that the next day, my butt was unrepairable

Listen now, all of you, don’t care how much you think you know

Never go to that same place. Never shop by that window.

Cause if you do, I swear to you, you’ll soon be playing limbo

With the roughest dame in town, that crazy freakin’ bimbo

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.

The Answer: 2

Thought.

It is such a curious concept. It exists behind everything. Every single action, every single behavior, every single thing we do is motivated by thought, whether conscious or not. Breathing, for example. Do you think every time you take a breath? I think not. And yet you do it.

I am having difficulty compartmentalizing the minutia of human behavior. What things do I file as instinctual behavior, and what things do I classify as conscious behavior? It is a task my superiors have asked of me, and quite frankly, I do not yet know where to draw the line. What things were under these humans’ control? What things were manifested simply because of the circumstances at a given time? What could be helped, and what couldn’t?

The more answers I seek, the more questions I seem to face. This shall be a most difficult undertaking, if I am to speak openly. There are so many pressures I feel falling upon me to fully create an analysis of such behavior. This question of why may be my undoing.

I’ve yet to determine an answer.

Torn

The world is torn, its seams are frayed

They say they’ve wished them well and prayed

So many hold opinions, strong

But words are where they stop, its wrong

 

For if the ones who claim to care

Are genuine, then where’s their fare?

What costs have they all taken on?

Outside of tweets, or Facebook pawns?

 

Let me make this very clear

My life is committed to this, hear?

My books, my poems, they share a theme

The world, it needs a better dream

 

So while you spit and spread your hate

Know your words carry no weight

Keep posting, crying, doing naught

You’re dead weight, friend, an empty pot

The Ward & the Bone: 13

“Bites of the Round Bowl!! Please, lend me your ears.”

Standing valiantly on the balcony of Cage Spamalot’s Keep, Grr Barker tells the entire Realm of the quest he will embark on, with no puns intended.

“Realm!” He shouts, “I shall commission my bravest, most chivalrous Bites to accompany me on this epic quest! We will weather the challenges that lie ahead. No obstacle shall stand in our way as we courageously mush our way to the artifact of old; the fabled Excalibone!!”

“HUZZAH!!!!” The Kingdom roars before him. “LONG LIVE GRR BARKER!!!”

“Calm yourselves, constituents,” Barker howls as he raises a paw. “Yes, this quest shall bring much glory to our Kingdom, but we mustn’t forget the severity of the threat which lies to the East! My advisors have informed me that there still remains a Phelyon, by the name of Corgin La Fey, who wishes to reclaim our freed lands!!”

“NAY!!!” The crowd shouts, fully in support of their leader. “You must vanquish her!!”

“Yes!” Barker asserts. “And vanquish we shall!! But first, I must unearth the fabled weapon of old!! For without Excalibone, I might as well be riding into a sea of Jellyfish!”

“But wait, my Liege!” A random peasant shouts from the crowd. “What do jellyfish have to do with this narrative? Alas, they don’t even remotely relate to the topic at hand!”

“Aye,” Grr Barker barks, “your words are true. Jellyfish are not, in fact, related to this quest at all. But alas! We shall recover Excalibone and send Corgin La Fey back into chasm from whence she came!!!!” He howls, awoo’ing at the rising Moon.

“AWOOO!!!!!!” The crowd repeats, even though many of them are not Kaynine. “Tomorrow,” Grr Barker shouts, “our quest shall begin!!”

Hide & Seek

Sweaty brow, aching back, home packed lunch and the sleepless nights

That’s how things were done when people worked, reaching up for higher heights

Dirt and grit, skin and bone, not a moment thrown into the waste

Men would own up to the challenge, no obstacle they wouldn’t face

Things got done, cities built, on the shoulders of their work

They didn’t need a safe space, they built these things from grit and dirt

Now, today, we watch as our children have their feelings hurt

Instead of saying “toughen up”, we tell them “get revenge and throw some dirt”

Paint the people disagreeing as bigots and misogynists

As they yell and cry aloud, raising pickets and their fists

Its sad to me, watching as we become so weak

Many years from now, the stronger will destroy the meek

Its not immoral, its not unjust, to teach your children to be strong

Look out at this harsh, cruel world and tell me that you know I’m wrong

And if you do, then friend, this is the only thing I’ll say to you

I hope you taught them hide and seek, cause hiding’s all they’ll know to do

The Ward & the Bone: 12

“Grr Barker, you’re up early.”

Trotting aimlessly through the hedge maze outside of Cage Spamalot, Master Squirrelin spots the new King on a morning stroll.

“Aye, Master. I found it difficult to slumber this morning. I am used to my princely duties, but now that I have inherited the Bone, I find that the responsibilities weight heavy on my conscience.”

“This is understandable, my Liege.” Squirrelin says as he pats Grr Barker on the back. “Your newfound tasks must cast an unimaginable burden.”

“They do, old friend. They do.” Barker sighs.

“My King, there is something I must share with you. I have spent much time digging through the archives. There is something I believe that must be addressed.”

Intrigued, the young King raises an eyebrow.

“Go on,” he barks.

“Barker, I have known you since you were just a pup. You know that I have always had your best interests at heart. May I speak freely?” Squirrelin asks.

“Of course,” Barker nods.

Stopping their pace, Squirrelin places a hand at the King’s chest. Looking up in surprise at the gesture, Barker turns to the mage to give him his full attention.

“There is much peril brewing in the East.” The old Squirrel says.

“Peril?” Barker asks, caught off guard dog.

“Yes, my liege. Peril. Much of it.”

Squinting his eyes and slowly casting his gaze toward the rolling hills to the East, Grr Barker suddenly wafts his hair back.

“These lands are as secure as ever!” He barks with confidence.

“My liege! You must listen.” Squirrelin pleads. “There is one who remains. One who was not felled during the War of the Realm. She is a Phelyon known as Corgin La Fey. She is mustering a massive army to reclaim what was once theirs!”

Recognizing the sincerity in Master Squirrelin’s plea, Grr Barker’s arrogant smirk fades into a look of concern.

“Are you certain of this, Master?” He asks.

“I am.”

“Hmm.” Barker hums, stroking his beard. “I shall consult my Bites about this. We must purge the Realm of any evil if it does, in fact, remain.”

“It remains, my liege. It assuredly remains. There is more…”

“Oh?” The King Barks.

“Yes.” Squirrelin asserts. “The prophecies have foretold there is but one way to defeat this scourge. You must recover Excalibone! The sword your father wielded during the War of the Realm. It is the only way that this Corgin will be defeated.”

“A quest, you say?” Barker barks.

“A quest!” Master Squirrelin repeats.

“Then it is so!” Barker shouts, head held high. “Myself and my Bites will take on this quest with honor and return balance to the Realm!”

“Excellent!” The magic-wielding rodent exclaims. “Excalibone!”

“It shall be mine!”