‘MANCHILD IN THE DEMOLISHED LAND’

(for Donald and so many as an homage to Claude Brown)

Sitting by the kerosene lamp with the charred wick, deep in the woods of Rhode Island, those boys listened to stories that transported them far from their deepest wounds, while somehow, magically, facing themselves in the mirror, and adjusting to what they saw.

Some men appear to near beseechable

if it was for the sake of something ultimately

important to them.

Some men are reachable before it’s too late

for it’s only a matter of when.

All men are teachable, the tricky part being

who or what is the teacher.

For when children become men, they adopt

their worldly features.

8

So when this beat stirs

and the meet and greet blurs your perspective

And those who seem to flourish from doing

the opposite of the ways in

which you were directed,

have never yet been checked with

ethics and eclectic cleft chins,

you’re left with a nation divided

between hoping the right wins

and hoping the left wins.

As was intended by those with the keys

to the gold, for he who holds the gold

makes the rules. Perhaps that wasn’t

the golden rule you learned

sitting in class back at school.

For he who holds the gold

holds the keys to the kingdom.

They’ll offer you the keys if you pay

and say please, but then Lo and

behold they don’t have the keys,

at least not a spare to share with thee

because they forgot to bring them.

8

So men raising children who will become men,

you hold the keys, and it’s only a matter of when.

And women, you’re in charge of the men, we’ve

started enough wars, blown off enough doors,

in too many cases left you with the shared chores,

and lusted after women we would later label whores.

We’re all sorts of fucked up, and we’re all sorts of

yours.And I’m sorry simply because we’re better

at brute force, that we’re all too often in charge

even though you’ve always had stronger cores.

The rain pours and down the drain goes

this pain of yours, which you can no longer coerce.

8

We must choose to break vicious cycles,

and become the brightest guiding stars.

We’re allowing our communities to be divided

rioted, disingenuously quieted, and chided,

when they should be lighted.

Too much time causing wrongs

when they should be righted.

Too many things we can’t seem to stop fighting

though we can’t win when we fight it.

So perhaps it’s time to wake from our naps

and be good chaps who rap about the truth

and what is inside that is worth being

excited—-about, because for a while

we try to smile, we’re alive and out loud.

But every single human has done things

of which they’re not proud.

Every single human has barked at the crowd,

so with every remark, leave a spark, at least

where it is dared and allowed.

8

Is a man intelligent,

or is he wise?

There’s enough brute force and intelligence gone wrong,

regardless of intention or tries.

Now a wise man can become so,

by first being open to his faults,

unpunished verbal, physical, and emotional assaults,

commitment somersaults,

demons locked in vaults,

and hidden affinities for the alts.

Neither being light not salt,

OR

we can choose to be what we wish there were more of,

create the desired world anew, just so we can explore one.

One breath, one conversation, one helping hand at a time.

One life, and one death, begin within these three minute increments

of rhyme.

.

.

.

.

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About SIDEWAYS EIGHT

Being heard, stirred, and perhaps cured by life's many hidden images and the written-spoken word.
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