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1 Jul

“The fact is we can only love what we know personally. And we cannot know much. In public affairs, in the rebuilding of civilization, something less dramatic and emotional is needed, namely tolerance.”
~E. M. Forster


Drama, drama, everywhere
We sit ‘fore TVs and we stare
And watch the actors all exaggerate

Reactions to their dilemmas
Our real world drama is because
These make-believers amplify their hate

They’re given gold awards when they
Animatedly convey
Their over-the-top responses to pain

And those who have no reaction
Fail to garner much attraction
They’re “bad actors” because they do refrain

From whining, crying, being weak
It’s tears and rage that we do seek!
And in real life when that pain comes about

We mimic all those great actors
When dealing with our detractors
As we shout, scream, bellow, argue and pout

The Warrior’s a different breed
No actor on TV does lead
How they react when challenges arise

To get upset and let top blow
Like Nicholson and De Niro
Is lowly, weak, pathetic and unwise

The Warrior knows full well that
Such drama in real world falls flat
It does not lead to Oscar winning scenes

It only leads to selfishness
To ignorance, to ache and stress
And so they leave it for the TV screens

They calm their nerves and steady face
They take deep breathes, remember grace
And they deliver their words with great poise

While all the normals imitate
The drama that they think’s so great
On TV but in real world does destroy



30 Apr

Vicarious: adjective – felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others.


The athlete wraps his swollen knee
To take the pain down one degree
He puts his uniform on and he stands

He stretches and he grunts and sneers
While in the background thunder cheers
Of fans who have some very high demands

He does some squats and starts to sweat
His knee and shoulder play roulette
Sometimes they stab, sometimes it’s just an ache

He does this every single day
And though the word they use is “play”
He knows that it’s not “fun” that is at stake

He pushes himself to his edge
He sacrifices, makes a pledge
To expect more from himself than of others

He puts on all his gear and walks
Out of the locker room and talks
With his comrades, his teammates and his brothers

But soon they’re all drowned out by fans
Who yell and scream within the stands
Who shout, “We’re gonna win!” with all their might

A man who hasn’t run in ages
Takes a swig of beer and rages
“Show them what we’re made of and go fight!”

The athlete sees another man
Who tries to not spill his beer can
While nachos balance in his other grip

He holds the chips up to his face
And gobbles some without much grace
And with a full mouth thunders, “Let ‘er rip!”

Thousands pack the seats today
To chant, to cheer, to hope, to pray
To live vicariously through the men

Who choose discomfort, struggle, pain
Through snow and sleet and cold and rain
Fans pin their hopes on warriors again

“We’re gonna win!” some slob declares
And athlete does look up and stares
A cold and steely glance because he’s heard

Enough people who act involved
So athlete’s poise becomes dissolved
Because for him it is all so absurd

He says what is on all the minds
Of his teammates as he reminds
The nacho chomping fan it’s not *his* win

Until he puts the nachos down
And hits the gym and goes to town
Which makes his teammates all chuckle and grin

The nacho chomping fan is stunned
He feels betrayed and hurt and shunned
And now he cheers for the opposing team!

Once again he lives through those
Who saw two choices and they chose
Not path of comfort but the one extreme

The athletes all compete and drive
Each other to feel more alive
While fans in stands sit by and feel connected

And cheer and pump their fists with zeal
As if their achievement is real
Vicarious accomplishment injected

They all go home and feel quite spent
“Man, what a game!” one does lament
“We gave them everything we had out there!”

The athlete shakes his head and limps
His way past all the oafs and wimps
And then collapses down into a chair

He slowly pulls the knee wrap off
The pain hits him and makes him cough
“WE won jack shit” he mumbles quietly

“The victory is for my team
No matter much you all scream
And how much you live vicariously”


Champion Warrior

3 Mar

My good friend Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool just won the Canadian Middleweight Title in his mid 40’s despite most people telling him he was too old. Once again, the Whip proves that “With Hope, It’s Possible!”


Champion Warrior

They told him “It’s too late, old man”
“You’re much too old to fight”
But Fitz “The Whip” knew that to be
Judged by age isn’t right

Those who judged were short sighted
And didn’t see the training
The heart, desire, sacrifice
The passion still remaining

The board, the public, so many
Gave doubt and disbelief
They tried to steal his Hope and tried
To fill his heart with grief

But Champions are not affected
By another’s words
Champions are not sheep that
Walk along with the herds

Champions look within and
They listen to themselves
A Champion sees strength inside
And bravely, deeper delves

A Champion does not hear what
The pessimists do warn
A Champion blocks it all out
‘Cause Champions were born

To jab, to hook, to uppercut
To fight ‘till final round
To take all that life has to give
And pound and pound and pound

And rip respect from clutches of
Those who don’t try their best
To take it by force from all those
Who much prefer to rest

Congratulations, Champion
You have proven once more
That with Hope it is possible
Now no one can ignore

~Congrats Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool, 45 years young
New National Boxing Authority Middleweight Champion
March 2nd, 2013

Spread The Fear

15 Dec


Spread the Fear

The radio turns on to wake you
For the next work day
The first thing that you hear is how
The world is in dismay

People being run over
By cars that fled the scene
Another child missing and
Another murdered teen

A cop shot down by bad guys while
Making an arrest
Right between the eyes and then
A couple in the chest

Earthquakes tearing buildings down
And storms that loom ahead
The more you tune in to the grief
The more the fear is spread

It slowly crawls off of the page,
TV, or radio
And creeps into your mind where it
Will never cease to grow

Countries warring with each other
“What if it spreads here?”
Economy is crashing, “I’ll lose
All things I hold dear!”

And more you fear, the more you’ll tune
Back into the fear vendors
Hoping that someone will rise
To become our defenders

Surprise, surprise, there’s just more fear
There’s just more ache and dread
Just more reasons to stay home
And not get out of bed

At some point you have to admit
That what they’re dolling out
Is no different than a drug
That you snort up your snout

Tuning in to hear the constant
Destruction and death
Makes you just like a junkie
Who’s addicted to meth

You’ve snorted, shot up and smoked it
So long that now you’re hooked
“A car crash on the 401?
Ah, now I’m feeling cooked”

“I’ve gotta see the news tonight!
Some kid got knifed at school!”
And when that story’s done, you’ll wait
For the next piece that’s cruel

I turned my news off long ago
When it was clear to me
That every venue in the news
Reported “balance free”

They focused more on fear and dread
And less on things with hope
Their business is in dealing their
Despair inducing dope

I know this for a fact because
I put them to the test
Recently when I embarked
An altruistic quest

I set out to raise funds and hope
For cancer patients who
Are battling a bigger fear
Than news could ever brew

Some local papers said to me
“We’ll think about it some”
Guess they needed time to try
To spin it as more glum

And others, no response at all
Not interested in hope
More concerned with spreading fear
Than helping patients cope

Same goes for the TV stations
All except for one
Not enamoured with the tale
Since there’s no smoking gun

Point proven both to myself
And hopefully to you
About the kind of message that
The newsman likes to spew

You won’t find hope or strength or faith
When you go turn that dial
All they want to dispense is
All of their fearful bile

Stop the spread and tune out from
The news that does no good
The stories that discourage you
From seeing things that could

Set your mind at ease and rouse
Your passion and your nerve
To realize the greatest purpose
In life is to serve

The fear wants you to stay inside
And keep serving their needs
Listening to their commercials
Bringing them proceeds

The fear will keep you in your house
Curled up in a scared ball
Only when you turn it off
Can you start walking tall



21 Nov

“It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.” ~Indiana Jones


I often hear from readers that
I’m quite wise for my age
They are surprised that someone with
So few greys can be sage

As a fedora’d hero once
Described, “It’s not the years
It is the mileage” that strengthens
Enlightens and clears

There’s many silver-haired children
Who walk the Earth each day
Many years under their belt
But no wisdom to say

They lived soft, comfortable lives and
Avoided sacrifice
They ran away from challenges
That were not “kind” and “nice”

Wrinkles do adorn their faces
And their backs are stooped
But these old children with Warriors
Can never be grouped

It’s not the years but mileage
Which makes one who’s a teen
Much more understanding, introspective
And serene

Because of losses they’ve endured
And hardships they’ve survived
These fresh-faced “kids” took Hell’s best shot
And conquered, thwarted, thrived

Although I’ve not yet seen forty
I’ve walked the extra mile
Enough to make my odometer
No longer compile

Years no longer have meaning
Grey hairs don’t upset me
Wrinkles and crow’s feet don’t make me
Wail like a banshee

Because I’ve learned that years do not
Reveal wisdom accrued
The key is mileage which isn’t
As easily viewed


Dark Warrior

14 Sep

“There is a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss, but when it looked back at us… you blinked.” ~Batman

Dark Warrior

The mugger slowly creeps within the shadows with a gun
In the dark his compassion and understanding’s none
He sees a young woman approach but doesn’t care that she
Just got off a twelve hour shift and almost works for free

He doesn’t care that what’s inside her purse will feed her babies
He simply looks on her with hunger like a dog with rabies
He doesn’t care what it will do to her to be robbed blind
The darkness that he lives in does not ask him to be kind

It doesn’t ask him to think deep or have some empathy
It simply does compel him to engage in a crime spree
The shadows whisper to him that he’s strong and she is weak
They reassure him that she has everything he does seek

It urges him to step forward and take all that she’s got
To manhandle, to have his way and leave her life distraught
Unfortunately for the mugger, someone else does dwell
Inside those same shadows and on him they cast the same spell

He’s perched atop a fire escape, his cape blows in the wind
The furrow on his cowl makes him constantly chagrined
He waits and watches as the mugger steps out of the dark
Startles the young woman, points his handgun and does bark

“Gimme that purse or you’re dead!” and then holds out his hand
But suddenly the gun’s knocked loose and on the ground does land
The mugger looks up startled to see the caped figure rise
In the dark he barely makes out the strange bat disguise

The masked Warrior looks down and sees the mugger stand still
The shadows whisper to him, “You have a much stronger will”
The darkness creeps and tells the bat, “He’s weak and you are strong”
The mugger now feels the dark is where he doesn’t belong

Fear grips mugger as he tries to turn and run away
But the caped Warrior is soon on him without delay
He glides across the sky and then lands on him with a smack
Mugger feels some muscles tear and a couple bones crack

The masked man grabs him by the hair and growls, “Not so fast”
Mugger wonders why the shadow’s whispers didn’t last
And then he looks up and he sees the eyes of the masked freak
And knows compared to him he’s just an amateur, just meek

The bat seeks out the dark and takes it to another level
He shows no fear as he walks into hell to face the devil
He uses that darkness around to make the others pale
That darkness in his eyes makes mugger yearn for a safe jail

Some place nice and bright where he can escape shadow’s grasp
Now that it’s been claimed by the man who speaks with a rasp
“I give up!” the mugger says, “I know” the bat replies
“You always blink” he says with flame and shadow in his eyes

He ties him to the walkway and then returns to the dark
His presence making it a little more dim, cold and stark
And waits until the next man comes who thinks the dark’s his home
In the shadows only the Dark Warrior does roam


Ring Warrior

13 Sep

“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” ~Rocky Balboa

Ring Warrior

“One!” the ref calls out but he seems very far away
The boxer tries to stand but both his legs have turned to clay
“Two!” the ref continues as the crowd gets on their feet
The ringing in his ears and pain makes him want to retreat

“Three!” he hears and wonders if he has given enough
But then he feels the beast inside, the deep down, buried “stuff”
“Four!” he hoists his head up and he sees his only son
Look on him with sympathy as if the old man’s done

“Five!” he locks his eyes across the ring at the the young champ
He’s winded, sore, and grimacing along with his whole camp
“Six!” the boxer faintly hears but now in his own head
He hears a louder voice that causes strength to his legs spread

He hears the speech he gave the kid about taking the hit
“Seven!” ref calls out as the old champ builds up his grit
“Eight!” he hears and remembers it’s not what he is throwing
It’s all about the punishment you take and still keep going

“Get up” he hears himself growl and plants a foot on mat
“GET UP!” he hears again and slowly rises for combat
“Nine!” the referee warns as the former champ does rise
Many people in the building are caught by surprise

All except for one who stands and grins and shakes his head
The current champ who’s watched as the old boxer hurt and bled
And took all that he threw at him and still kept moving on
None of his offense, his speed, his technique or his brawn

Could keep the old man down and now the champ has new respect
For the old man who’s standing there beaten, bloody and wrecked
But still willing to take the hit, he knows right then and there
Even if his points save him and judges do declare

That he has won, he knows deep down that in a test of heart
The old man won decisively right from the very start
The ref tells both combatants to again resume the fight
They punch and and jab and hook and uppercut with all their might

The bell rings and without delay the two men do embrace
The champ’s surprised by the look on the old champion’s face
Appreciation, gratitude, elation, thankfulness
He says “You’re a great champion and heart you do possess”

“Thanks” is all the champ can think to say as pictures flash
He cannot bring himself to be pompous, boastful or brash
He watches as the old man leaves the ring and walks to back
Before announcement’s even made of who won the attack

He slowly comes to realize that old man’s goal was not
To beat the champion and then demand a title shot
His mission on this night was simply just to take the hit
And to keep moving forward and to never, ever quit

And the look on the old man’s face shows he had in fact won
As he waves to the crowd and then throws arm around his son
And disappears through the curtain while crowd all chant his name
“He earned it” the champ thinks as he claps to show his acclaim


Super Warrior

10 Sep

“They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.” ~Jor-El

Super Warrior

Up up and away the hero flies
Soaring through the city’s skies
Veering through the concrete maze
Searching for the one that prays

For miracle to come their way
Up on the bridge some kind of fray
A kid’s school bus hangs off the edge
Teetering upon the ledge

People cry and scream and shout
Frozen with fear and doubt
Chaos, bedlam, terror grips
As the school bus now quickly slips

“My God, the kids!” a man cries and
Jumping forward tries to land
A futile grip on the transport
He’s just a few inches too short

The vehicle careens and dives
Taking with it the young lives
For a moment not a word
Then someone says, “Look, it’s a bird!”

“No it’s plane!” someone else cries
But then they see him in his guise
They shout his name and all rejoice
But he hears just his father’s voice

“Live as one of them, my son
To find where your strength should be done”
The bus plummets towards the blue
He feels winds lash but powers through

“They can be great, they wish to be
They only lack the light to see
The way to go and since they’ve none
I’ve sent them you, my only son”

His father’s words always ring in
His mind wherever he has been
He swoops under the bus before
It crashes into the cold shore

The kids look out their windows and
In unison give him a hand
They cheer and shout and jump around
As he gently  sets them down

They thank him for all those he’s saved
But praise is not what he has craved
He flies up and gives them a smile
Hoping that after a while

The light he casts will show the way
To all the good they can display
To all the greatness they could give
If for each other they would live


Road Warrior

8 Sep

It seems like TV, movies and the celebrities who star in them garner the most amount of attention these days, and while a lot of it is schlock, there are still some movies, shows and characters who we can draw inspiration from in them. It’s been a while since I’ve done some pop culture poetry, so for the next while I’ll be concentrating on some of the most legendary TV & movie characters who follow the Way of the Warrior in their own unique ways. My pop culture poetry is always meant to be a moment in time for these characters, sometimes during things occurring to them on-screen, sometimes off. The following poem, “Road Warrior” is a day in the life of Officer Max Rockatansky, better known as “Mad Max,” in between the first and second Mad Max movies (please, no Mel Gibson trashing here, let’s be sure to separate the actor from the character). With a new movie coming out next year, “Fury Road,” this will shed some light on the character for those unfamiliar with the leather-clad ex-cop, and also hopefully serve as inspiration for those Nomadic Warriors who feel lost in the desert wasteland.


“I’m the guy who keeps Mr. Dead in his pocket.” ~Mad Max

Road Warrior

He stands beside his beat up car and scans across the land
He whistles and his mangy mutt turns to hear his command
“Come ‘ere” he says, his Aussie accent still quite prevalent
The dog sniffs at the ground but as usual, there’s no scent

Much of the world has been washed of colour and of smell
The oil wars have turned the outback into desert hell
Most of the world’s population burned up in the strikes
Or have been torn apart by the renegade’s blades and spikes

But here and there a few survived, like this lone nomad cop
Whose tarnished badge says “Maintain Right,” but somewhere right did stop
When rules and regulations fell and it was up to each
And every man to follow all that they in past did preach

Very few did still adhere to the code they had written
By the scourge of selfishness most of them had been bitten
Anything it took to just survive another day
They’d lie, they’d steal, they’d cheat, abandon, hurt, forsake, betray

They had taken all that he had, a wife and a small boy
He thought that they had broken him, but there was other joy
Not as beautiful as what he had once in the past
But if it had some guzzoline, he could make it go fast

And fast was what he needed to get away from them all
His black on black machine speeded away while world did fall
While all the crazies and the cooks and crooks and monsters burned
The Warrior put pedal down and drove off unconcerned

He drove both day and night and scavenged for the guzzoline
All he had left in the world was this V8 machine
Eventually the world rose up and tried to take that too
But the road had become his battle ground that got him through

The road was different now, he was prepared for what they brought
Never on it would he be in a suit of white caught
Now adorned in tough black leather with a shoulder guard
For when they did attack through window, he would not be scarred

The double-barreled shotgun which still worked most of the time
His new-age judge and jury for this new era of crime
And when he found himself drifting much too far down the road
A mangy, loving mutt on him was randomly bestowed

He found it while he rummaged through a ghost station for fuel
To leave if there to starve to death he knew would have been cruel
And in that moment he was grateful to that mangy mutt
For making him remember that his door had not been shut

On what was right and to maintain it, so he took it in
It was one of the few things left that made the mad cop grin
That and sound of engine roaring in the last V8
Only one purpose in life; to maintain going straight

They came and tried to take away what little he still had
But now was different, he had become hard, intense and mad
They tried and tried and every time they took not one small inch
Nothing that they threw at him could make the mad cop flinch

Because unlike most others, he had chosen to adapt
He modified his morals where others had simply snapped
He made them work within the world in which he had been thrust
And wasn’t bothered by some scars, some rips and dents and rust

He took whatever they did throw and still maintained his course
No regret, no hesitation, no doubt, no remorse
On he drove to maintain what he felt to him was right
A Road Warrior in high gear, searching for the next fight


Just A Man

14 Mar

“Wrestle to be the man philosophy wished to make you.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Just a man

In year one hundred sixty-one
A new Caesar was crowned
He took a step to insure that
His feet would stay on ground

Caesar Marcus found a slave
And gave him this sole task:
“Remind me that I’m just a man
Whenever I do bask

Within the adulation of
Both follower and fan
Please quell my pride with these four words
And say ‘You’re just a man'”

And so his followers all praised
His acts and said “You’re great!”
But in his ear a whisper that
His ego did sedate

“You’re just a man” he heard the voice
And was humble once more
Again they all exalted him
With compliments galore

Again, the slave said, “Just a man”
Into the Caesar’s ear
Again, the humbling words served
To make him of pride clear

And as the years went on whenever
Others would exalt
The slave would whisper, “Just a man”
And make his ego halt

And when it was all said and done
Aurelius’ name
Was remembered as humble, kind
Compassionate and tame

He was recalled as a man who
Always kept feet on ground
Who didn’t think too highly of
Himself which did astound

Many people through the years
Who couldn’t understand
Why a man with his power
Would own ego remand

It was because he understood
It’s ego that misleads
A self-absorbed and self-centered
Person does selfish deeds

And he knew that his task on Earth
Was much different from that
And so to give and serve he would
Have to ego combat

The slave naysayer was a hero
Too in his own way
He helped insure that Marcus’
Humility would stay

We too must look on doubters
Who whisper in our ears
With words of doubt so that our pride
And ego never steers

Some of us are born to lead
While others just to doubt
Each one serves its purpose, one
Just has a bit more clout