Poem of the Week: After the Fall

Hello, readers!

For this week’s “Poem of the Week,” I’ve composed a good old-fashioned Shakespearean sonnet about a grown man who—even decades after having graduated middle school, high school, and college—still finds himself having to come to grips with all the bullying he’s had to endure from both school faculty and his fellow students. Without further ado, then, here’s After the Fall. Please enjoy!

*****

After the Fall
July 26, 2014

Trying to move on, yet still can’t let go
From the visions of what I used to know.
Many years it’s been, yet it still hurts so.
Oh, what I’d give to fin’lly purge this woe!
All the teasing, the name-calling, the pranks—
All ‘cause I was not like any other.
Even now, life sucks, and I’ve “them” to thank
While I wonder how I might recover.
To think, too, that once, I was quite content
With all the gifts any kid could ask for,
Yet I look back now at how much I’ve spent
Living life like doing so was a chore.
Worse yet, I can’t go back to fix it all.
Such is how my life’s been after the fall.

*****

Well, that’s that for this week. Thank you all again for stopping by and reading my stuff. Before I go, though, I just want to remind everyone that even though the topic of bullying has been pounded and pounded into the mainstream consciousness for a good number of years now, we must never forget that it’s up to everyone to keep bullies in check. After all, the bullying scene back when I was growing up was, for lack of a less hyperbolic term, an utter nightmare for kids my age to have to cope with, and I’ve had many a classmate who was a complete asshole towards others for no reason at all and would not let up picking on others until someone finally had the brains and the backbone to put the creep in his or her place. I’ve also known a good number of bullies, student and teacher alike, who’ve actually gotten away with pulling the stunts they have because the people in charge were too cowardly, ignorant, or otherwise neglectful to put a stop to their childish, demeaning behavior. Hopefully, the people in this latter group have finally either a) grown up and have remorse for their obnoxious and hurtful behavior or b) received their just desserts for their deeds. Likewise, here’s hoping that those of you out there who have ever been bullied yourselves, even if not necessarily in school, have been able to come to terms with the unfair treatment you’ve been handed and are happier and more productive on account of your successful healing processes.

All reaching aside, I encourage you as always to visit my author pages at Smashwords.comAmazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk and to check out any and all other poems I’ve written concerning bullying, including my most recent entry in the unofficial series, When Teachers Are the Bullies. Until then, folks, happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Poem of the Week: One Character

One Character
July 16, 2014

One character,
One template.
Template from an idea,
Template upon which to build—
Build a persona,
Build a life,
Life into existence,
Life into a whole new world—
World of adventure,
World of wonder.
Wonder whom else you’ll meet?
Wonder what will happen,
Happen to your character,
Happen in due time?
Time alone will tell.
Time for it all to unfold,
Unfold before your eyes,
Unfold within your mind,
Mind for adventure,
Mind for intrigue—
Intrigue of deceit,
Intrigue of villainy,
Villainy to unearth,
Villainy to thwart,
Thwart with wit,
Thwart with courage,
Courage under fire,
Courage against danger.
Danger around every corner,
Danger in the least likely places,
Places of monsters and mazes,
Places where treasure lies,
Lies deep within,
Lies out in the open—
Open for you to discover.
Open and see what’s inside,
Inside Pandora’s Box,
Inside which resides Hope—
Hope for something fresh,
Hope for something new:
New adventures,
New excitement,
Excitement for a new crowd,
Excitement for a new age,
Age of enlightenment,
Age of renewal for all—
All thanks to Step One,
All thanks to that first character…
One…
Character.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Poem of the Week: When Teachers Are the Bullies

Hello, readers!

For this week’s “Poem of the Week,” I’ve decided to experiment a little with my poetry and try my hand at a reverse sestina. This particular topic as such was kind of a risk for me to subject to this little “experiment” of sorts, seeing as it’s one that I wish someone, myself included, had had the guts to bring to the table a good twenty, twenty-five years ago—well before this decade’s concerns against bullying came to be. Regardless, any compliments or critiques of my work are welcome, as they will help me determine whether or not it’s worth using this format for future compositions. In the meantime, here’s When Teachers Are the Bullies.

*****

When Teachers Are the Bullies
July 10, 2014

It’s bad enough for kids to have to cope with bullies,
But when said bullies are teachers, that’s a whole other problem.
Such unprofessional conduct should never be tolerated.

In this day and age when people are concerned about bullies
Ragging on other kids and causing all sorts of problems,
It makes me wonder whether or not people tolerate
“Grownups” resorting to such destructive, obnoxious conduct—
Especially when such “grownups” happen to be teachers
Who use their power to humiliate and intimidate kids.

As if bullying itself wasn’t already as it is a problem,
We must also cope with the offensive, unethical conduct
Of teachers who, instead of fostering wisdom and confidence in kids,
Burden them with the anger they still have towards their own teachers
Or their insecurities in general, which is somehow tolerated
By those who don’t have it to confront them for being bullies.

So blatant are they, too, with their abusive conduct
That they become more like dictators than they do teachers,
Wielding words like weapons as would other bullies
To “put in place” kids whom they somehow fail to tolerate
Not because said students happen to be bad kids,
But because they don’t fit some superficial mold. Some problem!

Apparently, it’s a rule for some teachers
To fit kids to certain archetypes, which is hard to tolerate
On account of such behavior being the root of the problem
Known as bigotry, which we always try to tell kids
Is ignorant and judgmental and thus makes them naught but bullies
On account of its being the root of much blindly spiteful conduct—

Crimes against humanity that most people refuse to tolerate,
And yet, these teachers show the same hostility towards kids
Whom they fail to understand, hence their cruel conduct
Of constantly singling them out and harassing them like bullies
Using insulting, manipulative language which later on causes problems:
Shellshock, anxiety, self-loathing…and all because these teachers

Made it their business to ravage the psyches of these kids
And make their lives miserable worse than can any other bully.
It’s a sickening shame that such heartless, spineless “teachers”
“Teach” these kids about suffering by deliberately causing such problems.
The only thing worse is how their outrageous conduct
Remains unchallenged for years when it never should be tolerated.

*****

That should do it for this week. Until next time, though, people, remember this: The only way to combat bullying is to speak up about it. Nobody should have to put up with others harassing him or her for their own benefit, especially not any child or adolescent. This especially holds true for when the bully in question is a teacher or other “grownup” who hasn’t grown up himself or herself.

As any rate, thank you all for stopping by, and don’t be afraid to check out my author pages at Smashwords.comAmazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk. Also, as mentioned before, feedback is welcome for this new format so that I know what kind of poems to compose for you all in the future. Aside from that, folks, happy reading!

Regards,
Dustin M. Weber

Poem of the Week: Sunday Morning Blues

If You Can’t At Least Please Yourself
June 29, 2014

Another lazy Sunday morning, and here on the floor I lie,
Thinking of something I can do as time passes me by.
I’ve laughed at the funnies already and have caught up with the news,
But what else can I do to fend off the Sunday Morning Blues?
There’s not much on TV to watch, and the power’s out anyway,
And the storms haven’t even started! Now how’s that for starting my day?
Also, without electricity, I can’t edit my book,
Seeing as it’s all on my computer, so I’ll have to look
And see what I can do to get my brain working in gear
And make sure that my mind is sharp, so I’ll write this poem here.
What should it be about, though? What topic is there at hand
That I’ve yet to discuss with everyone in the air, at sea, and on land?
I’m still editing my latest book, but that’s no secret to discover.
I could write another morality poem and rip apart like no other
The idiots of society and how they’re ruining this world
And making things rough for every other man, woman, boy, and girl.
I could tell another story about how Person X
Had to handle a problem with which he or she felt vexed.
I could even write random gibberish with no meaning whatsoever
And weave it together in such a way that naïve folks would find it clever.
Sadly, none of that’s coming to mind, so this’ll have to do.
Hopefully, though, next Sunday, my mind will finally pull through,
And I’ll have inspiration enough to write an even better piece.
Then again, this is still something. I can say that, at least.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Poem of the Week: If You Can’t At Least Please Yourself

If You Can’t At Least Please Yourself
June 26, 2014

If you can’t at least please yourself,
You can’t please anybody else,
And you don’t deserve
To have your words
Placed on anybody’s shelf.

There’s always someone out there
Who’s bound to not like or care
What you have to say,
No matter which way
You present that which you share.

You can try to please everyone,
But that won’t get anything done,
Except for making mad
Any followers you’ve had,
And trust me—that’s not any fun,

For we all have different tastes,
And think of the time you’d waste
Aiming to please them all
Just to take a fall
And several rotten eggs to the face—

Especially when you’ve made a choice
Early on to take on a voice,
Only to change your tone
To one you’ll never own.
Don’t be shocked, then, if few rejoice.

Then again, why try to please
Those who think you’re just a disease?
How much merit have they
In appraising what you say
When they’d rather bring you to your knees?

Why appease such people at all?
Most only care to see you fall
By trying to force
You off your course
In being the best writer of all.

Trust me: Trying to fit a mold
For which you’re not meant to fold
Can become quite a chore
And a downright bore—
In other words, tiresome and old.

Just stick, then, with what you know,
But never be afraid to grow
In your special field
So that you may yield
Even better work than what you now know.

There’s nothing wrong with expanding
To suit the needs of the demanding,
So long as you’re smart
And stay true to your heart
And not forget where your plane’s landing.

‘Tis no choice ‘tween old and new,
But a matter of staying true,
And if you do just that,
Who know where you’ll be at,
So long as your words are all you?

In conclusion, be true to your heart,
For that’s precisely where to start
If you want your words
To be read and heard
And be known as a credit to your art.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Poem of the Week: Ring-a-Ling-a-Ling part 2: Rachel from Card Services

Ring-a-Ling-a-Ling part 2: Rachel from Card Services
June 18, 2014

Ring-a-ling-a-ling! Who next called me on the phone?
Well, to put it simply, I should’ve left it alone.
I was too dense, though, to check my caller ID at the time,
At least ‘til later, when I saw that the number was mine!
Still, I picked up the phone, not thinking for a sec,
And I’m sure you can guess just what happened next:
“Hi! This is Rachel from Card Services…”
Oh, really, now? I wondered. Is this who it is?
So I’m smashing the eight key oh so rapidly
To screw up the signal between “Rachel” and me,
Then slammed down the receiver and cursed my foul luck,
For who truly cares for these “Card Services” schmucks?
They’ve harassed Americans for one too many years
That even the FTC has had it up to here
And had made them Public Enemy Number One
Once upon a time for having their little fun
In conning innocents out of their credit card numbers
Over the phone, profiting heavily from their blunders,
And heaven knows exactly how many IDs
They’ve stolen that way and have done as they pleased,
Raking in thirty mil plus, as I’ve been told,
And yet, they’re still at it. Man, are they bold!
I’ve ignored them before, though, and they’ve gone away,
But now they’ve come back to ruin my day
And call me via my own number, of all things!
Then again, it’s probably some trick of which I sing.
Fact is, CS needs to go away forever,
And I hope someone undertakes such an endeavor
And has the means to forge the reality
Of Card Services finally falling to their knees,
Ensuring we’ll never hear from “Rachel” and crew again.
I feel it’ll happen, though I don’t know exactly when,
But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that day to come
When someone finally sends those scammers on the run.
Good riddance, “Card Services!” You’re welcome’s come and gone,
You think you’re right in what you’re doing, but guess what:

You’re wrong!

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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Poem of the Week: How to Cope with Firestarters

How to Cope with Firestarters
June 12, 2014

Have you ever felt like you’re the only brain in the room?
Have you ever felt that humanity has fallen to its doom—
Getting all upset over the littlest of things,
Taking their frustrations out on any who’ll hear them sing,
Spewing their opinions with all the hatred in the world,
And generally acting like a bunch of little boys and girls?
Whatever happened to the days when folks behaved like adults,
When they agreed to disagree and calmly regarded the faults
Of that which they didn’t like without screaming like spoiled brats
And called that which they disliked a “disgrace” and this and that?
Ten years ago, this wasn’t as big of a problem, but nowadays,
It seems as though the majority get riled up in some way
And tend to scream and bitch and moan and whine and cry and complain
To the point where they drive not only themselves, but others, too, insane.
They’re petty and disrespectful, childish, obnoxious and vain,
Relying on emotion first as their sense of logic wanes
To the point where they’ve no leg to stand on in their frivolous fights.
Their sources are whack, their facts aren’t facts, yet they don’t give up their plights,
And they end up making even bigger schmucks of themselves than before,
And no thanks to their stupidity, there’s little hope left in store
For humanity to move forward into what’s left of time,
Which leaves me with only one piece of advice to leave behind:
Don’t be an idiot yourself and always stay on your toes,
For if you let your guard down once, these creeps will bring you woe.
Always keep your cool and act with maturity and grace
And think with your heart, head, and spine if you must put these fools in their place.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com

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