Poetry Mini-Series: Becoming a Man part 3: Backbone

Becoming a Man part 3: Backbone
April 26, 2018

In a world as frequently unkind as ours can be
With conflict left, right, and in front of you and me,
We all must stand tall in the face of adversity
And not back down when we know we’re right, for you see,
Only the strong survive, and by strong, I mean brave,
And at times, only a strong backbone can help to save
Any given person from falling to his or her knees
And having the vultures tear him or her apart as they please.
Alas, when it comes to some men, “Backbone” means being rough
And going out of their way to prove that they’re tough,
But it takes more than ruggedness to prove one’s a man,
Which is something these sadists sadly won’t ever understand.
There’s a life path, after all, that details Backbone to a T
That’s taken on different forms across the ages, you see:
An eleven-step program that’s proven time and again
To help the lowliest of boys grow up to be great men.

The first step is harnessing energy, be it harnessed for ill or good—
Hopefully more so for the latter as the code says followers should.
It’s responsible for our drive and initiative through life,
And when harnessed responsibly, it helps us through strife.
If you don’t harness enough, you’ll end up lashing out
At even the slightest thing, no matter what it’s all about,
And you come off as the very jackass many come to hate,
Though it’s not much worse than reigning in too much energy, mate,
And becoming passive aggressive and hence not setting out to
Achieve whatever it is in life that most appeals to you,
Therefore leaving you seething inside, ready to explode
At the next person who ticks you off, upon whom you unload.
Balance is thus the key to keeping your energy intact,
Using it constructively and wisely so that you stay on track
To fulfill your purpose in life, which is program step two,
Into which to put your energy so that you’ll know what to do
Rather than wander ‘round restlessly feeling confused and lost.
It’s your life, after all, warrior. Go out there and show it who’d boss.
The third step is mindfulness. Always be active and alert,
For the slightest show of complacency will surely hurt
In your stride towards manhood and what years you have left
To achieve your desires before your loved ones are left bereft.
Always keep your eyes and ears open—the better to study and plan
Your cause of action to success in becoming a savvy man
Who can function within his limits against overwhelming odds,
Using mental clarity to overcome whatever sods
Stand between him and victory proving in the end
That survival of the fiercest comes in being adaptive, friend.
Of course, it always helps to carry only what you need
Be it physical or mental—to the place where you’ll plant the seed
That’ll grow and bear you fruit in the future for years to come,
All the better for you to focus on the war that must be won
And stay two steps ahead of all trying to hold you back
While you stay cool under pressure as you plan your attack,
Prepared upstairs ahead of time, acting out of instinct,
Confidently making up your mind with just enough time to think,
Your assuredness rooted in the absolute mastery
Of the tools in the trade you’ve chosen to be all you can be.
Commitments are crucial, too, around which to organize
One’s life so that one can formulate a slew of ties
To a cause, a task, a nation, one’s family and more
To ensure that one achieves that which one’s life has in store.
Discipline’s of the essence, too, for how else will a man know
When or how to flex his authority or how else to go
About mastering his situation before it masters him
Or understand his limitations before acting on a whim—
Not to mention withstand whatever pain is sure to come his way,
For what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or at least will one day—
Particularly if you’re detached from your fear or doubt,
Giving you the clarity to see what everything’s about
Shrugging off the intimidation of all who stand before
You and the doomsday you bring to that which lingers and bores
And has overstayed its welcome in one way or another,
For you’re the Creative Destroyer. It’s in your blood, brother!

Such is the warrior calling every man is encouraged to take
To establish his identity in a world constantly in the wake
Of its own collapse under the weight of its own corruption,
Part of which is to blame on the paragons of destruction:
The previously mentioned pseudoalphas who only care about
Their own displays of “male power” and feel the need to shout
Down at any man who, unlike them, isn’t dumb and loud
And doesn’t use just brute force to set himself from the crowd,
Afraid of whatever feminine energy flows ‘neath their skin,
Afraid to show any weakness they might carry within,
Even though they always end up doing so by what they do or say,
Exposing themselves as perpetually threatened in whatever way,
Not knowing or caring ‘bout the recklessness they wreak
Upon this world in their search of the station that they seek.
Alas, what’s the alternative? Powerless pushovers
With no limits to the flack they take even as they kiss clover
Who try too hard to fit a mold for people who don’t care
About them as human beings and yet are far too scared
To stand up ‘gainst these overseers, but yet when they go home,
Their loved ones end up tasting their wrath? Pardon me while I groan,
For that’s no way to live, either, dealing with constant shame
And being another’s whipping boy, forever living in pain.
Life’s too short for one to play martyr, no matter what
Polite society tells us all—no ifs, ands, or buts.

That’s the merit of Backbone, as it gives men the grit
To take whatever comes their way and make the most of it
And forge a destiny for themselves ‘midst a populace so vast,
Making the most of each moment meanwhile as if it was their last.
Will mankind ever know what it means to have Backbone again
Like the heroes and legends of yesteryear did way back when?
I’d personally like to think so, for the material’s there
For us to examine and learn from. Question is, then, do we care?
Do we all care enough to learn as a gender and evolve,
Screw our heels in and confront the problem society’s yet to solve,
Or will we carry on down the path we’ve been traversing for ages,
Our strength lost to us all, recalled only by our wisest sages?
It may seem melodramatic, but we still shouldn’t leave ourselves
Deprived of that which once made us alone as it sits on a shelf.
It’s time we learned the value, then, of Backbone ‘fore it’s too late
And what it means to have it as a guide to help seal our fate.


Author Pages: Smashwords.com
Twitter: @DustinMWeber18
Additional Link: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette


Part 1: Heart, Backbone, and Brain
Part 2: Heart
Part 4: Brain
Part 5: Spirit