Poem of the Week: Escaping the Grind

Escaping the Grind
October 27, 2018

Wake up, freshen up, get dressed,
Burn your breakfast, and you’re already stressed.
Get to work, lots of trash to deal with—
So many tasks through which you’re to sift.
Work hard though you may, it all keeps
Piling up in your face ‘til you’re in deep.
Now you’re up the creek without an oar to help
You navigate through the rocks, current, and kelp,
But you screw in your heels all the same and set
Your mind on getting things done at last yet.
Even so, part of you can’t help but think
‘Bout your situation and how much it stinks
And how things could be better than they are now.
You’ve just got to make things better somehow.
Well, guess what: It takes plenty of heart, friend,
To see to it that your situation ends
To take the initiative you need
And stand strong, no matter where the road leads,
For many will be the door that shuts tight
‘Fore you ‘fore you’re at last shown the green light,
For those whose help you need won’t always understand
Your life mission, lest you convince them to lend a hand,
Which means having brains, too, to know what to ask
To better understand your undertaken task
And to know where to go and what to do to see
That you finally achieve that possibility,
For success rarely comes in a straight line,
And I doubt it will for those dreams of thine,
But should you have all your ducks in a row,
Who knows just where and how far you’ll go?
Finally, you need backbone to stay true
To the path you swear will see you through,
Never straying from it for a second ‘til
You finally pull yourself out of your swill,
For much before you will be a distraction
That’ll keep you from attaining the satisfaction
You’ve been seeking for a while, so stay strong
If you want to know success ‘fore far long.
Keep these three elements in mind,
And you’ll no doubt leave your troubles behind,
Even if it takes you years to get it right.
Whatever you do, though, never lose sight
Of the goal you wish to attain one day.
Otherwise, you’ll only know living one way:
Through the drudgery you currently know all too well,
Breaking your back ‘til your nerves dangerously swell.
It’s all up to you how you want to live.
Just remember: You get what you give,
So be smart and strong and get things done
If you ever want to see your battle won.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

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Poem of the Week: Message for the Working Class Author

Message for the Working Class Author
October 20, 2018

Burned down
Burned out
Out of ideas
Out of energy
Energy and initiative
Energy and drive
Drive to chase
Drive to follow
Follow through
Follow your dreams
Dreams of fortune
Dreams of fame
Fame for your work
Fame for your talent
Talent unrecognized
Talent ignored
Ignored and rejected
Ignored at large
Large part of you
Large part of your past
Past into present
Past into future
Future uncertain
Future worth fighting for
For your own benefit
For your own piece of mind
Mind underused
Mind being wasted
Wasted on frivolities
Wasted on trivialities
Trivialities not fulfilling your dreams
Trivialities keeping you from moving forward
Forward you must look
Forward you must go
Go away from your distractions
Go back to your desk
Desk where sits your word processor
Desk with paper and pencil
Pencil down some ideas
Pencil down some thoughts
Thoughts to later rearrange
Thoughts to later organize
Organize into something fresh
Organize into something enjoyable
Enjoyable by many
Enjoyable by the world
World waiting for you
World waiting for its next star
You
Star

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                        
Amazon.com
                         
Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: Slowly but Surely

Slowly but Surely
September 24, 2018

Slowly but surely, things will come together,
Even if it takes more years to weather
The storm that’s raged ‘round us for so long.
No much longer shall we sing the song
Of the battered and the broken that’s come from
The hearts of us who’ve grown sick of the scum
That’s floated atop this inverted coffee cup
We’ve swam in for years now. Enough’s enough
With the cream on the bottom and tequila worms on top.
The laziness and greed have got to stop.
We want great stories in the media again
Using tried-and-true methods from way back when
And new characters we can get behind
For when we escape our daily grind.
We’re sick of the same old stuff from before,
Albeit inferior since the days of yore
With poorly fleshed plots, schlocky comedy,
And no solid role models for you and me.
It all gets repackaged, too, each damn year
For the next wave of fools to see and hear,
Thus further denaturing our intelligence
We once had long ago, yet’s been dying since
These days of bad storytelling first became known
And started cutting humanity to the bone.
Then again, recently, we’ve made our demands known,
And slowly but surely, the truth’s come to own
The attention of those who feed us the tales,
And fight though they might to make our wails
With insults and finger-pointing, the facts stand
To force them to change once and for all
And at last use their heads, else take a fall
From grace as their industry has these days,
No thanks to their instantly gratifying ways
That we’ve at last decided to not fall for,
But instead agreed to kick out the door.
Film by film, book by book, show by show,
Song by song—we’ll see it so
That storytelling improves again
And reaches the heights it had back when
TV was worth watching and movies, too,
And music was a joy to listen to
And novels more often than not
Stories that more than just entertained
But enlightened, inspired, and in their own way
Kept creative juices flowing day after day.
Keep your fingers crossed, then, for things shan’t always
Be as they are now, for we will have our way,
So long as we stick to our guns and see
That storytelling improves for you and me.
Keep your eyes on the prize, then, and heed no lies
As the hacks and the jacks get cut down to size
While real talents rise to the top as they should
And everything changes for the better for good.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                        
Amazon.com
                         
Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: No More Bloody Excuses

No More Bloody Excuses
September 21, 2018

No more bloody excuses…that’s what I always say,
But then something comes up, and I let it get in the way,
Be it something to do with work, the ‘Net, or my own family,
And I get so burned out afterwards, that I can hardly see,

No thanks to my tired eyes drooping hours later ‘gainst my will
Or, for that matter, my need to escape all the chaos and swill
With an hour-long break always seems to last much longer,
And even when I swear I’m done, my apprehension grows stronger,

And no matter the promises I make to straighten myself out,
Screw in my heels, take care of things, and show all what I’m ‘bout,
Along comes the voice of Doubt to ring inside my heavy head
And nag, nag, nag me ‘bout my faults and all the flack that’s been said

About my apparent lack of skill in everything I do
That I’ve heard since I was but a kid, and the memories still hurt, too:
All the people who’ve belittled me, talked down to me like I was dumb,
Wagged their fingers in my face, and screamed at me ‘til my head was numb—

Essentially calling me worthless and hopeless, no matter the season,
Telling me I’ll never be more than trash for X, Y, and Z reasons.
I bet they all still think that, too, even they whose paths I’ve not
Crossed in half a decade or more, whether they’d be spiteful little snots

Or people in roles of authority who at least think they know better
Than I myself do ‘bout myself, no matter the day or weather.
So many have been these scumbags with whom I’ve dealt during my life,
And it’s in no small part ‘cause of them that I still have so much strife.

Then again, another part’s my own fault for letting them push me ‘round
And not standing up for myself well enough, else I’d be safe and sound
In mind and spirit as well as body, no drama to be had,
And at this point in my life, things wouldn’t have been so bad.

I could’ve had all I wanted: my own house, wife, and car
A well-paying job that allowed me to improve lives near and far,
And all the money I could’ve asked for in my lifetime.
Alas, that’s not my reality…only a dream of mine.

Then again, who am I kidding? Who am I to be held back?
It’s time to stop this hapless whining and go on the attack
And achieve the success I should’ve garnered so many years ago
Instead of wallowing in self-pity and incessant woe.

I’ve burdened myself and my loved ones enough with this hellish ride
Of emotions I’ve put us all through. Now it’s at last time to cast aside
All the drama so that I can have a clear head once and for all
And achieve my dream come hell or high water ‘fore Death makes a house call.

Here I go, then, back on my feet, ready to take a stand
And march forth t’wards whatever fate the future has in hand
For me with all I do have and have built up over the years.
No more bloody excuses, then. I can’t afford more fear.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                        
Amazon.com
                         
Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: A Lesson in Entertainment Support We All Should’ve Learned Decades Ago

A Lesson in Entertainment Support We All Should’ve Learned Decades Ago
September 4, 2018

When the world you used to love no longer gives what you want
And instead feeds you nonsense and trash for cash you refuse to flaunt
And you are in no position to see that which you can make grow,
There’s sadly but one thing you can do to spare yourself the woe:

Keep your money in your wallet and save it for something else,
For the entertainment world can’t afford to entertain itself,
For without the masses’ money to fuel the endeavors it undertakes,
It’ll collapse into ruins, lest it’s our advice it elects to take.

The makers, after all, have but themselves to blame for the efforts they’ve wasted
On the turd-poor products they’ve made and the bitterness we’ve tasted,
No thanks to the egregious errors they’ve made time and again
Left, right, and center dating back to whoever knows when.

Creating brand new movies that they barely, if at all, promote,
Then being surprised that they’ve earned little to no cash in their tote;
Relying on decades-old franchises to help them out of their rut,
Only to script their next installment sloppily…Oy! What a blow to the gut.

Adapting horrible best-sellers into films not worth a damn
No thanks to awkward dialogue delivered by sleepwalking hams
To convey a braindead story that’s beloved for some messed-up reason…
Then again, not even good books are always translated any given season

Into great pictures. Otherwise, Rick Riordan’s Royalty checks—
And Madeleine L’Engle’s, too—would be coming in week after next,
And no, all the films like Wonder and A Monster Calls can’t make up
For the weaker films’ shortcomings and effects, so folks, wake up!

I don’t care, either, for the deconstruction of time-honored heroes
Making them look weak, dumb, and immature and thus like utter zeroes.
They were inspirations back in the day, built from the ground up,
But these new creators just had to come around and screw them up.

Also, why can’t men and women be represented equally?
Why must one be watered and dumbed down for audiences to see
The potential that lies within the other? Tell me how that’s fair
To put one upon a pedestal while the other wallows in despair.

Finally, subverting expectations…what’s the point of that?
To prevent predictability from making a story splat
Across the ground like it fell sans helmet from way up on high
At the expense of logic? Yeah…not for me, gals and guys.

I want stories that make sense and to which I can relate,
Not surprise me out of nowhere with their senseless twists of fate.
I want logical progression from the start to the very end
For plot and characters alike. What about you, friends?

I’m not shocked at all at folks’ protests when makers give them any less,
For when a product comes out on the market, folks expect the best.
Worse yet is when makers dare flame the unimpressed and spew venom their way,
Eventually killing what respect they had left and thus losing that way

The reputation they once had all because of the mighty flops
They dared distribute in the first place and the ego they failed to drop.
We’re sick of sub-par media, though. One’d think they’d learn that well
And would turn their precious industry ‘round ‘fore it ends up burning in Hell.

Such is what Hollywood must learn on top of at last letting new
Faces rise to the top in hopes of starting their industry anew,
For the tired old guard won’t change soon, lest we work to force them out,
So take your cue, folks, and cast your shame aside as you stand to shout.

We have the money and thus the power to make media right,
And only by supporting the good stuff will we all bring the light
To an industry that’s long needed it for years upon years at this rate,
And once we do, we’ll at last kill off at least most of that which we hate.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk

Poem of the Week: A Writer’s Work

A Writer’s Work
August 14, 2018

A writer’s work is never done,
Whether it’d be a chore or fun,
And it starts when you begin your first book,
So have a moment and take a look
For something that stimulates your mind.
Then, from there, it’s to the grind
To work on something hopefully fresh
That puts your talents to the test,
Telling a new tale that with which
Has turned on your brain like a light switch
Flipped by a soul entering a dark room.
Question, though, is will your mind bloom
With twists and turns for your tale to take,
Or will your brain suddenly hit the breaks
Once your idea first hits the page,
Then fume and boil with flustered rage
As it tries to think of what comes next,
Only to end up hopelessly vexed?
After all, it pays not to force
A story that simply won’t take course,
And it only makes sense instead to try
Another route by which your brain won’t fry,
Taking notes along the way
To see just how your story will sway
And taking control when things get rough
‘Til your tale’s at last solid enough
To submit to an agent, who
Won’t turn up her nose and go “poo-poo”
All over it like it’s a load of crap
Like a free-to-play, pay-to-win phone app,
But show it to a publisher, who will
Give it the attention it needs to fill
Your dream of giving the next generation
Something to inspire their station.
Then, should your book become a hit,
Who knows which step you may see fit?
A sequel, perchance, to book one
With more to come ‘til the series is done?
Another work that’s entirely new
To give readers’ brains something to do?
Perhaps a new genre entirely
To show what kind of writer you can be?
Also, what of the meet-and-greets
That take you out of the writer’s seat
So you can show gratitude towards your fans
For making you famous ‘cross the land?
What of the interviews and conventions
Where you talk about your written inventions
Old and new and try to showcase
Your best side and thus make a good case
For your right to be written in history’s
Annals as one whose work’s worthy to see?
What ‘bout a new agent, should the one
Working for you announces he or she is done?
Who’ll help you spread your name far and wide
As the greatest writer on the countryside?
Do you look for a new one and carry on
Living out your dream until you’re gone,
Or do you retire to live off of
The cash you’ve made from your labor of love?
Whatever the case, one thing’s for sure
In this land so riddled with the impure:
A writer’s work is never done
Once it begins ‘neath Heaven’s sun
’Til he or she him- or herself calls it quits,
And that’s only when he or she sees fit.
Don’t you give up, then, literary stars,
For you could someday reach past Mars
And give the masses a reason to care
‘Bout what you’ve to say to all anywhere,
And your legacy shall live on for days,
Weeks, months, years—eons, in some ways.
All you need to do is take that first step,
And you just might be successful yet.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk
Twitter: @DustinMWeber18

Poem of the Week: Rambling Poem about Originality Allegedly Being Dead

Rambling Poem about Originality Allegedly Being Dead
July 26, 2018

Is originality really dead, or did we just stop trying?
‘Cause it always seems there’s a reboot or another that leaves folks crying,
And even the new stuff that comes out we’ve somehow seen before,
And even the adaptations of other media has naught in store
When it comes to telling stories to audiences young and old,
Thus leaving us deliberately telling others what we’ve been told
When we were young, which in turn robs them of their identity
In that they’ve nothing to call their own while folks like you and me
Can reminisce o’er the “good ol’ days,” even when they weren’t that great.
Then again, at least we have something over which we can debate
While the youngsters are left to gush o’er that which they’re told is “new”
‘Til the day comes when they realize that the product doesn’t hold true
And the flaws at last become apparent in their grown-up sight,
Especially when compared to the original source day or night—
Namely the lack of spirit that the original once had
That gave it the spark it needed to thrive through times good and bad,
And if only said spirit can live on in what we create today,
We wouldn’t be sitting ‘round grumbling and mumbling all blessed day
‘Bout the past we knew and the tales we shared back before life turned bleak—
All the more reason for me to believe that maybe that which we seek
Is simple creative spirit—nothing more and nothing less
Than pure mental energy guided by the will to put out the best
Material one possibly can, whether it tells what we’ve been told
Or something new we haven’t seen yet that’s actually fresh and bold.
In short, maybe what we need to do is just start up from the ground
And write our stories organically in hopes that they look and sound
Remarkable enough to stand the test of time just like
The tales of yore we knew and loved when they first came down the pike.
After all, just how do you think such tales came to be
To entertain and educate the likes of you and me?
Maybe we should all take the hint, then, and try to start anew
In the hopes of forging that which we’ve been seeking: something new,
Even if it somehow happens to be old at the same time.
Either way, so long as the quality of the tale proves sublime
And every set piece works, that’s enough to make me smile
And satisfy my imagination at least for a little while.
Perhaps, then, something original will indeed one day come at last
And save us from this hole we’ve dug ourselves in, daughters and sons,
For only in learning from our past will our future be bright.
At any rate, ladies and gents, we can’t afford to give up this fight.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
                         Amazon.com
                         Amazon.co.uk
Twitter: @DustinMWeber18