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Sep 24 · 40
I lost it
Stephen S Sep 24
I shouldn't have done that.
I shouldn't have gotten angry.
I shouldn't have screamed.
I shouldn't have raised my fist in anger.
I shouldn't have hurt you.

I tried to hold it together,
but the world stripped away
my patience and gentleness
and replaced it with fury and fear.

Someone had to suffer.

And I'm sorry it was you.
Jul 16 · 49
Summer Heat
Stephen S Jul 16
Wrapped up, August Rush.
My serpentine Queen.
I’ll be right alongside you
In the midst of the scene.
I’ve got all the methods,
The ways and the means.
but you knew when you met me,
I don’t do in between.

Dancing in the shadow
Of a summertime haze.
Get your feet in the pattern,
It’ll go on for days.
Our love is a labyrinth,
A mysterious maze.
You brought the matches,
So let me set the blaze.

There’s a feast in the ballroom.
Grab a fork, grab a dish.
Let me know how you like it,
Your command is my wish.
The most perfect of moments
Nothing lost, nothing missed.
And we’ll seal the deal
With a moonlight soaked kiss.
Jul 3 · 19
Stephen S Jul 3
I was good friends with my failures,
they followed me around.
And never missed a chance
To drive my nose into the ground.

I was good friends with my failures,
The spoke to me every day.
And convinced me I had nothing,
That I’d never find my way.

I was good friends with my failures,
They were as constant as the sun.
Showed me the path to losing
When I thought the game was won.

I was good friends with my failures,
They liked to sing me songs.
About how I’d never be more
Than the sum of all my wrongs.

I was good friends with my failures,
Until they messed up all my stuff.
And eventually I reached a place
Where I’d finally had enough.

So I gathered all my failures
And I shoved them out the door.
Now I don’t let them near me.
They’re not my good friends anymore.
Jun 10 · 28
Glutton for Punishment
Stephen S Jun 10
I know I should stay away.

I know I should heed the warnings.

I've lost track of all the times
I've been burned by your fire.

And yet still, I keep coming back.

Why do you do this to me?
Jun 9 · 49
Stephen S Jun 9
I am wounded.
You are wounded.

We both stare towards each other
through crimson masks.

Suddenly we realize
that underneath our skin
we're the same color
and not as different as we thought.

Why did it have to be
so painful to get here?
Jun 4 · 31
Burning Questions
Stephen S Jun 4
Why is understanding so elusive?

Why do we have to turn against each other?

Why does the tear gas sting so bad?

Why are they not listening to what we are saying?

Why did those people have to die?

Why is this flag in tatters?
Jun 3 · 245
Rise Up
Stephen S Jun 3
Rise Up, Rise Up
It's time to take a stand
Rise Up, Rise Up
support your fellow man.

The road will not be easy,
the other side is out in force.
But ours is a crucial fight to win
and we've got to stay the course.

Rise Up, Rise Up
Take the protest to the street.
Rise Up, Rise Up
Clap your hands and stomp your feet.

We've got to make it clear today,
that justice will be served.
Fight the hate in the here and now,
so the future is preserved.

Rise Up, Rise Up
The movement needs your voice,
Rise Up, Rise Up
For those that didn't have a choice.

Let the world see us, thousands strong
standing shoulder next to shoulder.
Lord, give us courage and give us wisdom
to be louder and be bolder.
Jun 1 · 45
Stephen S Jun 1
It always grows foreboding,
When the sun dips below the clouds.
You can hear the fury of the people
You can feel it in the crowds.

You’d like to think it will be okay,
But you know deep down inside.
That beneath the cloak of darkness
Is where the monsters always hide.

The streets are full of trouble,
In a nation gripped by fear.
A match is lit, a bomb goes off
The riot squad is here.

In a chaotic sea of tear gas,
And Molotov soaked rags.
The crackdown, fast and vicious.
And dissenters? Bound and gagged.

You can quote the Constitution,
You can be an expert on the law,
But it doesn’t matter in the war zone,
When a nation is torn raw.

It doesn’t matter where you come from,
Could be both sides of the tracks.
But you may not live to see tomorrow
If you happen to be black.

They don’t care about your money,
They don’t care what prominence you bring,
They don’t care about your family,
They only care about one thing.

We used to think the Stars and Stripes,
Meant the land of the free and brave.
But in fact it’s where injustice,
Fills too many shallow graves.

There’s an unnerving lack of safety,
As we watch our cities burn.
What America will greet us,
By the time the sun returns?
May 28 · 95
Stephen S May 28
The waves are rather strong
but do not allow yourself
to be consumed by fear.
Unfamiliarity is a friend today.

An adventure need not be vibrant
to be exciting.
Grey can be just as much fun as other colors.
Do not be afraid to take the first step.

Once you are comfortable in the water
you will have no problems finding me
for mine is the most beautiful boat
on this great sea of nothingness...
May 26 · 107
Live in the Moment
Stephen S May 26
You want to jump, want to fly.
Want to live, not to die.
Let yourself fall into the openness,
looking danger in the eye.

It comes to you, it comes to me.
Out of our prison, living free.
You'll never get a second chance
at existence, can't you see?

You could stay within these walls,
ignore adventure when it calls.
But what would you have to show from that
when the final hammer falls?

It's too easy to get scared.
Walking panicked, unprepared.
Afraid to face what's out there,
Because you don't know if you'll be spared.

Leave the guilt and leave the shame,
It's all part of the human game.
The world is waiting for you
and you have a path to claim.
May 20 · 52
The Flowers
Stephen S May 20
It's a strange world out there.
Everyone is scared.
Everyone is anxious.
An invisible enemy is stalking us.
But the flowers are still beautiful.

Waves of anxiety wash over me.
It's not safe out there anymore.
Freedom has taken a break it seems
and left survival in its place.
But the flowers are still beautiful.

A sea of mask covered faces lies before me.
Gradually they move past,
being careful not to get too close.
Some of the faces are anguished.
Some are crying.
Some show no emotion at all.

But the flowers are still beautiful.
May 18 · 46
Time Travelling
Stephen S May 18
If only I could turn back the clock
just a little bit
to see your smiling face again
to remember what I've forgotten
to know you still love me
no matter what...

..It would all be worth it.
May 15 · 38
Stephen S May 15
I've got a tiny lantern, it really isn't bright,
but it drives away the darkness and it keeps me safe at night.
It puts off a little heat and blesses me with sight,
In the blanket of the evening I find my comfort in its light.

It's kind of old and rusty and the handle's slightly bent,
The frame is marked with several chips and a rather ugly dent.
Its seen its share of better days by quite a large extent,
But it's still my favorite fallback for a twilight time event.

Out in chaotic wilderness, I am protected by its glow,
And it holds up to the fiercest weather: rain or sleet or snow.
In all the violent storms out there,
As the dark winds rage and blow,
If I stay and keep the fuel lit, the flame will surely grow.

And so I'll walk long with my lantern, across the great divide.
Stay on the winding dim lit paths, to the world far and wide.
Not consumed by fear or hate or swallowed whole by pride,
But strong and firm and quite secure,
With the lantern by my side.

When the river water's raging and there's chaos in the deep,
When the road is barely passable and the mountains plenty steep.
You won't find that I've gone missing or passed out from lack of sleep,
Because I have my lantern and the protection that it keeps
Stephen S May 11
I'm not much for concealment.
I prefer to fight in the open.
But this an enemy I cannot see.

So I have to put the mask on.

I don't like hiding from you dear.
I've always been an open book.
But I've sworn to protect you.

So I have to put the mask on.

It's not exactly stylish,
and it pinches near my ears.
But I realize the dangers around me.

So I have to put the mask on.

Someday this will all be over.
We'll dance without any fear.
But right now it's about survival.

So I have to put the mask on.
May 7 · 175
Stephen S May 7
Why did I try to stop this thing
I always knew was coming?
Why did I waste the energy
on a war I knew I wouldn't win?

Was it pride?
Was it ego?
Was it self-denial?

Nothing matters now.
The monster is here for me
and I have no choice to follow.

It can be no other way.
Apr 30 · 34
Coronavirus Haiku
Stephen S Apr 30
People panicking.
Masks on faces everywhere.
Toilet paper gone.
Apr 29 · 42
Two questions
Stephen S Apr 29
How did we ever end up in this tragedy?

And how are we ever going to escape it?
Apr 28 · 19
The Failed Writer
Stephen S Apr 28
I feel as though all my words
have been drained from my spirit.
Like a vacuum cleaner ******* up dust
from a living room carpet.

I stare at the blank page in agony.
But nothing comes.
The maestro has no music.
The artist has no paint.

There is so much I long to share with the world
but for now my body seems content
to keep it all inside.

So I will step away from the desk
and disappear for now.
In hopes my pen will return someday.
Apr 23 · 35
Stephen S Apr 23
I'm afraid of a great many things
but I'm not scared of falling ill.

I don't think the virus will **** me.

The society around me will.
Apr 21 · 35
Stephen S Apr 21
It’s quiet outside tonight

For a fleeting moment
The world almost seems to
make sense again.

But that subtle mirage of normalcy
Is quickly shattered
by the eerie absence of sound
everywhere around me.

There are no engines
There is no singing.
No laughter.
No dancing.
No cheering.

An almost perfect silence
Save for the faint whisper of a girl
Who longs to be with her friends.

I stare up at the stars
For a brief moment am taken in
by the gentle beauty of the universe.

Suddenly sirens pierce the night.
Reality comes rampaging back.
And I find myself wishing I could
turn back the pages of the book of my life
to escape this madness.

But it is not to be.
So I will stand stoically in the darkness

And wait for the coming dawn.
Apr 16 · 45
Fear in Springtime
Stephen S Apr 16
It's sunny outside.
The temperature is perfect.
Above my head
The sky is a perfect crystal blue.

Birds are singing.
The river is vibrant.
A soft breeze weaves
its way through the trees.

It is by most measures
a perfect day.
And yet I stand in the middle of it all
terrified and uncertain.
Apr 13 · 19
The Die is Cast
Stephen S Apr 13
When will it end?
On what does it depend?
How do I know when
I can visit my friends?

Do you wonder how often
we'll keep seeing the coffins?
And if ever, with time
Will this thing be forgotten?

So now we wear masks,
Just to do daily tasks.
As we wrestle with questions,
that we did not used to ask.

We've lost our right to be free,
from a foe we can't see.
We hope and pray for a cure
While we fight the disease.

And what shall be the cost?
What will we have lost
When the clouds finally lift
and the stain has been washed?
Apr 9 · 144
Stephen S Apr 9
If you have an endless supply of nothings
In all their mystery
In all their beauty
In all their majesty
In all their enigmatic auras...

...Do you really have anything at all?
Apr 8 · 21
Frozen in time
Stephen S Apr 8
These are strange days
as the world stands still.
And we watch from our perch
in the grass on the hill.

The streets sit nearly empty,
the car horns are gone.
Sidewalks stand barren,
no rush hour throng.

The schools, all closed up,
Football fields sit quiet.
Empty seats at the beer hall.
Local theaters stay silent.

Movie cameras aren't rolling.
Concert grounds sit unused.
Everyone's staying home,
a bit scared and confused.

So here I am all alone,
keeping distance from friends.
Wondering exactly
When this madness will end.
Apr 3 · 27
Stephen S Apr 3
I'm still here.

I can't hold you.
I can't hug you.
I can't visit you.

But I'm still here.

I still love you.
I still believe in you.
I still fight for you.

I'm still here.

I can't join you.
I can't hold you.
I can't feel you.

But I'm still here.

And I'm not leaving.
Apr 2 · 33
This enemy of mine
Stephen S Apr 2
It can't be stabbed.
It can't be shot.
It can't be blown up.

It can't be poisoned.
It can't be strangled.
It can't be suffocated.

It can't be cured.
It can't be remedied.
It can't be healed.

It can't be seen.
It can't be sensed.
And I'm starting to wonder...

...if it can't be stopped.
Apr 1 · 25
Stephen S Apr 1
How do you write in the chaos?
How do you find the words?
When all of the streets are empty?
And the parks are left to the birds?

How do you write in the madness?
How do you find your voice?
When every part of our planet
is faced with a difficult choice?

How do you write in the darkness?
How do you find the light?
When you see weary warriors around you
and you're not sure if they're winning the fight?

How do you write in this frenzy?
How do you find the right verse?
While you sit all alone in your bedroom
and wait for the storm to disperse?
Mar 31 · 19
Stephen S Mar 31
We thought we had her under control.
We were overconfident,
blissfully ignorant,
and astoundingly arrogant.

Now she is fighting back
and showing us
that regardless of what we believed
she never lost her power.

She was simply waiting
for the right time to unleash it.
Mar 30 · 23
Day 23
Stephen S Mar 30
How do you set the scene
in quarantine.
When you're not sure what
the future means?

In search of ends,
but you miss your friends.
And survival?
On what does it depend?

I'll keep my distance
at the mans insistence.
Because I got to protect
my own persistence.

As I hope for the day,
when the darkness frays.
and we see this madness
swept away.
Mar 27 · 18
Stephen S Mar 27
Together, but at a distance.
We enjoy the beauty of spring.

The sun is shining, the water is clear,
it's a postcard perfect day.

But as much as I want to hug you,
I cannot.

Such is the brave new world we live in.

And never before today
have I realized how much it means to me
to feel someone elses skin touch mine.

For now though I must be content
to merely imagine your caress.
Mar 26 · 48
Stephen S Mar 26
I fill my lungs with air
on a beautiful spring day.

It's not quite as carefree
as it used to be.

The birds are singing,
flowers are blooming.

In the distance
a dark cloud looms overhead.

I take another breath,
and then let me body relax.

This simple thing, a treasure
that has been robbed from so many others.

Cruel can this existence be.
Stephen S Mar 26
Suddenly, I find myself longing for the days
when we couldn't see the masks people wore...
Mar 25 · 21
Stephen S Mar 25
I remember the music we all used to make,
By the light of the moon on the shore of the lake.
Endless summers at one time they seemed,
Filled with ambition and vigor and dreams.
We'd sing songs until morning, we'd laugh and we'd dance
and maybe throw in a bit of love and romance.
Of all the instruments we picked up and played,
It's the piano I remember so fondly today.

The notes were so perfect as they moved through the breeze,
sailed up toward the starlight and over the trees.
The sound was incredible, like nothing I've heard.
It's difficult even now to put it to words.
But there was no lack of magic in that summer shade,
Nor in that lovely piano and the memories it made.

We're all older now, we've no time for the lake
and no desire to repeat our youthful mistakes.
Wives, husbands and kids, we've moved on with our lives.
It now seems so distant, those sweet summer skies.
But I must admit, though those times are no more
A piece of my heart will always lay on that shore.
It'd be fun to go back and see some old friends,
and I'd love to hear that piano again.
Mar 25 · 30
The Window
Stephen S Mar 25
I used to enjoy your gentle touch.
And the lovely nights we danced.
The moonlight showing off
the true beauty of your skin.

The laughter we shared
walking beneath the giant oaks,
while the birds serenaded us.

Those intense and precious moments
When the world around us just washed away...

Now, I am left to watch you through the glass
While I wait for the darkness to flee.
And I shall still love you from a distance.
Dreaming of the day we can dance again.
Mar 23 · 35
When It's Over
Stephen S Mar 23
Reality is a jungle it seems.
The world shutting down before me.
I have no desire to dance among the flames.
I only wish to remove myself
From this chaotic society,
For as long as I possibly can.
In that vein
I ask only one thing of you:

Put your hand upon my shoulder,
Put your hand upon my shoulder,
Put your hand upon my shoulder
and please wake me when its over.

There are some provisions in the storehouse.
And I have wood to keep me warm.
A couple of months supply of water.
To quench my empty thirst.
I miss the hugs, I miss the laughing
I miss the togetherness.
Nothing more can I do now
than soldier on like all the rest.

Put your hand upon my shoulder,
Put your hand upon my shoulder,
Put your hand upon my shoulder
and please wake me when its over.
Mar 6 · 20
Stephen S Mar 6
I could build the
Mightiest of towers
A massive spire
Dominating the
Entire cityscape.

But what does it say about me
If the only thing filing it
Would be the light of a pale sunset...

...and a few stray specks of dust?
Feb 13 · 41
Stephen S Feb 13
Can’t **** it with bullets,
Can’t **** it with liquor.
Can’t **** it with drugs,
It’ll just make you sicker.

Can’t destroy it with silence,
Can’t burn it with matches,
Can’t cut out the legs
And just hope it collapses.

Can’t stop it with arrows,
Can’t stop it with knives.
Can’t stop its great fury
And destruction of lives.

Can’t erase it with pleasure,
Can’t **** it with joy.
Can’t disguise yourself from it,
It’s on a path to destroy.

The struggle is real,
But don’t give up the fight.
The only thing that
Can beat back the light.
Feb 10 · 38
A Normal Day
Stephen S Feb 10
Kids at school.
Dogs fed.
House clean.
Groceries purchased.
Car washed.
Desk organized.
Body healthy.

So why am I so scared?
Feb 7 · 32
Stephen S Feb 7
I am the star now,
this is my show.
I've got cameras on me
wherever I go.

I'm a big deal,
Its all over the news.
Didn't you know
I just hit ten million views?

I've got a fast car,
and mountain of bling.
Go check Instagram
Where they call me "The King".

I've got the big sponsors,
Movie deals? Signed three.
Everyone in the world
just wants to be me.

I've got a massive new wardrobe
and the latest smartphone,
But underneath it all
I'm just cold and alone...
Feb 6 · 39
Under Pressure
Stephen S Feb 6
My bones crack from the weight of this.
My muscles ache with pain.
With each passing second
My body nears its limitations.

And ultimately, there are
only two outcomes.

Either I will be pressed
into something brand new.

Or crushed into dust
and carried off with the wind.
Feb 4 · 53
Stephen S Feb 4
The sun is shining brightly.
A soft breeze drifts over the beach.
My feet are enjoying the cool sand.

It is comfortable here.

But I know before long
I will have to leave the shore behind
and venture out into the depths
of the ocean before me.
Stephen S Feb 3
Swallowed up by the grass
of a thousand mistakes.
From the trees fall the leaves,
that are the sum of my failures.

The sun and wind chip away
at what's left of my skin.
While the rocks look upon me,
in sorrowful scorn.

The sword is laid down.
My spirit is done fighting.
Then my last breath escapes
at the cry of a dove.
Stephen S Jan 31
I walked the line to Folsom Prison,
took some advice from a boy named Sue.
Never found the flesh and blood that I needed,
but at least I'm not in the jailhouse now.

I remember the songs of my childhood,
When daddy always sang bass.
But these days I get so lonely, I just cry, cry, cry.
And seems like every other weekend
It's Sunday morning coming down.

So give my love to Rose. I hated to leave her.
I've done my best to let go of the hurt
and put myself back together one piece at a time.
In the end I got burned by a ring of fire,
but I still never found the Man in Black.
Jan 30 · 334
Stephen S Jan 30
I felt the sharp sting in my back.
I felt the surge of pain up my spine.
I felt my knees buckle to the ground.
I felt the blood drip from the wound.
I felt the tears roll down my eyes.

And when I saw that
you of all people
were the one holding the whip...

I felt the shattering of my heart.
Jan 27 · 120
Deal with the Devil
Stephen S Jan 27
I made a deal with the Devil,
in a play to strike it rich.
Him the puppet, I the master,
but soon the roles were switched.

The money up and vanished,
right before my very eyes.
And the devil, loudly laughing,
Sent brimstone falling from the skies.

Sweat poring down my forehead,
and a most repugnant smell.
The newest slave among the demons,
In the darkest depths of hell.

No reprieve from all the gruntwork,
not a single chance of rain.
Just the Devil's fury,
And a sharp eternal pain.

The smoke forever suffocating,
I don't think I'll ever learn.
I made a deal with the devil
and now I've got to burn.
Jan 26 · 40
The Potters Creed
Stephen S Jan 26
Let the skill of my hands
Create something unique
And beautiful
Regardless of how impure
The clay may be.
Jan 23 · 143
All your fault
Stephen S Jan 23
The rules were very simple,
All you had to do was listen.
But now you've gone and put me
in a difficult position.

You think that I enjoy this.
You couldn't be more wrong.
I try to be forgiving,
Now my patience is all but gone.

Don't try and lay this one on me.
You know it isn't true.
You were the match that lit the fire.
Look what you made me do.

You could have saved yourself, my dear
if you had just played by the rules.
But you had to go and break the code,
and then I lost my cool.

If you'd just do what I tell you,
If you'd never raise your voice.
Then it wouldn't have to come to this.
I wouldn't have to make this choice.

Instead, you violated me.
And this hell you put me through?
It could have been avoided.
But look what you made me do.
Dec 2019 · 38
Stephen S Dec 2019
This prison cannot hold me.
These walls will not contain me.
I cannot be easily classified
I cannot be easily controlled.

My spirit will not tolerate
being confined to a dungeon.
My heart will not tolerate  
any attempts to restrain me.

So try as you may
to fit me into to your mold.

You won't succeed.

You will only be left wondering
how it is
that you underestimated me.
Dec 2019 · 35
I blew it
Stephen S Dec 2019
She was beautiful.
She was smart.
She was mine.

But somehow, I let it slip away
before my eyes.

So instead of being the man
I wanted to be.

I'm sitting here in a ***** tonk bar,
drowning my misery,
to the sounds of Jason Aldean.
Dec 2019 · 47
In Flames
Stephen S Dec 2019
Enveloped in a cloud of smoke,
The fury of the growing fire
lashes at my skin.
Sweat pours down my face.
My breathing becomes labored.

The roar of the fire pierces my ears.
The pain settles in.

Yet somehow, I like it.
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