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There is a dilemma that develops,
a problem that hits every day without fail,
it happens when I think too often,
for thought is the death of faith,
and faith is the bane of logic.

How can I reconcile my heart and mind?

If this,
then what?
If this is that,
and this is that,
then what is the origin?
If you're me,
then who am I?
What is the point,
if the point is the point,
then does it matter?

I believe that truth is relative.

Absolutism is absolute because of shared meaning,
and this meaning is only absolute because we perceive it to be this way,
and therefore there is no such thing as absolutism,
irony is not irony if we expect the opposite of what is expected.

The world may be absurd,
it may have no meaning,
but that is merely a matter of perspective.
Why do humans give?
Why do we help one another?
Do we do it to make ourselves feel better about life?
So what?
If it all has no meaning anyway,
why not give, take and accept?
Why not twist logic and play along?

Why do we search for happiness?
We search for it for the simple fact that it feels good,
and if happiness is our end goal,
then why not deceive ourselves?
and distract,
for truth told with malice is still a lie,
and so trod the path to happiness,
for it is paved with self delusion,
lie and choose to believe in something abstract,
for perhaps in the end,
if you tell enough lies,
you create your own truth,
and truthfully I'd rather be play the part of a fool,
than right and hopelessly miserable.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
My favorite recipe,
mix laughter with wit,
laughter without awareness,
mix them together and great is what you get.

Glances shared,
laughter ensues,
no one is any wiser,
the childish becomes elegant.

What is humor,
the quality of being amusing or comic,
esp. as expressed in literature or speech,
it's a contradiction between comrades.

Laughter shouldn't require effort,
a glance,
a wink,
a smile,
send you back,
a reference to another day,
brighter or darker alike.

A friend taught me this lesson,
we met as children,
and still chuckle as men,
and so my hat off to him.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
I have an aunt,
but she's more like a best friend,
we're more alike than all my friends,
more alike than family even.

We have similar phases,
she helps me through,
she's my godmother,
I love her,
it's true.

She is relaxed,
she puts things in perspective,
her children are god-sent,
her husband a saint.

Her spirit is sweet,
not unlike my mother,
with sacred things she is devout,
but does not overdo.

Her house is a second home,
a refuge from the storm clouds,
that brew in my head,
for that I thank her,
for all that she's said.

I love you AJ,
despite the fact that sometimes life is hard,
I'm glad that you're my aunt,
my eternal friend.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
The most striking of flowers bloom far out of sight,
blooming softly and with fractal beauty,
they contain the sweetest of nectar,
and the most insidious of poisons,
barbs flush against scaled leaves,
dripping with toxicity.

It is not the pigment that makes a flower beautiful,
but its shape and form,
its tragic and fearsome nature,
it is a lack of color that paints this flower,
guardian of fallen men,
splattered with life,
sanguine as the night.

Forever lonesome,
invisible in the darkness,
seeds aloft on eastern winds,
blooming without reproach,
and from decay it glitters,
and lets out a scream in its solitude.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
What is an American?

Is it decided by the timber of our voice,
the strength in our limbs,
the blood in our veins,
or the color of our skin?

Tell me,
for I do not understand,
unfold your thesis,
inundate my mind with statistics,
be it quantum blood measures,
origin or sociological constructs of the creature in question.

Tell me,
what it is to be an American?
This umbrella term,
I just do not understand,
is it to be a thief?
A country founded on stolen land,
and stolen labor,
sage bushed bills,
backed by gilded structures and systems of debate and seizure,
is being an American drowning in leisure?

What does this term mean?
I find myself confused,
it is difficult to quantify the qualitative,
and breath life into lifeless chiseled forms,
found in squares and plazas throughout,
a country split by hard wired ferocity,
quicksand laden dividing lines,
the vocal deciding what it is to be,
and what it isn't.

Careful lad,
there is such a thing as too much,
too much individuality,
so put up your hair,
put away the paint,
put away that sign,
sheath your weapon,
old boy,
this isn't your fight,
and besides,
what can you do with a toy?

I don't know what America is,
land of the free,
where is that?
I see only industry,
a dying morality,
drowned in ethics,
a protestant-core built on overt inequality.

What does it mean to be an American?
I can't tell you what it means to you,
only what it means to me,
and so I say dust off the document upon which this term was built,
and realize that the past is not what you should use,
just as anything else of import,
use judgement,
the ability to choose,
uphold the  freedom that suffocates in the back of your mind,
to the flame inside your chest,
to the weakness in your legs,
down against the sole of your shoes.

America is a country founded on rebellion,
a little man,
underdog all grown up,
and now he's the one throwing punches,
a story paralleled by Davidic tales,
and though he may not be perfect,
and is often reviled,
I love him still,
his rough edges,
for we are still part of the experiment,
the American dream.

Though the gates may be weighed down,
the hinges rusted,
a country of sojourners,
soon a country of minorities,
cultural pluralism,
though flawed,
I like it better this way,
a techni-colored mirage of what once was,
and if we must meet our end,
so be it,
guide me home,
for is it not true that all roads eventually wind home?
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
A cynical representation of a brighter future,
my mind,
racked with dreams of change,
centered on an unchanging stream of fate,
instability found in heart and in mind,
a sickness not easily cured,
without the aid of modern medicine hindrance,
the numbness of spoon fed complacency,
my anger is misused and misplaced,
for I cannot separate people from ideas,
and actions from context,
and with a confused lack of self medication,
I find growth in my synapse,
warmth in my extremities,
and searing anger in my bones.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
I have a confession to make,
since I was a child,
I've been predisposed to anxiety,
fear and apprehension,
all barriers of the same kind,
sometimes I push through,
and sometimes I wallow,
letting it sink in late at night,
sitting on my roof waiting for sun to rise,
hand gripping my chest,
the place where I've been told my heart is.

It for this reason that I've always gravitated to the idea of courage,
not a lack thereof,
but the ability to surmount fear in favor of greener pastures,
but in truth we're all the same,
we share the same night sky,
the same sun,
born with a beating heart,
and with that heart comes fear,
fear of failure,
inadequacy stabs deeply the hearts of the young,
and as we age it lessens but it doesn't ever go away,
and sometimes there is a rarer form of fear,
the fear of success,
this fear is most often unnoticed,
but festers unseen as we go about our day to day,
for what would we do with wealth,
who are we to be loved,
and who are we to influence others?

Personally I am far more afraid of being successful,
for with abundance,
comes responsibility,
and ultimately,
more to lose,
but I think that if I live my life in fear of loss,
that I will find myself hapless and cornered,
cut off at all sides by my own insecurities,
parts separated by the mounting tension,
a culmination of what if's,
apprehension and loneliness,
similar by design,
two components of fear,
a common string we tie inside,
letting it show in our eyes.

I think fear is an interesting thing,
if not for fear,
mankind would have died off long ago,
fear is what gets us off our knees,
it starts us on the path,
but what is missing?
I have started walking countless times only to trip,
falling over my own feet,
inhibitions distilled in me as a child,
for the road is long and the solitude is overwhelming,
and somewhere in my heart I know that courage is what I'm missing,
I am afraid,
I am afraid of serving a God I do not know,
I am afraid of turning away a God that weeps for my sake,
I am afraid of meeting new people,
I am afraid of spending my life with one person,
I am afraid of change,
I am afraid of stagnation,
I am afraid of you,
I am afraid of myself,
I am afraid of fear,
and I am afraid of courage,
but courage is what keeps you going,
for it easier to give up and sit down,
for fear of stumbling,
or perhaps the fear of finding what lies ahead,
what will we find at the end of the road?

I choose to stand up and try again,
and I think that you'll agree,
it is better to have loved and lost,
than never to have loved at all,
and it is better to die on your feet,
than to live on your knees.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
Although your wife is a catch,
you're no slouch yourself,
an excellent match,
your children are themselves top-shelf.

You don't work for the money,
you work only for your family,
you have yet to receive your fair due,
I can't help but have respect for you.

To your wife you are a rock,
an anchor against the tide,
carrying the world on your shoulders,
an atlas that will never shrug.

To your children you are a guide,
a lamppost on the way of life,
a warm hand until the fear subsides,
I'm quite sure they'll turn out fine.

To me you are a hero,
thank you for the experiences,
that you share with me,
the best uncle that you can be.

You are my godfather,
you do it all,
you are a saint,
a hero to me.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
This poem is an admission of guilt.

I often feel the urge to reassure myself,
that I am right,
and in doing so I cut short other's thoughts,
and that is thoughtless of me, despite meditation.

What does it mean to be right?

Does being right translate to superiority,
or perhaps inferiority,
in terms of creativity is there a truth,
the variety that cuts to the bone?

And what is truth?

I think the answer is two roads split,
diverging in increasingly dangerous directions,
for faith is the belief in the reality of absolutes,
and rationality is the flexibility to choose for yourself,
and you can only choose one,
for that is how it has always been.

Why is man so singular and yet so one dimensional?

I find in my own experience that I am wrong,
in all instances,
there are always things that I do not consider,
facets wasted on my youth,
and in hoping for credibility,
I find that silence is the best substitute for intelligence,
and that the belief in the absence of illusions,
is itself an illusion,
for I am at my core,
and very angry.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
There is something so tragic about being human,
we strive for the stars,
reaching upward,
but all we do is fail,
we are born imperfect with imperfect temperament,
and made imperfect through our own design,
there is something inherently wrong within us,
a mistake that alleles cannot shape,
a mistake that our parents,
despite their most urgent wishes,
cannot break,
a mistake so large that none are exempt,
and often we curse God,
blaming someone we've never known,
for the misfortune that festers in our hearts,
and when it comes down to it,
I don't think that,
even if he does exist,
that it is entirely his fault,
for although he mixed foolish,
and immature spirits in the same vat,
the disease is intrinsic,
and God did not make our spirits,
though perhaps through nimble hands,
he made us whole,
bodies tempered for pain and loss,
but we are the root of the evil,
there is no Devil at the source,
though influence us he might,
and so our stories are tragic,
we do what we can,
and then we die,
and maybe that's not the end of the story,
but if someone tells you they're not afraid of death,
they're lying,
few if any know what waits at the end,
the end of the path we as humans create,
but we have no choice,
there is no price that can shake the sorrow from our shoulders,
no payment large enough to replace our experience,
no substitute for the change we feel,
the love we feel,
the pain we feel,
and the loss inherent in life,
so I say live and let live,
but keep in mind the influence you have,
for good or for bad,
and keep your chin up,
set your jaw,
and cast your eyes towards the sky,
and the heavens above.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
The bible teaches that we are sheep,
simple extensions meant to be herded,
but somehow I feel this is not true,
man's native disposition is not gentle,
it is raw, it is powerful, and it is cruel,
we are social creatures,
we huddle together for warmth just as sheep,
but we are not sheep,
we are wolves,
cunning and calculating,
why else do we **** and maim our own,
but for own entertainment,
our own gain?

we are also extremely adaptive,
and so I say,
if you are sheep be sheep,
but if you are wolves be wolves,
re-purpose your fangs,
structure the pack and do not hide,
fight back against indignation,
guard your brothers and sisters,
keep watch through the night,
and when the time comes I say strike,
tear out the throat of inequality,
and let the lifeblood of the sickly fruit flow,
and pour it into the streets.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
The shades of grey darken,
I find myself afraid,
may direction find me,
I have lost my way,
shine on me,
light the gravel at my feet,
produce fuel for ignition,
and a reason to believe.

Ropes only bind,
they do not guide,
sounds only deceive,
stealing my perception of time,
any steps forward,
are lost in my pride.

Even your hand I dare not hold,
for fear of sinking,
a shared demise,
for our worlds are far removed,
and signals in the distance,
will only lead me to shallow coves,
I am a shipwreck in the night.

Give me light,
sight to go with illumination,
intuition to go with my eyes,
and a key for this cage I create in my mind.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
We met here as children,
happy times,
smiles shared between friends,
love at its prime.
Everyday we meet,
crayons held high,
in our small hands,
the three of us,
no time for judgement,
no time for worry,
far too many adventures to be had,
underneath this apricot tree.

The meetings grow infrequent,
we meet here as acquaintances,
we meet here as lovers,
knife for the carving of flesh and bark,
dreams of brighter days,
days obscured by a terrestrial haze,
we love,
we hate,
we grow,
we regress,
under this apricot tree.

Years pass,
the meetings are infrequent,
the successful no longer indulge,
there are only two of us left,
we meet as strangers under summer sky,
cursing God for death,
understanding what love is,
so clear now,
how did we get this far,
underneath this apricot tree?

They meet here as children,
they meet as friends,
in its truest sense,
the days get lighter,
the sun a little brighter,
grazing fresh skin,
sun-kissed lullabies,
the toys are different,
but the game is the same,
underneath this apricot tree.

We meet here as children,
laying underneath our tree,
nostalgia feels our lungs,
the feeling is familiar,
but the landscape is inverted,
we love,
we hate,
we grow,
we regress,
everyday we meet,
crayons held high,
in our small hands,
the three of us,
our children with us,
we meet here as one,
underneath this apricot tree.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Your smile confuses me in more way than one,
your smile is warm and yet disconnected,
despondent and infectious all at once,
a contradiction well hidden,
from the view of many,
yet cracks show,

the cure,
mending it all
your facade is strong,
convincing even family,
but eventually all wells run dry,
and on that day I'll see your true smile.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Flickering flame,
languishing light,
beating upon wooden frame,
a forgotten story,
lost from sight.

One day they were here,
the next they were gone,
they were extinguished out of fear,
no longer can they sing,
they've forgotten the song.

In a way they were innocent,
in a way they were wrong,
their ideals were incandescent,
their trials afterward,

And still,
when they are found in other places,
they are held against their will,
but then again,
is this not true in all cases?
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
My thoughts persist with the onset of sleep,
a swirling mist,
an ashen awareness of the futility of my hopes,
the dull ache of faltering inertia,
hidden between silver folds of liquid ego,
and in my dreams,
circumstance is as I wish it to be,
I am therefore I think,
painting my heart on my sleeve,
using abstractions familiar only to me,
fractal entities subsisting on synecdoche,
the mundane shattered in streets of my own memory,
the monotony brushed aside if only for awhile,
it is in this avenue that I thrive,
silver lined and gilded ideals,
a place where guile and truth intermix,
and it is reason and aesthetic rhythms that guide,
set in motion by the desires of my heart and mind,
in the calm embrace of the nether I am proud,
devoid of fear or avarice,
and all at once I am awake,
I am alone,
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
To be human in a place filled with humanity is to be in constant conflict,
to be human is to be right and wrong,
almost always at the same time,
our ideals are collectively a lie,
to believe in one view is a fallacy,
for truth may lie in the collective,
or perhaps it is simply beyond our reach,
the left is self-righteous,
calling all others bigots,
the right is antiquated,
calling all others fools,
the middle is unsure,
knowing that both sides have merit,
but paying no heed to which pieces are true,
the rest of us don't have a clue,
we are not educated enough to care,
we know nothing and so we do not cast lots,
and truthfully this where the majority of the populous should stay,
and even those who have cast their hands into the mix should retreat,
for to truly know something is difficult,
and far beyond the meager grasp of man's tiny brain.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
To me the world is stagnant,
to you the world is beautiful,
to me butterflies emerge from the thaw,
to you they emerge from Spring.

To me love is unchanging,
to you love is elusive,
to me music is an art-form,
to you music is life.

To me requests are conditional,
to you they are not,
to me guns are necessary,
to you they are antiquated.

To me life is a hardship,
to you life is an experience,
to me you are a tragically beautiful idealist,
and I envy you.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
I am young,
though I wish I were younger,
I would rewind time if I could,
back to a period where my temperament was stronger,
back to a time when my greatest concern was a Popsicle,
dripping on my hand as I lick it.

Youth is resilient,
we are born into ignorance,
where we might or might not remain,
given to bliss and innocence,
a greater inclination for love.

I long for a time filled with freedom,
freedom found within playground fences,
found within crosswalks and spineless volumes,
crayon on wall not pen on paper,
that's where real art is made.

I long for a time filled with big brothers and big sisters,
learning one step at a time,
no quantitative measures of success in life,
a time with unrealistic expectations,
not expectations unfulfilled.

I long for the time when I worshiped the ground my brother walked on,
infallible parents and clergymen,
where forgiveness goes without saying,
forgetting trespasses just as quickly as they come,
things change as we are carried away.

It's true that I still love,
but things are different now,
it'll never be the same,
my love is transfigured by dividing lines,
not open to the general populous,
dependent on what they do or say.

I wish that I could go back.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Eyes wide open,
tilted towards the sky,
twinkle therein,
laughing softly as constellations die.

Star after star,
falling from the sky,
each tethered to a soul,
vanishing as they die.

Beautiful face,
expressive and perceptive,
lively and lovely,
a Mona Lisa in your own time.

Star after star,
falling from the sky,
laying back against blades of grass,
and though the these blades are dull,
they press against you sharply,
a reminder of the fact that everyday children die.

Shaken to the core,
tears well up inside,
letting yourself go,
not a spirit in sight.

Journey just begun,
step by step,
gathering up your sadness in your arms,
that’s what makes you different.

Your beauty is elusive,
tangible and otherwise,
sharp and sweet,
your beauty stems not from what you aren't,
but what you are.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
You feel so lonely,
the shadows overtake you,
things never feel the same,
if only.

You don't feel accepted,
you've held on fairly well,
to your credit,
but endurance can only go so far.
You're at wit's end,
the end of your rope,
frayed and broken,
but don't let go.

Letting go seems easy,
no more suffering,
no more sighs,
echoing through your soul.
Your body is wracked with sobs,
but you can't give in,
don't pull the pin.

Do NOT give in,
don't let it **** you in,
the tidal wave,
the thunderstorm in your head.
If you pull that trigger,
you might as well do me too,
the pain you'll cause is greater by far,
than the hand you've been dealt.

Don't give in to what is easy,
do not give into the pain,
but don't drown it out either,
life isn't a game.
No matter the hardship,
no matter the trial,
day by day,
morning by morning,
how great will be your reward,
be it a culmination of humanistic ideals,
or a loving father's arms.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
The sands of time,
far more numerous than the sea,
outweigh the odds,
cast back the fleeting,
see things as they are,
the truth of all things.

If time is a cage,
then truth is the key,
and if what you need is change,
then release the safety,
and break the bulwark,
the safety you've always known.

The grass is always greener,
things are always better from the outside looking in,
always better from far away,
good things do not come to those that wait,
they are snatched by those willing to reach.

In time all will come to know the sting of sadness,
the ache of regret swelling in their veins,
but know this,
time heals all wounds,
and death is not the refuge you seek,
fear is for the weak and stupid,
the reaper comes to collect,
not to free.

Don't fight the flow of time,
accept its crushing embrace,
forge from the fires someone you respect,
a persona worthy of your love,
and cease murmuring of what you hang on your cross.

Never take it sitting down,
fight fire with fire,
strike down conspiring fates,
be your own person,
never heeding popular demand.

You are who you choose to be,
tendencies may exist,
but raise your fist instead,
there is you and there is your shadow,
choose the better of the two.

Slice it down the center,
tear apart all conventions that misrepresent,
seek only truth,
don't change for anyone,
change only for your own sake,
fight for what you believe,
that's the only advice I can give you.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
My mind is erratic,
changing easily with age,
the changes seem subtle,
but that's not quite the case.

I once felt such anger,
such pointless,
misguided hate,
but now that feels distant,
I am far from the same.

The world seems a silly place,
so many of my grievances seem tiring,
I suppose it's not worth it,
wasting my days,
the fight is important,
but who knows who I am when I change?

Resignation feels the empty space in my brain,
tiredly painted with white and grey,
blood coursing through it delaying ruin,
but I can feel it coming,
and somehow that quiets my rage.

I can do a little,
and that's what I'll do,
make misfits feel normal,
if just today,
I knew how they felt and can use that,
that vague sensation of pain and decay,
maybe I'll make something better,
work towards making their lenses less opaque,
though I can't do much,
I'll do it right now,
I'll start today.
A.P. Beckstead (2016)
Molded and shaped,
firm against the skin,
so much strength,
so subject to change.

Formation of shape,
and form,
never the same,
defying the norm,
hand pressed down,
as I work to create.

Thick and centered,
grooves along the base,
just as life,
art is far from a race.

As with the burgeoning of the oak,
wings spring forth from the dust,
living sediment,
free from my grasp.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Though my brothers starve,
I cannot do a thing,
despite any sacrifice,
no matter my achievement,
in spite of my feelings,
the world continues on,
dysfunctional as always,
always and forever,
the world will never fill with light,
nor will it ever be fully engulfed in darkness,
the only pathway to change is in numbers,
the kind of numbers that cannot be amassed,
a digit so unreasonable I can't help but sigh,
the world would change with the tides,
if not for the human heart,
a fickle mechanism,
it feels superficially for most part,
and ***** greedily at life,
rarely experiencing self-actualization,
if not for the human heart,
morality would decompose,
and rearrange in its purest form.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Whomever you meet,
you will no doubt be in conflict,
that is the nature of the beast,
you and I,
cut by chromatic dividing lines,
split by life decisions,
perspective of the past, present and future,
separation of church and state of mind,
women as companions,
women as *******,
charity as obligation,
charity as privilege,
meaning it means it something,
or not at all,
who's to say?
A dichotomy of idealistic sentimentality,
different cogs in the same broken machine,
we are all twisted gears in a mal-adapted tree,
that bears no fruit,
and whether the strong rule,
or if the weak share the shattered remains,
means little to me,
we are all equally hopeless,
fractal personalities,
torn by social stratification,
at the core we are broken,
and I love it.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
From the time we are born,
we are flawed,
both through nurture and through nature are we damaged,
but there is something so beautiful,
so fatalistic about that,
and since we are inclined to failure,
the only way we can travel is forward.
Sometimes we move only a few steps at a time,
and more often than not,
we measure improvement by leaps and bounds,
both are progress,
both are important.

We like to think we are rational,
but statistically speaking,
we trust in our instinct more often than not,
even if it is beyond its depth,
we are not rational creatures,
striving for excess is not logical,
for time is money,
and survival is logical,
but we want more,
gathering approval is not efficient,
in many respects animals are much more optimal.

The thing that sets us apart,
the most important thing to note,
is love,
love is not logical,
love is not efficient,
but we value it anyway,
and so in the end,
we are not what we think we are,
we are not animals,
we are illogical,
we are inefficient,
and we are healing,
healing from the day we are born,
born with a frail disposition,
we are human,
and we are slowly mending.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
Master of kindness,
lover of fate,
baker and nurse,
warmth and intuition within her replete.

Warm baked bread,
jam on my toast,
hugs of a seasoned mother,
arms of a saint.


Her sensibilities are timeless,
she's full to brim with honey,
creamies and recliners,
the foundation of my childhood,
remembered into the eternities.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
In this world,
there are numerous denominations,
split by human hand,
divided by persecution,
as blood spills to the sand.

and by these actions everyday,
we commit patricide.
We feud for who knows what,
killing in the name of our God,
be it Elohim,
or the dollar.
Humans are far worse than animals,
people are cruel,
we **** with hidden agenda,
we cannibalize our beliefs,
there is no such thing as civility.
I have a dream?
What did that man see,
but the barrel of a gun?

Humans are created equal,
this is espoused by many,
and practiced by none,
even I allow the stitches of the American fabric to show.

I am no poet,
I am the greatest of hypocrites,
and in my futility,
I scream.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Oddly enough,
I find myself in a strange predicament,
my appearance does not seem to reflect my age,
but sadly my habits and limitations do.

I am old in spirit,
grown weary in a modern age,
tired of doing the things that I must,
the things that are expected of me,
and even the things I dislike,
and this,
I fear,
will not serve me.

I am yet impatient and impassioned,
a rebellious heart and a withering mind,
two things that fit quite nicely,
but to no great effect,
and so I dream while awake,
and live while sleeping.

I am passionately obsessed with the mundane,
simple little things,
and often fail to separate moments in time,
and when my mind wanders,
I dream while standing,
and the world goes dim,
a dis-associative calm spreads,
stilling my nails bitten to the quick,
hushing my breath,
and the nervous chatter surrounding,
as if to say,
what a novel world that is.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
Despite any valid points I may have,
disregard me,
no matter the connection that begins,
pay me no mind.

I am a Mormon,
and by that decree,
I am handicapped.
I have lost all credibility,
through all the searing rage in my veins,
the cold creeping of hate,
the warmth of love,
the doubt in my faith,
I am inert.

If I were important,
things would be different,
the world would listen if I were another breed,
but I am white,
I am uninteresting,
I have nothing to say.
Many treat Mormons with contempt,
they're not Christians you say?
I am told this country is free,
that's not something that I can accept,
who are you to tell me what I believe?
You may not agree with the existence of God,
but tell me,
must we experience a holocaust for you to respect my beliefs?

Racism is as American as apple pie,
as American as a Colt .45,
cocked and held to the head of equality,
this country is built on a lie,
freedom for every white man.
Post-racial America,
what a joke,
it's no wonder you confuse Muslims and Sikhs.

There's nothing wrong with being Islamic,
they are not a people founded on hate.

With modern advancement,
a new light to my eyes,
suspicions confirmed,
race isn't based on genetics,
it's based on social delusion,
truths twisted by pigment,
and the crooked nature of human design.

Sickening men steal children,
born naked,
smiling just as all children do,
they steal the light in their eyes,
their one chance at a normal life,
their futures,
and still the globe turns a blind eye to instinctual cries,
children that never become adults,
from the sickness that spreads,
the fear in their eyes,
and still,
we hide,
placing a thin veil over sight.
The world criticizes intervention,
you say it's not your problem?
For God's sake,
(a phrase often misused)
fight for your brother,
despite the color of his skin.
No matter how many children the individual saves,
it is not enough,
the smaller part cannot save the whole,
and by turning away,
you fan the flames,
blood stains on the hands of the majority,
kindling the depth of sorrow that exists today,
we are the root of the disease,
the twisted smile that grinds the skin,
tears the flesh from the unprivileged.
I believe that even if I never answer to God,
this life is a test,
and in our cowardice,
we will all will drown.

But, remember,
disregard me,
pay me no heed,
I'm just a Mormon,
no latter-day saint.
I cannot make sense of it in my mind,
and so I'll label and dissect,
leaving the remainder to ignorance,
an entire country,
hands tied,
no longer listening for our father's decree.

Here we are once more,
back to the beginning,
not a thing has changed,
continue on your way,
treading lazily upon unspoken trails,
politically correct warpaths,
a migration of misguided souls,
carefree and careless,
not losing a wink of sleep.

Look me in the eyes and tell me what I do,
and do not believe,
tell me,
that I don't understand,
tell me your truth,
my skin is made of porcelain,
and that's the only thing that matters to you,
my actions are futile,
my words fall on deaf ears.

You may curse God for your misfortune,
but if you ask me,
we're the ones who created this,
we are our own mistake,
we the people,
have sealed our own fate.

I'm Adam Patrick Beckstead,
and guess what?
I'm a Mormon,
no latter-day saint.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
We don't fight against man,
but his nature,
not blood nor bone,
but against principalities,
against power,
against corruption,
against the bottom of the glass,
against human nature.

civilized man?


A world of tolerance,
malice in disguise,
the pen is mightier than the sword?

Not a chance.

It is the blade that kills,
the razor that releases the flood,
for history is not written by the objective.
Words may trigger the safety,
but neither written nor spoken word,
will deflect the bullet,
ricochet will always claim its prize.
It is not great men that bring about change,
but men willing to change,
gun in hand,
sights lost in the moral periphery.
Liquidate modern ethics,
burn the fibers of morality,
enlist their disease.

Dear oppressors,
here's a secret,
the weak can **** too,
and the day will come when man does not rule,
but man is ruled,
and on that day,
**fight back.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
I awake to a world unfamiliar,
my surrounding not the same,
the sand beneath,
crushed up glass,
the color,
eton blue,
the sky beyond me,
a different hue,
the same color,
but time changes all,
mist in the eves of the earth,
as it heaves,
trees rise from the sand,
reaching farther than the eye can see,
the water at the end,
ripples and fades,
colorless and grey,
a reflection of the same above,
a mirror to a parallel world,
a contemporary of my own.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Find solace in the sorrow,
relief in the sadness you feel,
safety in the broken pieces,
scatter the shards of your tomorrow.

Go where perfection can't find you,
take pride in the futility of your dreams,
try anyway and fight till you die.

Wolf bearing fangs,
fight for what you want,
cornered by fate and reality,
sharpen your plan.

Love the world,
cracks and all,
your humanity will be your salvation,
man, woman and child.

To live is to lose,
it's sad,
but sadly the truth,
look and see,
the world is kind,
not to you,
not to me.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
I have a fear,
it's not that I'm afraid of the future,
I'm afraid of a realization,
one I had last week.

What if...
What if it's downhill from here?

My childhood was amazing,
my parents were excellent,
but the real issue was my friends.
The fun we had was real,
it's just not the same,
academic discussion,
scientific deduction,
dissection of stories and ideals,
what's it all mean?
My favorite memories are not of discussion,
but action,
actions I keep written on a piece of paper,
strapped tightly to my chest,
a eulogy of youth,
time spent as kids.
Through the haze of years I see,
low rate movies,
bonfires burning just a little too bright,
Wendy's runs in the dead of night,
skinny dipping out on the lake,
firecrackers bursting over head,
roman candles,
no small talk,
real talk,
near death experience,
you were there right?!
Mario Kart,
video games,
disgusting food combination,
skating behind the moped,
sledding behind the SUV,
basketball on black tar,
mustard spilled all over the car,
splints and broken wrists,
word games,
collective humor,
stupid and indecipherable,
socks with sandals,
up all night talking in the basement,
not a care in the world,
no ambition,
dumb little kids,
messing around doing dumb things,
throwing common convention in the fire-pit,
flickering flames,
nostalgia on release,
gone our separate ways.

I had realization last week,
those guys weren't my friends,
they were my brothers.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
The poet is not a writer,
though she uses words,
the difference lies in the sentiment,
when he writes a book,
he writes it in order to educate and entertain,
when she writes poetry,
there is a fleck of the unseen,
there is a dream-like quality to the poem,
chaotic rhythm trying to make sense of the madness,
a maddening landscape as surreal and cerebral as Eloheim,
and still the poet persists,
but it is for this reason that understanding breaks down,
and while the poem is often misunderstood,
still she writes for others,
fighting desperately for a cure,
a cancer that all things dendritic cannot touch,
a wound that runs unabated through culture and the human imagination alike,
she writes poetry for future generations,
for her children to read,
leaving the fire lit aflame in the hearts of the next generation,
but each generation fewer and fewer take up the charge,
fighting the good fight is obsolete,
and so it is for the few to tacitly and tactically,
with a tactile touch,
fix the accumulation of those who came before.

I am not a poet,
I do not write for the greater good,
I write for myself,
for the well-being of the being in my head,
for the scrapping in the derelict corners of my mind,
grey matter splattered on false sentiments,
lies and truths mingled betwixt cortex and stem,
a tree burgeoning upward,
and so I do not write for you,
but for myself,
for I am no poet,
lost in rasping of my own words,
in tranquility I fester,
for I owe you nothing,
and from beneath that pretense,
I hang.

I would say that the death of the poet,
is the death of language,
though art fell victim long ago,
and so I find solace in its falling leaves.
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
Free me from this sickness,
rip from me my heart,
leave it beating on the open street.
Living is hard,
dying is easy,
struggling forward down towards the dust.
Life is a game they say,
it seems I'm not good at it,
the keys are backward,
ivory and ebony.
It is not without sunlit ray,
I have with me my family,
hearts beating in syncopation.
I can't quit just yet,
somewhere off in the distance,
lies an unborn child,
waiting for my assistance.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Wise beyond your years,
soul so ancient,
strong in spirit,
holding tight the change of the years.

Your advice is always loving,
always relevant,
but that's just your style,
just the way that you paint.

Brush strokes of wisdom,
swirls of honesty,
texture with experience,
touched with glaze for preservation,
divine inspiration.

Always patient,
always accepting,
mind free from the world,
persona clear,
and never afraid of the human tear.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
I often find that the people I know are polarized,
they range from,
positive to negative,
you have your optimists,
your idealists,
your cynics,
your nihilists,
and oddly enough,
everyone else.

Optimists believe in Hamilton's Principle,
but they tailor it to our own fabric,
they believe that for some unknown reason,
the current situation is the optimal one,
everything will be alright,
que sera sera,
carpe diem.

Idealists believe in truth,
they understand what is ideal,
and what is not,
they attempt to apply such principles to the observed world,
and more often than not,
they fail,
but that's alright,
they tried their best.

Cynics view the world as it is,
they observe and make rational judgement,
realism at its finest,
a time tested trait,
pragmatism has served them well.

Nihilists believe that life is without intrinsic meaning,
there is nothing that cannot be observed,
a craft of existentialist theory,
they assert that morality is a figment of mankind's imagination,
and for all we know,
they could be right.

And finally we have the remainder,
those of us we have no idea what we believe,
no path traced in the sand,
no trail blazed in the years prior,
and sometimes I think that perhaps this group is right,
there are limits to human understanding,
and so I ask,
how can we know,
how can we know?
A.P. Beckstead (2014)
Man of honor,
the standard of valor,
strong in both spirit and stature,
holding tight to your breast,
the God of love.

no anger in the face,
just hope for brighter days.

Solemn patriarch,
guiding his sheep,
spirit stark with might,
our success is yours to keep.

Wracked with affliction,
body ravaged by the unnatural,
smile fades away,
struggling against the current,
the supernatural.

In the end you found your answer,
faith exceeding human fear,
I have no doubt in my mind,
where you ended up,
for you I stem my tears,
I miss you grandpa.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Though many seek to destroy,
tear asunder the ties that bind,
to take from me my serenity,
I will not bow.

Though many may seek to defame,
to separate mother from child,
to expose brutal and violent philosophy,
I will not bow.

Though the tides converge,
crashing waves with overwhelming force,
I cannot hope to overcome,
I will not bow.

Though the forces of fate conspire,
alone am I against the world,
my views are singular and often discouraged,
I will not bow.

Though man will try to change my mind,
to make me see through their eyes,
to see things as they are,
not what they are to me,
I will not bow.

Though contention rages in my world,
though doubt clouds my mind,
caught in the tempters snare,
a creation wrought of man,
I will not bow.

Though tempests will swarm,
maniacal laughter sold as new,
and time will change all things,
I will not bow.

Though the things I love will one day die.
though my generation will fade into obscurity,
a loss of collective value and shared experience,
my progeny will carry the flame,
they will not bow.

Though my body will succumb to the world,
my soul will not,
*I will not bow.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)

That's easy,
just change your perspective,
pop a few pills and you'll do just fine.


Why can't kids handle stress these days?
It's not such a big deal,
just man up,
take your meds and chill out kid.


I don't understand,
just stop being gay,
its a choice.


Just blow up the whole country,
it's just that easy,
the government is just too weak.


Just don't get *****,
its easily avoidable,
just stop wearing short skirts and smiling like that.

Drug abuse?

Just stop taking them,
my uncle quit smoking last week,
its not as hard as people make it out to be.

Child trafficking?

Just get those Navy Seals in there,
the whole thing will be over in a jiff,
its not so difficult,
people just don't think.

Third-world decay?*

What does that even mean?
Just let em go,
they're not doing anything anyway.


Just No.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
The language of love,
it isn't French,
the language of love,
it's action.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Left or right?

Which shall I choose?
As I stand here alone,
I see two avenues,
unfolding infinitely in two very different directions.

One door leads left,
and the other right.

The left leads towards the unknown,
a striking and cold mountain range,
stark against the sky,
regal in its beauty,
the biting chill,
sharp against my skin,
a redwood jutting from the stone,
in the cold I grow aware.

The right leads an open meadow,
a familiar hum brushing against the grain,
sunflowers as far as the eye can see,
the smell draws my eyes towards a solitary object,
a single tree,
scared bark,
with my name scribbled against its skin,
I can feel a certain warmth in the breeze.

Both choices are beautiful,
both serene,
from the orange of summer skies,
a rainbow strewn against canvas,
to the white of winter as the wind sings,
swept between mountain crag.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
I walk along the shoreline,
wind blowing through the south-side trees,
around my face streams a familiar scent,
the smell of fresh pine.

This lake is one of many,
the North is a wonderful time,
crime is negligible,
the people are not many.

Whispers come rustling through the leaves,
they tell me stories,
of love and of glory,
they tell of a long lost people.

They are my people is some ways,
we are interconnected,
strung together on the strings,
the same dichotomy.

I wonder if they're watching me now,
are they weeping for their loss,
or are they rejoicing in my freedom,
this is our kingdom.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
There's a girl I know,
I don't know her well,
I haven't known her for long,
but she's someone I'd miss,
if I found she were gone.

Her eyes are quite pretty,
her smile infectious,
her views on the world,
are pure and relentless.

She knows not of the future,
but that doesn't bother her,
she smiles anyway,
though life is often unsure.

Her style is different,
her heroes are loving,
endearing and god-fearing,
to adversity indifferent.

She isn't quite perfect,
but knows what she knows,
she loves other people,
and cares not for first-world woes.

She listens well,
and understands,
she returns worthy feedback,
and gives few demands.

Her intentions are pure,
she knows where she stands,
her spirit is lovely,
as if cast with God's hand.

There's a girl I know,
I don't know her well,
I haven't known her for long,
but she's someone I'd miss,
if I found she were gone,

She's one the better people I've met,
her persona serene,
her presence is impactful,
though she doesn't realize it yet.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Evermore has man searched for God,
the one who lives forever,
reaching upward towards the sun,
Icarus smitten with metallic rod.

Evermore has man dreamed of eternal life,
mixing potions,
magnum opus,
man or monster under knife.

Evermore has man sought immunity,
medical perfection,
telomeres with regeneration,
society given a longer unity.

Evermore has man longed for the paranormal,
vampires and immortal beasts,
fireside stories fit for fear,
portals to the imagination.

*The bird of Hermes,
is my name,
eating my wings,
to make me tame.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
In honor of Lewis Carroll
and the way in which he has filled
my life with wonder.*

In a wonderland they lie,
dreaming as the days go by,
they live,
they laugh,
and truthfully,
they do love.

Ponder and pray,
and I’m sure you’ll find,
no better way,
to pass the time.

They sit and they smile,
and dream good dreams,
of love and of life,
lacking a thing called strife.

They dream of dreams that glitter as they gleam,
swirl and twirl,
as they travel downstream.

They list away and stare at the clouds,
Smiling so brightly,
The sun himself would be proud.
no tears,
no pain,
and from love,
there can be no lies,
it’s as if the world,
and its skies,
were nothing but a game.

Some may find it a trial,
but give it some time,
and I’m sure that you’ll find,
there is no such thing as guile.
A.P. Beckstead (2012)
love in its truest form,
it isn't exciting,
it doesn't make my heart pace,
it doesn't appear on a certain date.

Love is a shared experience,
a harmonic connection,
a sentiment unseen,
a song unsung,
a dream without destination.

Love isn't for the faint of heart,
it isn't a childhood condition,
it doesn't arrive bound in ribbon,
and sometimes,
it is my decision.

Love is a house built slowly,
the architect unknown,
the resident unwitting,
it is imperceptible,
a seed sown in the heart.

Love isn't clean,
it can't be borrowed,
it cannot cure the human condition,
it cannot be stored away,
for the reconciliation of sunlight.

Love is a dull ache in the middle of your chest,
love is laughter,
love accompanies a smile,
love amplifies the presence of fear,
multiplication of loneliness on moonlit nights.

Love is found in the stitches of heart and mind,
love holds your hand as they separate,
clear and decisive cuts across the fabric,
lacking the strength of nonexistent twine.

Love is letting go,
love is found in tears,
love is a brother to courage,
love is held near,
grasping at straws as you let go,
whatever it is that made you whole.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Love is the lifeblood of the home,
the root of passion,
love is the foundation of achievement,
the reason for sacrifice,
love is a collective experience,
a soldier's dying breath,
a painter's final stroke,
the thread in a doctors steady hand,
it is ever present.

Love begins early,
and ends late,
love infects us as children,
festers in our hearts as we age,
and blooms as we die,
our family at our side.

Love motivates all,
evades few,
starts wars,
and ends them just as quickly,
love is strength,
love is wisdom,
love is power,
love is the righteous intention,
that brings about peace.

Love is Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end,
the first and the last,
love powers the human apparatus,
love is the fabric of the spirit,
upon which we write our fate.
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
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