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Graff1980 Mar 2017
America has no sense
Of reason or moral ground
Burnt uprooted tree bloodied earth
Marred ground of hijacked youths
Mental midgets run this ****
Making more of the same caliber
Greedy seedy sadistic *******
And I wonder where are the mental switches
That turn on humanity’s humanity
Graff1980 May 2015
The shadows **** sickly bits
Of black clouded pictures
Terrible tendrils
Flexing and expressing
All those dark notions of fear
Graff1980 Apr 2019
One door away from heaven,
One step closer to the edge
A shot gun at seven eleven
Stepping over the ledge
Two kids looking for a quick ride
Into the pits of hell
From their forsaken lives
Needles didn't work
Pills didn't get the job done
So, they took stroll
With their favorite gun
Two second left
Till the end of time
Teller goes for the gun
To blow their mind
Two young punks barely even flinch
Finally getting what they wanted
Was a cinch
Graff1980 Apr 2019
Beyond the days and past the nights
Where shadows lay just out of sight
We walk the planes that they call dreams
And barely find our way back it seams
Our pictures tell of something more
A story that was told before
But in our heart we tell it again
Dreams are our truest friends
Graff1980 Apr 2019
The romanticist dead at twenty six
His obituary reads that this is it
Love is dead and sorely missed
But he wont play the lover fool
Never again will he be dismissed
Just for the dream of love and kisses
The poet dead at twenty seven
His words are the closest he ever got to heaven
those purple prose are now at peace
Now that the poet is finally deceased
The dreamer dead at twenty eight
I guess he just couldnt wait
For the world to catch up to him
And now there is no one left to remember him
The nice guy dead at twenty nine
But none one care cause it was his time
He left the world no worse or better
So all that died was a state of mind
The **** is dead as seventy two
Barely even made it through
He lost his heart hopes and dreams
So the world just made him bitter and mean
From romanticist, and poet, to hopeless dreamer
Life taught him to be that much meaner
A lesson learned that deeply burns
Not every lover gets his turn
Not ever poet writes his word
Not ever dreamer is seen and heard
And not every nice guys gets what he deserves
Graff1980 Jan 2018
advertising trends toward creating a desire or need that did not exist before. It is done through the art of deception and misdirection. The Bing comercials are a good example of this phenomon. The same thing goes for politics.
Graff1980 Oct 2017
I do not wish to succumb to the social defeat of drugging myself just so I can handle the horrors of mundanne repetitveness. I fear that in deadening myself with mood altering drugs I run the risk of loosing my awareness and accepting the ******* people try to insist is simpley how it has to be, or loosing my empathy and just accepting lifes atrocities. It is not wrong to feel the highs of love and the lows of sorrow they are ying and yang. Without these feeling one becomes a zombie, a parrot, or a parody of real life.
Graff1980 Jan 1
The river flows
As subtle as a golden rose
Scent straining to reach
Any receptive nose
Firing weird wiring
Synapses flare and glow
I fall into the clutches
Of what all dreamers know
Time and space is vast and fast
But I am small and slow
Beating back the wild waves
Shrinking as much as I grow
Such a sparkly little speck
How little I truly know
Graff1980 Jan 1
My last dance will be an inspiration
Hands to hands tightly intertwined
Music deeper than any revelation
And all done to in my own time

My last meal will be very delicious
Sampling a bit of all of my favorite things
And being my last need not be nutritious
Humming with flavor cause you know it makes me sing

My last slumber will be the deepest I’ve known
Dreams will no longer come at all
My essence thus departed receding from how I’ve grown
So there will be no me left to recall

My last conversation will never be my last
Though my bodies may fade
Becoming only an echoe in the past
My words will remain to be remade

Revisited over and over again
It may not be immortality
But it is as close as I can come my friend
Words etched in the collective unconscious
Until humanity ends
Graff1980 May 12
The best artistry enraptures its creator in a fugue of furious activity that is almost beyond his/her control. They are overcome with inspiration and must follow it. It is the unconscious mind ripping and taring at the fabric of the creators mind, and it is is the closest thing to ecstasy I know.
Graff1980 Dec 2015
The roaring wave rushes forth
Taking mere inches and feet
But wanting oh so much more
Collapsing on the beach
Then falling back in retreat
In defeat till the cycle repeats
The wave’s valiant struggle

I wish I had some of that old fury
That inspired me to be a better me
Pushing me physically and mentally
But in the calming
I have lost the favorite parts of myself
Graff1980 Sep 2015
It is stale and unstable
I write on a wobbly table
Begging for the words to come
Longing for any inspiration
In my desperation I would settle
For a simple score, haiku
Limerick, poem, or sentence
But I am a blank slate
An empty page that awaits
The right lightening to strike

The work does not work itself out
Word will not flow
So the wisdom falls short
I would crack my cranium
To find the mind
That was a cyclone of creativity
The pain would inspire me
I direly need something
Cause this is my second poem today
About not being able to write a poem
Graff1980 Jan 2015
Heavenly gates of pearly pleasure
Bountiful resources
Plenty of love
A perfect place
No more pain
A pleasant fantasy
But it’s a child’s game

It used to be the clock on the counter
That counted down
What a kicker
That broken ticker
The cuckoo bird
With a busted beak
Shattered when I was drunk
And it met my feet
Graff1980 Mar 2017
Billions of years before humanity
Before Neanderthal fell on the scene
Before the big lush trees and falling greens
Before the protoplasm spasmodic things
The intermittent glowing growing proteins
Before there was darkness and empty space of potential
Before there was dense matter waiting to explode
Expanding mass waiting to flow
Ever outwards were stars would grow
What came before the big bang
Is what I would like to know?
Graff1980 May 2015
The black spasmodic
Deranged and hypnotic
Silent sparkling star lit
Cool night time sunshine
Man I want it
The eerie iridescent light show
Beckoning us for a reckoning
Of the infinitesimal
We call the human race
Graff1980 Sep 2017
Her sweet blue eyes
are as deep as the
turquoise sky.
They pierce my heart,
and I hate
any guy
who makes her cry.

There is a knot in my stomach,
with a deep seated dread
that though my love currently needs me
she will leave me when she returns to
the dude who misused her heart.
Graff1980 Feb 2017
Winter holds no pleasure
When life lay dying
Or merely dormant sleeping
Plants fall, withering away
From cold and bitter frost
Which bites viciously at my flesh
Numbness creeps upon my limb
Congestion fills my lungs
Fever plagues my flesh
A limbo between life and death
White powder like, water crystals
Fall and scatter across the landscape
Blizzards blinding me with their fury
Cold winters touch
White powdered death
Smothering the earth
Brown grass dead or dying
Life has been forgotten
The spring and summer ease
Of living now becomes
A harsh tribute to survival
Baby’s death first and last breaths
Stillness settles upon their limbs
Mothers cry while father work
Hunting for any vestiges of
Food or firewood
Graff1980 Oct 2015
Every heart beats in 3d
Waits for the world to see
What it will or won’t be
Not pre-destiny,
But sometimes expectations
Set up the situation
Till only one outcome
Becomes reality
Letting 3d hearts
Grow, shrink, shrivel, and beat
Pumping out heat
Imprisoning or freeing
Our 3d humanity
Graff1980 Aug 2015
We were not written in the stars
Or woven onto golden threads.
We were not some intricate line
of pulsing powerful predestined
circle of energy.
In fact as far as I can see,
we simply are.
So, why not be happy?
Take a little bit of me
Mix it with some you
And see what we can do.

My darling whispers
where the wild things stay.
I can hear the broken fairy winged
creatures pray while they play
saying that today
will be a wonderful day.

September is a lie I tell myself
Hardly on the way I say winter is not here yet
The cold will wait
The winds will wait
The frosty fear that marks this time of year
Can hold its tongue
Now is fall
An eternity
Between me and winter
Graff1980 Sep 2015
Time is a thief
swift of feet
with nimble fingers
plucking the chords
of harmony
And dissonance;
Terrible and frightening
taking but never giving
a single second back.

Shadows of shapes
That never existed
Alone in the universe

When will she speak again,
play hide and seek with friends,
find new tidings,
night ridings,
space adventures,
and fairy-tale family
love and play
like her younger days,
instead of this
dull mist
of well employed
Graff1980 Mar 2017
With every spear thrown
With every flying arrow
With every javelin ******
With every sword parry
With every cannon fired
With every bullet shot
With every gas and bomb
That we dropped
Like Oppenheimer and Thanatos
We have become death
Graff1980 Jul 2015
1.Today I am  not celebrating the greatness of one nation but the wonder of humanity as a whole, and the hope that the illusion of borders, nations, races, religions, genders, and all other distinctions used to classify and separate will dissolve in order to form a more perfect union

2.You do yourself a disservice when you forget that we are not separate and in competition, but part of a collective that spans more than hundred thousand years in the past and hopefully a hundred thousand more in the future. Lifting up the weak strengthens the whole, educating the young enhances the potential future. Kindness and wisdom our the gift of the human.

3.Sometimes I forget the heart of me; that little boy who dreamed of love and fairness. Sometimes the road darkens, the heart is broken, but eventually I come back to the core of me. I am a child of light and love. So come dance the dance of humanity with me, grow and live to see the beauty in truth and our potential. We can be better.

to all with love

Your humble human scribe

Joshua Amos Graff
Graff1980 Apr 2016
Oh dear were you here
I might not fear
But being unclear
I hear you still
managed to disappear


Before you bake that beautiful loaf of bread
Please pass on the last piece of pie
So I might delight in such a delicious treat

Cut out that kind of caterwauling
You're killing my kittens cat nap
Graff1980 Sep 2015
Fiction informed my compassion
Superheroes and story tellers
Poets and other daydreamers
Were my fellow schemers
In restoring and or creating
A more humane society
The kind of reality
I could get in sync with
Instead of this current
Hateful, political, and religious

I wonder why her eyes
speaks of melancholia
while her work
speaks of wisdom
Beyond her age?
Perhaps, therein
lay my answer.

It’s unfair
that the night
gets to be there
with you
adoring your soul
with its silence
and beauty.

If the mirror reflected my truest nature
instead of this annoying shell
that everyone seems to think
is such an ugly thing,
I think I would smile more.
Graff1980 May 2015
I never woke in safe family
Or felt secure
It was only in dreams
Stories, tv shows, movies
Were I grew to know
Any sort of hope
Graff1980 Jul 2018
99 desiccated corpses
bloated bodies ready
to burst from
the gasses building up
in the bellies of
our friends and kin.

99 bodies of newly
non-binary identities,
cause in death
he and she means

99 tragedies
for all those families
who will have to
dig through
the bombed building.

99 sons, daughters,
mothers, and fathers
become a statistic
that no one will remember.

99 reasons to stop this horror,
to end our hurt making economy,
to stop selling weapons,
to the enemies of humanity.
Graff1980 Feb 2017
I want you on the a side and the b side
The freaky night delights
Vinyl records skipping
To our beats
Our feet set up in the airplane position
Was it something I was missing?
No seatbelts even after we take off
Naked fury thumping
Baby makers bumping
Right over that midday slump
Oh I needed this ****** boost
To get over the mid-week ****
Graff1980 Feb 2017
As I gaze across the vastness of all that is
All time and space in which we exist
A sense of love overcomes my heart and soul
For all who live young and old
On this massive floating ball
We who are one are joined as all
Brothers and sisters in our fight
Not to live alone but reunite
Let no one hold us back
Stand in our way or provoke an attack
Hate has no place in this world we live in
Let go of your ignorance so we can all be friends
Graff1980 Mar 2015
After the dark
When strangers embark
And blacken their hearts
The signal is lost
But the pulse still gets through

After the dark
Where horrors are survived
Where pretty little blonds
Barely make it out alive
And the sexed up teens
Were the first to die

After the dark
Where monsters hid
And did what they did
In the aftermath lys
The ****** disguise
Of human flesh
Is ripped from our chest

After the dark
When human horrors depart
And we hearken back
To the past
Before the last blast
Can we ever be
Humane again
Graff1980 Oct 2015
The gentle lover listens
Desires to hear her stories
To see her expressions
Read her movements
Unlock the mysteries
To softly caress
Her sloping flesh
To hold her
No roughness
Put flowers to her lips
A paintbrush
To touch
Every inch of  her skin
To begin again
As her breathing changes
And when she sleeps
Naked beside him
The gentle lover
Slowly covers
His lover with the soft sheet
To keep her safe and warm
Graff1980 Jan 2015
A good man suffers with the suffering
Aches with the lonely
Cries with the weeping
Crumbles beneath the heavy weight
Of human suffering
Self-destructs or
Dies trying
No self lies or denying
He feels for humanity
Is unable to bend with society
A good man hurts beyond measure
Thank goodness, I am not a good man
Graff1980 Dec 2016
I don’t want this dust laden room to become my tomb. However, I cannot abide the outside, a world where lovely flowers still bloom. A sense of sweet smells do not pass through the wooden membrane. Instead, it is the stench of fear and death that wed themselves to my nose.
Children no longer leave their rooms. The streets are far too quiet so, it would be safe for me to venture outside. No one would really bother me, but I am scared, unprepared for anything less than the despair of my self-imposed isolation.
The ***** blue trash can is a quarter full with **** filled plastic bottles, *** covered Kleenexes, and perishables. The metal grate vibrates and clicks as heat tries to press in like an abstract specter. The noise would keep me awake if I ever tried to sleep.
Thirty-four hours is too long. My eyes burn heavy. Sleep would welcome me, but I refuse to yield to that release. Unconsciousness frightens me. I know what dreams might visit me, fictions, and dark fantasies that vaguely recall the painful realities. Perhaps a cup of coffee might save me from those nightmares. I know that I will eventually succumb to the demon of slumber. My dry eyes find water that I did not know existed.” No sleep, no sleep, god please no sleep.”
Memory movies come unbidden. steel breaks glass, metal crunches, someone screams. I shudder as my fingers follow a map of pain from my lower lip down and to the right. “No, no, no, no, not today!” I cry out. Then, recalling the powdered stimulants that I stored in my old book bag I dash up and towards the door, stopping just short of opening it and stepping out to the living room.
“*******, stupid *******, you ******* ******. ****!” I yell as I retreat from the dangerous door.
More tears make a guest appearance on my face. ***** fingers ****** my chipped tooth, pushing it in and pulling it a little way out resisting the urge to cringe in disgust and pain. Till **** and blood pop from the pink gum bubble just under the disfigured tooth. I bite my tongue, till more blood comes and swallow the putrid mixture.
Small shadows slip sideways and back into place as an ambulance rides by my window. My body tremors with a familiar terror. “No, no, not again. Oh god please not again.” A strangled voices weeps. The multi-colored lights of police cars play a strange shadow show on my wall. “Not again, not again.” I whimper.
A thud, thud, thud, thud, sounds to my right, followed by a muffled voice. “Come on man you got to come out sometime.” My fingers fall to a thin scar just beneath my left pec. I trace the scar completely then push against it as hard as I can. Until, my breaths become shallow. “Go away *******, just *******!” I scream back uncertain who I am yelling at.
“Fine” the muffled voice replies in defeat.
“Good, good.” I mumble
Tears threaten to swallow what is left of me. Instead of letting them win I decide
that this has to end. I find a small book of matches, strike the first one and let it burn out.
A small face fills my mind, little cowboy brother. I strike the second one and let it burn  down to my finger. The face returns, and it burns worse than the fire. Mad laughter crackles as heat and smoke fill my lungs.
A shard of glass scratches my left cheek, and I can see my little brothers body crumbled in the passenger seat. I cannot feel the fire burning me. Someone yells in my ear stop struggling.
He tries to pull me out of my room. I punch him in the jaw yelling “*******!”

Now, I am outside. Panic fills every ounce of my being. I struggle to climb back in my burning room.
A stranger yells “stop him.”
I scream. “No, I have to go back in, let me go. I can’t be out here.”
Despite my struggles I am forced to watch my sanctuary smoke and burn, until water squelches the last bits of angry orange.
With the wooden walls now broken, I break to.
“Please come back, I am sorry. Please come back.”
Only the soft sizzle of some nearby ember answers my pleas.
I realize that my photos have being incinerated. There will be no more pictures to help me see my little buddy. The night ends, as an ambulance carries me away. I am strapped in, certain that no happy place awaits me.
A strange thought  come unbidden, and I ask the EMT sitting next to me “do you think they will let me have a padded room. I can’t be outside.”
Graff1980 Dec 2014
A hundred lines a day
To make sense of the world
Since I am unable to claim
The wisdom that I want
Stupidity is my shame
I am humbled by what I don’t
So in those hundred lines I demand
Better of myself and better for
The world I adore
Graff1980 Feb 2017
One percent is spent in decadence
Two percent given to irrelevance
Three percent an angel in armor
Four percent a devil with slightly tainted honor
Five percent a living ***** donor
Six percent dead inside
Seven percent alive
Eight percent a human being
Nine percent an artist’s dream
Ten percent foolish
Eleven percent impetuous
Twelve percent family obligation
Thirteen percent friendly frustration
With a leftover of eight percent unknown
Graff1980 Jan 2017
I always circumvent
The strings of fate
The wheels of time
Our mine to spin
To begin turning
Again and again
Twist the ties that bind
Because my life
Will always be mine
Because I will always find
A way to turn a negative
Into to a positive
Life is ten percent
What happens to me
And ninety percent
How I react
How I adapt
That is the only
Matter of fact
Graff1980 Dec 2014
I always circumvent
The strings of fate
The wheels of time
Are mine to spin
To begin turning
Again and again
Twist the ties that bind
Because my life
Will always be mine
Because I will always find
A way to turn a negative
Into to a positive
Life is ten percent
What happens to me
And ninety percent
How I react
How I adapt
That is the only
Matter of fact
Graff1980 Mar 2017
Good morning my dear how do you do
Even though we have not talked in a month or two
Please remember I’m still stalking you
Remember when you took at the trash last week
You know you were half dressed with no shoes on your feet
Flaccid flab flying in the wind while you raced back in
Leaving lots of goodies for me to find in your garbage bin
Like an early Christmas present or a late birthday gift
Made me so happy I could slit your girlfriend’s wrist
Dump the body in the ravine I don’t think she’d be missed
Anyway I dove into that lovely little treasure trove
To find something cool and found the freaking mother load
I got your toenail clippings, a couple locks of hair
A ****** band aid, there was plenty of DNA there
A soda can which once touch your lips
I quiver all over just thinking about it
And the best thing of all I found in that trash heap
A restraining order to prove you were thinking of me
So I wrote you this letter I will place it at your Window
You may never see me but I’ll be with you wherever you go
Your Stalker
P.S.  Leave your bedroom light on at night
Or else we are going to have a problem, alright
Graff1980 Mar 2016
This city drinks me in
Scratches my skin
And calls life sin

I am one bottle
Half empty
Sick salt water
Made to spit
Wet ****
As this vile brew
Slips pass my
Cracked lips

Drunk to get free
Buzzed to be me
So people can see
I don’t care what they think
How sobering

Dry eyes sealed shut
Crusted sleep dust
Thirsty, sore
If I flew before
I do not remember
I am disrobed
And dismembered
Exposed in December

Towering teeth
Swallowing me
Till I cannot see
Till I cannot breath
Till I have to leave

Water skin broken
The tab is busted
The words drained
Fizzy water
Becomes my
Clouded brain
I am spent
So I hit the train
Exiting as other dreamers
Come raining in
Graff1980 Dec 2014
I pledge allegiance to the flag a symbol which we sought
For which it stand the high ideals that we all forgot
One nation superior to all who stand opposed
Because they do not see, feel, or know what we know
under god just in case you were calm we have to remind you
That there is a great and powerful being that controls, oppresses, and binds you
Indivisible with justice and liberty for all who can afford it
But if you are not just like us you might as well ignore it
So here is your allegiance without the mystery
The subtle undertones that you might be able to see
Welcome to a symbol which we can unite behind
And ignore that acts of barbarity that would normally trouble our mind
Graff1980 Jul 2015
I do not know why I whisper to the shadows
Those shaded corners have no use for me
They do not recall affection only the lack of light
It does not matter much although I thought it might
That if I found the right shadow there would be mercy
However, as it turns out all those shadows are just
Darker aspects not exactly the worst of me
But separate while still being part of me
Graff1980 Jul 2015
Alone with the shadows
No heat to beat the cold flow
Of winters harshness

Alone with the lights out
No shine in his eyes
To safely carry him away
From the night

Alone with neighborhood noises
A dog barks, a truck revs up
The wind slaps the tree branches
Against the small house

Alone with nobody
No hands or hugs of comfort
Just books by candle light
A withering heart
Sustained by chapters
Of other peoples imaginary lives
Graff1980 Mar 2017
To the dark red rose
Whom which I am betrothed
Lost in your lust
Describing you in prose
We have known each other
Since I was but a babe
From the days of my youth
When I acted like a knave
My dear sweet rose
Who stands subtle in the morn
Firm yet soft in her quiet repose
In nature she is gloriously adorned
I could scribe your description
For ages yet to come
How the light caresses you petal
As you bask in the morning sun
How you bend and weave
In a warm summer breeze
And how the smell of your perfume
Is always bound to please
However as I lay here and I ponder
Though I feel my heart ache
And soul begin to wander
I think that it would be
For the best you see
If I kept these silly words
Between you and me
Let the children of the future
Come to know you in their time
To make their own judgments
Unclouded by mine
And learn to appreciate
The beauty that they find
Without the interference
Of an old romantic mind
Graff1980 Mar 2017
Such a fine affair indeed.
Anyone can see,
that hidden in the grays and white
there is a shining light.
You are a form to be treasured
and I am pretty sure
that if the camera could give you words.
It would whisper

"I love you more than I can picture."
Graff1980 Dec 2017
It is a lonely voice that cries out into the night, seeking its own echoes, longing for a shadow that reflects its mournful lamentation. Are you there? Am I truly here? What is the point of this fruitless struggle if I am bound by flesh and destined to die? I cannot crack the code of destiny; though sometimes I can divine just a spark of hope from inspiration. I pay the steepest penance for my arrogance. While others can cloud their minds with the daily confusion, I am humbled by how little I truly know.

However, I remain if just for this fleeting moment a mortal attached to the plane of matter and energy. Life holds boundless possibilities beyond my ability to imagine. So with my limited faculty I imagine something better. I picture love transcendent, love that feels without desire, love that lives without want of ownership. I give you, the world I adore, the greatest gift that I have to offer. I cannot send you cash nor will I conceive to write my feelings with the way of war and bloodshed. What I have is in essence what I am, so I give you love, and hope that you cherish it. For this love is fragile and precious. This love is the best of me and now it belongs to you.
Graff1980 Jul 2015
I am a deeply flawed collaborator
Looking back at the past
In old photographs
I catch a glimpse of
Someone I once loved
And my stomach churns
With an acidic burn
That crawls up my gut

She is a smiling memory
In cliché haunting me
Not dead but not who
She used to be
Fourteen years ago

I wrote her poetry
To express what she meant to me
But she had to leave
To join the military

In one of those silly vows
We promised to be together
If we were still single
When we were thirty or forty
She has probably forgotten that

The white navy hat
The uniform of black
If I could go back
I would not

But to be honest
The loves we lose
Will probably always
Haunt us
But it sure makes
For good poems
Graff1980 Dec 2014
I never had to hide the fact that I liked that
Never had to cower and feel ashamed
Feel like I had a desire that needed to be tamed
So why the **** do you think
That just because of who someone loves
They should have to suffer that way
Graff1980 Dec 2014
America has no sense
Of reason or moral ground
Burnt uprooted tree bloodied earth
Marred ground of hijacked youths
Mental midgets run this ****
Making more of the same caliber
Greedy seedy sadistic *******
And I wonder where are the mental switches
That turn on humanity’s humanity
Graff1980 Oct 2016
Welcome to the age
of nightmare media
where you can find
the truth between
the lies they’ve
been feeding ya.
Welcome to your
internet prison
that splits your sanity
like a cracked prism.
Welcome to the age of you
cause you don’t care
what your violent leaders do.

No Saint
no sinner
no loving fool
has ever been
as cruel as you.
No saint
No sinner
no loving fool
would ever do
the things you do.

Pressure building
from the bottom up.
Cops keep shooting
our brothers up,
but when people
try to say
that their lives matter
you get *******
blame them
and not the system
that has been
intentionally broken
for as long as we
have been
our own nation.

No Saint
no sinner
no loving fool
has ever been
as cruel as you.
No saint
No sinner
no loving fool
would ever do
the things you do

You’ve been blaming,
the gays,
blaming the immigrants,
blaming the poor,
blaming innocent victims
for the problems you created.
I guess it is easier to hate
then to find the truth
and risk being hated.
So, you celebrate
how great it is
to live in a place
that keeps arming
our police with
military grade weapons
in case free citizens
give the rich grief.

No Saint
no sinner
no loving fool
has ever been
as cruel as you.
No saint
No sinner
no loving fool
would ever do
the things you do

Are we better together
or do we need to be separated
so that white privilege and power
can no longer discriminate?
I hope that you know that
I am still searching
for a better way
before America comes to
shoot me down to.

This is the recorded version of this poem.
Graff1980 Nov 2017
American Nightmares
The pale moon hangs, glowing in the blank sky, shining just enough light for the thick foliage and densely pack trees to be seen. Evening sounds silenced by the sloshing of rushing feet racing through the woods.  In the distance a beagle howls in frustration. Sniffing and wheezing as he tries to pick up a lost trail.
Deeper in the woods a lone figure races at a maddening pace, bumping into trees, scratching his flesh against their harsh bark; causing bleeding. The young man’s eyes water up from a mixture of sweat, pain, and fatigue. Fear permeates his entire being
A thin orange suit clings lazily to his sweaty bronze skin, almost mocking his emaciated frame, which is actually a couple sizes too small for the jumpsuit. The dark figure has been running for days. Hot on his heels, his pursuers persisted. He knows being caught would mean a far worse fate than what he escaped.
Another mile and his legs began to leaden. Each step becoming heavier than the last. The sharp sting of lactic acid burning his side. Breath becoming spasmodic. Eyes bulging, still he maintains a frantic pace.
Running full force until his left foot catches the edge of a dark brown rotten root rising from the earth. A cloud of dirt explodes from ground immersing him in a brown mist. Spittle and blood spew from the runner’s mouth as he coughs violently. His breath rushing away even as he tries to calm himself.
Crawling from the dirt he searches for some sort of purchase, finding none he rests his weary frame against the nearest oak. Then the waterworks really hit. The sound of moans escaped his busted and parched lips.
“I will make it home.” He repeats over and over, like a mantra.
His fingers feel the frame of the tree he is resting against. Hands begin falling and rising for some strange reason, until they settle at the base. There just inches away from his digits sits a patch of mushrooms. The forgotten pain of hunger returns, so without examining the fungus he plucks them up and swallows them whole. Then half crawling half stumbling he moves to the stream which lay a few yards from the tree.
Cupping his hands he fills his palm with water; then slurps it up, repeating the process again and again till he has drunk his fill. Next he splashes the cool liquid on his face, hair, pits, chest, and other portions of his body massaging the blood and dirt from his aching skin till he manages to cleanse the wounds all over his person. Closing his eyes, he finally succumbs to the exhaustion that has been ******* him.
A bulge of earth begins to rise pushing his limp frame away from the stream and pulls him back to the tree. Then branches and leaves coalesce around his body till he is safely hidden from plain sight.
He awakens; eyes dilated, and body shivering. While brushing away the brush he turns to the tree, stands up shakily, and then wipes away the rest of the leaves and dirt, not noticing the slowly growing dark spot on his orange jumpsuit.
Tears streaming he softly whispers “Hello tree my name is John.”

Chapter 1

Tree, sweet Tree, I beg of you tell me. Why does America hate me? I did everything I was told to do. I went to school. I stayed away from white women, never made eye contact with white men, became a teacher, and took care of my people.
What the hell was all that for? I am going to end up another dead black man in the backwoods of some southern hick state! I got these stupid leg irons weighing me down, and hells hounds are riding my trail.
Stupid ******* animals!
Filthy ******* *******!
What is the ******* point? Huh?
My dad was a good man too. He followed the unwritten rules of the white man. Never stole anything or hurt anyone, mostly. Do you know what they did to him Tree? Well do you?
They tied him to a post, sliced chunks of flesh from his hard muscular frame while burning him alive. They burnt him alive, Tree.
My father was a strong and righteous man, a man who loved his wife and child. My mother, who was barely half his weight and a good foot shorter, she had the palest skin of any black woman I have ever met. Her hair was the perfect shade of earth with eyes a couple tints darker. Her nose was tiny and lips thin as any white woman’s. I’d imagine she was as white as any ***** could get. She had a voice that soothed my darkest pains and fears. At night when I went to bed she would sing to me.
Oh my darling
Brown skin angel
Don’t be frightened
I’ll be right here
Hold you tight and
Watch you sleep
Guard you tonight
While you sleep
Oh my darling
I’ll be here
To keep your heart
Safe my sweet dear
Everything will be alright

I remember when I came home that day. I saw my dad clutching the tiny limp frame of my mother, sobbing furiously. Her body looked paler than usual. I had never seen tears fall from my father’s face. I don’t think he even saw me come in. I just stood in the doorway. I stood there and waited for him to say something. I wanted to cry but I was so scared that I just held my breath instead.
Our neighbor came and took me to their house. Back then I did not know what had happened. It took me over seven years to find out what happened to my mother. Do you know what happened Tree?
A handful of white men came to our house and ***** my mother.
Sometimes in my nightmares, that horrible scene plays out. I hear the sound of rapping at our door; the yells of angry men echoing through the house. I see the wooden door bulge as it begins to crack under their onslaught. Then I watch as men with no faces explode into our house, sweeping my mother off her feet, ripping the clothes off her body as she scream in horror, I would wake up in a state of horror and sorrow, weeping.
I am haunted even now. I cannot begin to imagine the pain my father felt, but I do know what happened next, because I snuck out of our neighbor’s house to comfort my father. I watched as he left our home with rage and violence in his heart. In one hand he held a knife; it seemed to be a foot long, half handle half cold hard sharpened steel; in the other hand he carried a gun. I followed him from a safe distances, heard him scream for the men that had attacked my mother.
When the sheriff came to calm him down, dad was startled and turned around accidently cutting Mr. Brinkley with the blade. The sheriff and his deputies arrested my father. I was certain that everything would be okay. The sheriff was a decent man. I heard him talking calmly to my father. He told my dad that he understood what was going on.
That night white men came for my father. They hollered for justice, screaming “bring out that ******* ******.”
The sheriff tried to reason with the mob. He told them “This is between me and my prisoner.”
He tried to stop the mob with force, but there were at least fifty men. Probably more if you counted the people that kept joining up with the mob. The mob broke down the prison door, took my father from his small stone cell, all the while taunting him.  “You’re gonna fry ******.” From a distance and hidden in shadows I watched.
I saw an old lady spit on him. I watched as children raced around my father, dancing in and out of the procession, and tossed stones, from the side of the road, at my father. The mob drug him down to the town square. Tied him up, and lit a fire beneath him. The whole time my father’s head was hung in defeat. I swear he knew what was coming. It seemed that In the face of that onslaught all emotion had faded from his face. I guess he didn’t want to give them the pleasure of seeing him squirm.
As the flames started to consume his flesh, I saw the sheriff go for his gun. He raised his pistol and aimed for my father’s head, but the men in the mob wrestled the gun from his hand. Meanwhile my father had given into the horror and pain. He began to howl like an animal as the flames danced across his flesh crackling and pooping. He screamed for some sort of mercy, crying out for someone to shoot him.
I raced from the shadows, stealing a gun from some old white man. Then I shot my father in the head. Most of the men in the mob looked on dumbstruck. That gave me enough time to get away so I hightailed it out of there. I never went back for anything. I spent the rest of that night in the woods praying that what I had done was the right thing.
In the weeks and months to come I slept very little. When I did manage to fall asleep my dreams would cycle from the flaming horrors of my father’s death to the ****** of my mother.
Still, I managed to make something out of myself despite those sick atrocities. By working hard I finished school and became a teacher. A couple years after I started teaching I was arrested. They took me to jail; brought me up on some ******* charges. Part of me was certain I would end up being lynched, so when I was sentenced to a chain gang, man I was relieved.
Had I known what was gonna happen I would have preferred being lynched, at least then I would have been dead. Instead they worked me **** near to death, starving, and beating me like a slave. My brown skin has brought me nothing but grief. So tell me Tree, why does America hate me?


“Tell me tree, why does America hate me?” John sputters.
A soft breeze caresses his skin.
“Why the hell am I talking to a tree?” He cries. “What is the point?”
The blood stain on John’s clothes still expanding, and his shivers become far worse.
“Tell me tree, what is the ******* point? America hates Negroes. I’m going to die out here. Say something.”
The air swirls around him, and a soft voice fills his head.
“Do you think you are alone in your suffering? Know now that you are not. My children suffer horrors too.  Listen carefully and I will tell you.
John turns to find the source; finding nothing he collapses, listening straining to hear the voice again.

Chapter 2

Dear John I am the spirit of the winds, mother to the natives. Do you think that yours is the only tongue to taste the bitter fruit of America’s wrath? My child let me tell you of the first people of America. Listen to the tragic tale of my children. Before the Europeans came many tribes roamed this land. They were human and as such had flaws of their own, but in many ways they were poetry in the form of flesh.
The men would hunt during the day. Anything they caught was considered a sacred gift. They would use all that they could from the body of the beast. They treated my mother’s brown dirt earth, flesh as sacred, and I loved them for that. Women held equal value and had equal say in their tribes. There were wars, of course, but mostly my children strived to live in harmony with the land.
Then white men came. My children welcomed them with open arms, helped them survive, and do you know how they were repaid that kindness? Once received and no longer needed, it was returned with treachery and violence. Bit by bit they pushed my children back. Pushing them off one parcel of land and then another, slaughtering tribes after tribe. Still my children survived.  When the white men could not **** all of my progeny, they came for the children. Some parents wept, some fought back, and some merely accepted it as inevitable.
I watched it all. I saw the men on horseback come for the children. The songs of lament tortured my heart. The tears of the children ripped at my very soul. I lashed out at the white men with all of nature’s fury, biting their flesh with my fierce and frosty winds. I sent the fiercest wind I had at my disposal. However, the children were still taken.
The children were dragged to schools far from their homes. They would cry out in their native tongues. I remember my sweet Rose. Yes, Rose was her name, John. She was as strong as the oak tree. Passion coursed through her veins faster and harder than the river’s water. She was born so tiny that the elder of the village was certain she would not make it. Yet, when she broke free of the womb coughing and sputtering, she cried with such a powerful voice that even I was taken aback. This tender babe had my attention. I swore I would watch over her.
The first seven summers of her life were spent in the loving care of her tribe. Her black hair grew almost down to her feet. Her eyes were brown, brimming with the unknown depth of her soul. She was unafraid, the pride of her father and joy of her mother, a creature to be cherished.
One fall morning as the orange sun was slowly ascending the soldiers came. Little Rose was wrenched her from her parents’ arms. Her father’s rage was stopped by a bullet that bled him dry. No one else would fight for this child, so I beat against the soldiers back. I struggled to wrench her from their arms and return her to her mother’s safe embrace.
The soldiers did not even recognize my fury. With that failure I watched Rose’s mother fell into despair. Her prayers of peace and love soon turned to prayers for vengeance and the return of her child. Many nights we wept together mourning the loss of father and daughter.
Rose’s mother could not join her child, so I tried to watch out for her. I followed the soldier to a tall white washed building that had been liberated from the southerners during the previous war. I heard the headmaster say “in order to save the child, we must **** the savage within.”
Day and night I raged against the solid white structure, slamming shutters and doors, pounding the roofs with torrential fury. Only stopping when I realized that the children were shuddering in fear of me.
At night Rose would sing the songs of her people. During the day she would stare in defiance as the teachers tried to make her speak the English tongue. She refused to yield, so they responded to her spirit with violence. The taste of soap saturated her mouth while the stinging welts marred her backside. Still my Rose remained strong. I was filled with pride. I had seen older children fall into silence and subservience.
Rose was a cut about the rest. Still, one can only fight for so long before the fire begins to wane. Each day some of her resilience would fade. I could not enter the building to comfort her, but when she was outside I would wrap her in my windy arms, cradling her spirit against mine. I would carry the whispered words of love her mother sent, and return Rose’s love to her mother. Had I known what was going on in that building maybe I could have blown harder, maybe I could have pelted the nuns and the preacher with sharp stones and hardwood.
As the glimmer of light faded even faster, I started catching the whispers of my children. Their dead bodies began to scar the sacred earth. One after another fell, faster and faster. I watch their flames die. What kind of wind was I that could not fly them away from harm?
One day while blustering away I caught the most horrid sight. I saw a sick man lay his hands on my Rose. She shivered in disgust as he groped her bare skin. He took such sick liberties. In my rage I waited and stewed, plotting and hoping he would come outside. My anger gave me more power than I had ever known. I flung him to and fro spinning him round and round, beating him down every time he tried to rise. I hurled stones and sticks at him. When I was spent, his face was dripping with blood, his lip busted and swollen. He ran like a coward.
Rose remained trapped in that house of horrors. More children died. Day after day Rose lost more of her language. Till one day she could not remember the songs of her people. I watched her sobbing while trying to recall the words as a nun slapped her in the face.
One night under the pale glow of moonlight Rose lit herself on fire. She became a burning flame to match her once radiant spirit. As she burned she screamed out for release. I tried to put out the flames with gusts of wind and heavy rain, but I was too late. Rose fell to ashes resting on the moist earth. Gathering what I could of her remains I sent her last words and ashes home to her tribe.
That night rang with lamentation of her people. Sobs of regret filled her mother’s body. As hard as tried I could not comfort Rose’s mother. She would not be consoled. On the coldest night of that year Rose’s mother walked from her abode, slipping off her clothes, she moved in silence. Every step adding to the numbness she longed
Graff1980 Feb 2017
I was lost in the grandeur of my name
Set upon a stony path
Full of thorns and hypocrites
A weighty road with walkers
Trampling over flowers and thickets
Thick with tricks
Blood boiling on golden bricks
Barbed wired fences
Flags and floats paraded
Common sense
Considered a bore
But before the end
Maybe I will find the truth
Isn’t she great
That cow
That spits sand from her utters
Fat and flaccid bovine
Munching on grass
Spitting out a calf
At equal intervals
That trapped beast
Not the real thing
Just an illusion
Bell around her neck
So she can never step
Too far away from her field
Ready to be killed
Without an ounce of awareness
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