It was just a game of soccer, Friday sport among students,

Started out civil, descended into anarchy, school kids sure are devils,

Made doubly awkward by mixed genders, at an age where they can’t stand each other,

Boys inevitably come out swinging, the gentlemen within still non-existent,

Teacher playing multiple roles, coach, referee, scorekeeper and even firefighter,

At times putting out multiple fires, the heat of competition stoking young tempers,

Threats to halt the game fall on deaf ears, it’s like D-Day on Omaha here,

A tough kid named Davey’s among the ruffians, short and scrawny yet pugnacious,

Felt slighted when a girl nicked the ball from him, this was abject humiliation,

Saw red and shoved her, sent off immediately, red card wasn’t needed,

The game ends not long after, Lil’ Davey’s still in hot water,

Made to help pack up the equipment, that’s just half of his punishment,

Assaulting a fellow classmate and makin’ ‘em cry is tantamount violent crime,

He’ll be forced to pick up papers, sentenced to detention, the school equivalent to hard time,

Teacher demands that he write her an apology letter, here’s his chance for early parole,

Just had to say ‘sorry’ but immaturity butted in like an angry billy-goat,

Defiantly he picks up a pencil, scrawls his thoughts across that paper,

The message simple but the impact as potent as fireworks,

“I’ll get you for this,” it read, straight-to-the-point, no filter,

Just like that his fate was sealed, heard it loud and clear from the Teacher,

“Gather your things and go to the principal’s office, call your parents and have ‘em pick you up,”

“I won’t tolerate that from you, Kid, go home and think about what you’ve done,”

Davey complies, probably relieved to go home early on a Friday,

Done exposed himself as a fool and sore loser, but for him it’s probably ok.

Teacher 1, Students 0

Thursday afternoon, sports and recreation,

Get ’em out the classroom, young bodies gotta stay fit and active,

For some it’s a chance to blow off steam through healthy competition,

While others prefer to goof off for the final two periods,

Such was the case for a group ninth-graders, grappling and wrestling in the grass like they’re Stone Cold, Bill Goldberg and The Undertaker,

The year’s 1998 and pro wrestling was all the rage, boys will be boys and hormones be surging at that age,

Finally out the classroom, the aggression’s repressed for too long,

Male hormones crave physical competition, blame it on testosterone,

That fucking ‘hands-off’ rule, the bane of many play-fight sessions,

Settlin’ differences with fisticuffs will have ’em pushin’ for detention,

On this day the whole tribe’s locked in royal rumble but it’s all in good fun,

Covered in dirt, body slamming one another like they saw on television,

Got the teacher’s attention, there will be hell to pay,

Eschewed scolding and screaming in favor of mind games,

“Why are you guys wrestling? Don’t you know the rules? Hands-off policy, boys, quit acting like fools,”

“But it’s all fun, Sir, ain’t nobody hurt, no disputes here, that’s for the birds,”

“Perhaps you guys would like to perform in front of the whole school during the next assembly? Show them your moves and become instant celebrities?”

The proposal was fire, the boys were up for it, little knowing there was a rather big caveat,

“I want you boys to go home and start eating,” says Teach, “then rock up to school wearing nothing but your best briefs,”

“You guys will be SUMO wrestlers, are you still up for it?”

“Aw hell naw!” they all shout, “ok, ok, we’re done fighting,”

Satisfied with his mental victory, Teacher wonders off,

While the boys slink away for now, come the weekend the rematch is on.

You Played Yourself Part 4: Rebranding Fail

This is it, 2020, welcome to the latest chapter of modernity,

Gotta get with the times, certain terms can no longer fly, don’t wanna alienate nobody,

Y’all were deemed guilty by the court of public opinion, your solid foundations suddenly shaken,

Better get to work on re-brandin’ ‘lest you find yourselves in untimely cessation,

Must’ve spent months on end brainstormin’, this brand done reached expiration,

Came up with a winner, eventually, sounds similar to the original,

Announced it triumphantly, Redskin Lollies are history,

Now reborn as Red Rippers, new name but the product remains the same,

‘Twas a good move for a while, before an epic faux-pas was noticed,

One that went above and beyond throwin’ shade at Native Americans,

Way to neglect your research, turns out Red Ripper’s taken,

Belonged to the late Andrei Chikatilo, AKA: Red Ripper, AKA: Russia’s worst serial killer,

An epic fail worthy of a comedy show, could’ve come from the writers of Friends and Seinfeld,

Now you got candy named after a psycho, don’t matter that he’s long dead,

Negligence upset the apple cart, better get workin’ ‘cuz a new shitstorm’s bound to start,

Good luck with damage control, that’s the way the story goes, y’all played yourselves.

Home Stretch

The year 2020 down to its final two months,

Less than 100 days now, time flies even while under lockdown,

Some days feelin’ like Sideshow Bob walking into multiple rakes,

But for the most part engaging the creative brain so can’t really complain,

That beast still low-key lurkin’, gonna hang for the forseeable future,

Gotta do our thing anyway, come hell or high water,

Bottlebrushes have come and gone, Jacarandas bloomin’ in their place,

Attracting folks and their camera phones, gotta take snaps of that purple haze,

Magpies in full troll mode swoopin’, better take off when you hear ‘em clicking,

Hell hath no fury like a protective parent, even in the animal kingdom,

Distancing is key in public spaces, as of now crowds be dangerous,

The dregs of society still putting in that work, displaying the worst of human behavior,

Social unrest and natural disasters still persisting, adding to the list of catastrophes,

The story of 2020, quite frankly, this annus horribilis from the twenty-first century,

Some semblance of freedom restored for many but can’t give in to complacency,

There’s hell to pay should an ignorant few take so-called liberties lightly,

Ain’t no endgame in sight, don’t be swayed by false headlines,

Heartbreak hurts most when expectations are continually denied,

Christmas is right ‘round the corner, how it goes we’ll soon discover,

Prayin’ for better days and soldiering on, can’t cry forever about shit that ya can’t control.

Dear Joe

Dear Joe, I’m at wits end tryin’a come to terms with this shit,
Feeling empty inside, like I’d lost faith in humanity, sorry if it sounds so drastic,
Thought I’d found a real one, it was true romance in the beginning,
After years of playin’ and unions that done imploded, thought I’d found one with whom I could commit with,
But just like that it ended, can’t speak for her but I tried to put in work,
It’s fucked up when things don’t go your way despite your best efforts,
Can only hold on for so long, in the end I had to let her go,
She was my world, my everything, in her it’s like I’d finally found a home,
Came up rough and took my knocks, my chance at a good life dashed with barely a parting shot,
Thought we’d built up something solid, turned out to be a mere house of cards,
Didn’t need no Big Bad Wolf, life huffed and puffed and blew it into shards,
And now I’m stuck in limbo, caught up between wanting to move on and hold onto the past,
Conventional wisdom dictates go for the former but the heart can’t forget ‘bout what we once had,
That’s about the size of it, thought I should let somebody know,
Ball’s in your court now, what say you, Joe?

Dear Brother, you ain’t provided a name so I’ma call you brother,
Quite a load that you done been carryin’, sorry to hear ‘bout this union imploding,
Break-ups are a drag, they won’t always end with zero fuss,
One half might up and leave ‘cuz they feel that they’re with the wrong one,
Ya did the right thing, Homie, it takes two to make it work,
Wasn’t meant to be, gotta set her free, even if it fuckin’ hurts,
But while I sympathize I also gotta drop some hard truths,
I’ma spell it out for ya, brotha, where you done set yourself up to get screwed,
No doubt your love was real but you committed a fatal error when you fooled yourself into believing that home and happiness can be found in another person,
That’s why the fall-out cuts deep and now you’re suffering, you dropped the ball and went all-in with your feelings,
You put your eggs in the one basket rather than cast the net wide for your investments,
Truth is it’s an inside job, only you have the power to make you happy,
You’ll finally be ‘home’ when you accept it, sorry to sound all sappy,
No doubt a significant other can color your life into something rosy,
But the sad truth still applies, everything is temporary,
That includes people, don’t overlook the free will to which they’re entitled,
They may ride or die with ya but there exists the possibility that they may also quit on ya,
That’s the game of love, Bruh, it ain’t always warm and fuzzy,
Gotta stay ready, always, in case ya get hit with somethin’ grimy,
You see how easily friends can grow apart, even lifelong ones can go different directions,
Sadly couples can transition from lovers to strangers or maybe even rivals,
Tomorrow ain’t promised, Bruh, neither are happily ever afters,
No point trying to find clarity and certainty within what may be temporary,
Understand that home and happiness comes from within, can’t find it in status, places, people and possessions,
Invest in the one constant you have control over, the one staring back at you through the mirror,
How will you share love with another when you can’t even show yourself some?
Self-care ain’t no narcissistic endeavor, Brother, in life the successful continue to level-up,
Focus on self-improvement, explore the options around you, fuck what others are doing,
Opportunities in life and love’ll come knockin’ once you start growin’ and movin’ mountains,
Loving another shouldn’t come at the expense of yourself, stand your ground when you have to,
Don’t let ‘em get one over you, don’t let ‘em treat you low and walk all over you,
For now cut your losses and move on, there’s plenty of fish in the sea,
Wish ya nothing but the best, King, hoping that you’ll soon find your true Queen.