Messages to the Youth

MARS, GOD OF WAR

Upon
the bristling waves
of the sun's gracious heat,
our children will search in silence
unending.


ANIMALS DO NOT PANIC

As the
midnight cloud rode
on the warm ocean currents,
the orca bit at the shark, ready
for more.

-JR Simmang


MEASURE TWICE

I.
Grandpa stood by,
cigarette burning to the cotton,
because he liked to roll his own
and his doctor knew he would never quit
so he at least conceded cotton,
watching as I threw the two- by- four
to the ground,
shouting obscenities like the ones he taught me
because my parents never would,
and kicking the dirt until
the dirt even grew angry at my insistence.
When I asked him why he was so calm
knowing that I would never finish my 4H project,
he said,
"Measure twice. Cut once."

II.
My car stalled on the highway on my way
to financial peace.
My eyes spread along the details work,
the last of my pennies in an effort
to console myself against the aging
dollar bills in my pocket,
and I balled up my fists.
I was too old to kick and scream and spit,
but I did it anyway.
A grown toddler in grown up diapers
crying grown up tears.
My grandpa, leaning against the backdrop
of the mid-morning panorama, said,
"Measure twice. Cut once."

III.
I stared back into the eyes of the teenager
sitting in his desk, balling his fists
against my chalk and instructions.
Why must they shout and scream
when these things are trifling little
compared to the Grand scenery of the world.
I sniffed in a deep breath, and said,
"Measure twice. Cut once."

- JR Simmang

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