never been good in crowds

never been good in crowds
didn't  have the feel for that 
collective rush
felt more like...
to tell the
I recall once
an icy cold 
winters day
the kids huddled
round the
schools front door
trying to
get out of 
the bitter winds
the door is locked I
have no idea what the
adults were thinking 
maybe they 
we're in their
own crowd
it was the coldest day
of the year
what I remember was
the kids knocking
pounding kicking
at the door
straining in
as one
let us in
someone said
others joined the
chorus yeah 
let us 
then someone shouted
we don't need no
and unorchestrated the
took up the re-frain 
that was it the
spark that started the
me I 
didn't know the 
song not
back then 
anyway but my body
has never forgotten 
hey there teacher's leave 
those kids
never been the same since
feeling the press the
weight of the masses of
parka'd bodies
synchronizing according to
some unknown 
a terrifying unity of
and here at the
top of the
world you
tell me you want
t(w)o feel
needed and I feel
it again that old
tightening of the
I love you I
want you but
there ain't no
way I'm 
ever gonna let
myself need
you I('ve)
been working 
all my life to
not lose my-
self again
so here we
are at this
stand-off both 
with our uncompromable
backs up
against the wall 
of our
necessity as 
it were 
a candle 
between us a
in the hearth against
the winters
wrath the
human con-
dition I 
I lift my
glass t(w)o the
too of us
on this the
coldest night
of the
View karlmcallister's Full Portfolio


by Jeph Johnson

being unique

apparently isn't

that unique


Author's Notes/Comments: 


View daddyo's Full Portfolio

The Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Clan

Once upon a time in a far away land,

An ice cream Queen led the Vanilla Bean Clan.
Their containers were generally purple and blue,
Still, no one, but no one really knew,
If the Vanilla Bean Clan’s flavor was true.

You see, their lids were cast from forged steel. 
A welded ring formed an impenetrable seal.
With no window or door for the curious to explore,
No one really knew their flavor for sure.

The Queen’s edict, ruled the land, 
No one, but no one, in her clan
Shall ever remove their lid, for if they did,
The penalty was death by thaw,
For those who did and those who saw. 


Once upon a day in this far away place,
A teen brought upon the kingdom disgrace,
He replaced his lid with cellophane, his flavor plainly seen,
This ice cream teen was butter pecan, not vanilla bean.
No one but no one should have a cellophane screen! 
And if that weren’t enough to disgrace the Queen, 
His container was not purple and blue, but breen.


The legislature worked quickly to outlaw breen, 
Before the child was brought before the angered Queen,
To answer for violating the rule of the land,
And for the secondary charge of “butter pecan.”
Before sentencing the boy to die, 
The Queen asked one question, “Why?”
To whit the eloquent teen did reply:


“I beg you great Queen, hear my plea,
My Queen, My Queen, how beautiful are thee, 
Your container and lid are for all to envy,
The only thing that could rival such perfection,
Is your inner Flavor that I can only imagine, 
Although never seen, I accepted this as true,
But hope you will share your flavor with me
as I have shared my butter pecan with you."


The Queen responded before a packed hall 
Of pint sized dignitaries and peasants and all, 
Conspiracy to "off a lid" is a capitol offense,
Wishing to see my flavor is not a defense,
I am beautiful and he is not,
So offing my lid was his jealous plot!
His fate was sealed when he was caught!
Throw the revolutionary into the melting pot.


As the boy melted into butter pecan stew, 
He screamed out to the Queen, what he now knew,
I see! … I see! … I see you!


Although the Queen’s lid was still securely intact,
Her vanity and in-ice-creamity were indefensible facts. 
Her flavor was now keenly known. 
One might think she would be overthrown, 
But one would be wrong now and then, 
For no one took their lid off ever again.
No one, but no one in the Vanilla Bean Clan,
Wanted to end up like butter pecan.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This poem is meant to represent the idea of an authority tell people who they are and who they should be, and punishing people for exploring and embracing their individualism. Although the Vanilla Bean Queen refuses to let you see the true of herself directly, the true of her is nonetheless exposed through her actions (i.e., "I SEE YOU").

Too Bad

I speak my mind.

Don't like it?


Too bad.


I bear you my soul.

Don't like it?


Too bad.


I believe that all beings and 

life forms are all the same, 

and different, 

at the same time, 

and that we are slowly losing 

our connection to this concept 

as a species, and it is destroying us.

Don't like it?


Too bad.


I believe there is a sanctity 

that lies within each individual,

every animal,

every life form.

Don't like it?


Too bad.


Don't like my

style of self-expression?

My authenticity?

My 'attitude'?

My disgust with closed-minded people?

My honesty?

My truth?


It's just plain too bad.

I love yours, and I hope 

one day we can meet halfway.



4:20 PM 6/28/2013







Author's Notes/Comments: 

"too bad"