Luck is an illusion
For minds in seclusion

Minds prepared will succeed
If not devoured by their greed

The way one toils
Determines the quality of their spoils

Luck was written to speak to the idea that no matter the circumstance, individuals have a lot of power to shape their lives. While it’s true that some are born into better circumstances than others, and for some, a lot of bad things come their way. However, at the end of the day, individuals can choose to react to what’s given to them positively or negatively. The choice, because of the circumstances given, is harder to make for some than it is for others. I deeply believe that the way in which you react to something determines your “luck”. While not everyone is going to win the lottery, individuals do have the power to choose to react in a positive way to a bad situation, which makes that situation a little less difficult to confront.


The music of my heart
Is a melody of thunder
Reverberating outward
Towards the one I love

She was made for me
The one I kept watch for
Over the long years
Alone in the spotlight

I stand guard before her path
Chasing harm that would fell her
To keep her conscience unblemished
From the darkness of this world

After our miscarriages, I was in bad shape, but my wife was devastated. At some point during my own mourning, I realized that I needed to shield her from others. Sometimes people approach you with sympathy and understanding, but then want to hear all the details of your hurt, forcing you to relive it over and over. Sometimes, those people are people you love dearly, but you have no energy to tell them to be quiet. My wife was unable to push back on those people, so I made the decision that I would be her shield, which inspired Lyrical.

I was alone for a long time and didn’t marry my wife until I was in my mid 30’s. I looked for her for years and we finally met each other when we had grown up a bit. The line “Alone in the spotlight” is very personal to me because it’s an indicator of people around me, focusing on me, and asking why I hadn’t settled down yet. It was uncomfortable, embarrassing, and hurtful to feel that way (and to be asked those questions). The last bit of Lyrical speaks to me protecting my wife from the things around her, especially during a time of need and hurt.


A wave of emotion
Much like the ocean
Gaps between the rows
Highs and then lows

Low speaks to my emotional mood swings throughout a mourning period. I think it’s one of my favorite poems because it’s short, simple, and accurately reflects my mental state at the time.


A shadow of sadness darkens her face
When she is wearing her mask upon life’s stage
Hoping that others do not look too closely
Earnestly seeking to discuss something else
That is when I know her to be lovely

Her eyes have more lines than when we first met
Her smile and laugh make them disappear
She smells like summer near the ocean waves
Her voice filled with mirth and easy conversation
This is how I know she is lovely

When we are not together, I look for her
Even though I know where she is
We see each other in the evenings
Where we spend time talking about our day
The time spent together is so lovely

We make grand plans to go on escapades
Finding ways to enjoy our lives together
She is always up for a new adventure
Memories we have made will last forever
All the memories we share will be lovely

Lovely was written for my wife. She is an incredibly strong person and is also skilled in the art of veiling her emotions from those she doesn’t wish to see them. I see them though. I see the cracks in her mask and the thoughts behind her words. And that’s ok because I love her and want her to be happy. And she loves me. And we’re good together.


I want to be a man of Gondor
But I lack noble blood
I was born into a family
Three generations from mud

Every day I strive
To elevate my station
To live in a castle
Forever on vacation

Lacking in contentment
With my role in life
Yet I keep striving
Sometimes causing strife

Some days I wonder
If my dreams will cease
If I will turn my back
And gradually decrease

Time is weighing heavily
There is so much left to do
I wish that I were stronger
Strong enough for you

Lowborn represents my mission to elevate myself above the station of my grandparents and parents. It seems that in most cases, each subsequent generation is more well off than the previous generation and I am no exception to that rule. However, I feel that just by the benefit of having parents that wanted me to succeed I could have idled at a certain point in life, and still ended up better off than they were. I realized a long time ago that if I put in the effort, lots and lots of effort, I could grow and be so much more than previous generations, thereby increasing the prosperity of any generations that come after me. I use the example of becoming a man of Gondor (from Lord of the Rings). The people of Gondor were a greater people than the rest of the men from Middle Earth. They were of higher lineage and were meant to rule over other men. I strive to be a man of Gondor, but I would be happy as a man of Rohan.


This goes out to my little one
He is such a sight to see
The one that I call my son
What a wonderful piece of me

He quickly learned to laugh
He often smiles at us
I could write a paragraph
There is plenty to discuss

My boy, you need to know
That you are loved dearly
I will make sure to show
My love for you clearly

Loved was written for my son Jack. He’s five months old today and he’s changing quickly. I already love him so much and can’t imagine a life without him. If something were ever to happen to me, and he didn’t get a chance to know me, at least in some measure I can send him a message through this poem, so that he can know that he was wanted, and he is loved.


The love that I have for my son and my wife
Is greater than the love that I have for my life
My heart is so full when I look at their faces
I want to share with them all the fun places

I want to give them a life full and deep
Making lots of memories for them to keep
Of not just me but all of us together
Tied to each other with love as the tether

It is true when I say that family is good for me
I never thought it would happen unfortunately
But now that my life is finally complete
How can anything else ever compete?

Love is a simple expression of how much I love my little family. Right now, we have a son, two cats, and a dog, and we are happy. We have everything we need, and our son is thriving. What more could a guy ask for?


Have you ever been tired
That you wish to be fired
So you can stay at home all-day
Wasting the time away

Have you ever been down
Living without a sound
Surrounded by folks that love you
Ignoring the wall that is see-through

Have you ever been sad
That you are over feeling mad
Looking for some relief
Along with a bit of belief

Lost was another cathartic poem in the wake of losing a child due to miscarriage. I had to go back to work after taking time off to grieve, but I wasn’t done grieving, hence the line “Have you ever been so tired that you wish to be fired.” I didn’t want to think about work anymore because it didn’t seem like it mattered. Nothing seemed to matter, other than the pain and hurt that my wife and I were experiencing. The line “Ignoring the wall that is see-through” is a reference to the fact that, while I didn’t want to talk to anyone about our loss, everyone could see I was hurting, and they sometimes tried to force me to engage. People that loved me wanted me to talk about it, to soothe their own feelings of loss, but I just wasn’t up for it. The last part of the poem is speaking about my loss of faith in a higher power. I just kept asking, repeatedly, “Why? Why this, again?”


When the road forks
One path leads to glory
The other leads to shame
Why do we pick the path
That dishonors His name?

Loser speaks to choices that we often have where we know what’s good and right, but we choose the opposite of that. I don’t know if we make the choice because good and right are harder to do and we’re just lazy or because we know what’s right and some part of us wants to do wrong anyway. Wrong often feels good but leads to guilt later down the road. Good and right often feel hollow in the moment but feel wonderful later.


Noise everywhere fills the ears
Jarring, jostling, encouraging fears
There once was silence in all the land
Before machines learned to pound sand

People talk and yell, and scream
Intelligent and informed, so they seem
Even the lights have their own bright noise
Come one, come all, girls and boys

Are there any quiet places left
Or have our advances left us bereft
Do we dare to put down our phones
Sitting in stillness within our homes

Can we imagine a world in peace
Or have our imaginations begun to cease
Do we still dream, hope, and pray
Or do we continue to waste away

Loud comes from a place where I was frustrated with social media and the “Facebook generation.” “Jarring, jostling, encouraging fears” speaks to how much information people readily accept on the Internet, while ignoring their own critical thinking skills or prior knowledge. “Intelligent and informed, so they seem” speaks to that sentiment as well. So many people are confident in the factuality of the false information that they espouse, that it’s nearly impossible, even with easy-to-understand evidence, to change their minds. People seem to want to believe in conspiracy theories over facts, random Youtubers over established scientific organizations, and their own opinions over established truths. The rest of Loud talks about how we need to rediscover our quiet places and find again what made us, us. It asks a question to the reader, attempting to determine what the reader is going to do moving forward.