My Job In a Nutshell by Kevin Hoover

Kevin Hoover

My Job In a Nutshell



Sometimes people ask me
what my job is
and I tell them
I work with kids,
but beyond this
it’s hard to explain
what it is I do;
so many kids,
each dealin’ with their own issues.

Maybe I’m crazy to think
that I could help.
Maybe I’m over-confident
or just full of myself.
Maybe I’m arrogant to want to help someone else
through things they live with
that I’ve never felt.

Somebody somewhere with a PHD
gave them names like ‘ODD’, ‘OC’, and ‘ADHD’.
I feel like I’m swimmin’ in a bowl of alphabet soup
and although I’m not a doctor
I’m not outta the loop.
I know that in addition to the medications
and psychiatric evaluations
and behavioral adjustment implementations
what they really need
is someone to be there,
someone who loves what they do
and someone who really cares.

Someone who instead of demanding it
will try to earn the respect
of kids with histories of neglect,
histories of people with a short fuse
who abandoned love
only to replace it with abuse,
histories of sadness,
histories of God-forsaken madness,
and histories of God-knows-what-else.

God forbid everyone should have
to walk in these kids’ shoes.
I’ve been more fortunate than that
and that’s why I’m here to
do what I can by doing what I do.
I’m trying to show them that
a journey of a thousand miles
begins with a first step,
and all the while
I try to crack a few jokes
and lighten the mood and make them smile.

At least one of these kids found it funny
to hear a white guy say
‘ya know what I mean?’
I always have to think about what I say-
I gotta be keepin’ it clean.
I’m an activist against a whole lotta cursin’.
I try to be a role-model person.
I’m not a ‘think of myself first’ kinda person-
I’m a different kinda person.
I think I’m a kind person.

I’m an experiment on the patience of human kind,
but I got mad love for these kids.
For real—you’d have to be blind
not to see it when I try to help them find
their souls
their path
a goal.
And if they lose sight of that goal
if they lose track
I try to help them back.

I’m a virtual reality beach
during an asthma attack.
I’m an advisor to kids
that don’t know how to act,
when they find themselves facin’
a given situation
and their angers give rise
to the cries of
‘well she did this’ and
‘he did that’ and
‘who did what, why, how’
but I say it’s all
slow it down
take it back.
I tell these kids,
‘You gotta calm yourself.
If you can’t do it alone
I’m here to help.
If you wanna talk
let’s talk.
If you wanna walk
let’s walk.
If you find yourself outta control
and goin’ off the deep end,
then reach out your hand
and I’ll pull you back in;
but you gotta swim just a bit,
and if you don’t know how to swim
you gotta kick,
and if you don’t know how to kick
ask me how.
That’s my job.
That’s why I’m there,
and now.

Now is your opportunity to work on yourself
and to help your peers,
to defeat your demons
and conquer your fears.
This is your chance to rise above
all the negativity in your life
that held you back instead of helping you up.
This is your time.

I spend my time conversin’ with Earth’s children
not believin’ for a second that these are the ‘worst’ children
knowin’ there’s no such thing as bad children,
only bad choices made by hurt children
workin’ with young children
workin’ with old children
workin’ with soul children
watchin’ ‘em become whole children.
and whole people.

See as people we’re never
entirely complete,
but the more we drive for it
and the more we strive for it
the more complete we become
and the stronger we get.
I’m tryin’ to reach them
in hopes to teach them
that the path in life they take
can be better than the sum of
the mistakes they make.

I think sometimes they respect me,
but sometimes they choose to hate me
and I wish there was something I could do
just to make things cool,
but that’s hard to do
when all they wanna do
is play the fool
just ta be cool
wantin’ to be rough and tough,
sayin’ ‘look at me the gangsta”,
givin’ no thanks ta
the words of wisdom
that I’m tryin’ ta give them.

Sometimes I have to be a little bit nicer.
Sometimes I have to be a little bit meaner.
I’m a bed-time book reader.
I’m a body guard in case of a brawl.
I’m an 8am wake-up call.
I tell the kids I’m a psychic
so don’t even think about an AWOL.

These kids make me tired,
they make me cranky,
and they make me frustrated
but they also make me a better person.
They teach me tolerance.
They let me into their lives.
They teach me patience,
and they open my eyes.

These kids…

they give me love
they give me laughter
they give me pause
they give me meaning
they give me cause.

These kids…

they give me hell,
but hey…
that’s my job in a nutshell.

Queen Cinderella by Chelsea Kershner

Chelsea Kershner

Queen Cinderella

Her throne is her only home,

the only place she feels she is known.

She is welcomed nowhere beyond,

of her character no one is fond.

The power of her position

should never have gone beyond the kitchen.

Once a fair and equal maid,

without a thought of the trade,

fell in love with the Prince of Marrundew.

She left everyone she ever knew.

Now she finds herself a part of the fame,

and no longer answers to her old name.

With no compassion, with no empathy,

her jewels are now her only company.

The commoners are now full of dirt and disgust,

as the beautiful town of Marrundew begins to rust.

Neighbors that once were her own,

find themselves empty handed,

begging at the bottom of her throne.

Improper Vision by Rebecca Burcham

Rebecca Burcham

Improper Vision



How can you look forward,

when all I can see is the past?

The ever-changing days ahead

will only leave yesterday unsurpassed.

Nothing in our future time

can change the departed age.

Where life was lenient, time was truthful,

and responsibility wasn’t a cage.

What does tomorrow have to give,

save for questions, doubts, and the pain?

You must see a different future than I…

Or is it me fighting against the grain?

Surely there are good things yet to come,

hand in hand with the bad, not a curse;

maybe your view—the positive one—

can see all the negatives reversed.

                                            Is it possible for life to be inherently good?

Can tomorrow bring hope from the gloom?

Maybe while I was busy looking back,

the future is beginning to bloom.

EM! by Prince Blake and Racheal Sooeko

Prince Blake and Racheal Sooeko





BOY: I like em short


Girl: I like em tall


BOY: I like em sweet


Girl: I like em with a streak


BOY: I’m kinda interested in the one I can walk down to the creek


Girl: Well I love mine to care what’s on my feet




Girl: I like a kiss before sleep


BOY: Cool I’m fine with some cute feet


Girl: Of course, I like to be the boss so I need one I can beat


BOY: Im not goin for that you not gon find that in me


Girl: Nobody asked you dummy, I’m hippin you ‘bout what comforts me


BOY: Well I don’t care how you like em


BOY: I like em




BOY: Anyway I like the curly hair ones


Girl: I like em with a nice coolio fade


BOY: I also like the ones that know a lil Spanish


Girl: I want one that would stay for longer than one night and won’t vanish


BOY:I like one who has future plans


Girl: What! One that will major in caring for and a stripper that dances for can goods


BOY: Girl you thought you knew the game plan


Girl: Boy you’re a lame!


Girl: Can I get a body builder?


BOY: So you want a man with lil nipples and no neck


Girl: Huuhhhh


Girl: I like em!


            HOW I LIKE EM

Destruction of Erudition by Leroy Mourer

Leroy Mourer


Destruction of Erudition



Fire in my soul

let me perish in the night.

From the ice in my heart,

I fear the destruction.

A world gone insane,

no help to suffice

or a favor offered.

Has desire gone by

to be filled with hate.

Struggle to survive

in need to be great.

The Ever Road by Patrick Willock

Patrick Willock

The Ever Road

My steps go walking clip and clop,

my feet go stomping flip and flop.

I see the land go rolling by,

I feel the rain go plip and plop.

I walk beneath the azure sky,

while little pebbles catch my eye,

and on and on my path does spread;

this path belongs to only I.

Now all along this path I’ve tread,

I see the ways my feet have sped,

and all the pits that blocked my way,

they dragged me down with sacks of lead.

But as I walk both night and day,

Someone keeps evil at bay,

and gives my head a place to lay,

and gives my head a place to lay.

Home by Monica Cerezo

Monica Cerezo


Home all day in this house;

four blank walls closing in. Peeking out

the window shade, the sun

is bright and beckoning.

The kids wake, hungry now-

wanting a cooked breakfast

of eggs, pancakes, toast, and juice.

They interrupt my

few moments of quiet

time to reflect and plan

the day ahead. I need

more time and energy.

“Enjoy these years,” they say.

I try hard to give them

all of me in each moment.

Even though my house is

full and bustling, I

still feel trapped and lonely.

I need to escape these

square walls that block me in

every day, all day.

Just a few hours of

refreshing me time

is all I think I need.

Running is my outlet.

I can run for miles and

miles out in the sunshine.

I cannot hear the kids

asking for this or that.

I can only hear the

beat of music in my

ears as each foot lands on

the pavement. As I run

my thoughts are cleared and I

get a new sense of who

I am. I can sing and

pray and release all my

frustrations while I run.

It is a free feeling

to run without any

restrictions in my path.

I feel like a bird who

flies high in the sunshine.

The bird is free yet

takes care of her young.

She nurtures them and loves

them but flies about free.

Out in the sunshine is

where I crave, but nothing

can keep me from the four

walls of my home sweet home.

Lost Affair by Fatima Abdul-Aleem

Fatima Abdul-Aleem

Lost Affair

I am crying,

the tears are falling,

down they come.

An outpour of loneliness,

expressed in the only way I know how.

You see,

I miss the warmth,

the feel of  someone’s caress

on my pages.

Massaging my covers,

touching my essence,

as they delve into the words

enveloped inside me.

They seek the promise of escape,

the illusion of make believe,

the power of growth.

I miss their scent.

That sweaty smell

of a hard days’ work,

that lingering aroma

of the morning’s perfume.

I miss being alive.

A thumping passion

in the hearts of the young,

as they eagerly look ahead.

A resounding memory

of the elderly,

as they prepare to exit

this adventure, called life.

For I have been replaced with

touch screens, audio, live feeds.

Machines bellow out my contents,

videos explain what I mean.

Computer keys are punched

to replace his fingers,

her hands.

The melody of the love we shared


for an iPad, a Kindle, a Nook.

Achilles and Patroklos by Angelique Sites

Angelique Sites

Achilles and Patroklos


I have feared this time would come,

for like the wind you have swooped in and taken my heart.

I feared its capture, though it has not been enslaved by you, but set free,

free of wrath and replaced by hope.

Even death’s cold departure could never steal the gifts that you have given me,

for I am left forever changed by you.


-Achilles’ love professed to Patroklos