Hardly With It Half

He wrote of where I ran
Under the pagoda
Looking down on a hollow city.
His words sounding as desparate
As the clacking rocks
Under my heavy handed feet.
I trudged
Up the stairs dripping sweat no
Dike could corral
For August swelter
Cares little for restraining nature.
His little poem
About Reading
Was exactly in time
With my caustic experience on Mt. Penn,
But his words and my soreness
Made for a good read.

Getting Around, Settling Down

Today has been some day
Photos and Comcast got it
Started in a Revolutionary War cemetery
Where the boys and I sat in peace under blue skies
Checking in with my father-in-law.
From there I
Took a journey to west Texas
Following the radio signals back east to Eastland.
They sounded a search of the web
Where I found my father-in-law’s name
Dated in the early 1900s before he was born and
Connected to a small town in Texas
Where I went to kindergarten before settling in the Old Dominion.
Dusting off the tumbleweeds
And reading more found me
In the familiar grounds of Hanover County
Just up the road from my parent’s home
Only now
The date was sometime in the 1670s
Theoretically the beginning and end of this journey

Come on now, I can’t make this stuff up
Two families that have historical parallels
Traveling in similar circles for centuries
Finally meeting under the Half Moon
In Pennsylvania
I can’t explain it
But I’m unwilling to accept coincidence
For this cosmic whirlpool
Spun its mysterious waters
That brought us together
Making the next part of history
All the better

Another Intersection in Kermit

I don’t know much about these photos
I can only wonder who took them
Though I have a pretty good idea
And if I’m correct
What are the chances that our grandparents
Were in the same honky tonk
Trying to pass the time in West Texas
Assuming these are there
In the boom times
When someone got rich
Off all that oil in the ground
This connection we have
Is too coincidental to be random
And I’m thinking the heavens
Our paths have been crisscrossing forever



Summer School

Summer school
I love the learning
Sitting at home able to research new information
The benefit
Hopefully for more interesting lessons
The time to reassess
What I do in the classroom
Without the time constraints
Of grading papers
Or monitoring hallways
Is well worth
The donation of my time
For this volunteering
Will make me better
When it’s really go time
Yes, I love summer school

Next Steps

The work on a project

Where there is nothing on the line

Is so easy

Next steps

Where the line has something on it

Is so hard

Like Coach Ed said, “There’s a difference between good and great.”

Now it’s time

To start jumping through hoops

Mustering up the confidence to submit

All of these words that haveĀ 

Moved my grief beyond simple sadness

And on to real revelations

About who I am

Who I want to be

In the next steps that I take.

Wishing For More

Little Bites are delicious
But they are named incorrectly
Those morsels of fudge brownie goodness
Really should be called Too Few Bites
Since all I want to do
Is pound them like peanuts or chips
Maybe I’ll have one more bag…

Why Bother

Walking in Philly
Taking in the sights
Off the favorite parts
Touted by the Mayor and all of the entertainment celebs
Because some of the art
That isn’t dressed up in public funding
And private donations
Says more about the state of the city
Than any Picasso, Barnes collection, or Roots melody
Ever will

Cruising a back alley
Under the bustle of I-95
Where the weeds and abandoned trolley tracks
Are being transformed into hipster neighborhoods
Without the consideration of those already there
I see the struggle of those being pushed out and wonder how
The rest of the city is able to
Look so far away from the blight
That has grabbed the unfortunate
How is it that money can be so callous

Could it be that they have little to offer
Holding on to what they have
To pay the rent
To pay the gas and electricity
To try and grow with the rate that society is changing,
Only able to keep up with the perception
That they are the problem
And only they can be the solution
But they’ve learned there is no sense
In trying

Once hope is lost
The question of bother
Becomes one with a simple answer
Of why
Why try when nothing really changes
Why try when the ambitious come and take it all away
Why try when the power brokers won’t fund the schools
Plow the snow
Patrol the streets
Or put a grocery store in the neighborhood

So a graffiti tag
“Why Bother”
Is beautiful to me
Vibrant like the Sunflowers at the end of the Parkway
Where more money will be spent destroying the Rocky stairs
Than people in this neighborhood will earn in a lifetime
This simple tag should have the politicians
Posing in thought like the sculpture in the middle of the Parkway
And funding with Love to make improvements in the neighborhoods
Instead of just around the pet project areas

All rights reserved. Chris Hancock

All rights reserved. Chris Hancock

Playgrounds and Gyms

One game with one set of rules
Played so many different ways
Win by two
Take it back
Touch fouls called
Hard fouls taken as part of the rigor

I prefer the hard games
With fellas right up in my face
Telling me I’m no good
Because of the fairness of my skin
So I can drop twine tickling jumpers
Then sneak by for a reverse lay up

I prefer hard games
Where the flow is expected
And the screens are away
Because the freedom it brings my dark skin
To lay in a silky finger roll
Or thunder down the lane
Unleashing a rim rocking dunk

Games with grit
Games with finesse
Need not bother with skin color
As this is OUR game
With one set of rules

And what a beautiful game it is…