A man got home after work,
His day symptomatic of weariness.
He found his running shoes
In the middle of the living room,
No where near where he left them.
His dog sheepishly grinning
At the mystical way in which the shoes
Got off the chair.
They walked,
Coming back for snacks.
Dog treats for the pit,
Fritos and ranch dressing for the tired worker with
Libations courtesy of Lord Baltimore.
The dog begged,
Pandora showered the room with Jackson Browne,
And the haze began to lift
As the snacks hit
With the land’s pleasant living liquid washing
Over the frayed nerves.

Both were thankful.

Talk of lost years
Inspires feelings of regret
A little favor
Might be able to relieve

Nah, I’d rather not be forgiven that way

I think I’d rather have peace now
With my future paved in ways
I could never regret
Or be in need of revisionist intervention

Yep, I’d rather keep moving ahead

Moving on in the warmth of my wife
And the security of my family
Their promise, the solution to
Whatever plagued the past

So I’d rather not think of lost years

Basking in the present, Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm…

An assassin is moving to town,
Pinning a historic triangle under
The barrel of a stubby nosed .22
That is probably making money
As a museum piece somewhere.

The area is marketed as a model of Liberty
And I’m betting the crosshatch of demography
Would rather this guy
Live his life somewhere else.
But not so fast friends of the American Dream…

We hold these rights, as distasteful as they are in this case,
To be the foundation of our fabric weaving folly
And this man, who is a heinous criminal,
Has done his time and might be residing on the 13th fairway soon
Thirteenth??? Eerie, huh?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather he stay in his confinement,
But the system is there for us all, justly and fairly.
He will get out.
Hopefully, he will not hurt anyone again
Or live his life near me.

Overnight a master artist
Brushed color into nature
Bringing a vibrancy to the trees and bushes
That pop against the dullness
Of winter’s eternity.

Overnight the joy returned,
The landscape dancing with greens, whites, and yellows.
Their effect on me?
A simple thanks
For the artist’s efforts.

The other day clarity snuck up and

Punched me right in the ego.

I really want to be an average Joe.

I don’t want some big house,

With fancy cars,

Fine wines or snooty beers.

I just want to be

Happy in my condo,

Cruising my grandpa truck,

And most importantly living with my family.

I don’t crave power, 

I can’t sell out to get it, nor

Sell out to keep it.

I just want to be.

These crossroads I’m passing through

Have no temptation,

No allure,

No favor with me.

I’m back to my roots, baby,

Firmly entrenched in the blue collar mentality

And accepting of the faith I am graced with.

As for the snootiness, I have sluffed off the microtendencies

Choosing a more bohemian lifestyle

Suited for my macro change.

I sat on a jury this week.

The case was a simple breach of contract exercise.

The lawyers threw out gobs of gibberish

To confuse the issue,

But ultimately it was the law

Providing the foundation for our verdict.

Similarly, I’m sitting in the witness box

Strung out by the long reach of the wheeler dealer

Who hangs at the crossroads counting on weakness

To attach himself.

My wife says there is a spiritual battle within me.

I agree.

For too long I’ve wandered with this belief and that belief

Bouncing through the sciences and philosophies

Never feeling the peace each promised to offer.

Yet I can’t help but think that the wheeler dealer

Put so many cards before me

That I have never been able to see the true verdict

Or realize the peace some good ole time religion might bring.

But I’m analytical, thinking too much, looking for errors,

Which seems like more lawyerly spin

To this wayward pilgrim.

I want clarity of life,

A sense of purpose,

A law for living that releases me from the chains

Of conflict that I always seem to find.

It’s right there…

Right where my wife says it is,

Right where Hubba says it is, 

Right where Joel says,

Nowhere near the wheeler dealer.


The practice comes in so many ways.

Gag orders,


Using fear or shame to silence critics…

I sit in my field, education,

Watching how other professions

Squander opportunities to make real change,

And I hope

We do not fall to the subtle forces of


Where politics has its party system

With planks and talking points,

We, in education, have the responsibility

To teach a diversity of thought.

Where law enforcement might have its thin blue line,

We, in education, have the unique position

Of being able to challenge institutional beliefs.

Where trades might have allegiance to a union,

We, in education, can stand for workers’ rights

While also questioning the mob mentality inherent with our union membership.

Where religion has its dogma as a spiritual foundation,

We, in education, are in a position to help others understand

There are many different interpretations to the existence of man

And each has its place without the insistence of


The potential of education is enlightenment.

Not enlightenment of doctrine,

Enlightenment of thought.

Not enlightenment silence,

Enlightenment of communication.

Not enlightenment through organizational coercion,

Enlightenment through rich learning experiences.

Not enlightenment of a singular belief,

Enlightenment worthy of the richness of our ability to think

And our choice to live those beliefs for the benefit of all.

I know my profession, with learning as its goal,

Knows the world is bigger than any arbitrary acceptance of facts.

I know my profession, with diversity as its goal,

Sees the process of learning beyond the boundaries of self-imposed limitations.

I know my profession, with preparation as its goal,

Understands that students must fully understand ugliness

To make the meaningful changes humanity desperately needs.

I know this because I sort of see it,

But I worry we, too, are being gobbled up by 


The ancients said, “Honor.”

I suppose they were of a time

When words were scarce.

In the interest of academic integrity,

This is a good point in the writing

To disclose that I did no research on the so called “ancients.”

Therefore, please accept this treatise as hearsay

In the time honored tradition of fiction acting like fact.

What could they have meant by such a simple statement, “Honor?”

Never a species to seek simplicity,

Contemporaries have added to the basic principle

Of the unsourced ancients by

Adding things like “Your” and “able.”

Don’t we hope Your Honor is honorable?

What of us, though?

Are we upholding the essence of the ancient honor?

Are we following through on responsibilities in honorable ways?

Do we reserve those behaviors for the judges and

Expect less from ourselves?

Hopefully not.

Jurisprudence has its perks
When do I ever get to relax
With a nice long lunch at work
I’m judging this cheese steak
Will be banging
If for no other reason
Than I have time to enjoy it
Away from the race
On this glorious day

All rights reserved-Chris Hancock