Shane Hubbard: Poems

:: paintings in verse ::

Poem: Millennials

                    by Shane Hubbard

They call us Millennials, all the girls and boys
Born from 1979 to 1994,
With plenty of faux social causes to fight for;
We strive to ride on the shredded coat tails
Of an American dream; but pop culture noise,
Low-information news, and celebrity tales
Are enough to feed us for one more day.

They call us Millennials, all the grown-up teens	
Born between a cold war and a more ambiguous threat,
We’re entitled to handouts and burdened by debt;	
And everyone’s a winner in the race
To the bottom of the muck; but designer jeans
And pumped-up technology will quicken the pace
As dime store philosophers lead the way. 
They call us Millennials, a class of our own
Born between the analog era and digital age,
Failing to emerge from the adolescent stage;
Shunning religion and marital rings, 
We know all about nothing; but a new smartphone
Will keep us connected to establishment kings,
Baaing like sheep, we are such easy prey.

The generational cohort labeled Generation Y, or Millennials, includes the 72 million Americans born between 1979 and 1994.

Kerin, R., Hartley, S., & Rudelius, W. (2013). Marketing: The core (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. ISBN: 978-0-07-802892-2
Strauss, K. (2013, September 17). Do millennials think differently about money and career? Forbes. Retrieved from
Myers, K., & Sadaghiani, K. (2010). Millennials in the workplace: A communication perspective on Millennials’ organizational relationships and performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(2), 225-238. doi: 10.1007/s10869-010-9172-7

Poem: A Seed Is Planted

            A SEED IS PLANTED.
                by Shane Hubbard

Warm rays of sunlight in the early dawn
will not be hampered by a few brooding clouds.
Some sparrows dutifully sing their morning songs
as butterflies flutter about the grounds.

Two soldiers quickly approach the guarded hut
where he is kept, locked away from all but his thoughts;
thoughts cannot challenge in a guarded hut,
for without a voice they carry little weight.

They march him and his thoughts to the courtyard wall
where a third soldier reads an order aloud.
He is forced to his knees in his prison garb,
and a blindfold is tied around his head.

The third soldier folds the paper and tucks it away;
the next one lights a cigarette and exhales;
the last pulls out his pistol, calmly aims, and fires,
the bullet ripping loudly through brain and skull.

The birds are silent; the butterflies have fled
from where his body crashes face down in the dirt.
Blood pours from the wound as the heart beats its last, 
stopped cold because he had beliefs in that heart.

His body is dragged to the edge of a ditch,
a mass grave of others who had had beliefs,
their thoughts and his a compounded weight
too heavy for others to allow release.

A boot kicks him in as a bulldozer roars,
and a seed is planted in the fertile earth.

Poem: Bread and Circus

             by Shane Hubbard

A spotlight illumed the center ring
   Of the big top where the showman stood,
The undisputed circus king,
A puppeteer with lengths of string
   That brought the crowds off the bleacher wood.

The candy butchers called aloud,
   Ice cold colas and popcorn in hand,
And all the while the glazed eyes of the crowd
Watched as the ringmaster waived and bowed,
   Their ears charmed by the circus band.

The clowns pulled gags, and the masses roared,
   While artists, with their talents and tricks,
Kept spellbound brains from becoming bored;
Not one soul was to be ignored
   When pitching the nickelodeon flicks.

Skilled magicians bedazzled with ease,
   Their sleight of hand too quick for eyes
That see as a mindless robot sees,
Led wherever the tricksters please,
   And made to believe their crafty lies.

And beyond the entertainment fun,
   Beside the glitz, behind the tents
Where bread and circus merged as one,
Were tangled webs the masters spun
   To ensnare those lacking common sense.

If eyes should stray or feet should hunt,
   The minions distract the seeking blind,
The ordered chaos concealing the stunt
That tops them all in this heinous front:
   The capture of the brainwashed mind.

Poem: Snowflakes

        by Shane Hubbard

A million downy crystal balls
Formed in the seamless clouds,
Float gently to the earth below,
A million velvet shrouds.
Each woolly flake that softly falls
Seems commonplace and stock,
Routine within the moon’s faint glow,
Unsung among the flock.
Thus most will miss the famous halls
Where stars before them dwelt,
Yet their addition all will know
When finally they melt.

Poem: Christmas Eve

      by Shane Hubbard

The day has duly dwindled,
   The sun has made its leave,
As light that it once kindled
   Dies out this Christmas Eve;
But colored bulbs are flashing
   On chimneys, roofs, and trees,
Illuming patrons dashing,
   Through town on shopping sprees.

The bluebird’s song has ended,
   Its chirp escaped the ear
When day and night first blended,    
   Then night subdued its peer;
But merry crowds are singing
   In church and house and shoppe,
And silver bells are ringing,
   As horses clip and clop.

Now snow is gently falling,
   And crystal flakes of white
Keep carolers from calling,
   This frosty winter’s night;
But here a fire is blazing,
   And stew is in the pot,
And trembling hands are raising
   A mug of something hot.

And children stare in wonder,
   As candles flicker low,
At random gifts stacked under
   The Christmas tree aglow;
Their stockings, damp and weathered,
   Removed from frigid feet,
Adorn the mantle, tethered
   About the flaming heat.

And at the kitchen table,
   Their parents bake the sweets,
And box and wrap and label
   A batch of tempting treats;
Before the night should perish—
   The clock strikes eight, then nine—
They join those they most cherish
   Around the Christmas pine.

Eyes full of sleep soon flutter,
   And here a nodding head,
And what protests lips utter
   When they are sent to bed!
But soon their brains are dreaming
   Of boys and girls at play,
And ruddy cheeks are beaming
   With thoughts of Christmas Day!

Poem: Carol To A King

         by Shane Hubbard

Hear my carol, O King!  I lift,
   In penitence and rue,
A humble a cappella gift
   Of gratitude that’s due;
Though words are cheap and often vain,
   And few my virtues be,
Yet still I give, cleansed of sin’s stain,
   My heart, in full, to Thee.
In bygone times the sages brought
   Thee gifts of spice and gold;
Likewise, our human hearts are fraught
   With treasures in their hold,
For which Thou jealously dost pine.    
   Therefore, this contrite heart,
With wealth and fragrance, I make Thine—
   The whole and every part.

Poem: Compass

                by Shane Hubbard

Lost in the daylight, the time is high noon,
   And the starless skies, save the sun, are clear,
   Yet the brilliant rays from that flaming sphere
Are as bright to me as the darkened moon.
My compass, damaged from constant abuse,
   Is no longer able to fitly steer,
   And obstinate feet that willfully veer
Find a working compass of little use.

My weary eyes stray from the compass face—
   One look, a second, a third, then a fourth;
The needle spins freely as I give chase,
This way and that in the foolish man’s race.
   Madly I run, to and fro, back and forth,
   No longer caring to locate true north.

Poem: Crows On A Wire

         CROWS ON A WIRE.
             by Shane Hubbard

I see clouds forming for winter rain
As wind redirects the weather vane
   And points it north toward the gray where I spy
   A murder of crows set against the sky.
One flees the alignment; six remain.

The wind is brisk, yet the crows are still
On the telephone wire above the hill;
   Then, shifting his feet and lifting his head,
   A second crow’s sable wings are spread,
And five are left in the winter chill.

A minute passes, no less, no more,
And a third crow does as those before;
   He flaps his wings and flutters away
   Into the pervading, overcast gray
Till out of sight.  And now there are four.

The monochrome scene is charmingly stark,
Each dusky bird an ink-like mark
   On a single line in a silver sea;
   Now a fourth crow sallies, leaving three
Perched high as the evening hours grow dark.

From the forefront of the ashen hue        
A fifth crow vacates on nature’s cue;
   A feather falls from the fleeing bird,
   Their numbers shrinking to less than a third
Of what began.  And now there are two.

A curtain of clouds obstructs the sun,
A misty veil that winter has spun,
   But still I witness two birds aligned,
   And, lo, one departs, leaving behind
A final crow—a murder of one.

Poem: Village

                   by Shane Hubbard

At the end of main street the church bell rings,
Its home a white belfry within the steeple,
Its chime resounding in the autumn chill.
The lawyer hears and replaces his quill,
The seamstress her thread, the blacksmith his things;
And so the charge goes with all the town’s people.
The ovens are cold at the baker’s shop;
The room is swept at the general store.
The hands at the livery hear and stop;
The bank vault is locked, and the barber's door.
The farmers leave scythes in the setting sun,
The clang reaching field and every hilltop,
For the evening church meeting has begun.

Poem: Black Plumes

               BLACK PLUMES.
                by Shane Hubbard

A sable coach pulled by a charcoal team
   Rolls down the lane at a quarter past eight,
   Its driver neither too early nor late,
To accomplish the evening’s direful scheme.
His master, yet dark in the gaslamps’ gleam,
   Is seldom compelled to postpone a date.
   He carries the cloak and sickle of fate;
Gloom is his garment, and dread is his theme.

Clippety-clop on the cobblestone street,
The jet-plumed pony-pair hammer death’s beat,
   And leave in their wake a corpse to be tombed,
   Struck dead by the reaper of all the doomed.
The cops and coroner scarcely give pause,
And rule the death one of natural cause.

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