Man Cry

stifled, stuck and locked deep inside

man feelings, tough exterior, silent suffering

man cry

hammer in hand

wrench wrapped around steel

free to lift 500 pounds

but powerless to feel

hours of commitment put into being a soldier

but clueless about how much strength it takes

to cherish and hold her

the willingness to learn

the ability to dream

washed away

along a lonely stream

samson-like might and cobalt eyes

can melt hearts and induce sensuous sighs

but when he’s all alone

and the pleasure dies

his head drops low

and the man cries

a howl so deep it can silence thunder

but his lips open wide and not a sound is uttered

he can tell tales of many a woe

get down on his knees and pray to the Lord

protect his wife and children from an oncoming storm

fill his pantry with food and make a fortress a home

crush diamonds with his fists and shatter stones like bones

make a woman never want to leave him alone

make speeches that provoke leaders to pick up the phone

but feelings that liquefy into tears are impossible for the warrior to conjure

they are simply too terrifying to touch

the implications just scare him too much

so he escapes into a world of wonder

shapely thighs sway and take him asunder

broken up and scattered as he releases

his emotions dissolve into countless pieces

showers refuse to wash away

the inner demons that plague his soul

only one thing can calm and cure it

and he runs like pantyhose to not pursue it

torn down and weary

his heart’s about to bust

it has filled up over the years with pent up sorrow and such

no longer alone

now in a room filled with people

the gospel music rises and reaches the steeple

the singers are holy and the fever is rising

colorful silhouettes are shouting and testifying

a rush of raw feeling is building inside

a sight of pure manhood no longer in hiding

a wail and a screech that hi-fi can’t deny

escapes his gut, bounces off the walls and flies high to the sky

finally at last in front of God

man cry


Man Cry

© 2009 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Oct 16, 2009 | Posted by in Blog, Tamstarz Poetry | 34 comments

Comments (34 Responses)

  1. This is very well written, a wonderful progression. The imagery you used made me feel those pent up tears and had me saying “Hallelujah” when they are finally released. Peace, Linda

    • TamekaMullins says:

      Thanks so much Linda! I appreciate your comments. I was emotional the day I wrote it and I also feel emotional today. Glad to share it out again to a new audience.

  2. Of course this affects me.. it’s so hard to cry. I might not be the best of warriors, and I can’t lift that much.. but just like any man, I cannot cry. I wonder why.. I so wonder.

    • TamekaMullins says:

      Thanks for being so honest Bjorn. Some women have trouble too. I can control my tears for the most part, but when they get going it’s hard to stop.

  3. X says:

    It is a shame when we have made of our men. Telling our boys they can not cry, needing to “man up” and not show emotion. When I counsel children a lot of times, I have to give them permission to cry and assure them that it is not a sign of weakness. Sometimes it takes truly being broken for a man to cry.

    • TamekaMullins says:

      I so agree. I know it’s written into the fabric of what we condition our young boys and men to be, but crying is truly a soul cleanse and is super healthy. I also think as women sometimes too because of our own conditioning we see men who cry as weak which is wrong. We all need to release.

      Thanks for teaching children that it’s okay. Your work is appreciated.

  4. Sage says:

    I love this.

  5. Mary says:

    This is a poem that really made me feel. It seems he has endured so very much. I am glad that, in the end, he was able to cry.

    • TamekaMullins says:

      Thank you Mary! I’m glad you connected with the story I was telling.

  6. Gabriella says:

    Why is it that crying is ok for men in books and on TV but not in real life? I have rarely seen my father and brothers cry.

    • TamekaMullins says:

      That is a great question Gabriella. Perhaps some guys can weigh in on why. I think they are taught not to.

  7. Grace says:

    It takes a lot of courage to show emotions and cry. If I see a man crying I cry too because normally men hide their emotions. I guess it because of upbringing but I encourage my boys to cry and openly show their deep feelings. Enjoyed this one and nice to meet you ~

    • TamekaMullins says:

      Hello Grace. It’s nice to meet you too! Thanks for encouraging your sons to tap into their emotions! Bless you!

  8. kanzensakura says:

    My husband has told me of things his father would say when something came up – come on boy, men don’t cry. What, are you a fag? Men don’t eat salads. Are you crying again? Do you need to wear diapers being such a baby? Be a man… is horrible. I am so glad he was able to cry at last. My husband has learned it’s okay to cry, to eat salads, to tickle kittens behind the ears. He is much happier now than he was when we first met. This a very honest and real write. The machismo ideal of so many different cultures just ruin us – men and women both.

    • TamekaMullins says:

      OMG! I’m so sorry your husband experienced that. So many men have experienced this. It’s passed down. Your husband is blessed to have you.

  9. DELL CLOVER says:

    This really grabs the heart and holds on tight.

  10. kelvin s.m. says:

    I like this piece really much, especially the perfect ending. I am an emotional person & often I cry when I need to. It’s so hard to deal with emotions when your heart is designed to be fragile—easily moved by the touch of the blade of grass, easily touched by song of the crickets at night. Crying is one step to becoming the braver & better person that you always are inside & out. Thanks for the poem!

    • TamekaMullins says:

      What a beautifully expressed thought about emotions Kelvin. Thanks for your visit to my creative space. Please come back again.

  11. There is so much courage in crying. This was rather magnificent. Thank you for the read

    • TamekaMullins says:

      Thanks so much. I like that phrase. Courage in crying. It’s so true too.

  12. billgncs says:

    nice work – I smiled at the “run like pantyhose” which was a bit of release in this serious piece.

  13. Ah.. the battle of the sexes.. as women embrace more
    of the tough side of nature.. oh the males do stay
    so often stale.. never realizing that love can move
    legs from quarter to a half a ton.. and haha.. i
    can prove that too.. on YouTube way..
    there is no
    stronger than a
    tear to fortress male..
    as strong
    of patriarchy
    back to egalitarianism..
    iceberg too tall for many..
    but yes.. mountain of loVE..
    comes with tears..:)

    • TamekaMullins says:

      I love that this write inspires the share of more poetry. It makes want to explore more issues of the sexes. Thank you!

  14. C.C. says:

    This is such a powerfully written piece….it tells a story in progression and all along the way we feel the pent-up emotion. And I loved the imagery you created with the phrase “run like pantyhose”–brilliant use of the everyday! Really well-done.

  15. I’m glad I wasn’t taught that bullshit about crying being a sign of weakness… what’s weak and fearful is denying basic human emotion in my opinion.

  16. This was wonderful…and I like how it escalated to a final release of tears.
    I think that it comes down to the definition of “strength”. We need to promote the idea that it takes strength to do some of the more passive things in life….like listening, being patient, and yes..crying. We were given tears for a reason and it is so unfair that men were taught to hold them back, denying themselves of their true feelings.

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