stifled, stuck and locked deep inside
man feelings, tough exterior, silent suffering
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
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
© 2009 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love this.
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.
Thank you Mary! I’m glad you connected with the story I was telling.
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.
That is a great question Gabriella. Perhaps some guys can weigh in on why. I think they are taught not to.
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 ~
Hello Grace. It’s nice to meet you too! Thanks for encouraging your sons to tap into their emotions! Bless you!
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…..it 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.
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.
And I am blessed to have him. maybe one day, we will all grow up….
This really grabs the heart and holds on tight.
Thanks Dell. Nice to meet you.
And you as well.
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!
What a beautifully expressed thought about emotions Kelvin. Thanks for your visit to my creative space. Please come back again.
There is so much courage in crying. This was rather magnificent. Thank you for the read
Thanks so much. I like that phrase. Courage in crying. It’s so true too.
nice work – I smiled at the “run like pantyhose” which was a bit of release in this serious piece.
Thanks for noticing that Billgncs! I appreciate your read.
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..
back to egalitarianism..
iceberg too tall for many..
but yes.. mountain of loVE..
comes with tears..:)
I love that this write inspires the share of more poetry. It makes want to explore more issues of the sexes. Thank you!
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.
Thanks so much C.C. I truly appreciate your reading it. 🙂
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.
I agree with you 100%!
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.
Thank you. So true. I love your thoughts on this.