Each of us is born

with a beast inside

a tiny creature with its eyes glued shut

that lives in our hearts

where it puts down roots

and plays hopscotch between ventricles.

We name it Passion

and are told that it can be tamed

so we spend our lives

teaching it to sit

and stay

absolutely still

until we order it to break.

But some of us are born

with recalcitrant beasts

that we attempt to muzzle

and chain down

so that it leaves us alone

so we can work

and live a simple life

that’s predictable

and comfortable

free from the madness

of a ticking bomb

that constantly paces

wanting only to be let loose

to run through the city

with its gnashing teeth

and terrible claws

and yellow eyes that burn holes

in every soul it meets.

Luring us into places

full of dregs,


and degenerates

who also never learned

how to properly use

a whip and a chair.


This is the twenty-first poem of my personal 30-day poetry challenge to break away from the machine to think about things that don’t matter. I have no idea what I’m doing. – Jim

Meet the Father

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.