I sensed in you an anger, not at anyone; but in and at everything that you had become… a failure, a disappointment. You had even lost the will to speak. Your cold stares into nothingness are if nothing else, unsettling. Your plans and words for dreams of future endeavors have passed like a fart in a windstorm and now you feel what? Anger? Fuck that!

Sometimes you just have to drop back 30 yards and punt that into the past and keep it there. It’s ok to dream a little and it’s ok to fall short.

Just keep moving. Push forward. Enjoy the ride…

I have to remind myself of these things every now and then.

Dennis Mantin


I’ve been weighing out my options. I’ve been weighing by the gram.

I’ve been offered a sole partnership, that don’t like me as I am.

I’ve decided to go solo because well its always been my way.

It’s not I don’t like people It’s just the things they say.

Sometimes I think I’m damaged. Battered, black and bruised.

Then I’ve never partnered up before, that I haven’t felt abused.

Dennis Mantin

In The Beginning… In The End.

It was painful in the beginning. Lines creased on furrowed brow.

It may have looked like something else. But really no one knew just how.

The teachers they all stayed silent. They were staring at the ground.

Or they looked for things just at their feet. But nothing much was found.

The youth had all gone sullen. They were prone to criticize.

Their status was more confusion. You could see it in their eyes.

It took just a generation. Some said it would take 2.

With the boys and girls not talking. The children they were few.

And no one could remember, in the end they just grew old.

There was no win with a hand like that. In the end they had to fold.

Some were looking for salvation. They were looking far and wide.

Finally someone spoke some truth and suggested look inside.

Dennis Mantin


It’s cold in the shadows now that summer is over. I have had enough of heat and sweating for another season.

It is going to be a chilly one this year; I can feel it already. Formation of birds mainly geese are already in giant V’s moving fast against blue grey skies flying south.

Not me. I will stick it out here until at least Christmas and then we’ll see if I’m so fond of cold.

Dennis Mantin

Time Flies

She said, “Time flies.”

I said, “I understand. “

She said, “She wishes sometimes that she was rich because she wouldn’t have to go to work.”

She is tired.

I have no such wishes.

I wonder what’s wrong with me sometimes. I’ve seen what money does.

She wants to buy a house soon, so she will keep working. I like many things about her.

Dennis Mantin

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

The expression-‘Shit or get off the pot.’ … I first heard from someone born in 1908. He was fond of saying  19 ought 8.

He was of a different time: in the land before indoor plumbing and poverty hardships.

Today I was with my daughter who was born in 2011 and I was being impatient with something she couldn’t decide and the phrase shit or get off the pot bounced around my brain… but I didn’t say it at first

I said, ” Have you ever heard the expression shit or get off the pot?

She answered, “No.”

I explained that before there was indoor plumbing people used chamber pots and if the pot was being used and someone needed to go then this is probably where that came from. She laughed.

A modern turn on the old expression is “Lead follow or get out of the way.”

Dennis Mantin

The Unreliable Narrator

Because I have always written; at least from the time I could spell: and recently I have discovered how unreliable memories are, especially childhood memories… I am coming to terms with the possibility that I am an unreliable narrator.

So I am embracing this phenomenon and have decided I can be intentionally deceptive. How these tools have evaded me up until now is not a mystery to me.

The adults in my child world had severe punishments for lying to them; which is interesting because they not only told lies constantly, they lived them thoroughly.

This could be fun!

Dennis Mantin

Come Clean

Rumble in the alley bout something that should have been.

Not saying there was a witness but you really should come clean.

They love a rise from fall now, just keep it trimmed and lean.

They are handing out forgiveness to the parties that come clean.

Your Daddy was offended, not being made Parade Day Queen.

Your Mama has had enough now, she is about ready to come clean.

I’m disgusted and disguised now, I am Batman on Halloween.

I just sit in brooding silence, there’s zero chance I will come clean.

Dennis Mantin