Sweet Ophelia,
Out of morbid curiosity
Are your lingering shadows in disbelief
Bitter tongue bound and burned
The scent of your scars never learned

Sweet Ophelia,
Between your warmth and generosity
How can you be in love with me
Sadness is a hummingbird in my eyes
Broken down with armor in disguise

“She deserves more than I could ever give,
But she clenches on to me as long as we both shall live,
Neither of us know what we deserve,
With her by my side, I can see my worth”

Sweet Ophelia,
Inside this snowflake feel the monstrosity
Are you afraid I will be the one to leave
Fear is the calm wrapped around my bones
Whispering “you are my center and my home”

Sweet Ophelia,
Of all the treasures and the uncertainty
Faith is trusting in the power of what you can’t see
How can you love a man who doesn’t love himself
For I have forgiven the stars, nothing else

“She deserves more than I could ever give,
But she clenches on to me as long as we both shall live,
Neither of us know what we deserve,
With her by my side, I can see my worth”


My books are available here.

I’ve been in love with the nectar and the sour drippings of you
I’ve been captured by the glaze of your caress
I’ve been in awe by the comfort and the shivers of your embrace
I’ve been enamored by the never ending kisses and the affection
I’ve been mesmerized by the sparkle dancing in your midnight eyes

And the love with you is breathtaking
And the love with you is indescribable
And the love with you is remarkable
And the love with you has opened me up

After so many years
I wouldn’t have changed a second

I’ve been in love with the honey and the radiant treasures of you
I’ve been enchanted by your words and glamorous skin
I’ve been aching for the centerpiece to wake me up and feel alive
I’ve been daydreaming of an endless love
I’ve been intoxicated by the shimmering light twinkling in your soul

And the love with you is breathtaking
And the love with you is indescribable
And the love with you is remarkable
And the love with you has opened me up

After so many years
I wouldn’t have changed a minute

Here I am, I don’t have followers
I have sanguine blisters and
indecisions stirring in my reckless mind
I’ve stood in the corridor of my considerations
and wide eyed aspirations
I’ve been guided by intolerable vices, a stench of trivial knowledge and sarcasm
I have concoctions growing in my garden
I’ve borrowed money from my child like brother
to rent a house not far from the Porcupine River
We use to play like thieves, run like dogs,
and wrestle in the amber mud for hours
I live in a two bedroom apartment,
One block away from the Midtown bakery
On Sunday’s I can smell the Apple fritters
I’ve worked at the local grocery store since I was fifteen
“Lucky” isn’t a word in my vocabulary
I bite my fingernails as I ponder in front of my 1971 typewriter
From 9pm to 10pm I’m a rapid reader
I fell in love with Mark Twain and the storytellers from the innocent wild
Stuck on the lucid and elusive chapter ten
Captivated between the commas and engaging dialogue
I cough at the errors and sniffle at the page count of my thrill seeking novel
I stretch out my imagination like a rubber band
Manuscript growing like a an oak tree
Here I am, born an offbeat writer
The people who know me stand distant
Afraid to crawl inside the brain of characters
I left my day job at the age of forty two
Perspiration and diligence were on my side


My books are available here.

“I opened my eyes to see the ugliness and beauty of humanity”

Braeden Michaels creates a curve in the poetic stratosphere revealing glimpses of the characters who walk amidst the life of newly-widowed Stella Walker. By exposing the flaws, scars, quirks, and the light we see in each other, this profound collection generates a fine line between friendships and acquaintances.

Within these pages, we are introduced to different shades of colorful characters in varying points of their lives. Every poem describes the hidden truths and realities of human attributes. Each perfectly imperfect person we meet is a representation of the people we run across in our individual journeys which then become stepping stones in our own growth.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviews


My books are available here.

That’s the way the addiction grumbles
That’s the way the drunk stumbles
That’s the way the moon serenades
That’s the way the elephants walk in the parade
That’s the way the politicians talk
That’s the way the predators gawk

That’s the way the innocent dream
That’s the way the raped scream
That’s the way the fears surrender
That’s the way the cold remembers
That’s the way the lost are found
That’s the way the veterans weep to the sounds

That’s the way the truth should be told
That’s the way the lies are bitten and sold
That’s the way the victim cries
That’s the way the quiet feel inside
That’s the way the impregnator stares
That’s the way the son of a bitch cares

That’s the way the glass is poured
That’s the way the children are ignored
That’s the way the perception is skewed
That’s the way the label is crude
That’s the way the society thinks
That’s the way the one percent drink

That’s the way the air becomes stale
That’s the way the skin becomes pale
That’s the way the poets write
That’s the way the day turns into night
That’s the way the heart breaks into bits
That’s the way the last puzzle piece fits

That’s the way the thunder growls
That’s the way the thieves prowl
That’s the way the light disappear
That’s the way the dark becomes crystal clear
That’s the way the luck falls
That’s the way the anger crawls

That’s the way the perpetrators finger points
That’s the way the hippies smoke a joint
That’s the way the teacher dresses
That’s the way the students make messes
That’s the way the winners gloat
That’s the way the captain steers the boats

That’s the way the rich treat the poor
That’s the way the small companies closes its doors
That’s the way the snake rattles
That’s the way the beast fights in battle
That’s the way the cookie crumbles
That’s the way the insider fumbles

That’s the way the performers act
That’s the way the sky becomes black
That’s the way the song is heard
That’s the way the villains see the words
That’s the way the view turns into stone
That’s the way the virtuous become alone

That’s the way the branch breaks
That’s the way the dealers make mistakes
That’s the way the world divides
That’s the way the humans collide
That’s the way the people see
That’s the way the universe will be


My books are available here.

For I am the gust in this brilliant joy
For I am the hope in these disorientated chapters
For I am the trembling suspicion in the corner
For I am the optimism in your stained pupils

And the fascination pierces in the burgundy sky

For I am the prosperity in this shattered mirror
For I am the wisdom you have never heard
For I am the glare in the whispering blur
For I am the salt in your four seasons

And the enchantment glows in the burgundy sky

For I am the zest in your shaky bridges
For I am the rainbow in your weeping azure
For I am the shine in your rusty screams
For I am the fear in your gripping wishes

And the artistry blooms in the burgundy sky

For I am the peace in your self destruction
For I am the grit in your sandcastle
For I am the treasure you haven’t touched
For I am the daydream in your hallucinations

And the elegance radiates in the burgundy sky


My books are available here.

I’ve been cauterized by my figment of
my bleary imagination
I’ve overlooked the obscurity dripping
in the marrow of my bones
I’m reminded of my thin sensibilities
drifting in a whirl
my memories weep in the photograph of
Black-Eyed Susans in the vase
next to the grin of my brave mother

Thank you for the encouragement
Thank you for the warmth
Thank you for walking with me in the dark
Thank you for the light
you gave your grandson

I’ve been sobbing at the gravesite
with a four leaf clover clenched in my hand
I’ve heard the growl within the pieces
of my shattered heart
I’ve stared into the loss and the pins
sticking in my sensitive nerves
my memories weep in the photograph of
Black-Eyed Susans in the vase
next to the grin of my brave mother

Thank you for the joy
Thank you for the unconditional love
Thank you for your never ending presence
Thank you for the smile
you gave your grandson


My books are available here.

Seven O’clock drifts
vaudeville inauguration, tranquil introduction
A breeze of pleasantries and greetings
center stage, sponge like audience
mixed congregation sipping on souls
connecting with unbiased strangers
nervously releasing free verse on a axis
“I placed a chunk of the run down moon
deep in my threadbare pocket
no longer glistening or luminous
cemented in a tuberculosis celestial sphere
over a twelve thousand acre of soil
filled with sulking predators, non stopping
vixens, and smirking baby-kissers
With a plethora of fear I packed my cobalt
suitcase and changed my landscape
Arrived in a view with miracles and lilies
dancing around a bonfire with a beam
glaring at her sunset daydreams
head over heels, star striking overture
forgotten piece of the crescent
tumbling for love forevermore”
sewn chapter left my lips with a joyful taste

Furthermore Allium,
your disparaging statement leaves a query
your impatience is shrugged off like grime
your insensitivity shrieks with havoc
your inferior pupils widen when silent
your misfortunes whisper like a cyclone

Between our beloved seasons
the grandfather clock whistles our song
your weakness’s held us together
your love is what makes us strong

And the affection seeps in after the calm
And the admiration between our fingers
is everlasting

Furthermore Allium,
your anxiety shudders and thickens
your nitpicking feels like a porcupine
your criticism often is a delirious fog
your secluded wounds weep in the dark
your bricks in your wall feel like quicksand

Between our beloved seasons
the grandfather clock whistles our song
your weakness’s held us together
your love is what makes us strong

And the adoration wraps around the stillness
And the peace after the hurricane shimmers in our history


My books are available here.

Smiles turn frail and sapphire

Grins carrying cobalt bullets

Wrestling with a pocket of change

Standing in front of a phone booth

Eight hundred miles away from truth

Love took a freight train to misery

No emergency brake on this passage

Faster than a speed of light

Lost in all of the choices and indecision

Eight hundred miles away from lies

Wearing a royal trench coat of pain

Feeling like a thousand pounds

Too frozen and solid to remove

Still standing in front of a phone booth

Eight hundred miles away from her

Debating and contemplating

Fumbling with the quarters

Should I call her from Indigo


My books are available here.

She murmured sardonic puns, three line riddles and a secret written by her morning phantom
She was sipping on Coca Cola with percolating eyelashes carrying a catatonic grin
I sighed “your diabolical scent is quite ravishing and eloquent”

I didn’t mean to ignite the past
I didn’t mean to love you with the left eye
I didn’t mean to fall so hard with a faithless romantic

She gargled bits of authenticity, lucid theories, and swallowed a vitamin of intensity
She often spills her aggression, animosity, and uneven morals in her bloodhound diary
I cringed “your radiant light is piercing through the thick of the night”

I didn’t mean to surrender to your heart of stone
I didn’t mean to adore your nightmares
I didn’t mean to wipe away the rain in the storms

She has a mystifying language drenched in symbolism and an accent with a pinch of kindness
She miscalculated and misplaced the affection
I gave
I gasped “your insidious magic feels like gold, makes me wonder why your story hasn’t been told”

I didn’t mean to say those words
I didn’t mean to remove your veil
I didn’t mean to make so you afraid


My books are available here.

I know it’s Thursday when the nurse brings the little paper cup with five pills instead of three. A sip of tepid water and I go back to staring out the window. I can’t abide small talk. Never could. Better to observe my surroundings than spin idle words. My wife understood that, why don’t these young kids get that? Always on about the weather and am I comfortable and did I sleep well. Of course I didn’t sleep well. I haven’t slept well since I was brought to this place. I keep quiet, I know when to keep my mouth shut. It’s Thursday and she always made meatloaf with gravy and fresh baked rolls on Thursdays.

I constantly see him gazing. I can see memories crawling up and down a mammoth hill in his mind. I can see his mind slowly deteriorating as the seconds go by on our grandfather clock. I often glare at the Roman numerals on it and think of the precious years our love glowed. It breaks every piece of my heart to see him in a hospital bed. I thought I have embraced every minute with him. The last few years we have gone through the motions and hate the tears that fall into my lap. I’ve thrown away countless hours giving him the bare necessities and nothing more because of the silence that pierces through the friction of our marriage.

As soon as I close my eyes, I open them again to the sounds of a young woman opening the curtain. It’s no longer dark outside and I remember Sarah rose early during the week but slept in an extra hour on Saturdays. The nurse smiles at me and asks how I slept. She knows I haven’t slept but a moment yet her mundane prattling eases the sting of being away from my wife at least for a few minutes. I wonder when I saw her last. I miss her hand in mine. How her eyes sparkled as she laughed and smiled. Saturday mornings were made just for her and me.

He gawks at that nurse like he used to at me. I gave all of myself to a man that knew how to take but struggled to give. Parts of me cry like a baby. He never raised a hand or cheated on me. More often it felt like he was going through the motions. Parts of me are frozen. I often watch him sleep and watch his favorite television show. He was enthralled with details, crime, investigations, interrogation, lines of questioning, and trying to figure out the culprit. Benjamin Matlock was his companion more than I was at times. Parts of me chuckle saying that. Sometimes I even stare at that young nurse.

I remember this one evening, this evening when my wife, Sarah, was so upset with me because she had asked me to fix the sink in the kitchen, we were always having problems in the old house with it and she asked as soon as I got home please fix the sink but I was tired from work and I just wanted dinner and to watch the television, my favorite show came on right after dinner and I was so fascinated with the characters and the mystery and I was tired and I ended up falling asleep in my chair and when my wife woke me up she was so cross with me because I didn’t do as she asked and I remember I always liked to guess the ending of the show before they solved the mystery.

As much as I love him, too many times it came across in our marriage he was consumed by things that weren’t real. It was almost as if he was engrossed by make believe to avoid the realities going on in our marriage. He neglected confrontation and was absorbed by the simplicities of life (sex, television and food). I was marveled by his ability of not needing anyone. The appearance of being fulfilled by “things” fascinated me. I know there is more going on underneath but was never one to display that.

She sits and waits for me to say something. Anything. I know it. I can’t say a thing. What will she think? I was five when I learned my lesson well. Danny was eight. Daddy beat him until he fell off his chair, beat him until he couldn’t get up off the floor. Daddy said he’d learn his lesson. Daddy lifted the iron from the hearth and burned the sin from Danny’s hand that evening. I begged him to stop. Surely Danny would be good now! Daddy turned with dark, dark eyes and asked if my tongue needed the sin burned from it too. I closed my mouth and stopped my crying. I didn’t need the glowing red iron to brand his rules into my mind. I learned my lesson that day. Keep quiet and never get caught stealing. I never could say a word. How would Sarah look at me, knowing she married a coward. I stole the candy that day.

Danny hugged me tight. The tears were endless. William passed away at 67 years old and have been married for 41 years. Just like any other marriage we had our ups and down.

He was slowly decaying for the last 15 years of them. Our love was like rain – it poured, drizzled and sometimes it was dry. I can’t say he or even myself showed love consistently. I loved our memories but as the years went on both of us were going through the motions. Here I am sobbing creating more rain – the love we should have made. Perhaps it wasn’t just him falling apart in the last 15 years, it was myself. I took him for granted. I walked away with my hands clenched trying to be strong. Everyone stared at me. I needed a breath of fresh air and all I could see is rain. William loved the sound of the rain.


Check out Tara’s blog if you haven’t! This was a fun collaboration.