Bitter Honey

Bitter honey, the aftertaste is drowning
the affection once pure turns into ink
Disjointed and spots of spite stick to
my worn-down tongue, I dwell inside

I lost my existence but found my shadow
I lost my fears but found my perspective
I lost my pride but found my character

Even in the despair, the calm was burning

Bitter honey, the aftermath is devastating
the devotion once concrete crumbles
Frail and specks of turmoil rushes down
my frightened throat, I wallow inside

I lost my independence but found my direction
I lost my truth but discovered the lies
I lost my innocence but gained my wisdom

Even in the melancholy, the silence was light

Bitter honey, the afterthoughts are distant
the tenderness once snug is crippled
Cracked and traces of sorrow drip from my
serenading eyelashes, I cringe inside

I lost my thirst but found my hunger
I lost my laughter but found the jester within
I lost my ghosts but found my guardian

Even in the dashed hope, the fall was awakening


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“The journey of self discovery is never ending.”

From the mind of Braeden Michaels, drink from this cup, the raven’s poison, a concoction of his collected poems all about the human condition. Imbibe in the rainbow of emotions found in the soul’s colors and taste the bitter aftertaste when you’re drenched in rage.

Indulge in the reasons beneath dripping lust before absorbing all the ways we experience our wide-ranging flavors of love and finish off with a sip of self-destruction. This is us. Humanity. All the layers stripped away and arranged for your pleasure.


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The dark side is gravitating
Scrambled thoughts of my reality
Playing with the toys in my closet
A world you could care less
Claiming to know me completely
You know what you want to know
My efforts to shed dead skin get unnoticed
I grin on the inside of these vandalized walls
We share a love that wears many disguises
that you refuse to see
You chose to see only a few layers of me
We display a miserable performance
Consistently staring into my silence
I can’t make you use your tongue
I will never be enough or give enough
You are as broken in pieces as me
You don’t know how to walk away
I dare you to walk away like the rest
The grin expects the unexpected
Can you spell the word depression
Waiting for God to take me away
You will understand me when I’m dead and gone
And give more of yourself to another man
The dark side is gravitating


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I’m not worth a penny
You won’t see any shine on me
I’m only a dot on this earth
You won’t even notice I’m here
I’m not a decoration
You won’t see that I exist
I’m only made up of coal
You won’t even notice that I’m gone
I’m just a tragedy waiting to happen
You won’t even care that I spoke
I scream in silence
To recognize that I’m alone

I started out a project about almost a year ago on “love poems” and within less fifteen poems I didn’t like the direction of what I was trying to accomplish. As a poet, I write more as a storyteller and sometimes forget why I started writing as a treen. Then it was an outlet and personal, something I needed. As I glanced at my project it didn’t take long for reality to slap me in the face. I am married to my inspiration. I see my light and the woman who said “yes” in a church. I’m hard on myself and consistently think I have to accomplish things to be something and someone. It became easy to continue this project once I made it more personal. Once complete, I handed my wife a copy and told her to flip to the dedication page. I’m not a perfect husband and willing to admit when I’m wrong. Every day that I wake up I know that I am blessed with more I could ever imagine. I am married to a woman with the strength of a lion, heart made of pure gold, and doesn’t have an ounce of selfishness. This collection has every shade of love! Grab a copy and swim in an ocean of poetry that awakens all of your senses.

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Scarlet’s Sin

Once upon a secret breeze
thirst and hunger tasted like transgression
Unhinged rage sought out an odyssey
from a provocative voice

And I swim into the deep of the saliva

A voluptuous silhouette in the sky
playing with precarious flames
splash of kerosene, a fatal match
Entwined in intoxicating magic

And I swim into the deep of the cravings

Disoriented from a hazardous touch
A forgotten goodbye evaporated
Dumbfounded and flabbergasted
Sucked in from a beloved sin

And I swim into the deep of the desire

Glazed from the saturation
Distracted and preoccupied
Falling in a pitfall of a fascination
Sinking deeper into the scarlet

And I swim into the deep where I may drown


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Except from “Unpaved Crossroads”

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


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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


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Exchanging histories, undiscovered blessing
She was born with silent violet butterflies
dancing in her “catch my breathe” eyes
A surreal connection, depth with curves
She walks with simplicity dripping from
her mysterious and irresistible lips

And she sings with heartache and strength
And she sings with brilliant magic
And she sings with white hot conviction
And her inner beauty is a magnificent star

I walk through the forest listening to her enchanted voice
I walk through the forest following her footprints

Kindhearted edges, carrying wreckage
She carries invincible wings over her
worn out and distressed shoulders
crystals floating in her periwinkle soul
She lights up in the dark like a firefly
armed with blistering faith

And she sings with heartache and strength
And she sings with brilliant magic
And she sings with white hot conviction
And her inner beauty is a magnificent star

I walk through the forest concentrating on her enchanted voice
I walk through the forest guided by her dazzling spirit


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Walking Paradox

She will care for thirty seconds
and write a novella of accusations
She will pine for your sensitive hands
and cry a stream of tears from a distance
She will crave hours of chit chat
and stare at grim skeletons in silence
She will dance and twirl in the garden
and be embarrassed of her defects in loneliness

“In my view, I was raped by his alluring
vocabulary, molested by his wit and probed
by his twinkling generosity. He turned me into a walking paradox.”

And the mystery within her dwells
And the inconsistency smears her delusions
And the absurdity fills her weary lungs
And the enigma is like condensation
And the anomaly marches within her mind

She will walk with poise and diligence
and shout with obscenities doused in wildfire
She will cherish the remains and residue
and toss her pieces she loathes in the garbage
She will wrap herself up in sanitized anxiety
and chuck courage up against the wall
She will run with convictions in her fist
and ignore the principles that define her

And the secrecy within her is desolate
And the conundrum drips frustration
And the perplexity drains her focus
And the complications steer her vision
And the rattle stumbles within her mind

“In my perspective, I was poisoned by his compliments, fondled by his intellect and abused by his sincere confidence. He turned me into a walking paradox.”


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Dandelion skin,
your consequences hang from your eyelashes
your backbone has an invisible crack
your tenacity wallows in the closet
your cheeks are filled with solitude
your apprehension feels like a heart beat

Grace from within witness’s a glimpse

“I can’t hear what you are saying, I’m too
busy fading”

Dandelion skin,
your affliction surrounds you like a cloud
your sheath carries an uneven stigma
your serenity is deep in your lungs
your perseverance sleeps with obscurity
your illusion is smeared and splattered

Grace from within is numb and worn

“I can’t run from the silence any longer, I can finally see parts of me that are stronger”

Dandelion skin,
your uncertainty plays hide and seek
your strain trips over your kindness
your sway crumbles in your defeated fingers
your delusions disappear in the fog
your trance whispers in the shade

Grace from within has the answers

“In this garden, I will blossom and continue to grow, the grace from within will finally show”


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She’s exhausted from spilling ink
She’s uncertain with her fingertips
She’s wobbly and shaking on the inside
She’s powerless from the past
She’s flimsy as a thin piece of paper
Sing me a song for wide hope
Sing me a song for stretched out faith

She’s frail within her bones
She’s isolated from the rattle
She’s licking her wounds quietly
She’s aching for companionship
She’s comfortless and abandoned
Sing me a song for freedom
Sing me a song without chains

She’s tangled up in desolation
She’s withdrawn and torn down
She’s a tragedy without a witness
She’s reclusive and friendless
She’s a sky without any clouds
Sing me a song for change
Sing me a song for healing


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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


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For You, Love Always

Captivated and infatuated by love’s delicate spirit, poet Braeden Michaels composes a collection as timeless as the dawn of time: from budding first glances to whispers of a heart broken yet mending to vows in forever to the exhilaration of a lover’s touch to joy in parenthood and the reverberation of desire. Here is love in all forms. New love. Learned love. Growing love. Surprising love. Love through the ages from a man for his woman. She is the compassion that forever sits still. She is the scent that lingers on his skin. She is the enchanted sea of grace. She is the sunflower’s breeze in his eyes.


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She use to be my enraptured muse
A mystical raindrop that drenched my entirety
guided by purity, kindness and authenticity
unveiling the sentiments in navy ink
written in the coveted firethorn notebook

In the afterglow she disappeared
Stillness was the enemy

She use to be the prayer between both hands
A snowflake cleansing my weary tongue
navigated by a sweet hummingbird whistling
displaying the verses with a keen eye
penned in a diary surrounded by flames

In the afterglow she vanished
tranquility was the rival

She use to be my northward carnival
A buzzing gypsy crooning in my orchestra
maneuvered by truth, sympathy and light
revealing the lines with unseen impressions
authored in a journal of mysterious flare

In the afterglow she escaped
serenity was her shadow boxer

I couldn’t make her remove her beloved wings


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