day one: call me a Criminal

Four Walls

I am used to solitude

Used to four walls


Has held me for so long

Eight years

Broken by months of freedom

Only to taunt me

To say

This is not for you

Liberty Equality

Foundations of democracy

Voice Choice


Like me

Here is the predictable

Follow orders





Maybe that's all I needed


The praxeum

Learning in action





If not for me, my brother

The one who held my hand after every nightmare

The one who tolerated the tagalong toddler

Would be alive

Would be flesh, a stormtrooper

A job

Not chosen

But conscripted

But Zeth

Zeth the boy I see

Each time I step before the mirror





I see his face before me


Unable to make sense of the action unfolding

Taught to follow, not to question

I see him for only a moment and he's gone

Gone with the planet known as Carida







Was it a million?

A billion?

Does it matter? Gone and the guilt…

…and the wound that refuses to mend

Table Manners

Chew with your mouth closed

Use your fork

Say thank you say please

A mother's words echo in my cell as

I chew on my afternoon meal

Better than Kessel's

Nothing like home

Second Day

At Yavin I sat high in a tree and watched as greater beasts ate smaller ones

And that was the way of things

Nature's selection

Nameless birds

Zone in on their prey

The flitnat

Pesky insect


As I sat in that tree

The birds only doing what nature intends

Taking only what they need

Taking for need

Is there anything wrong with that

We do not call them murderers



They are just hungry



I encouraged the birds

"Here, tasty, filling"

They circled

Emboldened by my promises




My mother would bake sweet smelling rolls

To wash down with cold blue milk

We'd sit at the table and talk about my day at school

The feelings of others

The Force unnamed, but she understood

Fear named one child

Loss named another

There was glee and the unbound joy of childhood

And my mother, in her tender way reminded me that I had feelings too

"What made you smile today, tell me what was good"

Focused on sorting

The grays from the yellows

[mostly gray]

My mouth, stuffed with cotton

My heart filled with sadness, stammers

Me? Sometimes I am empty

Her hands busy and nimble

Stop to take mine

You're special little one

Her touch calm and soft surrounding mine

These hands will do great things

Her hands, a tingle of strength

She knew my emotions, intimately

Listening, with the wisdom and a promise

There would always be plenty

When we had our love

The New Guard

Steps into the cell

Tall and muscled

His blue eyes search me

So I face the wall

He's one of so many

Hired to protect the galaxy

His commands go unanswered

His anger, a tingle down my spine

The wall is interesting, gray, certain

I do not have to search for any variation here

Predator or prey?

Who's who today?

He doesn't see me smile amused by my rhyme

Another order is heat upon my back

A flitnat of sorts


Hard to ignore


The prod of the stun baton

Reminds me

Who is in charge

And that being the flitnat is

A matter of perspective

The prod of the stun baton

Lowers me to the floor


Size matters not


Tell that to the flitnat

School Lessons

I learned to read when I was four

I'm not joking

I'm not a fool

By the time I arrived

At Deyer's primary school

I was ready

For the next class

And so they let me go

Even then an outcast

"how come he's not like his brother?"


I thought I showed them everything Zeth had taught me

I followed every rule

Answered every question

Did every assignment

Still the outcast

At Yavin the story repeated itself again

Even adults get jealous

Not fair

I only wanted to learn

Be the best Jedi

Make Han proud

And maybe some of it was for me

A glass snake made a cozy home in Tionne's cupboard

I found it, poised to strike

Dispatched it with the Force

She cried over it's death

Not even a thank you

The looks

I know them

How can they be jealous of me?

I've nothing they'd ever want

I'd trade my life for any other any day



Tionne sings the Joy of the Jedi

The others, genuine excitement

For me?

The pace was too slow

The work was too easy

They were jealous

They were happy to see me go

Despised for being me

The glass snake is scary but harmless

Its strike paralyzing only briefly

Like a quick zap of Force lightning

But there are snakes like the condacara

Beautiful and silent

Their venom irreversible

Like a long course of Force lightning

Forking tendrils bringing forth immeasurable pain

Lessons are taught outside the classroom

I've learned the greatest lesson of all

Trust no one

If I am lucky

Daala will find Yavin

And they'll feel the strike of the condacara

If this is how we age I don't want to grow up

Arter Stelum


Never thought he'd have to


A hollow soul

Who did he wrong to end up with me

End of his career?


How does a head get so bald?

What cruel hoax does nature pull on the males

He types away at his datapad

His hands are dry

Flimsi skin pulled tight over boney knuckles

I wonder

And realize the words have come form my mouth

Because he answers

"No, I have never been in a fight, have you?"

An exchange?

No, just a stray string of syllables

He types away

"So Kyp

Want to tell me about your brother?"


I'd stand and pace if not for the shackles

And likely he knows I'm his captive

The glass snake strikes

This time, I'm not there to protect, but to encourage

That which is nature's selection

Right hand trembles, clenched in a fist

Anguished cry

Left hand clenches his right, no doubt numb

Guards gather

Innocent face

Looks like this session is over

Later in my bed

I wonder, what is this feeling inside?

I'm beyond guilt

This was my civic duty

But something clawing, gnawing, digging its talons into my flesh keeps at me


…but the guilt is not for the millions…or the billions, but for the failure

That I am

That I always will be

For not finding him, saving him,

In time


Not just Zeth, but me

I Dream

I dreamed I killed my brother. Not with the superweapon but with my hands

I saved him, whisked him from the planet as its primary exploded

Only to kill him

He attacked me with a knife, tried to stop me from my mission

I had no choice

We fought

He tried to stop me

His duty, but I had mine

Strong hands around my throat were no match for the dark side

I awoke

Just a dream or was it


Is still dead, no matter how it is accomplished.

Han Visits

It is hard to look at him

His face is worn, tired, because of me

It's his own fault really

For thinking he could save me

The darkside had me way before we met

It started the day my parents died

And every injustice became a brick to build a wall

A wall thicker than my cell

Dammit Han leave me alone!

You have no right to care for me

Go on with your life

He doesn't move, doesn't even respond

If I could walk away from him I could

Instead I stand in the corner like some errant child

He rambles on about me, the laws, Leia

How they're trying to help me

But I ignore him

He'll learn eventually I'm not worth saving

Better to have left me at Kessel


I used to have this dream

Of floating, or flying

I'd soar far over the oceans of Deyer

I'd never tire

Never need to seek land

Lord over the sea

Now, that memory

Leaves me cold

I have flown over oceans and planets

Cast my judgment

A burden not given to the weak