Thoughts, Thrones, Tobacco

What follows is a poem I wrote during midterms. I've made one or two adjustments to satisfy this message: Happy End of Finals! Enjoy your break, everyone. Merry Christmas! I'll see you in two weeks!

King of My Thoughts

For the fifth hour, I sit back in my armed chair,

Where I ought to be the king of my thoughts.

The feel of the cheap upholstery is worn and used,

But it has the familiar presence of worthy predecessors,

Past kings who too once resided in this old and bricked, boxed castle.


I push my studies away to rub my weakened and tired eyes.

I turn the desk lamp off, the weight of its rays crushing my stamina.

Music can no longer keep me focused and awake.

The onslaught of exhausting finals has taken its toll.


I look to my left and out my dorm room window,

Where the harshness of bright stadium lights beam in,

Mixing with the unwelcome hum of an outdated AC unit,

Which must be possessed by the demons of hell itself.

I consider going to bed, sleep calling me like a beautiful siren.

But the unfinished paper on my desk howls like a banshee

Or a nagging harpy ready to feast on my fatigue.


The room suddenly seems to quake with an unexpected boom.

Startled, it was only my measly pile of ramen that had fallen.

“Dammit,” ran my vocabulary, soon followed by “shit.”

I picked up my unworthiness, and

Lo, there I saw my cutter.


Grey in beauty, graphite in material, and slicing in action,

It was built for one purpose and one only.

Like a servant who slices cake for a guest’s merriment,

It slices tobacco for a smoker’s ecstasy.


With cutter in hand, my eyes peer upwards eagerly,

To the large and deep-colored mahogany box upon my dresser.

It had been nearly a month since my last smoke, so it was

With a Christmas hope that I peered into the glass top.


Like manna from heaven, one stick remained.


Every notion of sleep had scattered,

As if light itself had dispersed the darkness.

My adrenaline and excitement raced to one final conclusion.

This cigar must be smoked.


I grabbed my tools of happiness—

The Godsend cigar, the prophetic cutter, the infallible matches—

And I reached for the door to leave.

But my throne of thoughts, like a violated tomb, sat empty.

Surely, this too must be my companion.

With no regard for the narrow hall or

The already scratched walls, I descended my castle.

Upon exit I saw the only slab of concrete available under a large tree, empty,

And like a conqueror on new land, I claimed my colony of joy.


The stadium lights, that old, familiar enemy, struck again.

But with the grin of a fox’s smile,

I savored the sound of slicing the stick.

The familiar rite of preparation began,

And I prayed in thanksgiving that God had given man fire.


The match burst forth a violently happy flame,

Harnessing the intensity in to a reliable burn.

Cigar in mouth, I cupped the true light and raised it,

And with a gentle force, began to billow the smoke.


The smoldering column, trapped by the lower tree branches,

Encapsulate my domain, my happy domain.

I breathed deeply, and with care opened my mouth,

My joy slowly rising to meet God.

The stadium lights had lost their strength,

And the cloud of my creation reigned supreme.


Like before but with pride, I leaned back in my armchair,

My throne and patient companion.

I was king of my thoughts once again,

And I smiled, because at last, I had no thoughts to rule.

My mind was empty of any worry,

And with my burning scepter in hand,

With the smoke cloud clearing my head,

I finally rested in simple and happy peace.