Tougher Than the Rest

Tougher Than the rest

Growing up I had no style. I wanted to be that tough kid that had that comb in his back pocket and everyone saw as a rebel. I wanted to live my life with guns blazing and go out the same way. Being tougher than the rest, I thought that was what was expected of me. As I got older I saw it was all a lie.

Tougher Than the Rest 

From the day I was born I had to be tougher than the rest,

My Daddy was never a shirker, and ruthlessly put me to the test.

Before I was born, Daddy and my brothers fought tooth and nail,

Daddy’s idea was to make us hard-hitting to keep his 3 boys out of jail.

Now Daddy’s idea on raising his son’s may have been flawed,

But, tougher than the rest we became from Daddy’s prod.

There came a time when Daddy and Mama went different ways,

Didn’t change being tougher than the rest or how I had been raised.

In my life I brawled in the streets and ran from the law,

Standing on the edge of the cliff of becoming an outlaw.

Played football, tussled all – then, after my heroes I cowboyed up,

Rode bulls for a spell until one and I butted heads in a pileup.

Drank in the Honky Tonks and bounced in those country saloons,

Out late, drinking more than I should and sleeping in the afternoons.

Trying to stay tough to live up to my Daddy’s ideals,

Never living up or staying the course and always at Daddy’s heels.

Not long after Daddy died I realized I had been a fool,

That being tougher than the rest was not the right kind of fuel.

Now growing up tougher than the rest I hid a sensitive heart,

Being creative and artful was not living up to my manly part.

Being miserable had cost me a more than my family and my wife,

Losing all, I needed to set the right course for the reminder of my life.

Late in life, I saw the light I followed my artful and creative ways,

Being tougher than the rest had always been a very deceptive maze.

Finding myself behind a camera and the poetry of the written word,

Looking back at the past – now it all seems so shamelessly blurred.

In trying to be someone I was not and tougher than the rest,

Hiding within myself of who I truly am – had always been suppressed.

Kurt James

Kurt James © 2019

Where to purchase Kurt James novels and books:

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Introducing Kurt James – Colorado Storyteller

 

 

 

Kurt James
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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographer’s through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 5 novels all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand Kurt has also released a poetry collection - Poetry and Thoughts of a Wandering Man - (Uniquely Colorado edition) and now this collection - Poetry and Reflections of a Wandering Man (Random Thoughts edition) all are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt is working on his 6th Colorado adventure tale novel “Conner’s Saga”.
Kurt James
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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographer’s through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 5 novels all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand Kurt has also released a poetry collection - Poetry and Thoughts of a Wandering Man - (Uniquely Colorado edition) and now this collection - Poetry and Reflections of a Wandering Man (Random Thoughts edition) all are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt is working on his 6th Colorado adventure tale novel “Conner’s Saga”.

14 thoughts on “Tougher Than the Rest

  • February 15, 2019 at 1:54 PM
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    It seems you have found a balance in your way of life, Kurt. What you share here in this poem is very similar to how my siblings and I were raised. Great work, I enjoyed reading this.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2019 at 2:03 PM
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    Thanks Phyllis. I think I have finally found the balanced I needed in my life, it seems that I am always a tad late in most milestones. I have learned over time that there are different variations of becoming a man and doing what is right. Thanks for stopping by…

    Reply
  • February 15, 2019 at 9:02 PM
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    Good work Kurt. Yep, there is more to being a man than just acting tough. Sticking to your convictions and trying to do what’s right despite what others might think. Nice sketch too. Oh, were you saying poets aint tough…lol?

    Reply
  • February 16, 2019 at 3:29 AM
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    LOL… well John I would hate to put all poets in the same “not tough” category, especially in the case of John Hansen master poet from down under. I am not saying you are Batman, but I have never seen Batman and you in the same room at the same time is all I am saying….

    Reply
  • February 17, 2019 at 8:19 AM
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    Well my friend, I couldn’t have written a better description of a similar life any better than you have here. I too grew up being tough, but mine was enforced by the enforcer at home beating my mum. I took my anger out in the streets, bars, clubs and anywhere else I could find trouble. Most places I hung out in, it found me. But like you I mellowed over the years, also with a mentor stepping into my life and pulling me from the edge of the dark abyss I was free falling into. I am thankful for that all watching eye who watches over everyone of us, he/she knew I was worth saving and I’ve proven them right. I’m happy you took your gun belt off, buried your anger and found the better side of this life. Yet with much of what I pen, it comes from those dark experiences in my life, so I must be thankful for some of that dark period. Good write my friend, keep it up, your talents a blossoming before you.

    Reply
    • February 18, 2019 at 12:29 PM
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      The tough days and nights we experienced is what made us the people we are. I would not change it for anything. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • February 17, 2019 at 9:33 AM
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    Kurt you have written a poem about a battle I think a lot of us fight in our lifetimes. I grew up thinking that being an American meant I had to be tough, take my alcohol, and hold my own no matter what. Once I moved past these thoughts life took on a new meaning. Thank you for sharing. Jamie

    Reply
    • February 18, 2019 at 12:30 PM
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      Thanks Jaimie for stopping by my campfire for a spell. Glad you were able to move past and become the wonderful poet that you are.

      Reply
  • February 18, 2019 at 3:26 PM
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    Nicely penned. Not everyone in life can be tougher than the rest but having a poetic escape for it all afterward is the very best.

    Reply
    • February 18, 2019 at 6:06 PM
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      Thanks Rasma for stopping by and the nice compliment.

      Reply
  • February 18, 2019 at 7:02 PM
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    Excellent my friend. Open and honest. I chose to be both, a football player badass and an artsy creative nerd, band geek too. Guess who doesnt mess with you for being a nerd,band geek when your a football player? Brains over brawn usually wins out most of the time. Good work Kurt.

    Reply
    • February 19, 2019 at 6:43 AM
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      As always Paul one must find the balance in life as we move forward. Thankfully my friend you have been able to do just that. Thanks for the nice compliment.

      Reply
  • February 18, 2019 at 9:48 PM
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    talk about a confession – I bet you tore it up like nobodies business as a kid (I can say the same, but we’re not talking about my transgressions). It’s amazing how our father’s seem to live vicariously through us; often times not allowing our real self to emerge. I’m glad you were able to find the real man inside your tough-guy shell and share your work with the world; it’s a better place for it cowboy…

    Reply
  • February 19, 2019 at 6:46 AM
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    Well Ralph tearing it up as a kid was my way of life and most times not in my best interest. Living up to a father ideals is never easy on anyone, because no matter what you do it never seems to be enough. But, my good friend someday I would love to hear about your transgressions…lol..

    Reply

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