Generation Like

Popularity is the new currency
In a world gone viral
Diseased and shallow
In a land of lepers and self-made messiahs
No brain, no heart, no courage
Hiding behind computer screens
Playing games of smoke and mirrors
It’s all ego and illusion
Empty rants are all the rage
Anything for one more like, one more follow
But any measure of success still rings hollow
In a numbers game of users and losers
That the almighty Oz would be proud of

T J Therien

Free Books

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The Haiku Master

The skies grow dark, storm clouds brew,
Rogue wave swamps the rickety junk,
Japanese Poet writes Haiku
Floating around on wooden hunk,
Tempest raging, the vessel sunk,
Clinging to hope and broken board,
With unwavering faith of a monk,
His lot in life was underscored
By foul weather that down-poured,
By driving rains that would not cease,
Fate made the man a humble ward
Of World ruled by chaos and caprice
And yet this man gave not to fear
He always found a way to persevere

T J Therien

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On The Eve of World War III

The evidence is there, it’s plain to see
We’re teetering on the precipice of World War Three
Just take a moment or two to pause and think
And you will see we’re dangling over the brink
You will see we’re clinging to the thinnest thread
And we won’t be satisfied until everyone’s dead
Until corpses are ground into the ground by jackboots
How in Hell did we ever stray so far from our roots?
What of love, acceptance, decency and respect?
Shouldn’t those be the values of the ones we elect?
When did we change the dialogue and let hate grow stronger?
When did we hand the reins over to the War Monger?
When right is left and right is wrong
I ask, why can’t we all get along?

T J Therien

If you have a spare moment please support me in my goal to become the next Poet Laureate of Toronto, please stop by the page I have set up on Facebook for this campaign T J Therien for Poet Laureate of Toronto and like the page. While you’re at it feel free to share this post with your friends and pick up a digital copy of one of my books for free at

Campaign to become the next Poet Laureate of Toronto

I would like to ask all my friends to support me in my goal to become the next Poet Laureate of Toronto, please stop by the page I have set up on Facebook for this campaign T J Therien for Poet Laureate of Toronto and like the page. If I can’t garner the support of my friends I will find it difficult to win the support of strangers. While you’re at it feel free to share this post with your friends and pick up a digital copy of one of my books for free at


This week, two brothers were arrested in Canada for trying to leave the Country to participate in insurgency abroad. From what I can tell these were pre-emptive arrests, or in other words, arrests based on intentions, or pre-crime. While I don’t condone anything that has to do with the taking of Human Life, and we should try to prevent any efforts to do so, arresting people before perpetrating a crime smacks the face of all that is Democratic. I don’t know all the details involved in the arrests, or what type of evidence there is against these two because the government is be tight lipped, but there is a big difference between action and intent, or thoughts expressed. Part of me believes these are the actions of an overzealous government in what amounts to a PR move. This is Orwellian in scale, as the RCMP are now the Nation’s thought police.

If these two brothers were intent to fight abroad, why not let them go and charge them upon their return, or arrange for arrest when they reach their destination and connect with a terrorist organization in the country of their destination through channels of shared international intelligence.

There is a real lack of transparency surrounding these arrests that scares the hell out of me. Especially in light of my government announcing previously that Environmentalists will be classified as extremists. Will arrests of Environmentalists be conducted in the same way, especially when it comes to the planning of protesting proposed pipelines? This is a scary and sobering thought as the road has be paved for our government to do this through post 9-11 legislation that was bulked up in light of the recent lone wolf attacks that transpired in Canada last year, legislation that only gives the illusion of security when in fact they have put Canadians in harm’s way. The enacting of such legislation tells me that Terrorism is having its desired effect as governments caught up in hyper-vigil paranoia strip away civil liberties and cast the light of suspicion on neighbors.

Are these the Salem Witch Trials of our Generation? Is this our version of the Spanish Inquisition? Is this our “1984?” How will History view this period in Human History? Hindsight is 20/20 so I have the feeling History will view our Times in similar ways we view those events I have mentioned.

Until there is more transparency on this issue I will have a hard time trusting my own government and law enforcement. I grew up with the philosophy that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I also grew up believing that you could only be arrested if you actually committed a crime. But now I live in an era in which those ideals are being tested.

I am not sympathizing with terrorists. I am worried we have lost our Freedom, something our forefathers fought and died for. We mar their memory with the enacting of laws that take those Freedoms away. The principals upon which our Country was founded are being flushed down the toilet for a false sense of security.

T J Therien

Campaign for Poet Laureate for the City of Toronto

I have a dream and that dream is to be the Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto. I would appreciate your support. If you would just stop by and like my new Facebook page and join in my campaign to make my dream come true. I also appreciate anyone that helps spread the word, the more the better, but especially those in the Greater Toronto Area

Watching the News Unable to Change the Channel

I want to scream, I want to shout
I just want to drown it all out
All the hurt, the heartache and pain
Happening again and again
Is this really what life’s about?

The fool so sure, while the wise doubt
Tyranny carries too much clout
More potential flushed down the drain
I want to scream

Princesses sit at home and pout
Prince Charmings have all but died out
It seems like everything’s in vain
Nothing can remove Human stain
Festering puss-boils burst and spout
I want to scream

T J Therien

Freedom of Expression???

Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, what does it mean? Let’s be real here, we do not have complete freedom of speech and less liberty where freedom of expression is concerned. Anything that crosses into Hate Speech is illegal. So too is shooting a bunch of people, but that could be argued to be a form of expression, an expression of anger, it doesn’t make it right. I do not condone the attacks on the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, but at the same time I don’t condone lambasting people’s religious beliefs through satirical cartoon. Why such images disturb me is because it is reminiscent of the same caricatures used to depict Jewish people in Nazi Germany leading up to the Second World War. If such images were not right then they are not right now. To me, this crosses into Hate Speech. This is just my opinion but I think it is wrong to set out to intentionally offend people. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of Political Correctness either, but there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. As a writer, I approach my writing without fear of reprisal, or of offending people, but at the same time there are things I will not write. I believe part of a writer’s job is to say the unsaid, so I will say this in closing. If you are going to go around punching tigers in the face don’t be surprised if they tear you to pieces and bite your face off. The only way to conquer Hate is through Love, aggression only fuels further aggression and all we are doing is breeding the next generation of extremist.

T J Therien

An Open Letter to John Tory, the City of Toronto and the People of Canada

Three people died from exposure in the city of Toronto during the winter of 1995. This led the Municipal Government to introduce some safeguards to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. Fast forward to the first week of 2015 and yet again two people have died from exposure in a forty-eight hour period. Obviously the measures that the city enacted in 1996 have proved inadequate. Those measures include the opening of warming centers when the mercury drops below -15 C. What is not included in that formula is wind chill, length of exposure or whether people have adequate clothing. The people most in danger during extreme weather are the growing numbers of the city’s homeless.

Yes, I said it, the H word, Homeless. So who are the homeless? I’m sure you already have some preconceived notion of who these people are. You probably think they (the homeless) have mental health and/or addiction issues. You may be correct in your assumptions for a segment of the homeless demographic, but it is only one slice of the pie you are looking at and I would also argue in some cases that these issues developed as a result of homelessness as a coping mechanism.

But realize, a woman escaping an abusive relationship could find herself homeless, a child running away from physical, and or sexual abuse can also end up homeless, someone who has lost employment and had their Employment Insurance run out could very well find themselves on the street as the rate Welfare allocates a paltry $376 a month for housing. You can’t even find a room for that amount in this city and if you can it’s not one you would want to live in because you will have four and eight legged roommates by the thousands to keep you company.

Okay, to the point now. The problem is not how do we protect these vulnerable people during times of extreme weather. The problem is that there is Homelessness to begin with. We live in a rich country with plenty of land and resources and there just is no excuse for economic suffering. We waste Billions of dollars on frivolous things like the tens of millions spent in our Federal Government’s Economic Action Plan Ad Campaign. How far that money could have gone to housing the country’s homeless and feeding the country’s poor. These Economic Action Plan Ads really stick in my craw because it’s money essentially flushed down the toilet to tell us about programs that don’t exist when the News Media can do that same job free of cost to the government. That is what the Press Release is for. What purpose do these Action Plan Ads serve other than propaganda and lining the pockets of advertising companies that are across the border. That’s right, big fat cat advertisers in the United States get more government dollars than do the country’s impoverished.

One solution might be to require these condo developers to allocate a percentage of their units as low income housing. These company’s receive huge tax breaks and congest traffic with their projects and they don’t have any obligation other than to their stockholders. Gentrification of low income areas like Regent Park, Parkdale, among other areas is also a big reason why the ranks of homeless are growing in number, because there is no affordable housing being built to accommodate those displaced by Gentrification.

I know Politicians are going to say taxes will be raised if we tackle the issue of poverty because the money isn’t there for socialist programs. But homelessness costs more than programs that would remedy poverty. Costs associated with homelessness include staffed shelters, outreach workers, public health nurses, also healthcare as homeless people are usually not in a position to seek out preventative medicine and end up with conditions that are chronic and more costly to treat in advanced stages of an ailment. Just know, when Politicians begin their fear mongering that taxes are going to go up regardless. It is time to hold our politicians to task. It’s time Politicians start representing People and not the business interests they currently serve.

Think people, Toronto City Hall (Nathan Phillips Square) is currently undergoing a facelift that is going to cost taxpayers over $60 million and yet City Hall has been made a Park so that the homeless cannot camp out on the doorstep of the city. If there is one place the homeless should be able to camp out it should be City Hall. Sweeping the problem under the carpet isn’t going to make it go away; it’s just going to move down the street. In my opinion everyone who is Homeless should congregate en-mass on the steps of City Hall so the problem is visible and dealt with appropriately. Handing out fines to people who can’t afford to pay them doesn’t accomplish anything.

Realize that the Homeless are people to. They are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters. They are flesh and blood and deserve the same sympathy we display for a dog that has been abandoned or abused. Realize this, it’s our Humanity that makes us Human, without our Humanity we are just animals, or worst, monsters.

I believe kindness is in our DNA and has been suppressed by this dog eat dog ideology, but in nature Dogs do not eat Dogs, so the fact we use a term like dog eat dog only goes to show how unnatural such a philosophy is. It’s time we get back to what is in our nature. We are social creatures so why should our policies not reflect that. We are caring individuals, why do we let our government represent us in any other way. I spoke earlier of the plentiful resources this country can boast of, but it’s greatest resource is the people themselves. Almost ten percent of that resource is being wasted on Poverty.

T J Therien