At the Pen Strokes of Midnight by Reggie Legend

 “At the Pen Strokes of Midnight”


“Churning the Midnight Oil”

                                                                                                                                                                     amended on 6/10/05 & 6/14/08

Amid summer like heat,
I’ve hit a midsummer night’s feat.
My pen strikes ignited leaks like hitting oil on Iraqi soil.
Another hundred now fight for me
That bring sudden life to me like lightning…
It’s enlightening – even when I’ve alighted, this craft remains loyal.

 When change and turmoil haunt my life,
I burn oil less as I halt what I write.
Daunted by fright, the darkness of night scares and engulfs me.
Until I remember the strength enkindled
By the depth and breadth of written vigils…
I sit still on the lintel until gentle cinders are flared by my sulking.

 As the pen strokes stoked heighten at midnight,
A surge is invoked to toast any crisis at midlife.
As thoughts reflect on old insight, I marvel at my pen’s tremendous tendencies.
For the instant my sins’ glimpses close in,
The instinct of my pen’s wisdom flows again…
I can’t hold it in – it’s grown intrinsic independency.

 The incense of oils churning now suddenly emboldened
Becomes more intense than a hundred dozen roses.
It’s like an aloe explosion mixed with ointments of jasmine and myrrh.
This newest version of The Psalms of a Chiliad
Becomes a fluid disbursement of the balm of Gilead…
Though released from the palms of sickly hands, I’m anointed by the miraculous Word.

 Already half past The Eleventh Hour,
I now have a pad and staff ready to devour.
Like kegs of gun powder – they’re explosive once detonated.
Such an enormously deep bevy of power
Torments my sheets like the bed of a coward…
 Though dormant, it cheats sleep at the deadest of hours as my rest is jaded.

 Until I investigate its unique composition,
My rest is taken as weak competition.
The weeks that I ought to have written keep me awake at night.
The words that I’d seen now haunt my vision
Until each thought is caught and written…
As I’m both honored and smitten by the pages I write.

 To be saved from the night, I blaze when I write.
It aches my mind to delay a rhyme.
So I take my time to turn it into laden mines – lit by long fuses in thick chords.
In a world of darkness, I feel safer if I
Channel my energy into staying alive
By savoring what I write like a saber of light from the richest source.

 To get such force, I churn my midlife oils
To steadily burn my midnight toils.
My urges amidst life’s foils provide perfect combustion.
To start the fire, the trick to lighting it boils
Down to picking the wick with the right morals…
If it burns too quick once I’ve ignited the soil – it’s a worthless function.

 What’s worth touchin’ is the darker matter
Lurkin’ in an unction beneath the surface with harmful patterns.
I can spark more lanterns with the fleshly deeds of my blackest coals.
Once I’ve sifted and liquefied wicked fibers,
This viscous liquid’s equipped to script intensified fire…
As it turns any pen gripped into a live wire dipped in Texas Tea-Black Gold.

 Once captured and controlled, this substance
Crafts words both whole and uncorrupted.
Through pits pitch black from pole to pole, the darkness it touches decays away like flesh.
When such matter hits flint, each word it invents
Circumvents tints of permanence
With such intense purges entrenched that the flame’s inundated with text.

 With self-sustained embers that never dwindle,
Every member entered remains forever kindled.
Each letter’s a preserved vigil burning critical like fire in a furnace.
Handled by the measure of words in my soul’s extent
And reflected in candles tethered to burn at both ends…
What festers beneath has the reserves of an ocean to keep fires refurbished.

 So though something wicked this way comes,
It provides a substance with it that enflames my tongue.
The wick it’s sentenced betrays what’s wrung in its core of strands.
So though something insipid delays the sum,
The totality it’s witnessed has engaged this son…
As the rays of the sun reign from my digits and thumbs when the Lord’s at hand.


‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments.  I am afflicted very much; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.’

– Psalm 119:105-107 NKJV

‘For Thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.’

– Psalm 18:28
‘The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.’
– Proverbs 20:27

Reggie Kee (d.b.a. Reggie Legend) is the author of over 16000 poems and haiku. Reggie has had his work featured on several online websites and forums for over a decade.

Seeking to increase his platform as a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator, Reggie began writing social commentary known as poetitorials: a combination of poems and editorials. These writings have gone on to spark dialogue in forums ranging from sites such as to collegiate student newspapers and composition courses at Columbia College Chicago.

He is the author of two self-published books: Steel Waters VOLUME I: DUPLicate AuthentICITY and Defacing the Music: What Slips into the Grooves Once God Gets Removed.

As a youth advocate, Reggie tours local school districts motivating a variety of students with material geared towards specific needs. Reggie offers direction to students in college-preparatory classes based on his own experiences through a series of workshops that reclaims the status of the word “genius” as an accessible commodity that exists in all of us through the formula GENIUS = PASSION + TALENT + PURPOSE. For young men who find it difficult to gain traction in school at the elementary and middle school level, Reggie created the Fox Valley Kings program to instill purpose and a sense of ownership in the one resource that makes us all rich: words. With the motto “Crowning Achievement One KING at a Time,” the students learn that they can influence their environment and determine how well they rule as kings by how well they manage the richness found in the power of words.

Reggie married his wife, minister Quiana Kee, on August 21, 2004. Together, they have two children and are co-founders of Ink Well Spoken. As a licensed minister alongside his wife, they are also featured columnists for The Chicago Defender

Reggie studied at the University of Delaware; receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering in 2000. He went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from Argosy University with a concentration in Leadership Management in 2006. Having spent over a decade of his career in the field of post-secondary education, he has honed his expertise and best practices in customer service to equip students and families with sound college preparatory skills and the ability to identify resources and effective strategies for financial planning.


Defacing the Music:  What Slips into the Grooves Once God Gets Removed

Steel Waters:  DUPLicate AuthentICITY




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