Irony of Humanity – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

It’s so very cold in this blistering summer heat
The chill of humanity sends shivers down the spine

A lonely vagabond traveling from city to city seeking out meaning
A switchblade of greed penetrates the skin
Drops of blood numb

Hate hidden behind the words of wealthy ghosts whose power was only matched by corruption

Like a rocket man, I leap for space
Gravity pulls me back
Pounding me into this concrete jungle

With the ink of slavery, we penned freedom
An iconic irony housed in the ivory walls symbolizing a nature of promise

On the farms, they pray for a crop of plenty
In the trailers, we blame a color
In the palaces, we isolate
In the hallowed halls of see no, hear no, speak no, evil lingers

I declare that all men are created equal
A statement so full of decency
A statement so harmful
A false pretense for all we know

Teachers beware
Parents behave
Elected officials roll in your bed of money

Citizens of Earth, heed your call
Behold power in number; power in knowledge; power in faith

Destroy the walls of irony
Take back the original sin

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Forever A New Day – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

With every whisper, I hear your voice for the first time
Here’s to the nights when we were so alive
A toast to the stars and sky

A dance in the moonlight; a buzz to take the care away
Every lullaby a reminder how I will miss you in my sleep, but not alone as my conscious wishes you to me

Awakening to your kiss in every dream
In your mind’s eye, we can see the world
Our hearts will guide us on this magic carpet ride through the clouds

It feels so real, your body close to mine
The world so far away
The air fresh and free

My princess, angel, femme fatale
A vision

Crash
A morning rain pounds against the bay window
My eyes open to the gift of sunlight
Dream and reality hand in hand

Bodies clenched
Hands wrapped tightly around your soft skin; pressed to your hips
The smell of your hair
Aroma of love

Warmth of the sunlight and the heat of your body
Hot springs of passion
Looking in your eyes, we see our souls as one
A reflection of me looking at you
Laughing at the world just through those doors
Stay away from this reality

You are my dream; never to fleet
Never to pass

Forever a new day
Forever I fall in love for the first time

Good morning, she whispers
I smile

Love Letters In The Sand – Original Poem

4By Mark A. Leon

Love letters in the sand
Thoughts of you running through my head
The sound of the waves a reminder of making love to you

Under skies of pouring rain we kissed like fools
I playback that night on repeat like it was yesterday
What started with hello, ended with a lifetime of unrequited thoughts and fictional scenarios

Our emotions were wild stallions
Fierce and free
Impenetrable
A steel barrier of fear

What fools we were

Then you flew
And flew and flew
Far away to a land I could not find
A well-designed escape

Years would pass
Countless other lovers and shared experiences
Some came close, so close

Your face, your letters, your lips remained
I gave it all to you
You cannot touch it, but I hope you still feel it

Love letters in the sand
Words fading with the crashing waters
Our deepest feelings almost broke the walls

It was not meant to be, we would say
Perhaps in another life

Maybe, just maybe I’ll walk this beach and find a new love letter in the sand from someone just like you

Broken – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

This broken heart is shattered in pieces, but still beating
The light continues to blink “Don’t Walk”
No movement in any direction
No sign of life
I’m falling apart
Don’t let me let you go

I remember the nights we were invincible
The memories left under the sheets
The shots to endless embrace
We swore our youth would never be stolen
Every weekend was an endless beach party

I loved those days
You wouldn’t let them fade
Singing under only the light of the moon
It was a love made for teens
Bar close was only the beginning
That sun dress lying in the sand caressing your flip flops
Splashing waves and blowing kisses
You were all we needed the summer

No school, no work, no glimmer of a world we knew we had to face

Radio on the porch, a beer and great friends
It was a story written in simplicity with a splash of ink to the one I love
The one I would always love

Then we toasted over the harbor with a promise
Friends forever
Fireworks exploded cascading reality
Summer turned to fall
Sun faded with the falling leaves

So too the promise
Let us raise our glasses and with arms wide open one last embrace

*Photo by Raquel Avila

Profound – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

I miss your footprints in the sand
I still feel the pain
It is meant to be felt and hidden in the darkness of the soul

I look to the clouds to sing me a lullaby
I sink to the deeper blue waters
Let go
Concrete pull of gravity as the sun fades from view

Now I awake

Time divided now

What was; what will be; what almost was

A translucent image plagued by colors painted by dreamers framed into this box of life

A profound moment
Rested on the pillars of memories
Look, a picture of a smile I used to know with you by my side

Color
Black and white
Kaleidoscope

So much confusion, it is all clear

A world of darkness and light and I am floating in grey

Often poetic
Rarely so free
To be in a world so open, inhabited by walls
A contradictory storyline without an ending

Missing is so finite
As we return to sand, missing becomes a void blackness

How profound

Recruitment: When Practice and Trends are going in two different directions

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By Mark A. Leon

As a sourcing or recruiting professional, how many times have you sent an eblast/email campaign to 100, 500, 1000, 5000 people?  I imagine a great deal of you are nodding you heads in the affirmative.

Follow up question:  How many of you have audited every profile on that list to ensure their skills, geography, pay and cultural needs are in direct alignment with the role you are filling?

I believe that number just went down.

One last question, if I may:  How many of you premise your emails to look something like this:

“Dear Anyone (we of course customize the campaign to include first name),

We had an opportunity to review your resume and believe you would be a great fit for this opportunity, but if you are not, can you refer someone or share this out……”

Now read it out loud and tell me if you see anything wrong with this.  Many of you do and yet we still do it in the recruitment community.

Why?

I have racked my brain behind that question for some time now.  I can’t believe the throw it and see what fits thinking still exists.

Look at the pros and cons on why this may be happening:

Pros: We are intelligent recruiting professionals.  We are trained to think and take the perspective of the candidate.  We understand the importance of connecting and personalizing the relationship with the candidates.  We know how costly it is to onboard a new hire, so finding the right “fit” is critical.

Cons:  We get complacent in our roles doing the same tasks repetitively because companies grow or hire the wrong people so we must backfill many roles.  It takes a professional with sales, customer service and strong knowledge breath to be a great recruiter and not all have these attributes.  Taking the time to audit, analyze and report is not something most recruiters want to do.  As the recruiting technology expands, many traditionalists do not want to learn new skills.

This may be over-simplifying, but the cons seem to be outweighing the pros.

I refer to a resource website Daily Job Fix www.dailyjobfix.com to provide me with insight on who is hiring and at what volume.  This really helps put perspective and provide valuable market intelligence on the mood of the United States and employment.  As we ramp up to “seasonal” hiring, this article will become more valuable in providing some insight on how to improve your outreach efforts, especially for high volume roles.

When we send out an eblast, we look at several factors:

  • Open rate
  • Click through rate
  • Conversion rate (Outreach to qualified interview)
  • Hires (Lead Generation to hire ratio)

When these metrics are low we are quick to blame the following:

  • Our pay isn’t competitive
  • Our brand isn’t strong in the marketplace
  • The competition in the area is so high
  • There isn’t enough available supply of talent

How often do we blame the content of your eblast and/or the lead generation list?  Not often enough

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The next time you have an email campaign to blast out, look closely at the list and look for the following things:

  • Is the experience in line with the experience requirement of the role?
  • Is the commute reasonable given the compensation level?
  • Is the candidate the right cultural fit (Ex: If they work for a mom and pop and this is a global company of 100K employees, maybe not the right fit)
  • Is the first name email friendly? (Ex: FRANK or JANE should be Frank or Jane because Dear FRANK, looks very unprofessional)
  • Are you following up or is this a one and out campaign (How many emails go to spam – A lot)
  • Are you measuring the success or failure of your campaign (Analytics, analytics, analytics)?

If you show the candidate respect from your first interaction, you will see an improvement in quality, time to fill and cost per hire.

There is No Life Without Love – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

There is no life without love

Throw out the drugs, hallucinations, drinking and sorrow

Love opens the door to possibility
Breathes life into hope
Gives meaning to this insanity of eternity

Blinded by words
Endless words
Hidden safely in loneliness, we find solace
Solace in meaningless sex
It’s hot, sweaty and shivers the body

It feels good
It feels so good, but for what end?
A momentary feeling of euphoric bliss
To penetrate your soul as your body explodes into mine
It’s an act documented through the ages

For just a few seconds, the most adventurous risky of all acts takes us away
Away from reality
It is the moment when heaven and earth become one
The climax
The sexual explosion
A journey to the center of the Earth
To the hottest place

It is an act of the devil with an orchestra of angels
One that brings the weak to its knees
A shy soldier

It plays with our heart tinkling it with pleasure
Then empties it

Don’t let go
Don’t let it slip away
Feel the burn
Let it race your blood to the core of the house of love

Let that passion touch the love that yearns

So close
Piercing
Let the pain in
Let it come together

There is no life without love
Without the sexual passion, there is no purpose

Together, together is everything