Tag Archives: luck

Luck and Chance: epistle

“Dear John,” the letter read, “I seek advice.
You seem to know some things, and seem quite nice.
I wonder what you think of luck and chance.
Do you believe we twirl in a mad dance
of accidental happenings and such,
or does belief in fate stretch it too much?”

“Sincerely, someone who would like to know.”
I thought a moment, tossing to and fro
a myriad of possible replies.
Just how to cut an answer down to size?
“Dear someone,” I began, “to tell the truth,
no matter which I choose, there is no proof.

Some folk would say you cannot beat dumb luck;
that skill and expertise are often stuck
and mired by subtle cages of the known –
restraints on movement within certain zones
that dilettantes so blithely disregard,
complaining learning them is just too hard.

It’s true enough that luck trumps skill at times;
one could lay odds and win most of your bets.
Still, in the larger scheme of things, one finds
relying on mere chance cause for regret.
What works due to coincidence a while
lacks substance and fades quickly out of style.

So count yourself as lucky, if you wish,
but while good fortune holds, learn something new.
Far better, in the end, to learn to fish
than to expect the fish to come to you.
Sincerely, just another wondering soul
whose portion often overflows his bowl.”

16 MAR 2017

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Lucky Number

I’m thinking about the Bakersfield sound, and a song by Merle Haggard in particular — “I Must Have Been Somebody Else You’ve Known”, which as far as I can tell is only available in a version by the International Submarine Band (Gram Parsons’ outfit pre-Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Flying Burritos). Thinking about Buck Owens, too, and that brother act / close harmony from Appalachia married with Western Swing, and also thinking about how lucky I am to be in the relationship I’m in — a gamble that has paid off in dividends beyond my wildest imagination.

For my lucky number (#25)

Love’s always been a lottery as far as I’m concerned
You lay your money down, you roll the dice, and you get burned
A sure thing Friday night’s all right ’til Sunday comes around
And you find out the race was fixed; one more lost weekend down.

Where lady luck’s concerned I’ve struck out nearly every time
My credit’s gone to hell and I’m down to my last worn dime
While other guys get lucky I’m the one shot down in flames
But I’m back every weekend just the same …

I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, ’cause I’ve got everything I own on you.
You’ve got all my wheels spinning, feels like I just might be winning
and my losing streak will finally break in two.
I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, and that I’ll end ahead this time around;
Oh, seven come eleven, won’t you be my slice of heaven
and I’ll end my gambling ways and settle down.

Love’s always been a game of chance where all the money cards
seem to escape my hand, my plans die fast and they die hard;
A solid bet on some coquette turns into morning rain
A fleeting song, goodbye, so long and I’m alone again

Where passion sparks, my matches are soaked through with bitter tears
I’m left holding a worthless stub when the racetrack is cleared
While other guys are finding love they probably don’t deserve
I’m at the low end of the romance curve …

I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, ’cause I’ve got all my hopes tied up in you.
You’ve got all my wheels spinning, feels like I might be winning
and this losing streak I’m on will soon be through.
I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, and that I’ll hit the jackpot finally;
Oh, seven come eleven, won’t you be my slice of heaven
get lucky with a poor gambler like me.

19 DEC 2005

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Old Pottage

While you still have your youth
is the time to find out
your version of the truth;
as you age, fear and doubt
can crack the careful clay
of all your work and play.
Then in a heaping pile
of broken pottery,
you sit waiting to die
or win the lottery.

15 AUG 2003

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