Tag Archives: choices

The Same Breath

So many choices
in a moment’s tiny span;
is it destiny?

No matter your direction,
the path will stay beneath you.

The door is open.
You stand at a great threshold;
which way do you move?

There is just air on both sides.
Never take the same breath twice.

27 JUN 2024

Causes Worth Fighting: Petrarchan sonnet

We each must choose the causes worth our fighting
from a great myriad of pointless quests
designed to breed confusion in our breasts
and keep the fuse inside us from igniting.

The frivolous is made to seem exciting;
it titillates and leads our thoughts astray.
We lose momentum somewhere on the way,
and valor turns from acts to talk and writing.

And then, the courage fueling forward motion
begins to wane, reduced from flame to spark;
we stagnate, turned from blood and flesh to stone.
What starts as dedication and devotion
slips fast away from bright to cold and dark;
our coalition lost, we fade, alone.

31 MAY 2017

Shape the Now: cyrch a chwta

It’s yesterday we cling to,
that we prefer to what’s new,
choosing safety, not what’s true:
life goes on, us with it too.
It has no rules; memories do,
and don’t shift the world and skew
the facts used to shape the Now,
which somehow is left to you.

17 FEB 2017

The Wrong Side

We all want to be the victor,
to believe that right is always on our side;
and to those who would oppose us,
any kind of sympathy we would deny.

Keeping score, mind on the numbers,
so we never lose an inch of precious ground;
‘Cause there’s only so much of it all,
and never quite enough to go around.

It’s a constant state of vigilance,
just making sure you always end up on the top;
only fools and weak kneed cowards
dare suggest that anyone would dare to stop.

At what price, this precious victory?
To win, at last, and be alone and free;
with no one to share the moment with,
no one to dare to doubt or disagree.

You know, the world is full of choices
and each one of us must live as we decide;
So before you burn your bridges
best make sure to not be stuck on the wrong side.

13 JAN 2009

Life is What You Make It

When I was a kid, I had a record (yeah, a plastic disk that spun around and was activated by an actual needle, producing sound waves that were amplified as electric signals through hot glass tubes and pushed out into the atmosphere through big ol’ speakers, not headphones) that included Guy Lombardo’s “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”. I always liked the song and what it seemed to suggest … for those who think that Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” represents some new breakthrough in psychology, I would suggest checking it out. Anyway, I was sitting here watching a family of cardinals dining at the bird feeder in the backyard and enjoying the sunshine, and came up with the line “there’s no use in complaining, son, when life throws you a curve / we each get what we ask for, or at least, what we deserve.” And the rest of the song sprung (as in “spring has sprung / fall has fell / winter’s here / and it’s colder than … usual) from that.

Now, I suppose each of us chose
where we were born and raised,
just like we pick which songs to play
and what work fills our days.
I know it’s true that fortune moves
in strange and wondrous ways;
the lessons we require are given
’til the learning stays.

Good times and bad both come and go,
one day leads to the next;
you never know what’s coming
or just what you can expect.
There’s no use in complaining, though,
when life throws you a curve;
we each get what we asked for,
or at least what we deserve.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time knocking around
Don’t let your dreams split at the seams
Don’t let those teardrops drown
The sun that keeps on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

Geography and circumstance
are not just random luck;
and it’s no accident you drive
a Beamer or a truck.
Blue collar or accountant,
each has their own row to hoe,
and either fights the current
or learns to go with the flow.

There’s not much point in judging, then,
how the world has passed you by;
we each serve our own sentence,
a life’s span, and then we die.
So live like you want life to be,
and dance to your own drum;
who knows? tomorrow you might find
your lucky number’s come.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time spinning around
Don’t let love bloom around you
Without chasing a bit down
The sun will keep on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

10 JAN 2006

That Subtlety Escapes Me

Philosophically, I’ve walked
the wrong side of the tracks for quite some time;
and in a chasm that’s grown bigger
I have passed ridiculous into sublime.
But the fundamental differences between us
haven’t really crossed my mind:
you on one side claiming genius,
leaving me a portion of insanity.
There may be a difference, but I have to say
sometimes that subtlety escapes me.

Realistically, if given even odds,
I’m not too sure there’d be a split decision.
Yet it seems that one of us gets all the praise,
the other laughter and derision
because our goals diverged at some point
that I can’t pinpoint with much precision:
you on one side in majority,
with me standing where your shadow ought to be.
There may be a balance to be struck,
but I must say that subtlety escapes me.

Confidentially, I’ve watched the way you operate;
and it seems underhanded:
how you stumble into things and have the gall to say
that’s just the way you planned it,
and yet when I discover happiness in small amounts,
you want me reprimanded.
Just because you are imprisoned,
it infuriates you that I might be free.
There are some chains much more obvious,
but honestly, that subtlety escapes me

01 MAR 2005

A Different Path

Sometimes, I wonder: if I’d walked a different path,
the one, like Frost’s, well-traveled and defined,
perhaps more suited to my demograph
but nonetheless a road that I declined,
and put my energy into some goal,
a measure pleasing to the status quo,
if I pretended to have more control
of what I’ve had, and lost, or just let go,

would I have turned out more or less the same
at least as superficial means could sense
or would I be caught up in the grand game,
believing it the sole experience?
What might have been that person’s might-have-beens,
those dreams unknown to he who is me now?
Would those who live as I do seem obscene,
mere blots that for some reason gods allow?

And when I paused to think of hows and whys
in quiet moments between each new dance
would I conceive a world cut down to size
to fit my purpose providence or chance?
I ponder, sometimes, on the path I walk,
and wonder, of the two worlds, which is worse:
to see the pebble dwarfed next to the rock,
or know the rock, lost in the universe.

The knowing that I chose the darker way,
through brambles that some might have cleared to pass,
has brought me right to where I am today;
perhaps my journey hasn’t been as fast
as if I’d walked the straight and brighter trail,
but then again, there is no use for speed
when, despite all your efforts, guidebooks fail
to tell you everything your journey needs.

02 FEB 2005