Tag Archives: decisions

The Great Lies: curtal sonnet

When all at once the world decides to fail,
on such and such a day, when pundits claim
to clearly see our leaders in the ooze
of mad careening chaos, and then rail,

without a single scrap or crumb of shame,
that all exclusive blame for the great ruse
lies with our high command, not you and I,
what prize can that debate’s proud winner claim?

When of our fictions we are disabused,
what does it matter which of the great lies
we choose?

14 FEB 2017

How It Goes

Early in the morning,
right before the break of day,
standing at the transom
one eye turned to either way,
soaking in the silence
of the crisp December air,
trying to remember
what he did to get back there.

How does it go?
Once you pay it no attention
it just slips away
and you don’t even know.

Sometimes he’ll remember
there was sour with the sweet,
between months of famine
having just enough to eat,
learning from the hunger
what it really means to need,
finding an abundance
is not ever guaranteed.

How does it go?
When a little taste will get you
what you gonna do
if you can’t get no more?

Early in the morning,
right before the rooster crows,
watching that first sunlight
break the cold horizon’s nose,
soaking in the silence
as the ice begins to melt,
trying to remember
where he was when the hand was dealt.

How does it go?
Once you head in a direction
every other way
becomes a told you so.

12 JAN 2015

Journey’s End

Every journey starts out simply,
with a single thought:
where am I, where have I been,
and is it where I ought
to imagine is my place,
my center in this life,
or is there more to me than this,
a home, a job, a wife,
a few possessions, give or take,
some good deeds, half undone,
almost a mid-length sermon’s worth;
does this make up my run?

Every journey starts out simply,
one step at a time:
which is the direction onward,
which hill should I climb,
beyond the horizon, will I
find that which I seek,
will there be fresh water
or a decent place to eat,
and more importantly, perhaps,
why should I choose just one,
when other routes seem just as fine
why leave them all undone?

Every journey starts out simply,
at least in the mind:
here I am at x,
and I will leave this y behind,
forward in direction,
stabbing outward with a will,
never for a moment
giving thought to standing still,
seeking something other,
something else, some thing undone,
something that won’t be remembered
when my journey’s done.

21 APR 2013

Slip, Trip, Stumble and Fall

I had it easy, or so I’ve been told:
good luck and fortune to have and to hold
Plenty good lovin’ and good-timin’ friends
Who swore they’d back me up until the end

But all too easy, it slipped right away;
No more tomorrow, and not much today.
Dreams turned to nightmares, and sunshine to rain;
And how it hurts me now to have to explain.

Sometimes you slip, trip, stumble and fall;
Leavin’ you no chance to make sense of it all.
Without a warning, you get that wake up call
And you slip, trip, stumble and fall.

Some kinds of trouble you just can’t outrun;
bad situations when you’re under the gun.
Sometimes a sure thing is riddled with doubt;
no big surprise when the whole bottom drops out

No sense to argue, no reason to cry
No point in sittin’ there wonderin’ why
It’s bound to happen to you, just wait and see
Sooner or later, eventually

Sometimes you slip, trip, stumble and fall;
Leavin’ you no chance to make sense of it all.
Without a warning, you get that wake up call
And you slip, trip, stumble and fall.

29 APR 2009

Here is the Crossroads

Here is the crossroads where you finally know
you’re too old to say you’ll die young.
It’s early summer; fall’s on the horizon.
Your spring has most definitely sprung.

It’s not about giving up on your wild days,
but some dreams must wither and die.
Sooner or later the moving parts wear out;
to think otherwise is to lie.

What was appealing in the hope of vanity,
the religion of your youth,
just lingers on as weary, sad echo;
embarrassing, to tell the truth.

You will get older; or else, the alternative:
cease to get any at all.
If you’re not into the dog days of summer,
there’s no way to make it through fall.

Here is the crossroads where you must decide
for the future, or cling to the past;
let the illusion you’re living youth’s fantasy
go, or else you might not last.

26 APR 2007

Out into the Rain

Standing at the window, staring out into the rain,
past the point of caring who or what may be the blame.
Innocent and guilty sometimes are one and the same;
we don’t make the rules, and yet we still must play the game.

Standing on the corner waiting for the downtown bus
sometime after midnight, by the frequency of trucks.
The hour makes no difference when the minutes turn to rust;
no one’s left the light on or is waiting up for us.

Standing at the streetlight for the green light to come on,
each moment takes us by surprise and then is too soon gone.
You start out as a knight or queen, but end up just a pawn,
a jockey left out in the dark on someone else’s lawn.

Standing in the doorway, with so many words unsaid,
each one an ultimatum or a summons to the dead.
In print they seem so black and white, aloud they turn to red,
lines intended to inspire that fade to gray instead.

Standing at the window staring out into the night,
past the point of knowing between what is wrong and right.
Doesn’t really matter which side of the cause you fight,
justice isn’t really blind, she’s just hidden from sight.

11 FEB 2007

Along for the Ride

There are times when I’m determined
(or at least, some times I feel)
that my life should find its purpose
in constructing something real:
an edifice in marble, some landmark
of stone and steel,
so that my passing leaves some sign.
Such thoughts have their appeal
when I imagine that my hands
are tight upon the wheel,
and that this life is more than just
what cards the world may deal.

To leave a mark upon this earth,
to feel a sense of pride;
a man seeks to find meaning
where two roads may coincide:
to make finite steps forward,
rather than to merely slide
along inside the slipstream,
carried onward by the tide;
to know that one has gathered up
enough good sense inside
to choose the path their feet would walk,
one’s wisdom undenied.

Yet other times, it seems to me,
I think with greater sense,
and ponder with less confidence
my whole experience:
a lifetime spent in wondering,
in straddling the fence,
denying often greater truths
for lack of evidence
(at least, the kind that leaves its spoor,
some fleeting track or scent)
and feeling lost inside a maze
of moments, gained and spent.

So then what does it matter
whose hands are upon the wheel?
Both journeys planned and unrehearsed
have proven their appeal.
Too often my decisions
(or their counterpart, no choice)
result in finding chaos
where I cannot hear my voice.
What destination beckons?
Let the universe decide;
for I am just a passenger
come along for the ride.

02 JUN 2006