Tag Archives: fatalism

Baby Elephant, Walk!

When we are young, they begin to fit and clothe us in raiments for battle: the helmet of self-esteem; the breastplate of self-confidence; the shield of self-assurance; the sword of self-righteousness – before we understand the “self”, when what self we possess, if any at all, is like a baby elephant whose trainers fit its infant leg with a band of iron fixed to a chain and slender stake too strong for a young beast to pull from the ground.

As we grow old and that first armor rusts they clothe us in uniforms for endless toil: the cap of self-doubt; the coat of self-interest; the boots of self-loathing; the jewels of self-pity – and although our self has outgrown its plate and mail cage, like the elephant, tethered from childhood by that same narrow band and slender stake, who at their full grown prime could with a simple, small gesture easily pull their leg free from any bond, we quietly wait, and do the master’s bidding, not believing, not imagining, not even trying to escape.

09 JAN 2017

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Cannon Fodder

When all else fails (and at some point it will),
so all that’s left to us is simply talk,
the victors will be those with basic skills
for making idle words seem like a walk

through all the rhetoric and empty lies
that promise surplus but deliver less,
and when we take offense and act surprised
remind us of our own unmindfulness.

I wonder, when that fateful day arrives,
the morning we awaken at long last,
if our frail egos will in fact survive
with sense enough to learn some from the past.

I doubt it. It’s much easier to sleep.
Besides, that keeps the cannon fodder cheap.

02 DEC 2014

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Just Yesterday’s News

I don’t know the man that I’m supposed to be:
I’ve looked at his life like a documentary;
and with some of his choices I just can’t agree;
but it’s too late to start out again.

I’m tired of the man I’m supposed to become:
that you get where you’re going thanks to where you’re from,
and somehow, the pieces add up to the sum
’til it’s too late to start out again.

Help me out, anyone, throw me a line;
tell me again things will all be just fine.
Help me out, would you, we’re out here alone;
we don’t need to be stuck on our own.

I’m sick of the man I turned into a while:
that often unsteady and pathetic smile
who traded in substance and bartered with style,
but you can’t up and start out again.

I’m sure I don’t know who I’ll be in the end:
the lover, the fighter, the poet, the friend;
but at least in the mirror, I will not pretend
it’s not too late to start out again.

Help me out, anyone, throw me a bone,
some reassurance here in the unknown.
Help me out, please, and I’ll do you the same;
we don’t need to keep playing this game.

I’m just not quite clear who I’ll be in a year:
but some things are cloudy, and others quite clear;
there’s neither the past or the future to fear,
and there’s no starting over again.

Help me out, anyone, just take a chance.
Music is playing; we’ve paid for the dance.
Help me out, honestly, what can you lose?
We don’t always get what we choose,
but we’re neither just yesterday’s news.

22 DEC 2013

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