We saw the light

and thought it was fire,

held in glass

strung by a wire.

We smelled the smoke

and thought it was grass,

we felt lit

and fell on our ass.

We heard a song

and thought it was love,

we tasted tears

and thought it was salt.

We saw the light

but it was too far away.

We said, “Let’s start tomorrow.”

But tomorrow never came.

Failing and Rising

Failing and rising, you select a place in the curl and fall on your ass, get back up and try again

hunting balance, trying to keep the ride going or find another one

but the winds die and fall, and the seas grow tranquil

leaving you becalmed and lost

you can wait for the next wave or you can paddle out to meet them

pushing yourself to find a wave to ride

failing and rising, paddling and jumping up, striving to get your balance and keep riding

crashing and going under, afraid that you’ll never come up again

getting up and trying again

riding in search of a beginning

and end

Beginning Again

Cut those strings, he told himself. Release the ballast. Unfurl your sails. Anchors aweigh.

He wasn’t certain about that last expression. “Anchors aweigh.” Sounded like he should be readying a scale. He was pretty sure that’s how the song went, “Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh.” He owned a computer, and could easily look it all up, but he thought it a dated reference, anyhow.

Searching for something more appropriate for the digital age, he came up with “Just Do It.” Unfortunately, he couldn’t use that; the slash folks have trademarked it, and zealously guard their carefully cultivated expression.

Sliding back into the rocket age, he counted down, “Three, two, one…we have liftoff.” But those words failed to lift him, and he became a little depressed, because Major Tom entered his head. The Air Force song came up, “Off we go, into the wild blue yonder,” but yonder construed a vague distance and direction.

“Where are we going?”

“Over yonder.”


“Yes, yonder. There.”


“Once more into the breach, lads,” he thought, but it would not do. Various people and rock performers sang about being back in the saddle again. Where was his creativity today?

What the hell. He needed an ending so he could start. “Lit ’em up,” he said, wincing. Time to reboot, he decided, pressing start, but it was such a dejecting way to begin. “On the road again,” he hummed.

Curse Willy Nelson.

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