Pinnacle

It’s a trope, you know

The aging man with the bad mustache

Looking back at the height of life

Throwing pigskins to a cheering crowd

Just before the homecoming dance

I am he grasping back to a wild success

that failed

Failed to hold due to forces beyond my control

All the forces are beyond me

I like to think I am self determined

I like to think I have wherewithal

I like to think I can

Except on days I can’t

It’s too hard to dream anymore

Too hard to believe

Too hard to try

It’s too much sometimes

To even open up my eyes

It’s too difficult to see

Ambition runs right out of my veins

I am deflated

I am defeated

I haven’t heard the pistol

Nothing has begun

I can’t get to the starting line

I don’t really want to run

I amble back into the forest

To watch the sunshine through the leaves

I don’t want that to be the pinnacle

That can’t remain the top

Of all I have accomplished

I don’t really want to stop

My passions are more muted

The edges have been rounded

Smoothed down by time and tears

The fire burns more broadly

The fuel is hardwood not the soft

This flame is more longlasting

I still can reach the top

A slow climb

A steady step

Already I can feel the changes

A return of something wholesome

I make beauty every day

My gift is heart as much as skill

I don’t need to win a ribbon

I don’t want to be

Here I am still breathing

Love with every breath

I let the future do its thing

It does what it wants to anyway

I just do this thing before me

In that senseless, timeless way

Listening always to the heartcalls

That keep me going

Every day

brown and black cut away acoustic guitar
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Two Worlds

Then and now

A foot in the past, and a foot in the present

Straddling what went before

A bridge of doubt attached to this moment

Now and then

One foot in present as the other moves

Gamely toward the future

Here and there

One foot in this place as one crosses

Every potential to a new state

A new town

One step from where I came from

One step to where I go

Spinning from the stories of what might

Have beens and maybes

Holding what will be loosely

Unformed

Brimming with hope

Beaming with light

And it’s still one small trip to the

Grocery store

And where will I get boxes

And how will I pack up this little life

And leave behind

The comfort of not much

To reach forward to something

Undefined

A thousand decisions

And a giant leap

Across the chasm of uncertainty

I might fall through

I might fly

But I can’t stay here

Like this

When it’s time to go

I’m gone

Additional offerings:

Kicked to the Curb (with Audio)

On a dingy curb they sat

She in a dress once white

Grubby ruffles sliding down

From scabbed knees

Bare feet in the gutter

A thin arm wrapped around

His shoulders boney under

A faded blue shirt

His grim shorts matched

The grey cement

She called his name as she

Held him

Grabbed his elbows then

Wove her arms into his

The traffic in front of them

Pulsed in fumes and beats

Music poured out from cracked

Windows

Behind them legs took people

Quickly to their next appointment

She called his name

She called his name

I need you, she said

She called his name

I’m sorry, so sorry, so sorry

She called his name

Please survive

I will find you

In this bubble outside of time

Pact struck

Within the swirling city

That never was

Children who never were young

Spit on palms and clasped hands

Making promises

For the future

Writing hope into the lamplight

Singing dirges to the past

Drawing stick figures in grime

A couple kissing

Two in love

Encircled by an asymmetric heart

And when they woke

To another day in hell

Apart and never parted

Hanging on by a thin thread

Woven from a fragment of a

Dream half remembered

Until the day it was needed

“I’m glad you made it,” she said

“I feel selfish for needing you to survive that.”

“I hope you found some joy in the sunlight,

And laughter in the wind,

And peace in the water,

And love growing up from the soil.”

Possibilities swirled around them

Standing there between the light

And the Abyss

A single path began to coalesce

As he slid his hand into hers

“I said I would find you,” he told her

Every star in the sky became a blossom

Every flower in the meadow burst into flames

Birds became dragons

Whales flew through purple skies

Smoke curled up from stone chimney

A cat slept next to a dog in front of the hearth

They curled together under a blanket on the couch

She began to read to him from an unfinished book

When he closed his eyes for a moment

Under the words she spoke, he heard her call his name

And his name meant home to her

And so he stayed

monochrome photo of person sitting on curb
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com