–            Alive

–                     And still

–                     Flightless

–            Forged


In rote

–            Renaissances

–                                    Written

–                                       Generations ago—

–             Genuflect



To Fail: Merely Human

“Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.”  ~Samuel Beckett

Success may be the human imperative, but it is failure–and the way we deal with it–that makes us human. All people fail. Unless they have somehow managed to scare themselves up a genie and gotten themselves the perfect wish life (and how often do THOSE end well, hm?), at some point you’re not going to succeed. Chalk it up to bad luck (I do, often enough), or self shortcomings, or the world itself come to get you, but it’s a fact we can’t change.

One can take the news gracefully, or they can take it with their own hair clenched so tight in their hands they’ll be bald within the month. Think you’ll rock the bald and proud look? If not, then start working on those breathing exercises. Failure is natural precisely because we are human. We don’t see every potential outcome, particularly going into a new scenario, and we certainly can’t plan for everything. In time, experience will allow us to broaden our knowledge for preparation, but experience is itself built on a mound of failures.

As they say, people don’t learn from success.

Failure, however, builds a hunger in us. Embarrassment, certainly, but also a burning drive not to repeat that embarrassment–to overcome. It hones our mind to a purpose, and allows us to grow as individuals. Without failure, we would be less as people. And it hurts, I know, but people hurt. We feel pain.

Unless we’ve indulged a bit too much in the morphine. (Ending now, before this metaphor gets too out of whack.)

“If you shut your door to all errors truth will be shut out.” 
~Rabindranath Tagore

When there is nothing

Before abyss come the clock-tower.

The little boy by midnight asks—

her look, lost in the candlelight—

the nature of empty books lain dormant,

the moonless night above a bridge

when there is nothing left to lose—

in sedimentary smiles she sighs:

when there is nothing

there is love.

Cover Up

Image by and copyright Walter Parada.

Red rivers ride

fluttering flags.

A smile and a hand, freely offered

belie the tip—

it’s not a stick you know

that I’ll stick you with,

not a dream doused with dreamers.

God or Man

the mortar drips

beneath the marble—

just a dab of purity to hide

stained hands,

strawberry walls—



* A piece for this week’s edition of One Shoot Sunday. This week features an interview I had with the talented Californian photographer Walter Parada. I was very grateful for the images he chose to share with us, as I find them all to be absolutely striking, from his landscapes to his portraits, and on to the image featured above.

Simple Pleasures

Bated breaths beget

the faintest smiles–

Caresses on the back

Coax featherlight illuminations

of rasping heat

Winding in the darkest places

of the Mind.

Illusory Ecstasy

Lies locked behind

the Pleasures of the Soul.

Such devious ruminations

on the Nature of Expectation.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets, as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!