A. The Two Runners     32. The nail     40. Upon Reaching Walden Pond
66. Dog Backwards     87. Garden 1001

The Two Runners (Archive)

Fifty meters from the finish line
Two runners sprint, panting heavily
As their shoes squish in the deep mud and grime.
They press on like locomotives down the trail:
Sprinting, wincing, wishing to prevail.

Ten meters from the finish line
An eternity passes, the one summons all his energy
And lets his courage shine,
But the other yields to self-pity and doubt
And takes the easy way out.

Two meters after the finish line
One runner is bent with exhaustion
But drinks victoryís sweet wine
While into the other seeps in
Defeatís horrible chagrin.

O victory, your sweet elation
O defeat, your humiliation
Competition allows only one winner
But gives all participants self-education.


The nail (#32)

Today I stepped on a nail.
I was walking around
Doing no wrong
When it effortlessly slid
Through my shoe
My sock
And my skin.
I reacted at first with shock,
Then anger,
Then remorse.
I realized that the nail
Had pierced my pride
And put my feet back on the ground.


Upon Reaching Walden Pond (#40)

Here I stand
In one of nature's holy shrines.
But it is not what it once was;
Where once stood a cabin,
Now resides a beach house.
The tweets of birds and chirps of crickets
Are drowned out by zooming cars and screaming children.
What once was a wildlife haven,
Is now a beach, a tourist attraction.
The State trumpets a momentous conservation effort,
But is just tooting its horn:
The forest dies
I block out the distractions
Sitting alone
Losing myself

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Dog Backwards (#66)

I am terribly mean to my dog.
I tease him with food at the table,
Ignoring his pleading puppy eyes and helpless yelps.
I forget to take him for walks
When I have more important things to do.
I don't let him lie when he is sleeping,
I disturb him when he has food,
And I in general harass him.

Despite all this, my dog unconditionally loves me.
He's comforting when I'm sick,
He keeps my feet warm at night,
And he barks at any motion in sight.
He's always happy to see me when I get home,
He always know when I'm leaving,
And I know he misses me.

It seems backwards:
Who is really the higher life form?
If only I could love my Dog
As He loves me.


Garden 1001 (#87)

Every night I come here
And walk
And think
And breathe

Plot after plot I scan
Out of town
Facing down
Shriveled brown

Feelings rise within
No care
No rest
No fun

The scent I take in
Is empty
And dead

Beauty can't be forced

Wisdom can't be taught
Or read
Or watched
Or learned

Everything must die
(Some before their death)
Everything stops breathing
(Some ere their last breath)

Perfection can't be made
With water
And shade.

Next door is a forest.
I call it home.
No exotic species
Rise from this loam.

Every night I sleep
Every day I yield
Every moment I see
How little power I wield

Like flowers in a field


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Unless otherwise noted, all poems copyright (c) 1997-2002 Dave Jackson