No hands have grip enough to seize a hope, no whip sharp enough to crack out a wish's wheeze

            To melt into the melee of madness,
        I fold away my storm-soiled feathers,
    Stuff them into sleeves of sadness,
Button the whole satire up to a choke,
  And hang the tail of my crumpled coat
With a jangling, just-married joke
    Of worry-weights on telltale tethers,
Trudging them like a jade-spaded plow
  Across the furrow-proof unforgiveness
Of a pavement poured from sweat-of-brow.
      I’m no party to popular enslavement,
Yet I smoke to prove there once was a fire,
  Not because I’m another dying spark of apathy,
As I acquiesce to pretend;
    No, because I burn from deep within:
An ember of participatory absence,
  Smoldering in my heart, the cardinal trick
Of being among, but on a stunt above,
      All that looks like it shouldn’t.
It’s a show, a sham and a shameless shtick
  To traipse when I know I can fly,
To buy the farm but hang burlap drapes
    And risk my thoughts to the greyest sky.
But I haven’t surrendered the daydream:
  I can’t, I couldn’t and it’s too tall to be taken,
A towering stalk of stowed-away power,
      Packed like a puck in a private pocket
By the magic of my quiet imagination.
  The critics can come, the Stygians and cynics,
All grimaces on short legs and a glower,
    To rifle through my bag of gimmicks
And yank the yellow off my water-squirting flower;
  Even as I’m chin-dunked, dangled and shaken,
    They fumble for the faith they’ve forsaken—
It won’t likely be mistaken for that scrape-faced token
  As it comes free on a spank to my pants,
Striking the ground with glance and clang,
      A sudden manhole cover on a bounce and bang,
Until it wobbles flat upon a wide-open chance:
  So south from my skivvies on a shameless shimmy,
I fall with it, tipped like a hat into my chest,
    Through the very root and rock and rage of reality—
Like wonder-tripping Alice, torn ticket in hand,
  Jouncing giddy-down the hole on the echo of
“Fairfarren, you banal and burdened beasts!”
      No hands have grip enough to seize a hope,
No whip sharp enough to crack out a wish’s wheeze;
  I may languish for a limit inside a scheme
Or collect crumbs to feign the feast,
    But there’s no capable cage for the dreamer—
Only a turned page might portend my way of escape.
  The wanton world is a heavy bell,
The pulse of its knell on my weathered nape
      Might as well be a lesson on how to spell
Diatomic hydrogen;
  I’ll take a tank of that and a ropeless Zeppelin,
Because, windblown and gone as I go,
    Truth sails with fantasy on the
Whimsy-tipped brush of strange artistry
  Across the overcast of monochromatic drudgery.
Let me be a flightful painter of that kind,
      A Mercurial mage with winged foot
And a near-immortal mind;
  That I might testify, now, by just one wistful,
Heart-scratched soliloquy,
        How Houdini himself,
For all the binding weight of his luck and life’s work
    To cheat death and beyond all danger be free,
        Might’ve snapped his very last hidden key
            For a handcuffed envy of me.

—for my friend, Michelle, and all other dreamers
You can check out her super cool way with words here:

Previous Post:
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8 comments on “escapist

  1. This is so lovely… thank you for thinking of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roslin Steeple

    That is some great poetry! I loved many of your self-coined adjectives – wide open chance, just-married joke and storm-soiled feathers if I have to pick out a few and also the numerous other ways you have described yourself (or whosoever’s perspective you have assumed while writing the poem). Keep up the good work

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Roslin, for the kindness in your words and, in them, the time you’ve given my pages. With my poetry, in particular, and my prose, in general, I almost exclusively write from my own perspective…the bale of inspiration is much easier to hoist when I endeavor to be the well and water, both. I don’t get nearly as thirsty that way. Although, the idea for this piece actually sprung from an easy conversation with a friend of mine; I promised her then I would write it. I’m grateful you enjoyed it; there’s a mountain more up on the blog, along with a handful of my original music. You are welcome to visit when and as you care. Have a great week, Roslin!


  3. KarissaYG

    This is amazing! Your writing is absolutely breathtaking! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m humbled by your assessment, Karissa, truly. You are my honored guest whenever you should think to stop by. I write both poetry/prose and original music, all of which is put up on the blog as I find the time to make it happen; so there’s plenty of places to get lost here if your day gets long. Thank you for making time in the comments to let me know what you think…I’m genuinely grateful for that!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing poem. very powerful and beautifully crafted. You’re a very talented writer. I look forward to reading more of your poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am humbled by your courtesies, Speak…thank you for taking the time to make your thoughts available to me. For what it’s worth, there’s enough poetry, prose and original music up on my blog such that you could already lose quite a bit of time if you sat with it awhile. But I do try to keep it fresh, when and as time gets long, so I appreciate your wait for more…

      By the way, I wanted to share another short poem of mine here, as I believe it speaks to the spirit of your own blog:


      Also, my friend, Jane, has a fine heart and hand for wordcraft and one of her more recent ones came to mind as I perused your site:



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