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Caesar’s Breath

As they tend to, this poem arrived almost fully formed a few years back. I don’t quite remember the context, to be honest, but I remember thinking: “Well, suddenly time to write another poem.”

I just can’t force them. I’ve given up trying.

A thought or sensation becomes a few words, which become lines, which become the piece. I may alter a word or two, maybe delete something a year later, even, but the bulk of any poem I ever share was written at the first pass.

You shouldn’t go out on the Charles anymore

The ice is too thin, I think.
You shouldn’t go out there when it’s like this.
The ice is too thin and you might fall through.
I know it’s tempting.
Believe me—I know it’s tempting…

Falling through

But don’t go out there anymore.
Spring is almost here. Soon it will be spring.
The ice will melt to water and go back to where it goes every year.

We’ve all got Caesar’s breath in us they say.
That’s a statistic: they say we’ve all got Caesar’s breath in us by now.

But which?
His dying breath,
Or just one in between?

A Few Places You Can Find My Writing

In case you were interested in something(s) like camping, hiking, the history of nuclear proliferation, terrifying sea creatures, homemade hot sauce, or the true meaning of April Fools’ Day, you can check out my articles on some of the websites to which I am a regular contributor.

I recommend starting with these two; may the general interest rabbit hole consume your lunch hour and beyond:


Good Old John Muir…

I spotted (OK, my wife spotted) a great John Muir quote in a magazine the other day, and I thought I would share it here; Mr. Muir’s wisdom so often strikes a chord with me, I can’t imagine others won’t appreciate hearing his words as well. But when I went to the web to cross-reference the quote and make sure I had it correct, I stumbled across one I liked even more. Here’s the OG mountain man dropping truths about mountains:

“Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer? Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing.”

Truth, pure and simple. Those of you who bag summits are nodding.