Monday, June 19, 2006


The hot asphault shimmers,
giving them the air of the
mythical, the unreal, as
they approach the gasping
crowd, the open
whisper of the afternoon
falling before them
and their shreiking
steeds, this place
between purple
mountains where
dust rises from a
footfall despite the
thready barley
sprouting at the
verge of the track

And these armored
warriors charge
headlong at every
straight stretch, pulling
up hard and tilting
the horizon in their
frantic groupings
at the turnings in
the road, knees
skimming the ground,
elbows flung out wide,
drifting at the very
edge of control,
momentarily godlike
until one is overcome
by momentum and
flung from this
booming heaven of
speed, legs and arms
pinwheeling in the
flurry of dust,
steed bereft of
control and tumbling,
the ascendent shell
broken for a moment,
until the rider rises
from his cloud of
kicked-up soil and
is reborn, for a moment
mortal, but still great
and heroic upon the
earth, acclaimed
for his ride, his
fall, and his rise
from this dirt,

And we wish for these
things, deep in the
inchoate and unknown
cores of night when
fears overcome us
and we feel that nothing
we have done has
trancended, that we have
not become the heroes
we hoped we would
be when our heads
hardly overtopped
the stools at the
side of the breakfast
table, these moments of
bravery in the face of
danger, these intrepid
leanings into the callous
hands of fate, to sharpen
the tepid taste of the
everyday to such a
sweet ache of ectasy.


drthunder said...

A powerful piece in which the race track becomes the back drop for all of lifes exeriences. Exciting, and thought-provoking.

Percival said...

I don't know as I've ever seen a hawk, but good depiction. Have seen crows, which sort of think they're hawks!

Swiftboat said...

There's nothing like taking a physical risk to raise the resperation and inject adrenalin into our systems. Most young men and many that are middle aged are adicted to this. Accounts for our early mortality I'm sure.

Though we must deal with a lot of economic variability, modern life is on balance pretty boring and lacking in physical risk - beyond falling in the tub. So I supose it's not really odd that we continue to climb mounts and jump from airplanes.

This one struck a cord. Thanks

Bill said...

Ahhh.... one hour in the dirt... or on a twisty mountain road... with your bike... and you *have* transcended!! Man, machine and the environment... and eternal battle.

MB said...

There are many ways to
the tepid taste of the
everyday to such a
sweet ache of ectasy

Attention to this very moment,
its beauty and imperfection,
its gorgeous possibility,
its tender passion.

Thanks for reminding me.

Firehawk said...


I try to mix my metaphors enough to at least confuse the reader...


Thanks for coming over. I'm not sure I understand your comment, however. Were you referring to a particular poem, or the name of the site? In any case, I appreciate you taking the time to make a comment here. Hope to see you again.


One of my friends many years ago asserted that "you must taste death to live life." I suppose that's true to some extent. Without the possibilty of danger, it's difficult to feel as if a venture is really worthwhile. Without a little pain and struggle, life is pretty bland. Glad this one struck a chord.


Just as you say...a short time "out there" is worth a long time "in here".


It's not much of a knife without its sharp, gleaming edge. Not much of a life without something to move the blood in our veins.

Thanks, everyone, for dropping by, especially after my spotty posting schedule lately.

katy said...

billy did you a favor once, now it's your turn to do him one in return. support the campaign for Billy the Blogging Poet as Mayor of!

Mushster said...

Just popping my head in :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm... interesting comments from your audience. Such variance in interpretation. I really like where you have taken this one, and the way it makes me feel. I have been reading your stuff for months, yet until now have not commented. I'm unsure what has made me do so, other than the passion in this one. Yet I pause to wonder, if this is inspired by you recently having tapped the possibilities of a physical danger; or I wager a serious mindless one, driven by soul searching eyes twisting your gut and leaving you thirsty. It is difficult to feel as if a venture is really worthwhile, even if nothing is gained except to experience it, touch it, taste it with the tip of your tongue.

Happy Writing


Firehawk said...


Nice to see you around. I've been having a lack of poetic enthusiasm lately. I need to buckle down and post something soon, or everyone will give up on me!


Thanks for commenting. I certainly appreciate it when people take the time to comment. Glad to hear that you've been reading my stuff.

I suppose the question as to what ventures are worthwhile can only be answered by the individual. If it satisfies some need, some curiosity, the risk may be warranted.

To everybody:

Sorry for not posting for a long time. I just haven't had any poetry in me of late. Please bear with me, and I'll try to dredge something up.

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