Monday, August 06, 2007

Sic Transit Gloria

The empty silence of victory,
when the adrenalin has all
run dry, when the efforts
and the incidental pain
are faded into only ghosts
beneath the skin,

then, then you can tell
me if it was all worth it,
if the monumental struggles
brought you high or brought
you low,

when the restlessness and
ill humor of hours spent
idle weigh hard upon you
and the crown you strove
for begins to tarnish,

when glory has turned to
salt and ash upon your
tongue, and the initial flash
of adulation has turned to
mockery, to questions of
the tactics used to win
the day,

when the mantle they deified
you with is stripped away,
revealing that you are,
beneath it all, still
human, still flawed, still
so often wrong.


Bobby-T said...

The journey and the expectations are often more stimulating, more satisfting than the destination. I know that planning and anticipating the acquisition of a new motorcycle are, for me, a large part of the pleasure.

drthunder said...

Thought provoking and philosophical I enjoyed reading this poem. In fact, it's one of those that bears reading more than once.

swiftboat said...

These existential questions are often on my mind these days. Perhaps it's my "mid-life crisis"; except I'm too busy to have one. The last stanza really hit me between the eyes. Your a good shot.

This is "what I know so far": Achievement obtained simply in the process of being yourself feels good and valuable. Everything else is pretty much bull shit.

Patrick M. Tracy said...


As my Blogger friend Bill Coupe would say, "The journey IS the destination."


Thanks for that. At least it's short, so reading it multiple times won't tax you too heavily.


If you can't be yourself, you'll always be working for strangers.

Thanks for coming over, folks. Hope you're well. Cheers.

Rachel Barth said...

Hey Patrick! Wazzup! I wanted to ask -- are you coming to World Fantasy Con this year?

_Soulless_ said...

Makes me think of prophets. Not the 'false' ones but the ones who really suffer way beyond the willingness.

Thanks for the warm messages on my site, dear. The move has been a real pain (to my tailbone, to be exact), but I'm cozy now. ^_^ Back to reading and writing.

Patrick M. Tracy said...


I'm doing well, thanks. I'll be at World Fantasy this year, of course. I hope to see you there.


Sorry your move was tough. I hate moving. Sometimes it has to be done, though.

In this poem, it could be a prophet, or just an average person. I think we all end up in the same places after a time. Stuck in our own heads, wondering if we've done the right thing all these years.

Thanks for coming by, hope you're well.

Across Inconstant Breath

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