Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One Shot: One for the road

we are born old enough to die.

we dont like to think that way, spending much
of our teen years trying to find new ways to kill
ourselves and the remainder avoiding it. we
legislate what we can...but then again rules were
made to be broken, at least that is what we think,
when we don't like to think

we are born old enough to die.

crunching can crinkles
melodic echoes accompanied by
boasts and jest, the beating
of chest, i am man, hear me
i know what i am doing and
who's to argue, minds six sheets
in the wind sailing for some
uncharted island while we

laugh, punch shoulders, tell
stories about our conquests
each growing inches in moments
til they are as large as our ego
so we let him go

it's only a mile, he'll be there
and back before you know it,
he's done it before

and you think you know whats
coming, the crunhing can fore-
shadowing his car smoking,
upended, body twisted, bended
another statistic, but no

he made it and everyone cheered
as if he just won the super bowl
and was on his way to disney, you
see fate doesn't always catch us
when it could, or teach us to
change direction as we should,
knock on wood, but could it
have changed the ending

it was only beginning, but no
one saw it coming, except his
little brother, who saw how cool
he was...he was...he was...right
up until his turn came to learn....

we are born old enough to die.

and the crunching can crinkled
crinkled...
crinkled...
One Shot Wednesday - the place to get your poetic voice on...write a poem, come join us. It all begins at 5 pm EST.

115 comments:

hemarao said...

The title itself is so profound!
And so true that we hardly realize it till the end!

Sue said...

Disturbing poem. And insightful, too.

A similar thing happened with my eldest and youngest sons. No one died, but it was a close thing.

"/

Tara Miller said...

Our choices not only affect us but others as well....sometimes for the good, sometimes not so good. We lead by example and there are always eyes watching us. Something that's easy to forget especially in the heat of the moment. A good reminder for me love, since there are always little eyes watching. ;)

TALON said...

A lot of truth in this one, Brian. The young don't respect death and the old have no choice...

Captain Dumbass said...

Walking the kids to school today the youngest was parroting his older brother, claiming to like things that I know he doesn't but his big brother does.

Austin said...

Starting to teach Linc this now as his little bro will be here in late June! Well captured.

tattytiara said...

We are losing touch with that understanding. Death is such a forbidden part of life now, we have trouble seeing it when we're holding it's hand.

Claudia said...

so much in this...different scenes in my mind..of course my 18 year old hyper-cool, fast-paced son..always trying his luck..but also...see fate doesn't always catch us when it could, or teach us to
change direction as we should..food for thought..

CM said...

Ugh. Having boys, I know this probably touches home for you. One of my biggest fears is the day one of my boys gets their driver's license. Plus, they truly do model each others behavior. That's why responsible parenting is so important.

Joanna Jenkins said...

This gave me chills....
Nice job, jj

Hilary said...

"it's only a mile, he'll be there
and back before you know it,
he's done it before"

Too many think this way.

Very well done.

Jill said...

But then they take that last risk...and there is NO taking it back...

Elaine said...

I could hardly read it towards the end.
A powerful piece. Very well written. Brian, did you know we're all following you, and you didn't ask us to?

the walking man said...

Yep one never knows that we risk and some look up to the risks we take and try to emulate them. This would be horror to live with, knowing that something I "risked" was the impetus for a kid to attempt and learn he was born old enough to die.

Well said lesson I wish we could teach the young.

Daniel said...

Been there seen that. Ugh. Maybe necessary for growth? Who knows.

emmettwheatfall.com said...

Oh man this was deep. I see me and I'm sure others see themselves in this poem. Thank you for addressing the topic poetically. It reminds me of the grace I've enjoyed living this long.

Barbara Shallue said...

Very insightful, very true, for all ages.

Teri said...

Love that phrase "the crunching can crinkles". It evokes such a sound when it rattles inside my head, as it was intended to do. Fate...it isn't always out "to get us". We have choices, always, on which road to take, how to avoid the pitfalls and getting "six sheets to the wind" if we want to. Sometimes we just give in though and put it out there to be enjoyed, to experience, to grow "inches in moments". That, to me, is the sure sign of growth: that "instant Karma". Great one Brian...as always!!!

Sophia said...

I like this, Brian. Many adults can act careless, taking life/those close to them for granted. What I've seen far too often is they get so wrapped up what they think/feel others should be doing for them that forget to look at themselves and their own actions…hurting those close to them in the end. It may sound harsh, but it's true and it makes me angry at times. I've seen a few people close to me hurt by such actions. One being my father - and he ended up quitting church because of such hypocrites.

Great write!

Goofball said...

I don't recognise me in that...don't think I've ever felt inclined to take risks and live on the edge. You make me glad for that :)

California Girl said...

oh God I see it unfolding and my throat constricts.

well done sir.

Maggie May said...

I reiterate what TALON said.
Your post was profound but then they usually are!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

dustus said...

You captured that false bravado many exhibit after too many "cans of courage." Perfect title and very effective narrative tone.

Janice said...

Very thought-provoking. That powerful ending is going to stay with me for a while.

Tabor said...

Short and punchy...just the way the testosterone filled like it. Wonder if they read it, would they understand it? Or are they in their Charlie Sheen moment?

Heather said...

lots to think of here. i think back to when i was younger, the broken rules - and worry....I hope my kids take a different path....the ending is powerful. AWESOME

River said...

Brian you are the voice for the many that have lost it for many a reason. Such imagery... :)

Chris G. said...

Truthful, and harrowing. Like the voice here, and it's so true, the young certainly don't respect death as they should...too often we don't see we're old enough to die the very next day. A little wisdom for the road - you've always got plenty of it ready to share, Brian, and I'm glad for it.

anthonynorth said...

Respect for life definitely comes with maturity. Great words.

Алиса said...

My favorite part is: 'spending much
of our teen years trying to find new ways to kill ourselves and the remainder avoiding it.'

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

well done, Brian
and I echo Anthony North's words...
"Respect for life definitely comes with maturity. Great words".

Leslie said...

i like the rhythm in that refrain:

"we are born old enough to die."

L.L. Barkat said...

"and the crunching can crinkled"

great sounds (and I am suddenly taken with the thought that someone should try to say it five times fast :)

Betsy said...

There are moments I am so glad I only have one teenage driver instead of four! :)

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Well done. It's something a parent worries about constantly.

Nezzy said...

This is so very true. I can remember tellin' my kiddos that not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

Teens go through that invincible age that is so plumb scary for parents!

Great write once again!

God bless and have a great day!

Giveaway...my place!

signed...bkm said...

So much truth here...the number of young we lose to such untimely and senseless dying...very sad but true....bkm

Hope said...

'fate doesn't always catch us when it could'

sums it up for me right there.

awesome write, Brian!

lori said...

Great story-telling, and you paint such pictures with your words. So much goodness inside, it's too hard to pick a favorite line :)

happygirl said...

How fragile is life. How fragile is an infant. How cavalier we are as we move through this fragile existence we call life. We drink too much, eat wrong, abuse this body. We live on the edge, we give stress to others and bring it on ourselves. Ouch. These words wake me UP.

hedgewitch said...

The wheel gives and the wheel takes. We worship it, internalize its speed and symmetry, but it is not us, and sometimes it proves that. And then there's that testosterone element you mention... Fine writing, brian.

The Retired One said...

Good timing on this reminder Brian...all those kids will be graduating soon and going out to party....so many end up dead.
Chilling, just chilling.

flaubert said...

When we are young we think we are
invincible, but then, if lucky enough
we mature and things do change.
Well said, Brian.

Pamela

Vicki Lane said...

Every parent's nightmare . . . moving one, Brian!

Glynn said...

When we're young, we think we're invincible - nothing can happen to us. Until it does. Good poem, Brian.

James Christopher Sheppard said...

Wow- very powerful. Sent shivers up my spine. Strong message- and very on point.

Heather said...

Love the storytelling you do in your poetry.

Suz said...

the line "we are born old enough to die"
is the most beautiful poem ever...just those words alone

..yes my brother was...
just beautiful Brian

Rhymetime(aka Pat) said...

Getting all morbid on us now, but the poem is really wow.
Good work again Brian, no wonder with the rhymes you weren't tryin.
This must take some time, so I'll allow you to pass on the rhyming crime.
Although you later ones were really good, so we all now you could.
Whoops meant can, I better go before I get a ban.
Enjoyed the read as before, now I being shown the door.

amyjosprague said...

This is insanely LYRICAL. Nice job! Love love the repitition.

Brian Miller said...

i am sorry suz...

we are born old enough to die...is the verse that started this and it built from there...i wrote it down a while back and just let it sit in my notebook until the memories came to go with it...

Kathe W. said...

hoo boy....yes this is so perfect for mothers of teen age boys!

Margaret said...

our teen years trying to find new ways to kill
ourselves and the remainder avoiding it.

Clever. Insightful.

Big Sur Blogisphere said...

I'm 65 and many of my high school classmates died a long time ago in car wrecks, the Vietnam war and drug overdoses. I guess it's time for the cancers and organ failures.
Thanks for the attention getting poem.

Tiger

Olivia said...

Very aptly put.. I guess you figured how I love writing about Life n its perspectives.. Reading that is even more exciting!

Like one big maze it squats on our state of being. Sometimes we are able to find the way out, sometimes not, at other times we go back again n never comeback! Sigh..

Wishing you a nice week B :)
Hugs xx

Beachanny said...

So well written, Brian. The ache in every parent's heart. Now the grandchildren enter their teens and it's all to be gone through again another generation away - the doubts, the worries when a phone rings late. Every mother knows life's fragility. She balances it on the end of a spoon every day. Exceptional work here, sir. Gay

Carl said...

This is powerful, causing intense reflections.

Zuzana said...

Life is fragile at the best. I guess it consist of the invincible youth, the contemplative middle age and the resignation of old age.
There is a line in a very popular song that goes something like "I rather feel pain then feel nothing at all".
For some reason this piece made me think of that.;)
Have a lovely day dear Brian,
xoxo

repressedsoul said...

Wow that line in itself is a 'we are born old enough to die' loved the primale imagery as well Brian. Only two things are certain in this life birth and death. What we do with the i'n betweens is up to us

jen revved said...

So intense, warranting numerous readings-- your fatherly self shines through here. I see much growth in your work, Brian and really enjoyed what you had to say on Friday-- xxxJenne'

marousia said...

Disturbing and powerful writing - it sent a shiver up my spine

Kavita said...

Oh maaann...you've got STYLE, I can tell ya that!!
This one has me hooked, and had me visualize my entire life till now,,and even envision my potential future!
Ahh.. the lives we live... we think it's so complete... or so dull... but there's always someone else that thinks otherwise! I guess there's ALWAYS something to learned from it...

A very poignant read, B... Wheww!!
Am still wondering... (with my usual frown)

Lucy Fur Leaps said...

Phew- that repeated line becomes a 'killer punch' line at the end...great rhythm and tension...and reflects the story you vividly tell. Great poem!

sheila said...

Wow. This is probably my favorite of everything I've read of yours. The part of the little brother, brings tears. And the line "fate doesn't always catch us
when it could" - amazing!

Valerie said...

Potent writing, Brian. Daniels comment is so true. Unfortunately we cannot wrap our children in cotton wool. And these days, it's not only the boys who try to go one better.

Pauline said...

You have such a way of putting huge, obvious truths in a contemporary dialect. These lines though -

"...but then again rules were
made to be broken, at least that is what we think,
when we don't like to think."

are exceptional.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Powerful words. Life is a precious gift, we should treat it with respect.

CJ xx

budh.aaah said...

If only we all read this today and learnt something..not to overstep the boundaries created by fate...

Lorraine said...

very intense, good thing the Soul can't die ;)

Asobime said...

Oh...this is a haunting poem...for any of us who live.

Masterful, disturbing and too damn true.

You have hit all the right stops with this one.

Amazing.

Lady Nyo

Jerry said...

You had me at "we are born old enough to die" profunity squared.

Natasha said...

Born old enough to die and we start our journey at day one. So many lessons have I avoided at the dark hands of fate, and some hard lessons learned, I think death would have been the better option. Youth is such a wonderful, nieve period, and so many of us have escaped unscathed, yet the young and soulful hearts we have lost to that nievity, that is what is so heartbreaking, and once again, you have made us stop, think, and think some more. Perhaps I should sit a spell and simply reflect, as I'm sure the next piece I read will not get the attention it deserves...and it would be all your fault! :)

Raven said...

Very powerful! 'we are born old enough to die.' Sad but true. So profound.

azfree said...

I always joke that life is a sexually transmitted disease. We all have to face our fate, sadly some sooner than others.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow...this has given me something to think about. Great piece.

Belinda said...

This is hauntingly true. In a way I admire those who can live so fearlessly like this...the death of a family member came early for me and has made me a little too careful at times.

tulpen said...

"Born old enough to die" will be on repeat in my head for a while I think...

I had a baby who was born dying.

I stroked the head of a lovely 94 year old lady as she took her last breaths on Monday.

Thanks for this.

Ami Mattison said...

Intense and powerful piece, Brian! Sometimes, I wonder how I ever made it out of adolescence alive, and that my two brothers did as well is an even greater miracle. The "crunching can crinkles" is full of sound and a great metaphor. Love this one shot!

arspoetica said...

the message is profound and the voice you convey it in shows a mastery of language that keeps the reader in thrall... in short, the piece touches home.

Rhymetime(aka Pat) said...

Also gave you a big shout out in my new post, just thought I'd boast.

Ben said...

Dude, you rock. Every time I read your poetry again after a long absence, I realize how much it speaks to my soul. I don't mean that in an overly dramatic way, but I just connect well with your thoughts. I've definitely felt six sheets to the wind sailing from some uncharted island before.

TechnoBabe said...

The sound of the crunching can on wheels crunching is unforgettable. You put life situations into perspective in a brilliant way, Brian. If this helps one person wake up it is worth it.

Anthony Desmond said...

very powerful man...
& that ending is creepy, & realistic.

tony said...

(sadly sometimes.) Life is full of Possibilities.

Alegria Imperial said...

Each line, each turn of phrase is truth! Yet you deliver it in this poem with a sober tone, which makes it all the more stark--not melodramatic as some would expect, just bare and utterly down-to-earth as well. I love how you use the theme as a refrain--'the moment we are born we begin to die', aligning your poem to many a great literary tradition. Thank you for sharing it, Brian!

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

Sobering thoughts.

Nice One Shot, Brian.

Steve Isaak said...

Effective imagery to illustrate a simple - disturbing, no doubt for some (me, it's just one more reason not to waste time listening/paying attention to jacktards) - point.

Good piece. =)

Charlie Parant said...

Not so many memories of my own youth as the memories and worries of raising a teenage son...he's no longer a teenager but I'll let you know when the worries are over...very intense write.

JH_Poetry said...

Wow, a very harsh and beautiful outlook on life. You're a great writer....love your work. JH

JaneBeNimble said...

Powerful.
I read three times, and I'm moved.
Amazingly raw and beautiful work, Brian.

Thorsten Becker said...

To keep my attention with a more abstractly written poem is not easy but I just read through yours without even blinking and all the while absolutely relating to it. I really liked it and it will stay in my mind for quite a while as my brother had a near fatal car accident a few years ago (we're thus all the closer).

PoetriNMo'shun said...

this was beautifully melancholic... it was like a PSA. I love poems of strength and purpose! Great job

mrs mediocrity said...

i really liked this for a number of reasons, loved the cadence, the rhythm and the writing, and it also spoke to me personally, with two 25 year old sons...

Reggie said...

So much sad truth in this and so sad how life goes at times.

ladyfi said...

As soon as we are born, we start dying... ain't that the truth! but life is really about the quality of living while we're still kicking, don't you think?

rebecca said...

it's a poem that stuns us into quiet reflection, nodding our heads as we agree, "yes, yes, unfortunately that is how it is." the repetition of certain lines made it even more eery, it hit home the message. very, very well done. this was an excellent piece of writing.

Tess Kincaid said...

Lots to think about here, Brian. Well done.

Padmavani said...

We are born old enough to die... provocative... I could see the whole scene develop as I read the poem.
When I see these young boys driving like mad...I immediately think of their parents and then inevitably shout out in my head 'STUPIDOS!!!
I wish I had written this one :)

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
It seems as if these are the words that captured some Of your readers, attention..."we are born old enough to die..."
I sometimes wonder why some people think that you, have to be a certain age to...When all the while..."we are [all]born old enough to die..."
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

rmpWritings said...

the sound of the crinkling can still echos in my head. a very poignant piece of writing.

Syd said...

God often watches after madmen and drunks. But some slip through and are lost too young.

haikulovesongs said...

disturbing title, even though true. we lost my nephew when he was 16 and riding a motorcycle drunk. so sad.

Cheryl said...

It's so important to celebrate the miracles of those who've gotten help because this disease has a staggering winning streak.

mama-face said...

You can die before you're born. I know this from too many experiences.

PattiKen said...

I see a tragedy behind this, the loss of a life too young, dead of admiration, naiveté, and the belief of the young in immortality. Sad one.

Mom said...

One of my favorites, son.

Carys said...

How strange that the belief that we are invincible is often the very thing that makes us breakable. Excellent piece.

Shashi said...

I agree with Hema... the title itself says a lot and your verse that followed accentuated it so powerfully....
Thanks for sharing this one
Shashi

Rebecca S. said...

Yup, I knew guys like him in high school. We all did.

mairmusic said...

"fate doesn't always catch us
when it could"... luckily... nice to see your writing in a reflective turn.

kenny said...

Oh my! I...I...it's stunned me. I have to read it again. I was fooled, lulled into a well written poem on youth, fooling around with childhood memories, with college parties and...something shifted. Along the way I lost my brother.

Very intense. Even the rhythm now is loaded with...with sorrow.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

That was disturbing and powerful!

Marla said...

My greatest fear as a mother.

adeeyoyo said...

Yow! I am lost for words!

Steve Isaak said...

Solid caveat-telling (with enough showing to make it work) piece, great finish.