Poem: Dancing on the Edge



Dancing on the Edge

This is where you live,
dancing at the edge,
a constant improvisation
where the next note could ruin everything,
where the next step could send you spiralling
into an eternal darkness.

Your soul is a roadmap of missteps,
a testament to how badly you dance
and how well you survive
that most implacable of enemies,

But still you dance,
kicking up the sand in the moonlight
content at last
to do your flawed best
and let the stars land where they may.

About this poem.

This is a lesson in how a poem sometimes comes together. I was driving to my current favorite coffee shop to work. It was raining hard and there were deep puddles of water. To stay in the lane I had to drive right on the edge of the puddles, and at times I was too close, sucked into the deep water, hydroplaning, wrestling control of the car from the water.

I could have driving partially in the other lane – there was little traffic early in the morning, but part of me enjoyed the game of living on the edge of control and loss of control.

And it occured to myself how often I have done that in life – jumping into things beyond me, where failure could (and at times did) make a mess of things. But in the bigger picture it has worked out well. I have had opportunities, done things, grown, build wonderful relationships I would have missed entirely otherwise.

And from that mix of early morning thoughts…. a poem.



  1. Hi Tom. This is August 8 and I note that you have not entered any poetry for several days. Are you O.K.? Love your poetry. Hope you are O.K. I love your poetry–forward several of them to friends. Vella C. Draughon–Jon Katz follower of several year’s time now.

    • Hi Vella! All is well. Go back and check, I think I have pretty much posted every day for the past few days. But I do sometimes go a day or few without posting – generally something busy in one of the other realms of my life. Thank you for caring enough to ask!

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