Shaking Things Up

Sometimes you just have to shake your head

and see what falls out

and sometimes we have to shake the world

for the same reasons.



what falls out is a diamond;

rare and precious,

gleaming in the light.


Sometimes what falls out,

is a snake;

a little green tree snake,

highly venomous

and quick…

… so quick.


Every now and then,

something shakes loose

that we cannot identify.

We shake the world

and shake our heads

and out it comes.


It hits the table with a wet “Thud”

and we stare at it

for a long time,

in silence.


Is it a lump of clay?

Or a pile of shit?

Is it meant to be formed?

Or is it already complete?


“I think I see a face on one side!”


“No you don’t! Don’t be an idiot!”


It goes on like this for a while.


Heated debate and conjecture

about whether it is the result of

weak environmental policies,

lax immigration laws,

or just an underfunded mental health program,

when really,

we’re just doing our best

to avoid touching it.


We shook things up

to see what would happen

and when the thing happened

we didn’t know what to do about it,

so we tried to ignore it.

We passed it off.

We blamed everyone but ourselves,

when what we really needed to do

is pick it up.



the formless lump is clay,

waiting to be formed.


it is treasure,

covered in years of dirt

that often cake the long forgotten past.


it is really just a piece of shit.

But we know what to do with shit;

we flush it.

And wash our hands.


Gloves might be a good idea.

Then we move on.


The world is full of shit.

In fact,

it is the thing we are as likely to encounter,

as when shake the world

and shake our heads

to see what falls out.

It is only on rare

and special occasions

that we find clay to mold,

or long forgotten treasures.

They are in there,

but sometimes,

in order to find them,

we have to deal with a lot of shit first.


Now where’s that snake…


HG – 2016

Leave a Reply