Leaving Alcatraz

Sometimes it’s like that.

Even the halls of Paradise

come to resemble

the dull, grey walls of a prison.

The light of eternal radiance

wanes dim and squalid,

passions tepid,

the warmth

gone from the eyes and mouth.

Sometimes it’s like that.


The days recede and languish.

The clock’s unending march.

The haven once sought so earnestly,

closes in

and the embrace becomes a shackle.

The island,

however tropical,

can still serve as a prison.

Sometimes it’s like that.


The unrequited.

The missed potential.

The outstretched hand,



The rain that never touches the ground,

evaporating in mid-fall;

so the garden,

though moist,

remains fallow.

A kiss that never touched.

Sometimes it’s like that.


The dire ascent.

The summiting

of Herculean measure

to heights above.

To view the very curve of the Earth,

to shout,

to whisper,

closer to the ear of God

than any man before.

To proclaim,

“Here I am!”

to the whole of Creation

and hear nothing in return,

but the echoes of your own voice

and the wind.

The view is spectacular

and then you have to climb down.

Sometimes it’s like that.


HG – 2018

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