The Certainty of Suffering


Banish the cold morning floor.

Seek the warmth of the fire

early in the day

and make a promise to yourself

that an end to all your suffering is near.

Then, chuckle at the idea.

Smile sardonically at your own indulgence.

As if you

could ever give up suffering.

It is your favorite vice.

As a human being,

you are drawn to it

like a moth to a flame,

or a fly to shit.

As a man

you need it,

as it gives your spirit succor,

your body endorphins,

and brings clarity and perspective

to your mind.

As an individual

it feeds you,

for in your suffering

there is no denying

your own existence.

Out the window,

the frost and snow in the darkness

of a pre-dawn winter morning

call you out.

The job of living is not here,

in front of a crackling fire,

a warm drink in hand.

No, it lies out there.

The mystery of adventure.

The chance for glory.

The certainty of suffering.

The flesh is weak,

but the call to feel

to the extent that you can feel

is hypnotic.

Some may seek war and conquest.

Some may seek wealth and power.

Others may seek God

in the ice bath,

and the weight room,

and the Jiu Jitsu mats.


may only seek themselves,

out in the wilds

of still winter mornings.



a man might finally

find his place in the world,

under the shifting blanket

of the aurora.

There is a discipline to suffering.

A way for any man,

however ignoble,

to find the path back

to kinship with himself,

his life,

his world,

his woman,

or his God.


in front of the fire,

it becomes clear

that it is the only way.

Coffee drank,

and meditation complete,

stand and move to dress,

and start the day.

Fortune, or failure?

The outcome of such effort

is unknown.

Only one thing is certain;

there will be suffering.



DJR – 2023

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