By Jason De Koff
The spidery tendrils of colored cotton-like debris,
can still be found peppering the asphalt,
daily reminders of one hurdle hit,
while thoughts turn to large ones looming.
Soft-soled shoes shush the sounds of footsteps,
while wary eyes focus on upcoming bends,
anticipating deviations in the expected path,
with alternate routes at the ready.
Bright skies outside but clouds loom large,
within the cranium caverns of soulful searching,
the unknown holds court with great thumping,
and pumping of breath and blood.
The future is different, slower and sweeter,
but lacking the certainty however falsely contrived,
well wishes precede greetings with greater earnest than earlier,
self-sufficiency debunked as death knocks on doors.
Questions unanswered beget more confusion,
the sun burns brighter but the right answer is hidden,
to falter or flourish, are sleepless decisions,
how large is the eye of the storm?
Resistance and Resolve
Chomping the bit,
for the resistance it provides,
the restraint necessary,
to keep focus of mind.
For the goal to succeed,
presence of the fight,
to question the sun.
Keep silent, deep waters,
rescued from plight,
of pounding beats,
making asphalt weep.
But volleys are launched,
with spikes sent back,
reconciling the shadows,
of childhood dreams.
Dried husks of the living,
are those that oppose,
great crackling sounds,
against our endless resolve.
The downward spiral,
more like freefall,
to the bottom,
all at once.
Clawing at the confines,
beat down by dread,
pulling up while pushed down,
lungfuls of icy fog.
While electric shorts,
pulse cerebrally deep,
releasing excess energy,
from haywire circuitry.
Mad scuffling abates,
as hours or days pass,
and slowly the rise commences,
imperceptible and agonizing in rate.
Waves crest, pulses slow,
normalcy accepts the crown,
waiting ensues for calibration confused,
what goes up must come back down.
However, with time,
the path is well-worn,
so that fear encountered,
has been dealt with before.
What goes down must always return home.
Jason de Koff is an associate professor of agronomy and soil science at Tennessee State University. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife, Jaclyn, and his two daughters, Tegan and Maizie. He has published in a number of scientific journals, and recently has had poetry accepted in other literary journals. @JasonPdK3