Some hopes glow like bright balloons
That lure you to the sky—
They take you up to glorious heights
Then pop, then drop, then die.
And when you wake with muddy teeth
And gravel in your eye,
With hands and knees and elbows scraped,
The pain will make you cry.
Wipe those tear drops from your face
To banish with each sigh.
Renounce all silly hopes you’ve had,
And swear no more to fly.
Man was meant to walk on earth,
And not on cloud-trimmed gales.
So walk a path of reason made
Where safety never fails.
But though you barricade yourself
In forts of reason sure,
And make of logic your defense
Your hopes will still endure
For hopes are not so eas’ly lost
Nor sense so eas’ly gained
Where skies of amber radiance call
‘Mid clouds so gaily stained.
A book a thousand pages long
Of reason tried and sound
Is as though consumed by flames
When crazy hopes abound.
You give your finest argument,
Laid out in flawless prose,
Your mind completely fortified
To vanquish further woes.
But hopes speak only poetry
For they speak but to the heart
So prose is only background noise
That cheers their one great art.
You lock the door against the wind
That calls and wanders by.
You cover every window pane
For fear you’ll see the sky.
Forget the hopes that you have known.
Perhaps they’ll forget too
And chase the sparrows through the air
Instead of wooing you.
But, no, your hopes cannot be stopped.
You find them everywhere–
A magic carpet in the rug,
An airplane in the chair.
Some raindrops in the water spout,
Some snowflakes in the flour,
Aurora in the fireplace,
And storm clouds in the shower.
Your hopes smile on, yet undeterred.
They laugh and giggle, free
To roam like cotton on the air
And beckon charmingly.
No, no! Remember how you fell!
Remember every pain.
Don’t let your tower wall fall down
Or heart outwit your brain!
Resolve again to fight your hopes
With insight real and strong
For hopes are only wished, you know,
And almost always wrong.
Rebuild the castle of your heart
With stone and iron will.
The broken pieces of your dreams
Must change or they will kill.
You melt them down and mix them up
And, poured into a mold,
Your reinvented hopes emerge—
So earth-bound, safe, and cold.
But s’pose the mighty dragons come
As you had always dreamed.
Suppose they find you locked inside
Your fortress finely schemed.
Would you watch them bear your friends away
To soar the sunset through?
To find the hidden castle-clouds
And share the eagles’ view?
The ground beneath your feet is sure–
With no great depth to fall,
But can you really be content
To never soar at all?
You say that safety is enough,
And former hopes deny.
Yet every time you say the words,
The hopes inside you cry.
Unbolt your heavy, iron gate
To test the beck’ning breeze—
Step out onto the grass and wait,
Eyes fixed beyond the seas,
For some hopes come on dragons’ wings
To bear you to the sky.
But you’ll never roam the higher realm
If you never try.