Hopes vs. Fears

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.

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