Serendipitous Song

Robin pauses on tree stump

Robin pauses on tree stump (Photo credit: TriggerHappyDave)

Red-faced from effort and failure,
the six-year-old stood atop
the tree stump and blew
through the tight circle
of pinched and cinched frown,
spitting wet Bronx cheers into Nature.
Good and angry, desperate and defeated,
he jumped high off the stump and,
on his way down,
a sweet tweet of exhalation
escaped his loosened lips.
And thus, through airborne error,
my whistle was born in mid-air.

Life is often like that,
one horrible failure after another,
crushing the spirit until
that last breath it squeezes out,
and you take that leap.
If you’re lucky, the unexpected eureka
comes from it. You may call that
serendipity or Kismet,
five-dollar (or drachma) words
for five cents of dumb luck.
Like when I cast my sinking soul
into the dark void and
an angel untied its bindings,
teaching it to fly.
Now soul believes it’s a songbird.

Here’s a Sunday morning free write in response to my friend Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt: Serendipity. Sharing it with the folks at dVerse Open Link Night, too.

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21 thoughts on “Serendipitous Song

  1. A delightful read. Two leaps of faith are expressed with tenderness and analysed of their poetic components in choice language and images. Very well done.

  2. “Like when I cast my sinking soul
    into the dark void and
    an angel untied its bindings,
    teaching it to fly.
    Now it believes it’s a songbird.”

    Joe… my gosh. You give me goosebumps every time and loud sighs that have my husband asking me, “what are you reading?” as I lie here in bed salivating over your words. True story.

    Beautiful! Thank you! ♥

  3. Joe, you really propelled me into the corridors of yesterday, where every calamity led to doors of light, buckets of goose down & angel feathers. A rooster attacked me once in a barnyard, and I learned about cock spurs and prepped for a future poem.

  4. i can so relate to the second stanza joe….the failures again and again til you leap and hope for that eureka….love the agels teaching that soul to fly as well…smiles….

  5. I love these:
    “he jumped high off the stump and,
    on his way down,
    a sweet tweet of exhalation”
    “my whistle was born in mid-air”

    What a great message.

  6. “…and you take that leap.”

    A leap of faith, a leap of courage, of tenacity, of belief in things unseen, but not unfelt. I love all creatures, great and small, yet it is the small wingéd things that carry my heart aloft, that help me remember I once had wings – and hopefully, will have them again one fine day. Stellar writing and a perfect picture as an accompaniment.

  7. one horrible failure after another,
    crushing the spirit until
    that last breath it squeezes out,
    and you take that leap.
    If you’re lucky, the unexpected eureka
    comes from it. You may call that
    serendipity or Kismet,

    Sound a lot like a passionate scientist attempting to prove a theory. Well done.

  8. One horrible failure after another …

    sounds way too much like so much of my life, Joe. Here’s hoping I can reach as fine an end as you supplied to this poem.

  9. I like the point of view of the narrator, watching, being the wow whistle itself, and then the reveling its own lift off and eureka. WOW, unexpected wonder is the pattern of the poem.

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