Links in a chain






First there is nothing, then

a sign there might be something

comes like a sudden flinch

a flash in the night


an economic crash

the death of a friend

the bolt of a deer

before even the rifle shot is heard


traces are left

not in mud, but

footprints in drying cement

they harden


you come to know them

to fear them

you start to think


you’ve got an idea

you give it a name

now you’re getting somewhere

you can deal with this


to look, to listen

you can even smell the danger

taste it, feel it


this named thing

you can deal with this

reality, you can


deal with

the anxiety of life

the fear of things

the hoping

these needs



the wanting

the need to be sure, to be safe

to be anything at all


the striving for it

and you like it too


that which will have to be done

the preparations

and taking the leap


that awful, fearsome leap


is the joy of life itself

the freshness

the song of a bird

the breeze on your skin

you are coming into your own


settled, sure, and even relaxed

maybe for the first time

in the cool shade of a good tree


just enough


before the slanting sun

the chill of night

and again

the sweet dreams of nothing


to nothing



David is a retired CEGEP math teacher who enjoys a good cup of coffee as well as reading, travel, painting and poetry. He was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1945, but has called Montreal his home since 1970. He has previously published one poem in sunday@6mag.