or the lack thereof

success is varied, as are all people
for one it is the measure of a yard
for another it is just a meter
is that football or is that a garden?
are we measuring some distance to run?
or is it the meter of a poem?

I cannot say for you or you for me
and therein lies so much difficulty
your success could be a failure for me
and my success now could be a failure
in your eyes and in all those around me
but why should I care what others may think?

the lack of your approval does not make
me – to me – any less of a success
and when I stumble – yes, I do stumble –
it is not your knees that are all scraped up
but mine alone, as when I do succeed
I find myself standing up tall and proud

for that is my achievement and not yours
measured as it is against my standard
and not yours and not yours and not yours
because I know that I will sometimes trip
any failing that may come about
I can turn into success – that I know

this world is full of dissatisfaction
much of which we put upon ourselves
and if I find I have failed to complete
what it is that I set out to achieve
then my success or my failure is all
in how I choose to perceive my own acts

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Margo Roby’s prompt: Convey to us a truth about success, or failure.

8 thoughts on “or the lack thereof

  1. “and not yours and not yours and not yours” — YES.

    I love this, Sir. Love the pondering of “meter” in the first stanza, too. Does poetry meter get us any less far than a marathon? I don’t think so. I’m in for the long haul, and I’m glad you are, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, very nice, Richard. I love the thoughtfulness as the speaker measures his thoughts on the topic. I felt a if I were reading a short philosophical dissertation.
    ‘my success or my failure is all
    in how I choose to perceive my own acts’.

    Liked by 1 person

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