Rise to the Occasion

Posted on May 30, 2016


From something Peter Baumann said to me in 1985.

Rise to the Occasion


Each new day

Is a dry shave with a dull blade

It’s so hard

When the weight of the world

Presses you to the linen

But if you don’t wake up

When you get up

Your history is written

You have to rise

To the occasion

Open your eyes

To the truth that is in them

Strip the lies

From your wisdom


If you’d give the

Shirt off your back

People will take it

If you give them

The time of day

People will waste it

They don’t want anything

Bad enough to make it

So if you get the chance

Better take it

It is a war we are waging

Rise to the occasion

Stoke your hunger

Then slake it


You can’t have what you want

Until you know what it is

If you wake up

And your mind’s not made up

Your history’s written

Moving along from dream to dream

No progress, no strength

Born upon the slow rising

And falling of the day to day

Leap out of time

Into the extraordinary

Just a rise away

The dream you dreamed

‘Til you believed it


Posted in: Poetry, Writing