Against The Wall

I follow a blog written by a brilliant woman by the name of Sherrie Theriault. Several times weekly, she writes a short paragraph then follows it with a poem. I am almost always astounded by the insight and profound understanding she pours onto the page in so very few words. In my opinion, she “gets it”.

Anyway, I responded to her post today with a condensed version of what you are about to read. She thought my words were “Beautiful!”, so I thought I’d flush them out a bit, and share them with you.

Against The Wall


Some say this life is a game

A crap shoot

For lack of a better name

You throw the dice against the wall

And they fall where they will


I often wonder

Who made the rules

And why we choose to play by them

When the game goes on and on

And we never seem to win


I have a thought: Pick one truth

Consider all the others to be either

Half-truths or lies

Then throw the dice

But… not against the wall


You see, therein lies the big lie

That’s the way you were taught

To play the game

By the rules… but whose rules

And what happened?


The dice kept coming back to you

And you kept on believing you could win

Thinking as long as it was your turn

You were winning

And so, you continued the game


Throw the dice again

Throw them hard

But not toward the wall

Throw them at that one truth

And then… follow them


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

Sharing with dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night ~ Week 35


  1. Kirsten said

    Beautiful is right! Thanks Charles…I played the crap shoot game longer than i should have – but now I know where to go and whose rules to play by. And that my friend makes all the difference 🙂

    • Thank you, Kirsten! If you read Sherrie’s blog, you know she is one of us.
      Your wonderful comments are always appreciated!

  2. terri0729 said

    Well said, Charlie!! A crap shoot is how we seem to live our younger years and then learn the difference between playing at life and having a life of truth. I hated rules when I was younger, rebelling often, and look where that got me 😦 Now I try to tell my kids, one listens and learns and the other is still rebelling! Sara is not old enough yet to be in the “game” but getting closer every day, hopefully she will learn by example! smiles, Terri

    • Define “younger”. I was late to the game, and stayed much too, late. Although, in the rebel category, I could have written the book before I turned 17–still hold onto the manual.
      Thanks for the great comment, Terri!

  3. claudia said

    nice…i like the idea of this..i think it’s all a mix of our own decisions we make and then the things we have no influence… and sometimes it’s just good to break all the wrong rules that try to cage us in..

    • I kind of think we follow the pack, all the while declaring our uniqueness. When we finally realize we’re being crowded toward the chute, we begin to kick and bleat. Many, just load up and take the trip.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Claudia!

  4. now that is a loaded gamble but much mor in your favor…smiles….the continual playing gets rather old as well over time…

  5. Ah, she was right Charles. They are beautiful words.

  6. naramalone said

    I need better dice :). interesting thoughts, got me thinking.

  7. seingraham said

    Well-put … I am forever telling my kids what a crap-shoot life is, how lucky we are to be where we are as opposed to dropped down in some other god-forsaken place, you know? But as I get older I realize – there’s some to truth to the adage “the house never loses” – you just have to figure out who or what you believe the house is … Now my kids remind me that I taught them to live their own truth and couldn’t that be the house ultimately? Never raise your kids on a metaphoric tale … or maybe do … good poem and great link to another thought-provoking writer – thanks!

    • I guess they’ll figure it out as they go–kind of like we did. You, uh, didn’t promise them a pony, did you?
      Thanks for the great comment!

      • seingraham said

        I’m afraid any equine promises would only have been made to me (incurable horse lover) – and yes, the kids do seem to be figuring it out as they go along …

        Thanks for dropping into the fog with all the dead poets whispering, and your, as always, insightful comments

      • Insightful? Oh, me? Eh hem! Yes yes!
        Might be an old family joke; promising the youngsters a pony when they are old enough. At forty-somethings, mine are becoming quite beligerant about the missing ride. I’m like; “But, son! The pickup wasn’t sufficient?”

  8. Sherry Mashburn said

    Brilliant last stanza . . . insightful poem. WOW!

  9. And now for a second Sherrie and I give you a second WOW!! Charles, you are a powerful writer and I am grateful that we have happened into each other’s lives!

  10. I love this poem! Very thought provoking. I love this verse:

    “I have a thought: Pick one truth
    Consider all the others to be either
    Half-truths or lies
    Then throw the dice”

    Followed by the finale:

    “Throw them at that one truth
    And then… follow them”

    I think this is an idea that makes a great deal of sense. 🙂 Peace, Linda

    • Thank you very much, Linda! Yes, that is the meat of the matter; in a nutshell, my method is “focus” on the good; in this case the “best”.
      Your wonderful comment is appreciated!

  11. Nice job! For some folks that “crap shoot” has less to do with the game and more to do with the first word in the phrase.

    Your comment on my blog took me here. Well done.

    • Hi, Carol. I came upon your blog after reading a poem by Cindee Snider on dVerse. I like it!
      Thanks for stopping by, and I appreciate the nice comment!

  12. Haha, enjoyed this–my siblings and I never played by the rules; we always made up our own twists 🙂

  13. Charles,

    Thanks for fleshing out the prose and creating this amazing work of poetry.


    Mark Butkus

  14. yelena said

    a brilliant poem, just what i needed this somber rainy evening to ponder on..and love your blog design!!:)

    • I’m glad to give you something to ponder, and I thank you for the kind words!
      I jumped over and took a look at your latest creation, and enjoyed it very much.
      Also left you another of mine–more to ponder.

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