Dreaming Downhill

Sometimes a thought comes at you broadside and knocks you for a loop. You start thinking about things, and pretty soon you’re sitting on the curb with your head in your hands. Eventually, you shake it off and finish the walk home; then write it down and show it to the world. A few of them will actually read it.

Dreaming Downhill


I remember topping the rise

Picked up a book one night

And the words were blurred

No warning

The boss laughed at me

Said I needed reading glasses



Dug in my heels

Thinking it was too early

I was too young

To start down the other side

Seemed like a long stretch of level

Should’ve come before the steep drop



Hit some rocks and flipped out

Into mid-air, screaming and flailing

Grabbed onto a bush

To slow myself down

Slid on my butt for a ways

Through poison ivy



Dusted myself off

Zigged and zagged for a while

Going slow, making it last

Started wondering about the dreams

Forgotten… left behind

Should I go back for them



Seeing I wasn’t dead yet, eventually

I decided, yes, new dreams

Easy ones maybe

But something to shoot for

Hoping the powder was dry

Trying to recall how many shots I’d fired



And that’s where you find me today

Dreaming short dreams

Easing down the far side of the hill

The rainbow’s end in sight

Behind that next big rock

Pot of gold there… I think



Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

Sharing this on dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night #46 this evening. Wander on over there if you want to read some really good poetry. (Not mine, silly! There are real poets over there!)


  1. Deborah said

    I like this a lot. Sounds like reality. Sometimes it bites. Ultimately though, the Lord has ways to make us shine. Even on this side of
    the slide!

    • I hope you know, it’s very fictitious; not about me, in other words. It’s all good over here, and I want to make a slight adjustment to your comment: Instead of on “this” side of the slide, let’s call it “His” side of the slide!

  2. This is great Charles, really enjoyed all the images here. Went on the assumption that the latter part of this was metaphorical references to getting older rather than an actual accident, but either way it was lovely.

    • It’s all pretty much metaphorical. Everything is right as rain over here!
      Glad you like it, and I appreciate the nice comment!

  3. I can relate – dreams can be both wonderful and torturous – sometimes at the same time

  4. You are certainly a real poet my friend…loved it!

  5. smiles…i still hope you find your pot of gold…are we ever ready for the other side of the hill? i wonder but i am glad we can still dream on that back side you know…

    • Yeah, Brian. This is all in the name of poetry, my friend. I dream like crazy, chasing that rainbow, and grinning like a loon. (I don’t even know what a loon is, but I guess they grin pretty good.)
      Thanks for the visit and great comment!

  6. claudia said

    ah you never know…maybe there is a pot of gold waiting..smiles..and it’s important that we never stop dreaming..and hey…every once and a while we should dream big as well i think..just saying..

    • It’s all good, Claudia! This is just one of them retrospectives, or whatever the word guy calls it. I’m cool, and livin the dream!
      Thanks for the visit and comment. Always appreciate you!

  7. Even the smallest bit of hope is still, hope!
    Glad all is well in your world. I know what you mean about needing those glasses though …LOL

    • Yes’m. Nowadays, I have about a dozen pair, just so I know one will be there where and when I need it! Jeesh!
      Thanks for the visit and nice comment!

  8. I can relate with your post about the glasses and dreaming dreams…at least that is what I do on a daily basis. Keep on dreaming Charles ~

    • it’s a common thing at my age–the glasses. Well I guess dreaming is common too.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  9. leahJlynn said

    Sounds like a real bad fall, glad you realized you were alive. Blessing you to continue on you.

  10. Sherry Mashburn said

    Loved this, Charlie! Great title and it doesn’t matter which side of the hill I’m on, God is beside me. BTW, my favorite line is “But something to shoot for, Hoping the powder was dry, Trying to recall how many shots I’d fired.”

  11. aprille said

    Definitely a pot of gold: you deserved it.
    Liked the consideration of going back for the dreams, as if real objects, not to be left lying around unloved.
    Would be nice if the apex was a little longer and wider and more substantial before the big downhill. Made me think of the chap ski-ing down Everest in ten minutes after climbing up it for days.
    Nice punctuation to the stanzas.

    • If that is the same guy I saw “ski” down Everest, he didn’t ski, he fell! That was a long time ago, though, so you might be talking about a different person.
      Thanks for the wonderful comment!

  12. Becky Sain said

    Always wonderful Charles.

  13. I think it’s so freeing to take on pov other than out own and I think you did an excellent job portraying this character, Charles!! That mid-life I hear can sneak up quick but on the other hand if peeps do what they want/need to be doing all along I think that point would be less harsh. Just thinkin’ out loud. 🙂 Thank you for this!

    • I agree on the pov, Hannah. To me, writing is like acting, and I love to get into other roles. I’ve actually written love poems for others to give to their significant other–this can backfire, obviously. I do stories and poems from the pov of animals, too. I love that, especially dogs; they are such fun! I’ve done several stories and poems from the female pov, too. I love it all. As you can probably see, I just love to write!
      As for the poem and the other side of the hill, it ain’t no thang. I love living as much as I love writing! There never really was a hill or a sliding down point; in fact, it just seems to keep getting better. Today’s poem just hit me while I was walking this morning–that happens a lot–so I just wrote it.
      I’m rambling. I ramble, ya know. Somebody wrote a song about me back in the day. You probably heard it.

  14. zongrik said

    dreamers then, and dreamers now, that’s what poets are

    spaceship tanka

  15. Dreams can definitely knock you on your butt sometimes. The good ones are worth the climb, though. I loved the poem and your setup at the beginning. In fact, I thought the setup was your poem at first and was pleasantly surprised to find more. Guess I need to put my glasses on… 🙂

  16. terri0729 said

    😦 My eyes aren’t cooperating today Charlie and I couldn’t read the green letters! If you have a copy in black and white to e-mail me, I’d love to be able to see it! hugs, T

    • Ha! That’s funny, “seeing” as how the first stanza is about not being able to see!

  17. Raivenne said

    As I read this I had the sense of someone waking up on their birthday and writing out thoughts of their life as they come to this certain realization. There is a peace in knowing the bottom of that hill is not an ending, but a much different beginning. I really like this.

    • You got it right, Raivenne. This old boy has a firm grip on that peace you’re talkin bout.
      Thanks for stopping by. Your comments always bless me!

  18. Fictitious or not, you did a marvelous write expressing the feelings of some people on the downward slide of life, or someone just having the aging blues. I think it is inevitable that many people get thinking about the fact that “middle age” is not sixty or sixty-five (ha!) unless they plan to be 120 or 130 years old. Twenty years of life seems an eternity when one is young. When one is my age, twenty years means, Holy s…. that means almost 90 ! So much to do, so little time.☺. Or, Charles, have I gone off on a wrong tangent again ? ! Sigh. Getting old is chicken poop.
    (but the alternative is much worse !).
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • You nailed it, Siggi! I laugh when people say 60 is the new 40. Like you, I think, 120-130. Me, I hope I don’t live to be 120! And, yes, I remember whenI was 20, thinking, “2012! Ha! This world won’t last that long!” Nowadays, I wonder if we’ll see 2013; much less 2050 (I’ll be a 100).
      Thanks for the awesome comment on this one, Siggi. I always enjoy what you have to say about my poems!

  19. poemsofhateandhope said

    charles- i got here eventually! so sorry for my tardiness!- this is great poem…i really enjoyed its surreal flavour…its dreamlike quality. To me it spoke of reaching plateaus in life- or maybe corssroads would be a better description- it also said something about questions asked by time and age- as we get older does that mean we can no longer have dreams? no…of course not- but we do get that slight sense of panic in the pits of our stomachs at the though of our creeping mortiility. Once id read this poem- i found myself feeling actually quite upbeat- and you know- im goona do the things i wanna do even if people see me as some kind of eccentric old bastard!…great words Charles- seriously

    • What a great comment, Stu. You got this one from start to finish, and it always makes me feel good when someone can see where I was coming from on one that’sa little bit tongue-in-cheek. I have a sneaky–sometimes sparkle-eyed-snarly–sense of humor, and it slips into a lot of my writing.
      Thank you very much. Love your comments!

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