Ridin’ the Pine

Many of us had aspirations of greatness when we were kids, some of us still hang onto those dreams, and some—not many—maybe even reached the lofty heights to which they aspired. Some, simply didn’t dream. Me, I dreamed, but it seems I was just another face in the crowd, wielding a bat that never quite made contact, and writing songs that never got sang. It bothered me some for a bit, but I’ve come to terms with who I am and what I’ve offered up to the world. I’ve learned to do the best I can each day, and rest assured it’s enough.

Ridin’ the Pine


Do you know what it’s like

To be that guy

You know, the one the girls say

Well, he ain’t no Brad Pitt

But he’s kinda cute

And he’s soooo funny


Do you know what it’s like ridin the pine

To be the guy always ridin’ the pine

You know… the almost guy

Almost good enough, but not as good as

The guy he’s cheering for

The one who just made the diving catch

Rolled, stepped on the bag

Spun in the air like some freakin’ ballerina

And fired the ball to first for a double play


Do you know what it’s like

To write poems, stories and novels

Doing it because you love it

And maybe because you have a dream, too

And can’t imagine ever doing anything else

Then you pay to have your novel published

You know, the one that sold fourteen copies

Then you read a novel by Stephen King

Robert McCammon, or Elmore Leonard…

Or a book of poetry by Kellie Elmore

And you walk into your office

Look at your computer

And mumble to yourself

What the hell was I thinking


Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn


I’ll be sharing this on dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night #89 this afternoon. And, since it inspired this poem, I’d like to dedicate it to Kellie Elmore to celebrate the release of her second book of poetry. Click here to read my review of  Jagged Little Pieces.

Jagged Little Pieces on Amazon


  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Such a sad tale and a poignant picture, too. Very relatable to everyone’s life.

  2. Raivenne said

    Perspective, Charles. You are fourteen sold books ahead of the pine rider who dreams of being The Next Great Write Hope, but doesn’t have the guts to publish.

  3. oh snap…raveinne put it all into perspective with her comment…comparison kills man…we chase our dreams regardless and if we are always second place….well at least we are consistent…smiles.

    • Oh, I agree, Brian. This was prompted by Kellie’s new book–it is outstanding, in my humble opinion–and also by a book I just finished called The Bottom of the 33rd, by Dan Barry. It’s about the longest baseball game ever played, and he delves into the heartaches of some of the players who never make it to the big leagues.

  4. RL King said

    Well, all things come to fruition in there own time…I think? Write write write… love it…and it will love you back, one day.

  5. I don’t even know what to say. Thank you so much, I’m so flattered and… Mad! You are such a talent and I an so mad hearing you speak of your writing in that way. You are amazing. You are THE guy. Not second place… Ever.

  6. L said

    Riding the pine has its own rewards!

  7. Mary said

    Charles, I have co-authored two novels as well. I think they are every bit as good as some of the stuff you find in print somewhere. It is hard to break into that market, and I think you have to KNOW someone in order to do it. I am cynical, I guess. TALENT doesn’t always do it. And QUALITY is often overlooked. We all have our dreams, don’t we? Now I just write for myself and realize that big breaks happen to those with connections……that truly IS the way of it.

    • I know what you mean, Mary. It can be discouraging at times, but I write because I love to write, and if someone reads what I write and enjoys it, well, that’s just icing on the cake!

  8. ayala said

    I understand this… But I also think that if you believe and you dream that’s all that matters. 🙂

  9. Grace said

    We all have those dreams ~ Keep on writing because it makes you happy ~

  10. Tony Maude said

    What is especially galling is when you come across published work that you would have been ashamed to show to anyone. Hey, you’re fourteen books ahead of me in sales too.

    • Yep. I’ve read some of those you’re talking about. Real head-shakers, some of them. But it’s all good. I figure if it’s meant to be, it will be. And just so everyone understands, this poem was somewhat fictionalized. I was just trying to make a point.

  11. I am completely flattered that you mentioned me in this wonderful and touching poem. I feel just like you, I cannot possibly be that good, I feel like the other guy…like the poem says, the one on the sidelines watching the pros. And you, in my eyes are a PRO! I really enjoy your work and am always enchanted with your stories. I wish I could do what YOU do!

    XOXOXOX Kellie

    • Oh, stop that! You’re just being silly now! But, thank you! Your praise and kind words are very much appreciated and enjoyed!

      • I am NOT being silly *sticking out tongue* lol!

        Really, you must know I am true when I say that you are awesome and a master storyteller. So YOU stop THAT! Now.


      • ah’ight den

  12. Suzy said

    Dream big and dreams will come true. Dropping by from dVerse.

  13. I always tell my kids, just put “she tried” on my tombstone… and I figure that’s all you can do… you’ve gotta have a go and one day you never know everything will go “click”. Nice write Charles 🙂

  14. kkkkaty1 said

    I’ll have to check out the book on the longest baseball game….I think you will sell more books…sometimes it takes time for the word to get around 😉

    • It’s a pretty good book.
      And, yes, I will sell many more books. It ain’t over til it’s over! 🙂

  15. Oh yes, I know the feeling!! Even wrote about it on my blog a few weeks back, just to release the frustration of it all,even though it was only shared there and not on any of the sites lest I offend. Here should you choose to read: http://insideoutpoetry.blogspot.com/2013/02/invisible.html

    We write for ourselves first, but validation is a wonderful thing. You are a wonderful writer, hold on tight to that pen!!

  16. Do I ever know how this feels! You are a writer and a talented one, it takes awhile for people to discover you and you have to keep throwing yourself into the fire so to speak. My blog its just crickets most of the time especially now that I have been away and that I can’t find any of those fun contests I used to participate in. Like you though I have the passion to write and so I write even if no one knows I exist. I believe in you! You have voice like no one else =)

  17. Truedessa said

    Hi Charles,

    Always enjoy your writing..”riding the pine” I think everyone can relate to that line at some point in life.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment! We love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: