Riding the Bullet

Most of the time—especially lately—I’m able to remain upbeat and positive about life. But, every now and then, I hit an invisible wall that knocks me on my ass, and I find myself sitting in a mud hole (better than being face down in it), blinking and feeling dazed. The power of the positive seems to be strewn around me, broken and confused, and I begin to think I am only one misstep away from complete and utter failure. You know, the old what’s-the-use syndrome.

Riding the Bullet


Always look them in the eyes bullet

Who made that one up?

Looking at both eyes isn’t possible

You have to dart from one to the other

And that makes you look silly

Or nervous


And, who decided what a calorie is

And why

I looked it up, and as you might expect

There’s more than one way to count them

And what’s on the package is merely a guess

Based on a scientific theory


Then, there’s the coveted winning smile

I wonder what that looks like

Or if I have one… or have won

Probably neither

Because if I have

I’ve yet to receive the prize


Ah, life… some say it’s all good

But that can’t be true

Good is nothing without bad to compare it to

And, very bad magnifies the smaller good

While one small mistake can erase

A whole sack-full of good


The world seems to have gone crazy

The bully’s eaten our lunch

And popped the sack

And yet, most of the time, I’m at peace

With myself and the world

In spite of the condition of both



I feel like I’m riding the bullet

Speed and friction making it hot as hell

And I know I’m gonna get burned

So, I just hang on for dear life

Hoping the scars will heal in time

And trying hard to believe… in something


Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn


Posting this one on dVerse Poets Pubs “Meeting the Bar” feature. A day late, but hey, I den bizzy!


  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Love, love this line: “Good is nothing without bad to compare it to

    And, very bad magnifies the smaller good

    While one small mistake can erase

    A whole sack-full of good”

    Thought-provoking poem, Charlie. Excellent write!

  2. Oh I love how you simply bombard us with questions.. it feels like a confusions and simply ask why why… great writing.

  3. sometimes i feel like i am riding the bullet as well…that is a great metaphor…and i am like you i occassionally get thrown for a loop and over whelmed as well with all that is our world…i like you plqay with our labels of good and bad….one mistake can def mess things up…we just can let one mistake send us too far sideways…smiles.

    • One of the biggest lessons we can learn in life is not to allow our mistakes–no matter their size–to derail us. Keep on chooglin!

  4. Talicha J. said

    Great read! Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Well look at it this way..you are still questioning thinking and feeling.Bingo..you’ve won!

  6. Truedessa said

    Sometimes, I feel like I’m riding the bullet..me too..reminds me of a song I know ride ride riding the bullet yeah..okay I’m done singing..interesting poem full of thoughts to ponder.

  7. grapeling said

    and the darker undertone… so long as you don’t let the bullet ride you. A strong write. ~ M

  8. Bullets hit the mark sometimes. Hope yours is dead on. Good verse, thanks

  9. shanyns said

    I know that place, and that ride. We heal, but the scars leave the skin tender when we get to ride again, whether we want to or not! Well done.

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