Barefoot Poetry

SS Matthews

Contender’s Fate


I could’ve been a contender
A writer of net and notice,
But a family man
Rarely can
Be the master of his fate.

So I languish a pretender
To the thrones of Pope and Poe.
I’m building bikes,
And training tykes
To reach for dreams surrendered.

And still this life I choose
To love and not to lose
Sight of choices made
That never would I trade.

So I offer words imperfect
Reflect on lines ill metered
And render this work ethic
While ‘tween the two I teeter.

A cloud may drift on by
A mote upon the sky
The tears that it will cry
Rain from contented eyes.

SS Matthews


Author: SSMatthews

Author of The Moon and Rowan Wolfe and Wolfe's Banes.

28 thoughts on “Contender’s Fate

  1. You are so right.. there are things that matter less than being a contender.. wonderful poetry of the choices we make…

  2. I think many of us write those imperfect words…but I think it is better to write imperfect poetry than no poetry at all!

  3. Very nice poem! I like how you deal with the tension between what we would like to write and what we finally achieve. “I’m building bikes, / And training tykes” – I really like these lines.

  4. i’m all for imperfect poetry you know… like life.. it has its bends and bumps…but it is what we are and what we see and what we feel..

  5. Ah, I know that tension well… have learnt to deal with it on a day to day basis. Some days I am more content than others. You express those hard choices we have to make so very well.

  6. I really think you capture the thoughts and feelings of those of us who would, given a different set of opportunities, be only too happy to give it all up for a creative life. But would that satisfy all our needs, if we got what we wished for? A great read.

  7. We are imperfect as a species, and as poets we should find our imperfections to be fodder for our creativity; enjoyed this piece, made me proud to be a poet, & certainly an imperfect poet, eager to write, to catalog & comment on both chaos & eros. Nice job, sir.

  8. its def in finding balance…and i find that family life def brings its moments of inspiration in writing as well you know…and its hard to steal from the fam…so i write when i can…and love most of all…smiles.

  9. Hey sounds to me like you are contending for the right prize.

  10. I smiled all the way through this. Tongue firmly in cheek, I loved the word play, the rhyme, and the wit you employ throughout. This is cool and correct. I feel this way too. Much as I love the idea of honing my craft, I realize that it’s somewhat like Sisyphus and the rock. I can do only what time, inspiration and ability produces. I enjoy sharing with my friends and I enjoy reading your work too.

    • As for the rock, well we must have something to bang our heads against as it rolls us back downhill. Thanks so much for the delightful comment though, encouragement is always an excellent reward for the sacrifices we make!

  11. dad – a word you’ve embraced, you’ve given a gift that will affect generations.

  12. this is awesome ……… It was like reading my mind out……. lovely words and well made description…………..

  13. Your words offer beauty and inner-peace and I just love them. So tranquil they are and I must read again. (Just have – lovely!)
    Anna :o]

  14. I love this, how you put into perspective something we all feel but can’t put our finger on….especially the last stanza!

  15. I think things are changing, women are earning as much if not more than men, for one thing. However I notice generation y /millenia kids may not have the monetary aims of older generations and may live simpler, less expensive lives which allow more time and put more value on things that allow balance. Good luck to them.

  16. So true! your words ring. life is such and so we are and our words. As well embrace it! making it beautiful.

  17. ‘Sight of choices made
    That never would I trade.’ ~ love this lines…you keep your experiences no matter what life offers

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