By Louis Efron

Little Rowboat

Afloat on still, open waters
Carriage over an abyss
Sun drawing its last breath
Biting gale tunnels looming showers
A murky cotton blanket rolls across the sky

With deliberate strokes I swing the oars
Searching for shore, any shore
Another lonely night
Without lullaby
Without guiding light
Lids heavy with exhaust

Deep beneath the surface 
A restless serpent awakes
Snapping of the whip 
Squirming from the bowels 
Of fiery molten mouth

Tarnished cold blackened rind 
Adorned elongated spine 
With coat of polished broken glass
Obscure sapphire marbles punched 
In skull socket caverns

Piercing snout sheathing 
Ribboned tongue, claw toothed

Wood creaking at the hull 
Signals a menacing disturbance
My balmy palms grasp the rails 

The briny foreplays teasing slaps
Arousing the buoyant vessel

A rock pillow breaks slumber of my cap
My body with no ground to anchor
Joining the sun until day breaks 

My little rowboat made of sugar 
Melts away in a sea of lost souls 
Those who came before me shall see the light again

End Game

Earthy, resilient, harshly frail
Fingertips sliding, glass shards on braille

Dirty hands mar clean frosty cloth
Moving fast, then a deadening sloth

Frozen grins thawing to disturbing frowns
Inspiration fades, struggles, and drowns

Purpose, labor, an enduring cause
Crushed to death in powerful jaws

Love, a sweetly sung lullaby
Muted by painful excuses to cry

God, existence, meaningful living
A darker force, anxiety, misgiving

Expression in art, music embraced, delight 
A deafening death march, an unwilling plight

Fleeting Light

Speeding down the road of life
Potholes, roadkill, hazards, and strife

Headlights blaring in the dead of night
I reach down to extinguish that brief light

Now driving blind towards a certain death
I anticipate the irrevocability of my final breath

The wrong turns I’ve taken have been unusually cruel
An explorer always eager to play the fool

Don’t blame yourself, it was all me
Fear and self-destruction weren’t apparent to see

Don’t cry either, it has been a colorful ride
I’ve simply exhausted places to hide

Goodbye my broken angel, may your wings again take flight
This will be the last night I turn out our light

Spaces Between

        It’s not the bars but the voids between 

        That imprisons our truest expression of self

The weeping trees just out of reach

Sap edging beneath layered lids

Syrupy glass strands briefly catching our light

Distanced from the body

A burden limb

Gives way by a simple

Breath of wind

To the unforgiving earth below 

            If dead, a crack

            Alive, a bow

             Separation, a honeyed lament 

Firm roots doggedly tunnel beneath me

Hands that cradle fragile wings

A sanctuary for diverse belonging

          Removed from judgment 

          Exposed to all

          Fingers poised towards ghosts, toward heaven

Pushing out through unguarded gaps

Flanking heat, cold shafts bend

Into an elegant canopy for tears

The Question


         Sirens. Flashing lights.


Screeching cars. Horns. Shuffle of urgent footsteps.


                                                                                          Commotion subsides.


           A crack.

                     A crevasse.

                               A void.

                                                                          Wasted shadows.

Shards of light.

                  What happened here?

                                      We don’t know.





                                        What happened here.

                                                             What happened here?


                . . . against beauty.

                                            . . . simplicity.
                                                                   . . . peace.



                   A crack.

                             A crevasse.

                                                                                        A void.


                                               A blood orange sunset.


                                                                A loving embrace.

.							                                          . . a first kiss.

                                 Spit on your face!

                                                An open palm.

                                                                     A clenched fist!

                                                                                New beginnings . . .

One sunny day a single flower was ripped from the earth.

Having studied at Cornell University, Harvard Business School, and Capella University, Louis Efron is a senior management consultant at Gallup and the founder of The Voice of Purpose, a brand focused on individual and organizational purpose fulfillment and success. Louis’ articles have been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, and other major publications. He is also the author of How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love; Purpose Meets Execution: How Winning Organizations Accelerate Engagement and Drive Profits; Beyond the Ink: Lessons from the Transformation of an Industry; as well as the children’s book What Kind of Bee Can I Be?.

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