Charles Chaim Wax

To Aspire To Greatness Beyond What Is Granted - Poem by Charles Chaim Wax

When I entered my sister’s apartment
Howard sat slumped on a chair
watching TV.
“Comancheros, ” he said,
“when men were strong,
not an over the hill dinosaur
waiting for the final tumble-down.”
“With John Wayne? ” I blurted out.
“The King himself.”
“I thought Elvis was the King.”
“King of the Eskimo Pies, ” Howard chuckled scornfully.
Then he stared intently
at his wife and moaned,
“We ain’t never gonna
be rich, darlin’.” He paused
shifting his gaze to me, “Who’s gonna
free ole Howard
from the Poor house?
Steve? ”
“Well, uh, how much cash
you talkin’ about? ” I asked.
“Don’t listen to him, you moron, ”
my sister said, “that was his big dream when he was a kid:
To be rich.
well, we’re not rich,
probably never going to be rich unless…”
Not finishing the sentence
she flipped into hysterical laughter.
At last calm she said,
“…Howard croaks on the job.”
Celestial mirth once more.
Unbelievably Howard began to sob
from behind a mask of hands.
I was shocked—
a grown man weeping
before my very eyes
yet at sixty the yawning maw of the Void
could crush even a strong man
and Howard was no tough galoot—
childhood dreams now
irrevocably beyond his grasp
not one of my many problems
because I couldn’t recall a single one
so I said cheerfully,
“Kogaku Roshi says, ‘Expect nothing’”
“Ain’t never bought a new car, ” Howard sighed,
“ain’t never been to Disneyland neither.”

Comments about To Aspire To Greatness Beyond What Is Granted by Charles Chaim Wax

  • (12/23/2005 10:09:00 PM)

    Another conundrum about existence. Life seems to challenge your Buddhism with its irony and pathos. Your compassion shines in your writing. You pass the test you make for yourself.

    All the best with kind regards,

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  • (12/23/2005 5:39:00 AM)

    A tale of the human condition which poses a good question and hands out a bit of wisdom. (Report) Reply

  • (12/23/2005 5:26:00 AM)

    It must be hard to be sixty and feel like your brother-in-law, he has my late husbands names sake, which made me think about his life and what he achieved in his mere 40 years! He made me happy for 23 of them, produced 3 fine boys and made countless friends happy too. I would say, that was a lifetime achievement. All the best to you and yours for Christmas. 10 from Tai (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 23, 2005

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