You know what it’s like –


you’re marched outside the gates of the fort,

rank ripped from the epaulets of your uniform,

saber broken in two over the commandant’s knee,

sent out on your pony

with only a canteen full of water

to fend for yourself

amongst the heathen savages.


We’ve all had days like this –


the last man on the parapet,

all of your other Foreign Legion comrades,

dead at their posts, their bodies

propped up against the walls, still holding their rifles,

the vast emptiness of the desert

endlessly sweeping toward every horizon.


We all know the feeling –


you pull the ripcord,

parachute fails to open

as the ground below rushes toward you.


We’ve all been there –


car screaming down a mountain road,

brakes go out, steering wheel comes away

in your hands.


We all hate when that happens –


you open the refrigerator to find

you’ve run out of beer,

and who hasn’t gone

into an important meeting, and realized

you’ve put your underwear on

inside out and backwards.


But then again, you have to admit,


we’ve all picked up the phone

the voice on the other end of the line says something about

unicorns, teddy bears, rainbows and hula dancers,

informs you that your ship has just come in,

your lease on life has been permanently renewed, and

there’s free beer tomorrow

and for all the tomorrows to follow.

Happiness and Compassion