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‘Enter At Your Own Peril’ and other poems by David I Mayerhoff

By: David I Mayerhoff

Enter At Your Own Peril

Life’s warning signs
Everywhere to be seen
Except for those
Who choose not to look

Danger lurks all around
In all forms
Waiting to pounce
On those not willing to sacrifice for safety

The timid
Must sacrifice their temperament
The bold
Must sacrifice their bravado

The confident
Must sacrifice their ego
The queasy
Must develop earthiness

The swimmer must
Get used to the cold before the warm
The one entering the sauna
Must get used to the hot before the warm

The zealot
Must learn the art of compromise
The fickle must learn
To be uncompromising

Whatever it is you are
Be prepared to abdicate
For what
You are not

Including at times
Your flexibility
In adapting
To all of this
When standing ground
Drives the day


Public Speaking

There are those that speak
Who have nothing to say
Others who are reticent
But have everything to give over

The gifted public speaker
Arises from his seat
Ascending the podium
All full of himself

The audience waits to hear
If the self infatuation
Contains within
Anything of value and substance

Style is magnetic
But substance is of true value
The one being like candy
To the other’s red meat

Candy might be pleasing
On first touch
But cannot act to sustain us
Like a proper meal can

The speaker who is all bluster
Shows off his style
With beautiful sentences
And eloquent gestures

The speaker of substance
Does not show anything off
May even hem and haw
On his way towards expressing himself

But what he has to say
In interrupted pauses
Bears reflecting upon
Like the chewing on a nicely done sirloin


In Transition

When I am no longer there
But not here
I am in transition
Between here and there

I may have purpose
In this movement
And find direction
In my transition

But the danger lies
In being moved off one’s plan
When one is not anchored
In one place

The plan may be solid
The direction purposeful
And the fuel
Is the risk one is willing to take in the leap

But while one is dangling
In midair
The stakes are highest
Since many can arise from below
To torpedo one’s trajectory

Boldness of purpose
Strength of assertion
Propels the leaper ahead

The same ferocity
Lies in letting go
As it did
Being rooted in one place


The Elegant Candle

The sweet smell of lilacs wafts into the air
As we prepare the apartment
For the night’s repast
And the subtle delights of the surround

The curtains gently shuffle
In the soft breeze of the evening
The candle is lit
And shines ever so gently like a flickering in the shade

Music plays to the rhyme tunes of the times
As the oven cooks
The most delicate flavors
Of the meal to come

The mixture of sight, sound and smell
Turns the shadow of time
Into an exuberance
Of these moments of joy

For the candle
Is the grand conductor
Allowing all these parts to play their songs
In harmony and in perfect key

Its light
Illuminating the delights
Of what each has to offer
Like an offering
To the good fortunes of time
That reveals more of itself
With each passing moment

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