The Measure of a Man

“That is it!” a man says to his son;
I’ve done my part, and now my rest is won;
To seek my peace in world that’s hard and cold;
Of joy to find before that I am old.

How to rate the measure of a man?
A lifetime spent; of work and wait and plans;
At times the fight brings vict’ries pure and true;
But usually to lose is what we do.

We always hope that there is something more;
That there’s an epic task we have in store;
Our dues are paid and now our time has come;
And finally there’s nothing to shrink from.

But what if all our struggles are for naught?
Nothing can we show for what we’ve fought;
Can we make peace with lives not lived out loud?
When at the end there is no maddened crowd?

When off into the quiet we do stride;
And no-one left does know that we abide;
Will history be kind to life lived small?
Or will we be remembered not at all?

No easy answer to this sacred poll;
If at the end we can’t assert our role;
There is one thing that I’ve however judged;
Which helps me toward the end without a grudge.

The world, a placid pond is best described;
And each of us are rocks, though different sized.
Each rock, though small a gentle ripple makes;
And ripple into wave, time passing takes.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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