This poem was written after conversations with a variety of friends on the pettiness of our futures. Why are we so unwilling to risk it all and go for the gusto? Fulfill our dreams? Exit our comfort zones? We know that we won't be satisfied otherwise. And yet...
A Hopeless Future
By Robert Park
4:05 AM, March 7, 2004
Getting into the ratrace
Is not what you would expect
The number of rats that exist
Running hither and thither
Create a pungent stench
Such that you're permeated
And don't notice it.
Then when you stumble into the park
Smell the flowers
Feel the spongy, dew-tipped grass
You realize how much you stink
Reeking of the worldly filth
That seemed so appealing
As it would to only a rat.
And you look at yourself
Your reflection shining in the pond
Sordid in the grime
Smelling of the leftovers
That you scrounged from society
And contrasted with the crystal
That sparkled as the water's surface.
Then all of a sudden
You're chasing aspirations you never had
Wanting to catch a dream that was never yours
Seeking that which has meaning
All to have a reason for living
And failing, you crawl wounded
Back to the comfortable filth of the ratrace.
A leopard cannot change its spots
And an animal should not leave its habitat
For a rat cannot thrive, let alone create
In the environment in which it cannot live
And instead chooses to live the easy life
Leeching off of the cesspool
Of society's leftovers.