Every Last Chip

It takes a long time to figure out what you're really all about,

There's no definitive guide book that takes a frank look, and explains the mysteries of life,

You just have to, "Go in blind," and kind of work it out,

And face and embrace with good grace, its pleasures and its strife.


There's no guarantee that you'll see' "Three score years and ten,"

No end date to state or indicate, how much time you're given,

So you just have to trust there'll be enough between now and then,

And go, "All in," and begin the complex task of living.


There'll be fears, tears and, "Three cheers for the years," as each birthday appears,

Those you'll lose and those you'll treasure' as you try to work it out,

Sorrow and pleasure in equal measure, as you travel down the years,

You'll dance with elation, suffer frustration and wrestle hard with doubt.


But don't be afraid 'cos the cards still get played, and you have to accept your hand,

It's an unfair game but all the same, you've got to play it out,

Don't frown as you, "Double down," and hope it all goes as planned,

And let rip with every last chip 'til you're forced to say, "I'm out!"

◄ Sharpen Your Wit

Poetic Dissection ►


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Mae Foreman

Mon 4th Mar 2019 09:22

Jason this is superb! It makes me wanna read it over and over. Every time I discover something new. Words that stick with you... "Go all in and begin the complex task of living" . The complex task of living! So true. "Sorow and pleasure in equal measure"... I'm still trying to figure out that equation...
Wonderful piece Jason!
Let rip with every last chip!
Thank you🎈

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Jason Bayliss

Sat 2nd Mar 2019 10:47

Dear "Heart," you will my friend, you will. 😀

J. x

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Heart of Lead

Sat 2nd Mar 2019 02:44

"just have to trust there'll be enough time between now and then."

Sometimes life is a gamble, but certainly worth playing. Filling in the spaces with more than just breathing. Still looking for the map, the guide, the answer key but alas, I haven't found it yet.

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Jason Bayliss

Sat 2nd Mar 2019 00:57

Thanks Kate, I can see why that's one of your favourites, it's excellent.
And, also really true happiness, sadness, joy, loss, tears and laughter, all the opposing sides of the coin of life.


J. x

<Deleted User> (19913)

Sat 2nd Mar 2019 00:33

Jason, this is lovely. The idea of imbalance is one I like...for without one state, we can't appreciate the other. Therefore the bad times are a poorly wrapped gift. It reminded me of one of my favourite poems by Naomi Shihab Nye.

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

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Jason Bayliss

Fri 1st Mar 2019 22:42

Thanks John. It's true that if you look at it in the singular and objectively, you don't get sorrow and pleasure in equal measure, but we tend to find those two things, sometimes only because we need to, but sometimes because it's there. Thanks for always giving detailed and honest analysis. That's one of the reasons I always value your opinion so highly.


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John Marks

Fri 1st Mar 2019 22:17

Pithy poem. But it aint fair is it? "Sorrow and pleasure in equal measure" - nope. Some by nature and some by nurture and some by both are given so many advantages - physical attractiveness, intelligence, good genes, money, contacts/family.... a thought-provoking poem. John

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