How To Win

This is it, the moment of truth, the defining moment of your life,

Circling dates off the calendar, the countdown was on, now it’s finally arrived,

Plenty of hard graft to get here, days, months, maybe even years,

Can only end in one of two ways, arms aloft in triumph or disbelieving tears,

Sadly for you it was the latter, foot on the gas but came up short,

Questions swirling ‘bout your performance, but you’re left with no definitive retort,

Yes, it sucks to miss the prize, but you ain’t no loser in our eyes,

You gave it your all, from the beginning to the end, your grit deserves to be acknowledged,

So long as you leave no stone unturned, in preparation then the main event,

Don’t brand yourself a failure if you falter, to think of yourself inept,

That’s the true art of winning, performing at your best under any circumstances,

Don’t get caught up in the outcome and the others, truthfully your competition was the one in the mirror.

You either lose or you learn, be the latter, let the setback spark the comeback,

Tomorrow’s a new day, time to start afresh, let nothing get in your way.

Here’s you: putting it all on the line to achieve the dream, to outsiders the endgame remains unseen,

Naysayers here, there and everywhere, but you carry on defying every disbelieving stare,

They may feel justified whenever you take an L, you yourself might feel like you’d plunged headlong into hell,

That’s the thing with dreams, to make ‘em happen you gotta take the hits,

Obstacles are inevitable, no matter the road taken, so what’re you gonna do ‘bout it?

Will you fold in full view of your critics? Betray the hopes of those rooting for ya?

Will it be over before it’s started? Will you abandon ship when the cyclone comes for ya?

Hell no, didn’t think so, the passion’s too strong in you,

Gonna hit a homer, whatever it takes, haters and critics overruled,

Think of the fallout if you melt in the face of adversity,

Say ‘to hell with it’, fold like a cheap umbrella, that option’s too easy,

Temporary solution to a lifelong problem, what-ifs will plague you for the rest of your years,

Doubters proved right, their scorn forever buzzing in your ears,

Eye on the prize but enjoy the process, the climb is what matters,

The way is treacherous but the view at the top will be marvellous,

Take in all that splendour, you’ve more than earned it, those that back themselves are surely rewarded,

Sail through every storm, leap over every hurdle, rinse and repeat until that objective’s completed,

Stay focused, one step at a time, don’t sweat what you can’t control,

Sceptics be damned, pay ‘em no mind, the journey is yours alone,

If ever that resolve chips slightly, think of this and march on resolutely,

Wishing you all the best, may the dream one day become reality.

Sideshow Bob

And we’re back here again, somehow, seemed too good to be true,

Ghost of 2020 back for more mischief thanks to irresponsible fools,

Been thriving for some time, a way out appeared nigh,

Life all but restored back to the good old times,

Takes only one to trigger that mass effect,

Clouds gathered, storms raging, the east side got drenched,

Time to review the battle plan, but alas there’s a twist,

That murderous Delta Strain emerged from a disaster flick,

Invading these shores, it’s back to lockdown once more,

History repeats, plans scrapped and postponements galore,

Paying the price too for that turtle-slow rollout,

For a while across the pond, sufficient vaxxin’ got ‘em out and about,

Other nations pulling crazy numbers still, certainly more so than these parts,

Things’ll never be the same, gotta accept it in our heart of hearts,

Year-old methods rendered outdated once that virus done evolved,

It could get messy, could be lengthy, heads will roll before this crisis is solved,

Fools raiding shelves again like an Apocalypse is imminent,

The desperate and bored protesting, unwittingly empowering that monster,

Peep the news, can’t separate fact from fear-mongering,

State and national leaders coppin’ a beatin’ from an exasperated public,

Front liners experiencing déjà vu, talk about a nightmare come true,

The miracle drug hyped to protect and save rebelling in the very worst ways,

Deaths by side-effect raisin’ gen pop’s trepidation fast,

It’s back to the drawing board in the face of scorn and backlash,

Sceptics feeling vindicated, day by day they’re non-stop crowin’,

The pragmatic clash with the radical, a growing divide in the population,

But we’re still cruising on easy mode all things considered,

Big difference between treading in the hundreds and drowning in the thousands,

Frustration assailing those locked down, humans be social creatures forever,

The need for connection damn near as essential as good food and water,

School’s out again for young’ins, but not the way they wanted,

No hanging with the lads and lasses, it’s back to school via Zoom callin’,

Sympathies to those struggling while the bills keep on piling, the mind spinning daily over how to keep that money rolling, 

Friends and families split, gotta be missing ‘em terribly,

Cabin fever seeps, spikes in mental illness, desperation begets a mutiny,

But something to consider before rebelling, such actions can and will have consequences,

You might be hostin’ without knowin’, playing pass the parcel with total strangers,

Many ill-equipped to battle that monster, are you cool with sending ‘em to their maker?

Rebels converted into spreaders, some successfully swerved those symptoms,

You willing to join their ranks? Paying interest, too, if you ain’t gotten vaxxed?

Lord forbid your loved ones become statistics, wouldn’t want that on your conscience,

Ain’t all about you, others gotta co-exist with ya,

No one wants to be branded a menace or, worse than that, a killer,

Take a look around, we’re doing alright here, that beast aside, got little to fear,

Others weighed down by corruption and poverty, feeling Mother Nature’s fury,

Walk a mile in their shoes, such a life they didn’t choose, maybe then you’ll count your blessings,

If you’re laid in ICU stuck with tubes would you handle it? What if it was your parents or grand-parents? If your actions caused their suffering?

Yes, we’re all angry and upset but why not gain perspective instead of endless complaining?

Suck it up and hold on rather than adding to the numbers,

Remaining cautious and optimistic, good things come to those who wait,

Even if bad days got us feeling like Sideshow Bob stepping on rakes.