Destined by Gravity to Fail, We Try


Destined by Gravity to Fail, We Try

Having fallen from the roof not once, but twice,
I verify that it is not the fall but the sudden stop that hurts.

The objectivist sense of the little: the and a, my house in this world.

Galileo postulated that gravity accelerates all falling bodies at the same rate.

While their etymologies differ, failure and fall share commonalities,
though terminal velocity is not one.

The distance between the glimpsed and the demonstrated.

Enthralled in the moment, Icarus drowned.

Rumor has it his plunge was due not to melting wax but to an improper mix
of rectrices and remiges: parental failure.

Thrust and lift. Drag. Resistance.

Acknowledgment of form in reality, in things.

When the produced drag force equals the plummeting object’s weight, the
object will cease to accelerate and will move at a constant speed.

To calculate impact force accurately, include the stopping distance in height.

Followed by long periods of silence.



This first appeared on the blog in December 2015.


7 thoughts on “Destined by Gravity to Fail, We Try

  1. As beautiful, Bob, as when it was written. I especially love how you shook my original thought that Icarus died by impact, not by drowning (drowning prolongs the agony); I like how you’ve turned my assumption on its figurative ear. And your word choice, as well as what you leave imagined or unmentioned (e.g., Daedalus’ name) is always stellar–I must admit, you sent me to the dictionary for remige! (And I love that: learning.) Finally, that arresting title! We try what? You leave it to the reader. I have so many bravos for this allusive poem that, if not actively thwarting a simple reading, proves itself as twisty as Daedalus’ own creations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The gravity of knowing you fell twice makes it difficult to take this poem as simply wordplay. Including my use of “gravity”. But having twice tumbled, your perspective is definitely of interest to someone like me … I will not get on an unanchored ladder! Yet I did once step off the limb of a huge magnolia tree (picking blooms to take to church) and fell about 6 feet … no recall of impact, only the point of coming to on my back with multiple concerned faces staring down at me. I am back, staring up, every time I hear Guy Clark sing “The Cape”.

    Liked by 1 person

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