Coming Up Short

I can think of no worse fate in life

than coming this close

just this damned close

to what you want, what you desire


these self-help schmucks tell

us to be the best us we can be

and, of course, that’s bullshit


don’t listen to those hucksters

they only want a buck and

they only succeed if you’re an idiot


it’s about working your ass off

fighting for every single inch

and coming up a quarter-inch



and why accept that? why ever

think that that’s okay? it’s not

and we all know it. it’s just not.


coming up short is its own tragedy

but giving up or giving in or accepting –

that’s a fate worse than death


Like on FacebookFollow on Twitter




About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on May 15, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Love this so much

  2. This is a GREAT message John!
    And you’re absolutely right. Only coming ‘this’ close to one’s dream is the absolute worst punch in the face…

  3. John, I’m really happy you posted this. I’ve had similar sentiments lately–about everything. Ha, only mine haven’t been taking a positive spin. I mean, I just wrote a post asking all of these questions of myself, but I never really came to a conclusion after the writing. This is uplifting. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Becky! The hard part is meeting with some failure or even meeting with failure often. If it’s a passion or something we know we can do and spend our lives doing, we can’t allow ourselves to settle for good or even for being as good as we can be. Sometimes, we need to set that bar as high as it can go and never give up until we reach it. It’s great to meet you!

  4. You really know how to make a point, John.Talk about telling it like it is! Love this 🙂

  5. Sweat until you bleed,the only way to succeed is to fail at least three times,I was brought up on the school of hard knocks,most people don’t understand that way,great piece John

  6. I love the message. More people need this attitude- the world would be a better place.

  7. Great message John (:

  8. Laughing Dragon

    That last liner is a keeper!

    I feel the same about self help.
    True self help is helping yourself not someone who says they want to help you.

  9. Keep this up…and I may want to keep you around…

  10. Motivational message, eloquently put, and what I like most is the style – very cool.

    • Thank you so much, Jake! I guess I partly wrote that as a bit of self-motivation but if it helps to motivate anyone else then I’ll consider it a great success. 🙂

  11. Thank you so much!!!

  1. Pingback: What Inspired Me This Week – Edition 16 | Matt Hollingsworth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: