A Higher Way

If life has taught me
anything, it is
in battling these demons
that crush our dreams.
They say with age,
we learn acceptance
and throw in the towel.
Not so.  My teeth and claws
are sharp as always,
my mind's awake and
ready for a fight.
No, I won't change with age,
I'd rather die in battle,
I'd rather dive into
this dark abyss,
than say it's over.
It's never over!
It has just begun--
this life, this thrilling,
exhilarating journey
along these countless
uncharted paths.
I'm bold and foolish
as before, no wiser
than your beloved
cocker spaniel Max--
mad, drunk and raging,
knocking down all doors,
smashing all windows,
tearing down all walls,
defiant of all rules, religions
and conventions.
And if I die, then let my death
be sudden
and violent and stormy
like my life.
For I was born into this world
with nothing, except
this passion and this longing
to create.
Oh yes, my love,
we're cast into this fire,
so others, too, may see
a higher way!

                        July 14, 2002
                     --Alexander Shaumyan