I originally wrote this poem as part of a novella I am working on called The Edge of Exile, but incorporated it into Playing Mad as I thought it fit rather nicely. I rarely share poems in their entirety; I like this one a little extra much. I also plan to add it to SoundCloud soon. Hope you enjoy it.

(from Playing Mad © Dustin Botta 2015, available now)

That Song We All Know


There is that song we all know.

It is melancholy,

a maternal lull.

The music is just a heartbeat

thudding like the sea,

lapping at the beach.

The melody is subtle

sands rolling against sands,

An hourglass turned sideways.


The cadence accelerates.

Faster and faster.

Our care growing only after

there was nothing we can do

to withstand the awful undertow.

Like sucking quicksand

it drags us

into eternity.


I see the tide turn low

in that song we all know.

And we dance the sweet dances

around different circumstances

to disbelieve

the spilling beach.


They told us to live.

In a letter, they told us to dream.

And that’s the best I can tell you.



Love like busting seams.

Prance along the wake

until the hourglass turns sideways.

Then live more.

Dream more.

Dance along the shoreline to

That song we all know.