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You only have the road before you



Selected poetry


You only have the road before you

(a meditation for Gabriela)


You only have a road before you.

It looks as if it has no end,

stark, like the country it weaves through.

It is beautiful like that.

It should not matter to you,

whether or not it has an end.


Ends are overrated anyway.


even though I like completing something,

I prefer beginnings

and I only like completing something

so I can begin something else.

Not that you need to complete

in order to begin.

No one can ever stop you from beginning.


This road,

it is all you have.

You need not fuss about time

or distance

or destination.

You only need to take this step,

the one you are taking now.


The space is so enormous.

The road is neither here nor there really.

It’s the space on either side.

Time no longer holds you hostage.

There is only the step you are taking,

nothing else.

There is only the rhythm

of your body in your road,

your road in your body,

your roadbody,




It gives you

everything you need.

You give it

everything you want.


It belongs to you.

By taking this step,

the one you are always taking now,

you take the road inside you

and you go inside the road.




It is easy to live    


Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something.  

Judith Butler


It is easy to live, even when it is hard.

You breathe a bit, look for shortcuts,

sometimes, only sometimes, take them,

slow your breathing down.


It helps if there is someone

you’re in the deep with,

so close they undo you so slowly,

leaving you gratefully undone.



I am fond of joy without cause


I am fond of joy without cause.

It is the only joy there is.

How sad when you stupidly defy it though,

challenging it, asking, you there,

who do you think you are?




John FalzonDr John Falzon is Senior Fellow, Inequality and Social Justice at Per Capita. He is a sociologist, poet and social justice advocate and was national CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia from 2006 to 2018. He is a member of the Australian Services Union.



Topic tags: John Falzon, poetry



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Existing comments

Thanks John, spot on.

Ginger Meggs | 26 June 2021  

Splendid John, the question arises: how could one so gifted with a social conscience also manage to be a poet? (And, of course, only a philistine would ask that question!) Thanks for the poesie. God Love You, John!

Michael Furtado | 29 June 2021  

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