I have climbed the cliff To gain a chance for praise Alas, the times I know too well Are ones where I have fallen The air itself had parted beneath me Now to the cold, unwelcoming ground My body is left to lay
But something sparked in my writhing mind "Take the leap once more" Brushing off the fear and dust My ascent began anew
Before a word was uttered The ground was far beneath my feet Left behind with those worthless doubts Today, I took flight
And when the wind was no longer Beneath my frail, young wings Smiling faces met my eyes Warmed my heart And caught me
Take a leap of faith, speak out and change the world. The chance to fly in joy is worth the risk of failure, for failure does not last forever. Today I talked to people, shared my thoughts, and for once I was not humiliated for it. I wish it was always this way.
You are the way The truth The light None shall come To the Father Except through Me*. Follow in His footsteps And you shall see, It's been in front of you All along, Leave all And be with Me. Leaving it all behind, Leaping towards Him, All to find You were just Leading me on.
Leaping light Flashing fire One moment he is gone But to return Suspended Hanging Then with a splash Delightful play He dives And disappears And we are left alone And longing
I wrote this poem in between phone calls when I was working in an insurance company in Pasadena, California, shortly before I moved to Florida. It remains one of my favorites among my poems. Obviously, for anyone who has done any boating, the subject is a dolphin; in this case, a Pacific Whitesided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), which was one of the most common - and beautiful - species common to California. The dolphin in question was leaping between our boat and the setting sun.
This poem first appeared in a poetry anthology dedicated to California poets, and though unfortunately I do not recall the name, it appeared around 1983 or 1984.