William Ruleman

A Success of Sorts

His were the same life goals many have these days:
Omnipotence and riches—the same
Pet peeves (weakness, losers, the poor) and yet,
Unlike so many, he did possess
The integrity not to deceive or to blame
Himself re: things he “sincerely felt.”

Still, life’s a compromise.
In every life are lies.
He told untruths to the world
For megabucks and p. r.’s sake.
They never seemed to make him sick,
So more than a few were fooled.

Now, alas, he’s dead.
Determined to get ahead
Of his kindred quick, he did.

Rage Against Those Who Sow Despair

The ones who fix you with an icy stare
Designed to numb your nerves and wilt your will
May know at times the thrill that looks can kill,
May make you shudder, strip your ego bare,
May make you say “Whatever . . . I don’t care,”
May give you untold anguish, doubts, and chills,
May garner momentary perks and thrills,
May reap crowds’ favor with their fiendish glare.

Yet these will never, surely, win in the end.
Their intentions are far too rigid and narrow;
They set their sights on far too mean a scope;
They lack the time to call a long-lost friend,
Consider no providence in the plunge of a sparrow
And shun that settling of brows that lets in hope.

William Ruleman © 2014

One Who Can No Longer Play The Game


When I was young, folks wished me to be
A certain way, and I complied.
They asked me to conform; I tried;
But now I simply want to be free.

I tried to measure all I said,
Be dutiful and circumspect.
That only made me feel half-dead,
Numb, unable to connect.

I sought to smother thoughts of sin,
Wipe out every wish toward wrong;
Yet what I fought to keep within
Kept bubbling out like some bawdy song.

I moved to make my mark on the real—
An earnest man, in earnest acts—
To reason with rigor, not feebly feel;
To master fantasy with facts,

Yet found myself the prey of dreams,
Derided for vagueness, indecision,
Enchanted not with what is but seems,
And captive to a private vision

Painfully difficult to share:
How dingy and dark my old home, that cave!
How hot and flickering, the torch I bear!
How resistant, those I’m meant to save!

How save myself from this burning brand
That any moment might go out
Or burn on down, searing my hand . . .
How be sure, with so much doubt?

William Ruleman © 2014