the poisoned pawn
Openings are so important.
They should be magnets
drawing you in,
but sometimes they’re whirl-pools
dragging you down.
You try to hold your breath,
but you must breathe and let go,
you must go with the flow and sink
to whatever awaits you in the deep.
Down there, it’s a different world.
Light breaks its alternate shadow,
and you are the light in the darkness,
down there, where no sun shines.
You are the glow-worm,
glowing where no stars glow.
You are the line, the sinker, the hook,
the bait, the temptation that encourages
your opponents to sacrifice their own peace,
to join you, to swim, or to drown.
Comment: To take or not to take, that is the question. It’s a long time since I read Hamlet or played competitive chess. I have forgotten many of the ins and the outs, the traps and the snares, the devils that hide in the details of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Sometimes we must just take a chance and play by the seat of our pants. Sometimes we must try to recall all the nuances and shades of meaning. And we all know how one step leads to another and how a misstep leads to one disaster after another. Not to win or lose, but to play up, play up, and play the game. Says who? I don’t find those words in my favorite chess book: Chess for Money and Chess for Blood. The poisoned pawn, indeed: and a throw of the dice never eliminates chance / un coup de dès n’abolira jamais le hasard. Go on, take the pawn, throw the dice, I dare you.