Ladders float, around me
three boats, water blinks, 
if breath stalls your rise,  
it glitters, fame delivers 
nothing, an empty promise,
I believe, water sinks me, 
No, it’s my breath, who is 
the judge? Myself, no, It’s 
them. Gatekeepers, I’m tired,
hushed, cornered, dead ended.  
It’s the water, I believe, it
pulls me down, no it’s me, 
I breathe without a fiery 
resolution to thrive, but I
do. I struggle to redeem
myself from the powerful 
above. There’s no use, can’t 
grasp hope, much less lift 
a ladder to the boat, tried
once, below average, isn’t it
subjective, intersubjective,
perhaps there’s an objective
to the fake promises, praise
isn’t what you wish for, let
the waters of time glut you 
up, not men. As for them, as
thirsty as you are they are, 
unsufferable. Destroyed by
a desire so vain, once there,
the dire applause won’t cure.  
If you want to excel, measure
yourself with yourself, time
as your only witness. Ladders
aren’t there for you, someone
left it there before drowning.
If you use it, will you honor
the previous owner, will you
dishonor what another life  
taught you to set you free
from those blinking waters? 
Want something ahead? Do it for
your own sake. Even once above,
the boat might deny you space, 
don’t let their terms dictate 
who you are, where you go, how
you perform. Excellence hides 
in overcoming, in a struggle, in 
an uncomfortable place. If you
are afforded a space, you might 
lose what illuminates waters,
the blinking might not be them,
but you, always ahead, unaware 
that the reflection of the moon
was not yourself, but you, Sun
and yet dusk has just begun.  
Signature Lina Ru