Sometimes I Crack

Sometimes I crack
and the hammer of a thousand lifetimes
descending on this pregnant point
pauses in mid air
and the hole I’m driven into
instead becomes
a tunnel.

Sometimes I crack
and binding bonds-
familiar, social,
covalent, ionic-
and all becomes a river
flowing without cause or care.

Sometimes I crack
and I meet the muse halfway
at the edge where the rain soaked hill
touches the parting clouds.

Sometimes I crack
and I feel my reptilian mind
hell bent on survival
to the persistent whisper
of wisdom and compassion.

Sometimes I crack
and starting places and finish lines,
deadlines and flat lines,
periods of movement and places of rest
all become absurdities.

Sometimes I crack
and the runway I seek to land upon
reveals itself as just more sky.

Sometimes I crack
and the urge to stop and wonder trumps
my incessant need to know.

Sometimes I crack
and I can no longer call an oak an oak,
nor the sun the sun,
nor the wind the wind,
for to do so would be a reduction,
of the inexpressible love
I feel for them.

Sometimes I crack
and ambition’s two stroke engine
and croaks a gap of recognition
amidst the din of hope and fear.

Sometimes I crack
and I feel my own solidity
melt like ice in water

and when I crack my only wish
is to be poured into the sea again.

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Austin Hill Shaw

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Austin Hill Shaw is the founder of Creativity Matters. He works with individuals who want to unlock their full creative potential and organizations that want to build cultures of innovation. Through his keynotes and trainings, workshops, retreats, online courses, and one-on-one coaching, his life purpose is to empower others as creators. He is the author of The Shoreline of Wonder: On Being Creative, and inventor of The Creativity Quiz and the The Creator’s Cheat Sheet. He resides in Berkeley, California with his wife, Epiphany, and their daughters, Sierra Lucia and Lorenza Delmar. Find out more about his innovative offerings at
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