Gate Crashers

And what about the uninvited


That just rock up to the words

And choke

On this glimpse of a naked soul handed to them

As if spied through a window

Suddenly caught

On the thought

That there is much more here than they had ever considered

Have I delivered up a piece of my soul for this interloper to devour

With some fava beans and liver?

Does it make me shiver to think of the unintended consequences of the gatecrashed party?

Once, it used to

But there is courage in truth

It is an unwinable debate

Vulnerability and raw words are rancid to the hardened ignorant fool

They will turn their nose up and run


Those that stay have depth

And I like their company

*writing poetry in the way I do, within the context of living in a small town where people think they know me is something that my younger self would have found tantamount to committing Hari-Kari every morning. She would have run a mile.

Overthinking and a lack of confidence in self leads one to ponder the awkward situation where a stranger or worse, someone half known, a client, a co worker, discovers my part time folly and stumbles across my poetry, with much the same shock they may experience encountering me dangling from a pole in a sparkling strippers bikini.

Yeah, I used to worry about it.

Now I don’t

As a writer and poet my vocation is to give voice to whatever wants to come through. In having the courage to do that, I get to enjoy the process. Most of my poems are mysteries to me up until the last line. Yes, I can see my personal subconscious themes then, but truly, these lines write themselves. I am along for the ride.

But we don’t get to take the ride if we don’t get on the bull and risk the crowd. and the clowns.

In times where I am hesitant to hit “post” because of somebody who might read my words I think of Teddy Rooseveldts speech

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Rooseveldt

People who write from the heart without stumbling and stuttering deliver meaning into the lives of others by way of direct injection. I think of the words that I reach for (such as the speech above) that give me solace and resonate when I need them. what if their sayers had been too timid or weak to write or speak from the heart.

Because what is the wisdom of the heart except a tangible human link to everyone who has ever lived on this planet, or ever will? Why are the meditations of Marcus Aurelius fresh and resonant, as if written yesterday? Even though his words were never intended for publication they reach all who read them – through this shared heart of humanity.

Am I anxious of someone’s opinion of my writing or their over thinking of the subject matter?

No. Because the ear that hears is not the heart that writes and the gap between those two things is an uncontrollable that I simply haven’t time to ponder. There is writing to be done.

*Header photo Jakob Owens Unsplash

Speaking of old work colleagues – a post, a sort of gentle tribute really, to one who has gone

17 thoughts on “Gate Crashers

  1. I hear what you are saying. I grew up in a small town, where everyone knew what everyone else was going to do before they did it.
    It was an extremely narrow minded place which centered on rugby, rowing, and beer.
    I moved to the big smoke (Auckland) as soon as I could, and became a stranger with freedom to live as I pleased.

    • There’s good and bad to small towns. I think in beginning my blog I thought everyone would be reading it but with time realised, not many were, or at least as far as I knew not many were – now I rarely think about it – just the odd twinge.

      • I simply write what is important to me, in order to capture what is happening around me and record it as best as I can. This is especially so when it came to the mandates. It’s been 30 years since I left that small town, so I’m basically an unknown, which suits me just fine.

      • We are all unknowns – people are so much deeper and broader than face appearance. I look at others that I know sometimes and think “I wonder how deep they go?” Some, not very far, others are vast.

    • And I think that’s. A great idea – but there is something about having to get over myself and my fears that is immensely freeing. Vulnerability looks crazy but it feels different inside it – it feels protected. The blog has been a transformative thing for me.

  2. Oh, are you a stripper?

    I used to be terrified that someone I know might read my blog, and at the same time I craved the attention. The fear is largely gone now and neediness has faded considerably. It’s much more fun to write without all that extra pressure. Tomorrow, I’m going to submit a poem to a very public local website. I don’t think I could have done this a year ago. Truly a benefit: as I age, I care far less what people think of me.

    • Haha no Jeff, not coordinated enough to be a stripper and pole dancing requires that next level fitness.
      Yes I used to be terrified too, blogging has a way of taking you over to the other side of the mountain that is ourselves. Good luck with your poem, well done, hope you are sharing it on your blog as well.

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