Stare Down

comments 6
Course Ideas / Poetry

I could say I wasn’t afraid.
But I was.
Me and that feeling looked each other in the eye,
and I looked away.  Shrugged my shoulders.
Flicked up my collar.
Kicked the dirt.
Got a hobby.
Next day shipping, of course.
Ran half way across the world.
I was desperate to tag out,
to sneak out of the ring,
maybe get into promotions,
have an office with high ceilings,
be famous or happy or something,
but I found nothing but the types of thoughts
you paint on top of the world’s skin when
you’re running, suave as a neck tie,
from the moment you keep finding,
your moment of being caught red-handed,
my moment of Reckoning.
I could say I wasn’t afraid.
But I’m not a liar, too.

Once you get found out,
you can finally begin.
What you find is that
you always did want to get found out,
but your terms and conditions weren’t accepted.
I wanted Love to throw a rock
at my bedroom window
and sweep me off my feet–
line the landing strip with candle-lit paper sacks.
Instead, I got silence thick as the
fear you feel when the boat springs a leak,
or the river starts rising.  Or both.
I was surrounded by thoughts
I used like shingles to try and keep the rain off,
not ever realizing that all along
I was being shown what thinking really is.

Then I had to face it:
the river was rising, and
the rain was still coming down.
If I don’t make a stand here, then where?
Me and that feeling looked each other in the eye,
and I tried like hell not to flinch.
The water came up over the lip of the pier.
I was cold and hungry.
I just looked in it’s eye, and I said to myself,
“I must have this all wrong.”

“Prove it,” said the dark.

If you’re going to do this,
I should tell you straight out:
you start small and build out from there.
One right idea is enough,
if you just keep working it.
Anything contradicts your right idea,
you put it in your rear view.

My right idea had two parts:
Power exists.
Power knows me.

That Idea came and stood on my side of the ledger,
stared back into the dark with me,
turned it into a feeling of home.
Together, we did some redecorating.

You might still have questions.
I know I do.
But they don’t really matter.

If you’re going to do this,
I should tell you straight out:
you are the right idea.


  1. Didnt know you also wrote poetry! I especially liked the part on Love. Love throwing a rock
    at your bedroom window and sweep you off your feet sounds like the right idea to me 🙂 xox


    • I write poetry once in a while, mostly when a feeling gets too big to get out through the normal channels. Ha! I love the notion of Love throwing a rock, too, but it didn’t quite happen that way. I spent that night alone in my room. Got kind of freaked out. Love was hiding under the bed, said, “Why are you always looking out that window?”

      Seriously… I found a most difficult thing was understanding that in order to experience Love I was going to have to make a choice. I thought it would take care of itself and be the one thing I could depend on to maintain itself, and be what it was without any effort or input from me. And while that is true, I had to make some sort of choice- whether it was a choice to cross the room instead of staying in my corner, or a choice to let love in, or to drop falsehood, I’m not sure. Maybe all of those. Because in the absence of this choice, I kept getting tied up in knots, confused about what was real and what wasn’t, obfuscated Love’s presence.

      I guess I had to make the choice to let Love come close enough to untie me.



  2. I remember teetering on that high ladder, dipping the ends of my hair in red paint, scratching out my name which really meant HELP on that thin sheaf skin of this world – This page, your words remind me of those lights that stretch into the sky at stores’ grand openings. A grand opening selling No thing! thank you, Michael! So wonderful.


    • Thanks, Marga. I love this response, as it reminds me of the universality of this experience. I love your image, too, and couldn’t help think of the Batman movies. Ha! When you start toying with the idea of being your Self, it truly is a moment worth celebrating. Thanks for being here.



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