Posts Tagged ‘fear’




The pre-dawn light has already

claimed the stars so that anything

I might try to name in the sky

has disappeared—though there

is still one planet dazzling and white

just above the horizon. Perhaps

it’s better that I don’t know

how to name it, know only

to praise it, it’s small insistence

on light the only thing

I need to know.




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Oh yeah, I say,


I let you

sneak up on me.

I knew you were there.

I chose to wear this coat

of goose bumps

so you couldn’t guess

just how strong

I feel,

how fine.


Oh yeah, says the fear,

too scared to confess

you’re not as brave

as other people

think you are?


Oh yeah,

say the goosebumps,

speaking for themselves,

Oh yeah. Oh yeah.



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Self Talk




Even after I turn off the radio

there is a red voice below my gut

that repeats, “You should be very afraid.”


Out the passenger window

I see three elk bedded down

in the snow beneath a spruce,


and then I am past them,

looking up valley at the mountains

where the wind blows the snow


in long white curls off the peaks.

I want to return, I think,

to a different chapter—


but I don’t believe it.

There are no fewer opportunities

now to fall in love,


and there are a whole lot more

chances to be of service.

I tell myself I was born


for exactly this life—

born to see the frosted cottonwood trees

on the valley floor


flood with the low light of morning,

born to meet the fear in my gut

and carry it with me to do brave and beautiful things.



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making of myself a nest to hold your fear, I grow wings I didn’t know were here

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Beyond Wishing




And when there is fear,

then let us be flowers

unashamed of our blooming,

and let us be rivers undammed.

And when there is loss,

then let us be leaves that surrender to death

and give even more in life.

And when there is ache,

let’s unfold like dawn in layers

and layers of ripening pink,

let’s be bells

that ring only love.

And when there is sorrow,

let us be dark wings

that gather the light,

and let us be the light.

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So dark out there,

of course you’re scared

and want to hide


but notice how

when you turn off

the lights—I know

it sounds unwise—

that’s when you’ll find

that it’s not black

but gray, the night,

and you can see

quite well once you

let darkness open

slowly up your eyes.

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After Waking

Beneath our boat

a swimming bear—

I tell myself to be afraid

but I’m too delighted

by its brown body,

elongated and sleek

moving like a wave itself

in the clear, clear water.

A marriage, too,

is a boat. Or is it

the bear?

Or is it the man

and the woman

in the boat,

watching beneath them

the most exquisite

dangerous thing,

something that could kill them

but chooses instead


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