Algo Poetry-Behind the Lines

Fear and it’s many Disguises

I once overheard someone uttering the phrase “He was born afraid”.

They were talking not to me, but about me.

The “He” was Me.

Maybe I was, it would explain a lot (but how would I know). Perhaps it was also a little bit of justification of genetics rather than environment, from a biased party.

Either way, It is hardly the kind of statement that would build self-confidence in an impressionable child.

With hindsight, years later, I could see a lot of what I thought was my subsequent anger or rage through adolescence and adulthood, was in fact fear with a different face.

A false moustache and glasses ,if you will, that the anxiety of the amygdala put on.

Freeze, Faint, Freeze all come from the one emotion, as does… Fight.

This is what today’s poem from Unreconciled Doors is about, where fear-

“Chose rage as an appearance”

Strength, in the old toxic masculine sense of the word, was seen as a much better world facing proposition that the paralysis of being afraid.

The fire in your eyes and the spit fire like spittle of poorly chosen words can burn many bridges-

“Leaving stranded who remains”

Fear dressed up as anger can lead you to be marooned on an isolated island of regret with no way back.

I can’t tell you about the five lines of the poem that deal with “roses’ and “showing” etc and their meaning, as I do not know what they were about. The piece came very quickly and there was clear imagery in my head ,but how connected they were to the rest of the rhyme remains unclear to me.

The last four lines of the poem, I am much more sure about.

Both the title and the closing quartet came from Seamus Heaney’s last text to his wife before his death ,which was -“Noli Timere” -the Latin for Fear Not or… “Don’t Be Afraid”.

His poem “Postscript”, replete with his own notations on his own work, published in the Irish Times, is the backdrop for today’s piece.


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