Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Wish To Sit Near, Red And White

This first poem is about worshipping in a form we know very well. I don't know for sure but I suspect that when this form of intimacy works out it feels very good.

I Wish To Sit Near

I wish to sit near
So that my tail when wagging
Taps you a little,
So that when your thought begins,
You reach down, scratch in the fur
Between my two ears,
Stroke down my black nose, grabbing
My muzzle, thanking me.


I am often clumsy and ashamed for it. Shame is something I wish I didn't know so well. Back in 66-72 when I lived shamefully I was quite busy running ahead of the wind. I got fairly good at building walls out beyond me so there were people nearby who knew me and were okay with it but a very large world of people, places and things, that not only didn't care about me but if they got wind of my life they had designated persecutors to chase me around. I am not lying. My contribution to all that, among other counter culture things and political things I was a dope dealer. Then they almost caught me. I didn't really care about that, except for the shame of it and the shame that would continue and the suicide I feared would come of it. So I got out of town and came back later to a life that did not include any dope. But I couldn't stand sober either. I became a drunk, got my boundaries around that part much smaller and started living a true double life. So I think shame has a handle on me, me having sacrificed my life for it at least once. How far will I really go to avoid the consequences of shame? Change my whole life.

This poem is of course not about dope dealing or running ahead of the wind or anything like that. It is about being arrogant and the consequences.

Red And White

I got a big stick,
Stirred you up, found someone else
Inhabiting your eyes.

But this is like stirring white
Paint and getting red from it.

So I have this odd
Problem to explain to you.
Why would I do that?


  1. Your life sounds a bit like mine...I remember a man telling me once that he could see behind my eyes and the real me was still there. He was a nurse at the detox centre.....


  2. I see you are still on the mission. Love your poetry Christopher

    Please check out the most recent post on Psyche Connections. There is a much deserved award waiting for you there.

  3. Nice set of poems. They go well together. Or course, I am a dog lover...and have always felt that that sort of intimacy works so well...is so uncomplicated in a way and sometimes so hard to find with humans:). I love the line "I wish to sit near".

    "Red and White" hmmm...this happens a lot in life, doesn't it? Shame, I think is one of the hardest emotions. Puts you right in a cave...and so often shame can stem from things in life that aren't even that shameful...still puts you right in a cave...Some families teach shame as a way of being. Sometimes I think this is what happened to me. Hard to release it after all the years...

    Congrats on your award from Linda:)

  4. Michelle, Aussies drink, I know that, they do dope too? Heh.

    Linda, thank you very much. I don't post awards but I accept them. I don't actually pass them along either. But I praise the stuff I like to high heaven. :)

    Faith, I have no idea how these poems go together, perhaps as contrast, simple to complex.

    There are two related complex feelings, guilt and shame. Neither of these is simple and both are learned, I think. I don't do guilt, am far too self centered but shame is the self centered counterpart to guilt and I do that in spades. I am the usual criminal minded guy. Breaking the law doesn't matter but getting caught does. If I can fool myself into thinking I won't get caught then certain kinds of crime just aren't real crimes.

    There is the other stuff though, like killing someone that is so personally toxic that it isn't a matter of law. Also things like stealing from friends. These kinds of acts aren't a matter of guilt either. It seems it's all shame for me.

    I have gone to considerable lengths to shape my life shame free.

  5. I think it was the contrast that made the poems go well together for me. There are so many ways of being and within even one moment or one relationship all of these ways could exist.

    Speaking of guilt, my father (who hardly ever, ever swore) wanted to print t-shirts that said "f*ck guilt". I always think of that. He really wanted us all to be free from guilt... But shame is another story.

  6. I love "I Wish To Sit Near" for its intimacy and empathy.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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