Monday, July 12, 2010

This is a poem I wrote when I was 34 or so when I had decided to confront the innate fearfulness I had battled my whole life. I rarely had let that fear keep me from pursuing life actions, but I was tired of fearfulness being a background emotion due largely to an abusive childhood at home, and unceasing ridicule at school for being "too smart" and skinny, with ears that stuck out, plus they figured out before I did that I was homosexual. In my teens and early 20s, poetry was a prime creative focus, but out of the hundreds I wrote I feel this one is my best. For many years I've kept it framed on the wall, and when "altered" on cannabis would read it to reinforce the message. I don't do that much these days as I feel I have made its intent largely a life habit.....finally! But I still get fearful during take off and landing when I fly!



Live a Big Life.
Stretch the skin of each new day
then fill it with the flesh of your dreams.

Find the frozen stone of your fear
and chip it into sparks
to illumine the wonders that you can do.

Tell a Big Truth so bright
that the light of it flies out from your mouth
into the dark places
beneath every stone
behind every building
inside every mind.

Let your words and deeds be trusted things
that others can hold and treasure
as perennial measures of honor.

And every time you do the right thing
a stain will fade from the hearts of your children
their grandparents
and you.

Ask a Big Question.
Never lose the cool hunger of your youthful eyes…
learn of the mysteries
inside a lover,
a seed,
even you.

Use your Fear to taste the dark sweetness
reserved for heroes
so that when Death does come
you will have really BEEN,
you will have truly SEEN.

And as you leave that frail human shell,
it a faded chrysalis,
feel the quiver of your new, unseen wings.
John Starnes


  1. So great, John! It is only those who are honest, open, and who risk being real who are truly free and truly live. LOVE every post and always look forward to coming back here.