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#219888 - 04/23/08 08:58 AM Knowing Fear, Because Fear Knows Me*
zen-boy Offline
New Here

Registered: 01/23/07
Posts: 35
I know fear; I want to know it more.
I have looked it in the eye.
I have not shrunk away from it.

Fear follows me.
It often walks beside me
Or lurks behind my back.

Sometimes it wraps itself around me
Like a python trying to squeeze me,
But I do not give in.

Well-meaning friends call that courage.
Hah! I laugh heartily about that.
I'm laughing at me, not at them.

They mean to compliment me;
If they only knew the thoughts
That really filled my head!

It's merely survival, no less,
Nothing more. That's all--
No particularly brave deed here.

For how can a man live his
Whole life in fear? What kind of life
Would I have were I always afraid?

Yes, I know fear and fear knows me.
We do a strange dance and observe
An uneasy truce just to keep going.

Just to survive, I play this game that endures
In uneasy stalemate. If I can stay and observe
Fear's tricks, I can deal with it.

Were I to run, I would worry about being
Sucker-punched at each turn. So it's easy, you see:
I want to know fear because fear knows me.

* The title was inspired by a quote attributed to the American novelist Patricia Cornwell. The quote was uttered during a conversation that the writer of an article about Cornwell had with the novelist. The writer made a comment indicating that she believed in evil. Cornwell is said to have replied, "That's good because evil believes in you." See Mary Cantwell, "How to Make a Corpse Talk," The New York Times (July 14, 1996), available online at

#219894 - 04/23/08 09:40 AM Re: Knowing Fear, Because Fear Knows Me* [Re: zen-boy]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

Nice poem, one that really makes me think. And for the record, I call it courage too. It takes courage just to function and live a daily routine when one has so much fear to deal with.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#457023 - 12/18/13 04:21 PM Re: Knowing Fear, Because Fear Knows Me* [Re: zen-boy]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6373
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
you have done a good job of describing my inner street kid, zen-boy.
that kinda cocky macho bravado ego that keeps me going when times get tough.
i realize it ain't all that, but sometimes it's all i got to go with,
and i am always good to go!
ready to look fear in the face and say f__k you!

thank you for putting it out there.




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