Phobos*

Ghosts inside the wardrobe

Monsters under beds

Much of what we fear the most

Lives inside our heads

In plain sight, from the closet

Hidden, in disguise

Non-conforming footsteps

We chastise or criminalise

People just out walking

Kids upon the streets

Scary strangers everywhere

We never stop to greet

Nor get to know their stories

They might be just like us –

Human beings – one and all

With whom we could discuss

Our misconceptions, biases

Our fears and problems, woes

The sharing of our worries

Our highs, our laughs, our lows

Instead, we search with torches

For blemishes and flaws

Scurry from all contact

Main reason, just because

We’re scared of unfamiliar

Find terror while we seek

For evidence of spider webs

At which we all can shriek

Our horror at the dangers

Of finding one nearby

Though itty, bitty problem

When you’re not the fly

Squash it though, it’s dangerous

Unwelcome or just yuck

Too bad if it has feelings

We’re bigger so tough luck

Ghosts inside subconscious

Monsters underneath

Let’s fear most rigidity

Of entrenched belief

Stalwart in its standpoint

Even when it’s wrong

Discordant in its melody

Will only sing one song

Mirrors at the ready

Torches to our eyes

Forensic in analysis

It’s our fears we most despise

* Phobos – the Greek god of fear and panic

Fear-o-phobia. Squish!

Triskaideka, arachno,

What kind of phobic are you,

Are you hiding a fear of the homos,

Islamic or immigrants, they’re xenos too.

Do you think that maybe it’s the Jewish,

Or perhaps it could be the blacks,

Scottish, Protestant, Catholics,

Any ethnic, religion; scapegoats we certainly don’t lack.

Might it be fear of being homeless,

Fear of no job,

Fear of pain,

Fear of trusting another,

Fear of believing again.

Could it be our politicians

Have a fear of failure, such shame,

Fear of losing their power,

No fear of losing good name.

I listened,

I’ve come to conclusions,

They’re working all fears we may have,

Fill them fraught, get them worried,

I’m more worried they’re having a laugh.

Common sense has left most departed,

Plain words are feared that speak truth,

Gobbledygook, statistics, bribes plain-sighted,

Paltry, unworthy, uncouth.

I have a fear with plain name,

That some may listen, not hear,

Not see, not know, not care to

Understand what’s their game.

Should we not fear not knowing,

A fear surely worthy of incredible note,

Instead of phobias – irrational, fantastic –

And mostly homegrown, learned by rote.

Fear-instilled politics and liars,

These two, fears of my own,

Watch thieves but can’t watch the liars,

Mantra ignored as I’ve grown.

Watch lies as lips move, unless checked,

Trust some but don’t trust them all,

Points scored, creative accounting,

Let them fear the game of own-goals.

Speak Greek, I’m understanding,

For the rest there’s ways to find out,

Panophobia, get public panicked,

Create fear of everything, leave no doubt.

Do I look like I’m bothered by spiders,

I’ve rid fear of creatures that sting,

But rats, however disguised, persist here,

Sewage dwellers with voices, my thing.

Eyes drawn to phobia unsettling,

See how they scurry, now stamp,

Squish and squash, wipe it up, that’s right,

Big fuckers vanquished, bedamned.

I’ll have my fears, we all do,

Irrational some, some we trust,

But don’t try to fill us with others,

Unworthy, uncouth, plain unjust.

 

 

Room 101

Just finished watching Room 101 on telly. I opted for Auld Fartdom.

As far as I’m aware, the origins of Room 101 are from George Orwell’s ‘1984’ where any occupant’s greatest fear was known and used against them to control any perceived rebellious streak.

The TV version, of course, doesn’t focus on fears but on aversions. Tonight a panel of three celebrities got to air their pet-hates which included noisy eaters, women whose toes hang over the end of open-toed shoes, travellers who recline their seats back into your space and kissers with overactive salivary glands. First world problems, I know.

But it got me to wondering about what things turn my stomach or bug me.

And I’m curious about yours.

Straight off, I’ll say one thing I cannot stomach is being in close proximity to someone brushing their teeth. Even my own kids. I’ve done it, of course, but cringed the whole time and designated that a daddy task whenever I could.

I won’t go into the fine details but imagine a scenario where I was forced to witness this enmasse. Last year, a class, new initiative, children all brush their teeth together in class after lunch. I was almost ill being in the same room as that amount of noisy brushing and frothy whitening around the lips. The thought of them all spitting into the sink had me reeling. But, no fears, they just swallowed. That induced a fit of heaving. It took every bit of self-control to remain in the same room as them and the teacher as he counted off two minutes of brushing. No one, as far as I’m concerned, should be compelled to be in the same room as anyone brushing their teeth.

So, what are your aversions? What makes you gag or want to close off the senses?  Or, in the spirit of the original, what really scares you?

((According to my 13 year old, people who turn their eyelids inside out, aubergines (but there’s a reason for that one) and clowns. With her on the clowns and the eyes. I’m responsible for the aubergines.))

Where We Live

spires and aerials me at night

I live where you live, in the darkness of a mind,

Empty chills around us, lit from lights outside,

You sense what I feel, gloaming casts the beam,

Inertia of the moment, all is as it seems.

I am where you are, upon an empty street,

Vacancies around us, no one left to meet,

Somewhere a bell peals, resounds within and calls,

I stand when you stand, fall whene’er you fall.

me flash

I hide where you hide, behind odd flash of light,

Night and day combined, it seems, still the light’s not right,

You know what I know, behind each night the stars,

Distant, surrounding, burn up but leave their mark.

We know the answers are not to hide and dwell

Inside self-portraits, untrue moments, hollow bells.

I’m brave when you’re brave, awake when you’re awake,

Gather our courage, own battlegrounds at stake,

We fight together, embrace the fear and win,

No hideouts, no heroes, just conquering one of mine.

Warriors

Warriors bleed

heroic silence,

under-armed,

dismissed

by fate,

they wait.

Their time comes,

with peace or violence,

imbuing

inner strength,

no longer

bait.

In history and myth

their names

are legend,

numberless

from lands

both far and near,

woven into 

tapestry

of folklore.

Truth emerges.

Warriors 

overcome their fears.

Dream Lives

Trying their best to ignore what they feel,

To live in the present, where everything’s real,

Dreams are ephemeral dice.

Knowing that others’ needs must be met,

They sublimate thoughts, attempt to forget

Chances to live their lives twice.

 

A strange twist of fate to glimpse for a moment

Alternate path that seeks to torment

And prods at the softest of hearts.

She’s just a girl with longing and tears,

He’s simply a boy, heart ridden with fears

And the two must stay far apart.

 

Recollect selves but dream the sweet dream,

Imagine the moment where nothing seems

Impossible to realise.

Shift back to now,

Remembering how

Reality is somehow more wise.

 

Never forget, though, that dreams may come true.

It’s strange and confusing but often they do

In the weirdest of wonderful ways.

They sanctify souls that search for all bliss

To know heart’s desire, love’s sweetest kiss,

Till nights’ searching fulfills all the days.