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.