In the Presence of Fear


For the (fictional) series, "Edges".
His Voice 



In the Presence of Fear


That first howl,
beyond the circle
cast by the fire,
seemed to crowd
or herd us,
no-one saying aloud
the sudden fear,
though all cowering.

The sour smell
of our sweat
brought us down
to the truth. 
This place, renowned
for certain "incidents",
shook with power.
Out there was 
no kitten's miaow.

Once we faced
our desperation – strange,
there came clarity
and sudden courage.
We built up
the fire, huge,
and took turns
guarding and sleeping
all night until
moonlight faded and
fresh day flowered.


Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #412

Comments

  1. Excellent poem Rosemary. Thank you :)

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  2. This is wonderful. I can feel the menacing darkness, the relief of the big fire, and the courage that rose to meet the danger.

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  3. Out of desperation comes clarity and courage! I love the optimism in that and thinking of that fresh day flowering as well.

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  4. Once we faced
    our desperation – strange,
    there came clarity
    and sudden courage.... so true...acceptance is half the battle won.

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  5. Courage tiptoes into our heart when we least expect and need it the most! 💜

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  6. The fear in this poem is palpable, Rosemary! I love the way you've used the howl and the silence of the people round the fire and the smell of sweat, only two senses, to convey it. And then the brave flare!

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  7. I would be fearful too Rosemary and desperate for the flowering of a new day.
    Love your words.
    Anna :o]

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  8. That realisation and fear of how to cope when not knowing how the rest of world and its creatures would react to us is quite gripping in your poem Rosemary. But we survived and now the rest of the Earth including the Seas, the forests and the animals feel what we once did with even more reason to do so.

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  9. I love the tension here...scary! the clarity of survival mode is stark. Good!

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  10. this is quite an adventure!
    the fear is so palpable in the poem.

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  11. Ah, it is in the harshest of situations that we realize the way forward. Darkness is important for it helps us in paving the path towards light and it requires unbridled courage to make it through.
    Well-penned.
    -HA

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  12. Love! The last stanza, in particular. Once a heart faces the worse, the battles that follow become smaller.

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  13. Gripping portrayal of one of the earliest human fears.

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  14. Interesting place to come upon the group--I wonder if they were expecting the howl. Good for them that it brought them together.

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  15. Once we faced
    our desperation – strange,
    there came clarity
    and sudden courage.

    That's the idea, Rosemary! Hold it by the horns and stay put, unyielding. Courage will sneak in, tenderly!

    Hank

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  16. Great job on this! The totality of all the elements you have incorporated into this poetic 'portrait of fear' are brilliant.
    The build-up beginning with the 'That first howl' … the facing of desperation … the taking of control … the working through it … to triumph, with the start of a fresh day. A wonderful piece of writing!

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  17. Power balances power when threat meets strong defensive gathering. I've been in circles held against distant howls in the night. The mystery of the balance becomes palpable. This poem brought it back and I'm feeling nostalgic. Thank you!

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  18. Extremely exciting poem Rosemary. Fear and darkness courage and dare all excellent players in this drama

    much love

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  19. I feel on the edge of my seat with some kind of fear.

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  20. I was there with you, Rosemary, facing the night and lighting it with fire until the sun rose. Wonderful!

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