Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thumbs Mightier Than Fear

I attend have an annual Teen reading with multiple students from local high schools, and there is some really good writing being brought forward. I’m attaching a piece I wrote at one of those events that should be encouraging to kids with stage fright. (I was one for sure – so very long ago – terrified to stand up before my peers – so I ended up as a preacher and performance poet. Go figure.) Anyhow, all the scheduled readers had read and the moderator was just about to close the meeting when one lad, urged by his girlfriend, raised his hand and asked to read. He’d been thumbing madly into his phone all during the evening, and bravely stood up to read a compelling piece about being afraid to read, but yet wanting to write and be heard. That grabbed me and I had to write as soon as I got home. I think you’ll like this one.

ed pacht

Thumbs Mightier Than Fear

afraid of speaking out,
afraid of what they’ll think,
afraid of what I’ll say,
just afraid –
I don’t trust myself,
not my thoughts, not my words,
and I don’t trust those others here,
afraid to be called a fool,
afraid to be a fool;
and I don’t want to speak,
but yes, I do,
I want to be up there,
but I cannot.
will not,
but …
I can write:
I do have thoughts inside;
I do have words inside;
my thoughts and words are pressing hard,
and must come out, must be said,
and so I write.
From my head,
through my thumbs,
on this screen,
I write,
and write,
and write –
and there they are:
my thoughts,
my words,
the things I need to say,
and I will say them,
up there,
to you,
afraid, yet brave,
my demons left behind,
and I speak!

1 comment:

Alice Linsley said...


This poem captures the sense of personal triumph that the young man must have felt.

I'm reminded of a poem written by Curtis Surovy, a former creative writing student. It is titled "Trophy." Curtis was a good athlete who had some setbacks, so his victory was all the more sweet. You can read the poem here: