A History of Fear


the dark, those monsters

under the bed, first day

at school – bruce m trying to kiss

you in the sandpit

and hell-to-pay for jumping in every puddle on your way home,

men in hearses and dark

glasses – stranger-danger,

not running solo, nor flying, but

an umbrella on the wind – cruel and unusual,

old man on the street corner –

feathered hat, immaculately

polished shoes, threadbare clothes,

a broken headlamp in the rear-view

and unspeakable things,

and then, you know, the death of a parent,

DNA gone awry,

that your actions caused this –


not of your own shadow but

rage, betrayals,

the sound

of your own screaming,

depravity of infant


spectres – Margaret Hassan, the Falling


Afghani children smashed

into dirt playgrounds,

the death of dreams, sadness

of others,

hearts beating through walls,

and then,

somehow, nothing




least of all


27 thoughts on “A History of Fear

  1. This touched me, bb, so much to be afraid of, I remember being taken to play school and thinking I was being abandoned for good, so much fear is one so little, and I didn’t cry,I just waited and wouldn’t play. We grow and the fears grow with us, but as you say bb, life is a balance, we just have to learn to walk the tightrope.
    many thanks for your comments about Bess, my friend, much appreciated xPenx

    • Hi Pen – how awful to think you were being abandoned at playschool! Children’s minds have to cope with such an overload of new experiences in a very short space of time. Thanks for your comment – strength to you and Bess 🙂

  2. Bluebee…..reading this I had my heart in my mouth.

    A very powerful poem (??? Memory?? collective memory??)

    with great resonance.

    haunting, dear Bluebee.

    Excellent…yes, disturbing, but importantly so.

    Lady Nyo

    • Thank you, Lady Nyo – some haunting memories are stubbornly enduring, aren’t they? Of course, there are the good ones, too, which hopefully remain in the majority and keep us going 🙂

  3. Wow – what a trip! My level of fear seems to be increasing with age – never seemed to be afraid of much at all when I was a child and teenager – but after having kids it all changed. Love the ending of the poem – could be various interpretations – no fear of death or the absence of fear due to death – good one.

    • Thanks for your your insights, Gabrielle – I can fully understand how having children would have that effect – I would probably feel much the same as you if I had my own and have had some experience of it in relation to my beloved nieces.

  4. That’s a lot to head off with, on the first day of school. Stranger-danger and DNA gone awry, fear and guilt, oh my. Have you noticed, Bluebee, that children will no longer return a greeting? They have been told not to speak to strangers – makes me sad.

    • I agree it is sad, Monica. I guess it must be really hard for parents to find a reasonable balance between protecting their children and making them paranoid. And it was much the same when I started school around 4 decades ago – we were constantly warned about strangers not only by our parents but by the school as well.

    • This post probably not the most uplifting thing to be reading this Easter weekend, Zoe. 🙂 It’s really great to see you back. Have missed your unique perspectives and inspirations. Bb

  5. Pingback: An Umbrella On The Wind | beeblu blog

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