January 17, 2020

Is fear a friend or a foe in today’s manipulative world?

Sylvia Anne Telfer, 75

Personal experience of agoraphobia fuelled my curiosity about fear in its many forms. Today, fear is rampant—common fears over politicians’ rhetoric peppered with dodgy promises, and fears over commerce-driven climate change, leading to species extinction, flooding and bush fires, etc. versus necessary ,natural fears protecting us from harm by encouraging careful driving. Our forebears feared stuff not in our lives, but never had to cope with the media often warping values and adversely impacting the young, who have embraced social media as ‘The Holy Grail’, nor glossies fear-mongering about personal image—the “You can’t be too rich or too thin” ethos. In writing this poem, I found fear has always been with me, whether self-inflicted, inflicted by others or ‘Acts of God’. In making myself vulnerable within the poem and merely skirting a ‘soapbox’ stance about ‘Big Issues’, maybe someone will be stirred to explore how fear has affected his/her own life. Knowing exactly what we fear, why sometimes it is inflicted on us, and if we can eradicate it, might break its grip. Fear births an urge to dodge the source of it but by facing fear, curiosity (the opposite of fear) can enter and enrich our lives.

Fear, 2020Poetry