She greets them in alleyways,

meets them indoors;

she’s a mother’s sweet baby,

she’s somebody’s whore.

Her fantasies keep her

from going insane;

her children, her future

bound up in the pain.


And for us it is easy,

with lives full and sweet –

moving forward and backward,

eyes avoiding the street.


Her gaze sweeps the horizon,

she longs for a clue

how she got here,

where she’s headed

and it’s all up to you.

I know what you’re thinking:

she’s not mine; isn’t yours –

like the homeless and hungry,

despised and abhorred.


While the shadows among us

seep under our skin;

they becomes us, they fit

like white lies that unhinge

the most stoic and stolid,

where they come home to roost;

and we have to confront

our own human abuse.


~ bj



4 thoughts on “Outcaste

    1. Ronnie, it IS sad. And too prevalent, world-wide. Women are still second class citizens; their bodies expendable. I wrote this poem to open eyes, if eyes are willing to be opened, to this misappropriation of our innate Divine Feminine nature.



  1. Hi Bela,

    Great verse. For me what stood out was this part of the last stanza, and I quote:

    “While the shadows among us
    seep under our skin;
    they becomes us, they fit
    like white lies that unhinge
    the most stoic and stolid”

    Would this imply that as a society, we remain unwilling to confront the base and seamier side of who we are? If so, what is really at the core of this behaviour? That we like to live in a reality illusion. That we would much prefer to touch the outside world through our persona rather than the real us. Could this be because deep down we remain wary of being connected emotionally and thereby getting hurt?

    As I think of this Bela, I remain uncertain about the way forward. What practice can we bring into our life that would allow us to show up as the real self? What perspective do we need to change to allow us to live and show up in the realm of the shadow rather than allowing it to “seep under our skin”?



    1. Shakti, as always, truly appreciate your thoughts and reflections.

      Poetry has always pretty much written itself ‘through’ me, often to my surprise. I’ll see an image, hear something from a friend or in passing in public somewhere; watch a movie that leaves a lasting impression. So I don’t often take time to pull the poem apart and dissect it. I am with it for awhile before publication, because some editing is usually in order. What follows is my response to your inquiry, for which I thank you. My viewpoint, from where I stand today.

      My psychology background is Jungian, and a prominent archetype in Jungian psychology is the Shadow. It is comprised of what we deny or cast out as unbefitting. Saying that, I think it might just be human nature to reject out of hand what does not reflect well upon us. Most people, I think, act and react without much awareness. Many of us are self aware, however, more and more these days.

      Whatever disguises we wear (persona) may seem to protect our vulnerabilities, but it’s only an illusion. If something triggers our discomfort, likely it’s a part and parcel of Shadow. Gently bringing it into conscious awareness is a step toward integration; thus healing not only ourselves, but collective humanity. It takes a bit of courage to do this, and many find it easier to remain rutted in familiar grooves. Understood. Life simply continues placing challenges in our path until there is some permeation of the discomfort/denial (the ‘under the skin’ part), ratcheting up the opportunity to awaken to a grander vision or destiny.

      Aloha and namaste, my friend.


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