In Your Midst

Each time I am asked, my spirit is willing,
yet somehow I still suffer from a sort of social malaise,
and I cannot name where it comes from,
save enormous overwhelm in situations
where many discover delight.

I know I may fool you, for I genuinely love people,
though I am ill suited to groups and exposure,
small one hiding under desks, trying her damndest
to remain invisible, the observer, the writer,
the introvert shoved onstage, deer in footlights,
yearning only for the quiet of forest and stream
and creatures who do not conclude.

Still I soldier on, tears streaming down weary cheeks,
attempting to share my humanity, my heart;
participating in the human dance
for the first time in over thirty years of isolation;
and when I try and stop the waters,
it’s like imploding on myself, bursts of mortar
and powder, notwithstanding.

This tearing up is not stifled emotion,
decades of mining the depths of my soul; neither is it
a call for sympathy or pity, I cannot imagine
what my own sobs bring up in you, we do not share lives.
Still, despite discomfort, I vibrate to the strings
that tether us, sensing the tremolos of repression,
and perhaps the gods in their eternal quest
for amusement simply interject
this collage of a human, cobbled together
with paste and faded construction paper
into your midst for reasons unfathomable,
especially to her.


2015-12-14 18.46.34

5 thoughts on “In Your Midst

  1. This work is magnificent Bela, and I was greatly touched by it. Why? Because you could have been writing about myself. I am mildly sociophobic (perhaps your ‘malaise’ is more accurate, as fear is absent), or have become so in later life, and yet am not misanthropic in the least. Having said that, I find other animals can often be easier to be with – no dramaturgical displays. You are a true artist Bela, and so I know you know what this means – a thousand elaborate compliments could not bring higher praise. H ❤


    1. Aww, you always bring a smile to my heart. Thank you as ever, dear one, for your kind words. Yes, we are not flawed simply because we are who we are – but in society, it has always been challenging to be this open. I’ve actually had people who know me tell me ‘not’ to cry, which really brings on the tears, as I feel even more on the spot to perform in ways I simply cannot. Believe me, if I could willfully stifle sobs, I would, of course, gladly oblige for the sake of others’ comfort. Still, I remember back in my radio days, men (and only men) would call the station after I choked up during an interview, saying, ‘That Bela Johnson! Why does she have to do that? I can’t bear it, but I can’t stop listening to her programs, either.” Or, “I haven’t cried since I was 7. Please thank her for her vulnerability.” Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. As is so often the case in life.

      Peace, blessings, love, Hariod.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bela, I feel those tremors too, as we link into vibration I know the tears have flowed like a river recently..
    Your wonderful poem spoke to my heart, as I send you mine over the airwaves.. Have a peaceful Blessed Day my friend
    Sue xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sue. I am glad I’m not so shut down that I cannot feel, though it’s challenging to be born feeling so much and unable to blink it off at will. Still, in the scheme of the world’s greater problems, it’s good to be me 😉 Blessings, dear heart.

      Liked by 1 person

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