Terrible Potential (redux)

Episode 25 · August 6th, 2023 · 1 hr 4 mins

About this Episode


I see it now
For years I only sensed it
Or saw the dissipating dust tails of its approach
But it filled me with terror
And there was no cover or protection
So I ran
As fast as my child stride could take me
Not even knowing what it was –
Only that it was coming
But that made the fear so much more
In my little mind
So I ran harder
Until I forgot why I was running –
Only knowing that I couldn’t stop

But I see it now
Its shape is fluid and undefined
And its terrible potential fills my mind
I want to keep running – retreating
But it won’t stop and
It’s closing the gap and
It’s more terrible than I ever thought
But its real – I see it now
And I know
There’s no escape, there never was.
But I want to keep running anyway
Until it overtakes me
I won’t see it coming; it will just happen and be done
But my insufficient legs refuse to carry me anymore
So I prostrate myself as an offering

I know you’re coming, I whisper,
And I offer myself willingly

This is not defeat, I reassure myself
Then lower my eyes
And brace for its fury

But my mind keeps moving – defiantly
It knows truths that my body forgot
And reminds me:

You were born with claws
And they’re with you still –

And I remember and feel them
They are deep, but I feel them and they are there
So, I raise my body from the dirt and
My eyes to the distance
It is closer now – the gap disappearing
But not my fear. My fear is growing
(broadcast loudly by my beating heart)
But I no longer want to run
Nor offer myself willingly
Instead, I watch it come and I wait – in fear, true
But I wait to receive it
And I steady myself.

I have claws and I feel them
And I will meet it face to face
I have terrible potential too
I feel it now.

I'd love to hear what you have to say about the episode including thoughts on the poetry and the topics that were discussed. You can email me at [email protected].

My first book of poetry, My Mother Sleeps, is availabe for purchase at

The King's English Bookshop



Holding my book at The King's English Bookshop