Fear keeps no track of the statistical likelihood

That the boogeyman’ll getcha.

It doesn’t listen to arguments against itself.

It mortifies with mights,

It incarcerates with coulds,

It what-ifs you till you’re stiff

Till you’re droned by don’ts

Remote-controlled with can’ts

Security-fenced with fright.

Fear’s a fever of the imagination,

Extra heartbeats of anticipation

Leading to anti-participation.

Fear makes you crazier than safer,

Not worth the protection you pay for.

Fear’s what you feel about what you don’t know

That prevents you from knowing.

Gangsters won’t go to the woods for fear of the deer,

Lumberjacks won’t go to the city for fear of the gangsters.

Fear makes you vote for politicians

Who are scarier than what you’re afraid of.

Fright starts wars

That are scarier than what started the fight.

But the thing that’s gonna getcha

You can’t predict, I’m gonna betcha.

So next time fear thump-thumps under your bed,

Next time fear gets a hold of your head,

Stare it down with a frown,

Flush it down till it drowns,

Laugh its ass off

And kiss it goodbye.



Musings by Jim Burklo


(I’m teaching a non-credit course in the History of Christian Spirituality at the USC University Religious Center rm 103C, Tues 5-6 pm’s, open to all:

videos of the first and second sessions.)



Website: JIMBURKLO.COM Weblog: MUSINGS Follow me on twitter: @jtburklo

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Associate Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California

Review & Commentary