Sunday, May 25, 2014

Off My Feet

Hello dear reader

I know I posted a link to this piece before, but I wanted to have it on my site as well. This is the final piece for the Anxiety / Release collaboration between Heather Burns (artist in the UK) and myself. This was originally posted on the Artipeeps website. The artwork that Heather created based on my words follows the poem. Here is the introduction I wrote on the original post last month.

'Off My Feet' is the 8th attempt on the given theme, and in my humble opinion, it is the strongest. I believe that the words are the culmination of the previous 7 attempts. Out of all the poems and words I wrote for this collaboration, this one is the most personal. I can honestly say that there are many things in this piece that reflect me. Maybe you didn't know that about me. Maybe you can't see which parts I am referring to. Do you see me as confident, as being able to stand against the wind? Yes dear reader, this poem is deeply reflective.

It took 7 attempts to come up with what I wanted to present to the world. It took 7 attempts to write about me. Although the previous pieces have elements of myself, none so much as this one is like looking in the mirror. 

This is another poem that reduced me to tears. The weight of emotion and self-reflection was simply unbearable at that particular moment. I know that a good number of you will not be able to understand this, and I am very cognizant of that. But I needed to reveal is the first time I have bared myself in this manner. 

Please, dear reader...don't judge me. If you don't get it, read the Anxiety series of poems (and the introductions) and try to understand. At the very least (and this I have asked before), please try to appreciate the words. Appreciate the emotional journey the poems take you on, acknowledge the power and passion of the message that I am trying to convey, and please be sensitive to the fact that people we know exist in the world I have written. 

As always, dear reader, I encourage interaction. I love feedback, positive or negative. I am deeply grateful for the time you have taken to read my work, and I encourage you to read this series of poems (starting with ''Thanks for the Ride'') and ending in this piece.

Thank you, dear reader. Thanks for the Ride. 
The Anxiety / Release collaboration is finished. Immediately following this text you will find the link to the Artipeeps website where my poem, and Heather's interpretation of 'Off my Feet' can be found. 

Rod E. Kok
April 15, 2014

May 25, 2014


I am perceived as being
unbowed by the winds
that besiege me from
every direction.

Yet branches in
my mind are buffeted
by fears of inadequacy.

Nobody sees my tears,
or feels my pain
as the roots which hold me
weaken under stress.

I fear judgement from my peers,
so I hide.

What truly exists inside
gets painted with
an opaque veneer,
a disguise made up of
words, smiles and laughter.

I try reach out,
offering a glimpse into
my tortured soul...
fear draws me back,
back to the shame I feel,
to the disappointment I have created.

Failure is mine.

You tried to help,
crawling to me, your own tears
laving my feet...
I pushed you away
out of despair.

I pray
for a gentle breeze
to caress me,
but the answer comes
in a gale.

And knocks me
off my feet.

Spring Park Bench 
by Heather Burns


  1. Very humbling Rod, well done. So often the 'gale' can knock us down when all we needed was a refreshing breeze.
    Beer and wings taste good. We have discussed your writing before and I would love to do it again. Beer and wings taste good. :) Sheldon.

  2. It takes guts to bare one's intimate and self tortured feelings to readers who can so easily distort and view as something of little consequence, when in reality it cuts deep , penetrating between marrow and bone. This piece feels deeply and intensely and gives voice to some of the struggles that we often leave for the Spirit who intercedes on our behalf.
    I pray you don't push those closest to your heart away, but find a way for release to include and embrace.