Monday, August 5, 2013


I left my Michigan town to walk to West Virginia
only to find there was no one willing to travel
with me but me.
Along the way I found
there was a closed door in my heart
I had never opened before.

Traveling on from Bangor to the Key’s
I yet only knew there was no path
that others had not seen well before me.
Every two traffic light town I saw
the church steeple competed with the grain silo
to be the tallest of the buildings
seriously after so many miles it’s hard to be holy in a grain silo
and never being much of a steeple people.
I kept myself moving on still afraid to look inside
that ever closed closeted frightening door
that I knew was a past in there
I didn’t want anymore.

Somewhere along the way I had finally decided
I had to stop running away.
Simply made the decision
I could never outdistance the thing I was running from;
that thing being me.

In Nebraska or was it Waxahachie
I don’t remember which.
But then and there I knew no matter my fear
I had to open that door
that had long been haunting me,
driving me endlessly
toward no place I could find peace or finally be free.

With the creak of rusty hinges and deep darkness inside
at last I was ready to look at my past to see
what it was that constantly fought me which needed to be seen.
Finally, fearfully, I entered in
and realized I had found what I had been looking for.
I was walking a road no one had ever seen but me.

“I hate you.”
were the first words I heard roil
from the darkened divide,
I wanted to run away slam closed that door.

I had to decide to stay if I ever were to find my way.
Blinded by the lack of understanding
I stumbled further through my fears
to find out why there was so much stored in there
that carried no affection for me, only animosity.

It was rock hard ground I was standing on
as I began to understand that I hated me
because like so many others on their own hard ground
that was the way I had learned to look at me.

With one simple single knowing the light began growing
and the weight rising from my back.
I feared less that beast inside of me.
I saw that most of my learning
had been given from authority figures
who needed to be for a time to be a master over me.

Somewhere near Niagara Falls
I hit the back wall of that once unopened closet door
with its long unmoved hinges and I knew
I no longer needed to cringe by being in there,
inside my own living beating now loving fearless heart.
We talked and walked that beast and me
And as hate turned to honest loving seed
In a single moment I realized it had been no monster,
it was only me walking my own road of the once fear enslaved
but now no matter the trouble I walk the pathway of one freed.

© M Durfee

Don’t ask me to carry your baggage for you,
I have enough of my own to heave and hew
without letting you drop your bullshit
on top of the trouble in my life I have sown.

You want someone else to carry your weight,
then hire a porter to carry your fucked up
foul freight of the fears
you have seared into your own soul.

I am dropping your bags right here.
I have weight enough old “friend” dear,
by carrying my only own fear and fright
I get to travel pretty fucking fast and light.

© M Durfee


  1. I like to want to travel pretty f ... g light and fast as well, but also chose to carry someone's baggage, and walk in his shoes for a while at times ... how else will you know, what it's like for them ... that's where friends come in ... friends do the same for you ... so they know what it's like for you ... and that's a pretty f ... g beautiful thing ... walking man, don't you think? Thank for reading my poems. Your comments are very much appreciated. Love cat.

    1. Oh Catwoman--language is a wonderful thing. I know that my use of coitus as all forms of grammar bothers you. It is not done for shock effect but only when I feel it appropriate A) to convey the depth of feeling for what I am saying or B) to put a strength of rhythm into the piece.

      To your question which is it seems to me directed at I NO LONGER HATE ME II, there is a substantial difference between picking up a load for a friend that they may travel further and carrying around baggage of guilt, shame and self hate for the actions of another.

      Look at a person who was/is bullied in childhood as one example, though there be many other ways people will with intent make person's life heavier due to their own sociopath tendency. That child may have to spend a life time trying to find out why they have such a negative self image of themselves. That wastes a lot of time that should be lived free of encumbrances others have put upon me because i am fat or skinny, Black or White, once when a kid kicked the winning goal into the wrong net.

      Sometimes a person simply needs to hear that they do not need to understand everything about how their negative self image came about only that it is OK to stop and lighten the load on their heart.

      You, like I could never share a pair of shoes. We can empathize but even though we may go through the same experience we are both going to experience that situation differently. You can walk with you friend harmoniously, you can even talk them out of a portion of their load, you can love them even when they do not know how to drop a lot of their past, but friends are few. Those that simply wish for another to pull their end of the sled are many.

      That is cynical in it's own way but that is my experience, many times I have pulled both sides of the sled as a free choice; usually for a stranger i would most likely never see again. Don't you think that is what a human should do and is a fucking beautiful thing in its own right?

      Your poetry and imagery are easy on the heart and mind, which at time makes them a relief from my own pedantic writings. Keep on.

  2. A very powerful and defiant poem, I would say. Loved the conviction in it, especially the second part.

    Greetings from London.

    1. Greetings Cuban, and thank you. These are powerfully held core beliefs within me. It is often discussed between friends of mine and me.

  3. Forgiving oneself is hardest of all, and yet we are who (and what) we are because of who and what we have been made. Genes, many to blame, but in the end, acceptance and forgiveness are the only road. You are the walking man, but wherever you go, there you are. You can never out walk you, so love that companion.

    1. Karen, Both the Pentateuch and the Bible says in effect if you have anything against another go and forgive them before you come to God to ask for forgiveness. Though I believe that is necessary I think it first be necessary to forgive yourself for so many things.

      In this write it is the guilt one can feel when they realize that they have been carrying around a weight of shame or whatever that does not rightfully belong to them. I have called myself wrongly a fool many times, when I finally figured out the baggage did not have my name on it.

      Once i understood, then I was able to ask why and once i had an answer to that question, I was able to see clearly the need another had to guilt me up, once I understood that I became able to honestly forgive. In that simple action I found the forgiveness from the eternal portion of the cosmos and was able to re-enter it, taking my rightful place in the universe.

    2. PS I have to like myself some or i would have walked off a cliff in the starry night many years ago. More importantly i find ways to appreciate those that are still struggling to no load the bags on others, mostly their children around here.

  4. nice...a signature piece for the walking man...learning to love one self is no joke...and we have to confront some pretty nasty stuff in learning to do so as well...and as karen says learning to forgive ourselves as well for where we have been...whether we need to own it or not....

    1. That is the first step to wholeness Brian, forgiving yourself. have you ever had this conversation with others who have no idea that it is even a thought much less a possibility to forgive ones own being for the ignorance of the past error? It has been an amazing revelation to me.

  5. Interesting

    Feel free to surf to my homepage ... Mike P

  6. A true journey of self-discovery, Mark. Yeah, there's nothing worse than someone trying to drop their baggage off and walk away free and easy. Both of these are standout pieces.

    1. Thank talon---both of these are not only autobiographical learning's from my youth but conversations i have with others as I walk along today. I will not carry the load of a friend but I will show them how they can lighten their own by dropping what is not theirs to own along the wayside.

  7. Love that last verse of Part 1, understanding and accepting that beast inside us ~ The nod to Niagara FAlls, I like too having gone under and beneath the falls ~

    As to Part 2, let others carry their own baggage ~ Travel light Mark ~

  8. That was quite a stroll Brother....

    1. Galen---you have to admit that we have come to an age where we can appreciate our past and look honestly at it and say "it's been a hell of ride so far."


  9. Sometimes when you have trouble with an opening chapter in your own book, this hits you right in the face:

    "Somewhere near Niagara Falls
    I hit the back wall of that once unopened closet door
    with its long unmoved hinges and I knew
    I no longer needed to cringe by being in there,..."

    Migod, you have just supplied the opening of Chapter Two of my rewrite of my novel, The Hat People...The meeting of artist and avatar at Niagara Falls. Seems what was missing was the aha snap!
    I haven't had that kind of snap for about ten years. Thnx.

    1. Cool Ivan that's be great. Just remember my name on the rewritten glory page after the index.

  10. It's a hard road but in the end it's worth it....

    1. I'll let you know when i get to the end Jeff, I may not be moving swiftly toward it as i once was but I'll get there still. Yet you're right it has been worth it to not get stuck in a category when I was a younger man.

  11. Mark, My Dad used to say, "Wherever you go, there your are", meaning for us to stop running from ourselves. Smart dude, my old Daddy. In the second part, I understand ditching negative people and their baggage, but sometimes it helps to talk to an old(er) sage. I miss our talk therapy. xoxo

    1. Jodi sometimes it is better to take you wherever aimless wanderings get you too. I am generally available Tue through Fri, until school starts up again.

  12. adore those final two lines, Bro.

    Me, age 16, ready to walk with my back pack to route 1 and hitchhike away to self discovery. Only dad awake. They couldn't stop me.
    "You don't have to do this." He said.
    "I know. Thanks."
    I think of that moment, one of our most intimate. Centuries ago.
    Touches me every time.
    So we'll just keep walking. Laying down what we can.

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    ~ > < } } ( ° > <3

    1. Cloudia that is pretty much the same flavor of the very short conversation I had with my mother as I left again after 4 years in the Navy. Except my answer was basically "Yes, yes I do."

  13. It's hard to get rid of all the head chatter that tells us over and over that we aren't okay. So many learned behaviors to be rid of and forsake. I am still learning not to believe the voices that tell me that I am a miscreant. It takes time.


So Walking Man I was thinking...