January 2, 2005


I walked along and found a Staple there,
a Staple, to join my Confidence and Fear,
and there I found Another looking for
a Tear to rend Love from Hate and Fear.

I asked him why he quested for a Tear,
“Is it not better Joining, so as to Cancel out?”
There was some time before he quit his stare.
and said, “A Separation is better than Regret.”

“Regret for what?” I asked him with a start,
while thinking foolishly that he wouldn’t give reply,
but answer he did give, correct or not,
“Regret for destroying a part of life.

If you would Cancel out the Good and Evil,
the Evil would be gone, but yet no Good would be left either,
so all the Fear within would disappear,
but also would be gone the Joy in life.”

I walked along a found a Staple there,
and passed it by without a single stare,
it has not caught me in its frightful snare,
for lying close beside, its Foe, the Tear.

Another old one, but one for which I would love some feedback.  As an aside, when I have asked people to read this, I have received two different responses for what the word “Tear” in the poem means – either “Tear“ as in a drop of a tear from an eye, or “Tear“ as in a rip in a sheet of paper.  When you read it, what did you think it meant?  Was your answer one of these two or something else entirely?  I will put my answer in my feedback section for this post, but I am curious to see what your reading was.

By the way, happy new year to all!  It was great to be away, but it is even greater to be back!


  1. This comment moved from the old blog site — original date lost.

    So, my intended meaning is Tear as in a rip in a sheet of paper. I was aiming for something which would indicate the opposite of the Staple. Was this your reading? If not, what does the poem say to you?

    In any event, is the poem too esoteric? Or does the imagery help the main point of it?

  2. This comment moved from the old blog site — original date lost.

    I got that it was a Tear as in a rip, and I think this is the best image I can think of that expresses the opposite of staple. It’s an interesting poem. I don’t think it’s too esoteric, but then again my tastes lie that way anyway. The ending is a bit odd, I thought. Your narrator decides to forego both the staple and the tear? I feel like maybe there is some line of argument left missing, to explain why neither staple or tear is the Best Thing. Or maybe I’m missing out on the point. Or maybe it’s better to be ambiguous.

    Well formed and written, overall.

  3. This comment moved from the old blog site — original date lost.

    Very interesting piece with much emotional-metaphorical meaning. My personal
    reading of it was that “tear” was a crying drop from the eye, and
    represented some kind of emotional conflict or mixup, maybe someone who has
    mixed feelings about someone/something, and isn’t sure how to resolve it.
    This is a poem I will enjoy reading over and over again to gain further
    insight– very good work!

  4. This comment moved from the old blog site — original date lost.

    Thanks for both comments, Bunny and Andrew!

    With the ending I was trying to state that the speaker hadn’t taken the Staple but had opted for the Tear. The Tear has convinced him (in this case, me) to pass by the Staple and to choose it instead. I didn’t express that action and could work on another stanza explaining that, but the ambiguity appealed to me too…

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