The Monsters within Me


The nasty thoughts pop unbidden
 into my view.
And my civilized veneer shudders.
And I fight.

Decency demands I hold
 my jab to my colleague’s jaw.
Or that I hold my decibeled shout
 in the quiet conference room.
Or that I hold my tongue
 in check mode.

In new millieu or public places
 or on the job
the veneer is usually thick enough.

But at home, relaxed,
 it’s easy for cracks and holes
 to be worn through.
Tentacles thrust out
a fight breaks out
And so my demon can catch my saint
 as I move through billions of years
 of instinctive response.

Sometimes, though, the monsters
 provide new ideas
 to try:
or a fight response
 when I need it
they may not all be bad.

Still. Tremendous effort
 must be unleased to close
 those pandoramic boxes.
The worth of doing so
 is evident if you see what is lost
if you don’t.

But carving out my place
 in society
 is a bloody business
as I dance on a knife edge
 and keep the monsters
creative and alive and ready for savagery
 but tamed to appropriate

So I keep myself
but genial
but on the team
but merciful
but complex.