Gut Instinct


This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System
that lives in your heart space
and signals alert when
something is rotten in the state of Denmark
or the state of affairs
or the state of the union of
what you know to be true and what you imagine.

This is the sound and thunder of
riders with lanterns on horseback galloping
in your chest to sound the alarm that
something is coming —
something wicked this way comes
— some things are better left undone.

This is a warning shot across the bow
of the ship you are sailing confidently in the direction of your dreams,
because dreams can be nightmares can be pieces of delusion
neatly arranged on a plate in front of you that says EAT ME
right before you fall down a rabbit hole and break your heart
into a million piecesxxxxxxxxxxagain.

Danger! Danger! arms flailing for Will,
and for Want,
and for Lonely hiding in deep dark places
that cannot be fed by man or beast
or plates of promise and possibility.

Do Not Enter
Keep Out
Contents Under Pressure

So the pressure is on you to stay the course,
steady as she goes,
second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.

This concludes this test of the Emergency Broadcast System.

©2014, Jen Payne

12 thoughts on “Gut Instinct

  1. Incredibly powerful. It seems to be that we could be more intentional about teaching our children how to develop and pay attention to our internal warning systems.

    Thank you, Jen.


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