when the fires of shame burns brightest,

the shadows cast fall long, darkly

exposing the soft underbelly of racism,

tho’ we have cast off our shackles of

blackest iron, we bear yet

the manacles borne from womb,

color of skin, shape of feature, curl of hair,

the forbearance of implied less than,


and when the shame burns brightest, so

does the aspersion; the self-righteous finger points

‘see, i knew it, i told you so!’

‘there is the root of our evil,

the cause of our plight,’

there is the ‘proof of our rightness,’

it is HIS fault, our burden to bear,

HIS is the proof to our salvation,


and when the shame burns brightest,

where those who wallow in self interest,

self promotion, are mired in the muck

of blame and indignation, whose own

story bears not the light, nor scrutiny,

hold council with those that truly

matter, deal with privacy that which

is private, and lone, and yours,


and when the sham burns brightest,

‘tis best to simply step from the torrent,

retreat to one’s true self, revel in one’s

own glory, own standing, own worth,

let not the fires of shame, darken

self-image, let not the mongers of

self-righteous indignation and hate and

yes, jealousy, turn your true greatness!


By c a gallgher, © 2009-12-10

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poetress77 commented on “Tiger”


I love the 3 last lines the most. I respect the whole poem. You'll have no idea what the last 3 lines did for my spirit. Props to you, and keep the pen poppin'...

nonners commented on “Tiger”


added to my faves-so true you piece. greatly written great imagery. well done!!!!!!



Ty for the kind words. I am SOO tired of the BS that he is receiving. We are sych a mindless tribe, dribbling and drooling in our undershorts, glued to a screen , no longer THINKING for ourselves. One of the reasons I like coming to this site to read poetry is to assure myself that there ARE others out ther with a mind. ca

Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) U.S. poet.

cagallagher’s Poems (14)

Title Comments
Title Comments
“Tiger” 2
... And 2
Yes, You Are 4
My Craft 4
Brilliant Presence 1
Lucky One He 1
Thoughts 0
Sea Quest III 0
Sea Quest II 0
Sea Quest I 0
Slippery, Silent Echo 0
Each Time 0
Two Loves 1
Ashley 1