Home > The Crowd > The Suffering of Others

The Suffering of Others

October 21, 2010

by Kristen McHenry


You can protect yourself from the negative
energy of a crowd by envisioning white
light surrounding
your entire body. Imagine this light
enveloping you.
Imagine this light
filtering out the suffering of others, the pain your body
is prone to absorb as its own.
Imagine this light
as your shield, your womb, your favored skin,
your dearest armor,
your police dog, your invisible
fence, your power word, your safe house.
Imagine this light
filling you, traveling
from the soles of your feet into
your spine, through your core, and when grief

howls in with a vengeance, when you are
bowled over, in fact
bewildered, by the failure of this light,
after the blow
of betrayal, you might well say,
you might well understand,
that it was never Them at all.
It was never feasible: no skin no light
no prayers save us for we have,
all of us, swallowed
ourselves, and contain
only one another.


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Kristen McHenry is a Seattle-based poet. Her manuscript The Goatfish Alphabet, one of two runners-up in qarrtsiluni’s 2009 chapbook contest, was recently published by Naissance Press. She is the creator and facilitator of the Poet’s Cafe, a poetry workshop for homeless teens. She can often be found napping in front of the TV, her poetry journal as a prop. Kristen blogs at The Good Typist.

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  1. October 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm | #1

    Kristen, it’s terrific to hear you read this poem! I’ve often used this light for protection and have wolves that come as well. Thank you.

  2. October 22, 2010 at 4:22 am | #2

    wonderful – i love the setting of a new age spiritual guided meditation sort
    till the end..
    will have to listen to it later though..

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