We regard fear as a negative emotion that must be made to dissipate as quickly as possible, but often fear is the much-needed spur to action, without which we slacken to the point of becoming entirely unproductive. This poem is an extended metaphor for something I experienced during the board exams.
The Captain of this mighty vessel,
Seems to have up and gone.
The Captain, holy, and revered so
Left ere the light of morn
Caressed the world with a sigh of warmth.
I, at first, did rejoice.
For Captain’s resign so firm, unbending,
Without I’d find my voice.
Or so I thought, and delight I did
In master’s sudden leave,
And sauntered idle the fair decks where
Did freedom nothing cleave.
But I, being a novice to steering
Solo, felt relief wane,
As approached sudden a raging storm
And mocked my ease with rain.
O fear! Fear! My precious spur I lost,
Without dear captain’s force.
And I now covet Captain’s return,
To steer the ship a course.
O fear, return! Your governance, prized,
I crave, to guide me forth.
Your absence left me shiftless and wrong
I was to your ways loathe.
I ceased to fear and breathed easy,
Alas, too short a while,
The pseudo-comfort rendered me dull
When sea did churn and rile.
I wrecked my craft when I lost my fear,
In laxity I drowned.
Fear of failure can steer big ships
To harbor safe and sound.