Home > At Play, Poetry, Post A Week 2011 > If I Could Write Like James Kavanaugh, I Wouldn’t Be Watching TV

If I Could Write Like James Kavanaugh, I Wouldn’t Be Watching TV

I don’t like to talk when I watch TV or a movie, but I usually have my laptop close by, on. During commercials I surf the net, drop in on my Facebook page or read emails. So when I heard this poem during a rerun of a Matlock episode (one of Hubby’s favorite TV shows), my computer was already at my disposal. In the episode, “The Temptation”, only a few lines are read, but something in that glimpse into James Kavanaugh’s poetry caught my attention. In “Will You Be My Friend?” Mr. Kavanaugh expresses what I have felt all my life when trying to balance the desire to “show myself friendly” [Proverbs 18:24 KJV] with protecting my heart against the discomfort of vulnerability and the risk of rejection or indifference. All summed up in 50 lines.

I immediately considered selecting pictures that I thought would complement the poem for a blog post, but the more I read it, the more I felt impressed to leave the poem on its own, in its purity, so that the pictures created in your mind as you read the poem can be as individual as you are. No need to force my interpretation of the writer’s message on anyone (not this time anyway).

Will You Be My Friend?
– James Kavanaugh

There are so many reasons why you never should:
I’m sometimes sullen, often shy, acutely sensitive,
My fear erupts as anger, I find it hard to give,
I talk about myself when I’m afraid
And often spend the day without anything to say

But I will make you laugh
And love you quite a bit
And hold you when you’re sad.
I cry a little almost every day
Because I’m more caring than the strangers ever know,
And, if at times, I show my tender side
(The soft and warmer part I hide)
I wonder

Will you be my friend?
A friend
Who far beyond the feebleness of any vow or tie
Will touch the secret place where I am really I,
To know the pain of lips that plead and eyes that weep,
Who will not run away when you find me in the street
Alone and lying mangled by my quota of defeats
But will stop and stay – to tell me of another day
When I was beautiful.

Will you be my friend?
There are so many reasons why you never should;
Often I’m too serious, seldom predictable the same,
Sometimes cold and distant, probably I’ll always change.
I bluster and brag, seek attention like a child.
I broud and pout, my anger can be wild,
But I will make you laugh
And love you quite a bit
And be near when you’re afraid.
I shake a little almost every day
Because I’m more frightened than the strangers ever know

And if at times I show my trembling side
(The anxious, fearful part I hide)
I wonder,
Will you be my friend?
A friend
Who, when I fear your closeness, feels me push away
And stubbornly will stay to share what’s left on such a day
Who, when no one knows my name or calls me on the phone,
When there’s no concern for me – what I have or haven’t done –
And those I’ve helped and counted on have,
oh so deftly, run.
Who, when there’s nothing left but me,
Stripped of charm and subtlety,
Will nonetheless remain.

Will you be my friend?
For no reason that I know
Except I want you so.

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