Writers… we are all Outsiders


A stranger to the moods of the land where I first saw the light of day,

An alien to every place where my foot has left an ephemeral imprint since,

I’ve learnt a long time ago that I do not belong…

An outsider.

Once I believed this lack – an affliction. I searched for the certainty of a home,

The security of an identity that is fixed, immutable.

Not so today.

I’ve made of this prison an ocean; for its shell I have fashioned a sail.

Hear the tempest howl. Listen to the silence shatter. 

Shards cutting deep, until words pour crimson from my fingertips.

A soul adrift. A writer. 

A world in flux. Its secrets – ours to unveil. Its pain – ours to render intelligible.

It is a beautiful place when a crisp line makes it so,

A torrent of despair when ink carves through its darkest corners,

Bruising out truths we would rather forget.

Yet every line is enveloped in precarious indeterminacy –

It is here to be read for a moment only – a glimpse of light

Before the night sets in.


Daily Prompt: The Outsiders

55 thoughts on “Writers… we are all Outsiders

  1. Pingback: Welcome to my world… In/verse | vic briggs

    • It is my thought. I have spoken to many a writer and have found that we have this in common: an experience of the outside looking in. It does depend of course how we interpret that “outside” – To me it is about being able to step out of the ordinary and see the world through a lens that renders it extraordinary then transform it through our words into a semblance of what we have seen.

      • I make my own friends that are sort of an anti-clique and inclusive as long as people aren’t assholes. haha.

        So I disagree.

        You are of course inside. haha.


  2. Wow, just, wow. I’m having trouble finding words for this one. (You, as a writer, surely know how that feels. 😛 😀 lol)

    Love it. That’s all I can think to say. Especially the fact that you used a wolf, my favorite animal as well as my spirit animal/totem.

    • Thank you so much. I am glad this poem spoke to you.
      Thank you for your kind comment: heart-warming, truly.
      Best regards,

      PS: The wolf is a symbol that I am rather fond of. A pack animal who knows solitude… I am sure you understand why that appeals to me.

      • Indeed! You are most welcome. 🙂
        And, yes, I quite understand the draw of the wolf in this/these (and most) case(s).

        Much love and well wishes!

        In Earnest,

        King Pollux ~ Adam Kristofer Walkingstick King

      • You may call me just about anything (except “late for dinner,” hyuck hyuck hyuck). My real name is Adam but online I also go mostly by Lykeios, George, or Pollux. So, whichever name speaks to you is fine by me. Shoot, if you wanted to coin a new name/nickname for me I wouldn’t mind. On the streets they called me White Chocolate and I was OK with that, so I’m not picky as long as you feel the name suits me…lol.

        Yea, its a long response to a seemingly simple question, but names are important (even though I don’t get picky about which important name you use).

  3. A great poem which sums up a raft of artists. I think what is key is the ability to see and write from an objective point of view whilst maintaining an emotional, and thus subjective and personal, perspective.

    • It would be interesting to work on a project with other writers that addresses this topic of the outsider. I believe that each and every one of us has experienced at one time or another this feeling of being on the outside and that our insights draw much of their power from the ability to inscribe that experience, making the implicit explicit. Thank you, Chris. It is always a pleasure to read your comments.

      • The “Outsider” is a very interesting topic. There’s a little conference in Colorado Springs I like to attend every spring that’s put on by the Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery (SISSI). Every year they set a “theme” and people from all over, at all levels of academia and ages and nations write papers or make presentations. Last year was the Image of the Outsider. My “blog” yesterday was actually the abstract for the paper I presented. The presentations were very widely varied and as it’s a small conference, the sessions often turn into informal discussions. I wish they put their Proceedings online so you could read some of the papers.

      • I’ll ask the guy who coordinates it. They publish a paper version, so maybe there’s something more that I don’t know!

      • p.s. It’s funny because this year the conference is on the Hero. Maybe the person putting up daily prompts is tuned in…

      • I think that you are completely accurate in your observation that ‘being on the outside’ is a universal feeling, whether fleeting or a regular occurance. What marks people apart, I feel, is their emotional response to these situations. I think that the greatest artists (and for each of this this will mean something/ one different – how often have you been shocked that someone you love does not experience the same emotional response to a piece of ‘art’ as you do) somehow find a way to tap into this and touch our conscious. Certainly, on a personal level, this is what I would hope to achieve (even if for only one other soul). Good chatting to you. Take care, Chris.

      • Thank you, Chris. You said it all – it is indeed about how one responds to that experience. I suppose that is why not everyone becomes a writer.

  4. This is so beautiful Vic….Loved the beautiful lines. And I just posted a photo of a werewolf with the moon and wrote about it….you did the same thing 😛 Coincidence or we both are lunatic ? 😉

  5. Beautifully written poem on the creative processes of writing. Every writer needs to be an outsider at some point in their life to produce a serious body of work. If you can’t look in, then what is there to look for?

  6. Always a pleasure reading your poetry. Even though I am writing a novel I consider myself to be a poet first and foremost.

  7. Interesting choice of illustration since dogs (coyotes and wolves) howl like this to find their pack members and send messages. Even my godnose-what-mix Dusty finally learned to howl from all the huskies he has always lived with and me, I howl, too.

  8. Pingback: On Being a Misfit, an Outsider, a Lone Wolf | King Pollux the Writer

  9. This hit a deep note with me as well in two ways. First because as a writer, it is the solitude that places me outside; that is where I am able to more easily observe, collect my thoughts and discern the empathy I feel for others. When I am too close, too “inside,” I am unable to detach my feelings from those around me.

    Second, as a Christian, the outsider image takes me back to 1 Peter 2:11 (Message Bible) – “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.”

    This post will stay with me for a while. Thanks, Vic, for your always spot-on notes of poetry that fill my heart.

  10. All on its own it stands beautiful and clean and pure 😀 Stunning my dear! To add would be to detract – but –
    I can not stop thinking about the Indian analogy of the wolf inside of us ~do you know the one?
    I am not sure how it is relevant but it just comes to mind (probably just the wolf!!)

      • The grandfather tells a story of two wolves that live inside everyone. They battle constantly to be the victor.
        One is evil and one is good.
        When asked which one wins the battle – he responds with:
        ‘Whichever one you feed.’
        I am not sure it goes EXACTLY like that – but you get the picture 😉

      • Thank you so much for sharing this. I love the imagery and I think it fits rather well. It is the wolf who wins out in the end, one way or another.

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