The Poet Exposed – Appendix




© Sean G. O’Leary 2023

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by the fictional addressing of sensitive personal or social issues. This book is not intended as a substitute for the advice of medical professionals. The reader should regularly consult an appropriate, recognized professional in matters relating to his/her physical and/or emotional health, particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or attention.



The Poet

This piece was written, expressly, to introduce this work. I had a lot of fun weaving literary devices, parts of speech and grammatical cues into it. For me, it expresses some of the procedure and licence I blend to get my ideas “on to paper“.

Chapter 1

Something Wonderful

I woke up one morning with a palpable feeling that something good was imminent. It hung around through breakfast and the rest of the morning. By mid-afternoon, I was doing my best to keep that feeling alive. In the evening, I wrote this poem. I blurted it out on the computer and with very little editing; now, I have an inspirational poem that I come back to often.

What Words

The concept behind this poem is to invite the reader to call up the words that represent the most precious concept(s) of life.

Utopia’s a Pool

This poem was ironically inspired by hearing the chorus of the song “Everything Is Free” by Gillian Welch while watching a TV show. This being before I heard the whole song and had a better idea of its meaning.

Where Ideas Come From

I have woken up so many times with fantastic ideas for stories and poems. Often they escape my awareness before I can codify them into something substantial. Sometime they don’t really feel like my own ideas at all. I find it conflicting that notions can pop into my head for which I have no experience to base them. Where do these ideas come from?

A Wish for a Friend

This poem was inspired by times where a friend materialized in my life, just when I needed them. It seems like magic!


Sometime I have started thinking about someone who is no longer in my vicinity, geographically or otherwise. Sometimes it is clear that some external stimuli prompted the reverie or some train of thought prompted it. Sometimes, neither are present; and one is left with questions of a more spiritual nature.

Same Stuff

Our emotional responses to the world around us define our commonality. Though we definitely don’t all respond the same to various circumstances, we’ve all experienced many emotions that are exactly the same.

Dove Brigade

This poem was inspired by the word “salient”. I was watching a documentary and the word was used in an unfamiliar way. I looked it up in a dictionary and started thinking about dragons. As I thought more about it, I came up with an idea for a children’s story which I encapsulated in this poem.

First Sight of Love

This is a recount of something that happened when I was a very young boy; probably around 4 years old. For some reason, this event is crystal clear in my mind. The sun was warmly shining, twinkling through the leaves of a large tree above me. I was fascinated by the caterpillars and had a strange realization about the abundance of leaves the tree provided for these little creatures. My young mind leaped to the comparison between my Mother’s care for me and the tree’s care for caterpillars. I ran into our house and explained this to my Mother. I received such a look of love from her that imprinted something wonderful into my life.


I was watching a concert on public TV one afternoon in August, 2006, and an artist was performing that I had not seen before, K. T. Tunstall. I felt an uncanny familiarity with her but could find no person in my memory that was similar to her or about whom she reminded me. Without judging or evaluating these thoughts, I wrote this poem in as much an effort to document the experience as to attempt to understand it.

Seventh Sense

I wrote this for a fellow skateboarder friend of mine on her birthday. I’ve experienced and witnessed many moments where the decision to hang on and follow through made the difference between enjoying an excellent ride and being hospitalized. Many times I’ve related that same intensity of the necessity to make a clear decision in other areas of life.

Chapter 2

Miss Remember

When thinking about dementia, I have often wondered if it was not the “losing” of one’s faculties as much as a “gaining” of a shift in perception. A shift to something more timeless and less solid. This poem examines this concept with a little bit of comedy.

Inherited Fame

As an older man (in my 60’s). I was in a shopping mall and saw the most perfectly preened young couple I have ever seen. I smiled at them. But what I got back was something similar to how one might look at a wounded puppy or a lost soul.
Somehow, this penetrated my generally thick skin. When I returned home from shopping, I spewed out this critical diatribe.

A Chance Meeting

A night at a bar under the spell of a of a real “character“. Sort of like being on a rollercoaster in a whirlwind.


This was written for the owners of a dog (Jake) after “babysitting“ him for a couple of weeks while they were out of the country, on holiday. I really enjoyed having him around and was happily reminded of the joys of sharing the day with a domesticated animal. Their patterns of behaviour beg anthropomorphizing, and I probably pushed it a little further into the spiritual realm!

Perfect Cups of Tea

Loosely inspired by Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess”. The Duke character in Browning’s poem struck me as privileged and petty through the wording of his dramatic monologue. I created such a character of my own with a little less privilege and a lot more pettiness.

The Defence of Scrooge

This poem started out as a character sketch of an 19th century factory owner and developed into a satirical presentation of how Scrooge became Scrooge. Most of my poems are written in a single sitting, though, usually with subsequent polishing sittings. This was written in two stages. First was the character sketch, at which point I bogged. Some years later, after many revisits, I had the inspiration that it could easily represent a prequel to Scrooge’s characteristic demeanour and wrote the final 3 stanzas as they stand.

Catz Speakz

Fun banter in light of the ubiquitous cat memes around the turn of the millennium.

The Blues Done Right

I wrote this for an online friend who I have never met in person. We shared opinions about TV Series and Movies. We had chatted about “The Blues” as a musical genre and how it related to “Film Noir“. This was my stab at Blue-Noir.

Chapter 3
Dark and Rant

Endless Possibilities

On of my sisters, who enjoys horror/thriller movies, suggested I try writing something along the lines of what might be going on in the mind of a serial killer. I will probably use the character, mood and injustice of this poem as the basis of a novel.

No Remorse

An account of a fictional character created after watching a true-crime series. It examines the justifications that I am sure must take place, the inescapable loneliness, and the inevitable nagging penetration of conscience.


An examination of the dwindling spiral of paranoia. I imagine many of us have experienced some degree of paranoia at some point in our lives; and quickly resolved it. But what about the individual who is consumed by it? How might they feel?

Feel Good Evil

A dark rant on some of my viewpoints on senseless rumour. Be it personal, national, now or millennia ago.

White Sheep

This poem is an obscure, dark slight on dictatorships. I say obscure because this is one of those poems that almost wrote itself on the tail end of watching a documentary on dictators. At the time, my mind was a-swim with thoughts of secret police, neighbour informants and technological advances in surveillance. I let my fingers do the typing while my mind complimented with metaphoric harmonies.


Though all uniforms are not bad; this poem, to me, is really about the atrocities of war. Honestly, I hope this poem does not offend or be interpreted as a blanket viewpoint about military service or, even, any uniformed group. It only represents some of the downsides of the psychological ramifications that I believe uniforms can have. There are upsides as well, but I did not write about them.


I had a girlfriend for a short while who found it necessary to provide a running critical commentary on nearly every action or statement I made. Reducing them to pop psychology labels and sweeping all into a similar heap. It was a short-lived relationship.

Where Are You Going

A tiny examination into motive’s effect on outcome. It could just as easily have been titled “Careful What you Wish For”.

Indians of Lorethe

This is the title of an 18th century print of a watercolour drawn by a missionary in Canada. The first time I laid eyes on this print, I was drawn to it. This poem reflects how it inspired me. The violation of indigenous peoples is a sore spot in my heart. Though I am not anti-religious; many (if not all) religions have, at times, imposed their creeds with violence, coercion and/or manipulation. The creeds are usually not the problem, in my opinion, as much as some of the ways in which they have been disseminated.

Chapter 4

In the Moments When I Wake Up

Lament over love lost. I’m sure everyone has experienced the certainty of something during the first moments you awake followed by the gradual focus of reality. This, also, mixed with the sometimes fugue of having just woken up and still in the much more flexible “reality” of the dream-world.

Eternal Life

A friend of mine lost someone dear to her. I wrote this poem for her in the hope to lighten her grief.


Every now and then I will think about someone who has passed away. It amazes me how one’s experiences with an individual can continue to influence you long after their death.

The End

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