Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Poetry, Writing

Day 51

L emailed me after yesterday’s post about the internal voice to let me know that it reminded her of the Highly Sensitive Person trait, and sent me a link to one of the authorities on that HSP trait ( I was very grateful to her for reminding me of something my former 5E acupuncturist said to me years ago, that I was beating myself up about being so highly-strung when actually I was an HSP, and that 15-20% of the population shared that trait with me. I’ll be doing more reading up on this. L also told me she was suffering from writer’s block, so I sent her some writing prompts I’d shared with a writing group in January that we had to cancel because we were being sensible about omicron. And then she sent me back one of the best poems I’ve read for a long time. It meant so much to me, not only that someone I’d met once 10 years ago, should pick up a prompt and run with it, but that the poem touched me deeply. I’ll not reproduce it here, because it’s not mine to share, and I hope she will share it via her social media at some point (EDIT – L has been in touch after reading my post and said she is happy for me to reproduce her poem here, so you’ll find it after Aggie’s next chapter below). It made the same deep impression on me as Jacques Prévert’s POUR TOI MON AMOUR did the first time I read it, such a deep impression that I’ve added Prévert’s Paroles to the small row of books Aggie has in her attic room (yesterday’s chapter), because I’d forgotten what a great poet Prévert is, and that he deserves to be on that shelf of books.

I find it interesting that I’ve always thought of myself as a dreadful teacher (and parent) because I don’t actually have much patience with things, and because I see myself as a person who doesn’t have it within himself to give himself up entirely to the interests and needs of other people. And probably, as I’ve said many times, because I think I’m a misanthrope deep down, but that I find such great pleasure and emotion in mentoring people when it comes to being creative, particularly in writing. That’s why the poem from L yesterday made me so emotional, that’s why poems and/or stories from people I’ve just talked about writing to and given them a little nudge in the direction of putting words onto paper mean so much to me – because it takes courage to write, courage to not self-edit before you’ve even put down a single word, courage to let the world see your thoughts, courage to even think of yourself as a writer. I didn’t feel much like writing anything when I woke up (not as ate as last Sunday), because I feel slow, but here I am, over 500 words into the daily post, with Prévert looking up at me from the cover of Paroles with a cigarette in his mouth to match the smell of smoke in the office/study, remembering that yesterday I felt it would be my best life to be able to create all day every day, to write letters to people all around the globe and seal them with the red wax and file their responses carefully in different boxes rather than the heaps upon heaps of disorganised paper that make me look like a hoarder not a writer.

The days pass, and I grow. Acceptance is not a defensive feeling, nor one of giving up or complacency. It’s the realisation that I’m normal, after all.






L’s poem

We all want to be loved


Maybe one day I’ll buy a new coat

     And I’ll be rich

And there’ll be a banknote in its pocket

     And I’ll be rich

Just a tenner would do

     And I’ll be rich

And I’ll buy a chair in the nearest charity shop

     And I’ll be rich

And place it in the middle of my garden

     And I’ll be rich

For all the birds to see

How rich I am

For the pride

Of owning one’s own chair


I’ll just sit on it

And observe all the unwanted trees

Somebody once planted in my garden

Not knowing it will be mine one day

And that I’ll be so unimpressed by those trees

By their number and size

And shape for the matter

So many trees in such a small garden


But we all want to be loved

Even the trees

And accepted

And not judged


Yet only judgement moves us forward

Makes us what we are

What we become in the next minute


So I’ll cut their branches

If only an inch

To give myself and my chair

A better view

And I’ll think about all those important things

About my dinner and the pandemic

About my chair once being a tree

About meeting people I once have known

And haven’t seen for a decade


And I’ll stroke my chair kindly

With acceptance

Because we all want to be loved


(c) 2022 LF

Get notifications of new posts by email.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


  1. Ren Powell

    21st February 2022 at 03:57

    I am so happy that someone gave you back what you give to others. If you were to give yourself up entirely through your teaching or parenting, what on earth would you have left to give from? I am privileged to be among those who learn from your generosity! I haven’t discussed it with M. and your kids – or the poet here – but I am very sure we’d all agree. I have never thought of the connection between being “high strung” and being “highly sensitive”. For all the things I don’t like about the new cultural frameworks, this particular reframing is among the really great ones!
    And I have a box with the broken wax-sealed letters from a couple of years ago and those are among my prized possessions. Just so you know.

    1. Richard Pierce

      21st February 2022 at 07:21

      To wake into my Monday morning fragility to this note is a blessing. Thank you <3 I have always felt myself to learn from your generosity, never vice versa. Yes, all generalisations are false: about human traits, about conditions of the mind, about everything. But the acknowledgement that HSPs exist always has the same effect on me as the first of the 8 Lessons of Therapy I learned from my therapy - that I'm not alone. And that in itself makes me more accepting of how I am. I always feel physical letters are the summit of communication, short of physical presence. Thank you again, my friend.

Leave a Reply