HomePoetryMy Qualifications

My Qualifications

I wear my mother’s dress and shake the earth with bare feet.

I spurn the -ists and -isms of dead men.

I have an obsessive attraction to elephants in rooms.

I think unauthorized thoughts and feel unauthorized feelings.
I write unauthorized words with an unauthorized pen
from a space inside myself that is doubleplus unauthorized.

They tell me that I am crazy
using words that are crazy
formed in minds that were made crazy
by a propaganda-addled civilization that,
from top to bottom,
has always been crazy.

“What are your qualifications to think those thoughts
and say those words?” they demand indignantly,
hands on hips,
voices dripping with spreadsheets and cubicles.

I tell them I was born here, pointing down at the earth.
I speak with no authority
but these cells made of stardust
and the grass between these toes
and the sacred syllable humming up along this spinal cord
from that point in spacetime
where the universe was birthed.

I am a board certified terrestrial.
I am a fully licensed ape mutant.
My papers are all in order.
My forms are all filled out.

“But you are flawed!” they protest.

“Exactly,” I reply.

And then I stomp on,
shaking the earth with bare feet,
singing red ravens into the sky,
summoning fiddle music out from the shadows.

I am Caitlin.
I am like you.
We may speak
because we were born here.







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Latest comments

  • Everyone should see this:

    Creeper Biden

    • Considering what the sonofabitch has done with his “professional” life, this type of personal behavior aligns perfectly with his overall character. More extensive video has been up on YouTube for quite a while—the silence is deafening.

  • You are not alone.

  • My qualifications:
    I have a heart
    I have a brain.
    That puts me up 2-nil on most of our leaders.

  • Wonderful words.
    Sadly, the “qualified” have to unlearn all they have learned … most of it’s BS anyway.
    They have been shepherded into a mindset by the wolves who prowl the night.
    We know more than we know.

  • Oh wow Caitlin. Thank you thank you thank you.
    I love those words. And that powerful, vulnerable, menacing, tender, furious, elemental, self-portrait as a Gorgon that goes with them.
    2019 was the year that I finally fell out with Advaita Vedanta, after investing all in all my second Saturn cycle in it. The catalyst of that change was a bird who taught me about a righteous indignation that is so universal it’s not even specifically human.
    Talk about elephants in rooms. Sri Ramana Maharishi’s famous question, “Who am I?”, has an ugly little sister that has been unwelcome in all the sanghas I’ve seen. And I live in Amsterdam, so I’ve been in the opportunity to see a bunch. That question is, “Who are we?” The problem with it is, it’s a fundamentally political question. And we’re not into politics. We are into total acceptance of what is.
    I have found that only what politics will leave alone is apolitical, and politics will leave nothing alone.

    “But you are flawed!” they protest.
    “Exactly,” I reply.

    I’m a mess. A f’up. I’m very, very flawed. And I’ve found that to shoot for “Enlightenment”, to try and maintain or regain my sanity in the midst of the controlled demolition of the living Earth is like whistling in a hurricane.
    So that’s where I’m at now.
    You can’t make me crazy.
    I am crazy.

    • “Who are we?” is indeed a very interesting question. But first, get someone to tell you their definition of “We”. It seems to be very rare for it to mean everybody. Government leaders use “We” a lot, but almost always it means only one faction within the nation. A definition of “We” almost always has a corresponding “Other”, with We trying to profit at the expense of Other.
      I am crazy. I think it is interesting to think of that question, “Who are we?”, when “We” is really everyone.
      I am crazy, but for me there was a moment when I looked in the mirror and asked “Who am I?” like I had done many times before, only to realize that on that day I knew the answer. I had grown up. Well, not completely. Sill learning and still growing. But, there was a point where I knew who I was.
      So, if there is a question of “Who are We?”, then will there someday be a day when we have collectively grown up and thus know the answer.

      • Yeah, you get it. “We” is one of the words that I’ve set to tick off my BS detector. Every “us” creates its own “them”. That’s why it’s always a political question.
        My “we” has expanded to include, for instance, that bird I linked to.
        Whether there is a definite answer to either question, I have no idea. And that’s after pondering them for a few decades. But I’m a dim bulb.


    “God” in the form of Extra-terrestrials have sheparded our molding, from time immemorial, from some ape-stock that they collected from the trees? What if we were modified to be slaves for massive gold-mining operations in now what we call Africa? Or we are simply critters in a terrarium?
    However, they did get pretty jumpy when we were testing nukes….

    And now they are slowly revealing themselves to our superstition and disbelief…..

    • You should write that down. A science-fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard did something rather similar, and invented a religion known as Scientology. For a struggling writer, I think he did rather well with it. I always wondered if late at night when he was all alone, if he didn’t sit and think “Wow, people actually believe this stuff!”


    “God” in the form of Extra-terrestrials have sheparded our molding, from time immemorial, from some ape-stock that they collected from the trees? What if we were modified to be slaves for massive gold-mining operations in now what we call Africa?

    And now they are slowly revealing themselves to our superstition and disbelief…..

    • “Highly likely” …

  • Often, we find the truth in poetry…

    This song by the legendary French crooner Gérard Lenorman is very moving:


    Here is a translation of the lyrics of the song:

    They pillaged my life
    They soiled my nights
    Oh oh oh
    Make up their desires
    Invented my crimes
    To those who betrayed me
    They call it love

    They took my children
    To shelter people
    Oh oh oh oh oh
    Corrupted the greatest
    To make a screen
    With feelings
    They call it love

    I die and I live
    I’m not the strongest
    I run in the rain
    Oh oh oh
    The fleeing bird
    Go get the sun
    In Montfort-l’Amaury
    Oh oh oh
    I die and I live
    We are not the strongest
    To run in the rain
    Oh oh oh
    The bird has fled
    Find the sun
    In Montfort-l’Amaury

    They had fun
    When they saw me cry
    Oh oh oh oh oh
    Funny way to love
    It’s easy to rule
    On scorched earth
    One day it will end

    Secular loves
    Are always the first
    Oh oh oh
    They will make war on it
    Incendiary passions
    Are the most ephemeral
    They call her love

    I die and I live
    I will not be alone anymore
    To run in the rain
    Oh oh oh
    The star that follows me
    Go destroy the sun
    From Montfort-l’Amaury
    Oh oh oh
    I die and I live
    I’m not the only one anymore
    To run in the rain
    Oh oh oh
    The star that follows me
    Destroyed the sun
    From Montfort-l’Amaury

    Oh oh oh
    I die and I live
    I’m not the only one anymore
    To run in the rain
    Oh oh oh
    The bird has fled
    There is no more sun
    In Montfort-l’Amaury

  • khatika ia a pessimist.
    capital is poison for the let them eat cake of need and want…
    capitalism is a criminal enterprise designed to restore monarchy feudalism and slavery
    in return for minimum wages and giving them private property.
    QE owns 20% of BP thank you dearie for the New Gulf. and
    QB owns 20% of ROYAL Dutch Shell…and thank y for going “GREEN” for us….you liar!
    Huge estates should all me made into looney bins for the homeless casualties of the evil empire which is us.
    and thank you POGO…for that line.
    let the rich start over.
    they always say the same ones would rise again.
    the brightest and the best: hahahahaha.
    that’s what they said about Vietnam: brilliant idea that was. our second lost war in row–Korea being the first.
    now we make a treaty with the Taliban with no mention of la femme. Are you kidding me. freeing women was the only clearly defined reason we would be anywhere on Earth except at home smoking our pipe with the kids at our feet listening to our reading TheHobbit, et al…..
    the future is at our feet and all we do is trample it.
    all we can hope for now is Caitlin for president of the New World Outrage.
    and maybe The Virus is us. and maybe we can learn from it how much Nature abhors a polluter.
    {spmeone once said there was a virus on the chest of King Tut, and maybe so, but (and how did they know before electron microscopes?) there was never a virus ack-ack attack like the ones we have grown used to in our last century.
    the Flu of 1918,…was the preview.
    and now we are making new ones to obfuscate nature’s own premise: that we do not belong here where we could’ve been useful. Viruses mutate for fun: it is part of their dance with Mother Nature.
    Wuhan Province was home to China’s first biological warfare lab which was managed and run by Harvard U. for twenty years before the Chinese liberation army tossed out the “brightest and the worst.” According to “some say,” Bush Sr.’s fave phrase, Harvard took with them over 200,000 blood samples back to US labs to see if they could make a virus kill only the Sino hordes.

    • Realist who see the world as it is rather than what they want to believe or hope for are often called pessimists. Most people get too utterly depressed by reality. Thus drugs, alcohol, etc. Many retreat intellectually and become idealists. Another form of escapism. The real danger of a realist is not becoming a cynic.

      • Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.

  • I like poetry. You are good! It reminds me of the poetry Festival here in my town at the end of September.

    About qualifications… There was a well-known Catholic priest here in Québec Father Paiement who was complaining 30 years ago about the fact that in Québec, it was among the lower socio-economic class that you have the more loneliness and the less children. And he was saying that the ruling class was responsible for this situation. At the time, the ruling class was indeed more concerned about making abortion accessible.

    And now 30 years ago, the same ruling class which declined to address the problem at the time is now complaining about labour shortage and is asking for more immigration.

    And when you are talking about the ruling class, you talk about people who come out from the best universities with a lot of diplomas, a lot of “qualifications”. And look at the bullshit they are doing…

    Truly, it is the return of the days of Noah just before the Second Coming of Jesus and I pray the Rosary to hasten His Glorious return because I do have seen enough of all the bs.

    • “And now 30 years ago, the same ruling class which declined to address the problem at the time is now complaining about labour shortage and is asking for more immigration.”

      Of course, it is 30 years LATER… Sorry for this one.

  • Pure eloquence! It even brought tears to my eyes. Just so you know, I am going to print this page, and quote your words. When necessary. Which might be quite often.

  • Caitlin! Caitlin! Rage on, Caitlin!! Her qualifications are the same as mine… The same as yours! Rage on!

  • Thank you Caitlin Johnstone !

  • Your poetry makes us lucky misfits love you more and more beautiful Caitlin.

  • Somewhere I am dancing with you, weird sister of my deeper Self – and it is marvelous beyond words…..

  • One of my favorite quotes from Edward Abbey, “The Desert Anarchist,” is “Truth is always the enemy of Power, and Power is always the enemy of Truth.” Stomp On, Caitlin, and inform us with your truths.

  • Lovely. Your writing is always alive !

  • We don’t need any stinking qualifications! Demanding qualifications is just a trick sociopaths pull on people who question their authority. But yeah, I like the way you said the same thing.

    • And i like the way Chico says it in 20 words.

  • You have the Balls and intellect to to speak for and to us and although I may not agree with all you say I respect and pass it on to all who are willing to listen. Thank you

  • Love this. Thank you for writing from the heart

  • “To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” Galway Kinnell

  • Lovely, Caitlin. Your poem swirls through my brain in whimsical joy and mystical peace, as I lie in a bed of soft and buttery daffodils, looking up at the blue sky as I did as a child in a forgotten backyard down my street. Beauty-FULL. Thank you.

  • Beautiful…

    We don’t have to justify the space we take up in the world.

    When truths are obvious and simple to state, pretense and hyperbole Is the device of rhetorical misdirection and social convention…

    You, I, and anyone else that has witnessed the indignities of institutional malfeasance and class violence, and survived with our dignity intact has earned their voice in the conversation

  • This ape mutant eats your words to summon the sacred syllable. It works. Beautiful piece.

  • Exceptional! Free Speech Absolutism ftw!

  • Having rights is the greatest misconception of man. We have no rights except those given or taken. We deserve nothing without effort. Life is hard and there is no free ride.

    • What an insipid, silly statement you just made. Google the late, great Bill Hick’s piece, “It’s Just a Ride.” You don’t get it and it appears you never will. Go stomp some earth. Or pound some sand.

      • You are an idealist. I am a realist. Enough said.

        • To be a realist is to unquestioningly inhabit a reality that was created for you, and not to your benefit.

          • We each live within a paradigm of our own self making. The hard part is stepping outside our paradigm and seeing reality. A weighty task.

            • You’re welcome. I don’t do weighty tasks.

    • So, you hate civilization then, uh? Ok, on a personal level, we each do end up with the rights that we claim for ourselves and are willing to insist upon.
      But, shouldn’t we try to build a civilization where the society and everyone in it agrees to respect certain rights, and to punish infringements upon them? Wouldn’t that be a better world to live in? The word Rights here can be used in several ways (isn’t English wonderful?). What you seem to want is to say that since yes, a person often does have to stand up and defend their space in this world, that this means that we should completely abandon any idea that a civilization should respect any rights at all.
      Where I live, that takes a person back about 150 years to an era known as the Wild West. That’s Dodge City and gunfights in the street. Everybody only has the rights that they can earn with the gun they carry. And down that road of an Eye for an Eye we all end up blind.
      I think humans can do better than that.

      • All rights we enjoy today were earned by someone. We are benefitting from their sacrifice. That does not mean we can demand further rights just because we benefitted from the work of others. Thus demanding rights without work and sacrifice is the world of an idealist.

        • You are so, so full of it, I bet your eyes are brown from it.

  • Very Nice! Good One!

  • Exactly!!

  • Fabulous.
    Only one word is needed:

  • and so Mote it be

    Keep on stomping Caitlin praise be

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