King Hill


I have been putting off for years publishing a book of my poetry.

Obviously, none of us is fearful of actual writing – argh, get that pen away from me! We are mostly afraid of what people will think about our writing. And I am no different in this regard, even though I’ve been a professional writer for more than 30 years.

My writing heretofore has been written for other people, telling their stories, often in a voice they paid me to create. My book of poetry, aptly named FIRST, is me telling my story(ies); and I was terrified. But I had to push through it.

To do it, I used two approaches. First, I read a lot of contemporary poetry, just for comparison. Did my work hold up? Or was my work really crap? Secondly, I just thought about other “fears” I had overcome in life: public speaking, diving off a high board; flying an airplane, etc. I conquered all of them with a little preparation. That is what I did with my poetry, too. Reading books on structure, punctuation, publishing, etc.

But, ultimately, the green light came from within: I wrote the poems for myself and from within, so it really doesn’t (or shouldn’t) matter if others like them.

Of course, I want others to like them – and buy 100 copies of the book each – but it’s ok if they don’t like any of them or just one of them.

And for a little encouragement, I’ve included “Be the Dog,” the first poem from my book, FIRST. You’ll see this poem is aligned nicely with your approaches and counsel.


Copyright 2023 King Hill

Be the one who says, “Let’s go.”
Farther.  Further.   Fearless.

Not the one who says, “Wait, wait.”
Timid.  Anxious.   Afraid.

Be the inspiration, the encouragement.
Try it.   Taste it.  Touch it.

Not the one who holds the leash.
Distrusting.   Controlling.    Faithless.

Fear grows in the undoing, and it will be your undoing, too.
The only failure that hurts is the failure
to do.

Take a chance.
Give a chance,
to those whom
you influence.

Their fears need not be yours
because your dreams are … just dreams
locked inside a box,
made by others
foisting their fears
on you.

Break this cycle, if it defines you.

Free those who come behind.

The gift is not the gift;
it is the giving.

Have the confidence to know it,
and the gift of giving, you will find.

And you will be free to give again,
for others
the gift
to find.