Names are just a label
but sometimes they can be painful.
To others we can be cruel
children use nasty nicknames at school.

‘Freckles’ hurt deeply as a child
but hearing others, mine was mild!
Did name-calling make you wild?

Dyslexia means I often confuse names
if you look or behave like ‘Pete’
then ‘Paul’ is forgotten as in my mouth I put both feet

Why are we so fragile about the right name?
We grasp to our label, our title or fame
adds to our strong sense of self “me, I, mine”

How do you respond to the wrong name
get all fired up and ready to blame?
Or just let it go and get on with the game?

Try checking these strong reactions to tame
your emotions, its only ourselves we maim!
Getting worked up leaves us all feeling shame.

Are we our name, profession or fame?
They are merely parts of many roles we play
and we know they can change from day to day.
Let go and just be with the sway!

11.5.2006 –  Daily Prompt:  Label


  1. For most Asians, a name means a one must be very careful in assigning names to a newborn. They say some names will bring luck and fortune and some otherwise. So as a mother it was concern at first…but…#### i care!!! We name our kids however we want it and make sure we raise them well…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As most of my nick-names are not cruel – I put up with them.
    I do try to use the name a person has introduced themselves to me by.
    Gets a bit confusing when you know so many folks by the same name or nick-name though.
    Like Robert, Robbie, Rob, Bob, Bobby…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I find swayin’ to be the way to go. Love this poem, Kate!
    I don’t like labels or boxes. I never 100% fit any of them anyways. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂
    Love the photo! Those faces always make me smile!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Labels are hard to get rid of. I don’t know if it’s just human nature to identify and name people and things. What I do like is that we can define our own labels, our own names and we don’t have to accept the labels that others put on us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cool. Yeah, I grew up with an LD. As time went on, the other kids would ignore me day-to-day but protect me against the adults, like with my jacket I always wore with a map inside. S had to go take care of that. It was not to be taken. I don’t know why I got a voice of a cheerleader (in schizophrenia) because they were always nice to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Namaste Calm Kate 🙂

    Unusual topic and an interesting take on the prompt. You make several salient points, and all nicely imbedded in verse.

    I’ve known several people in my lifetime who’ve kicked up a stink if their names aren’t used correctly, but yet, they were amongst the first to use abbreviated forms of names, or not even bother with names at all when addressing others. Generally speaking I don’t have a problem with what title is used as long as a person is polite and at least makes an effort

    I think most of us understand that people no longer have power over us just because they know our name…we aren’t living in Tolkien’s fantastical Middle Earth. However, name calling is another matter altogether and whilst ‘sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me’ works as a means to deflect insult, repeated use or excessive insults are not tolerable to most people.

    Words fascinate me, as do names and their origins and meanings. I’ve often wondered whether we grow into the name we’re given? Does our name have influence over us? I wonder if you’ve ever looked up the meaning of your name and thought how it applies to you?

    Thanks for the poem.

    Namaste 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  7. It ain’t the label that matters it’s what’s inside the packet (colloquially and literally). Not sure if you have these terms in Oz but my pet hates on food packaging labels are terms like ‘Farm Fresh’, ‘Traditional’ and ‘Hand Crafted’ – all meaningless marketing BS!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great poem. It is unfortunate that I think we live in a world that labels us in just about every aspect of our lives. So are good, many are bad. As an example, in Canada, as in many places, there is an extreme shortage of “skilled trade workers.” The label and it is just a label “skilled trade worker” has the connotation of “not smart; dirty hands; low wages.” The reality is, yes your hands may get dirty, but many of the skilled trades offer wages in excess of $100,000 per year in Canada. The label of “skill trade” has a negative view, but it is far from that.

    Labels can cut deep into the soul of a person and stick with the person for their entire life.

    Again, great poem and lots to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was born in a stable
    They gave me a label
    And the title has bugged me
    Through all of my life
    My Mum had an urgin’
    And she was no virgin
    But it would have been better
    If she was Dad’s wife
    I’m beginning to tire
    With my gig as Messiah
    And I’m sick of the lies in the bible
    As well
    Dad weren’t no God
    Let me give you the nod
    And there ain’t no heaven
    But there might be a hell.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is the first time I’ve read any of your work. I have to say, as I started reading your poem I could feel the rhythm to your words and felt like I was in a slam poetry session. Really wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful poem! We are not name, profession or fame. We are all human beings with the same birth rights! As Sathya Sai Baba says: “There is only one caste…/ the caste of humanity.
    There is only one religion…/ the religion of love.
    There is only one language…/ the language of the heart.”

    Liked by 2 people

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