Quite often our reference points tint interactions without our knowing it.

A 30-word flash fiction in dialogue.

An extreme example of reference points.


“You slit his throat because he insisted you call him father.”

“He offered grave insult to my mother.”

“But he is a priest, for God’s sake!”

“And I’m not Christian!”

Careful when you strut around in your COCKEREL FEATHERS – Click the link for a haiku and you’ll see what I mean.



Fallen Grace – come join Daniel’s travels



  1. The way I understand this haiku is that the “Father” is a priest. He demands obeisance, deep respect from a certain person, in spite of his actions, ie, the priest insulted the person’s mother gravely. So the person slits the “Father’s” throat.

    Respect is something that is earned, and not offered blindly just because of one’s title or position in life. There is danger when one abuses his/her authority or standing, because it could back-fire, since not all people swallow things hook, line and sinker.

    I had to think these words through over the weekend, Eric. Now I get it why you linked this haiku to the “Cockerel Feathers” haiku.

    Great post, at least I think I finally made sense out of it (for myself).


    1. First, I concede this post could be quite provocative for some. But you are the only one who commented on the link to “Cockerel Feathers” – obviously, there was intent behind this and you caught on easily.

      I totally subscribe with what you say – “respect needs to be earned” and not demanded. I was never impressed by people who hid behind titles or big name institutions, and prefer instead to value thoughts, words and actions by their own merit. Using these standards, many “luminaries” pale.

      It gets worse when we use our reference points when interacting with others.

      Thank you Dee for investing the time to think this post over and offering your valuable and well respected comment.

      Peace, Eric

  2. I think many try to condone and afraid to confront the wrongs done by a person who puts himself/herself in authority. They prefer to suppress their unhappiness for fear of repercussion. Hence the “authority” becomes bolder and their associates back them further. Few dare to challenge. The controversy in this post is sad yet true.

    1. About 12 years ago, a Catholic priest whom I deeply admire gave me this advice:

      1. What a priest tells you – feel free to challenge/ignore.

      2. What the Church tells you – discern, as the Church has been wrong before.

      3. What God tells you – accept unquestioningly, for He is God.

      Obviously, like all broad brush strokes, there are some white spots but I subscribe to the gist of what the man said.

      1. How remarkable for a Priest to be so understanding. He was right on with number 3. I wonder if the Church would feel comfortable with his philosophy?

      2. He was a lay person who entered the priesthood when he was well into his forties. I found priests who lived such a life bring with them a more mature and “balanced” view unlike the “holly-wollies” – whom I care very little for. In my 12 years as an active member of the Church, I’ve found many priests and nuns who are true servants of God, and also some who are poor excuses for men, let alone priests.

  3. Can i have a go please Eric.


    His hands are too big,
    Like his heart and the love he has to give .
    His fear is tangible but he holds the baby
    His own his son a leader of men …maybe.
    This life these eyes dependent on him
    My boy my lad his heart begins to sing.
    She just smiles as she watches.

    1. This is so lovely Willow dear. It is sweet and positive – not at all like the dark one I wrote.

      Perhaps you should consider posting in your blog – so your readers can appreciate too.

      Lovely indeed 😀

      1. Thank you Eric I based it on my husbands’ first reaction to our son. He was so scared! Our first lad , as I think I said in the hauki was very ill when born. So when the Nurse took him out of the incubator about 8 days after his birth he looked so fragile and ill and because they had temporally unplugged him all the alarms went off. You never know now if you saw them together!

  4. Your words and posts, Eric, do make one … think, contemplate and perhaps do a little soul searching. Although one does wonder whose soul we’re really searching for! (the thought processes of ego oriented mortals, that is.) This is a good one!

    1. Hello Penny,

      Uncomfortable questions that some would rather not confront. Soul searching, yes – words are a window to the author’s thoughts and hopefully helps the reader to reflect on his/her reference points too.

      Thank you for your compliment.

      Your presence and words always welcomed,

    1. Congratulations on landing these awards, Gys – I’ve always enjoyed your love poems and obviously so do many others.

      Thank you also for thinking of me as worthy 🙂

  5. in a nutshell ..you give different stories… 1.who does not believe in God,need not call a priest a father..2. A person who has insulted your mother need not be called a father whosoever he may be..3. A person who is biologically a father but has no respect for your mother and has abused her mentally and physically deems to lose his position as a father….
    I perceive all the images here in these few lines

    1. Thank you Indira.

      At a literal level and also as a metaphor, I hope.

      Incidentally, in Singapore many priests insist on being addressed as “father” even in social settings. Reminds me of doctors who enter the toilet with their stethoscope around their necks. They should read this haiku I posted > http://wp.me/p1YE83-sY

      1. Hello Indira,

        Yes just read your post.

        Cheers, Eric
        P/s I clicked on the Travel Theme: Benches but the internet disconnects. I can only tick like but unable to post comments.

      2. WordPress problem perhaps, it happens all the time. Gone to scam perhaps. Thanks for your visit. Its encouraging enough.

  6. oh my 😮
    it is horrifying and a bit funny too. i know i know what you will say…
    but when i say funny i mean in a Dark humour sort of way ..how our ignorace about other cultures or religions gag our thinking..
    its a wonderful piece Eric

    1. Glad you did not take this in its literal sense as many are wont to do.

      Quite often, we think, speak and act based on our POV and seldom try to view matters from another’s viewpoint.

  7. The ironic thing is that in the Bible Jesus specifically says not to call anyone father, since we all have one Father in heaven. I never understood what Catholics think of that verse.

    1. Hello Noeleen,

      Black and white is easier to perceive. As it gets grey —- differentiating gets to be a challenge. Perhaps that explains why concepts are better explained in B & W, I reckon.

      Peace, Eric

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