Catharine Otto

Natural Born

Natural born healer,
Natural born heretic.
Natural born warrior,
Natural born woman.

I am.

The Dark Horse

See the dark horse stand tall
Against the plain, unsuspecting horizon;
See its strange and singular beauty,
A silhouette it knows it cannot hide.

This is the dark horse that will start to buck
Just when you were sure you broke it,
Right after you’d been sitting pretty—
Cool, calm, and high--
On its back for the longest time!
The dark horse that will come up
From way, way behind—Surprise!
And run on by, with determined mind,
To the head of the finish line!

Because just as sometimes
You have to almost die in order to survive,
Sometimes you have to see yourself
Totally lose and be left behind
Before you have the fight to win.

That is the dark horse you’ll never
Be able to predict, bewitch, or own—
Because its soul is totally in control;
That horse is me—that horse is many.

Copyright © 2013 Catharine Otto


Catharine Otto is a writer, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, classical
soprano and visual artist. Her poems have appeared 14 times in Great
Britain's Decanto and also in Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poems, The
Tower Journal, the former NeoVictorian/Cochlea, and Today’s Spiritual Woman, which also featured a comprehensive article of Catharine's on the healing modality of Reiki. The poets who have inspired her range
from Emily Bronte to Elinor Wylie and Mary Oliver. Utilizing both her professional experience in music and her experience as a visual artist, Catharine essays to imbue her poems with both a rich musicality and memorable, evocative images. More of her poems can be found at her website,