The Barefooters - A Poem by Bolaji Frank Irawo

31 Jan 2020

The Barefooters - A poem by Bolaji Frank Irawo

Turned up day one, module one, green around the ears

There in the room fourteen other adventurers

Everyone with a story to tell

Why this course was right for the here and now.


Life Transforming was the oft used phrase

By those who have been this way before

Wary of being captivated by a cliché

The Jury was out with judgment reserved.


Soon the tools and models came rolling in

Practice session by practice session the pairings were done

In every session vulnerable clients met hesitant coaches

Day by day the bonds began Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.


On we go; finding the balance on the Wheel of Everything

Sinking in the sea of unhelpful metaphors

Saving the adult from the Controlling Parent and the Adaptive Child

Holding on to the present in memory of that Peak Performance.


Strangers to each other daring to enter the arena barefoot

To feel the earth beneath their feet, unsure of where the next step leads

Daring to see and be seen, real life issues out in the open

From the dance in each of those moments, magic would happen.


Coaching did what good coaching does

Insightful reframing, powerful and incisive questions

Holding the thinking space for the real expert to showup

Unconditional positive regard for all.


Lightbulb after lightbulb began to light the way

As iceberg after iceberg began to melt away

Transformation coming into view via the rear-view mirror

None was ever to be the same again, the Rubicon a distant memory.


Question after question flowed, calling out for answers

So much experience in the room, in the round and upfront

With every answer more is known as of the giver so their gift

Confidence built pitch after pitch as ideas filled the room.


Along the way, doubts were surfaced and then silenced

Confusions were confronted and then unravelled

Priorities were challenged and then re-ordered

Self-confidences threatened and then re-affirmed.


Can’t believe its module 12, is it the end or just the beginning?

Something amazing has occurred, a new being has been born

The lives of fifteen strangers intertwined and out popped the “Barefooters”

Filled with experiences, gifts, skills, connections, opportunities, ideas, respect and love.


You are now a well-trained Barefoot Coach!

Daring to tread where other fear in the spirit of Derive

Feedback from fourteen clients ringing in your ear

Go forth and coach like a true Barefooter!!