POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.


Last week we traveled. And the one mode that rankles my nerves is air travel. But, I have done it on the necessary occasions. So this week, we will summon up the intestinal fortitude and face our fears. Write a poem about whatever it is gives you the “willies.”  Maybe by owning up, it will be less frightening. Write about spiders (arachnophobia), the In-Laws (Soceraphobia), Friday the Thirteenth (Paraskavedekatriaphobia), writing in public (Scriptophobia) or sestinas (Sestinametrophobia). Whatever it is, if we face it together we may be able to deal with it. We have nothing to fear except…..AAAARGGGGHHHH… SNAKE!!!


(A limerick)

There once was a gal named Marie
Whose “easy to frighten” degree
Was amplified more,
Knowing what was in store
From this Bloomin’ fear prompt poetry!



I ain’t afraid of no ghosts,

And I’m sure they can not harm me.

But misty shadows freak me the most

they certainly alarm me.

I’ll show no fear as I walk by

I’ll fly past like a missile,

I will not look spooks in the eye,

I’ll just give a little whistle.


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    This is not about breast feeding,
    this about another proud mother
    who knocked down somebody
    on a road,
    a trail
    a curling, narrow,
    in a park
    in order to come home
    safe and sound
    for her little baby.

    Better safe than sorry
    she said
    when a young man
    claimed he’d been
    a monster.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      LOL, uh-ohh… !

      • And Hen, your first reaction to me here on the road to submission, made me leap so much faster, smiling! Thanks, because back around Sunday I had been afraid I wrote something wrong. You made my hours short (I’m always so nervous when I post something here because I don’t use an editor for my work here – and I have an editor for my other work so I’m used to have my work corrected).
        I’m very grateful!

    • I don’t believe, or shall I say, support violence but in this case…Nicely done, Andrea. :)’s to you on Sejer Island, my friend!

      • This is not about supporting violence – this is about how you might react if you get scared. Once I was so scared like this and when those footsteps had chased me around a park, I was in fact leaping, I suddenly stopped, and attacked this man behind me with my bag. Later I learned he was the new teacher at the high school, he had been late for a meeting and had got lost in the park and had wanted to ask me about the right direction.

    • claudsy on said:

      Oh, good one, Andrea. You never can tell when exaggeration becomes truth.

    • Now he knows…NEVER come between a mother and her young ‘uns;)

    • Andrea, good one to start us off with. I guess fear drives to do many things.

    • Iris D on said:

      Marie, Walt, and Andrea all started my day off with a smile and a chuckle. Now that I have laughed at my fears, I have begun composing my poem on my biggest fear and I am afraid to post it. Ha. Later.

    • this prompt stymied me but you guys, as usual, kicked it off in fine fashion – altho – Marie, your poem gives me the impression that maybe you felt somewhat the same as me … I’m with the rest Andrea as far as better to be safe than sorry … oh and Walt – you had me humming the theme from Ghostbusters the whole rest of the day!

    • I don’t know if this reach you Sharon, Iris D, poetryshark, Janet, Claudsy and Hannah. But I’m here to say that your words here made me so glad.
      I also want to give you a little story. Once on the Camino someone who is Bill gave me food. I was so grateful. I had walked almost 40 kilometers and no shops were open. And I didn’t know Bill yet so I said that I wanted to pay him something.
      And he looked at me and said:”Oh, no, please don’t pay me anything because this is how it works on the Camino: what I give to you here today, you’ll carry in your heart and give to somebody else tomorrow.”

    • This took me by surprise!

  2. Mine is here: http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/fear/

    I love the rhythm in both Walt’s and Marie’s poems.

    Andrea: your poem frightened me, too.

  3. Viv, I use a mobile internet connection (I don’t know what’s called in English). It’s not reliable when I’m out here on Sejer Island but it’s great that I can be online where ever I am because I travel a lot. Further more if I open a new page my virus program doesn’t know, it might take an hour – well, today it would because there are clouds. So please also paste your poems here. I’d be very grateful.

    • Sorry, Andrea – here it is.


      Driving along in a dream
      writing poetry in my head,
      I come to with a start
      in a strange landscape.
      Where am I?

      Did I turn off when I should?
      Last time I came here,
      someone else drove
      and I don’t remember the way.
      Where am I?

      It all looks so different,
      the road bends the wrong way –
      I’ve not been here before
      and I’m panicking.
      Where am I?

      I can’t find the car in the car park.
      I can’t even find the car park.
      The road goes uphill
      when I think it goes down.
      Where am I?

      This nightmare recurs every once in a while,
      wakes me in a cold sweat,
      gives me the shakes –
      a symptom of my Mazeophobia –
      Where am I?

  4. I just came across the saddest and most frightening article: http://www.buckeyecablesystem.net/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CD9T9AHAG0%40news.ap.org%3E&ps=1011.

    This poor little toddler … I can’t stand the thought of what she experienced, and continues to experience. My stomach is in knots, and I can’t stop the tears.

    Andrea, in case you have trouble connecting to the article, it is about a little toddler-aged girl from Indiana who was found in a field near her home after storms (tornado?) ripped through her town, and wiped out her entire immediate family. This poor little one is in critical condition in an area hospital, and no mommy and daddy to comfort and care for her. I can’t even imagine how frightened, confused, and horrifically sad she must be.

    I can’t stand it…

  5. Thru the Glass

    He got up on his tippy toes
    to peer thru the window
    at the mirror which hung
    on the wall. Thru the glass
    and thru the glass
    and at the silver surface
    then back thru the glass
    and thru the glass again
    he saw the illusion
    in the in between.
    He stopped and stared
    and he saw eye to eye
    with himself. He blinked but
    the illusion was still present.
    He squinted and he squirmed
    as he looked thru the glass
    and tried to determine if
    the illusion was between
    the window and the mirror
    or on the way back from
    the silver. He was afraid.

    By Michael Grove

  6. Henrietta Choplin on said:


    Speaking in public,
    Something I can never do…
    I might start to cry.

    • Oh, I can identify with this one, Hen. I used to have this fear, too. Only overcome by facing it, just like all fears, I suppose.

      Smiles to you.

    • @Hen, I really like this poem and Hannah shows the implicit frame you built around it. Thanks!

    • claudsy on said:

      Understand this one. My fourth grade teacher cured her students of this fear by requiring us to perform in some way before the class each Friday morning.

      She felt that we should all get accustomed to being in front of an audience, regardless of the paths our lives took. Bless her, she removed something that never had taken hold, and gave us all a gift that stayed with us.

      This fear is perfect for the concise package which carried it. Nice work, Hen.

  7. ~TWO SMALL…~

    Beating hearts

    belonging to chance,

    free-will reigning;

    removed from womb

    I can’t protect them.

    Too soon it seems,

    I’ll blink, somehow

    make an unfix able

    mistake the moment

    I lift my watchful gaze.

    Silently biding time,

    pilferer of laughter

    you’ll steal the glint

    the shining twinkle,

    essential to my being

    very fabric of existence.

    My hand hollow, void

    their small, soft hands

    never to fit into space

    of hand, heart, my soul

    cries out from loss.

    Death comes too soon

    in the form of sickness,

    some freak accident

    a kidnapper, or worse.

    Sometimes the fear

    is simply paralyzing.

    Rationalizing, I try to

    place an unshakable faith,

    lift burgeoning burden from

    sore shoulders, tired with trouble.

    Relinquishing my rights

    an ownership not my own

    each spirit belonging

    to the ultimate Parent,

    I put my small hand in the

    Hand of Someone much Bigger.

    H.G. 2012 @ P.B. 3/4/12

  8. Pingback: ~TWO SMALL…~ « Metaphors and Smiles

  9. Connie L. Peters on said:


    I can never think of the words,
    “Chamber of Commerce.”
    Whenever I’m talking to friends
    I have to halt the conversation
    and say, “You know
    the organization in each town
    that helps visitors know the area
    and its business thrive.
    And then someone guesses,
    “Chamber of Commerce.”

    And then I always think of my dad
    saying “car starters” for keys,
    “bottle that talks” for phone,
    “thing you push” for lawn mower.

    He had Alzheimer’s.
    Chamber of Commerce
    Chamber of Commerce
    Chamber of Commerce

  10. Loved your poems, Walt and Marie…loving everybody’s so far. Now praying frantically for that toddler in Indiana. Goodness. My heart.

    Okay, is Sestinametrophobia a real thing? Or did ya’ll make that up to taunt me? Either way, as I ponder all of my many current fears for today’s poetry fodder, here are two pieces written when Robert over at Poetic Asides first introduced me to the stubborn, cantankerous form:

    needing a siesta after her sestina…

    Six words, seven stanzas
    Ending each in turn
    Sweaty palms, tired brain
    Trying desperately to learn. (Absurd!)
    I was told there would be
    No math. But this is
    Algebra, with words.

    An anti-Sestina poem
    (by a lazy, fully in-formed Poet):

    After a sestina,
    you’ll need a siesta
    and you may find your muse
    is no longer her best, a

    sestina is wily, a wordy
    word curtain
    (there’s math in there somewhere
    of this I am certain).

    She’s redundant and risky
    and woefully mean
    and a mouthful for poets
    who like their lines lean.

    This tyrannical beauty
    can dazzle the page
    but for me she has merely
    set loose penned-up rage.

    I’ll shake my shadorma
    hint haiku, frame fib
    sample sonnet or pantoum;
    rondeau sticks to my ribs.

    I’ll take tanka, try triolet
    guzzle ghazal, get lune-y
    but sestina just simply
    doesn’t make me all moony.

    For some poets, without her
    no list is complete
    but I’ve tried her and tripped
    o’er my own iambic feet.

    …Think I’ll stick to the sidewalks
    of this fine PA Street.

    If that isn’t Sestinametrophobia, I don’t know what is. Now, to grab my worry stone and shake some fears loose. 😉


    I thought I spied a shadow wagging
    Demon tail and reared horned head
    A stealer of warmth from winter’s ice shed
    Death be sleeping at the foot of my bed

    Moth riddled face eaten like hungry cancer
    A lone wolf hunter employed by necromancer
    A promise kept at end of life’s dusty road
    Death be waiting to unburden my heavy load

    Eternal patience waiting to catch me off guard
    Peers in my windows and crosses my yard
    Death be lying outside the graveyard

    A companion of subterranean hellhound
    Stalker of contracts eternally bound
    Death be listening for my last sound

    Death be sleeping at the foot of my bed

    by Randy Bell

  12. Walt, your WHISTLING THROUGH THE CEMETERY is my favourite so far. And that is in spite of the fact that I normally don’t go for that kind of verse form. Only here it works for me – and I love the whistling part.

  13. Pingback: Fearfully Unaware « echoes from the silence


    alone in the kitchen
    unaware of time

    the fullness of silence,
    once preferred, closes in


    I hate the shadows.

    eyes dart
    from hands, wrapped around metal,
    over objects nearby

    What is that woolly thing?
    A coat. It’s a white coat.
    She’s coatless!

    her own forgetfulness
    fear rises within


    momentary clarity
    returns her to reality

    …not daughter…

    the room is silent
    once again

    P. Wanken

  15. Doggerelophobia

    My fear
    is bad rhyming.
    Oh dear.

    Dr. Seuss
    in the wrong hands,
    ain’t nous.

    one’s good at it,


    The form is ‘Musette.’ And of course, I don’t suppress (although whether or not I’m actually any good at versification is a matter of opinion.)

  16. I took a bit of a humorous twist with on facing fear with this limerick. I’m sure I’ll be back with another offering or two as the week progresses 🙂

    My Worst Nightmare

    I’m grateful whenever life grants
    A reason for a victory dance,
    But this day of my dreams
    Is just not what it seems.
    I’m in public without any pants!

  17. Cry of Flesh

    swamped in doldrums of incessant pain
    eyes soft and warm
    guarding a precious secret
    shapeless waves of anguish
    gut-wrenching riptide
    ‘neath smiling facade
    a mask painted with intrepid face
    screams lurking behind
    bright shards of laughter
    adversities stone-chiseled grin
    surrendering to its inevitable ends
    pain sandwiched between
    fragile flesh and grinding bone
    midnight laps on slippered tracks
    no longer guided by vanities ambitions
    a sour-note flavored sucker
    to match a shivering breeze
    Can you hear it?
    the cry of flesh calling itself

    by Randy Bell

  18. ~ Caged ~

    Brutal psychologist
    Placed me once

    Those animal-like
    People who cannot

    Outside of
    Their natural habitat.

    Ten plus
    Years now I’ve

    Extinction, sustaining
    Myself with memories,

    Fear each
    Time I venture

    The door
    Of my cage.

  19. Pingback: Thing 205 « Sharp Little Pencil

  20. Also at my blog, http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/03/04/thing-205/
    I added a link for Poetic Bloomings there as well! Peace, and prayers for all who have been struck by these horrific maelstroms. Amy

    Thing 205

    The Monster paid me an unannounced visit today.
    It let itself in through the locked and bolted back door
    on its way to another grief.

    It took me in its arms as I,
    limp as linguine and just as strained,
    offered no resistence.

    Its cowl became my heavy hood;
    the weight of its robe dragged me to half-staff…
    lugging laundry downstairs,
    crying as I failed to muster strength to open a jar,
    wracked with fear I’d be discovered here alone
    with Same Old:

    Telling me I’m worthless, a drag on my loved ones,
    why bother with it all? Run away to a
    thin spot on the icy lake…

    Only my Boxing Gym of the Soul saved me.
    My Trainer whispered spoke shouted in my ear,
    “Slough off the robe, ooze off the couch.
    Flop to the floor and exercise.

    After my walk outside, the demon slunk in a corner.
    Finally giving up, it didn’t bother to say goodbye,
    But I make sure the door hit it in the ass
    as it left to cripple someone else.

    © 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

  21. Ah, this is my second-only poem posted at Poetic Bloomings, and already I’m cheating, with one I wrote awhile back. Eh, well, I’m afraid I feel very little guilt… ;-D

    Fierce Wind

    The wind howls, the wind snarls.
    It growls and spits.
    It shakes the house, tears tumbleweeds to bits
    And snatches at the roof with savage claws.
    It never quits.
    It hisses as it prowls across the night—
    No mercy and no pause.

    Now, I could be afraid, and hide and cower
    Under blankets, hour after hour,
    My fingers in my ears.
    But I will beat this wind.
    I throw my window wide and dare it to come in.
    I tame the wind and, taming, tame my fear.
    Fierce wind, come here, come here! Come here!

  22. True Fear

    Ghost do not bother me,
    silent shadows to ignore;
    spiders and snakes punchlines
    from a seventies song.
    True fear, for me, could only
    be defined as coming home to a
    quiet, empty house, and to know
    the reason why — and that it
    would remain a joyless place.

  23. Pingback: True Fear | Awakened Words

  24. Hidden Terrors (pun intended;)

    They leap from murky shadows
    White heat dries my eyes as I try to run
    With feet caught in quicksand
    It is no use; my life is done
    But as I brace myself for teeth meeting flesh
    The bed jolts; I wake in a panting sweat

    Sometimes they come at me
    A black, lightning flash across the spacious yard
    And I simply cannot move fast enough
    Though a mile back I begin pedaling hard
    It seems that their sixth sense knows
    When there’s a bike-cyclist coming close

    In a perfect world I could take a bike ride
    And my heart would never race
    Because everyone would keep their dogs tied
    Denying them the thrill of the chase
    Woof, woof, woof, my mouth goes dry
    Who will be quicker, the dogs or I?

    I really, really, REALLY HATE being chased by dogs.
    When I was a girl I had to bike past a place where three big Dobermans
    inhabited the front yard. It didn’t matter how silently I approached or how fast I was moving, they would give chase! I have remain terrified to this day! Yes it’s true. I am terrified of most dogs! Now you know…

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Oh, so terrible that some people are so irresponsible with their dogs!

      • It seems childish to some, I know, but you never can tell if a dog will bite!

        • Henrietta Choplin on said:

          It is definitely not childish, Janet. One time my huge German Shepherd was lying quietly next to me at an outdoor concert in a lovely park. A little toddler stumbled up to him and accidently fell into his hind leg. My dog’s instantaneous response was to turn around and snap at the child. Thank goodness my dog was long and lean and his teeth missed the child. But, we must remember that animals truly are unpredictable; even the most docile pet can act out when it feels threatened.

    • My grandparents big black grouchy poodle scared the daylights out of me…I was afraid of dogs for awhile after that. You’ve got the feeling captured, Janet!

  25. Wow, you guys are off to a good start here for the beginning of new week!

    Let’s see where this week takes us.

  26. Full of FEAR

    I know fear,
    creeps on you here,
    or at times, there.
    What’s that you hear?
    It wasn’t quite clear?
    Well clean out your ear,
    you are deaf, my dear.
    Any moment it will appear,
    not a being of good cheer.
    You can jeer at my fear
    of the dark anywhere,
    Just find a flashlight NOW
    Stop the dark; I don’t care HOW.

  27. Nightmare

    That dream again,
    the one where you’re away,
    just not there.
    First an airport I’ve never seen,
    then a house we’ve never been.
    The phone won’t work. Oh, now yes,
    but your number? I guess.
    Wrong again and now my legs
    molasses bound, my heart begs
    for mercy from this endless chase,
    you’re never found, not one small trace.
    You’d likely think, after forty years,
    the dream would end but it still appears


    When I was ten, I thought my long life done,
    my personal end of days;
    ten years was in so many ways forever
    when it meant another six years of maths.
    I’d struggled through the adding up,
    counting marbles, coins, slices of apple and pear

    that I was allowed to eat if I guessed
    the numbers right. I was as thin as a teacup.
    So when I finally mastered the adding up,
    the tables turned and it was all take away
    this, take away that, minus, subtract,
    counting marbles, coins, slices of apple and pear

    that I was allowed to eat if I guessed
    the numbers right. I was as thin as an iron nail.
    The following year they tossed in fractions,
    a bit of this, a bit of that, a part, a whole,
    five coins makes one, ten coins makes another one,
    the sun rises and the sun sets, 24 of them makes one.

    The end of days seemed like a fun
    day out to my fractional brain. Maths scared me,
    made me tremble, made me weak,
    a bit lame-brained, made me whine and cry
    and pout, and one and two and three equals what?
    And that was about the sum of it. Fearing

    what I didn’t know. Fearing that my failings just
    might show. I feared maths for the nightmare
    they were until I discovered Texas Instruments;
    a solar-powered pocket-sized mini calculator.
    And now it all adds up; there’s nothing
    to fear as long as the sun always shines.

  29. “Existential Angst”

    Every breeze
    against the side
    of the century old house
    made a sound.
    Amplified by darkness,
    they sounded like moans.

    Condensation would form
    on the window,
    then drip down the wall
    creating the sensation
    that the walls were sweating.

    breath constricted,
    I would stare into darkness
    and try to imagine
    what it was like
    to not exist.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      “…and try to imagine what it was like to not exist.” I will be thinking about this ending today, from a child’s perspective.

    • Jerry! Love to see you here, your voice and style always speaks to me. Thank you for this vivid piece, your second stanza is especially telling. 🙂

  30. YOU

    Do you know what I fear most?
    Losing you
    The preciousness of
    Your hazeled eyes
    The fullness of your countenance
    Warmth of your embrace
    Intonation of your lovely voice
    Loping tears down your crystal face
    Even they are most desirable
    Like a lion who seeks it’s prey
    Like the youthful dawn

    Dawn determined

    A new and perfect day

    Revealing light that bears reflection
    Of ardent beauty, diamond ray
    Where there is no tommorow, boundary
    Permanent passion without decay
    Here in the rolling meadows dancing
    Where the prancing shadows are still at play
    I cannot lose you now
    My lovely one

    On pleasure’s hill

    O’ do let us stay

    If we were ever separated

    and you so far, far away

    I’d still tune in to love’s frequency

    Electric spectrum

    receive your comeliness

    bask your ray

    My heart is faint

    And twisted

    Weak and wrenched
    with fear

    Vulnerably contesting

    this thought

    but simply

    unable to hear

    That I would



    My love

  31. Contemplating my Fears…

    I fear the future quiet:
    I fear the quiet of a still and sterile kitchen
    Where there is no sound but the refrigerators hum
    Once a haven of lively discussion
    Of jam spills and chatter and breakfast toast-crumbs

    I fear loss:
    Anticipation, as a new day is stirred
    The memory of your laughter in my ear
    The lure in the dance of written word
    The pleasure of having you near
    The sanity I once took for granted
    And maybe the tear as well
    Because Alzheimer’s has stolen the person
    Long before death’s gentle knell

    I fear for my child,
    Who, without no or yes
    Has received the inheritance
    Of my stubbornness

    There is the fear of the unknown
    Or the loss of a child’s faith
    As they begin to question
    What once they believed
    There is the fear of evil
    Hidden in a guise
    That is soothing and delightful
    To undiscerning eyes

    I fear, more than losing a child to death
    Losing a child to this world.

    I thought once that I feared growing old
    And I guess, perhaps if the truth were told
    I still do

    I fear being poor…
    Not seeing gold in the sun
    Sapphire in the sky
    A diamond in the dewdrop
    Or perhaps, in your eye
    The riches of wisdom
    Traded for dross
    The folly of temporal
    Molding eternal loss
    I fear not wanting what I have
    As I stand at autumn’s door
    Knowing I must be brave
    For I cannot return to summer’s shore

    But when fear overtakes me, and darkens my day
    I close my eyes, talk to Jesus until my fears melt away
    He takes my despair and anxiety
    As He whispers, dear child, I will never leave thee.

    I never think about my fear much
    for fear that fear will overtake faith…

  32. First Light Touches
    My Summer Garden

    And strands of silver studded
    With tiny pearls swing between the flowers
    In the magic morning light
    Dewdrops sparkle like jewels.

    I know that the creator of those strands
    Lurks among the flower heads,
    A smug spider smile as she squats
    Waiting for me to come closer
    Spreading her eight hairy legs, ready
    To leap, to touch and send me
    Screaming back into the house.

  33. Pingback: Fear, Joy and Belonging… |

  34. The Chase

    Afraid of being chased
    I never fully run
    I start out
    then sputter
    almost waiting
    to be caught.
    It’s always been this way;
    Freeze Tag,
    Cops and Robbers.
    The paralyzing fear
    of being
    stops me
    in my tracks.
    Maybe that’s why
    I face my fears
    head on.
    I don’t run and hide.
    Shoulders back,
    eyes wide open
    no cowering,
    no retreating.
    Full steam ahead,
    I won’t turn my back
    on my fear!

  35. To Fear No Fear Itself

    There is a nameless fear, I’ve found
    not listed among phobias, mundane
    and exotic: fear of fearlessness. Nameless.

    Fear of no fear, like some foundling
    who remembers nothing of his past,
    his parentage or home, lives in me,

    making me feel as if I should fake fear,
    fain normalcy. Though psychologists claim
    that phobias are illnesses of the psyche,

    isn’t fear a healthy response to potential
    harms. To have no fear of harm is fool-hardy,
    isn’t it? Tell me something’s wrong with me.

    Shout BOO! Color for me death, pain, destruction.
    Nothing. While friends watch horror movies and
    shriek, I quibble about the stunts and cinematography.

    Raised to expect the worst without grumbling,
    I take measures: storms send me to basements,
    crazy vicious people and animals keep me alert,

    ready with pie and coffee, a calm caring voice.
    Why kill a good cook with a full pantry?
    Reason makes me quick-witted and ready.

    Vertigo makes me dizzy and careful, not afraid.
    Through surgeries, cancer, breakage, sickness,
    losses and deaths, I did not fear; I suffered,

    as I was meant to do, and then slowly, I healed
    with scars like serpents and centipedes savaged
    into my flesh, and thanked the divine for another

    chance to muster something that might pass for
    fear, another chance to be braver, kinder, and calmer
    than the scary death-defying world would have me be.

  36. Apparently I have no fear whatsoever of silliness:


    She’s got fears she doesn’t even know about
    yet, she just knows it. Worry stones strategic

    -ally placed in all pockets, she rubs the pads
    of her fingers raw and ponders the perils of

    pro.cras.ti.na.tion and the perilousness of
    paper cuts; the dangers of dilly-dallying and

    the risks of her rhabdophobia. Tries shutting
    her eyes to it all, but then recalls her fervent

    fear of the dark. Tucks her head in the sand,
    and then remembers that she’s also quite

    claustrophobic. She’s a hazardous, harried,
    barely held-together heap of heebie-jeebies,

    goosebumped limbs, chattery teeth, knocking
    knees, high-strung tongue, stomach butterflies.

    And since she also happens to suffers from
    a bad case of lepidopterphobia, irony abounds.

  37. Iris D on said:

    From Hiss to Rattle

    SSSS, is that a snake I hear
    Since I was young, reptiles have been my fear
    Living in Oklahoma so near the Texas line
    I was told to face my fears and I would be fine.

    Rattlesnake country has a grand derby and fair
    Display of 6 foot plus snakes is not rare
    Face your fears and they will disappear
    Wrong! Now they are my biggest nightmare.

  38. I’m beginning to remember many more fears than I remembered I had! o-o-o-o-h! Hate ’em.

  39. I Fear the Days

    When the news I find appalling appalls me not;
    When a child gone missing in some far off place
    does not start quick tears to my eyes, and thoughts
    of my own good fortune crossing easily through my mind.

    I fear the days when hurting animals becomes so common-place
    that I don’t ache at the notion anymore, become numb to their pain.

    I fear the days when war seems a foregone conclusion
    and peace an illusion, a dream – and certainly not worth
    fighting about or for.

    More than anything, I fear the day when the crack in my sanity widens
    to a depth and width I suspect will be irreparable and will presage
    all of the foregoing …


    • Incredible, Sharon. So well written.

    • Yes … different perspective, and spot on. GREAT poem.

      As for your question way up there somewhere, I truly do “spook” easily, and am too easily sucked in by what I read or see that is disturbing. I steer clear of horror flicks, and especially those movies/books/articles that are based in truth and/or play mind games. And I guess I don’t really want to face my fears.

      Janet’s poem struck at the heart of each and every one of my deep-seated fears, and her final statement is me to a T: “I never think about my fear much for fear that fear will overtake faith.”

    • Sharon,

      I really appreciated the lines “More than anything, I fear the day when the crack in my sanity widens
      to a depth and width I suspect will be irreparable and will presage”.


      • All of My Ephemerals

        Build the fire high
        Let no darkness encroach
        Here where every
        Nook and corner
        Harbours ghosts
        And much as I might
        Wish to speak
        With most on an individual
        Basis; I fear them as a group

        Foolishness I know
        Both to consider they
        Exist at all
        And to fear them if they do
        But sadly, such is so

        Still I waited all the night
        For you last darkness
        Drinking European
        Hot chocolates
        Sure such indulgence
        Would keep me wide awake
        And was rewarded
        With the desired
        Sleeplessness but no

        Then just as I sensed dawn
        Creeping into the room
        And somnolence into me
        I felt your whimsy
        Entering the space as well
        But could not fight
        Morpheus another moment
        So missed you once again

        And tonight there is such
        A feeling of dread
        A pervasiveness
        That keeps me thinking
        There are more wraiths
        Present than I might like
        Lurking, restless to be gone
        Or to be mischievous
        Whichever the case
        I am not comfortable with it.


  40. OKAY, WALTER WOJTANIK … YOU ASKED FOR IT! (I couldn’t let a blatant challenge go by. 😉 )

    (A Sestina for Walt)

    We have many things in common,
    But there is something we do not share:
    Love of the sestina.
    This rigid form saps my brain,
    With its rotating words,
    Of which I must keep track.

    You easily adapt to this poetry track
    As though it is quite common.
    Never at a loss for words,
    And completely willing to share
    The ideas flowing from your brain
    Into a mold in the shape of sestina.

    As for me, the villain sestina
    Ties my muse to the train track,
    While plotting in its evil brain
    To sap even her most common
    Ideas, and keep her from sharing …
    Totally robbing her of words.

    Without her words,
    My muse cannot fight the sestina,
    Let alone write one to share.
    She screams from the railroad track,
    But has no voice — a problem common
    To my terrifying REM-state brain.

    If I only HAD a brain
    Capable of tracking the words.
    (A trait obviously not so uncommon,
    Since there ARE those who write sestinas)
    How do you stay on track?
    Do you have advice to share?

    If you are willing to share,
    That would surely help my brain.
    And keep my muse on track
    (Or OFF the track, in so many words)
    Then perhaps I’d find sestina’s
    Heart, and we’d have that in common.

    My muse cannot chase words when she’s tied to the track,
    So do not commonly expect sestinas …
    Unless you have brain power to share.

  41. Let the Cat Out of the Bag

    They scurry and scamper
    across cartoon screens
    with faces too cute to resist.

    With families and hopes
    and dreams just like us
    the storylines too long to list.

    How did it happen, a rodent
    is loved? Forgotten, the
    shrieks in the house.

    Regardless of cuteness in
    books and in film. One big
    fear for me is a mouse!

  42. That Sinking Feeling: YMCA Swimming Lessons — Poetic Form: Quatern

    I was in way over my head
    and everyone knows that it’s sink
    or swim. Even now I’m not a
    great swimmer but I’m not as bad

    as I once was. Jumping in meant
    I was in way over my head
    so I just never jumped. Diving
    was worse because it was deeper

    than deep, and I knew I would sink
    until I was sucked down the drain.
    I was in way over my head.
    The following week all we kids

    had to dive into the deep end
    of the pool. I said my prayers
    and kissed everyone goodbye. Yes,
    I was in way over my head.

  43. OK, back with a much more serious offering. A prompt like “fears” certainly took me to a dark place, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. And it’s a bit lengthy, I’m pretty sure the longest poem I’ve ever written, but it was a story that needed to be told.

    Broken Girls and Unheeded Warnings

    I ignored the well-meaning advice
    From friends and family.
    They didn’t understand.
    They didn’t know him the way I did.
    We were in love, and love conquers anything.
    In his arms this broken girl
    Found salvation in a dream come alive,
    A balm to ease the pain of a chaotic life,
    Unaware the path I had chosen
    Only led to more chaos.
    Seductive words from his forked tongue
    Slowly weaned me away
    From those friends and family,
    Leaving me wandering
    Coatless through the wilderness
    With only him to save me.
    His sweet words soured over time,
    Turning derisive and cruel,
    Stripping away my sense of self
    Until all that remained was
    A drained vessel to be filled
    With more woolly logic,
    More twisted illusions,
    His viselike grip on me
    Suffocating in every sense of the word.
    The dream deteriorated into an nightmare,
    Days carefully calculated to avoid his wrath,
    Nights waiting to see what torture
    Lie in store should his temper rise again,
    Perhaps another verbal assault
    Spiraling into something more physical,
    Unwanted invasions of my deepest self,
    Lying awake wondering
    If this was the night when the
    Cold metal of a kitchen knife
    Would slide between my ribs
    Turning white sheets to crimson.
    By the time enough fragments of myself
    Had returned to identify the danger,
    I was nearly incapable of escaping.
    I almost didn’t.

    I’ve watched her grow from
    Chubby toddler into gawky adolescent
    Into a young woman who could be my daughter,
    A beautiful but broken girl
    Whose steps mirror my own path.
    I know his embrace eases that broken feeling,
    Brings a fullness to her life she’s never known.
    Today I am a much wiser woman
    And can see the warning signs,
    She thinks no one understands;
    I understand far more than she,
    Knowledge forged in an abuser‘s shadow.
    She shapes her life as he prefers,
    Days carefully calculated to avoid his wrath.
    She is already slipping away
    From the friends and family
    Offering advice I know will be ignored.
    I find I cannot admonish her.
    I can only pray she learns
    Before repeating all my mistakes
    And walks away from him
    While she’s still capable of escaping.

  44. Stunning, chilling, and real.

  45. I wanted to say thanks to Benjamin, Sara and Henrietta for their kind words about my poem I Fear the Days but instead another poem I wrote, All of My Ephemerals, popped up in the space I thought I was going to be using for commenting … oh well … thank you anyhow guys and Marie Elena also who I think was replying to an earlier comment …

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      ….. those darn ghosts, playing with your computer… Thank you, Sharon, I read and reread this one! Hen 🙂

  46. Andrew Kreider on said:

    Playing with the Genesis form….

    One more lick

    If there were any justice in the world, then
    the hours spent with slowed-down records learning to know
    this subtle craft would produce more joy than this, when
    I look across the dappled wooden bandstand
    and the keyboard player nods at me, then
    mouths: OK – you got this solo.

    The ancient fight-flight instinct rushes in,
    crushing the tender shoots of my creativity
    beneath a rolling boulder of adrenaline.
    Claw-fisted, I sweat and struggle through
    twelve awful bars of mediocrity, the familiar thin
    grey mist of shame and terror hanging over me.

    Truth be told, even among the greats, there are precious few
    who in their secret heart do not each night
    lament, if only I were good. If I but knew
    one more turnaround, or a host of them, I could relax. But no.
    Insecurity empties every glass, it seems. Each one of us too
    tethered to our fear to let our fullest gifts take flight.

    • Iris D on said:

      Andrew, what a marvelous capture of insecurities of talent tethering one from taking flight. You have taken flight in this poem and I pray you are able to take flight in your music also. Well-crafted, Andrew.

  47. Iris D on said:


    Fear of
    into the black hole abyss of space
    Repeating nightmare of this adolescent child.
    Daytime a daughter of laughter and smiles, while bedtime brought tears and distress;
    Caused by recurring fear of disappearing into darkness.
    Trembling and perspiring she would awaken with cry
    Never landing but always d i s a p p e a r I n g Into measureless nothingness.
    Then she met the creator of the galaxies, of visible space and beyond.
    She learned He held her in the palm of His hand so now she soars,
    Into His arms where she desires to fall asleep.
    Expanse that allows her dreams to take flight on wings of light.

  48. So much to fear.
    How do I choose?
    Everywhere I peer
    so many grays
    and, ironically, clear
    so many blues.

    I don’t want to fear.
    Something I would choose:
    to listen and hear
    in so many ways
    to be right here
    with the voice of a muse.

    I do decide not to fear.
    That is what I choose.
    To raise a cheer
    for nights and days,
    to cry not a tear,
    to see colorful hues.

    Richard Walker

  49. Pingback: Teen Writing Prompt 130 « TeenGirlsthatWrite

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