We strive for our efforts in all endeavors to reap the golden ring. Personal success is what drives us in what we do. It probably won’t make us rich or famous, but it may just give us the satisfaction to keep on going. Consider this quote to inspire your poem.

“Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.” ~Unknown Author

Write a success poem. Even the smallest accomplishment comes with great pride and we’d like to hear it.



I penned a poem of triumph,
but it fell flat.
‘Cause nothing rhymes with that.
So I used my typewriter to write a nail biter about a huge spider that downed some hard cider and lit my igniter and bit the firefighter then this perilous web rider pulled an all-nighter and now I’d contend that I’m just a failed writer the end.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021



Questions abound; queries that come around
whenever you push them from your thinking.
Every time you get that sinking feeling it happens.
Remember, you only live once, (even cool cats don’t get off
thinking they’re immune to this tune). So if
you want answers, you had better hope you
understand what it is that you want.
It isn’t asking much of you to
open your mind and
present yourself as a learned scholar.
Any self-respecting poet should know it.
Some feign it and explain it in terms any
dummy could grasp. But no matter what, it’s a
funny thing to bring your rhyme out and
give it the presentation it deserves.
Having said all you can, it remains
just what you’ve put on your page. So engage.
Keep your focus on the dreams you pursue in
lieu of wasting your talent meant to mystify the masses.
Zeniths are attainable;
Xanadu is a desired destination and
clearness of thought is the means to both ends.
Validate your verbiage,
bring your best for the rest to decide;
never hide your poetic pondering under a bushel basket.
Many will clamor for a taste of what you bring to the table.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

** An Abecedarian poem based on a QWERTY keyboard

179 thoughts on “PROMPT #333 – SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS

  1. Walt, no clearer truth about Poetic confidence than what you’ve penned here…I love pushing thise thoughts out thru pencil, pen and peck to paper, page and screen, then letting them fly. Well done fellow poem pusher!


    A smile comes
    on little crows’ feet;
    stays awhile,
    plays awhile,
    then speeds on its merry way
    to another face.


    Sometimes we deem success
    as the unattainable height of perfection
    one’s own thought of eminent prosperity
    perhaps a self deprecating view of ineptitude

    We may view it as a particular perilous journey
    a doomed attempt at an impassable mountain
    an ill perceived notion of where one should be
    a miles long yardstick of measuring oneself

    Or we may not even have a definition of success
    it then becomes a cruel chasing after the wind
    like climbing a mythical tree extending into the clouds
    or aimlessly crossing a minefield under the cloak of night

    Success then becomes an unknown paean folk song
    a nonesuch invisible crown that never fits
    an arduous infinite road into the nether realms
    like the rascality of a frightened elusive squirrel

    Yet success could become the pearl of our suffering
    the growth of wings we need to surmount the mountain
    sailing well over of the height of mythical trees
    swimming amidst the seven seas of the wind

    Joyously soaring again over treacherous minefields
    peering down at the road with an eagles eye
    then belting aloud in the sunrise that paean folk song
    as we’re swooping down to feast on a fleeting squirrel

    Benjamin Thomas


    When small things are huge,
    small things are a feat worthy
    of celebration.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2021



    The sweet smell of success
    Is what I possess,
    at least that’s what I thought it was;
    as the fumes hit my nose,
    I inhaled sweet honeyed rose,
    now I’m perfumed with success—
    all around me.

    Benjamin Thomas

  6. Success Is

    In the eyes
    not of a beholder
    but of those
    in the mirror

    In the ears
    hearing not accolades
    but listening to confident whispers
    we’re proud to tell ourselves

    On the tongue
    not lauding accomplishments
    but by encouraging others
    to be successful

    Success is
    feeling accepted
    by yourself and comfortable
    being alone with yourself

    If accomplishments come
    rich with plaudits celebrate
    when quieter days hold
    celebrate success: it’s You.

  7. Small Successes

    I dreamed of becoming a household name
    Convincing the world of eternal truths
    Books by the dozen earning wealth and fame
    Dispensing wisdom for children and youths
    At writers conferences with trendy booths
    Now, I’m glad for preparing meals for my man
    For helping others, doing what I can
    To accomplish the small things is the best
    To make the most of what lies in my hand
    And that in itself is a great success

  8. After All

    Traffic starts and stops
    with a turn of the sign.

    Grasses wave in winds
    remnants of prairies to live again.

    Heavy equipment ahead churns-
    repairing a road that changes the land.

    Barn swallows erupt from a barn loft
    and dance in currents before my eyes.

    Progress measured in feet and yards
    a matter of miles until sunset.

    Moments of conversations with motorists
    warm feelings a twist of fate.

    What is torn must be re-made
    a passage for motorists on their way.

    Winds in conversation sweeping the land
    speak of friends and relatives left behind.

    Cones and barriers removed at the end of the day-
    a rush of excitement felt as traffic is let free.

    My friend’s a computer at a nearby library
    a blank page turns to a poem to show those back home.

  9. This. Or Something Better

    How far I have come.
    How wonderful this life is.
    Still, when I look into the mirror,
    I sometimes laugh out loud.
    I’m funny that way,
    recalling that foreign objects
    enter oysters to make pearls.
    How it is with my many scars.

    I don’t always
    cross bridges
    with joy and ease;
    still a work in progress.
    But I am always thrilled by
    my friends’ good fortune.
    I enjoy seeing their success,
    especially because I only
    hang out with people who love me.

    I have made many mistakes
    but none of them
    involve loving too much.
    The longer I live,
    the more I see
    Divinity in everything.
    Every thing I have.
    Every thing I do.
    Every thing achieve.
    Every thing I am.

    Guilt, shame, sadness and remorse
    moved my past life.
    Now, when answers elude me,
    when success seems to run from me,
    I know that Grace will
    carry me home.

  10. Successful Writing

    My poetry spreads
    at the rate it is meant to.
    No publishers, please.

  11. Robin
    I sat upon
    these sky blue orbs
    for almost 14 days,
    thru gusts and rain and even hail
    and unexpected,
    unseasonable sways
    of cold in this odd unusual Spring.
    I’ve only left
    this grassy nest
    at morning light to eat
    a worm, a beetle, seed or moth
    to give my breast
    a gentle heat
    to keep these sky blue orbs alive.
    And now they crack,
    and wobble as
    a hidden, hoped-for peep
    emerges in the canopy green,
    here beneath
    my outstretched wings,
    my love now seen,
    the clutch beneath this mother’s heart .
    © Damon Dean, 2021


    Long term success,
    May need a rest,
    While we turn it to a moment,

    The touch of a child,
    Blossoms gone wild,
    The glory of a warm day spent,

    The flying of a kite,
    Could do, it might,
    With a lofty breeze blowing high,

    The right angle of the sun,
    Just pure beach fun,
    Bright stars on a clear open sky,

    A happy time with friends,
    Seen through a joyful lens,
    Success can truly be so simple,

    Not so measured in worth,
    Like an easy, safe birth,
    Especially when baby has a dimple,

    Found in the smallest of ways,
    Success exits, we hope it stays,
    Surrounding us every single day.

    We are appeased,
    When it is seized,
    It may have nothing to do with pay,

    Just getting from point A to B,
    Simple success is simple to see,
    It keeps us continuously on the move,

    A nice cup of tea,
    Quite successful for me,
    Best on a rough day to soothe,

    Just to write down one’s thoughts,
    Through scribbles, lines or dots,
    A success every time you show it,

    The heart simply shines,
    Like the gourmet happily dines,
    The success of every known poet!

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021


    Driven too fast,
    He zoomed right past,
    People who loved him the most,

    His head filled with that drive,
    Kept him most alive,
    Seldom did he brag or boast,

    When the success came to a halt,
    No more perfection, not his fault,
    He hardly knew what to do.

    The family he left behind,
    He never went back to find,
    They didn’t compare to his success,

    He never should have left the job,
    The deadlines, the stress, the mob,
    He’d later say and fully confess,

    As time ticked on,
    He wondered where the people had gone,
    He only remembered he’d succeeded,

    As he sits all alone,
    By his silent telephone,
    He’s realizing he’s no longer needed,

    No one has come to visit him,
    He sits by himself on a wobbly limb,
    Grasping to hold on to his past success,

    Not in the current, existing day,
    With nothing at all new to say,
    Distant past to think about and express,

    All his people gave way,
    To his succeeding in his day,
    Putting their love for him away on a shelf,

    His success consumed him completely,
    His good heart was never seen sweetly,
    Now he’s a lost success unto himself.

    As his mind starts to fade,
    The joys of his success and how well it paid,
    Begins to slowly disappear,

    Yet until the last,
    He’ll dwell in the past,
    Thinking the past is right here.

    No more love comes his way,
    It is just success that will stay,
    But that is all he favored,

    The heart not the priority,
    Way back as the minority,
    Ultimately it was work that he savored.

    Not the human touch,
    That could have meant so much,
    If only he’d put that success away,

    To allow people in who did care,
    To give to him, offer and share,
    They understood why they couldn’t stay,

    He lived his success to the end,
    There was nothing more he could spend,
    He died holding on to that dream,

    No one waved him goodbye,
    The night he left in a starless sky,
    All love gone or so it would seem,

    Someone down below,
    Seemed to somehow really know,
    He had a kind heart anyway,

    She’d loved him through and through,
    A factor he never really knew,
    She still holds the love for him every day.

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  14. All In Your Definition

    What is your notion of success?
    There is no magic
    potion or spell. Sell yourself
    to you. If you like writing
    poetry you can share with
    others, and are pleased with
    the flow of your words,
    that is quite enough
    to say you have
    the stuff required
    for success.

  15. Pingback: Thinking about the smell of beautiful mistakes | Experience Writing

    • Oh my! What a perfectly wonderful and intriguing taste of your poetic mind! Hoping to see more of your work here, Marialberg! “While perfection glues pests to lenses on command” … wow, yes. Every line intrigues me, but for some reason this one struck me most.

  16. Success Measured in Breaths

    I call the days successful that are spent
    learning and relearning grief
    working through some inner conflict
    quietly paying attention to my breaths

    I call the days successful that are spent
    productively tidying mind and house
    breathing honeysuckle lanes
    laughing cheerful peaceful and content

    I call the days successful that are spent
    in mindless boredom alone at home
    darkly hiding under covers with my thoughts
    crying freely uncontrollably no holding back

    I call the days successful that are spent
    knowing with each rise and fall that I
    am still alive

    – Erin Kay, 2021

  17. Just to let you all know, over at Madness Poetry the competition begins this week. 64 athletes signed up in heats spanning about 4 weeks of fierce Poetic competition. I am in Round 1 this week, up against the fabulous Lill Pluta (who I used to write with in The Poet’s Garage). Our word is impeccable. I have until Tues to post my poem and the contest goes live. I invite you to go and read marvelous children’s poetry the rest of the month.

  18. I need coffee…

    This morning, my success is
    Making my coffee
    In my coffee pot
    On the stove.
    The rich smell of French roast
    Fills the room,
    Bringing my cat Binkey
    Wanting his daily sip of milk.
    I pour my coffee,
    Making it blond and sweet,
    Not how I like my men,
    And then drinking it
    As I sit down
    To work at my computer.
    Any other success I have today
    Is just peanut butter
    On my raisin bread…

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    May 10, 2021


    I’ve always
    said my success is
    your success ~
    then I do
    everything in my power
    to see you succeed.


    My success
    is to build with lego—
    words into ponds
    and streams into
    distant realms
    and cities with dreams

    I can create
    I can destroy
    I can inspire
    I can employ

    I can be a failure
    I can be less
    I can be more
    I can be success

    I can choose to be
    or choose not to be
    I can be anything
    I can be me

    I can be what I am
    I can be—

    Benjamin Thomas


    Every day breeds
    a certain amount
    of failure or success
    a chain linked fence
    a whirlwind
    a series of events
    an ecosystem
    of give and take

    Every day breeds
    a certain amount of
    failure or success
    the way of the huntress
    the flight of the prey
    the merciless food chain
    are the events of the day

    Every day breeds
    a certain kind of beast

    Benjamin Thomas


    Sometimes life
    is a “sucks” cess—
    pool of impossibilities
    draining us of the energy
    we need to succeed

    It may drown us
    before we have a chance
    to make it back
    to the surface

    Benjamin Thomas


    We must know the contours of failure
    before taking the road to triumph

    We must wholly know the hand of defeat
    before being acquainted with victory

    We must feel the impact and shame of falling
    before we are able to fully stand

    We must understand the realm of brokenness
    before the time of being made whole

    We must endure the cruel Arctic cold
    before appreciating fully the summer heat

    We must experience the name of failure
    so that one day we could be complete

    Benjamin Thomas

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