I’m always fascinated with the timing of my muse’s whispers. After writing a would-be sonnet last night, I arose this morning and was putting some dishes away while the coffee brewed. Last night’s poem prompt had ‘thigh’ as one of the words to use as a rhyme. ‘Thigh,’ for some reason, is a word I avoid in poetry. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is a little more intimate than I’m comfortable writing about—I’m kind of a PG13 guy. Anyway, while reflecting on ‘thigh,’ the phrase, ‘living off yesterday’s lies,’ leapt into my head. I ran back to the keyboard, and ten minutes later, I had a rough draft of Yesterday’s Lies. Ten minutes after that, I had a poem—or perhaps the outline of a country song.

by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Simone Stefanini-6-

I heard you asking about me.
You feared I’d come to harm.
Look and you can plainly see
there’s no need for your alarm.

Since you decided we were through
and sprang your big surprise.
Somehow, I’ve been making do,
living off yesterday’s lies.

This new place where I’ve been living,
although it’s somewhat less than real,
it’s where I find you always giving
a love I needn’t steal.

I love this place I’ve found;
it’s like winning life’s big prize.
Everyplace I look, it seems that you’re around,
and I live off yesterday’s lies.

You can always come to visit
if you’re fearing my demise,
I’ll never ask you to commit
while I’m living off yesterday’s lies.

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9 Responses to YESTERDAY’S LIES

  1. Aya says:

    Small but has so many deep meanings and I always like poems like that. Keep it up! 🙂 Hope you can visit my blog as well since I write poetry too. Good luck!

  2. earlybird says:

    good line ‘living off yesterday’s lies’ – I can see how it could be a refrain in a song.

  3. pmwanken says:

    I especially like the 2nd stanza, Mike!

  4. Woo says:

    I’m amazed at the feeling and imagery that can be pulled off such a few words, “living off yesterday’s lies.” Phenomenal, Mike!

  5. Easier sometimes to live off yesterday’s lies than with today’s truth 🙂

  6. Tilly Bud says:

    I like the refrain, ‘living off yesterday’s lies’. Isn’t it great when a phrase just pops into your head?

  7. Mr. Walker says:

    It definitely has a song-like quality, and I like how you keep slightly altering that refrain of yesterday’s lies – which, by the way, is a great line. The idea of a place built on lies is a powerful – and sad – one.

  8. Becca Givens says:

    Love the line – that prompted your creative results …

    Have you decided who you want to sing this to the top? 😀

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