Three Word Wednesday, http://www.threewordwednesday.com/, gave the prompts of “drench, immune, and radiate.” I fear they brought out my age.

This was mostly a freewrite, but I had to edit it to achieve iambic pentameter. I probably spent more time on the last line than I did on the rest of the poem. I put “wizened fear” in and took it out half a dozen times. The words don’t really fit together . . . yet they do—and I really like them; at least, I know what I want them to mean. Finally, I just gave up and made them the title of the poem.

With all the talk lately of the excessive use of adjectives and adverbs, I look at my finished product and weep.

by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Jazmen Million

No subtle wiles you bother to employ,
no coy, demure sweet glance from lowered eyes.
Your world of weird seduction screams aloud
from deep-slit skirts which barely reach your thighs.

You turn your mouth into a blood-red slash,
and drench yourself with pheromone perfume
to radiate in trendy celeb spots.
Your lust can overpower any room.

Yet, in a corner sits a man alone,
who looks at you . . . then looks away: immune.
He scans the crowed, then checks his watch and yawns,
as if your very beauty to impugn.

And then his face lights up, as through the door
a simple vision walks in modest dress.
Makeup, so light it seems there’s none at all,
highlights a stylish face, so simply blessed.

He takes her hands to softly kiss her cheek,
and whispers something special in her ear.
With every eye upon her, they both go.
You look upon yourself with wizened fear.

This entry was posted in Aging, Fear, Iambic, Organic, Pentameter, Poetry, Rhyming, Three Word Wednesday and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to WIZENED FEAR

  1. Sheilagh Lee says:

    so true some do not like make-up

  2. TheMsLvh says:

    Great poem of wisdom! 🙂 Loved the choice of words and especially the title. Perhaps my age is appearing, but I know exactly what that means.
    Every expressive poem again Mike, good job!

  3. Which just goes to show you…no matter how you dress it up if you don’t have that certain ‘class’ about you….. you never will.
    Very, very nice Mike!

  4. Wonderful job with that prompt!

  5. I’ve been on both sides of this equation – dressed and tarted up to perform in a club (and all the wrong guys would be attracted), and simply dressed to meet my husband. Lex says I look my best without any makeup whatsoever… yeah, he’s a keeper!

    Mike, your contrast of the two women says a lot about you as a man. Good for you! Amy

  6. Good job I read this a third time! Light dawned about the last line… I’m glad you don’t like painted ladies (and I don’t mean the butterfly!) I can’t stand red lipstick!

  7. Susannah says:

    Nicely done Mike! 🙂

  8. Christopher says:

    Smoothly changing viewpoints. I know what “wizened fear” means.

  9. A package that is left to the imgaine is more alluring than that that is revealed for all to see. Great poem love it!

  10. Old Egg says:

    Great poem with excellent rhythm and a message too. Full marks.

  11. Ina says:

    I like this poem very much, you shouldn’t worry about the use of adjectives. If it works, it works, maybe the same can be said for make up. Personally I never wear any as I am too clumsy to get it right lol.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Adjectives are the simple way to maintain the the meter. Without them, I’d have to think up real words.

      Makeup works, as long as you are not a teenager wanting to look like some empty-headed celebrity.

  12. Jae Rose says:

    I think it’s a great line..less is more..maybe more so as you get older..and wiser..Jae

  13. margo roby says:

    I am laughing at your “Perhaps I am just wizened”.

    Listen, your adjectives are the good kind. Adjectives are like cholesterol: there are the ones you want to avoid, the non-specific, say nothing, bland ones, and the ones that are healthy: specific, like you have. If an adjective is strong and specific, there is nothing wrong with it. Look at your adjectives. I think every one gives an image. Okay? We will pull a curtain over the adverbs 🙂
    Oh, and I enjoyed the poem.


    • Mike Patrick says:

      I’ve recently enjoyed reading a couple sites (I wish I’d bookmarked them) by respected poets discussing words that should never be used in poems. I believe I had used every one of them within the last two months. I’m either a rebel or goofy. I wont’ tell you which way Sandy votes.

  14. margo roby says:

    If you stumble across them again, for heaven’s sake bookmark them. You don’t have to tell me how Sandy votes, although I suspect a streak of the other might be there.

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