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Flash Poetry #1: Choked

by Cailleachna 

Posted: 15 February 2006
Word Count: 78
Summary: To write a poem using this as the first line (taken from a random line generator): 'Memories of discord speak in the insect air'. No word or line limit for this week, just to ease us all in. Entries must be in by midnight next Saturday.

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Memories of discord speak in the insect air
A breath too hot for comfort, a grating, angry stare
This summer was too short for us, September brings us pain
A lack of understanding means we will not speak again.

Lost hours spent in solitude with only inward thoughts
We meditate too harshly on the misery we've wrought
Destroyed each other subtly, our love has crashed and burned
In time the insect air will clear, revealing what we've learned.

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Comments by other Members

gard at 23:35 on 15 February 2006  Report this post
Hi C

Nice piece
good form and rhythm on this one and it scans well too. Nicely put together.

I like the metaphor you bring to the "insect air"
Really creates the right imagery.


DJC at 05:40 on 16 February 2006  Report this post
Hi Sharon - this is a really tough thing to do but you've managed to do it well. This sort of metre can often sound forced, but it works effectively here, not getting too much in the way. I'm not sure that the first line and the others have the same metre, though - this is important, as the first line read tends to set up expectations for the rest of the piece, and it jumps a bit. Although you can read the line in a similar way to the others, it's only when you've read the poem all the way through that you are able to do this, as the metre is kind of in your head then. Not sure what you can do about this, but I though it worth mentioning.

However, this is one of the most original interpretations of the 'insect air' - that feeling of unpleasantness that exists between people at the end of a relatioship. The word 'insect' is a harsh, brittle sounding word which lends itself well to this sort of poem idea.

An excellent first response.


paul53 [for I am he] at 07:45 on 16 February 2006  Report this post
Hi Sharon,
All the above. I enjoyed this greatly, though I think the final line felt a little shoe-horned, maybe use "revealing" rather than "we'll realise".

Elsie at 08:52 on 16 February 2006  Report this post
Sharon, the line 'a breath too hot for comfort' immediate transported me to somewhere else. It's amzing how this 'insect air' line has caused poems that suggests such uncomfortable situations.

Cailleachna at 15:22 on 16 February 2006  Report this post

Thank you so much for that suggestion. I was having real problems with the last line but wanted to get the poem uploaded before I fiddled with it too much. I hope you don't mind if I use your suggestion - let me know if you do and I'll change it back.

The image that sprang into my mind with the phrase "insect air" was of taking a breath in a hot, sticky, midge-filled garden and getting your throat full of bugs. Somehow it all got caught up in the memory of trying to explain to an ex why we couldn't be together anymore. I'm glad people have responded well to it.

paul53 [for I am he] at 07:15 on 17 February 2006  Report this post
Midges - aargh. Went I left Scotland, I'm sure they chased me to the border ...

DJC at 07:49 on 17 February 2006  Report this post
It's your fragrance.

paul53 [for I am he] at 09:52 on 17 February 2006  Report this post
Fipping heck, can you smell it in Switzerland?

DJC at 10:18 on 17 February 2006  Report this post
Sorry, Sharon. Paul and I have a habit of getting diverted. Must be a male thing. You behave yourself, Foriam. Can't take you anywhere.

By the way, Sharon, that one change at the end of the poem really works well. Very smooth and together.


lieslj at 05:38 on 18 February 2006  Report this post
Hi Sharon,

Is there a way you can show the pain that's been wrought instead of telling us that these characters are miserable?

I think that would strengthen your poem if you can reveal the betrayal, or bitter debates, or whatever it is that brings discordant insect air.

Good luck with this.


Cailleachna at 12:02 on 18 February 2006  Report this post

Thank you for your observation, but I have to disagree. I feel one of the strengths of the poem is its vagueness; it is about the feeling, not the specifics of the relationship breakdown. Plus the fact, as I mentioned above, it is based on a real situation and if I go into the details it won't be a short, tight poem anymore but a bitter rant, and an entirely different piece of work.

Jekyll&Hyde at 09:01 on 27 February 2006  Report this post
Hi Cailleachna,

Wow, this is powerful. It has the emotional impact of something out of the Bible, and I couldn't help but read it slowly, takin in the weight of every word.

Very impressive, and perfect in every way.


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