Scent Poem

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I change those stale sheets,
breathe your scent-
stained pillowcase.  Breathe
out that fetid musk.
Smile, preferring Tide.


I am thrilled that We Write Poems is using my scent prompt this week.  As much as I like the concept of the prompt, I find it very difficult to write something with which I’m satisfied.  Therefore, above is a mere whiff of an offering.  For more scent poems, visit the We Write Poems link above and look at the comments section for a wonderfully aromatic, poetic bouquet.


After a relatively sleepless night, I started thinking about this poem and decided to revise it subtly and see what difference it made.  If you read this later version, let me know what you think.

she changed those stale sheets,
breathed his scent-
stained pillowcase.  Breathed
out that fetid musk.
Smiled, preferring Tide.

About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Interesting Blogs, Poetry, Prompts, Tanka and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Scent Poem

  1. suzicate says:

    I love this, both versions. On a second reading I think I prefer the second one…got us with the last line!

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  6. roxie says:

    Great poem! Not only is the scent noteworthy, the visual captivates…who hasn’t wished ‘out with the old in and with the new’: another double entendre 😉

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Ah, the wonderful world of reading, different poems within a single poem, a new one within every new reader. For me it’s out with the old and keep it empty, lol. Good to see you here. Stopping by again soon, promise.

  7. Tacy says:

    Hi Yousei Hime. This is Tacy, or Tate. I used to have a blog Remember me?

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Tacy, I do! I do! I remember you! How are you? I’m sorry I haven’t visited your site in so long. I haven’t visited many, to be honest. How is school? Still writing? I hope so. Very best to you and your family.

  8. nan says:

    Great ending. We love the familiar, until it gets stale, and then we need a change. I enjoyed the exercise of trying to bring the olfactory into the write.

  9. neil reid says:

    Thanks for offering us this prompt Yousei. (me bad, not writing much last couple weeks, otherwise occupied too much) And guess there is some real bear to me (animal sensibility), as I understand fresh sheets, yet sometimes too, hunger for some primal scent that says yes, someone else is here with me. (Like my old cat used to adore my worn shirts stacked in the laundry pile.) Have a good visit.


    • Yousei Hime says:

      neil reid,
      Welcome, welcome. I enjoyed your comment and appreciated the opportunity to compose and offer a prompt for WWP. I do enjoy those primal scents from time to time. Those times are just getting further and further apart. I will indeed enjoy me trip and hope to write a bit while I’m there. Thanks for visiting in such a delightful way.

  10. slpmartin says:

    Have to agree …the last line was just perfect I thought…enjoyed the poem much.

  11. Yousei ハロー, Thanks for the prompt this week. Your poem is short, scented, and Tidy. I enjoyed its washed preferential point.

  12. lolamouse says:

    Thanks for the smile this morning! I’ve lived your poem-only add dirty dog(s) to the mix!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Welcome back. So glad you liked the poem. I’m thinking of revising it just a bit and seeing how big a difference it makes. No dogs in that one though. We used to keep dogs in the house, but when we moved a few years ago, I said, “NO MORE.” We are animal free (if you can call a house with two teenage boys animal free). See you around.

  13. sandy says:

    This made me laugh!!!

  14. margo roby says:

    Hah! My favourite part is your subtle disdain of your effort, which you ‘barely like’ and which ‘is a mere whiff [incorporating a scent word — clever] of an offering’.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      margo roby,
      Welcome, welcome! Thank you so for stopping in and leaving a comment. Funny you mentioned the “whiff” comment in my post. I like that better than the poem myself. Thanks for visiting, participating in the prompt, and leaving such a cheering comment. See you soon.

  15. Perfect like a full breath! Beautiful!

  16. Irene says:

    Hi Yousei, Yea it’s a whiff of a poem. I’m amazed how scent seeped into things touched by the owner, and some people are more scented than others. I have a friend whose entire home smells of him, probably mixed with wood and bamboo and cigar and ..ok I’ll stop now.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Welcome back. I liked what you shared and chuckled along while reading it. I’m so glad so many people participated in my prompt. It motivates me to try and return the favor. I haven’t had much time or inspiration lately. Let’s hear it for change.

  17. Easy Living says:

    Great post today thanks. You have a great blog here. I really enjoyed reading it today thanks again for sharing.

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