The bedlam of the storm
has passed,
reduced to a drizzle,
leaving steaming sidewalks,
doused emotions.

I study the details to kill
some time –
the tree resin that
sparkles when wet,
the beveled edge of
porch column bases,
the plush feel of the
seat cushion.

I imagine how the ripe
peach felt as the deluge
forced it from its limb
to hurtle its way to earth.
Or a child avoiding the lash,
hoping anger will rectify itself
before turning on his flesh.

How much time should elapse
for a bout of hysteria to pass?

The hush from inside indicates
a sense of calm…
much like prey must feel
being hypnotized by
the slithering reptile.

Risky to enter,
more so to leave
her alone.


Written for Shawna’s word prompt at Rosemary Mint.


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

8 responses to “Bi-Polar

  1. Great poem–loved the dichotomies of each line: steaming sidewalks, doused emotions; beveled column, plush cushion, etc. And the inner hush vs. hypnosis by a reptile is my favorite–esp. preceded by the hissing of elapse and pass. . .

  2. GREAT, Mark. The words flow effortlessly here. Nice work.

  3. Shawna

    Oh wow, this is heartbreaking, especially your ending … I love the parallels between external and internal storms, both leaving their marks on the environment surrounding.

    “I study the details” … This is so appropriate; anytime we’re surrounded by chaos, we try to disappear into the details, disconnected from the larger elements at play.

    What a perfect introduction to your topic:
    “reduced to a drizzle,
    leaving steaming sidewalks,
    doused emotions”

    Excellent response to the prompt, Mark.

  4. Wonderful flow as you play with the prompt words. I was immersed from the get-go

  5. know people who struggle with this… nice capture… intense yet gentle at the same time

  6. I have known folks with bipolar disorder who experience inner storms like these. I have Asperger Syndrome — the poem also reminds me of what sometimes my meltdowns have felt like. Emotional storms, feeling overwhelmed, and emotional disregulation are no fun. Very powerful imagery which leaves the reader with the impression of the intensity of such a storm.


  7. A very tight and intense response to
    the 14 word challenge; helps us all to
    see that there is nothing new under
    the moon, just different ways of perceiving
    all the same words we hear, we use, we
    dream. Really liked this piece.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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