Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Thursday Think Tank #63 - Something Stinks

Yes we have visited this prompt once before but it is such a broad and enjoyable topic why not again. As the seasons change so do the smells, odors and aromas around us that are a large part of our lives. Most poets will throw in an occasional reference to a rose, perfume or fresh baked bread, but not much more. We want more.

Mike Patrick one of Poets United’s members brought this to my attention when a mention in a friend’s blog of the smell of fresh-mown hay flashed him back to some wonderful childhood memories. The link between smells and memories is amazingly powerful he said to me and I couldn’t agree more. So this week’s prompt is an unwitting corroboration between Mike Patrick of The Poets Quill and Vivinfrance from Vivinfrance’s Blog. It was a welcome chain reaction of sorts that will now hopefully conclude with your pen meeting paper.

What stinks? What do you smell right now that could inspire your pen? What is your favorite smell? Do you like the aroma of a fresh baked pie or fresh picked flowers? Do you cringe as you pass a sewer plant in a hopeless attempt to hold your breath? I have done that only to run out of time and oxygen and ended up inhaling by mouth and nose a double dose of what I wanted to avoid. Smells mean so much to us and yet at the same time we seem to take them for granted. There are limitless examples, the fresh cool breeze that brings the first signs of autumn, the lilacs and mothballs that were at your grandma’s house.

There are the bad smells too! What about the silent but deadly ones? You know the unmentionable passing of gas, the worst times for this are when you are in a crowded place you cannot get up and leave from. I do not intend this to be sacrilege but an all too common place this occurs for me is church. There I am sitting amongst the throng of believers and the smell hits you. The god awful, I was out all night and now I dragged myself to church to repent fart. Disgusting I know, but many of you know what I am talking about. You can’t just leave the room in the middle of the pastor’s sermon. You can’t groan in disgust or even mutter under your breath an accusation. You have to just sit their politely trying not to breathe while saying seven Hail Mary’s, Prayers or blessings of one sort or another while holding back burning tears. The sad thing about this experience is it comes in waves. Those horrible dreaded periods of waiting for the next one is what gets me.

Perhaps you envy the ability to smell. There are some folks that can pick a scent off the breeze that takes you nearly ten minutes to finally discover? Maybe you have a liking to the more harsh smell like Gasoline. My father used to wash his hands with gas. I enjoyed the aroma when I held his rough calloused hand. My how I so wanted to be my hero.

Today close your eyes and inhale. Take a whiff of the world around you. Close your eyes and think back to your favorite smell or even your dreaded ones. I have offered up an example of just a few of my very own now it’s your turn to share with us.

We are excited to read your work. We can’t wait to close our eyes and smell what you have written about. This time around your nose will do the writing.

This weeks prompt is brought to you by Mike Patrick and Vivinfrance.  If you would like to read some of their poetry you can do so by clicking on the photos below.

If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.

There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.


  1. some of you saw this one earlier this week, but it's about a very intense smell, the kind that takes you elsewhere.

  2. This reminds me of a smell-related limerick I wrote a few years ago based on an oddball news story. After smoking was banned in British pubs, they started pumping in artificial scents "to mask the smell of stale beer, sweat and other odours previously camouflaged by cigarette smoke." Needless to say, I couldn't resist writing a limerick about this.

  3. Lovely prompt!True that smells brings many memories..

  4. I could not resist posting for this one. Nice prompt.

  5. I'm so happy to see two very inspirational poets mentioned here.

  6. I'm Back, I'm back, please welcome me! hehehe


    Found something smelly in my files called:
    'Nunnington Hall'.

  8. I feel really bad for posting an old one for such a lovely prompt, but I just couldn't NOT post this one... Please forgive me! *smile*

  9. i posted a fairly recent {July} poem which seemed perfect for this prompt and was never linked to Poets United.

    i hope everyone has a great weekend!
    dani ♥

  10. Glad to see I'm not the only blogger to post an earlier poem. My Thursday Think stank - so please forgive the dreadful pun.

  11. Mine is not tooo poetic....i just followed my nose.....hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! :-)

  12. I let my memories stir me and my taste buds. I went with a good scent, one from my childhood!

  13. Poets United,

    I am writing from my vacation location, high in the French Alps and only connected to the rest of the world, infrequently. Thus a vacation!!!!

    Excuse my lack of comments and Blog visits, during this time.

    Best wishes to All,

  14. i always try to write something new for each prompt (that's what prompts are for, right?) So this as usual may need a bit of tweaking. I have always found myself very aware of smells. I have read that smell memory is one of the early things to go with Alzheimer's.

  15. A few days late, but this prompt hit home! I really connect scents with people in my life, and sometimes it can be confusing when I smell something I associate with someone and they aren't anywhere nearby.


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