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Seduce me

In salt and pepper slag

Lipsticked and kissed

You are my swag

So sleek in cylinder fashion

Each one of you

My moment of passion

Ending just before

Your tones of terra cotta


Filter me

Just ever so slightly as I


Incandescent in fire engine red

Kindled by each blazing breath


Silver flakes fall like snow

And I know

I loved you



As a former smoker, I cannot tolerate the sight or smell of cigarettes.

Can you find beauty in the ugliness?

That is our challenge today at dVerse. You are welcome to join in at 3 p.m. EST

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59 responses »

  1. Oh.. as a never smoker I can tolerate the fags even less… Love how you describe that sense of smoking which I never felt, but can understand…

  2. You just did what I never could 🙂

  3. Ah, I like it. I can feel the slight pang of regret. Never thought I’d see any beauty in that picture.

  4. Great work with your semantic field there.

  5. I so get this! I gave up smoking 24 years ago and never looked back. I can’t stand the smell of smoke on other people or my hair or clothes. But you’ve captured something in this poem, Mish, that appeals to this former smoker. I love the llnes: ‘So sleek in cylinder fashion’ and ‘Incandescent in fire engine red / Kindled by each blazing breath’.

  6. Never smoked but my parents did. I lived in a haze that hung down three feet from the ceiling.

  7. Those butts are ugly, but their colors can be quite attractive.

  8. a love poem to a cigarette butt,…”salt and pepper slag”, great stuuf

  9. I also cannot stand anything relating to cigarettes, but I’m amazed at the pretty images you painted. I particularly love:

    “Incandescent in fire engine red
    Kindled by each blazing breath”


    “Silver flakes fall like snow
    And I know
    I loved you

  10. Well you did it! Some very positive description here….kissed ones and that passion before the terra cotta. The spacing for the inhaling is very effective.
    I’m reminded of the old time movies where the stars savored their cigarettes and it was a mark of sophistication.
    Now? I’m with you!

  11. I hate it actually but what one do if one’s hubby is a stubbon smoker. Love that change from seduction to tones of terra cotta, until the silver flakes falling like snow.

  12. i dont smoke and dont like smoking but its a love hate relationship, cigarettes remind me of my dad, he chain smoked! So I like seeing someone smoke a cigarette but really don’t like the smoke or the smell!

    • My father smoked Old Port Tips (cigars)….in the car, with us in it. I would rather think of another connection. Hope you can too. 🙂

      • true Mish, there are other “healthier” things that remind me of him, but this is the most vivid and saddest one. those tough men of the old days thought they were invincible

  13. I was a smoker, and I have the daily inhalants to prove it! Like you, I now abhor the sight or smell of cigarettes, and rue the day I was enticed to try one. In my day, you were considered a bit square if you didn’t smoke … or so I thought! You’ve encapsulated it well.

  14. I was a chain smoker. It was hell while I was cooking! I think we smokers who have quit dislike the smell even more intensely than those who never did. You did an excellent job on this poem Mish. I remember the feeling of sensuality that ensued when one smoked. I remember running out on breaks to super suck down a ciggie. I am so glad the US enacted the no smoking anywhere rule. One can go to bar and sit down and not worry about coming out inundated with the smell.

  15. Oh well done …I’m a former smoker too, was repelled by the image…funny how the pleasure lingers in the memory.

  16. The visual take you back to a day and time when the memory felt really good This is a great poem Mish. Your visuals are wonderful.

  17. Such a great prompt and you sure took it on full drag with this poem. You were able to somehow show beauty in all this nastiness and I especially liked the detail of the terra cotta tones. We also both used flakes of snow in our poems:) Well shoot. I’ve never tried a cigarette but now I think I just might! Those tobacco lobbyists need you, Mish.

  18. Loving Oneself First With No Exceptions.. Loving Others Next With No Exceptions
    And yes.. Understanding That Light comes From Dark.. And Yes.. Great Good comes
    From Horrid Ugly Evil as Those Who Continue to Agape Love Fight Ugly Evil With Love
    Going Higher Instead of Lower
    In Victory Over Vengeance
    Is A Path
    To Beauty
    With No Defeat
    For Beauty is Love
    With Wings Grounded
    In a Balance of Left and Right..
    Light and Dark.. Shadow and Love.. For all that is as is..
    Anyway.. A Wonderful Prompt And Muse you Bring today
    Mish As always Ugly
    Disgust of
    is An Adversary
    Of Beauty as all that will
    Not Fail Or Fall When Agape Love Driving..:)

  19. Epic title. Effective breaks in the content. Brilliant!

  20. Pingback: i love her but her hands – DoodleScribbles

  21. Having been a former smoker, I find it difficult to tolerate and even more difficult to see the beauty or temptation in a cigarette or dirty ashtray but then I quit 30 years ago.

  22. As a non-smoking survivor of two smokers, I was intrigued by how you found beauty in cigarettes. Your images, so evocative and intimate, truly portray the beauty in the ugly!

  23. I speak with my patients about smoking, and I have learned from what they tell me. Tobacco is not an inert substance, it is a leaf, an appendage of a living amazing plant. It interacts with us and we with it. You can’t just tell people to quit like you might tell a child to clean the dishes, when people smoke they are having a RELATIONSHIP with an amazing complex living thing… a very dangerous living thing. It is easy to forget that when we see it bundled and packaged and socked right into the center of our behavioral response circuitry. Your poem has caught the vivid relationship aspect of addiction very well. It would be so amazing if it were not so dangerous, seeing people daily who suffer from the consequences really brings me a sorrow, it is not fun to feel like you are drowning all the time and yet never being able to die quite soon enough. I am glad for those who were able to quit and empathize with those who haven’t, just keep trying and realize it’s ok to recognize how great the relationship was, but I hope one can use every tool to leave any truly toxic relationship. And if you can’t, doesn’t mean you’re weak, doesn’t mean it’s a liturgical requirement for every non-smoker to hate the smell of smoke, just means it’s tough, but y’all are worth it keep trying. Beautiful poem Mish, thanks.

    • I am not a smoker, Lona. Hope that was clear. I smoked for about 11 years but quit over 26 years ago. Thanks for your thoughtful and professional comments. I lost my dad at 48 and my brother at 36…both from heart attacks. I have enough risk factors as it is. I do understand the addiction because I was addicted to cigarettes for that period of my life. I never tried and tried to quit. My belief was if you want to quit, you just do it, no matter how hard it is. I empathize with those who have had more difficulty with it. Thanks so much, Lona.

      • Yes Mish, it is clear that you had quit (yay! You escaped!) 🙂 My ramble was a reflection on the multiple comments on the post, some current smokers, most saying they have quit (yay again), I am struck by how many former smokers say they no longer can even stand the the smell or the proximity to tobacco. Those former smokers who long for it still decades later tend to be quieter about it, and they are a tender case for me. It is almost as if there is a taboo against admitting you might still desire something you have abandoned because it was toxic, as if everyone should expect a transformative experience of truly beating something. And that is why I love your poem so much, it shows how wonderful and stimulating that relationship was, and gives a certain voice to those who are trying to quit, or still long to resume even though they shoulder on. Ah, the diversity of life, variety of experience, that is part of poetry’s soul, and so well reflected in your poem, I especially loved

        “Seduce me

        In salt and pepper slag

        Lipsticked and kissed

        You are my swag”

        Well done!

  24. Oh that love affair with cigarettes! That was me once, many, many years ago. Love is blind, you know 🙂
    What an excellent poem!

  25. Great job finding beauty in these slave drivers.

  26. Absolute seduction. Loved them once.

  27. Good to be able to look back at the pleasure you felt then, without being tempted. Love the title!

  28. There was a time that it was cool, everyone smoked it seemed, glad I don’t smoke anymore. My partner still does, really doesn’t want to quit. I don’t love him less. Perhaps we all have our own sinful pleasures? Death will come soon enough, smoking or not.


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