“Let Your Song Be Delicate”—or Not

Rosemary Nissen-Wade, The Passionate Crone, is currently hosting Poets United’s Midweek Motif… So the next poem is all her fault. I published “A Wild Witch’s Urban Garden” just yesterday, and I’m sure those of you who visit me often have noticed that I don’t blog every day… But I couldn’t resist Rosemary’s call, which chanted: “‘Let Your Song Be Delicate’—or Not. Take your pick—do some ‘delicate’ writing, or do its opposite: harsh!”

I was planning to hoard the following poem… Yes, I’m in the habit of keeping some bits of fiction and poetry for my own cackling pleasure. But after I posted the first two lines, as one of my Poem Bits on Instagram and Facebook, and a few people really identified with them… well, I had to share the whole thing here. What can I say? I’m a big wild softy… 😉 with an ellipsis problem, obviously.


Swallowed words
will rot.
The stillborn ideas
they wished to create
burst in the gut,
push up the throat
(through tongue and teeth),
poisoning all
ears within range;

infecting hearts,
which the Silent might love
or need—


The Hunger, by SunshineShelle
“The Hunger”, by SunshineShelle

56 thoughts on ““Let Your Song Be Delicate”—or Not”

  1. Swallowed words do rot, so we must let off steam. Calmly walk into a room by ourselves and scream, punch the wall, or write something down then burn it. It may not help the situation but we have at least done something. Then we can take a deep breath and start over.

  2. It’s better to let it out than slowly decay and rot and have it gnaw away at any peace you could have. I love all your luscious green plants in the previous post.I have two avacado plants that are growing so diverse. I can’t get over that crazy passion flower , it’s amazing to look at.

  3. you know, I am more afraid of what I don’t say than what I do say. held back words are dangerous. nice hook in the opening lines. I like the use of still born in the second as well. a very tactile word

  4. In my practice as an energetic healer, I see this –a lot! Almost exclusively in women. It is dangerous not only for your mental health, but your physical self, as well. Swallowing your words and the feelings that go with them can lead to acid reflux disease, diseases and conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract, high blood pressure, asthma and other related lung problems. These symptoms are giving you clues about your state of being. I am as guilty as the next woman, even though I am of the generation that burned bras, took the pill, fought for Roe vs. Wade, but still bite my tongue when my feelings are hurt or my words so unlistened to that I stop speaking them. I try everyday to master spit it out!
    Magaly, you captured so well the feeling and effects of swallowing our words. Thank you!

    • One of the reasons why I had to walk away from certain people in my life has to do with not being able to tell them what I truly thought about them and their actions, in any way they understood or cared about the consequences: it was affecting my breathing. Like you suggest, in this case, the metaphor can be rather literal.

  5. I am of two minds about this–not the poem that I think is powerful–but I think sometimes discretion can be a good thing! But that is me! Anyway, your poem works very well and the images of trying to digest too much are strong. Thanks .k .

    • I think that it all comes down to balance and critical thinking. There is a difference between getting one’s point across and being indiscreet… It has to with knowing how to use our words, or at least, that’s what my favorite librarian used to say… and I believed her. 😉

  6. I often choke on my unspoken words, the aborted festering foetus of ideas and statements forgotten or buried as they will not be loved and coddled by those that expect something more measured, correct, more me… I love the way this poem screams Ms Wicked rather than dies… shit my comment sounds depressing, I do like uncensored thoughts, so I will not delete, just let it live here as a comment. Did I say I love this post 🙂

  7. So true. Those words usually end up in a tense neck and a headache. Better to let them out in a good way. I’ve know too many people who explode and damage then say, “I feel much better now.” Not what you are saying and I appreciate your truth.

    • Tense neck, stomach ache, and a bunch of other discomforts… not to mention making everyone around us feel uncomfortable, too. Speaking, especially after thinking about the words, is great medicine.

    • “…better to take the chance”, indeed.
      Lots of love, right back at you.

      P.S. I’m glad I saw this comment not so long after you posted it… since it made me realized that I added the wrong link to the Pantry *sigh*.

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