Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Stench of Second Hand Smoke

20 long years...
for that length of
a burning cigarette,
I surrounded myself
with a cloud of
menthol carcinogens,
or some other flavour
of smoky seduction.

I rolled my own death
in wafer-thin paper,
extinguishing a burning candle
all to a haunting Drum beat,
inhaling with fear,
exhaling with purported

We were Players,
all the cool kids in
this game of life...
even Dads and Moms
took their turns at
the pipe.

Surgeons in general said it was
bad, they even gave us free
pictures on flimsy cardboard.
But we still drove our muscle
cars, loud music forcing smoke
out of open windows,
pulsing to beats of 80's music...
we were the heads, greasers,
even the jocks and brains
fell for the lure of false bravado.

Nobody was impressed.

Today's age comes with wisdom,
knowing of the frailty of life,
even one not scarred by active

Lungs heal slowly,
whereas the nose never forgets
the stench
of second hand


  1. That says it all, truth be told. :-)

  2. That is so good. Great impact! very impressed. =)

  3. Oh I agree. though I never fell for the coolness of smoking.. that second hand smoke that stayed in the clothes every time I had been out. Not I hold my breath every time I pass someone in the street smoking

  4. SO glad I clicked on your link at dverse. I was a pianist and singer in clubs for 35 years, and my lungs are permanently effected, but that smell is something I can conjure in a heartbeat. Every time I pass an AA meeting, I wave hello and then cross to the other side of the street.

    You captured the "cool" and "not cool" aspects of the generations so well. Brill! Amy

  5. Never smoked cigarettes myself, but my parents did until they died - both of cancer - and I still remember and hate the smell of second hand smoke. Peace, Linda

  6. yes, we get a little older, a little wiser and we have to stare death in the face a little clearer and realize we are only hastening its advance...good on you for breaking free of it...

  7. Yep. Been there for sure. Very well done piece. :-)

  8. Excellent, powerful writing. Sums up my childhood.