2014 Poetry Theme Challenge

#04 Five Alive

Thank you all who took up the last challenge. I hope this next one provides you some food for the muse. This next challenge is to about those five things that make us feel alive - the senses. Often writers will use the sense of vision and maybe sound but what of the others. Touch, smell and taste also have their place in writing. This challenge is about using our senses in our writing.

Quote - Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
Oscar Wilde

To a Lady on the Death of Her Husband

Grim monarch! see, depriv'd of vital breath,
A young physician in the dust of death:
Dost thou go on incessant to destroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waste our joy?
"Enough" thou never yet wast known to say,
Though millions die, the vassals of thy sway:
Nor youth, nor science, nor the ties of love,
Nor aught on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the spouse from his dire dart to save,
In vain we ask the sovereign of the grave.
Fair mourner, there see thy lov'd Leonard laid,
And o'er him spread the deep impervious shade;
Clos'd are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep
His senses bound in never-waking sleep,
Till time shall cease, till many a starry world
Shall fall from heav'n, in dire confusion hurl'd,
Till nature in her final wreck shall lie,
And her last groan shall rend the azure sky:
Not, not till then his active soul shall claim
His body, a divine immortal frame.

But see the softly-stealing tears apace
Pursue each other down the mourner's face;
But cease thy tears, bid ev'ry sigh depart,
And cast the load of anguish from thine heart:
From the cold shell of his great soul arise,
And look beyond, thou native of the skies;
There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind
Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyself prepare to pass the vale of night
To join for ever on the hills of light:
To thine embrace his joyful sprit moves
To thee, the partner of his earthly loves;
He welcomes thee to pleasures more refin'd,
And better suited to th' immortal mind.

Phillis Wheatley

Useful Words and Phrases:

Hands like aged leather
Apple sweet shades of red
The scent of lawns freshly mown

Five Alive Theme Challenge

Kathy Anderson

Shades of Life

Terry Clitheroe

Cinquain of Senses
Mirror of Senses
Victory's Senses


Courting of Senses
Lady I am
Lost Senses
Sense of Feeling
Senses of Love

Jem Farmer

Sense and Sensuality

Leny Roovers

Sight (Variation)

Kathy Anderson

Shades of life

Shades of
Sweet apple reds
Painted on cheeks and lips
Impart a youthful glow instead
Shades of
Darkness shadow'd
Grey clouds above our heads
Wanting blue skies to look up to,
Shades of
Memories there
Where we unfold
Fly high above the flames,
Echos of dieing embers are
Shades of

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Terry Clitheroe

Cinquain of Senses

I hear
your voice call out
it tells me every thing
knowing makes me very happy
I cheer.

Your touch
So light, loving
lifts my spirit again
I reach out and tell you once more
I'm yours.

We kiss
your lips on mine
I wish always and more
lips travel everywhere you want
so sweet.

I look
and see your face
eyes closed in pleasure
that sight tells me you do love me
I you.

The scent
I smell your love
escaping now love's free
and smile and kiss and touch again
you cry.

Our souls
unite as one
this act of love is not
an act nor will it ever be
you'll see.

5 Senses - Pietro Paolini


Mirror of Senses

The Five Senses by Hans Makart
(image from the Belvedere Museum)

Sight: the first sense

Your reflection in that mirror
Wondering what is it in you I see?
Each time we pass I must look at it
Each time we meet and recommit
What lurks there what can it be
Do your eyes hide your sorrow.
Your love with me you so beguile
When you look at me your eyes smile.
Then I see only two more mirrors
Suddenly things change it all clears
Returning once more their colours.
My inquisition they do not admit
It looks like you have lost your fears
But I will only see what you permit.


Sound: the second sense

Your reflection in that mirror
What's the depth of your love. I wonder
It silently turns to me, still with a smile
No sound from your alter ego to beguile
I wonder sometimes am I your lover
Sometimes it sounds like I hear sorrow.
The vows of love you will not speak
And yet my love of you is so complete.
Please say those three exquisite words
Your eyes say it, why can't your lips,
If only your reflection could be heard.
I wish I could hear words come from it
But it could never say what I want it to
For I will only hear what you permit.


Smell: the third sense

Your reflection in that mirror
I sniff and sense you what is the odour?
Its scent, more fragrant than any rose
It's what I expected really I suppose
Something not bought from any vendor
Or created during any winds billow
Clean, showered and freshly soaped
This reflection doesn't bring me hope
This glass image contains no essence
Just bland and unscented nothing at all
Nothing to compare to your presence.
That tangy bouquet I wonder where is it
It is not contained in a mirror on the wall
Again I can smell only what you permit.


Taste: the fourth sense

Your reflection in that mirror
What tasty flavour does it contain
Will my tongue savour every morsel
As we kiss realise that I'm only mortal
Desire for your taste drives me insane
With every moment I feel hunger grow.
There's not the mouth watering desire
To taste that meal so redolent of fire.
Of saltiness I know why there is none
The taste there is naught but bland
And flavoured loves juices are gone.
There's no finer meal than you I admit
A drink or meal, you taste more grand
But I can only taste what you permit.


Taste: the fourth sense

Your reflection in that mirror
What tasty flavour does it contain
Will my tongue savour every morsel
As we kiss realise that I'm only mortal
Desire for your taste drives me insane
With every moment I feel hunger grow.
There's not the mouth watering desire
To taste that meal so redolent of fire.
Of saltiness I know why there is none
The taste there is naught but bland
And flavoured loves juices are gone.
There's no finer meal than you I admit
A drink or meal, you taste more grand
But I can only taste what you permit.


Touch: the fifth sense

Your reflection in that mirror
How is it possible to make your heart feel
Whereabouts is it possible to touch you
This cannot be the lover that I knew
It is too neutral in its shape to appeal
Even to the most besotted lover.
This impostors image in the mirror
Has nothing that is worth to consider.
When how well I know your softness
The way your body moulds into mine
Felt your warm wet lips so soft to kiss
It has not your love, that special vite.
It shows your shape and familiar form
Bit I will only touch what you permit.


Soul: the sixth sense

Your reflection in that mirror
Are you my Juliet and I your Romeo
Unseeing the light that your soul emits
What is it I see, what do you permit?
What painful secrets should l not know
Must you forever hide your sorrow?
What lurks behind your lovely smile
Am I the lover that you wish to beguile?
You are a Mona Lisa looking so enigmatic
Now you turn to me, see two more mirrors
Why to give yourself, is it so problematic;
Is it your love for me that you must admit
Please remember I am your eternal lover
What am I allowed to see, what do you permit?


Victory's Senses

I see
the hill ahead
I change my gear upwards
get out the saddle and honk, honk
the pain

My mind
trained to feel the pain
hears the music I've chosen
and the tempo makes me peddle
in time

I pray
to God please stop
the pain, but still I honk
in time with music I can hear
Please Stop.

The top
I sit again
putting my gear up
peddling as I descend the hill

making the car
in front to go faster
In this descent I'm faster than he

I see
the flag I sense
victory I look behind
Arms in the air the race is won

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Divena Collins

Courting of Senses

Of beauty within that eyes cannot see.
Shall reveal outward of inner passion
That shall touch the heart of another
As souls embrace within love forever
That may ever redeem of satisfaction
Thus senses within shall remain as free
A fragrance shall linger to induce charm
Of inner warmth that shalt do no harm
When loving thoughts shall nigh expose
Of a potent wine that doth overly flow
As the spirits run free this feeling grows
When parted lips shall sup within haste
As this heavenly nectar of spirits show
Hence the final senses may relish taste.


The Lady I Am

Shall I
Express within
This love I shall endow
I ask only for love in return
From thee.

Pray tell
Within privacy
What do thy think of me
Shall it be to much for me to ask
Of thee.

I know
How I may tease
And taunt thee of this love
But do not think my love is brazen
Or brash.

Thy lady
I shall ever be
So demure in every way
You shall be so proud to have me
Along side.

I shall
Never let you down
I may pledge unto thee
To do all you ever want of me
You'll see.

by Guillaume Seinac


Lost Senses

My eyes are dim and I cannot see
I have lost my sense of direction
I share no speach devoid of sound
I feel no vibration of noise around
How do I gain a sense of protection
When my senses shall never be free
I shall not feel a lovers soft touch
When a sense of feelings lost as such
Nor shall I speak when I have no voice
For not a thing shall make sense at all
If I only had sense to make a choice
Tho' senseless I am could this be so
It maybe I could make me a final call
And pray my senses return as they go


Sense of Feelings

I cannot show the hurt I feel inside
For my inner feelings shall not reveal
What I may not be prepared to show
When this love may not too easily flow
It is all according to this pain I feel
Hurt shall not share space within pride
Nor shall my sense of feelings pretend
For love had never been mine to defend
Cast aside I who never really mattered
Lost within a maze of dejected feeling
With my dreams of love ever shattered
Broken hearted I was destined to be
Lowering pride to the point of kneeling
I pray return this love yearned by me.


Senses Of Love

To dream
Of loves sweet kiss
Remaining deep within
Upon that moment the earth stood still
It seems.

To touch
The one you love
Shall melt a heart of stone
And capture loves feelings there of
As such.

To Peer
Into loving eyes
And recieve loves message
Within the windows of the soul
So clear.

To sigh
Softly within
Whispering words that yield
Sweet desires of loves temptation

To love
And to hold on
To what is meant to be
Cherished freely deep within
There of.

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Jem Farmer

Sense and Sensuality


Reflect image
The smile eyes don’t believe
Yet conceals the torment that cries

The eyes remain
Closed until darkness falls
And silenced doubt can breathe the air

Sleepless nights pass
Slowly while thoughts see fear
And eyes of fear gaze alone in


Of songs pulsate
Demanding a voice sing
But the voice of the angel lies

Harmonies fall
In sad love songs and dreams
Lost dreams that passed in a cold game
Called love,

Called love
Without feelings
Numbed by husky words
The heart lies still in the silent


Of musk explode
Touched by the naked flame
Intensely gentle like falling

Seeking freedom
That waits within weeping
Absorbed by curls of incense and
New hope.

New hope
The first sighting
Of new beginnings found
Patiently waiting in smoky


Invite the tongue
To savour each moment
And languish a little longer
In time.

In time
Conversation stops
Silenced by speaking eyes
As new flavours entice with lips
That kiss.

That kiss
To melt the past
Releasing the future
And patience waits for the sensual


Behind the walls
And icy facades of
Preconception embraced by fears
And doubts.

And doubts
Court uncertain
Thoughts of inner truth
The truth that answers the name of

The need, the want
That cannot be released
Until nothing is left to be

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Leny Roovers


Still in the womb, we hear our mother's voice,
and all the other sounds her body makes;
there is still one, if which we both are part.
When birth is imminent, her water breaks,
its flow a signal children must depart
to start a separate life, a followed choice.
Most babies start with crying for what's lost,
the search for Eden thus begun, will cost.
Hearing a mother sing will bring it close,
and other senses help to reach this goal:
find beauty in life's poetry and prose.
There is no turning back after your birth,
you live to learn after that line's been crossed;
listening within, draws near Eden's worth.


Sight (Variation)

I look into my eyes on mirror's face,
somehow they haven't changed as much as me;
they still show wonder at the world around
and joyful laughter when I'm feeling free.
Yet all too often now they are cast down
as trust and doubt shift on a reckless pace.
Only within I can relax, find peace,
untangle too tight bonds, defy decrease.
As new-found energy is chasing off mind's clouds,
warm light brings comfort with a swift release
from nightmare's death-filled tombs and clinging shrouds.
From deep inside new words rise up and break
through layers of disappointment and old pain.
My fingers find the keys, I am awake.



We need our sense of smell to choose a mate,
not just the way he looks or how he talks,
but how he feels and tastes is paramount:
if he smells wrong, we'd definitely baulk!
we'd never let him near, for no amount.
A good scent in our nose, works as a bait...
we sniff and breath in deeply, look around
to follow odour's trail, till he is found!
Five senses build a union that may last,
that first close look will tell us if we match.
Exploring mind and body, spells are cast.
Each new discovery strengthens our bond,
we get to know each other's secret sound
in pleasuring the one of whom we're fond.



With just one fingertip on tender skin
anticipation rides on crested waves
of pleasure, swiftly rising to its peak.
Fulfilment now, is what my body craves
as climax comes with liberating shrieks.
We're feeling one and rest entwined within.
Sleep comes on velvet feet, takes us away;
on dreamy meadows we relive our play.
On waking up, we smile, caress and kiss,
our movements gentle- languor lingers still-
there is no urge in joyful reminisce.
Our daily chores are brightened by our love,
we share a shower, our morning cafe,
as even the sun smiles down from above.



As icicles of words have pierced my skin
I'm waiting for spring's sun to thaw my heart.
Imprisoned behind frozen locks of steel
I can't initiate a quick restart.
When paralyzed by talk, I stopped to feel-
just silence offers peace to rest within.
Loud voices scratched my nerves and hurt my soul,
it feels like ages since I last felt whole.
My sleep is harassed by bad, death filled dreams
I can't explain, I'm weary and on edge:
why feels my world more angry than it seems?
Next week my life will change as work will end,
the empty days ahead I can't control
I wonder if our days will learn to blend.

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