“For Those Whose Flicker’s Hidden Under A Bushel (Of Sorts)”


For those Whose Flicker’s Hidden Under A Bushel (Of Sorts )

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Oh, sure; oh, great.
But what if you’re pure-bred
perfectionist, DNA developed
to swelter the welter-weight?

Just see the glass half-full.

If the flag of your disposition
is of hopeless grey stuff woven, your natural arc simply
projects rejection, complexion dejection, inflection abjection, even your loins
are lubricated lugubriously.

So, un-clamp down.

Is no dignity afforded those whose foreheads
bead with the exacting


No mercy granted the nervously


Must we always be prey
to mea culpa mea culpa mea
maxima culpa?

So sorry (i.e. yes.)

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea
maxima culpa.

Must you?

(i.e. yes.)


Draft very draft most maximum draft posted for Real Toads prompt of word list created by a shy person, and hosted by Fireblossom.  

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29 Comments on ““For Those Whose Flicker’s Hidden Under A Bushel (Of Sorts)””

  1. Susan Says:

    What fun! What horror! I identify completely. I am glad you found the two voices in this. I’ve been told that my slacking off is like others’ perfection. Try that one on. It didn’t help me, but it may help you. And though I do not flicker, I light candles—great title!

  2. This is great….I have had a problem with comparing myself to others or hearing the judge me….I am getting better about just being me and let the others deal or say bye bye.

  3. David King Says:

    I love this. It speaks an unpalatable truth with a matter-of-factness which for me makes it palatable.

  4. jinksy Says:

    Totally brilliant! lol

  5. brian miller Says:

    yes, we are…its not as easy as flicking the light switch to change perspective…love the repetition of mea culp at the end…it speaks to the pattern….lugubriously….gotta use that word today…smiles….

  6. coalblack Says:

    “the self-bulldozed”! Mea culpa, maxima culpa!!!

  7. hedgewitch Says:

    Lots of great lines in this, k–the one Shay quotes, and also the alliterative passage ending in the lugubrious loins…I also *really* like ‘the flag of your disposition.’ The repetition is like a merciless, inverse mantra–instead of bringing peace, bringing relentless anxiety, something I can definitely relate to. I am often kept up nights with that litany of ‘my own most grievous fault,’ and once thought I would have the words ‘It’s ALL My Fault’ on my tombstone(before I decided to have a Viking funeral. ;_) ) Excellent work with the list, disappearing the prompt words into the meat of the poem.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks. I like the flag of my disposition too – couldn’t resist it as it is absolutely one of my favorite lines in all poetry – that whole section about grass is one of my favorites–which, in itself, would be a great prompt sometime. Certainly ripe for parody though perhaps not as well known now as in years past. (My mind is going into very silly places at this moment that I will not relate in print!) k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      PS – a great tombstone quote, though agree the viking choice is better. k.

  8. Mary Says:

    Enjoyed the dialogue very much! You worked the words in flawlessly and made me think about all of the Mea Culpas a person expresses in life as one is just going on about one’s day doing the best that one can!!

  9. enjoyed following these thoughts back and forth!

  10. Marian Says:

    gotta love those beaded foreheads and lubricated loins.

  11. When you simply can’t get out of your own way… and even raise the flag of it- well said.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, the flag is raising a flag to it, you are right, but also an adaptation of a quote from Walt Whitman from Leaves of Grass – he asks what is grass and says “I think it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven, ” or something like that. So you are absolutely right, but it’s also meant as a kind of silly joke. (You may know the Whitman, or not. I don’t know if he’s read so much now, or out of U.S.) k.

  12. claudia Says:

    lubricated lugubriously…ha…what are you doing to my german tongue with such words…smiles…there are people who say: don’t apologize for anything – others do for everything – i think maybe a good middle path..?

  13. I was reminded immediately of an article I read recently about introverts. Really good poem, I loved the question and answer format. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  14. Deborah Says:

    marvelous self view, and something i understand as well since I am a perfectionist but, usually my objectivity wins; logic has somehow flickered brighter~ I thoroughly gobbled these wonderful words made flesh~ sincerely D

  15. vivinfrance Says:

    This has to be the most fun of anything I’ve read this morning. And you’ve added some gorgeous words to the recipe.of ingredients.

  16. Margaret Says:

    But what if you’re a pure bred perfectionist… ha. I know a few people who truly are. Sweating the small stuff just isn’t done.

  17. I always find something here to expand the mind and exercise the vocal cords.

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