stress relief

Playing Favorites



Instant pots and next day deliveries. Bullet trains and watch phones. Alexa and Siri. Everyone is in a hurry for whatever it is they want. The pace of this rat race could have me on the road to the chiropractor to work out the kinks of stress. Instead, I take a deep breath of fresh air coming through my car’s windows and drive until there’s more grass than concrete…and exhale my troubles away.

four walls closing in
retreat to the countryside
turn the quiet up

P. Wanken

Shared at Poetic Bloomings

* “Playing Favorites” prompt is to use a line from someone else’s poem (I used a song) as inspiration for a new poem. “Turn the Quiet Up” was taken from Eric Church’s song, “Smoke A Little Smoke.”


Trying a new form – it involves a rhyme scheme that was a bit of a challenge. Initially, I wrote only one stanza. Then I decided to take it one step further, carrying the rhyme pattern into a second stanza. Had I left it at just the first stanza, it was a bit of a comedic poem. However, the second stanza brings some introspection…which I felt I needed today.


Chocolate. Slips past my lips to grip
my hips, and makes no haste to encase
my waist and thighs. Why!?
I cry (…as I ingest the rest.)

Stressed, I’m beaten by what I’ve eaten,
sweetened attempts to preempt feelings.
Not exempt from strife, my life
is rife with blessings, I’m guessing. (If only I look.)

P. Wanken

Shared at Poetic Bloomings 

Doing More Of What Makes Me Happy




As I’ve gotten older (now nearly fifty)
I’ve shifted my goals, becoming quite thrifty.
Responsibility, after all, comes with a cost
for too many years, moderation was lost!
So many things to get me off track, while
I now focus on what makes me smile.

Life has become too packed and too busy
all work and no play is making me dizzy.
Those around me, have learned the look
of when it’s time for my crayons and book!
So many things to get me off track, while
I now focus on what makes me smile.

The tensions that build in my shoulders and neck
tell me it’s time to get my stressors in check.
So it’s off to the gym, or to yoga for me!
Or one of my favorites, a class of Tai Chi!
So many things to get me off track, while
I now focus on what makes me smile.

P. Wanken

Shared at Poetic Bloomings – INFORM POETS: COLLINS SESTET

For those who haven’t seen it, I’ve been blogging about my last year in my 40s. I’ll be 50 in September – and my goal is to be happier at 50 than I was turning 49. In case you’re interested, here’s the blog: Before 49 Turns to 50.


Photo Credit: Raija Rantola

Photo Credit: Raija Rantola


Surrounded by strife
I smile benignly.
I’ve lived a life
surrounded by strife.

Removed, as with a knife,
stress is taken away Divinely.
Surrounded by strife
I smile…benignly.

P. Wanken


Posted for 100 Days of Summer 2014 (Facebook Group): 73 ~ Water/Meditation.  


Author’s Note:
Thank you to fellow challenge contributor, Raija Rantola, for letting me use this photo in my post.