#OctPoWriMo 2013: People & Places & Dreaded Parties

Press play to listen to beautiful music. Another one from Fabrizio PaterliniL’airone (From Viaggi in aeromobile). Enjoy while you read…

#OCTPOWRIMO: Every day for one month I’ll collect inspiration from here and write/post a poem here. You can too!


PROMPT: “Butterflies.”

Nerves and butterflies are fine – they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager.  You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.  ~Steve Bull

A social butterfly I am most certainly not. With good friends I can relax a little, but in general. my introverted anxious self is a ball of stress when thrown into a social situation. I used this slant on the prompt.


People & Places & Dreaded Parties


Their gaze rests upon mine

 all those around me spin

with the tremor of my heartbeat ringing in my ears

and my belly butterflies calling out my fears

I try but fail to win

…and their glare jerks from mine



And I sweat and blush and lick sticky lips

And I shuffle, inhale and hold onto it

And I search for safe harbour, for someone I know

And failing that, for the loo, or the bar, or how long to go.


Their gaze returns to mine

 and all around me spins

With the drum of my heartbeat banging in my ears

and my belly butterflies screaming of my fears

I tried but failed to win

…till their glares dismiss mine



How do you feel about small talk, about meeting new people at parties?

Do you feel like me or do you thrive off these kinds of situations?


14 thoughts on “#OctPoWriMo 2013: People & Places & Dreaded Parties

  1. I could feel your anxiety – you captured it in your words perfectly. Personally, I’m far more comfortable in a crowd than I am alone. I’m an extrovert that usually doesn’t like being left alone with my thoughts. I’m finally learning how to be friends with ME and enjoy my own company, but it’s taken years to be able to say that. 🙂


  2. Tall, ungainly, and with glasses, I early learned survival skills in large groups. But when I became a teacher, I realized my students had as many ‘butterflies’ as I did. In nurturing them, somehow I nurtured myself. But most of the time, I don’t like these kinds of social parties. Your poem catches the anonymousness of being on show and being in a way dismissed, as well as the resulting feeling of never quite being good enough. But your poetry and your writing sings — again. So I say believe in yourself — and avoid such parties when you can!


  3. It really depends on my mood. I can be quite the life of the party but there are days I just want to be left at home. I tend to say “I don’t feel like going to this party, but I simply must drop in and make an appearance.” I tend to keep my “appearance” short but I almost always have a grand time. And then there are those days when this is not true, when I feel totally isolated and escape as quickly as I am able.

    Completely enjoyed the rhythm of the poem.


  4. Sometimes am nervous at meeting new people, though mostly I have heard my friends say how quickly I can mix with people but the truth is I feel butterflies too..mostly self conscious. You have nicely put your anxiety into poetic words.


  5. Thanks Ankit, I have found the opposite. With age I’ve become unable to do small talk, finding the words forced and said too fast, fearing I’m boring people as much as they’re boring me. : / Sounds awful doesn’t it? I used to bounce about parties pretending without effort (although booze helped) almost, that I was the social butterfly. The mask slipped and has since disappeared.


  6. I feel that as time passes we fall into the comfort zone of being with the new people. That Instant Connection with people has been a myth for me. I allow time to dissolve before I am comfortable being with them.

    With that said, This was extremely well written


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