Villanelle – “I’m fine.”

New Poetry by Scottish Writer DS Coremans #FoDiByLi

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Senryu – Words

I sometimes say things

words I do not mean to say

these words expected.


Villanelle – “I’m fine.”

Wearing a face which looks like mine;

yet I do not recognise this as me.

I hear my voice say the words: “I’m fine.”

The same words said time after time,

whenever I wanted to be free

while wearing a face which looks like mine.

Repeating my regret is the cruelest crime

I struggle and hope no-one can see.

I hear my voice say the words: “I’m fine.”

I see the finish, but can’t cross the line,

I almost admire my misery;

while wearing a face which looks like mine.

Eternity begins to sound sublime,

the inner voices still cannot agree

as I hear my voice say the words: “I’m fine.”

I’m weary of waiting for my own decline

I still have hope, but no belief.

I wear a face which looks like mine

and listen to my voice as it says: “I’m fine.”


Photo by Nikko Balanial on Unsplash

Triolet – Careful Conversations

Be careful what you say;

use your words with care.

Speak as if you pray

and be careful what you say;

your words can get away,

you can’t take back what you share.

Be careful what you say;

use your words with care.


Author’s Note

The words you say are important. Far too often, life encourages and expects us to say things which we do not mean. True wisdom is knowing not just what to say, but when to say it.

In an age of meme’s, SEO headlines and easy to share links information is now, more than ever, a constant companion and distraction in everyday life. From the moment our eyes open, until they close again at night we are exposed to media that is designed to make us think and act in certain ways.

While most of us can separate fact from fiction when we stop to think, in the world of online social medias that thinking time is often negated. 

Like, share, comment, like, heart, share, comment, like, tag, share, like, share, tag, comment, like.

This stream of media engagement is never-ending, and most of us do this on repeat, jumping from one platform to the next. Seeing headlines and reactive comments composed of opinions and half-truths, with little context or control.

In the real world, the words we say are important; like the online world we are sometimes set up to say things which we half-mean, words that are expected rather than encouraged. 

“I’m fine.” is the lie I tell myself as often as I say it to other people. Repeated over and over, it is a lie I almost believe sometimes, but when the context is considered, when we look beyond the headlines and the ‘likes’ we see the meaning. 

“I’m fine.” is the expectation which society places upon us. “I’m fine.” is a lesson in conformity. When asked how we are, “I’m fine” is the answer which we give to shut down any real conversations. They are the words that allow us as individuals and as a society to go on, repeating these words as we repeat our allocated functions within society. Allowing us to define ourselves by our roles, and responsibilities rather than our realities. 

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

Rudyard Kipling
Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

I wrote the Villanelle “I’m fine.” in February of this year. Having just quit a job I had thought I really wanted to flourish in as I was trying to convince myself that I was coping.

In truth, it felt like the world around me was crumbling and with it my resolve to do the things I wanted. I could see what I wanted; but could not picture myself ever getting to a point where my wants and desires were something I could achieve.

Leaving a job after only 7 weeks in post I felt like a failure. But I had to begin processing the idea that walking away from that job was the right thing for me, and that it was the failing of the organisation as much as it was my own failure. 

When the flames died down, and all the was left were ashes of the life I had built for myself I once more found myself with in a place where I could lay new foundations, stronger than they had been. 

By admitting that I was not okay, I was able to move on…and instead of being just fine, I was able to transcend this feeling, recognising that I could be better than just fine, if only I could admit that some days I am not okay. I am not fine, but I will be.



Cinquain – My Words

My words

are important;

but saying everything

that I think, I feel and believe

is wrong.


University of Stirling Campus, Scotland (March 2020) ©DSCoremans

Recent Poetry from #FoDiByLi

Happy Writing. Stay Safe. Stay Distracted.

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