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Shane P Ward

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No Smoking
by Shane P Ward

Sunday, April 24, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Shane P Ward
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After 28 years I kicked 'the habit'. Having survived non smoking for a whole week, I thought I would share the benefit of my idiocy with others.

At last I quit the coffin nails, those dreaded cancer sticks.
I yield to them no longer. I shall not require 'a fix'.
My master is not cigarettes. From now on it is me.
Tis I who rule my life and I will live in it smoke free.

Why did I start? It does not matter. Reasons count but one.
There's no good way to justify decisions clearly dumb.
But it was my decision. I admit that to my peers.
And so I smoked the dreaded weed for twenty eight long years!

Did I enjoy a cigarette? Yes there were quite a few.
Especially after food or if I had a drink or two.
But there were many, many more not nice or sweet sublime,
when Mr Nicotine required attention all the time.

In all the years I smoked I was supported by
those who
Because they smoked, like me, enjoyed reciprocation too.
Collusion fed collective myths of social interaction.
The club required participants of 'ciggy satisfaction'.

We had one thing in common (Not withstanding coughs and choking).
The group was barred from many a place by these two words, 'No Smoking'.
I s'pose for those who did not smoke there had to be a club
excluding those whose lives were ruled by smoke and filtered stub.

The smokers often scorned those who did not lay out the cash
to buy some fags, then burn it, turning money into ash.
How could 'non-smokes' appreciate indifference to wealth?
Or understand our cavalier disdain towards our health?

I know. I was that smoker and embraced that dreadful role.
Until it hit me suddenly that I had no control.
My life was run by cigarettes, so firm was my conviction
that something had to change. I had to cast out my addiction.

With patches at the ready and my will power on top.
I picked a day to quit the stick and then I'd simply stop.
And that I did, one Sunday morning, filled with self belief,
which crumbled two hours later as the habit caused me grief.

Was it hard to stop? You betchya! Every single day.
Some minutes seemed like hours till the craving went away.
I conjured up so many good excuses to give in.
But I was so determined that tobacco would not win.

The war raged on inside my head. Withdrawal was no fun.
But I could stop it all with just one cigarette. Just one.
So tempting was the subtle, slimy, wheedling, nagging voice.
And yet I knew that 'just one more' would leave me with no choice.

I had to shut my ears and eyes and mind to that foul creature.
I had to be the student and I had to be the teacher.
I had to practice what I preached. I had to be a bore.
I had to do whatever it would take to smoke no more.

The first day was the worst until the second day became.
The third day was the worst and then the fourth was much the same.
The fifth day? That was not so bad but bad enough to bear
But then I felt the sixth day I had got it beat. So there!

And now a week has passed and I am finally smoke free.
The fog has lifted from my life. T'was worth the agony.
Of course the cravings come and go - and will do for a time
But I'm no longer listening. To start again? A crime!

Already, in a single week, (and smokers you may scoff)
In health and wealth, in self esteem, I find I'm better off.
My life belongs to me again. I must have been so thick
to be a slave to nicotine - that smelly cancer stick!

Of course there's nought that irritates like new reformed non-smokers
They bore you with self righteous statements. Verbal red hot pokers.
I count myself amongst them so my smoker friends beware.
I'll tell you I can smell your smoke in rooms and clothes and hair.

Telling you to stop is not what I would like to do.
The reason that I quit was choice. The same is up to you.
To quit is hard, I don't deny it. Really it's no joke.
But if you can withstand the strain, you'll not return to smoke.

And finally a warning - and I say this in good heart.
If you have never ever smoked - then never ever start.
If you think that it's cool to smoke then just try stopping it.
You'll find it's easier not to start, than smoking is to quit.



If you're thinking of quitting, take a look at Shane Ward's eBook, 'Stop Smoking: Diary of a Quitter' here on Authors Den 


This poem is among one of 100 poems in Shane P Ward's compilation, LOL Poems (Poems that will make you Laugh Out Loud). Available through Synergebooks from Christmas 2012. See  

Shane Ward

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Reviewed by Z McClure 12/11/2009
I have never smoked, by the grace of God, but this is a very honest and straight-forward poem about what I've viewed to be one of life's greatest additions. I'm so glad you have quit and will pray that the Lord will grant you continued victory. Most excellent, well written poem! ~zACH
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 11/4/2009
First rate narrative on the real story. I never smoked bu my mom did for 50 years. At 76 we made her stop, using the patch. By golly she did it and is far better off for it. That was 8 months ago. Does she still want one - as you said, You Betcha. Ordinary chewing gum works wonders. Patrick
Reviewed by Carvin Wallson 8/21/2009
I am one of the reformed types myself, but cannot say that I had any great awakening when I finally gave up for good (after many times trying). My life seemed exactly the same except for the fact that I constantly wanted a cigarette. I still wish that they made a nonaddictive cigarette that I could have just once in a while without any desire to have one again. I truly miss the taste, the smell, etc., but realized some time after quitting how disgusting it is to make out with a smoker. I apologized to my ex-girlfriend, but considering that she was the main reason I kept it up (I finally kicked a few short days after we ended) I wasn't that sorry. I CAN'T GO ON--I WILL GO ON!
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 7/28/2009
Awesome! A must read for every person who smokes. I love your sense of humor, Shane. Your work is wonderful to read.

Reviewed by Walt Hardester 7/16/2009
Well done. I am struggling with ending the madness myself and brother, it is hard. I've backslid many time but the next time will be for good.
Reviewed by Flying Fox Ted L Glines 1/24/2009
To me, the best thing about stopping smoking is when the day comes that you really begin to start smelling things again, like the full rich smell of mown grass, and stuff like that. Pure sniffing bliss!!!

Reviewed by Reformed Smoker (Reader) 3/23/2008
I agree entirely, people should be free to do as they wish. Those that want or need to quit will do so when the time is right. It's those reformed smokers I can't stand, they drive me nuts.

Reformed Smoker
Reviewed by Tom Hyland 1/13/2008

Been a DIE-HARD SMOKER for about 52 years now, just never had either the real desire to quit, nor the fear of the consequences.

I think that it is GREAT, when an individual CHOOSES to quit - BUT I truly DETEST anyone, including governments, to try to FORCE me. The very FIRST thing that the NAZIS did in 1939, was to announce a SMOKING BAN ...

GEE, what if all the zealous NON-smokers had the same regard towards CORPORATE AIR POLLUTION BELCHING OUT OF SMOKESTACKS INCESSANTLY FOR OVER 60 YEARS?

PAX TECUM ... Tom.
Reviewed by julia masterson 11/7/2007
i am in my 14th week of quitting!! im 18 and have smoked since the age of 12 not that long i know but long enough, i dodnt use anything! just will power, it is hard, but im getting there sometimes my friends forget and offer me a cigarette i always say no, but only when they do offer me is when i need one, apart from that im fine, fair play to you i love this poem well done
Reviewed by Elizabeth Price 11/4/2007
lol. Wonderful poem. Love the sentiment, right after I put out my smokes. Excellent. Liz
Reviewed by Julie Donner Andersen 10/20/2007
"Telling you to stop is not what I would like to do.
The reason that I quit was choice. The same is up to you."

Great lines! Inspiring poem! Nothing worse than a reformed smoker...glad you made a choice just as important as quitting: being a nice guy about it and not a nuisance.

Reviewed by Keith Rowley 10/16/2007
Great write...
Interesting...I smoked from 15 (years old) to 25 and 35 to 50. Was on 50 fags a day. Decided to stop six weeks ago - no withdrawal, no longings, no problems - no patches etc - just a decision. Weird eh?

Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G 1/14/2007
GREAT Control Shane!
Great imporatant write!
Wonderful Inspiration!
WArmest HuGs,Warrior Sheeeooxx
*I quit when I was pregnant with my 1st daughter, since then with my 2nd Angel- I could light up...Gross.. and the smell in my hair, clothing/etc.. is a refreshing scent! :)
Good luck and more Power daily to you!
P.s. I wrote a poem on quitting smoking a few days ago... Got to get the word out,for better health ahead for many~
Reviewed by Suzie Palmer 8/16/2006
Dear Shane
Fantastic words of wisdom!!
I gave up nine years ago .. so I'm not such a bad newly reformed smoker; but a reformed smoker I'll always be, and passive smoke will always be unnecessary pollution to me! I find it hard to have high respect for people who won't give up even when their father or mother is hooked to a machine etc... And even have existing respiratory conditions themselves!!
Ah well, each to their own ... and I don't have move in with him.
Thank you for sharing this highly necessary write!! (Saving to library)
Love, Suzie :-D
Reviewed by Phyllis Du'Gas 12/31/2005
Thanks for the inspiration - I needed that tonight!
Reviewed by Sue Hess 4/25/2005
i always tell people that being smug and self righteous after you quit is the only way to compensate for giving up smokes, so they can put up with it...:} i quit mainly because i refuse to go stand outside in freezing temperatures for a cigarette but i have been off them for so long now, i imagine i had more lofty reasons.
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 4/24/2005
Never picked up that habit, though I have started and stopped many others...still I find it hard to not take a hit of the herb every now and then, but I got past the hard stuff and alchohol on my just have to not want to anymore, and you seem to be in that place right now...much luck offered from...Ed & Rufuz (w00f)
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 4/24/2005

Congratulations on taking that big step! You've more courage than I...good luck!

A great write, metered and rhymed perfectly with a SPOT ON message!

You may have saved many lungs and hearts today--WELL DONE!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. :)
Reviewed by Larry Rochelle 4/24/2005
Very appropriate in these healthy times. I wish I could take back every time I bought my Dad Pall Malls. He died of a stroke at 60.
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