The Audience Awaits

The audience shuffles in their seats,

The stage looms before the reader,

The night hides behind the curtain

And the poet waits to feed her,

Whispering into the microphone,

To set an atmosphere,

Words wander away, panic!

The pages disappear…


As the audience awaits.


The world spins beneath him,

He stands on the precipice,

Ghosts of failures finding him,

He sinks into the abyss,

The unquiet savage of sorrow,

Doubt has found new premises,

Courage fled the auditorium,

Confidence, now his nemesis…


As the audience anticipates.


Scared to death, he takes a breath,

And opens up his eyes,

Remembering anything is

Possible if he tries,

Art and oratory venture forth,

Surprising and delighting,

The poet performs, forgetting

The fright that he was fighting…


The audience appreciates.


22 thoughts on “The Audience Awaits

  1. Bastet says:

    this had my throat close … and then the liberation of finally going beyond that terrible fear. Loved you write Baldy … it really moved me!

  2. Great narrative. Is that a true story? I guess we can all relate – at least I can. Thanks for joining the prompt!

    • thanks, Sreejit, and yes, it happened. My first performance reading poetry, had a panic attack but got through it, ending with an eruption of applause. We just have to believe in ourselves, eh? Sincere best wishes, my friend 🙂

  3. samanthajill says:

    Beautiful piece, I really liked how you could feel the emotions as you were reading 🙂

  4. You’ve captured this experience with such detail and clarity. It’s one I can remember well from my days of singing, public speaking, and teaching. Although the fear was still always there, I did learn tricks to minimize it’s control over me (like breathing and remembering my purpose).

    I even took a class in public speaking to deal with the fear and discovered something surprising and unexpected. Fear is a good thing – it’s emotional energy that can be channeled into one’s voice, expression, and movements. Those in my class who were unafraid spoke in a dull monotone, and stood motionless and without expression. It was hard to say awake when they spoke…

    I’m sorry I missed your first performance – but it sounds like you touched people deeply.

  5. Karuna says:

    I also recognize that experience.

  6. NooryaK says:

    Loved it. You beautifully put the emotions of fear…
    And the end has hope 🙂

  7. reminds me of my public speaking days

    • *grins* I have never been comfortable with crowds. Writing for me is a strange concept (a necessary one, it is like an addiction), I want to be read and approved and yet unnoticed if that makes sense. Adored but left alone. Sounds a bit selfish now it is on a page. I think platforms like wordpress are ideal for writers like me, we can display our craft without looking anyone in the eye (and make treasured new friends along the way!). It is always pleasant to hear from you, Paul, sincere best wishes as always; sir. 🙂

  8. Profound poetry with beautiful form! I have stage fright too.

  9. I wasn’t sure if this was autobiographical until I read your comment. So glad it went off well. What a brave thing to do. Congratulations. 🙂

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