Poems Based Off Obscure Emotions

by Skyla Webb

Written for my writing class, these poems are based off of obscure emotions. These are feelings that you experience, but never really know how to describe. The three poems I wrote were three words (out of hundreds) that stood out the most. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (which can be accessed by clicking the title) is a website/blog written by a man, John Koenig, a.k.a. jkcreative, on the popular social media site, Tumblr.

In Independent Writing, we practice writing different genres, forms, etc. My freshman year is when I truly discovered poetry and the power it has whether you’re reading it or writing it. Poetry is a form of art that allows me to express myself better than anything else I’ve tried. I hope you enjoy reading. Included below are the definitions to the words that inspired the poems I wrote.

Liberosis, noun: the desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life, to stop glancing behind you every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone—rather to hold your life loosely and playfully, like a volleyball, keeping it in the air, with only quick fleeting interventions, bouncing freely in the hands of trusted friends, always in play.

Kairosclerosis, noun: the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.

Monachopsis, noun: the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.


I find myself wishing away

my empathy

sometimes I feel as though


and caring less

will heal me


because I am like a sponge

and I absorb pain and hurt

and happiness


like the desert

soaking up the last of the rain


I wish to be free

to not care


I’ve tried lots of things

I’ve tried sleeping

and writing the words on paper

that I wish I could carve into my skin

but pain doesn’t escape me


when I feel the flooding and overflow

of emotions associated with a good life

it all seems to drain and fill

with a life that is never lived

only hidden in between words

and ignored in conversations


it is the life I lead

and wish to escape








the word echoes in my mind

I find myself singing a tune

and thinking of when it started

about what I said that made them happy

which made me happy


then I think about what I could have said

to make them even more happy

and then I lose some of that joy

and the feeling of floating

is suddenly a drowning

because now I don’t have air

because now I need to fix it

because I can’t be happy if

they might not be happy anymore

because what I said might have offended

because I don’t think sometimes

and then I say the wrong things and-







the word is stale on my tongue and burns when I swallow

I wash it down with my tears

and wait for the cycle to start



I feel like the only drop of oil

in an ocean of water

I am floating just above people I could


be like


I feel like a moth in a cave of butterflies

my dull colors vivid in the hoard of beauty

a cruel joke if you ask me


if I were a planet, I would be Pluto

because I just am not quite good enough

to be the real thing


people try to hide it from my but

I can see it in their eyes

and sense it in their souls

they do not understand

that I understand

that I am out of place here


that I just don’t belong


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