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A Poem and a Sketch From What Might Have Been Lost Time

Photo Apr 30, 12 31 04 PM

Craggy branches sprawl
shadow navy moonlit sky
a macabre peace

*   *   *

I wrote this haiku last weekend while waiting for my teenage stepson to come out from a sweet sixteen party.

My husband and I had dropped him off earlier that evening, then run a few errands, had dinner, strolled a bookstore, and then it was 11:00 p.m. and things were closing. The party didn't end until midnight so we sat in the parking lot until it ended. My husband opted for a quick nap and my toddler was playing in his car seat.

I've made it a practice to carry a notebook with me nearly everywhere I go, but I rarely end up using it for more than a quick note. But there I was in a dark parking lot with time to kill and a pesky little inner voice mocking me: "a true writer would take this opportunity to write."

So I pulled out my notebook and stared at a blank page for a minute unsure of what to write. That's when I noticed the big twisty tree silhouetted in front of me. It looked like a scene from a children's haunted tale.

I put my pen to paper and scribbled until I had a small poem I was happy with. Then I sketched the tree to help solidify it in my memory. (I don't draw much nor have I ever really learned to do so, but I made do with my limited skills.)

I'm glad I had my notebook with me that night. This scratched up page makes me happy.


  1. I like to keep a notebook handy as well. Only thing, when I don't have it then I have something to make note of and when I have it with me, nothing emerges to write about. When that happens, it is a good time to sketch, as you have done. The art triggers other parts of our creative soul, often poetry. That is how my first novel began (TBP-June). I did a quick painting that drew out the story. It sort of tumbled out after that. Maybe you have a story idea waiting to come out with that poem and sketch!

  2. I love how you can record a moment without paragraphs of description. Once I wrote a poem that's about a dozen words long, and every time I remember those words I can see the light in the room when I first wrote them down, that specific amber color that happens right before the sun sets in late summer.
    Nice work with the haiku - and the drawing - Sherri...

  3. I have definitely had the problem where ideas happen when I don't have a notebook and no ideas when I have it. It's neat that you got a novel idea through painting. Very cool!

  4. Thank you, Liv. I think I'd like to try sketching a bit more. It does recall memories.

  5. I love the serendipitous nature of this post. One of my faves.


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