In search of story

January 15.23: Coping, but barely


Writer’s Lament


I look out the window,

searching the sky,

one vast lumpy cloud

like a wakeful bed

where sleep has been sought,

demons of night manacled,


in tangles of blankets.

Just so the sky

in its tumbled, restless look.

No words there.

I search the ground,

cold sticky mud,

chevroned in black stems

cracking in a wind that crawls

on its belly through dead herbs,

pulling useless things.

No words there.

In drawers full of some-days

which become nevers,

no words.

In closets,

epaulets of dust

on heedless hollow shoulders,

I fumble in every pocket,

surprised by gloves

limp and soft, snuggled

like sleeping kittens.

But no words.

In sepulchral boxes

crowded with the mute past,

pages and faces that crumble,

where Then is more alive than Now,

longings, wonderings,

but not one word.

Others wander in this word desert

but it’s a lonesome place.



And so, dear reader, have I tried to grapple with yet another writer’s slump. I figured since I can’t find words to write about anything else, I might as well write about the slump.



12 thoughts on “January 15.23: Coping, but barely

  1. You don’t have writer’s slump my friend. You are spot on! I’m not a writer, not even in my dreams, but I share the slump with you. I can so relate to today’s poem it’s eerie. Lately my mind has been focusing more on Then than Now, except for figuring out tonight’s dinner! As you so perfectly stated, the Then is more alive than Now. Probably because I felt more alive and useful and hopeful Then. I didn’t walk with a cane. In fact, I could actually run! My skin wasn’t a wrinkle factory making crepe paper.

    I too have drawers and closets full of some-days which remain nevers. I think the slump is age-related for all of us Maureen, and because you are a wordsmith, it also effects your writing.

    And just think, the slump allowed you to create such a wonderful post!

    • Thanks, Ginger. You gave me some things to think about. I suspect you are wrong about being a writer, though; you do well with words and you obviously enjoy writing. Blog comments are often like letters, and that’s a certain kind of literature, in my never-humble opinion. You are certainly right about how we had more life in us Then, as opposed to Now, and I’m glad you understand the some-days and nevers.

  2. This reminded me of searching for that crumpled tissue that you know you put in your pocket because doesn’t everyone always have Kleenex on hand?

  3. But written in such beautiful, evocative poetry. You are so wonderfully gifted.

  4. I love this because I share the ‘word desert’ and all the thoughts, but I can’t make poetry out of it. 🙂 I have been thinking on and off this weekend about what can I write about. So far, I’m drawing a blank. Good to know I’m not alone. 🙂

    • You certainly are not alone, and you’re probably one of those shadowy figures I see in that desert. I will never figure out why sometimes the words come and sometimes they don’t. I hope you get out of your desert soon! With me following!

  5. You seem to have found the words you need. I like these a lot.

  6. The perfect tactic. This is actually one of my favourites, although I feel torn as I say that, since it is a poem of suffering.

    • Thank you. Wrestling with this did help. Your response is so interesting to me because I was just in a fuss with myself over Thomas Hardy, thinking how much I admired his writing where there was nothing uplifting in it at all. I am pleased that you like this and also pleased that you understand it. (Not saying I am Thomas Hardy!)

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