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An Italian leather notebook sits empty at my bedside. A gift from a dear friend with an encouraging,  handwritten message. The sun sneaks through wooden blinds just enough to illuminate dust particles dancing over it. I run my fingers across the engraved designs on the cover that seem to speak of great things to come. I look inside, as if expecting to find something that wasn’t there before. Between each fine line there is silence, words yet to be unraveled in garlands and strokes unique to me. A lovely pen waits for the warmth of my hands, but has lost all hope.

I type to the rhythm of my random thoughts wondering why this has become my only mode of composition. Somehow I have forgotten the crossing of t’s and dotting of i’s. I have left behind the curves and arches, loops and flairs. I have left behind a piece of myself.


frozen river breaks

mallard writes in cursive form

freed by early thaw




Written for Kim’s Haibun Monday. The theme of the prose is “communication through pen or pencil and paper, followed by a traditional Haiku that includes reference to a season.” You can join in too at dVerse Poets Pub. The prompt opens at 3 p.m. EST and is open all week.


31 responses »

  1. Wow…thank you for sharing this. So lovely and nostalgic.
    I stopped writing for a while then started again with a pen, as I had missed it

    • Thank you so much. 🙂 I think I get caught up in the ease of the back space and delete button but it just isn’t the same as pen to paper. 🙂

      • But it sure is great isn’t it, to type when our minds are going faster than the pen ever could! I know someone who’s writing her novel by hand and that sounds nearly impossible to me now

  2. You have done such a beautiful job of describing your journal and the beauty of handwriting. I love the silence between lines. I most often write my poetry by hand, in pencil, in an unlined journal just for poetry. It’s a beautiful mess. But lately I am doing more on my laptop and the sad reality is, it’s faster. A symptom of our lifestyle. I have a poem lurking in my brain that I will commit to pencil, Thanks to your post.

  3. This is a lovely write. Alas, I stopped writing by hand years ago for the simple reasons that I have arthritis in my hands from all the years of knife work and engineering work and…my handwriting is horrible. I bought a journal the other day because I liked the pattern on the front. It will never written in. The computer is my best friend these days. the haiku…what can I say about that beautiful haiku? It is absolutely spectacular.

  4. Analogue versus Digital. Modern forms of writing challenge the old ways. Yet even before these was the spoken word, memories, stories. Choosing the tools that we are most comfortable with, we persevere in this passion, in this valuable art.

  5. I have also ceased to write by hand… all my notes are made on computer, at least I know how to write a text and don’t just use powerpoint.

  6. This is such a stunning haibun, Mish! I also type pretty much everything and feel like I’ve ‘left behind a piece of myself’ but I still love beautiful notebooks. I so identify with what you have written: ‘Between each fine line there is silence, words yet to be unraveled in garlands and strokes unique to me. A lovely pen waits for the warmth of my hands, but has lost all hope… Somehow I have forgotten the crossing of t’s and dotting of i’s’.

  7. I could never go back to writing with a pen. Life’s too short. I write too much, but for short notes and just for the fun of it, I still love to really write. Maybe that’s how your mallards feel 🙂

  8. I love that haiku. The movement of the bird writes a poem on the water.

    I type a lot, but I like to write poems by hand, and the more you write the easier it gets again.

  9. I still find a paper notebook useful when walking, but I am mostly on the computer as well. The note software on my phone just doesn’t seem write.

  10. Your prose flows like liquid gold. This format of composition is now my fate, I’m afraid. I hope you find that part of you again. Beautiful haiku!

  11. I would echo Kim in that you have written a stunning haibun – it is a pleasure to read.
    Although a notebook and pen beside me at this desk, I must admit that much of my writing is of now, in that I am typing away.
    Maybe and probably we have lost the art of writing with pen and paper – but typing away is so much faster, faster than we lose those thoughts…
    Anna :o]

  12. Beverly Crawford

    I still keep a small journal at bedside, into which I scribble midnight epiphanies, which are copied and edited at my computer keyboard. Like you, my legible handwriting seems to have fallen by the wayside. Sad, isn’t it?

  13. Love the ducks writing in cursive… and that you are bit by bit losing pieces of yourself as your writing becomes les and less.

  14. I love the haiku. I still mostly write in a notebook first, then transfer it.

  15. Ah, such beautiful flow of thoughts.

  16. lovely. some journals are almost too pretty to write in — like virgin snow before the first footsteps.

  17. I really enjoyed this, and the haiku is lovely.
    I was writing something at my mom’s last week, and it was so strange to use a pen and paper. 🙂

  18. I love the haiku, it seemed to reflect your lack of writing by hand yet wanting to get back there again, the freed by early thaw and cursive handwriting. Such a streamlined flow from haibun to haiku. Your description of the dust motes over leather bound book made me very nostalgic of sitting by a window and thinking what to write.

  19. I really enjoyed reading this haibun . I particularly loved the last two sentences. It feels like homage and farewell. And that haiku fits so well. Excellent!!

  20. I find that I can still write by hand but that a ballpoint just isn’t the best way, we were taught to write in ink and I still write better in ink. Pens had prestige, I remember my mum getting me a waterman for a Christmas present once. “A lovely pen waits for the warmth of my hands, but has lost all hope.” perhaps you should give it a new lease of life and rediscover it.

  21. Oh my, you have captured the feelings I often experience when I look at my lovely journal, waiting.

  22. I love the contrast you imply between writing with pen vs writing on machine. Very evocative.


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