Giving in to the addiction again—another minute poem for the Daily Post prompt: learning.


What have I learnt today, asks she,

What can I be?

Is there a ploy

To bring me joy?


The answer falls from sky of blue,

Of every hue

The petals bright

In green leaf-light.


The answer sings in feathered throats,

Dancing dust motes,

Clouds, rose-pale skies—

Open your eyes.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

42 thoughts on “Joy”

  1. I for one am glad you are ‘addicted’ because I have really enjoyed so many of your minute poems Jane. I take a long time to write, and you can write so well in such a short time, it inspires me to try to be more nimble and quick-witted (ow, it hurts) and most of all I just marvel that you can produce a poem I really love in such a short time, that’s incredible, a good addiction for sure.

    1. That’s a beautiful compliment! It’s taken quite a lot of practice to get so ‘nimble’. I suppose you just have to get into a particular way of thinking. The words are there, it’s just a question of getting them to come out in the right order 🙂

      1. I know people older than me, older than us, who cannot do it. I think you may not realize just how nimble you are, naturally because it’s not possible for everyone, yet you really master it and produce some gorgeous poetry xo

      2. The words certainly come easier now. But that facility doesn’t necessarily make good memorable poetry. I’d love to be a good poet and write lines that people found they remembered because they said something to them in a personal, not clichéd way. One day, maybe 🙂

  2. Lovely piece of writing. I so very often find myself completely awestruck when in nature. Something I cannot replicate in any other way. A lovely thought. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Indeed. So immense and so deeply profound.

    Yet, we spend most of our lives with a shallow experience of nature. Forever distracted by the human world we’ve created for us.

    Stay in touch 🙂

    1. We’ve created an interface that we prefer to the real thing, Disney cartoons instead of real hyenas and lions, virtual thrills and spills because the force of nature is just a bit dangerous.
      Will do 🙂

      1. Completely agreed. But do we really prefer it? Or do we self-medicate against our urban existences with alcohol, endless work and the pursuit of material stuff that we don’t actually need.

        I cover this in my upcoming book. It fascinates me.

        Looking forward to more of your writing!

      2. I don’t think we have a choice any more. Who is going to agree to forego medical advances, running hot water, heating in winter, food in the shops? There are too many of us to ‘go back to nature’. That generally means taking all the modern means of existence (including car, fridge, generator etc) and spoiling yet another bit of nature. It’s the kind of thing I write about too. It fascinates and appalls me.

      3. An interesting thought. My response may rustle a purist feathers but I do generally prescribe to the notion that, perhaps as with most things in life, the answer is to be found in the middle somewhere. The ambiguous grey area where we do not forego the best of our human innovation but within this also reconnect with nature.

        I aim to strike that balance in my life and am always adjusting one way or another, back into the grey.

      4. My ideal would be to slide into a quiet side stream, settle down in a pile of old stones surrounded by birds and deer and a lot of sunflowers. In fact that’s exactly what I am going to do, but I know that if I get sick, there are no doctors for miles around, there’s no hospital, no dentist, not even a police force. It’s a conundrum I solve in my fiction, but I’m not sure how to do it in real life. I’d be interested to hear how you square the circle.

      5. That does sound ideal in many ways, but you are afraid for all the same reasons as I am.

        The idealist in me would want nothing more than to live remotely in a wooden cabin I’ve built in the middle of a forest (my uncle actually did this).

        But then, I am completely acclimatised to the creature comforts of living in an inner city and I am sure that I would miss the connectivity of the Internet and the creative output I am able to throw onto it.

        The balance is somewhat impossible to strike. But this does not mean it cannot be pursued. The more I better myself and the cleaner I live, the closer I feel to fulfilling the dual role.

        So for example, I’m currently teetotal (no alcohol or anything untoward) and living as a pescatarian (Vegetarian who eats fish).

        I’m working on finding my inner peace in the city. Then, when the time is right I can return to a more natural clime with the strength and resolve to live in joy there.

        Perhaps. Who know?

      6. That’s sort of the path we’re taking. Except for the alcohol. You can’t live in Bordeaux and not enjoy wine. Trying to keep that ecological footprint as faint as possible, no car, no air miles, no TV no gadgets, heating and hot water to a minimum. Our biggest sin apparently is pets. We have picked up strays from the street and we feed them. The dog eats normal human food but the cats eat stuff out of tins. That’s bad, I know, but what do you do? Let them starve?

      7. Oh. I don’t think your pets are a sin. They are lost souls in need of a home. If anything you are doing a beautiful thing.

        Your footprint is smaller than mine, but then, I’m 26 living in a downtown core. It’s hardly the most Eco-Friendly. But I try in my own way.

        Bordeaux is a lovely place, do you speak French?

      8. I’ve lived in France since just before you were born, so it’s become a second language now 🙂 Bordeaux is not like an American megalopolis, and even by French standards it’s fairly easy-going and lazy, but it’s still in perpetual motion and I’m sure that the absence of stillness does something to our natural rhythms.

      9. Oh nice. I do really like Bordeaux. I’m actually natively a French speaker too (partly). I was born in Montreal, but grew up in London (England).. So have a little of both.

        The lack of stillness is perturbing, but I wonder how much is of the world and how much is in our mind.

        The book I’m writing is about how I survived a suicide attempt and learnt to find gratitude through realigning my outlook. It’s made me really realise that what we want to see is usually what we see.

        That said, the city is raucous and silence is so often a dream reserved for times of travel.

      10. Bordeaux and Québec in general have a special relationship. Probably partly because of Alain Juppé. I love the idea of Québec and would happily give it a whirl as a place to live if it wasn’t for the climate. I can’t stand the cold.
        Anyone who has been to the brink of suicide has a story to tell. It’s one of those experiences that if you haven’t been there yourself, you can’t possibly understand it. I hope the way you see things now has dragged you back definitively from the brink.

      11. Quebec is a beautiful city and certainly a great place to live. Not necessarily easy to find work or a stable income, which is why I am yet to attempt being there full time. I’m still dependant on an income, although I do hope that one day my writing will pay my way.

        I completely agree. It’s such a precise place to be found in. The journey out, if one can make it, is critically life-affirming. I believe I am definitively through, but I guess like all things in life – one can never fully know.

      12. No one is ever out of range of depression, and the step from depression to suicide is crucial but not necessarily a massive one. Even depression, once it’s passed, is difficult to explain and isn’t open to logical argument. I hope you find enough in the life you have around you to keep you focused on the worthwhile and the necessary. You’re in a good place to start 🙂

      13. Completely agree. One can never be certain. But a lot has changed. I no longer drink, I eat well, exercise, I’m financially way better off and creatively much better off.

        At this point I’ll have to jump a lot of self-imposed hurdles to get back into the darkness.

      14. That’s it. I’m not running from it any more. Just building protective barriers around myself, fortifying my soul.

        This is why I an writing my book. To help explain how we can all fortify our souls.


      15. That’s true! 🙂 I also need to accept that real artistic pursuit involves asking questions that many often don’t really even consider (or want to) and doing so condemns you to always wonder…

        ‘What if’

        A dangerous, beautiful question..

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