In the palm of memory’s hand

I saw this new haiku/haibun challenge on Janice’s (On the land) blog, and couldn’t resist the theme—journey. Thank you, Suzanne 🙂 My road started somewhere close to Malin Head, the subject of this painting.


We have walked this road for so long, from the fields full of rocks, the green mountains undulating in the silver mists of rain, to the ocean that never forgets. Though the sun has shone soft on my face and the wind has been at my back, the road has always rolled beneath my feet. We have stopped for a while in the shelter of stone walls and the clutter of familiar objects, in the growl of cities and the bird-swooping peace of gardens, but the heart is never still.

I wonder, as I pack the boxes full again and fold the good memories with the old and worn, whether there is ever any peace for such as us, castaways from a place inked on retinas in the vibrant hues of sunset and sunrise. And yet I know the answer—to stop is to die. Death is the endless repetition of the same gestures, the spouting of the same platitudes. It is walking the same streets and seeing the same holes in the path and caring less with each passing day.
I pack the cups and the silver that have been companions of generations now, add a few newer souvenirs, and prepare to take to the road again, the sinuous silver sea serpent that slips forever onward to some hypothetical home.


In the light you stand,

ghosts about a green rath, seen

through a veil of rain.




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.

24 thoughts on “In the palm of memory’s hand”

      1. I could not achieve this as you do, seemingly without effort, you just get it right, like a ballerina whose art you cannot really put into words yet you know she is your favorite of all the dancers on stage.

  1. Wow Jane, I am honoured that your wrote such a beautiful and profound piece in response to my prompt. You have put in words so much that is in my own heart and your painting reminds me of the way the Irish west coast is painted into my memories. Thank you again for responding to my prompt. I hope you visit again.

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