A pause on the road

This tanka is for Suzanne’s ‘On the road’ haiku prompt.


The road climbs, rocky,

beauty spreads from hill to hill,

molten sun-gold pours.

But for the stone in my shoe,

I would have passed by, heedless.


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.

37 thoughts on “A pause on the road”

  1. Beautiful tanka, with a touch of whimsy. It’s those unexpected stones that makes us pause and notice. So–I just took a quick work break and the email notification for this post came up–and I paused to read it. 🙂
    The painting and poem go together perfectly.

    1. ‘But for the stone in my shoe, I would have passed by, heedless.’
      It means that the narrator only noticed the beauty of the countryside around the hill road because she stopped to take a stone out of her shoe.

      1. Yes, and how sad, especially when we could be rejuvenated if we just stopped and –literally– smelled the roses. Or in my case, the trumpet flowers.

      2. Ha ha, it does seem that way, doesn’t it? I have not been bitten by the phone bug enough to watch it while I’m outside. Although these days I do actually check it (gasp) in case any important messages actually arrive. And I find it’s great for catching up on reading my friends’ blog posts while I’m stuck in the doctor’s waiting room.

      3. I can’t get internet on my phone, or at least not with the account I have so it never occurs to me to look at it ever. I hate seeing people sitting next to one another absorbed in the rubbish that”s going on on that little black screen.

  2. I really like this. Love how something annoying and irritating is the impetus for realizing how much you could miss or were missing.

    1. Thanks. We miss out on a lot simply because we’re preoccupied. Sometimes all it needs is a short sharp shock, or a stone in the shoe, to make us stop, draw breath and notice.

      1. Tanka is fine. I’m not very good at them but am more than happy to have others write them – I learn from yours. 🙂

      2. Same here but then I think that all the traditional forms can be rejigged to express the contemporary world. 🙂

  3. Sometimes the ‘stone in the shoe’ can be a life event that shakes one up to what’s important on the road of life. Nicely written, Jane.

  4. So often the case…we need the interruption in our inner dialogue to turn our attention to what surrounds us. And again, wonderful painting as accompaniment. (K)

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