Upon a poem

For the NaPoWriMo prompt.


When we write a thing

of joy or grief

a falling leaf

an absence beneath

the roof

the way the light plays

on still water and water rippling


or the slashed

cross-hatched rain

across the window again

when we write the words of you and me


the cat lying in the sun

an unknown whose life is done

when we write the song of birds

and lamentations near and far

they are



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.

52 thoughts on “Upon a poem”

    1. Thank you. I’m pleased with this one in the end. I wasn’t going to do this prompt; I have a million things to do today, but this popped out quickly and painlessly 🙂

  1. That’s a creative way of describing the experience of writing poetry. I’ve been doing that more often with the Ospreyshire blog since that was one of the main purposes of it to begin with. Now comes the spoken word recording parts…

      1. Thank you. I have recorded some and even did a year-long video series called Katauta 52.

        I understand if you don’t want to put your voice to your poems.

      2. You did voice overs? That actually sounds great. If you hated doing voice overs, then I understand. A bunch of people told me I should give voice acting a try, but I never had the chance to do so.

      3. I translated a lot of in-house films for big French companies, either publicity for their clients or health and safety for employees. I was asked by the company that did the filming if I’d be willing to do the spoken part. It was okay in that I was the one who had written the translation so I the phrases were ones I was happy with speaking. It’s a nerve-wracking experience though.

      4. Okay. That’s great how you did translations, too. Sorry to hear about you being nervous at the time when you worked there. I’ve been doing my best to go back to learning other languages. I took Japanese classes a long time ago, but I lost most of it (especially the writing aspect).

      5. Arigato, Jane-san. Haha!

        In all seriousness, Japanese isn’t that hard of a language to speak from what I remember. Learning and writing the 3 alphabets is much tougher. I’ve definitely noticed that when learning new languages and that puzzle comparison is apt. Even when I randomly dabbled in Yoruba and Welsh for a day for kicks, it was so interesting.

      6. Funny random choices, right? Haha! There were many more choices I looked up when it comes to African and European languages. Welsh came up in my DNA sample (on my Dad’s side in addition to English), so I looked at some words for fun. Some of my friends from the UK said I can do a legit Welsh accent when I joked around one time.

        You’d be right about Yoruba even though I’m not of Nigerian descent, but two other countries I got in my DNA results do have Yoruba representation in West Africa and have official language statuses. I’ve seen a couple of films that feature that language such as Green White Green even though most of the dialogue is in English with some Hausa and Igbo here and there. The other one is a short film called Plaything which had one line of dialogue in that respective language.

        Besides that, I want to be efficient in multiple languages. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this joke, but it’s an interesting one: What do you call someone who knows 3 or more languages? A polyglot. What do you call someone who knows 2 languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who only knows 1 language? American.

      7. Welsh must be as difficult to learn as any African language. They say that the older the language the more complex it is. Modern languages have lightened up.
        The joke figures 🙂

      8. Granted, I’ve just been starting out and mainly focused on another foreign language, but I do agree that Welsh was trickier with the pronunciations like how LL sounds like a C in some words (imagine the name Lloyd sounding like Cloyd there). Yoruba hasn’t been that bad, but I had to get used to some of the accent marks. Last year, I dabbled in Amhara and Tigrinya and those were more difficult to pronounce for me and they use the Ge’ez alphabet which is certainly different from ours. Those last two are from Ethiopia and Eritrea and I do believe they are two of the oldest languages that are still active (I do know the Ge’ez script predates Arabic for example).

        Yes, the joke is all too true.

      9. How do you pronounce words with no vowels? I spent a year at college learning Irish and I could say barely how are you by the end of it. Too complicated grammatically and the pronunciation!

      10. That’s a good question. Haha! Was Irish that tough of a language? Wow. I remember being thrown off as a kid when I heard of the Irish singer Maire (Moya) Brennan. Even when I watched two Irish animated films The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, there were characters with names that did not look like how I thought they were pronounced. There’s a main character in the former named Aisling, but I thought her name was Ashlyn. The latter had two characters named Saoirse and her mother Bronagh. I thought they were spelled Seersha and Brona until I looked at the credits.

      11. Irish is murder. The words (even given names) change in the way they’re written and pronounced according to which part of the sentence they are. Like the name Séamus (Shay mus) changes to A Shéamais ( A Hay mish) if you’re say calling out to him across the road. Mad.

      12. Oh, wow. I wasn’t aware of those facts about that language. I didn’t know that the names change depending on the sentence structure or proximity. None of the languages I’ve learned and/or learning right now don’t do that. The closest thing is Japanese with honorifics, but even then the rules are straightforward and easy while name itself is still spelled the same.

      13. Sorry, it cut off my comment. Learning languages is good and if there’s a cultural tie to one’s home country or ancestry, it could have an efficient use there even if one isn’t fluent in it.

      14. All Irish people know some Irish, but not everyone is fluent. English is such a powerful steamroller of a language that it dominates everywhere it’s spoken. Shame, but a fact of life thanks to the British Empire and most of all the US.

      15. I see. I’ve noticed how most Irish media I’ve experienced like movies and music is in English as opposed to Irish/Gaelic. What I wasn’t aware of was how fluent people are in that language. That’s true about English taking over so many countries in both as an official language, business language and a lingua franca. You could go to America, Ireland, Australia, Guyana, or even Zambia, and you’ll be able to have English conversations with several people.

      16. It has its advantages but it means that countries that are heavily tied to an anglophone country through trade and culture find their own language is so devalued they stop speaking it.

      17. It certainly does with one common tongue and some countries do devalue their own languages, there are certainly some exceptions. With Nigeria for example, there are plenty of English speakers, but the local languages such as Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa are still actively used to this day.

      18. That could be true with the aftereffects of colonialism aside with the example I gave. There are some languages that can work as neutral lingua franca for certain locations like Swahili in Africa, Quechua in South America, or Azerbaijiani/Azeri in parts of the Middle East.

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