Tuesday, 1 November 2011


“Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need to know of hell.” - Emily Dickinson

A page of white writing paper is an invitation – or a threat – depending on one’s inclination, mental state, pressures acting on one at the time, and whether or not one suffers from the dreaded “writer’s block”. Staring at that blank page can chill one’s heart, especially if there is deadline to be met and words just simply fail to come out.

The image above is sourced from the “Three Hundred Pages” blog and this entry gives advice to writers suffering form “writer’s block”. It is an image that illustrates the topic well. Here is my take on the image, part of the Magpie Tales weekly writing community challenge.


Your goodbye typed –
A few sparse words
On white legal paper.
Crows on snowy landscape,
Mournful harbingers of winter.

The “e” is filled-in
And the “g” jams on that typewriter –
Easy to do forensics on this note.
So business-like, your memo, despite the faults of type,
Looks like an invoice for “services rendered”.

I follow the folds with my finger,
Caressing the valleys and the crests –
As my fingers chill and my heart freezes.
The paper cuts, the ink poisons:
This note adds injury to insult.

The typewriter, a running joke between us,
Sat on the guest room desk,
“A talisman,” you said, “against writer’s block…”
Our notes were all handwritten in the past,
Technology reserved only for work purposes.

I observe the ink stain on the wall
And look at the smashed ink-bottle on the floor;
I smooth out the crumpled page.
“My love…” I read the handwriting,
And see the nib stab marks on it and the ink spatters.

Our love, assassinated,
Killed with a pen –
It’s mightier than the sword, after all.
The crumpled page a pallid corpse;
“My love…” you wrote – and executed the words,
Finding it easier to type the living dead:
“Goodbye, don’t look for me. Ever!”


  1. So sad, so hard, so cruel - the final blow.

  2. This is so very poignant. Very vivid picture painted with words...but such a sad ending.

  3. Now it is the e-mailed break up note.

    I think some things should be difficult to write - by hand always. That includes goodbyes of any type (sorry for the pun there0.

    Great poem.

  4. Another nice write...I really like the play on "paper cuts"...

  5. How sad this poem is... And yet how true! When we don;t have the courage to say some things we may write them. Typing personal notes and letters was something we were never allowed to do in our family, and I like the way that you equate the typewritten note with a legal document or a commercial invoice...

  6. A wonderfully visual write. : )

  7. Lovely poem but very sad Nic...........

  8. Sad yet so wonderfully written - I love how you wove the pen being mightier than the sword into the poem.