The Journals: A Life #fridayflash #nationalpoetrymonth #poetry #amwriting


In celebration of National Poetry Month, my Friday Flash this week is not a flash at all, but a poem (though if you consider it prose instead I suppose it could be called a flash). Be sure to check out Robert Lee Brewer’s  PAD challenge on Writer’s Digest and have a go at poetry yourself, whether you normally pen poems or, (like me), do not.

The Journals: A Life, was inspired by last year’s PAD challenge prompt, to write a poem about “new arrivals”. Though I quickly threw a poem together that day it was quite unorganized and so I’ve messed with it several times over the past year. I hope you enjoy!

the journals

The Journals: A Life, by Deanna Schrayer

Battered dun Samsonite filled near to                                    

flowing over, bought sixteen years hence,                    

from a stranger’s yard one Saturday.                                     

She knows there’s more room – the letters need          

only be rearranged. “You can’t take                                       

it with you,” friends mock… yet again.                        


Thin yellows move aside grudgingly.                            

Worn creams scoot over, more accepting,                    

(they are young yet, they know no better).                   

There are those that were once aflame with                            

neon glow, dim now beyond color                                

itself. Dull nothingness, remains.                                  


Tattered scraps dance with joy. Only these                            

are thrilled with the company, welcome                                                   

her new words with a potent hunger,                                     

leap into the dusty air, flutter                                       

about, embracing one another,                                               

glide like feathers to the bottom.                                   


She sits on the lid, blocking daylight                                      

altogether, clasps the lock, wonders,

once again, how many years will have

passed before her eyes feel the need to

touch those words flowed from ink-stained, aching

fingers. What those words will mean, then.


Go here to read a couple of my favorite poems. Who are your favorite poets? Do you have a particular favorite poem?

Be sure to visit the Friday Flash Community for more great flash fiction by outstanding authors!

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16 thoughts on “The Journals: A Life #fridayflash #nationalpoetrymonth #poetry #amwriting”

    1. Thanks so much Marc! It just so happens that I had been going through old letters and journal entries not long before I came upon the prompt. In other words, this poem is not all fictional. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you got some inspiration out of this David, and that you’re so determined. Go, David, go! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for saying that Steve as that’s what I felt when writing it. It’s always great to hear the reader feels what the writer felt, eh?

    1. Thanks so much Claudia! That means a lot to me considering I don’t often write poems (and know little about the structure of poetry).

    1. Yes, John, one does hope. And I hope that last line conveys exactly that – that, eventually, she’ll have learned many of those Big Life Lessons the words (in the journals) reflect.

  1. It’s funny how we keep the old memories around, trying desparately to hold on to something long past. I don’t know if I could ever go back to the passionate ramblings of my youth, though. I’m afraid I would lose respect and have little grace for the budding heart full of wonder and promise. As the saying goes, I would be willing to replay the years of my youth if only I could take the wisdom learned over the years with me. A good poem, Deanna. I’m envious of you for doing it. I don’t think I have it in me, and I’m struck with wonder at those who do.

    1. You hit the nail on the head Stephen. I used to wish that I could go back in time and change things but, over the years, I’ve come to realize the importance of the lessons learned along with the good times had; after all, that’s what it takes to appreciate whatever “here and now” we are living.

      I encourage you to write poetry for, even if you decide never to share it, it can do a lot of good for the soul. In fact, when I wrote this poem I was going through a very rough time, one of those Major Life Changes, and I was frustrated that, for the last several months, the only thing I seemed able to write was my feelings in journals (yes, this poem is basically a true story), I couldn’t write fiction to save my life. I was so very frustrated but, being determined to get back to fiction, and as sort of a device for healing, I decided to give poetry a try. I am so glad I did. I still don’t know much about the formal structure of poetry, but I learned enough to morph some of those journal entries into poems, even creating characters in order to “take myself out of the picture”, and it did wonders for helping me move past that challenging time.
      Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words!

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