Six Images a Day

I haven’t written much poetry since high school. I would never have described myself as a poet, nor did I think I’d ever want to. But recently I wrote a poem that sort of came gushing out, mostly because it was something I’d been wanting to write about for years, but the topic was too big for a short story or an essay, it had to be a poem. Sometimes the larger world can only be expressed in the fewest words. 


So I was intrigued when my poet friend mentioned she keeps an “image journal.” In it, she records six images she sees every day. No explanation or set up, just the image. Like: cat lying on back, blue flower in vase, red apple on a table. Then she just holds onto it for a while. Maybe in time, several join together to form a poem. Or maybe one image inspires its own verse. I’m not entirely sure how it works, but it’s a lovely way to record time and space, and more importantly, heart and soul.


So I thought this might be a good experiment while spending some time on the magical island of Ireland. Here were my images from today: 


Painters’ light on the hilltops

Clouds in the water

White-winged birds skimming the bay

A red broken dock

Tiny white daisies in the emerald green grass

A wooden rowboat 


Those are the first images that came to mind, but they will forever remind me of a very special evening when that magical Irish light pulled us out of our cottage and down to the water. They will remind me that I’m blessed and that nature brings a calm like no other. They will remind me that in this land of beauty and music and passing smiles, there has also been so much suffering and sadness. And they will remind me that creativity is heightened when we slow down, sit still, and just notice.


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