One Single Impression: Oubliette

Just under the roots of the tall grass
Along this part of the road
That need never be mowed

If you reach down with your bare hands
You will feel the jagged remains
Of a beer can
A broken milk bottle
A clay dish
A buckle
More (there is always more)

There are stories
In the cast off,
Forgotten bits
Fallen from trucks
Wagons, carts
Hands that

Want emptiness

Over time.

Dig deep

With your bare hands.

You will find story.

An oubliette is a dungeon; the word comes from the French for "forgotten place." While considering this prompt, I got to thinking that forgotten places begin at the surface of who we are and can be infinitely deep. What the bits and pieces we try to forget tell us about ourselves can be startling.


  1. so true, especially along highways. There are always those volunteers who pick up litter along the roadsides and the signs that say DON'T LITTER but many ignore them sadly.

  2. So true, my mind wanders often in the same direction when seeing discarded items in the most unusual places. I often see stories in them, while I contemplate their origins and wonder who were the owners, who tossed these away so carelessly, or who simply just lost these items...
    Beautiful poem.;)
    Have a lovely weekend,

  3. Beautiful, if sad thoughts and it does make you wonder who and from where and why do they care so little for their environment??? Have a great weekend, Sandy!


  4. Wow..! You painted it with ease! Beautiful!!

  5. I love this:) There are stories everywhere, indeed. We just have to look.

  6. We cover our sins or do we relie on nqature
    when our civalication is dug up what will impress the insects

  7. Sandy: You made a beautiful poem from trash.

  8. Ugh this sent shivers.
    I am afraid to walk barefoot in the sand because of what underneath like broken glass. I remember going into the water and stepping on broken glass which cut a deep gash on the sole of my foot and it took ages to heal and left a scar.
    Sometimes they have nails which go right through your shoe.
    I am not pleased with people who don't care and think this is funny to hurt someone like this. Its plain bad behavior and there is no excuse for it.

  9. Speaking of oubliettes, I found an old diary of 1973-74. It took me deep into the oubliette of that time period. I love it when you introduce new words. I am ready for a Scrabble game now. tee hee.

  10. hello Sandy,
    I am so glad you stopped by, inspiring me to visit and read your wonderful poem. I love your take on this prompt. I have been so busy lately, summer, two blogs, photos, work etc. that I have not been joining OSI as much. I actually miss this. I will be back soon. Again, I really enjoyed your poem.

  11. "you will find story."

    great post.

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

  12. Sandy, it's true, things may have unbelievable stories: it's so nice to think about them, to imagine them. Very fine poem, I enjoy it a lot.

  13. very nice poem, sandy...fresh air to my heart....

  14. That's how the storyteller works - looking at the smallest things in the world and making them magnificent.

  15. stories are hidden sometimes, it just takes a good story-teller to dig them out

  16. It is always interesting to see what has been left behind! Great story

  17. There is much truth here. It has always been fascinating to me to find little clues to a person's life.

  18. You are right Sandy...:)

    Those bits and pieces we want to put in garbage, those we want to forget will always come back like those thrash we've thrown, the wind will blow it away but may come back accidentally to where it came from.

    Thanks for this...and thanks for your encouraging comments in my blog. Thanks Sandy!

  19. If one has an inclination
    a heart for it,

    Every bit has a story...


  20. I like where you went with this prompt. The forgotten places brought to light.

  21. Beautifully written, Sandy. You made simple trash more - it all has a tale to tell; a person whose hand it fell from had a story we can consider.

    - Dina

  22. Beautiful...every tangible thing has a history and energy behind it. I loved your poem! (as always)

  23. I think if we dig deeper into the weeds of life we can also find stories in many obscure places. While sometimes hidden, these stories tell part of the story that ultimately adds richness. Are those cast off items memories, waiting to be found? Excellent take on prompt Sandy.

  24. amazingly done Sandy
    you are great as always

  25. Fantastic! I really love this one!

  26. So eloquently poetic both in verse and photo. Well done.

  27. what a different interesting approach Sandy!

  28. Beautiful! So many stories, so little time.

  29. This poem is immediate, direct and real. You remind me of William Carlos Williams. There is poetry in things if we only look. And that poetry is about us.

  30. Oh my- you hit something with me that I am going through right now in your poem and explanation. All those little forgotten places that not everybody is able to find or see. Wow!

  31. Wonderfully written, Sandy.
    You have shown that the bit of discovered old treasure to the storyteller is like a fresh prompt word to the poetry writer.

  32. beautiful.

    I wonder what my story will say to my loved ones some day.


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