Do you remember when you were four, or maybe six,

it was summer

and you entered that empty room –

that wonderful space 

beneath the weeping willow?


Long strips of rippled green

hung in a circle around you –

a dancing wall when the breeze blew,

it waved the sunlight into shadows

and cooled your body

and you said,

“Let’s play house,” or

“This is my fort,” and

No one can find me here.”


Shivers of excitement ran down your spine

filling the air with a sense

that something

was going to happen – right here

and you were in it

whatever it was.


You waited and watched

and while you waited

you discovered a way to make rope.

You braided stems and leaves

then tied the curtains of green back,

but everyone could see you

so you untied the curtains

and made a belt instead.


You found a sharp twig

that would make a good knife

but when you tried to dig the soil

the blade broke

so you pretended it was a pen

and that you could write.

You made up stories, lots of them,

and they were so good,

that you scared yourself

out from under that tree.


You never could go in there again.

It was too darned spooky.


Claude Monet’s Weeping Willow, 1919 – Google images



Filed under Fiction, Flash & Micro Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized

29 responses to “Imagination

  1. Oh yea.. I remember many such “spaces” and places…most of them known only to me 🙂
    Aaahh.. nostalgia struck again!!!

    I really loved your imagery here, Cindy… I actually went back to my childhood… playing with flowers and collecting those tiny red seeds that were scattered all over the road (I never got to know its name), waiting for my granddad to pick me up from school… all of that!!! Lovely memories..
    Thank you so much for guiding me on this beautiful trip down memory lane… phhhewww life can change (or stay almost the same) in 20 years…

    • Thanks, Kavita, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the journey. My sister told me about her granddaughter running into their new house before the furniture moved in. She ran from room to room in such delight. That story sparked off mine. I realised that when children get that special feeling, they are experiencing creative flow. It’s the beginning of an adventure. When you and I write, we’re doing the same thing. I tried to remember one of my childhood experiences of creative flow, hoping to spark an image that would help me to get (mentally, emotionally) where I need to be in order to invent my stories, and to experience that joy and excitement. It’s still there! Interesting that you were fascinated with tiny red seeds…I had purple berries that were poisonous and grasses with clusters of red and green seedheads.
      Isn’t childhood great? We can go back whenever we want to.

  2. I loved the opening line. Childhood – what a great source of inspiration and material. Trees fascinated me when I was younger, especially the big ones I could climb. I always liked finding acorn shells under big oaks. I’d scoop out the acorn, put the shell between my thumbs and blow into it. It made this incredibly loud whistle.

    • Woah – that’s amazing. I used to do that with a blade of grass, but ACORNS? Wow. I never knew!! Can you still do it?
      So glad you enjoyed the memory; Those places of “home” are natural doorways into creativity; going back into our child-mind almost always produces something.
      Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. I just discovered your beautiful site and love your willow poem. Being immersed in nature, and letting your imagination go is such a wonderful thing!

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment, Cait, and for visiting brokenpen. I just dropped in on your site – oh my gosh – your photos are incredible. You have a whole universe of wildlife in every yard of your farm, I think! So glad you rescued another dog too; she looks really sweet. I wonder if she has any retriever in her.

  4. This was wonderfully crafted. The magic of childhood and the places that we held most sacred.

  5. Amazing poetry in both meaning and the sound of the lines.

  6. It took me back to my own childhood memories, way back then Cindy…I was an only child and used to spend hours in the garden pretending I had fairies around playing and talking to me…I would converse with them forever…thanks for bringing such lovely memories back!! You have a way with words my friend xx Loved it.

    • Thanks Amanda; Like you, I played alone alot since my older siblings all went off to school. I think those days entertaining ourselves were a gift – they taught us to use our imagination! I bet you had the sweetest and best fairies ever…

  7. Does bring back memories of walks in parks and tree lined paths. Few better places to be. Thanks. = Bill

  8. oh but you brought back such wonderful childhood memories…children have such wonderful imaginations…..nice oneshot!

    • Thanks, Brian. Children do have great imaginations, and if we allow ourselves, we still do too. We just have to cut all the judgment out of our heads and allow the innocence to come out and play…

  9. KB

    This brought back memories of my childhood. I loved to play under the shade of the trees at my Granmother’s house. Wonderful.

    My poem is here.

  10. I love the places the imagination can take us especially as a child,
    We had the trees that each day represented a different world
    Your poem is so alive – it takes the reader back

    thanks for causing us to imagine on One Shot

    smiles from the moon

  11. I read a book called “Up the Road To Rainy Mountain”. It was like this –a tribute to “special places” found in childhood; however, for the tribe of American Indians that place could always be returned to as a place of imagination, serenity, and safety. Unlike yours which seems to be abandoned. Interesting. I love willow imagery and use it a lot myself. Enjoyed the read. Thank you.

    • Thanks Gay for your feedback. I look forward to visiting your site, and will look up the book as well. It sounds like my kind of read. It’s interesting that you picked up on the abandoned tree. Well Done. Although the poem doesn’t even hint this, the tree of my memory was in the back yard of a house in New LOndon, Conn. that my mother wanted to buy. I desperately wanted to move there because of the tree. Sadly, my mother got breast cancer, so the move was cancelled and everything changed.

  12. another weeping willow..i mentioned this in a previous comment i have been thinking a lot about them of late ( a personal memory.. nice one though) the very mention and i was pulled..but this poem had so much more..boy i have been there and i still scare myself now..if i am walking in the dark on my own the stories i cant help but make up..why do we do this? excellent poem cheers pete

  13. thoughtsnotlost

    I remember all too well. Nostalgic and fun. Really enjoyed this one.

  14. Oh, yes, I remember those days… this brings them back so vividly, even the smells…

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