“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


ode to my office

my office is filled with organized moments,
manila envelopes filled with papers neatly clipped together,
moments few, stuffed into grocery store bags with different moments left in disarray;
mail and magazines and notes i can't read,
photos and past due notices and bills.
the bags open onto the floor behind me,
spilling those moments onto the floor,
moments i step over and cannot put away;
a blue tag once attached to a gift tickles my left foot and reads soothe the soul,
no way to file that in a drawer out of sight out of mind,
a book of crossword puzzles open for months
to a page peeping out from behind sympathy cards -
it is an easy puzzle and 18 down is a cat's pleased sound.
on the chair next to my desk is the cat, and yes, she is making that sound.

the desk itself is a sea of gray beneath labels and pens and hair elastics,
beneath paper new and paper used, to be used again on the other side,
beneath envelopes of all sizes
and phone numbers
and nail files and scissors and rulers
and post it notes for which i pay extra, just to get the good colors.

there is a map of florida folded next to bottles of water,
a map i bought last january when i thought i was lost,
and which the buying of proved i wasn't,
there are upside down bottles of pepto bismol good to the last drop
and piles of my mother's mail
and from where i sit i can see 3 calendars
2012 on the wall,
2011 next to that florida map
and 2010 propped against portable files.
they hold moments of their own scrawled across their boxes of days,
they hold memories and they hold me hostage;
one day i will scrounge up the ransom.

i sit with my back to the door;
the feng shui of debi,
the only way this office works for a right handed person,
and i sit with all those moments behind me
waiting for a christian burial or a good housecleaning,
whichever comes first.
i keep in mind that map that proved i knew where i was all along.
the  organized moments will be the first to go;
the disarray feels like home.


day 5 of NaPoWriMo, national poetry writing month.
a poem a day.
sorry - i missed day 4.


  1. yes! i love this, all these little glimpses of your life in amongst what we call clutter. it's all pieces of who we are, i think that is why it feels so wrong when i try to have a clean desk, i feel naked.

    so many great lines here, i loved the blue tag and the cat's pleased sound and the buying of the map that proved you weren't lost.

    we are never really lost, are we? we just don't always know what to call where we are.

    1. now that's a good line. love that!

      i try to keep it clean - i really do, and i have moments - lol! - but busy takes precedence and i guess the truth is the clutter doesn't bother me too much. i would like to see more of the floor every once in while, though. :)

  2. isn't it amazing how our offices....our spaces....are us. simply us. and unappreciated without photos for those of us who are visual creatures.

    i think i know that map.

  3. One day I will scrounge up the ransom. My god, that made me smile in instant recognition!!
    I love the glimpse-y in to your office. It feels like someplace I kave known even before I walk in the door the first time.
    *happy sigh*

  4. This was lovely. Beautiful clutter of our lives.

  5. Isn't it funny, but when I clean my office it doesn't become mine again until there is some disarray. Lovely, lovely thoughts here.

  6. ...spilling those moments onto the floor,
    moments i step over and cannot put away;...
    this entire sentences of words puts it all in mind.
    not so much of offices, but of memories.
    absolutely lovely debi. as usual, you awaken something
    in me, i didn't recognize until your words point it out.
    in fondest, Tilda

  7. while we think our offices cluttered messy to ourselves, and I would be horrified for anyone to see my work area at times, I see yours and hear about it and it sounds so charming - such a picture of you. it's wonderful because it tells a story. (hope that makes sense!) as always - lovely.

  8. This sounds so much like my wee office (or studio) which is more akin to walk in closet in size than a proper room - so much so that the stacks and bags are meandering gently toward the ceiling in wavering piles. A long time fan of doors in vibrant colors I love yours.


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