Don’t Shake Fountain Pens – a Haibun

The fountain pen was left unused for some time, wrapped in the leather cover of the journal I had sworn to visit daily. When I accomplished a thought and began to put it to paper the dry nib jumped on the page, leaving blank spaces and smudges. I made the novice mistake of giving the pen a shake….. Now there is ink splattered on the page and trailing across the blanket on my lap. My favorite blanket, something you must have when you reach an age of sharing recliners with dogs on rainy afternoons. I looked for a moment or two at the mess I had made and evaluated the consequences. In the past this evaluation would have been preceded by a tantrum, replete with yelling and expletives. Today, I am aware that the blanket is no more than old fabric with no intrinsic value, which now has some spots on it. The page was merely paper, absorbing ink as was intended. Perhaps it is age that causes me to contemplate before reacting, or life experience, or merely no longer having the need to be angry about unimportant things. I don’t know if it is wisdom that recognizes spilled ink is not a tragedy, or amusement at myself for being unwise enough to shake a fountain pen.

The entry I was intending to start before the ink calamity is to be a letter to my young adult children. An opening attempt to impart lessons I feel I failed to teach about life, and living it, and what matters versus what is trivial. I think now the letter will include an anecdote about shaken fountain pens and old blankets.

Cold and rainy nights
precede warm and breezy days,
each a beginning.

shared at dVerse Poet’s Pub



Filed under Poetry

14 responses to “Don’t Shake Fountain Pens – a Haibun

  1. gillena cox

    Experience is the best teacher, in this case spilled ink to impart lessons. Beautiful haibun
    Happy New Year

  2. A wise and entertaining haibun.

  3. A wonderful Haibun Mark. The wisdom in this post is seldom learned. The anger on the other hand is quite common in this situation. Well done!

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus

    I long for such moments of clarity. Alas I am still ensnarled in the tantrums and expletives club.

  5. Beverly Crawford

    I identify with the blanket and the recliner. Nothing like a microfiber cocoon and a good book on a winter’s eve! (minus the fountain pen, of course!)

  6. I‘m sitting in my heatless study wearing a thick cardigan, with a blanket over my knees, trying to type with cold fingers. I recently started to clean up the study and discovered several dried-up fountain pens, which I regret and will rinse through this week. I also found a bottle of purple ink to write with! A pristine notebook is waiting too. I’m afraid I am a pen shaker, someone who blots and drips on the page, but I don’t mind as I make little doodles out of them!
    Your children are so lucky to receive letters from you. My daughter Face-messages me or sends text messages. I love letters, postcards, Christmas and birthday cards.

  7. this has a comforting feeling of maturity. a sense of compass after a tumultuous younger era. and thank you for the reminder to not shake fountain pens. 🙂

  8. Lots of wisdom here – lucky adult kids.

  9. I actually feel the urge of starting to write with a fountain pen again… somewhere there is a Mont Blanc pen I got… just wonder where it is.

    But I will keep in mind not to write in proximity of my favorite blanket.

  10. Perhaps I’ll attain such calm…why get upset over small messes? I do tend to respond to grand children’s mishaps more patiently than to my children’s!

  11. As the mother of a young adult child, I wonder if we can impart wisdom with our writing. Or do they have to learn things the hard way, like we did, and shake their own fountain pens?

  12. “merely no longer having the need to be angry about unimportant things.”
    YES YES YES! 🙂 I enjoyed this very much!

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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