Comments 12

Returning Home For A Spell

My father had a VCR tape of One Man and His Dog that we could never get to play properly. It’s probably still in the bottom of the cupboard, with the Disney films and MotoGPs that never quite make it across the living room anymore. Some people have got rid of their VCR players these days. There’s nowhere else for them to go but the bottom of a plastic bin so they stay in the dark with the dust and the spiders. That is the way things move on.

In October I re-learnt how to be by myself. Sort of. Just me and the dog, and the crunch of autumn on farm tracks. Even the walkers seemed to be absent or perhaps I had fallen out of step with the world. Found the time of day when no one ventured further than their front-door or garden gate. I’d found a time when all of it, all of the emptiness was mine for a while. So I let it swallow me, completely, for as long as a thing can last.

Brambles like barbed wire

snarl up the barren verges,

and pheasant breaks loose.


Haibun Monday: Solitude

This entry was posted in: Poetry


Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.


  1. Ah, one woman and her dog! I used to love that kind of solitude, walking the dog, lost in my thoughts. I relish that time when there’s no one around and everything belongs to you alone, even if it’s only for a short while. I love the phrase ‘all of the emptiness was mine… so I let it swallow me’ and a haiku that bursts with brambles and pheasant!

    • Thanks Kim. It was a really lovely break away from living in a town and I loved getting to know my parents new dog and having a few days to myself. I’d forgotten how comfortable I could be on my own though. Solitude while walking in a built up area can be daunting but in the countryside it feels right. It also helped that my parents’ dog is a super softy who just wanted to cuddle and have fun. Don’t think I’d been that relaxed in ages.

  2. Glenn Buttkus says

    /Walking the Dog/ is a pop song, or a dance move, I think. Nice haibun; I enjoyed the second stanza/paragraph best. Two years ago I got rid of 40,000 DVDs; cost me 300 bucks at the dump

  3. for as long as a thing can last – this spoke volumes. for everything there is a season comes to mind, don’t resist it just go with the flow. Are you feeling better now Carol, from the flu bug?

    • Much thanks Gina. It was a viral cough so I’ve still got the tail end hanging on which is playing with my asthma but I’ve got my energy back. The cough should finishing clearing up soon.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the piece.

      • hope it settles, the cold does not help i am sure, stay warm Carol

        it was a beautiful haibun

  4. I liked the spirit if this poem Carol. It is great to be able to find, and get “swallowed” up in solitude sometimes. Great fir the mind and spirit! Living in the Pacific Northwest, which is mostly wilderness, it is easy to find solitude – thankfully! 🙂

  5. There is such a sense of bittersweet solitude in this piece. Interesting how you set the stage with the story of the VCR – a metaphor for how things change, become redundant – and what do we do with it? That you have found a moment when no one else comes out adds a magical element to your tale. Loneliness and nostalgia seem to walk along with you (this reader projects).

  6. I love this walk and how you managed to find that solitude rewarding… I wonder how much space is filled with things we never watch or read or look at… maybe there is more of loneliness in being surrounded by things.

  7. Some wonderful memories, we still have some videotapes at the bottom of a chest that no-one dare throw out. I am glad you like being by yourself, it is so wonderful when we grow into ourselves.

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