Small Conceits

Musings. Stories. Poems.


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I do not bring back from a journey quite the same self that I took.

— W. Somerset Maugham


We are taught to believe

in the “to” and the “from”-ness of traveling —

fixed places in space and time

lines on a map

comfortingly measurable

embarked upon by some predictable

knowable definable “self”


But, oh…this journey of mine

of blood and bone

of flesh and spirit

of mind and mystery —

this journey is a spiral dance


I turn: a Selkie’s pelt for skin

I turn: an owl’s feathers for hair

I turn: darkness for a face

and my teeth in a grin of moon-change

I turn and turn and turn:

wind for a name

tides for a heart

tall pines to hold sinew to muscle of clouds


Not the how —

only the what and the why,

not the where or the when

or the “I”

that isn’t


This journey of mine

will bring no self home

changed or unchanged

because the destination

is no horizon

Author: Denise

I'm Denise. I'm a dog lover, a nature fanatic, a hiker, and a future yurt-dweller. I believe that stories lurk in all the tiny moments that make up our everyday lives. They wait, curled into themselves, until someone finds them and jailbreaks them, leading them out into the light. I have a flashlight. Follow me!

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