Updated date:

The One Day Around You


I’ve enjoyed writing for many years. I'm dedicating more time to the craft in my retirement days.



It is

The one day around you

It surrounds you

Some of it ahead

Some of it behind you

This truth remains

Until its name changes

Then it’s a wisp of smoke

On a wild west wind

You remember it

For what it was

And name it yesterday

But the thing ahead is what’s new

Its name changed, too

From tomorrow

And the cycle starts anew


It is






Today: The False Starts

There were lots of thoughts and ideas that rattled around in my nugget when trying to put this piece together. I finally landed on the version above, but along the way, I had several other false starts, which I've decided to share below in order to give some insight into my personal creative process. Yes If nothing else, they might provide fodder for a chuckle.

First there was this:

There is but one
And when it’s done
It will lose its name
And pass that to its successor

It can be sad
But also glad
But in neither case
Is its time greater or lesser

That just didn't really do it for me. Then I started down this path:

It is what it is
When it is
While it’s here

And until its gone
Then it is what it was
And its called
Something different

That didn't really scratch the itch, either, so I went even more toward the trite with this:

Today is the day after that day
When my troubles were a long way away
Like Paul said
And today is the day before the one
Over which many ponder possibilities and consequences
Like Garth asking
“What if it never comes?"
It’s the one we have in hand
Not the one that once was
Or the one that’s not yet here
Today is the first day of the rest of your life
And mine, too
Start it right
End it right
And it could make up for a lonely night
The lawn is green today
And blooms are on their way
Because it’s a day in May
But also because of April’s yesterdays
That were the todays of the day when they were here
And dropped raindrops, tiny plops
Those showers brought the flowers
And loaded the hidden blades
With nature’s wonderful paint
So they could rise
Show the sheen
Of a brilliant green
Against a blue sky
Individual blades of grass
In focus
As you lay
On your back
In the park
Obscuring what's seen
In the scene...

When I got done with that I kept wanting to break out singing the song from the 1970s Total cereal commercial: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Start it right with Total."

In any case, the very, very short piece is where I finally landed after these long rounds of creative struggle. I'm ok with how it ended up, and hope you enjoy it, too.

© 2021 greg cain


greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 06, 2021:

Super. Thanks, Brenda. And thanks again for the great one-word prompt!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 05, 2021:

Thanks Greg

I'll post a link to it in the article.

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 05, 2021:

Thanks, Lorna! First off, it’s good to hear from you again, and I hope that means all is well and you’re slowing down the pace after what must have been a very long year for you last year. Second: the wisp of smoke line was my favorite in this piece, too. It seems apt.

Have a great week! Be safe and be well.

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 05, 2021:

Miss Brenda - thanks again for your thoughts and comments. This piece was indeed a response to the prompt you put out there. I guess the only place I mentioned that was in the summary, which only shows in the feed or after a search. My bad for not making that more clear. Thanks to you, however, for once again providing grist for the creative mill. Good week, my friend!

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 05, 2021:

Hi John - in that final version, the acrostic piece is what came first, honestly. Trying to incorporate the rest of the thoughts in a short work is what came of that. In any case, thanks again, as always.

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 05, 2021:

Liz - yes, I think we all go through that but of a struggle at times...it’s definitely real! Good to hear from you again. Be safe and be well.

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Ann. I always appreciate your comments and you stopping by for a read. Happy Wednesday.

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 05, 2021:

Sha Sha - thanks, my friend. Kind and thoughtful words, as always. Have a great week!

Lorna Lamon on May 05, 2021:

I enjoyed this poem Greg, and in particular how you got there in the end. I love the line 'Then it's a wisp of smoke.' which reminded me to live each moment of today, with my back to yesterday and my eyes on tomorrow. A great response to the prompt.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 04, 2021:

Hey Greg

I loved this one...so glad you choose it!

It is definitely a cute one.

It flows just right and ending with the acrostic poem was great.

I love that you shared your thoughts beforehand.

This will help show others the process in our thinking.

Is this one for the word prompt?

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 04, 2021:

Hi Greg. I like the final poem you settled on and how you incorporated the acrostic at the end, but also the last one that you shared. Nice to see how your mind churns over in the writing process.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 04, 2021:

This is a great poem. I also enjoyed reading through your earlier musings. It is reassuring to find that a skilful poet like yourself sometimes goes down a few paths before hitting on a poem that they are happy with.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 04, 2021:

You always bring a smile, Greg! Love your musings but I think the final (first) one is by far the best. It's clever.


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 04, 2021:

Box, I really like the last one because it's that fun, staccato read I've come to expect from you. However, the one you settled on is very profound in the acrostic ending: The One Day Around You.

Stupendous, my friend!

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on May 04, 2021:

Thanks, Misbah. I appreciated the kind words. Blessings to you in return!

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 04, 2021:

What a beautiful poem in response to the word prompt, Greg. I enjoyed reading it. I loved the way you started it.

The one day around you

It surrounds you

Some of it ahead

Some of it behind you

This truth remains

Until its name changes

Thanks for sharing this amazing piece


Related Articles