One should never look upon a new photograph of an old love…


One should never look upon a new photograph of an old love…

She is so pretty.
(And so young.)
You look so happy.
(And so old.)

She adores you.
(Clings to you.)
You love her, too.
(As much as you can.)

She is everything
(— all you ever wanted).
You are her dream
(— all she needs).

She is the exact fit
(I never could have been).
You are her perfect match
(— thankfully not mine.)

I suppose I should be happy for you
(if anything I said was true),
But I am not that generous
(— or that forgiving).

…for therein lie details best left for faded corners and yellowed memories.

Words: ©2015, Jen Payne

High Five to Random Acts!


Today is the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Random Acts of Writing [+art]! To celebrate, I thought I’d offer up FIVE random facts…

Since its start in 2010, Random Acts of Writing has published 811 posts, been viewed over 55,000 times by people in 40 countries, and is read by more than 800 WordPress and Facebook followers on a regular basis.

There was enough buzz and encouragement that in 2014, I published a book based on the essays and photographs that have appeared here — LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness. Check it out here!

Over the years, Random Acts of Writing has been selected as a Versatile Blogger, a Story Circle Network Star Blogger, and a Very Inspiring Blogger. It was also selected by WordPress editors to be featured on Freshly Pressed — a huge honor!

According to WordPress’ statistic gurus, the TOP FIVE featured categories are Nature, Spirituality, Wellness, Travel, and Creativity.

The TOP FIVE posts of all time are:

Something More Important than Fear

Backyard Respite

When Animals Speak [ Frog ]

When Opportunity…Slithers

Not Just a “Pretty” Role Model

The original idea for Random Acts of Writing was to create a place where I could practice and share my writing and art. That intention has not changed, even if the subject matter has evolved over the years. And it’s still evolving…so stay tuned!

For now, THANK YOU! The best part about this blog has been getting the chance to connect with all of you — those of you who read the posts, who follow us on Facebook, who comment, who start the conversations that keep the ideas and inspiration flowing. HIGH FIVE!

Love, Jen

IMAGE: The Hand in the Clouds, Yves Tanguy, 1927

The Ghost in the Hallway


Surely you were apparition —
there within reach of these hands
that once held yours so freely.

I could not resist stepping through
the curtain of your space and my space
just to see if you — if we — were real.

I know you knew I was there,
even if you could not meet my eyes.
The waver in your voice gave you away.

Did you feel me touch you
as you walked away?

WORDS, ©2015, Jen Payne

At Season’s Slow Change

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. — Proverb


Putting things in perspective.


The trailhead to a 40+-acre preserve that includes a 19th century quarry, and old trolley railway, a tide gate, and boardwalk.


Crossing a wide expanse of salt marsh.


Human tracks and ski tracks criss cross those of unseen foraging spirits.


Views of the Thimble Islands in Long Island Sound.


Crossing Jarvis Creek with a view of an Osprey nest and islands.


Nooks and crannies look like winter, sound like spring.


As subtle signs of changing seasons appear on a 45˚ late winter day.


If you LIKE this post, then you’ll LOVE the book! LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness includes 75 essays and poems about nature, balance, spirit, connection…and 100 color photographs capturing the woods and shorelines of New England. Click here to BUY IT today!

Photos ©2015, Jen Payne




Damn the sleight of hand
that makes me feel
for even one moment:

There is no such thing.
Every familiar ends.
Every oak falls.
Every god fades.

The only sure thing
is no-thing…
but how do you
fall in love with that?

Words ©2015, Jen Paybe
Image: The Fall of an Angel, Max Ernst

Lady Poet


for Elizabeth

The first things I noticed
were her shoes.
There, on a patio
overlooking the June tide,
one foot in a corner square
of an impromptu tic tac toe
in slate and lime green moss.
Her laugh, sweet and infectious,
marked exes and ohs in the shade.
Of course she was a poet,
it was written all over her.

WORDS ©2015, Jen Payne
IMAGE, The Patio, Nerja by Stanley Pinker