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Dear Diary, What Are You? What Am I?

Updated on November 1, 2011
The poet, hiding
The poet, hiding

Dear Diary, What Are You? What Am I?


A bound book that acts as a barricade from the bigger world

A place to store myself

A cavern with Castle Rock structures that I can explore adventurously or curl up in like a fetus in a womb

A candle in that cavern

A warm blanket covering over the chill of the past

A cup filled to the brim with the foam of confusion and frustration and fear

A cup of nourishing brewed tea filled with certainty and safety


You are my deepest thoughts

You are my most superficial concerns

You are my fiction


A prelude to the published works

A stage for the characters still in formation

A first draft

A format of formlessness suspended in the routine commitment of showing up to the page

A book, only a book

A collection of written words from a single mind

An escape into a thousand other lives and creatures

An expression of my most honest self

A place where lies sit side by side

A well of creativity


And what am I dear diary?

What am I?


I am the stream that adds to your well

And the parched person who drinks of your waters

I am a cascade of convoluted ideas

The hurricane that churns the waters

The salmon swimming upstream

The person in a lifeboat praying for you to save me

A cold spring on a hot summer day

The child how hovers over you unsure of how to dive in

And break the glossy surface of your dark waters


You are me, Dear Diary,

And Dear Diary, I am you


Explanation of the Poem

I have kept a diary since the age of ten when I received a cute little pink book with a cheap lock that held the smallest secrets of my childhood world. I have not kept a diary consistently or daily or in any regular format although favorite methods of journaling have emerged over the years. But I have always kept a diary, always come back to the diary, always knew that the diary was there for me. And in some ways, I have never felt like I was a complete self when I wasn’t keeping a regular and consistent diary, because although I was whole, I could not see myself without the reflection in the pages.

I have been thinking a lot, then, about what a diary does for me and what a diary means to me. What kind of diary do I want to have? Do I want my diary to be a place where I can allow the sparks of new ideas to emerge that will eventually become books and poems? Or do I want it to be the place that I turn to for comfort when I can’t talk to anyone else because the words just aren’t quite right yet? Or do I need for it to be both?

There is no perfect answer as to the right kind of diary to keep. And there is no one thing that a diary will be for me. But I know that I would not be my full self without a diary. And I know that the diary couldn’t exist without me. That’s what this poem is about.

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  • Dee aka Nonna profile image

    Dee aka Nonna 

    6 years ago

    And beautiful it is. Voted up, beautiful and wonderful if there was such a button. I love your interpretation of what a diary is for you. Most of us who keep diaries would probably agree that they are whatever is needed at the moment you pick it up to write. I've even used my to write prayers when my mouth and voice just didn't seem to work. Thank you for sharing this awesome piece of you.

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