Message in a Bottle…Once Full


a river of tears released
into his handkerchief, his tiny initials
embroidered in its corner

she breathes in deeply
as the evaporation of the mist
makes the water visible before her

grief supersedes reason,
she reads her words one last time
before she slides them into the bottle:

this bottle, once full,
serves as a reminder
of how empty my life is without you

your words, you used
to knead my wounded soul,
no longer echo in this world

your touch, you used
to melt away my fears,
is no longer felt in this world

your love, you gave
to cleanse my picture of self,
is no longer given in this world

this bottle, now filled with my words,
serves as a reminder
that my life can be full once more

with a final whisper of goodbye
she watches as water and seaweed
tug at her words…and her heart

2011-05-08 10:20 p.m.
P. Wanken

written for Sunday Whirl prompt (as pictured above) for 2011-05-08 and Poetic Bloomings prompt: water

This morning as I read these two prompts I immediately noticed the connection. “Water” was one of the wordle words for Sunday Whirl. How much more connected could they be!? With no time to write, right then, I headed out the door for the day. All day, instead of a NEW poem forming in my mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about “Once Full“, a poem I had written for Day 20 of Poetic Asides NaPoWriMo challenge. Tonight, when I finally sat down to write, it was a bit more of the story surrounding “Once Full” that came from my fingers on the keyboard, rather than something new.

I’d love to know what you think…does it add to the original? Or should I have left the original alone and started from scratch with the wordle words?


  1. Paula, This is lovely and sad. I read both versions, and I like the second one. The inclusion of the note heightens my interest. I love the idea of words mending a wounded soul, which is in both pieces. Well done.


  2. Paula, your poem really sets the mood and tells a story. I like ‘grief supersedes reason,’ and I like later on the reminder that life can be full once more.


  3. Poignantly penned! The second one spoke to me much more than the original- gives more context around the note and helps give the note itself more meaning. Beautiful, Paula!


    1. Thanks, Viv. I was hoping I wasn’t detracting from the original…and I didn’t want the wordle words to feel forced around it. I just couldn’t separate it them in my mind once the wordle “grabbed hold” of the original! πŸ˜‰ As always…I appreciate your feedback. ~Paula


    1. Thanks, Pamela. I liked that line, too…..mostly because I’ve always thought throwing a message in a bottle into the water seemed like an exercise in futility. But I thought perhaps grief could/would indeed supersede reason….

      I appreciate your feedback.



  4. Oh yes. This adds just the right context and background to the original. A much fuller picture, without overtelling. Well done.


  5. Paula, I like the “final whisper of goodbye” – that really adds to the message being placed in the bottle. I think this works well, using the wordle words about water and the message in the bottle set adrift.



    1. Richard~
      I really liked “Once Full” when I wrote it in response to the original prompt. Felt it was “complete”. But after the Wordle came along and gave me more words…I, too, felt it added to the message. Thanks for your feedback!


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