Don’t gift a writer a pretty notebook

with beautiful cream pages
that feel expensive between fingertips;

with fine chocolate lines that rule
and frown upon plain pencil marks
and erasers that offend their handmade finish;

with hardbound frame
like royalty in synthetic leather robes
and gold engravings, like polished crowns;

with satin ribbon page-markers
anchored to the spine
demanding profound words and lines
worthy of its memory;

with sharp, flawless corners
of each page, ridiculing first drafts,
second thoughts, a third line
that strikes out a muddled word –
perfection, perfection, refined and bold;

with a plain first page
and a single word: “Name:”
printed precisely at the centre
in elaborate calligraphy;

and who are we
to blemish such breathtaking finery
with trembling words and petty fears
that we never deserved this privilege
of tinkering with imagined worlds?

and who are we
to blemish subtle finery;
to curb the possibilities
of marvels these pages might hold
if it were someone else’s hand that held them,
and not ours?


Don’t gift a writer a pretty notebook.

Perhaps gift them a conversation
about the weather, or a busy day,
or a failed brownie recipe.


We’re not too particular.


T. E. Pyrus