November’s Open Write – Day 4

I’m hosting today at with a prompt to write about an unphotographed moment.


Our Hosts

Kim Johnson, Ed.D., lives in Williamson, Georgia, where she serves as District Literacy Specialist for Pike County Schools. She enjoys writing, reading, traveling, camping, and spending time with her husband and three rescue schnoodles – Boo Radley (TKAM), Fitz (F. Scott Fitzgerald), and Ollie (Mary Oliver).  You can follow her blog, Common Threads: patchwork prose and verse, at

Kyle Vaughn is the author of Calamity Gospel (forthcoming from Cerasus Poetry, 2023), The Alpinist Searches Lonely Places (Belle Point Press, 2022), and Lightning Paths:  75 Poetry Writing Exercises (NCTE Books, 2018), and is the co-author/co-photographer of A New Light in Kalighat (American Councils for International Education, 2013).   His poems have appeared in journals such as The Journal, A-Minor, The Boiler, Drunken Boat, Poetry East, Vinyl, the museum of americana (2022 Best of the Net nomination), and The Shore (2021 Pushcart Prize nomination).  He teaches English and is the Director of the Writing Center at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Find him at / twitter: @krv75 / insta:  @kylev75


In his book Lightning Paths: 75 Poetry Writing Exercises, Kyle Vaughn’s resources are rich and plentiful for exploring various forms of poetry. I discovered his website, where I discovered his exercise Unphotographed.  I began thinking of all the ways I use photos to inspire poetry…..and Vaughn reshaped my thinking about all the photographs not taken.  


To sharpen descriptive techniques and synesthesia in writing, consider a moment etched in your memory for which there is no photograph.  Use sensory details to capture the photograph that doesn’t yet exist – – and breathe snapshot life into a picture of words.  Write an unphotographed moment, from corner to corner, whether Polaroid, black and white, sepia, digital, 35 mm with or without filters……whatever the effect.  Step into the frame.  Take our hands.  Bring us to your moment.

Kim’s Poem

Unphotographed Grief

your furrowed brow

thumb and forefinger cradling your chin

your lips quivering like her hand ~ unstoppable

teary eyes fixed on your shoe

       on anything

             on nothing

you in your chair

          in the room

       where she drew

    her last breath

where her whispers linger




where there are no words

to hide the thudding drumbeat

   of your broken heart

Your turn.

Made with Padlet

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