Co-Laboratory: The Leaf by Shawn King and JM Romig

Writing is often seen as a lonely solitary art from. But not here in The Destination: Detour CoLaboratory. The CoLab is where we create works in a live, active, conversational way. It’s a different approach to writing that throws out the dusty idea that writers have to be secluded and alone to create.  

This time around we got a bit inspired by this painting by Erie Artist, Kirsten Bole,:the leafand we just got on a roll. The end result was this:

The Leaf

Shawn King and JM Romig

The waitress here looks more like the idea of a waitress.

The drinks,
like the idea of alcohol – of spirits.

The smoke, ephemeral  
leaving behind nothing

but tasteless, odorless, ideas of filling space

with something that used to be,  

potential that could not be.

Emaciated ghosts of ideas, trudge through

the smoke, like the faces of our ancestors

whose feet are blackened from traveling

this rutted, ruined path.

As I wait, the idea of a clock
quietly pushes back the future, my fate

fingered on a steamed window,
The Leaf promises

to end my pedestrian existence.  

Here so many of my grand ideas have come,

and here they have perished.  
Tonight this has

to end. My life

long wasted dreams.

This rusted rouge world, promising me

a space where my aspirations could flourish,

my goals could mate with my dreams.  

But all that has come is waiting.

I fear that waiting is all that will come.

This unfinished novel,
this extended pause

an eternalized moment
this line break

…a slow-burning Leaf


visit destinationdetourpoetry, for more content like this, and if you are interested in having fun with us, or having your work featured on the site, shoot us an email at

The music you hear in this video is “Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie used under Creative Commons.


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