Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Issue, Word Catalyst

I love this month's issue. Be sure to see my column, "Tales of Whisper Gap." Also, I don't usually pitch other writers' work, but you must read Harry Furness's poem, "Teacher."

Here is a snippet from my column:

Miss Beasley
Before Whisper Gap was a modern city, it boasted being a frontier town nestled in a quiet valley, until Black Bob came to town and shot things up. Who knows what makes a cowboy wild? Why do they wear those big ol' hats and chaps and such, romancing their horses and preferring to shoot their guns over all else.

So, such a shoot'em-up kind of fellow wasn't likely to attract women. But that was before the new school marm came to town. Miss Annabelle Beasley's first words upon spying Black Bob, running through town, guns raised and popping, was, "Oh, mercy!"

And mercy she needed, the school marm fell in love at first sight. But how was a simple school teacher to entrap a gun slinging cowpoke? Miss Beasley set her class to quiet reading every afternoon just so she could stare out the window. Soon Bob would turn the corner, dressed in black, the sun glinting off his spurs, hands hovering above his guns, quivering, until boom boom boom. He'd shoot up the streets, laughing as he watched people scatter. More

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Water Sports

Boating on the Seine by Ferdinand Heilbuth

She rowed while he brooded. Lifting an oar and splashing it through the water, Mary Beth wondered why she had ever agreed to this excursion on Placid Lake. A white swan glided by. Perhaps even the bird viewed her with disdain, what with its head held high in a haughty inclination.

The day was hot, yet cloudy, not a breeze to be had. The stillness made her stir-crazy. It was as if they were stuck in a jar and nothing existed beyond the waters on which the canoe floated. Just her and him in a capsule.

She splashed the oars again and the canoe budged a few inches. With her rowing, they would never get back.

"Can't you move any faster?" The expression of discontent on his face worsened. "I'd like to get back in time for supper."

"Bradford, I'm doing the best I can." She dipped the oars in again and pushed them through the water. Her arms ached from an afternoon of this torture. Her face and hands burned from sun exposure. She watched as he moved the rug under him to keep his sparkling white trousers dry. A glance to her frock revealed the full blossoming skirt was drenched from water splashed by the oars.

The damned swan came back again. She considered swatting it with the oar, but Brad would be outraged. So why not? So what if he got outraged? She took a hearty swing and sent the bird flying in a crazy cacophony of squeals and scattering feathers. It set Mary Beth roaring in laughter.

Brad bolted up in the boat in alarm, sending the canoe rocking side to side with water splashing in. Mary Beth held on for dear life as he lowered himself in slow motion to sit once again. Four inches of water now swished in the bottom of the boat, thanks to his raucous action.

"See what you've made me do? Now my feet will get wet!" He grunted and pulled the rug up under his trousers more to keep the seat dry.

Mary Beth studied the boat grime stains on her skirt. Skittles of black grit danced between the eyelets of its fancy lace trim. It was her favorite dress. She lifted her eyes to spy Brad's silly hat, a three-cornered preponderance popular at the time. Black and weighty, it must have been very warm to wear on such a stuffy day. She took the oar and with a deft motion swiped the hat off his head and sent it flying across the lake.

"My hat! Mary Beth, are you mad? Paddle over there so you can get it."


"No? Now look here! You're my wife. You'll do as I say!"

"No, I won't."

His face flushed a vibrant red as beads of sweat collected on his forehead mixing with leftover splashes from the dripping oar. He eyed the hat with worry.

"Mary Beth, that's my favorite hat. I demand you row us over there so you can fetch it before it sinks."

Mary Beth studied him, her eyes turning to stone. He waited, a stubborn expression steeling his face. She hated that look. It was childish, like a little boy about to hold his breath until he got what he wanted. That's all he was, a little boy. Why should she let a child push her around? With that cold rationalization, she raised the oar and aimed at his chest. With all her might she jabbed it at him, knocking the fellow helter-skelter, arms flying, until finally with a girlish scream he fell over the side of the canoe splashing into the water.

"MARY BETH!" he roared, his arms flapping.

"Brad, dear, while you're in the water...your hat...get it yourself!"

That said, Mary Beth rowed. She rowed as fast as she could to get away, until finally Bradford was just a dot in the water behind her. She left him there...for good, and do you know what? She never looked back.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nowhere to Go

Rooms by the Sea by Edward Hopper

Nowhere to Go

At the doorway to tomorrow,
standing in day's first light,
can you hear the water murmur,
waves of chance denying night?

Her house is bleak and empty
having already had its say.
She stands on the edge waiting
but still no one shows the way.

The waves, they become impatient
arguing in expressive lore.
The time has come to move on
to swim to another shore.

Nowhere to go but water
splashing against bare toes.
Time to leap and swim far
to wherever that tide goes.

I've heard that if you pray hard
the angels hold your head high
above those choppy waters
enabling one to fly.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Poetry in Blue

Poetry in Blue

Like ballerinas
Unfolding graceful music
Lifting faces up
Pansies sway in sunny light
Rivaling glittering stars.

Picture & Poem Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Poets, We

Photo Copyright JO Janoski 2008

Poets, We

We stand as one singing in hues of gold
surrounded by a forest dark and deep.
Through our souls eternal words shall be told
Utterances, both you and I shall weep.

Observances of life in ringing chimes.
Emotions speaking, no hesitation.
Dreams dodging nightmares, chronicling our times.
Life in full blast, unknown destination.

We poets live to touch immortal skies,
twirling, swirling in an unknown abyss.
We hear his soul sob when a dear one dies
and sing the joys of unknowable bliss.

We are mere instruments, both you and I.
For poets have no idea why they cry.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hounds at a Stable Door

Hounds at a Stable Door by John Emms

Lingering near yearning blue sky
Hounds at a stable door crying.
Massive limbs tensed waiting to play
Plaintive cries mixed with dog-spying.

Waiting while howling, then lying.
Will he come to open that door?
Velvet eyes softly denying
Iron spirits demand to soar.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Friday, April 11, 2008


The Dance of Youth
by Pablo Picasso


Youthful singing fills white night
Circling round peaceful dove in flight
Convinced of Love's magnificence
In their lofty beneficence
Who will tell them the truth?
In their lofty beneficence
Convinced of Love's magnificence
Circling round peaceful dove in flight
Youthful singing fills white night

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Pelican

American White Pelican by John James Audubon
(One of my favorite birds, such great personalities!)

The Pelican

Stately fellow struts
To my side demanding food.
Alas, I have none.
Webbed feet retreat to fishers
Open mouth he glub-glubs fish
Without saying thanks.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Wolf

The Wolf

Glaring eyes wrap around my space.
I'm a prisoner of your stare.
Your lofty gaze cements my place.

I long to go, to quicken pace
But you challenge, how could I dare?
Glaring eyes wrap around my space.

I thought at first kindness to trace
in the lines of that smile you wear.
Your lofty gaze cements my place.

Expressions changed, your grin lost grace.
Your eyes fenced me into your lair.
Glaring eyes wrap around my space.

A wolf hiding behind man's face
Truly you're a Jeckyll-Hyde pair.
Your lofty gaze cements my place.

First a man, until a wolf's face
encircles your prey with a stare.
Glaring eyes wrap around my space.
Your lofty gaze cements my place.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Taking Flight

Sketch of a Horse
by Leonardo da Vinci

Taking Flight

Eyes of fire
Beauty denying
Iron limbs
Taking flight
Riding bareback through maelstroms
On golden conquest.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Nature's Heart

Is it spring yet? Sigh!

Nature's Heart

Birds await
perched on swaying trees
whisper chirps
sultry nods
of approaching Spring
twirling in her grace.

Mating time.
Flamboyancy reigns
strut clucking
chitter chat
species preservation dance
feathery array.

At night fall
dignity bows in.
Bird chorals
brush tree tops.
Angel chants
swirling in magical clouds.
Hymns from Nature's heart.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sonnet to Me

Interior of a Dining Room by Martin Drolling

Sonnet to Me

It's me again, just me, alone with Spot.
She cooks, serves food, yet turns her back again.
This empty room reminds me what I'm not,
namely, a man complete without the pain.

I talk, I smile, I give my love flowers.
Fine clothes, fresh scents, grooming impeccable,
Lady remains immune to my powers
of love with romance indescribable.

I long to kiss her sweet red lips so fair,
to grab her waist and pull her close to me,
run my fingers through red cascading hair.
Certainly a happy man I would be.

Alas, she'll never dine beside me here.
I eat with Spot and not my lady dear.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski