Monday, December 14, 2009

"I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am."

"Kiss me and you will see how important I am."

"If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days."

Sylvia Plath
(1932-10-27 – 1963-02-11)

So much like Sylvia, Iam. Iam. Iam.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pinky Tuscadero

If everyone could be so confident and cool as Pinky Tuscadero, and snap their fingers, and be loved by Fonzi - well, true poetry is subjective...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

When Nietzsche Wept

This may not be a poem, but it is certainly poetic. I was quite moved when I saw this in When Nietzsche Wept and thus was compelled to share it with you here.

"We were friends and have become strangers to each other.
This is as it ought to be.
We do not want either to conceal or obscure the fact
as if we had to be ashamed of it.
We are two ships,
each of which has its goal and its course.
And finally, Dr. Breuer, we have to become strangers to one another,
because it's the law to which we are subject."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


"Success is liking yourself,
liking what you do, and
liking how you do it. "

Maya Angelou
US author & poet (1928 - )

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Adam and Eve

Leathered berry tongue
Deep heaving breaths
A wet face
Upon this plank pine

Nay to thee terracotta
Have it
Have there
Have thee

Adam and Eve
The want, the knowing
The peace amidst the chaos
The wet breeze after the rain
That leaves the body damp

The smell of dust
The sounds of night pending
The rush – haste – awe of it all
Thank thee now
Fugerit invida

The knowing, to know is to
Beat the serpent
Good and Evil – who decides
But together – good or bad –
We are one

Bring life, breathe life from the dust
One will always
Die from the knowing
Attempt to covereth with man
God always knows
Submit – submit – supplicate

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned

by Janet Jarrell

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Wall

Ascend, ascend, ascend
There are times
when you will never know
what side of the wall you are on.

Why does the caged bird sing?
Maya Angelou asks
For the same reason the pianist plays!
replies Roman Polanski
and he should know

"Why the fucking coat?"
"I'm cold."

Inspired by the movie The Pianist
Janet Jarrell

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chaos in her life


The new bookkeeper looks disheveled
– she is about my age but her eyes are tired.
She smiles at times
but it appears forced.
For the most part, her expression is less
– expressionless;
and as she sits like that
the corners of her mouth turn down just slightly
– enough to suggest some complacency
and slight unhappiness.
There is no real effort.
Janet Jarrell

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poesia Torta

With special permission, I am posting a beautiful poem from Kenia, a fellow avid blogger, writer and poet (not necessarily in that order). The following poem, much to my absolute delight, was dedicated to me. I shared the poem with my children on Thanksgiving as a little toast during our dinner.

Kenia has a gift. She has the ability to express truth beautifully through words; what more could be asked from a writer. I love visiting her blog, reading her words, and seeing my own thoughts expressed skillfully in her poems, both in Portuguese and English. For a little taste of her inspiration…

Vou usar seus olhos alegres
Como armadura
Quando minha imagem no espelho
For difícil demais de olhar
E buscarei neles a bravura necessária
Para travar minhas intermináveis batalhas
E chegar em casa em tempo de
prepara-te o jantar

- Porque é exatamente isso
que as mães fazem
e você não ouse esquecer
que por trás de todo o metal
há um coração que pulsa por você.

I’ll wear your smiling eyes
As an armour
When my reflection on the mirror
Becomes too hard to look at
And I’ll seek bravery inside them
To fight my daily everlasting battles
And be home on time to make you dinner

- Because that's exactly what mothers do
And you don't dare to forget
behind all that heavy covering
there's a heart
that beats for you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Listening To Myself

see myself staggering through deep snow
lugging blocks of wood yesterday
an old man
almost falling from bodily weakness
- look down on myself from above
then front and both sides
white hair - wrinkled face and hands
it's really not very surprising
that love spoken by my voice
should be when I am listening
yet there it is
a foolish old man with brain on fire
stumbling through the snow

- the loss of love
that comes to mean more
than the love itself
and how explain that?
- a still pool in the forest
that has ceased to reflect anything
except the past
- remains a sort of half-love
that is akin to kindness
and I am angry remembering
remembering the song of flesh
to flesh and bone to bone
the loss is better

Beyond Remembering - The collected poems of Al Purdy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

September by Helen Hunt Jackson

THE golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

'T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tractor by Karen Solie

More than a storey high and twice that long,
it looks igneous, the Buhler Versatile 2360,
possessed of the ecology of some hellacious
minor island on which options
are now standard. Cresting the sections
in a corona part dirt, part heat, it appears
risen full blown from our deeper needs,
aspirating its turbo-cooled air, articulated
and fully compatible. What used to take a week
it does in a day on approximately
a half mile to the gallon. It cost one hundred
fifty grand. We hope to own it outright by 2017.
Few things wrought by human hands
are more sublime than the Buhler Versatile 2360.

Across the road, a crew erects the floodlit
derricks of a Texan outfit whose presumptions
are consistently vindicated.
The ancient seabed will be fractured to 1,000 feet
by pressuring through a pipe literal tons
of a fluid — the constituents of which
are best left out of this —
to tap the sweet gas where it lies like the side
our bread is buttered on. The earth shakes
terribly then, dear Houston, dear parent
corporation, with its rebroken dead and freshly
killed, the air concussive, cardiac, irregular.
It silences the arguments of every living thing
and our minds in that time are not entirely elsewhere.

But I was speaking of the Buhler Versatile 2360,
Phase D! And how well recognized it is
among the classics: Wagner,
Steiger, International Harvester, John Deere, Case,
Minneapolis-Moline, Oliver, White, Allis-Chalmers,
Massey Ferguson, Ford, Rite, Rome.
One could say it manifests fate, cast
like a pearl around the grit of centuries. That,
in a sense, it’s always been with us,
the diesel smell of a foregone conclusion.
In times of doubt, we cast our eyes
upon the Buhler Versatile 2360
and are comforted. And when it breaks down, or thinks
itself in gear and won’t, for our own good, start,
it takes a guy out from the city at 60 bucks an hour,
plus travel and parts, to fix it.

For further reading about Karen Solie’s latest book Pigeon, see what The Globe and Mail had to say earlier this year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In Moonlight

Something moves
just beyond the mind's
clumsy fingers.

It has to do with seeds.
The earth's insomnia.
The garden going on
without us needing no one
to watch it

not even the moon.

by Lorna Crozier

Friday, September 25, 2009

I’m Going To A Town

Last night during dinner, my family and I enjoyed listening to Canada Live on CBC 2. This was a most special broadcast for me as it featured Rufus Wainwright live in Niagara on the Lake. Overall, I enjoyed listening to him tell little stories, including an elegy to Jeff Buckley, in between his performances.

His opening song was I’m Going To A Town. On the cusp of the Health Care Reform platform that Obama is pushing for, Rufus dedicated this song, which he called a poem, to the United States. This is just a partial of the lyrics, my favourite bits…

I’m Going To A Town

Tell me do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
Tell me and not for thinking everything that you've done is good
(I really need to know)
After soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood
I'm so tired of America
(I really need to know)

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I got a life to lead America
I got a life to lead
I got a soul to feed
I got a dream to heed
And that's all I need

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I'm going to a town that has already been burned down

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ode to Rufus Wainwright

Rambunctious, rebellious, raw

Rufus radiates red, Ra

He rouses a robust resonance from deep within

You do not disappoint me

Rufus you rouse the robust resonance from within

You radiate the deep red of Ra

Rambunctious, rebellious, raw

By Janet Jarrell

Side note of inspiration; Greg Hernandez on Meeting Rufus Wainwright...May 1, 2008

"...during his acceptance speech, he said: "An artist's decision to live an authentic life should go hand-in-hand with success. The more honest you are and more willing to share, the more gratifying it will be for your audience."
He also touched on something that I have heard friends of mine express and I to some degree also feel (but much less so after my years of therapy!): "We have to work so hard to be so brilliant and be so fabulous all the time, we often forget that we are damaged and we are hurt. To allow gay people to think everything is fine - it's not."
I love how this man has been true to himself from the very beginning and has such openness and honesty."

In honesty

Having fun with The NaiSaiKu Challenge

By the way, I love Rufus Wainwright.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Words live in the mind
One must draw on their inner voice
Requiring absolute freedom to inscribe

Words, Women, Immaculate Marriage

Words live in your mind
Liberate them with reverence
Raise your beautiful voice, dominion

By Janet Jarrell

Loquacious with the The NaiSaiKu Challenge

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm With You

(via DeviantArt)

You are so close when I wake
So vivid I can feel your heat
I lay still and listen close to my heart

And there I find you waiting

Stop; listen close to your heart
I’m forever warm and near
Before you wake I’m with you

By Janet Jarrell
Still with The NaiSaiKu Challenge

Excited to share my poem Confusion with Folding Mirror Poetry .

Peace in your heart.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


by lorelix04 deviantArt

The seasons change daily now
The voice says quite loud
I rest my head in my hands
I think about now
I don’t know what I’m doing
Conscious convoluted confusion
What are you going to do?
I’ll think about this
When I am finished my rest
The voice repeats that
The seasons have promised change

By Janet Jarrell
Confused? Who isn't? I don't know? The NaiSaiKu Challenge

Lots of love out there!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Change your thinking
Let new experience
Be your torch
Chloe liked Olivia
Your torch now lit
Let this experience
Change your world

Take the torch
With courage tell it
Forge ahead of all
Chloe liked Olivia
She will forge further
With courage tell her
How to take her torch

Take truth and freedom
Your mind to the edge
“Fullness of expression”
Chloe liked Olivia
Full of expression
Step out to the edge
Freedom equals truth

By Janet Jarrell
Quote from A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

Freedom to express, try The NaiSaiKu Challenge

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lambent Lament

The golden rod has returned
To the lambent field
It stretches high, higher everyday, waiting
In the lambent field
As the golden rod has returned

By Janet Jarrell

Finding "The"

As I sat at the piano

Counting my fingers through

The basic notes

I felt someone with me

It was Hannah Schmitz

And she was counting her words

To The Lady With the Little Dog

It was the same.

Her young lover was teaching her.

Again, same.

Now, I am on my own

As she was on her own

And I am finding 'the' on the piano.
By Janet Jarrell

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Uriel's Gaze

I feel You gazing at me
What message do You scribe
From what divine source do You abide
Uriel, sitting with St. Peter, amidst the heavens
From Your divine source I shall abide
The message You do scribe
Feel me staring back at You

By Janet Jarrell

Still gazing at The NaiSaiKu Challenge

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shine On Me

(dreamer by neslihans)

Summertime, a favourite past time
The favourable past we attempt to live by
Which haunts us so
We icon against Marilyn herself

What was done, has been undoneAdd Image
It's undoing now done
And so I, too, am done.

The favourable past, which must be left in the past
As now IS our favourable time to live by

By Janet Jarrell

The NaiSaiKu Challenge

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Alma gêmea

(Syrup and honey by 6eternity9 via devantArt)

We soften each others fears
Allusions, illusions
Aimlessness, lives together
Twin brain, twin soul, soul mate
Aimlessness lives, together
Alluded, illuded
We soften each others fears

Still 'illuded' by The NaiSaiKu Challenge

By Janet Jarrell

Thursday, June 25, 2009


(CityGirl by monislawa via deviantArt)

The weakness comes in waves
When it washes
I am faced with two choices, swim or succumb.
Do I endure or cave to my own desire?
The latter is pure instant pleasure
So I succumb
The need subsides – temporarily
The weakness creeps in again
I can see it watching me
I feel it poking me, tempting me
I taste it as I swallow
I know it is there, stalking me
It can be overwhelming
All encompassing
The weakness comes in waves

Sometimes we bend the rules...The NaiSaiKu Challenge

By Janet Jarrell

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


(via deviantArt)

Say you are a bird
Bare your mind and body free
There are no limits
Be open to your imagination and your visions
There are no limits
Bare your mind and body free
Say you are a bird

By the way, and certainly related, I recommend to anyone watch The Notebook again.

Still 'open' to The NaiSaiKu Challenge
By Janet Jarrell

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Temptation, failing
Succumb to thee, desire
Do not placate me
"The safest path to hell is the gradual one."
Do not placate me
Succumb to thee, desire
Temptation, failing

By Janet Jarrell

Still 'tempted' by The NaiSaiKu Challenge

"The safest path to hell is the gradual one."
Quote from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


(via deviantArt)

Unfulfilled hunger
Visceral semblance
Lascivious look
Unfulfilled hunger

By Janet Jarrell

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What Every Woman Should Have

Enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...

Something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

A youth she's content to leave behind....

A past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age....

A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

One friend who always makes her laugh...
and one who lets her cry...

A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored...

A feeling of control over her destiny...

How to fall in love without losing herself..

How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship...

When to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

That she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...

What she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

How to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally...

Where to it to her best friend's kitchen table...or a charming inn in the woods...when her soul needs soothing...

What she can and can't accomplish in a day...a month...and a year...

by Pamela Redmond Satran

I may not completely want to have all of these things, but I am working on that too!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

John Milton on Freedom of Expression

'Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.'

In 1644 at the height of the English Civil War, John Milton penned Areopagitica, which is now known as one of history’s first impassioned defences to freedom of expression. Ironically, Milton never delivered this argument verbally, however there was no need, the message was clear; to allow freedom of speech in written form. John Milton may have been more concerned about religion and less with the politics of war; unfortunately, history has seen these two go hand in hand.

Thanks to John Milton, and all who followed and fought for the right to freedom of expression. Thank you to all who exercise this right and provide the poetry, novels and the daily news which combined help to map out our history.

On Time
By John Milton

Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast intombed,
And last of all thy greedy self consumed,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss,
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood;
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of Him, t' whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall climb,
Then, all this earthly grossness quit,
Attired with stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poetry and Personal Meditation

Poetry is important to me.

When I read poetry, my mind is at peace. I liken it to a form of personal meditation as I find myself quite focused. I am able to be quiet. There are few things in life I do where I can say that. Once during a skiing lesson, my instructor stopped me, held my gaze and simply said ‘Try to keep your body quiet.’ This may sound strange to some, but I knew exactly what he meant and then I proceeded down that mountain unintentionally making a lot of noise. More practice required there.

Thankfully, staying quiet comes quite naturally for me while reading poetry.
I have read a few poems of late by Octavio Paz. In his lecture Poetry and Modernity he speaks of his passion for poetry and expresses “Poetry has been for me not only an everyday task and an invincible affection but also a vice, a fate, and ultimately, a cult, a personal religion.”

I feel his passion in his words. A wonderfully beautiful poem of his worth reading is titled Sunstone – it is quite lengthy and thus I am not including it here, but it is worth seeking out. For now, I would like to share this;

Between going and staying the day wavers,
by Octavio Paz

Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Poetry moves me a-lliteratively

Laughter lading in the labyrinth of lust
The lucent ladybird lands for luck
Lamenting low labial love
Love abundant

Loquacious languid lyricisms

by Janet Jarrell

We two are to ourselves a crowd. Ovid

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mary Oliver

April is Poetry Month


In Jakarta,
among the vendors
of flowers and soft drinks,
I saw a child
with a hideous mouth,
and I knew the wound was made
for a way to stay alive.
What I gave him
wouldn't keep a dog alive.
What he gave me
from the brown coin
of his sweating face
was a look of cunning.
I carry it
like a bead of acid
to remember how,
once in a while,you can creep out of your own life
and become someone else-
an explosion
in that nest of wires
we call the imagination.
I will never see him
again, I suppose.
But what of this rag,
this shadow
flung like a boy's body
into the walls
of my mind, bleeding
their sour taste-
insult and anger,
the great movers?

Mary Oliver

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting Older

Sometimes when I
look in the mirror
and my hair hangs curled under
I look distinguished
That is a nice way of saying older

I like the look
but I am not yet ready to see it

It is at these moments when
I wonder what my young lover sees
Does his head cock to the side
in question

Doubts seeps in

I mention the age gap to a friend
She dismisses it with
“who cares?”

I am relieved but push on

I suggest maybe I should
give my young lover up
let him mature for a few years, let
him ‘sow some wild oats’

“Isn’t that what he is doing with you?”
She apologizes

A good truth told
By Janet Jarrell
Post poem; A mirror helps one reflect...
Postscript; Thank you to all of my family, personal friends and blogger friends whom have read, supported and contributed to my blog. Thank you to Dave whom encouraged me to get started. I have enjoyed this experience and I look forward to exploring the myriad of blogs, bloggers and communities I have encountered with similar passions.
With many emotions, my smile simply says 'thank you' in every language.

Our Clear Autumn

Our perfect August
Our lambent time
The hour, month, season
Hast thou passed so

Nay, in time
You have naught but slept
Wake now thee love
See how it has suffered
Under your euphoric spell
Comfort creates the nest
Complacency settles in

(…poem interrupted by life)

With Love
On Love

By Janet Jarrell

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Power of Poetry and Lorna Crozier

Poetry is making a long overdue comeback, even if it is only in my life, my eyes, my important circle in this world. And, I choose to include the poetry of Lorna Crozier in that circle. Her recent book The Blue Hour of the Day rests on my bedside table and has been of great comfort and inspiration to me since Christmas when I received it as a gift.

The gift of poetry. The power of poetry. If I could send Lorna Crozier a message it would be that I value her poetry. She once wrote in ‘Who’s Listening?’ published in the NeWest Review in February/March 1989 that even she needs “to be reminded that poetry somewhere has value” and she adds “I write in case someone, anyone, is listening.”

Lorna, we are listening and reading and singing too.

Last night during the Music on Main at the Cellar Jazz Club & Restaurant in Vancouver B.C., poems from The Sex Lives of Vegetables by Crozier were set to music and performed by Leslie Uyeda. This is just one of the unique ways Lorna has inspired us through her exceptional poetry. Lorna was born in 1948 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The biography on her own web site chronicles her work history after university, when she went on to teach English in the high school setting and work as a guidance counsellor. She began publishing her poetry during these years and soon found herself the writer-in-residence at the Cypress Hills Community College in her home town, then at the Regina Public Library and on to the University of Toronto. After serving short-term residencies at the University of Toronto, Lethbridge and at Douglas College, she now teaches and serves as Chair in the Writing Department at the University of Victoria in B.C.

Her biography goes on to say ‘In addition to leading poetry workshops across the globe, Lorna has given benefit readings for numerous organizations such as the SPCA, the BC Land Conservancy, the Victoria READ Society, and PEERS, a group committed to helping prostitutes get off the street. She has been a frequent guest on CBC radio where she once worked as a reviewer and arts show host. Wherever she reads, she raises the profile and reputation of poetry.’

Lorna is known within the Canadian writing community as a mentor of other poets and as both a generous and inspirational artist. She continues to share her passion for writing in the forthcoming issue of ROOM available mid April 2009 in which she is the featured writer.

I encourage you to explore poetry, ROOM and Lorna Crozier. It is well worth it!

Peace through poetry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

In the Name of Gaia

I, Mother Earth

Cradle thee tenderly

Offer up my breast

Feeding naturally

I, Mother Earth

Raise thee up high

Open thy mouth

Release thy cry

I, Mother Earth

Bounty give to thee

Embrace my gift

Engorge and set free

I, Mother Earth

Innate and free

Hold in my womb

Dominion of fertility

With love

By Janet Jarrell

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ramblings post Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible'...

We possess the perverted desire to have others validate our worthiness – we are, unto ourselves, unable to justify our own self worth. We thus look to and rely on the evils of modern day; e-mail, phone, the number of friends in our Facebook, to measure our seed in life’s hierarchy.

Love yourself.
Trust yourself.
Pay that forward.
By Janet Jarrell