Thursday, October 31, 2013


Though I tug upon your coat-tail and implore you to remain
You advance toward the exit in the color of the rain
Kindred spirits never sever though the hour may depart
You will be my love forever, sweet October of my heart
By the time these words are written you’ll be standing at the gates
Where the leaf is heavy-laden and your time-drawn carriage waits
And I know you will not see me, watching as you slip away
But I know that you will feel me in your wild and lonesome gray

You have spilled your umber palette where first gold and scarlet fell
And the ivy on the lintel weeps its tears in fond farewell
Do not hasten so my darling, grief has no expiry date
If I could I’d bolt Time’s door and softly beckon you to wait…

You have tuned my heart with laughter and with angst of letting go
You have strewn the final splendor of your robe like russet snow
And I cannot find the hem of midnight; darkness fills the air
It is still; I hear the tiptoe of November on the stair

© Janet Martin

Hallowe-en Hug

There are mommy and daddy hugs
And hugs from wee boys and girls
But I think fuzzy, green caterpillar hugs
Are the coziest hugs in the world!

I just got hugged by a fuzzy-wuzzy green caterpillar(aka Nathan;)

Even Now...

Even now while I miss
The sparkle of skylark-song
Tickling the ripple of rye-gold sea
Even now, outside my kitchen window
I delight in
The return of Red Poll and chick-a-Dee

Even now while I miss
Tangled bloom bouquets
Growing wild on the window-sill
Even now, every leaf
Lavishly garnishes
Hedge-row, hollow and hill

Even now, while I miss
The pool of morning-sun
Warming the waking earth
Even now, I am drawn to
The flicker of firelight
And family around home’s hearth

© Janet Martin

one more very personal stanza…

Even now, while I miss
My firstborn; her chatter
Spilling like a flower in full-bloom
Even now, I hear the laughter
Of her two younger sisters
Excited to each have their own bedroom

They quickly purged their room of the dresser which has been called many names (all unflattering). Suddenly my living-room is filled with over-flow;) Every mothering-instinct in me wants to go up and 'help', but they sound like they're having too much fun on their own so I'm making meat-loaf and scalloped potatoes for their supper...and as far as missing Emily goes. I have been at her house or she has been here or she has called every day since they're back:) I won't ask her, but I know she misses us a little...

Rainy Fall Rush-hour


It is rush-hour
on a rainy afternoon,
the freeway
a hissing
with red
and gold

Travelers yearn for the bronze
of porch-light broach
gleaming on the lapel
of home

© Janet Martin

It seems the traffic is eager to be home tonight...I hear a continuous hissing as they rush by.

Ode on Autumn...a sonnet

Thou Harbinger of hearth and fireside
Who gifts thee with thy keen expenditure
Of scarlet prelude ere thy flame subsides
And falls; a sweeping, silent overture
And is thy kiss anointed thence with death
Or is it life that falls beneath the tree?
Thy seed returns to slumber in the earth
And man is powerless to set it free
Ah, who directs the geese that graze thy dome
Or bends thy orchard limb with gold and red?
Thou who rousest both dirge and passion’s poem
We touch thy face with eagerness and dread
And long to gather all our loved ones home
Whilst thou unleashest gardens overhead

Oh, strike the lute and raise thy banner high
Thou rebel-rouser with a lover’s kiss
Soon, soon the hour will force on us good-bye
And all that we can do is reminisce
So hold me nearer; let me feel thy tear
And taste the salt upon thy weathered cheek
Time does not cater to young love, my dear
Ah, listen to my thought; I cannot speak
But only feel the tremor on thy lips
Thou wanderer of dark and empty night
Philanderer of leaf; each moment drips
Until the hour is rife with farewell’s plight
Where you torment my mouth and fingertips
Thou troubadour of sorrow and delight

Thou Harbinger of both cradle and grave
Of flower stripped and hour weak with want
Even the boldest and the bravest brave
Cannot withstand a mighty minute’s taunt
And breath by breath, we sense and empathize
With thee; oh little laughter on the tree
The skin of things is such a thin disguise
Oh autumn; wilt thou linger tenderly
And spill thy honeyed candor on my day?
Then I will close my eyes; dance recklessly
Thy absence is too close for me to say
‘What is has been and what must be will be’
But I will revel in thy bluesy sway
For I can feel thy arms slipping from me

© Janet Martin

Ever-present Offering

Oh mournful morn, how dull the corn
Shivers on field and stricken hill
The hour that plucks high-noon then dusk
Has folded back to earth its thrill
The chill wind sobs from morn to night
While we absorb a season’s flight

The weathered trail of wood and dale
Flaunts autumn’s russet pirouette
Feet dash and race or slowly trace
The aftermath of summer-set
And all beneath the lowered sky
The muffled robes of autumn lie

We do not mourn, though Time has torn
Another chapter from its ream
A strange relief, half hope, half grief
Stirs wildly in our untried dream
For Time is not a garnered thing
But ever-present offering

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Silly Lily or Why, Indeed?

"Silly lily", said Victoria. "Why do you pull away from the very thing that gives you life?" Yes, why indeed?
(we are watching with interest, the lily that began as a tall, straight stem. The stem keeps curling. It pulled the flower down to the jar rim then continued to curl up, up...)

Why do we stray and pull away
Within temptation, grief and strife
Choosing to trust the gods of dust
Instead of He who gives us life?


John 1:4
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

When This Day is Done...

Oh, when this day is done
Its jargon and its jest
And when the morning sun
Melts bronze beneath the west
Will we, when it is gone
Sealed in past’s soldered chest
Be satisfied because
We offered it our best?

Oh, when this little day
Joins history’s mute cast
To spill its gold and gray
In pictures of the past
And when its echoes splay
In memory’s caress
Will we be glad to say
Today we did our best?

When dusk returns to hide
This ripple in Time’s stream
And claim within its tide
The discourse of its dream
When this day’s stills its stride
To rest where all days rest
Will we be satisfied
Because we did our best?

© Janet Martin

Life is What We Make Of It
by Edgar A. Guest
Life is a jest;
Take the delight of it.
Laughter is best;
Sing through the night of it.
Swiftly the tear
And the hurt and the ache of it
Find us down here;
Life must be what we make of it.

 Life is a song;
Dance to the thrill of it.
Grief's hours are long,
And cold is the chill of it.
Joy is man's need;
Let us smile for the sake of it.
This be our creed:
Life must be what we make of it.

Life is a soul;
The virtue and vice of it,
Strife for a goal,
And man's strength is the price of it.
Your life and mine,
The bare bread and the cake of it
End in this line:
Life must be what we make of it.

I think it is safe to say I love every single one of his poems!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Lullaby

Wood-smoke spiraling; gray curls quickly drenched
Fog pressing weightless; yet like a cloud clenched
‘cross earth’s bleak dolor and colorless hues
November murmurs its imminent dues
Time tiptoes over this waning threshold
Of sweet October and gray stealing gold

Russet minstrels croon a last lullaby
Summer and winter sleep ‘neath the same sky
Coffins and cradles in earth’s womb enmesh
Juxtaposed; gardens of timber and flesh
Relentless rivers of ‘missing you’ rush
Rampant and silent through Time’s underbrush

Foothold of faith rivals festering fear
October shivers in dusk’s deep’ning sphere
Fantasy flounders; for no Brigadoon
Rises to rescue or rift Time’s swift swoon
There are no shadows; for the moon is dark
And there are no lovers tonight in the park

© Janet Martin

Baby Turns One Today!

Today  the little boy I baby-sit turns one! We had a party at his house on Sunday. We marveled again at how quickly a year is done!

Today mom and dad are both happy and sad
How quickly a year slips away
But we smile with joy for our dear little boy
Is turning one year old today

We sing and clap hands; moments trickle like sand
Or water of brook over stone
But bravely we cheer as we kiss baby dear
For today baby boy turns one

Sweet Time disappears in our laughter and tears
In birthdays, in work and in play
Now we celebrate with balloons, hugs and cake
For baby who turns one today

Happy Birthday to sweet, sweet Nathan!

With love, from Janet 

Time's Tango

The marsh is filled with eventide
And nature’s waning will
The grinning bloom betrayed by Time
Slumbers where all is still
The doggerel of august day
And cricket minuet
Midst wind and leaf-song falls away
Etched in thought’s silhouette

A metronome of moments fills
Then steals another hour
A chorus spilling daffodils
Soon strips the autumn bow’r
As dividends of quickened youth
And ageless wanderlust
Declares in nature’s ruthless truth
Life’s journey back to dust

The imminence of what must be
In every half-breath nears
Where nothing marks eternity
Or charts its days and years
Time’s tango teases and torments
It’s touch both kind and cruel
Somewhere its final recompense
Unravels from life’s spool

© Janet Martin

Monday, October 28, 2013

Love's Poetry

Nature resides within Love’s poetry
Each season climaxes then fades into
Its successor in splendid filigree
Of bud, leaf-laced or barren limb on blue
As beauty blends with beauty, spring to spring
Stunning anew the spectator of sod
For every season spills its offering
In shameless praise to its Creator God
There is no fairest of them all; each one
In turn unfolds its wonder to our gaze
We bow in awe to touch dawn’s frost-kissed lawn
Then turn to watch the sunset’s dying blaze
And soon another season’s worth is gone
Faint flicker in a soon-forgotten haze

Mortality rests in this Poet too
His hand sustains; to doubt is paltry shame
The Artist of ten-thousand shades of blue
Knows and beckons to each of us by name
We cannot know and understand His thought
But look; to every season He imbues
The colors that by Him alone are wrought
We stand amazed within Love’s hallowed hues
For everywhere the beauty of the Lord
In spite of our ignorance, abounds
Oh Victor, not of violence or of sword
Brings beauty to the broken; He confounds
Our stuttering; we cannot breathe a word
Within His poetry we are restored

© Janet Martin

 …that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.' "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.…Acts 17: 27-29

Job 12:10
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

A Little Bit of Heaven

 Yesterday afternoon as the air sparkled with father, mother and child laughter, and the wind nipped our noses and kites pivoted, careened and nose-dived against a canvas of fall sky it almost felt like a little bit of heaven!

 What if we allowed
Love’s blessing to sink in
And what if we accepted it
Above our weight of sin?

And what if we proclaimed
In everything we do
The worthiness of HE who promises
To guide us through?

What if faith became
Our mystic stepping-stone
And sight simply love’s blindness
Where our vision sees a thorn?

What if we believed
And received without fear
Then wouldn’t we glimpse just
A little bit of heaven here?

© Janet Martin

Recompense of Hope

Wanton wind broods hungrily
Where June’s leaf-song used to be
Gone is summer’s sighing tress
None its season can possess
Now the street is lined with hosts
As earth claims Time’s petal-ghosts
Just as every half-breath, slipped
Into past’s eternal crypt

We are chancellors of hope
Blue wind broods on barren slope
Yet the discourse of an hour
Holds within its force, spring’s flow’r
We embrace this wondrous thing
Hope is heaven’s offering
For the brooding wind that blows
Will again kiss summer’s rose

Waiting is a hard-learned hurt
I have watched its seasons flirt
With my darling dreams, and I
Have sad and silently stood by
As they fell, like autumn’s leaf
I have suffered waiting’s grief
But within its grip I’ve learned
Happiness is hope returned

© Janet Martin

Of Regret and Redemption

Every now and then
From some lost yesterday
I feel the haunting tug of things
That I let slip away

But all the could-have-beens
Pounding time’s frozen past
Cannot annul God’s grace that fills
This day soon memory-cast

Regret is but to die
To opportunity
And this new day is mercy’s
Patient gift to you and me

© Janet Martin

 Trust in the Lord. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the Lord.Ps. 27:14

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A New Chapter Begins...

Its script yet unfathomed
Its page yet unmarred
Its stories unwritten
Where dawn bathes the yard
And morning implores us
To rise; grasp our pen
Beckoning gently
To write once again

We taste Time’s free-fall
We sorrow; we laugh
Dawn fills the air
With its first paragraph
Beneath our fingers
And feet we employ
Ink-drops of anguish
And whispers of joy

Over earth’s concave
And crest; beaming bright
Syllables tumble
In morning’s first light
Grace breathes its bounty
And forgives our sins
We trust Time’s Giver
…a new chapter begins

© Janet Martin

Rob and Emily dropped in before heading to their new home last night and I thought to myself, thus a new chapter begins.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Something Sweetly Haunting

There is something sweetly haunting ‘bout a snow that comes too soon
Argent innocence undaunted, slipping from an astral spoon
As it wraps earth’s golden autumn from a silver-broken cloud
Settling on rooftops and gardens in an unexpected shroud

There is something grandly mournful in snow slipping over leaf
Where soft whiteness blends with scarlet in a dazzling, muffled sheaf
And we tread with restless reverence a landscape strangely awed
By mute, majestic masterpieces from the hand of God

There is something keenly comforting in autumn’s early snow
Where hope immortal mingles with the grief of letting go
Life's moments fall like snowflakes on a morning almost noon
Oh, there’s something sweetly haunting ‘bout a snow that comes too soon

© Janet Martin

I looked outside when I woke up and said, ‘You have got to be kidding me!’ The world was white…and then soon we were out of electricity for a while.

 "God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend. "For to the snow He says, 'Fall on the earth,' And to the downpour and the rain, 'Be strong.' "He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work. Job 37: 5-7

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Way of Love

When you leave
A little piece of me
Leaves too
For heart-strings
Cannot be untied
Like laces
on a shoe

When you leave
I cannot stay
Altogether here
For part of me
Will follow;
‘Tis the way
Of love, my dear

When you leave
I will not grieve
But I know
A part of me
Will always be
You will go…

© Janet Martin

Rob and Emily have said their good-byes in Nova Scotia and are on their way home…my heart is with Cathy, (Rob’s Mom) and the rest of the family. Good-byes are hard!

The Way of Flowers...

After Emily's wedding we put the mums on the porch.. A few days ago our neighbor passed away. She was 94 and a lifetime lover of flowers! Her son stopped by to ask if they may use the mums in the hall at her funeral and I got to thinking,' that's the way of flowers...

They cheer our happiest
and saddest hours
That seems to be
The way of flowers.


To My Cyber-friends...

We are not strangers
You and I, and yet
We’ve never spoken
Or even met

I would not recognize you
Though we’ve laughed and wept
Into the still air

One wields the pen
One holds the page
We are fellowmen
On a common stage

Though we've never met
 It's nice to think
We touch each other
Through the power of ink

© Janet Martin

Though we may never meet
I’d simply like to say
Thank-you to all who have passed by
My little porch today…

Though we may never speak
It is enough to know
That words and prayers reach anywhere
A little thought can go


Thank-you to generations
Past and presently
Who have shared inspiration
So that others may read

Life's Letting Go...

It must be so
Life’s letting go
Torments and teases
Our clutch
I hold you near,
Somehow a year
Is fleeting
As a stranger’s touch

When we were young
Time pleased our tongue
In dreams beyond
Our innocence
We didn’t know
Life’s letting go
Falls in swift,
Keen deliverance

It must be so
The ebb and flow
Of moments yield
Both joy and woe
Gifting our reach
They gently teach
Us to hold on
While letting go…

© Janet Martin

There It Goes...

There they go
Ethereal flow
Expanding archives
Of joy and dismay
Zeniths of
Longing and love
Days of our lives
Falling away

See, from the mud
Spring’s new-born bud
Presses, unfolds
A thorn, a rose
See, how it falls
Time’s madrigals
From hold to hold
Its blooms disclose

Ah, there it goes
And no one knows
How near or far
Its breadth extends
Oh, little day
You slip away
Gold with the gray
The hour bends

It laughs and weeps
Flounders and leaps
This moment-tide
Sweeps us along
We touch and taste
Its eager haste
Then render to
The past, its song

© Janet Martin

Where Only God Can See

Some prayers fall from our lips
Joyful and easily
Others ache within our thought
Where only God can see…

Some prayers  we can shape in word
Free-falls of hope and cheer
Others groan deep in the heart
Where God alone can hear

Some prayers are pleasant to share
As thankful praises flow
Others are so hard to bear
Where only God can know


My friend Glynis could use our prayers today! 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Autumn Rainbow...

Autumn, what rainbow of harvest you shape
Red of the apple, gold squash, purple grape
Orange of carrot and plum dusty blue
Ruffled green parsley to season the stew

Into root cellars your plethora spills
Pumpkin, potato and squash-onion hills
Chartreuse of cabbage and remnant melee
Of peppers, tomatoes and mint-leaf for tea

Goodness and mercy in fall-fruits abound
Master-piece miracles spring from the ground
Autumn, what rainbow of harvest you bring
God, we thank Thee for its kind offering

© Janet Martin

I pulled out the last of the fresh peppers for supper. The  tomatoes froze on the deck, (I forgot to bring them in;( Soon, I can no longer skip the veggie department when I grocery shop, but we still have lots of fresh squash, carrots, potatoes, onions. I’m chopping and freezing the parsley today, as well as baking and freezing some of the squash so we can enjoy it until next fall…

right now, the first real snowfall of the season...suddenly I'm humming this song; Fall Softly, Snow

Of Ageless Assurances...

 This morning is garnished with a dusting of snow!

The morning melts its mercy in mute mantle, faithfully
Across night’s dark abyss; a new day fills Time’s drinking-bowl
We recognize the measure of our vulnerability
And reach to touch the Hand that sees our body and our soul
We could not bear to suffer long life’s grievances of sod
But for the sure forgiveness of a gracious, loving God

How swift the cup of Time fills up to spill in fond farewell
Of vesper song and velvet shadows on dusk’s dim terrain
How swift we fly from innocence to combat; soon the bell
That tolls the ending of a day will fill the sky again
The synopsis of all we know affirms manifestly
Our uttermost dependence on a Hand we cannot see

The gold expanse of second-chance refurbishes the deeps
Ah, what is man that Love should bleed its patience to the dark?
In synchronized imbuement its taking and giving weeps
And, but for grace Time’s offering would be cheerless and stark
Yet oh, because of grace we do not crumble in despair
But reach to touch the Love that spreads a new day to the air

© Janet Martin

 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD'S loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.…Lam. 3:21-23

Psalm 103:10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall's Fading Fallow

The orchard has rendered its ruby
The fallow has tendered its gold
The woodland has lathered its beauty
Back to earth’s long-suffering hold

The banter of zephyr and rain-song
Garnishes every tree root
A moment’s insistence is ruthless
Stripping the stem of its fruit

The brook rambles through barren fallow
Replenished by autumn’s tear
Stalwart, the reed in its shallow
Braces for gales more severe

We too must render life’s ruby
We too must tender its gold
All things ephemeral journey
Back to earth’s long-suffering hold

© Janet Martin