Author Archives: janishaag

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor

Serena

SereeeeenaI just met a cat named SerenaAnd suddenly the namewill never be the same to me. I’ve known more than a few kitties in my life, falling hard for them as a kid when my family acquired our first sweet … Continue reading

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Election night 2020

Zooming through poetry class onlinefor the 11th week—still not used to students’faces in little rectangles onscreen, wishing the oneswho elect not to show their faces would— weeks of discussing imagery and metaphor,sonnets and villanelles, syntax and sound,putting them into virtual … Continue reading

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Pec-i-lan City

Few things soothe me when I’m busy or anxious as well as time spent by the ocean. That’s why, mid-semester in this crazy world of Zoom teaching, Dick and I had arranged a different kind of oceanside getaway—one that involved … Continue reading

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Moonstruck

I was out watering the plants in my front yard a couple months ago, trying to give them a good drink before the heat of a Sacramento August day, when Robert Gordon walked by. He was moving at his usual … Continue reading

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Pelecanus occidentalis

Driving west, fleeing the smoky central valleytoward the mist that hugs the California coastline,putting miles behind us and dehydrated landlong unused to rain—we pray that the brittle grassesdie a natural death, rather than the fiery kindconsuming acreage by the millions … Continue reading

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Back to school

I am one of millions today… millions of kids and teachers who are starting their school year (and will likely finish it) at home—not to mention their poor parents who’ve been dragged into home schooling like it or not, or … Continue reading

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What stays with us

“I went up to the door, but I turned away.” —Pat Schneider, Aug. 5, 2020            (June 1, 1934–Aug. 10, 2020) I see you at the door, your hand with its long tributaries of veins pausing … Continue reading

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Now we look to the stars—

though the beings rooted to this blue marble must have always looked skyward once darkness pulled its cobalt curtain over their portion of planet. I want to emerge from isolation, coming out of hibernation to be with those who make … Continue reading

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Seize the moment

July 1, 2020, west shore, Lake Tahoe   This instant as kids scramble atop a makeshift island floating like a bright penny on chilly emerald water that grows warmer every day. This moment as two teenage boys dive off the dock … Continue reading

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Purging the subject files

For Dani, who makes it easier to sift and sort They came off garage shelves stiffly like the old creatures they were, sagging cardboard file boxes encumbered with the weight of words on paper, to fwump onto the old concrete … Continue reading

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