Author Archives: janishaag

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor

Cancer ate my (best) friend(ship)

This is the story I’ve been avoiding writing about my best friend, who died last August after 12 years of coping with metastasized colon cancer. It’s something I’d love to talk to her about—especially today, which would have been her … Continue reading

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End of day

for the people of Ukraine How often do we forget—watching the nightly sky show,clouds purpling, the last ofthe day’s energetic yellowand orange rimming the horizon—that the sun will return again? We find ourselves sinking, too,anticipating the coming dark.Perhaps the angry … Continue reading

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Pink camellia

Four great warriors kept me company on my walk,all poets—they’d have to be poets, wouldn’t they?— but they were so quiet I thought, ah… walkingmeditation then, which hinted that Thay must be one of them, he who just finished hismost … Continue reading

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Candle

That dayyou melted,the collapseof a self,your remainsburned downto a heapof humanityon an airportfloor. Gone. I witnessedyour death andtransfigurationat the literalhands ofstrangerswho workedto pour yourmelted self—one that hadtaken flight—back intoanother form. You arosethat day,blue eyesblinking,ragged andbloody,lifted ontoa gurney byso many sets … Continue reading

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Absence

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   —Naomi Shihab Nye, from “Burning the Old Year” The shouts of the grieving forma collective wail, a rising lamentation that stings the eyes, chokes the throat—the absence of … Continue reading

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A doofus kinda love

Diego, the big doofus, loves to lie on people, and here he sprawls on my BFF, Georgann (Taylor) Turner, on this day in 2016. I believe this may have been her last trip to Northern California, despite her tremendous pain … Continue reading

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Repose

These days of the fallingI look to the gutters where gold gathers along withburnished red going to rust, delicate saffron fanshaving fluttered their last, garnet maple leavesthe size of my hand scattered belly up—not quite dead but dying, yet I … Continue reading

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Stranded

The Sea Ranch, Oct. 26, 2021 I’ve never held so many stars, butthe October storm washes them ashore,bright points of light wrapped in knottedropes of yellowed kelp and dulled mussels.Wave after wave bounces them to the sand,and, as the water … Continue reading

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Advice from a dead best friend

Put on your shoes and walk in the world,talking to me. I’m right here with you;I’m always within reach. It’s a good timeto chat, so go ahead. You’ll know it’s mewhen you know it’s me. But even whenyou’re not sure, … Continue reading

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Bidding Georgann farewell

About 50 people gathered in Sacramento the day before Georgann and Ron’s 25th wedding anniversary for a ceilidh. That’s pronounced kay-lee, and it’s Gaelic for a party, which Georgann loved. Her brother, Bill Taylor, opened his former restaurant for the … Continue reading

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