Author Archives: janishaag

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor

Jan. 19: Dolly and Janis

One still on the planet, one not—Parton and Joplin, two music iconswhose songs so many of us cansing from memory— though for two fine singersborn on the same day,you couldn’t get suchdifferent musical styles. And how is it that Janiswas … Continue reading

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Visitation

You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.—Winnie the Pooh(by A.A. Milne, born Jan. 18, 1882) So let’s lace up our big bootsand step out … Continue reading

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Unleashed

I let my poet off her leash,and, unclipped, she turnedher furry head and shot mea question— Really? Yes, I said. Go ahead.Run wherever your heartdirects you. Sniff whatcatches your fancy.Gobble up luscious lines.Lie in greening coupletsand rest when you like.Chase … Continue reading

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Jan. 16: Bliss

Joy is not made to be a crumb.—Mary Oliver Joy is the whole cookie,fat with chocolate chips orsmooth as shortbread. In fact,the more crumbs you mashonto a finger and apply to yourtongue, the sweeter the joy. No one tells you … Continue reading

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Jan. 15: Cosmological constant

for Dick, on his fourth “rebirth-a-versary” The universe keeps dying and being reborn,physicists say. It doesn’t stay the same;it’s ever expanding, as Einstein theorized—exponential expansion, which meansthat as much as we want things to remainthe same, a rock solid cosmologicalconstant, … Continue reading

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Jan. 14: Visiting the fallen

East Lawn Cemetery, Sacramento In between stormsI take my walk to find,not far inside the open iron gate,the first uprooted tree, its undersidetypically hidden underground,the lacy petticoat and fine bonesunearthed, nakedly exposedunder a hazy blue sky Another of the fallen, … Continue reading

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Jan. 13: The literary journal reading

for Pat Schneider You never Zoomed a poetry reading,I’m sure, certainly not of the journalyou founded forty years before anyoneimagined speaking at a computer screen.You held proper readings at the JonesLibrary or the Munson, requiringin-person attendance of readersand listeners. They … Continue reading

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Jan. 12: Winter rose

And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been.—Rainer Maria Rilke Things that have never been: This new year stretching long before us,bright and unshadowed.This breath, … Continue reading

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Helen’s hands

for Helen Plenert The artist posts a photo ofher paint-speckled hands afterreloading her acrylic paint palette, and I enlarge it to look at the colors,which I cannot accurately name—periwinkle, bright blue, mustardthat looks as if it could be risingon dancing … Continue reading

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56-and-a-half hours

to remind you that you, who livesamid such abundance, who hasso much of what others do not, are just as reliant on the basics—good food, clean water, electricity—as everyone else, that your privilege can, indeed, leave youin the dark for … Continue reading

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