Hyacinth Bouquet


Ode to Woman

She rode in on rare Castle Rock
air, head tilted toward a dream,
vision-voiced bell-ring clear,
now fate fixed.

Parched labor-long, now drawn
into life’s rich vibrant stream
refreshed and strong,
purposed longings revived foreseen
off-on horizon’s edge,
will claim her frail albatross,

Tacit strength anew, knowing
she steers her own fortune,
twinkle-eyed and amiss in bliss
(she held her gifts out of sight,
like stars aglow for midnight).

she stoops to a broken stem,
lifts life’s trembling rose
purses lips to bloom,
misses not its message lost
in heart-felt gloom,
boldly keeps a keen eye
on far off storms approach,
keep adjuvant ear to ground,
life being like that-
will ferry no linger nor look back,
she preens it.

She is on a different track
at life’s breach
where no man stands for long,
worn reins in a pair of hands,
(a cry a sigh a heart expands)
a steady steed, he goes
to a place where no man knows,
steed set a steel-eyed course
for far off fertile land
where a rare wind blow.

She stops,
clears the air of heady thought,
draws an eye over high above Rock
to a glide pattern old Eagle Eye
plays to,
catching fetching golden rays
soon to settle in its rest
far from eyes that stare him down,
she, in wingless gaze task to test
with hope to rote,
traces its glorious flight to nest.

She owes no man quarter-
she lives to give-
reins the gain of many returns,
her gifts lost on those who lack
life’s bright and heady light
hidden in plain view
for those who know
innocence is soul sight.

Her purpose hands expand on Rock
the earth nods,
rowing white waters the river sings
earth curtsies,
follow her rhythm
down to Sublime,
no simple way to read her soul
than to walk through it.

This, a soft-footed, brown-haired
lithe-limbed warble-voiced bird;
it is why the earth loves through her
hands like panned gold,
it is how she knows the silence
running beneath hop-scotched snow,

she flows.

Self-taught to twinkle,
this one knows
no permanent perch,
she learns she flows,
better to scope the swoop
like Eagle Eye
harmonize her nest,
she learns she earns,
with eye to eventual rest.

There is a name for this
hidden within a miracle,
hidden within a name.
Do you hear it?
You shall know it.

Sound of  a clear clean heart-
plum of nature’s best-
she’s ridden the river
been put to the test,
pools out a mind for all
who thirst, will drink
too deeply
for all life’s hurt,
will wear pain like a cross,
love like a curse,
fought in a breach left
where no man stands.

She’s of the Ancient Ones,
she’s one of the blessed,
makes your life a purpose
as she makes your life a nest,
purpose makes for perfect life
and she your perfect rest.

This is a miracle.
This, a name anew.
This, a miracle,
the One who calls for you.

Copyright (c) 2007, Janet L Dowd
Revised 01-01-08; 03-30-09.

Felician Fingers Strum

I watch Night settle over me
with the gentleness of sleeping baby
at its mother’s breast
and wonder where you are
……….and wonder where you are..
Somewhere on distant shores
Felician fingers strum a melody
the waves seem to carry out to sea
……….and wonder where you are
Don’t tell me you’ve never held the hand
of love – for just one moment –
as love has been your companion
for years untold
……….and wonder where you are.
Felician fingers strum our song
of Love and simple Truth
to ride the winds and search afar
and wonder where you are
……….and wonder where you are..


Ode to Soul

that light is
the Light,
exists apart
from belief,
can be seen
without knowledge
it is there –

you say
it’s not fair –

you might not see
the Light
in others,
they might not see
yours –

both burn bright,
you don’t need to know the Light to see it.


Dry bones in Minnesota

You’d stand there arms crossed
in front, gathering your waist
with floured hands, a pause
from oven to table, your silhouette
perfectly framed in stained glass,
staring out over potted pansies,
eyes following the sagging line,
a clothesline too close to ground,
bird bath rimmed in chickadees,
dry bones and brittle branches,
skin cracked and peeling –
old birch out back reminds you,
your own sore dusted marrow.

You’d bend to tender roses hand picked
for you and he, now Grandpa’s Place,
a place which claims my roots,
in the yard out back among Queen Anne’s lace.
Thinking back now –
to earlier days of gathering;
lily-of-the-valley, Becky, little bells &
cockleshells, kindling, and purple violets
placed within your favorite vase
upon the kitchen window shelf,
with little purpose hands,
where your tender gaze would rest
oh Grandma
how I miss you, and all of Braham’s nest.


White Roses

white roses
will never be the same
for. me.
hour upon hour
sitting contently
admiring their beauty
envying quintessence
just. one. rose.
in a vase
haunts me –
regal pose
flaunting purity
innocence –
so last night
it. was. settled.
I ate one!


Loving Place

Come, take me in Your arms
I pray, face me, Face to Face,
so Soft the woman in Me – longs
to Linger – in the tenderness
of your Embrace – soft grazing
fingers – your hand well placed –
Hush me, look into My eyes –
and fall into a Loving Place.

Come, Hold me in your heart
I say, Embrace me, Soul to Soul –
a Gift to thee I Give, to Live
Forgotten Dreams in knowing Me –
in loving You – I set thee Free –
our love together make us whole –
and yes, I look into Your eyes
..and know My loving Place.




I think I’ll always remember you
in the early morning hours
just before dawn, when sky
is but a velvet drape, melting
colors soft as raindrops;
a time when everything is
lazy clouds, majestic mountains
splashed across the sky in purple
palette, trees cloaked in sensuous
beauty swaying against indigo skies,
stars like diamonds falling at their feet,
thinking, I’ll always remember you
in the early morning hours, when
all I feel is the gentleness
of morning about to awaken,
when all I hear is occasional bird in song,
when all I know is peace within my heart, knowing.


Sea Surrounds Me

When the moon push
………..the clouds away,
………..and the waves
………..glide upon the shore
………..like silver wings,
………..I’ll want your arms around me
………..sharing the mystery of the main,
………..the secret of its soul.

Wrapped around each others thoughts
………..roving over sand and rock,
………..searching with a single eye
………..together we shall find a place,
………..for our one heart this love creates
………..to dwell forever in His grace.

When the moon disappears
………..into morning,
………..and the sounds of the sea
………..are distant echoes
………..in our minds,
………..I’ll want your arms around me
………..sharing the mystery of His soul,
………..and dwell forever in this place.


You Left Me This Quiet

He drew a cobweb of mist,
hung it six feet above the land; a
running ribbon
the curve
……………of Goose Creek
…………………………until it ran out of sight
behind Johnson’s silo
down the road a piece,

mammoth mountain
splays a hip of conifers,
conversing the valley in
bunny hops
………………………….buttercups –

how the water quivered
with delight, when
I slipped in
………….china doll white limbs
into velvet down lake,

you left me
this quiet

earth’s long slender fingers
reaching up
touch the face of God,

as you left…

Lotus Unfolds

Lotus unfolds in the fourth,
heart expands in Light –
removing remnants of pain,
Memories bled –
and drained.

Light gathers light
dissolving dark lingering emptiness –
leaving sweet fragrance
of Remembrance.

Onward and upward –
stepping out of regret
over obstacles,
some chosen some long-forgotten,
surrendering into Silence.

Unfolding hesitantly,
joyously unto the new day.

I am still now.
I am tranquil.
Light all around me

with Gratitude I wear serenity
gently –
as Dawn steps out of darkness,
awakening God-felt heart
to another day.

Spirit clothed in Joy.



Life Just Is

is what you make of it,
forget the propaganda
………..and get on with it –
only thing about life don’t change
………..is change,
as sure as the rain falls
we all can catch a wave

it being a force,
a sea of arms, legs, jacking jaws
all moving to the same beat
………….as breathing,
each its own snowflake
here, by the grace of God
we go

as cruel, walking in mocs
…………one size too small,
yet expected to grow zen minds,
and walk
…………in other men’s shoes

cool, to contemplate all isms
…………sidestep useless osophies,
fool, to mess with all things pithy
……………………….poetry to piety
lest life’s foes convict you phobe –
………….albeit homo peda theo

too – taken by the horns! or b-a-b-i-e-d
………..is at peace
……………………..with love, strawberry
shortcake, long naps and choices,
…………determine its course, baby –
have it all!
suck the essence out!
……………………………catch that wave,
………………………………………………….ride it up!

come down
……………..to life
…………………….on water



  1. Man is said to be 75% water. Could it be you always remember someone when the sea is foremost in your mind? Lovely Janet.

    Thank you for your lovely words, tomachfive, and for reminding me about how much water we’re composed of; I’d forgotten. I’ve always been drawn to the sea and its power. Thank you for stopping by, too!

  2. Your poetry, and your expression of the most inner thoughts and feelings is so touching!…

    I just learned about blogging in a seminar yersterday and published my first one last night around midnight!!…I am not even sure how dress up my blog yet!….Hopefully, that will come with time and with PMA!…and trial and errors!…Sounds like the stroy of my life!…Thanks for sharing your wonderful poetry!…John, moveflorida!

  3. Very nice. Wistful. I was attracted by the scent of hyacinth, my favorite flower for fragrance. Interesting blog altogether. I’ll keep an eye this way. Do you write to the page or the microphone? Just curious. With Slams and open-mic nights so prevalent these days, it is sometimes a challenge to tell whether any given poet writes for silent or aloud reading. Keep the words flowing.

    Welcome, bitterhermit, and thank you for your kind comment about my poem and blogsite. Using your terms, I write to the page but I’ve had something of mine read at a poetry slam I couldn’t attend at the time. To be honest with you, I never gave it a thought that slams and open-mics were so prevalent these days and so I thank you for this information because it’ll probably come in handy someday. Do you participate in slams or open-mic venues? If you do, I’d be interested in where you do this. I just put up a rather long poem of mine on the main page of my blog that’s taken 2 years to write. I’m looking for some feedback so please feel free to leave honest comments if the spirit moves you.

    Again, thanks for coming by; as you probably already know as a writer, honest feedback helps to keep the (my) work honest and constantly improving. :)

  4. bitterhermit, I’d also like to mention here that I’ve traipsed over to your site, Daybreak Press,
    http://www.daybreakpoetry.com/ , and enjoyed what I read there. It’s a great poetry site and I’m pleased to mention it here on my blog. It’s very impressive.

    Daybreak Press at http://www.daybreakpoetry.com

  5. Your poems on this page are phenomenal. I have enjoyed my visit here today. I will be back another day to read more. Keep up the good work.

    Have a nice day.

    Michelle, I’m so sorry to have not seen your comment until now. :( I can’t thank you enough for not only stopping by my blogsite, but for such kind words from a very accomplished poet.

  6. Beautiful! I especially love “Untitled”–I’ve never read anyone paint a picture with such gentle words.

    I’m very pleased that you stopped by, JO and took time out of your day to tell me you like “Untitled” as it’s one of my favorites, too. I so enjoy your blog site, JO. You have a very playful side and cutting wit that I’m drawn to. I plan on stopping in again to read some older posts because I just know I’m going to be thoroughly entranced by your work.

  7. You seem partial to Odes. I have been known to write a few mineself. ODE TO SOUL really hums with beauty, with vibrance, with joy, and with truth. “The Light/exists apart/from belief/can be seen/without knowledge–it is there.” Oh yes, madam, you channeled a heartfull there! This little poem shines in the firmament of deeper and more turgid poetry all around it. It attracted my eyes with its cosmic sequins, its purity, its projected love and gentle mothering. “You might not see/the Light/in others/they might not see/yours”, and yet despite everything, God resides there, white light radiates from every orifice, tiny pieces of truth, miniscule particles of the universal puzzle are presented with open palms, with open eyes, with open heart; a gift to all of us; both for those who recognize your gift, and also for those who don’t; the kind of geniune and free floating affection only offered by older souls, those who have a lot to spare, and who understand its validity, and value to others, and the world itself, at large. I will post this metaphysical sweet gem on FFTR, with your permission, for even more to see, to stand by itself alone, to be read by other eyes who have not found your site yet. And your capper lines, “both burn bright/you don’t need to know/
    the Light/to see it.” God do I love that conclusion, that challenge to us all.

    Back in 1966, when my mother died of cancer at 39 years old, I wrote an Ode too:


    In the beginning
    I was her prisoner,
    and I did not love her.
    I did not even know her
    in the womb darkness;
    tiny, warm,
    with blind eyes closed,
    listening to her strong heart beat
    and sucking
    her hot red blood.

    Time was liquid black
    and I embraced perfect
    Yet fool that I was,
    I longed for freedom,
    and she gave it to me
    all at once;
    sights, sounds, roars, lights, smells, shrieks, life.

    Pain and milk came quickly
    and I grew
    fat and tossle-haired.
    As I tested my world,
    ate bugs and coal,
    burned my fingers,
    buried my nose in flowers and snow,
    and asked why, why, why,
    she loved patiently,
    wiping my nose,
    teaching me about gentleness
    in the garden
    and in men.

    She wept when I did,
    her tears streaking
    her face powder,
    her chin quivering.

    I remember her still
    towering over me,
    with sun-streaked chestnut tresses,
    and eyes of
    snowbank sapphire,
    the withering,
    the time of
    cancer blight.

    Hollow cheeks,
    glassy eyes staring
    at nothing.

    Life flickering
    like a candle flame
    too near the holder,
    once white hot
    and alive;
    dead now,
    wisps of sad smoke
    lingering after it.

    Glenn Buttkus
    November 1966

  8. I can certainly see why you have a special place in your heart for FILICIAN FINGERS STRUM. You have no date on it, but it smacks of the 60’s, maybe early 70’s, there near the sea, staring out daily into its flat vastness, peering hard into the sharp horizon, where the sun goes to hide every dusk, where you love was taken, in a boat, in a plane, to a place, to a country far away, some steaming dangerous fern-crusted land of pungee sticks, severed heads with their testicles sewn into their maws, tigers, the Cong, black pajama nightmares, mortars, snipers, crazy monkeys, lurid birds, sickly sweet flora dripping in American blood–all you can see, but do not want to see, as your solitary earth mother persona imagined suckling a dream, complete with your man ‘before his first kill,” when Elvis and the Beatles were humming in his head, before the Asian sing songs that accompanied the bullets, the explosions, the wounds, the crotch rot, the leeches, the hardness inside like bark of steel, impervious to tenderness, blind to your love, your sweetness over here, as he struggled over there to hang on to even a shred of the man, and the humanity, you fell in love with, and sent off to war.

    And you still hear the melody, yours and his, that “the waves seem/to carry out/to sea/and wonder/where you are…/somewhere/on distant shores.” And you know, you at least suspect that you are not alone in your sadness; “Don’t tell me you’ve never held the hand/of love–for just one moment–as love ha been/your companion/for years untold.” You are hurting, and it does not suffice to know that thousands of women share your grief, your frustrations, your lonliness–the military wives and girlfriends.

    You stand up valiantly, naively, bright and cheery, to “strum our song/of Love/and simple Truth/to ride the winds/and search afar/and wonder where you are…” with the refrain, in the rain, on your cheeks, weeping inside in order to hide the enormity of your loss. You stand like the French Lieutenant’s Woman on the lee end of the cobb, staring out to sea, waiting for a man who might never return, only half alive with the waiting.

    A delicate blend here, dear, of deep remorse, real emotional pain, and a forced lightness, and forced smile; resignation, accommodation, shallow breaths in your tight chest. Yes, and on my third reading of your lines, I too hear the faint Felician fingers strumming the Sogovian six-string, pulling us up with its acoustical verve, its frequencies and vibrations of hope; hope for a better day, hope for life, for survival, of and for Love.


  9. Regarding UNTITLED:
    Oh Janet, you sensual creature, you. I had to “title” this untitled poem, in order to grasp it, to find the visualization I needed.

    This is a love poem, obviously; something very natural in setting; creeks, silos, mountains, confers, and butterflies buzzing over buttercups. Your “china doll white limbs” slipping “into velvet down lake” is beyond sensual; into some realm of the spiritual. It seems that you have made love with a partner that you are truly smitten with, and the joy you inhabit post coitus colors your enviroment, coats your cornea, leaving you with this golden aura, slumbering with contentment, floating, out of your body,”reaching up/touch the face of God”, followed by “as you left”, not as a coda, but a loving postscript. This is such a personal poem that it almost makes me blush; it is so revealing, putting your heart out there in the Land of the Vulnerable. I like it a lot. Although it does need a title.

    Hugs: Glenn

  10. Regarding LOTUS UNFOLDS, which I have lovingly posted on FFTR:

    This incredibly lovely, really beautiful poem, dear, is the most accurate and loving illustration of a meditative state that I have ever read! You are able to find, to journey to a moment when you can be “surrendering into Silence”; sans pain, without stress, transported to your own inner room, where “remembrance” is extant, but not malevolent; where one spark of light becomes “Light gathers light/dissolving dark lingering emotions”–the cleansing, the catharsis, the moving on, the healing, bathed in white light; unfettered, impervious to the dangers of your entity on this plane of existence; taking that gray-black ball of emotional pain and “unfolding hesitantly/joyously unto the new day”–yes, the new day, not the old one, progress, deeper, deeper down to the core, the white core, until,”I am still now/I am tranquil/Light all around me.” Man, it gives me goose bumps if your really find such a place within you. Remember that the solution to all life’s problems and issues are an “inside job”. You take it even a step further into the metaphysical magma,”as Dawn steps out of the darkness/awakening God-felt heart/to another day”, another day, a new day—further, further, deeper, deeper into total silence and stillness and bliss and nothingness and everything, until you become, “Spirit clothed in Joy”. I love that last line. It may become my new mantra, if you permit it.


  11. My eyes are filling, Glenn, produced from that well of simpatico between like-minds that so few have the privilege to know, to feel, to breath in, like intoxicating rare Castle Rock air,, you know,, you know.

    P.S. you can have your way with any of my poems, lines, or comments, Glenn. I know they are in good hands.. my dear…. :+

  12. Yes!

    I am inspired. I knew I found something great here just from the title of the first poem. Ode to Woman – amen.

    I am thinking a separate blog for poetry is a good idea…

    Hi, Janet. Welcome to Poetmeister! Thanks for stopping in to check this place out. Please let me know if you start a poetry blog – I know it will be great. I will be going back to your blog again as it is really special…:)

    BTW, I like your avatar pic, Janet. The hat is darling on you; I have a similar one, and it’s probably why my eye was drawn to your pic..

  13. Janet,

    I can’t read through Dry bones in MN without stopping to wipe my eyes from tears. Here we go again…hold on, the tears are starting again…memories, such sweet memories of our youth. Wish we could do it all over again and have it last a whole lot longer. Lily-of-the-valleys, cinnamon buns in the oven, cracking walnuts at her kitchen table. throwing ourselves in the leaf pile after raking, stirring the yellow dye capsule into margarine for Grandpa’s spread, ice cream treats, real angelfood cake (not from a box), Grandma scrubbing our faces after our playing outside in the dirt (she sure knew how to clean deep), hiding in the huge attic, and the Lake,…oh the joys of the lakehouse, raspberries for the picking anytime we wanted a treat. I could go on and on with the memories..like you, sis. The Braham of our youth. Got a hanky?…I need some more. Love Ya…

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