Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Ship in a Bottle. A Memory in Time.

Artwork by Leola Walker

You can find her work here at her blog.

A tiny ship alone on a shelf finds itself
once again born from shadow’s
memory of a time where his hands

longed to reach up hold this miracle
a ship in a bottle forever encased
with masts raised in the night

under a dusty desk lamp.
Rough hands made tender by delicate
placements in glass.

On the floor with clunky wood trucks
and trains he was silenced
by the weight of the moment

when masts were raised
gently tugged by a thread  
between thick fingers.

Then slowly the ship set sail
in his imagination
and in his hands now finally rests.

Hands smooth and used to
keeping books not sails and ropes
holds this treasure of the past.

The sun begins to rise. Within
that tiny glass bottle his heart rides
the waves, feels the wind

knows him who now sails the seas
outside time and memory. Stares into
early morning rays. Remembers

harrowing tales of ghost ships
and crushed limbs. Becomes
lost in the swells lit with the light

returning to the dark ocean waters
shining on the early morning calm
bringing him back from the storm.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott

Saturday, March 31, 2018


Photo by spiker on pixabay

The sun emerges from behind its grey blanket.
Love emerges from behind the glass wall.
The soul emerges from its dark night.
What was is becoming known again.
The veil lifts and all returns.

Joanne Young Elliott ©2016

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Camp (An island of memories anchored by stones my soul knows by heart.)

Lake Hubley from The Camp - photo by Amanda Young

My foot lands on the next stone
and the next.
In this way I walk around the Camp,
an island rimmed with stone
on Hubley Lake’s rocky waters.

Round and round I go

Blue grey water eases in
and out of crevices.
I hear the glop, glop
as it hits rock.
Life breathes in and out
as I walk counter clock-wise
around this home
away from home.

wood burning stove
boat house
all ancient
to an eight-year old’s
sense of time…

and here time has slipped
back to a past
where tiny porcelain dolls
with painted faces and
movable limbs play
in a tiny church.
Here the past is layered
in the scent of wood smoke
and the memories of others.

Round and round I go

I look across rippled waters
see another island. Wonder
who walks its paths.
A whole other world
only a boat ride away.

I continue my rounds.

In the distance, a stretch of beaches
where we catch minnows
as soft sand squishes
between our toes.

Round and round I go

I come to the lookout.
A huge, lichen covered rock
waits for me to climb up
become a part of it
as the wind blows
and the sun
breaks through
drifting clouds…

Round and round…

The Camp lives on
as cousins rebuild
take care
layer in more memories
that by now must be so thick
you can barely move
without being pulled back
to another time.

Round and round it goes…

And perhaps,
beyond the mists
my father
with his brother
cleaning fish

© 2015 Joanne Elliott

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Break Ground

The paved world
has to go.

We need to break ground
unbuild this edifice

we call civilization.
The Earth needs

breathing room or
we’ll cook in the heat

that is never fully

held within hard surfaces
rising at night

building clouds that
never rain down.

Nothing escapes
and the cycle replays

each day until
our thermometers

can no longer read
our meltdown.

©2015 Joanne Elliott

Sunday, May 19, 2013


The memory of your face
a relief upon her neurons
disintegrates. An ancient
pharaoh's image scraped away
by a successor, you become
dust upon the floor.

You become the forgotten
as the past gets rewritten
and what they call night
becomes day by another

©2013 Joanne Elliott

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In and Out of Shadow

Earth moves, day moves.
Take off your shoes and dance
in dust floating in beams of sunlight.

Dust swirls, settles and then a gust
sends it flying to another corner
scatters the ashes of the past

everywhere until it doesn't matter.
As dust settles so does night.
Shadows lengthen then fade.

Moon beams reach out
hold you beneath a veil pierced
by a million transcendent suns.

The Earth speeds through space
until rays of sun climb up beyond
horizon. Because of you

shadow is stretched out for miles
yet ever shortened
by the rising sun.

©2013 Joanne Young Elliott

I was working on a poem and listening to this music. Above is what emerged.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Love Letter to Hades

Oct. 17, 2012 109F

Dear Hades,

What fiery magic have you wrought here in this middle world. Do you wish to stifle me with your heated presence? Are you afraid I’ll forget you here in this lush land where trees still bloom in October? Do you think it possible I could forget your branding fingertips against my cool, pale flesh? Or that I might prefer Ra’s searing touch upon my skin?

I cannot forget your dark heat that warms me from within. Though I miss the loving touch of my mother, her protective embrace stifles in other ways; I made my choice when I swallowed the seed of the sacred fruit. I am now the dark earth in which the pomegranate waits to be born. I am the fruit that will return to this middle world again in spring.

But I hesitate here in this bright, lush land. Your furnace burns through from the underworld wilting tender blooms, but I want one more day here my dear, beloved Hades, one more day in the sun amongst the living, one more day before I return to the darkness, under your fire, the fire that lives in the seed, that essence that is both life and death. How like my mother you are, dark and beautiful. You know I cannot resist.

Withdraw your heat from this world. Soon I’ll be with you my love. Soon I’ll let you consume my soul for that long, dark night. Soon my burning one…soon.

Your Beloved,

This piece of fiction is for New World Creative Union’s Wednesday Wake-Up Call prompt. This week it is all about elemental magic. I thought of fire when it reached 109F here yesterday. Hotter than Hades! It got me thinking about what magic could be made to cool off good ole Hades…or at least get him to tone it down a bit. It was cloudy the better part of today and didn't quite reach 90F. Thank you Hades or maybe I should be thanking Persephone.