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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sky Visions

Sky Visions


Green leaves shine against sky.
Yellow sunsets in smog.
Deep blue indigo of twilight.


Big sky captured in pyramid form
which she clangs and clangs…
Triangle wrangles the boys home.


Still pond reflects sky
studded with puffs of white cloud.
Peace prevails before winds.


The lilacs’ blooms taken by wind
for a moment speckled
the mid summer sky.


At dusk stars appear one by one
like magic. A child looks up
begins to count.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott       

Poem for New World Creative Union’s Wednesday Wake-Up Call

The prompt:
Take the following items and create something from them: prose, a poem, a sketch, a watercolor, et cetera. All of the following items must be a part, and distinguishable, of whatever you create:

1. The colors yellow, blue, and green
2. A triangle.
3. Peace
4. Lilacs.
5. A child.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Return of the Equinox

Nova Scotia Fall 2002 - Photo by Charles Elliott/Beautyseer

Fall comes and I who was to be
an Equinox child now lay claim
to Virgo ways, though my soul
still lives in Libra.

Light changes, stands still
for a moment and I wonder
why I couldn’t wait for Autumn
instead was born on an afternoon

the moon in its dark phase,
the mystic’s vision inward
the Virgin gathering wheat
instead of scales weighing.

I anticipate this turn of season
this descent into darkness
to harvest, to ruminate, to learn,
to understand how to let go

a red leaf falling
falling a great distance
in order to return to the land
whose stars I was born under.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott

My mother left the U.S. when she met my father, a Canadian from Nova Scotia. Near the end of her pregnancy with me they were visiting her relatives in Detroit…I guess I decided that is where I wanted to be born and so was born two weeks early. Many years later I returned to the U.S., though born here I had never lived here until thirteen years ago. I moved to So Cal when I met Charles/Beautyseer online.

This poem is dedicated to my parents and to both of my homelands. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Hans Christian Anderson's 
The Little Mermaid


Ancestor or myth? Or are you still there
beneath the waves, the waters
hidden deep within our Mother
hiding from your sisters and brothers

who once hunted and misunderstood
you who move as one with ocean
and creature alike. Who dive and
rise as dolphins and whales do.

Human or creature? Or are you
both? Do we know who we are?
We walk too tall among the others
pretend we are not one of them

those creatures who roam our
earth. Animal we are, but we
misunderstood our place.
You, ethereal, homo aquaticus

beautiful being upon the waves
are what we have dreamed into
legend, then myth, but then
we began to see you again

in books, logs of historical record,
once more we wonder. Are you there?
Shadows beneath the waves
beneath our conscious minds

deep in the sub ocean of our
imaginations you begin to rise.
We begin to understand again,
but can we take it all in

begin this life again from
a new place, as one with all the others?
Or will it drown us? This sea of
knowledge that we are no different

than you or the dolphin or the whale
or the sea lion or the ape washing
in the waters of life who stands
on two legs and wonders…

© 2012 Joanne Elliott

This poem was inspired by Animal Planet's, Mermaids: The Body Found.  It didn't seem for real and was very sensationalized as most cable shows are now, but it did get me thinking. 

The video below is a music video by Raina, the Halifax Mermaid. The song is For the First Time by Drew Rogers.

This poem is for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


She looks into the mouth of the lion
knows fear, that intimate
fiend that stalks
her night and day.
Fear has become an abusive lover
that promises tomorrow
will be different
but never is.

The lion’s hot breath stirs her senses.
She feels the adrenalin
begin its course through
her small body.
It races to her limbs
feeds them.
This time
she doesn’t turn away.

This time she stares into the hot abyss.
Demands her heart to slow,
to seek another rhythm.
One connected to
heaven and earth.
One that rides time
as the vulture rides thermals
searching for life.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott

This poem is from a writing exercise I did during a weekly poetry salon I hold in my home. A friend did the exercise…we had to choose a tarot card and then write what came to mind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dead Wood

Frost lingers at the fringes
spoils spring’s potential fruit.

Trees lost through the night
lie dormant, become other

beneath blunt blades
the axe hacks

slices still air
splits open winter

cuts deep into dead wood.
Hope splinters into dust

upon frost firm ground
waits to blend

with forgiving mud
the primordial soup

that waits to feed
the seed yet unborn.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

She Stands

Streaks of light through cloud
wrap ‘round her curved form
as she stands arms entwined
with others. A living fence of flesh
seems fragile, ready to give
way to force and yet
they still stand.

She stands waiting not willing
any longer to wait for what is hers
for what is theirs.
One half of the race denied.
No more!

She stands so the woman
next to her can have a choice
can have a voice. She stands
so her daughter can scale
the walls, can dissolve
ceilings of glass. She stands
so her granddaughter can demand
what is hers and be heard.

She stands and her feet grow roots
reach through concrete
push down into dark, moist earth.
Her roots deep
become entwined with others.

Sturdy now, she reaches
out and up towards sky
towards a new day when
light breaks through gray
through barriers
through time and everything
becomes as earth in spring.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott

This week I wanted to write about spring, but all this craziness, especially in the U.S., over trying to control women is getting to me. So I offer "She Stands" for all the women, especially those out there making a difference, making a better world and for the first day of spring and the new beginnings it represents.

For dVerse Poet's Pub Open Link Night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stranded By the Side of the Road & A Mother's Love

Stranded By the Side of the Road
Humvee rattles bones
shakes out seeds
of this once

© 2010 Joanne Elliott

A Mother’s Love

The path strewn
with rotten fruit
of your womb
maddens your mind
tears open the wound
that was your heart
binds you to the moon
and to Her upon it
who stands barefoot
above the desert

© 2010 Joanne Elliott

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Becoming the Rose

I wait in silence, unknown, becoming.
I awaken to myself as leaf turns to bud.
Greening, I am sun, earth, sky, rain.
I am the secret untold;
I live in the blood red heart.

I come forth in Eros,
in the bursting of life I bleed,
I live; I am born on my way to death
to be born again.

The rose unfurls
and beauty comes to bear
upon this world.
My heart, rose red, opens.
The light enters as petals splay and spin out.
The Divine enters the world,
a red rose enraptured.

I am the rose; open to the Beloved,
my fragrance is my answer to His call.
Where do my petals end and my perfume begin?
Where do I end and my Beloved begin?
In the rose we are one.
In my heart the rose lives and dies and lives again.

I am the rose, my heart transformed.
Blood red my heart beats as each petal falls
to feed the seed in the dark earth.
I am the rose, forever.

© 2011 Joanne Elliott

This poem grew out of my love for the texts in what is called The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Normandi Ellis' liberal translations of these are the most poetic and can be found in a book called "Awakening Osiris."  There are many texts that are about becoming, Becoming the Swallow, Becoming the Hawk, etc. The way Normandi translates them also makes me think of Whitman's way of writing. I wonder if he was an influence. The interesting part is that he was influenced by the Ancient Egyptians, he studied as much as he could about them.
The symbol of the rose is very important to me and my spiritual path. It is also a very important symbol in earthly love. So today, on this day of love, I dedicate this poem to the love of my life, Charles.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Ship in a Bottle, the Return of the Light

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 rests.

Hands smooth and used to
keeping books, not sails and ropes
and nets, holds this treasure.

The sun begins to move up. 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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To Dream of Crows

Colm Meaney asks why we are not on the beach.
Our companion says there are too many crows.
Colm says it doesn’t matter; they are coming down
like the rest of us.

I wake to a myriad of caws as crows sweep the morning sky.
My companion does not hear them for he speaks online
about the world and how it will end in a blanket of smoke
with bodies burnt but unpicked by fallen crows.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sky Canvas

Morning reaches out of darkness
hovers on the horizon
graces sky with light.

In that moment I am the dawn
that breaks open night.

Sky a blush of pink
streaked clouds burned onto
pale gray canvas.

Shades of color blend
light bends and shoots
between crooked evergreens.

In that moment I am the sun
etched on eternity.

Then the giant glides higher
becomes too bright
for mere mortal spheres.

© 2012 Joanne Elliott