Praise for Fall

You float in on a late September breeze
with still-warm days and mild, cool nights in tow.
It’s not your way to bring the first hard freeze
before November when your cold winds blow.

The trees, a color riot on display,
God’s handiwork, are certain to enthrall.
Then costumed kids receive a vast array
of goodies on October’s curtain call.

But there’s much more to you than this. You bring
Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas sweet delights:
the decorations, feasts, and choirs that sing
cantatas, all the season’s festive sights.

As host of widely-varied pleasantries,
you prove each year your deep desire to please.



Shooting Stars

How bright they are, those shooting stars
that dart across the evening sky!
We gaze at them with wonderment,
aware their light will quickly die.

We grownups know the truth about
these beauties. They’re not stars at all,
but dust and bits of rock that shine,
then burn up as they quickly fall.

When kids say, “Look—a shooting star,”
let’s not be killjoys who declare
the scientific facts about
what’s zooming through the nighttime air!



Displaced: The Trail of Tears

As rain falls hard and soaks the ground
and thunder roars its mighty sound,
so tears of the displaced may fall,
their cries bespeaking dearth and pall.

The Deep South tribes of long ago
were forced to forge a trail of woe,
of death and want, with goods so small,
their cries bespeaking dearth and pall.

The Cherokees were brought to tears
when forced from land they’d held for years,
no longer standing strong and tall,
their cries bespeaking dearth and pall.

The rugged journey thousands made
to Westward land should never fade
from memory. We must recall
their cries bespeaking dearth and pall.



Janice Canerdy is a retired high-school English teacher from Potts Camp, Mississippi. Her poems and prose writings have appeared in several publications, including Society of Classical Poets Journal, Wild Violet, Light Quarterly, The Road Not Taken, Lyric, Parody, Bitterroot, Cyclamens and Swords, Westward Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, Better Than Starbucks, Indiana Voice Journal and Southern Tablet; and anthologies, including those published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Whispering Angel Books, and Quill Books. Her first book, Expressions of Faith (Christian Faith Publishing), was published in December 2016. 

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7 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    Janice, all three of these were lucid and technically well constructed, ranging from praise of my favorite (and nearly everyone’s, as far as I can tell) season, through some sage advice regarding how to deal with a popular misnomer, to a sad account of one particular episode in the long story of what might be considered the true American tragedy, Theodore Dreiser notwithstanding.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Janice, My wife is part Cherokee and the sad story you relate is part of her spiritual (and physical) DNA. If there is anything to the theory of genetic memory (and I am so inclined) then, in some way, the past still lingers in the present. I will share your poem with her and she will feel it with her heart in ways that I can only feel it in my mind. Thank you for addressing the subject. I look forward to your next submissions.

  2. Linda Watson Owen

    Congratulations to you, my friend and fellow poet! Janice, your poems are sublime! It’s no surprise to see your name among the Best of 2019 in this international competition!


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