All posts by joanmyles

About joanmyles

Poet. Writer. Check out my blog at

Lines by Carol Ann Duffy

*I just can’t resist sharing this stirring bit of the poem Little Red Cap by Carol Ann Duffy*

I took an axe

to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon

to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf

as he slept, one chop…and saw

the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother’s bones.

I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up.

Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone.

It Begins

*Wishing my Darling Readers sweetness day by day, moment by moment, always!*

It begins.

A new year.

More promises to do better.

To be better.

To give more love more be more

But if I am

Here and now and always

With the Beloved One

Part of the Beloved One

Breathed by and breathing the Beloved One

Now is all there is.

Dreidel song

Dreidel Songby Joan Myles

*With Hanukkah beginning Sunday evening, you are probably busy chopping onions and potatoes for your famous latka recipe, and making sure you have enough candles for all 8 nights. Well, here’s a little song as you dole out gelt for a game or two or three of dreidel. Wishing you Sweetness and Light!**

Spin the dreidel gramma spin

Hebrew letters let us in

Nun and gimel

Hey and shin

Spin the dreidel round

Spin the dreidel mama please

Recollect the centuries

Pain or prayer

We bend our knees

And spin the dreidel round

Watch me spin the dreidel spin

each day of wonder to begin

With hope and blessing now as then

So spin the dreidel round

Winter Bird

Winter bird

by Joan Myles

darkness has a way of seeping

past layers of air and mist and rain

into the place of spirit’s keeping

to dull the heart and dim the brain

and I succumbed to woe and weeping

despite my habit to refrain

from morbid tentacles of creeping

dread and urges to complain

but wait I hear amid the deepening

fog and drear of daily pain

your lilting song of hope reopening

a world of brightness once again

A Dog Named Dignity

Okay, my new canine partner isn’t actually named Dignity. But she should be.

When I began my journey toward better mobility skills, I really didn’t associate mobility with dignity. Sure, being able to navigate around my neighborhood and elsewhere is tied up with my sense of independence. Of course my confidence would be boosted by strengthening my ability to use a white cane more efficiently. I would be able to go where I wanted to go without assistance from anyone. I would be able to interact with people, and pursue interests in a meaningful way to me. To me. Not based upon someone else’s level of interest, or time restraints, or measure of commitment.

But dignity? Isn’t dignity all about my value as a human being? How can independent travel possibly be intertwined with human dignity?

Since coming to know the history and practices of The Seeing Eye, I now understand.

In the same way that I am what I think, I am what I do. The places I go, the people I engage with, the activities I support and defend are all expressive of who I am.

And if I am not able to express those aspects of myself, if I cannot attend an event, or even leave my seat without help, I feel squashed. Or rather, unseen. Unrecognized as equally valued, as human.

But I didn’t learn all this from my white cane. Nobody cares if you bring a white cane into their car, or their house, or their place of worship. A white cane doesn’t shed or jingle during meetings, or take up space on the floor. A white cane can be folded up and put away, silent and uncomplaining.

But a guide dog is a living breathing being. A guide dog has personality and needs and, sorry folks, hair that sometimes wafts away from its body. A guide dog is also an extension of the human at the other end of the harness handle–in ways a white cane can never ever be.

These are the lessons I am learning from my beautiful new canine teammate, Aries. If you care about me, you will not focus on Aries. Yes, she’s gorgeous and talented and a bit of a flirt, but she has a job to do. A job for me, helping me get around with dignity and even a bit of grace. She is not in the room to make you smile. Or to keep your feet warm. She may do these things without your asking, but please do not ask. She is part of me. And if you respect me as a person, you will not grab me or my partner. If you wish to interact with me, don’t make eye contact with her. And if you want to spend time with me, accept her presence as part of the deal.

Because we are a team now. Aries and me. We were paired based on a mysterious mix of physical and emotional attributes according to The Seeing Eye’s 90 plus years of experience. And while we may still be forming our bond, we are off to a good start. Love and trust keep us together. Love and trust. The foundation of every meaningful relationship for partners living in dignity.

The Dream

The Dream

*from One Goes to the Sea, copyright 2021 by Joan Myles

sleeping eyes conjure

even before thought bubblesvJdW0tlwFmjiJdgssHg4qcgp1BRgDTl2rrdnrFveooZcKriXYiPdA46P57vvhaU65frusZuN5Z3C1m0jBuUAfKFe50qFd9yBAN3jHvy6EWMB_Nr2ZGTys_Xo7HKznbS5T-n8YHclw0iJXwvAuCe15wDfOlxW6SdJB_s1ztbtJoQcrwG65tNP5gyW_cyqHl4xDv7G

meaning into words

circles intersect

like fingers interweaving

such are these moments

words tumble and fade

quiver in our ears and throats

float beyond grasping

and we touch again

feel warmth of breath and body

passing between us

and wake to perceive

uncrossable distances

untouchable hands

My Dog and Me

I jump for the ball

Every time

The bouncing and busy shapes

Jump and dash to catch and possess

To hold as my own and cherish

I jump to catch to show the world

How dazzling the ball

How graceful the leap

How masterful the catch

But at days end it’s just a ball

Weary and cold I return to You

Grateful to sit at Your feet

Grateful to rest beside You

Grateful to chase and to be claimed

By You



*from One With Willows by Joan Myles, 2019*

the world is new

when you come back from the dead

apples are honey on your tongue

and breadcrumbs in your pocket

will suffice

like the air you breathe

the world is holy again


in dawning light

whispering with hummingbirds

only faintly echoing

the shofar’s blast


the world is new