ARTful Poetry
by Janice Williams

Ode to Trees

You shade me from the sun

You refresh my breath

You humble me with your strength

You entertain me with your colors

You feed me apples, oranges and pears

You encourage me to hang tough in winter

You teach me how to set roots

You inspire me to look up and reach higher

You are nature at its best

Janice Williams Feb. 2010

New Year’s Day 2009

Hope is the charge for this New Year
We are cynical and scared
Let us rise above the fear

There is much to see and devise
Time is the precious gift we must manage
Make each moment an inspired surprise

There is much to be grateful for
Family and friends surround us with care
We need not ask for more

Join the quest for days of invigorating light
Banish the darkness that clouds our time
May 2009 be happy and bright

JW 1/1/09


Art will continue to be my life

Tears well up and blur my path
They deal with rage and wrath
I am sad and confused

I only meant to help and amuse
Others saw take and misuse
I do not understand

Today I change my ways
Not because of what others say
Because I value myself

The path will veer away from the strife
Art will continue to be my life
A new day has dawned

JW March 2007

Goodbye to 2006

How quickly passes a year of life
For some it was filled with loss and strife
Yet others found love, joy and prosperity

So it goes this theater of our ever-changing existence
Be ever curious and give no resistance
For life is complicated, challenging and real

Be grateful for all that is good and fair
Keep family and friends ever near
Let stressful memories fade away

In 2007 I wish the world to be a gentler kind
A place where peace comes first to mind
I wish you love, joy and prosperity

JW December 2006

Shame on Us

Today I cry for the world
As violence continues to unfurl
Why is peace and harmony so elusive
So much and too much self serving hate
Wake up people before it is too late
We will all perish in the turmoil

Innocent children are being killed in war
Shame on all of us for this horrendous scar
Enlighten us quickly to find a solution

JW July 2006


The eyes are eager, the smile real
He is the tonic that heals
My grandson lights up my life
Watch him see and learn so much
His young years are all about touch
To be with him is a joy
He brings such comfort, love and song
Remember today for before too long
A grown up man will take his place

JW July 2006

My Mom

Each day I give thanks for her caring
We spend our time giving and sharing
She is my creator and mentor
Life has not been easy for her at all
Yet at almost eighty she still stands tall
I pray for her well being
Some day she will not be by my side
I will miss her but will recall with pride
The best mom ever born

JW July 2006

Global Events

Violence shakes my inner thoughts
Life presents a volley of piercing shots
Am I afraid for me or you
The world seems mad and about to fail
Global events rain on my head like hurting hail
I would close my eyes but I am scared
The violence in distance my be far away
But inside my head it plays and plays
A deadly dance of inhumanity

JW July 2006

Rain Go Away

Summer splashes in with a splish
Rain streaming steady and hellish
Frowns grace even the most optimistic faces

The grass and weeds are sporting lush smiles
While I see garden chores building in endless piles
I just want to take a nap

Mother nature has its plan for the earth
It has been this way since birth
I continue to yearn for those perfect days

JW June 2006

A New Start

Children are grown and I find space
Gone is the mahyem in this place
The quiet and solitude are welcome

Thirty-Seven years have gone by
Since first I gave motherhood a try
Today I bask in pride and joy

Less driving, laundry and dishes each day
More time spent on creativity and play
I relish the self amenities

I love those children with all my heart
Their presence played an important part
I am ready now for a new start

JW June 2006

Careening Rainbows

Art has me in a vise hold
Each piece cries out bold
I love color and all it can show

Bright and sassy is my palette
The colors hit my head like a mallet
I see careening rainbows all the time

Never boring and always a gift
My toil in art is a joyful lift
May it stay forever

JW June 2006

Growing Old

Life expands beyond my sensibility
It plays and warps my daily ability
Is it fear or knowledge I deal

Gone is the hope of promising gain
Most days are filled with fretful pain
I go through the motions

Not all is lost should I sound blue
Love has wrapped me in many hues
I do not age well

JW June 2006

The Golden Skill

This day brings heavy clouds to my child
The fear and confusion is ever wild
Help me to push the fear away

One day healthy and doing the dance of life
The next day brings so much painful strife
Help me to cope and be a good mom

Youth has such resilience and hope
They take the challenge and bravely cope
I need to re-visit this golden skill

Stay cheerful and normal all the way
For in the attitude love does spray
The seeds of healing and strength

JW November 2001

A day of communal sorrow in America

Our hearts are heavy
Our souls rearranged
Our minds numb

We are somber
We are frightened
We are angry

You will always remember
You will never think the same
You have witnessed the terror

JW September 11, 2001

Quilt Drama

My mind plays constantly in a fabric dance
Some times deep in a patchwork trance
I love to think about quilting

Putting the thoughts to action is rough
The time to actually quilt is not enough
My yearning out weighs the ability

As with all my life’s interests and delights
Time is my constant and futile fight
But I would rather be quilting

JW March 2001

Thou art Woman

In my younger days I did aspire to be
Today my cry is loudly set me free
I’m tired of the struggle

Each day I try to right the wrong
I push and pull each along
It is a futile exercise

What is the answer I ask time after time
My ears only hear the chime
Nagging has become my state

JW February 2001

The Guard

The performance seems like an effortless dance
I watch in amazement and take pride in their stance
There is much more than meets the eyes

I see behind the scenes each and every week
As lessons are learned to reach that peak
The transformation is beautiful to perceive

Colorful flags, sabers and rifles twirl in the air
Each moment is counted in harmony that flares
Thanks to the guard who so delightfully entertains

JW February 2001

The Red Holiday

A day devoted to love, kisses and hugs is here
To this venerable custom we must cheer
For we need it more than ever

True sweethearts are few to be found
Pamper tenderly to keep them around
Love will multiply and reimburse

Be it spouse, friend, relative, neighbor or child
Think of the gesture that will make them feel wild
Your giving will make both of you happy

JW February 2001

Living Art

Finding art in ordinary discourse and objects
Crafts our minds and souls to playfully connect
With who we are and want to be

Art enhances and communicates with acclaim
Our neighbors are we and we are the same
Let’s celebrate our common good

Each day look askance and see the precious art
Of you and the people that feel so apart
For in this you will see a wonderful self

JW February 2001


My mind plays art and creativity all hours of the day
Hands though portray quite a different way
Art is a pastime yearning to be real

Why I wonder did I not follow the envious course
Of artists who led their careers with such dedicated force
A latent talent or wishful thinking

Off to art classes I will now go and see
Will the hands turn the mind into an artful me
Why fret when time is short

JW February 2001

Price Points

A culture that puts money as a self worth goal
Deprives the individual of finding a true soul
Who we are is not for others to say

Each of us tries to be the one and only best
It is a life long futile and exhausting test
Some may say that ambition is not a bad thing

I strive to understand my particular or peculiar self
Somehow it gets measured against my wealth

My search continues for a better way

JW February 2001

Chocolate Haze

I watched her scoop the hot fudge into the mix
Such delight felt in the upcoming fix
A gourmet and comforting cup of hot chocolate

Brownies I do crave in most ways
Candy in the form of kisses came today
A decadent, satisfying and excessive chew

Days end and I am not done craving even more
A cupcake dense and sweet proceeds the snore
The chocolate haze hastens my retreat

JW, January 2001

Mother Me

She has never let me down
Her face almost never shows a frown
I can’t imagine life without her

Fifty years plus of tender love and care
It seems she still has more to share
How she does it I cannot say

I bless each and every day we see
She continually reaffirms that I am me
Nobody loves me more

JW January 2001

The Face of Race

The question always intrigues me
They ask what race is he
I try to understand the motive

I developed an answer that does amuse
My intent is to mindfully infuse
A sense of what does it matter

Nevertheless, human nature reigns
And I always answer with slight disdain
For ignorance seems obvious

JW January 2001

A Friend in Need

I can’t imagine myself in that space
To her side I often race
I try to make a difference

Never have I seen such personal disarray
It hurts my soul to think so many are that way
It seems cruel and quite punishing

I think I might and should be offering more
Yet I think about what may be in store
And offer what I can day by day

For there I may some day go
And who will race to care for my woe
I hope a friend in deed

JW January 2001

Spring Thoughts

Whiteness blinds the sky and covers all
Tree limbs slumber with an icy shawl
Winter is roaring its rightful way

White on black and black on white
Snow creates both joy and plight
Beauty to some but not to me

Bring me the flowers and earthy set
All the long winter I try not to forget
The sweet fragrance of the roses

JW January 2000

Gum Boots

Watching black men dance in the night
They danced with all their soul and might
Such pleasure did it bring to me

Art melds an enthralling tale with funky dance
As luck would have it, I had the chance
To share this wonderful experience

They call themselves "Gum Boots"
In song and dance they share their very roots
From Soweto to Boston they hail

JW January 2001

One Way Journey

Each New Year arrives with much surprise
My heart echoes time and its short demise
Life passes quickly to the tick of a clock

I am not done I scream, I rage
Please wait awhile to turn the page
There is so much more to do

Fear and fervor grips the molting mind
How often I wish to just rewind
My life is a one way journey

Let each new day bring a resounding call
To listen, learn and give it my all
For tomorrow is already waiting

JW December 2000

By My Side

He sings with such enthused intent
I love that I know just what he meant
Sweet melodic words that fill the air

I hear those words and tunes as they begin
I know the source is from deep within
I never tire of watching him create

The final song is worth the wait
These treats of sound from my mate
Forever holds my heart in place

Again he sings the song "By My Side"
His feelings for me cannot be denied
I feel at peace and happy too

JW December 2000

Whatever the Dance

Each day begins quietly and with space
Early morning rise and the solitude I embrace
For soon the silence will be altered

One by one they emit their personal sounds
Each personality rightfully abounds
Alone no more, I begin the daily dance

Some days the experience is a symphony of sorts
Sometimes the personalities do distort
Whatever the dance, I am grateful that I am not alone

JW December 2000

Holiday Hysteria

It’s here again I say in my brain
The time is at hand to feel the strain
Holiday hysteria is here today

Each day ticks by at a rapid clip
I have tried forever to just get a grip
It never changes no matter how I try

The time leading up to the event
Leaves me feeling tired and spent
Yet the miracle always happens

Come Christmas Day with family around
I give thanks that they do surround
Happy are we to see it finally arrive

JW December 2000

Paper as Media

Colors, patterns, textures and shapes
They color my world and help my escape
Paper is my media and creative path

Sheets old or new and glue stick am I fond
To each other and my soul do we bond
I never tire of the endless supply

Delightful discovery comes with each piece
I hope this love affair will never cease
For who knows what lies within

JW December

American Scream Dream

We finally reached the American Dream
A house we own but we want to scream
The sound is deafening

For years we suspected and avoided the sacred buy
Now we are encompassed and the truth we sigh
A house offers so many obscure faults

They seem to surface at an alarming rate
Bless us as we manage this crumbling estate
From foundation to roof we do accommodate

JW December 2000

My role

Mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend
Multiple roles do I tend
I yearn to know who I am

Each role brings pain and joy galore
I struggle to fill each with a roar
At times confusion overwhelms me

I cherish each and every role
That fills and nourishes my soul
But in the end they do not define me

JW November 2000

Finding Time

Time evades my creative lust
Each day I think, I do, I must
Reality brings me to another space

Time doesn’t change and just repeats each day
I watch the clock and try to find a way
To beat the time and do it all

Some days I am clever and meet the match
Most times I fall short and fumble the catch
I take solace and hope in time that repeats

JW November 2000

Art Trashed

Early morning and lovely art by the side of the road
Black and white photos on the fence do load
Images that color the bland morning commute

I become accustomed to the daily treat
That delightfully flashes by as I sit in my seat
Designed impeccably to create a precious moment

One day the moment was taken away and I feel so sad
Who would think to do something this bad
Irreverent black paint deliberately trashed

They call themselves artists – so I think
Destruction is the media they ink
I wish for them a better way

JW November 2000

The Gray Box

Today I wake to my computer
Today the gray box beckons like a beacon
Today is everyday

What would I do if the email stopped
What would I do if surfing was banned
What would I do if I had no gray box

I ponder this as I embrace the gray box
I ponder this as I click away
I ponder this as I watch the world rush by

JW November 2000

Giving Thanks

Each day brings new acts
That challenge my facts
I am grateful I can think

Each day brings joy
That is my toy
I am grateful to play

Each day brings dread
That worries my head
I am grateful when it is over

Each day brings rest
That makes me feel my best
I am grateful for my bed

JW-November 2000