Embracing autumn   5 comments


Dry leaves blow, like crisp

bits of fine paper, scattered

in all directions.

The sun fades slowly into

dusk and cool, dark autumn nights.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

The American bald eagle; iconic symbol of strength and might   5 comments


Like a vulture claiming it for its own

an eagle sits perched upon the spoils;

the body of a deer laid open like prey

from that which hunts, stalking to find

those vulnerable and weak, failing of mind,

the eagle; strong, enduring, and with might

guards and defends what he claims for his own

and stands watchful, eyes searching, locking on sight

any who would come and take with a fight

from he who stands over what remains of life.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

We captured the above photo of a bald eagle on our way down from the mountains recently. It was a quick shot taken from the car window, but we were happy to have gotten only the eagle in the picture considering that it was perched on the body of a killed deer during its ‘mealtime.’

The American bald eagle, the iconic symbol of the United States is noted for endurance and strength. Its image, seen on flags, coins, military uniforms, historical emblems, records, etc. symbolizes our country’s greatness, character, and honor. It was founded on such principles, over two hundred years ago. When I saw this eagle laying claim to this fallen dear I thought of the wars fought, battles won, our rights and freedoms saved with the might and strength of our military swooping down upon its enemies who come against us to lay claim to what we defend, fight for, build up and strive to protect. The American bald eagle represents honor with a fierce protectiveness that fights to gain what he needs to survive.

It graces the skies, soars over mountain tops, flies over bodies of water, swoops down and captures, much like our military forces. Wherever it flies, it is unafraid, determined, intent, purposeful. It is in nature how one must survive, one game pitted against another, size and strength always determining the victim from the victor. And in life, in this country it is how we must be to not just survive, but to thrive, to continue to be, ‘one  nation, under God, indivisible, with life, liberty and justice for all.’ A country that is free, one of honor, one that can lead by example, not just by might, must be one that acknowledges a higher power. The American bald eagle holds its head high. I hope we can be a country that does the same, not bow its head in shame. I wonder.




Remembering that special member of our family   9 comments


When a Dog Steals Your Heart


When a dog steals your heart

it becomes that kind of love

where a bond of mutual trust

is formed from the start.

It grows stronger through the years

and when it is his time

and your heart is filled with grief

you watch through your tears

as he’s quietly put to sleep.

You’re thankful for what you had

and the memories that you keep,

but now you say goodbye

after his last and final breath,

and when it’s time to part

you clutch his collar, leash and tags

like they’re pieces to his heart.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

The above poem is one I wrote and shared a few years ago when we lost our beloved Titus, to cancer and epileptic attacks. After enjoying him for ten years since raising him from a pup we had to put him down, and grieved for a year over him before finally adopting another dog. We still miss Titus. Looking at recent pictures of a litter of yellow pups born to a breeder’s female dog I was reminded of our precious Titus Maximus, and all the happy moments and years we had with him. This post is inspired by the prompt given for today’s Daily Post Discovery challenge prompt. Animals are one of those special gifts God blesses us with, and our bond with them is never forgotten, and in many ways can even teach us how we can strengthen and fortify relationships with those in our circle of friends and family. Animals can teach us much about life, friendship, devotion, support and ways to relate to people in life. This post is done for the Daily Post prompt, here at; https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/animal/

The passing of a great leader   4 comments

Image result for shimon peres

Shimon Peres. 1923-2016


A man of valor, brave and bold, he served

 with fortitude and grace

governing his country

with formidable strength.

He took a determined course of action,

with a promise to protect and defend its rights

by peaceful means and firm resolve,

never wavering, or cowering to enemies,

but upholding honor to the Jewish state

he passes peacefully, and like his past

won’t be forgotten, but laid to rest.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)











Posted September 29, 2016 by Joyce in Israel, My Writings, Poems, poetry, Politics

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The annual quest for Colorado gold   4 comments



Every year when the leaves turn and Autumn arrives we head out, on our quest to look for the best places to photograph the changes in color and the Aspens turning a bright golden-yellow. And sometimes, a shot of something else will do too when we stop to explore along the road. The top photo is one of the Aspens in the Rocky Mountains seen off highway 7 between Lyons and Nederland, Co.

The bottom photo is one of Barker Dam off the road on the way down to the city of Boulder. Timing, location and altitude can make all the difference in the color and changes seen. In some areas just a few days earlier, there was more color with rust and red tones showing in some of the plant life, brighter in places, but in others it had not yet reached its peak. Photographers with tripods set in place can be spotted along the road, as everyone wants to capture the gold.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)


When silence speaks louder than words

A silent response is often times the loudest, the unspoken message more clearly understood than a verbal one. Sometimes there is just nothing I can say in response to one’s perspective on something I have not formed a worthy opinion on. My silence is the only, and maybe the wisest response or reply I can give. The tongue is quick, and the mind a sharp retort, forming and verbalizing what often can be things we later regret, wish we had not said, and cannot take back.

Wisdom is something I have always sought, like Solomon in the Old Testament Bible when it was the one thing he asked of God more than anything else. And being silent is one of those things that is a part of applying wisdom to a situation when we just cannot help, or add something of significance to what is already done, or said. It is times like that when my silence on something is loudest by not adding my ‘two cents’ worth, or rather my ‘opinion,’ if it is something that would offend or add conflict.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)


Posted September 20, 2016 by Joyce in My Writings, The Daily Post

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A Shelter in the Time of Storm


An old church I photographed while vacationing one year in the upper northeast (New England and Nova Scotia). I love photographing old white churches.




The antique ‘Deacon’s bench’ I bought years ago from an antiques dealer. I don’t know its history, but the pew and intricate carving in the deep walnut wood is much like those used in old churches, and my inspiration for the fictional story below.














It started with quiet, cloudy skies, the air so still not a bird could be seen in flight.

“A storm is coming.” Janetta said.

The grocer glanced out the window. “It will probably be just one of those late summer showers, then move out.”

“Maybe…Well, I guess that’ll be it. I’ll see you next week, Hank.”

“Sure thing. And thanks for the eggs. There’s none better than farm fresh, anywhere.”

“Yes. My hens have had a good year.” She smiled as she walked out the door.

The gravel kicked up, spitting rocks to the sides of the road. She watched the clouds turn an ominous gray. The ten miles home seemed to take longer, and the miles much further when she was in a hurry.

Sirens wailed as she spotted a black cloud, with its twisting, menacing tail swirling across the sky, dip low, then pull away only to come around again, this time from the direction she was headed. Her house. God, please get me home in time. But, the funnel cloud came right for her.

She turned her wheel sharp cutting through a field towards the old church, catching weeds and dried brush under the car, and slammed to a stop in front of the door. A window leading down to the basement was her only escape and means of protection. She broke it and climbed through. She and Bill were married in this church, faithfully attending until its membership dwindled, and people moved on. Now, it was little more than a hollow shell of memories, with relics from the past, left behind. With the swiftness of a rabbit she scurried under a pew.

Sounds like a freight train derailed from its tracks, cars crashing into each other was deafening. The twister struck like a cracking whip splitting open the church, exposing all to the sky as she watched in horror, crouched under the pew. It spun around, building in strength, then tore across the ground destroying everything in its path. Creaking beams snapped and toppled to the earth’s floor. Doors and windows blew out, shattered glass and objects were caught up in a whirlwind of debris, soil and dust, sucked into the cloud.

The storm was gone as quick as it’d come. When she crawled out from under the pew the church was reduced to a pile of rubble. But, the pew sat upright, untouched. An old hymnal hanging from the book rack behind lay opened to a hymn she remembered once singing; ‘Jesus is the rock in a weary land…a shelter in the time of storm.’

Both her and her husband’s lives were spared that day, when others were not. Bill found refuge in an underground culvert, their prayers sustaining them, giving them hope. They lost their home and their hens to the tornado, but not their spirit. They would rebuild, again.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

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