National Poetry Month Poetry Writing

5 – Grieving Place, 1

in the morning, usually,

before the day-to-day began

there was a space in which

you could hear the tide

watch the tightrope act of crows

their sunrise spotlight

smell the pitch pines

and housekeeping steam

Beverly or Doris arrived by 9

in a clamoring of car doors

and office doors

before the creak of steps

when Thaiwin appeared

with fresh towels

that soap that said


and I was Welcome

every time for a decade

big smiles and warm hugs

first names and

how are yous like family

at the start of my days

those weeks by the shore

Photo & Poem ©2023, Jen Payne in memory of weeks spent in an old time hotel by the shore. The Village Green on Cape Cod, now closed, was sold in 2021 by the owners after 35 years in business. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Creativity mindfulness Nature Writing

The Healing Process

The storm took so much it’s difficult to consider — gone the familiar, the known path. Feet so sure there was no need to gauge progress. It was how I became present again, how I stepped back in the moment.

It was where I could breathe, let go, release my rooted stride. Slough off thoughts. Embrace the solitude with just a heartbeat and birdsong for company.

But her wide canopy of solace is gone now, and I have been hobbled.

Those sacred spaces of breath and respite are changed.

And so am I.

So I take a different path this morning and it comforts me.

It whispers…

This rabbit will caretake the old path.

This turtle, hopeful, lays its eggs. As does the robin.

Part of this snake is here but its heart has moved forward,

and this spider writes her poems in the spaces left behind.

Essay ©2021, Jen Payne. If you like this essay, be sure to purchase a copy of my book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, available here.

Ever Effervescent

For Mary Anne Siok


Is it the stylish air that draws you?

The sexy, bold sashay?

Perhaps her warm, broad smile

and the laugh that is her way?


Do you wonder what beguiles you?

Enchants you to draw near?

As if gifted by the Graces.

Sweet Splendor, Mirth and Cheer.


But we know what draws us close to her.

What sets her far above.

A spirit filled with joy and

a heart that brims with love.


She asked me once to write her a poem. Probably not my best, but Mary Anne Siok in every word. The world is not the same, my friend. I miss you…daily.

©2020, Jen Payne. Photo: Mary Anne circa 1990.