25th Wedding Anniversary

Twenty five years ago, on June 24, 1995, my brother, Wyon, married his girl-friend, Janet. Due to today’s nasty pandemic they are unable to throw a celebration, so they invited their friends and family to send them memories to share. I sent a photograph of them siting on a wall back-to-back and this short poem. In the poem I attempt to recapture 6/24 1995.

To you Janet & Wyon
After twenty-five years
We offer congrats and best wishes
To you and your son
For love radiating and shared,
May it always remain
As strong as that day
When you did it your way

No stuffy receptions, instead
We recall early guests met
At a farm to pick strawberries
Nuptial banquet table food
Luscious, sun baked, red
Delicious for the day that you wed

No wedding hall
In a manner house setting
Wyon, you stand, counting time
Among wild flower decorations
Beckoning red strawberries
And expectant assembly.
You are handsome,
Wrist-watch anxious
You stand in your red jacket,
With white flower corsage.
We note your dark pants, curls, and beard
Your love worn with humility
We see the appointed time come and go
We become fidgety, in whispers debate
The meaning of this uneasy wait.

Hark then with joy,
Distant music wafts to anxious ears
Soothing trembling hearts.
Then we see you Janet,
A stunning, fairy princess
Clad in shapely red dress
Your flowing red hair
Crowned with white flower garland
You float across the fields,
Surrounded by dancing nymphs
Pipe and string melodies
An ethereal bride, face radiant, blushed
We, the audience, are now hushed.

Wyon and Janet, you stand eye to eye
You pledge eternal love
Support, honesty and faith
You exchange rings
You share universal words
Prayers of antiquity
To earth,
To air,
To fire,
To water
To love defeating all strife
To your union for life.

As the wedding day wanes
You lead satiated guests
To hold hands in wide circle
To let meadow grasses
Crushed by our feet
Offer up sweet aromas
We dance in rondos,
As ancient as the land
Luxuriating in this memorable way
To celebrate a wedding day

As time marches goes on
May you continue together strong
May your love always give
Strength to the days you live
We, friends and family join in wonder
Knowing that you two will never sunder

Jane Stansfeld 6/24/2020


One of SDWG challenged members to write a “Covid-19” format poem. He described the format as C or 100 words and 19 or nineteen lines. The following is my response to his challenge.

Go away Covid one nine
We thought ourselves fine
Now a global struggle for life
Unites all in common strife.
It’s a world burst asunder
We stop, to watch in wonder.

We enjoy astonishing side shows
Beauty through sealed windows.
We readjust our living pace
To quit a harrowing rat race.
No rush hour frustration
Never a route to salvation.
We know isolation is fine
For we can all meet online.

Covid, please go away
Leave us alone we say.
Won’t you vanish to nowhere
Gone we will stare and share.
Saying, Yes, I was there!

96 words)
©20200 Copyright, Jane Stansfeld

Two Dandelion poems

It is fall now, not spring.
dandelions have one last fling.

I offer two dandelion poems (accompanied by an apology to Jane Sturgeon to whom I have already quoted them).
The first poem is one, which I memorized in elementary school, and still comes to mind every time that I see a dandelion. It is written by Sir Edward Arthur Drummond Bliss.
The second poem was written by my daughter, Anne Catherine  Hofer, in 1999, when she was 16. It complements the former poem and may well be my daughter’s response to my frequent quoting of the Bliss poem.
My hope is that the pair make you smile.

dande 1

The Dandelion

The dandelion is brave and gay
And loves to sit beside the way;
A braver thing was never seen,
To praise the grass for growing green;
You never saw a gayer thing,
To sit and smile and praise the spring.

The children with their simple hearts,
The lazy men that come in carts,
The little dogs that lollop by,
They all have seen its shining eye,
Any every one of them would say
They never saw a thing so gay.

dande 2

Dandelion Puff

Hey you, yes you, come over here!
Come let me whisper in your ear.
I won’t sting you I promise, please?
(unless of course I’m filled with bees)
But really, look I’m only fluffy
There is no reason to be stuffy
Don’t you just feel the urge…
The desire… the NEED…to ..
pick me?
I don’t care a bit
I do declare, go ahead!

But that is not enough you know
Why don’t you go ahead and blow?
I am so frail, oh can’t you see?
A puff of wind would total me.
It will take place eventually,
So go ahead and hear my plea
Send me scattering through the air,
And please perform it with some – OH!
Why ….thank you.

You won’t regret it….
…next year…..
… I’ll bring……
…..a lot of friends!

SPRING – a poem

At  present I am preoccupied with visiting grandchildren and so I dug up this poem, written in the early 1970s when I lived in London, and edited now in 2019. Grandchildren can’t relate to this time before even thier parents were born, the senitments are universal so I hope that some of my readers may enjoy it.

I am a child of the night,
City born and thrust
Into the darkness,
Of faceless urban millions,
Sharing stereotyped desires,
And mass-media emotions,
Predicted and predictable. 

But, today I was free.
For today I saw the sun shine,
A warm spring sun,
It dried the ground,
It nuzzled nature to action,
Even as I was excited, delighted,
My heart uplifted by the globe.

Then joyful, I sang,
Forgetting the gray city,
Forgetting the tubes and fumes,
Forgetting humanity, my heritage,
And like the March hare,
Madly exulted in the sun,
My heart worshipped a pagan God.

Time – a poem by LEMS

The other day I was  going through some of my father’s old papers and came across this poem which my mother, LEMS (Lucy Edith Mary Stansfeld, wrote. It was dedicated to him. It appears to have been written in 1968 shortly before she died. I  find it beautiful and moving, worth of being shared. I regret that I didn’t know that she was writing at that time so that I could have discussed it with her.

My purse is nearly empty – this my pain,
to eek the few base coins that still remain.
How prodigal the shining gold I spent
thoughtless, thriftless, and incontinent
And there is none on whom to blame my loss,
this was no crock-of-gold to turn to dross,
But amply and sufficient from my birth
what I have wasted could supply this dearth.
TIME is the currency, DEATH the empty purse
few had more coin, and few have used it worse.
Tip in my hand my last poor pence, weigh my finds,
open my palm to look again – the brightness blinds!
All that was scant and dirty, base and old,
the alchemy of love has turned to gold!

No Ladies First


No ladies first in this diurnal rush,
Like insects, we swarm to red circles,
Each for himself, thrusting, fighting,
Down, onto crowded dim platforms,
Pushing ourselves into gaping monsters,
To stand, or sit, lonely sentinels.
Lives brought momentarily together.
Here, a pair enjoy hints of each other,
Indicating by eye and movement,
Promises of love’s naked intimacy.
But most, eyes behind unseeing stares,
Rocked and stultified in accustomed whir,
Succumb together to soporific swing.
Suddenly, deadened senses jar into recognition,
Sleepy eyes refocus,
We push and shove out of that airless thing,
To join the busy crowd surging upwards,
And fumbling for forgotten tickets,
We heave sighs of relief to emerge into daylight,
And recapture our humanity.

© Copyright, 9/18/16 Jane Stansfeld

Ecstasy – a poem

 We have all had a moment,
Hoarded, savored in memory,
A brief passage of extreme joy.
We treasure the happening
Cling to it throughout life.
It’s euphoria induced by;
An achievement, award
Victory, recognition, love.
Mine haunt to this day,
The high after the birth.
I held her in my arms
I floated in ecstasy,
A feeling so intense that,
When the second child was born
I remembered and cried out,
“Where is my high?”
I was happy, but
A re-occurrence never came.
So I save that singular moment
Retain it as my life’s apex.  

© Copyright, July 2015, Jane Stansfeld


Vision – A poem

I lie abed and look up,
Into viscous moonlit air,
I see sinuous shapes
The space teems with them
They whirl and twist
Approach and retreat.
No recognizable form, except
One group of pearl droplets.
Dancing on outstretched hand.
My skin feels nothing.
Gently they roll off.
Can these be spirits?
It’s a vision I must keep
As I drift into sleep.

All day I wait for night.
I take to my bed.
I search for my nocturnal vision
I see nothing,
Only dark imprecise forms,
Objects that I recognize by day.
I arise, take out my Magic Eye Book,
Stare at colorful meaningless images.
Put my nose upon the page,
And draw back until they pop.
Three dimensional forms
Clear, luminous, clean.
The air, in their case,
As limpid as my spirit’s place.

Again I lie abed and watch.
I wish the scene to open,
Reveal its secrecies to me
Oh spirits come again
Pop like a Magic Eye picture,
Unveil hidden mysteries
Oh where are you?
Was your visit a one-time revelation?
Nothing, no presence revealed
My eye’s image is fuzzy.
A dark pointillist painting
No clear shape or form
Bewildered, I watch until
I drift  off to sleep.

© Copyright, July 2015, Jane Stansfeld


Frog’s Night – a poem

Last night it rained.
Tonight a caressing moon
Casts eerie luminosity,
But it is noise which eclipses.
For this night is frog’s night
The bulls circle my pond,
Singing, calling to their froggies.
Some rill, their throats blown up,
Others croak, ribbit, ribbit,
Invitations to a mating dance.

I lie abed, harken to the refrain.
Wonder, will the neighbors complain?
I try to differentiate voices.
I rise and step outside
To flash brightness over the waters.
Instant silence, only insects continue
Their leg rubbing buzz aloft.
I turn off the blinding light.
The cacophony renews its might
Takes up where it left off.

I muse about men,
Theirs a complex dance.
Wouldn’t many love
To take a stand and call
A man’s mating cry,
“I’m virile and sexy
Come to me”. And then,
Wait for girls to respond
So, without further ado
They could do what all do.

For yes the frogs mated.
This night they copulated.
Now in the pink dawn
The pond teams with spawn.

© Copyright, June 2015 Jane Stansfeld

He and She

He’s six months old.
He’s strong and bold.
Too young to talk,
Or crawl, or walk.
Round stand-up sling,
Wheels get him going.
Tiny feet on the ground,
Push to get around.
Glides where he wants to go,
Miracle, that it is so.

Juice box in her hands,
Nonchalant she stands,
On the back of his toy.
Murmurs ‘giddy-up boy.’
His two year old sister,
Shows who is master.
Unknowing, he thrusts on,
The moving is fun.
His feet slip and slide,
As he donates a ride.

© Copyright, March 2015, Jane Stansfeld