Whisper Quick

In Loving Memory of my brother,

Airman Roger  J. Johann

July 24, 1935-May, 4, 1955



Life is a whisper quick–

as he balanced the cigarette on his lip

I was just three, sitting on his knee

the kitchen chair, him and me

then he passed the cigarette my way

naïve I was what can I say

when a puff of smoke I did inhale

and I felt ever so pale

big brothers have their ways

and we did bond deeply in that stay.

It was Christmas Eve and I was four

I was waiting for him who I adored

Snuggled in his bed asleep

He picked me up and down the stairs we did creep

There underneath the lit Christmas tree

Colored chalk and blackboard waiting for me!

Off to England and Iceland next

There he was the Air Force guest

Then the day became the night

His life was lost on that flight

Only nineteen, it was not fair

So young and so much to give for freedom’s dare

The North Atlantic took him to the Lord

And his eight friends who were aboard

Now the years have come and gone

Still I remember his gentle song

My Mom sat with me

Beneath the window breeze

Pointing to the sky

To the military formation for me to fly

There were the planes one by one

Except for yours, they flew their song

How deep her sorrow for you she wept

In her heart, the love she kept

How many young people have given their life

For freedom, that day, became your wife














“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”




the hurt of betrayal

shakes a person to the core

the hurt of betrayal

closes love’s door

disbelief and shock

become companions of the day

sleeplessness and tears

become the unspoken way

doubts of self arise within

becoming despair and lost hope

dragging in the mud

contemplating how to cope

as illusions continue to flood

the pain is real and deep

trust is in a tailspin

still love prevails as I weep

somehow forgiveness

must enter once more

somehow goodness

must surface to the floor

compassion for the other

cannot be ignored

compassion for oneself

as hope opens the door


Young Sapling

blew in the breeze

as the wind carried its branches

into freedom wind.

The gusts invisible breath was so strong

that Young  Sapling gymnast

touched Mother Earth with a fleeting kiss

springing back into position in a flash!

Not quite sure how it happened or why!

A short distance away

was Grandmother Birch

fifty years its senior

steady and strong as the wind blew.

Outwardly appearing invincible

to the taunt and fury of the wind.

2012. Palmyra, WI., USA Photo credit: J. H. Johann

2012. Palmyra, WI., USA
Photo credit: J. H. Johann


However, inside and  in between were the years:

the happenings…

the choices…

the laughter…

the slam dunks,..

the “how did it happen?” phenomena…

the joys…

the rug pulled out from underneath…

the hurts…

the tears…

the love given…

the affirmations…

the love lost…

the triumphs…

the failures…

the successes…

the love memories

the “get back up” and live some more


that weathered the storm

and broke forth in LIGHT and HOPE

and CHOSE to live!

As the girth of the tree widened

new sprouts came forth!




Raindrop Washings

With gratitude to n. h. bourne for

her inspiration for the title of this poem!


Banff by Night

Banff by Night

the cloud hovers above us

raindrop washings

cleansing our leaves

of loss and inadequacy

renewing us

with freshness and determination

to begin again

in purity and strength

Kurdish Mobilization for the Murdered Girl

johannisthinking@wordpress.com; pedalpushingthoughts@wordpresss.com:

Our violence against each other is destroying humankind. Women deserve equal respect and honor as human beings who give birth to all life.

Originally posted on Sweden and the Middle East Views:



A few days ago the horrifying news about a young girl who was the victim of a honourkilling in Dohuk in Northern Kurdistan spread over the world. Dunya, a 15-year-old girl who was in an arranged marriage with a 45-year-old man, according to kurdishrights.org his name was Sleman Ziad Younis, had been killed by him and the photos of her mutilated body filled the internet.

These news are unfortunately not rare in Kurdistan. Violence against women is a wide spread phenomenon – I dare saying this as I have worked with women’s rights issues in the region - and many of these crimes are swept under the rug and forgotten. Only in 2011 domestic violence became illegal in Kurdistan and even though this legal change marked a great step forward, the process of actually implementing the law and change attitudes is very long, as always when a society is in a process…

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You are a Crystal Being…for Stephanie



You are a crystal being

held tenderly by a loving God

Out of Love you were fashioned

Out of Love you grew

Out of Love you are

In your darkest moments

Sit quietly and return to your Center

and bask in the LOVE of God

All that surrounds us

is illusion

We exist only in LOVE

It is in LOVE that we find ourselves

In the depth of the notes

Your music rings out the true you

crystalline quarter notes

staccato plays…carrying you home

to the restful Love…

You are a Crystal Being

Held tenderly by a Loving God