layers of being

Copyright ©Jane H. Johann, 2016 Layer's of Being #1

©Jane H. Johann, 2016
Layer’s of Being #1

sun-drenched bark openings

wind-beaten to the core

stand up tall

extending yourself for more

Copyright ©Jane H. Johann, 2016 Layer os Being #2

©Jane H. Johann, 2016
Layer of Being #2

fear not the tear

binding us to one another

outer trappings uncover

the inner core

©Jane H. Johann, 2016
Layer’s of Being #3

patching ourselves

with momentary strength

healing scars

choose life-giving blood or hardness

Copyright ©Jane H. Johann, 2016 Layers of Being #4

©Jane H. Johann, 2016
Layers of Being #4

sepia colors replenish

the hues of life

the lines and colors

revealing the beauty within




raindrops running

Copyright ©Jane H. Johann, 2016 Southwestern Wisconsin Countryside

©Jane H. Johann, 2016
Southwestern Wisconsin Countryside

raindrops running through the riverbend

tripping one over the other

in their memory upon memory

of loss, pain and suffering


raindrops running through the riverbend

deep moments of yesterday

loved ones who left

piercing their heart with no return


raindrops running through the riverbend

thoughts of things done and others left undone

letting go of the failures of the past

running forward to refresh their soul


raindrops running through the riverbend

take courage and go forward

doing better than yesterday

in their longing for tomorrow






it was 5 AM

the sun was beginning to rise through the trees

the birds were singing their tunes

the cardinal perched on the evergreen

the hidden heart of Spring

was sharing its secret with the world

…then the Sun wrapped up early

the birds were gone in a whirl

the charcoal clouds streamed in across the sky

the tears of heaven fell to Mother Earth

drinking in, with questioning eyes

trusting that out of sorrow, life would give birth

Copyright ©Jane H. Johann, 2016 Whatcom Creek: "Lady with an Umbrella"

©Jane H. Johann, 2016
Whatcom Creek: “Lady with an Umbrella”


15 Free Writing Contests & Fellowships with Cash Prizes


  • “The following is a list of  contests, prizes, and fellowships require no entry or reading fee.  Whether you’re a fiction writer, poet, or essayist, there is something here that should work for any writer.”  Freedom With Writing Presents:

  • Uncanny Magazine: Submission Guidelines & Payment Information
    An online magazine of science fiction and fantasy. About This Publisher Uncanny is an online magazine of scifi/fantasy. They publish fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. They have a “deep investment in the diverse SF/F culture.” Their editors are both award winning writers. They were launched in 2014, and appear to have become well established. They are… Keep reading…
  • Sierra Magazine: Submission Guidelines & Payment Information
    The official magazine for the Sierra Club. About This Publisher The Sierra is the magazine of the Sierra club, the non-profit environmental activist organization. Their readers are “are environmentally concerned, politically diverse, and actively enjoy the outdoors.” It is published bi-monthly. Editorial Needs They publish feature articles up to 4,000 words. For features, they want… Keep reading…
  • 10 Free Writing Contests With Cash Prizes (No Entry Fee)
    We love the idea of writing contests, but we hate contest fees. That’s why we’ve rounded up these 10 writing contests that all have no entry or reading fees. Some end soon, so be sure to apply for those right away if you’re interested. Most of these contests are for poetry only, so if you’re… Keep reading…
  • The Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize: $10,000 Fiction Prize & Residency
    Lake Forest College and &NOW Books are currently hosting the Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize. Fiction writers under forty may apply for the prize, which includes $10,000 and a three-week residency at the college. This prize is only for writers who have not published a book. The residency is at the college, but… Keep reading…
  • 5 Websites that Pay Writers $50+ Per Article
    The following is a list of websites that accept submissions and queries from writers. All of these publishers pay at least $50 for some of the writing they publish. For a list of even more publishers, be sure to get a copy of this eBook. (It’s free.) 1. is a website for occupational therapy… Keep reading…
  • 5 Magazines that Pay Writers $250+ Per Article
    As part of my weekly effort to find paying gigs for writers, here are seven magazines that pay $250 or more for articles. If you are new to freelance writing, be sure to get a copy of The No B.S. Guide to Freelance Writing. It’s completely free. For a weekly update with even more markets,… Keep reading…


Tanka #1: Perseverance

"Lady's Mantle" Photo Credit: Bobbi; 2014

“Lady’s Mantle”
Photo Credit: Bobbi; 2014


even under tears 

there is beauty pushing forth

pulsating courage

clinging to enduring hope

that life’s spirit will rebloom

[ˈtäNGkə]  NOUN
  1. a Japanese poem consisting of five lines, the first and third of which have five syllables and the other seven, making 31 syllables in all and giving a complete picture of an event or mood.
Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press

painful crystals

"Lovely Tradescantia (Spierwort)" Native Wildflower of Wisconsin c.Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann; Sept.5, 2015.

“Lovely Tradescantia (Spierwort)” Native Wildflower of Wisconsin c.Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann; Sept.5, 2015.

water gathers

around the eyes

heaps of hurt

and painful sighs

descending whispers

tiptoeing down the cheek

questions inside

only silence speaks


not what you think

falling on my head

drowning in a wink



World’s Petitions…just a few

I signed one petition for Care2 Petitions and then I received a deluge of petitions.  Overwhelming.  Overwhelming to see all the needs that there are on Mother Earth.  Petitions for justice, healthcare reform, respect for women, care for children, care for the homeless, fairness, economic equity, gender fairness, proper treatment of animals, respect for Earth —- the list below is a small sampling of the needs of humanity. It is overwhelming.  

Provide support and funding for local Texas shelter

VA Stop Sabotaging  TBI tests. Offer all veterans proper evaluation and treatment

Harshest Charge for blowing up fireworks in dog’s mouth and ban of future animal ownership

Reject the 20 week abortion ban

Support Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary to avoid closure

Save Wild Arizona Horses from Banishment

Revoke Licenses of Vets who euthanize pets without permission

Tell San Francisco Not to Crack Down on Bicyclists

Urge Lawmakers to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

STOP putting dyed chicks in plastic bags to be sold as TOYS on Thai island Koh Lanta

Urge Yum Foods to Offer Paid Sick and Vacation Days to Workers

Drop case against mother who provided daughter with abortion medication in Northern Ireland

Stop the Dehumanizing Gender Testing of Women’s World Cup Athletes

Congress –Investigate American Hate Groups’

Get the Toxic Trio out of Nail Care Products

Send Magnus Hustveit, who raped his girlfriend, to prison!

Tell Harvard University to divest from fossil fuels

Harper:  Don’t Let Your Big Oil Friends Run the National Energy Board!

Urge Nestle to Help Stop Slave Labor Used to Make Pet Food

Stop Scott Walker’s Weekend Elimination Plan

Congress to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage

Tell Republicans Reject Racist Donations

Tell Congress to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage

End the Travel Restrictions Placed on Disabled Australians!

Who is Burning Black Churches? Bring back the Church Arson Task Force

Urgent! We need a shelter for homeless women in Vancouver, Washington!

Tell Hong Kong to Crack Down on Ivory Smuggling!

Demand Universal, Automatic voter Registration

Tell the UN— Women and Girls and Deserve Equality

Zimbabwe: Don’t bring back the death penalty after ten years.

Save Torrent Frogs in the Ivory Coast

I am only ONE person. I can choose to help with one or several and give it my attention, and that I all I can do.  I can see we need EVERYONE to pitch in and do what they can.  None of us can do it alone. We all need to help each other with whatever we have to offer.  There certainly is much to do to alleviate suffering in this world.  We live in a world community and what we say and/or do affects one another.

If each person does ONE thing, it is already something. I think being a person of peace and praying is something everyone can do and be. Yet that might be difficult if we do not believe in ourselves or our own goodness…and that could be the result of someone not ever believing in us or trusting us to change. Yet, change is the only constant.

I believe in the positive power of prayer and putting forth good thoughts to each other and out into the universe. I see what bad thoughts to do harm others—so why wouldn’t good thoughts produce good reactions?   One would think that is a simple thing to do. However, it is not.  Sometimes my own suffering gets in the way–my own inability to forgive and forget and move on. However, if I do not do it, I am not living in peace and I am not extending peace to anyone else.   I look at the list above, and think even the rapist needs forgiveness and healing.

Yet, forgiveness is difficult, but without there is no movement forward. I think every person deserves a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance…when do we stop giving each other opportunities and forgiveness?  I firmly believe that IF we believe in the other person, that person can grow and change.  Believing in each other produces change. We are human beings. We are all imperfect.

The recent murder of Cecil the Lion brought forth reaction from around the world.  There was complete dismay and outrage over the killing of this wonderful animal. Yes, it was sad and I have never understood why  anyone finds pleasure in hanging a dead animal’s head on their living room wall.  People were so angry, that they even wanted the dentist executed for his killing of this animal! I could not believe that! That is extreme. I have never understood retaliation or revenge. How does that help anyone?  People were very willing to express their hatred for this man who killed Cecil, the lion, yet, they, in turn would be ready to kill him for what he did. Would that be justified?  As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind.”

As human beings, we have a long road to travel to become understanding and forgiving of one another. And that great distance is the furthest within ourselves. The more we accept ourselves and our imperfections…the more we can forgive ourselves…the more we will understand and forgive others

Oglala Lakota Holyman





Beautiful Butterflies by Nadia Krenn


Beautiful butterflies

Flying with their friends

They are lovely

When they blend


Nadia, my granddaughter, is six years old and in Kindergarten.  Last night she said, “Nanny, we have to have a poem for tomorrow! ” She wrote the following poem for my blog and to share with you all!  Please feel free to leave her your comments on her artwork and poem. Thank you!


Nadia’s Poem to me this morning…

the stars and the moon

at the night



the birds and the sun

in the morning

"Looking East III" Photo Credit: c.Jane H. Johann, September 24, 2014. Artwork: God

“Looking East III”
Photo Credit: c.Jane H. Johann, September 24, 2014.
Artwork: God


and the dandelions in the fall




Composed by Nadia, 5 years young. She is home today with strep throat and an ear infection but is beginning to feel better! 🙂  She asked for some paper and a pencil and then she said she wrote this poem for me! She used pictures to write the poem and then interpreted the intended meanings– the last picture is her “Writer’s Notepad!”

Sister Wind Brushed through the Leaves


c. "Children Leaving" Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann, September 30, 2014, Palmyra, WI, USA.

c. “Children Leaving” Photo Credit: Jane H. Johann, September 30, 2014, Palmyra, WI, USA.

Sister Wind brushed through the golden leaves

spilling them on the Autumn grass…

Her hurried song could be heard in the silence of the day

as though it was her duty to glean the branches of its beauty.

Birch tree hung on to its children

not wanting to let them go…

But, alas, the forward passage of the promise

could not hold sway and off they traveled

shedding their birthright, transforming themselves

into their new way of being…

With each birth, comes the letting-go…

the song of yesterday builds the beauty of tomorrow…