Softly settle the sediments
As thoughtless water flows away,
Leaving precious elements
Where they shall never see decay.

Fragments of the fulgent sun
Are captured as golden grains
Cradled in the river bed
Of deep poetic refrains.

Concealed in that fertile womb
The seeds evolve and bide their time,
For a miner to dig deep enough
To give them breath, and form, and rhyme.

Yet still the water babbles on
As the rich deposits harden,
While traces of those gifts are borne
To nourish distant gardens.

Joanne Van Leerdam, 2017. 

This poem was  inspired by fellow poet, Lyra Shanti, whose fabulous book of poetry is titled ‘Sediments’.


Promo X Ironic
All my life, I’ve  been told, “Go the extra mile”
And “Love your neighbour as much as yourself”
So it comes as a shock to realise
That it’s me, not my books, on the shelf.
If we’re supposed to look after each other
Then who’s looking after me?
I can’t escape this miserable feeling
That this is not how it’s meant to be.
Yet the same Scriptures also observe
That those who expose awkward truths –
Such as prophets – are rarely welcomed
By the hometown and friends of their youth.
It’s much the same for outspoken poets
Who might have hoped for loyal support,
Yet encounter distinct disinterest
Of the silent, uncomfortable sort.
One day this will no longer matter:
How I wish that it could be today!
When I’ve achieved the things I’m working for
And my troubles will have all blown away.
Even then, I suspect, they’ll smile and nod
And avoid looking me in the eye:
Everyone is welcome here; however,
Prophets and poets need not apply.

Cold Shoulder.

Promo X Cold Shoulder Plain

Many years I’ve lived on the Cold Shoulder
An inhospitable, stony place –
Where there’s little but frosty silence,
No allowance for comfort or grace.
The chill wind of indifference
Cuts the air without making a sound,
Skittering icy flakes of apathy
And leaves’ skeletons over the ground.
A fine specimen of resilience,
I’m a fine diamond in the rough,
A survivor of hostile conditions
Where life is invariably tough.
I suffer no delusions of love –
For that loss I have frequently wept;
But knowing I don’t matter at all
Is the hardest of truths to accept.
Weary of relentless erosion,
I implore the stone lords for reprieve,
But there is no reward for devotion
To those in whom you don’t believe.
Let them preach not to me of salvation
When they hold all the power in their hands
To inflict such complete desolation –
One could never meet all their demands.
So I remain here on the Shoulder
In this treacherous, heartless place:
Although frigid, this landscape is honest,
And each rock only has the one face.
©2017 WordyNerdBird

New Release: Stained Glass.

Many people have responded so positively to the poems I’ve been posting on #International Women’s Day and during Women’s History Month that I’ve decided to put them in a collection with some of my other poems about women’s lives and experiences. I’ve just released it as an eBook titled ‘Stained Glass’.

Promo Stained Glass Cover

‘Stained Glass’ is a collection of 22 poems for and
about women, by a woman who is striving to live,
love, work and make sense of the world she lives in.

‘Stained Glass’ is poetry that reflects the light and shade of life, and all the colours in between.

The poems celebrate the strength and extraordinary resilience of women through the exploration of diverse issues, including love, loss, social expectations, self-awareness and personal integrity.
In rare moments the glass is rose-coloured; elsewhere, the window is astonishingly clear.
There are 7 brand new poems in this collection.
Some of these poems – roughly one-third – are in ‘Leaf’, and others – another third – are in ‘Nova’.
Included are poems from this blog: Stained Glass and Bitter Pill. Her Light Burns Brightly rounds off
the collection with a tribute to all the women who have blazed trails – and those who still do – for those who follow after them and benefit from their legacy.
‘Stained Glass’ will be permanently priced at 99c, and is available on AmazoniBookskobo and other digital stores.

The Light Bulb.

Light Bulb plain
A solitary bulb burned in the darkness,
Too bright for her tear-reddened eyes,
So she threw a stone and broke it
Though it wasn’t what made her cry.
Her angry aim was perfect,
Her missile struck its mark:
It shattered the globe, put out the light,
And left it swinging in the dark.

Her Light Burns Brightly.

Strong, resilient, like no other
Fighter, defender, lover, mother,
Teacher, leader, inspiration,
Backbone of a generation.
Of a kind, yet individual,
Shrugging off the chains residual
That remain from eons past,
Smashing ceilings made of glass.
She honours mothers, sisters, aunts,
Who fought to give her every chance
To vote, to lead, to work, to win,
To overcome history’s sins.
Her light burns brightly: in her wake
Are those she has inspired to take
The future into their own hands,
On their own terms, not those of man.


©2016 Joanne Van Leerdam


This poem was written in honour of every woman who has helped to blaze the trail for those who follow her. It is published here in honour of Women’s History Month, March 2017.
It is one of 22 poems included in ‘Stained Glass’, a collection of poems for and about women, celebrating the resilience and strength of women in a world that requires a great deal of both.

Related poems from this blog:

Stained Glass by Joanne Van Leerdam
Her Divinity
by Joanne Van Leerdam
Beloved by Joanne Van Leerdam