The Country Town Bookstore

If this small town of mine were a bookstore
It would sell lots of farmers’ almanacs,
Short stories about crops, cows and weather,
And DIY manuals for various knick-knacks;
Cookery books filled with old fashioned fare
On display near the handyman manuals
While the gardening books would be happy to share
With the cheerfully bright ladies’ annuals.
Comic books, picture books, and health magazines
Would be on display here before us,
While I would be up the back, unseen,
A combined dictionary/thesaurus.

Bitter Pill.

It’s tough to swallow that bitter pill
That slows the heart and numbs the mind
With meaningless mediocrity –
Medicine for the broken soul
Which casts the painful truths aside
For the sake of comfortable conformity.
In defiant self-preservation, she
Refuses the drug that seeks to suppress.
She chooses, instead, to remain and fight
For freedom to love, to feel, to be:
She’d rather live with her brokenness
Than die to herself trying not to feel its bite.

Stained Glass.

A masterful, vivid mosaic,
A fragmented work of art;
She finds her greatest beauty when
Light shines through the tinted glass.
Though fragile, her strength is in the scars
That unify her; thus, she remains
Beautifully broken and mended,
And permanently, poignantly stained.
Promo X Stained Glass Plain

MTW Progressive Story: ‘Tailored Murder at 221B Baker St’

Sherlock shook his head. “What I don’t understand, Watson…”
Watson blinked at Sherlock. It was so rare that Sherlock confessed to not understand something, he was left quite unsure of what to say. 
Sherlock caught the flash of confusion on Watson’s face, but continued regardless. “… is why Chastain would show dead on the kitchen floor – MY kitchen floor! – without my ever having met the chap!”
Watson gazed at the tall man before him. “It has to be because we found that dratted dressmaking kit. Perhaps he came here to retrieve it. He must have been followed here.”
“Dead men don’t care much for sewing kits, Watson… but perhaps the clue is there after all.”
Sherlock crossed the room, retrieving a small brown cloth case from the hall table. It unbuttoned to reveal a neat kit containing well-maintained scissors, needles, and lengths of high-quality threads in a rainbow of colours. A small, hand-stitched label nestled under the handle of the scissors. 
“Mack’s Threads, London.” Sherlock pondered for a moment, examining the kit yet again. “It’s plain cloth without embellishment, but good quality. I should think they’ll be in Cheapside.”
“Hold on. Chastain was the tailor to the Prime Minister’s wife!”
“Yes, Watson, with a shop in Regent Street, but the people who make sewing kits don’t have shops in Regent Street. They have factories in Cheapside.”
Sherlock strode confidently into the living room and picked up the telephone.
“Hello, Operator… could you please give me Mack’s Threads in Cheapside? Thank you.”
Two seconds and three loud clicks later, Sherlock smiled. “Yes, I’d like to speak to Mr Mack, please… Oh? How very interesting… Hasn’t been in since yesterday! How does he run a business?… Ah. Quite out of character. Yes… I see…”
Sherlock glanced into the kitchen and frowned at the dead man on the floor.  
“Oh! One other question… would you happen to know if Mr Mack ever carried a knife?”
Sherlock winced at the voluble and indignant protest that emanated from the earpiece at such a suggestion , then returned it to his ear when it went quiet. “Ah. Quite. My apologies. Thank you.”
Watson looked at Sherlock expectantly.
“Well, Watson! What do you thinhk? He’s gone missing!”
To follow Sherlock and Watson on this adventure and read the next chapter of the story, click here.

One Way Street

I’ve been living on a one-way street
Where things only go the other way,
So I’ve made up my mind to pack my bags,
Because I’m not going to stay.

I’m weary of being invisible
Until someone wants something from me:
This feeling that I don’t matter much
Is not how it’s meant to be.

So no more smiling and nodding,
Or suppressing the way that I feel,
The winds of change have begun to blow
And it’s all about to get real.

Next time someone knocks on my door
Looking to chat or take a small loan,
They’ll be surprised by the lack of response
When they realise nobody’s home.

Some will say I’m being selfish,
And complain of my hard heart and mind;
Unable to see that’s what they’ve done to me
And I’m only responding in kind.

I know they may never understand
The truth of the situation;
It’s more important that I’ve developed
A degree of self preservation.


Poetry Reading – ROGUE WAVE by Joanne Van Leerdam — WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Originally posted on POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film. : Performed by Michelle Alexander Get to know the poet: What is the theme of your poem? ‘Rogue Wave’ is about the way life and stress makes us feel, especially when things build up and…

via Poetry Reading – ROGUE WAVE by Joanne Van Leerdam — WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review


I can’t English. I can’t brain.
Self-esteem is down the drain.
Mornings are too hard to do.
I don’t know if I like you.
Want to blend in, not be seen.
Let me hide behind my screen.
Don’t want to think or go to school.
Don’t lecture me: I’m nobody’s fool.
Not today, I have the dumb.
All the feels: wish I were numb.
Please don’t make my heart shatter.
Yeah, nah. Doesn’t matter.

Please understand that this is not written to demean or mock teens who feel this way.
I love talking and working with teens – they are my preferred student demographic.
I simply wanted to write something to which they could relate, and that they could read and know that someone “gets” them.
And, to be honest, I often still share these sentiments. Especially the part about mornings.