Johanna Ely



The afternoon
thickens and darkens
on winter’s vine.

Sallow leaves weep
on rose bushes.

Naked tree branches
splinter cold light
into jagged pieces
of dulled glass.

Cracks of blue sky
are sutured up—
leaving a pale skin
of grey clouds.

The forecast says rain.
I hunker down,
hibernate under blankets—
dream that spring will return
and misaligned planets
will right themselves—
that the world will continue.

The day smells of wet roses.
It runs ahead of me—
disappears before I can catch it.

The gift we are given
is never quite knowing
when something beautiful
will begin or end.

The hope we keep–
the coming of it, at all.



Johanna Ely Headshot

Johanna Ely spends much of her time writing about the extraordinary people, places, and things she encounters in her daily life. Her poetry has been described as “imagery driven poetry that brings sight to the blind, delivered with an emotionally honest voice that listeners and readers will recognize as their own”.  She hosts a monthly series called “Poetry Inside Out”, and believes that poetry always opens a window to the heart.  Johanna was the sixth poet laureate of Benicia, California.