Jo Janoski\’s Blog

Writings, Observations, Poetry, Stories

FOOTPRINTS December 27, 2005

Filed under: My Photos,Poetry — jojanoski @ 7:21 pm

A poem to finish off the Holiday:


Tiny footprints
Snow-covered world, early morning
scratches in the white, mark little chickadee steps
at the holy time when the world sleeps and life is but a whisper
while birds scurry.


My Last Blog Before the Holiday December 23, 2005

Filed under: Poetry — jojanoski @ 2:50 pm

My Last Blog Before the Holiday…

I think Christmas cooking

is making me punchy…

* * *

My Favorite Foods…and Then Some

Turkey and stuffing, potatoes and peas

Love eating each and every one of these!

Christmas cookies from Mom's kitchen oven!

I feel like I died and went straight to heaven!

But one thing I wish that no one would make

Is that petrified, dry, lousy fruit cake!

* * *

Someone on the Rooftop

Santa on the rooftop! HO! HO! HO!

Gifts for everybody! Head to toe!

He'll slide down the chimney, 1, 2, 3

Bringing presents for you and for me!

Sure hope he doesn't get stuck up there,

Between the rooftop and who knows where.

Poor jolly Santa, chubby as can be

Stuck in the chimney for all to see!

We'll push his head down and pull below.

We'll wiggle him and jiggle him just so.

We want our goodies! He's gotta drop

Down with our presents! PLOP! PLOP! PLOP!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski


Following the Star December 21, 2005

Filed under: Short Stories — jojanoski @ 7:14 pm

Following the Star…

A Christmas Story

I wrote this a couple of years ago.

It has been one of my favorites.

David yawned and stretched at exactly the same time as a white fire exploded in the sky. A dazzling trail of sparkling dust bled down from the inferno. Next the core of the burst slowly twirled around and around, with sparks jumping off and rearranging into points around a circle to form a glistening star. It blinked once before pirouetting across the expanse of inky black. The young shepherd stumbled in surprise but grasped harder on his staff to keep upright. The white pulsating light danced across the horizon, beckoning the lad with every blink.

David's heart pounded with such force it was a wonder it didn't burst into a million particles. The star was alive with fire. It telegraphed a message, a familiar one of love…love in its purest, simplest form. The apparition glided across the expanse of black like a sailboat skimming across the water.

"I've got to follow," the young shepherd murmured. The sheep had settled for the night. He would slip away. Gathering a blanket, the boy glanced at his animals. A lamb slept separately from the rest. Enamored from the start by the tiny creature, he'd given it a nickname, Gentle. He gathered Gentle in his arms and gazed at the sky. The star continued to travel on its glistening path.

David rushed after it in what turned out to be a half night's journey up and over fragrant grassy hills, until finally he arrived on the dry, dusty road leading to Bethlehem. Moving quickly to keep up, his heart sang on the exhilarating journey. His lungs filled with cool air while the spicy aromas of the countryside tickled his nose. He loved the land in all its aspects.

Father would not be pleased he had abandoned the flock, but an emotion like white fire had overtaken his heart as the starry light led him onward.

Bethlehem proved to be a busy town, as multitudes of travelers wandered in for the census. The Inns were full, and many camped along the road. Children played together as their weary parents prepared makeshift bedding and scoured their supplies for a bit of bread or water. They stared at the intense young man as he passed by. Oblivious to their gazes, David's pounding heart pushed him farther into the tiny city.

He imagined his father would be exasperated at dawn to find the sheep unattended. David sighed. What kind of life is a shepherd's anyway. Samuel, his friend, made a good living stealing at the marketplace in Bethlehem. With hands like a magician, he could grab up an item and hide it in his cloak before anyone was the wiser. Bringing the items home to the village, the town's people were eager to buy cheaper than they would pay in Bethlehem. Samuel would no doubt someday be a rich man. He had offered to teach young David all his tricks.

"That's what I should do," the boy said out loud, as though speaking the words would make them true. Satisfied with the thought, David barely noticed the star had stopped moving. It pulsated in the sky over a ramshackle stable standing behind a nearby Inn.

His heart's fierce pounding sounded in his ears again. A yearning in his soul pushed him toward the stable. He needed whatever was there, but what was it?

A man, a woman, and a baby, who was nestled in a manger of straw, met his gaze. A cow and two horses lingered in the back, the only sound being the gentle swish of the cow's tail, back and forth, back and forth. What were these people doing in a stable with animals?

The baby opened his eyes and caught David's glance. The little one's gaze burnt with the fiery magic of the star. The baby was the star.

Cascading emotions rushed David, dropping him to his knees. His heart was in a cacophonous turmoil of love, reverence, and confusion woven together in a pattern of gaudy mismatched hues. His weakened hand lost its grasp of Gentle and the lamb ambled forward to the babe.

The infant's eyes paralyzed David in their light. Who was this child? The boy's heart crashed to the ground as the infant's eyes, with a waver, read his heart and desire to be a thief, like Samuel. The orbs shot to David a message like a whisper. He had a decision to make, to follow the righteous path and be a proper shepherd, or follow the way of dishonesty to acquire material riches.

Visions of David's flock floated through his mind, and a rush of its sublime and simple beauty wrapped around him like a satin ribbon. He knew he wanted the life of an honest and simple shepherd. All honest work had dignity on God's good earth. On the hillside with the sky and grasses and sheep, he would be close to God. He glanced to the child, and a glint in the tiny eyes reassured him.

David averted his eyes as his soul filled to brimming. Looking up, he nodded to the man and woman.

"The lamb," he said, nodding toward Gentle. "It is a gift…for the baby. For surely this infant is the lamb of God."

The woman's smile could light up the entire night sky. David bowed to them and turned to go. The time had arrived for a new beginning, one full of purpose and self-knowledge, and the right path to God.

* * *

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski


A Picture and a Poem December 20, 2005

Filed under: My Photos,Poetry — jojanoski @ 2:16 pm

A snowy day in Pittsburgh. Just a view from my corner of the world. Taken this afternoon around 2:00 p.m. Temperature outside: 21 degrees.

Now a poem:


Gold foil wrapped red green ribbons of giggles
Cascades of broad smiles laced with egg nog
Frothy words drowning in red punch
Mysterious packages
Starry tree lights blinking
Kitchen aromas
Brown gravy dreams
No one wants
Fruit cake

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Christmas Septet December 18, 2005

Filed under: Poetry — jojanoski @ 2:50 pm

Here I am again

with more Christmas poetry…

Christmas Septet

Snowflakes twirl

Stream from ice castles

Announcing time so Divine.

Christmas Eve, a Night with its own Star,

Gleaming in the sky with Joy.

May it bring you Peace.

Holy Night.

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski


The Bashful Swan December 16, 2005

Filed under: Short Stories — jojanoski @ 4:00 pm

The Bashful Swan…

Another Children's Story

from Magic Music Forest

* * *

Deep in the forest, a little swan named Wanda lived at a place called Magic Pond. A baby swan with fuzzy, grayish down feathers, her mother and father told her how pretty she was all the time. Wanda never believed them because her feathers stuck out in an unsightly manner. When she got older, she would be prettier, but not now. Alas, it made her feel bashful. She spent most of her time, all by herself, watching the other birds and animals play. Indeed, at the Magic Pond, fun was guaranteed. How Wanda wished she could have someone to play with, but she doubted anyone wanted to be her friend.

Urging her to be with the other birds and animals, her mother nudged her, "Aren't you going to go and play, Wanda?"

Wanda answered, "No." She preferred to nestle under some plants along the shore and watch the others. A silly goose named Belinda always brought a smile to Wanda's face. The bird could not swim, but kept trying nonetheless. The little goose constantly fell head first into the water. "She is lucky she doesn't drown herself," Wanda thought out loud one day.

"You're right."

The voice startled Wanda, and she turned to see Oscar the Turtle beside her.

"Hello," she said in a little voice.

"You are Wanda, aren't you?" the turtle asked.


"Belinda is sure having a hard time of it, trying to swim."

"Yes. I guess it must be hard for her to do."

"Yes," Oscar replied as he bobbed his head in thought. "It looks as though you have some free time. Maybe you could help her."


"Yes." Oscar leaned closer. "Just between you and me, she told me she really needs help but is too shy to ask anyone."

Belinda was shy! Wanda never considered the fact that anyone other than she might be bashful. Maybe she could help the little goose. Belinda was, after all, bashful just like her!

"Well, what do you think?" Oscar asked.

Wanda ruffled her feathers and prepared to swim over to Belinda. "I think I'll try," she told Oscar. Turning as she swam away, she added, "Thanks."

The closer she came to the goose, the more she trembled. Upon arriving, she stammered, "D-d-do you need some help learning to swim?"

Little Belinda, the goose, looked up in surprise at the swan. "Oh yes! I could sure use some help!" she said. "Errr… if you don't mind."

Well, the two birds became fast friends. Happy she found the courage to offer help to Belinda, Wanda learned a lesson. From that day on, whenever someone made her afraid or bashful, she tried to think of a favor she might do for them. She had discovered a helping hand leads the way to friendship.


Copyright 2005 JO Janoski


NOTES FROM MY ANGEL December 13, 2005

Filed under: Poetry — jojanoski @ 4:45 pm

I wrote the following poem for a workshop.

It is called a Septet

and the topic was Angels.

* * *



Soft utterances

Words floating above real time

Disconnected and ethereal

Lifting me, welcoming me

Love words consuming


Copyright 2005 JO Janoski