Joanna Nealon
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Joanna Nealon is a blind woman, married, with three children and four grandchildren. She grew up in an old houseboat on Ash Creek in Bridgeport, CT., and now resides in a more conventional home in Newton, MA. As Joanna puts it, "Once upon a time" she received a B.A. in French literature and studied in Paris, France, on a Fulbright Scholarship. After that she was never heard of again, until in 1987 she began circulating her poems and reciting in the Boston area,mainly with the Stone Soup poetry group, founded by Jack Powers in 1971. She joined with other Stone Soup poets in various programs for social and cultural renewal, such as Boston's First Night,benefits for the homeless, and on-going readings at Bay State and Norfolk prisons. Joanna is also affiliated with Tapestry Of Voices, founded by Harris Gardner in 2000, with venues featuring well known and emerging poets. She has participated in readings at Border's Bookstore in Boston, Northeastern and Brown Universities,the John Greenleaf Whittier houses in Amesbury and Haverhill, the Warwick Museum Of Art, RI,and the annual National Poetry Month Festival held in the Boston Public Library. This year she is delighted to be part of the newly founded Brockton Library Poetry Series. Joanna has five published books: "The Lie And I", Stone Soup Press, Boston, MA (1990), "Poems Of The Zodiac",Cosmic Trend, North York, Ontario, CA (1992), "Said The Sage", New Spirit Press, Kew Gardens, NY (1993),"The Fourth Kingdom", Cosmic Trend, North York, Ontario, CA (1998), and "Living It" Ibbetson Street Press, Somerville, MA (2004). Her poems have appeared in "Stone Soup Quarterly", "Stone Soup Gazette", "Cosmic Trend" anthologies, "Bitterroot", "Expression","The Aurorean", "Northeast Corridor" "Medaphors", "The Ibbetson Street Review", and the anthology, "We Speak For Peace".



O, the lust of a poet,
How intemperately strong!
Never trust us poets
For we are stringing you along.
Yes, you are beautiful,
And we want to take you home;
Indeed our love is true.
But the lust of a poet
Is to write the perfect poem,
More beautiful than birdsong,
More beautiful than you!


A dove lands on my right shoulder
Every morning of my life,
And I wake up.
But as soon as I 'remember',
I forget the patient dove
In my impatience to be 'me',
The small mean me,
Who does not know who I Am,
And who would become
Bigger, meaner,
If by nightfall
I were not bent double
Under the weight of a colossal crow
On my left shoulder.
When I lie down in the dark,

The crow sits on my chest.
I know I cannot move it by force,
So I let go of the day.
Just as the crow lifts into night,
I Am asleep.


Make no plans
But the plan of love.
Draw up blueprints for beginnings
That do not end with you.
There is no return to The Garden,
The place of the holy dream,
Where two dwelt.
We are awake now,
And we are many.
The City has something for everyone
And room for all,
Except those
Who build tall towers in the desert,
Far from The City
And peace.

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