About Gay Reiser Cannon

Writer, Poet, Musician, Mother, Grandmother, Nature Lover, Book Lover, In All Things Curious - a dilettante - somewhat eccentric - but not too far out of the main stream.

Fabulous Firenze Festeggiamento



Across the Ponte Vecchio, behind the Pitti Palace,
we are meeting tonight in the Boboli Garden.
We enter the Grand Theater to the strains of
Vissi d’Arte from Tosca. Lights twinkle on the terraces,
The tables are laid, and the poets are gathered.

We greet each other with glasses of Prosecco.
We’ve arrived from around the world this anniversary.
We are feasting on ghazals and waltzing triolets;
the rose-scented air releases quaterns and nocturnes.
Some set villanelles to sail on the pond,
there are calls and responses in elegant haiku,
and at once we are singing sonnets while the
free verse flows from fountains on the lawn.

The aria changes to Muzetta’s Waltz, as we find new partners to
stroll the topiary mazes. We are celebrating poetry
as the summer moon sends its glade to light our
evening of song and dance munching on meter and rhyme,
picking at salads of rhyming couplets.

Scattering punctuation marks
that once held up our hair, we gambol on the grass
making art out of stars and napkins
crafting soft sonatas from friendship.
Toasting the excellence that is ART here
in these sculptured gardens surrounded
by the Duomo, the Davids, Venus Rising, La Primavera and
we find the shades of Botticelli, Michaelangelo, Giotto
DaVinci, Verocchio and Donatello joining with us when
the score of E Lucevan Le Stella lifts us toward the sky.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 7.17.14 * All Rights Reserved

Countess of Strength

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument in Venice

for Sophia Michelle

Beside her phantom lion she surveys
her vast domain; its lurking dangers stilled.
She summons her abilities and waits.
A Countess whose reserves of strength and will
have earned respect from all whom she has met.
Her carriage and her mien disclose her aim
to care, protect and act, without regret,
against those foes who would attack her claim.
Her family prepared her for great tasks.
They nurtured confidence through each success.
She flourished as she grew; she never lacks
the grace to share her strength through skilled finesse.
A paragon of womanhood, she stands
a citadel of courage, heart and hands.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 7.14.2014 * All Rights Reserved

Ode To My Fellow Poets


your poems are leaking your life
and heart’s blood through cyberspace

oozing binary strings, stops and starts
of emotions, images, and history

before the half-life decay,
I am receiving you across the space/time continuum

your thoughts flow in code, they pump my heart
drip through me with arterial insight–

inspire me with sensual repetitions
your driving life-source pours into mine

your algae spreads, your grass grows,
your flowers dance to transform time

their pistils and stamens glowing
through your words, into my atmosphere

your rant of injustice roars
through jungle bits&bytes to my mind

your desire for fairness justly frames
as the pen of truth triumphs over deceit

I leave a church following the bread-crumbed path
you left in rhyme that leads to the good that connects us

your sensuous data proves though we are mini-
microbes in the universe, we are vast galaxies on the inside

your imagination rises moonlight huge, a monolith as
its power transforms, translates, transfers your essence

across time and space to me providing capsules
of intuitive understanding linking us

your inspiration reorders the centers of my thinking
your delivery births my inventions

your music rings the spheres like bells
that will peel down from age to age

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 07/08/14 * All Rights Reserved
A rewrite of a previous poem. Hopefully this is clearer and better achieved.



For Tim

In my vision you emerge from a fire,
a forest incandescent around you.
The flames purify your truth to essence
revealing there your regeneration.

A forest incandescent around you
transforms to shaded havens for new thought,
revealing your new regeneration
with its shining cleansed spiritual youth.

You grant a shaded haven of new thought
that buoys the ones you need to love and teach.
They’re swayed by your cleansed spiritual youth
but you remain aloof, beyond their reach.

They wait, the ones you need to love and teach,
for you to inform and give them license.
They yearn to reunite with you now they’ve
seen flames purify your truth to essence.

The time has come to bestow your license,
allow truth to imbue their spirits too.
That which revealed your regeneration
now radiates through them in its brilliance.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 6.19.2014* All Rights Reserved

Commencement’s Not An Ending

mortarboardVUYour years at school are coming to a close.
So difficult to leave and say goodbye.
In your young life, this time was as you chose.
By concentrating on this stage of life
you studied courses you should know about.
You found the friends who satisfied your needs,
you conquered insecurities and doubt.
You met those challenges with skill and ease.
Your path ahead is waiting in the mist;
more choices there will limit what you’ll do.
For now, depend upon experience,
and those you love and trust who love you too.

Accept your future glows like oyster’s pearl.
You’re meant to be a leader in this world!

Posted for Tony Maude’s prompt on Sonnets -
this is for my granddaughter’s college graduation.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 5.1.14

Straw In The Wind

2010-12-28 13.54.35The great depression felt
for thousands like an empty straw
and most men were grabbing for one
filled with a dose of hope.

Nearly every father on the high plains
felt like he’d drawn the short straw
’cause the fate of family and friends
was up to him, staring at an empty field.

The wind blew, picked up the dirt,
acres and acres of sand and straw.
It filled houses, cars, stores and everyone’s lungs
until clean air became the rarest commodity.

When that black storm Sunday came,
wiping out the first fine day in years,
it was a generation’s last straw.
The world had come to an end for many.

If there was air to breathe to stay alive
if there were jobs to earn bread and keep,
If there was straw to weave, and baskets to fill
somewhere else, then it became the time to leave.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.25.14 * All Rights Reserved

Tell It To The Shadows



Tell it to the shadows
as they dance and wave,
stick-men on the windows
rumbas swaying on the panes.

In silhouettes of flowers,
pointing out the routes of bees
and other insects who motor
trails between the trees.

Listen to the shadows
who whisper songs of play.
Actors in the sun’s tableaux
in colors dark as clay.

Live among the shadows;
watch as light gives way
to purples as they undergo
a contrast in the underlay .

Lie within the shadows
as the moon sends highways
to the night, while star glow
calls us all to float away..

© Gay Reiser Cannon *4.24.14* All Rights Reserved

Love Song to Dancing with the (Ice) Stars


Charlie White and Meryl Davis – Sonja Henie – Me at Dallas Nationals

At nine, the score to Skater’s Waltz appealed
to me with Sonja’s photo gracing it.
I could not guess I would insinuate
myself into that complex and crazy world,
that I would bear a child obsessed to skate.
That this ice discipline would join with dance
as well, would have both shocked and puzzled me.

But now, ice judge for thirty years, I’m hooked!
Therefore, I was delighted when our U.S.
dance team in Sochi earned Olympic Golds;
and then became contestants on that well
watched television dancing show because
their young dance choreographer enticed
that dazzling couple to the ballroom floor.

Already, fans of both The Voice and Danc-
ing with the Stars, my friend and I must choose
each Monday night which show to watch and which
record – the agonizing wait to find
which singers will survive and learn the scores
for Meryl Davis and for Charlie White.
It’s fun to see that creativity!

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.17.14

a response to a self-portrait (of sorts) and to the pop culture prompt of the day for NaPoWriMo at Writer’s Digest


Earth’s Loss

Ogborone from the book MASKE - art photos  © Phyllis Galembo

Ogborone from the book MASKE – art photos © Phyllis Galembo

It seems an annual vile masquerade
of camouflage that masks the great deceit –
to hunt is justified. By their intrigue
of luring forest dwellers to descend
into their traps, what they, in fact, desire
is pleasuring themselves by deaths to possess

the total aggregate the animals possess.
They claim they need their meat; but masquerade
their true intent, the festering desire
for more: gain power, conquer by deceit.
They don’t assess the cost as they descend
into blood lust while plotting new intrigue.

A few demented minds who use intrigue,
inflict great pain on creatures who possess
no natural defense to guns. Descend
into those psyches, strip their masquerade.
Their cruel methods reveal deceptions
enhance their want, their weapons, their desire.

Do they respect the creatures’ needs, their desire
to feed and shelter their own young? Intrigue
and dark designs may yield more deceit
as they, like men of old, who tracked, possess
some now unneeded skills. This fact they masquerade
as need before they take their young, descend

again to ritualistic haunts, descend
with cautious words as they’re the prey desired
by deer or elk. Sometimes they masquerade
while dressed in their dead furs, suppose intrigue.
The animals would plot demise, and would possess
outstanding skill, while using wild deceit.

These men presume their minds would craft deceit
like wolf, or bear or fox. This lore allows descent
to worlds of mythic times where they possess
more skill than they’ve acquired; when need, desire
made hunting mandatory by intrigue,
when their survival was not masquerade.

Through their deceit and mad-to-kill desire,
the hunters now descend through wild intrigue;
possess a madness through their masquerade.

© Gay Reiser Cannon

A Sestina – (my second) – posted for day 13 on Writer’s Digest PAD for April Poetry Month and posted for 4.15.14 for my friend Anthony’s prompt using Phyllis Galembo’s fine arts photographs. 

The Rapacious

My eyes
can see the dark
and hidden places where
they meet to steal the wealth beneath
our feet, contaminate the air we breathe.
They play a propaganda game,
extolling wealth that will
be gained as they
the threat they pose
to water, air, and land.
Distracting us with techno toys
as they position mean machines that tear
the gas and oil from mile deep rocks.
Those profits will enrich
the haughty few
with lives
of Gatsby wealth
insured by covert schemes
while taking it away from those
who need it most. They’re drilling deep below
our homes, releasing side effects –
disease and parasites.
Cabals control
by lies,
denying deeds;
their greed extracts great tolls
on earth and all who dwell thereon.
What they forget is even wealth will not
protect them from the ravages
that they’ve unleashed. They too
may face what they

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.8.2014

in response to the form I composed and named “Falling Diamonds”  or the “Quarrel” (so named for a quarrel window – made of diamond shaped window panes).

It is composed of a series of lines beginning with one line of one iambic foot, then two, three, four, five, four, three, two iambic feet and then again one iambic foot where the one foot lines must rhyme. Basically then the form is blank verse that is shaped in diamonds or triangles with one sustaining middle rhyme. You may choose to add either internal or end rhymes as well but the only requirement is for the one foot lines to rhyme. Hyphenating end words is prohibited. A minimum of two diamonds should be made.

It occurs to me (after having written this poem) that an interesting use of the form would be to devote each diamond to one viewpoint and the next to the opposing viewpoint, a debate, a true quarrel.