Kay’s Bouquet

Somewhere south of the clouds and east of the plains
lies a phantasmagoria known as Kay’s garden of dreams.
Flowers, hedges, and walkways interspersed
with fountains of various shapes bring cool
illusions and inspirations to her imaginings.

The garden changes often, the flowers
change and fade from shade to shade
as she passes through them. It contains
plants and herbs as well for her choosing
with each different fragrance giving
rise to a kaleidoscopic floral array.

She awakes before the dawn and Aurora
keeps her company as she plucks her bouquet.
Whether it’s daffodils, lilacs, hyacinths,
tulips, roses, gardenias, dahlias, or other flowers,
she places her cuttings in her mind’s crystal vases
and lets them decorate her thoughts through the day.

At twilight, the goddess Luna takes her hand,
and through the silver starred journey of night
the garden alters once again as they pass.
The stories of her mind proceed to new
and different paths when morning once again
awakens music in her ears and beauty in her sight.

For Kay Hart on her birthday on January 30, 2022

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 3.12.22 * All Rights Reserved



A perfect symbol for the age,
the giant human universe compressed
into the tiny package of a girl
with bright brown eyes and long, neat braids.

A tardis with a fitted auto-lock,
She keeps her secrets sealed up tight
until she first explores the lot,
and then reveals the ones she thinks just might

now make the world a better place;
might guard the good, prevent its fall,
might grant to friends a sense of grace,
release new songs into the hall.

The music codifies what’s known.
The seasons change; the seeds are sown.

March 19, 2022 © Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

Birthday Letter 2021

I’ve seen late autumn’s half-bare trees against a partly cloudy sky on other birthdays when you were here with me or at times when you were very far away and I remembered you.

I was here at this window all those years–same sky, same sun playing hide and seek with different clouds of different shapes.

You’re five years dead now. Nearly all traces of you have vanished except photographs and souvenirs. There is no marker for you as you merged with the sand and the wind, then sent your spirit soaring to another realm.

So I write another scribble as the gilded five tarnishes to gray to match the fresh paint trim on the house. Two plus three didn’t make us equal. Two initials didn’t join us. Similar views didn’t meld us. But we raced through lexicons of words, and fantasized a thousand scenarios imagining ourselves in countless roles wearing fantastic costumes. They formed a strange but loose bond.

It wasn’t like any other. It probably didn’t have a name. We just were whatever it was and the mold was made. We aged in it–from middle age to old, and then you left and I stay while the music lingers.

(C) Gay Reiser Cannon * November 5, 2021* All Rights Reserved

Easter 2021

Passion Death Resurrection
Light and sympathy seep through the cracks
of this old house.

Outside the iris bloom,
the dandelions now gone white
await the next breeze to float away.

Beyond this vacuum of a year or more
Covid deaths daily mount
Those lost souls now spiral into space.

Yet, I live to see another spring; sing another song.
Memories, those awakened holograms dance around me,
make me smile again–and cry.

Joy realized in random moments!

© Gay Reiser Cannnon – 4/13/2021 * All Rights Reserved

The Love Affair

rose on piano

It started, perhaps, when I was nine.
I can’t exactly say if at that time it was mine; a budding romance.

There were a few meetings when I was younger
I approached hesitantly to look a little longer; not ready for romance.

By the time I was twelve I knew.
Nobody, nothing else would do; my true love, this defined romance.

I was forced to leave my lover twice.
My feet carried me forward, a lost look in my eyes; grieving for my romance.

After college, we were able to find our space.
My hands fluttered, every night my heart raced; enthralled in this romance.

For these many years, I have spent hours, engaged most of my days
Touching my lover’s soul;  that love fortifies me in myriad ways,
In melodies gay, — my piano’s been my lifetime romance.

© Gay Reiser Cannon – 6.14.2019   All Rights Reserved
This is a Rubiyat which requires a signatory name in the last line.


onewomandanceralonePhoto Eicho dancing in Chile – William Johnston -NYTimes

What is a tango for one,
sad music of a lone guitar?
What use are red high heels
when they have no mates?
The cobbled streets are lonely,
The shops are shuttered,
The cathedral bells are dull.
The bandoneon bends hearts
with more longing and more desire.
I turn slowly, on my own,
now that my partners
are gone.

©Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.24.2017

At at the End


two notes with long fermatas
sitting on opposing staffs
they were like that
in a gray world of weary waiting

each day sunlight refracted through clouds
of time that held familiarity and terror
they passed each other in the markets
breathing the same heavy air

she dropped her glove; he found it
and kept it in his coat pocket
imagining its owner, as she pondered
its loss along with the others

both sensed the perilous times
both heard the plinking keys
plucking tunes from their hearts
giving them courage before

they were detained and taken away

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.23.2017

Souvenirs – a Décima

We spent those days sometimes confused —
the acts that touched, the words that soothed,
the days that stuck, the nights that moved.
Throughout the years, the paint came loose.
but lessons learned remain in use.
The joys, the gains still bring us smiles;
the lost, the cuts, recall the trials.
My albums sing a life’s refrain,
love filled mementos bright or plain.
A trail of life, its light diffused.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.2.16 * All Rights Reserved

The décima is a Spanish form of 10 lines – rhymed ABBAACCDDC – in principle of 8 syllables, though the rather relaxed method of counting syllables in Spanish verse means that lines can actually be anything from 6 to 10 syllables. I’ve just kept to the standard English Iambic tetrameter.)


Beside the door the reaper waits.
The seasons change, the winds still whip.
Some days slide by and others strip

themselves to shreds, then lie like slates
upon the floor. Our hearts are sore,
we seek the peace that culminates

in sleep that lies beyond our fingertips;
still by the door the reaper waits.

An Octain invented by Luke Prater – posted for Olivia’s d’Verse post on Octains

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 03-24-16 * All Rights Reserved

Vignettes Inspired by Pina Bausch

Viktor-Sadlers-Wells-1543 pina bausch

A scene from Viktor by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch @ Sadler’s Wells


Agony cavorts nightly at the bar
while songs divulge lost dreams
and broken expectations.
Notes clatter to the floor
as waiters wobble.Tables and
stools collapse. Patrons continue
to enter careful not to step on
limbs and organs lying there.


Outside garlands festoon the roadway.
A girl in gray chiffon pirouettes along the avenue.
With her eyes shut, she sings a liebeslied in toe shoes.
People move beside her forming a border to
her dance steps.


Random meets chaos forming art in the café.
lines overlay patterns –  abstractions of shapes
dissolving to nothing then reforming as something
else. Their shadows rise and fall disappearing
after they slither down the walls, moving to the
drum beat, they squat beneath occupied tables.


Blond man stands on an orange crate,
___________  orders:
“Dance happy as trains
loud as a dog that’s barking  JAZZ at linden trees.”

His blue eyes pierce the grayness
shining like moonlight on a saxophone.
An old couple rumbas on a black lacquer floor.
Their hips transpose rhythms to signals.
Their movement transforms time
into the value of pi.

Circles flatten
Spheres become cubes
the scene changes:

Sun drenched
the ballerina rotates in arabesque
(blood red)
on a platform……………..
a clock flies by
a train stops||
movement ……… dance feels like glass
                                 design …………………….light that flickers and moves
                                     structure………………………..dissolves into liquid

Another dancing dress ripples and flows down the tracks.


En pointe she lifts factories
She pulls down dictators
Her hair reaches up to the gate that reads:
Arbeit macht frei”
The smokestacks are quiet
Their shapes darken our history


Their trails crossed
Their shoes multiplied
They drank French and Russian
from ceramic cups
fired at 1300 degrees centigrade.

Meeting in skyscrapers
and on underground trains
noise wrapped them from view
yet branches of trees were
hung with silence.
Ancient fish awoke to
swim again.


Men began to fan their tails of a million eyes.
Girls hid all but their eyes behind large lace fans.
In a high school cafeteria,  a heavy black curtain
hides academic sins.


Workmen crowd at shop windows
Staring at undressed mannequins
Secretly they coveted their sisters’ dolls
and dream of undressing them.

The dolls cannot sing, recite poetry,
skip rope, or turn cart-wheels.
They can never run away,
refuse them or call them names.
No fierce warriors, bringers of light
(or darkness)
They only open and close
their eyes and nod their heads.


I wake
covered with strings
Behind us roars a waterfall
A river below us leads to some sea
What puppet-master dances me there?


Red shoes stomp
Palms mop the floor
Paso dobles wrinkle with heat


Dressed in black
she dances through her pain
her stomach’s riddled with holes
swastikas plague her steps in vain.

The wall behind’s alive with the art
of Diego Rivera- guitars strumming
flamenco. Her dress outlines all

November men balance on beams.
The light shifts
they live their dance before they fall.