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.

Vignettes Inspired by Pina Bausch


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 lieder 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,
“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 transform 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          glass
    design                            light
       structure                                 liquid

A green dress ripples and flows


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 pottery 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 dreampt of undressing them.

The dolls could not sing, recite poetry,
skip rope, or turn cart-wheels.
They could 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.






Last Winter

Winter icicles stretch roof to hedge.
Squirrels burrow beneath snow-covered leaves
for ungathered acorns. Texas snow is fleeting –
they’re never prepared. They chase each other
shaking off the dusty snow. Up trees, over roofs
their blood is up and their appetites excited.
Spring comes early..and so do little ones.
I watch them racing past late blooming roses
and a single flowering quince.

*   *   *

Our aging shrub blooms.
The dying season cuts short
the hope for bouquets.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

My first haibun.  Hope it qualifies. I have written haiku for years..but still fall short of the mark.

In The Time Of Sand

I came from the dirt
In the time of sand
Picked from our teeth
before and after meals,
sand sifted out of the air
every night clearing the way
for starlight.

The wind howled at the moon
and the sand-drifts covered
the loam, rocks, tarry clay,
and the scratchy white caliche.
Some days it burned but we
never saw it glow.

My cousins and I played
marbles, baseball, dolls in it
kicking the sand that filled
our shoes, stuck to our skin,
and more. Moving, it hid
the broken and the whole.

Blinding our watching eyes, sand
shielded the monsters from the light.
piling up in front of locked doors.
The gypsies stole the keys and
the brooms. The coyotes howled,
tracked through it knowing the moon
saw the truth but wouldn’t tell.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 1/7/2016 * All Rights Reserved



I have touched roses
when only tiny buds,
on refined stems–
roses I would sometimes rob
of their primal bloom.
I have probed their
hidden textures,
their scents still green.

I have held roses
at their loveliest,
clad with dew drops.
Their fragrance filled me
with an unknown longing.
I sought and found answers
for their concentric turnings.

I have tasted ripe
roses in full bloom,
dispatched the flowers
devouring them hips and all.
Immersing myself
in their sultry luxury,
I inhaled their thick musk.

Wound in roses
I continue to contemplate
their complexity
and their source.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

Dark Wings


Starless, endless night.
Dreams of thickets filled with crows;
morning shines black jewels.

Paisley etched headaches
scarred by tree dreamed slashes;
shadow shards define day.

New percussive beats,
metal clanks between heartbeats;
ragged breaths paint fears.

Dark stillness pervades.
A portentous quiet crawls.
Time runs down the trees.

Horrors stick to buildings;
the crossroads speak travesties.
The earth remembers.

Injustice rustles
sheets of anonymity,
shreds to expose them.

As gloom-filled sorrows
weep, blithe memories of light
stream through forest boughs.

Day breaks like eggshells.
Blue jays shatter silent leaves;
clouds re-ink rainbows.

Crows now fly away,
I begin to breathe once more.
Fog lifts; we emerge.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 7.30.2015. All Rights Reserved


Photo of my cat from British Museum.

Photo of my Egyptian cat from British Museum.

“Time’s measured in a thin line on a cat’s back.”
“O sacred cat! Your mouth is the mouth of the god Atum” *
Nine lives, “tick //TocK//tick” clicks the art of

space and form moving first largo then allegro vivace.
The andante sonata of life becomes the sound of
the way Rome looks, stays as eternal as love.

Purple-ribboned skies extend the emperor’s roads.
Then shadows, dark as catacombs,
frighten the bravest of crows and chanticleers.

“Let no Chaldean clairvoyant compute your
time of existence” nor guess your chosen one.
Cats and men have died for love–

but for living we are born,
not to worship fresh fears
or build shrines to cool starlight.

Feline grace scrapes against walls of slavery,
the terrain tilts.  As the poles waver at twilight,
rain settles and sleep silences.

Drip-drops even-out the hours,
turn minutes into eons,
count the grains of star dust.

Pain arches, bell-curved like the cat’s back,
intensifies and diminishes, a life wave.
Corinthian columns march,

dreams creep onstage, move
to the center mark and wait
while the spotlight stops.

There “make-believe” enters stage right
waits on an iron balcony
by a wall of red bricks.

The masquerade proceeds.
Where birds perch,
day mews on the night.

1. Egyptian hymn from the 4th Century BC*
2. Horace *

From Claudia’s Poem: 2 lines: ” time’s measured in a thin line on a cat’s back” and
“tick //TocK//tick” to respond to the challenge prompt to use a line from Claudia or Brian’s challenge poems. Posted for d’Verse Poets Pub MTB challenge 2/26/15.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved * 2/25/2015


She’s tall and elegant with fairest face
her history dates back before these times.
She changes through all ages yet remains
mellifluous, mysterious, and fine.

She’s herald for the royals who played at war,
a gift to salve an aching mother’s heart,
a tribute from the poor when laid in prayer
a pledge of truth and troth when lovers part.

I give to you this sign of family,
a symbol of your beauty in repose.
Its lines are drawn on all you sanctify–
on vases, jewelry, furnishings and clothes.

Great love has left its imprint to disclose
and mark you as a Woman of the Rose.

Y’all may have to read this with my Texas accent. Royals and prayer should be read as a one syllable word, and jewelry as two to be “impure” iambic pentameter.  Well, that’s how I pronounce them, ok? This was written for my granddaughter Valerie’s 17th birthday. She speaks Florida, but she should understand this pretty well.

It’s being posted for Björn’s MTB article on Voltas. A Volta typically happens on line 9 of a sonnet and means a turn from the original statement of the poem.  It’s where the poem “heads home”. Here I change from the history of the rose to giving it symbolically to my granddaughter.

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved * 02.16.15

Odin’s Revelation – The Hanged Man



His Quest to master Ecstasy
and gain Valhalla’s apogee
drove Odin’s cryptic sacrifice
by hanging on the famed world tree.

He spent nine days near his demise
so he could glean the runes, grow wise.
The words revealed life’s paradox —
a man reborn can conquer vice.

Without an act, thought opens locks;
by changing view, new fortune knocks.
While being still, a path appears
and tosses loss upon the rocks.

His mind had shed his former fears
by seeing life in sets of tiers
to know all life is joined, adheres
to other life as earth to spheres.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 02.11.15. All Rights Reserved



in the belief
that music shapes the world
I celebrate your day in song
November’s melody of red and gold
beats first in whispers of the wheat
then crackling leaves mark time
their rhythm builds
the cardinals
mix chirps of joy with crows,
their chorus wakes the dawning day
tree trunks then shuffle, creak in counterpoint
as streaming sunbeams dance between
their shadowed golden leaves;
the latest air
composed by rippling brooks
as rocks and water harmonize
I see your gold flecked eyes express delight
I take your hand, we walk in step
through amber afternoons
we two still bound

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * 12.1.2014 * All Rights Reserved
example of Original Form – Falling Diamonds – Quarrel
(c) Gay Reiser Cannon

Fair Days


When the sunlight’s soft yellow
coloring leaves from within;
soft skies streaked with blue ribbons
pierce tall pines scumbed stark green;
when squashes and pumpkins
seem to get more gold than their share–
once again it’s time for the fair.

“I wanted the music to go on forever”
I wanted us to be easy and gay.
I wanted the lights to dance on the river
like stars turned on night and day.
We would be children then and forever
hop-scotching our likes, teasing our loves.
We would ride boats and merry-go-rounds,
their lights would twinkle ‘til close.

The midway of madness would last all our lives.
We’d dress up as jesters and jeer at the rubes,
we’d braid rhinestones of rainbows into our hair,
then paint our future from the brims of full tubes.
Our faces would glitter daring guile to emerge,
as calliopes, bells, and brass bands swelled the fall air
with smells of candy, and popcorn; those midway treats
whose memories still bring the taste of their sweets.

But this year fair days descend to drear and to gloom;
empty and vacant like sandlots left with broken balloons,
nothing but refuse, bits of paper from tarts
broken prizes, promises, among discarded hearts.

We dared both gravity and fate
as we flew carefree above the throng.
Those crazy house mirrors that delayed
winking flirtations, this year have gone.
The promises made on a ferris-wheel ride
have vanished along with our song.
This autumn holds me in a black-eyed stare,
how can I ever go back to the fair.

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * 11.6.2014 * All Rights Reserved