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


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

The Tower

“In the mist stands the Tower …blind as a fool’s heart” *
where roping rings of clouds wreathe ’round its base
The questing trail traversing barren plains,
an age I’ve spent since I was charged to start.

But shelter can’t be found. Lightning bolts break
as I approach; low thunder shakes the ground.
Beyond the hills, light splits both air and clouds.
A fatal strike then forks–the tower cracks!

The prize I must retrieve is lost at once.
My mind so set, my thoughts so crystallized
they break apart, the bounty tossed away.

I fail my goal yet feel exuberance–
a sense of freedom materialized
when broken tower yields a shining day.

* Opening Line derived from Robert Browning’s Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came
© Gay Reiser Cannon * 10/8/2012 * All Rights Reserved

Lovers – A Game For Fools

© Jan Piller

With love and trust, a home and ring you pledged;
your prismed heart, you claimed, outshone the stars!
Our bid for jeweled suits, our glamour spread
on thin veneers of tangoed nights in bars,
we danced a dark exciting repertoire.
Then came the days you spread your tissued lies;
you sped on ribboned streets in racing cars
and played the deuce with packs of money guys.
But clubs left me word-scarred with no disguise;
you partied on and on while I played solitaire.
All night I walked the floor and sought reprise;
you left our home and fled the life we shared.
My heart lies rent in frozen splintered shards.
Our home has fallen like a house of cards.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 9/13/2012 * All Rights Reserved

Poetry In Motion

Michelle Kwan executing Outside Spread Eagle – Dallas 2003

I scratch my tip upon the empty space–
the word, on edge, about to surface real.
It hesitates, at last strikes forth with grace
then breathes, awaits the music, lights, and gel.

With vigor then, my thoughts begin to glide.
My mind creates with images in bursts;
from nothingness, I etch the pattern’s lines;
a piece designed by spins and changing turns.

These lines that flow become a part of me.
The discipline of practicing my craft
where phrasing executes its destiny
and climax turns on unexpected acts.

I finish, sign and sense my soul ignite,
astounded with relief, and true delight.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 7/12/2012 * All Rights Reserved

7.17.&18.2012 celebrating 1st Anniversary

dedicated to this 20th anniversary of the figure skating competition The Texas Cannon Open named for and honoring my husband, Don L. Cannon 1929-1991. We were among the first trailblazers who forged this club from nothing. He served over fifteen years as the club’s President and Test Chairman.