Joan Leotta – Three Poems


Lilies of the Valley

Lilies of the Valley—
small white bells
whose fragrance ascends
to God with puff and huff
of spring’s new breath.

They grew abundantly in
Grandma’s rock garden
among her hosta
on the shady side of her porch.
That very first spring day
when grandma brought
her glider out of winter storage
I would stand on the cushions,
climb over the iron
railing , carefully
lower myself and crouch among
those tiny nodding bells to
fill my lungs and soul with their
aroma of hope.

Feather on Stone

My words fall like
feathers on their stone
My words and I
in sheltered
spaces between stone
and ground.
A hammer strike could
split the rock
revealing a geode.
then my wisdom
can slip into
its bright bit of color
in the empty vase of
their mind space.
Or not.

Feather to Stone

You see me as a feather,
as I ride the breeze
down to you, gently
You say you
do not even feel me
when I land on your heart,
Your hardness
deflects my tiny
When breeze calls again,
I float away, weeping for you.
You cannot move.
Your stone self is
in equally hard earth,
of understanding that my
very softness,
my lightness, is my
You are forgiven.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is an idea, a seed planted watered and that blooms only in an abundance of love. Kindness, compassion, truth, and the twins justice and mercy, cultivate her. The measure each of these gives to her care shapes and forms her within the soul. Once formed, she then takes action, sharing herself in the realm of thought and in the kingdom of real deeds to spread joy wherever she goes.  This is beauty…in word, in thought, in deed…whether in art, in a person, or even in an object, man or nature made…beauty springs from the inner realm, revealing itself in love.


Joan Leotta has been playing with words on page and stage since childhood. She is a journalist, poet, fiction author performer. Her poetry and essays appear or are forthcoming in Gnarled Oak, A Quiet Courage, A-3 Review, Silver Birch, Postcard Poems and Prose among others. Joan’s first poetry chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, will be out in March 2017 from Finishing Line. Her performances include folklore presentations and one-woman shows of historical figures. You can find her walking the beach or online at