I Remember Kosovo


I Remember Kosovo

The sun is warm on my face
the smell of grapes are just outside my door
a vineyard of goodness
just like the people, strong and adoring.

The day trips, poetry readings
dancing to rock and roll.
The land still calls to me
and I want to be there.

My brothers and sisters
await my arrival, it is my home.
You’re always in my prayers
I remember you, I remember Kosovo.

There is a spiritual love
among the family, a guiding force
that I’ve never known at all.
Take me back O’ Universe
just once more.

My Eden, my heaven on earth
I’ll never be the same.
I remember you, Beloved Kosovo.

Poem: (c) Janet P. Caldwell
Photo (c) William S. Peters, Sr.

The Wise Old Man

Wise Old Man

The Wise Old Man

My feet picked up the dirt of the ages and sages
exploring carefully in sandals through a bombed out house.
It was only a skeleton, broken bones and needed crutches.
Anything to hold it up with a loving touch would suffice.

For miles I saw these ruins and for miles, I cried.
Where were the people who once inhabited them?
Were they still alive?
I could not understand the hate that had invaded them.

A small toothless man appeared and took my hand,
his skin was weathered like leather.
He was full of bullet holes and shrapnel
pierced his side. He simply smiled and glowed
as he began to tell me of the war that took his earthly life.

He told me of the ones that wanted control
of his life and land. The evil-doers are always
busy and close at hand. He held his ground
and to this day, walks the land telling stories
from that awful day.

He also told me to love my enemies
and I was shocked. This wise old man knew their fate
too, for there was no room for hate, only the promise
of better days, when you let go, even in death
he takes this stand.

The Cultivated Ones


The Cultivated Ones

The pampered roses are are all bred
much like step-ford wives to look alike.
From seedling to flowering
with abundant care, they do survive.

The gardener making sure they lay in measured mulch
are properly watered, holding the moisture
to prevent unwanted weeds from drinking and growing.
Halting the choking of a prized dressing of a cultivated lawn.

Unaware they are slaves to man’s idea of beauty
and never serving themselves.

Now, look at the daisy, some say she’s ugly,
just a wild, uncultured weed.
I say she’s a beauty, bending with the wind
growing sturdy through arid ground, so wild and free.

She’s the clever one, she’s cast off conformity.

Janet P. Caldwell December 16, 2015

Grateful and Pleased


Grateful and Pleased

I have lived a good life
been loved by many
have 2 great children
and 4 grandchildren.

I have you, a song in my heart
and more than plenty.
There is nothing that I need and for that
I am eternally grateful, so pleased.

(c) Janet P. Caldwell

Pic: Free Google Images

For the Lady who ironed my Shirt

esra palace 2


For the Lady who Ironed my Shirt

You sat quietly on your appointed throne
fussing over your guests
to make all of us feel at home.

Little did you know
what a treat this was for me
as I do my own ironing
washing and cleaning.

I was treated as a Queen
from beginning to end.

When I think of you
it brings a tear to my eye
my sister, my friend.

As I approached you
crumpled shirt in hand
the ironing board seemed
to appear out of nowhere.

You arose as if to set my worries free
I smiled, extended my hand
and your soft eyes gazed at me.

We had a language barrier
but not for long . . .
who could not read
the needs between sisters
and the task set before you
was immediately understood.

Within minutes, there was a gentle
rap on my door. Your smiling face appeared
with my crease-less shirt
on a hangar, dangling from your arm.

I thank you and thanked you
and in your own way
you said that none was needed
it was your pleasure to help me
to begin fresh, to start my day.

Again, When I think of you
it brings a tear to my eye
my sister, my friend.
I love you and your giving ways.

(c) Janet P. Caldwell

Authors Note: While attending the International Poetry Festival in Rahovek, Kosovo, I had the good fortune to stay at Esra Palace and the staff could not have been more courteous.  This day a beautiful sister not only ironed my shirt but when I was looking for the hair dryer, she misunderstood and offered her own comb to me, later to find the dryer in my own room. The day before we left, she washed, dried and ironed all of our clothes. It was all we could do to give her a tip.  I cried at her selflessness.

I hope to see her again one day and wash her clothes. The waiters were just as gracious and on point. They would not even allow me to carry a coke or ashtray to my table on the veranda over-looking the beautiful vineyards of Rahovek, Kosovo. We almost had to throw money at them and run for their tip, which they more than earned. I highly recommend Esra Palace as home away from home.