Halcyon Days

I’m sinking down into my bed.
It is swallowing me whole.
Halcyon days puts my delirium to rest. Not today.
No agenda and nothing to see over the horizon.
Did I lay a trap for myself to be in solitary confines.
I hear the traffic I pretend it’s the rush of the ocean waves.

Placing friends in compartments means they are there for the taking. Are they friends or props.
I’m swimming below the bed in sludge.
I’m reaching for threads of hope to pull me up.
Someone pull me up!
I hear a voice telling me….
“Be grateful, be grateful for the little things that are here.”
I focus on my breath
and in seconds I begin to say the things I’m grateful for over and again. Soon this mood is lifting and shards of light come to my mind.

Joann Cohen 2019



It was a day of darkness.
critical shelter was
needed for the thoughts that cracked my body
into a lifeless mess.
the world was dark, slimy, filled with horizontal lines in vertical spaces.
my mind imprisoned.
and each thought was taking steps to end it all.
my reasoning myopic, how do I temper justice and mercy upon myself.
a pill needed to be swallowed.
darkness walked beside me, calling me.
waiting in secrecy.
time almost devoured me
tearing me to pieces.
weeks had passed then,
Light feathered in through the cracks.

It was a day of sunlight and optimism. Children on open fields of grass, playing kick ball.
Lovers picnicking, toasting to a beautiful day. Sounds of laughter permeating the air my sweet being, soaking up the day and the beginning of my life had begun.
Joann Cohen2019


Mother my poetry belongs to you
You grew me in your sacred body
You nurtured me in a world of chaos
You taught me manners and how to take care of myself
All while sacrificing your very own dreams of becoming your dream
Where do I begin to say Thank you?
How do I honor what you have given me?
I look at each day I’m alive and feel the warm sunlight on my skin and remember those warm hugs you gave me and held me tight
The parables you taught me in Spanish
The cautious tales about men wanting only one thing “Los pinche putos “
And that one thing was to silence us as women into submission and servitude and to be their sexual being
that one thing was also to silence our voice of reason and logic
You taught us to never let anyone take advantage of us
“No dejes que nadie se aproveche de ti”
You said use your
voice and be heard
You whispered this in secret as we watched your silent frustrations serve up meals clean diaper after diaper wash cook clean have another baby
All the while producing beautiful children who were your strong offspring
While your dream withered away from exhaustion
My life is your living dream
I speak up
My voice of reason and logic makes a difference
I am strong yet I am gentle like you Madre
Each day I begin with a stronger sense of self
Thank you for those whispers in the night
Joann Cohen 2019


I want stacks of poetry and literature books littering my living room. Paintings with bright orange abstracts hanging on my walls. Exotic plants competing for sunlight. In my cupboards, an array of teas and coffees. A jar of espresso biscotti ready to be dipped in my choice of my refined beverage. Then a shelf of cds that play jazz classical and modern music. Me on my overstuffed couch set right below the window, where the light travels to my stage. And I curl up with a fleece blanket Reading my book, perhaps Keats, Whitman or Langston. Their words I contemplate looking for hidden meanings and the hope of humanity in their paragraphs and stanzas.

Joann Cohen 2018