Riches and Rhymes

The Poetry and Writing of Janis Gaines

Month: September, 2015

To You, From God

To: You

From: God

By BekahM


My darling, My sweetheart, My love, My dear

I am always with you, yes I am always near

My beautiful, My exquisite, My precious work of art

When you smile or when you laugh, so does My heart

My love for you is overwhelming

I am calling out your name

No matter what you do

I will love you just the same

I did not make a mistake, when it was you that I chose

My treasure, My jewel, My child, My rose

I will say it again and again, until you really believe it

I love you, My masterpiece

So please, receive it

My darling, My sweetheart, My love, My dear

I am always with you, so do not ever fear

My beautiful, My exquisite, My precious work of art

My joy, My pearl, we will never be apart.

***NOTE: This poem was written by one of my former students, BekahM. She emailed this to me one random Thursday back in January 2015, and it was so timely as I was beginning a new writing class, which had been a spirit-led decision for me. It really felt like a personal love letter from God. I don’t know if she wrote this just for me, but it sure seemed like it. I was so touched and so grateful. I’ve never had a student do anything like this before or since. This girl is very poetic and musically talented. I hope she keeps writing!


Two-Way Poem


Read it top-to-bottom and then from bottom to top.


View original post

Clever Poem


Interesting meter! Each line is the sum of the previous two lines.


View original post

A Thank You Note


I received this sweet thank you note from a former E3 student this summer. It tickled me because he actually diagrammed a sentence in the letter AND he pointed out at the end that he had written the whole thing with ZERO be verbs, hehe.


View original post

Former Student Alan Blinder



Very proud of former student, Alan Blinder, and his journalism success! Publishing for The New York Times is as good as it gets. Alan was my student at GACS when he was in 6th grade, and I knew he was meant for leadership even then. He wanted to lead a Model UN in my Social Studies class, which we did. He would read the biography of Colin Powell in his leisure time. He was on a daily email list for the White House and had plans to be President one day. He has met many famous people in politics. And, fun fact, he’s a Valentines’ Day baby. Honored to have been a part of his journey!

View original post


I found this metaphor about how we choose oranges and relationships to be surprisingly intimate. This poem was originally posted here.


By Roisin Kelly

I’ll choose for myself next time
who I’ll reach out and take
as mine, in the way
I might stand at a fruit stall

having decided
to ignore the apples
the mangoes and the kiwis
but hold my hands above

a pile of oranges
as if to warm my skin
before a fire.
Not only have I chosen

oranges, but I’ll also choose
which orange — I’ll test
a few for firmness
scrape some rind off

with my fingernail
so that a citrus scent
will linger there all day.
I won’t be happy

with the first one I pick
but will try different ones
until I know you. How
will I know you?

You’ll feel warm
between my palms
and I’ll cup you like
a handful of holy water.

A vision will come to me
of your exotic land: the sun
you swelled under
the tree you grew from.

A drift of white blossoms
from the orange tree
will settle in my hair
and I’ll know.

This is how I will choose
you: by feeling you
smelling you, by slipping
you into my coat.

Maybe then I’ll climb
the hill, look down
on the town we live in
with sunlight on my face

and a miniature sun
burning a hole in my pocket.
Thirsty, I’ll suck the juice
from it. From you.

When I walk away
I’ll leave behind a trail
of lamp-bright rind.

Source: Poetry (September 2015)


A Torrid Truth

You talk to me with a straight face
And pretend to tell me the truth
But the story from the left side of your mouth
Doesn’t match the right
You relay the hard facts
Without so much as a tremble
Somehow your voice is too nimble
And I’m on to you
You’re ready with the trite word and phrase
But I’m still left in a haze
Of disbelief
You can say it again and again
And I’ll repeat your words if you want me to
But I know the truth
The underbelly of the danseuse
Is scantily clad in lace and bright rags
And though you have mad gyrations to distract me
A verbiage of smoke and mirrors
I can clearly see
A vulnerability
A mark, a plain truth

Don’t try to hide
After all, the world will know
When you have passed out drunk
On your own urine


© September 11, 2015
Asheville, NC

This poem was inspired by listening to the replay of the 9/11 news tapes (“9/11: As It Happened”). Some of the reporters were too composed at times and often changed their wording, their story. I remember thinking years ago when this event first happened that the whole news system was too quick and too unified to announce a “war on terror,” as if it had been pre-scripted, pre-planned. I, personally, believe there is so much controversy surrounding the whole event; I don’t believe everything that we’ve been told. The image of the dancing girl is a metaphor for the whole political system. We are often seduced and entertained, even as we are being lied to. This poem ended a little darker than I had expected, but once I’m that far into a poem, they typically write themselves and that seemed to be what needed to be said. Also, I almost wanted to write “a plane truth” but decided it might be too cheesy. It’s probably not obvious from the rest of the poem that this is what it’s about. Ultimately, I think it can have broader applications for anyone who has ever felt conned.