Riches and Rhymes

The Poetry and Writing of Janis Gaines

Category: Uncategorized

Interview in Clay Mag


This week, I was honored to be interviewed by Aina Do in Clay Magazine for The Potter’s School!

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January 2018

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Like Peering Through Glass

Like peering through glass
I see your soul, transparent
In all its kaleidoscope colors
Fine art on display
Onlookers marvel and wonder
How you were made
Like exotic creatures in a cage
And the signs all around say,
“Caution! Do not touch!”


© December 26, 2017
Tryon, NC


I’ve left breadcrumbs on the trail —
On this dark, windy path through the forest,
Where small footprints tread softly.

What were you thinking, really,
Heading that way in the first place?
Like Hansel and Gretel — did you find
Yourself seduced by a glitter-thing and
A sweet treat?
Some fabled fairy tale of freedom?
“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.”

When you find yourself in a witch’s
Fun-house of horrors, eat this bread,
And drink this cup
To find your way home.


© February 7, 2017
Tryon, NC

So this came in the mail…


I’ve been speechless for the past week. This was completely unexpected, and I feel quite touched and honored by this gift from Alyssa. She created a beautiful calligraphy piece with a line from one of my personal poems called The Journey. Alyssa, you are a creative writer and artistic talent through and through. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us this past school year. This will live in my yoga/art room/library and continue to inspire me for years to come. A thousand thanks! ❤

“For I journeyed to the rainbow’s end
Faith turned to gold, but you, my friend
Are the treasure my heart desires.”


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Love Rock

I painted this about a month and a half ago. It’s a love rock; two sides of the same rock. The first pic (Love) doesn’t show the glitter finish, but it has it now. Looks more like the flip-side (Destiny). It’s about the size of the palm of my hand.

I had fun painting this – something new and different. And hopeful. I may put it outside, but for now, it sits on an end table in the living room. I was trying to model a similar rock that someone gave me when I first moved to Asheville. It’s smaller and blue; it says believe and the colors are beautiful. I will add a pic of that one soon.

Rocks are everywhere. Would love to paint more and maybe hide them as surprises for others to find or perhaps just give them away as little love gifts.

© March 2, 2016
Tryon, NC

Under a Tree

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I love how this turned out. It was my first painting on canvas. It’s about 16×20. I was also honored to use my sister’s former boyfriend’s paintbrush; the canvas had been a gift from her. Andrew had been an artist and he died unexpectedly several years ago. The painting currently hangs in my sunroom.

I know it’s simplistic and it probably looks like something a five-year-old would do, but I love it. It’s very symbolic and meaningful for me. This has been my screensaver on my phone for the past several weeks.

Would still love to do an art class someday. Maybe soon. 🙂

© March 9, 2016
Tryon, NC

Former Student Thanks

Always touched to get these notes…


(edited slightly since this was for two teachers)

Hi, Ms. Gaines!

I just wanted to send this email as a way of saying “thank you.” 
I appreciate so much all the time you invested in me as my English3 teacher. I cannot even begin to express how much that class has helped me. 
My dual credit Federal Government term paper (the one everyone stressed about) seemed a breeze. The ACT and SAT essays, I thought, were fun! Why? Because I had two wonderful TPS English teachers who pushed me to do the arduous work of developing my writing a long time ago. Thank you. 
I’m VERY HAPPY about everything you taught me. Ms. Gaines, this past summer I was able to CLEP Freshman College English.
Thank you SO much! Due to your influence and the abundant grace of God, I have been able to secure 12 college credits by my junior year in high…

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Two-Way Poem


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


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Clever Poem


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


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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.


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