I wrote this poem years ago to honor my own multi-racial, interfaith family. I’ve since reworked it to reflect my larger, worldwide family.

Thanks for taking a moment to read it.


 a celebration,
a continuity, 
a flowing unity, 
the chorus that sings:
We are valuable people.
So, arise from the depths, dear souls,
penetrate unconscious snags and sweep aside senseless predispositions.
Breathe our common air, embrace our dispossessed.
assert we all stand as kin.




Early am fogHalf past sunrise.

The woodland mist around my house dissipates.

Damp dirt, pine, and wildflower fragrance tease my nose.

A light breeze brushes my face and the underbrush rustles.

Are forest dwellers changing shifts?

Or dryads winding down their overnight play?

Early morning fog

A lone mourning dove sings its sorrow.

I close my eyes and contemplate my mountain home.

Gentleness and wildness,

hospitality and hostility,

mythology and reality

all meld together.

I yearn to capture this moment, keep it forever.

Early morning fog

But I can only create a memory.

I sip my strong espresso.

Something stings my ankle. I set down my cup, swipe the culprit away, and scratch. It flies into my coffee.

I lift my camera, scan the bush through its lens.

I snap my photos and muse:

Can treetops touch the sky?



American Independence Day


celebrate our investment in our right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,”

aspire to our “American Dream,” a home, suitable work, and a good education,

hope that each generation prospers better than the one preceding it,

pledge our commitment to “liberty and justice for all,”

strengthen our proclaimation that our  government is

“of the people, by the people, and for the people,”


when the barbeques, baseball games, and fireworks are over,

we remember how our country paid for it’s freedom,

review the reasons we call it home,

and reaffirm that

“we the people” have an obligation to come together as “one nation,”


participate in our political process

by keeping ourselves informed,

by debating our goals and principles,

and by striving toward “the will of the people.”

We Americans have been around for 237 years–not a long history within the context of measuring civilizations, but long enough to look back and review and accept who we are, what we’re really about, and how we arrived at our present place. Then, perhaps, we can ask where we want to go from here and plan politically, socially, and culturally inclusive ways to get there.

The Gift

courtesy of Joann Pensabene March 2013

courtesy of Joann Pensabene
March 2013

The icicle descends from the roof’s overhang.

Nature’s Sculpture.

Title: Extended Chicken Leg with Attached Foot.

Given to: ME.
A parting gift from the winter that started late and outlasted its welcome.

Response: Weird, wonderful, exquisite. Unique.

My pulse soared.
I grabbed my camera and clicked.

Next day, the slow metamorphosis–
Ice. Water droplets. Condensation atop my deck’s wooden floor
swept into the windy night’s vast frost,
it’s essence,vaporized, it vanished in the warmth of yet another day’s morning sun.

Blogosphere: A Metaphor

Picture 250

Olive tree
Photo taken by Joann Pensabene in Palestine, April, 2011

Once a formless rogue in the realm of letters,

she found champions who set her in sunlight and cheered her to genre.

She rises, now, from a universal center

where intertwining roots live deep within exuberant, techno-cultural networks.

Free-flowing ideas sustain her.

Cultivated branches span time and space

as she embraces myriad premises.

Perspectives seed her soil.

Her content lives in her leaves,

and human consciousness sculpts her context.

Mother Nature

Mother Nature

Mother Nature

She appeared just after Hurricane Irene blew down three trees

that had sheltered her for countless years.

Melded to a birch tree, she’s a goddess in the rough,

an unrefined beauty, alive and uncultivated.

Her eyes and mouth are mushrooms filled with layers of dirt, dust,

and other hardened, natural deposits.

Her nose is a broken tree branch pointing ever skyward.

And she watches over my home in the Adirondack State Park

in upstate New York.Mother Nature