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Best Rhonda Johnson-Saunders Poems

Below are the all-time best Rhonda Johnson-Saunders poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Uncharted Waters


An ocean tumbles through dreams of you. In depths unknown, I float above. Oh, how I long to dive beneath your surface, yet I am timid in matters of love. If brave, I’d have shown you the whole of my gushing heart, no less than tides of bliss. Seeking depths unknown, I long to dive beneath your surface. Searching your eyes, I want for treasures lost on the ocean’s floor. The sun, like a gold coin, drops, splashing this face of regret. I blush in secret thoughts of you and turn away from the endless shore. A swoop from seagulls catches the light of your smile and breaks the hush of late sky. Turning away from the endless shore of regret, I blush. My lonely shore may flood, a wish to bathe in the caress of you granted. I shall break from fear, to brave a rolling river between us. Down current, I’ll swim until I reach your ocean of sparkling blues. I would drown in the waves of your uncharted waters. Glorious would be death in the caress of you, your uncharted waters…glorious. Written, 1/18/2015, for Craig Cornish's Manassian Quintain Contest,

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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One Green Leaf


One leaf fell from a tall, tall tree
and subtly kissed gnarled roots beneath;
a lover’s kiss below sunned-sheath 
of greenest leaves, a jubilee.  

One spiraling leaf brought playful mirth
to sullen earth of trodden dirt.
A flight of hopeful shades of spring,
for hard, hard ground, an offering

One leaf dressed in a sparkling jade
glided with grace to green grass blades    
and rested near a bubbling brook,
then waited for warm breeze that shook
its flirty skirt on green, green glade.   

An arc of bright green canopy
warmed my heart in bluest mood, 
and one leaf blew a kiss from you.
It twirled and pranced and floated by,
then with a touch it came to lie 
green in my hand, a dear surprise. 

Like emerald hills of Irish tales, 
I marveled at how one leaf sailed
green In my hand that blue, blue day,
a kiss from you on Patty’s Day -
The gray clouds parted shining green, 
a beauty like I’d never seen.


for Francine's Show Me the Green Contest, 3/18/15 

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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A Poem For PD

A unicorn took flight with brilliant, rainbow wings ascending from the heart of a joyous poet. Dark eyes shined like jewels, smiling from high, parting dark clouds and unwrapping gifts of love and friendship. Words of light and purest energy reached to heaven on a spiral staircase where blessed angels extended hands of healing to a poet's heart. They know her well, her hands are creators of many a masterpiece - sharing, befriending, inspiring, encouraging - soulful in words and action, passionate in her artistry, selfless of her time...see how her admirers crowd around as the unicorn descends once again from her rainbow flight? All wait with feet on the ground, sharing prayers, asking the angels to sing so she may feel and know she is not alone. Never, ever alone in the fight. Too many of us have been where she has been, felt the darkness pierce our hearts. With hope and faith, the sun will shine again. The angels will sing. She will ride that unicorn again and share her poetic heart again, smile again, laugh again, teach and inspire. She is more than just PD, she is Linda - friend, daughter, mother, grandmother, nurturer - The darkness cannot have her. She is needed in the light. for Shadow Hamilton's Fighting Depression Contest, 12/1/14

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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Cricket's Song

Refrain of dreams, I gift to you. My hum lulls in rhythms deep; Night chant lifts to heavenly heights coupled with starry sky’s plume. My faithful promise kept from sight 'til fall of moon's sleepy eyes. By Rhonda Johnson-Saunders, 1/15/15 for Nette's Night Creatures Contest, (Cricket #6)

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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Winter's End

Winter’s fury has long died; fading, weary, she comes to pass. Sunlight spills across open yards, blotted white - then, one last chilled breath escapes with might before succumbing to southern breeze. The seasons transform with ease. Subdued colors slowly brighten - in budding delight, rising, swaying, searching sky, they sleep no more. Pale cheeks, soft to touch, cheerfully blush. Love blooms in wake of warmth and bubbling sounds of children’s laughter. Under a hearty sun, bare feet and legs long to lilt as passion follows deepening breath out to taste the open air, waiting for night to kiss in the flush of descending moonlight – as shooting stars sleep no more. last sparks in the fireplace cool, no longer needed to kindle romance. Feeling alive, I soften to the touch of spring dew, the joyous music - rustling leaves, songbird’s melody, fresh falling rain; nature’s dance, taking her time to seed waking soil until she voraciously catches fire seeking summer like a lost love – a restless gypsy on a journey- she sleeps no more. Spring dresses earth in liveliest colors… and I smile, Overwhelmed with the beauty touching my soul and sun showers falling on sweetened dreams.

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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An Open Window


I watch this world pass by, miracle after miracle, overcome with thoughts of life and death - heated in a buttery sky; the air melts into far corners, farther than my eyes can see. Faster, this world spins into eternity, faith, and possibilities. An open window becomes a gate to step through, a starting place - as a bluebird dips in the birdbath, squirrels scurry across green grass, a blue horizon darkens like a memory. Those who hurriedly pass by feign contentment with plastic smiles, earbuds, cell phones, a false sense of purpose. I feel content, at peace, and yet, I ache for more - a yearning from deep within. I feel it wash over my skin. Cars drive by, everyone’s going somewhere, but not I. I sit here…I watch. I whisper a short prayer for a friend, I remain silent with His answer – patience…all will work out in time; head bowed, I pray for His healing hands to touch me. In my father’s arms, I am comforted and whole. I am who He sees… sunlight traces storm clouds painting rainbows over shadowed trees, a beautiful canopy. His love flows through me, pouring out at Calvary. In the afternoon rain, I see each drop of blood. A choir of clouds congregate. I hear their worship song. I see a crown of thorns around them. I feel the weight of the cross He struggles to carry. Mangos fall with the rain from a shaken tree, then lay bruised on limp, wet leaves; flies begin to swarm around them; following the clouds trajectory, I envision more than I can bear - His slashed skin and mangled bones flash before my eyes. With hands nailed, He's hung on the cross in shame and suffering; every labored breath taken until death for an ungrateful world… my soul seems to understand what I cannot grasp…all of this, He did for me….and you. Love becomes more than a word, a blessing becomes more than a concept. I sit at my window unnoticed; I watch the world pass by - every leaf, pebble, bird, raindrop and new life, I see, like a child with a loving father, a miracle…

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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Christmas Snow


On wings of swept sky, the dawn’s sun adorns
the shimmering snow in magical light,
from winter’s first snow on snug Christmas morn.

Innocent faces gleam, old are reborn
as fanciful flakes seem to rise in flight
on wings of swept sky, the dawn’s sun adorns.

Powder settles, softening sharpest thorns
as spring’s flowers sleep beneath drifts of white
from winter’s first snow on snug Christmas morn.

Oh, joyous wonder, no past years to mourn!
The hills and trees sparkle like child’s eyes bright,
on wings of swept sky, the dawn’s sun adorns.

Our gifts are unwrapped, the day’s all but worn
and festive flakes frolic well into night
from winter’s first snow on snug Christmas morn.

Through frosty pane, we watched peaceful day born
with glistening nature’s brilliance in sight. 
On wings of swept sky, the dawn’s sun adorns
from winter’s first snow on snug Christmas morn.


for Gail's Christmas Snow Contest, 11/26/14 

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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What the Eyes Cannot See


Kyoko walks alone in the morning tide, 
comforted for a fleeting moment by salty air.
She feels the same sand between her toes 
as when she was a barefoot little girl, in a time
she felt safe, when the eyes of her mother protected her 
like a suit of armor - before the mighty wall of water, 
the “harbor wave”, towered over her village 
near Fukushima, washing her happy childhood away. 
Her dear mother, her security, her everything
never came home that day. 

Many months later, her father, a local fisherman, 
has lost his ability to cry, laugh or tell her why.
His silent eyes, cold like frost, are dead 
like the poisoned fish he nets every morning. 
In many ways, Kyoko lost both of her parents 
on that haunting day - forced to grow up long before 
the water receded, before the nuclear leak, 
before this new, austere existence.

Night deepens the despair. She is loneliest 
when darkness invades. She prays for the crickets 
return. They no longer sing her to sleep, and the stars
have faded, no longer shining through her open window.
Even the grasshoppers have died…
from restless sleep, night calls her to the mirror 
to find her mother’s dark eyes staring back at her – 
a curse she hopes will one day become a blessing,
a hope that one day her father will look at her again...

With tomorrow, her greatest burden will return. 
She will wake along side the broken-winged butterfly
with her duties in mind. Then, she’ll wear her stoic face 
to the marketplace. Father says he will soon lose 
his fishing boat. She has heard visitors from the city say 
only a fool would eat the fish from nearby waters, 
the same fish she fries most every day. No one knows
the global impact, they say. She hears foreign words
like radiation, disease and mutation while she sells 
the shiso and wasabi root from their garden stand,
feeling fear she does not fully understand but one day will.
She only knows how to survive today…


For Debbie Guzzi's Global Poetry Contest, 11/19/14      

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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A New Moon


A chalky moon rises, from still air, drawn on smooth, blue-black paper sky. A New Year's eve like this, seems too calm to be real, to feel nothing but peace; snow covers tree branches like fleece, yet I am warmed by a fire inside, wrapped tight in the starry glow of tomorrow's promise. As this year's memories glide across my heart, all the love flows through me like oxygen, beginning with the purest breath of youthful innocence, me and you, under a diamond-cut crescent moon. Many picturesque nights have come and gone since then - the me and you now we - a family. Somewhere a clock chimes twelve times, when your first kiss of the new year wakes me from my nostalgic dreams, my joy returns to the moment, a new year, new memories, a love more real, more true, than the chalky moon.

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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Out of Control


I spin, faster and faster… losing control, I am a propeller rising. Once, you were my mystery to solve – my challenge, my highest vista to climb. You lifted me to your private skies. Spread out before me on red-winged flights, eradicated stars came back to life, painted iridescent by your own two hands. What could only be crayoned by inferior men. All aglow, the universe circled my head - round and round till the dizziness came, infatuation only to blame. I spin…slower, rhythmic, scraping. I am a pinwheel on softest breeze. memories come…memories go. With a crystal crown of constellations, you adorned my flowing hair – locks spun golden, locks I loosened for you. I became a glowing body for you to orbit, a fiery flood of sunlight traveling, Venus gifted in violet dusk, auroras of ribbon braided… I spin…slanting, lower, on tip-toes. I am a ballerina with an audience of one. I watched you watch me in light of all things. I wanted to be center of your universe… rings of Saturn encircled you and I. Mercury’s fire blazed through what was us. Blue-silver splattered moons orbited our sleep. I kissed the moon rock I named after you. I kissed you and only you until dawn slipped between the warmth of our linen sheets. I caught you in my arms time after time, clouds dappled with your eyes floated by… doting, they released scintillating showers upon a wilting flower. When it was time for you to catch me, you were gone…taking with you part of me. I fell hard…back to earth, stained crimson, star-struck. Forever is a long time to chase shooting stars through echoing space. I trusted you, trusted only you, trusted you with me. I rusted, no protection from your harsh elements. We all come back to reality of a spinning earth… we rise or fall, move or hide, heed the call or lie. We come to the self-sharpened point of swim or die. Time rushes by… I sat next to you, held your hand, feeling like my own miraculous sky, regaining my identity… while you read Hemingway, a man’s man you’d say. I spoke of the poem I wrote for you another day. “Yeah, yeah…Aha”, you whispered…my words dismissed, a foreign language never understood. Space and time altered our skies; below, your lies became our demise. Our footprints disappeared before my eyes. In my own miraculous sky, I have slowed my pace, aware of my mistakes, my fear, my grace. I embrace beauty, peace, tears I've cried, the ride… Dawn came early this new day, I drove away, weaved around a pothole, almost crashed. The gravel road rattled my faith. I started to spin again…disoriented, I faltered, but I never turned back. I wonder if I avoided my own catastrophe, saved face, or a little of both… I remember how I asked you about the meaning of love. You turned away, reading Williams that day, madness and genius you’d say, I planted my feet, met your eyes, then marched away. Head held high, you dimmed under a starlit sky. I searched myself and found the brightest star… it led me home. Now, I brush my fingers lightly across a constellation on high… Pegasus, I think. Only to realize, it’s reflection mottles in a rippling puddle below... beauty awakened by my grounded feet. Rhonda Johnson-Saunders, 4/11/15

Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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