Tag: Joyce M. Johnson Editor of SMILE

Evergreen Time


N ovember
O pens to blue skies
V ery cold weather soon to
E ndure, yet many
M oments of
B eauty to
E xperience
R enewal each day


a Christmas wreath
for my parents’ graves
even though I know
they are not there


L ove
E ternal
A nd
F orever


years go by
leaves fall
time of rest
then rebirth
God’s time
not mine


November Wisconsin countryside
Bare trees elegant against the sky
Colors in the landscape muted now
October’s glory is gone
And love grows eternally

(Fall/Winter 2008 – 09)

SMILE, a large print poetry journal, was edited and published by Joyce M. Johnson for many years.

Poems are by Ellen Grace Olinger.




sunrise . . .
fresh water today
for the carnations

May 20, 2017

Poems from my archives:

pink clouds
span the horizon
seagulls take flight
stretching to read
new books


clouds and yet
enough light
to fill a jam jar
with the last
of the carnations


morning prayer
water birds flying north
stay close to water


“morning prayer”
Published first in SMILE (2010), edited by Joyce M. Johnson.  This large print journal is no longer in print.  I subscribed for several years.
Take-out Window:  Haiku Society of America 2014 Members’ Anthology, edited by Gary Hotham.

Ellen Grace Olinger

The Sky


I sat and watched the clouds for a time.  Then I searched my archives and saw how many of my poems are inspired by the sky.


November Wisconsin countryside
Bare trees elegant against the sky
Colors in the landscape muted now.
October’s glory is gone
And love grows eternally.

Published in SMILE (Fall/Winter 2008 – 2009).
Joyce M. Johnson, Editor/Publisher.
(This excellent bold print journal is now out of print.)


afternoon light
blue-grey skies
and water

give them a stage
to shine


seagulls and clouds
fill the sky

December sun
from the south
shines on
a Psalm

short days
stars brighten
winter sky

star_2Images: wpclipart.  I also discovered that wpclipart has many gingerbread pictures.  Here are a few!


More Primroses


primroses growing
from garden to lawn
deep decades of roots
strengthen my faith
for new dreams

(Published in SMILE, 2012)

opening the door
to shake the dust
off the mop
first primroses

(Cara Holman included a link back to an earlier post with this poem, as a part of her Poem in Your Pocket Day Celebration, April 26, 2012.  Cara’s site is Prose Posies.)

rich colors
of primroses
were those
their prayers
I overhead?

(Older poem, revised today)

June2011Flowers 004

Photos by Karl and poems by Ellen

morning prayer

morning prayer
water birds flying north
stay close to water

Ellen Grace Olinger

This haiku, a favorite, was first published in SMILE (67, 2012), and was selected by Gary Hotham, Editor, for Take-out Window, the 2014 Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology.  This book also received special recognition as being on the “Complete Shortlist” for the 2014 Touchstone Book Awards at The Haiku Foundation.  The book cover design and illustrations are by Lidia Rozmus.  The book is listed at Amazon, if you are interested.

Lidia Rozmus has a web studio at Brooks Books Haiku.

Joyce M. Johnson edited SMILE for many years (now out of print).  This large print publication was non-profit, and I’m sure many copies are still being enjoyed.  The journal had a nice community atmosphere too, with letters and other features.  I learned a lot, as I read over the years.



This is the time of year when little primrose plants and tulip bouquets begin appearing in the grocery stores in our area.  This vintage primrose print is courtesy of http://reusableart.com.

“primroses growing” is from the archives and was also printed in SMILE (2012).  This is a large print journal edited/published by Joyce M. Johnson.

primroses growing
from garden to lawn
deep decades of roots
strengthen my faith
for new dreams

And this is a favorite photo by Karl from another year.  I love seeing the new growth through the old leaves.


Autumn Grace


Hope the weekend is off to a good start for everyone.  I’m thinking a lot about large print books for nursing homes, and other places; and so am rereading my work.  In December it will be four years since I began this blog, and the time I spend here really gave my writing a “new lease on life.”

SMILE, a large print journal, edited and published by Joyce M. Johnson (from Connecticut, USA), is always an inspiration.  The Spring 2013 (No. 70) issue is here by my computer.  In the Memorable Lines feature, this poem of mine was reprinted.  Some of you may remember:

leaves of bleeding hearts
now gold
so do broken hearts mend
so does grief heal
Autumn grace

I’m beginning to update my Short Holiday Poems site again. I recently reposted my Harvest acrostic.  With the number of views my acrostics receive, I think my first large print book will be these poems, along with photos by Karl.  I plan to keep Elin Grace Publishing, named for my grandmothers, non-profit.

The link to my short holiday poems site is http://shortholidaypoems.wordpress.com.

You are welcome to reprint or reblog my poems, with proper credit, anytime.  My smaller sites grew from this site, inspired by seeing which poems seem to mean the most to others, and that I like too, when I re-visit earlier posts.  Some poems, looking back, seem more like practice poems, and that’s OK too – what I love about blogging.  Thanks for all your kind comments!  Ellen


The vintage images of grapes are courtesy of http://reusableart.com.