BIO: Jeffrey Johannes is an artist and poet who lives with his poet wife Joan in Port Edwards, WI. He has published poetry in his chapbook Ritual for Beginning Again and in the anthologies Simul: Lutheran Voices in Poetry and Soundings: Door County in Poetry. His poetry has appeared in Acorn, Ariel, The Aurorean, English Journal, Fox Cry Review, Isthmus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Modern Haiku, Nimrod, Origami Poems Project, Red Cedar, Star*Line, Stoneboat and Your Daily Poem. Both his artwork and poetry have won awards in juried art shows and poetry contests. He has also created cartoon versions of some of his poems, which he calls “pometoons.” Jeffrey is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and he co-edited the 2012 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar with his wife; currently they co-chair WFOP’S annual Triad contest.


Happily Ever After (Wild Whoop Press, 2014) $8.00 + $2.00 postage
Ritual for Beginning Again $12 + $1.50 postage

Happily Ever After cover
Happily Ever After
spacer caterwaul broadside
Ritual for Beginning Again
Paws Folded

Technically, these are folded broadsides, but I call them “pometoons.” There is a comic art version of the poem inside each pometoon. $3.00 each. S & H is $1.40 for one, $1.70 for two or three.

caterwaul broadside
spacer persephone broadside
spacer the sunday school story every boy would love to hear broadside
“The Sunday School Story Every Boy Would Love to Hear”
spacer Nonversation with an English Teacher broadside
“Nonversation with an English Teacher”
Dancing With Grandma

In Madagascar many Christians and practitioners of traditional ancestor worship
participate in death-dancing by pulling the remains of loved ones from the tomb,
dancing with the corpses, then carefully rewrapping them for re-interment.
                              —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I wrap you in blue wool
like the sweater you wore
when I thought
you looked like sky,
tie seven knots to hold you
and dance with your bones
before the weather warms.
I tell you of Grandpa,
how he died in his sleep
and was found still warm
under the electric blanket
like the bread dough you covered
with a towel in your gas oven.
I say Maraleen moved
to New Mexico near Corinne
and her Navajo husband;
and Glenn fell off a roof,
smashed his ankle
just before Thanksgiving.

But maybe you know these things
and watch me play the record
I gave you and listen
to Tennessee Ernie Ford.
We waltz on your grave,
sway and turn, then return you
to rest with instant coffee
in a china cup and a sugar cookie
on a flowered plate from your kitchen
which still smells of pickled peaches,
strawberries and molasses.

—Jeffrey Johannes