Three Poems by Janine Canan

Janine Canan

The Visit

I came here
in order to lie in the sand
on a sunny day

and feel the warmth
the way it lifted me

we were one
the Earth and I

she pressed her face
to mine, I ran
my hands through her

and we streamed
with timeless

I came to lie in the sand
and feel
her living warmth.


On Her Breath

 In one year my atoms are gone—
a brand new billionbillionbillion are me!
But how do they know how to be me
with all the old-timers gone?

When I walk around, people say “Hi, Janine!”
and I think I’m “Janine” too.
But it’s not the same me, ever new and fresh
although I seem older and older.

What kind of crazy mystery is this
Our Mother cooked up? I guess the soul
that comes and goes on her breath
knows everything about me.


Only Once

Every single moment
is unique—everything that happens,
once only.

Cycles occur
but never the same.
She is Imagination,
the supreme Creatrix. 

Never again, She croons,
I promise I will come again.
And will you
recognize Her

in her new guise?
Just once,
never again— 

from CONSCIOUSNESS: 100 new & selected poems 1971—2013 (forthcoming)

Janine Canan is the author of twenty books including Ardor: Poems of Life; the award-winning feminist anthology, She Rises like the Sun: Invocations of the Goddess by Contemporary American Women Poets; and coming in 2014, Love Is My Religion: Essential Teachings of Mata Amritanandamayi. Janine has published music-inspiring translations of French poet Francis Jammes and German Jewish poet Else Lasker-Schüler, a collection of cultural essays entitled Goddesses Goddesses, and illustrated storybooks, Walk Now in Beauty: the Legend of Changing Woman (read in the Navajo Literacy Project) and Journeys with Justine. Born in La Ciudad de la Reina de los Angeles, Dr. Canan graduated from Stanford with distinction and New York University School of Medicine, and is a private psychiatrist in Sonoma CA. Visit or Facebook for more information.

11 thoughts on “Three Poems by Janine Canan”

    1. And there’s lots more to come…


      There is no end to the books.
      They are rivers without beginning or end—
      the gold of the soul
      woven through Creation.

      Step down to the river
      and dip your pan
      into the flow…


  1. I love your work, and intend on ordering one of your books. I am just starting to write poetry and your’s has inspired me. Thank you.


    1. My understanding, from endocrinologist Deepak Chopra, is that over 90% are recycled by the end of the year, the rest in the next year. You know how we poets like to “round off” sometimes, unlike scientists. Even if it turns out to be seven years, pretty darn miraculous! Thank you so much for your appreciation and I’m delighted you can use these in ceremony to benefit others! Much love to you…


  2. I love these poems, Janine. They speak so simply of things that are so deep and mysterious–like how DO our bodies remain our unique bodies when they are in constant flux? Recently I’ve heard a couple of programs on NPR about the 14 billion or trillion neurons in our brains that are constantly connecting–making it possible for me to breathe, type, see the page, think of what I’m writing, etc. all at the same time. What a miracle is this!!!


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