Wise Voice – Janet Riehl – Author, Poet, Artist

Posted by on 28 Sep 2011 in Wise Voice | 2 comments

I first met Janet through the chance joining of our work in Terry Laszlo-Gopadze’s anthology, “The Spirit of a Woman – Stories to Empower and Inspire.” Inspired by her words and vision connecting through art forms and with people, I consider her passion necessary to pass on to my readers.

Twisted Arms, by Janet Riehl

Twisted Arms, by Janet Riehl

Goddess in the Clay Amphora
by Janet Grace Riehl

There she is.
The goddess in the clay amphora.
The genie is the bottle.
Her torso only. Head, arms, legs left to suggestion.
Her little breasts. More belly and triangle next time.
Buttocks with a slight cleft. No tools. Just smooshed by fingers.
I’ll leave her here surrounded by the finger crunchies
that look like vertebrae or mud dauber nests.

The dousing rod twig, flipped. Which way?
The question becomes a container…a womb for an embryonic soul.
Being born out of this cocoon time.
Thumbs and forefingers enclose a womb.

I made all three of these clay sketches with my left hand.
They vary by size of clay.
Amount of pressure.
Slight reworking.
Look at the little cave and the little knot at the top!
The backs, the palm sides are more still. They hold the imprint of the lines of my hand.

Clay knuckles, not brass.
Knuckle down, Janet, get to work.
What would you have me do, Goddess?
I hold her like a talking stick and she speaks:
“Worship me.
Adore me.
Do my work which is your work.”

Janet is an award-winning author, blogger, and conference presenter living in St. Louis.  Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary, told in story poems, was recently made into an audio book  Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music.  Twice selected as finalist for Poet Laureate of Lake County, California and a member of Authors Guild, her poems, stories and essays are published in national literary magazines and several anthologies.  Visit her website, and find her on Facebook and @riehlife.


  1. Thank you for presenting such beauty, depth and wisdom. I will read this post over and over, it is magnificent! Bravo Kelley and Janet you both amaze me.
    With deep appreciation,

  2. Kelley,
    What a joy to have connected with you through our printed words and now out here in Cloud Land.

    I wrote this poem in 2005 the summer after my sister Julia died in a nasty car crash. And, before “Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary” came out in 2006.

    We camped deep in the heart of the redwoods in Northern California. A small band of flesh and blood goddesses in a retreat “Talk to the Trees.”

    Because you invited me to guest post for your blog, I searched until I found these words written six years ago. It feels good to be reunited with them. And, so good to know that through your blog “Intentional Insights” that these long ago words may be useful for our unknown and known sisters.

    Thanks, Kelley!

    Janet Riehl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>