the promise of april


i came here to love you

through lifetimes
i have sought you
in every pair of eyes

i have strained against
the touch of hands
needing to feel your essence

and in spring
when the air reeks
of rain and dirt
i pick your flowers
and see your face
strewn among
the fallen cherry blossoms

i am not here
on this earth
to pull punches
i am here to express

i unbalance the equinox
with poems
obsessive and fevered

this is the promise
my soul makes
time and again
in each incarnation
and life form i inhabit

on this brand new day
i awake in the hope
you will soon be here
with me





©A. D. Joyce, 2017


of cherry blossom trees


pure white
or pink as blood
not quite soaked through
cherry blossoms
in branch brook park
cling delicately
to graceful trees

in early april
caravans of people come
from all around
to this oasis in the urban desert
to wander in row upon row
of blossoms

in their glory
the miracle
of cherry blossom trees
reminds some travelers
of their mother japan

for others
the vital colors evict
the harsh northeast winter
from their bones
gray days are forgotten
the overused space heater
in a cold apartment
is left behind
thoughts of sales quotas
and work brought home
are pushed to a safe distance

but as april turns to may
when the pink and white petals
are shed and windblown
into branch brook lake
giving way to
ordinary green leaves
everyone’s thoughts return
to their narrow concerns

as the trees remain mindful
of every minute
of every day
accepting how each moment
changes them


IMG_1741Poem and photos by A. D. Joyce

©A. D. Joyce, 2015

at d park


I took a swarm of pics yesterday when I was in Branchbrook Park. I was hoping the cherry blossom trees would be in bloom but for the most part they weren’t. So my daughter (she’s 26 and looks as young as the kids she teaches) and I ended up making the shoot about us. Considering that we love to mug for the camera, that wasn’t a disappointing plan B in the slightest. This is just a small portion of the pics we took.DSC03616 - Copy DSC03759 IMG_1284 - Copy DSC03722 DSC03758 IMG_1447 IMG_1386 DSC03764

©A. D. Joyce, 2015

In search of cherry blossoms


This spring has been a little chilly for us in New Jersey so our famed cherry blossoms still haven’t reached their peak bloom. But I visited Branch Brook Park in Newark anyway this morning after helping my mother run some errands. Branch Brook has the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the U. S. but today in some spots, the display was a bit anemic …

IMG_1057IMG_1019Some trees, though not in full bloom, were lovely nonetheless …


IMG_1096IMG_1022Yep, that’s my mom. She’s 87, which gives me a little hope for longevity.

Of course I had to throw in some random selfies …

IMG_1034My mom learned the word “selfie” while watching the recent Academy Awards, so she was happy to take some with me …

IMG_1043By the way, I just love the type of people who kindly offer to take pictures of you with your own camera. (Why do they do that, I can never be so bothered. Shame on me.)

IMG_1094Some out-of-townies asked us directions to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which was further than walking distance from where we were in the huge park at the time. I had to pass it on the way to driving my mom home, though, so I stopped to get a few shots for this post. It’s the fifth largest cathedral in the U.S.IMG_1112IMG_1105


All photos by A. D. Joyce.

©A. D. Joyce, 2014