Did you know that 
four-leaf clovers
are more common
in red clover 
than in white?

Did you know
the odds are in 
your favor that
you have clover
in your yard?

It is most
likely
white clover.

If you are looking
for four-leaf clovers
don’t look in your
backyard.

Go to a farm
with horses.

Feeling lucky 
in love?
Don’t go 
to the farm.

The farmer is 
probably married
with children.

Think you 
got their
number.

Odds are
they’ve got
yours.

Want to get rich?
Play the market,
or buy a baseball
card.

Which takes us 
back to the
field.

Feeling lucky?
The Maple in My Backyard


The Norway maple in my backyard
was not planted there purposefully,
but grew from a wayward seedling.

It’s trunk is dissected by a bitter gash
when lightning hit and burnt
A major limb had to be removed

Making the tree unbalanced,
but still its roots spread daringly
to threaten the sides of the house.

The maple has other unsightly flaws
and for every noticed imperfection
A bird rests on its long branches.

And when I think this is the year
for chopping it down to the ground
the birds take turns crying for mercy.
         Artwork and Poetry 
Copyright © 2007  Jane Kraina
          all rights reserved
Selected Poems of     Jane Kraina

Selected Poems of     Jane Kraina

Looking for Love in all          the Wrong Places

         or
      
    Probabilities in Clover

Wild Strawberries
(haiku)

Seeds on the outside
Stringy and fibrous inside
Start and end reversed.Nino


 © 2007  Jane Kraina
Violets

To Michael


Love is like violets 
that are easily crushed,
We try to preserve them, but they
fall limp and lifeless under our grip.
It is best to let love and violets be,
to let them grow silently amidst us.

The violets come in spring
when we believe 
all things are possible,
when we think we might 
finally move to the ocean and
fall asleep to the relentless waves, 
instead of the pouring of slag 
in a steel mill town at night.

I have given up 
and you have given up.
Served up our soul 
for breakfast and dinner
sliced and buttered
and bitten and swallowed
or torn and left out,
becoming hard and stale
then thrown out with yesterday’s paper.

I remember a night
I wore black velvet
and a Scandinavian uttered
magic words to match the dress.
Smooth and dark and cryptic
he said I was too cerebral,
free and unfettered, 
could I take the shackles of materialism?
Maybe I should dance in the  spring meadow
Carelessly bending the violets.

He could not know
the future.
That we would endure
beyond many people’s 
predictions, that sometimes
it is the serving of toast
and not philosophical
thought that pleases.
Or it is a tramp to the store 
on a bitter January night
when the cold stings your face
like a hundred small needles.

But most of all, it 
is Sunday afternoons when 
thinking gets you nowhere fast, 
when we are like the violets,
unfolding on the damp forest floor.
El Nino


Only a leaf or two moves
Against a wall of blue
Sunday morning stillness
Sun warming my skin
cooling my passion
piercing something even deeper.


Leaves, glistening a forest green
of Christmas holly
One single magenta rose
late in the season
reminds that even though the bush
was for the dead,
It speaks to the living.

It is unnatural
Now is not the time for roses
or beads of sweat in the heat
promises of rebirth
in the shedding of foliage.

They say it is El Nino
Somebody south of here
Is feeling more than beads 
of sweat, is pouring rivers
and from the air above their ocean
comes the still heat
that bloomed my rose.


It is my only hope 
that hands placed
on cool gravestones
will one day hold
the hands of those
who lay below.
The Dandelion


   The dandelion is common and successful
   We overlook it
   Because it is familiar and expected.

   It does not adorn antique polished
   buffets in bud vases,
   But sits on chipped window ledges
   in babyfood jars
   where it is bestowed 
   a preciousness
   beyond the most delicate
   orchid.

   The dandelion is a weed
   valued by children
   and disdained by adults
   who have forgotten it is a flower.

   It is always in danger
   even though it is ordinary.
   Its persistence is its greatest irritation,
   but it remains long after
   the manicurists have gone.

   On summer days when time
   spreads out like the fields
   The dandelion waits for the 
   soft breath of children.
   Young boys blow its rays
   with the fierceness they use in life,
   but dandelion seeds would rise 
   by the mere lifting of hot air.

   Maybe being easy is the answer,
   not struggling to be exotic,
   or demanding rare conditions
   for survival.
   Generation after generation 
   of the common live long after
   Royalty has been overrun.

   The "teeth of the lion"
   produce the wine of summer nights
   when we might lie upon the grass
   and press upon the closed dandelions
   who are plotting their revenge
   for our ingratitude.