Two Poems by Janice Kennedy


The Journey

There is but one road here
in this desert, where
mountains rise in the distance
only to disappear. At night,
when you stop for sleep,
the stars fall all around you.
What you have left behind,
you cannot remember.
What you are going toward,
you may never reach,
like the mountains or that star.
But what does it matter
when you are a traveler,
when there is only one road,
and you are on it.



This year, my father is growing
watermelons. I go out and walk
among them in the fields,
ripe and ready for the men
who will come and cut them from the vines.
Gently, in the men’s hardened hands,
the melons will be rolled
end over end into upright rows,
ready for the next day’s gathering.

At night, when the work is done
and the men are gone, I go out
to walk again among the melons
standing, white in the moonlight,
like tiny tombstones,
markers of a season’s end.

Janice Kennedy is a poet, playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been staged in London, New York, Chicago, Seattle and other venues. She has received a nomination for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Last Hanging in Pike County, her play about the love story at the center of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. The play was also a finalist in the North American Actors Association’s Playreading Festival in London. Before the COVID shutdowns, Janice’s one-woman play about Mary Shelley, Shadows Round the Moon, was workshopped in New York with Kate Burton directed by Susan Stroman. An adaptation of Janice’s short play, The Dark, was produced by Entered Apprentice Pictures as the short film Man.Woman.Blackbird., which screened at festivals across the country including those in Taos and Los Angeles. The film has garnered almost 55,000 YouTube views. Another of Janice’s filmscripts, The Right Mother, was produced in 2021 by MarVista Entertainment. Janice is the organizational liaison for the Broad Humor Film Festival, which screens comedies written and/or directed by women and she is a short film judge for the Borrego Springs Film Festival. Janice and her artist husband, Rick Koppes, split their time between Los Angeles and Borrego Springs.