Wednesday, September 26, 2007

newly retired & celebrating being a life coach

I just retired and am so pleased about it. Now I have time to watch tv all day if I wanted to but that's not for me. I'd rather watch the sky or listen to the rain. Actually I'm very busy with the process of redoing my entire kitchen. I already put down terra-cotta colored porcelain floors and now I'm putting in new wooden cabinets. It will be much more pleasant when it's done.

I'm also now listed as a practitioner with the Flower Essence Society and as an LCSW with NYS Licensing with the 6-year R psychotherapy privilege - I'm ready to do some life coaching. I will provide services based on a sliding scale, payable through pay pal and can consult online or by phone if preferred.

Please check out my new page and newly launched webiste.

Monday, June 04, 2007

NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHED, Poetry & Prose by Joy Leftow

I've launched a new website with a more together and professional look - please check it out.
It's google's webpages which are free to do.
Please check it out and let me know how you like it.

Poetry Sampler

Monday, May 14, 2007

Family History Deja vu

If Mommy only knew all that occurred,
She would turn over in her grave.
She’d question and explore the said misdeed
to figure why anyone would behave

that way to their sibling, their own blood,
their family. It would cause Mom great pain,
release memories, an entire flood
of them reminding her of the campaign

her family led against her when they
declared her dead, and sat Shiva for her
forsaking her, long before the day
when she lay in the funeral parlor

dead, having been ravaged by the cancer
which destroyed and took her away.
Then - her family came to see her.
They should have been ashamed to come that day.

Her family disowned her when she married Dad
who, although he was Jewish too, had been married
before with a son, then divorced. Her family had
no tolerance of this, being orthodox, and such
... thus they, considered her Dead!

My mother suffered so much from her illness
and trying to raise us four children.
She did the best she could under her duress.
She’d wonder what could make this occur again.

that now, I, the youngest am forsaken
by two of my sisters, one who just passed on
ravaged too, by the cancer that has overtaken
and polluted my family’s gene pool,
... oh sorrows, please be gone

I am the lone survivor, who, as of yet
have not fallen prey to the horrific scourge
I live under the fear and the threat
of cancerous death and pray to emerge

safely through the onslaught and expulsion
from family that my mother lived through
and wonder why all this must be redone
and why, even dialogue on this, is taboo.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


You avoid me because
you know I know
your secrets
the thoughts that make you ill
I know how you feel

Sometimes you utter nothing
at all & the tv gets louder
to drown out the sound
of my words, my voice
a discarded memory
of what’s left unsaid

We don’t discuss
what I think is wrong
as I record the trail you forge
with the sound of your voice
hollow in my veins
while I follow you room
to room echoing your thoughts
fill the room’s silence
Thunder claps in the distance

You say the echo is loud, too clear
you turn up the volume, cover your ears
while I bisect & categorize
the entrails of your thoughts
My unsaid words follow
the curve of your hips
As you move to and fro worrying
I’ll disparage what you say

I listen, record the flow
of your words, you want me
to share my observations
I do; for you they only personify
my excellent clinical skills
your firm lips cover my unspoken words
a poor excuse, a moment frozen in time
I like the way I feel about me
when I see myself in your eyes

Your eyes hold back tears;
you stare at me & hide your soul;
why should you share to recreate the pain
I don’t exist for myself or you
Your mind’s eye a reflection in glass
None of it real

Go to & publish

This is a great place for new poets and writers to try their hand. They publish a great many different things and are open to new faces and styles.
The only loser is the person who refuses to try.
As long as you're trying you're a winner!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My short story

My story "False Pride" is included in the new all-female anthology of short stories, "Lipstick Diaries", by Augustus Publishing. Out in all the big book stores, including B & N. I’m the only white woman whose story is included; a blue-eyed soul sister. “False Pride” is a story about a young white woman from the hood on a journey of self discovery who continues to struggle in spite of making some bad choices, to make her dreams reality!

The cover is sizzling and so are the stories.

Read this short story; the entire explosive novel is soon to follow it!

You can also check me out at:

My Space

And listen to me read poetry and talk at:

Cool on the Groove

My contract gives me 2 boxes of books and now I'm paying for the copies so please support me by buying directly from me.
I can be contacted at or 212 569 4048.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Everything always seems to be twisted
Nothing is the way we’d expect
If I want one man, I get another
I should be happy and get what I like
If I can’t be with the one I love
I should give my love to the man I’m with

It’s better to give my love to the man I’m with
Than to try to love someone who will twist
my heart; a strange phenomenon, this thing called love
The one I get is never who I would expect
him to be. Do you think we ever get what we like?
It’s a big mess, first one lover then another

He’s not endeared to her, he wants another.
She wants him and not the one she’s with
It’s so confusing, no one gets who they like
Mind is like a monkey, grasping and twisting
from one branch to the next; never where I’d expect
It to be especially when it comes to finding love

I sometimes wonder, is there true love?
Or could it be one man as well as another?
Who can fill the gap, meet my expectations?
Can I meet a love eternal and stay with
him forever to an end with no twisting
fate? Can he stay with me and like

what I do? Or should I expect that he’ll only like
What I don’t like? Should I freely give my love
Without worrying that our love will twist
To hate? Then instead of him I’ll seek another
Man who I shall repeat this cycle with
until it’s finally over when we least expect

I should realize it’s stupid to expect
Anything to turn out the way I’d like
and in the end be with who I want to be with
And the one I love would just love
me, Only me and wouldn’t want another
just me unless he became mean and twisted

Twisting my heart, then he’d expect me
to find love with another like the one before who I liked
With whom I was so happy before things got so twisted

© JL written in 1981 at Columbia U writing class

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Harold Hunter

I met Harold when he attended Seward Park HS. He and I hit it off (I was one of the counselors there) but he was assigned to someone else. I asked the other counselor to let me see Harold instead of him seeing Harold since they didn't have a relationship anyway. The counselor said "If you want to but he's never here." I managed to see quite a lot of Harold and learn a lot about him. Harold had a very hard life and I related to that, having had a very hard life myself. He was such a fantastic kid and so friendly. He had the biggest personality. I later met his brother when his brother was at a GED program and his brother was a very talented artist. He drew great comics.

I remember once running into Harold when I was with my son, and being proud to introduce him, because Harold was the type of guy anyone would have been proud to know. After that, I ran into Harold infrequently and when ever I did, he always spent time chatting and telling me what was new in his life.

It's no wonder I found myself crying after I got to work, I just couldn't stop the tears and contain myself. And it was probably meant for me to meet that young man I met this morning on the train who told me Harold was dead. I just began talking to the guy because he had a skateboard and it reminded of Harold back in the day. Actually Harold had been on my mind lately because I always ran into him around NY. I had been thinking seeing him is way overdue. I'm so sorry - it's a loss to our world and a reminder that we are all only visitors here of our own demise.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


It's summer solstice, the longest day of year, I want the light to last but it's fading. Shadow is everywhere. The sun is
sinking into the horizon behind the trees, and I can't see anymore what I came to see. There are thick bushes laden with berries. Plump black ones, tender to the touch. Bruised, they bleed a dark bluish juice on my fingers. I move to the next bush and reach for sweet red berries, not quite ripe but leaving the promise of sugar to come. The ground is moist and gives way beneath my feet. The smell of rotting earth and leaves teases my nostrils. Exciting me. Reminscent me of days spent in the woods when the sun burned down and the stillness was suddenly disturbed by thundering clouds and lightening. Then later, long after the rain stopped, the pungent seductive smell of earth lingered.


Hear my body talk
My body speaks to
your body from across
the room aching
for your touch

At nite I awaken
several times
imagining your hands
upon my breasts
my body heats
I touch myself

Hunger and holding back
b-4 the rain, and after
we remain the same
all looks no caresses
Just desire stirred

my nipples tingle
my breasts yearn
for your solitary touch
Wrap me in your arms
provide solace for my dreams
Find a home for my lust
which you’ve reawakened
with a thirst I didn’t
realize still existed

You’ve reawakened
my girlhood charm
my lust, while you fight
your urges and mine

There you stand
Here I am
You’re too far away
to be blamed
for a lovers quarrel

Make your jokes
Pick me like a daisy
I do - I don’t,
yesterday was not today
I don’t know
who I am
Here I stand


My mother is an artist
She designs embroidery
- a dying art - and creates
any design she desires
her hands instruments
of a higher force

She explains to me
how this one is a fleur-de-lis
and how in the region
where we come from
it is made differently
from someplace else

With only one eye
the other is glass
she sees more than I do
She is dying
my heart is unsteady
I am powerless
a witness to her fate

My mother’s hands create
embroidery with many
names and meanings
She patiently explains
the subtle meanings
behind each motif

I listened in awe
while she explained
all of this to me
I had nothing to say

Now there is even
less to say as
Each day brings her
closer to her end
I drown in helplessness

She tells us she is sick, not stupid
she knows her death is near
If only I could relieve her suffering
I would do so until the end

She alternates between begging for death
then apologizes for doing this
She is my mother, she worries
about me, my mental health
how I will handle her death instead

I think about her hands flying quickly
the needle moving as tho she has 3 eyes
The pattern suddenly emerging
Then the design is near complete
like the course of my mother’s life

*This poem is published at Poetry Kite Anthology where only invited poets are published. Poetry Kite is administered by Jim Bennet.