In Loving Memory

Denise Autumn 2012

Denise M. Janikowski-Krewal

October 1959-February 2014

You were a bright light
in my late life career
as a free-lance teacher.
Reached out and responded
with a swift, active mind
to whatever climb
I requested.
Bequeathing your Spotted Overcoat
to a world that doesn’t
always love poets.

Remember the deer
that crossed your path,
the call when you asked
what it might mean,
your shy soft smile,
and that huge tree
we sat beneath
when weather permitted.

It was so good
to connect again,
to see you commanding
your own space in this whirlwind
of words that never knows an ending.
Tending your own heart’s call,
while mending mine.
Please know you are dearly missed.

Elizabeth Crawford 4/5/14

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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9 Responses to In Loving Memory

  1. oh crap. I hadn’t heard this – I’d just met Denise. Such sad news, and thank you for the beautiful poem to remember her.

    I know exactly how you feel. Went looking for her today and found her obituary. Hollow inside. We only reconnected in this past year and she sent me a copy of her book. I told her I was creating prompts at a site in January and she joined in the mayhem. This is a hard one.



  2. Oh Elizabeth, I am so sorry. Another bright light gone too soon. So many lights going out……..but in your words, I also see, the light of her memory shining. I am glad she left poetry behind, to live on after her…….

    Actually, I will cherish the book in a whole new way, just grateful for this very real piece of her,


  3. Geraldine says:

    I am sorry to read this.

    Thank you, Geraldine,



  4. Irene says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Elizabeth. I remember her. Peace.

    She had a poem in the Red Wolf anthology, Irene.


  5. I am so sorry Elizabeth–

    Thank you Audrey,



  6. I am glad I came to this piece after your day 6. This is a wonderful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss. The deer story warms my spirit. Thank you.

    Denise, like many of my students was always interested in my stories of encounters with animals, wild or tame, large and small. Said she’d love to have one. A few weeks later, she called me, all excited because while with her husband and someone else, driving down a street in Milwaukee, a deer suddenly appeared and ran across the road in front of them. Apparently, she’d been telling him some of those stories, so when it happened, they agreed she should call me and ask about it. Deer are a symbol of gentleness, especially toward ones own person. We discussed that and she found special meaning in that exploration. Thanks Brenda, for reminding me of that.



  7. Pamela says:

    Oh, Elizabeth, I am so sorry for your loss of a friend. Beautiful poem you have written for her.

    Pamela ox

    Thank you Pamela, it wasn’t difficult to do. As I said above, she was a bright light in my experience. More recently, something we discussed the other night, parallels another experience with her. More synchronicity.



  8. I’m sorry. You’ve written a nice remembrance of her – I love her crooked smile in this picture.

    Yes, that is a part of my memory of her. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment,



  9. I remember reading some of her poems…I had no idea she had even died. Thank you for sharing this — and the story of your friendship, and her light — with us.


    Perhaps because I came late to my role as a teacher, probably more surprised at the opportunity than others, I had a different sense of my position in the classroom. I graduated college when I was 45, and began teaching around age 50, seemingly because of a rather strange set of circumstances. My memories of being a student were very fresh in my mind and influenced a great deal of what happened there, and thus, turned out to be far more freeing for all of us. Thank you Nicole, for reading and for your comments,



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