Friday, October 3, 2014

Special Tribute--Joyce M. Johnson--Former Editor of SMILE--United States

(Editor’s Introduction--Editor Joyce M. Johnson is a bright light in the writing community.  We celebrated the 20 year Anniversary of SMILE earlier this year which was its last issue.  Over the years, Joyce has published hundreds of writers and artists, encouraging and assisting others in their journeys.  She is endeared by many.  Today, we celebrate her as writer, editor and inspirational friend.  Thank you, Joyce, for all you have done for me and others. Blessings to you.--Karen)

Pledge of the Hunter

By Joyce M. Johnson

In November, on
Some dark night, I know
The hunter will return.
He will come to
The window where I lie.
I will see him
At midnight when I go
To that window.
His hunter outline
Will stretch across the sky.

Although an ancient myth
Of childhood dreams,
Astronomers would have
Us all believe
That galaxies of stars
Make up what seems
This image of a man.
It does not matter.

Orion, you are beautiful,
And durable, and true.
Each winter you appear
Above the broken world
To reaffirm my faith
In the eternal hunter
Who made both me and you.

When Joyce M. Johnson (born 1921) retired from 50 years working as a legal secretary, she embarked on a “second career” as a Certified Alcoholism Counselor. While co-facilitating group meetings for seniors at a treatment center, she created a small tri-fold booklet named SMILE to distribute to clients. Upon retiring (again), Joyce was encouraged by Editor Kay Jaworski to publish a larger version of SMILE nationally. A free issue was given to a shut-in of each subscriber’s choice. Every cover page featured artwork by Joyce’s sister, Helen Sherrier, a professional artist. SMILE became Joyce’s “third career” which she enjoyed for twenty years, forging many friendships that will live on beyond the pages of SMILE.


  1. Joyce,

    This one is very expressive and well thought out work that you have share with us..


  2. Thank you for sharing .
    Congratulation, Joice !
    Friendly hug :)

  3. Your story is inspiring and you poem is a beautiful beacon. Thanks for sharing your talent. Your faith in nature and the stars is enduring and encouraging.

  4. absolutely love this poem. Well done and thank you to Joyce.

  5. Hi Joyce! Thank you for sharing this lovely poem with us; touched me by the last two lines where your faith shines bright. Congrats on your worthy contribution in every field of work and poetry that you participated in. God bless and take care. // paul

  6. Joyce, Lovely poem! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Joyce, what a lovely poem! I so much enjoyed the read and your faith expressed so well. Thank you for sharing your talent. It brought a SMILE to my face.
    Love, Charlene

  8. Hi, Joyce, love how your thoughts spill out to embrace the strength of your faith. Very beautiful indeed. Sheri

  9. Yes, you ARE very inspirational and I would have loved to have received "Smile". Especially if this poem is anything to go by. You have given a wonderful picture and story in this poem. Your own story is a story that would give hope to many people who must change careers for whatever reason. Thank you for sharing this. Pam

  10. Hello Joyce. Congratulations on your honor here at Whispers. Thank you for sharing with us "Pledge of the Hunter." I also want to say thank you for "Smile" and for all you have done and continue doing for the writing community. Continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  11. Thank you, John Williams, for the following--

    Dear Joyce,

    I appreciate you as a writer and a friend. I really enjoyed, "Pledge of the Hunter." It's one of my favorite poems by you.


  12. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words for Joyce. She is enjoying them. Blessings to you.


  13. Very enjoyable to read Joyce. May the stars always shine for you especially
    In Orion's Belt.
    Yvonne Sparkes

  14. Joyce,
    You are one special lady and this poem you have written here shows it. Thank you for your encouraging word on "The Poet's Art" and congratulations on making it to 20 years of SMILE! You will forever hold a place in my heart.
    Your friend,
    David Fox