"Tribute to JoanE"

Sending Thoughts to JoanE

By lyenochka

Where are you, JoanE? Your kind, gracious and gentle presence is missed here. A haiku or a tanka flowed from your pen, faithfully on Fridays and always so generously promoted.

You thrilled us with your travel poems. Your verses showed us places that we may never dare to venture to like the Baltics or the remote countries of Asia. But even the places closer to home, you took us along virtually in verse and gave us a fresh perspective. Thanksgiving Day train rides were an annual tradition we anticipated.

You were always learning and contemplating cultures and history and shared your thoughts in well-distilled, succinct verses. When you visited with other writers, your reviews were positive and encouraging.
I never met you in person. I hoped that I would one day visit Southern California and amble around the Getty Museum. Beforehand, of course, I would have consulted you for advice. Where should I focus? How should I view the art I might see? How might I expect the art to speak to me? You would have broadened my perspectives, I am sure of it.

You are missed at the park you used to walk. Young people were drawn to you, because you would listen to their stories with loving interest.

Your feathered friends at your generously stocked feeder would wonder where you are. Just like them, we miss you.

Thank you for all you shared.


Author Notes Notes:
JoanE was a French teacher, and later an artist and poet. She also worked at the Getty Museum. She joined Fanstory 8 years before me in 2008. She was a Recognized Writer 7 years ago and has won a number of contests. She was always learning and sharing her knowledge in her poetry.

Joan was private about her battle with liver cancer last year. She started chemotherapy around the same time my husband started his treatment. We felt that we would be holding hands across the miles on our cancer journeys. But I heard from her husband last night that she is on morphine and has not opened her eyes in over a day. On Monday, 1-25-21, she passed away.

If you know JoanE, please share a thought or two, a prayer, or a poem and add it to this book.

The picture is a painting by Joan. It can be found at:

Chapter 1
JoanE's Masterpiece

By lyenochka

artist creates life

one splendid stroke at a time

with rainbow palette

her masterpiece is complete

she follows God’s divine light 


Author Notes Helen, Lyenochka, created this multiauthor book in honor of Fanstorian, JoanE, who has been fighting her battle with liver cancer since last year and her life is coming to an end. She started chemotherapy. If you know JoanE, please share a thought or two, a prayer, or a poem and add it to this book.

Joan was a French teacher, and later an artist and poet. She also worked at the Getty Museum. She joined Fanstory 8 years before me in 2008. She was a Recognized Writer 7 years ago and has won a number of contests. She was always learning and sharing her knowledge in her poetry.

I have known Joan since I joined Fanstory. She was always kind to me and we shared our love for painting and Japanese poetry. I knew she had cancer and I prayed she would get better but it sounds like she is coming to the end of her life but her beautiful loving spirit will live on. With my tanka I tried to capture what it means to be an artist.
Tanka is a Japanese poetic form that originated in the Japanese Imperial Court, Tanka may not exceed 31 syllables (5/7/5/7/7) but it can be less than 31 in a short/long/short/long/long format. for rules click here

DEATH HAIKU OR TANKA in Japan, there was a custom of leaving a poetic short sentence on a deathbed, ??Jisei no ku (death poem). It is considered to be an East Asian custom, especially in Japan since the Middle Ages. Not only poets but also cultural people and samurai warriors composed the death poems when they were dying.
Thank you for reading my poem and praying for JoanE and her family.


Chapter 2
Written on the wind...

By lyenochka

Written on the wind ...

If time is written on the wind,
then only God time can rescind.
Though farewells may be said my friend,
for me your mem'ry cannot end.

I've shared your journeys in past years,
through joys and now entwined with tears.
My hope we'll meet again someday,
yet in my mind I can but pray.

Life's journey can be bright and full
though tinged with trials none can cull.
I'll miss your presence on this site.
we'll meet perhaps in God's sweet light.

If all things work together friend,
they say that joy can never end.

(Written for JoanE)

R.Owen 27/01/2021

Joan E who has been a dear friend, colleague in writing, and fellow journeyman on Earth and on fanstory,
She Is currently in a coma, on morphine, after being treated for the last 12 months for cancer. If you have faith pray for Joan, and comfort for the family.
God bless you Roy Owen

Author Notes Thanks for Reading. Roy Owen,

Chapter 3
Safely, Softly into the Light

By lyenochka

When sleep is all that there is left –
When no longer eyes behold
the richness of creation’s hand
on fields of green and marigold…
When silence claims sweet laughter’s place –
When music’s beat no longer strokes
the heartstrings of emotion’s bass
or touch points of desire’s hopes…
When movement’s gone and stillness reigns –
When fixed are limbs that once rejoiced
in loving hugs and hobbies, too:
a poet’s pen with lovely voice…
What remains are mere footprints of
a soul searching for its home,
Where waking joy and fields of green
crown hugs in everlasting arms!


Author Notes Though I only knew her for a short time, Joan's message of who she was and where she was headed was always a beautiful and reassuring one. Prayers for her family and her journey from here...

Image of acrylic painting on canvas, abstract collection by Blu Smith at

Chapter 4
Remembering Joan E.

By lyenochka


Words aren’t coming easy today
So I’ll begin with Miss Emily—
hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul.
I thought you’d like my feathered friend
Who’s helping me with
Things I want to say.
I look deep within my heart
To show how much I care,
And how I’ll miss
The special words you shared.
O’er land or sea or air
You always took us there
And gave us such delight.
Now, it’s our turn
To say how much we care,
And how you will be missed.
You brought special joy
To our writing site
With train rides, concerts,
Theater, too.
Though you won’t be writing
Travel cards
Of ventures round the world,
I know you’re in a sacred place—
Where He is there,
Taking care of you,
Letting us know
Loving hands are
Guiding you along
This journey
Knowing you’re at peace,
We’ll keep you in our heart,
And ours with you
Until we meet again,
My special friend.

May you rest in peace.

Author Notes -Thank you to lyenochka (Helen) for doing this book.

If you want to add to the book, you can click the link "add chapter" at the bottom. Once you do that, you just post how you normally would.
It can be a poem or just sharing thoughts in prose form.

--Make sure you check to see if it says "poetry" or "fiction" before you release it. You can change that heading anytime you post something.

-Helen shared these notes about Joan: "JoanE was a French teacher, and later an artist and poet. She also worked at the Getty Museum. She joined Fanstory in 2008. She was a Recognized Writer 7 years ago."

-I joined FS in 2015 and enjoyed our friendship on this site. One of my favorite things was her 'travel cards.' She would make us a part of her travels. I always enjoyed letting her know which verse I liked the best and why.

-I always liked learning things from her, too, whether it was a place, a piece of art, a play, or a concept.

-One thing I will always remember is a few years ago, she and her husband came to Philadelphia. We are only about 40 min. from there across the bridge. I was sorry it didn't work out that we could meet each other, but I will always remember her being there.

-She added so much to FanStory. Like those before her, she will be greatly missed, but her memory will always remain.

Chapter 4
Pieces of Her Mind

By lyenochka

It is with sorrow that I hear
another friend has passed
into the realms of golden thought
where all must go at last;
a poet who is well defined
by poems I was glad to find
endure in Pieces of Her Mind,
a volume unsurpassed.

Author Notes "Pieces of Her Mind: Women Find Their Voice in Centuries-Old Forms" is an anthology of Japanese poetic forms published collaboratively in November 2012 by eighteen talented women poets, several of whom are still active on FanStory. Joan E. Stern was one of those poets. She will be sadly missed. My condolences go out to her husband, Bob.

The Pantygynt is a poetic form introduced by another of our FanStory poets. The first four lines of each cycle alternate iambic tetrameter with iambic trimeter and are rhymed abcb.
The next three lines are all iambic tetrameter in monorhyme ddd. The final line is in iambic trimeter rhymed b

Chapter 5
A new beginning

By lyenochka

Life in the clouds

No more suffering

Just happiness in God's presence.

Where the sadness stops

A new life begins among the Angels.

Chapter 6
Heavenly Star

By lyenochka

She seemed refined and elegant to me,
a lady -- much like one I'd known as mother.
She sailed the world and shared in poetry,
the wonders she observed, and like no other,

her helpful words would wrap around my own
and give support to what I'd tried to say.
She was so wise and beautiful, our Joan,
a gift we could look forward to each day.

But on a Monday, bleak with tears and rain,
she sailed, one final time, across the sea,
beyond this weary world of grief and pain.
Her new adventure -- God's eternity.

She shined so warmly here, but this we know ...
the heavens' stars are brightened by her glow.


Author Notes I have been missing Joan lately and when I inquired, learned to my dismay, she'd been sick and died just this past Monday. Like so many of you, I was heartbroken. This sonnet is my attempt to honor her memory. How I wish she could review it and give me her wise advice. She would say, "I admire your metaphors..." or some other encouraging comment. To receive six stars from Joan was always a high point in my month. She was, herself, a rare star.

Chapter 7
A Tribute to Joan.

By lyenochka

It is with a heavy heart, that I've just found out that Joan has passed away.

I read her lovely poems with great joy, and she never failed to write me a constructive review up until recently.
I have to to say that I feel guilty that I never knew how ill she was. She never let on. So how could I know?

All I want is to pass on my condolences to her nearest and dearest. I also want to let them know that her writing gave me great joy, and equally, her faithful reviews were not only constructive, but so full of great advise. I always looked forward to them.

May you rest in piece, Joan

Chapter 8
Sage Poet

By lyenochka

observes everything
sage poet
the Artist paints
nature’s pose resplendently
she paints her impressions
of life in flowing words and phrases

Joan enriched everyone with whom she spoke and everything within her reach. A mentor to young aspiring poets, musicians, and students. She was a patron of the arts and shared the beauty of music, paintings, sculpture, and so much more with those of us not as traveled or well versed.  As an educator she knew that all people, regardless of age, must continue to learn, and so she was always teaching even when being creative.
despite the darkness
owl continues to inspire
renaissance woman
remains in the hearts and 
memory of all whom she touched

-Ray Griffin, 30 January 2021

Author Notes I am greatly saddened at learning the news of Joan's passing. She was one of the first persons I came to know when I joined FS in 2009. She became a FS friend, mentor and inspirer. I always enjoyed reading her travel logs and poems about the cultural world. She was ever the sage poet and effective teacher.

She liked Japanese short form poetry, but unlike her, I am no master of sentry or koya. So I hope she will enjoy reading these three short poems, a haiku, tanka, and tanka prose.

My sincere condolences to her husband and family.

-Ray Griffin
30 Jan 21

Chapter 9
JoanE (aka Highway)

By lyenochka

from me to JoanE
 JoanE an amazing poet/writer/artist
here on FanStory
has just passed away 
she was a beautiful person
and loved by so many

Joan gave wonderful reviews
and was friendly to everyone
she would help anyone she could

JoanE and her husband loved to travel
Michael (reconciled) called her Highway
made her smile
she would take these amazing pictures,
and post them on here
through the pictures I would go on,
 what was called our Fanstory fantasy cruises
Joan would let me know where they were going
and I would pack my fantasy suitcase
one of my favorites was Alaska
upon coming back
Joan would tell me about each of the pictures
I loved our trips,
and am going to miss her so very much
my heart is broken,
but I know for her
this is not the end, this is just the beginning

my heart and my prayers
go out to all her family and friends,
and loved ones left behind
she now rests in peace 
love you my sweet friend...Linda xxoo 


Chapter 10
The Butterfly

By lyenochka

For Joan~

A lovely Monarch fluttered by 

 Made me smile and stayed awhile

 Butterfly kisses upon my soul

Left without a proper goodbye 

How I will miss that butterfly....

Author Notes A Celtic song for you, dear Joan. My proper goodbye. May it be well with you.

Chapter 11
Bon Voyage, JoanE

By lyenochka

She traveled a lifetime; her lines soared in the air, land, and sea.

She wrote of oceans, mountains, meadows;

and now she is cruising that infinite heaven.

Oh what beautiful descriptions she could write.

In the past, reading her lines, I traveled with her,

and, looking out my window, breathing in the wide space,

I started seeing what she was seeing…

the beauty of her words tumbled through my mind,

like a sweet breath from a dreamland.

Holding my breath, I heard the roar of her pen.

Now, free of pain, she will travel for an eternity.  

*  *  *

Author Notes JoanE was one of my first fans, many years ago. She was the first one to congratulate me when I posted, even if it was two simple lines. Her lovely remarks made me feel as if I had arrived: I was a poet!
Once we planned to meet with our respective husbands at the Shakespearean Festival in Southern Oregon

Chapter 12
A Truly Fine Lady

By lyenochka

Today I learned that you have left us all -
through earth's perimeter, into the clouds.
You were a true fine lady who stood tall
against the odds of life and judging crowds.

So poised, aristocratic all the time,
you have exuded wisdom and finesse ~
We met eons ago in the world of rhyme
and I admired your distinction and largesse.

I cherished your reviews - they were so kind,
so polished, and they always made you grow.
You had a learned and and expanded mind 
and shining was your artistry halo.

Why did you have to go? A cruel twist of fate -
This site is orphaned now, we lost its star.
Good bye, my friend, we'll meet across the gate,
your presence and your luminance are never far...


Author Notes It is with great sadness that I found out about the passing of Joan E. I have known Joan on the site for many years, and she was one of my favorites. So polished and refined, so kind and gentle - she was a true aristocrat. Rest in peace, dearest friend, and when me meet across the gate, we'll do some more poetry together. We miss you...

Chapter 13
Only the Beginning

By lyenochka

you’ve taken your flight
beyond the chasm 
that separates now from eternity

Though I
never talked with you,
never heard your laughter,
never walked with you,
never tasted your Italian dishes,
I miss your gentle presence
in the aroma of your words
your quiet, supportive cheers
because you shared glimpses
of your soul
in well sculpted words

I wonder ...
what landscape are you painting now?
what galaxy are you cruising?
what dream-textured words are you using
to compose the essence of your poems?

I believe
no matter your doubts about the Beyond
from Earth’s murky view
that you have found that
ce n’est pas la fin, ma chère amie,
ce n’est que le début

(it’s not the end, my dear friend, it’s just the beginning)


Author Notes I'm getting ready to compile the chapters of this book to send to Joan's husband. If anyone else wants to write a poem or prose to add to the book, please let me know.

Chapter 14
Honoring Joan

By lyenochka

Certain people are blessed with purposeful, adventurous lives dotted with fascinating experiences, moments with intriguing individuals, and visits to intoxicating locations the rest of us can only dream of.  But.  If we're really, really lucky, in the best of cases--like with Joan Stern--sometimes these people have the desire and the skill to share these adventures and their growing insights with friends through vivid and remarkable word pictures.

Joan's writing career had a somewhat less-than-auspicious beginning.  In a 2010 FanStory post, she relates the creation of her first poem, a simple piece that accompanied a butcher-paper mural about Henry Hudson assigned by a fourth-grade teacher.

She doesn't really say what she thought of that effort but seems to have turned instead toward a challenging career in Public Administration and Business Consulting for the next five decades.  It isn't surprising to learn she worked with the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, and had a high appreciation for the arts, attending plays, concerts, and museum events with her husband, Bob.


good ending--
too bad it didn't start
sooner in the play
     -Joan S, Pieces of Her Mind Anthology, 2012

Joan's writing career began actively around age 65, after retirement, when she took six summer classes for seniors, one of which was Creative Writing.  Her first effort, another poem, was published in a local paper and nudged her toward the fact that she really did have talent.  Taking her teacher's advice, she began to write daily.  Joan loved senryu, a tricky Japanese-short form of poetry because it demands brevity and succinctness.

She was a popular poet on FanStory, but quietly and without fanfare, had multiple pieces published in anthologies and elsewhere. Joan often read her work at venues in the greater Los Angeles area, and when she did so in San Francisco and South Korea, she garnered the title of Poet Laureate for The Global Forum on Direct Democracy.

In stories shared here, she explains she originally thought her whole identity was tied to her professional career.  I have to assume the idea of retirement probably scared her.  But later, she admitted, "Who knew that at age sixty-five, I would find an entirely new identity?"

Aren't we so glad she did?


poetry consoles
heals and interprets life's stresses
in the worst of times
        -Joan S, FS, 10.20.2020



One of thousands of stories, poems and books available online at

You've read it - now go back to to comment on each chapter and show your thanks to the author!

© Copyright 2010 lyenochka All rights reserved.
lyenochka has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

© 2010, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy Statement