Jobie Townshend-Zellner

The Listening Poet

Jobie Townshend-Zellner is a poet from San Diego, CA. Photography and graphic art are other “loves”. She enjoys walking through local parks, biking in her neighborhood, and visiting the local “Open Mic” scene. In the spring, Jobie will have a poem appear in The San Diego Poetry Annual 2022-2023. Some of her poetry and photography were published last year in ‘Poetry is Life’, a book of poetry and ideas, compiled by Ann Quinn; Yellow Arrow Publishing. When the Muse isn’t speaking, Jobie serves at church and tends her container garden - on the lookout for visits from hummingbirds!

Jobie started her earth journey in Northern California, and grew up in various cities - from Virginia to Southern California. She has always taken her wonder of life, people, places and nature with her.

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                                                                                                         Please hold life lightly

                                                                                                    White-knuckled ride is over

                                                                                                         We can breathe again.

                                                                                                        photo by Jobie

Nature Spoof, a Limerick

Hail dancing on roof ?

I went to get some proof -

Kernels of corn?!!

Popcorn was born

within this nature spoof!

Wrapped Gift

           Only the Giver knows the

          inside story; stay

          calm, willing to be surprised.

Water Currents …

     … spring from within me.

      I've stopped carrying earthen

     jars atop my head.

Where is ...

my watch?

my hair clip?

my life direction?

     not in it’s case ...

     not in the drawer ...

     not in my head ...

          ... What to do?

          Well, I’ll just keep on livin’ -

          Without ‘em.


                    under the table ...

                    I find my clip!

                              Pullin’ on my walkin’ pants ...

                              what’s this clump in the pocket?

                              It’s my watch!

                                        Treading the earth

                                        step by step, my heart is in order.

                                        Wow - I’ve found my way!

Find Home ...

to be your journey

not in a house by the side of the road.

                                                                 "The Girl I Left Behind Me" by Eastman Johnson

Shadow-War Hero

Once shadows were exciting!

Dark cloud shadows, with scent of coming rain ...

The shrinking shadow of a descending carrying-my-friend plane ...

Fan blade shadows, rotating over my summer reading ...

But lately, gloomy shadows have come creeping

across my mental landscape, screaming

fearfully ominous lies in my face,

as I’m forging ahead with good projects in my embrace. 

"Why are you doing this at all?"

“Somebody else could do it much better than you!”

“Your efforts for good are so small

nothing worthwhile will ever come through!”

I should have slammed the door in their faces!

They now hover over me, a black umbrella in all places,

blocking the light... suffocating what’s right ....

Under their shadow, will I ever grow?

Hello, warm friend! I feel bouncing off you, the light of what’s true!

Can I grow across to you?

No.  To be upright,

I, myself, have to head towards the light!

Thank you for your reflected light, it’s given me courage to fight.

I will destroy this tyrannical umbrella of lies by being wise.

When they’re not looking,

I’ll give them the boot with what’s true:

“Why are you doing this at all?"

I’m doing this because of my divine call.

over which you have no power at all!

“Somebody else could do it much better than you!”

There’s no one who’s “better” - what’s needed is my uniqueness;

but you can’t understand that - you represent mass hypnosis.

“Your efforts for good are so small -

nothing worthwhile will ever come through!"

My efforts are more than your unlawful lies, which are zero.

My source is endless good, which ultimately rules as hero.

- Jobie Townshend-Zellner

copyright 2023

Holding My Breath …

… I waited for your face to change, but your eyes

stared straight ahead as you walked to the horizon

only you could see; then you were gone. 

 I began to spin - you took my world with you.

I fell until the crash landing

stopped me; I came to, half-awake.

Dazed, I staggered forward.

Your voice said, “There is always a beyond.”

I stood my ground.

Once balanced and aware

I could see a path forward -

with the light of a destiny of my own.

- Jobie Townshend-Zellner

copyright 2023


Every year on the last day

of grade school, your ritual

was to run and leap from a knoll

as you cried, Free! Free at last!

Yet, you kept on learning, and

telling jokes to lighten life’s load -

even while you shifted the weight

of your Army pack on your back.

 I am thankful you are out of range

of the enemies’ guns now.

You love, as you always have -

no enemy’s bullet could kill that.

Back home you started to mend.

Grandma Zelda shouted, Couráge!

as you first walked with your canes.

Your echo was, Couráge!

You never spoke of the war except once.

I was in your home office. You worked

while I did homework at the kids’ desk.

I saw you move, and turned my head.

You looked up and spoke to yourself. 

Yes this is what we’d talk about during 

the war. We’d come home, and have

 families. Life would be good again.

I’m sure you have

found yet another home

and are leaping once again -

wherever you are. 

As I was leaping in a modern dance

class, exploring internal resistance felt,

your enemies confronted me! 

I looked behind their faces of rage

and saw fear. Great Grandma

Zelda’s cry of Couráge!

flew out of your story to me.

It was a cry to forgive, and I did.

I feel sure you have forgiven too.

Your voice I hear again

as you leap, with a new cry

Free! Free at last - to love!

Jobie Townshend-Zellner

copyright 2023


When a dead tree falls, its heartwood

no longer carries life giving nutrient.

That’s no matter, we living trees catch it.

We honor what flowed while it stood

with pulse of its own distant drummer

with being out in front - leading

with standing on the sidelines - cheering

being in a sweaty kitchen - cooking

designing clothing or software

flying at thirty thousand feet

or honoring Mother nature on the ground -

conserving land, waters, insects, beasts, generic man.

You see - dead or alive - we all count

as long as we honor each's heartwood expression

no matter our color, race, orientation or nation.

This Memorial Day let's do more than catch what’s fallen

let's be overcome by their spirit of service, let it live among us

and carry it forward as their forever worth.

Jobie Townshend-Zellner

copyright 2023

Dancin’ Queen

Like a lightning streak turned puppy, Little Queen

bounds into the mountainous cool creek water

dances her tail off, twirls under the sun floodlight -

as if she’s doin’ smooth moves for the DJ

whose eye she hopes to catch one day!

Today, the creek’s her Dancin’ partner.

She flings water up, delights in its fall!

Little Queen freezes in the shape of a bridge.

She pictures she’s part of a Monet painting -

winks at imagined pastel lavender water lilies.

The late afternoon wind makes goosebumps

ripple from forehead to ankles. She transforms

  back into a singing and dancing queen. Her arms

thrust up as she twirls. She zooms her hands down,

wraps them around her waist. As she bows deeply,

she sees the picnic table is empty! “Hey!

Did you leave without me?” Little Queen

bolts to the parking lot. Grandmama

is by their station wagon - about to get in!

She runs wildly and shouts, “Grandmama!

Let’s make dessert when we get home! 

My DJ would love some!” Before the wagon

winds into an arbor of pine trees, the windows

roll down. We hear “Dancin’ Queen…”

She’s ready for the next stop on her singing tour!

by Jobie Townshend-Zellner

copyright 2023

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  •  1/29/2023 20:13

  •  8/4/2020 00:00

  •  7/5/2016 00:00
  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • PO Box 90683 San Diego CA 92169

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