John L. Stanizzi

Connecticut teacher, author, and poet


Overheard along the shore.

I would like to give you a brief description about the poems here and the project from which they emerged.

They are from a one-year-long project called POND.  The poems are acrostics.  Here is my process.  Everyday, at different times during the day, I would visit our pond with notebook and camera in hand.  I’d jot down some notes, and take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presented itself.

Then I’d head home and write a four line acrostic using the letters P, O, N, and D.   To elevate the challenge, I added the caveat that I could not use any of my first words more than once.   I needed a different P, O, N, or D word every day for one entire year; I began on November 9, 2018 and completed it on November 8, 2019, without ever missing a single day.

With a poet’s voice and a naturalist’s eye. John Stanizzi takes us on a daily journey in verse and photographs to a pond near his home where he reveals the secrets of nature hidden in plain view. These artfully crafted four-line acrostics, using the letters P, O, N, and D, cycle through the seasons painting a bold phenological picture of nature’s ever-changing events. He takes to heart Thoreau’s comment that a pond “is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is the earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own awareness.” Stanizzi’s keen observations and metaphorical convictions not only delight in the reading, they forever enlarge and give meaning to our experiences outdoors.

– David K. Left — author of Canoeing Maine’s Legendary Allagash; former deputy commissioner, Connecticut Department of Environmental protection. Visit David’s website .

11.32 a.m.
55 degrees
Profligacies in orange and black, black and red, white and white, white and yellow,
officers of influence, their color remains after they have flown, and the toads are a
nimbus of sound in the bright afternoon, their chirring rising and rising to a stop, a
dialogue, a harmony, a synchronization of spring’s opus played, revised, played again.
Published in One Sentence Poems – June, 2019

7.35 a.m.
33 degrees
Presents? Twilight. The pond one-third frozen. The sun
overlaying the moon, ornaments in scattered blue light,
notes of Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter there too, though
dawn on the water is the first light of Christmas I see.
Published in KYSO Flash – Summer 2019

Paperback – September 21, 2020
Paperback $20.00