Key West Couplets–The End

Welcome to this week’s homage to the Conch Republic. The world didn’t come to an end, but this poem is complete. Feel free to check out Key West Couplets–Part One or Key West Couplets–Part Two if you missed them. Enjoy!

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is tanning at Smathers, Higgins, Fort Zack, and South Beach,

Snapping photos of butterflies and exotic birds out of reach,

Exploring Truman’s Little White House and tall banyon trees,

Dreaming of pirates at Mel Fisher Museum, another treasure of the keys.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is mopeds, skateboards, tour trolleys, and Conch Cruisers,

Paddleboards, Sunset Key Ferry, pink taxis, and scooters.

Cruise ships, motorboats, houseboats, and sea planes buzzing by,

Luxury yachts and masted boats with their sails flying high.

Whether you devour dessert at Better Than Sex,

Or sip sweet champagne as you watch the sun set,

Whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears,

You’ll forget all the worries, the minutia of fears…

Path to Paradise

Key West is escape, where the two of you can play,

Reconnecting with each other on a romantic holiday.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

In the mood for a little island music? Here’s a soothing version of “I’m Yours” on a beautiful set of steel drums–a perfect escape.


Key West Couplets – Part Two

Welcome to this week’s Margarita Moment, the second of a three-part homage to the Conch Republic–Key West. Feel free to check out Key West Couplets – Part One if you missed it.

Irish Kevin's Bar

Key West is Hogaritas, Ultimate Margaritas, Corona with limes,

Rum punch, Flying Monkeys’ frozen concoctions, our favorite red wines.

Happy Hour that begins each day ’round about noon,

Laidback island music, with a work-to-live motto and a steel drum tune.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is James Audubon, Tennessee Williams, and Chesney,

Jimmy Buffett, Mel Fisher, McGillis, and Winfrey.

Cigars rolled by Cubans and beaches made from soft Bahamian sand,

Home of the Navy, Coast Guard, and factories where turtles were once canned.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is upper, mid, and lower Duval,

Art boutiques, souvenir shops, and occasional vendor stall,

Piano bars, sports bars, and others with history or flare,

All ending at a cobblestone street that leads to a boardwalk and Mallory Square.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is tanning at Smathers, Higgins, Fort Zack, and South Beach,

Snapping photos of butterflies, exploring the world of banyon trees, and birds out of reach…

Until next Monday, when we finish our poetic tour of Key West, here’s a song by one of my favorite American Idol artists, Phil Phillips, with his beautiful homage to someone special. Wherever you may be, may it be the place you make your home.

What place would you like to call home?

Key West Couplets — Part One

Key West Shoreline

Key West is America’s tropical southernmost city,

One-and-a-half miles wide and four short miles of pretty,

Home to Mile Marker Zero, the end of US Highway One,

Where the Atlantic meets the Gulf to kiss the setting sun.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is roosters, six toed cats, and endangered Key Deer herds,

Street performing dogs, skittish lizards, photo posing boas and birds.

Kayaking to view manatees, nurse sharks, and dolphins,

Fishing the flats for grouper and hogfish while dreaming of marlins or tarpins.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is baked clams with bacon, pink shrimp, lobster cheese and mac,

Catch of the day so incredible we keep coming back,

Michael’s, The Flaming Buoy, Cafe Sole’s, and Blue Heaven,

Sloppy Joe’s, Hogs Breath, Aqua Club, and Irish Kevin’s.

Jolyse Barnett Photography

Key West is Hogaritas, Ultimate Margaritas, and Corona with limes,

Rum punch, Flying Monkeys’ frozen concoctions, and our favorite red wines.

(Hmm, that sounds like a good place to stop for now. I’m feeling a bit thirsty.)

To Be Continued…

Jolyse Barnett PhotographyWhat is Key West for you?

Summer’s Grace

Dusk descends upon us,

Relief from the heat of the day,

We’re drawn to the wooden boardwalk,

Where flowery fragrance fills the air,

Hidden creatures chirp their mating songs,

And svelte swans grace the lawn.

Away from the raucous festivities,

Warm bodies, pulsing music, and stilted small talk,

Into the cool, calm quiet.

Rare is our solitude, rare is the perfect June night.

~Jolyse Barnett

Waxing Poetic

April is one of my favorite months. Spring is in full bloom, Long Island days seem slightly sunnier…and it’s poetry month. To put you in the poem frame of mind, here’s a haiku I wrote, just for you.


Sensory snapshot in words

Lines, rhymes, alliteration, stanzas

Rhythm rolling off my tongue

When I’m in the mood for a little poetry pick-me-up but don’t have the energy left to write my own, I surf on poetry websites. The next poem is courtesy of

Tropical Island

Palm trees sway

To the beat of the drums

As my plane lands

My Caribbean escape awaits


I dip my feet

Into the refreshing warm water

The ocean sweeps me away

To my personal paradise


Flashes of color

Shimmering scales

Crystal blue water

A blissful sight


The burning red sun

Battles the soft ocean breeze

My toes dig deeper into the sand

I don’t want to leave


The reef is a playground

To all curious creatures

And the seaweed rocks back and forth

To the rhythm of the water


But sunset comes

In shades of orange, yellow, and pink

As it settles to rest

Sinking beneath the ocean waves

by Peyton Alexis

Do you like poetry? Why or why not? If you like poetry, do you have any favorite poets or related websites you’d recommend?

P.S. – If you’re not into poetry, no worries. Next week’s post will be written in prose. 🙂


A Love Story

Wedding Day

Twenty-four years ago today, I married my true love and best friend. But our love story began long before April 9, 1988.

At fifteen, I was tall, lanky, studious, and shy compared to most girls my age, yet eager to fit in despite lacking social graces. I survived adolescent crushes and ventured into dating. None of those boys, however, made me swoon like the heroes in my favorite novels. Night after night, I’d gaze into the starry darkness from my bedroom window, dreaming of the perfect romance.

The Michael Buble song, I Just Haven’t Met You Yet, reminds me of that yearning optimism I had as a teen.

I met my future husband autumn of ’83. He was a very confident, handsome guy with a great sense of humor, a potent combination as far as I was concerned. We hung in the same circles and kept bumping into each other, although I focused on my studies and dating guys I felt were more in my league. My future husband and I had a playful, friendly relationship, but it didn’t go any further than that.

Until months later, he stole a kiss. I began to suspect he was the one, but I didn’t want to believe it. At that point I had a love interest back home and figured he did too.

Sophomore year of college, he’d walk me home Saturday nights whenever my roommate wasn’t available. I began to share my accomplishments and sorrows with him. He offered emotional support after my breakup with a boy back home. We talked about our childhoods, our aspirations, our religious beliefs, just about everything. We’d become best friends.

Then he ruined everything by asking me out on a date. I had to refuse. What if things didn’t work out? Luckily for our love story, he wasn’t easily dissuaded. He brought me flowers. He asked me to a movie. He courted me.

And we lived happily ever after.

Well, not so fast. Our road to marriage was a bumpy one at times, both of us having grown into strong-minded, focused young adults, intent on making our way in the world while trying to figure out how to fit our lives together.  The 2005 movie A Lot Like Love, starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet, reminds me a bit of our real-life romance:

As we’ve wound our ways through the years,

we’ve lived our marriage vows,

loving each other

for better for worse,

in good times and in bad,

through sickness and health.

Twenty seven years after our first date, we’re still best friends, and we’re still crazy in love with each other. Happy anniversary, sweetheart.

That’s our love story. What’s yours? 

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