Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category


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Yellow shines

between the blinds

lighting her brown skin

beneath her pale orange gown.

Dark hills stand

to greet the morning man

she spent the night warming

till the blue jay cried outside

the windowpane.

She respectfully

sundresses her treasures,

saves his pleasures,

and honors

their name.


Shawn R. Jones

The Patient

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The Patient

Each muscle

In my dark face quaked.

My mouth quivered

Till my teeth cracked

And chapped lips

Came undone.

My spine bumped down

The cold white wall.

Arms wrapped

A volcanic embrace.

Greedy veins

In my body ached.

Tears crept

On a crumbling face.

Shawn R. Jones

Reprinted from Womb Rain

Finishing Line Press, 2008

In Rain, In Heat

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In Rain, In Heat

Straight copper highlights
bend and twist like
exotic wild flowers
in a patch of
shredded wheat.
Shawn R. Jones

Keeping Water in a Bucket

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Each day I peeled a little brown from the potato-

My sensuous roots gone along with my

uniqueness, and my body that moved to

rhythms across the shore.

Straight-haired dialect fumbled

from my lips, tripping over teeth

like a ballerina’s grace to the sudden

beat of a drum.

My Home Ec. teacher told me not a

speck of brown can show

before it is mashed, before it is eaten.

Others nodded subtly-subtle like a

teaspoon of arsenic in a bowl of good soup.

I listened because nobody told me it was okay

to add a honey, girl, humph, and

ain’t that someth’ chile.

Words were ripped

from the ends of my sentences like

babies taken from the bosoms’ of slaves.

Nobody told me it was okay to sway

and swagger my hips to bass.

Nobody told me to hang on to this

because it was good for my soul.

It was… my soul.

Nobody told me I could embrace

their culture without

letting go of my own.

Nobody told me.

Nobody told me.

Nobody…told me.


By Shawn R. Jones


Author of the devotional book, Pictures in Glass Frames

and the poetry chapbook, Womb Rain,

Music is Everything

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Music is soft sheets

still in the quietness of sleep

with two bodies of potential music,

a morning heartbeat, a tender breath,

and the rise and fall of a sleeping chest.


There is music of possibility

like slippers dragging

across a wooden floor

to a shower’s hard stream,

an occasional sigh, harmonizing

through a soapy mist,

with yesterday’s songs

hip hopping down a long drain

of ageless, desirable music.


Shawn R. Jones

Love’s Silhouhette

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Love’s Silhouhette


In twenty years of respecting love’s art,

Between us some things are never discussed.

There’s a silence we both know we can trust

Beyond simple words that cannot impart

The emotions from which love’s longing starts.

Strong feelings I struggle to readjust

In the complication of love and lust

For a true man who has mastered my heart.


You’ve claimed and sustained my intricacies

In quiet moments I’ll never forget

So anointed by our sweet faithfulness.

Thus, in the midst of pure delicacies,

A fire reflects two dark silhouettes

Entangled in love’s unlimitedness.


By Shawn R. Jones (2007)


Author of the devotional book, Pictures in Glass Frames

and the poetry chapbook, Womb Rain,

On the Tale of a Watery Breeze

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With translucent clouds

in a graying sky

how can we say good-bye to

the delightful sound of

our soft bodies

swimming in the distance?

Only somber stars hear my cry

as I chase the wind

back to a lie I found

on an empty beach

where I last heard

a salt-filled mist

moan my name.

I left my imprint on the sand

in hopes that you will come

back to a lonely man

who still chases you

in his dreams.

My invitation is on each grain

from a fresh fountain spilled

with pain for you

to massage beige hands

through the moisture

of damp sand.

Press it upon parted lips.

Mask your soft white face,

and let blondish memories

grind intense moments

in your flesh.

Shawn R. Jones

I’m not Going Back to that Place

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Trees conceal the maroon Expedition

as tires crunch across the red stoned driveway.

I get out, wearing tight blue jeans

and a tan lambskin jacket.


I pull a knife from my right boot

and slit air out of all four black tires.

This time, I say to myself, I’m going to stay awhile.


In front of my blue-gray mountain chalet

a white dress dances on the deck in the wind

that I left out to dry two years before.


On the side of the small wooden house,

a squirrel scampers through a pile of

crinkled orange, yellow, and brown leaves,

reminding me that I haven’t played outside in awhile.


In the middle of browning fern, a red cardinal

bathes in a cracked green birdbath

full of tree bits and free water.


I twitch, startled by the sound of that old

chipmunk running to his black drainpipe

home with no mortgage.


I rip my clothes off and undo my coarse bun.

My dark fingers move crazily through my hair

freeing my scalp from vain tensions.


My brown body scurries naked on all fours

across swollen tree roots, dirt, and dead grass,

chasing behind a wild, crazy-eyed raccoon.


Shawn R. Jones


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I am not who I should be

And think not as I should.

I know not where I’m going

And go not where I could.


Shawn R. Jones

Reprinted from Womb Rain

(Finishing Line Press, 2008)

The Seed is Watered

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Pop, I have studied men

on the street of your generation

to recreate your smile

and admire that 70s bop,

although I knew it was

a feigned coolness

in a world that didn’t care

if you walked upright or not

because it was determined

to stop the new seed anyhow

or bend you like putty

one way or another

until your manhood, your family,

and your race could not be revived.

For this, I have cried

too often for your shortened life.

Pop, I have heard your voice

in the tone of anointed pastors

and thought, that’s how my dad

would have said that, if

he had said that, if

he had broken free…

if he had made the choice, if

he had continued to live,

if he could only see if.


Pop, I have unearthed you 1,000 times

and birthed you from Mary’s womb,

given you power, prosperity, peace,

and divine wisdom–I saw

possibilities in you.

I reconstructed you

on the faces of distinguished men

and finally in the eyes of

your grandson who reflects

your charm and intellignece

in the absence of

homemade adversity-

just everything you wished to be-

plus male poetry walking straight

in God’s destiny

breeding generations of saved men.

The world will not win.

Shawn R. Jones