Interior Image

John Warner Smith

Years: 2011, 2012, 2013


John Warner Smith’s most recent collection of poems, Spirits of the Gods, was published by UL Press in 2017.  Other collections include Soul Be A Witness (MadHat Press, 2016) and A Mandala of Hands (Aldrich Press, 2015). Smith’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Callaloo, Antioch Review, North American Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Transition, Quiddity, and numerous other literary journals. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for the Sundress Best of the Net Anthology. Smith earned his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans.


Moving Men


Men of the moving company arrive

in gray crew neck shirts and hard-toe boots,

carrying dollies, ropes and quilts,

a few songs and small talk

to pass the time. They lift, pull

and raise, then sail the séance

of grit golden sands.

They pull cups, pour water,

and pass bread, potatoes and fried meat.

These cocoa-tinted, bred, burned,

branded and bull-whipped men

have barely begun to move.

It’s only morning. Give them a day.