John Warner SmithWebsite
Years: 2011, 2012, 2013
BiographyJohn 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.
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.