Poetry Corner

There are many different types of writing. Some writers specialize in the art of communicating facts clearly and effectively. Some writers spend years of their lives creating other worlds with nothing but a pen and paper. Others prefer to take the language we all use daily and give it rhythm, movement, and style that is the art of poetry. Our first poet of this series, Shaun Hooker, told us that he always have felt Czeslaw Milosz said it best: “I swear to you there is in me no wizardry of words. I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.”

Shawn Hooker headshot

Born in Lanexa, Virginia in 1983; has worked in the retail industry for twenty years and has used that experience with people in the unique approach to writing about the flawed and down-on-their-luck subjects he creates with empathy in mind.

An Old Man Recounting His Glory Days
Shawn Hooker

I used to hit other men for a living; 
they held in their hands a pebbled leather object, 
oblong and stitched together, 
and they threw it in the direction of other men,
where it was my job
to correct their mistake of trying to catch it. 

When I hit them with my helmet, 
these men would spin like a helicopter
in mid-air before
descending to the ground (this was before
they set rules against using your head
to smash against another’s

to ring his bell, to leave him heaving his insides
and sicking air on a sideline),
and when they came back to,
they would be asked three questions:

What day of the week is it?
What month is it?
What year is it?
And, if they were anything like me—dazed and 
slightly chilled after impact—they’d only
remember it was Sunday,
because it was the only day we ever played.

--Shaun Hooker

Poetry Corner

There are many different types of writing. Some writers specialize in the art of communicating facts clearly and effectively. Some writers spend years of their lives creating other worlds with nothing but a pen and paper. Others prefer to take the language we all use daily and give it rhythm, movement, and style that is the art of poetry. Our first poet of this series, Shaun Hooker, told us that he always have felt Czeslaw Milosz said it best: “I swear to you there is in me no wizardry of words. I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.”

Shawn Hooker headshot

Born in Lanexa, Virginia in 1983; has worked in the retail industry for twenty years and has used that experience with people in the unique approach to writing about the flawed and down-on-their-luck subjects he creates with empathy in mind.

Waters – Shawn Hooker

They found that girl recently floating like a doll,
skin translucent, waxy, almost blue like the water itself
that seemed to deliver her like a promise made
to return her to the earth from whence she came.

Some say she left the world at the decision of another
and some say she retreated existence to find peace
and still others said it was the Almighty Himself
asked her home to Glory, nevermind the reasons as they 
     are mysterious and without answer.

I don’t know about any of that, because at my age I tend to
     forget things--
my phone number, why I left the house, where I parked my truck--
and my hands shake like fluttering leaves with their spotty
     constitution,
but I have never forgotten the wail of the mother as she ran
to the waters as if they would seek to take her too,

asking some unseen person “Please, no, please no,”
and all the swirling lights from large trucks surrounding
     the water,
as if to ward off future sightings of deliveries by the waters.

I remember letting the curtains fall back into place
and wishing to hide from the sounds of grief
and the louder silence of the one taken and returned.

--Shaun Hooker, 10/20/2020