Poetry from Stephen Jarrell Williams

This Ebb of Darkness

Deep yawning coming into focus
your room a hole between walls

another blur of the ceiling
morning light accepting your awakening

wondering what day it is
searching a few moments for meaning

and you stretch in a bed of only one
familiar blanket and cold feet

turning your stiff neck toward the window
curtain open as always a hint of the still
life calling

outside sky of puffs of cloud over blue
blending behind a bad city of sadness

you want to cry but can't remember how
and nothing would come out of it
so why waste the energy

and you rise
a stiff stick of a man
slow grinding your teeth

a declaration of "I'm not dead yet!"

A laughing toilet waiting in the bathroom
white porcelain cleaned somewhat
with a week of writing poems
for someone you don't know.

And you shove your skinny legs
into old pants and walk barefoot
to the peephole window

glaring down three stories to the street
littered with garbage in the gutters
and stinking slick sidewalks

children not playing but running
for hiding places and free cookies
from handouts from crooked hands.

Deep sigh
deciding you're hungry now

going downstairs
past all the other losers
locked in tombs with ears smashed
against their doors

tears in their eyes
wondering why
they can't help the emptiness
even with the sunrise...

You won't quit

brushing your teeth
with no tooth paste

smile still showing in the dark
even with a crack in the mirror.

A crack quickly spreading
into a top heavy internet
with Jack the Ripper coming
riding two motorcycles
with a foot on each

but you're good with it
this ebb of darkness.

For you can survive
almost any trick
of the wicked
which will eventually stumble
and fall into their own dark
spy holes.


We're in a country of top heavy pretenders...

not understanding sooner or later
someone is going to slap them down,
stomp on their false teeth,
and kick their tail down the street.

They'll have to live with the rest of us...

Seeing how we feel more
than how they ever felt

they with their fathers
giving them a lousy excuse
on trying to exterminate us.

The Downward of Now

in the ocean swell
a last wave
and breath

sunset prayer
bubbles rising as I sink
eyes closing
sea deep

my dreams
heart beating
satisfying sleep

I am
one of those
in the downward of now
watering of tears

burial at sea
never reaching bottom
back home on shore

coughing up
and a headache of dreams

a rope tide around my ankle
someone pulling me
across the finish line.

Stephen Jarrell Williams can be found on Twitter (X) @papapoet