"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


April is National Poetry Month.
And I'm excited!
Though I've had a great deal of success in different genres of writing, some people are surprised to discover that poetry is really my "first love."
I started writing as a teen, and have published (5) books to date.
There's something about its realness, its simplicity, and ease of flow that I truly dig.
This month, I'll be bringing to you some of the best in poetry, maybe even a few pieces penned by yours truly. :-)

Without further adieu...Here's a talented poet and friend who's taking the poetry community by storm. I bring you Henry L. Jones...

*Cabrini Red/Black/Green

Who will recognize the calling
as we watch our prophets die?
The silent night streets
where only a few roam
searching for tomorrow
longing for some answers
instead a scream
escapes the darkness
and echoes around corners
but it’s muffled
by the thunder of gunfire.
Am I still alive?

*Cabrini is a Chicago housing project.

Henry L. Jones

Henry L. Jones is a writer and an artist who focuses on cultural and social change as a theme in his work. Run into Blackness is his first book of poetry. He’s been writing for over thirty years. As a child he’d write in journals about his experiences. Now, his poems are mostly inspired from urban experiences and Black heritage. From his dedication to writing and sharing his poetry in many communities, he’s received awards and recognitions such as an Accolade Award Medallion presented by Nashville, Tennessee’s Poet Laureate, Dr. Harriette Bias-Insignares. In a grassroots fashion he’s lead many creative writing workshops and open-mic nights. Published poems appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers, and some anthologies such as Blacks n Asia, Chicago Quarterly Review, Center Stage Magazine, Urban Flavor, Home Coming (book, Parthenon Museum Press), Houses of God (Gospel CD, House of Blues/Platinum Entertainment), Black Digest, Fisk Herald Journal, Vanderbilt Review and others. He lectures about the arts at schools and universities. His performances and recitals of poetry take place at cultural events, festivals and coffee houses. Jones has organized creative programs for youths and adults. He’s a Detroit, Michigan native with planted seeds in Chicago's art community. Jones, an alumnus of Fisk University, works and lives in Tennessee.

Poems from RUN INTO BLACKNESS: Feeling My Poetic Gumbo
by Henry L. Jones, Pneuma Publishing International, Inc. copyright 2009
ISBN: 9780979047695, 132 pp, Softback

Readers, what do you think of this poem? What mood does it inspire? What do you think is the message behind this piece? Weigh in.


  1. Hey Jennifer,

    I'm actually an aspiring poet myself. I've written a few poems but not at a professional level. After visiting your blog, I think I will get back to that long lost love. :)

    Here's one of mine titled - Twisted faith or reality:

    The illusion is clear
    Intertwined with all that I see
    The eyes I’ve trusted
    Continue to betray me

    But the eyes are mere windows
    Open for the brain to construe
    That which is hidden
    And is never obviously true

    My sub consciousness manifested
    Somewhat into make-shift reality
    The power of creation underestimated
    A slave at my fingertips

    Hours become minutes
    Days become hours
    A lifetime, an oblivious spec
    That we claim, but is not ours

    Earth unearthed
    Ancient awaken to modern
    In search of what is, what was
    Find ourselves we say we must

    Life a vast ocean
    Many mysteries we will never find
    Unlock that which is bound
    And claim what is mine

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Wow, dude, you're deep! Yep, the verdict is in. You should definitely go back to writing poetry.
    I love your work. Thanks for sharing it here.

  3. Unfortunately many environments stifle and impede a better suitable life free to enjoy living, loving, dreaming and more.

    You have always had the ability to see with more than your eyes what many fail to notice, deny, or simply cannot recognize realities/truths.
    La Gayle

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 17, 2010 at 6:40 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here today. I appreciate it.