John Warner Smith speaks on A Mandala of Hands.

Each of the experiences shared here has moved me to feel, think or act in some way bends toward light or virtue, at least as I would define it. Each has in some way shaped the limits and possibilities of my own personal journey—even when I have been unconscious of their influence. It is in the vicissitudes and seasons, in the awareness and blindness of human self, with its strangely conflicting and compensating opposites of power and vulnerability, where I find the inspiration, the need finally, to portray human experience, the black experience, through poetry.  

Selected Poems In Print

Crossing, Callaloo, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2008
Letter to the Oaks, Callaloo, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2008
Zydeco on Dog Hill, Ploughshares, Vol. 39, No. 1, Spring 2013
Talking Book, The Worcester Review, Vol. XXXIV, Numbers 1 & 2, 2013
Memphis Soul Hour, Fourteen Hills: The San Francisco State University Review, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2014
Rain Dance, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, 2014
Hunting Dragonflies, American Athenaeum, Autumn/Winter 2013
Cries Beyond the Mountains, Kestrel, Fall 2013
An Artist Reflects on His Creations, Kestrel, Fall 2013
Harlem the Morning After, About Place Journal, Volume II, Issue IV, 2014
Gazing, About Place Journal, Volume II, Issue IV, 2014
Samuel and Solomon, Age Six, Pluck!, 2014
Hand Fan, Pembroke, No, 46, Spring 2014
Songs We Never Heard, Mom Egg Review, No. 12, Spring 2014
Karaoke, Quiddity, Vol. 7.1-Spring/Summer 2014
Stars, Tupelo Quarterly, Vol.II, TQ5, Fall 2014
Sands of Somalia, Killens Review of Arts and Letters, Spring 2015

I begin every poem with either a visual image of a thing or experience, past or present, or a strongly felt emotion. But I also begin a poem with the expectation that the words on the page will surprise me with meaning

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