Carolyn Howard-Johnson: “Inevitably Walls”


Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a widely published poet and the author of several marketing manuals for writers, including The Frugal Book Promoter. Her site The New Book Review features original and reprinted reviews, to help authors maximize the exposure of a good review. (This month, they’ve re-posted a review of my chapbook Swallow that first appeared on the Ampersand Books website.)

Carolyn’s poem “Inevitably Walls” was recently accepted for the first issue of the literary journal Solo Novo Wall Scrawls. The journal is published by Solo Novo Press, Carpinteria, CA and North Wilkesboro, NC. Editor Paula C. Lowe says, “‘Wall Scrawls’ is inspired by an Iowa farmhouse wall. Eighty years abandoned and orphaned, it is a hive of letters, a busy kitchen of words. Every kid with a can of spray paint somehow gets here and leaves his or her native tongue on the walls.” They’ve kindly given me permission to share it below.

Inevitably Walls

Near Jerusalem’s edge razorwire
coils above concrete slabs that trace

an imaginary line across the brutal
desert much like a wall we found

years ago when we lost our way
in a dark forest somewhere

in Germany, cried when we
found it there—unexpected—and it

not so different

from one in Ireland we visited only
last year, walls to cleave Irish

from Irish. Foreign walls, chains-linked,
wire-barbed, Krylon smeared walls

not so different

from our own, that fence that crawls
from Baja, through mountain passes

along the Rio Grande. Walls. Feeble, useless,
unholy billboards. Even poets

once wrote of mending walls…


3 comments on “Carolyn Howard-Johnson: “Inevitably Walls”

  1. quanquethaf says:

    I consider, that you are not right. I am assured. Let’s discuss it.

  2. Jendi, thank you so much for this. It is always wonderful when poets support poets. And, I hope more of your poet friends will submit reviews of their books to http://www.thenewbookreview.blogspot.com. Submission guidelines are in the left column.

    Best,
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging writers’ resources at Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites pick http://www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

  3. nofAnifyrog says:

    What words… super

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