Poetry by Shanti Williams

Poetry by Shanti Williams; Photos by Carl Scharwath

The Meeting

This is humannequin
Standing at the table on the fringes looking on
At life's full servings
But forgoing a supping
It is trite to think that I must sit on the edge of my seat
And be greet and make merry
And look happy
While feeling like flattened cardboard
While my eyes stray to the sides
Yet I am faulted for unwrapping my insides
And leaving my hair
And looking at my friend's soul
A feeling follows me to the very end
Why didn't I listen to its voice.


Forevermore that last touch
That stopped halfway
That kissed breath we shared upon a hold
The one that never was felt
On my grave
Draws me like a pulley. Dead weight.
Tugging flesh with bones
Til I am spinning with an ache
Emptying the air
For me to come back a last time.


I am impelled to climb the walls
Crouched down hanging on a slippery path
That takes me from my self into a realm of raw possibilities
I am a maimed animal
I am a loose fitting lightbulb
I am a concussion
I am not stable
Leave me here alone with a mere stranger
And watch me thrive...

A Look into my Soul

My tears are red painted
From the inner walls of my naked soul
They were once white tears of purity
Shed freely from its depths
But the soul knows its surroundings
It borrows from the shameless heart
To diminish its pliant guilt
To adjudicate the source of blame
That began with it
The soul is its own right hand
The tears no longer shameful cries
No longer the white face of death
Hollow in their mind
They are painted red
To color the walls of its facelessness.

Beating heart

Her heart is held in never ending corridors
That wind up like a grandfather clock
Imposing entry and psychedelic interludes
Spinning a turntable on its head
Walk this way and focus on the vision
Nakedness breathes through beckoning bodice
Not far enough away
The heart lies hidden well beyond the entrance hallway
But resist the impulse to look
But find the night well into itself
With claws that dig throughout the day
Move the upper chamber and kiss between the walls
Centre aisle gets you a good view of her twisted beauty
You die quickly with her loving you
And salvation comes early.

Room 43

Tomorrow hinges on the lost
Whitewashed feelings inject catatonic blasts of
Drums that sit in the dark and become as old wineskins
Faking death
The breath grows stale waiting
The crowd grows ancient 
The drums forget their hula
Capsizing on their sides
Burning the skies with the eyes of goats.

Angel on Wheels

Angel surmising at the hip joined to a double edge 
Wagon wheel in breech with Gabriel's Goliath
Take the plunge and run the race callously
With hell's angel on fortune's run
Squander thoughts of stopping dead
Champion of occasional misfortune's turn
Empty of grace in today's heretics
But chariots of fire ablaze with lead
Man of the hour light my tail
Crosswind high on life's rubella
Wheels churning belly burning
My angel in tow saves me from certain death.


There you were in my side mirror
Perfectly centered as if you were in a photograph worth framing
Hanging in an innocuous place on my bedroom wall
Along with the rest of the family pictures
Smile reaching ear to ear each end of the border
And laughing in between each stretch of sanitary smile
I watched you for awhile
And I thought if only you were mine
We would go for a country ride with me in the passenger seat
Taking in your every expression
Listening to your fears and wishing
I would erase the fine lines of worry from the mirror
I would wipe every single fleck of dirt from its face
So you would be perfect in my eyes
And as I watched you disappear from view in my perfectly orchestrated photograph
Knowing you were never coming back
For one brief moment you were my man in the mirror
Positioned carefully for no one else to be.

If You Would Cry

If you would flood the riverbank with your sun-dried tears
I would choke back my own
For to witness the workings of your words
Shall leave me scarcely rooted
As my love is sometimes
When uprooted by my slim pickings of yours
But to behold your tears
If you should ever have them
To see them fall everywhere
As the sun falls around a shady tree

And takes to the day with its sun-drenched kisses
 If you should cry for me
 I should let the ashen dew become the mist over my eyes
 I should fall in love with the stars at night
 I would become like a thief in the overgrown woods
 Stealing the drops that accumulate in the full-grown moss
Wiping my eyes with the leaves that grow densely
 In an overpopulated paradise
 If you should cry for me
I would dry your tears with mine eyes.

The White Carnation

Oh flower divine
Lead me to your garden Gethsemane
As a praying mantis I repose my trust
In your toweled embrace
Your purity forsakes all
And leaves none to impediment
A goddess grand impetuous
Even as you envy love
Your lust you give to us
You grant us beauty in all your haste
Your purity you emulate
Oh Diana goddess made flesh
Beautiful white carnation lost.


  1. Shanti's words are so poignant, moving, sometimes sad...but the poem that I think most resonates with me is "Mirror"- I certainly feel those sentiments very deeply......

  2. Thank you for your kind comments Hilaire. You have always been "the great encourager" where my poetry is concerned. Much appreciated! 🌹


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