W. Luther Jett

Poem Written While Standing in Prayer, The Colour War, Prayer: W. Luther Jett

Poem Written While Standing in Prayer

This rain — as hours
become days —
the little white
flowers whose names
I’ve never learned
stay closed — bright
azalea bows, heavy,
sodden — water
pools in low
places — wind-driven
rain rattles the roof.

If there is peace
to come with storm,
let it arrive — let
faraway guns fade
to silence so only
a small rain’s voice
is heard in the halls
of our grief.

The Colour War

He wants an end to colour — sky
only tarnished silver — land
a sickly pale of mud churned
by endless trucks, trucks
that come in the night
with plenty of warning, but still
unbidden. A world of grey
that cannot stand. Our arsenal
must be a prism. We shall lay
new sod —green, lush—
where the land is scarred. We
shall break open the coffers
of colour and paint the sky again,
blue and gold. Let us go now,
down to the riverside. Let us gather
round, smooth stones, pile them
on the shore. He forgets
that grey is also a colour.


Say the mud will dry out.
Say the road will clear.
Say the clouds will part.
Say the sea will answer
the moon’s wild call.
Say that when there are clouds
they will only bring enough rain
and not too much.
Say that the cardinal perched
on the dry bush is the same
cardinal that perched there last year.
Say the road turns but never ends.
Say the land moves but the sea,
the sea goes everywhere.
Say the sea will never leave us.
Say when you stand on the beach
at sunset you will think of me.
Say that one sea’s sunset
is another sea’s dawn.
Say the winter will have an end.
Say the birds will return north.
Say there will be flowers then.

W. Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland and a retired special educator. His poetry has been published in numerous journals as well as several anthologies. He is the author of five poetry chapbooks: "Not Quite: Poems Written in Search of My Father", (Finishing Line Press, 2015), and “Our Situation”, (Prolific Press, 2018), “Everyone Disappears” (Finishing Line Press, 2020), “Little Wars” (Kelsay Books, 2021), and “Watchman, What of the Night?” (CW Books, 2022).