poetry, reviews

Behind Those Dark Eyes-D.J. Walters

Today, I’m doing something that I rarely do here and that’s to post a review. For the most part, this blog is devoted to poetry and all things literary but I read a lot. And I just thought that it’s a bit odd that I don’t always share my thoughts about those books here.. So it only makes sense that I would share this bit of information with you. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an) advanced reader copy(ARC) of D.J. Walters’ poetry collection Behind Those Dark Eyes. As longtime readers of the blog know, I’ve been working on building a poetry section on my bookshelves and I am so happy that I was able to get a copy of this one.  This London based novelist, educator, and poet has previously published The Vacation Lodge series. 

Behind Those Dark Eyes is D.J. Walters’ first poetry release and it is a brilliant collection! It’s fairly thick with poetry as it consists of 100 poems broken into  five sections: On the Mind,On the Body, On the Soul, On Sex & Relationships, and On Family & Friends . Each one explores the elements of human existence. It runs the gamut of the human experience allowing the reader to examine what lurks behind those dark eyes through poetry. She’s built a collection that feels luxe and rich; it explores the ways that life happens to us and how we respond. Walters has created a bubble that allows you to feel everything that she’s poured into these poems. 

What the poet does here, is transport the reader and allows them to sink into the emotions that lurk in these poems. Pieces such as “Is Education the Key to Success?”, “Soul Mates”, “Heartbreak”,  and “Coleby Path” resonate and make you want to linger a bit longer between the pages. The front cover states that this is “A Collection of Deep and Raw Poetry” and it truly delivers. 

I am new to D.J. Walters writing but as someone who loves poetry I am driven to read more of her work. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your shelves when it releases on July 24th, 2020. 


they need some of us to die- Donte Collins

For Uncle Paul N’nem

hell nah over my dead—i paid mine. I checked
Black & subtraction knows what it did. made Black
a box to check. subtraction doesn’t know how even
a sigh seasons the roux & the second breath my mother
was always trying to catch. american. emergency.
subtraction doesn’t know Black’s many bodies & body’s
of water. though subtraction does. sunken. gifting the sea’s
new strange stones. subtraction reopened the barbershops &
bowling alleys. insists church. sent us home with inhalers &
half-assed sentences: in god – we – the people – vs – degradation
vs – a new packaged deliverance. homicide. hallelujah.
i’ll be damned. i’ll be back before i’ll be buried. i been Black
& ain’t slept since. subtraction needs my blood to water
their weapons to subtract my blood. do you see the necessity
for dreaming? or else the need to stay awake. to watch. worried.
the hand. invisible. make a peace sign. then a pistol.


The case of Breonna Taylor, murdered in her own home, on March 13th by Louisville Metro Police who shot her eight times after entering on a no-knock warrant. Her murderers have not been charged. Her death has caused protests in Louisville and more information(not really) was just released last week. Her case has been weighing on me. 

And I just realized why it’s had my heart so heavy. She was 26 and her mom called her Bre. For the past 25 years, I have been blessed with this incredible being whose middle name is Bre. I cannot imagine her mother’s pain and honestly I don’t want to try. But I do know, feel, believe that her heart deserves peace. And justice. 

You should be here




Your dreams

You should be here




Making memories

You should be here

Not a hashtag 

Not a call to action 

Not a reason to protest

You should be here

In the arms of 

Your mother

Your loved ones






What Do We Do—Now Ellen Hagan

-after Gwendolyn Brooks

We mourn, we bless,
we blow, we wail, we
wind—down, we sip,
we spin, we blind, we
bend, bow & hem. We
hip, we blend, we bind,
we shake, we shine,
shine. We lips & we
teeth, we praise & protest.
We document & we
drama. We demand &
we flow, fold & hang
loose. We measure &
we moan, mourn & whine
low. & we live, and we
breathe. & some of the time,
we don’t.

Tonight, I am here. Here
& tired. Here & awake,
sure, & alive. Yes here &
still, still here, still & here
& still awake & still still


Untitled-James Baldwin

          when you send the rain,
          think about it, please,
          a little?
          not get carried away
          by the sound of falling water,
          the marvelous light
          on the falling water.
          am beneath that water.
          It falls with great force
          and the light
          me to the light.