Shawn Nacona Stroud

Dead April

These leaf-stripped trees
clack in the April breeze,

branches as bare

as piles of flesh-flayed bones
that litter Roman catacombs—

they’ve forgotten

Spring’s fingers should revive,
touch them back alive

the same way

the faith-struck hands of Jesus
roots life back into Lazarus.

Perhaps these trees

shall never again siphon a breath—
sooner or later everything meets death.


Something is finished inside me,
I realize this now—
I’ve spent a lifetime attempting
to fit my pieces together
the way one constructs a jigsaw-
puzzle of nearly identical parts
only to discover
that one or two or even
three pieces are missing.

Oh soul, soul—you’ll never be
whole. There’ll always remain
an omitted hole
in this incomplete picture of me.


The fog is running its fingers
through the grass again
like a billion strands of hair.
It muffles the morning
Sunlight, conceals
sidewalks and houses
behind a scrim
nature has painted
this grey April day.

A brick smokestack points
through moiling haze—
the illusion of a Nazi
crematorium belches
smoke into the atmosphere.
I start my day
like any German
near Auschwitz—
from our Jew-filched homes
we witness the soot,
but render it insignificant.

© Shawn Nacona Stroud

Shawn Nacona Stroud currently lives in Ohio where he is a full-time student working toward his MBA. Shawn states, “I have been painting and writing poetry for a large portion of my life and just love to challenge myself artistically.” His poetry has been published in various print and on-line publications including Mississippi Crow, the (Poetry)Worm, Loch Raven Review, and Word Catalyst Magazine.

Back to Main Loch Raven Review Site

1 thought on “Shawn Nacona Stroud”

  1. grt punch at ending of 1st pome-last lines of last 2 pomes seem to deflate?

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