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Three Poems by Shawn Pavey

Poem Without the Words “Heart” or “Bone”


Cows in a meadow don’t bother with beauty.

Cow interest lies in tender grass
to break the fast of a cool night’s sleep.

A rooster crows in the distance.
Birdsong from leaves just changing tint.
Crickets chime and tree frogs drone.

A stormfront threatens rain.


At a Weathered Picnic Table in Georgetown, CO


Tired looks like it needs a haircut and a shave.
It lives in bones and might need a shower.

Arthritis tells me I may never have been young.
Pain dulls a mind easy like high school ditch weed.

While viewing sunlight on Rocky Mountain aspen leaves
in October, think of dandelions in spring’s front lawn.

Yellow is not gold and gold not yellow.
Logic and taxonomy tells us these things.

Waiting for a train, in this case, is not a metaphor.
Waiting for a train never feels like a metaphor.

A train is coming a train is coming a train is coming.
Waiting for a train never changes that.


New York City


A good slice,
a real bagel,
jazz from subway buskers.
Not once did you disappoint, New York.
Grand Central.
Penn Station.
Stops on the 6 train.
Car exhaust, diesel fumes,
hot pavement, sour trash,
fermenting piss, cheap cologne,
hot dogs from street vendors,
butter in bakeries, it’s all there.
Sound. There is always sound.
Horns and sirens, saxophones
searing through a chromatic scale,
shouts in languages you’ll never understand,
engines and squeaky brakes.
Pigeons in Bryant Park, mole sauce
at that little joint near The Parkside Lounge.
Pastrami and pickles at Katz’ with Matthew.
Beers wherever we could find them.
A fancy hotel with my soon-to-be wife.
Every face on the street a poem
you can’t help but love.



Shawn Pavey is the author of Talking to Shadows (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2008), Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 (Spartan Press, 2015), and Survival Tips for the Pending Apocalypse (2019, Spartan Press) which was 1st runner up for the 2020 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award.  He co-founded The Main Street Rag Literary Journal and served as an Associate





Shawn Pavey Bio

Shawn Pavey is the author of Talking to Shadows (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2008), Nobody Steals

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