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  S. Thomas Summers is a teacher of Writing and Literature at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, NJ. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Death settled well (Shadows Ink Publications, 2006) and Rather, It Should Shine (Pudding House Press, 2007). Summers's poems have appeared in several literary journals and reviews: The English Journal, MiPo, 2River View, The Pedestal Magazine, The Loch Raven Review, etc. Currently, Summers is completing a volume of American Civil War poetry - Private Hercules McGee: Poems of the Civil War. He lives in Northern, NJ with his wife and children.

 Summers also leads workshops for high school and middle school English teachers. His workshops focus on the power of contemporary poetry to spark literary interest in uninterested/unmotivated students.

S. Thomas Summers can be contacted regarding his poetry and workshops through e-mail.  His web site can be found at www.freewebs.com/sthomassummers.


Fall 2007

Table of Contents - Vol. III, No. 3

Poetry    Translations    Interview    Essays    Fiction    Book Notes & Reviews


S. Thomas Summers


Posted: Private James Christopher Tanis, 87th Georgia Infantry

a poem of the Civil War

Names of the dead post on Fridays -
black letters stretch across paper like rungs
on Jacob’s ladder. His mama called him James.
I settled for Jimmy. He and me spent summers

jumpin' off sycamore limbs reachin’ over the crick -
splashes bigger than Jehovah’s tears
after his boy got himself nailed to a cross.

Jimmy lost his stomach when he drank too much milk.
He memorized the Commandments, swiped cookies
and cigars from Dawson’s Mercantile. Preacher
caught us blowin’ smoke rings in the church basement.

Poster says he got shot hoistin’ the colors toward
a Fed’ral line. Prob’ly blundered over every stone
and stump minglin’on that field as gawky

as he is, but I betchya his own blood smeared
across them Star and Bars. I betchya.


Stonewall Jackson at Manassas: July 21, 1861

a poem of the Civil War

That beard hangs
from his chin
like an anvil.

Ain’t no lie.
Yankee bullets
veer `round his head
so not to smack
against his face.

We should just point
him toward Washington
and shackle up behind
like a chain of geese.

I swear we’d rename
this country Virginia
before it’s cold
enough to harden
your nipples.


S. Thomas Summers

Poetry    Translations    Interview    Essays    Fiction    Book Notes & Reviews


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