“Queen of Sheba” from “A Seasoning of Lust”

A reader, “Z” also chimed in and suggested I continue to post some of of the inners of “Seasoning….”  I think it’s a good thing to do because it might give pleasure to more readers.   One never knows exactly the impact of one’s writing unless told.  Well, my mother at 89 told me what she thought, but my target audience for this  book AREN’T  89 year old women.

Thank you, Z, for your encouragement and good to hear from you again.

“Queen of Sheba” is a rather culture specific view of a particular woman.  A favorite of the reviewer, Steve Issac (http://readingbypublight.blogspot.com)


She walked right by me, the Queen of Sheba
black skin glinting like steel in the sun,
proud breasts topped with prouder nipples
pointing east to west, jutting black rubies,
her turbaned head hitting the North Star
her jeweled feet the South Pole.
All space between
guarded by curved fangs,
dangerous territory, alien ground.

Tattooed ribbons flowed down arms
black snakes with sensuous intent,
the sun shone on gold- tipped teeth
beacons between her dark, stained lips,
showing rarely a smile, more of a sneer.
Black-kohl eyes flashing disdain,
measuring  her vast urban jungle
from the cracked sidewalks littered
with broken shards of broken lives,
to the burnt out neon signs of closed pool halls.

I offered the most honeyed of fruits,
the celestial music of  spinning spheres
the jewels of glowing stars
captured in baskets for her fondling,
brought down to earth to surround with
their undeniable glory-
an aura of delight, honor, cosmic majesty.

Ah! Cruel Queen of Sheba
walked right by me,
no glance in my direction.
She had other fish to fry
though I promised her the wealth
and wisdom of Solomon.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009

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2 Responses to ““Queen of Sheba” from “A Seasoning of Lust””

  1. Margie Says:

    I just love the imagery in this one. I can imagine the Queen encompassing the entire world, including all its beauty and all of its dark ugliness as well. Oh my gosh, I am such a fan!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Margie!

    LOL! Well, fans I like!

    This little poem went through a couple of transformations. I did so because there were a few readers that hadn’t a clue…they ‘got confused’ by the imagery. I guessed that they didn’t have a clue about ‘urban Queens’ familiar enough in Atlanta for me over the years.

    And then Rose of ERWA opened up a new image for me…that the male narrator in the poem was possibly a pimp, or something or other, and another , Steve Issac thought it was a servant thrilling at the presence of the black-beautiful queen passing by.

    All that opened up my own eyes as to what people ‘read’ into poems and that was delightful, because people took what they wanted from that poem, made it new to my eyes, too.

    I didn’t have a clue as to how much people would differ on interpretations of “Queen of Sheba” but I think it succeed just on that fact alone. We don’t have to be in lockstep with poetry, but if it makes people grasp it and invent stories of their own, then it’s successful enough for me.

    And it started out to be such a simple poem/observation….LOL!

    Thank, Margie…I am truly delighted you liked it.



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