“Queen of Sheba”


Queen of Sheba


This poem has gone through numerous revisions and still it gives me fits.  I’m finding  poetry has many things involved, and rhyme is the least of  worries.   This one does not  rhyme, but the rhythm still gives me shingles.

Lady Nyo

Posted for Oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com, a great site to read and learn from other poets.


She walks right by me, the Queen of Sheba

Black skin glinting like steel in the sun.

Proud breasts topped with prouder nipples

Black rubies jutting east to west.

Her spangled turban hits the North Star

Jeweled feet trample the South Pole beneath,

Space between  guarded by curved fangs,

Dangerous territory! Alien ground.

Tattooed ribbons flow down sinuous arms

Black snakes born with sensuous intent.

Hot sun glances off gold-tipped teeth–

A shot of mystery between mahogany lips,

Rarely a smile– more of a sneer.

Kohl eyes flash a steady disdain,

Measuring her  urban jungle

From cracked sidewalks littered

With the broken shards of broken lives,

To burnt out neon signs of tumbled pool halls.

I offered the most honeyed of fruits,

Celestial music of spinning spheres,

Jewels of priceless glowing stars,

Captured in baskets for her fondling,

Brought to earth to surround with

Undeniable majesty-

An aura of delight,


Cosmic glory.

Ah, Cruel Queen of Sheba!

She had other fish to fry,

more empires to plunder-

Plenty of leftover sins to warm and devour.

And not a glance in my direction,

as she passed right by me–

Though I promised the




And the Wisdom of Solomon.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010

A version of this poem was published in  “A Seasoning of Lust”,

obtainable from Lulu.com

Tags: , , , ,

46 Responses to ““Queen of Sheba””

  1. brian Says:

    nice..excellent descriptions…a shot of mystery between mahongany lips…measuring the urban jungle…nice one shot!


  2. Steve Isaak Says:

    I’ve read this before, of course – I own your books – but it gave me fresh thrills reading it. Love the vividity of it.


  3. tuberider Says:

    Great comprehensive description. You drew the image fully in my head. Nice one!


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Steve!!

    Thanks, pal. It gave me fits. LOL!…This is a poem that will continue to be revised….you know the drill…

    The rhythm ain’t right yet…and may not be for years. Something one grows into?

    Thanks, Steve, for reading and leaving a comment.



  5. ladynyo Says:

    Ah shucks….blood came from the keyboard on this one. LOL!

    Thank you so much Tuberider, for reading and leaving a kind comment.

    Lady Nyo


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Brian. Sometimes certain stanzas come easily enough…it’s the total poem that drags slowly…you know what I mean, I’m sure.

    Thank you for reading and your kind comments.

    Lady Nyo


  7. betweenhearts75 Says:

    Fascinating write, the details are amazing surrounding it with strong emotion, and it seems ancient, yet those wisps of concepts of an “urban” lifestyle more current. Excellent work! ~April 🙂


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, April. The juxtaposition of the ancient with what we see or think of it’s glory, and the demise and destruction of the modern…especially the urban scene….is a contrast that plays off each other, I think.

    I don’t really think of these things consciously while writing these poems…it takes poets/writers like yourself for me to get a deeper view.

    Thank you so much for reading and leaving a very helpful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  9. Desert Rose Says:

    And you STRIKE..this is so brilliant! Queen of sheeba..LOVE THE TITLE..:) Exotic imagery! i enjoyed the read..:)


  10. moondustwriter Says:

    I know how some poems you love from the beginning and others draw blood. This poem is strong and historical but at the same time carries a haughty spirit. I want to know this woman who you portray; want to watch her walk over people..
    What a great piece my dear

    Thanks for sharing with One Shot

    moon smiles


  11. ladynyo Says:

    What a NICE comment! Thank you so much. Living in urban Atlanta, I see her frequently, and she ain’t any better up close…downright scary, in fact.


    She clones herself in each part of the city, and rules her territory from a stoop…Shards of glass are not as sharp as her tongue. And she never fades away.

    Thanks for inviting me to One Shot. What a great place!

    Lady Nyo


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Desert Rose. It has miles to go in rewrite, but right now I don’t have a thought in my head. I think I’m all done out for a while.

    Thank you for reading and leaving such an encouraging comment.

    Lady Nyo


  13. ladynimue Says:

    This was one of the best poem i read in recent times !! LOved it to the core !! so so majestic in its reach !!


  14. June_Butterfly Says:

    The picture caught me completely!And after reading your words,the image played in my mind and was amazed how more beautiful the image became.

    It doesn’t have to rhyme.I guess as the poem grow inside of you it will change.For the better,I’m sure!

    It was a privilege to read this.Thanks for sharing!


  15. ladynyo Says:

    What a lovely comment! Thank you so much. I really wasn’t sure about this poem. I think we all go through those stages with a new poem. Perhaps throwing it out in the world makes sense, even if we don’t think it does. Perhaps you are right: poems grow regardless of our doubts and further intentions?

    Thank you so much for reading this, and for leaving a comment. I learn so much about my own poetry through the eyes of others. We really don’t see what is before us I think.

    Lady Nyo


  16. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Thank you, Lady Nimue. I will continue to work on it’s rhythm. That to me, is the hardest thing to continue and carry in a poem. Shows how new I am to it all.

    Thank you for reading and leaving such a kind comment.

    Lady Nyo


  17. Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point Says:

    Great descriptions! I’m a little intimidated by this Queen and yet I’d like to know more about her.


  18. Susannah Says:

    Oh what glorious imagery!

    ‘Hot sun glances off gold-tipped teeth–

    A shot of mystery between mahogany lips,’

    Thank you for transporting me to such an exotic realm. 🙂


  19. pete marshall Says:

    i thoroughly enjoyed the description in this, that took me into her world both past and very much in the present….a great poem..cheers pete


  20. Shashi Says:

    Its so vividly picturised… and I loved the way whole scenario is laid out… very well done…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/


  21. Chris G. Says:

    Beautiful, vivid description, leading to majestic evocation. Wonderful image–very well written!


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Why thank you, Chris. You know how much you stare at a stanza….and struggle to change words…LOL!

    This poem went through so many word changes….but it still is evolving…the rhythm isn’t right yet, and that will have to be addressed at some future date. But I think we have to grow into our poems….they restore us, provoke us, but are always two steps ahead of us!

    Thank you so much for reading, Chris, and writing this comment. Helps.

    Lady Nyo


  23. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Shashi! This was a fun, but narly poem to write!

    Thank you for reading and your lovely comment.

    Lady Nyo


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Pete…this one was hard to hold onto. Slippery.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a kind comment. I appreciate the encouragement.

    Lady Nyo


  25. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Well, you are welcome. I just don’t think I would want to come face to face with THIS Queen of Sheba.

    Might activate those snakes on her arms…..

    Thank you for reading and leaving such a lovely comment!

    Lady Nyo


  26. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Yep…I know what you mean. She is quite the gal. I think she gave ol’ Solomon a run for his money back then.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment!

    Lady Nyo


  27. Eric Says:

    She’s got real attitude… nice One Shot!


  28. Claudia Says:

    how descriptive and vivid images you weave into your poem – what a woman – the queen of sheba – remembered the story when Solomon managed to impress her deeply with his wisdom…great one shot!


  29. ladynyo Says:

    Well, ‘this’ Queen of Sheba stands in the intersection of history and modern life….lol!

    I don’t know about the original Queen, but this one is rather…predatory?

    Thanks for reading, Claudia, and leaving an encouraging comment!

    Lady Nyo


  30. ladynyo Says:

    Yep, she does! LOL!

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, Eric.

    Lady Nyo


  31. Teresa Says:

    What an exotic tale you have woven across the centuries!

    Mine is here. http://razzamadazzle.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/song-of-my-heart/


  32. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! It’s still evolving…when do poems ever finish??

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment!

    Lady Nyo


  33. Caribbean Fool Says:

    Excellent choice for 1SW. Both your language & symbolism seemed to flow efficiently into your theme; quite enjoyable to read and meditate on the meaning. The depth of the imagery really pays off in terms of emotional content. Thanks for posting through 1SW,



  34. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you~! crb.

    I am continually astounded how much we learn about our own attempts at poetry through the eyes of other poets/readers.

    I forget… mostly… this important issue of emotional content….especially with a poem like this. The problem with these ‘kind’ of poems (and I don’t know what kind they are…) is that you can get trapped in the detailed imagery and lose the ‘message’.

    I struggle with the intentions of poetry, and right now…it’s a big maze to me. So many poets do introspection well, I don’t, I think. I think I shy away from that emotional content. If it comes through to readers, or they pick up on this …..I am learning something here.

    Thank you again, crb, for your very insightful comment. I am learning a lot from people who leave comments.

    Lady Nyo


  35. Caribbean Fool Says:

    Anytime; I think all poets learn from each other; it is important to try and pick up as many little bits as we can find and then reassemble what we see/think/etc. into something more concrete that can be shared with the world at large. It takes forever to learn how to translate emotion into something tangible; we are all learning slowly. Glad I can be of any help to you as reading your work helps me in the same way. Thanks again;



  36. ladynyo Says:

    I deeply appreciate this: I haven’t been amongst poets much…or poetry very long, so it’s a sharp learning curve for me.

    I am reading more people on this excellent site, and seeing how they format their poems: what sensations and sentiments are important, and how they (some of them) use humor as a booster or a turn of thought.

    It’s good that we share and learn from each other!

    Lady Nyo


  37. Margie Says:

    Okay, so this has been my favorite since the first time you posted it here. I see her so differently than others do, however. There have been so many times in my life that I not only would want to know her – but I would have loved to BE her on more than one occasion! LOL! Very visual and quite beautiful!


  38. urbanpoet Says:

    Stella write. You captured the essence of Queen of Sheba perfectly…so majestic, even in her nakedness.


  39. mommylebron Says:

    This was so beautifully written. I felt both the disdain and the humility and felt it flowed quite nicely. I also peeked at the beginning of your short story and I’m intrigued! I’ll be back for sure! xoxo


  40. Terresa Wellborn Says:

    Your comment at the beginning of the poem made me smile, rarely do I read a poem with such an explanation, one that I feel I could have written myself. My poems are constantly in flux, and one regret I have about publishing them on my blog is that the moment I hit publish, I know I may do it again and again, in subsequent revisions.

    This is an excellent poem, I sense a depth, history and love of words here that propells it to the top of the One Spot poetry pile. Maybe give it some more time and then a revisit to see where you want to tweak it. 🙂


  41. Steven Marty Grant Says:

    This is a truly excellent poem! When you go back and revise (which I know you will) I would look at the last stanza. Remove the cliche and and get the overall cadence to match and this will be an epic masterpiece!


  42. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! I think you have hit on something….”Other fish to fry”?….it’s a very southern issue…because in the inner city, fish fries are all around in the summer.

    But that last stanza has given me fits….it needs to be elongated somewhat….brought into line with the rest of the poem. You got it: the problem is within the cadence…or lack of it.

    Thank you, Steven….Your suggestions and encouragement are truly helpful!

    PS: I did a quick revision of the last stanza, thinking of your suggestion of cadence….but I don’t know that it is jelling….and perhaps people would be confused by the end word: “Selah”. But either the Hebrew translation (which is unstable….) or the Christian usage in Psalms….seems to fit the issue above of the poem. Refers back to the issue of “Wisdom” , “Praise”….etc.

    Thanks again!!

    Lady Nyo


  43. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Terresa…when do we EVER write a poem that we are sure is finished??? I think it is the poetic nature to go back and tweak it constantly. I see words that need change, rhythm problems, etc….all the time in most of my poems…I think this is the nature of poetry.

    The good thing about blogs…is it is yours! and you …as the poet…always have the last word. (or so I’ve been told my the man who is my publisher, Bill Penrose…) Hah! I change poems constantly AFTER they are posted on my blog….the last one: “In the Hollow of Winter Twilight”….damn I rewrote that poem probably 20 times on the blog….after I posted it…days later….

    Thank you for your wonderful encouragement about this poem, but I have read some really good poetry on this site in the past few weeks I have been participating. I have everything to learn!!


    Lady Nyo


  44. ladynyo Says:

    Oh!!! I am so happy. Finally, someone has looked at that story! (“Devil in Paris”) LOL! I didn’t think anyone noticed it. It’s one of my very favorite attempts at short story….and I am so pumped that you read that chapter. It gets droll and funny, and I have to clean up some of the references…because it is, after all…a piece of erotica. I have stopped posting much of that on my blog because of the children….LOL!

    Thank you so much for reading both and for your encouraging comments. I’ll post the second chapter of Devil Saturday, hoping you get a chance to read it. I would appreciate any crits you have about it. Madame Gormosy comes from a very long novel I have been writing for 4 years: “Devil’s Revenge” where she/he again is up to her old tricks…but she is a ‘kinder’ devil in the novel. In this one, she is predatory to the max. But she loves her camel. That last scene should make you laugh.

    Lady Nyo


  45. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! I did a little research about her before I wrote the poem, but it had little effect on the poem in the end. This one was an urban queen, and rather nasty. Wouldn’t want to cross her path.

    Thank you so much for reading and your comments.

    Lady Nyo…the pix always helps orient the poems I think.


  46. ladynyo Says:

    Oh Hoot! I wondered when you would surface, Coz!

    LOL!….I don’t know about wanting to BE her….though. Too much responsibility….Too much turf to secure. Always at war…or something…LOL!

    Funny, Margie…I was thinking of you as I was doing some revisions of Sheba. I think we have ties to her…both of us.

    Thanks, sweetie…for reading and for your comments. I always appreciate what they mean to me….in all the poetry and other writing. Check out my favorite…that chapter “Devil in Paris”…it’s a funny story.

    Love and Hugs!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: