A Night Without Armor

“I learned how to add and subtract in school, but I learned more about being human by reading poetry — Neruda, Octavio Paz, Maya Angelo. Poetry has been a great liberator — making me intimate with myself, awakening and empowering my mind. And so, even more than my song-writing, it stays closest to my heart..” —Jewel

Jewel, one of rock musics most popular performers, has just released her first collection of poetry: A Night Without Armor: Poems (HarperCollins/Publishers). Highlighting poetry taken from her diaries and journals, as well as poems written specifically for this book, this collection is sure to inspire an appreciation and expression of the inner voice not only with Jewel’s many fans, but with everyone interested in being intimate with the human experience.

“Poetry is the most honest and immediate art form that I have found, it is raw and unfiltered,”says Jewel. “It is a vital, creative expression and deserves to find greater forums, to be more highly valued, understood, and utilized in our culture and in our lives.”

Enjoy these five excerpts from A Night Without Armor: Poems.


I Miss Your Touch
I miss your touch

all taciturn

like the slow migration of birds

nesting momentarily

upon my breast

then lifting

silver and quick–

sabotaging the landscape

with their absence

my skin silent without

their song

a thirsty pool of patient flesh


you don’t call

I check again

I become uneasy–

is this a frame?

Suddenly I’m not so sure

I check my sources

each conversation becomes a crumb

how easily I’m led

how stupid I’ve been

to believe

you could be

loving me

you who can not be seduced

by anything other than

the temperance

of need

each one facilitating the next

and suddenly I see my place

the phone rings

you say hello

but I don’t believe you


I Say to You Idols
I say to you idols

of carefully studied


And you worshipers

who find beauty

in only fallen things

that the greatest


we can aspire to

is the strength

to see the wounded

walk with the forgotten

and pull ourselves

from the screaming

blood of our losses

to fight on


all the more


It Has Been Long
It has been

long and

Bony since

your willing

ways since

those thirstful

days of

summer nights

and Burning Beds


As a Child I Walked
As a child I walked

with noisy fingers

along the hemline

of so many meadows

back home

Green fabric

stretched out

shy earth

shock of sky

I’d sit on logs like pulpits

listen to the sermon

of sparrows

and find god in Simplicity

there amongst the dandelion

and thorn

From A NIGHT WITHOUT ARMOR: Poems by Jewel. Copyright (c) 1998 by Jewel Kilcher. Reprinted by arrangement with HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


Jewel was raised in Homer, Alaska, has lived in Hawaii, attended art school in Michigan, and now resides in San Diego, CA.

Integrated Pest Management

Ticks become more prevalent as the weather warms. Various species of ticks may carry diseases, including Lyme disease. Wear long pants if possible and pull your socks up over your pant legs, especially if you will be walking in wooded areas or meadows. Most diseases carried by ticks are more likely to be transmitted if the tick has fed for an extended period of time. You can decrease your chances for contracting diseased by carefully checking yourself for ticks on a daily basis. Be sure to check children and pets, too.

Tackle tough tap-rooted weeds like dandelions, thistles, and pokeweed when the soil is saturated by spring rains. It is important to get most of the tap root when pulling these weeds since they easily sprout and grow from root pieces left in the soil.

Rotate annuals that you use in flower beds. Diseases can be carried over from one year to the next if you plant the same annuals year after year in the same bed. Try some new annuals if growth was poor last year or disease or insects were a problem.

Recent research has shown that use of the insecticide imidacloprid can lead to increased spider mite damage. This pesticide has recently become popular for controlling a wide variety of insect pests like Japanese beetles and aphids. While effective on these insects, it does not control mites and may eliminate some insects that feed on mites and keep their numbers in check. Imidacloprid is most often used as a granular material that is taken up by roots and spread throughout the plant. It may persist as long as ten months following application and is much less toxic than many other systemic pesticides. Like any pesticide, imidacloprid should be used sparingly. It is best used in situations where mites are not expected to be a problem and other alternative control methods are not effective.

Avoid using shredded hardwood bark mulch on yews. As it decays, it often releases toxic quantities of copper and manganese. Yews are very sensitive to these metals; affected plants are stunted, may turn yellow, and in severe cases, small branches may die. Use pine bark, chopped leaves, or another mulch and limit its depth to two inches.

When you shop for bedding plants, check them thoroughly for signs of impatiens necrotic spot virus. Look for irregular tan spots with purplish margins on the leaves and distorted, stunted new growth. Plants afflicted with this virus will remain stunted and grow and flower poorly even with the best of care. The virus is spread by thrips that feed on the plants and can be spread to other plants in your garden. Return plants to the nursery if they appear to be infected and immediately dispose of any plants in your garden that are afflicted with this disease.

Look for lacebugs on azaleas, Japanese andromedas, cotoneasters, and hawthorns. Turn over the leaves to find the nymphs as they hatch. They are small, spiny black insects that suck sap from the leaf; their feeding results in coarse white stipples that may give the entire plant a sickly, bleached appearance. Check plants frequently and spray nymphs with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap as soon as they appear.