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.

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