By Sharon Kimberly Williams


sweet syntax

woven into worlds

crafting the matters of the

heart and mind and soul and Spirit

into a captive secret

like a tapestry of language

spoken solo by the muse

your words seal us


into uncertainty and safety

like a familiar melody

harkening to a distant refrain

your truth gives sound as a

blessedness assuredness

you birth stories into


you deliver us from


of time stolen

by teaching us survival

we are rescued

from the hand

of oppression

domination, dominion

imagine those

same words, different woman

same words, different man

how do you write our lives

so varied

so eloquently

yet tragically and then

deliver us

into the hidden


of forgotten places

near ancient shores

we try to keep pace with

your rhythm in time

to restore our memory

of precious things

carelessly forgotten

we keep pace because

you imagine better

I am lost

inside the melody

I am found

inside the wound

we keep pace because

you alone make life




About the Poem:

“This poem is a tribute to the lyrical aesthetic. It is about how the lyric helps us to remember the range and depths of beauty as we move along life’s journey from places of pain to spaces of love. It’s about a life surrendered to the raw power of the lyric in the name of redistributive justice. I was working with a global health advocacy group this spring around the time when this poem was written. We were discussing how to treat cancer patients who lacked access to adequate health care. In response to the many personal testimonies from cancer survivors, I thought about how words heal. As a songstress and a poet, lyrics are the heart of my artistry and it is my desire to heal the world with lyrics as part of my advocacy work. This is why my work must begin with an offering of my life fully surrendered to the lyric. Lyrics are catalysts for change—lyrics are catalysts for healing.”

Sharon Kimberly Williams is an arts and letters doctoral candidate in The Caspersen Graduate School of Drew University where she is pursuing a joint degree with the Drew Theological School in the Studies in Religion and the Fine Arts. Her research interests include Spirituality and Healing in the Arts and Music Therapy in Biblical Antiquity.  The themes of pain, love, beauty, and lament that occur in her writing are based on her studies in the fields of music and theology, Africana poetics, and Hebrew poetry. Sharon has performed music and poetry all around the world. Currently, she is working on publishing her first collection of poetry entitled, Breath|Voice|Fire. Sharon serves as a contributor to Harvard Medical School’s Global Health Catalyst, an initiative that advocates for eliminating global health disparities. She resides in Madison, New Jersey.