64 Parishes

Poems by Merrill Guillory

Selected by Louisiana Poet Laureate John Warner Smith

Poems by Merrill Guillory

Poster by Penrhyn Stanlaws, Library of Congress

In these poems, Guillory, a romanticist, travels a road that is common to every human heart, “the invisible world” of loneliness and the pain and anguish of loss. Guillory artfully puts suffering in the middle of an unfeeling natural world and the movement of time that humans cannot control.

—John Warner Smith



Winter came early,
but Autumn would have none of that.
Standing her ground she refuses to budge.
High above, the dark frigid clouds invaded the warmth of the sun.

You walked away that soft Autumn morning,
as the trees, vales, were in their early stage of change.
Your impatience was evident,
like a caged beast with the feel of constraint,
tormented—then you were gone.

As intolerant in your departure,
your naivety would return.
With the same edgy, unsettled spirit,
you sought acceptance.
But when you left, a part of me died.



Dawn obscured by the mist of the sea,
slowly creeps the morning shore.

And through this gloomy mist,
spirits of the deep emerge from the darkest pit the night can know.

The peace they look for
will not come with the day.

Moving through the mist into the morning,
they bring with themselves the torment of the night.

Dwelling in the invisible world of lucidity,
spinning in and out of sanity.

But their movements are in the shadow of darkness,
conjuring the spirits of the night.

In constant search of peace…. they search,
for it will not come with the light.


The stories of his parents and grandparents shaped poet Merrill Guillory’s life perspective. Guillory has self-published two collections of poetry, Journey: A Collection of Writings (2017) and Voices: A Collection of Poems (2019). His poetry can be found at www.merrillguillory.com.