Jeffrey Bowen

hot soup on a cool late-summer evening

West · Edgewater · Poetry

made with love and tenderness
from locally grown zucchini,
bright yellow sweet corn,
fresh cut basil,
sliced into aromatic ribbons,
and lush roma tomatoes
from the west side market.

there is also artisan-crafted sourdough bread,
straight from the hearth fire,
dipped slowly into extra virgin olive oil,
seasoned carefully with dark green rosemary
and pink himalayan sea salt
from urban herbs,

plus a hearty salad of locally sourced
microgreens from
community greenhouse partners,
tossed gently,
with shredded carrots,
and chopped red cabbage
from the tremont farmer’s market
and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

this delectable,
culinary treat
was packed with love
by a kindred spirit,
who sent me reeling
into early evening sunshine,
after a delightful day of
working together
in the garden,
and a morning of sweet kisses,
homemade banana bread,
and rich black phoenix coffee,
ground by hand
and prepared
with meditative care.

it is also very much
worth noting,
that the seasonal
ohio peaches
are sweeter than ever,
and as juicy as can be.

Jeffrey Bowen

Jeffrey Bowen is an accomplished poet, journalist, and Afro-Cuban percussionist. He has performed with multiple jazz, folk, R&B, reggae, and roots music ensembles, appears on several recordings, and serves as the resident conga player, percussionist, and spoken word artist with the popular Cleveland band, Cats on Holiday. His poetry has been published by Art Crimes, Cicada, Cool Cleveland, Crisis Chronicles, Dimensions, Doan Brook Watershed, Excursions, Green Panda Press, Hessler Street Fair, Off the Page, Procrastination Press, Poet’s League of Greater Cleveland, The City, The Cleveland Reader, and Whiskey Island Magazine.


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


Cleveland Public Library
325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.

Project Presented with Support By the Cleveland Public Library

Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit