Thornton's Poetry

The Shadows of My Soul

About the Author and Book


Leon Thornton Jr.’s exposure to poetry began at the age of 12, when a teacher recommended his mother enroll him in a reading club to improve his comprehension.  His subsequent love of poetry became his outlet to cope with pain in his life, including witnessing his father’s alcoholism, his uncle’s drug addiction and resulting death, and his near death experience after his body almost succumbed to diabetes.  Thornton’s writings about these dark times in his life as well as the darkness in world events, friends’ lives and his general observations of everyday circumstances are shared in his first book, The Shadows of My Soul.  He credits sports and writing poetry as the catharses that helped him release and move past his emotional pain.  Thornton lives with his wife, two sons, and mother-in-law in Maryland.


The poems in The Shadows of My Soul take readers to the dark places as seen through the eyes of poet Leon Thornton, Jr. during his youth.  Thornton’s shadows are both personal and impersonal.  They include his own as well as family and friends’ experiences.  It also includes those of strangers and dark historical events, like the European invasion of African countries and the Holocaust.  His poems are disturbing, stark and raw, and use metaphorical references and descriptive imagery to detail the evil in man, nature, life and love.  In one of his poems he describes heartbreak as “… She sliced and tore open my chest! -- Then stole my heart like a phantom in the night!”  Another poem describes a homeless man, “…He resembles a skeletal ghost who dances drunkenly in the street…Mother ------, mechanical wimps!  You can’t kill me anyway, ‘cause I’m [already] dead.”  Thornton’s book is both an open window into the past “shadows in his soul,” but also the shadows in the minds of others and in the world at large.

What is Rage?

Rage is like...

A mixture of passion, anger, paranoia and fear

Poured into the deepest and darkest corners of

your mind,

And slowly drips down into the crevices of your

Hollow heart, until firmly cemented in

your soul.

Leon Thornton, Jr. Tuesday, 5/16/2017

Rage is like...

A wild beast - a mustang - standing on its hind legs, while

Kicking its forelegs. Then it lowers itself to the ground as

If to rest, but throws caution to the wind, loses control,

and begins bucking, neighing and snorting!  Eyes as hot as

Coals burn steadily through your gaze and into your soul.

Leon Thornton, Jr. Tuesday 5/16/2017

Are you adventurous?

Grap hold of the reigns and hang tight as you ride the galloping words into the souls of others in "The Shadows of My Soul".

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Real Testimonials

"The Shadows Of My Soul is a brutally honest, but beautifully crafted piece of literary work.   The poems are frank yet sincere, evoking an [array] of connect with certain poems as you are able to see yourself right in the midst of the experience....Some of my favorites include Ship-A-Comin’, Weeping Willow, The Sun Sets on Many Hearts, River of Lights...As you get a glimpse into the soul of Leon, you can’t help but take an inward tour of your own." Davenia Lea, author of Naked and Unashamed

Announce coming events

Please join me on Sunday, August 20, 2017 for Words, Wine and Wings, a poetry event hosted by Baltimore-based, award-winning poet/author Cherrie Amour.  The event will feature Cherrie Amour, me and four other emerging poets from the Baltimore region who will share stories about love through spoken word, poetry and prose.

Location:  Nubohemia, 42 W Biddle St, Baltimore, MD 21201  (919) 408-7723.  Seats are limited, so hurry and order your tickets via the following website:

Real Testimonials

"I was treated to a new artist with so much energy and verve that my passion for the live reading craft is once again re-ignited.  After I heard Leon Thornton reading She is Not My Wife, two things struck me:  first, this man is a brilliant orator.  Second: He has the guts and grit to admit that even happily married individuals can fall prey to subtle, adulterous motions of the heart."  Stephanie Sarwal, Poet and Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA), Publishing Sub Committee Chairperson

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Writer's & Words Book Sale

"The Shadows of My Soul" and other books are available through Writers & Words @ Charmington's.

Past events

Cherrie Woods, PR Consultant at, scheduled the following events for me:

  1. Tuesday, May 9, 2017 @ 7:00pm - "Writers and Words" at Charmington's in Baltimore, Maryland
  2. Monday, May 15, 2017 @ 6:00pm - Radio interview on "First Edition with Sean Yoes" on WEAA 88.9 radio show at Morgan State University.  Go to and click on First Edition May 15, 2017. Hour Two.
  3. Monday, July 3, 2017 feature in the Vocal Expressions blog.


A man needs a good woman, family and friends by his side.

Reading at Charmington's

Flexing some verbal strength on May 9th during Writers & Words Reading Series.  Event Organizers: Michael Taeger and Maria Goodson. Emcee: Cija Jefferson.

Share the big news

Leon looks stiff with Sean Yoes, host of First Edition on WEAA 88.9FM on May 15th.  Thanks to Sean and Iyore, Producer!

PR Support at Charmington's

Leon with Cherrie Woods, PR Consultant and author of "Where Do I Start? 10 PR Questions and Answers to Guide Self-Published Authors".

The Shadows of My Soul


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The Shadows of My Soul costs $10.99.  This price does not include tax and shipping & handling.  To purchase the poetry paperback, use your mouse to click on the Purchase button above.


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Thornton's Poetry