Olan L. Smith was born in Huntsville, Missouri in 1953. He graduated for Westran High School in 1971 and went on to receive two degrees in higher education.  He graduated in 1978 from Northwest Christian College in Eugene Oregon with a B.S. degree and a Masters degree from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri.  Olan first published poetry in 1985 in two literary publications;  "Earthwise," University of Miami, Florida, and "Alura Poetry," Vol. X, No 2 Fall, 1985; Minnesota.  Other published poems from Olan L. Smith (Cotton Jones) can be found in "Poetry Train America," by John E. Wordslinger (edited by Charles H. Gragg), 2013; "The Universe Inside," edited by Eva Xanithopoulos, 2012.

Olan has one featured Wattpad eBook, "Journey Home" that he refers to as the little engine that could, because it keeps chugging along and gathering steam as it travels the merry passages of the literary world.

  • Location:
    Columbia, MO
  • Joined:
    3 years ago

Reading Lists

Read Later
41 stories
200 stories

170 Published Works

Featured work.

Journey Home

Social data: 266K reads. 1.6K votes. 1K comments.

Description: Journey Home c.2013, Olan L. Smith Journey Home is a collection of poems that is a personal search for my spiritual home. I go about this search with the tools of poetry using the English language as my map. Love, peace and freedom, Olan L. Smi...

#420 in Spiritual #940 in Poetry

Other Works by CottonJones.
Shiny Penny

Shiny Penny

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A story of a memory about once long ago.

The Day the Angels Wept; Sept. 1, 2001

The Day the Angels Wept; Sept. 1, 2001

68 14 20

I wrote this monostich poem the day after 9-11, and felt it expressed everything I felt at the moment, a...

Older Poems from the Pen of Olan L. Smith

Older Poems from the Pen of Olan L. Smith

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This is a variety of my earlier poems.

Twenty Things About Me

Twenty Things About Me

208 28 62

seasofme tagged me in this challenge to write 20 things about myself, an exercise that I feel is importa...

CottonJones commented on Rondeau - The Reasons I Write

I have read it 5 times and put it in my read later area, so it can be easily found.  It is also in my Favorites II, and gets a big vote.  It is not in the common themes for rondeau's (death, forlorn, tributes,  and love), which to me makes it all that more powerful.  It is to me absolutely stunning.  And since it is about writing it should be all that more cherished.

I was a Turtles fan, especially "Elenore", but this song slipped by me.  I enjoy your interpretation as much as ever, Lisa, even if I am not impressed with the song itself.  The used of "bullet" seems like the use of a conceit metaphor to point out two things that are seemingly inconsistent with each other; bullet in her eye, and sight. His pointing to his eye as he sings seems to say, look at me, see how clever I am.  As for the woman, my girl, she seem to be a phantasm of his dreams, but he fails to take that the song anywhere, and we remain lost in his metaphorical whirl, about the night he got high.  LPF, Olan.