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by JD DeHart




The First Sign of Embarking



Let’s take a journey.



So, they drove through the night

to strange oceans and dens, past monsters

of present and future, past warnings

and talismans.



All of the fast food places were closed,

so they snacked in the car, listening to the hum

of music from long ago.



They passed political markers

and signs of the times, warnings ahead,

and people holding up cries for help.



These were the days before

a soothing electronic voice, so they

traced the journey by hand, making

marks they hardly knew on a map

they knew even less.



There were sunburns and sharks,

as assembly of photographs, pausing

and posing, lots of candy wrappers.



Small monuments.



She was both giddy and delighted,

rare words in her job of filing documents

and teeth.



At the end, they would remember in pieces,

wondering where the time went, and

if that’s where all of their travels really






revisiting and revisiting again

through shoeboxes of photographs, some

with labels and some devoid of context.




a line, (a short blue one)



I Wrap



myself in the magic

of quiet. Why do words find

such fury?



These are voices

that have no faces. I make them

up as I go.



Now, I will silence them for

the moment, a temporary relinquishment

of verbal prerogative.



I will wrap this moment

around myself, my blanket,

throwing off all of the pain



that traces along my heart

like a child coloring inside

and outside the lines.



I will not worry about tomorrow,

even though I often do.



Giving myself a new name,



I wrap myself in metaphor

so I don’t have to tell the truth

in all its blatant forms.



a line, (a short blue one)



A Review of Many-Storied House (in Poetry)



Thank you, Ms. George Ella Lyon, for another

fine collection. I relish this floor plan of your memories

and dreams.



I love its beams and edges.



In you I find a voice not far-removed from

many of my experiences, a song that sounds much

like the ones I’ve heard for decades, but recast



in your lyrical cadence.



In the miner’s hat, post hole diggers,

junk drawers, river rising,



alongside so many other elements, figments,

recollections, and voices, I find a poetic voice,



titles I will read over and again,

reminding me of who I am.




a line, (a short blue one)



Found Poem from People Magazine (May 25, 2020)



After struggling,

First Birthday at Home in Los Angeles,



Families in central Florida

and beyond are getting TP’d.



There’s so many avenues

to success.



Their first Christmas card.



We wanted to

write a road map, a rabbit

named Rue.



I mean, who didn’t watch Tiger King?



She sets out on a righteous

revenge quest to save them, answered

an open casting call, unflinchingly

stares down modern political

and social ills.



satirical romp, vividly absurd,

The Story of Soaps,



Exclude Yourself, Loving

the Way I Am Today.



Love Like This



like two trucks flirting

with disaster,



like the honk of horns,

like pandemic living.



Like a hazy morning where

thoughts are collected

at the kitchen table.



Learning to groom dogs

yourself, and keeping up with the daily

total of cases.



Like slowing your scroll

for a Simon and Garfunkel lyric

that speaks to you now



as it did years ago.



Like making plans to not

plan much.




a line, (a short blue one)



The Price: Found Poem from the News



More lives

a pandemic now appears

            ready to pay.



A grim plateau

            despite projections.



Shift blame.

Death toll.



You have to be




Infections and forecasts,

escalating the push.



Optimistic take

            challenged, point




See how your state





a line, (a blue one)


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