Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Mild Insanity

J.D. DeHart, Chattenooga, Tennessee


Let's make this book, this
story, about you, let's
not focus on me

What are the features
of your life that you'd like
to share, and how long
has it been since someone

asked?  Are you the kind who
does not want to give
details, like prying a hermit
crab off a stick, or do you
enjoy lavishing the world

with the broad strokes of your
brief existence, with anecdotes,
rhymes, and myths?

 —Photo by Katy Brown, Davis, CA


Hands are raised in this strange
place of wailing, but my hand is
planted by my side

Arresting, yet simple, is a screen
that alternates between images
of a cross, a meadow, song words,
and occasional images of the
dutiful crowd, keeping one eye open
to see if they make it to the image

I do not want them watching me
watching me trying to sing trying
to think trying to place all this in
an appropriate box for contemplation.

 —Photo by Katy Brown


It is reported that she has
a "hole in the stomach,"
which means she is always

I picture a swirling black
mass churning inside her,
restless and energetic,
threatening to consume

the rest of us unless we
abandon this place and leave
her by her chewing self.



She used to sit in the corner
rocking in her old style chair,
an antique they brought in so
she could play her domestic role,
pretending to know how to knit

the results were knotted
chunks of twigs and twine
they, in turn, pretended they might
one day attempt to wear

while she cradled herself
back and forth, the family thought,
My, how tiny

but then she began to flail
her arms one day and burst
the chair into splinters
and revealed her true height.

(previously pub. on

 —Photo by Katy Brown


you can mark through the word
but never erase it
words are calm and loving
and sometimes sharp as tacks
the word childhood, for instance,
may be marked through, or the word
prune, or the word dagger
and we've got an assembly of
ready-made images and thoughts
to assign to the word
to bring it in full flesh
and give it our own birthing meaning.



Bones form the ground beneath
us, from thousands of years ago,
and who knows what exists about us

we are bipedal ape-like creatures
who rove on the skin of this earth
blinking, mating, sometimes meditating,

Do we even stop to consider?

We are busy making this world ours,
we think, consuming, collecting, adding
to our image of ourselves, we are busy
but at what and, when we are done

what is left but a small pile of mild
insanity and few well-wishers, assigning
their meaning to our lives for us?


Today’s LittleNip:


She comes undone,
the world shatters,
the shout and the cry,
apart, apart

But when she comes
back together, stronger
than ever, they will know
her name.

(previously pub. on


Our thanks to writer and teacher J.D. DeHart for today's fine poetry!  His chapbook,
The Truth About Snails, is available from RedDashboard Publishing (—scroll to the bottom of the page).  The blogs cited above are among many that he uses for publishing other poets' work—if you visit them, you'll recognize one of our SnakePals!