Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Fragments of the World

Stone Garden
—Poems by JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN
—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA


moments floated past me
as I walked the old courtyard
photos suspended in the air

images of a younger me
a more frightened person

I thought of the crisis time
when I had to decide
between who I was and who
others made me out to be

every poor decision
and choice of wording
navigating to my purpose
and how soon
rain would come and autumn
would be thicker than memory

 Just 18!


We visited the graveyard often
Even though we knew no one
In the graves themselves
It was at the crest of a hill
As if to place the dead skyward
With my Polaroid camera, I would
Snap photos of the markers, hoping
And simultaneously not hoping
That in one of them there would be
The wisp or specter of a ghost
When the products popped out
There was always that moment
Of ethereal mystery as the image
Faded into firm being.

 Broken Stones


Wait a moment says the click
Dull slumber, the lull of crowds
A spark, then darkness
Feedback of the microphone
Poison to impatient ears
The program will continue
For now, we pantomime
With uncertain, strange gestures
Waiting for the earth to resume.



Fourth-grade math, split with fifth-graders
The aged eagle swooping over the room
Resting at his nest on occasion, then up again
Back and forth, spreading grey feathers
“Sleep with your math books, class,
Practice your fractions, and then practice more”
Last year, the kid had won a division contest
Now he is confused, one number over another
A strange display, another language
With about half his mind, the pencil forms walls
Small figures in tights, vigilante emblems
Of course, the paper is snatched by the talon
“Superhero City,” the pedagogue intoned,
“Will not solve your math problems.”

 Mourning Angel


mother fried them
in butter
like everything else

they started as brown
and webbed
then were rolled
and carefully breaded

we ate them at the small
metal table
my father made for her

always patently
domestic in his gifts



Down the bends of the road, they called his name
Over and over again like a meditation
Small dogs have a flaw in feeling larger
All the world, all people, constitute a friendly place
Surely, there is no harm to be found here
So, the family searches the familiar places
Around them, the homes of strangers are quiet
After two hours, they discover their dog’s betrayal
He has taken up with another family
The new father already purchased food and a bed
“We’ve always wanted one,” the new mother says
The smile spreads across her face like butter
They walk away sadly, members of the old pack
Listening to the yaps of the tiny Brutus.



silent men around me
seem to know
there is a time for rutting
and feeding on corn
a time to sit still in cold

start the cleaning
of the firearm and stop

start the squeezing of
target practice trigger
              stop again

a preconfigured notion
of manhood starts
and I stop it at its
bubbling source
thereby redefining.


Today’s LittleNip:

—JD DeHart

an ancient wisdom
or just scribbles from

or product of a bad

tiny words to bind
compress and heal
a wounded soul


Thank you, JD DeHart, for re-visiting the Kitchen today! JD says that these poems once appeared at a now-gone journal called
Eye On Life Magazine. And thank you, Katy Brown, for your cemetery photos from here and there and everywhere!

Poetry Off-the-Shelves takes place tonight in Placerville from 5-7pm at the El Dorado County Library on Fair Lane. Then at 7:30, Laura Martin will read at The Word Thing at the Shine on E Street in Sacramento. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.

Condolences to Sacramento Poet Kathleen Lynch, who broke her ankle and had to have surgery, so she will not be reading at Poetry of the Sierra Foothills this Sunday. Kelly Grace Thomas will be reading there from her book,
Boat Burned; plus there will be an open mic for poetry and stories. Kathleen and Kelly were also scheduled to read at Sac. Poetry Center on Monday night; Kelly will be reading with Linda Scheller instead. Get well soon, Kathleen!


—Medusa, celebrating “moments of ethereal mystery” ~

 —Anonymous Photo

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