Eight Poems
by JD DeHart






I could carry a torch for you,

but that would be arson.  I am

afraid such a blaze would only

create distance between us.


Love is made difficult by



Sick as a dog, I searched for your

muzzle, offered to let you outside,

thought of a treat and reward system,

but these efforts were in vain.


When you told me you were on

the fence, I looked for you next to

the blackbirds that visit every morning,

but you were missing in their song.


Instead, I found you clipping toenails

in the sink.  Next time you could at least

offer a bath there so that the metaphor

means more.


Finally, you said after while, crocodile,

and I checked myself for rows of teeth,

looked about, and understood when I

saw the swamp I was creating,


a neurotic miasma that surely

must have seemed as rough as a reptile’s

unwelcoming hide.




a black line



Loud Music

first appeared at Jellyfish Whispers


thumps of vandal music

fade as we rise

around the hill,

a lake finding us,

a water fall discovering us

and our escape

right before our eyes.




a black line




first appeared at Pyrokinection


Let's go toading, someone

suggests, which I believe

is a game that involves

spotting the people in British

films that will turn out to be

lecherous heart-breakers.

Of course, I'm talking about

the polite productions

that draw on tattered novels.

I have grown in appreciation

for the British classics, with

their ever-present awareness

of the importance of manners

and wedding dresses.




a black line



Bald Eagle

first appeared at Pyrokinection


Must be some kind

of heroic creature beneath

the hairless form in front

of me.  Which reminds me

of my brother losing his hair

and what may soon be

my fate.  So I should focus

on the salad bar, the static

television across the room,

rather than noting the aquiline

nature of the man sitting

opposite me, who one day

may be me looking back.




a black line



Real Looker

first appeared at Pyrokinection


She's a real looker,

and you can tell because

all the old men have turned


She's a real looker,

I hear one of them say,

and I do not bother to turn,

instead imagining Emerson's

roving eye, a bouncing

ball of observation.

Now that would be a Real

Looker, certainly so.




a black line




first appeared at Pyrokinection 


Like the image of the old

bound in balms by the young,

the girl in a meadow, just

a painting I glimpse.


She cares for the weeds

the same as the tender floral dots.


Her voice is an uncommon

invitation to the young, and her

eyes float the roof of the world,

considering her next phrase,

or the next petal to drop.


One finger pointing, indicating

someone, something, just

beyond the limits of canvas,

an invitation to jump in, invent

the other face in the portrait.




a black line



Sloth's Sway

first appeared at Pyrokinection  


In the considerate movement

of the sloth, I see my own

sanguine approach to this day.


Problems without solutions

gather in my mind like a mob

at bedtime, and so I carry these


voices with me all day, more

worn by the night than I should be,

slowly turning my head, munching


a leaf, preparing to hop down from

my perch, but thinking better of it

in halting concentration.




a black line



High-Back Chairs

first appeared at Pyrokinection 


Indecorous, the table

belongs in another room.

The wallpaper crisis,

aesthetics peeling in piles.


The high-back chairs join

the wing-backs for a seasonal

migration up the stairs.


I recall pictures of hollowed

out buildings, shavings, rust,

an artist who captured

ruin photographically.


One day my most carefully

preserved art will be nothing

but curls, hardly an insect

preserved in amber.




a black line


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