Friday, February 8, 2019

Beak Boy
originally at Strange Poetry

For his seventh birthday, the parents
gave him a jungle-themed birthday party.
Zebras, lions, and rhinos romped around
with elephants and monkeys.
But he chose the toucan mask.

An hour later, they found him squatting
in the tallest tree in the backyard.
"How did he get up there?" mother asked.
"It's just a phase," father suggested.

It's been months.  
He only comes down for earthworms
and slices of cake.  He doesn't do his
chores anymore but has built a rather
splendid little nest.  

The neighbors complain of late night
video game flashes and sounds
coming from the tree.  The parents
don't know what will happen when
winter begins to approach, but father
is still insisting it's a phase.

Sacred
originally at Eunoia Review 

Some people put marks
around a spot of earth
and others hang glass on the wall,
or revel at ceramic figures
or write to famous persons

We collect small items
in boxes, wrap them in newspaper,
and store them away
then get out the old objects

Put them back up to change
seasons, and the cycle continues,
our application of sacred
given to tiny kiln-blown fragments
that cannot even say our names.

Symbolism Takes a Seat
originally at Eunoia Review 

In walked dear symbolism,
whom I invited so often to
class with me and down
she sat.
Along the ride, she pointed
out the plumage of bright
birds flapping past, perhaps
resembling courage;
a pool standing stagnant
representing my lack;
an old man signalling
the inevitability of my fall.
Dear, you read too deeply,
she told me as she left,
just enjoy the rest of the trip,
which I took to mean life.
But maybe not.

Abruptly
originally at Eunoia Review 

In rushes the season, in rushes
the dog, small frantic creature.
I drain my life before the classroom,
seeping out my humanity
before an unforgiving audience.
The lesson could involve a dancing
tiger and there would be no ovation.
I could light myself afire and someone,
probably that shaggy shiftless one,
would declare, Boring, then return
to a private world of video game avatars.
My switch of gears is abrupt, threatens
to tear out the transmission of life,
spitting out gravel. Somewhere there’s
a new town with the same old “folks”
who populate this town, only wearing
slightly different shades with a variation
of the now-familiar vernacular.

Ruins
originally at Eunoia Review 

When they have unearthed us, will they
look back at our architects and mutter,
How they rivaled the pyramids, or will
they first get hold of our wasted celebrity
adoration, our overpopulation, or propensity
for barbaric neighborhood yawp, will they
first peruse the words of Faulkner or Melville,
or lay their hands on the garish pop novels
we carry with us, with oversized umbrellas,
considering our culture with furrowed brows,
will their verdict be, Let us imitate them, or
No wonder they have all gone missing.

Latex
originally at Eunoia Review 

The slap of rubber, even in its clownish
lavender shade, conveys the deepest sense
of other, the hand arranging the needles,
shaking up the small bottles and I bidding
my love to go be prodded with those same
sharp implements, the smile on a nurse’s
face as thin and medicinal as those gloves,
a voice like the tapping out of air bubbles.

Orange Epidemic
originally at Eunoia Review 

I dreamed about a world where, suddenly
at the edges of their being, some people
started turning orange, burning shades
of autumn, and so the landlords and officers,
wearing their capitalistic top hats, threw
these shades of persons into chains, stuffing
them into Orwellian overalls, and put them
to diligent work building a new country,
throwing up the guard of a new regime.
I have to stop reading dystopian fiction
before turning the lamp out.

JD Dehart

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