it is a small wonder
how some people
do not seem to age
or how some
do not seem to be touched
by the negative
void of emotion around 
and I must now begin
to encase my heart
to be unreachable
and reachable at once.


there is a great feather
rising from the woman's hat
now making her appear
birdlike as she bobs
down the street, I almost 
want to cast some seed
at her purple pumps, 
but social skills take over
as they should.


when the great message
of proposed lifetime love
is spread across the sky
or digital ballpark screen,
I think of the simple way
I slid a ring into your lap
while we were on our way
to get lunch, and maybe
I should have dressed it up,
maybe making some proud
and noble declaration,
or song and dance routine,
proposal in a top hat.

He Who Travels

the man was once
nestled inside a fence
of his own making,
afraid to step beyond 
his bounds, then found
that he could travel
well in full traffic,
weaving in, out, among
lanes, and that treasures
of other lands caught
his attention, so decided
to be transient, brave,
and boundless.

Pipe City

we sat in art class
arranging simple lines
on paper, pipes dipping
below waters and above
aircraft, pipes connecting
to larger structures, 
imagining some ludicrous
future place.

The Best Teacher

they say experience
is the best teacher, but I think
of a camel-haired coat
and a classroom decorated
with dream catchers 
where I first met Cyrano
and Ray Bradbury, where I
first began my journey
as a creative writer, the first
person who truly took time
with me, kindly editing papers
and saying, Maybe you should
consider getting published.

The Centipede Poem

the waggish centipede
waves at us from the wall
looking like a gravity-defying
eyebrow, watching all we do,
and I want to be her warrior
for the weekend,
her proud brave husband,
protecting my tender bride
from the wiles of such 
otherworldly creatures, 
but perhaps we look the same
brand of extraterrestrial,
hairless bipeds, making loud
noises in the still cabin,
planning our itinerary
for a romantic getaway.

Reading, in Hindsight

when I was sixteen,
Vonnegut was a giant of thought
and Nabokov was amazing
just because he wrote
about a controversial topic;
of course, since then I have come
to appreciate the Vonnegutian
philosophy for what it is,
and Nabokov's writing
for the power of images,
even cast through English
as a second language, but I
must admit they do not hold
the worship they once did,
their human skin showing,
the frailty of finite thought
even in the most expansive
mind and pen.

The Brims

we're on the street
having just sampled the local
morning coffee,
admiring the hat brims
bouncing up and down
with casual stride,
listening to the people
try to make a name 
for themselves with their music
passing the simple artwork
of painters on the beach,
most of them just a circle
within a circle,
not to mention the many tables
containing incense and crystals,
the sound of skateboarders,
the low creak of swing sets
and the December California
ocean, absurdly warm
for the usually frigid season.

The Poetry of 
JD DeHart is a poet, writer and teacher from Tennessee.  His work has been published in Eye On Life Magazine, Eunoia Review, and The Commonline Journal, among others.  He has also been featured in Garden Gnome Publications' first two Biblical Legends Anthologies, and his work has appeared in Bewildering Stories, Illumen, and Aphelion.  

DeHart's first chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is coming this fall.

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The Poetry of JD DeHart. Page 2