Poetry from JD DeHart

Ash Heap
I’m not sure where all
of this is headed.  Of course.
How could I know?
Today I floated by, literally
above the clouds, above storms.
The world was a series of tiny images.
How do you like a thing
like that?
This is not a metaphor.  I repeat.
This is not a metaphor.
I watched as wings lowered,
moved to create resistance.  I
laughed out loud.
I thought of da Vinci’s drawings,
sketches of how all this works.
Then I saw it in action.
They worked it out, the madmen,
I joked to myself.
Passing over those small heaps
below.  Dotted areas like mold
were trees.  Ash heaps, water circles.
People too tiny to see.

I Like the Way a Word Plays with a Word
like children in the yard.  Like life-long
One word juxtaposed with another.
I like how they look at each other funny
out of love.  But they know what each other
Having a date along the stretch
of a single or double space.
Let no period put asunder.
I like the way an image – juicy
lemon in the bottom of your water
glass, squeezing out its contents,
spilling three seeds – travels
across time and possibility.  A
voice over the phone creates an impression
of the person’s face.
But they are far from my eye.
I can squeeze an entire
lemon through a phone’s
speaker or through an electric
invisible tube – just
by saying the word lemon.
Being Precise
Find the exact word,
trace the phrase.  Let each word
travel its way.  Note that the
word always leads to another word.
The words work on the side
of the road today, picking up trash
for the city government.
This is a puzzle, how one theory
leads to another.  One book demands
its inevitable sequel or rival.  Or both.
It’s hard to pinpoint when you’re trying
hard to pinpoint.  It’s easier just to admit
we disagree quietly.
After all, most of us do.  We are just too
polite to split hairs.  You think you’re
bald until you meet a real hair-splitter.
Touch Ups
Some minor touch-ups
are needed on the promise.
No doubt, you have seen
those glowing eyes on the
side of the interstate.  What
pot of gold, what rainbow?
A few minor details to attend:
The shape of the eyes, practice
the look that says I have not
been hurt, am not being hurt,
I am not even a real person.
Just a plaything or a performer,
ready to follow through.
Pardon me as I powder, blotting
out my distracting humanity.
Reality makes such a clunking
sound in the midst of fantasy.
Counting Threads
Here is a thread and, at last,
here is another.
A name I might pull on
to find another name, just
a list of words as I build my
rising case.
An idea opens up on another
idea, an entire clown car
of thought, all nicely collected,
packed into a citational style.
Ferris Wheel
The once mighty dinosaur
Ferris wheel, like so many other
beasts, has succumbed to age
and rust.  What will the next generation
think of our amusements?
There were once proud warriors
of commerce marching the streets
of this burned-out shell
of a town.  Now there is only dust
and unwanted pregnancy.
Cable television flickers on, now
and then, promising a world of better
All that is here is the sound
of what used to be, faces have traveled
from high-brow to sunk-low,
a tribe of porch-sitters, shotgun owners
with specious gaze.
Deep in the earth, there is a spark
that threatens to turn the lights back on,
get the wheel churning again, but then –
what would the residents do with it?
Would the fire burn their laps?
Or would they start churning
again, like the spokes of a wheel,
like awakened fossil creatures
from a dormant earth?