Poetry from JD DeHart

Bear House


They tire of the too small,

too big conversations, the constant

comparisons; at least Snow White

had the courtesy to sleep a while

and Cinderella disappeared in her pumpkin

for a carriage ride into the night.

This girl just sits on the couch, whining,

threatening teenage pregnancy,

smearing on acne medicine,

then takes the car out late without permission,

eats all the porridge – cold, hot, she does not care

“Eating for two,” she teases, and they roll

their eyes, thinking:  Where did we go wrong,

Was it the late bed-time, too many video games?

When is she going to get a job?


The Clown Has Fallen


We should all be saying Oh no

because he was the one who kept us sane,

giving us jokes, even about ourselves.

Somehow we still laughed.

But now he has taken a tumble, perhaps

drinking a bit too much, climbing a bit

too high – or, worse yet, has taken flight

on purpose, leaving us with no consolation

of cheer or diversion.


Taking out the Trash


It could turn into a walk down the lane,

a chance meeting with fate.

I picture a man driving by, offering millions,

but it is as likely as Charon swimming to the curb

offering a ride to the Underworld.

So the trash gets taken out, the decaf gets made,

lesson plans are done (they are never really done),

and I wonder if Odysseus took out the garbage

when he made it back to Ithaca.


The Memory of Dolphins


Remember, I ask, the dolphins

or porpoises, their beautiful shadows

cavorting in the waves?

We felt so lucky to see them then.


When, you ask, when was that?

It was just a few years ago when we

went walking one morning, getting

our toes in the lukewarm water.


But the memory is gone, a photo that

has been destroyed, an event that

may as well have never happened.


Such is reality, I suppose.




Sitting by the cresting waves,

he noticed first one swordfish and then

another finding their flapping way

onto the shore.

Should he wake her?  Probably not.

Then the first one stood up, followed

by his companion, and a duel ensued.

He really should wake her, he thought,

but did not.

Then both silver-blue fishes bowed,

leaped back into the ocean.

First he thought, she’s going to be pissed,

and then he thought, she wouldn’t believe

it anyway if I told her.



The High Waters


A boat is docked

but has never been anywhere

to speak of.


The inside of the restaurant

is decorated with animal skins,

a giant bee’s nest.


A muskrat threatens to go fishing

by the door.

He’s even got his pole out.


There are stirrings in the water,

Invisible life sucking at lighting

insects, moving in tiny circles

beneath the swirling murk.


There is a hidden life in the marsh

as we eat broiled fish and sip

sour mixes in mason jars.