Poetry from J.D. DeHart

We Rushed


to the sound of broken

water and crashing streams.


A thundering knock

at the door, early morning. These

are the pools we stepped in.


For too long I’ve spent too much

time puttering on things that just don’t


matter, trying to peddle my goods.


Time to stop applying a metric

to my faith – good, better, best –


Just be.

It’s enough.



Gaming the System

Forget the trees

Outside my door a moment.


I was seeing the bright colors


Of future worlds by the time

I was ten. In the films I watched, I met


Cities and skyscrapers.


Batman saved my reading life.


In the video games I played, I found

The ability to hop into new worlds, and leap


Over unfamiliar obstacles.


In those days, we had to level up,

You started back at the home screen if you


Stopped the game. No re-spawning.


So, my days were spent trying to beat

A boss – then starting back at square one,


Over and over.

How many days, wrapped in blizzards,

Did I spend navigating a digital character

Through a video snow.

 There is Space

where space should be.

This poem is not about

rockets, I assure you.


There is a wondering

absence where there really


is not absence. Am I


an arm, a mind, an interconnected set

of thoughts and instruments


            moving ensemble


what is my motion

            my e motion


what is my work

            life, work life


the continuation, the




I Have Tried


too long to brace verdant reality,

bunching up worries into an

easy-to-follow guide,


warnings whispered on websites,


and more time, time

to linger longer in the quiet,

stillness of the waters that pass,

decorated with litter.


Now, I linger again in the

stillness of this time, unsure

of where the world goes from

here. Hopeful. Realistic.


Almost a year ago, I lay

on my back as I do today,

different purposes, new reasons,


lack of reason.


I thought of what would

be ahead, framing moments

of trust


in unseen figures. A constant



Weeks earlier, I accepted

a new path that would

come to reality.


I try to know myself,

thinking, reading, believing

in bright promises ahead.


I sought connecting

as I wait for warmer



Others See Me As



soul friend

collaborative writer

Appalachian scholar


attentive leader

one with kind eyes



covenant partner




one who invited



I am only one person

making a way

in the world,


mindful of footprints,


true words and actions.


New Pathway

beginning of a forest,

dogs trotting ahead in the path,


fresh air adjusting leaves

like ornaments around me,


warmth of summer

years ago, remembered again


point of a branch, and I know

I’ll return here soon


again and again, and never leave

as I once did.


Preserving the silent world.


There is

a space where

space should be,


there is a wondering

absence where they really


is no absence. A hollow

that is filled but still echoes.


Am I an arm,

a mind, an interconnected set

of thoughts and instruments


for making syllables and other



What is my motion

            my emotion


what is my work

            life, work-life,


where are those boundaries



the continuation, the meaning,

            as days stack up.


I want to be a better

teacher, a voice that’s honest


a clear teacher of teachers.