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And More Poetry…

At Pass-a-Grille

(to honor Eric's courage)

Is there silence in a wave?

Even in the whisper of its wash upon the sand,

I hear in grains of silicon and calcium

a zillion sighs, vast murmured memories of rock and shell

tossed and tumbled to the shore.

The constant breeze that births the undulations,

conspiring with the moon,

breathes resolutions made in ancient times,

determined by a spoken Intent eons-old.

Even morning light betrays the quiet I expect

in in early morning visits to this shore,

speaking to a stillness in my soul,

“Awake, I whisper hope to you.”

Soon the plovers, pipers, gulls and terns arrive,

they answer almost-silence by exultant joyous calls and cries.

© Damon Dean, 2022 (in response to prompt at Poetic Bloomings, 08.28.2022, “silence”)

I Heard a Quiet

I heard a quiet;
it came, so loud and still, just after her last breath.

In all the noisy waitings in my mind,
the clangs of futile questions such as
who would I call first,
the rumbling of grief just there below the surface of my heart,
the nay-says of my own doubts over whether I had handled all things well,
the siren of a less than two week alarm that she was leaving from this ninety-two year stay.

Amid this noise inside of me,
I heard a quiet.

It was a solid sound
It was louder, surer, than any other noise.
It was the echo of a joy I could hear, but not perceive.

I heard a quiet;
it was a sound I never will unhear.

© Damon Dean, 2022

(for Poetic Bloomings, 07.25.2022, prompt “choose life”)

Below, Behind
There it is
    below, behind us,
    a valley carved,
    no furrow straight,
    no certain curves,
an undulating wrinkle in the earth
    which may change yet
    by force of wind or flood.
Who’s to say
    which way it next may turn.
    It is new to us, now.
    It was not there before,
    we were not here back then.
    I did not see it yesterday.
This morning, see,
    the sun made wide my eyes
    and light and shadow showed
    the gulch that had appeared.
We had passed ‘cross it
    in the night
    unaware of what we stumbled for
    or why our feet were cold and wet
    why clumsily we fought the dark
    not knowing it was changing ground
    that caused our misery.
There it is
    below, behind us,
    a valley carved.
But we stand on a hill,
    upon a crest,
    and see
with sun-wide-opened eyes.
© Damon Dean, 2021

Frosty azure fragments, winter's canopy,
random patterned segments of my sky,
pieces leaded one-to-one between
   upraised limbs of
   oak and elm and gum
   togethered underneath
   a master Artist's eye.
A masterpiece of branch and limb and twig
blue-glass sky, white-veined with wisps of cloud
no cathedral earth-bound worthy of this scene
   I raise my limbs
   in hope and pleading prayer
   and to the Artist
   lift my song aloud.
© Damon Dean, 2021


They’re left on blank cards,
aromas and all,
in ink or in pencil some long ago fall,
some long ago feast-worthy hurried-up lists
of proportions, ingredients, temperatures–mists
of family and flavored

Lost over time, but
found with a wish,
the handwriting tells me who authored each dish–
but then the unwritten but whispering parts
are tasted again with my wondering heart,
recalling sad eyes,
concerned glances.

the kind dishes contain.
Unspoken worries, un-asked-about pain.
Festive the food, the holiday cheer,
why couldn’t some honesties be written here,
in open heart recipes?
What are our chances?

© Damon Dean, 2020

Carving Times

It took a moment,
between the prompt and memories
to recall the times that time had bound in the dusty albums of my mind.

I may be guilty
neglectful of reflection, for untouched pages
unturned because, perhaps, of the sad side of nostalgia.

It must be, I guess
that aromas have memories which waft
between pleasant and, surely, unremembered hurts, forgotten worries.

I want to recall
on my tongue, in my nose, at my lips
the sage, salt, and pepper, that golden yeasty softness of my yester years.

I think those days took
every flavor of those years, and in the heat
of busy kitchen gatherings, blended them together, casseroled them all.

It is a cautious
effort to divide the thoughts, the moments,
to so carefully slice the breast precisely, while the world, and fellow poets, look on.

It is not that things
were hard or difficult or sad, but that the whole
becomes somehow un-portion-able, and that, I guess, is still okay with me.

© Damon Dean, 2020


Cuckoo (an endecha)

I was thrilled to see my first
yellow billed cuckoo today.
Yes, he came to Arkansas,
tho sightings here are somewhat rare, watchers say.

He perched upon a thin limb
in a leafy elm, right there,
peered at me with wary eye,
bounced, and leapt and flew into the summer air.

I wonder tho—at what age
does one start seeing cuckoos
in abnormal habitats?
I report it, tho it will not make the news.

Cornell may argue when I
say I saw the birds I see,
and register my sightings,
and use their apt bird app so readily.

For I am not a watcher
at the level of a pro,
but I will tell them if they
ask, “I saw the bird I say I saw–I know!

© Damon Dean, 2020

(an endecha)

Is it dew, or is it rain
that slipped in during darkness,
in the night baptized the lawn,
with piety, theology and kindness?

To convert my yard, it came
with liquidated notions—
matters not, whether they came
from pools or lakes or rivers, seas or oceans,

the source, evaporation,
under heaven’s holy light,
has now redeemed my grasses
by the radiance that would have been their blight.

© Damon Dean, 2020


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