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Dee Allen's Poems

African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California U.S.A. Active on creative writing & the Spoken Word scene since the early 1990s. Author of 5 books [ Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press, and from Conviction 2 Change Publishing, Elohi Unitsi ] and 39 anthology appearances [ including 2020: The Year That Changed America, Geography Is Irrelevant from York, England's Stairwell Books, Five Words: Volume XIV from West Cork, Ireland's O' Bheal, Boundless from Flower Song Press—created in connection with the 2021 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival and the newest from Kenya-based Kistrech Theatre International, I Can't Breathe ] under his figurative belt so far.


Looking back on it  

Growing up in 

The South, 

That is,  

I remember Grandma Lillie’s 

Backyard being a virtual 

Fruit orchard.  

Three or four peachtrees 

Always stood back there, 

Abundant with little round golden delectables.  

Whenever Spring came, 

Peaches would ripen and 

Fall to the ground  

Uncollected, rotted slowly. 

Sad, neglectful 

Waste of fruit 

That could’ve been 

Rinsed with sink water, skinned with a knife and eaten

Or put into Grandma’s occasional desserts. 

 [ I was guilty of the same offence. ]  

At least 

The rotten fruit 

Had served a purpose:  

The  backyard  lawn 

Looked  good  and green 

Straight  into  Fall,  absorbing  such  a heavy  meal.

In  those  days, 

Organic  wasn’t  a grand 

Supermarket  selling  point. 

Organic  was  a  fact  of  life. 

With  the  sun’s 

Glowing  assistance, 

Organic  was what 

Had  grown juicy  and 

Fresh  from  peachtree  branches 

Looking  back  on  it. 

W:  Easter  2021 [  For  Jessica  M.  Wilson-Cardenas,  Kelly Leong, Carol  Park, Blake  More,  Robert  Rubino  and Stewart  Carswell.  ] 

Orchard 2

Lady Death  

Takes a back seat 

To the fruit of Spring. Peaches. 

Globular treats picked from Southern trees  

[ The only Southern thing I miss ]  

Heavy with juice, 

Sugary flesh 

That would delight taste-buds, 

Spoon-blended into vanilla ice cream, 

Fill oven-baked crust  

Of future cobblers. 

The rich orchard is 

Carried in me 

Bite after bite 

After tantalising bite.  

W: 6.11.21 [ In response to the poem Blossoms by Li-Young Lee. ] 

Brood 10

Simply boys 

Calling out 

To girls 

To come play  

In the tree-tops. 

Copulation is The plan. 

Seventeen years  

Of isolation 

Is broken 

When boys 

Emerge from  

Holes in  

Warm mud. 


Living cloud  

Orange eyes, 

Black bodies, 

Translucent wings 

Cicadas march  

Tymbal sound 

Piercing chitter 

Ninety-six decibels 

Louder than a Harley chopper—  

From their union, 

New offspring 

Eggs  on  leaves 

Tumble  down to Subterranean  lairs, 

Carry  on  parents’  cycle. 

Elders  are  left 

A squirrel’s  lunch. 

Hotter  weather 

Brings  out   

Anxious  ones— By  trillions. 

W:  Carnavál  2021 

Silent Blue  [  Dorsimbra*  ] 

All  life  began  at the  ocean  bottoms 

With  the  amoeba,  tiny shape  altered  to  catalyse, 

Form  the  first  fish,  swimming  down fathoms, 

More  marine  denizens  came,  differing  in  size. 

Eventually  fish reached  dry  land,  fins  became  legs,  4

as  clammy  amphibian  or  scaly reptile,  4  legs  grew

as  2,  sentient  life  split,  some gained  mass  as  dinosaurs,

others  hairy  primates  too  advanced for  the  ocean— 

Civilisation’s  by-products  spoil  the  deep  silent  blue: 

Spilled  oil,  chemical  run-off,  trash  from  cities  &  passing  ships. 

Our  old  aquatic connection  forsaken,  the  fact  long  forgotten  that 

All  life  began  at the  ocean  bottoms. 

W:  World Oceans  Day 2021 *A  12-lined  poem.  First stanza:  iambic  pentametre  [  A-B-A-B rhyme  ],  second  stanza:  free  verse  and  third  stanza:  blank  verse. First  and  last  lines  are  the  same.  Devised  by Eve  Braden,  Freida   Dorris  and  Robert  Simonton. 


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