Four Poems - JD DeHart


An Ode to Heraclitus

It’s true that nothing stays the same,
the lead singer taking over the former
crooner’s place,
learning of death on a late Friday night,
wondering how the weight will fall,
will this result in a withdrawal into self,
watching the slow destruction of the building
where we met and knew each other better,
listening to the words that used to give
comfort, now blaringly shallow and vague,
finally forgetting who we were as children,
becoming whatever it is we are now,
be it husk or full-fledged living creature,
be it static or dynamic character
filling the void of the page.


You are a piece of art they have not decided
to start appreciating, dear, and please forget them
anyway. They are rabble.
They are too busy worrying about their prescriptions,
their car payments,
their brand-new jobs to pay you any mind.
Too busy learning about new flavors of cheap wine,
they fail to recognize how you take the best
of them, distilled, refined, lip-burning, because
you are their kindest thoughts and words
made flesh, while they content themselves
with the dreadful remnants swimming in their cup,
you are the incarnation of their faint possibility.

What Plato Said to Socrates

He has to know they’ll never
understand, yet he keeps talking –
Why does he keep trying?
Doesn’t he care about me at all?
They’re all too buried deep in caverns,
listening to their juicy music,
thinking about how to earn money
or get into bed with each other,
and he’s going on about the truth.
Dig deep, he tells them, and they look
at him like, We don’t have shovels, dude.
If it’s in them, I don’t see it.
What I see is the mob, the gulp of poison,
then me – aimless wanderer, the guy
strolling around saying, Remember when
he used to teach us?
Remember that? They probably won’t.

The Journey of Davis

She’s got chicken bones in the back seat
and one of those large decals about Jesus,
His Wonderful Saving Grace,
plastered onto the windshield so one wonders
how she can even see around the neon?
Her couch always smells like cheese,
but like manufactured cheese – not the real stuff,
like what aliens think cheese tastes like.
She’s got hands for going through garbage bags
full of clothes, a mouth that makes excuses
and poems out of profanity at a moment’s notice.
She knows how to work the system,
fake an injury, get out of a ticket,
fill out the government forms just right.

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His work has appeared in several places including The Stockholm Review of Literature, Expound, and Outlaw Poetry.