A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Donelle Dreese

Poem With a Backbone In It

I want to celebrate the person who says
what everyone else is thinking

the person who knows thoughts are not Gregorian chants
or mint leaves sweetened with lime frost

even if it strikes the piñata of polite conversation
until truth hailstones to the floor

even if it sounds like crows flapping their wings
inside the hollow of a bell tower.

I want to celebrate the person who pours water
over tombstones so the souls of the dead are not thirsty

the person whose mind tracks the natural curve of the spine
anything else is artifice or disease
a scoliosis of the brain.

Forgive the Rest

The arch of a foot
is a crescent moon
the toes are piano keys
the most important five notes
for a walking song.

But let's not stop there.
Have you seen your knees lately?
Those bending ice capped
balls of ice cream
that put the cool in your I am.

And what about your hips?
That bowl of dark red apples.
Without this hinge, we'd forget
to lower the ego and bow.

I arrive at the heart--
a power grid that decides
when the lights burn out.

Even the riotous brain must defer.
The tongue and its penchant for pleasure
must defer.

If the last beat is a good one
you'll forgive the rest.

Donelle Dreese is an Associate Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University where she teaches literature, creative writing, and composition.  Her fiction has appeared in publications including GadflyConclave, and Journal of Microliterature.  Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Quiddity InternationalAppalachian Heritage, Runes: A Review of PoetryRoanoke ReviewHiram Poetry Review, and Gulf Stream Magazine She is the author of a work of travel writing, America's Natural Places: East and Northeast (ABC-CLIO, 2010), and two poetry collections: A Wild Turn (Finishing Line Press, 2008) and Looking for a Sunday Afternoon (Pudding House Press, 2010).   

In the morning of July 12, 2006, my husband and I were married in Maine overlooking Penobscot Bay.  Later that day, we stopped at a pottery shop in Searsport and bought beautifully handcrafted soup bowls and mugs.  Painted on each piece is a landscape characteristic of Maine – a rocky beach and lighthouse with a deep green northern hardwood forest in the background.  Every morning when I drink my cup of tea I am transported back to that gorgeous day.