The Poet’s Eden


The number one rule is that
There are no rules
It is a peculiar matter of pure dumb luck that
We have come this far
Without spilling beans into each other’s laps


There are things to be said without warning
During the countless hours and terrible minutes
As we hover inside our rain-soaked paper walls
And suck air from empty flasks


But give me the tell-tell heart
That beats against the current
And the remains of afternoon
Listen, listen to its confession


Some secrets are not for the keeping
Here is where the bitter root
Breaks clean from bad earth
And wipes dust from its feet


Mercy has its merits
But truth seeks
Pulls me from deepest wells
Gathers my bones
And calls the spirit by name


©Dorhora. 2014. All rights reserved.


So freedom today – 
gift from the imperials
Give me nightingales

©Dorhora. 2014. All rights reserved.

For the Record

I was never really here
I was only pretending
Going through the heavy motions of
I do and I don’t
I will and I won’t

In the waiting room
I catch a glimpse of myself
As I will be on the eve of revelations
I watch for my turn
And trace an idle pattern in my head

In rooms such as this
I have spent my life with you
I am more prepared for this
Than barroom chatter

Or dinner for two

©Dorhora. 2014. All rights reserved.

Song Freedom
We may live with ghostly irons upon us, but we are charged with life still.
Let us soar together.

So the story goes 
Iron had wings
He lived and breathed 
Beyond his captors
When (even near Death)
Iron raised his torn wrists
In almighty praise
And took flight
Across the seas
Singing Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah
Hallelujah Amen

©Dorhora. 2014. All rights reserved.


I am standing here
In the middle of the road
This is somewhere too

©Dorhora. 2014. All rights reserved.

The (God-Honest) State of My Nation

Dah-dah dum
Dah-dah dum
Dah-dah dum

Dah-dah dee
Dah-dah dee
Dah-dah dee

Dah-dah did
Dah-dah did
Dah-dah did

Make it plain
has no value

Dah-dah do
Dah-dah do
Dah-dah do

I have less
than I want
And more
than I can keep

Dah-dah dum
Dah-dah dee
Dah-dah did
Dah-dah do
Dah-dah do
Dah-dah do
Dah-dah do

©Dorhora. 2013. All rights reserved.

When the Ego Rests, the Id May Rise

It is the mountain crumbling
When the earth rocks too far back
On its heels

It is the mind upset
When we scold the day for
Spiraling into darkness

Our nature is the best of us
And it is the worst

I keep my pockets empty
Of stones

©Dorhora. 2013. All rights reserved.

Sticking a rainbow inside my pocket for a rainier day

-For Nina and all the little girls blue

Because it is my life to live

Oh ever so tenderly

I will play my unhappy little girl blues

Note by note

From dawn to dusk

and I will count you twice on my fingers

There is more to me than just this – you

But not much

Our little girl blues

Never to give up on

Small blessings and blue boys dearest

©Dorhora. 2013. All rights reserved.

My Notes Out of Tune

I used to pin my ears to heavy gray clouds
to catch the rumbles of gravely god speak
Other times
I would watch bells unchained by winds
whisper catcalls to startled lone passerby
I would pinch myself
before falling prey to silent night without
miracles or feeling

©Dorhora. 2013. All rights reserved.

A cappella mine

Have you seen my pretty bird wings
Heard my pretty bird song from
pretty bird lips
My little ditty has its own land
and countrymen
as beautiful as their sons
as strong as their daughters
Can you hear me
Calling ancestors from the dust
bringing drums back to life
and counting each day
prettier than
the last

Have you seen my pretty bird wings
Heard my pretty bird song from
pretty bird lips

It is for you
And you


©Dorhora. 2013. All rights reserved.


I do not think there are words
enough and yet/ there are just
enough words/ to raise my defenses
and skim the surface bare/ without
any real and deep penetration/ here
is the struggle/ word for word/ bit by
bit/ nothing ever sinks in truly if the
hammer never falls/ so until then
days expire/ artist and muse subsist

these words float

© Dorhora. 2013.  All rights reserved.

Boston. Marathon. 4-15-13.

This is for all victories sweetest.
Yet bitter
in the aftertaste. The after notes.
The after hours of confusion and despair.

This is for the outspread road ahead
without your daughters. Your sons.
Wives. Husbands.
Your partners. No less.

This is for missing feet. Legs.
Arms. Hearts. Spare parts
for the taking when we are at
our worst.

This is for saviors who save.
Not for killers who kill.
But martyrs who die
for all these causes. These damn causes
that only exist because we do.
This is for runners. But wait. Runners just run.
And there is no redemption in it. For running.
And there is no shame in it.
And there should be no interruption in it.
And there should be no weeping in it.
And there should be no fear in it.
And there should be no bombs in it.
And there should be no flying limbs in it.
And there should be no death. Never death.
And there should be no dispute about it. Absolute.

There should only be
100 meters
200 meters
400 meters
800 meters
1,000 meters
1,609 meters
2,000 meters
3,000 meters
5,000 meters
10,000 meters
15,000 meters
20,000 meters
21,097 meters
21,285 meters
25,000 meters
30,000 meters
42,195 meters. Tape.
Marathon completed.
Tired limbs. Breath spent. Feet blistered.
Body shaken. But
Still intact. Alive. Survivors every one.
Ready for the next
break with gravity.

This one is for you.
On your mark
get set

© Dorhora. 2013. All rights reserved.

Since I could not speak for all, I spoke for me.Dorhora

All Together Now….Sing 
(For my people, the American electorate)

One side
Never tells a whole story
Can a single sparrow
Wake all of God’s morning

To the parts
Between ‘fore and after

Of how we lived
And conquered

© Dorhora. 2012. All rights reserved.

The woman inside the box

No fresh air she had – not a single breath
Nor nectar or ambrosia divine to digest
I wondered at this peculiar state
For in darkness she always was

And whoever dared to peek inside
And shine a bit of light
Scorned and abused – they were sent away
From evening’s return to day

Only the most precise hand unnatural
Laid heavily on a heart and mind
Can build a fortress so secure
That truth can never find.

© Dorhora. 2012. All rights reserved.

On the Chance that Tomorrow May Never Come

Let the Poet interject here
You too Sinnerman
Because she always likes to play a mixed crowd
Burning hot with the fever
Of raw energy
Sacred charms and juvenile genius
Dreams poised in mid-air
Between concrete ledges
And chalk-marked asphalt
Let the Poet give you a taste
Of her unpolluted black ink
Like sweet fig balsamic
Slathered along old crusty edges
Once-stale inflections turned fresh
Sweet and irresistible
As an aphrodisiac
Again, let the Poet have her say


So keep your dull prudent wit
Tidy formal chit-chat
And classy after-dinner mints
While the faithful and the Godforsaken – as one
Sip swift currents
Of unbridled reckless
And the Poet spews
Her beautiful beastly
Over and over again
On the chance that tomorrow may never come.

©Dorhora. 2012. All rights reserved.

On This Side (of Life)

What If
We chained the schoolroom door
Burned all the books
Erased every word
And banished the teachers

What If
We refused to touch the sky
Banned grit and ambition
Silenced the applause
And punished the doers

What If
We hunted all the game
Drained the oceans dry
Butchered dogs and cats
And vetoed any protest

What If
We stopped the music
Separated rhythm from blues
Muted the Nightingale-Wren
And ignored all that jazz

What If
We abandoned our children
Starved their minds and bellies
Destroyed their innocence
And trampled their spirits

What If
We awakened while dreaming
Complicated simple things
Muddled virtue
And illuminated cruelty and vice

What If
We cherish bad earth
Pray to false gods
Declare war upon the weak
And love all the wrong people

Then what

©Dorhora. 2012. All rights reserved.

A Poet’s Eden

If you have seeds to grow
Come In
Come In
Come In

Words / tilled and sown

First light to twilight
Natural harvests / of


Tribute / and


Come In
Come In
Come In

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

You, Your, My and Me

Your trash
My treasure
Your grime
My beauty
Your lies
My truth
Your head
My heart
Your waste
My bounty
Your logic
My lunacy
Your painted
My natural
Your focus
My haze
Your straight
My crooked
Your shut
My open
Your light
My dark
Your sun
My rain
Your desert
My oasis
Your bridges
My gaps
Your more
My less
Your blank
My fill
Your me
My you
You me
My your
You Your
Me my
Your you
My me.

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

Because WE ARE

Because WE ARE the courageous mahogany
The brown beautiful minds unselected
I AM the undefeated black She-Ra
Righteous redeemer of slight, ashy matchstick legs
And natural-born rough, tight and wiry crowns
Of glory unfavored
Like HER – I am a vision to behold
My beloved Nefertiti – Lady of grace
And all women

Because WE ARE the original amazons
Risking life and limb to prove our tanned bodies
As mighty as our hearts are devoted
I AM the unrestrained lioness
Blessed defender of innocence
And keeper of our dragons slayed – untold
And unwritten
Yet, I AM NOT weary
Or unworthy

Because WE ARE our Mothers
Grandmothers, Sisters and Daughters
Wounds untreated
Hearts unfed
Strengths unmeasured
Passions unmatched
And triumphs unrecorded
Throughout history
And time

I AM the courageous mahogany
Taking a chance on my brethren –
In this life
To want me
Love me
Respect me
Hold me
Forgive me – and then
Let me BE
Forever unchanged
Like a tiny black bird
Flying high, wings uncrushed
Soul unscathed
And all the heavens waiting for us
Beyond the horizon.

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

A Song for Emma ( Emma Lee Ford, 1919-2011)

Train whistle stop
Train whistle stop
Miss Mary Mack – all dressed in black
Twenty-four buttons down her back
She asked her mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence

The matriarchs of the community
Form a closed circle on the platform
As the first car pulls out of the station
Their vocals crescendo around us
A familiar song – a well-known hurt
This is not the first time they have
Gathered together and sounded in unison
Remembering one of their Beloved

Unlike most other folk
They have withstood the test of time
From nursery rhymes to soulful laments
Cornered between faith, ritual and rite
Horse-drawn buggies to sleek sedans
Leading mules and men – sunup to sundown
As one century meets the next

Old age is not cumbersome
To this group – when they look upon each other
The faded lines of youth linger still
And their memories ever so vivid
That they grieve impressively and wantonly
Clinging to each other as the caboose fades into the distance
Train whistle stop
Train whistle stop

Miss Mary Mack – all dressed in black
Twenty-four buttons down her back
She asked her mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence
He jumped so high
He touched the sky
And never came back

As the minute hand will cease to tick
So the chime will silence on a scheduled hour
And like their Beloved
They will one day ride the rails to nirvana
But the matriarchs stand steadfast – together – against fate
Willing the world to push them beyond the edge
Before the whistle blows

The circle opens now as each of the women depart
Tradition will not allow them to speak of this day again
Nor will they turn for one last look
Their Beloved has jumped the fence
And will touch the sky
For all of eternity


© Dorhora, 2011 All rights reserved.


unquenched I wrestle with Eve’s
ghost / his rib – my life

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

Untitled or (Eve II)

Her tender heart
was missing its strings
so She looked to The Creator

and said aloud
/I feel no pain
and heartache is a foreign thing/
The Creator could not understand
why this mortal
would want to feel
the loss of death
or the heartbreak of separation
So She replied
/It is because I need to know
what to feel
and what to say
when my mother weeps
and my children

are soon to depart from me/
At this, The Creator sighed
but She continued to speak
/My shoulder and warm embrace
is not enough
they need my voice
my sorrow
and tears
But most of all
they deserve my understanding/
And when She was finished
The Creator took pity
on Her
and in a single breath
granted Her
these grievous
and sorely human things
But despite Himself
and all of glory
for Her
He saw that it was good.

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

The Ecology of Certain Things Black

the color of
baby gorillas – rubber shoe soles
unpolished silver atop a late Georgian mahogany sideboard
too much oxygen tarnishing the soul and making mockery of scuba divers rising

fiercely against dark weighty force and quiet hush in the most private places
of the deep deeper deepest blue imagined – suppression
can make the mind turn
on itself – barreling

amidst volumes of
living and loving all of
Heaven and the Abyss no matter the curse
and blessing of being a gentle misunderstood beast of nature or painted Black.

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

Good Morning

Awaken and rise
Great Mother Beast
Your tasks ahead
Are too great in number
And wholly splendor
For me to bear

Your infinite beauty
Pregnant in a single, undressed petal
Your majestic vision
Proudly borne by the massive oak
And your unflawed wisdom
The superior mark of the queen honeybee

Awaken and rise
My Beloved Sovereign
There is much to be done
Let the hermit rest
Throughout the day
For naught depends upon him
Sun sky moon
Nor valley
Need his ready approval
Or steady hand

But your gifts are precious
Oh Infinite Dowager
And presence most remarkable
In every bloom
And twinkle
Rush and rumble
Hush and quake

Dear Natural Mother
Only grant me this – worlds to conquer
While I leave you
To gift miracles of loveliness
And kiss mountain flowers
Good Morning.

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.


leave your mailbox key
on the nightstand
and remember to take the blue and white
striped set
of coffee mugs
one – they’re chipped
two – they remind me too much
of slow Saturday mornings
with you

watching Tom chase Jerry
and The Roadrunner
outsmart Wile E. Coyote
over and over
and over and over

‘til death do us part
is always easier to stomach
in the beginning

just like cold pizza
and spicy chicken wings
at 9 a.m.


Leftovers II

sweet habanero
pepper jelly
with cream cheese
spread generously
over cornmeal and black peppercorn crackers
is still my favorite
afternoon snack

why wait until Thanksgiving
or Christmas
to enjoy such deliciousness
hot chocolate is still hot chocolate
any day of the year

there is not an exact season
or place for the poetry
or common suitability
of some things

but us
neither rhyme nor reason
on heaven or earth –
we were meant for

neither today nor yesterday

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

Ars Gravitatio

talk about
the silence / after
the onset it is like
no man’s land between two major opposing forces
the natural laws of attraction have weak footing within our sudden twisted margins

stronger wills have met their final match struggling to keep a hold of
their pregnant wits in the cruelest of waters
forcing one to cry out
in swift supplication
for stillness

after the
hysteria and temper
we don’t ever mention it
lest we be forced to look upon ourselves
and shave away all the miles of loose foreign shards stretched between us

our virgin tongues would discharge to explore this novel territory – entwine at will
daring each other to brazenly speak aloud / and
gravity would prove its nature
pulling perfect strangers
back into


© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.

Thank You (for Lorraine Currelley)

gratitude in gray
is no lesser than sunshine in yellow
it is about the gesture

the doing
the precise moment
when we acknowledge
that more
has always been just that

© Dorhora, 2012 All rights reserved.


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