Poetry: Selections from Dee Allen.

Counterfeit Rebel

Chickens will start
Clucking out loud
When a rat comes
Sneaking into
The hen-house.
Such a rodent
Crawled its way
Into swollen ranks of the
Black Lives Matter
Movement in Colorado Springs
Wearing a masque—
Bright-eyed enthusiasm
For “fighting the good fight”.
She would be found
At a street march
So easily, compared to the rest.
Known for the tightness
Of her halter top
And bubblegum
Pink hair.
Busy lady soldier with big
Energy for a righteous cause.
Is this the profile for a vile rodent?
A few occasions at her spot
Changed the tone to this tale.
Plans were set.
Create the crime.
Run illegal guns through the movement.
Two activists were lured in.
Both refused the bait.
Zeal for racial justice—False.
Her identity—False.
Her sex work—False.
Her long pink hair—False.
Intent to sabotage—Real.
Her entrapment—Real.
Her hidden police rank—Real.
Her F.B.I. handlers—Real.
Poison to the movement—
Chilling effect—
Frighteningly real.
Chickens will start
Clucking out loud
When a rat comes
Sneaking into
The hen-house
Moving in daylight,
Looking not
For eggs,
But for

Things Fall Apart

Things fall apart
In times of war,
In loss of regularly
Scheduled lives and more.
Comfortable homes,
Farms and markets
Singled out by unexpected
Missiles—convenient targets.
These times of war
Only tyrants crave
Flattened cities, submission,
Every person, their slave.
But the Ukrainian survivors
Will rise above the gloom
To arrive at a brighter future
Where flowers still bloom.
[ For Stephanie Larkin. ]

Earth Hour

MARCH 26, 2022 – 8:30pm to 9:30pm PT
On this Saturday evening,
I take a break
From electricity.
Decisive move,
Hand to wall switch.
Lights off. Candles on.
Lit match to a few candle wicks.
Shadows on walls and ceiling shimmy,
Dance to flame's spontaneous rhythm.
Dimly lit
Comfort zone, filled with
Comfort food on a plate, all plant-based.
Black bean burgers on sourdough with
Spicy brown mustard, pickles,
Chips on the side, sea salt-seasoned,
Pineapple juice, ice-cold, in
A glass mug to wash down my
Cruelty-free repast. Purple grapes—saved for later.
My eyes took on a feast of their own:
Documentary on YouTube
On Chernobyl—Nuclear disaster area
Or ecological miracle?
Village rewilds despite slow decay.
Menagerie of animals roam free—Humans long gone.
Ten minutes left.
Like last time,
Meditate. Brown eyes shut. Bald Black head lowered.
Draw deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out.
Thoughts set on her,
Our endangered Earth—
Flash floods on the Gulf Coast,
Typhoons in the Philippines,
American Southwest dry to the extreme,
The Amazon and California burn in the Summer—
Thoughts set on everything
We could lose—
On this Saturday evening,
I take a break
From electricity.
Transient time to reflect on my only home.
Redemption from neglect, though, will take more than 60 minutes.
Lights off. Candles on.

Dee Allen. is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books--Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ], Rusty Gallows [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]--and 69 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.