May 30 – June 5, 2022: Poetry from Diane Elayne Dees and James Stemmle

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Diane Elayne Dees

Diane Elayne Dees is the author of the chapbook, Coronary Truth (Kelsay Books) and the forthcoming chapbook, The Last Time I Saw You. Diane, who lives in Covington, Louisiana—just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans—also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that delivers news and commentary on women’s professional tennis throughout the world. Her author blog is Diane Elayne Dees: Poet and Writer-at-Large.

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Diane Elayne Dees and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Properties of Ice

Ice is deceptive.
It shimmers, reflects light,
paints tranquil scenes
of white clouds, blue skies,
and sculptural tree limbs—
or sparkling mosaics
of sequins, crystals and beads.

But cracks in the ice expand rapidly,
exposing the fluid vulnerability
of our foundations. And too much
ice freezes the flow of blood,
destroys tissue, constricts the lungs.
A prolonged freeze destroys the heart.

A frozen body never grows,
frozen potential is a tragedy,
and frozen hope is a kind of death.
Sharp blades dig into the ice,
shaping dreams and carving legends.

But later, in the cold stillness
of abandonment, after the music
ends and the final spin winds down—
glistening on the barren surface,
like raindrops frozen forever:
Kamila’s tears.

James Stemmle

James T. Stemmle is an old man, currently living in retirement in WV with his wife. In warm weather, he writes poetry during morning meditations on a bench in his backyard, where, immersed in nature, it is so quiet that, depending on atmospheric conditions, he can sometimes hear interstate traffic four miles distant. He had a Federal Government career mostly with EPA, earned a doctorate from Catholic U in Chemistry, and was born in Louisville, KY. He is eager to share some of his accumulating poetry, currently enough to fill 7 one-inch binders and part of the 8th.

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by James Stemmle and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Holy Foreskin

Jesus was in Mary when he grew his
holy foreskin and at age of eight days
it got clipped circumcised if you like

scripture and the story goes because
of a strong adumbrating dream it was
preserved in nard and eight hundred

years later mysteriously imparted to
Charlemagne emperor of the Holy
Roman Empire when he visited the

holy land believers found it had the
power of replication and so little
daughter foreskins made their way

across Europe to live in several
cathedrals Catherine of Sienna who
espoused herself to Jesus wore one

as a wedding band and subsequently
got herself promoted to patron saint
of Italy today coming as it does from

an unmentionable body part the church
puts distance laughs at its former self
and the holy foreskin has fallen in

stature the very idea into the trenches
of academic research to a Canadian
doctoral dissertation and a radio

documentary disclosing a lot of
truth about religion and other human
propensities including greed under

lying pilgrim souvenir merch

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