Dessa Reed

Speaker * Author * Columnist




A Few of Dessa's Poems


How gently the butterfly makes its rounds,
touching each leaf with no harsh sounds.
The beauty of its colored wings
expresses a joy that sings
a song of Life, just to be,
whose only purpose is to see
all God’s creatures loved so much,
can live their lives with the butterfly touch.
As we travel our world from place to place,
we too can move with this butterfly grace.
Wherever we go, however we pray,
opens the way for a butterfly day.


I know you are in there
hidden in the cobwebs of self-doubt.
Mental spiders weave their limitations
making me afraid to
step through the wispy curtain.
Like lint on dark cloth,
fear of failure
sticks to my intentions.
Putting pencil to paper,
the language of my soul
begins to speak itself into existence.
All the I cant’s and what ifs
blown away by winds of wonder.
Creating is my life.
I cannot die as long
as there is a poem within me.

Hurry up Leo, I must get home to fix supper.
What feast shall I prepare?
Roast duck, tortellini?
So bored,
motionless for hours,
asleep all over.
Wiggle toes, waggle fingers,
If only I knew how to read.
I love words spoken by poets,
songs sung by minstrels.
To read would make them mine.
Women are kept in such ignorance.
I may never govern,
even allowed an opinion
but not read, why?
Leonardo is an attractive man.
I wonder if….
Why is he so slow?
Never thought a portrait took this long,
only a birthday present.

Leo, please hurry. No one
will see this except my husband. 
Closing our front door
clicks a punctuation point of finality.
The ticking clock
metronomes a chore now mine,
once-a-week winding
the antique masterpiece.
How many times
we laughed our private joke—
his one sweep at housekeeping.
I plunge into the worn brown chair,
a leather nest
sized for his six-foot frame.
My five-feet-seven inches squeak perfectly
into its mellow hollows.
The husband chair
wraps his feather cushions around me
like singing dove wings
protecting their young,
yet prepared to release me
to silently fly alone. 
(Written as an assignment for the Indiana University Writers’ Conference: to use remembered “sound” in a poem.)
I watch each drop of blood
crawl down the plastic tube
through a steel needle into my arm.
Whose ancestors are meeting mine
in this stream of life?
Is my neck turning red
from a rifle-toting, pick-up driving
macho male?
Do I now have the Latin blood
of a young mother
selling plasma to buy family food?
Will I be a new color—
shades of black, brown, yellow?
Is my donor an artist
or a farmer?
Will I have an urge to paint
or to plant?
Is he / she a PHD
or a high school drop out?
To whom do I owe my life?
Now that we have the same blood
are we kin?
Do we speak the same language,
have the same politics,
laugh at the same jokes?
As a pure
Daughter of the American Revolution,
am I being transfused
into a mixed-blood child of the Uni Verse,
the one song?
I sometimes choose friends
like a book—examine their cover,
see how they look—front, back,
and perfect bound spine.
Reading their pages
absorbed with each character
I linger with their laughter,
cry with their tears, fight
with their fears.
Like boring novels
we sometimes toss each other aside
on page 35.
But tested friendships,
rare and bound in real leather
line my permanent shelves
to be read and renewed.
From Genesis to Revelation
God speaks—or shouts softly,
Go. Do. Lead. Heal.
Abraham laughed, Moses argued,
Jonah fled, Peter denied, Thomas doubted.
Yet, in the end,
overcoming self and separation,
they went, they did, they led, they healed
and became our inspiration.
When divine direction knocks at my door,
will I laugh, argue, flee, deny, doubt?
If I surrender to the Psalm,
Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

and the words of Jesus,
I can of mine own self do nothing…
the Father that dwelleth in me,
he doeth the works,

then my, Who? Me?
may hear, No. Us.
Psalms 139
John 5, 14

All poems copyright Dessa Reed.

Dessa can be reached at Dessa@DessaReed.com for information and fee schedule.


Copyright Dessa Reed.  All rights reserved.

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