Three Poems by Jason De Koff


Flight Training

The cacophony of crickets,
greets the dim light of dawn,
where the newspapers are folded,
and fill the bicycle basket.

Pedaling along sometimes broken sidewalks,
where every crack is known,
like the neighbors receiving their news,
from porches and front door mail slots,

Cresting the hill at the top of the street,
where the cider mill sits,
amidst an apple-hued morning,
means deliveries are half done.

To be awake while others sleep,
when the day’s potential energy is greatest,
the vibrating hum of dawn,
sends excited shivering along the spine.

As the established equilibrium,
leans toward the last leg,
the surprising rush of cool air,
releases this bird from its nest.


Moments of Stillness

The treetops sway with a marshmallow consistency,
while the lapping waves of the lakeshore,
paint new hieroglyphs on the stone,
and throw biorhythms of light under the eaves.

The green spikelet reeds that come up to the back porch stairs,
wave to me as my skin is welcomed by the gentle breeze,
and the double-winged dragonflies engage each other in air show feats of daring,
to establish order amidst the carousel of changing players.

A cloudless sky produces the endless raining sun,
that fuels the day and tunes an evening symphony,
accompanied by a kaleidoscope of moving stars,
that twinkle in Morse code cadences awaiting their own reply.

Surrendering to this live video that doesn’t know a screen,
builds a bridge to a past I neither know nor understand,
but grips me with the primordial experience of having watched this episode before,
and forgetting its ending, allowing these captivating moments to guide my life.


With All, We Can

Becoming a part of the scenery,
never does justice to any but the main stage actors,
instead, the full chorus can cry out with one voice,
requiring all members of the audience to engage.

There are roles yet to be cast,
with a plot still unknown,
and the dialogue, if there is dialogue,
let there be dialogue, to be revealed.

Shed the commonly learned confines,
of the ill-fitting clothes we wear,
no more implements of hive mind discussions,
but the unadulterated beings we were.

Only then can our machetes of purpose,
be left on the jungle floor,
and we can see beyond our restricted view,
to the horizons of our collective future.


Jason de Koff is an associate professor of Agronomy and Soil science at Tennessee State University.  He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife, Jaclyn, and his two daughters, Tegan and Maizie.  He has published in a number of scientific journals, and has over 30 poems published or forthcoming in literary journals this year. 


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