Two Poems – Dee Allen / A Collage – James Diaz



Out of employment,

Housing, education–A brother’s reward

For doing time



W: 10.15.21 [ Inspired by the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. ]


Arrival of derecho
Hurricane on shore
Knocked down trees
Straight from the roots

Great lumber littered all over
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Unforeseen act of deforestation
Chalk it up to wrath of the wind.

Someday, the maples, the sycamores—
They will return.

Buzzsaw roars and tears
Raw sawdust from toppled
Trees hacked into smaller pieces
Giving rise to a grove of stumps

Natural covering from sun’s heat is missing
Strong branches, emerald leaves
Sixty-five percent
Removed from reality.

Someday, the black oaks, the lindens—
They will return.

With some manpower,
Work gloves, shovels,
The right saplings
For replanting,

Fructuous ground
For a solid base,
Summer rain and Autumn showers
Assisting in the gradual growth, then
Someday, the birches, the walnut trees—
They will return.

Someday, the forest—
It will return

Cool shade
To a deprived, sweltering town.

W: The Notorious B.I.G. Birthday 2021

WE WILL HEAL, a collage by James Diaz

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 ] and my newest, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]–and 46 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far. His work can be found at and

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018) and All Things Beautiful Are Bent (Alien Buddha, 2021) as well as the founding editor of Anti-Heroin Chic. Their work has appeared in Yes Poetry, Cobra Mag, Rust + Moth and Cleaver Magazine. They currently live in upstate New York. Twitter: @Heroin_Chic_Mag.

Page Design & Layout: R Frede Kenter. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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