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  • Dr.Pragya Suman

Three Poems by Dee Allen


Season of spreading flames

Makes the hot months hotter,

Makes short work

Out of sequoia groves

Fireball orange

Days and nights blur

No slowing down seasonal inferno

Fright runs through spotted owl and other animals

California woods’ future—drained of colour

Blackened soil,

Charcoal columns,

Smoking cinders—

Two paths in Sequoia National Park

Lead to the first forest guardian

Standing at 84 metres high, 2200 years old

In need of protection—

Firefighters apply aluminum sheet

Covering roots and trunk at the very base

So flames of Summer

Won’t leave scars on the tallest, oldest solider

General Sherman

Who have seen

Ages come and go,

Beings become born and die,

General Sherman

Whose name evokes

Visions of past field battles between

North & South, over economics, over slavery,

General Sherman

Whose name, unfortunately,

Reminds us of spreading

Flames of war.


true, this isn’t paradise

But it’s the only

Paradise on this polluted Earth I’m aware of:

Bitter chill, freezing rainfall

Relents to arriving warmth,

Our feathered neighbours, some breeds,

Return from habitats farther away,

Gardens tend to sprout coloured

Soft petal treasures, complimenting soil & grass,

Barren trees clothed

In new, burgeoning leaves and attached

Fruit, developing,

Ripening within their own soft succulence

[ Apples, limes and oranges

Immediately come to mind ]

Out with overcast

Grey sky, dreary and spilling downpour seed,

In with the turning

Everything that grows to jade—

In with romance with the time of beautiful scenery

Reborn, between March and June

The sprouting season.

W: New Year’s Day 2022

[ For Nudi. ]

[ In response to the poem mother-tongue: the land of nod by lucille clifton. ]


I find it difficult,

If not impossible,

To show a scintilla of affection,

Any lick of forgiveness for those

Who toss plastic bags, plastic bottles,

Aluminium cans into green compost bins,

Toss blackening

Banana peels, orange rinds, mouldy

Bread loaves in with recyclables,

Dump corporate

Chemicals, discarded toys,

Machine parts into the gutter

And above all, the things, living

Elongated stems from trunk to crown, we

Depend upon for making oxygen, food, shade, our

Admiration for ecology’s works

Are cut down

Or burnt down

And such persons have dry eyes when they’re finally gone.


Biography : Dee Allen is African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California U.S.A. 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 his newest, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]--and 46 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.

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