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The Poetry of Dee Allen

Flapper Press is proud to present the poetry of Dee Allen—an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. He's been active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s and is the author of 4 books (Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, and his newest, Skeletal Black—all from POOR Press) and 18 anthology appearances (including Poets 11: 2014, Feather Floating On The Water, Rise, Your Golden Sun Still Shines, What Is Love, The City Is Already Speaking, The Land Lives Forever, and the newest from Los Angeles-based Vagabond Books, Extreme) under his figurative belt so far.


Night Eagle

Dusk hides nothing

From the Night Eagle, himself hidden in the trees,

With feathers & wings of sandy hue,

Bulbous eyes black as his native grove.

Nyctophilian bird

Watches the wildness

In deep darkness,

Observes change in weather & seasons

From the hollows of oaks,

Broad branches of redwoods,

Not a thing escapes his careful,

Penetrating gaze under the stars.

Red men claim the Night Eagle is

The spirit of one of their departed,

Brought back to Earth in avian form,

Protective, insightful, wiser than he was in life—

He gives a sharp chorus of hoots,

Spreads his wings and flies after intruders

On the ground, chasing those field

Rats back to holes within nightly abyss

Before the slow coming of day—

The Night Eagle,

Watcher of the woods, wings of sandy hue, black eyes,

Is my spirit animal

According to

A spinning

Colour wheel

On an iPad

On a table

Under a tent

A pretty blonde

Park Ranger directed me to

During the Stand For The Redwoods

Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens, S.F.—

Colour wheel

Rotated clockwise

By the touch of my index finger on screen,

Then slowed in pace.

Right-side arrow

Landed on

Yellow: Northern Spotted Owl.

I don’t believe in this spirit animal nonsense at all.

But the traits the fabled Night Eagle has—

Vigilance, insight, wisdom—lie in me nonetheless.


Breeder of Flames

Days and nights are dry as bones again

Temperatures are hot as perdition again

The tall grasses are tinder again

The fruit orchards are burning again

The forest groves are burning again

The residents are fleeing again

The daylight is growing hazy again

The smoke is growing unbearable again

Native land is cinder and ash again

Left Coast life

Interrupted because of her

Acting her rage, taking it out

On California

She whom the Tsalagi*

Back east have called

Atsila Unitsi

Mother Fire

Breeder Of Flames

Younger sister

To venerable

Elohi Unitsi

Mother Earth

With a more volatile edge—

Face masque sits

On the shelf

At home from

Her last rampage.

Will it be needed for

These uncertain

Dawns and dusks?

Perhaps the Biblical

Plague of locusts

Or Charles Fort’s

Rain of frogs

May follow—

*What the Cherokee Indians call themselves. Pronounced “Chah-lah-gee”.


If you are interested in more of Dee Allen's poetry, please contact

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