Debra Hiers


Ghost-Jangling Dreams

ghost-jangling dreams
rumble through my sleep
like quiet thunder, nudging me awake —

if only for a moment
I am aware of this:

there is a corpse
lying in my own bed
right there beside me
mouth gaping open,
odorous flies escape parted lips—

the sun has not yet risen
the moon I cannot see
the children are looking in at me
through the window

is she alive?
is she dead?
is she naked in her bed?
giggling, giggling, giggling
let’s go, this is boring—
they, too disappear

I roll over,
curl up like a doodlebug,
slowly relax and close my eyes
return to sleep—
surely this will hold off
the debt collectors

my grandmother sits high on her perch
humming and cooking at her stove
planting her broccoli seed in the garden
sewing and mending my clothes to wear
soon enough, but not yet, she says
to the corpse lying in my bed

the sun shines its morning light
into the small room I sleep in
and I am awake—really awake
poem-saliva chattering my teeth

the corpse has instructed me
to write it all down
leaving nothing out—
even the silent spaces
between the words

Summer Solstice, 2023

on this short night
June moonflowers bloom
a caterpillar inches along
shelters under a green leaf
bass camp booms
rainwater sky
puddles form
frogs speak up
watermelon circles
sticky chin and sweet lips
socks look for mates
shoes scattered about
my bare feet untethered
we celebrate all of this, this long day
laughter echoes, joy abounds
our pride is our human dignity
elongated love beams whisper in the wind
a centuries-old mantra
may all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness …
may we be free from suffering and the root of suffering …

may we not be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering …
may we be dwell in the great equanimity, free from passion, aggression and prejudice …
repeat often

Spring Rhapsody

Surprise me with your colors—
brilliant and bold,
subdued and mysterious

Sing me into ecstasy with your jazzy display
of sound, airborne undercurrents
and sky whistles

Surprise me with your rain
that nourishes the ground
that holds each tiny seedling
until ready to burst its cover,
the ground that has held each bulb
dormant through winter months
awaiting your season of return

Surprise me with your morning light
that calibrates this journey
of wakefuness

So that now,
we, too, can follow your lead
surprising each other

Debra Hiers is an Atlanta-based author and poet, writing coach, and editor. Her publications include two chapbooks, Movin’ On and Small Thoughts in a Big Universe, and Monkey Talk, a recording of music and poetry. Poems have appeared in Your Grace, Catalyst Magazine, And the Rocks Will Hum, and The Corona Silver Linings Anthology. “I discovered poetry while I was in college, and it fast became a staple in my creativity breadbasket. As an improviser, I combine playful clarinet musings with poems in performance.”