Poems from the book Midnight Strike,  Poetry

The Spaces That Whisper Home

D.L. Lang and Noah Dove at McCune Symposium
D.L. performing her poem and Noah discussing his piece.

The Spaces that Whisper Home

I gaze out my balcony at terra cotta tiles

underneath the watchful stance of Orion.

I reminisce with a smile,

for these are the same style

as my grandparents’ house

thousands of miles away in Germany.

By the waterfront I oft arrive to roam,

watching the ferries as they float home

down the river flowing out to the sea.

There, the seagulls cry out to remind me

of childhood days spent on Galveston beach.

Here it is as if these spaces that whisper home

were just within my reach.

Our people passionately parade

down her pavement during all seasons

whether to protest, rejoice, or remember.

They dance in dazzling costumes with puppetry,

creating visions that transport me 

to the joyous season of Mardi Gras

in my early Louisiana years.

Out on swamps of Mare Island,

where her shores are kissed by the bay,

you might find me wandering some day

around the ruins of the Naval base

across rusted railroad tracks

whose train whistles 

are now only the songs of ghosts

dancing down dusty dirt trail ways

that wind through prairie grass

as I did in my Oklahoma youth.

Down at the Townhouse jams the band,

joining together in harmony,

weaving community together with a song,

as the melodies of camaraderie 

burst forth out onto the street,

sparking memories so sweet

when the crowd sings along

to folk and country songs

just like at my synagogue

in the shadow of Mt. Tam.

For between the roar of cheering crowds

who might by chance hear some verse

in these calm moments I have found

that this space rekindles my heart,

whispering tales of the days of yore,

feeling as familiar in my soul 

as each place that has come before,

and I know that I am home.

Like her flocks of migrating birds,

Vallejo, 

Vallejo, 

long may she soar!

Artwork by Noah Dove

The artwork and poetry will be on display at the McCune during the summer. The exhibit features work by several different local poets and artists.

Photo of McCune Symposium participants

D.L. Lang is the current Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California. She is the author of ten books, and one spoken word album. Her poems have been published in the Benicia Herald, Jewish Journal, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, the Benicia First Tuesday Poets anthology Light & Shadow, and in A Poet’s Siddur: Friday Evening Liturgy through the Eyes of Poets. Lang has been a featured act at several events including the Vallejo Man March, Unity Day, Solidarity with Charlottesville, and International Peace Day. She is also a regular at Poetry by the Bay and leads the Poetry in Notion poetry circle. She has won ribbons and rosettes at the Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, and Solano County Fairs. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes.

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