Poems from the book Midnight Strike

Poems from the book Midnight Strike, Poetry

Summer is in the Air

Alameda County Fair Poetry Day participants
D.L. Lang performing at Alameda County Fair Poetry Day

Summer is in the Air

The sun is out. It’s time to play. 

Come out! Come out! 

Summer’s here today!

The flowers and trees are in full bloom.

Vacation time means there’s more room

for endless hours of rest and relaxation,

or perhaps, a new hobby’s dedication.

From coast to coast the children play,

splashing in swimming pools all the day.

Frolicking down spiraling water slides,

their smiling faces impossible to hide.

Families flock frequently to county fairs,

dining on delicious fried delicacies there.

Brave souls bound aboard the carnival rides,

around and around, upside down they fly!

People lounge around for picnics in parks,

eating vast amounts of ice cream to start

fending off the summertime sweltering heat

with a traditional something so sweet.

Summertime is in the air, 

and you can do whatever you dare!

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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

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Poems from the book Midnight Strike, Poetry

Our Celestial Dance

I wrote this poem for Why Poetry? the Joel Fallon Scholarship Fundraiser, and performed it on April 24, 2019 in Benicia, California.

Our Celestial Dance

Art is the sunshine

that nourishes our souls,

breathing wonder into the mundane.

Poetry is our home planet,

birthing a thousand moons

that orbit in a celestial dance,

and we are the stars,

lighting up the universe

one flicker at a time,

collectively burning

messages of hope and awe

into the darkness of midnight

to last for eternity

long after our own light fades.

The full show filmed by Constance Beutel.

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Poems from the book Midnight Strike, Poetry

A Blessing for the Women who Pray with their Feet

Call and response invocation Vallejo Women’s Summit.

I lead the gathering at the 2019 Vallejo Women’s March Summit “Women Building Vallejo” in a call and response invocation where those gathered said “We March!” each time it appears in the piece.

These are the 10 stanzas I decided to use out of what was a 36 stanza poem. I’ll put the rest in a future book. It was an honor and a pleasure to be among so many powerful women.

A Blessing for the Women Who Pray 

With Their Feet

by D.L. Lang, Vallejo Poet Laureate

It has gotten so tough

that we mothers, sisters, daughters and wives, 

have declared, “Enough!”

And so we rise to march against the lies,

for we are the women who pray with our feet.

We will cling to hope, and never see defeat!

Until all hatred vanishes from this world,

so that all women are treated with respect

no matter her class or age, 

religion or orientation, national origin or race,

we march!

We women of every faith and every color

from every nation regardless of station

stand together, crying out against this hatred.

While some seek to roll back the clock,

we know there is a better world to be unlocked!

Until all men decide to join with us in solidarity

like those sweet souls who have joined us here today,

recognizing that every human being 

deserves respect and full equality,

not only on paper, but in practice,

we march!

We will build our world on love and justice,

and ladies, now is the time,

for us all to vote, to work, and to pray

for the dawning of this new day!

Until all women are safe from violence,

so that a woman can exist in any space without fear,

we march!

May the loving energy we feel 

as our voices ring out in unison 

bring forth our highest self, 

may it envelope all of our sisters and brothers 

who have gathered here

and echo outwards towards 

those who were unable to join us.

Until no woman goes to bed 

feeling thirsty nor hungry,

nor remains homeless in this or any country,

and healthcare is a necessity guaranteed to all,

we march!

For all these reasons and so many more,

we gather here as sisters

like our brave foremothers did before us

envisioning a brighter future

that we will build for her!

May every step we have taken today 

bring us one step closer to that day!

May this divine energy flowing among us 

grant us the strength to move forward 

without fear,

to keep working towards a better world 

that we know will appear,

and until then, 

we march!

***********

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Poems from the book Midnight Strike, Poetry

Winter Holiday Poems

I wrote these and performed them at Voices of the Season at the McCune in the JFK Library, and Hanukkah & Hilarity, respectively.

Voices of the Season

We are but a handful of voices this season

among a sparkling chorus of many reasons

to add a little more light to the winter chill,

spreading peace and love to ease the world’s ills.

For all the many traditional reasons

we choose to come together this season

may all our days be joyous and our blessings grow,

no matter how cold these winter winds blow.

Hanukkiah Lighting

Across the world homes are aglow

as candles flicker in their windows.

They shine out onto the streets,

welcoming every passerby,

as we dine on doughnuts and other treats,

proudly declaring we’ve survived.

We gather in evening twilight

to kindle our sacred lights.

We spark these joyful moments

connecting us to ancient times.

In dark times we ignite our light

whilst raising up a future so bright.

We do so for our ancestors’ dreams

who fought to live Jewish and free.

The warmth of our holy community

brings us all together in unity.

May we all leave this place

with hearts aglow and a smiling face.

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