Poetry by D.A. Spruzen


He sat there honing his axe
after drinking some sort
of hot sludge from a thermos,
teeth tearing a hunk of bread,
a gob of cheese,
maybe a pickle.

Did he ever bring a fancy
woman inside for a little

fumbly fun? Or did
his wife or mother keep
him honest with napkin-
wrapped repasts slammed
down on the table at odd
times. Did he take a son
there to show him how
to slaughter trees? A son

who didn’t carry on for
one reason or another.

The old place is useful again.
At intervals, it hosts the new
families replacing the old.
Beetles rattle and snakes slither,
moss creeps and weeds
poke through, while wasps build
perfect nests. I think I see them
inside that ramshackle hut with
its gaps and collapses,

a sanctuary for their
living and dying.

Dear Carl,

I was just in Copenhagen, the land
of a little stone mermaid and ferries
and fresh fish and fat blueberries.
I must tell you about a wondrous
finding that fired my spirits and set
my mind dancing
to hidden music

Eavesdroppers found that space
rings loud with the music
of red giant stars,
celestial minims that swell
near the end of their life,
gassy and imploding in

This red giant concert
airs on different frequencies,
holds different overtones.
Astronomers recorded it,
this overture from the
space we call

We heard it in Denmark
from star chasers who
showed that bigger stars
have deeper voices
than smaller stars, small
drowned out even in

The same note played on a cello
and a violin sings different,
and in the same way
large stars flicker in low tones,
small ones flicker higher,
universal laws of physics

Astronomers listened in Denmark,
devotees who live for such
a find. Envious colleagues tried
to shoot holes in the evidence.
Their closed minds did not hear
the essence of this
universal puzzle

My dear Carl,
you always listened, always heard.
With affection,


About D.A. Spruzen

A former Ray’s Road Review contributor, D.A. Spruzen is a writer of fiction and poetry and has lived in Northern Virginia since 1971, except for a two-year hiatus in the Middle East. She grew up near London, U.K., earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, and teaches writing for Fairfax County Schools Adult and Community Education program and the McLean Community Center.  She also runs private critique workshops in her home and is President of the Northern Virginia Writers Club. In another life she was Manager of Publications for a defense contractor. Dorothy’s short stories and poems have appeared in many publications, and she is seeking representation for her novel The Blitz Business, set in WWII England. The first two novels in her Flower Ladies Trilogy, Not One of Us and Lily Takes the Field, are available on Kindle and in other e-book formats, as well in paperback.  Her poetry chapbook, Long in the Tooth, was published by Finishing Line Press in July 2013. Dorothy lives with her husband in McLean, Virginia, with a Jack Russell terrier who doesn’t know he’s old and doesn’t know he’s small. Her website can be found at www.daspruzen.com.