Featured Poet: Dianalee Velie, Newbury
Dianalee Velie is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, and has a Master of Arts in Writing from Manhattanville College, where she has served as faculty advisor of Inkwell: A Literary Magazine. She has taught poetry, memoir, and short story at universities and colleges in New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire and in private workshops throughout the Northeast. Her award-winning poetry and short stories have been published in hundreds of literary journals throughout the USA and Canada. She enjoys traveling to rural school systems in Vermont and New Hampshire teaching poetry for the Children’s Literacy Foundation. Dianalee resides in Newbury, New Hampshire with her three cats, Midnight, Magic and Merlin. She is the author of three books of poetry, Glass House, First Edition and The Many Roads to Paradise, published by Rock Village Publishing, Middleborough, Massachusetts.
Of her poem, Dianalee writes: I wrote Metanoia to be the last poem in my book, First Edition. On September 6, 2002, my beautiful daughter-in-law, eight months pregnant with Jack, and my beloved grandson, Little Joe, were murdered in their Coconut Grove home, while my son was in Atlanta on business. This brutal murder devastated my son’s life, my life, my daughter’s life and the lives of Currie-Hill’s family. Through the arduous and anguishing process that followed, our families eventually worked out a plea agreement, whereby the confessed murderer pleaded guilty. We spared his life by requesting that the prosecution drop the death penalty trial in lieu of this agreement, sparing us the horror of reliving those events through such a trial. The agreement was signed on March 17, 2005 nearly two and a half years after the murders with no trial date yet in site. Metanoia is a Greek word meaning transformation. First Edition is a book about the journey through incalculable grief and Metanoia is the final poem about the transforming power of forgiveness.
For more information about Diana LeeVelie...
…. To make injustice the only/measure of
our attention is to praise the Devil.
Talismanic rosary in hand,
I watch the breath of morning rise.
Warm mists, drifting upward
from the cold waters of the deep lake,
ascend into heaven. New clouds,
baby clouds form, from water to air,
a mystery unfolding before me.
Wafting east toward Mecca,
aglow with the rising sun,
they become angels with outstretched
wings, joining hands to worship the dawn.
Diminutive dots of dew descend upon
my cheeks, mix with a trace of tears,
uniting me with this celestial scene.
After all our sorrowful wailing,
are we not, after all, mostly water?
Infused with this infinite power
of transformation, my soul billows
with them; we are all one spirit
and permanence only a physical illusion.
The full moon still accents the shifting sky,
and day and night are one, until
a dove coos, cracking this scarlet code
of dawn. Then reality returns.
This simple reality: somewhere in a cell
your murderer still breathes, his breath
commingling in the atmosphere with ours,
until all our bodies eventually evaporate,
join as one. This unshakable reflection
acknowledges that these temporary
vessels we call home are merely swells
in an incalculably deep ocean,
so that even through tidal waves of griefs,
we must allow the longest night
to pull us back into the light,
risking forgiveness in our search for peace….