Long Roads / Dennis Herrell


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Long Roads

poems by

Dennis Herrell

ISBN: 978-1-59948-813-4, ~96 pages, $15 (+ shipping)

Release Date: July 14, 2020


Dennis Herrell was a soldier, an English teacher, a sporting goods wholesaler, and a gift/card wholesaler. His writing life began in college, and continued off and on during his working years. He semi-retired at age fifty in 1988, and started buying and selling antiques, and doing more writing and submitting. In year 2000, Dennis started seriously submitting his poetry, with over 500 poems published in various U.S, Canada, British, Austria, Australia magazines. He has published six books of poetry since 2016, along with thirteen shorter poetry Ebooks.

In Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams climbs on top of a desk and extolls his students to look at life from a less obvious point-of-view. This is a physical embodiment of the poetry of Dennis Herrell. Simple bemused associations, deep meaning-of-life thoughts or wonderfully weird wonderings of everyday encounters populate his poetry. Upon reading, I’d often say to myself as the next phrase unveiled itself–I didn’t see that coming! Great contemplative, mischievous fun! ~Barry Stiles


The title of Dennis Harrell’s collection suggests a journey on roads that cover geographic distance; but the poems themselves are journeys in time, both past and present. Harrell has a lyrical way of making us see what time has done to us and is still doing. The simple beauty of his poetry reminds us of timeless truths, and that’s what keeps us on the journey. ~Lloyd Brian Porter


I am not a poet, although I appreciate what poetry can evoke…fond memories, profound images, and stirred-up memories from the past. But, somehow Dennis’s poems speak directly to me…who I am, where I am, and where I’ve been. In “Love Starts At Home” Dennis speaks to my appreciation of what I have in my life, and a reminder to never forget to keep fanning the flame. And, although I never had this exact experience, in “To the River” I felt like I was sitting there in that bouncy old pickup, off for the day of adventure with two of my adult heroes, feeling very grown-up myself. ~Roger Gutwillig

Coming Home


The boys came marching home,
and the girls took off their hairnets.
The boys wanted to forget what they did,
and the girls wanted to remember
what they wanted.

The boys were shipping home their scars
and their last scary nights on dry hills.
The girls were holding hopeful,
still looking for the missing
sighs and promises.

That was how the boys and girls
ended up in motels together,
bumping headboards against thin walls,
until the couple next door
yelled go to sleep,

so they did,
and then started filling suburbs
with the morning cough
of lawnmowers and awkward
families around the dinner table.



And It Was Good


He looked down upon the land
and saw that it was good:
the way mountains had been placed
for the eagles, always with wind currents
giving majestic soar and easy glide;

and the streams with water from up high
and cold springs below,
rich with long serious trout
and quick darting minnows,
the sudden splash of diving frog;

and the meadows with the peaceful graze
of white sheep and spotted cows,
with shepherds of egrets at their side,
and the lilt and sway of meadowlark song
in harmony with thrumming locust flight;

and the forest both dark and green
with shadowed nooks where patient does
nursed freckled fawns,
woodpeckers drummed the trees,
and small creatures rustled among the leaves;

and the sea, restless with its might
of either far storm or nearby gale,
or tease of dead calm and heated sky,
with green mullet slicing into crested waves
and purple man of war sailing on the swell;

and then a village—at times busy as a hive
with workers at trade or quest,
or quiet times of twilight meals, babes at play,
romantic spells under moonlight,
and the easy slide into sleep.



Love Starts at Home


No need to look at the secretary,
the waitress at the pub,
or flirty next-door neighbor;
all your wandering eye needs to do
is wander over to your wife.

She is a known object of desire,
but sadly neglected of late,
viewed perhaps as just a cook
and keeper of the chores,
taken for granted at table and bed.

Your affair of the heart could begin
with a hug and pat on her fanny,
a kiss at the door and tender words,
roses handed with a bow
and lingering fingers on her face.

This courtship of her affects you as well.
Your eyes will see her beauty and grace again;
then you find her sense of humor
and ready wit, and you realize
all the love you wanted was right at home.

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