doug van hooser

two poems

Perfect pitch

There’s this voice
           that keeps whispering.
                       Without hearing the words

I know what is being said.
        I understand what it means
                   for the ground to absorb the rain.

The squirrel to leap branch to branch.
             Sunflowers to sway
                         in the breeze’s melody.

Strands of DNA

The first to emerge from behind the curtain
a man past prime seeking a mother.
A passion child prior to marriage.
But the dowsing rod finds both parents
now in holy matrimony.
At sixty, a sister taps the shoulder of a brother
kept apart by the mother’s flushed face
or unsated guilt.
Another sexagenarian clicks her heels
and brings home her adoptive gift.


Does my DNA reside across town
or down river, perhaps another time zone?
A double helix strand of me wandering
in bookstores, collecting classical music,
riding a bicycle fast as the wind.
Humor a duck call to attract friends.
Waiting until sunset to put characters in words,
put words in metaphors.
I’m ninety-nine-point nine percent sure
there is no half-life wandering streets,
sleeping with inexplicable dreams.
I almost wish there was someone
unable to explain the temper of his character,
the impressionist flaws in his portrait.

6 February, 2021

Doug Van Hooser's poetry has appeared in Roanoke Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, After Hours, Wild Roof Journal, and Poetry Quarterly among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Bending Genres Journal. Doug’s plays have received readings at Chicago Dramatist Theatre and Three Cat Productions. More at