Jerry Dyer

Jerry Dyer

    Jerry Dyer is a very recently retired teacher. In that life, he taught a wide range of language centered courses, from mainstream English to ELD (ESL), five years of German, a bit of philosophy, and poetry. (The divisions were less rigid than it might seem!) He taught from middle school up to and including college courses, with the last 18 years at the high school level, at Silver Creek in San Jose’s East Side Union.
    Poetry has been at the core, always, the spark of creativity feeding the curricular choices and the activities and enterprises in all his work. Beyond the classroom, Jerry has been an active member of Poetry Center San Jose, especially the Willow Glen Poetry Project community.
    Dyer has read at Willow Glen, in Redwood City, and for the Peninsula Literary Series in Palo Alto. He has been published in the WGPP anthologies, in “Remembering: Poems Read at Willow Glen Books,” in Caesura, in kai han, a journal of the Albuquerque Zen Center, among others. His chapbook, What I Don’t Know, was published in 2012 by ProsodyEtc.  A second collection is underway. He intends to devote his post-working life to the P’s that have always mattered: poetry, politics, philosophy, and photography, a new P that will (he hopes) sharpen his eye.

Not Counting

I’ve been alive for exactly
2,880 weeks.
This is very accurate, including
even the thirteen leap-days
that I have been forced to endure.

If you want to count by season,
I’ve entered my 221st.
I’m long past my axial age,
way past the first mud of spring,
more than a kite-string’s length
beyond summer, deep into leafless Fall.

The morning sun is pulled out
of the bag of night like a scrabble-tile.
There are only twenty-six
possible shapes to the day,
not counting the two blanks that
give us the chance
to make something new
out of what we have.

Then again, there are only 23
pairs of human chromosomes,
our stencils, shaped and cut
by our forebears or our race,
giving us all the instructions
that our living gets to use.

I’ve been alive for exactly
20,162 days.
This is approximately the number
of human genes, which sets us squarely
between the chicken and the grape.

Jerry Dyer
December, 2011

Blue Moon

I was sitting all
subterranean, homesick,
when the moon rose, blue.

It was a blue moon,
sailing through the empty sea
that we call heaven.

Our loneliness touched.
We built between us a bridge:
all reflected light.