Say This In A Whisper, by Dah

dah gauguin cover1

Dah’s poetry collection, Say This In A Whisper, should perhaps come with an advisory: there are sexually charged poems such as “How To Love A Lover”, “Summer, Ocean”, “Pulsar” and “Underwater, Still Breathing”.

Their nexus is the relationship between lovers which leaves you in no doubt about where the potency lies. “Summer, Ocean” carves out physical intensity in an almost predictable way yet doesn’t strike you as being facile:

“You, the matador
drinking the bull’s blood
Me, the bull goring you into ecstasy
until we lay finished off
our bodies trembling
smelling of ocean summers”

The collection’s first poem, “Oceans Of Rain”, sets a kind of framework by disavowing religion. The speaker is “an old inmate” with the gravitas of age:

“Now, I’ve seasoned
to this gray winter
an old inmate
waiting for light
to reap darkness
waiting for darkness
to bear down

Dah writes with disarming physical candor in his love poems. There is so much light and shadow in them, that it’s most certainly spiritual while being physical. But after the ecstasy comes the agony. The lover’s absence leaves the speaker emotionally stranded. The poems segue to a requiem. Every poem shines a different light on the grieving process of remembering. There is savagery in “you were the feathers/plucked from my mouth” (“A Missing Story”) to distraction where “we drink wine each night/to reach that neon glow/in the dark of a cloistered room” (“Pictures of You”).

Sure, there’s pathos there, but someone has said, if you haven’t loved deeply enough, haven’t had that kind of physical experience, you don’t know anything much. Such pathos may be another path to transcendence, if not through religion. Why, to speak of eternity as “a strange fracture/always breaking/before one reaches the line/the mood variations, another farewell” in “Another Picture of You” to the discernment of trees in “Pulsar”:

“I look through the grille
of bare trees
through the mineshafts
of shadows”

A tender, riveting read for all lovers!

Download the collection here.

Say This In A Whisper by Dah

33 thoughts on “Say This In A Whisper, by Dah

    1. Hello Dah,

      Once again, you have blown me away. Here is not the place to elaborate, but suffice to say that the life of metaphors exist for reasons which are almost all direct consequences of natural law, physiological and neurological magic, and the grain and structure of the language itself. Or to put it another way: if human poetic speech is breath and language is soapy water, your words are just the refreshing and radiant skin you get when you’re staring at your self naked admiring your imperfections. You make the lover want more than what is offered, it is almost a torturing temptation. I love the way in which you wrap the mind in a warm blanket of pure imagination that traps your body in desire. Simply extraordinary! My respect to your impeccable flowing fountain of living words!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Erica,

        I’m honored and a bit speechless over this splendid review of my simple work.
        Thank you, for not only taking the time to read this collection but, for leaving
        this delightful feedback. It’s this type of support that keeps an artist moving forward.

        Peace and Light to you!


    1. Doug,

      It’s fabulous to know that Love Poems written by a man
      are wholly appreciated by other men. I’m honored by your visit
      and by this flattering comment.

      Peace and Light!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tia,

      I’m delighted that you have singled out not only a poem
      but a specific line. There are certain times when a writer
      will gasp in pleasure at a metaphor or a line that they have written,
      I gasped over this line.

      Thank you for being here!


  1. Sean,

    I love the typo “ready for read” as in ready to read. Lovely!

    Thank you for this generous support, and I hope that I haven’t
    greatly surprised you too much.

    I enjoy your precious feedback!


  2. Such an excellent collection Dah, my favourite was oceans of rain, it was so pure and beautifully illustrated I’m proud of you Dah! Your writes always leave me with huge inspiration to get as good as you!


  3. Such an excellent collection Dah, my favourite was oceans of rain, it was so pure and beautifully illustrated I’m proud of you Dah! Your writes always leave me with huge inspiration to get as good as you!


  4. Dear Dah, Congratulations on yet another finest publication. This is such an excellent collection! I have read this masterpiece today with a heart full of splendour and gratitude as this book says more than we, readers can ever express..I have composed a tribute poem as a review of this wonderful creation using all the titles of your poems here in this collection –

    ‘A Poem To Whisper’ (For Dah)

    When you ‘Say This In A Whisper’
    Through the ‘Oceans Of Rain’
    All sound turns into a lisper
    Lightning strikes in vain

    Those questions make the sky wonder
    If ‘They Could Be Crows’
    Worshiping the thunder
    When your divine thought grows

    Flowing beneath the ‘Water’
    To find your eternity: wild
    ‘Pictures Of You’ have caught her
    ‘A Missing Story’ is here beguiled

    Your lines of love soulfully shows
    ‘How To Love A Lover’
    As your ‘Summer, Ocean’ throws
    All trembles under ardor’s cover

    When you’re like a broken shell
    ‘Pulsar’ ‘Underwater, Still Breathing’ well
    ‘Another Picture Of You’ can tell
    How through ‘Camera Obscura’ her absence can dwell

    ‘No One Will Believe This’
    If you touch ‘Whippoorwill, Loon’
    ‘Horsefly Pigeon Coffins’ want ‘Feathers’ kiss
    Living for that pale spectrum of moon

    The emptiness of her ‘Chair’
    Her silhouette dark and gray
    That swelled sunlight your feet dare
    When there is nothing more to say

    ‘Sadder Than Anything’ that ‘Detachment’
    Ever pulsing, dissolving
    Lone heartbeats’ attachment
    with your words sacredly resolving

    Your silence in ‘Storm Candle Thread’
    Echoing through the light
    Dreams to ‘Sunder’ the dark dread
    ‘Half-Buried By Change’ upright

    Every heart beats for all that you write
    ‘Muggy, Stifling’ now flames the mind
    Poets don’t ‘Fear Future Plans’ of night
    As your holy word with word entwined

    Written: Friday, the 13th, October 2017


    1. As a Poet, there are few honors that are as special
      as when another Poet pens a poem for and about you.

      The ever prolific and widely accomplished
      Bangladesh Poet, Munia Khan, has done just this
      by creating a poem from using the poem titles and
      some of the poems lines from my fifth book
      ‘Say This In A Whisper’ (Red Wolf Editions).

      For me, to say that I’m honored by this creative gesture
      seems not enough, and, yet, I’m deeply honored and
      I can’t thank this wonderful woman/ poet enough.

      Munia, you are special!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much to you Dah. My pleasure and I am truly honoured to be able to write this tribute poem for your work. You are very special. Long Live Your Amazing Poetry!


  5. I have been blessed to read Dah’s poetry and art for several years and what I find astounding is how he continues to evolve, grow, and surprise his readers with new wonderous images, experiences, and layers to unravel within. His love poems are equally sensuous, artistic, and provocative. He is a delight to raed aloud and alone. Beautiful work. Dah! Bless you and peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heather,

      I’m blessed by this delightful review of my work.
      I’m happy to read that these new poems leave you
      with such honest feelings. Thank you for expressing
      this with a comment.


  6. Your poems are honest and emotionally stirring. Combining grit and passion, beauty and darkness, you invoke true feelings of what it means to be alive. Rather than making us guess your meanings or de-code your words, you put it all out there. I love that. Thanks for sharing these moments of magic and madness with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Julie,

    I’m thrilled that you, not only read this collection but,
    have left this deeply motivating/encouraging comment,
    and I’m happy to hear that these poems have invoked
    such honest feeling for you. It’s an honor to receive
    these words of praise from another writer. Thank you!


  8. Dah,
    You’ve reached within yourself like a deep place in a body of water and came to the surface with yet another outstanding collection of poetry.Water,How To Love A Lover and Feathers are personal favorites of mine from this collection. One of the hallmarks of an outstanding poet is the ability to write in such a way that each subsequent reading offers the reader another insight on which to ponder. This collection offers that and more! This collection is masterfully written and a delight to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Selena,

      It’s a pleasure to read that this work delivers for you,
      that you have spotlighted a few favorites, that you’ve
      “reached into that deep place” with me and resurfaced
      emotionally touched and satiated. Thank you, for not
      only feeling this work but, for leaving this powerfully
      constructive feedback that is fuel for me to move
      forward into my next poetry project.


  9. It took some time, more so than usual, to go through this collection – mostly, because I couldn’t read it only once – and I did not stop there, either. I googled Dah’s name and read anything and everything I could get my hands on. No self-respecting librarian, “former” or otherwise, would have done less. It’s as though I heard a voice up ahead on the path, calling “Follow me! I know the way!” Without hesitation, I did precisely that. I followed. I sat awhile with each poem, each verse, each line, each word, all with the enthusiasm of a cartographer in unfamiliar territory, etching diagrams, making note of significant geographical treasures so I might find my way home, walking back upon the same path again. I also found myself lost within his pictures; he is not only an award-winning poet, he is also an award-winning photographer.

    Dah’s words are highly recommended portents of laughter, conduits of power, love, grace, rebellion, acceptance, fortitude, genuine sensuality, beautiful sorrow, forthrightness, intelligence, wit, heart-wrenchingly truthful and delicate musings upon the human condition (such as it is), generous contemplations upon our frailties and capabilities, the very qualities he knows we possess (even if we aren’t aware of it), from a different perspective, his focus determined and real. His tender descriptions of nature display his strengths as a writer – his vibrant metaphors demonstrate his keen eyesight and insight, which bodes well for his photographic skills. His talents are limitless, it seems. His finesse with language is remarkable. When he simply states a thing, just as it is and appears to be, one knows to sift through the various layers, to find the truest merits and facets of every thought. When he elaborates, one tucks in, prepared to listen all night to the invention and reinvention of the world we once thought we knew. He holds a mirror to himself and then holds it out to us, his readers, as if to invite us to look deeper – and we do. Below are only a few of my most favorite pieces from the whole, although to take a single sip of such elixir is to invite chaos, for one simply must have more. Many accolades must go out to this incredible writer, a Pushcart Prize nominee. A few of my most favorite poems need their names spoken aloud, so all might hear … “Water”, “How To Love A Lover”, “Horsefly Pigeon Coffins” , “Storm Candle Thread”, “Sadder Than Anything”, “Detachment”, “Say This In A Whisper”, “Half-Buried By Change” and I feel compelled to point out this singular, excellent snippet from the poem “Muggy, Stifling”:

    “Nothing resembles lovers more
    than birds taking the sky”

    — Wanda Lea Brayton,
    author of “The Echo of What Remains” (collected poems) and
    “A Beautiful Rumor” (selected poems)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Words Of Dahlusion
  11. Thanks for these beautiful, expansive poems that touch on the personal and universal in unique ways. Wonderful to read the ways you riff amidst the mind-heart spheres…


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