Alan Bern

Hawai’i became a state in August 1959


when I was still nine

in Honolulu

I called my birthday dog

ʻeleʻele one*

                     black sand

                                          after my crush

dark-haired smooth-skinned Sandy

though no one else knew it

all these years later

recollecting Sandy 

though we never spoke



Weight, Love


I have waited for her 

all these years though I

have her though she may be

dead and dying and still

she leads me on straight paths

through park and wood near her

beauty temple city

she is my many-eyed

dark secret I call Love

*pronounced élay élay óhnay

Retired children’s librarian Alan Bern is a published/exhibited photographer and the author of three books of poetry. Alan is cofounder with artist/printer Robert Woods of the fine press/publisher Lines & Faces,

Recent awards include: honorable mention for Littoral Press Poetry Prize (2021); flash fiction finalist for Ekphrastic Sex (2021); first runner-up for the Raw Art Review’s Mirabai Prize for Poetry, 2020.

Recent photos published include:



It is clear that Alan favors both hybridity and complex collaboration: he performs with

dancer/choreographer Lucinda Weaver as PACES and also with musicians from Composing Together.

Thanks to Abbe Blum for her help with this sequence.

Alan Bern
TRIPPED UP & Dropping to the ground

Alan Bern
Weeping for Beings