I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heart: A Poetic Love Song


Poetry / African American / Death, Grief, Loss / Inspiration, Personal Growth

Authors: Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills.  “This beautiful and engaging love story by two friends and lifelong human rights and social justice activists models what love can be in these times.”   —Danny Glover, humanitarian and actor

Selected as #9 on Speechify’s Audiobook “Best Poetry Book List”

Audiobook on Amazon.

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  • Dedan Gills
  • Belvie Rooks


This collection celebrates the love of Dedan Gills and Belvie Rooks, a journey as old as eternity and as new as now. As individuals, each was devoted to giving, kindness, and love, but together they became an even greater power, and their commitment to social justice touched many lives. There are moments so fleeting that, like the wings of dragonflies, they shimmer, shudder, and vanish. So it was on the day Dedan left this world. Belvie knows that the memory of Dedan’s being cannot be grasped by any medium but the poetic. His laughter and attentive presence set the example of how to soar while on this human journey. His wisdom and kindness allowed him to kiss enlightenment while being grounded in the communities he loved so much. Now, Belvie presents Dedan’s poetry as a gift, an invitation to dive deep into the unknown while hearing the familiar with new ears. As it lifts our spirits, this book challenges us to ponder: How do we make everything that happens something of beauty and value?

—From the introduction by Reverend Dr. Barbara A. Holmes, author of Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently


“This beautiful and engaging love story by two friends and lifelong human rights and social justice activists models what love can be in these times. Dedan’s poetic vision, ranging from the personal to the cosmic, enriches us all.”   —Danny Glover, humanitarian and actor

“Now, more than ever, love truly lived is a revolutionary act. Belvie and Dedan embody love in its truest, most beautiful sense. There is the beauty of the small things and there are those times when the heart must break open in order to hold the big things—it’s the breaking open that creates the room to hold it all. Revolution means to return to origin. In this time when so much has lost its way, let the words in this book guide you home, to the origin, to love.”     —Julia “Butterfly” Hill, environmental activist; author of The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods

“A cosmic celebration of being as well as a clear-eyed affirmation of love in a time of great crisis. Dedan Gills is a national treasure.”    —Dr. Brian Thomas Swimme, cosmologist; coauthor of The Universe Story

“One of the most beautiful poetic expressions of the present time, Dedan has masterfully woven metaphors and melodies together to offer a Springtime from his heart to the hearts of his readers. Thank you for such a masterpiece.”    —Dr. Nahid Angha, co-director, International Association of Sufism; Executive Editor of Sufism: An Inquiry

“Dedan Gills reminds us that a poet combusts meaning into passionate songs of wholeness, and that poetry comes out of actually living the miracle of so many interfaces of truth and experience that they explode with grace in the heart and stun us with fresh insight and original beauty.”    —James O’Dea, former president, Institute of Noetic Sciences; author, activist, and mystic

“I am so glad that the world is going to have this book. The love between Belvie and Dedan was deep and moving to behold. It created an atmosphere that spread among all of us lucky enough to be anywhere near, like wildflowers sprouting in spring, awakening, inspiring, delivering a thoughtful joy. This poetic correspondence between two great souls, with each other and all of existence, is a precious gift to us all.”   —Susan Griffin, author of Woman and Nature and A Chorus of Stones

“A poetic celebration of life. We owe a debt of gratitude to Belvie and Dedan for this moving testament to the eternal power of love, both personal and cosmic.”    —Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade, Sacred Pleasure, and The Real Wealth of Nations

“Through his own healing, Dedan learned to embrace suffering as part of life, to look deeply into its meaning and enter the mystery in a way that deepened the question “What would healing look like?” He loved honestly and without pretense. He spoke his heart and mind, with an ability to draw from all quarters of life, speaking to their connectedness to each other and to him. He was a rare man whose voice embodied a rich and full life that stretched from the street to the cosmos. He could see what might be possible. We would do well to listen… he teaches us how to love.”   —Steven Siler, MFT

“When music is your medicine and kindness your song, the journey from slavery to stardust is possible. When the poetry and deep love of Dedan Gills and Belvie Rooks are your companions on that journey, it is more than possible—it is likely. A book to keep by your bedside, Springtime resonates with transformative understandings and embodied wisdom from an intimacy generously shared.”    —Eimear O’Neill, Ph.D., transformative educator, transgenerational therapist; and creative director of Spirit Matters Community

“Dedan Gills possessed a soul that holds galaxies, a sagacious, loving spirit that was profoundly moving, and a rare capacity to give words to wisdom. In this powerful book, the partnership of Dedan and Belvie continues to guide all of us in need of their vision, creativity, mentoring, and brilliance. These poems are pulsars, seeds, blessings, love notes, and lessons, filled with Dedan’s magnanimous presence, cosmological insight, enchanted heart, and unyielding commitment to a wounded world and its healing.”    —Drew Dellinger, Ph.D., author of Love Letter to the Milky Way

“A beautiful testimony to the power of love between partners…. Reading these poems is a reminder of the timelessness and endurance of love across all dimensions, and the importance of living our truest paths for service and hope.”   —Jeanine M. Canty, Ph.D., professor, Naropa University

“It is often said that the true measure of a person lies in the questions s/he asks, more so than the answers s/he provides. I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heartis an exquisite offering in which sage Dedan Gills demonstrates his transcendence by at once posing and answering the most poignant and provocative of questions: ‘What would healing look like?’ Through her artful curation, Dedan’s beloved Belvie Rooks shares from the treasure trove of Dedan’s poetic writings a sampling of how the Love, Light and Legacy of Dedan’s life is what healing looks like. Thank you, Dedan, for being a way-shower for us all. Thank you, Belvie, for your generosity in sharing Dedan with the rest of us.”    —Thomasina H. Williams, Family Enterprise Consultant, Founder of Sankofa Legacy Advisors, Inc.

“Dedan’s love poems to Belvie come from a very deep place that most mortals have never experienced. Some of us live privileged lives, others lives filled with struggle. Dedan used his rich life, often filled with struggle, to explore for us the deepest questions of human existence and his outpouring of love. Springtime is his gift to all of us that extends far beyond his lifetime.     —Wilford Welch, author of In Our Hands: A Handbook for Intergenerational Actions to Solve the Climate Crisis and The Tactics of Hope

“Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills, partners in love and in life, swayed to the rhythms of the cosmos. Activists since the time of their youth, both led lives devoted to righting the wrongs of the world and found kindred cause in the arms of the other. This luminous collection offers us a glimpse into the depth and breadth of their love, and in doing so invites us to embrace the infinite and intimate possibilities of living with unguarded, open hearts.”    —Sandra Bass, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students, and Director, Public Service Center, UC Berkeley

“Brothers and Sisters, there is a person in the room with us today whom I would like to recognize. Many of you will never realize the enormous contribution he has made to our movement. Brother Dedan Gills, will you please stand!”    —Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, Black Panther Party Leader, Black Women’s Forum Community Meeting, Los Angeles, 2005

“At a time when hate is literally marching in the streets, I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heart is more than a breath of fresh air, it is life. This soul-bearing work offers the world a glimpse of revolutionary love in reactionary times.”    —Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, musician; author of The Task of the Artist in the Time of Monsters

Contributor Excerpts

“Dedan was the embodiment of love and respect for all life. He was a true spiritual warrior of peace for all those privileged to have shared a meal, a talk, or a ceremony with him. He had an aura that provided a sense of being in the presence of infinite love. It felt safe and it felt true.”    —Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, educator, traditional healer, founder of Soul of the Mother

“These writings persist as a compound paean, not only to his Beloved, Belvie, but to the transpersonal realm where we collectively participate as souls via the spontaneous grace of nature that invokes us.”    —Will Alexander, award-winning poet; author of Sunrise in Armageddon

“Where some seek expertise in one subject, Dedan sought to understand the experience of living from every angle. He brought a signature sincerity, worth, and good humor to learning that allowed him to look with clear eyes at his own self and see the dignity and potential in every human being, and he believed in the power of music, poetry, and the heart to create change.”     —Matthew Davis, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Miller Ph.D., Co-directors of Pseads Institute for Learning and Innovation

“I’m honored to pay homage to this contemplative and uplifting love story by my dear friends Dedan and Belvie. This lovely offering brings to mind the Buddhist teaching of The Two Winds, wisdom and compassion. I am touched by how this poetic love song embodies the liberated heart-mind, leaving us savoring not sentimentality but rather a deep dive into freedom—the immeasurable and boundless field of love.”     —Ruth King, teacher in the International Insight Meditation tradition; author of Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism From The Inside Out




Additional information

Weight 10 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in