I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heart: A Poetic Love Song (Pre-order)


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

Available February 14, 2019 

Pre-publication Party: Monday, November 5, 2018, 5:00–6:30 PM
Terrace View 401 (South Bldg.), Toronto Convention Center, at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Invitation.



  • 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


“The poems of I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heart are 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.”  —Brian Thomas Swimme, Cosmologist and Co-Author, The Universe Story

“I’m honored by the invitation 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

“Dedan is, very simply, the embodiment of love, peace, and respect for all life. He had an aura around him that few humans carry, and that aura provided a sense of being in the presence of infinite love.” —Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, educator, traditional healer, and founder of Soul of the Mother

“Through his own healing, Dedan learned to embrace suffering as part of life, to look deeplyinto its meaning, and enter the mystery in a way that continued to deepen 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

“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 literally explode with grace in the heart as they stun us with fresh insight and original beauty.”  —James O’Dea, former president, Institute of Noetic Sciences

“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 people 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 to 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

“It seems to me, that now, maybe more than ever, love truly lived is a most revolutionary act. Belvie and Dedan embodied and embody love in its truest most beautiful sense. For their love was and is big enough to hold all of it. There is the beauty of the small things and there are those times when the heart has to break open in order to hold the big things—it’s the breakingopen that creates the room to hold it all. Revolution means to return to origin. In this time where it feels so much has lost its way, allow the words within this book to 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

“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 this person 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)

Additional information

Weight 10 oz
Dimensions 9 x 6 x 1 in
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