"In Dianalee Velie's poem, "Primary Colors," an old man, at home in his life, says "Here I am and I know." The Many Roads to Paradise is the record of a poet's tenacious desire, here and now - by way of a dog or a fireplace log or Louis Armstrong's recorded voice or a blue-collar cafeteria worker or a hermit thrush or a dying friend or a woman who is stoned to death - to 'know where God is hiding,' to 'sense heaven.' She invites our company during this search for the source, and we're grateful to discover her poems' answers."
-William Heyen, 2004 National Book Award Finalist
"The magnet for these poems is Dante's Paradiso. It is a just one as Dianalee Velie limns the spiritual beauty that underlies what we find and lose in the physical domain. A hallmark of spirituality is appreciative openness; these poems epitomize that grace."
-Baron Wormser, Maine Poet Laureate (2000-2005)
"This third collection by the prolific Dianalee Velie continues to uniquely explore the many facets that comprise the human condition. Somber, illuminating and always moving, each poem is a dramatic unearthing of truth found in the mundane and the profound all equally handled with humor, empathy and insightfulness. If there are many roads to paradise, these poems are the most direct route to take."
-Kevin Pilkington, Poet / Professor
"Examinations of faith and religious belief, and inspirations form the 'daily grind' clearly have been addressed before - but in The Many Roads to Paradise by Dianalee Velie, we start off with the Messiah as a California surfer, and ski the peaks and valleys of life in an interesting, thought-provoking ride. This is Dianalee's third poetry collection, following the impressive Glass House and shattering First Edition. Faith is an undercurrent running through her new collection. Reading it is akin to digging deep into a Christmas stocking and pulling out tiny, individually wrapped gifts - never quite sure of what is coming next, never quite sure of what we will find most moving."
-David Messineo, Publisher/ Executive Editor, Sensations Magazine
"Dianalee Velie is a poet who immerses herself, mind, body and spirit, in the deep textures of life and earth, of the seen and unseen world. When she stands up from this immersion what streams off her onto the page, is vibrant text - and real text is like gospel. The Many Roads to Paradise is at once ecstatic and irreverent. I urge you to take a walk with these poems one morning or afternoon, in the evening or the middle of the night! You'll return refreshed."
-John Fox, www.poeticmedicine.org
A Segovian riff drifts through the latticed windows
on their waterfront cottage, settling in the garden
where my sister plants golden fall mums. Dressed
in short overalls and a yellow, long-sleeved shirt,
muddy gardening debris scatters around her, a Spanish
sunflower to her husband, strumming his favorite guitar.
I float through fields of Andalusian sunflowers,
plucking at this domestic passion like a scavenger bird
masticating a simple seed into poetic sustenance.
What would I trade for a moment like this?
My journey through solitude so punctuated
by pain even the stones in my garden weep.
Lamenting like Lorca, I let this poem settle around
me like a blanket of fallen needles, smelling of pine
but not the living thing. Thousands of reasons exist
to love this life I lead, each one sufficient, each one
a recorded rhapsody of longing. Plaintively, I
pencil the perfect fret, gathering sympathetic strings
of words to resonate into a sonata, yearning someday
to strum a duet, before tommorrow's orange sun sets.
- a selection from The Many Roads to Paradise -published 2006