Imagine Loneliness Without Solitude, a poem

Imagine nothing,
nothing to read, no way to write
no way to see your thoughts laid out in gray on white

Imagine loneliness,
loneliness without solitude
no way to clear the mind or cleanse the soul

Imagine children,
children conceived in hate
mothers unable to provide or protect

just imagine
knowing only
only pain.

just imagine dying before you are old enough to know who you are

© Jamie Dedes

An early version of this poem was published online in Sam Hamill’s Poets Against the War. Some of the first poems from that effort were collected in an anthology. All the poems are now archived at a university but at this point I’m at a loss to remember which one. The poem was later published in Salamander Cove. I pulled Imagine out and dusted it off today in response to current events and the associated reckless rhetoric.

Thugs from hell have taken freedom’s store
The rich get richer, the poor die quicker

& the only god that sanctions that

Is no god at all but rhetorical crap

excerpt from The Ballad of Girly Man in Girly Man by Charles Bernstein

BREAKING NEWS/HEADS-UP GENEVA ~ Geopolitics of Oil in Fiction, an opportunity to meet Vahan Zanoyan, author of “The Sacred Sands”

Open class of “Global Energy Economy” course of Prof. Rouben Indjikian at Webster University Geneva, LLC Commons Room, 30 May 2017, 13:10-15:30
Register HERE

At its peak, crude oil represented half of the world’s energy consumption, and it remains the biggest internationally traded commodity. The petroleum industry has evolved under different price regimes, market organizations and power relations between the main producing and consuming countries and companies organizing the supply chains. While the geopolitics of petroleum in the twentieth century was determined by securing access to crude oil, currently it is perceived as a factor disrupting the supply of crude oil, especially from the Middle East, owning bulk of world petroleum reserves. So how important is the geopolitical economy of petroleum and what would be its role in the future energy landscape?

The evolution of oil industry and, in particular, geopolitics of Middle East oil, where fundamental truths are best depicted in a novel, will be presented by its author Vahan Zanoyan*, on a visit to Webster University. Vahan, will explain the complex relationships in the industry and how his vast personal experience as an adviser to oil companies, governments, investors and traders led him to write The Sacred Sands, “a gripping novel that takes the reader inside the Middle Eastern oil industry and regional geopolitics.”

The presentation will be followed by comments from John Gault, a prominent international expert in the oil industry, with an interactive discussion moderated by Rouben Indjikian.

This class is free and open to the public. Register HERE
Tuesday, May 30
Webster University Geneva, LLC Commons Room
Route de Collex 9 1293 Bellevue, Switzerland

Well, those of us who won’t be in Geneva next week can always read the book. I can’t offer you a review at this point because I’ve only just read the “Look Inside” sample on Amazon. So far so good. These reviews are quoted by Amazon:

“the story is relentlessly paced and brimming with historical insight…this will undoubtedly be a feast for anyone who’s hungry for knowledge about the Middle East …  An exceptionally erudite…portrait of a key point in a region’s history.” Kirkus Reviews
“The scope of this novel is breathtaking… The Sacred Sands is very well written with an intriguing plot that will keep you hooked to the very end. What you will also gain from the book is a clear analysis of the problems in the Middle East, the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism and the way that we in the West view the region, from the pen of someone who has a deep understanding of this area. Vahan Zanoyan is a consummate storyteller and has managed to present an incredibly complex subject in a clear, erudite, and most certainly entertaining way. I urge you to read this book – it is the most accomplished novel I have read this year and I can thoroughly recommend it.” Readers’ Favorite Reviews

the sun is in love with me, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

what a morning, good morning
burst of apricot, showering light
drizzling glee, a child’s laughter
if I had to live for just one day
it would be this one, morning-glory
nodding her bright-eyed blue head
and i know, there’s no such thing
no such thing as a death star
there’s only life, over hill and field
shining into windows, on warm grass
Look! the daisies are smiling
and the California poppies are
popping yellow like corn in a pot
the moon was muse last night
today the sun is in love with me

© 2013, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


Tell us in poem or prose what it feels like to be you on your best day.  If you are comfortable sharing your work, leave it in the comment section below. If it’s too long, you can leave a link to it. All work will be published here next Tuesday. Enjoy!

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“the doctrine” and other poems in response to the most recent Wednesday Writing Pompt

The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, May 10: Words have power to hurt, heal, fool, free or nourish. They have weight. Sometimes a word – worthy in its way – is just not right for an occasion or circumstance … or for your latest poem or story. It doesn’t meet the test of your vision; but you believe  the right word will come to you. You work at it, play with it and sometimes wait quietly, as an invitation of sorts, until the perfect word arrives and speaks to you, the word that you know will speak to others as well.

What are the stale words – the inadequate words – you hear used to describe something you value? What words are better or best? Tell us in prose or poem.

. words needed .

alongside gestures of despair,

may communicate thought

better. or worse?

so lets be singular

enjoy our own space,

and be friends, forever.

she says that you

cannot see some people’s souls,

perhaps we need to look harder.

there is a lot going on.

© 2017, sbm.

:: those words again ::

rather a lot of words were said in friendship.


good words.

#writing for jamie.

words on health and well


recovered, we admired

the socks, little boots.

she knew who i meant, a small

description. the bluebells are down

the road she told us.

kind words come in memory and subjected


some folk cannot connect other than eyes

while some utter such kind words; honey

and furry bears.

© 2017, sbm (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA)

the doctrine 

of inevitable progress –
the present the highpoint
of cultural and personal development –
the ancestors treated with condescension
the thinkers ignored unread
(those who told it how it really is) –

the present (so they say – the powerful ones
in their powerful ignorance) is
the threshold to a Golden Age –
provided you accept our
version of events…

tissues of false imagery
& abstraction

progress is the ghost
of a big black dog
cocking its leg against the lamp-posts
of infinite dark streets –
a convenient construct;
an unsubtle trick of the imagination;
a laying of eggs
in a basket that does not exist

© 2017, Colin Blundel (Colin Blundell: All and Everything)

“This comes from my collection The Recovery of Wonder (2013)
I focused on ‘words that fool’ and remembered this one. There are many words that fool, especially abstractions. The way to recognise an abstraction is to wonder whether you could put whatever the word is supposed to represent into a wheelbarrow. You could put a pound of apples in a wheelbarrow but what about ‘justice’, ‘beauty’, ‘love’, ‘democracy’, and in this case ‘progress’?” Colin

Being Unpolished and Knowing

Like strands of pearls uncultured, unconnected
they lie strewn at your feet tantamount to words
discarded and useless unable to be linked as one
until something more refined comes along

she knows this every moment of every day speaking
is broken by hesitation, pauses and frustration
like diamonds rough from nature not yet expertly cut
by the jeweler’s hand in minuscule sharp detail

something like disparate but not really the same
just as peculiar is not exactly being self-serving
for who can say she is not the bowels of that same venue
as she compiles opinions based on incomplete knowing

she ultimately sees herself on the fringe of everything
and anything but peculiar touting her uniqueness as
that of shrewdly knowing but like that of the pearls
as that of the diamond she too can be unpolished

© 2017, Renee Espiru (Renee Just Turtle Flight)

No Words

Like Light On A Needle

light shivers on a cobweb strand
between curved lace frills
of a woven white table cloth
in a spring front room.

Glare of harsh words
incandescent behind watery eyes
focus on insignificant details
as each of us folds our legs
away from the other

in the silence
below the radio songs
below the doppler
of cars and people outside
waves break up sunglint
on a pebbled shore

Don’t Read

this sentence.

Don’t understand this meaning.
Don’t interpret this link between words.

Don’t interrogate each word
as having a separate existence
from this context.

Don’t recall where you first heard,
or read these words as they
have no history.

They have not been written before.
They are new born, awaiting meaning.
They need maturity to fit in correctly.

Will have their wild times in places
where they shouldn’t be, next to words
they will be embarrassed to recall.

Second Fiddle

Always the presence
never in the presence of…

Always carries the coat,
never owns the coat.

Always opens the door to…
never for whom it is opened.

Always the ghost…
never the blood and sinew.

Always mouths other’s words
never mouth’ own.

Always imitative
never innovative.

Always derivative
never different enough….

First Fiddle

never in the presence…
Always the presence

never carries the coat,
Always owns the coat

never opens the door to…
Always for whom it is opened

never the ghost…
Always the blood and sinew

never mouths others words
Always mouths own

never imitative
Always innovative

never derivative
Always different enough….


Chat to the motor museum curator
at his post behind the counter.

“Have to bring my wife. She was into bikes, and can remember every…”

He looks at me.


I am an idiot.

“Those things with numbers and letters on the front of cars?”

“Number plates”.

He replies with sharp sarcasm,
and no smile.

The older I get
what were once obvious words arrive less
and less when and where I need them.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

From Mike Stone (Uncollected Works) via comment)

“I’m reading an excellent book, “To the End of the Land” by Israeli author David Grossman. I just came across a review of the book that does good justice to Grossman’s latest novel (, but I wanted to mention just one of the many pearls in his book: “… Do you mean these paths speak Hebrew? Are you saying language springeth out of the earth? …” I loved the idea that our languages spring from the land that our forefathers and descendants live and die in, that Hebrew and Arabic have exactly the right sounds to onomatopoeicly express the realities of the Middle East. Of course the English poems I write about Israel can never really capture the essence of this land, unfortunately for me. My ears were formed by the backwoods of Ohio and Indiana. I feel like Moses standing on Nebo Peak seeing Israel from afar, but unable to enter it. I am in Israel, but in some other dimension of it.”

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