the pathway of life and hope, a poem

day comes when your waist disappears,
your glow grows from a tiny zygote to
full-fledged fetus and then, all at once,
you can no longer bend or lay flat in bed,
you go on as you started, exchanging
secret messages with the promised child ~

and now, the miraculous moment, you move
from one into two, the nine-month stretch
along the pathway of life and hope, birthing
a new generation: your handsome boy,
lion maned, his fingers grasping your heart,
launched, from dark into light, washed with
the fiercest love and swaddled in faith

“There should be a song for women to sing at this moment or a prayer to recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong enough to name that moment.” Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

© 2017, poem and photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

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SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, Events, and News and Other Information


Opportunity Knocks

ONE, an online poetry journal published by Jacar Press, A Community-Active Literary Press: One, is open for submissions year-round, except for brief periods when an issue is in process. Poets may submit one poem for consideration per issue. There is no fee to submit. One publishes emerging as well as established poets. Further details   HERE.

DoveTale JOURNAL, An International Journal of the Arts stated mission is to “promote writing that explores the many aspects of peace.”  The theme for 2017 is Refugees and the Displaced. DoveTale publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and photography.  Details HERE.

THE BeZINE submissions for the June 2017 issues (theme: Environmental Justice/Climate Change: Farming and Access to Water) should be in by June 10th latest.  Publication date is June 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration. Please check out a few issues first and the Intro./Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. No demographic restrictions.

THE EXAMINED LIFE JOURNAL, University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, deadline for the next issue is July 15, 2017. Details HERE.

FICTION SOUTHEAST, an online journal dedicated to short fiction seeks articles about writing.  Details HERE.

INKUBATOR & ABSTRACT REVIEW publishes stories in their online publication and reads submissions on a rolling basis. There is also a print publication. For details about both online and print link HERE

CARVE MAGAZINE, a literary magazine named in honor of Raymond Carver “seeks to publish outstanding literature and to promote the writers we publish, helping both new, emerging and established authors reach a wider literary audience.”  This magazine features fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  For poetry there is a $2 submission fee and $25 payment. Submission guidelines are HERE.


MAY SARTON NEW HAMPSHIRE POETRY PRIZE of Bauhan Publishing, LLC is now open for submissions.  There’s a $25 entry fee and poets are welcome to submit from anywhere in the world.  There is a cash award along with book publication. Details HERE.

AUTUMN HOUSE PRESS CONTESTS are now open for submissions. Awards are publication of full-length manuscripts in PoetryFiction, and Nonfiction and cash prizes of $2,500 ($1,000 advance against royalties and a $1,500 travel/publicity grant to promote the book). The submission period closes on June 30, 2017. Details HERE.


September 30, 2017 is the next 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC) global event.  It is not to soon to start organizing an event in your neighborhood. For more information and to register your event link HERE. The 100TPC Facebook global communication hub is HERE. The BeZine 2017 100TPC discussion page is HERE.

June 5, 2017 World Environment Day theme for 2017 is ‘Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator’. The host country is Canada, but there are 700 events scheduled around the world. To find am event in your region, link HERE.

Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the continents and the oceans of the world
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home.

Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the people and the nations of the world
all for one and one for all
united we unfurl the blue marble flag
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home.

“Earth Anthem” by Abhay K


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the geography of heartbreak, a poem … in all the years of recorded history only 248 have seen no wars


a dove’s eye view is an ugly view
of the geography of heartbreak, of
smothered hope and broken children

sadly we watch their unrestrained
curls burst into a stormy cumulus,
while their dislocation wears a path
cut by tiny feet in forced march
alongside a wholly damaged trust

“The derivative effects of exposure to war-related stressors on the developing child are far-ranging and affect the elaboration and consolidation of personality structures, identity formation, adaptive and coping mechanisms, internalized standards of right and wrong, intrinsic mechanisms for modulating aggressive impulses, the habitual mode of relating to others in addition to having enduring neurobiological consequences . . .. “ Psychological Effects of War and Terrorism on Children

That report also states that in the “3,421 years of recorded history” only 248 have seen no wars. So, we are continually wounding little souls who are in effect then turned into potential time-bombs. No wonder we’ve been unable to get out from under, even in the 21st Century.

See also Joanna Santa Barbara’s Impact of War on Children and Imperative to End War, which discusses primary prevention (ways to end war), secondary prevention (ways to make the experience of war less damaging), and tietiary prevention (ways to rehabilitate children who have been traumatized by exposure to the death, violence, separation and other impacts of war).

© 2017, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; mourning dove by Octavio Tellis via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

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