photo-37-1I watched it all over my friend’s dear shoulder,
that time of living while dying and celebrating ~
like a garden snake ~ the shedding of the skin,
the detritus of material man with its hungers and
wild, woody creative soul, sketching ruby-jeweled
memories in sand to be blown like a Tibetan mandala
across Timelessness . . .

while he,

lone monk,


by systems on systems of hospital wiring, billing,
approvals, and laws around funerals and burials,
estates, plans, and proposals for headstones and
the where, when, and how of a memorial service,
the left-overs of his life to be sorted, sold or stashed
or sent to the right people in the right places.


… as though there had been nothing. No one.


There were a number of things on my mind when I wrote this, but one was the dramatic (or so it seemed to me) juxtaposition of the sacred (first stanza) and the material (second stanza).  That juxtaposition seems particularly clear in birth and death but it is also apparent at other points of change and transition – leaving home for the first time, marriage, dealing with catastrophic illness, career or job change and so forth. When in your life was this juxtaposition most profound for you?  Tell us in poem or story; i.e., in  creative nonfiction or in a fictionalized account.  If you feel comfortable, leave the link to your piece in the comments below so I and other readers may read you work.

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

51qqbcpwhul-_sx332_bo1204203200_The WordPlay Shop offers a selection of books and tools especially selected for poets and writers … and in some cases, activists. Sales from the shop go to support the maintenance of this site.  Suggested reading this week – a read for these times – is the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber’s The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear

THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

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