When a prompt strikes a cord . . . Jamie Dedes and/or/Is the Feminine Divine by Gary W. Bowers

Poet and Artist, Gary W. Bowers

Poet and Artist, Gary W. Bowers

Gary Bowers (One With Clay) is one of our triple-threat poets: poetry, art and humor.  Words like “quick-witted” and “pithy” come to mind. He is adapt at combing his talents and this is a post he created, which I will cherish. It’s always nice to be acknowledged and Gary is particularly kind to me. Thank you, Gary! This is sweet and clever. There’s a lot more of Gary’s poetry, art and unique style to be enjoyed on Gary’s blog,where he often acknowledges other creatives. Recommended. J.D.


Jamie Dedes is alive, though she was given but two years to live in a prognosis delivered before the end of the last century. She credits her son and “an extraordinary medical team” for her continued existence. Though I don’t know her well–I don’t even know how many syllables are in her last name, much less how to pronounce it–I would venture to add that Moxie also has something to it.

For she has Moxie in abundance. She cares enough about poetry and its practitioners to have created and maintained an outstanding resource-blog called THE POET BY DAY, which connects poets via showcased poet exemplars, essays, links to items of interest to poets, her own poems, and on Wednesdays, those springboarding challenges known as prompts, which are invitations to write about a specific thing, or on a certain theme, or some other limiting, focusing factor.

And it was a week ago Wednesday that I responded to one such prompt. This one:

Write a poem, a fiction or a creative nonfiction piece telling us how you envision a feminine God or about the feminine side of God. What might S/he be like? Does/would such a view change the way you feel about yourself and the world? Would it change the world? How? You don’t need to believe in God or in a feminine aspect of God. This is an exercise in imagination not faith. Have fun with the exercise and if you feel comfortable, share the piece or the link to the piece below so that we might all enjoy.

For some reason this prompt struck a chord and got me going. I don’t know if there is a Supreme Being. I have certain feelings but I don’t trust them, being a rationalizer and wishful-thinker. A much more intelligent man than I am, Stephen Hawking, envisions a cosmology that, in the words of Carl Sagan in his introduction to Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, gives “nothing for a Creator to do.” In other words, Hawking’s universe has no need for a Creator.

But if there IS a Supreme Being, it makes sense to me, since the Supreme Being brought us all to be, that since that Being birthed us all, that She be a mother. And so I took a weird word from a conspiracy theory about our 44th President, Barack Obama, for a title, and was off to the races imagining God as Mom:

*****

birther

o god
thou residest betwixt r and t

god s be thy name
birther of us all
mixmistress of galaxies
crecher of clusters
ovulatrix of ylem

thy mother’s care is in the dew
thy admonishment is in the don’t
and when we want to play in the woods of reckless fun
thou respondest “we’ll see”
which almost always means “fat chance”

thy human smartalecks speak of heat death
it is merely a pause
in thy menopause
and soon thou’lt bake us cosmic cookies again

thanks for Ever
y
Thing,
maman

*****

Sure was fun to write, and oddly, bouncily, spiritually uplifting. Things just seemed to naturally occur: the Heat Death of the Universe resonates with the “hot flash” of menopause–hey how bout that, menoPAUSE–perhaps prelusive of the Big Crunch and the next Bang–and double up on “baking us cosmic cookies” with us being some of the cosmic cookies She bakes–and Everything with the y, possibly the Spanish “and,” joining Ever and Thing–and the French word for Mama, maman, slightly hinting at both “amen” and “ma MAN.” Wrote it first, realized it later. Could it be that She helped? Fun to think so.

I posted “birther” in the Comments section of Jamie’s post, and she replied that she loved it and wanted to include it in her following-Tuesday post. I happily agreed, and supplied a photo and my poet’s curriculum vitae at her request. She published my and three other poets’ responses to her prompt last Tuesday, and I was proud and happy enough to be in such august company that I put a link to her post on my Facebook Timeline.

As fate would have it, the next day was Jamie’s Birthday, and it was there I learned about her “Sixty-seven Years on the Razor’s Edge.” You can too, and I think you should. HERE is a link.

One thing I’d left out of my poet’s biography was the fact that my specialty is Acrostic poetry, i.e. poems where the first and/or last and/or midstream letters of the poem form words. In my gratitude to Jamie, and wanting to show off a little of this weird skill, I composed and illustrated a birthday acrostic for her, thus:

jamie-dedes-02222017

Here are the words of what may be the first birthday-occasion, acrostic, limerickal, end-words-all-rhyme-or-nearly-so poem in human history:

Jamaica may thrill, undenied,
And Nawlins is burstful with pride;
MARVEL at, though, who’s hied
In the clouds with her stride,
Energetically shifting the tides.

Thanks again, Jamie, for Ever y Thing!

… and thanks again to YOU, Gary!  J.D.

© 2017, words, artwork and photograph, Gary W. Bowers, All rights reserved


sonjabenskinmesher2011Another triple-threat talent, Sonja Benskin Mesher‘s (sonja-benskin-mesher.net), responsed to last Wednesday’s Writing Prompt, which was hosted by Michael Watson (Dreaming the World, On the Arts and Healing in Difficult Times). Sonja’s bio is HERE.

.the first time.

when was the first time.the first
time it was noticed that some one
was helping.

kindness.

the first thought on the sentiment there.

the beauty of it all.

it has been said before. that hate and anger
bring hate and anger more.

it may be the brains’ addictions.

we stopped by tescos and thought of you all.

here is a photo of one man who helped another man.

sbm.

© Sonja Benskin Mesher


51u0fnastll-_sx309_bo1204203200_The recommended read for this week is Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets.  There’s so much I like about this manual.  For one thing, Ted assumes that if you are a heavy-duty reader, you already know quite a bit.  After all, one of the best ways to learn to write is to read. He operates on the moral principle that if you have a gift then you have the obligation to offer something by way of giving back. He says, “I hope I won’t exhaust your patience” and he doesn’t. He assumes that our ultimate goal is to reach others and to move them, so there is a great deal of emphasis on the relationship between the poet and her reader. He discusses our job as poet – not money, not fame – but “to serve the poems we write.”  This perspective makes reading and working with Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual an refreshing guide to the poetic terrain for both budding and experienced writers interested in creating work that is fulfilling and truly artistic.

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