this wild rumpus of life, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

when the dead are invited back
on Halloween and All Souls Day,
Dia de los Muertos and Dia de los ñatitas,
during Bon Festival and Qingming Festival,
Araw ng mga Patáy and Gai Jatra Chuseok
on these days in the many places
on the crest of our mingling with spirits
at burial sites and among dappled silver-gray stones
and the blue and emerald of sky and sea
around the bend of alabaster bays
and the rough-barked redwoods and stripy eucalyptus
in the damp green of the moss
in the pungent cempasúchitl or pale bamboo shoots
and the raucous discontent of crows and sea gulls calling,
among bales of cotton clouds and symphonies of rain
among the hot tears and cool baptisms by salt water,
between the viridescent living and
the remains of the dead, the compost underfoot,
in the wind wailing past the bowing cypress
in these landscapes and littoral zones
our ancestors visit in cellular memory, our blood
sings their songs and they hound us; hounding,
not into death but into life, into blessing
into peace, celebration and joy ~
one life to live or many, what do you give?
what do you leave behind, what will you have
to say when, for just one moment, your spirit is
called to share again this wild rumpus of life

© 2015, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; illustration, photo of Diego Rivera’s mural in Mexico city, Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central. A “selfie” of sorts, you can see Rivera to your left as the child and the woman behind him is Frieda Kahlo.  The photo is courtesy of Humberto under CC BY-SA 2.0 license. The photo of Cempasúchil (Mexican marigold) below is courtesy of Lajuarezo under CC BY 2.0 license.


Remember “Let the wild rumpus start!” in Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are? Such a wonderful book and that exclaimation has stayed with me – probably you as as well – and I always wanted to do something with it. This poem is what came from that inspiration. So, my challenge to you this week, is to use “wild rumpus” in a poem.  Enjoy the exercise and if you are comfortable doing so, leave your poem in the comments section below or leave a link to it.  All poems shared will be featured here next Tuesday.


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