View of Cliff House from Ocean Beach
View of Cliff House from Ocean Beach


it must be painful for them to write, those poets in tough-times and hard places
where blood and tears and poverty contaminate the air, stain the sidewalks, and consume the people

the blood must be soul-sick and rusted and tasting of acid, not salt,
and the poems meant to heal the writer and stroke the cheeks of the wounded,
to dry their eyes and gently kiss their gray heads

to poem in such places must be like walking shoeless on glass shards

perhaps the most sacred thing in the dream-time meadow of poets’ desire is Light ~

can you awaken to meet the Divine on the battlefield, in the camps, in government housing or in the ghettos?

if so, you are a saint, not simply an artist


in my small world, my civilized world, people fall asleep reading or after making love or playing in the yard with their children

if they wander, it is through books or planned travel

there are luxuries
there is food
there is cleanliness and paper on which to write
no bombs are dropping to scorch and scar the Earth
there is a certain dignity


in San Francisco we walk along the beach at night, near the Cliff House
we walk to the sound of the waves, the song of the Earth chanting its joys
our feet are bare and relish the comfort of cool sand

the air is clear and cold and easy to breathe, tasting of salt and smelling of sea life ~
here is a pristine moment of peace

i want to bequeath this peace to you, to everyone,
as though it were a cherished heirloom
it is really a birthright

i want to plunge into the waters and gather the ocean in my cupped hands, to offer it to you as sacramental wine

i want to form seaweed into garlands for all of us to wear, to hang over our hearts, a symbol of affection

i want to collect pine cones from the trees that congregate along the coast and feed them to the children to remind them to cherish this Earth and all its creatures, themselves included, and to say …

do not make war in your heart or upon your mother’s body

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reservedPhoto credit ~ BrokenInaglory via Wikipedia under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported


“do not make war” … Your thoughts? If you are comfortable, share your poetry or prose or a link to it in the comments section below. You have until next Monday evening. All work shared in response to this prompt will be published next Tuesday in The Poet by Day.



  1. second response Jamie ~

    .white feathers.

    i dream i dream of porcupines.

    white feathers dipped in blood.

    bloody mess wars,

    bodies rotting there. there

    are thoughts while stitching that

    this could save the world.

    a quiet thing. no injuries, the blood

    comes small in useful drops.

    drops down, meditative sound.

    white feathers fall.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Jamie.

    My first response~

    not of war, it …

    not of war, it is peaceful here.

    I have heard such dreadful stories

    of casualties, these days

    and before. senseless.

    I would screw my words

    if it would help.

    I can help this one,

    a victim of the

    hot and dandy night.

    I will show you his photograph.

    I took her into the woods, the grass was

    too long, though cooler there,

    she was too small.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jamie this is my second response:

    I’m Just About

    I’m Just About

    managing between the barricades.
    My kids play between sniper targets.

    I fetch the shop through broken
    buildings perforated by gunshot,

    past cars jammed across streets.

    I’m just about managing between regimes.

    Previously appeared in “I Am Not A Silent Poet?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here’s my first response Jamie:

    The Open Shop At War

    As robust earth tumbles to an end
    Whilst delivering value
    I need an extra jumper.

    As robust war is inevitable
    whilst delivering value
    I need a warmer coat.

    As robust discussions are futile
    whilst you deliver effective service solutions
    I need to upgrade my phone.

    As robust cease fires are temporary business models that deliver value
    I need an extra pair of socks

    All is end to end
    Earth to end,
    War continues.

    Sharpen your core business
    in a controlled manner,
    grow your operations.
    People must shop.

    Open shops are a sign of peace
    whilst buildings fall around them.

    Open shops are a sign of calm
    when dead people lie in the street.

    Open Shops are a sign of order
    amidst bomb craters, bullet holes
    Open shops let people go on.

    Liked by 1 person

Thank you!

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