the republic of innocence, a poem . . . and your Wednesday Writing Prompt


no mendacity in the natural world, just an
untamed grace in the meditative industry of ants,
in the peaceable company of small creatures
going about the business of food finding
and mating and homemaking in the loam of
this province, the republic of innocence

here is the satisfying beauty of sunrise, of
jacaranda as she paints joy on a blue dawn;
robin with russet-hued breast hunts for worms,
her instinctive motherhood proud of babies
 in
the spar and scrap of nest life; it is in this,
the guileless cosmosthat gentle breezes

dance with us on muddy travels down
rocky paths through meadow and brush;
as the flaxen sun shifts from rise to fall,
we pulse with love and fear, soon
we know, clouds will gray with the dark

the golden moon will show craggy depths
sooty with doubt and danger, humanity
projecting its own shadows; still, a certain
trust in nature’s homilies, content in this
province where we’re left to be ourselves, left
to write our wildness on the mirror of time

© 2018, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

“How near to good is what is wild.” Henry David Thoreau


WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Tell us how near to good and honest is that which is untamed in ourselves. Leave your poem or a link to it in the comments section below.  All poems shared on theme will be published next Tuesday. You have until Monday 8:30 pm to respond.  If it is your first time responding to a writing prompt here, please send a brief bio and photo to thepoetbyday@gmail.com.  It will be featured along with your poem/s by way of introduction to readers … and me! 🙂


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14 thoughts on “the republic of innocence, a poem . . . and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Jamie,
    Thank you for an intriguing prompt. So many ways one could go with it. Here is my offering.
    Lisa Ashley

    Untamed

    Two dancing white butterflies have no idea
    how dark the world is today—
    fires and floods, ethnic cleansing,
    wars in deserts and in words—
    nor the brown spider who just lowered herself
    from the red and purple fuchsia blossom
    to the green basil glowing in the September sun.
    Those lives go on, still, as does mine,
    part of a greater web, gossamer threads, tensile strength.

    The neighborhood is noisy with construction equipment
    moving earth for seven new houses. Seven.
    People need a place to live,
    though the trees are gone, crashing to earth,
    once homes to birds, insects, mosses, squirrels.
    And though I’m tucked away in my own private paradise
    I know school buses are lining up
    to carry young ones home.

    We’d go for rides when he was very small
    searching for construction equipment so he could name them—
    front-end loader, grader, the double-dump. He knew them all.
    The big machines, the small boy, the love bursting from my heart,
    pink flush on his cheeks when he spied a big scoop,
    Mary Ann, Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel, in the flesh.

    He turned over rocks on the beach
    to touch tiny crabs
    before they skittered to safety,
    oblivious, like the butterflies and the spider,
    of their near-death experience at the hands of a toddler,
    or the suffering of the huge world,
    still with us these many years.

    The apples are turning redder every day.
    I made a pot of soup yesterday.
    Apples and pears in golden crust,
    juices oozing warm cinnamon and ginger breath
    to my eager nose, salivating mouth,
    hedging my heart against the misery of so many
    struggling mightily to survive.
    The butterflies dance down the yard,
    untamed,
    as they must,
    lighting my wild love, again.

    ~Lisa Ashley, February 5, 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharing one written this past year. Hope it fits the bill!

    Optical Illusions, Dreams, and Delusions

    We watch as moon ascends in eastern sky,
    a massive disc now peaking over fence—
    an optical illusion on the rise,
    appearing ever larger to our eyes
    than any image captured through a lens.

    And what we see and what the mind imprints
    border between concrete and surreal;
    we tuck away to pull out and reprise,
    but should we find delusion has dispensed
    we search to understand what was revealed.

    Same could be said for all the pain we feel,
    whether it is caused by physical distress
    or mental anguish covert and disguised—
    setting off alarms and raising shields,
    then leaving us despondent and depressed.

    ‘Hope’ rises like the moon in pale nightdress
    her whisper carried soft among the stars—
    and even earthen mother can surmise
    that if trials and tribulations are the test;
    then blessings and endowments are our prize.

    Ginny Brannan

    Or found here on my blog: https://insideoutpoetry.blogspot.com/2017/04/optical-illusions-dreams-and-delusions.html

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful poem,Jamie,and thanks for the prompt. Here’s my response, I’m enjoying the challenge of writing on more abstract subjects than I do normally!

    In the garden with Caius

    I follow him across puddles,
    his yellow wellies twinkling.
    He climbs onto a tree stump,
    points to water-logged grass.

    “Now look,Gran,look,
    this is the floor,
    down,
    and this”
    -gesturing upwards-
    “is the sky.”

    He stretches out his arms,
    raises them, leaps,
    lands and cheers.

    “You do it, Gran”
    and I do it,
    his face
    the unruffled lake
    where I run
    clear as moonlight,

    balance perfectly
    on damp, sawn wood.

    We take turns, root
    beneath the garden’s
    green memory,
    our hands brown leaves
    cupping the breath
    of early autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. secondly…..

    .he wanted a garden.

    have you collected seeds of many years, packed, labelled, dated.

    have you died, and left the table unprepared. i have them now in boxes, a gift.

    from those who love. they will bring me work, joy, an independent air.

    seeds need water.

    sun stays later.

    i have imposter syndrome, never diagnosed yet googled when heard on radio live .

    there may be too many additives these days not enough honesty grown.

    she said i should have something new in the greenhouse.

    i have, i said, and thought of you who

    planted the seeds.

    sbm

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Jamie-

    first response

    ::you say such nice things, sir::

    one dot.

    not two?

    you say such nice things sir, while you are one in many,

    many

    disagree.

    some struggle with the work each day, yet carry on, what

    else can be done?

    working in the field is good & honest.

    quiet day with bread, purposeful baking, folding and pleating.

    tomorrow is the run of the mill type daily.

    as before, this is no metaphor.

    where is the self worth sir, when we look full long in the mirror, see

    darkly the things of youth, darkly those ideas & happenings not

    written of here.

    no guardian review.

    it has not been the

    experience we hoped for. we shall wear pyjamas. the book remains

    tied.

    sbm.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Jamie for the “rich” poem!

    Return to innocence

    The hand that caresses the wave.
    The mouth that hardly opens –
    breathes in the fresh wind of the stone-pines.
    To speak to the stars,
    to write out signs –
    that can be learnt.
    It is known by the astrologers, magi,
    illusionists, newspapermen.
    All this can be learnt.
    To be in conformity
    with the expectance.
    That is the art
    of the skilful ones, the thought of the blind men.
    People who sing in the boat
    that has sailed off, do they know?
    Does the sand remember other steps
    but those of the children?

    The hand that caresses the wave.
    The mouth breathes in – the fresh wind
    of the stone-pines.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third:

    History (A World Where 2)

    is only ever now.
    Events marked as then

    can be dismissed as unreliable
    personal testimony.

    All records are falsifiable,
    vague and without substance.

    Numbers and dates are prone
    to change with new evidence.

    The past is uncertain.
    Only the now is trustworthy.

    Memories are full of doubt,
    false and fake images.

    Have faith in the eternal present.
    It can’t be held onto.

    Whatever can’t be grasped
    has our hope, faith and trust.

    I love you now. Whatever happened
    is subject to conjecture.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second:

    The Need

    for your inattention.
    Don’t compare and copy me.

    My life is not an example.
    Don’t follow my words.

    Don’t try to match your skills
    and attitude to mine.

    All these sites ask for followers
    and likers. My popularity

    is not measured in clicks.
    A comment is not a vaiidation.

    A share is not a support.
    You are not mimetic.

    Do not find yourself in others.
    You’re not hollow.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second:

    The Need (A World Where 2)

    for your inattention.
    Don’t compare and copy me.

    My life is not an example.
    Don’t follow my words.

    Don’t try to match your skills
    and attitude to mine.

    All these sites ask for followers
    and likers. My popularity

    is not measured in clicks.
    A comment is not a vaiidation.

    A share is not a support.
    You are not mimetic.

    Do not find yourself in others.
    You’re not hollow.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Jamie,

    Here is my first response:

    Believe

    I don’t believe folk who are honest.
    I were brought up with lies.
    I’m happy with dishonesty.

    It’s more real. Tell me porkies.
    Elaborate. I take my wife, my kids,
    government with a pinch of salt.

    If anybody tells you you’re good
    You can see their eyes twinkle.
    Same if they tell you you’re rubbish.

    Tongues forked or straight
    wind you up. I smile sweetly

    when you say I’m handsome,
    talented. Always I say, “O, aye!”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. a lion hunt

    begins with the hypothesis of lion:
    a roar in the night; a boy gone missing
    or a bullock; an enormous spoor
    in the path where the women walk;
    a fur-net caught in the thorn bushes
    speculatively examined by the old men

    so it is with the pursuit of poetry:
    one assumes that there is
    something called poetry to be found –
    but compared with hunting a lion…
    well you can know in advance
    what lion will look like
    when you catch up with him
    while the whole purpose
    of the pursuit of poetry us to discover
    by running it down just what a poem is

    the pursuit must begin more or less
    where it hopes to end – with a report
    of the rather dubious quarry; if you start
    with the wrong report you will end up with
    the wrong phoenix or the wrong unicorn –
    or whatever the fabulous creature
    turns out to be

    what one needs is a reliable scout
    – somebody who was there at the end and
    (against all odds) managed the journey back
    – then you become the scout

    *

    From my ‘Years Later’ (2016)

    *

    Thoreau is a Good Reliable Scout!

    Liked by 2 people

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