his hands flutter over and on the kebero
a world constructed in the moments of sound
a world razed in the moments of silence
a rhythm of birth and rebirth
of heartbeat and life-blood

he’d gone to Africa, this young man
to chase down his roots
to buy exotic drums
to make rhythms with his brothers
to sing with his sisters
to learn, to grow, to come home and teach

he was full of grace, brimming with jazz
just rocking his universe, rolling with spirit
alight with green and gold,
the breath of wild savannas and
wilder cheetahs, monkey pranks
and elephantine tuskedness

what, i had to ask, was the take-away
after the safaris and the drumming
after the injera, the wat, the niter kibby
and berbere spices, the many fine meals
downed with ambo wuhteh

I met a sister as i was driving a forlorn road. She was walking alongside, carrying a bundle of wood and I stopped, offered her a lift. No, she said, NO! If I ride today, I’ll want to ride tomorrow. It’s a recipe for unhappiness. She’s right, you know, he said, from wanting comes despair …

and so i drum, just drum, he said
his hands fluttering over and on the kebero
a world constructed in the moments of sound
a world razed in the moments of silence
a rhythm of birth and rebirth and peace of heart

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes; photograph by Karl Heinrich and generously released into the public domain; Kebero, a conical hand drum, for the traditional music of Ethiopia and Eritrea  


Tell us in poem about the most important take-aways you experienced from a vacation or other travel. Leave your poem/s or a link to it in the comments section below. All poems shared on theme will be published next Tuesday. The deadline for response is Monday evening, 8:30 p.m. PDT. All are welcome – encouraged – to join in: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about getting to connecting with other poets, showcasing your talent and having your say. If it’s your first time sharing a poem for Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photograph to These are posted with the work of first participants by way of introduction.




  1. My first response Jamie :

    # I’d depart this land #

    His visage is still vivid in this misty evening
    Those eyes
    Those pink hands
    Those lips
    Those jowls
    Those days in Kashmir
    still call me in this lonely evening
    That crystal lake
    That stream
    Those golden apples
    Those flower boats
    Those diamond peaks
    Are playing in my weepy eyes
    His words
    His kisses
    His smile
    His last touch
    Perhaps still have retained a token of our fancy
    In the last cherry tree of that garden
    I’d depart -I’d depart this land
    To searh for those flying hairs
    Those heavenly fingers
    Embracing me
    in that florid houseboat….
    ©Kakali Das Ghosh

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You Do The Math

    (what I wrote while traveling
    back to the town we met in and fell
    in love, and back again)

    dancing tall in my living room
    to George and Elton
    (does it really happen
    if no-one sees it
    like that tree in the forest)
    he says sometimes I never go out
    (could tell him stories about 1985
    when I lived ten years in 12 months)
    and I dance and dance

    my head full of 1990
    (wonderwall,hammer,hit me baby)
    one more time–let’s dance as one
    I’ll lead this time–you follow
    if you still have that notion
    that 1+1=1
    and 2+1=no end of joy

    perhaps we will find
    a new kind of happy-
    ness, wrapped in understanding
    and lessons learned
    (old flames, new rites of passage)
    let’s not forget, and dance to now
    (rhianna, poison, blended with
    the Beatles, Eagles, and 21
    pilots, shaken and stirred)

    once I thought it was most crucial
    to fly without a net
    but I believe
    the trick
    to not let go

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jamie,

    My fourth response:

    I’m Man Enough

    18 in 1980 week afore starting uni,
    lads night out and your dressed
    in Burton’s bright yellow like a canary,
    socks, shoes, shirt, jacket, because it’s cool.

    Lads boast they down 11/12 pints
    of John Smiths bitter a night,
    shag a lass then do same next night.
    You’ve never done neither.

    Follow lads round like fresh meat,
    loud and brash, they talk of shagging
    bints, fast cars, live bands you’ve
    never seen coddled by your mam and dad.

    Four pints in and your eyelids droop,
    bitter makes you fall asleep, lasses
    in short skirts with intentions nuzzle
    up but loud music means you can’t listen

    to what they’re saying and wouldn’t know
    what to say. Lads jostle you. “We’re off
    to neet club. A tha cumming?”. I shout
    an apology. “Got to be in by 11.”

    They get off. I leave the pub, buy
    a pizza and pissed walk home uphill
    chomping on greasy slices, cardboard
    box too big, one side of road to another.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Jamie,

    My third response:


    For a time I do bother
    to polish the surfaces,
    hoover, wash and iron.

    If only for myself,
    but then myself is not enough.
    Dust piles, crumpled clothes dirty.

    I fall asleep among dirty sheets,
    empty crisp packets,
    half eaten cold pizzas,
    stink of mice piss.

    Awake to freshly laundered sheets,
    clean carpets, clothes washed, ironed.
    Surfaces polished smell of Lavender.
    How could this happen?

    Again I fall asleep while tv on,
    amongst discarded chocolate papers,
    left over cake on plates,
    half drunk cans of lager.

    Awake to tv off, rubbish binned,
    plates washed, dried put away,
    Citrus not stale beer and rotting smell.
    I’m intrigued. Curious.

    It takes no effort to be a slob, again.
    Spill crisps down sides of chairs,
    dribble tea into carpet, crumbs.
    Energy drinks ready I stay awake.

    Energy sup is the biz. Make
    Me hyper so I see these two tiny
    Folk, man and woman, like regular
    Nanites sorting my crap.

    Like my old man never were
    this one hoovers up crumbs,
    packs his black bin bag with cans,
    busies, polishes, scrubs to his bones.

    His old woman like mam, I guess,
    dusts, scours a whirlwind devil.
    Part of me says they do as they must,
    the other sees what they lack.

    Next night I leave them a gift
    of nothing to tidy, to put away.
    They seem contented as I watch
    surrogate mam and dad leave for good.


  5. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:

    I A Glede

    dark wraith,
    elegant, rangy,
    float russet and goldflash,
    above winter’s woodland,

    street cleaner,
    snatch roadkill from gutters,
    pavements, lobbed pizzas, chips,
    knickers, jackets, teddy bears,
    odd shoes, toy giraffes
    rest with my feathered young,
    decorate my nest.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my first response:

    Our Takeaway

    always on a Friday. A menu
    taken out of the kitchen drawer,

    unfolded. Dad scribbles what everyone
    wants. I choose egg fried rice.

    Using phone on the phone table
    in hallway Dad rings order through.

    Sister and I chorus:
    “Can I come when you go, Dad?”

    After days of school meals,
    meat and two veg. at home,

    takeaway is exotic. In the car
    usual casual joke “egg flied lice.”

    Inhale fragrance of garlic,
    soy and foreign voices far above

    as we join the queue, Dad collects
    a thin white plastic bag that bulges

    with sharp edged foil cartons
    on kitchen side carefully

    extracts each box, bends back lips
    releases plumes of spicy heat

    to put on already warmed plates,
    carried through to front room.

    Empty cartons are placed back in white bag
    rushed out to a bin so smell does not linger.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 2.

    . permanent traveller .

    having had a few days off, no not from honest work,

    yet writing, rests the mind, i find that everyday

    things, mote well on my behalf.

    i heard the cock crow early,

    looked for swallow flight, seeing none,

    cleaned, tidied, then came to write.

    it has been a pleasant morning.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. it is a holiday .

    they say, and close the stores.

    it is complicated, to do with floor space and employees rights.

    we had chocolate eggs, worked hard, let our arms loose.

    warmer now, the sun shone, people came, visited,

    smiled, fondled the wool, spoke of age and weaving.

    he said there were many looms in his day.

    he is eighty eight, he told me many times.

    sbm. shot_1394462193517

    Liked by 2 people

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