“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”  L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Lives built on pigeon dreams
structured by Madison Avenue
calculated by Wall Street
beribboned  by Hollywood
We take them: these manufactured dreams,
one-size-fits-all, straight off the rack . . .
And damn cheap too!
Mad, cannibal pigeon dreams
turn good minds and whole hearts into mince
We pray to false economies,
seek deliverance from Cheap Jack
We buy one, get one free –
And fetch and fetish youth eternal
from face-lifts, Botox™, and boob-jobs –
Exit here:
drugs, alcohol
Get a house, a car, a jewel –
Be the first on your block.
Buy now. Pay later.
Filling the empty with nothing more,
something less . . .
and warehousing our souls, they
gather dust in public storage . . .
the first month free.
Poems unwritten. Songs unsung.
Chumped. Stumped. Petrified.
A gullible human Pigeon Pie,
neatly boxed, wrapped to go.

© 2017, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credit – Lars Konzack, Public Domain Pictures.net.


How gullible we humans can be. Tell us about that. In what ways are we “Chumped. Stumped. Petrified.”

Share your poem/s on theme or a link to it/them in the comments section below.

All poems on theme will be published next Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook. If you do it’s likely I’ll miss it or not see it in time.

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com in order to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These will be partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, August 6 at 8 p.m. Pacific.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, sharing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning nonjudgemental place to connect.


Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.


  1. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fourth response:

    Target Customer Reached


    Remember a time when you thought
    you would live forever,
    you were immortal.

    Well, we can offer you
    that time again,

    that time without wrinkles,
    you felt not tiredness,
    but joy reaching the summit,

    your mind was not dull,
    and blunted but sharp
    and alive.

    When you could make a difference.
    We  offer you
    that time again.

    You’re welcome to visit
    and feel the difference
    at any of our shops,

    or look online, experience
    the virtual models
    of you at your best.

    Terms and conditions apply.

    (From “The Spermbot Blues”, OpPRESS, 2017)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    A So Last Year

    on trend,
    style conscious,
    old school ,
    need not want
    is invention
    to makes me buy more.

    There was once only one
    suit, tie, shoes,
    golden age that never existed.

    I’m suggestible to better,
    faster, cleaner, sexier,
    leaner, easier.

    Pure impulse. I kid myself
    It’s all deliberated,
    considered, thought through,
    that I’m reasonable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Choices

    We can watch the ads
    that air like heartbeats
    before viral videos
    during news or bad sit com reruns
    we can inhale the small print
    the fast talker spewing
    tales of disease and death
    side effects to life
    in the passing lane
    of twenty-first century pharma
    whose lobbyists build
    artificial islands in the ocean
    from whence they will come
    to bury the quick and the dead
    right after we talk to our doctors
    about the newest tetra-recyclable
    pseudo-opioid topical cream
    to apply to any symptom
    for a complete revival
    of ancient natural biomes
    in the bowels of our bowels.

    Or we can stop the movement
    from wallet to Wall Street
    bank to brokers
    hand to mouth
    go for a walk sing a song
    paint a picture throw a baseball
    skate from here to there
    play the piano or even the drums
    bake a cake chop kohlrabi into salad
    build a fence for the chickens
    swim to Penny Island and back
    take deep breaths in quiet rooms
    until Roman candles release
    clouds of butterflies
    that completely engulf
    the labs dissolve the white coats
    turn back the chemical clock.

    Cue the rainbow.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. . no horizontal line .

    early it came,where there are no roads, no silent killer.

    spinning. set me free. let me see swallows return to


    let us cause a reaction, turn our heads quickly. no one

    is looking, there is no one here. we are not afraid of

    the night.

    we spin.

    soft cottons, whimsy thread, mothlike.

    turn about hour on hour. your time is


    we spin.

    to spite silent killers.


    (written for those with out understanding)


    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks Jamie….the first response

    .. small item ..

    what you see is magnified.

    they leave here larger than life,
    petrified in their own forests.
    scan beds and lens.

    light the cracks, the boxes.

    tie the books closed, leather
    bound, broken, words lost.

    boxes can be opened to


    Liked by 2 people

  6. denimous snake

    there was a ne’er-do-well who lived nearby,
    his smile the potting soil his words the sphagnum,
    he beamed and charmed the chicks, the milfs, the spry,
    and toasted conquests with a well-chilled magnum.

    with jeans and opal-buttoned shirt and hat
    he two-step-swept the younguns into bed,
    and played with fiery reds, and blondes, and flat-
    blacked glossless goth girls, poor to topdrawer-bred.

    one found he’d used an alias with her
    but on the fly he cooked a quick excuse
    and soon he moved to who was more demure,
    less gullible, and up for frequent use.

    he’s down and out now, old and full of grief–
    not quite a rapist. certainly a thief.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Yes, still there. I have enjoyed this poem of yours very much for the way the words sound, for the elaborate use of language and metaphors. However, I have had to look up many words (remember, English is my third language!), and I don’t really understand the whole poem, but I like it very much.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Forgive if this is a repost – it doesn’t let me know

    Jamie – This should be an interesting round!

    Encore over and over

    Free trial offer
    1-800 holds all the secrets
    3 easy steps to whatever you’re looking for
    4 pills to increase the places you want to grow
    or reduce those you don’t
    also increases your energy and productivity
    libido and get up and go

    every electronic was to free up time
    which is now spent tied to those same
    voluntary monitoring devices
    tracking our location, heart rate and friends

    Votes to make America Great again failed
    to determine which America that was –
    the Founding and Philandering Fathers?
    When slavery was a measure of wealth?
    When women and children of the white men
    were also chattel?
    When only property owning white men
    could vote for other property owning
    white men?
    When women were denied education,
    credit, and the right to own property?
    When children had no protection
    from abuse or labor and no
    guaranteed education?

    When Change is Possible didn’t define
    the where and what and the only real
    change was the late night show hosting
    the White House friend of Weinstein
    and the golf courses and Hawaiian
    vacation spots he would be staying
    and the increase in racial volatility
    and the lack of accountability
    because no one wanted to appear

    and the continued
    proliferation of the great pretend
    that the next election will
    be the one just the way the last
    war – whatever it was – would be the last

    and neither will ever be because
    if there is one thing we know
    it is how to repeat past mistakes
    over and over.

    So for a limited time only
    and for those reading this
    I am offering a free book – ‘3 Easy Steps
    to the Life, Family and Country You Want”
    with a free 30 day sample of supplements
    to improve you and those around you for
    just the shipping and handling costs of
    $39.95. Just send your name
    address and credit card number and
    receive this limited time free offer.
    It will prove change is possible and
    make America great again.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:


    on edges of his arms,
    frozen peas, coffee jars,
    large pack of ice cubes,
    two tins of dog food,

    Smiles as unloads it all
    on my conveyor.
    “Let me guess, you only
    came in for one thing?”

    He smiles “And I haven’t
    even got that.”

    “Shows the shop worked.”
    I offer as I blip through
    his collection. No answer
    as he fills his rucksack.

    (from a forthcoming collection called “Please Take Change”)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my first response:

    A Retail (for Mark)

    Park where your psychology is assaulted
    by money hankering aisles that say buy me,

    where all is marked up as essential, basic.
    Necessary for your wellbeing and good health.

    You travel with a list made at home,
    yet are assailed by choices symptomatic

    of freedom, of indulgence, of sensual overload.
    Tricked into a purchase that is more than you need.

    (from a forthcoming collection called “Please Take Change”)

    Liked by 2 people

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