“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Her last will and testament …

in lieu of flowers

……….please impeach

for crimes against humanity:
the no-gooders
the spin-meisters
the war-mongers
the raw-dealers
the grand-standers
the self-aggrandizing
the stallers, stalkers
and sycophants
the vampires and panderers

Thank you!

Your good sense is much appreciated by the family of the deceased and the billions of worthy people who survive her.

© 2016, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


Let us know in poem or poems what you’d like to leave as legacy or what you’d like at your funeral in lieu of flowers?

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

All poems on theme are published on the following 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 to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are 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, October 29 by 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, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.


Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the 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 Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman


  1. Hello Jamie,

    My third response:

    The Afterthoughts

    When this brain Is medically dead . will I pray I locked the door?

    or made presentable by morticians knife fret I left the Box plugged in;

    then lowered so others cast first soil or flame-grilled to fine urn ash tell myself I left the oven on;

    (From my first chapbook”The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”)

    or gladly leave this legacy a real reminder how I used to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Last Symphony

    The melodious singing of the church choir intensifies emotions replacing tears with a melancholy joy. I am on the outside peering in the dimension I vacated a week ago. In walks the bass striding to the beat of distant drums. My reasonably long life has come to an end as I prepare to make my transition. Piano lines racing and spacing…fingers flying… harmonic overtones filling in what was. I can hear the accolades,in lieu of flowers, the resolutions that say when I took Jesus in my heart was the start of new beginnings for me. Trombone sounds announce a life supreme…the tambourine marks time. I become the wife…the mother…the grandmother I should be. I am the teacher that cares for her students working diligently to enable them to succeed. I give back to the community…working to ameliorate poverty. Blue tones…chords dissonant…syncopated rhythms inspire my march against hatred…enabling me to poetically protest ignorance…racism…fanaticism…sexism and economic discrimination in the world’s richest nation. Last message to My Country Tis of Thee…choose God not money…choose God not money…choose God not money. God is LOVE! The bass takes my hand…stepping high. A crescendo of symphonic tones fills the atmosphere for God is near. Jazz stands on the horizon beckoning. The coffin is now closed on my life.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:

    O, Lady Of The Breath (Six Vacanas)

    1. You Rise

    from my forest and leave
    out of the gob and earth falls.

    It shivers renewed,

    welcomes a similar you
    into my gob.

    You excite my spring buds,
    allow the earth to rise, again.

    2. Can’t Let

    you stay long in the dark,
    or the earth will rot.

    I can’t let you out for long,
    or the earth will rot.

    Let’s follow this pattern.
    I’ll briefly allow you into my dark wood,

    But please don’t take woodsmoke, car fumes,
    coal dust, iron filings, water in with you,

    else I’ll hack you out. These companions
    quicken the rot.

    3. Help With The

    tasting snake in my cave
    form the words I need to say.

    Take my words out into air
    loud enough for others to hear.

    Please don’t say you are weak
    and can’t carry such a weight.

    Please don’t say I failed to welcome
    enough of you into the forest.

    4. My Dad Let You

    in with pungent watercolours on his back,
    stink of Clwyd cowpats and fresh mountain air,

    but when he scraped boilers you secretly
    took into his forest asbestosis strands

    that speed his rot and ruin. I can’t understand
    your thought in all of this

    5. My Sister Threw You

    out over her steering wheel,
    her forest crushed by molded plastic.

    She tried to welcome you back
    but the wood was gone,

    so you gust over her grave
    under an overseeing tree.

    O, my lady of the breath.
    I welcome your coming and going.

    6. Your Cheyne Stokes

    delay before my unconscious Nanna
    let you in.

    I waited a minute, a 10-20
    second episode of
    stopped breath

    suddenly her welcome
    let you in

    deeper and again
    deeper in and out.

    then delay

    then delay

    then delay

    her welcome of you
    and delay I watched seven days

    until she refused your entry for good.

    Gave me a legacy of breath.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello Jamie,

    My first response:


    wears piles of shoes and bags
    new white shirts never opened

    charity irons
    creases out of the forgotten

    sometimes a relative

    gives a story
    in feel of used cloth

    weighs time in threads
    how a story continues

    nothing is possessed
    If you never heard

    a previous owner

    only shoes have tongues
    fail to speak of their wearer

    except in wear

    Liked by 2 people


    She left a legacy.
    A legacy of love.
    That’s all it was,
    Simple and pure of spirit.

    She left a legacy,
    A legacy of hope.
    That’s all it was,
    Simple and pure of heart.

    She left a legacy.
    A legacy of caring.
    That’s all it was,
    Simple and pure of mind.

    She left a legacy.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks, Jamie


    I leave to each and all of you

    in equal and careful measure

    my love everlasting, ever new

    it is my only treasure

    that and hearty laughter

    shared in close and distant quarter

    may you hear it long after

    my ashes settle in the water

    when in the best of times

    with family and friends

    hear me in your laughing

    bringing hope that knows no end

    and when the time for sadness

    comes into your lonely days

    may the mystery of love once planted

    help you navigate the waves

    nothing more have I to offer

    life itself could only know

    those times of love and laughter

    and how it made a family grow.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Don’t Miss Me

    Take our times together
    and apart
    as memories to savor
    or not.

    Don’t miss me
    Take challenges for me,
    Be my eyes,
    Be my voice,
    Be my heart,

    And remember this.
    We’ll never br apart


    Liked by 2 people

  8. Smile at Fear

    for everything
    to flow in this direction.
    It’s not
    a competition.
    Wind and water may
    want to rush past
    but not when
    I have created
    a meandering path to draw them
    around corners,
    into nooks,
    leaving traces of

    In lieu of flowers,
    please sing:
    gather many
    ensembles to set
    the air
    v i b r a t i n g.

    Smile at Death
    Remember me
    in melody.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. bud and lieu

    in lieu of flowers
    have a beer
    or soda water
    sparkled clear
    or pinetop freshness
    golly gosh
    or kiss enmeshness
    (use mouth; wash)

    for when i’ve died
    and journey ends
    i’ll be relaxing
    with my friends
    who went before
    and saved a seat
    or barstool where
    we toast, complete;

    so ixnay tears
    omit that flower
    and raise your glass:
    it’s Happy Hour.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. ..the book..

    is discussed at length,
    the book is bound for

    nightmares. it starts
    early evening. retiring
    to the upper rooms

    the rags are torn ready
    to close, to bind his
    book in definitely.

    it is an inheritance.
    he talked about wills,
    put his head under the cover,


    Liked by 3 people

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