“Rich Lazarus! richer in those gems, thy tears,
Than Dives in the robes he wears:
He scorns them now, but oh they’ll suit full well
With the purple he must wear in hell”
Richard Crenshaw (c.1613-1649), English cleric, teacher, metaphysical poet, Steps to the Temple. Sacred Poems, Delights of the Muses (1646)

the unconscionable dance in the canyons of power,
lined with megalithic buildings, the edifice complex
of the spin-meister’s lie, that the demigods can do
anything – anything – walking this asphalt valley

a parade, flailing lemmings trussed and trusting their
die-cut dreams to the pitiless whim of the military/
industrial/medical alliance, whose war-cries are of
greed and arrogance, believing they’ll live forever,
today’s sovereignty, tomorrow’s guarantee. But it’s

all delusion – cultures die and the hope-crushing
architects of cuts and austerity measures are like
the rich man in the Lazarus story, there’ll be
some kind of backlash, some kind of hell to pay …

© Jamie Dedes

 © 2010, Jamie Dedes; photo credit,1930 breadine sculpture at the FDR memorial courtesy of Peter Griffin, Public Domain


Theme: Austerity Measures

The phrase “austerity measure” isn’t used as much now as it was when I wrote this poem, but that injustice by other name or unnamed is still an injustice and it’s one that is happening all over the world.

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

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, November 12 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



    The rush of racing society,
    The red, bloody riots,
    The protesting children,
    And teetering wars,
    On an eternal

    On the stretching streets,
    Lonely, curious, needy,
    Men, Women and Babies,
    The need for survival.
    See the inquiring eyes
    Plucked out.

    Oh Run! Grasping
    the veil of ignorance,
    The hurt is stinging,
    Stomachs are Pits of Hell!
    Hide Society’s shame,
    In Histories
    bottomless well…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Licking wounds ain’t penicillin, No
    It ain’t dinner cause you feed me a line.
    Don’t lower the bar, gift me keys to a car
    I swear ya’ll tryin to keep a girl blind!

    I have seen poverty
    Handed down

    Abuse and affliction
    But I tell you, little sister,
    We must start a fire

    Burn it down
    In the guise of assistance

    Oh, I am talking revolution

    Handed down
    Inner fire, explosive impact
    Knowledge of your worth

    Liked by 4 people


    You say you don’t
    want war,
    Yet happenstance
    could take you there,
    Like a whispered phrase
    passed from one to another,
    becomes a monster in the end.
    Time will tell if perchance
    we fall again
    into another hell……..
    With fear to guide them
    instead of Peace….

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The Answer I fear

    Who are you
    that seeks supremacy
    by discarding your soul,
    and condemning
    men, women and children
    in aid of your success.
    Is it your fear?
    Your fear of threat,
    That leads you to chance?
    And your sons and daughters
    to starvation and death?
    The Answer I fear is YES………..

    Liked by 3 people

  5. . no comfort .

    squirm with fear and emotion, at what is written.

    freeze at the next sentence, it has nothing to

    do with you.

    laugh yet is it with nervousness?

    these are new remarks, a new way to learn.

    a group of friends here, it is the new laws

    that cause discomfort.

    the type of coffee is reduced,

    all in lower case.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. ..irony..

    oddly rhymes with posterity


    the irony

    how can they make such rigid stuff
    from soft wools

    take the thing then
    harden it.

    they say it will last a lifetime

    hold its own


    in the cold frozen

    the code will not work,

    nor will the counting with interruptions

    austerity rhymes

    with irony

    not posterity

    Liked by 5 people

  7. in order

    in order for us to afford you
    a chunk of you must go to war
    a chunk will return
    with some chunks gone and yearn
    for the nonhellish sweettimes of yore

    thus we make and deploy stocks of ordnance
    and our colonels and sergeants show spine
    for their new marching orders
    defending the borders
    and plumping that fine bottom line.

    Liked by 5 people

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