Conjuring Farmhouses, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture [farming as a cultural and spiritual discipline – recommended]

still alive in memory,
sitting along country roads
wild ~

one home-place
with a view of the lake,
a sassy summer promise of trout
and, through the capacious winter,
hoary days of ice fishing,
afternoons of ice skating
with freezing fingers and toes,
nearly as inky blue
as the oncoming dusk

© 2018, Jamie Dedes

Photo credit: Farming near Klingerstown, Pennsylvania courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture. 


I’m a city girl but I know that farming is hard work. Honest I do. For years, I was in a mixed marriage with a country boy. He was from a multigenerational farm family. I learned a little of the truth about that business, just how persistent, smart and soulful a farmer has to be. Nonetheless, I seem to want to hold tight to idyllic visions of farm life, ones I imagined as we passed farms on drives through rural areas when I was a child.

I do have strong feelings about farms that are belied by the poem above, which harkens back to those youthful fantasies. I feel, for example, a sense of gratitude to the field hands and farm workers – including migrant workers – who ensure our sustenance. Their work is back-breaking – sometimes spirit-breaking – unremitting, insufficiently rewarded and unhealthy.  Healthy, sustainable farming practices that are safe for these workers, for us, and for the Earth are being fought for the world over.

This week share poem/s out of your own nostalgia, experience, impressions, gratitude, concerns, or convictions about farms, farming, or farm policy.

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, December 17 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.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.






Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently 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. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

 The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton