“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”
Immaturity, George Bernard Shaw [The Collected Works of George Bernard Shaw: Plays, Novels, Articles, Letters and Essays]

We four, we fumbled our pas de quatre on river rocks in
a faraway place of raging Hudson and an antique cloister.
No escape from mutilation but for books and theater,
old stories reborn, told in graceful moves and music made
for those with better breeding, more cultivated minds.

Home, our home, a place of first loves, unfounded hope
where simmering, Sidto* served soup to my sister,
a dark-olive girl-fugue in tar black and char dust.
In that place whirling with church spires and myrtle trees,
grimacing and breathless, we spun along twisted shores.
The mothers buried anger in silence, cold bile leaked. I
slipped, broke my ballerina legs in a premature grand jeté.
I failed to heal those fissured old hearts.

We were lost, our frenzied dabke* danced in crazy time,
passing green humid summers and silver crisp winters,
swinging the stone shackles of the earth-bound. Home . . .
At home, such a tangled skein of love and lies and ties where,
by the bogey breeze, tripping on river rocks, hysterical
imaginings, one stepped lively in Schadenfreude.

Solitary now

Alone above rainforest layers of a lyrical mind, I dance
triumphant, a pas marché on rain clouds, plumbed, bursting
with hard-won poems in roses, willow greens, and light.
With twice-found hope and tender love, I dance for them.

*Sidto (Arabic) – grandmother; Dabke (Arabic) – folk dance of the Levantine peoples 

© 2019 rewrite, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reservedIllustration courtesy of Fran Hogan, Public Domain Photograph.net.






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


  1. Love this one, Jamie. For those who live art, regardless of expectations.
    “No escape from mutilation but for books and theater,
    old stories reborn, told in graceful moves and music made
    for those with better breeding, more cultivated minds.”

    Liked by 1 person

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