“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays, Wendell Berry [recommended]

Monsters rose from scenes gone by
And things once green lie down and die
While hoary sighs from glaciers stream
Mountains shiver in warming steam
Bays, gulfs and oceans wealth abort
As oil spills spew, smother and thwart
And man leaves earth in sad deface
His husbandry a vast disgrace

Note: I generally dislike rhymed poetry and don’t particularly care for this. No idea why it came out this way but it does say what I want it to say. Please always feel free to respond in your own way and style to prompts.  If you like rhyming poems, go for it.  

© 2016, poem and illustration, Jamie Dedes, All right reserved


I’ve had some requests for more prompts on environmental issues. So, as we dig into the new year and kick-off with the first prompt of 2019, I pulled this poem originally published 2016 (though I actually think I wrote it after the 2010 Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill) to get us going. The theme is simply “Environment.”  You may address it from whatever perspective you choose.  We’ll leave it pretty broad this week and see where Spirit moves us.

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 thepoetbyday@gmail.com 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, January 21st 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


  1. Happy New Year!

    Global Harming

    we’re crossing the desert in sandals
    across new Antarctica
    camels follow with our packs
    it feels like southern Florida

    before the ocean rose and drowned
    the people near the shore
    and then receded sixty miles
    creating quite a lore

    to be recited by old timers
    beginning with remember when
    there was water in these here parts
    now there’s sand up to our shins

    we’d swim and fish—those were the days
    they’d tell the children listening
    to magical times when people were wet
    coming from deep water glistening

    It’s just a fairy tale, we know
    the children refuse to believe it
    like so many of us long ago
    hearing the global warning bit

    slow but sure the changes came
    spring slush replaced the snow
    low temps in seventies everywhere
    and gale winds would always blow

    but we were brave and kept our cars
    kept digging for petroleum
    concern belonged to the next generation
    never mind the panic symposium

    so here we are just like they said
    dry and hot as old Florida
    in our sandals with our camels
    crossing the new Antarctica.


  2. Hi Jamie, I wrote this one some time ago and hoped I hadn’t shared it with you previously!

    Gayle xo


    I hear your voices
    calling from your home
    in the aquatic depths,
    where seas undulate
    in constant motion
    steered by the moon.

    My soul dives and
    spins within your
    hearts. I merge
    in your silence
    and rejoice in
    the gift
    that is the ocean.

    O Wise Whale
    your tears mix
    with countless
    others as you
    survey the
    destruction of
    your briny birthplace.

    O Great Reef
    dwelling place
    and protector
    for so many,
    your quiet
    decline has not
    gone unnoticed.

    Stars gaze with
    compassion and
    patience hoping
    that something
    will shift and turn
    the tides.

    Gales whip along
    the waves, pick up
    the disquiet and
    carry it to shore.

    The Trees shudder
    and the news
    ricochets off the
    mountains and
    circles the globe.


  3. A Lullaby of Fear

    Oh, Mother Earth,
    The children cried,
    Please stay to hear
    our lullaby.

    Oh, Mother Earth
    Think not
    that they
    decry your hopes,
    Your loves
    and dreams,
    For they are
    But a pawn
    And die from
    Greater things,

    “like why the sea
    Is boiling hot
    And whether pigs
    have wings”

    The sky
    is fraught with
    other things,
    guns are bought
    And red would bring,
    The joyless sound
    Of endless things
    To end our days
    Of everything.

    Oh My dear
    It is quite clear,
    Why you should hear
    The child’s cry,

    “a lullaby of fear”.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thankyou for you kind words. I’ve just now seen your comment. Bell had others things than my internet connection on their mind. On my Blog I included the title song from BLESS THE BEASTS AND THE CHILDREN. A very haunting song and I highly recommend the book. by Glendon Swarthout.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    A Mobile

    is in the shape
    of small graves
    for children
    who mine the precious
    metal inside
    that make it work
    and I look
    Into the screen
    to stay connected
    but do not see
    their gritted lives
    as they haul
    the valuable
    out of the hole
    and the world
    has never been
    so connected
    by the small grave
    I carry in my pocket.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Jamie,

    My second response:

    This Brash and Burn

    1. To Burn Brash

    Sat back barked.
    Small insects crawl
    down tree stretched above
    inhabit hair
    worn gloves
    bruised brashed branches

    Breathe wet peat,
    damp soil, leaf decay,
    autumn dead leaf dance,
    spring bluebell wend
    summer sacred stainglass
    canopy sunshaft play
    winter heavesnow clear paths

    Sat back barked
    canopy leaf horizon
    floats shimmers


    2. Our Wombwell Boxed

    Lift small boxes wooden lid smell
    broadleaved woodland
    before rail/road
    Press plastic button hear
    Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Woodpeckers,
    before rail/road.

    Press plastic button watch
    Videowalk ancient Beech, Oak, Birch
    before rail/road.

    Electronic ringtone.

    We would like to advise all visitors
    The museum is closing soon.
    Please exit through main door.
    We hope you have enjoyed your visit.
    Please come again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my first response


    “Do you want a carrier bag, sir?”
    “I friggin don’t. Clog up the seas

    with plastic all over. Even in fishes,
    birds and what not. It’s all our fault.

    Even down to microscopic. Seeps
    Into food we eat I bet. Plastic folk

    poisoning friggin world we live in.
    No, I’ve got my own bags thankyou.

    I won’t be one that kills the friggin world.
    Here can you put them in here, lad?”

    From my new collection”Please Take Change”, Cyberwit.net, 2018

    Liked by 2 people

  7. suss stain

    suss: perceive
    stain: a blemish
    rape: maliciously thieve
    muck: a substance phlegmish

    a nest befouled
    unauked unowled
    undodoed just a smidgen
    unpassengered of pigeon

    we suss the stain but soon make more
    and drop the stools of detriment
    and sculpt and knob the hellgate door
    with manufactured excrement

    Liked by 2 people


    The moon scatters the light it has stolen
    out of vanity, cycling round us in
    its futile effulgence. Earthworms harvest
    the autumn’s leaves, enriching the crust, thin
    below the dwindling branches where we sit
    and watch the axes hew the trunk and slash.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. .this arid land.
    water flows down this valley. wind blows

    round our houses.i have said it before.yet

    seems that those who should know better,

    talk of gods, may judge the people .

    live in remote places.

    between mountain, sea. the land becomes


    this arid land.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. .seeds for the future.

    have you collected seeds of many years packed labelled dated

    do you have them now in boxes

    a gift from those who love

    they will bring work joy an independent air

    profound gifts

    for those who care

    have you
    leaned by the window cold

    thought that if snow falls it may land

    if trees grow it may be up

    if we all plant seeds they may be food


    deserves praise yet should come as natural

    there may be too many additives these day

    not enough honesty grown

    she said i should have something new in the greenhouse.

    i have

    i said, and thought of you


    planted the seeds

    Liked by 3 people

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