“Here I am alive, and it’s not my fault, so I have to try and get by as best I can without hurting anybody until death takes over.” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

There are open spaces in the plotting of a story
I print out for edit during the work hours
In the silence of creativity, a sweet lavender
lends its fragrance, color and calm
Outside squirrels skip, toddlers play
Grandmothers stand-watch in doorways,
chili stewing and stacks of tortillas, warm and
soft, rest and wait under clean kitchen towels

Spring is moving into summer and neighbors
tend their herb and vegetable gardens
They imagine the yield dressed in salads
They’re willing to share the harvest with friends
A world away soldiers download ordnance
synchronized to the hum and click of my printer
Bodies fall, hearts stop, eyes water and
the manuscript is blue-pencilled* by rifle fire

© 2018, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

* For the younger generation: back in the day light blue pencils were used to note corrections to writing because they would not show up in the reproduction process. This is rarely seen now that we use computers for production.


What would the world look like if we called a global moratorium on murder, torture, separation, and starvation?  How might we get to such a place ?  How would the story of the human race change? Tell us in your poem/s.

Share them on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them. All poems on theme are published on the following Tuesday.

 No poems submitted through email or Facebook will be published. 

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, February 4 by 8 pm standard.

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. ..the burning..

    he said the flames

    came over the trees.

    behind the buildings.

    bombed the buildings.

    so do not wonder why

    i don’t play soldiers,

    lay them down to die.

    he says that i will not battle,

    i am no good at it.

    too peaceful. i can play



  2. He came to the end of the road,
    looked left and looked right,
    He feared looking forward.
    His father once said,
    Endings are beginnings
    Concealed as doors,
    and hidden from view, so,
    Seek your way through.
    But these doors were murky,
    Hard and impervious,
    Stained with blood and bone
    by the scratching of nails on
    the aged worn wood,
    yearning for freedom,
    tears have etched trails, with
    deepening grooves of sadness,
    in its woody worn frame.
    These are days to remember,
    Not days to forget.
    Solemnly he gazed
    into his Father’s vacant eyes,
    and sighed,
    We’ll find a way through.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Noonday Place

    Where are you going son?
    To the Noonday Place Papa.
    Where’s that son?
    Where the sun shines!
    And where the light lives!
    The light Son?
    Yes! the light!
    Where the children play!
    It’s a living place Papa,
    A living place?
    Yes papa!
    No hurting, no fighting
    No guns.
    Where the flowers bloom
    Where the birds sing
    Where the rivers run.
    Is that all son?
    Is that all you need?
    Yes Papa.
    Alright Son
    Thy will be done.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dew unto others

    suddenly dew
    turned blue and combusted
    trustworthy wherewithal
    came with the aerosol

    all who breathed hue
    once spewed-hate-encrusted
    dusted off bigotry
    shed their misanthropy

    new things to do
    included feasts mustered
    for clusters of needy
    and all were ungreedy

    arcadia stew
    and utopia custard
    frustrated our devils
    and we reached new levels

    all due to a psychologist
    and major-league geneticist
    and freejack climatologist
    enacting armagenesis

    her name was diana
    euglena endora
    late of tijuana
    born in bora bora

    when asked of the process
    she wasn’t specific:
    “i alchemized raw cess
    found in the pacific

    “a punster’s emotion
    bears brunt/onus/blame
    for making an ocean
    live up to its name.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Of course I have Ravel playing in the background, his music inspires me. So I’m reading this lovely poem lilting to the music 🙂 Loving the smells and dancing squirrels 🙂 BAM! You might as well have shot me. Still reeling, tears in my eyes. Jamie Dedes you know how to touch people. I should say thanks. For now I’ll gather myself, try to take it all in and respond. 💜🌼

    Liked by 1 person

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