“We need four things to survive life: bread, water, oxygen, and dreams!” Avijeet Das, The Untold Diaries, The Real Entries of Five Different People, Vidushi Guptaa, Anish Talwar, Surbhi Bhalla, Deshna Jai, Avijeet Das [This book is free if you have Kindle Unlimited]


Into . . .


© 2019, Jamie Dedes


Ah, the stuff of survival: “bread, water, oxygen and dreams.”  Write a poem about one or more of these four necessities of life and …

Share your poem/s on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them. All poems on theme will be published on the first Tuesday following this post. (Please no oddly laid-out poems.)

 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, April 3 by 8 pm Pacific Standard Time.

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.



      1. Of course! I love your prompts! It makes me think and create…sometimes too much and then I realize it’s almost 8 pm your time and I have to let my baby Poem go even if I’m not ready. 😁 I hope your Stanford visit went well!

        Liked by 1 person


    Does it have to be like this? My hands trapped
    in this ectoplasmic blob. It seemed harm-
    less last night when I laid it down to rise.
    I really should have picked a simpler task:
    making sense of quantum physics, riding
    a penny-farthing in a force nine gale.

    No use now as I wrestle with this dough,
    nay, monster. First proving, I slathered you
    in olive oil. Was I too rough as I
    pounded and pummelled, stretched, stretched, stretched you out,
    a line of white intestine? Entrapment
    was your game, yet I have tamed you with my
    farinaceous hands, caressed and then reformed
    you, laid you in the tin, a baby in its cradle.

    Say not that the struggle naught availeth
    as the firm, warm bread nestles in my palms.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. B eginnings beauty brim bounty

    R eceiving resplendent radiant reception retention reparation

    E ternal exhale ecstasy elixir

    A bsorption acceptance awareness

    T ime ticking threshold terminus tip

    H ealing hands helping

    Liked by 1 person

  3. in solitary refinement

    guilty said
    the paper the judge read
    so the system did a trick
    it learned from the cult novel
    by cordwainer smith:

    they put a thinking cap on her
    and it imprisoned her
    for eight hours
    but due to wireless accelerants
    and virtual reality mushware
    the eight hours were as eighteen years
    for her offense was extreme

    and doing her time
    was not a walk in the park
    no “club fed”
    ghosts-or-not mocked her
    bribed ghost guards to get her alone
    packratted her with hurting things

    and she fought back
    and ended up in solitary
    bread and water only
    (plus oxygen)
    (plus dreams)

    she found though
    that virtuality had its virtues
    the bread could be any bread
    the water any water
    and so she feasted
    pumpernickel dense as brick
    cinnamon toast richly steaming
    lavosh pita arrowwheat
    and she slaked
    smartwater dumbwater sparkling cold

    and her oxygen’s purity could be amped
    and her dreams could be imagineered
    she could dance with Fred
    sojourn through oz
    change endings
    create worlds

    so she asked that her term of solitary “confinement”
    be extended indefinitely
    and the mushware obliged

    eighteen seeming years were up
    she had learned who she was
    what she wanted
    and the rudiments of a new trade

    she woke
    and marvelled at disappearance
    of liver spots and despair
    she was indeed free
    bore no burdens
    no grudges
    and no guilt

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fifth response:

    Three Bread Crumbs


    Christ passes a Bakers shop,
    smells new bread,
    Says to disciples
    ” Fetch us a loaf.”

    The Baker says
    “Thas nowt for free here.
    Get him to miracle up his own”
    Bakers wife
    and six daughters
    secretly stuff couple of loaves
    in disciples bag.

    For this Christ sets them
    in spring sky
    as Seven Stars

    He makes the baker a cuckoo
    the Dusty Miller,
    who so long as he sings in Spring
    St. Turbutius Day to St. Johns
    can see his bright wife and daughters
    warm the night.


    Me Mam dies as she gives birth,
    to sis and I.
    Our new mam murders us.
    Feeds our cooked sinew and muscle
    to our dad. Separates heart and bones,
    crams rest beneath
    gables of our home.

    Buries our heart and bones
    in a hole in a tree,
    that coddles us.
    Our bones lock our refreshed hearts
    in a new cage, so we fledge
    in dusty grey feathers.

    We fly to local miller’s
    pick up a millstone
    in our strong beaks

    let it fall as we fly
    our new mother
    whose blood and bones
    grind beneath its weight.


    After my sis and I disappear,
    Christ knocks on Dad’s door

    Says, ” I’m parched mate,
    can tha spare a drop
    of thee water.”

    Our Dad brings stranger
    a cup of fresh water.

    As he sups Christ says:
    “Tha looks badly, cocker.
    What’s up with thee?”
    Our Dad says ” Me kids
    are no where to be seen.
    Pain right here says they’re
    both dead.
    I miss them summat chronic.”

    “Aye, it’s a bad going on.
    Perhaps, next Spring
    from East gables of this place
    tha’ll see summat
    to buck thee up.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fourth response:

    The Terminal

    Stretched thin
    he spits out
    of his car door
    as I get in,

    and we drive out
    the short stay
    carpark below
    the train station.

    “What are you
    going to do
    day I die?”
    he asks. I tell him
    what I need to know.

    “Oxygen tanks are no use
    as they don’t
    increase surface
    of my lungs that

    take in oxygen.
    Doctors can do no more.”
    Dad replies.
    My dad collapses into himself

    disappears into black hole
    in space
    of his lungs on
    where there is
    no oxygen

    for his brain
    or heart,
    only coughs
    to loosen phlegm
    for the spit bag,

    he carefully seals air tight.

    (From a forthcoming collection of my late dad’s drawings and paintings and my writings about him, No title as yet)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    Clear Plastic Tube

    in both her nostrils

    a tiny woman
    with wavering voice

    says “If you can
    put these in this bag

    I’ll put some in my trolley.
    It’s not a shopping trolley.

    It’s for my oxygen tank.
    Shouldn’t worry.”

    (From my latest collection called, “Please Take Change, Cyberwit.Net, 2018)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:


    Below a sunset or rise of mountains

    a load of bull

    eyecatches a celebration
    of blue and red fish
    and smiling,

    I or you ride the flight
    of one fishback
    hold the other fish
    in hollow of an armpit
    Between waterholes of words.

    Taste the fresh water verbs
    Salt water star shine.
    We are skyfish rode
    By reader or viewer

    We are two fishes tethered by smiles
    of smaller fish.

    A brown fish mouth agape
    rests a fin on a waterholes side
    to watch our fishback ride.

    (From my forthcoming collaboration with Iranian artist Hiva Moazed, called “Fish Strawberries”)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fist response:

    This Value Of Water

    as I wet my Nanna’s mouth
    with a tiny bud of wool

    she lies half in this world
    half in another unseen.

    My hand fetches water from the well
    of the cup, every time my eyes

    notice cracks appear in softness,
    dry earthquakes open soil

    like her trowel levers earth open
    for the receipt of a seed or flower.

    (From my collaborative collection with Dutch artist Marcel Herms, “Port Of Souls”, Alien Buddha Press, 2018|

    Liked by 1 person

Thank you!

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