Central Park, San Mateo, CA

“Coach said. “the quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor”.” Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian [Young Adult Book/recommended]

at sunrise with its shmears of
cream cheese clouds against
the quince-colored morning light,
Mrs. Goldberg is out of bed ~
a military tactician in war-time
no dust-bunny is safe, every
grease spot enzyme-bombed,
her wash thrashed by machine,
then hung or folded, put in place,
her windows wiped, her floors scrubbed,
and woe betide wee crawling creatures,
so intent is Mrs. G on genocide

© 2014, Jamie Dedes

Note: I have shared this poem as part of a prompt before, but the theme was to write about a neighbor. Here it is again – slightly revised – and the theme this time is “excellence.”


There are people you know  – perhaps a grandparent or parent or a teacher or coworker – who do their chosen work with such grace, finesse, and precision that they simply captivate you. Tell us how they work, why that makes them admirable; or tell us about your struggles to do something well, perhaps your writing, a sport, cooking, gardening, or teaching.


  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no essays, stories, or other prose

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, June 17 by 8 pm Pacific Daylight Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check ​The Time Zone Converter.

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.


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.

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



  1. Hello Jamie! My poem is below.

    Lola’s Magic – A Ghazal

    When Lola arrives, it’s hard to deny there’s magic
The children happily sigh, “It’s magic!”

    My tween can whisper secrets in her ear
Lola – my spy who can pry – hush magic!

    My sweet girl’s dollies all need a cuddle
Lola’s arms wide like the sky – hug magic

    Train engineer boy with curious spark
Lola answers all the why’s – smart magic

    The toddler is whining, “No” is his word
Lola’s sweet talks – he complies – bribe magic!

    Then quiet, they gather around her chair
Lola gives sweets on the sly – bad magic!

    Homemade dinner, there’s so much to clean up
Lola’s sink is spotless, dry – clean magic

    I’m exhausted, drained, this job is so hard
Lola’s shoulder, allows me to cry – mom magic

    (FYI – Lola means Grandmother is Filipino/Tagalog)

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Okay. PLEASE only put the poem in comments. No links. Thanks! I’m not taking art of photo from sites. I’m just now getting cause up after the Zine work and hospital, so I don’t know what all is here yet.

          Liked by 1 person


    It must be fun, to own a goat,
    To buy a boat, to stay afloat,
    To see a tree, walk on its knees!
    But Oh! My golly! Oh!
    To see a tree, walk on its knees?

    It must be great to stay up late,
    To watch a monkey roller skate,
    To see a book, get up and look?
    But Oh! My golly! Oh!
    To see a book, get up and look?

    It would be nice to have a castle
    To own a tall giraffe named Basil
    To see a deer playing bongos!
    But Oh! My golly! Oh!
    To see a deer, playing bongos?

    It must be nice to have a car
    To make the distances less far,
    It would be fun to know tomorrow
    From a crystal ball you borrow,

    It’s just the images we create
    To give us patience
    To sit and wait……….

    Jen Goldie

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Flight

    Distances are much shorter now,
    Time flies on wings aloof
    Tall isn’t tall anymore
    What happened to my youth?

    Young means twenty minutes is forever,
    A mile is around the world and back
    Tall is Dad at five foot eight
    How did I miss the attack?

    Something came and stole my youth
    Time and distance is the proof
    Maybe when my time runs out
    I’ll know just what it’s all about.

    Jen Goldie


  4. Gramma

    Now, here you go
    she’d smile with a wink,
    as she handed out
    apples she’d cleaned
    In the sink,
    A comforting hand
    A heart warming hug
    and gramma would smile
    and glint with a shrug
    A scrape on the knee?
    oh dear, let me see
    with the warmth in her eyes
    and the love in her touch
    the scrape that you got
    didn’t hurt very much.
    Run along she would say
    It’s a great day to play,
    but don’t go too far!
    There’s buns in the oven
    and cookies in jars, then,
    with a warm loving hug
    and comforting smile,
    she’d send you outside
    to play for awhile.

    Jen Goldie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Life with a Perfectionist

    Every night she would hear the blame
    The kitchen floor is dirty it means one
    who works here is the same,
    better keep it clean,wash it every night
    wipe it dry then you may think of rest or sleep’

    soon such instructions felt like insults-
    was she dirty lazy careless incapable one
    or a free forsaken donated handed over,given
    for good, home and house worker, cleaning woman-
    why life’s meaning sank so low,was it just common?

    soon these thoughts would slip from the mind
    as a new day dawned, acceptance quickly sank in
    ‘ he has a mania for cleanliness’ ‘ hunger for food
    crazy love for movies’ values of life die in a dust bin’
    line between love care, and sharing is so thin’

    more is revealed as cushions lineup on the sofa
    spoons forks knives must be separate in the holder
    no dust on any table chair desk shelf or cupboard
    car, shoes polished, clothes ironed, crease less
    bed covers, slippers joined,glasses placed with pens

    wrist watch, now mobile phone,must be untouched
    three dishes at meals three kinds of fruit at least
    tea pink and salty is must, puffs from the Only Old
    bakery in the old inner city narrow street shop
    dinner time seven thirty, no tea at that hour allowed

    for all, to be dressed spic and span hair cut and set
    no extra talk or questions,driving speed at will by choice
    other person to give way, no traffic police should this way
    even look, all ways are my ways’,books for show, display
    no row in disarray, set all with pain or be ready never to

    see your book again- and so perfection came in way
    of ‘good enough’ and peace’ -how to be artistic, who
    could be original, perfection may be excellence ‘ but
    would you rather have something, ‘okay’ than nothing’
    that is all perfect’


  6. With The Woman

    There’s a chiming hel-looo
    as she opens the front door,
    drops her travel bag
    and encircles us
    in her warmth.

    Our luscious, dazzling daughter
    with strawberry-kissed smile,
    double-cream cheeks
    and honey-bee eyes
    to match her lustrous hair.

    She kicks off scarlet pumps
    and curls, latte-limbed,
    on the sofa; sips black tea
    and texts a message home,
    relays love to our grandchildren.

    I admire old and new tattoos:
    butterflies, stars, swallows
    and, where a sleeve might fit,
    a crimson heart emblazoned
    fod yn ddewr.

    Do her ladies ask what it means?
    “Yes,” she laughs, “very often.”
    I hold her hands in mine.
    They’re small but strong:
    first cradle for a baby’s

    blood-stained head
    when she wears regulation blue,
    echoes the motto
    on her arm and urges
    “Be brave. One last push.”

    A poem which had been gathering dust! I shook it and edited it and thought it was a suitable response to the Prompt. Our elder daughter is a constant source of inspiration and strength to us.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    Borrowed Eyes

    ” Please can I borrow your eyes?”
    Asks the blind nightingale
    of the excellent eyed blindworm
    ” I’ve been invited to faerie wedding,
    and don’t want to look foolish.”

    After the nightingale sees bright
    colours, red, green and gold
    of the faerie occasion, he tells
    blindworm, “I cannot return
    these worlds of light, but will
    sing to you, my friend, night and day.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:

    A New Feather

    The writer searches for the perfect quill
    to make him an author of genius,
    his work lauded,
    taught in schools
    only possession
    of this object
    will make
    the work great.

    The carpenter wants a fine pillow
    Stuffed with the softest
    Gentlest down
    To complete
    His fabulous carved bed
    Made of the rarest wood.

    The comedian wants the funniest
    feather to tickle his audience
    into laughter
    that will last
    long after
    he dies.

    The cat wants the meat under
    The feather, warm
    And tender,
    In its jaws.

    The dog wants his master
    To have the bird
    He retrieves,
    For his master to be happy
    And give him treats,
    Maybe even a cooked morsel,
    Once the bird is plucked
    And cooked.

    The bird waits for his new feathers
    After his moult
    To flatter a female,
    Make him handsome,
    Nudge her with his display
    So she will bear
    His children.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. She never really wanted to be
    the best, but somehow stood out
    among the rest,

    In school in class,eagerly took
    part in collecting notebooks,
    polishing desks with wax and rags,
    laughing joking,arms never tiring,
    inking the large board black, no
    whiteboards then,

    meant hard work with joy as the
    reward, being close to the teacher
    noting the piano chord, humming
    volleyball service hits swelled her
    wrists,she still wears the support
    band and smiles as memories flood
    in, the final win and the final fall
    was the most memorable of all-

    A role on the stage in Shakespeare’s
    plays, not a Mid Summer Night’s Dream
    but real school life she took as high order
    to en wrap and enfold learning time gold
    capture every moment each story told-
    ten years flashed full of wisdom and fun
    peaceful it was all, no guard bullet or gun

    Liked by 1 person

  10. fred

    what ho daddy longlegs
    buzzing down to rio
    kinesthetic mastermind
    champagne-frothing brio

    doodling with a hatrack
    swinging rita hayworth
    tyranting ungingerly
    twenty-hour-day’s worth

    softshoe tap and ballroom
    jazzy or balletic
    conman charmer fashion plate
    sculpting an aesthetic

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Jamie,
    Here’s my first response:

    My Mam Is

    nothing if, not thorough.
    Victorian reminder on a wall
    full of telling aphorisms:

    What will the neighbours say?
    Our home shows us how
    we treat ourselves.
    Buff away grey clouds,

    bring out the blue, make every
    wood bell, crocus, daffodil
    open their flowers today,
    place a spruced up nest

    for every chaffinch, green
    and goldfinch, blackbird, dove.
    Open all windows to “freshen”.
    Clean outside and in,

    see yourself without smears.
    Tidy the memory home.
    If you can see a job needs doing,
    then do it. Why leave till tomorrow,

    something that needs doing today?
    Empty every drawer,
    cupboard, wardrobe, surface,
    scrub them clean, let spiders scurry off.

    Launder, dry on the line winter’s
    sombre deep cottons and woollens,
    neatly fold away, in freshly
    lavendered drawers.

    It shows you respect yourself.
    Rinse every item
    of crockery, cutlery,
    some unused for years.

    Return them to scoured drawers.
    Burnish copper ornaments,
    delicately brush capodimonte

    figures, feather dust top of doors,
    skirting boards, deweb high corners,
    Shine gas fire with Brasso. Polish
    tables and furniture with Rosewood

    or Lavender Pledge, all furniture pushed
    into centre of rooms, to vacuum.
    A person is what they do,
    not what they say they will do.

    Decant bookshelves,
    every book cover cleaned.
    Roll up, sling over washing line,
    slap and beat dust out of all

    rugs and doormats. Strip beds,
    turn mattresses, air sheets.
    It’s a warm spring day.
    A clean home is a clean soul.

    Bleach bath, sinks.
    Glister chrome taps. Blue toilet.
    Fragrance bathroom with Lemon.
    Defrost fridge, full milk

    bottles in a sink of cold water.
    Unload and brush out garage,
    vacuum Datsun Estate outside and in.
    Weed patio and border, cut

    straggly grass for first time this year.
    Black bag food beyond sell by dates,
    or out of fashion.
    Likewise, shine your shoes,

    pick bits off clothes,
    straighten your skirt, tie,
    tighten your belt.
    A smart person is a smart mind

    Liked by 1 person

  12. .garage.

    i do not wait for the alarm,

    just the red bar on my gauge.

    it is a quiet village, a name

    i can’t pronounce. so i stopped

    for fuel.

    how nice, an attendant, probably

    owner/mechanic came, took my

    keys and did it all for me.

    whilst chatting about the day, how

    the nights draw in, and i felt cosy.

    a softer voice than some, his clothes

    hard working.

    i asked for twenty quid’s worth

    to see me home, and a chomp

    at 25p.

    i shall stop there next time.




  13. .stitching.
    we will not have blankets,

    if there are none, take the old

    rags, layer , stitch and stitch

    by hand till fingers bleed.

    work along the coast

    with thread and diligence.

    gather wools, layer carefully,

    we shall have warmth this winter.

    we will have quilts to share.


    Liked by 1 person

  14. .balfour beattie.

    power and beauty
    stone and steel.
    rise above
    mud and wood.
    swarmed by
    worker ants.
    world without end.

    wyn is a poet.

    a visionary.
    monkeys and tigers
    stalk welsh hills
    satanic mills
    of his imagination.

    he is the blake
    of the a470.

    did he once see
    angels on peckham rye

    i expect he did, i expect.

    we will not know
    unless i ask him.

    he will tell.

    yet not when
    his colleagues
    are listening.

    he may be shy.

    balfour beatty.

    Liked by 1 person

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