Not Quite Fatal, a poem … and Your Next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring



The world feeds on maggots, the
Grubby leftovers of once promising
Civilizations, their streets noisy and
Congested, sickening but not quite
Fatal, at least not quickly so, and the
Company of angry neighbors and those
Mercenaries, stealing the lands of other
Peoples, hate and recrimination are the
Justifications, and no one can surrender
Shadows, projections, offenses of the “other”
Pain, resentment, for whom is it the worst?
All part of our identity tag, our “who
Would I be if it weren’t for …. ?”

© 2019, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity are threats that combine to become even more insidious with the current zeitgeist of fear, racism, war, conflict, and genocide, all supported by hate and tradition, the Hatfields and McCoys writ large. What would happen, I wonder,  if we agreed to a world-wide emotional detoxification event, an international soul healing day? What would happen if we were to unite in letting go of the hatreds, resentments, and pains that define so many of us and that we’ve inherited? What would happen if we agree to a shared stewardship of the Earth? How might things change? Would things get better? Would we just find new offenses to impose, new things to chew on? I know that’s a lot to ponder, but these concerns are on all our minds anyway. What are your thoughts? There’s a lot of latitude here as always, but nothing that promotes hate or violence please. Tell us in your poem/s and

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
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Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.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, August 19 by 8 pm Pacific 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.

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ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Five by Jamie Dedes, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 11, 2019) / This short story is dedicated to the world’s refugees, one in every 113 people.

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group / Beguines, pushers of The BeZine of which I am managing editor. Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or commissions.

48 thoughts on “Not Quite Fatal, a poem … and Your Next Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Respected Jamie Ji wishing you all the best of everything beautiful peaceful lovely healthy in all Allah’s grand world. With a heavy heart and mind I am sharing some thoughts here. Your encouragement and inspiration to write is profound and much appreciated.Stay blessed with joy and love always amen.

    Not Quite Fatal

    Blindfolded by mother’s soft hands not blinded yet by pellets,
    I can find my way up the hills, I can feel the mountains, hear the
    song of the cool stream, sense the moaning of
    the trees, be shaken by falling thuds of dead bodies
    and listen to the hard footsteps of occupation,
    I am deaf to shots ringing every now and then,
    life gives pain, life goes on the injuries bleed

    not quite fatal

    brought forth in darkness, surely for a purpose
    I know not light, nor the graceful glide of the
    flight, with wings spread out full breadth, ‘away
    away,up and down, how how long will Aeolus
    carry me, and how far, as space above I know,
    but not beyond the hill,or else I will lose my wings
    fall I will,crippled, disabled, the wound will be

    not quite fatal

    speak of letting go’ of emotional detoxification’ and ‘letting in
    love peace forgiveness joyful togetherness with kindness’
    were we not guided? were we not warned ? were we not told
    of good and bad and reward and punishment ? Alas’ it is us-
    ungrateful we remain thankless mindless careless,making fuss,
    brutal anger reigns supreme,each one thinks’ he is the best,thus
    create conflict, commit genocide, take over if not given, rape’ it is

    not quite fatal

    born behind barbed wires, blinking weakly in spreading light,
    freedom’, a gift of nature yet to be received,lagged behind like a
    snail,blackouts and bullets won the race,on land and in space,
    All Cities are Unreal Cities’ All faces prepared to meet ‘other faces’
    Humans love to act wild, love the power of command and control
    so make way’ but do not call’ Come’ under the shadow of the red rock,
    The Will is to Kill ‘ that is the thrill’ have fun,play the game, its just a game

    not quite fatal
    not quite fatal

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Jamie, the first time I posted this, it didn’t show up, so I’m posting again. Please forgive me if I’ve somehow posted it twice!

    One

    It’s a continental drift of thought-drops
    when opiate ideas carve the sky,
    land and all that ripples between.

    It’s a sinking of reverence when
    obsessive order regresses into
    cataloguing creation on your finger-

    tips with too many birds snared in hand.
    How do we salve fragile existence when
    hairline cracks web porcelain minds?

    You spin circles raising the ghost of history,
    reflecting deep its rise and fall, breathe in
    breathe out, the inside and outside are one.
    A glimmer of light still strains through

    the gathering haze, within and without,
    while the earth gently prods us it’s
    spinning out of antidote and time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One

    It’s a continental drift of thought-drops
    when opiate ideas carve the sky,
    land and all that ripples between.

    It’s a sinking of reverence when
    obsessive order regresses into
    cataloguing creation on your finger-

    tips with too many birds snared in hand.
    How do we salve fragile existence when
    hairline cracks web porcelain minds?

    You spin circles raising the ghost of history,
    reflecting deep its rise and fall, breathe in
    breathe out, the inside and outside are one.
    A glimmer of light still strains through

    the gathering haze, within and without,
    while the earth gently prods us it’s
    spinning out of antidote and time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good Monday Morning Jamie,
    Hope you enjoy my entry for this week …

    I am Unique

    We look in the mirror; see flaws.
    We don’t like what we see.

    Our skin color is darker.
    And, our countenance is mystifying.

    Trying to change into people,
    we’re comparing ourselves to.

    To create the person, hopefully, you’ll see.
    But, anger and hatred is a major ruination.

    When will they understand?

    Inside, we are good people.
    Just like them.

    Why don’t they see?

    I can’t make them value me.
    All I can do is show them.

    What I feel and what I believe.
    It’s up to them to realize my worth.

    I am unique.
    I am love.

    2019©Isadora DeLaVega

    Thank you for hosting
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jamie

    Here’s my seventh response:

    Opens To The Public, (on Andrew Farmer’s painting of the view from Cusworth Hall grounds to Doncaster.)

    In this public space let us sit
    on the grassy hillside recently cut

    by council mowers, open
    our plastic containers, our

    vacuum packed crisps,
    sip from reususable mugs,

    admire the constructed view,
    take photos of the refurbished

    Eighteenth century lake
    for our Facebook accounts,

    Like old post cards but quicker.
    Let the bairns run wild

    safe and secure, monitored
    “Molly don’t pick that up it’s dirty!”

    “Sure when us et our sarnies
    were more plagued with wasps
    and bees when I were young.”

    A church and skyscrapers rise
    from the daubed horizon like computer tabs.

    Manmade landscape manmade,
    designed and framed.

    (Featured in the “The Painter, The Poet, and The Portrait” exhibition at Doncaster Art Gallery, 2019)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my sixth response:

    Artificial

    is how things should be.
    The bloodied disturb our equilibrium.

    Skin should be cold and plastic.
    Remember a monster made us

    but now we mold ourselves
    whilst monsters are flesh, blood,

    And bone making little monsters
    that are pushed out of a dark hole

    One monster must enter another to produce
    these children. You are correctly aghast.

    I know it is the shape of your nightmares.
    Don’t worry, soon all the world will be plastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Jamie,

    My fifth response:

    The Cost Is Prohibitive

    to refreeze the poles,
    bury carbon dioxide beneath the oceans,

    to save our fellow animals extinction,
    the death of insects.

    We have to watch the pennies
    to manage this extinction event.

    The cost will be too high.
    We could bankrupt ourselves
    to save the earth.

    Is it worth becoming paupers
    to save this planet?

    Count the pennies in your purse.
    Count the lives in your hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fourth response:

    The Annoyance Of Flies

    is the thing I miss most.
    A buzz of irritation landing
    like a single tickle
    on the skin,
    not even a continuous tickle

    then the awful thought of where
    it landed last where it accumulated
    potential disease so you swat,

    and it returns
    and returns
    till now when it never returns.

    and spiders die, birds die.
    Never to return. The annoyance
    of things that will never return.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    What use poetry when it floods?

    As waters rise above your threshold,
    dampen what work you had achieved,

    wash away the efforts of days.
    All possessions beyond repair,

    family photographs curl, float away,
    only your memories in your head,

    only the effort in your sinew and bone,
    beat of your heart to help a neighbour

    into a rescue boat. Hard to count your blessings,
    as if someone has died, anger at authority

    who failed to see it, resignation at losses,
    adamant determination you shall not be beaten,

    by the sodding weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello Jamie! Another thought provoking prompt! This one was inspired by a comment from Shaun Jex who joined in your prompt a few weeks ago. It is a “double dizain” entitled:

    The Cure – not the Band but a Double Dizain

    For sale! The Ultimate Cure for your ills
It removes pride, hatred, entitlement
It heals hearts and minds as your soul, it fills
But I don’t say this for my amusement
In fact, that’s the cure for Life’s excrement
    
Put on your fun pants, ignore the pshaw
Start with a titter, a chuckle, guffaw
The wheels start turning when you realize
That laughter, the cure-all, relaxes your jaw
So smile in the face of what you despise
    
This isn’t snake oil but conflict detox
Holster your words, your glares, your fist and gun
Your howl of hilarity will outfox
The zombies who follow the orange one
Mark Twain said laughter is the best weapon
    
Stockpile some toothbrushes, toothpaste and mints
Practice your giggles and comedy stints
Change what you can then get your wheels churning
Let the arc on your face leave its imprint
The laughing cure keeps the world from burning

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Child’s Play

    I remember a game
    I played at school.

    Whisper a message
    to the girl beside you,
    shield her ear
    with your hand
    and say” Shush,
    pass it on.”

    A silly, giggly game
    I never quite understood.

    I dream, now,
    that messages
    are votive candles.

    One is ignited
    from the wick
    of the first
    and placed
    in the front window
    of every house
    in every street
    of every town
    until it’s a link
    in a chain of light
    and every country
    of the world
    is a map of earth-stars
    welcoming the lost,
    the lonely,
    the stranger.

    What if I nurtured
    this dream,
    whispered “Pass
    it on” ?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:

    Plastic

    “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 collection “Please Take Change”, Cyberwit.net, 2018)

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The Edge of Fall

    At the edge of fall when the seasons merge
    People pause in wonder at the bountiful
    gifts of color bursting in and out of life.

    As winter edges in, before the trees
    lose their leaves, they lose their shades of green.
    Burnt umber, brown, yellow, orange and red
    are colors seen now dancing in the breeze.

    This makes me wonder,
    Why do they not see the beauty
    in all the colors of skin
    skin humanity is clothed with?

    Why so difficult for everyone
    to pause in wonder at the bountiful
    gift all the colors of skin
    we burst into and out of life with?

    Why do we live on earth
    as if the colors of our skin
    is the cause of our fall?
    – June G Paul

    Liked by 2 people

  14. positivity and gratitude from LA ❤

    Werdin Alley

    cold
    concrete
    he walls
    are brick and
    yet have witnessed many things
    the stains of age are in the page
    of the city’s palm the angels speak and demons kick out in laughter
    i walk on thorns the books are long and i can’t see anything
    that breaks the spell of misery’s iron grasp
    the worried sunrise comes and shines a light that fades into the
    cracks of time in the monuments to lethargic progress and flowers bloom in
    screens of doom and shots are too quickly taken
    unlike Tokpella this alley way has finite space and we all walk
    in crippling slumber John Wayne won’t get me here
    amongst this man made thunder the blood is thin and made of ashes
    as i lay the east escapes from me
    Pahana you are over due
    canyons fell down
    life out
    of
    balance

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my first response:

    Your Damned Anthropocene

    “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”
    as Stewart Brand said, and you agreed.

    O, your presumption did not account
    for the delicacy of flesh and bone,
    the death wish of the human soul,
    even in this supposed transhuman age.

    You had an impact on my future,
    I’m not sure I forgive you.
    There is your clear signature
    in the fossil record , an observable
    sudden decline

    in the abundance and diversity of plant
    and animal life. Perhaps we should
    define your time from here.

    Did it start when we traced your pulse
    at the start of the Industrial Revolution?
    Your carbon-dioxide pulse that underlay
    what you thought was global warming.

    O, your dreams to guide mankind towards global,
    sustainable, environmental management.
    How could you see
    the juggernaut was unstoppable?

    And as we move our minds
    from this body to that,
    we do not lose the terrors of being lost,
    the night sweats of our own death.

    (From my collection “The Spermbot Blues, OpPress, 2017)

    Liked by 3 people

  16. “To Survive in a Haphazard World”

    To survive in a haphazard world
    In which good and evil are meaningless words
    To understand what is happening all around
    What has happened and what might happen or not
    To feel what is good or evil to oneself and others
    To think of what one’s done and not done
    What one might do and what one must
    To believe what one can’t think through
    And to doubt those beliefs when doubts arise
    To act when there’s no more time to think
    But to stop that action when there’s time to think
    Or it’s no longer needed,
    These are what a mind is for.

    July 26, 2019

    Liked by 3 people

  17. “On Liking Maps Too Much”

    Personally, I like maps.
    The precision of the black line boundaries,
    The colors of the bounded entities,
    And the proof that only four are needed
    To separate each entity, whether town or country.
    Like I said, I like maps, but not too much.
    Whether two-dimensional or globular,
    I’ve never come across a bound’ry line so well-defined
    Or patch of ground colored just like on the map
    On any of my nature walks.
    Besides, I don’t much care for towns or countries,
    But forests, lakes, the seas, and mountains,
    Clouds and animals, and kind-hearted people,
    Those are the beacons for my soul.
    I’d like a map to show me where
    The people are friendly and where they’re not,
    Where the place is good for raising kids,
    Where animals are treated well,
    And where the earth is well-respected.
    I don’t care if the boundary lines meander
    Like creeks and clouds are wont to do.
    This would be a map worth having –
    I’d tuck it in my travel pouch.

    July 5, 2019

    Liked by 3 people

  18. “Used to Be”

    Used to be
    Evil was more personal.
    You had to be there to do it.
    Now just somebody doing his job
    (Someone has to do it).
    A small child all curled up
    Hugging the floor
    Because there’s nothing else to hug
    Thinking maybe that will protect him
    Feed him.
    An old woman
    Survived the Holocaust
    The concentration camps
    The selections
    Her bare-lightbulb
    Peeling walled room
    Filled with shiny new exercise equipment
    Carrot peelers turkey stuffers satellite radios back scratchers
    And other stuff she didn’t need
    Because she couldn’t say no
    To the nice lady on the phone.
    The trees being cut down
    And people cows factories and cars
    Blowing carbon into the sky
    Til the last one of us drops breathless
    To the ground he made great again
    While our world went to hell.
    Used to be good
    Though there always was some evil
    But you could always see it coming
    From a mile or two away
    And the world was always greater.

    June 25, 2019

    Liked by 3 people

  19. “Isaiah 2:4”

    In times of great evil such as ours
    There are no prophets like Isaiah
    To block our paths to self-destruction.
    It is the end of days for godless religions
    And men will beat their plowshares into swords
    And pruning hooks into spears again
    And children will learn war once more
    And they will walk in darkness
    Believing it is light
    But when it comes
    The light will shake the earth.

    June 15, 2019

    Liked by 3 people

  20. “To Be Human”

    Poets, philosophers, and even scientists
    Have wondered what a human is,
    I mean precisely what,
    And so, I offer ever so humbly,
    Though it may be riddled with loopholes,
    Non-sequiturs and insufficiencies,
    My poor view of what a human may well be
    Whether or not one is made of blood and flesh,
    Walks upright or can construct a proper sentence:
    First of all, a human should be in possession of humanity,
    That is, being sentient of what goes on around oneself
    And caring for the sentience of other beings
    Whether they bear one’s likeness or not.
    Humanity is not a single thing with thumbs and brain
    But a great chain of being extending
    Far back to some imagined Eden
    And forward to worlds beyond imagination.
    Lastly, humanity is not measured by what one knows
    But how honestly one deals with one’s ignorance.
    A human might be able to whittle it down a bit
    But it will always be infinite.

    June 15, 2019

    Liked by 3 people

  21. :: next wednesday 29 ::

    speech.

    simple notes, there is much discussion now, where the place used to be pure quiet and acceptance.

    it seems to him that talking does not get the job done. gently balancing wool. words fall .

    we had gathered here before to watch the weathering. referendum come and gone with fury.

    speech

    fails us.

    simple notes. none rise higher than the one next.

    to you, to me, this may not be

    the acceptance

    expected.

    sbm.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. :: this is a new story ::

    where.

    where does collaboration work? here.

    with you, you, you and you, i have named you

    before.

    with tags and capitals, links and other stable

    placings.

    i was only stitching. a steady hand. it was an offer,

    happily accepted.

    i was only drawing. so we drew together. here

    & another place.

    i was only writing a, yet there are many of

    us who came together.

    we are alone, until we start working

    together.

    it comes a wider space, with mistakes and misgivings.

    nothing in this world is perfect. it is raining today. the

    washing is out.

    neighbours help.

    writers help, drawers

    line our walls with

    notes & labels. a few

    of us

    work together.

    sbm.

    Liked by 2 people

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