Silent Life, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

The silence of the cup with water in it,

the silence of the moon

And the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

Silence, Billy Collins



Except for the scratching of my pen
I lead a quiet, almost silent life
on D Street, the second floor –
In a small, one-bedroom apartment with
Tibetan prayer flags flying on the door.
I overlook a courtyard with trees and grass and
children playing, heads stuffed with dreams.

It’s a quiet almost silent life I lead in a
second floor walk-up with a tiny kitchen.
Trees rise outside the door, birch, palm
and the raucous crows are taking over.
Still, there are sweet gentle gray doves
and a chickadee or two, maybe three.
Our resident squirrel visits, watching
through my window from his birch.

Such a quiet, tranquil life I lead here
where no bombs drop on aching roofs,
no soldiers march in heavy boots,
no occupying army enters uninvited. We
fear not for the safety of children at play
or adults walking by on daily rounds.

I lead a quiet almost silent life, but for news
squeezed between ads for haute couture,
pre-fabricated foods, and Saturday’s sales.
Reports are of tortured deaths in foreign lands
presented in measured tones, spanning a heartbeat
followed by the vapid gossip that passes for news,
delivered with breathless detailed analyses

I lead a mostly quiet almost silent life
but for the scratching of my poet’s pen.
Scratching, scratching and trying –
Trying to make sense of it all, and
Like the gentle dove, softly – 
trying to make a difference.

© 2010, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Tell us about your life and what sorts things or events make an impression on you.  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
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

PLEASE NOTE:

  • only those poems on theme and shared in the comments section under this post will be published. 


Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.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, September 9 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.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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

20 thoughts on “Silent Life, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Respected Jamie Ji

    From the Redness of Dawn to the Golden Grandeur of Dusk

    Who is it ? Ah, it wakes me again, in silence, with half opened eyes,
    I half rise shaken from oblivion, turn again, sit up, sense the darkness,
    The unseen power has put life back in me, I am fortunate but let me be
    not proud, I could be asleep for long,to miss the obligation, and be a sinner’
    but no, the power gives me time, ‘Away Away O Sloth, tempt me not in dreams
    pleasurable,in sleep drugged,for my life has a purpose,to fulfill, I must achieve.

    Express gratitude O ungrateful soul, you have wasted enough time,the sky is still
    dark,a few stars show hope,I have hope I will always have hope, I have seen
    the golden orb smile with changing colors, I will see it again,forget the mug of tea
    the sweetness of mixed fruit jam, the faint burnt aroma of toast, stand straight,bow
    and bow again,as rightly as you can, soon the birds will stat to chirp their prayer, are
    they better in faith and manner? they are, and how regular and disciplined, alas’ but

    I am not a bird, my nest is empty though, no giggles or laughter do I hear,no steps
    no songs,loneliness hovers around-Ah light appears behind the curtains,dawn breaks
    I have the gift of day, tea tastes good with honey,sip it slowly,eat a bit for just energy
    two pills now, one for hypertension,the other a blood thinner,life depends on the tiny
    red and white tablets, panic strikes when I misplace the medicine pouch, forgetful me
    now where are the reading glasses, again? well, I guess its normal at the platinum edge

    kitchen table displays the bowl of vegetables, cut and washed, awaiting my attention,
    must I cook? wish we had not lost the ‘mann o salwa’ , it’s past eleven, half the day
    slipped away,let me check the mailbox,perhaps someone remembers me there’ -nothing
    elsewhere in the world, killing, more killing,innocent killing,quarreling,arguing,commenting
    impatience,intolerance,the planet has gone crazy,am I contributing to all the chaos? Yes?
    the muezzin calls, Come to Prayer Come to Success’ so I must turn’ I must be on the right

    afternoon,a bit of lunch and again drowsiness takes over, what did I do ten years ago
    I would smile at the flowers,hug the kids and trees,listen to songs and skip a little too
    Oh I see my children coming in the room smiling Mama Mama ‘ but what’s this, no one around
    a short vision, curtains aside show the hillside green, a small house, wonder who lives
    there? alone or with family? light clouds cover the sky, its all grey now- cries I hear of
    people in captivity,without food water and medicine ‘freedom we want freedom’ Oh my heart

    trembles and I move away from the window’ what tyrants are still ruling and roaming on
    this planet, dinosaurs long gone instinct, big though were less harmful, Oh mankind what
    greed ails thee what hunger for power makes thee mad? evening draws near,thoughts filled
    with fear,nothing concrete have I done today’ news of deaths has droned all day, where is
    peace where is joy, then Oh a beep a tingle of joy’ a friend far away, a spirit which cares
    remembers with all the suffering in her share’ Ah now my day is made I thank the Almighty

    He is present He cares and sends comfort in His own special way’
    Hoping for the darkness to be light,praying for another peaceful day’
    Hoping to make it worthwhile while I can while,here my spirit stays.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Silence

    and on that day of sun
    the leaves of the chestnut
    like arms are shielding
    by
    the gleeds
    and I see through the dream
    like through some mirrors
    the garden with some boats
    cranes
    and
    tones
    far steps of the see
    and beauty
    that is killing me

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Jamie! Here is mine for this week – a quadrille about my life…

    “Forty-four words is not enough…”

    In the nick of time
    My motto, my nemesis
    My days overfilled with
    Kids needing
    Husband wanting
    Daughterly obligations
    School “volunteering”
    Catholic guilt
    Running miles – Ha! No
    Running behind – yes
    Secretary, chef, driver
    Driving myself crazy
    Oh look something else to sign up for!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    3.

    We clear dads loft
    walk over asbestos,
    lift objects out of the fluff,
    I say we ought to wear masks

    as dad died of industrial disease,
    could not walk, his thoughts
    Asbestos clouds struggled
    like loose strands out of his mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:

    2.

    No time to stop and stare
    the memory house, its corners,
    its edges must be made bare.

    We have no time to contemplate
    every memory we find, ancient letter,
    we have our own homes to decorate

    with memories of our own, employment
    pays for us to accumulate
    thoughts in physical enjoyment

    for our sons and daughters to sort
    once we can no longer recall
    what recollection we bought.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my first response:

    One

    It is a day of discovery,
    a loft of belonging,
    her mid sentences with
    no beginning or end.

    Empty cases and rucksacks,
    hide paintings he did in the fifties,
    a still life framed in dark brown wood
    a delicate vase sprouts colour,
    another Mold Memorial day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My Silent Thoughts

    Silent thoughts ride through a cloud of memories scattered freely into the bay of time that resides in the mind…alas a constant reminder of dreams and aspirations still to pursue and undone goals left to do in a future stretched out in a haze and a maze of aging and uncertainty.

    Silent thoughts…private thoughts tiptoe tentatively along the path of restoration seeking new musical sounds to bring to fruition amid creation…singing abstract harmonies that dance in between the syncopated rhythms of eighth notes gliding into victory.

    Silent thoughts perch on the branches of tree lined streets observing cars neatly parked along curbs of hospitality and in driveways of ownership waiting patiently for drivers to take possession and drive off into their respective realities and obsessions.

    Silent thoughts cringe at a world obsessed with violence…violence in defense of ideologies piercing the fibers of sensitivity refusing to embrace diversity…violence in defense of the dollar sign raping the economies…raping the environment…raping the positive use of technology.

    Silent thoughts search the heart for inspiration…for courage…for creativity to permeate the USA in these dark days of insanity to persuade minds to incorporate once again democracy and justice for all…to stand tall on the legacy upon which this country was built.

    Silent thoughts seek to “reach out and touch” and captivate the minds of the angry, the lost, the weary…to replace hate with tolerance…to replace dope with hope…to replace anger with a peace of mind that comes from on high… that comes from “something bigger than you and I”.

    Silent thoughts escape from under the weight of oppression into the setting sun colored by deepening orange hues blended with shades of pink coloring the sky with magnificence and brilliance inspiring a myriad of poetic words to send messages of love through out the universe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Respected Jamie Ji

    Life Yesterday-Life Today

    My Life began in a state of war and fear, so I was told
    I was too young to understand or remember the operation
    after my birth, our life was threatened by the enemy,cold
    and to safety was no way, but a journey of urgent migration

    Life After Crossing the Barbed Wire Border

    On awakening I found life full of family and love, picnics
    in the hilly forest with fresh water springs,cherries apples
    tinned fruit, Hollands condensed milk, England’s Lipton’s tea,
    Marie Biscuits Danish Butter cookies, jujubes,n home made ice cream

    I learned to ride a bicycle and how to drive a jeep
    I loved the illustrated dictionary story books to peep
    played hopscotch, enjoyed the swing, and loved school
    school life was a treasure, in memories buried deep

    Come September as college began, when war returned
    sudden attacks by tanks and artillery blackouts all were in-
    fear returned as Father left, to tend the wounded soldiers
    no one really wins a war’ lives lost, all is over but the din

    Oh dear life began anew with strangers all around, unknown
    many a ground, five years ago life was full of reading books
    so soon life takes a turn,as one is taken and given away to
    a strange world of changing dresses and preparing looks’

    Life was all in young motherhood, pain and pressure
    care and concern, away from home life put me in a home
    and I as a mother also became a cook and a cleaner
    where did love go I wonder’ the world seemed a lot meaner

    we changed cities, houses, bought a blue Volkswagen
    bought a five band Sanyo transistor and a 20inch TV
    life was kind to us as a family, books returned as school
    began and I found real love in kids in nature as a rule.

    Life never seemed silent for more than a few hours
    color music laughter and fun, filled the atmosphere, then
    separations gradually seeped in as one by one, death
    started catching up, now and when, who next will lose breath?

    War Returns

    fear returned, life had books but no school fun, as day by day
    terror warnings halted life, my day uncertain, will I be back home?
    yes, I would but with numerous stoppings at armed barricades
    am I back in enemy territory, or am I in a war story movie?

    Life became a bit peaceful with a mini migration from city to city
    all was quiet in a small town,simple people,seemingly content
    sipping tea in their roadside shops, and I would see through the
    window, simple life in a village is better and I silently joined the party

    nature blessed me with family to care,spent the day in cooking and
    knitting, a bit of teaching but a lot more of writing reading and poetry
    life is a dichotomy of war and peace of love and hate, of good and
    bad, my life today has more than before, I think I don’t need any more

    Life Now

    Now I am again on my own,each day with my pencils and books
    I make my own breakfast mug of tea, toast with jam or honey
    I wash my own clothes and cook too but dishes I leave for my
    partner to do, he loves to clean so i am free to leave aside the broom.

    there is no garden nearby where I could enjoy flowers or walk
    my partner avoids conversation and ‘talk’ so that leaves me with
    my unseen friends, to text talk share and chat’,till its summer the
    sounds I hear are the perpetual whirring of ceiling fans or muezzins call

    I am grateful to be alive to be able to understand the purpose of life
    to be a giver’ a helper’ to spread love and kindness and be silent’
    If one has a silent life one hears the love and kindness of the divine
    I was given a life and time, I must give too for ‘nothing was nor is’ all mine

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Coming Up Roses And Daffodils

    “So how are you guys?” our kids text
    and we try not to bore or alarm them
    with a litany of aches and pains
    and murmurs of our mortality.
    We’re fine, we reply, and so we are
    when we itemise each blessing,
    tell how we’ve painted the kitchen
    in a colour called lemon sorbet,
    ordered some new roller blinds
    to co-ordinate and plan a shade
    of powder blue for the bathroom.
    Our roses have spread from a single,
    stringy bush we bought years ago
    into an ebullience of sugar pink
    clustering that empty corner space
    we thought nothing would fill.
    We’re pulling up stubborn weeds
    pruning deadwood, filling tubs
    with fresh compost for winter pansies:
    might buy more daffodil bulbs
    though there’s a crowdful underground
    slumbering until next spring.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Calm down, but how
    Our house is bigger ….yeah,
    We loud ever
    Allah-Hu-Akbar, or
    Jai Shree Ram,

    or make prayer?
    Silent life, a poem wish to live
    LIFE GOES ON

    Live it wow
    Live it up ….yeah,
    What can live up to this amount of pressure?

    Silent life, a poem wish to live.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. happy

    sometimes in the middle of the night
    i take the train from one part of town
    and then back to the other side
    i can’t sleep so i face my curiosity
    tipping into the cleavage of the city
    and her girlfriend moon
    outside of the rolling cab my eyes
    they register that it’s dirty
    i swear i can see the car exhaust
    black sooty pungent belching vulgarity
    in the lungs of LA
    behold the automotive crack pipe
    then my attention flutters to the men
    velvet skin plastic smiles and silver tongues
    selling me a piece of Jesus and His hotrod
    Hollywood Boulevard how much to eat me tonight
    i burrow my alien feelings into the tunnels
    And the cocky rail rides me to the platform
    where humanity scrambles at the truth
    of how small we must be to the Bitchgoddess
    of everything all poets in history
    have lamented about
    to chase and purr on the formidable
    lies that we are fed
    only to show who kindness i wonder
    i’m too old and out of time
    to place gender or definition on my pleasures
    the time to gamble with the rules and regulations
    is quickly ending
    at dawn pink and gray
    with the smell of the city and
    her beautifully cruel courtesans
    on my hands and lips
    i stagger up 7th street
    and bum a cigarette from the Meals on Wheels guy
    chat up Bang Me Billy and ask about his truck
    we stroll to the rich folk Starbucks
    he waltzes me up to the lines
    we both feel very alive again
    and smile at the young savvy people
    when they turn up their nose

    peace and love from LA ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. .the story of my life.
    i could write the story of my life remembering all that was,

    forgetting the things i forget. i could start at the beginning,

    work through to the end when it comes. it could be that way.

    may be, i have already written much of it in bits and scraps

    here and there. such is the way of it. some things come random.

    not as you expected. i was to tell my story, you said.

    i cannot be

    bothered. there is no interest.

    if there is, it can be googled, gathered, stitched quilt like into some

    image.

    i cannot remember my granpa fondly, for he was dead a while before.

    you told me your tale, silked tongue, the things you wished me to know.

    not

    impressed.

    no need to impress. cat piss leaves on skin leave black marks. remember?

    recall the…

    Liked by 2 people

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