January Is On the Wane, a poem after Sor Juana Inés De La Cruz … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

From the Rose Garden, Central Park, San Mateo, CA

“Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them.”  Friedrich Nietzsche


January Is On the Wane

after Sor Juan Inés de la Cruz

January is on the wane leaving behind early dark
and champagne hopes for the genus Rosa

Garden roses want pruning now, solicitous cultivation.
Layer shorter under taller, drape on trellises 
and over pergolas, the promise of color and scent,
climbers retelling their stories in a ballet up stone walls,
an heirloom lace of tea roses, a voluptuous panorama
rhymed with shrubs and rock roses in poetic repetition.
Feminine pulchritude: their majesties in royal reds
or sometimes subdued in pink or purple gentility,
a cadmium-yellow civil sensibility, their haute couture.

Is it the thorny rose we love or the way it mirrors us
in our own beauty and barbarism, our flow into decrepitude?
They remind of our mortality with blooms, ebbs, and bows
to destiny. A noble life, by fate transformed in season.

Divinely fulsome, that genus Rosa, sun-lighted, reflexed.
And January? January is ever on the wane.

A Una Rosa

Rosa divina que en gentil cultura
eres, con tu fragrante sutileza,
magisterio purpureo en la belleza,
enseñanza nevada a la hermosura.
Amago de la humana arquitectura,
ejemplo de la vana gentileza,
en cuyo ser unió naturaleza
la cuna alegre y triste sepultura.
¡Cuán altiva en tu pompa, presumida,
soberbia, el riesgo de morir desdeñas,
y luego desmayada y encogida
de tu caduco ser das mustias señas,
con que con docta muerte y necia vida,
viviendo engañas y muriendo enseñas!

Translation HERE

– Sor Juan Inés de la Cruz
(Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana)

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

I thought we’d do something a bit different this week. I hope it’s something everyone will enjoy.  Instead of a theme, write a poem in the spirit of one that you love and was written by someone else.  Put your poem in the comments section and reference the poem you’re working off of.

  • 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:

Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.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 23 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.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage 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.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * 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


9 thoughts on “January Is On the Wane, a poem after Sor Juana Inés De La Cruz … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Hello Jamie! I’m feeling a bit rusty as I get back on the bandwagon. If this doesn’t fit this week’s bill, feel free to disregard. I had fun thinking about it and writing it though!

    This is inspired by one of my favorite poets, Rupi Kaur from her book “milk and honey”, the poem on page 71

    you wrap your fingers
    around the sponge
    scrubbing
    until the sink is empty
    this
    is how you make
    me change into my lace thong

    you brush his teeth
    and read his favorite bedtime story
    twice
    while making the voices of the characters
    this
    is how you make
    me light the scented candles

    you quiz her in spelling
    and listen to how another girl stole her idea for her science project
    you come up with a better science project idea
    and promise to help her with it on the weekend
    this
    is how you make
    me lie in bed
    skin puckered
    in love
    in anticipation
    thinking i am the luckiest woman in the world

    – the best foreplay for husbands

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jamie,
    This poem is after Ian McMillan’s “Tempest Avenue”.

    Bartholomew Street

    Harry half way down collects wood
    for his fire, leave it out front
    Leave out anything metal Gypsies at top have sharp eyes,

    Stan, two doors down
    wants his radiator gone.

    Dave next door holds ladder
    while I look at roof tiles
    and shares homemade ale after.

    Our roofers knew man who murdered
    a man
    at bottom.

    I thought someone murdered
    at top but our lass swears
    he was only badly beaten.

    Old microwave I put in our entryway has gone.
    Gypsies know a good thing.

    Old gent Tommy three doors down
    quiet when his wife died last Summer.

    Put thumbs up when I cleared
    his path of Snow last Winter.

    Pear tree in back garden bagged
    up by them all when ripe
    as too much for our lass and me.

    (From my new Ebook “As Folk Over Yonder”, Afterworld Books, 2019)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Inspired By Respected G Jamie Dedes’s touching poem for Syrian Refugees

    THE DOVES HAVE FLOWN

    what must it be like for you in your part of the world?
    there is only silence, i don’t know your name, i know only
    that the fire of Life makes us one in this, the human journey,
    trudging through mud, by land and by sea, reaching for the sun
    like entering a ritual river without a blessing or a prayer
    on the street where you lived, your friends are all gone
    the houses are crushed and the doves have flown
    there is only silence, no children playing, no laughter
    here and there a light remains to speak to us of loneliness,
    yet our eyes meet in secret, our hearts open on the fringe,
    one breath and the wind blows, one tear and the seas rise,
    your tears drip from my eyes and i tremble with your fear-

    The following Lines for ~ G Jamie Ji…

    The Besieged People of Occupied Kashmir.
    Chinar Leaves Have Withered

    chinar leaves have withered,
    willows weeping, bend low with grief, still are the ripples in the Dal Lake, silent deserted citadels, not a tiptoe on the wooden floors- how many are alive inside, maybe none-

    chinar leaves have withered

    rustic orange clusters merging with green foliage, quivering with joy,sensing the cool caresses of approaching fall, but not this year,they descend one by one, remain soaked in blood of young and old,

    chinar leaves have withered

    who is blinded today? whose body draped in green and white, dumped in the ugly pit, ‘what is the cry ‘freedom ‘ for, freedom from death, to death’ ?locked in a living grave

    chinar leaves have withered

    silence of terror, on snow peaks frozen, empty streets filled with fear armed, prisoners
    in perils of forced captivity, what horror humans can do with humans.

    chinar leaves have withered

    helpless am I in fetters, in action enchained , in emotions pained, I weep like the willows
    in spiritual agony grieve , for mercy I pray , I die with each passing day…

    as hope with each falling leaf, glissers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great poems, everyone !Mine is inspired by Robert Hayden’s Those Winter Sundays.

    Those Washday Mondays

    After Robert Hayden

    By the time I came downstairs
    Dad’s shirts were washed
    and pegged on the garden line.
    Mum lifted the boiler lid.
    Steam rose from a hissing cauldron
    and she grabbed scalding sheets
    with a pair of wooden tongs.

    Her hands were red and damp
    and sweat darkened her armpits
    as she passed me my breakfast.
    I closed the kitchen door and ate
    in the front room but still heard
    the mangle’s cranky wheel
    and squeak of its rubber rollers.

    Mum wouldn’t buy a spin dryer
    even on monthly instalments.
    I turned up the music on my radio
    and finished my bacon sandwiches.
    What did I know about scrimping
    and denying; about the sacrifices
    she’d made in love’s unsung name?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Respected Jamie Ji
    The lines I share in response are inspired by your poem ‘January is on the Wane’

    O’ Beautiful Rose
    O’ Dear Flower,
    folded in invisible scents
    tender covers softly protecting
    the unknown,wrapped in curves
    like hands,a praying pair
    patiently serving in quietude.

    O Dear Flower, resting
    in a book, placed by love
    making the page sacred to the touch,
    words that rest,forever silent, till they meet
    the eyes,of an unknown, bear the flaps and
    caresses, of moving finger tips, as the covers flip,

    O Dear Flower, you are a rose of many colors
    budding, blooming, on bush and bowers
    in sunshine rain or cool summer showers
    spread on shrouds, taken to high towers

    O’ Dear Flower’ how long can you stay
    the fragrance radiate, the presence, comfort
    the love share, If only you could, for ever be
    and like the words on the page lay for me to see

    Life is but a short sweet fragrant dream, the page
    is turned , new words appear , new buds yearning to bloom

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thanks Jamie.

    This is insptired by Hardy’s Neutral Tones

    ..neutered..

    oil pond mirrors the darkness the november

    day. sun draws white against the grey

    this leaf lays on earth

    there is no god

    not hungry nor otherwise

    you look at me straight and ask the past

    and briefly I say & say there is no god

    you did not smile nor shout you are the deadest thing

    dead down . no smiling despite birds gone by

    on greasy wings .i remember your look

    your face

    drawn grey as the mourning dove

    that remind

    for me there is no god

    Liked by 3 people

  7. peace love and blessings from LA this offering is inspired by Bukowski’s “To Weep”

    to trip

    shivering in the bedroom
    trying to find a slightly less mended Chanel
    middle aged
    anxiety on my tongue
    finger nail polished half chewed off
    scar tissue protrudes on my left knuckle

    the difference in the mosh pits was
    we all beat
    each other up together

    the other morning i went out
    to see some band play
    they weren’t quite what i remembered
    slower thicker grayer
    yet still crazy
    jacked up rockin
    in some of our heads
    high on beet juice and weed

    when i stand in my room
    i don’t want to just be rockin in my head

    i should go to the beauty clinic
    and laser off this scar
    but i’m not ashamed by it
    besides i might read Bukowski in the waiting room
    and offend some old Barbie

    i’d like to be banged by that bass player
    and have him pluck on my thing
    and then there’s Beck on Mt. Washington
    singing Spanish riffs into the mike

    the band has never heard of me
    but we both know how to twirl and punch
    and they have to go home to their wives

    standing in my bedroom
    my moves are quite as swift
    the best band i ever knew went disco
    and the new bands lack the rage

    i try to start the mosh pit
    and give the bass player my number
    but they twitter about health
    things
    yoga things
    beet juice recipes
    CBD things

    i watch the boba settle in my milk tea

    i know what my fate is
    but it’s too gruesome to process

    i won’t land the bassist

    Liked by 3 people

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