A Study in Contrasts, a poem . . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Let us give thanks for our shadows
for they are there in the first place
because of the presence of light.”
Kamand Kojouri, The Eternal Dance,  



We would be that ancient rose bush
sitting in meditation beside the creek
flowing near the home-place and a
belt of vacant land, wide-awake wood

We would be thorn-and-thistle-free life,
cool soothing fog, silken river-stone, or
a whiff of magnolia traveling through
a dark night on an aquamarine breeze

An old hunger rises in us to rest calm
beside the gentle hum of a rambling rill,
our days written in studied calligraphy,
mind as empty and conscious as a forest

But rose bush and wood endure winter
and the creek its dry-spell, river-stone’s
silken finish is born of a chaffing flow and
old magnolia was felled by the gardener

Chaos and order, surge and decline
The conjugal dance of yang and yin,
without it we could not see,
without it we would not be

© 2019, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Yes! It would seem to me that life is a necessary study in contrasts. Do you agree? Tells us in your poem/s …

  • 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Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.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, October 28 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

32 thoughts on “A Study in Contrasts, a poem . . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Oneness of Opposites

    Life is a necessary study in contrasts
    of war and peace, bombs and blasts
    perhaps like a rose bush awaken, only
    to find the stem all full of thorns-

    Clothes tattered and torn, feet bare
    watch from the shop window,
    someone buying a new pair,not
    feeling your own cold blues’

    Life and onlookers say ‘Oh look a girl’
    inside you have a spirit much different
    to stay, play, walk, hands in pockets
    whistling a tune, head in air, indifferent

    The world, art, self, explain each other
    each the aesthetic oneness of opposites,
    light beyond darkness, sun shining on,
    while lifeless moon smiles in reflection,

    to find discretion, individuality in pain
    helpless in brokenness or absence of
    the necessary-to find discontinuity in
    design and form, continuity in spirit-

    A symbiosis meaningful, love and hate
    or to be an octopus, blocked by the
    beauteous sea anemone which travels
    for fun with the crab, in waters deep.

    Life is structured with beauty in ugliness
    its reality like two seas muddy and blue join,
    yet do not mix, neither add nor subtract, fear
    not but make sense of good and evil, at best.

    O Alice You grew and shrunk in wonderland
    Gulliver you commanded the Little,feared the
    Giants. Fallen Angels once glorious reduced
    to bees, good or bad? Yes, but by comparison-

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope my poem fits the prompt!

    Green Leaf Brown Leaf

    I feel the scrunch
    and slip of leaves
    under my feet,
    tread stars of cerise,
    amber, saffron.
    I catch one as it falls,
    cradle it in my hands
    and later, close it
    between pages
    of a book.

    The earth is turning,
    days are shortening
    and restless swallows
    have travelled south.
    Winter is posting
    its early love letter:
    a hieroglyph
    of shadowed branches
    promising bare trees
    on silver- pink skylines.

    Bird’s nests will display
    their woven emptiness.
    A solitary wren
    will etch a path
    on newly laid snow
    before her wings
    brush the air in memory
    of first tousled flights
    beneath the ring
    of a rosy sun.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sorry about the complicated formatting; right margin shd be justified, I’ve got the right words at the end of each line now!

    John Everett Millais’ The Blind Girl

    First of all I sat for the blind girl. It was dreadful suffering, the#
    sun poured in through the window. I had a brown cloth over my#
    forehead which was some relief but several times I was as sick
    as possible and nearly argued. Another day I sat outside in a hay
    field, and when the face was done Everett scratched it out; he
    wasn’t pleased with it and complained about the showers.

    Smoke from Everett’s pipe got in my eyes so I had to shut them.
    He told me to keep them shut. He told me not to see the beggar
    boy on the toll road; he told me not to see the three crows
    feeding on a dead rabbit or the adder by his own left boot.
    I laughed and said I could still see with my eyes shut. I could
    smell the acrid smoke rising from a factory chimney; I could
    hear the donkeys coughing in the field; I could hear the boy
    weeping. He told me to be blind.

    The concertina was lent by Mr Pringle who had a daughter who
    had died. It was hers. He said we could keep it as it would never
    be played again. I smoothed my orange skirt and rested the
    concertina on my lap doing my best to be blind. It was difficult
    to keep my eyes shut on such a beautiful day. Everett said there
    was a double rainbow so I had to look. Everett wasn’t pleased as
    he was doing the face again. I stretched out my right hand and
    touched a wild flower growing in the grass. I knew it was a
    harebell as my little finger fitted inside just as if it was a
    thimble.

    The next day the weather seeped into our drawing room and the
    double rainbow arched over the carpet. I had my eyes open and
    could see a painted lady fluttering at the window pane. I could
    hear concertina music softly playing.

    [Part-found prose poem: Source/ Effie Millais’ journals]

    Liked by 2 people

  4. love and positivity from LA ❤ thanks for the opportunity

    baseless essence

    mirrors slates to the eyes
    cold blood hot cries
    in the forests of wires
    camping for leisure
    in soul of one who
    was once a beauty
    now the dump
    they along with the trash
    typhus and the brass pipes
    in the underground
    akin to the bony
    once strong legs
    of our fathers
    stones from her river
    are epoxy sold in bags
    at the mostly made in China
    flower and craft shops
    we and they still people
    we are flesh
    twenty nine doors down
    we also have botulism
    to soothe the angst
    of those whose spirits
    have been mislead
    to look inside the slate
    and not see
    the true worth of their inner glow

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Please use this one, Jamie. Thank you!

    What is not is

    Silence skirts
    its own issue
    turning
    from noise

    to splinters

    of a squirrel’s frenzied cry
    that gag stillness

    to stirrings

    the faint drip
    of rain
    brushed
    off
    a
    leaf
    by
    rustling
    wind

    to remote

    palpable pleas on stoic faces
    anger fortissimo in the
    crease of a forehead
    voiceless echoes
    from endless wells

    to

    mountains of silence
    that communicate
    within themselves

    I too am contoured by what I am not

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What is not is

    Silence skirts
    its own issue
    turning
    from noise

    to splinters

    of a squirrel’s frenzied cry
    that gags stillness

    to stirrings

    the faint drip
    of rain
    brushed
    off
    a
    leaf
    by
    rustling
    wind

    to remote

    palpable pleas on stoic faces
    anger fortissimo in the
    crease of a forehead
    voiceless echoes
    from endless wells

    to

    mountains of silence
    that communicate
    within themselves

    I too am contoured by what I am not

    Urmila Mahajan

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Journey

    Like a road, the journey
    Moves through the picturesque countryside,
    Jungles, plains and plateaus
    Full of fauna and flora,
    Down through the verdant valleys,
    Spiraling, meandering, rising, falling
    Over the strenuous mountains
    And rough, rocky terrains,
    Crawling through the underpasses
    Climbing over the bridges

    Flying in the air
    Or sailing on the sea, and,
    Sometimes through barren meadows,
    The journey trudges through the eerie deserts, even,
    Stretches of infinite nothingness and evanescent horizons

    The moment when a newborn cries,
    Heralding its arrival, the family celebrates birth
    With joyousness and vigor,
    But death deceives the dearest departing untimely,
    Leaving the kin breaking in tears

    The whole earth rotates
    And revolves,
    Time changes its colors
    Happiness and sorrows
    The ceaseless journey spears through,
    Dawn or dusk
    Day or night
    Black or white
    Up or down
    Birth or death
    In a striking contrast
    ©Bishnu Charan Parida

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Jamie; another where the formattiing cd be a problem; its supposed to be right margin justified! I’ve deleted it as I can’t get the justified margin here. Any suggestions wd be welcome!

    Like

  9. SOMETHING ABOUT A CITY
    (c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens

    Sometimes I can smell Philadelphia
    But I’m really scenting my youth
    Tasting it
    Feeling all my senses
    Reaching out
    For the city I love

    Sitting behind the Gothic pile
    Known as City Hall
    Skyscrapers towering above it all
    Unknown but should-be known
    Rock band serenading us for free

    So much human life
    In contrast to my swamp so rife
    With four-legged dwellers
    Fascinating to watch
    Lacking, though, in conversational skills

    Wish I could live in both
    Out the front door, city
    Out the back door, swamp

    And like Tarot’s Temperance
    I’d have one foot in the mire
    One foot in the asphalt
    Perfectly balanced…

    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. SIMPLY THE SUN
    (c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens

    The sun is not mysterious enough
    To rate writing about
    Moon mystique is endlessly
    Fascinating
    Appearing in the darkness
    Drawing our blood, tides
    And ruling our emotions
    Contrast the sun
    A necessity for all life
    Dosing us with Vitamin D
    Nothing enigmatic though
    Just there
    Even if it seems invisible
    Like during polar winters
    Of utter darkness
    Or on stormy sub-tropical noons
    Even on cloudy beaches
    Evidenced by the wind-blown skin damage
    It is there on twilight evenings
    As night-bloomers like Evening Primrose
    Open and stretch
    Toward its sleepy rays
    Dark or light
    Dim or bright
    The sun is always there
    No, nothing mysterious about it
    Just a burning ball having
    Occasional tantrums
    As the spots explode
    We understand its punishment
    On desert roads
    Our bodies mercilessly drying
    There are so many moon songs
    But not many sun ones
    So what’s to write about?
    Yet, my favorite time of day is dawn
    When the sun sails above the Earth
    Breaking through the horizon’s rim
    My heart thuds loudly because another day
    Another chance for a good day
    Is once again hovering in the dawn
    Let it be today, I think longingly

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: The Living Room | Ben Naga

  12. THE LIVING ROOM

    We’re uncertain exactly where we are
    Or what it is we are for that matter
    One day we woke up moved in together
    No idea how that happened to happen

    The bedroom’s not to either of our tastes
    But that matters not, we pay little heed
    Spend time in sleep, dreaming or dalliance
    The living room – quite another matter

    For here is where we spend most of our time
    Agreeing, disagreeing, arguing
    It seems important to get it just right
    If only our visions weren’t so diverse

    No that’s not it let’s try it over here
    Or maybe a slightly different colour
    You say we preferred it a while ago
    I have to say I don’t remember that

    Paint tester pots have left their splotchy marks
    Loved by the one but not by the other
    A whole rainbow of dissatisfactions
    Look around – our living room is a mess

    All kinds of ill-matching chairs and sofas
    Piled with old issues of Ideal Home
    Not a place we ever sit and relax
    Let’s face it … we’re just as ill-matched ourselves

    We strove to create our own mise-en-scène
    The expression of that that which we are
    Let’s give up as we are already here
    For this is our truth – a study in contrasts

    Liked by 3 people

  13. cpl thisthat & his fathfool shamp/onion, thutherthing

    cpl thisthat mead alist
    as was gidding olivertwist:

    tonic/dominant
    figure/ground
    silence/crescendo
    razory/round

    over his shoulder was thutherthing reading
    staching his woundless nonforearm unbleeding

    (to be continues unaverse
    post heatdeath of the UniVerse)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. A Sour Honey
    By Kelly L Miller

    Bitter

    Excruciating Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul suffering Bleeding Healing Bleeding Healing Opening and closing our wounds Self-inflicted and victimized Hanging on and letting go of the theory “It gets better with time” Love takes Greedily While we give out Completely Love loves scheming Exploiting our hope, faith, and innocence What began with purity and bliss Ends in perversion and depression Stepping on the sharp clinging briars Nestled in that beautiful lush green grass Must we take the bitter with the sweet?

    Sweet

    Ecstasy Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul reaping Blossoming Growing Blossoming Growing Opening and closing on romance Every second apart is some great deprivation Enraptured and constricted Hanging on for dear life to the theory “Love is everything” Love provides in full Generous and compassionate While we take in desperation of its ripe fruits Consuming and yearning for more Protecting our hope, faith, and innocence The promise of forever thrives within desire and endurance Climbing the stepping stones to a perfect divine passion Rain turns into liquid sunshine We maintain a dying infatuation with pleasure Must we take the bitter with the sweet?

    From my poetry book, The Riddle and the Dedication II, available on Amazon.com

    Liked by 2 people

  15. :: binding ::

    binding

    may be the contrast here
    on
    the national library stairs.

    guided to the cupboard,
    the collection dusted, labelled,
    named as important. emptied,
    it
    is the proof that nothing can be
    rare.

    nothing is now something, quality
    of non existence, held us in a
    moment, then we moved on blindly
    looking for something,

    as we are bound.

    sbm.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:

    I’m Feral Lass

    I’ll trash your tidy desk
    rip all your documents
    scribble on your certificates
    shit in your desk drawers
    slap a poster of my
    photocopied arse
    above it, with the message

    “kiss it”

    tip your rubbish bins
    down the street

    my fretted crests’ll slop
    over your
    carefully built barriers

    spontaneous fires’ll burn
    your precious stuff

    my earth’ll move your home
    shatter it to splinters

    I’ll cut you
    and kiss it better
    in the blaze of my thighs

    break your neat pavements
    pothole your smooth roads

    flood your flood defences
    overgrow your borders
    put weeds in your flowerbeds

    steal your freshly sown seeds
    bloody your egg laying chickens

    shag your mates
    swear at your mam and dad
    give them a hug

    wide eyed I’ll scarper
    with a whistle
    and skip down your street

    shout “Anyone wanna shag me?”

    And say to you,

    “Now, do you love me?”

    Liked by 2 people

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

    Commital

    White autumn mist hangs gently
    in the valley as I walk
    down the steep hill
    a philip’s screwdriver
    in my inside pocket
    to open the casket.
    I wish to recall every detail.

    Carry Nana’s ashes in a pine casket,
    secured by six philip screws
    with four thin white strings attached,
    held on by six gold pins
    and this in a brown cardboard box
    that has her name printed in black felt tip
    on one of its leaves,

    and this in a strong red paper
    carrier with two gold rope like handles,
    and I am surprised how heavy
    it is in my hands and have to bend
    my knees to pick it up. It squeaks
    like new shoes when I walk.

    Careful not to lose
    the certificate of cremation,
    I stand at the bus stop
    opposite the half completed

    new estate of houses built
    on land I knew last year
    as a cornfield where discarded
    energy cans and crisp bags
    lined the edge.

    I walk up the hill
    to the church to meet the vicar
    dressed in white with gold detail.
    He asks ” Do you want the casket
    to be lowered in the grave
    by the verger or yourself?”
    I give my answer.

    I lay the casket on the Lord’s table
    as requested, the vicar speaks
    of the resurrection and the life,
    quotes revelation about the lamp
    and the world without night.

    I follow him and verger
    down the hill of graves
    past bushes full of bright red berries,
    brown mushrooms flourishing
    on rotten soaked wood,

    kneel on the green rubber kneeler,
    beside the prepared hole
    under an oak tree in leaf fall
    and lower the casket down
    with the white string,

    the gold of her nameplate
    on top of the casket contrasts
    with the dark clayey soil.
    We say the Lord’s prayer.

    Verger leaves the earth
    on the grave slightly raised
    so it may settle, agrees
    to green bin my cardboard box

    and paper carrier. I shake
    his hand and say “Thankyou.”
    Walk down the hill to the bus.
    No screwdriver was needed.

    Liked by 3 people

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