Courtesy of Greg Rakozy, Unsplash

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living

see it moving – Life!
moving through the ache of time
seeking that place
where identity isn’t worn on a sleeve,
where individuals challenge the tribe,
where beauty frees itself from convention,
where the chains of fear dissolve

© 2020, Jamie Dedes


What do you think Life seeks to express through us?  Tell us in your own 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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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 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, February 17 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.

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  1. Life –
    The subtle breath –
    every second, minute, hour,
    day, week, month, and year.
    The challenges –
    Learning to appreciate existence again –
    this took some self-talking to.
    Life, it can change–

    –Olive Branch

    Liked by 1 person


    Are we any different to the bower bird
    following the in-built urge to procreate
    offering or seeking a home for two
    and then a few? More?

    Genetic obligation to keep
    the species going, dinosaur
    or bug, potto, platypus or worm
    living within their means.

    Then we arrived, infusing life
    with something different: nature,
    nurture, conscience, community,
    ( though the trees showed us the way ),
    artistry and greed. So here we are,
    Tintoretto with a neutron bomb.

    Liked by 2 people

      There is no formulae, of how and when,
      To be concieved, to be birthed, or to exit the physical,
      There is no blue print, of where and to who,
      Souls pick flesh and names,
      Yet, billions call earth home,
      Earth is generous, almost insatiable in it’s taking, but also,
      In it’s giving,
      Seeking blindly in a path trodden for eons with bias,
      Man is a stranger to his ways,
      A racing heart out to conquer,
      Often blinded by inner drives that feels little,
      Or nothing for fellow kin,
      Onwards match footing, marked by retrogression,
      Ascending stairs to self appointed deityhood,
      Man is a strange one even to fellow creatures,
      Enough refuses to quench his man made thirst and,
      Excess defines his bloated bludgeoning of everything,
      He blames those he victimizes,
      He laughs at the weak,
      He taunts the struggler,
      And despices the fallen,
      His mortal body is a prison sentence for the pain of those easily manipulated,
      What does Earth’s terrain teach the wickedness within man’s heart and deeds?
      History never forgets neither does Karma smile,
      The universe is the perpetual witness who never misses a detail,
      We curse ourselves by our acts to others,
      When we change the scales to gain us,
      When we look the other way for inequity to grow roots,
      When we wage dogged dogmas to kill thinking,
      Or mislead to milk following for gain,
      What then, after all the glory,
      Begotten of spilt hopes,
      Do we applaud the story of our life’s?
      Nothing is not as empty as it sounds,
      But a life devoid of balance whichever way it tilts,
      Is a life distraught with gaps that harms,
      Life is a gift ,
      Sometimes without glamour or fair bells,
      Still, it’s life ,
      Sometimes without humor and with steep bills,
      Still, it’s life,
      And it’s differently the same for the grass and the grasshopper,
      Man and beast,
      Genders etal,
      So we take within our means with a fair hand,
      So we give within our means with a dear hand,
      And act with the humility of the frail flesh, that all life is,
      For to act otherwise,
      Is to leap ahead into the abyss that historys of war chronicle,
      And calamitous scrolls of nature angered enough to slap back the face of man.
      As co-creators with the CREATOR,
      May it be in arts or acts ,
      Ours should be to seek to do good to all,
      For we are children of the same sky’s,
      And dust of the Earth.
      To think otherwise is vanity, a fact that is in Vogue in our sad vague life’s.
      Still, hope reigns in the hearts of few.
      Hope is a mastard seed. Something will give.

      Nancy Ndeke
      February 2020

      Liked by 1 person


    Are we any more then than shadow?
    Cast by some greater light, then adrift
    Wriggling fingers of a greater hand
    Scratching for some miserly purchase
    From endless oceans of fine ground sand
    Or pen and ink with which to stake claim
    In truth no Shelley nor even Smith
    The core of us barely substantial
    Yet strut our stuff and nonsense at will
    As self-appointed lord and master

    Wild histories strained through calendars
    Fuzzy snapshots back before colour
    Ghost spirits captured in black and white
    Beckon ever further inward yet
    Moments, centuries, millennia …
    Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius
    Join hands with Leo – a circle dance
    To comfort those who seek for shelter
    From the icy blasts of Fenrir’s howls

    Parasites biting the hand that heals
    Imagine that, a serpent with hands
    Mythic conjurations down the years
    Coded missives handed soul to soul
    Like wormholes threading through the fabric
    White with black within and black with white
    Future yesterdays in present time
    Before the confluence was broken

    Who dreamt who dreamt before this head show?
    Way back before the Word was spoken
    Paradise captured in rhythmic rhyme
    Across the darkness, “Let there be light”
    Though not enough to read the rubric
    Revealing the journey as the goal
    Triumphs and failures, laughter and tears

    Roaming eyes and hands mocked wedding bands
    One for his nob and two for his heels
    Reprobates disguised in monkish cowls
    History’s course runs helter-skelter
    Manifestation a game of chance
    Your turn to despair, Ozymandias

    Borne on see-through wings, ephemera
    Born to dance one graceful minuet
    Knowing too well death comes before night
    In denial beneath the pallor
    Masking the stench with sweet lavenders

    The blood rushes faster and faster
    The time approaches to pay the bill
    The evidence is circumstantial
    Time to see what hides behind the myth

    Mayhap just a game – no blame, no shame
    A pageant being played out as planned
    In some realm beyond thought of purpose

    Fresh blooms revealed all across the land
    A new day emerges as mists shift

    Wildflowers nodding slowly in a meadow

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for the opportunity and love to all from LA


    look beyond my dark thick gown
    be strong and courageous
    God is all around me
    but you must look past my heavy gown
    my light my freedom never closes
    for i am not a door without a knob
    look beyond my cowebbed gown
    but make sure that you clasp your thoughts hand
    you will need them for this journey
    take time and show me that you are opening a window breathe liberation in
    when the threads and seams of my tightly stitched sleeves imprison you
    open your heart and push on through
    the light is closer than it seems
    there will be times when you’ll get lost amongst the blackest gauze of my deceptive petticoats
    you will ache cry curse moan writhe in madness
    dont be afraid to use the sharpness of righteous diligence to cut on through
    don’t be afraid of my gown
    within it lay your wings

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks Jamie

    . the same tune.

    if they played the same tune
    over, will despondancy ensue?

    life is full of multiplicities, other
    hard spellings, lessons to drench a life.

    whilst in the midst, the struggle, we fall
    and grow.

    these things do happen,
    to most people.

    except some seem immune to

    who are the chosen ones?

    the radio plays the same tune,
    faintly upstairs.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Life Expresses Through Us, The Truth

    It is transparent, fragile, tender, light, soft
    In flight, painless when free, a form,.an outline

    Life is short see the industrious ant the tiny bee
    in split seconds crushed killed under the feet

    life is joy loss and sorrow,there is but tomorrow
    all have a journey a purpose, strong or weak

    all things but appear a meaningless scatter
    when lost is the touch, body gone for ever

    objects clothes even words don’t score
    when cherished valued person is no more

    one may keep snaps , books, cards and files
    it becomes a storehouse of still silent piles

    The heavy prompt rests on a serious note
    reminds me of poet Ghalib and I quote

    ‘when I ceased to be,they found no ends
    only’some love letters, some snaps of friends’

    (chnd tasweer e butan, chnd haseenon ke khatoot
    baad marne ke mere ghar se ye samaan nikla)

    so what to leave behind and what all to take
    leave the old memories, carry all good, no fake

    for a writer, its the pen filled with non drying ink
    the notebook , the laptop, to maintain the link

    with it I may sling on my camera a gifted Sony
    would love to ride and fly on a white winged pony

    strong or weak, bright or dark, all end down on knee
    but stars shine, will shine till eternity, for you and me,

    Life tells us, it’s love, devotion, believing emotions’
    strength surrender, impermanence here, eternity there

    This is the enlightenment that distances matter not
    If hearts have love, one is present, present or not

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “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

    (c) Mike Stone 2019

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “A Response to RS Thomas’ Poem (‘Balance’)”

    Yes, God is the pirate who sails the wide seas
    Between existence and non-existence,
    Between time and space,
    We walk His plank, not knowing where or how to fall
    And yet we fall, abandoning our theories and our faith.
    Our minds, then, what, pray God, is the purpose of our minds?
    Our minds that weigh less than nothing,
    Yet think of weighty matters,
    These doubts, why were we given them?
    To balance what we think can be known
    Against what we think cannot,
    So our soul may keep its balance
    Walking God’s narrow plank.

    July 25, 2019

    (c) Mike Stone 2019

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “A Meditation”

    Walking Daisy in the morning
    Is a kind of meditation.
    The trees burst with raucous chirping
    A cat sits in a windowsill
    Watching a lone bird walking
    In the alley underneath.
    What else can life come up with?
    Oh look, there’s a butterfly!
    It is the nature of beauty to beckon us
    And our nature to follow.
    A plump mango falls to the ground
    As easy as that.
    Would that all things good were easier
    Than doing evil.

    July 21, 2019

    (c) Mike Stone 2019

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “The Hermit and the Cabin”

    My poor soul, bless its,
    Well, you know what I mean,
    Would soar like an eagle over dappled valleys
    Dragging my body along with it if it could
    But it has grown accustomed to the weight
    And cumbersomeness of my body
    Like a hermit grows accustomed to his cabin
    Of rough-hewn logs and thatched twig roof
    Lost in a wilderness of loveliness and terror.
    The cabin protects it in a small way
    From the vicissitudes of a heart’s seasons
    And the uncertainties of our knowing,
    But eventually, the weeds send their tendrils
    Through the chinks between the logs
    At first admitting welcome daylight
    But then unwelcome cold and finally
    Strangling the logs with their slow sure strength
    Until the hermit is forced to leave the cabin
    Looking for another not too overgrown or exposed.
    The old cabin will miss its hermit
    Until the last log falls to ground
    And the roof lies unthatched among the weeds, but
    What cares the hermit for the cabin
    Or the soul for its earthly body?

    June 28, 2019

    (c) Mike Stone 2019

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “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,
    Nonsequiturs 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

    (c) Mike Stone 2019

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Life moves like the Earth, revolving yet still,
    it is unseen,felt only in places cut like crevices
    and gorges, swimming in blood under cover
    like rivers and streams, trampled over like
    avalanches, corrosion and erosions, some
    natural some by humanity,some by necessity
    some to heal, some to accept, some to forget
    some to live with,
    Life is replete with diversity, color shape and
    size,life is joyful serene and beautiful.
    Life is time unseen, felt only, unpossessed
    uncontrolled, it moves life
    only time moves and reveals itself in ‘change’
    in emotions reactions in patience in acceptance.
    Life is a journey here, life has another life’.

    Liked by 4 people

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