Courtesy of David Everett Strickler, Unsplash

“The sequoias belong to the silences of the milleniums. Many of them have seen a hundred human generations rise, give off their little clamors and perish. They seem indeed to be forms of immortality standing here among the transitory shapes of time.”  American poet Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

move sedately through the forest, ignore any storms and praise
these grave dignified giants, these meditative trees, such bliss
to walk their deep rich earth where sun stands sentry by day
and by night the moon, the stars gift their brightest smiles here
if not their warmth, sequoiadendron giganteum grow wise and vigilant
on their circles of history, the primeval years, the years of conflict
the matristic tribes, the patriarchal colonizers, the activists today

© 2020, Jamie Dedes


Nature is always watching, always baring witness to the human compulsion. Perhaps at times it reflects us back to ourselves.  What do you think?  Tell 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


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Deadline:  Monday, March 2 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:

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  1. Hello Jamie! Sneaking in again! I’ve been away too long! Hope this one is a good response for the prompt this week:

    “Biking to the Beach” – A Cascade Poem

    The shoreline changes
    My breath holds steady
    Memories of salt, my (only) beacon

    The sea air shifts the sand
    While waves grab the wet grains
    The shoreline changes

    Yet directions are not needed
    The old bicycle just needs legs to pedal
    My breath holds steady

    Despite the sting in my eyes
    Quickly there and then gone
    Memories of salt, my beacon

    Hope you are doing well! Are you enjoying your new place?


  2. Envelope
    little flakes of cloudy breaths
    from the top all the way down
    Winter beauty and bear
    a cold pale and pain for
    grey eating and drinking
    So strategically dressed
    she sticks to sitting outside
    where the patio heater
    Cannot read, concentrate
    filling days with endless 
    songs and numberless walks
    Watercold still no matter
    there’ll be birdsong without fall
    Wrapped up in a thousand shawls
    as jewelry has different looks
    On the back of an envelope
    she scrawls her fears for the
    November monsters in dreams now
    the ginger-haired guy from her
    adolescence nightmares is back
    Summer makes her someone else 
    entirely no dark on the doorstep
    no bogeyguys on an envelope
    later when it turns light
    no shadow days blue nights
    to stare at and do nothing


  3. Foreshadows
    an orange in the morning
    yellowy sunlight sets through 
    the clouds, blueing up the sky
    gets the green in another dimension
    gets an evening red that glows
    Up dunes in Mondrian’s blue and violet. 
    But the moment she opens her eyes she
    feels the winter grey she’s not good
    at. The desert deserting the ocean.
    The gusts and waves through a coat.
    So in black she draws the shades 
    around the heart, heeding for the
    white light of Sun and Moon discs
    always. The stars out of reach, 
    one can only see the seven rainbow
    colours through the water drops
    once a strange new day has begun
    once the sand dunes start to move
    She cannot control foreshadows.
    She cannot measure the shifts of dunes.


  4. All the water in the world
    a grey afternoon and just now
    it starts to rain, big drops
    in small pools on her terrace
    looking outside – another
    glass in her hand
    the house gets dark
    last light through the living 
    a house already silent since
    he is gone, big drops 
    on the roof beating a drum
    beating her dead heart
    she sits down, suddenly
    dead-tired but too afraid to
    lie on their bed, big drops
    against those windowpanes
    a year of loss
    has started
    a lifetime of love
    has ended
    the man has cut her landline
    and she cannot believe
    there will ever be a
    rising of another sun a
    blowing out the clouds
    another good morning beautiful
    another – looking outside 
    all the water in the world will
    not free the lights in the lake
    this is how she will remember
    losing, forever

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Upstate
    Through the kitchen window to where the
    lake ends and the trees touch her 
    lustrous sides, a rippleless motion
    in the reeds waving at all the colours –
    at me – 

    and the pines’ crowns simply
    add a powdery green to where 
    the water starts a black-blue dark 
    leaving such velvety shine – 
    to me

    Then dive in
    because the leaves
    they rustle turn a light
    wind, stroking the season 
    still warm enough 
    to dive in unripple 
    this brightness the calmth

    a happiness 
    polished by so much beauty
    trees surrounding the lake 
    circles lost in this 
    dialogue of sounds and colours 
    how many identifiers are 

    there to believe?
    crickets are laughing, a prey bird 
    sleuths the satiness 

    a happiness 
    so unworldly
    a gratefulness 
    so unearthly 

    that I just dive in
    bring me down back
    to lights ways to wish
    of colours and crowns

    Liked by 2 people

    A sultry summer night in August.
    Crickets trill and the blue pool
    water calms down. The hills smell
    of oleander and she lies there.
    Her bikini inviting, a vermouth 
    with no ice. Tempting lifetime in
    California. I need help, she says. 

    Try to get to where
    I am, he relucts, not a lot
    better but at least you try.
    And drifts off. About time
    to get your act together
    not ask more questions or
    invite, so she sleeps soundly. 

    And winds up her dreams, 
    forgets the rain, his love
    once. What matters not a lot
    more than no ice than
    to look outside where
    hills, wealth, water
    A sultry blue night in August.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Respected Jamie Ji
    My two submitted poems are from my unpublished novel ‘ The Pencileeze Hall Forest Mystery’
    Winner NANOWRIMO 2012

    The Forest Beings Reply

    We grow as Nature ordains
    never complain and bear the pains
    from black to grey, green to brown
    one by one we fall to the ground
    Our duty done with full obedience
    spreading freshness and fragrance
    with peaceful quietude we surrender
    making space for others in elegance.
    This is The Truth This is The Call
    This is The Providence of The Fall
    Be it Oak, Pine Fir or Kowhai
    Sown ‘n Grown, This is The Final Cry’.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Respected Jamie Ji

    A Walk in the Green Forest

    Green leaves trembling
    With the tremors
    Shivering with laughter
    What do they see?
    That makes them murmur
    Sweet rustlings
    Tender whisperings
    Like the twittering
    And the fluttering,
    Manifesting Nature
    In the green sea;

    Waving leaves
    Like the waves
    Moving the living
    And the dead
    Spread for miles yet
    With limits bound
    Trunk so firm
    in the ground
    But the green
    So serene
    Silently brave
    Taking life’s chance
    Continues with the dance
    Happy to be, to us unseen
    With what, they see around.

    Liked by 2 people

    by Clarissa Simmens

    Brambling buckets of blackberries
    Hands torn by thorns
    Moving from bushy density
    To towering treeful forest
    Lightning-struck structures
    Of burned bark becoming
    Horizontal forest barriers
    Keeping some out
    Some in
    But either way we can win
    Crackling clumps of leafy deciduosity
    Self-composted bridges breaking
    Bubbled muddy carpetry
    Winding through lean, mean lanes
    And I hear my name
    Sung through dappled sunshine
    Leading me mysteriously
    As I walk erect and brave
    Passing hidden graves of
    Unknown feathered poets
    Who serenaded their ribbon
    Of life’s silken road
    Composing high-strung music
    Of unrecognized joy and tears…’

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “Invasion”

    The feet flexed
    in vegan Earth Shoes,
    but the thudding of size-eleven soles
    mutilated the
    woods’ wind-laced silence
    that had snaked through
    bare birch branches and along
    boulevards of elms and maples and oaks-
    sharing names with samey sterile streets
    in the suburb I’d escaped
    to seek an illusion of
    pristine paths upon which I
    encroached as inappropriately as a
    cockroach at the Ritz.
    My thirsty eyes sipped a pair of
    blinking gray owls above a toad
    darting around a puddle
    polluted by a packet
    tossed by another trekker
    who’d snacked on granola
    marketed by a
    multinational conglomerate
    as 100% natural.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sea Fever Again
    [Apologies to John Masefield]

    I must go down to the sea again, to the dirty sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a Greenpeace ship and a cause to sail her by;
    And the oil slick and the dead fish and the oiled gulls drowning;
    And a green scum on the sea’s face and a poisonous dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the sea again to rescue the beached whales;
    Most are covered in oily sludge so our futile rescue fails;
    And all I ask is a clean-up plan and a white surf flying,
    And a pure spray and dolphins leaping and bright gannets diving.

    I must go down to the sea again and offer up a prayer
    For the dolphins caught in plastic nets and seals gasping for air.
    And all I ask is a global vow to honour life on earth;
    To work together for a green vision and a glorious new birth.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Vermillion

    Leaves fall down, blown away in the autumnal blitz
    Gold strewn paths crunch and crackle underfoot
    A single vermillion leaf like a tear drop stands proud
    Defiant, blood red, life courses through its veins.

    The widow looks askance; the blood red leaf sends a shiver
    The memory of her wedding day, a bride adorned with jewels
    The red sindoor in the parting of her hair, beginning a new life
    Of wedded love, happiness, babies, the start of a journey.

    The sudden death of her spouse, the ritual of her widowhood
    An awakening of the day as the sindoor on her forehead is wiped away
    The bindi, the dot, the point at which creation begins, negated forever
    The jangle of broken glass as bangles are crushed and ornaments discarded.

    The white sari envelopes her shroud-like, a colourless palette
    A life of the walking dead bereft of feelings, love or emotion.
    Vermillion turned to ash, grey, unassuming as the leaden skies.
    The blood red leaf is trodden under the walker’s brisk steps.

    A lifeless mess of veins traces its lineage etched on the path
    Lies submerged in the brown heap of dead leaves.

    Sindoor: Is a red dot applied to the bride on her wedding day and removed on widowhood.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. .private land.

    yet there are paths,

    walked, not just

    by one or two.

    or rabbits.

    have young feet run here,

    or solitary folk, thinking,

    watching light hit water,

    where monks crossed.

    the abbey is swathed in snowdrops,

    this time of year.

    look for twigs.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. “Walking in the Forest” (from Yet Another Book of Poetry)
    Walking in the forest
    With God at my side
    The two of us just talking
    I took Him at His word
    Going on around Him
    Me pushing the branches
    Away from my face
    And swatting at the gnats
    And Him just walking
    With nothing in His creation
    Daring to touch Him.
    He asked me of a sudden
    And I said sure why not
    So He walked up this tree
    As though He were walking on a fallen log
    While I had to shinny up
    The tree bark
    To get to that little branch so high up
    But when I reached it
    He showed me a little bird
    Just loving to be so little
    And love being little birds’ love
    It seemed so natural.
    I climbed back down carefully
    While God just walked back down
    We walked on in silence
    Me and my gnats
    And God and his Teflon demeanor
    Til He stops and asks me a question.
    What’s not to worship? I say.
    He asks.
    You move in mysterious ways, I say.
    I don’t know, I say
    Not like we should be.
    That was the last I saw of Him
    We cleared the forest a few years back
    The missus and I
    Have a clear view
    From our back porch
    October 4, 2015 (c) Mike Stone

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “Waiting for a Poem” (from Yet Another Book of Poetry)
    You sit down on a bench
    Facing the tree
    In a small garden
    Made quiet by the wrought iron
    Fence and gate around it
    Across the street from the bookstore.
    You wonder will it ever find you again
    So long ago and far away
    From where you held on to each other
    For dear life
    Yes life was dear then
    And then you wonder how you’ll recognize it
    When it finally does arrive
    It might be that ant making its way
    Laboriously over a blade of grass
    Toward that small range of pyramids
    It calls home
    Or a huge heffalump
    Trumpeting in the Hundred Acre woods.
    You notice a folded newspaper
    On the edge of the bench
    And reach over to pick it up.
    Unfolding it you see her handwriting
    Along a margin on the front page
    “Aught have many
    Many ought have one than naught”
    And you think to yourself
    That nothing in this godforsaken world
    Is faster than the speed of night.
    August 28, 2015 (c) Mike Stone

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “Hunting for a Poem” (from Yet Another Book of Poetry)
    You wake up before the sky over the hills lightens
    When the dew is still wet and corpulent
    Or you don’t go to sleep at all
    Instead, you hunt in the blind night
    Careful, slow and silent, intent
    Like a child on what you want
    While the hunted sleep trustfully but fitfully
    In the forest awake with dangers
    Or perhaps the city
    House to house, door to door
    Window by window, it may be watching you
    Behind the curtains
    It might be very small or very large
    You won’t know until it’s too late
    It may be in front of you
    Or behind you
    Ready to lunge at you
    Or to fly off in a loud flapping of wings
    How will you know
    When you don’t even know the shape of it
    Or the smell of it
    Or the taste
    Until you are locked in its deadly embrace?
    August 28, 2015 (c) Mike Stone

    Liked by 2 people

  17. “Walking the Fog” (from The Hoopoe’s Call)
    First of all, fog is more practical than clouds;
    I don’t have to tell you how down to earth it is.
    Then there’s the fact that some fogs are friendly
    While others are decidedly not.
    I was walking home through the forest one evening
    On the path I always follow
    And saw it creeping silently toward me
    Between the trees and over fallen logs and grasses
    Licking my cheeks with its cold tongue.
    Except for the nebulous grey-white
    I couldn’t see beyond my poor shoes.
    I turned around abruptly and picked up a naked branch
    To use as a blind man’s tapping cane
    And turned back toward the fog
    That had swallowed me so thoroughly
    Within its leviathan belly, that I had no clue
    What was forward and what was back.
    I remembered that the path was slightly less overgrown
    With grasses than the sides, one of which climbed upward
    While the other overlooked a rocky promontory.
    The fog thickened and thinned in small swirls
    As though taunting me to go this way or that
    But behind the thinness was always
    An impenetrable thickness.
    That was when I saw the ghostly outline
    Fading in and out of the fog,
    Her sleeve and hood visible then invisible,
    Visible and invisible,
    Like a memory you try to reach
    But can’t.
    January 9, 2020 (c) Mike Stone

    Liked by 2 people

  18. “On Liking Maps Too Much” (from The Hoopoe’s Call)
    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 (c) Mike Stone

    Liked by 1 person

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