courtesy of Christine Wehrmeier, Unsplash

“They have the guns, we have the poets. Therefore, we will win.” Howard Zinn

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  ..these
the quiet afternoons pulsing peace,
Bach on the radio, sustenance simmering
on the stove of my tranquility, the days
chasing night, the nights chasing day,
rhythms caressing my face, love-bites
armouring the leg of my being, heart
beating at one with the sighing Pacific
and only gratitude for the gift of life,
no more scandalized by the news of
death, baptism into heaven, whatever
that means
, but the reports center on
conflict, Palestine, Ukraine, Maghreb

easy to foment flash-points for horror,
even easier to forget just how sweet it is
to breathe with the moon and sun and
to grow with trees bending in the storms,
obeisance to the seas and sky and
living on the edge of eternity, time to
give it up, to give-up strife and anger for Lent,
to never pick them up again, to be moved only
by the gentle breeze of butterfly wings,
color and transport for our feasting hearts

© 2020, Jamie Dedes


We’re in the Christian season of Lent right now and abstinence is a tradition during this period. What if we were to hold some sort of international nondenominational lenten celebration, one that involves abstaining from war and conflict while committing to compromise and to unity with and respect for nature into perpetuity?  Share your own vision 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


Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.

Deadline:  Monday, March 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.

Jamie Dedes:

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  1. ..message to james..

    i am fortunate that i have
    much that is needed here

    i feel for those that don’t

    he titled his drawing
    and i shared it

    i had done some of my own
    without a thought

    stay well



    in splendid isolation
    the window wide
    birds still sing

    while i wash my hands


    1. Hi, Sonja! I’m just working on the post now. I don’t see anything in response to this prompt and I did check trash and spam to make sure nothing untoward happened. If you want to pop one in, I’ll include it. Thanks! 🙂


      1. .resistance to war.

        :: this is a new story ::


        where does collaboration work? here.

        with you, you, you and you, i have named you


        with tags and capitals, links and other stable


        i was only stitching. a steady hand. it was an offer,

        happily accepted.

        i was only drawing. so we drew together. here

        & another place.

        i was only writing a, yet there are many of

        us who came together.

        we are alone, until we start working


        it comes a wider space, with mistakes and misgivings.

        nothing in this world is perfect. it is raining today. the

        washing is out.

        neighbours help.

        writers help, drawers

        line our walls with

        notes & labels. a few

        of us

        work together.

        and do not fight.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “March Respite”

    On the way from
    winter’s weather delays and icy
    lashings to the exuberance of
    excursions into splashes of
    spring sunshine,
    let us pause and ponder
    and sacrifice the coveted asset of
    busyness embraced by those who
    clutter and choke their calendars with commitments
    because idleness is undesirable and
    “rest” really is a four-letter word. Let us
    resist the temptation to burden and bully our
    beautiful existence with over-toil and instead be still and
    gaze at grackles hopping over grass drenched
    by dew and chipmunks flashing their chubby cheeks
    while honoring the early-bird boldness of crocuses
    chasing away snow and the curling blossoms of
    blue hyacinths mimicking Marge Simpson’s beehive hairdo.
    Let us smile as sincerely and as gently at others partaking in
    this pursuit of
    peace and paz and salaam and shalom and shaanti and mir as
    at our rushed brothers and sisters who are
    abstaining as we strive to listen to the longings and
    needs of our planet and of each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Jamie! Not last minute this week! Such an apropos request for this Lenten season. My response is entitled:

    The Path – A double Nonet

    The straight and narrow path calls to me
    Stay strong, be brave, keep eyes ahead
    Gluttonous green surrounds me
    Lusciously tempting me
    It can be all mine
    Lumber, water
    I will

    Share them
    The path says
    You have enough
    Abstain from conflict
    Caused by fear, greed, hurt, hate
    Bridge ignorance with knowledge
    Each slat a step to love and peace
    Generosity widens the path

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Come let us be, then in ….those

    Warm sunny carefree mornings,
    lazing on the mat , building castles in the air, as
    soft gurgles of transparent streams make music
    in the spheres, ripples of surging receding waves
    play as Beethoven’s overture’s pauses, interlude’s
    quietude engulfs the skies, being one with the golden
    horizon where love reigns supreme-

    Come let us waltz to Johann Strauss melodies,

    And hold tender souls, breathe in pure peace, let the ocean
    breeze caress the spirit for moments uncounted, evenings
    may chase the nights, twinkles may keep bright the nights
    emerging into holy day breaks, then in gratitude we bow to
    find the gift of life, no more fear, no more strife, just poems
    of love and tranquility, sweet soothing notes of flutes and pipes
    and murmuring bleats of lambs innocent.

    Come let us walk in forests safe, no Robin Hoods to play,

    And sit with the squirrels, sing with the twittering birds, eat the
    raw berries and lie on pine needles dry, let the animals freely roam,
    the monkeys swing from branch to branch, flowers wild bloom around,
    rest in shades and against the trunks as they brace the furious storms,
    firmly rooted , no fear, no cuts, no brutal sawing of the elegant pines
    no habitats destroyed, no homeless to die, no clearing no fines. Growing
    on for invisible insects, purity and equality.

    Come let us give up, then ………..for perpetual peace

    Give up anger give up greed, give up deception and be free
    give up hatred give up fights, give up conflicts give up wars
    abstain from frowns to start wearing smiles, stop all conflicts for
    miles and miles, give up force and corrupt power, and take up
    tenderness as soft as butterflies, give up the guns and weapons and
    work and sing with the bees, let us make life as sweet as honey and give
    up once and for all the lust for money.

    Come this is the time , let us then pray

    May peace be high in perpetuity, the world may become,
    as gentle as a butterfly

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Respected Jamie Ji

    Envisioning Peace on Earth

    Ages ago right guidance was ordained
    can we revert to the simple times again?

    The Earth is alive below, beneath
    shaking disturbed cracking, still-
    yet in revolution,moaning,
    rumbling protesting, death sprawling

    O’ pale moon, bear witness
    O’ sometimes silent sometimes chirping birds
    take notes to the skies, fly, as nature holds the
    wings-from darkness to dawn.

    Speak not of the blood
    that flows like rivers from wounds
    that oozes from cruel cuts by sticks and pellets
    that drops from splinters showered by blasts
    that is visible on clothes tattered and shrouds

    O’ Moon
    see the other side and send
    a sign of peace
    a bird of song
    a light of love
    a tree of enlightenment

    Find, find a harbinger of truth
    justice and salvation.
    The Earth is alive below, yearning,
    to heal -hoping, anticipating,


    The decision is made, now
    let us pause and reflect,withdraw
    into a state of tranquility and calm
    think about right and wrong

    withdraw into simplicity like
    the desert plain and warm
    think of joy love and peace
    comfort sympathy and not harm

    of trees plants fresh and green
    of buds flowers bright and colorful
    of streams and rivers pure and clean
    of seas oceans calm and serene.

    so we all abstain from abuse
    hatred jealousy and refuse
    hasty greed and grabbing spree
    and being content, with all agree

    Hope be our constant company
    one fine day, peace will dawn
    all shall live in harmony
    a dream it is, a vision new

    together we all, can make it come true.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am cosmic
    magnetic energy
    hallucinating alternate dimensions
    mask unveiled
    I am in sympathetic vibration with the multiversal force
    bridging time and space
    creatively contemplated
    coding time and consciousness
    attempting to measure moments
    waiting for resurrection
    fusing conformity and dissention
    through elevation
    I am breathing in the cosmos
    creationing and becoming
    transform into music
    feeling blue
    ’round midnight
    I dance

    Liked by 1 person

    In us all, big, small and distance,
    Is a child,
    Regailing in the wonders of Nature,
    Driven by appreciation of a stranger,
    He watches the canterpillar, and Marvel’s at a blade of grass,
    His play is pure, devoid of gender, even of color,
    Humanity is one,
    Divisions are selfishness driven by greed,
    Our needs tell our oneness,
    Not the relics of your worship,
    Our pains inform our feelings,
    Not boundaries and nationalitys,
    Aren’t we all of a mystical source,
    A river of interconnected beads,
    Aren’t we dust, coming and going back?
    We build monuments,
    That stand in the way of truth,
    Empasis being a stumbling block,
    Lenses to discount and disclaim another,
    We build economies,
    That draw blood to stay afloat,
    Trust has been eroded with the force of ideology,
    History has been faked,
    To mis- teach and misdirect our thoughts,
    Away from the sameness of life,
    Into the fabled divides that keeps us condemning,
    O sons of men !
    Why won’t we remember our days of childhood,
    The bliss of spontaneous songs with fellow creatures,
    When worship was praise of good will like kindergarten kids,
    See how we build walls ,
    Not to keep disease and wild life away,
    But anyone deemed other by our spitting egos,
    See how armed we are,
    Not against alien invasion,
    Or castrophes of nature,
    But against fellow men,
    From references of false teachings,
    That has us,
    Screaming obsecinities at who we are directed to hate,
    We watch beasts marching in herds in the forests,
    Fish swimming in choreograpged schools in the oceans,
    As for bees, they work in uniform and focused synchrony,
    Yet, US,
    With capacity to think and make decisions,
    Ours is a house so divided we are lost at home,
    Wonder of wonders our humble beginnings are no secret,
    Neither our sad ends,
    We are for sure the danger that harms the innocent,
    Yet , we do so with minimal remorse,
    And maximum force under guise of ‘self protection’
    Who is self if not fellow flesh,
    Who is the other if not a mirror of your own,
    We are at that time of year,
    When over a billion hearts deny themselves to reach out to the sky,
    Traditions of Faith’s talks of self denial to reach out to the light,
    But pray tell,
    Is the light we seek not within us and other?
    Within each creature is the universe complete,
    And for it to enjoy this space that life came to experience for a while,
    Peace is Paramount,
    And love of other is the foundation of good will,
    Without which, our deeds come short,
    Awake O men of flesh and dust to your moral campus,
    Seek within the true nature of why our earth is in such agony,
    Stand tall with the message of wholeness,
    For wholeness is the path that allows life to thrive,
    Not surviving from one calamity to the next,
    A fact of the world we are currently living on.
    Stand and be counted as an ambassador of Peace.
    Reclaim who you were before misdeeds came to rule your concious.

    Nancy Ndeke.
    @ March 2020

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Warlord

    loves to be entertained.
    After a battle where skulls are blown apart
    he loves to sit and laugh at Anthem For Doomed Youth.

    After a skirmish in which men are screaming
    With half a leg or arm bone shattered
    By shrapnel, he guffaws at Dulce Decorum Est.

    The more graphic, the more comic to him.
    He says if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.
    Laughter is healthy. Laughter is human.

    Laughter affirms life, essential before
    a fight amidst bullets, stabs and snipers.

    “Oh What A Lovely War”, is his favourite film.
    “All Quiet On The Western Front” a comic classic.

    He knows we laugh at what we fear most.
    War is like great stand up when you can barely

    Breathe for laughter, your sides hurt
    as if they need stiches. War is medicinal.

    From port of souls, Alien Buddha Press, 2018

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We Live
    in a fake peace between world wars,
    shop and shop to stay reasonable.

    Families are killed elsewhere.
    We see their relatives tears on plasma screens.

    Sometimes tears drop closer to home,
    and we are reminded of our fake comfort,

    that is preferable, a faux fur covered blade
    sometimes bleeds and we are keen.

    Liked by 3 people

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