Courtesy of pixpoetry @blackpoetry, unsplash

“For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



“Old” is not a pejorative,
We’re ripe not rotten
We’re flexible not fossilized,
We started out with typewriters,
Slide rules and comptometers,
Moved on to hand-held calculators
And word processing, transitioning
In time to sophisticated software, to
Wi-fi and laptops, and from slow mail
To social networking and Zoom

We hail from good years for people,
A crop of fine folk with a refined sense
of conscience, who knock on the doors
Of those who are asleep, those who
Lack scruples perhaps by nurture, by bent
Or sheer ignorance, our heroes are the
Ninety-nine percent who persist despite
Systemic inequalities, the unsung ones

We know what’s real, what matters,
And where to invest ourselves as the
Sentinels, strong and not silent, given
To sounding alarms, penning our warnings
Or marching in the streets, calling for humane
And accountable transparent governance
We write for op-ed pages, announcing our
Analyses, our perspectives, our distillations
Expressed in language muscular, sometimes
Lyrical, but always honest, prescient, and
Enduring, committed to justice, social and
Environmental, and to leveling the field

We’ve lived through recessions, drought, the
Cold War, we continue on, lively despite the
Unremitting devastation of violent conflicts
Twenty-four named genocides and that
Doomsday Clock (born when we were), now
A few ticks from midnight, still we endure, we
Give back to life as it has been given to us to
Be free, to be vocal, to be conscience, always
Stouthearted as the elders, venerable and
Adaptable, empathy and experience to counter
The follies of stupidity and greed, the king
And queen of the world’s pain and grief

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

This week we focus on maturity. What is the value-added as years go by?  You don’t have to be “old” or “elderly” to respond to this prompt. You have more years under your belt today than every before. So share your thoughts 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

PLEASE NOTE:

Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!

Deadline:  Monday, April 20 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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FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

21 Comments

  1. Hello Jamie! I think this will be another great collection this week! Here is mine – hoping to meet the bar of the others…It was inspired by your words above “You have more years under your belt today than every before.”

    “Cinched”

    I cinch this belt
    Yet not as much as I did
    Yesterday
    Another notch left unused
    And soon there will be none left
    To even give an illusion
    Of an indentation

    I cinch this belt
    With hands rough and lined
    No lotion softness
    Just stories
    In each scarred crevice
    Lessons etched for
    20-20 palm reading

    I cinch this belt
    This hard-won
    Welterweight Champion of Maturity Belt
    And walk proudly into the Ring of Life
    To face my always opponent, Unknown.
    The bell dings

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just Yesterday

    Just Yesterday
    It seems in memories
    we read about the Great Flood

    Just Yesterday
    We heard stories
    Of killing and the flowing blood,

    Just yesterday
    we suffered and tread
    crossed borders for ‘The Divide’

    Just yesterday
    We played ‘touch the tree’
    hopscotch marbles seek and hide

    Just Yesterday
    We drove around in
    Chevrolet s Fiats with Jeeps beside

    Just yesterday
    we spent warm afternoons
    lazing and building castles in the sand

    Just yesterday
    Ran for the ice lolly
    at the ringing of the Cart man’s bell.

    Just yesterday
    some others’ ruled,
    many people easily fooled

    Today I look at photographs
    reflecting memories
    Of moments good and bad.

    life is more of indoor stay
    a screen and a couch, is all
    the ground to play

    distances wired, yet wireless
    physical isolation, visual connection,
    tourism occupies the planet.

    maturity yet far away, language
    in disarray, rights violated , freedom
    curtailed states taken over, leaders jailed

    relationships leave much to be desired
    rich more rich, poor poorer despised
    ignorance of dark ages amidst chaotic fuss

    In comes Corona Virus
    unseen, forcing a metamorphosis
    humanity is halted, equally.

    What now, happiness or sorrow
    Who knows or may see tomorrow
    I tear and pile up the photographs

    All are distanced, washing hands
    new law of lands, paperless life, cold
    I gather my sheaves, all set- to be sold.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. GOLDEN WRINKLES
    Maturity means thanks giving to childhood
    Multiplication of years hence birth and showers of unmeasurable and priceless firm brains
    It is a mountain top full of greener wonders
    A waterfall of blessings every little soul awaiting to grasp and feel
    It is a time when the beaming and gleaming stars gather for all to gaze on
    Not only to gaze on but to reap up the best of the life journey
    An angelic Ark which carried us all to cross over the Jordan river
    This is a sacred life never to be forsaken
    A haven of heavens we all wish to step unto!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Progress?

    When I was age ten,
    wrinkled worms of worry
    squirmed their way into the ignorant squeals
    of ghost in the graveyard
    as buddies’ begetters were jettisoned from their jobs
    during the Reagan Recession.
    When I was age twenty, about to
    burst upon the pomp of
    a piece of parchment
    (previously promoted as
    a passport to prosperity)
    drawn up in uselessly pretentious Latin,
    I tripped into a mosh pit of Generation X grumblers
    bitching about becoming the
    first generation to fare worse than
    its fathers and mothers as
    grunge tracks lashed clouds
    of clove cigarette smoke on café sofas.
    When I was age thirty, a soaring stock market
    sank into post-nine-eleven oblivion in
    a waxing new century of
    underwhelming wilting.
    When I neared age forty, along with gray
    hairs rose the Great Recession, punching any
    progress practically back to nil.
    And now that I sneak up on the half-century signpost,
    having naively considered that
    I could,
    at last,
    coast on a comfortable career,
    COVID-19 has crushed the economy
    with a death blow not dealt since the Depression.
    Middle age may not have lowered my libido or
    dampened my desire for candy or daydreams,
    but as it takes longer and longer
    for me to find my birth year
    on drop-down menus,
    I’m nagged by a need to
    cherish achievements
    before the elusive illusions of stability
    between the mortar board and the mortuary
    melt into the sad sighing of Sisyphus.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. https://christinebialczak.com/2020/04/15/wednesday-writing-prompt/
    As I have aged…
    As I have aged I have learned so many things…

    I remember wondering how my nightgown made real sparks in the dark of a summer night.

    I remember wondering how berries knew to grow on the same bushes every year.

    I remember wondering how I would ever live without my parents, even if I got married.

    I remember wondering how anyone could afford to buy a car.

    I remember wondering how my mail could get to another country in a few days.

    As I have aged I have learned to love things…

    Being a mother

    Being a giver, not a taker

    Being a friend

    Being kind

    Being smart

    Being happy

    Being thankful.

    As I have aged I have learned to hate things….

    Losing loved ones

    Lives ending

    Sadness

    Sickness

    War

    Aging is all about learning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ..catching twigs..

      it is good to move things about
      to stitch and make things
      stitch and mend things

      harder to thread the needle
      daylight helps
      by the door

      when we gets distracted by
      trees and birds
      and suchlike
      natural things

      i like the stitch backwards
      the stretching threads

      the littled dress

      she is older now

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ..the rain came suddenly..
        sun, was done and dusted.

        by the slate they talked, shining.
        faces older now, friendship retained.

        learned a little more on life, the small
        things, wisdom rings
        the generations.

        i did not need all the mange tout.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. ..i don’t write dramatic.
          may be i am soft like
          gentle ways.

          we went to the mountain
          sat at the base chatting,
          looking up.

          walking the path, the sun
          caught our shoulders,

          at the salmon leap, we paused
          at the lack of fish.

          grass grew greener,
          we are older now,

          happy.

          enough.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. “Seek Not beyond those Horizons”

    On another world, in another time,
    A world and time whose horizons are close and familiar
    Unknown to our enemies or their missiles
    Where God rises over the hills in the morning
    And sets in the sea in the evening.
    He sees us with the light of his eyes,
    Hears our cacophony of supplications,
    Feels us with His gentle breezes,
    And tastes us with His blue seas.
    He protects us from evil,
    Provides for our needs
    Before we think to ask,
    And collects us to His breast
    When we are old.
    We have only to seek not beyond those horizons
    Or question the wisdom
    Of those who came before us.

    October 9, 2019

    (c) Mike Stone 2020

    Liked by 3 people

  7. “Death’s Grace”

    On the other side of the world
    A mother’s soul grows childlike
    While her body withers and shrivels
    Under the blankets and darkness
    Of curtains and closed doors
    Waiting for God’s grace
    Or Death’s.

    September 5, 2019

    (c) Mike Stone 2020

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “The Colossal Feats of Ramses Two”

    Ramses Two, Ozymandias, third king of the nineteenth dynasty,
    Son of Seti One or the sun, as you would have us believe,
    Conqueror of Nubia, Libya, Canaan, Syria, and the Hittites,
    Enslaver of the Hebrews who carried your pyramids on their broken backs,
    You built temples to forgotten gods,
    Cities buried under shifting sand dunes,
    And colossal statues of yourself in stone
    Commemorating your colossal feats for all posterity
    Striking awe and terror in your peoples’ hearts,
    Intimidating those who would invade,
    But all that remains are the colossal feet,
    The rest resides in a British museum.
    Your mummied body, five foot seven,
    Hunched over ancient arthritis and abscessed teeth,
    Is now in some Parisian museum viewed by
    Heartless bodies with a plane to catch.
    If you could see yourself as we see you now,
    The submerged relics of your once and future greatness,
    Would you have thought it worth your efforts
    And not a waste of precious life?
    Life crashes through all of us,
    As through paper walls or
    Trampling you and me like blades of grass
    Under a careless runner’s feet
    To reach some distant star.

    July 4, 2019

    (c) Mike Stone 2020

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “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 2020

    Liked by 2 people

  10. to be left aside , maturrity has diminished , staring vacantly ,not finding answers the mind’s inner recesses do not stir, lock down imposed since childhood , often a living grave, a way of life, for us women
    growing up with fear, a ruck sack kidnapper, the servant who lives in the quarters.smiling sweetly the tenderer of flowers, for him young girls are flowers too, smacking jostling poking bus conductor shouting..’close close closer’, make space’ , maturity trespassed, what are we ? vulnerable so easily accessible?
    in silence back to lock down, day by day, year by year, purpose focused we move on , books in arms, abaya or hijab is no barbed wire, a lock down better than a classroom?
    avoid hugs of loving uncles? they feel so different love is painful, be brave be mature, we have come so far , road replete with panthers perils and playboys,
    home sweet home, home safe home, but enter another form, eyeing elderly women , inspectors of beauty in their own sense defined
    Ah Maturity why did you silently rise?
    We have not run after butterflies yet not rolled on the lush green grass, nor sang the sweet songs of youthful joy ,nor jumped or skipped to the cool winds of Spring or early Summer?
    Prepare now for the new lock down at another’s home sweet home
    O Maturity you are taking us there
    Can we think our own thoughts ?
    A new life begins to grow , a new journey to maturity, we have forgotten our own
    forgotten our needs
    forgotten our shares
    forgotten our dreams
    We are mature now to see things as they are, to grasp the grandeur of language as we hear it from another
    box, forgetting the crude utterances on the side
    we have come a long way,but with no memories of the stay
    world is still in conflict,hatred jealousy
    wars votes,greed, restless for powerful command, maturity is unknown to poverty
    but we have attempted to bear and do good, maturity is our responsibility
    the world may not be …
    O Maturity we have grown up with thee
    Lead us now to love care and safety
    the world old or new may be or may not be …

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The season that didn’t exist

    So the time
    just like a river
    lowers each waterside
    from a higher
    to a small one
    or from colorful
    to horizon.
    Yes.
    So the time.

    The children,
    each fall
    the yellow leaves
    they gather.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. SONG OF AN OLD MAN

      …..I

      Here I am
      With a story
      Without a beginning, without an end, without a story
      But here I am
      I came here
      Proudly
      With my fine circus
      With my elephants, my clowns, my highwire
      And my fleas
      No – now my memory fails me too
      I never had fleas till I came here
      Proudly
      With my circus in a bag on my back
      In the country my circus was a rage
      Everyone came
      Everyone marvelled and took something home
      But then I came to the city
      Spying out the land
      And all those people
      Rushing back and forth
      I don’t know
      Frightened me somehow
      With their beards and monocles
      Their sweaters and nylon stockings
      Frightened me somehow
      And I clung on to my bag
      To keep my circus quiet
      Out of sight till the time came

      …..II

      Remembering
      How old was I when you gave me my circus?
      Pleased at first as children are
      Then awed, ecstatic, angry, indignant, blind with rage and screaming as I learned
      All the time learning
      I remember the accidents
      Fire in the stables roasting horses like chickens
      Young girls missing the net to explode like wine glasses
      I couldn’t close my eyes
      Saw every hurt
      Felt blood flow
      And all the time learning my trade
      Until you should make me master of the ring
      Good times too
      Delivering foals at 3 a.m.
      Lovers holding hands a hundred feet up
      The clown risking his life when the lion got loose
      All the stories the artistes had to tell
      All the time learning
      Learning my trade
      For I was to announce them and their stories
      In the city
      And here
      Here I was
      Nervous
      Dumbstruck

      …..III

      I have been proud in my life
      I have had to learn not to thank you for making me like this
      Not to thank you I am not as other men
      But now as a reward
      Please please
      Let me be like them
      Please
      I was too prudent
      I did not book a hall
      I did not light lights
      Hang up posters
      Parade them through the town
      I kept them quiet
      Out of sight till the time came
      I was too prudent
      It was a wet November
      The streets reflected the lights
      And clung to my shoes
      I huddled in cafés
      Slept in alleys
      I bought drinks for people I thought might like circuses
      Made them my friends
      I told them anecdotes
      I spent years at it
      I learned to speak
      To make people laugh by keeping a straight face
      And by crying to make them cry
      But many didn’t understand me

      …..IV

      And some – some I trusted
      Thought ill of me
      That my stories were lies
      Were all mine
      In some way “my opinion”
      And cost me more years of learning
      For only a fool is angry when no one listens
      And no one listens to a fool
      So now I am an old fool
      But I heard – I saw those stories
      They belong to me
      To you
      To the people who drank my drinks
      And would not listen
      I was too prudent
      And too foolish
      I have spent all my money
      I have sold everything to buy people drinks
      My elephants, my clowns, my highwire
      All I have left are my fleas
      I would ask you to book a hall for me
      To light lights
      Hang up posters
      To buy back my animals and parade them through the town
      But I am afraid
      For you would refuse
      I would ask you if my fleas are enough
      But I am afraid
      For you would say yes

      Liked by 2 people

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