Photograph courtesy of Davide Cantelli, Unsplash

“Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.” Ludwig van Beethoven



Looking back and waving good-bye to
Those East Coast blue velvet nights,
The Jersey Palisades, the clear wind
Singing its way through fall foliage as
Long-lost big sis Teresa and me drive to
I don’t remember where but with the
Child’s clear sight radiant visions came
Of early residents cooking over campfire
Warming themselves in caves and tents,
Smiling at the same stars shining light on

All those giant trees, dendrochronology!
Mountains that never bow down, and
Roads that offer hard walks and unclear
Boundaries, prehistoric hand stencils
Make the eyes smile, the mind wonder
And wander on West Coast hikes, and
Those roosters fleeing my driving
Lessons in Maynard, Iowa, Professor
Dad-in-Law coaching, hard to get this
Short dark Brooklyn girl, whose speech

Odd and religion odder still, she found the
Air in San Francisco different from that in
Manhattan, the preponderance of cars,
The values struggling with the received
Ambitions and material concerns when
She’d rather be home with the baby, the
Toddler, the youth, the young adult, the
Man grown, see the dazzle in his eyes and
Hear the soul in his laughter, the simple joy in
Midnight snacks and Creature Features, in

Books, theatre, movies, the CitySon Philospher
Walked along Crown Beach, his love of nature,
Of critters and his willing get-away to Crab Cove
With all its secrets, the man he is now gets the
Poetry and the dreams and life’s subtilities . . .
Oh, yes! Waving goodbye with gratitude and with
Sadness too, for the father largely unknow, the
Mother silent, abused and abusive, the grandmother
Who shut the door on us, the grandfather who
Escaped to So Cal, now all gathering round

To begin another adventure with another
Theme and they seem benign floating in
On my dreams, whispering in my ear, calling
My name, almost time to come home, dear . . .

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

Wednesday Writing Prompt

If you were looking death in the face, what would you remember with joy? Who would you think of fondly? What would you remember sadly? Tells us in your own way through your own 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, May 11th 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:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



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

19 Comments

  1. A tad behind, but this prompt was quite fitting. My cousin passed away this morning. Here is my poem, “Surrender”

    I will stare into your eyes
    As the poison drips into my arms
    And laugh when I tuck plane tickets
    To Europe in my suitcase

    I will make faces at you
    As I lay on the operating table
    And laugh when my shirts are looser
    And I see how much weight I’ve lost

    I will flip you the finger
    As I’m holding my kids
    Celebrating graduations and birthdays
    And even just regular days

    I will slap you as you try to steal
    The warmth of my blankets
    And the heat of my lover
    Wrapped in promises of forever and never

    Yet when the time comes
    And I know the difference between beignet and brioche
    And I’m down to my high school weight
    And the kids have gone back to their full lives
    And my lover has fallen asleep on the couch

    I will look you in the eyes
    And smile sweetly
    As I beckon you to me
    And lay my head on your shoulder
    Holding tightly
    As you carry me across the threshold

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Looking Back
    Standing at the threshold suspended between life and death doing my best to capture the fleeting images flashing before my face in this race which for me is about to be over…gone forevermore…never to be again.

    Early childhood memories in Berkeley, CA. Harmon Street to be exact…my grandmother pouring out buttermilk from a jug just for us to go with our lunch…ugh…yuck. Delicious pies cooling in the window overlook the yard as chickens peck at the dirt unaware of their fate.

    A middle schooler headed to Camp Timbertall totally enthralled by the Redwood trees…trunks a mahogany red stretching high into the sky…up…up… up…green leaves ballooning atop the elongated trunk declaring summer fun has arrived in all its anticipation and expectations.

    Piano lessons from age six…scales…arpeggios mixed with the classical…playing in the Jr. Bach festival…brother the boogie woogie king of the neighborhood…always some good piano music swinging with singing having fun ‘til the day was almost done.

    High school graduation…civil rights demonstrations…relocation to the east coast…falling in love with New York City…Harlem nights, jazz, poetry…meeting the man who was to become my husband…trombonist…composer deep-rooted in the avant-garde revolutionary music.

    Marriage vows…jumping the broom in a small room in front of a self-avowed minister declaring “until death do us part”…days and nights filled with wine, filled with art…then suddenly burnt out…new start…change of heart…God becomes my all in all.

    Newark, NJ… our new home…my husband’s home town…going back to school…six children…the absolute rule for three decades wading through the deep waters of raising children…music education/ elementary ed certification…teaching is now my life.

    Diary of an Inner City Teacher, my story about the glory, the good, the challenges in the honorable profession of teaching…reaching out to, and understanding students regardless of learning styles…regardless of emotions, just learning to go that extra mile for each and every child.

    Fifteen hour flight to Johannesburg South Africa…a trip home to my ancestral land…Africa the motherland…family and cultural ties severed by slavery but reconnected through the church to the drumbeat of my soul to a whole nother aspect of my being.

    Images have been captured…will I be raptured? My breathing now labored…my vision blurry….although very cloudy I feel a hand enclose mine…a voice in the distance says “it’s your time”…the melodic sound of voices draw me into the realm of absolute silence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Death -Mediocrity is Everywhere

    Life moves in time in moment sublime
    in moments painful in moments divine

    life begins so joyfully with smiles yet
    ends cuttingly, bodies scatter for miles

    a month of obligation abstinence patience
    teaches lessons of resilient tolerance

    end a celebration a gratitude for completion
    festive for some for some fatal cremation

    horrible terrible killing fear murder cruelty
    enemy advances ending lives brutally

    Death Death Death all around ,will come
    If it be not now, yet it will, for sure, come’

    when the hearts bleed beat slowly slowly
    when kids are burning dying, what is Holy?

    what festivity what feast what happiness
    what is Eid ~ what is care for family ?

    a moment joyful reveals life is temporary
    next, we should know heaven and eternity

    Ah how truly said the great romantic poet
    ‘ In the very temple of delight resides veiled melancholy’

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And When Death Comes

    And when it comes
    I will meet the Angel and smile
    and say ‘you came before, lifted me,
    quietly, I felt the pull,

    I saw my self flying straight up high
    it was so swift, in flight a few seconds
    and as I looked down- I trembled-

    ‘oh where are you taking me?
    my children are so young
    and my parents are in later age
    they need me too, see,they are alone,

    And Oh Angel you were so kind
    You let me go’
    You had permission to do that
    and I heard you say something’ ?

    Now if I have been good
    have looked after my parents
    and have guided my children,
    on the straight path,

    I hope and pray that
    my way, will be illumined
    each day of life ,scented,
    colorful like daisies and pansies,

    life will begin afresh, pure, peaceful
    as the Almighty is Gracious and Merciful
    “I am precious to The Earth’,
    I need not be frightened’and definitely
    not as simply having visited this world’

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy Sunday everyone sending love and positivity from LA

    “my trip with Azrael”

    you know the time is nigh
    you won’t need anything
    would you agree
    yes i’m prepared
    while we travel can i tell you
    how i loved the cool walks
    the strong espressos and
    the smell of fresh baked croissants over at Figaros
    and when i was young
    i loved the life that was
    fast hard strong and brutal
    was that when you felt invincible
    Azrael asked
    i suppose i didnt really feel anything
    can i tell you about all of the beautiful people
    dressed in all the colors and walk
    step by step
    and the children
    they the true celestial thousand points of light multiply in God’s eyes forever
    did you incur any regrets after all you’re just a human Azrael reminded
    time lost revelling in my hatred and my pain first of self then of my nature of my sins and my enemies my inability for many years to feel with all of me
    and seeing that i was about to cry Azrael lifted me with warmth and ease as my last breath sweet with smells of incense drew from me a soul unique and we clasp hands into the light of eternity

    Liked by 2 people

  6. sending love and health 🧡

    “my trip with Azrael”

    you know the time is nigh
    you won’t need anything
    would you agree
    yes i’m prepared
    while we travel can i tell you
    how i loved the cool walks
    the strong espressos and
    the smell of fresh baked croissants over at Figaros
    and when i was young
    i loved the life that was
    fast hard strong and brutal
    was that when you felt invincible
    Azrael asked
    i suppose i didnt really feel anything
    can i tell you about all of the beautiful people
    dressed in all the colors and walk
    step by step
    and the children
    they the true celestial thousand points of light multiply in God’s eyes forever
    did you incur any regrets after all you’re just a human Azrael reminded
    time lost revelling in my hatred and my pain first of self then of my nature of my sins and my enemies my inability for many years to feel with all of me
    and seeing that i was about to cry Azrael lifted me with warmth and ease as my last breath sweet with smells of incense drew from me a soul unique and we clasp hands into the light of eternity

    Liked by 1 person

  7. .prompt.

    yes i think of you fondly

    all of you gone this while

    we continue thankful in that we knew you

    a while

    while

    feeling fortunate

    in that we have been here a while during the good bits,

    learning from the other bits

    there are a few of you in the garden while others are

    elsewhere

    some too far to visit

    with one down the lane

    handy

    i keep that tidy & maybe the gardener is now unecessary

    i will not attach photos

    i see you all in mind

    & i thank you

    my life continues

    & i thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe”

    Last week was speckled with
    Kardashians and stock markets and
    crude internet memes, yet now
    the nuclear annihilation
    my father once foresaw has
    spontaneously spread
    from an unexpected pocket of the planet,
    labeling nearly all life with a
    pressing expiry date.

    Back during Dorito-and-Aqua Net-stained
    marathon phone sessions
    in the safe, dark coolness of the sofa in the basement,
    my high school crony Ron revealed that, if
    a mushroom cloud ever bloomed nearby, he’d
    survey the display with his dad on the porch.
    Deprived of that option, I merely
    remember my parents,
    probably praying and mouthing Isaiah 41:10
    in a tearful huddle with my brother’s brood,
    and spark a last DuMaurier Ultra Light
    (a shared tobacco habit
    being one of our few common features)
    despite having quit because it’s more soothing
    than the scarier smoke I’ll be
    choking through soon.

    If my hammering heart doesn’t halt from horror and
    anger, my vital organs will be envenomed by
    other people’s politics and pride, and I’ll never again
    hear Dusty Springfield’s vulnerable voice
    wailing about “Your Hurtin’ Kind of Love” over swirling strings
    while I spin in time to the vinyl in exhilarating circles
    between the cuckoo clock and the iced chai latte with oat milk
    that’ll spoil, unsipped.
    Summer sunlight shimmers, and I’m missing rain, spitting
    against my shaved head and naked arms or
    on my window as I nestle into freshly-washed pillowcases,
    not unlike the rushing veil of water on that morning
    in Moncton when my buddy with the scratchy beard and pirate eyes and I
    showered together.

    I drop-kick my laptop off the balcony because
    there’s no point in completing that
    tedious editing job to pay rent rendered needless
    since death is at least free for the corpse, and,
    over the chaos and crying and swearing and shooting,
    an unseen beak trills in a soprano, competing with
    those sirens savaging my eardrums.
    I press Natasha against my chest,
    not far from armpits
    permeated with perspiration;
    I need to protect her, even if
    the gesture is a sham for show, and
    her heat is what I wish to feel before
    meeting my peace-loving Mennonite ancestors
    who’ll say, “we told you so.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. CONSTITUENTS
    By Clarissa Simmens

    Seventy-two
    Nothing new
    Except the feeling
    The feeling of time
    Taking a turn for the worse
    Can’t think about loved ones
    No contest
    Will miss them most
    Who
    Or what
    Will I also cry for?
    Surrounded by Elements
    Of beauty and truth
    Solid Earth
    Birthing botanicals
    And crystals
    The poor person’s diamonds
    Liquid Water
    Amniotic life
    Cool as rain
    Hot as unwanted pain
    Mixed Gas, creator of Air
    Softly blowing my hair
    And the Plasma of life’s Fire
    Burning passionately
    From this love affair with Life
    Thought I’d see you all
    Forever etched in the gray matter
    But that, too, will be Dead
    There, I said it: Dead
    It hurts to know
    That although
    Thought I’d touch you forever
    Smell you
    Taste you eternally
    See your beauty
    While hearing your music
    That music of the universe
    In my 3-beat heart
    I so thought it would never stop
    But no
    How can I go on
    Without the Elemental Beauty
    Of Life…?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “Final Interpretation of Silence”
    (Raanana, August 10, 2018)

    Today Death touched my friend’s lips
    With her icy finger and silenced them,
    Enfolding him in her long dark robes
    And carrying him against her cold breast.
    Across the wide sea, I stand alone now
    Unable to cobble together a few words
    To measure the greatness of my friend.
    He called himself a wordsmith
    But I called him a poet.
    He knew the names of every flower,
    Every bird and every cloud.
    He could paint a picture in your mind
    So detailed you’d swear you’d been there,
    And if you called yourself a poet too,
    You’d have died to write like him.
    What a eulogy of himself he could have given
    If Death had not taken away his breath first,
    Now silence must be his eulogy
    With nobody left to interpret it.

    (c) 2018 Mike Stone (from Call of the Whippoorwill)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “I’ve Seen Death Come”
    (Raanana, June 4, 2018)

    I’ve seen death come for some
    But not for others.
    I’ve seen it drag souls from those they loved
    And seen souls pull death’s slippery robes
    Begging to be taken with it
    Wherever it may go.
    I’ve seen death sit patiently by a bedside,
    Waiting for some soul to ask to be released,
    And seen it rescue others
    From the fear or pain of dying,
    A thousand times worse than death, once come.
    What else can be said of death?
    That it’s unknown until it comes
    And once it comes,
    There’s no time left for wisdom’s gain.

    (c) 2018 Mike Stone (from Call of the Whippoorwill)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. “Zen and the Art of Dying”
    (Raanana, December 23, 2017)

    Death, after a full life, is not so fearsome.
    It’s like a kind of meditation,
    A relaxation from the tensions of living and dying,
    A clarity that sees illusions, but also through them,
    A detachment from pain and desire
    In which the subject and object disappear together
    And all that is left is invisible and silent.
    Death is not a thing that stalks you,
    That finds you where you hide,
    It’s not a thing you can hold in your hand,
    Thumbs up or thumbs down,
    But the end of a life that never was forever,
    That proffers bitter-sweet meaning
    To those who accept it
    On its threshold.

    (c) 2017 Mike Stone (from Call of the Whippoorwill)

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “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) 2019 Mike Stone (from The Hoopoe’s Call)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. AT THIS MOMENT,
    Reaching out to my transport yonder, seconds reel to hug thoughts, one more time,
    The flood of joy of creations gift in a child, O what a miracle!
    Seeing the innocence and trust as only Heaven must know,
    That first cry announcing birth, what mystery!

    Reaching out to my transport yonder, seconds play an old tune,
    Mother’s gentle hand massaging away a dreary fever, while,
    Father held heaven to a session of hope for the child,
    The bliss of safety anchored in the pillars of parentage,
    Knowing for sure nothing would be spared for my sake.

    Reaching out for my transport yonder, seconds rushing to close my eyes,
    Deep heaves over that sorry never given, and silence when speech would suffice,
    Pride of anger and bastard hoarding of hurts so useless,
    Time fleeting and I so sad,
    That when chance availed itself,
    I now leave without embracing the fulnes in the beauty of peace,
    One that comes from full acknowledgement,
    Of the frailty of not letting go when time allowed.

    Reaching out for my transport yonder,
    Time closes the divide and erects a wall
    I look at the agony of love and know nothing matters than love,
    And though tears are beyond recall of my journey,
    These hurriedly scribbled words should alert you of your time.
    Nothing matters in matters of life but goodwill, love and care for those in need,
    For as I soar away from what held me captive,
    I bid you do good for it’s sake,
    To beat the vanity that I now know to be,
    As my last breath expires and material drops to dust.

    Nancy Ndeke
    @ May 2020

    Liked by 3 people

Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s