“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”
Immaturity, George Bernard Shaw, The Collected Works of George Bernard Shaw: Plays, Novels, Articles, Letters and Essays



We four, we fumbled our pas de quatre on river rocks in
a faraway place of raging Hudson and an antique cloister.
No escape from mutilation but for books and theater,
old stories reborn, told in graceful moves and music made
for those with better breeding, more cultivated minds.

Home, our home, a place of first loves, unfounded hope
where simmering, Sidto* served soup to my sister,
a dark-olive girl-fugue in tar black and char dust.
In that place whirling with church spires and myrtle trees,
grimacing and breathless, we spun along twisted shores.
The mothers buried anger in silence. Cold bile leaked. I
slipped, broke my ballerina legs in a premature grand jeté.
I failed to heal those fissured old hearts.

We were lost, our frenzied dabke* danced in crazy time,
passing green humid summers and silver crisp winters,
swinging the stone shackles of the earth-bound. Home . . .
At home, such a tangled skein of love and lies and ties where,
by the bogey breeze, tripping on river rocks, hysterical
imaginings, one stepped lively in schadenfreude.

Solitary now

Alone above rainforest layers of a lyrical mind, I dance
triumphant, a pas marché on rain clouds, plumbed, bursting
with hard-won poems in roses, willow greens, and light.
With twice-found hope and tender love, I dance for them.

*Sidto (Arabic) – grandmother; Dabke (Arabic) – folk dance of the Levantine peoples 

© 2019, poem, Jamie Dedes; Illustration courtesy of Fran Hogan, Public Domain Photograph.net.

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

This week’s challenge is to juxtapose your life as a child against your life now as an adult. Share your poem/s on theme 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 Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.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, June 29 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 and befriend 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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17 Comments

  1. Respected Jamie Ji
    Wish you the best of health , joy and happiness.Keep smiling. You inspire profoundly.Life has so much to write about.The topic made me sad but I have managed some glimpses…

    I believe I am an spirit incarnate,
    Landed from the skies above, on
    a plate without a parachute, I
    survived, though for many years
    of childhood I had a wobbly walk,
    would often fall from just anywhere,

    and everyone started calling me,
    “now what” and “ what next, where?”
    Was a runner, everywhere, never hungry
    loved the open air, loved books, all fair
    life was joyful, life was free but in the
    lawn, up the tree, under a watchful eye.

    of some one elderly, unaware of witches
    dangers, rapists, life had lots of company.
    The air was clean, water was plenty, fruit
    abundant, home was home not a house
    less toys to playwith more books to read
    there never was a sad time or an urgent need,

    many now say “you had a good childhood”-
    16mm screen movies funny films to see
    every Sunday a picnic on the hills, must be-
    out of war zone safely in peace, I thought
    life was fun and love , no care or any worry,
    but soon in teens the world all changed, war

    came in with blackouts disturbed home-
    curfew isolation restrictions all set in-since
    1960s war has not stopped, terrorism spread
    no place was safe, of race religion or creed
    who was the enemy no one recognized- war
    was for another’s cause, schools closed and
    remained closed, danger at every step outside
    what will the future be what will government
    decide, uncertainty reigned over country-
    peace came in bits and pieces, life was now
    a cautionary tale, picnics died, inside, inside
    eat homemade inside, where to run? Hardly

    space for a short walk in the lane, but come
    let’s walk. Let’s practice patience, as parents
    became ill, life now is at a standstill, no parents
    no kids, no jobs, no travel, no picnics, just press
    the button –and plug in the wire life- switch on
    the TV, watch the news, how many killed –stress

    no, stay clean, wash hands, eat that is healthy
    look in silence, other kids are playing in the lane
    they do not know yet the pain or gain or war
    they have not gone far, nor seen any real war
    they fly simple kites, dream of ice cream cones
    they look weak, almost skin and bones

    life is calm now, to be grateful, and I dream of
    flying up to the stars, my home is there in the
    Milky way will I be alone ? No, friends will be
    there, shining stars all the way, Life at times
    makes me dance and I secretly do a few steps
    you may laugh if you see me, but the best is yet

    to be-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Respected Jamie ji thank you..a water drop sounded in the deep vault of silence, yet the silence of life is extensively deep. Prayers regards faithful hopes . love.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. bundles of joy I feel when there is a visible response- love and prayers for you always…Jamie I keep calling in silence of spirit we meet May Allah bless you with strength of life. aameen

          Liked by 1 person

  2. SONG

    “I lost my heart in an English garden”.
    My voice was a boat on a turquoise river,
    the banks clustered with large red blossoms
    framed by dark green leaves. I could warble then,
    stretched out in the bath, Ave Marias
    and such-like, could follow notes on staves
    in the school-boy choir.
    Something broke,
    the song mid-flow as three girls turned
    the corner, giggled and sneered. Later the boat
    pitched and yawed, lost its bearings,
    timbers creaking, barnacled.

    Black on white, phrases tacking between
    major, minor and older modes, singing
    from heart and page,
    no longer lost in a quiet street.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (My name’s Mahfuz Rahman. I’m from Bangladesh. Basically, I write poems and short stories. Some of my poems got published in Tuck Magazine, in Persian Sugar in English Tea and also in Gideon Poetry Review. For the first time I am going to write for ‘Wednesday Writing Prompt’. Here is my “Going back to recall agonies”.)

    Going back to recall agonies
    – Mahfuz Rahman

    Time flies and we move forward
    It may take just a blink of eyes or a short span of time and everything happens.
    Life has variations, however it changes.
    Our little child body growing old someday.

    Look, when I was a child,
    was used to siting beside my mom.
    Nowadays, I used to sit beside my beloved gal, but do miss that caress and softness.
    Now, I sit alongside the river each and everyday, I look at the serene water. But this water can not extinguish my agonies because my heart is burning for a long since and became a volcano. It has already been broken down and became an ocean of catastrophic storms.

    Still, I sit under that bunyan tree but I do miss those days when I was used to playing with my mates; was used to passing my good afternoons under its green shade.
    I feel shy to go to under the neighbours tarmarind tree what was once my daily routine to pick up tarmarind.
    At present, I write my pains with pen, do write all of the missing times and things.
    Am turned young by courses of time, not more than a gradually developed materialistic worm,
    Aged a score plus seven.

    I can’t escape the present. What I can is to ruminate the bygones; am overall a reminiscient.
    Thousands of days have been flied over
    Millions of memories have been engraved with.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. (My name’s Mahfuz Rahman. I’m from Bangladesh. Basically, I write poems and short stories. Some of my poems got published in Tuck Magazine, in Persian Sugar in English Tea and also in Gideon Poetry Review. For the first time I am going to write for ‘Wednesday Writing Prompt’. Here is my poem “Going back to recall agonies”.)

    Going back to recall agonies
    – Mahfuz Rahman

    Time flies and we move forward
    It may take just a blink of eyes or a short span of time and everything happens.
    Life has variations, however it changes.
    Our little child body growing old someday.

    Look, when I was a child,
    was used to siting beside my mom.
    Nowadays, I used to sit beside my beloved gal, but do miss that caress and softness.
    Now, I sit alongside the river each and everyday, I look at the serene water. But this water can not extinguish my agonies because my heart is burning for a long since and became a volcano. It has already been broken down and became an ocean of catastrophic storms.

    Still, I sit under that bunyan tree but I do miss those days when I was used to playing with my mates; was used to passing my good afternoons under its green shade.
    I feel shy to go to under the neighbours tarmarind tree what was once my daily routine to pick up tarmarind.
    At present, I write my pains with pen, do write all of the missing times and things.
    Am turned young by courses of time, not more than a gradually developed materialistic worm,
    Aged a score plus seven.

    I can’t escape the present. What I can is to ruminate the bygones; am overall a reminiscient.
    Thousands of days have been flied over
    Millions of memories have been engraved with.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Jamie! Surprise – I am the first one to post a poem (instead of being the last)! This one is a recent haibun that I wrote that just happened to fit your prompt. I love the imagery in your poem – my favorite phrase is, “At home, such a tangled skein of love and lies and ties”. The rhythm tangos beautifully with the dance metaphors. Here is my offering for this week:

    A Shining Moment

    I am drinking hot coffee despite the 90 degree weather, the sweet creamy liquid warming my nostrils before I take a sip. I hold it for a moment, savoring it’s decadence before swallowing, while watching my children run through the sprinkler. The sunlight glistens off the water droplets hanging onto their dark hair and tan skin. These diamonds sparkle and glisten before being flung into the air echoing the sound of their laughter. I drink my coffee and commit this happy, shining moment to memory.

    Growing up, my sprinkler was the fire hydrant in front of my neighbor’s house. Instead of soft, squishy grass underfoot, we had pavement that left our feet raw from scrapes on the unyielding surface. Our laughter gurgled like the fire hydrant while our screams matched the siren wail of the police – a warning that our water play time would soon come to an end. My mother would drink black coffee and watch us from the stoop, her worries emanating from the lines between her eyes, like the sun’s rays burning our already darkened skin.

    On this summer day, I drink my coffee, leaning against my marble countertop while looking at my children through the panoramic kitchen window and toast myself for not having wrinkles between my eyes.

    Sunshine rewarding
    Generations of hard work –
    Suburban sprinkler

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Quand J’étais Petit”

    Quand j’étais petit,
    I preferred pink to blue
    and flowers to football.
    I longed to learn languages and
    relished the garish gooseflesh
    inflicted by ghost stories
    and pizza after swims on
    sweltering July afternoons with the
    girl on Sunset Avenue I dreamt of
    sharing a purple house with.

    Maintenant que je suis grand,
    complications have cropped up;
    celeste bests salmon, but
    bubblegum beats cobalt.
    I still delight in deep-dish
    and cool dips in the pool
    and fancy a fistful of forget-me-nots,
    but pigskin takes priority on
    Super Bowl Sunday, and
    I survive on my own in
    an ivory building,
    ruffled and flushed by
    at a life far more real than the
    showy shocks of
    any Gothic thriller.

    Liked by 1 person

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