A Beautiful Place for Mortal Beings, a poem


look at those trees, will you, look!
sun bursting into dazzling columns
and eucalyptus dripping its stringy
bark, drizzling its medicinal scent

dragonflies stretch stenciled wings
zephyr mambos with wild grasses
sunshine camps out on shoulders
the damp salty air curls our hair

we tumble into the sea’s embrace
to find that this is salvation and
the mountain expanse a cathedral
the ocean’s roar is its Te Deum

for mortal beings: a beautiful place,
voluptuous and wanton and willing
to be caressed, like Life, held close
never understanding the mysteries

our existence, the sea-held mountain,
we love them in our frailty, we grasp
these gifts until we can’t, until
letting go is just as it should be

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reservedPhoto – a Monterey Cypress (Pebble Beach, CA, USA) courtesy of rickpawl’s photostream  Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Don’t hide the madness …

img_0274

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.” Allen Ginsberg

Follow your inner moonlight! I like this from Ginsberg. Sharing it because Campbell’s “follow your bliss” is getting a bit tired and madness and moonlight have a certain perverse appeal  … meanwhile …

You’ll note in the photo above that it’s raining here (storming actually), too heavy in some parts (flooding) and yet not enough in others. Having said that, it looks like we will actually get some relief from our years of drought. Maybe this summer won’t  as hot and dry as the last few.

FullSizeRender-3

DROUGHT-FULL

it’s “drought-full” she says,
my japanese friend –
as though it were “dreadful”
which it is, dreadful
the five-year drought
i hunger for rain

drought-full, she says again
pensive, as we stroll B Street
in search of a café, a mojito
sugar, mint, caffeine, ice!

a black gentleman passes
with a nod at her he says
. . . . .Nǐ Hǎo
shizuko keeps walking,
. . . . .says nothing
the man looks puzzled, a bit hurt
he’d meant a courtesy,
greeting her in chinese,
i stop, rest my hand on his arm
“she’s japanese,” i say
by way of explanation,
he smiles then, and
on we walk, shizuko and me
on this hot drought-full day
seeking relief in a mojito

© 2015, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

LITERATURE AND FICTION oo Editor’s Picks oo Award Winners oo NY Times Best Sellers

CLIMATE CHANGE & STORYTELLING with Judith Black

Storyteller Judith Black

Storyteller Judith Black

We’re getting ready to hit the publish button on this month’s issue of  The BeZine in a few hours. The theme this month is Environment/Environmental Justice. Here, our friend Judith Black helps us to warm up with her TED-X video on StoryTelling and Climate Change organized by the storytelling community.

JUDITH BLACK (Storytelling: A Window on to the World
A Mirror into the Heart) is a professional storyteller, story maker, and teacher/coach with an international following. Originally trained at Wheelock College as an early childhood educator, Judith leapt from the classroom to the stage after training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Ultimately she bound these two passions with storytelling and for thirty-five years has been using story to motivate, humanize, entertain, and teach. She is the winner of many awards in her field.

If you are reading this in an email, you’ll likely need to link through to view the video.

© portrait, Judith Black

the smell of wood, the scorch of fire, a poem … and Your Wednesday Writing Prompt

stumpsthis rough-barked sequoia stump, sitting in majesty
in its coastal home, victim of wildfire, burned down
to its gnarly roots, its nicks, holes and char, eons
of scars, life seemingly cut off, goddess snake alive
inside the concentric circles, the smell of wood and
scorch of fire, at the verge of our infinity, in its truth ~

pristine

rugged

pulsing

haunted by the geometry of limbs, the calculus of green,
the algebraic eloquence of a world within a world  ~

So present.

So essential.

So primal.

it sings to itself in the marrow of our bones

– Jamie Dedes

WRITING PROMPT

In preparation for The BeZine 100,000 Poets (and Friends) for Change

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Theme: Environment/Environmental Injustice

This poem was originally written in 2014 for Wilderness Week. There were then and are now a number of fires raging in the western United States. Wildfires are a natural occurrence but since the 1980s they’ve been increasing due to human-caused climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists . . .

Wildfires in the western United States have been . . . occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long (comparisons are between 1970-1986 and 1986-2003) ….. many of the areas that have seen these increases—such as Yosemite National Park and the Northern Rockies—are protected from or relatively unaffected by human land-use and behaviors. This suggests that climate change is a major factor driving the increase in wildfires.” MORE

We tend to look at these fires in terms of the expense incurred fighting them and the cost of lives, homes, habitat, wild life and so forth. However, there’s one consideration we may forget: Nature teaches us, comforts us, feeds us and is the ebb and flow of our spiritual and physical lives. The loss – the environmental injustice – is profound on more than a material level. This is what the smell of wood, the scorch of fire seeks to illustrate. “Nature” is who we are. Nature is us.

Write a poem or creative nonfiction piece on what the natural environment means to you and perhaps the sense of loss you feel as you note plants, animals, insects and wilderness that you’ve seen damaged or destroyed by climate, industry, overpopulation and whatever else has effected the area in which you live.

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reservedPhoto credit ~Bay Nature.org: “The Bay Nature Institute, based in Berkeley, California, is dedicated to educating the people of the San Francisco Bay Area about, and celebrating the beauty of, the surrounding natural world. We do so with the aim of inspiring residents to explore and preserve the diverse and unique natural heritage of the region, and of nurturing productive relationships among the many organizations and individuals working towards these same goals.” Read more HERE.

You are invited to join The Bardo Group Beguines at The BeZine blog on Saturday, September 24 for 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change.  Below is a list of more features to provide you with information. We hope you’ll join us.

RELATED: