mourning brooch, a poem

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” William Shakespeare, Macbeth

the memories have little substance
they flit and fly, pollen on the wind,
like the quick passing of a joyful birth,
the school years, the sweet trysts ~
a waving bridal veil . . .

. . . the way your love drained you of your dreams
just to fill yourself with him

. . . . . the epitaph of tears

only when yesterday becomes a story,
once upon a time, do memories
become memorial, a mourning brooch
forever warm upon your breast

© 2013, Jamie Dedes


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale Press, Metho/BlogThe Compass Rose and California Woman.

I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. I’ve been featured on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, several times as Second Light Live featured poet, on Belfast Radio and elsewhere.

Email me at for permissions or comissions.

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

The Bottom of the Ninth, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

Ebbets Field / U.S. Public Domain

“There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.” – Tommy Lasorda

What’s  interesting to me about baseball is not the game itself but that from the boardroom to the streets, the language of baseball permeates the vernacular. Using some baseball idioms, I wrote what I think might qualify as a “found” poem.

The Bottom of the Ninth

The bottom of the ninth
and my deadline was pending
when life threw a curveball:
thoughts less hit than miss.
Every word off-base, in a
strike-out scarred draft.
“Oh” moaned my editor.
Three strikes. You’re out.

© 2019, Jamie Dedes


Sports in general are not my thing and hence the resulting poem is certainly not one of my best. However, I did think this might be a fun prompt for many of you. This week, write a poem about any sport that engages you. What delights you about it?  Perhaps for you the topic lends itself to poetic memoir?  Maybe you’re a soccer mom or a baseball dad. Do you see your fave game as a metaphor for life? Or, as a poet and writer, do the idioms delight you?

Share your poem/s on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them. All poems on theme are published on the first Tuesday following the current Wednesday Writing Prompt. (Please no oddly laid-out poems.)

 No poems submitted through email or Facebook will be published. 

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, June 3 by 8 pm Pacific Standard 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. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poems in “I Am Not a Silent Poet”
* Three poems in Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Remembering Mom,” HerStry
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.

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

Jisei, Japanese death poems; my “Grand Coda,” a poem

Portrait of Bashō by Hokusai, late 18th century, public domain

On a journey, ill;
my dream goes wandering
over withered fields.

– Japanese poet Bashō (1644-1694) renown for his haiku, haibun and extended haibunstudied haikai no renga with Kigin, a distinguished poet living in the same region as Bashō. This haiku is alleged by many to be Bashō’s “death poem.”*

  • I’m on vacation. This is a prescheduled post. Regular posting will begin again with Wednesday Writing Prompt on April 24 and Opportunity Knocks on April 25.
  • Calls for Submissions, Contests, and Events are shared on The Poet by Day Facebook Page.   
  • You are encouraged to display your work (poetry, art, photography, cartoons, music videos and so forth) and your artistic successes and other arts-related announcements at The BeZine Arts & Humanities Facebook Group Page

“farewell to life”

Yoel Hoffmann’s Japanese Death Poems is an introduction to an honored Japanese tradition. It includes poems that are pithy and reverent or sometimes quite irreverent, and background on many of the poets, mostly Buddhist monastics.

A tradition among educated Japanese was to write jisei (death poems). These were spontaneously written during the process of dying. In part, it seems they were a kind of courtesy, a final farewell. It was also thought that at the moment of death some insight – perhaps enlightenment – was achieved and could be shared. Philosophically the poems where in accord with Buddhist or Shinto beliefs.

The tradition caught Western attention when Japan’s WW II suicidal warriors wrote them before a mission.  More recently – 1970 – the well-known Japanese writer – famously and fiercely anti-marxist – Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) wrote the following before committing seppuku:

A small night storm blows
Saying ‘falling is the essence of a flower’
Preceding those who hesitate

Some death poems are profound. Some are humorous or ironic:

Death poems
are mere delusion —
death is death.

– Tokō (1710–1795)

I suspect this tradition – practiced by Buddhists in China and Korea as well – could only have grown out of Buddhism with its central tenets: impermanence and an acceptance of life as it is, which includes death.

The jisei  of Kuroki Hiroshi, a Japanese sailor who died in a Kaiten suicide torpedo accident on September 7, 1944. “This brave man, so filled with love for his country that he finds it difficult to die, is calling out to his friends and about to die” Courtesy of Wikipedia and Kuroko Hiroshi page

As far as I know, neither death nor enlightenment are imminent in my life. I merely happened upon Hoffman’s book, which inspired to try my hand at writing my own death poem, though not in the Japanese style.


Gratitude for seas, skies, and mountains,
for Earth’s jeté entrelacé through space.
Luminous, my grand coda with the stars

© 2019, Jamie Dedes; Bashō illustration is in the public domain; photo of Kuroki Hiroshi poem is in the public domain, ballerina is courtesy of PD Clipart.

*The poem that is said to be Bashō’s death poem is actually not. According to Yoel Hoffmann in Japanese Death Poems, at the time of his death Bashō refused to write a death poem claiming that any of his poems could be considered death poems.


Celebrating Poetry Around the World

“[Poetry] is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”  Adrienne Rich, What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics

Apartment repairs, world affairs, and a plethora of other things distracted me from a day (yesterday) that is important to all of us, World Poetry Day . . . but then again for us every day is world poetry day.

“Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

“In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

“A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

“One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

“The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.” UNESCO

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely need to link to the site to view “100 Poets. One Poem – Kommune World Poetry Day Special 2019.”  Really, quite a wonderful video.