“Her Power Leaps” and other poems for International Women’s Day

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul … and you answer.” Terri Guillemets



In solidarity with all women and their children I offer four of my “women poems” written and originally published here and elsewhere between 2011 and 2017

HER POWER LEAPS

she’s present

returned to bite through the umbilical of tradition,
to flick her tongue
and cut loose the animus-god of our parents,
like a panther she roams the earth, she is eve wild in the night,
freeing minds from hard shells
and hearts from the confines of their cages,
she’s entwined in the woodlands of our psyches
and offers her silken locks to the sacred forests of our souls ~
naked but for her righteousness,
she stands in primal light,
in the untrammeled river of dreams
the yin to balance yang
the cup of peace to uncross the swords of war ~
through the eons she’s been waiting for her time
her quiet numinosity hiding in the phenomenal world,
in the cyclical renewal of mother earth,
whispering to us in the silver intuition of grandmother moon
watching us as the loving vigilance of a warming sun ~
she, omen of peace birthed out of the dark,
even as tradition tries to block her return,
her power leaps from the cleavage of time

I Read A Poem

I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to some lost, lonely
fatherless child… to embrace her
along her stone path, invoke sanity

I want to tell her: don’t sell out your
dearest dreams or buy the social OS
Instead, let the poem play you like a
musician her viola, rewriting lonely
into sapphire solitude, silken sanctity

Let it wash you like the spray of whales
Let it drench your body in the music
of your soul, singing pure prana into
the marrow and margins of your life

Let your shaman soul name your muse,
find yourself posing poetry as power and
discover the amethyst bliss of words
woven from strands of your own DNA
Yes. I read a poem today

I must deed it to a lost fatherless child

A Madwoman, A Madonna, A Medusa

What’s it to me? …
A knotted and nasty old poet of introverted time
wearing five-dollar sweats
dressing in black on black like a fly
with silver earrings tinkling softly in the winter breeze
What’s it to me? …

A Madwoman, a Madonna, a Medusa
Traipsing neighborhood streets, city parks and country lanes
Nibbling on sharp yellow cheese and glossy red apples
Sitting down on some wayward curb to sigh in wonder at
noisy birds and children, wizened old men, whiskered grandmothers
Dogs walking their humans by the side of the road
Feral cats scratching out a living of pigeon stuffed with stale bread

Muttering, muttering, whispering, watching, writing
Writing long poems and short about what it was to be us
through clocked days trapped in pointless, punctilious youth
Enjoying now the wild, gnarly randomness of life
and the music of our dusty blue souls jingling as we walk …
What’s it to me? What’s it to this so lately untamable me?

The Scent of Onions

Seriously, she considered murder by food,
sausage, potatoes, and Boston Cream Pie
Gleeful, she stuffed his arteries with salami,
used suet in pasties and plum puddings,
sought quietus from onions fried in bacon fat
Strategizing slow-death by Swiss fondue,
she dreamed of being single while sharing
broccoli trees with the toddler on her knee

– Poems by Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


ABOUT

“AND AIN’T I A WOMAN” … A CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2019

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“I’m not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star.” The Narrative of Sojourner Truth Sojourner Truth and Olive Gilbert



Ain’t I a Woman is posted here today in honor of Black History Month (February) and International Women’s Day (IWD), coming up on March 8.

One of the many guises in which poetry presents itself:  American actress Alfrie Woodard delivers New Yorker Sojourner Truth‘s spontaneous speech, Ain’t I a Woman. Sojourner gave this speech at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio in May of 1851.

SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797-1883)

African-American Abolitionist and Women’s Rights Activist



Black History Month is an opportunity to remember and celebrate the people and events of the African Diaspora.

Two recommended sites to visit for this celebration:


Ten values that guide International Women’s Day are:

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

The theme for 2019 is “better balance.”

Details HERE.


ABOUT

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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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

Celebrating International Women’s Day with poem, prompt and Peace Action celebration (San Mateo, CA)

Listen Child

I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to some lost, lonely
fatherless child… to brace her
along her stony path …

Listen child, don’t forsake
your aspirations or buy the social OS
Just let this poem play you like a
musician her viola, reframing lonely
into solitude and sanctity
Let it wash you like the spray of whales
Let it drench your body in the music
of your soul, singing pure prana into
the marrow and margins of your life
Let your shaman soul name your muse
Discover the amethyst bliss of words
woven from strands of your own DNA

Yes! I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to a lost fatherless child

© 2011, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes All rights reserved


WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and our own lives, the lives of the women we know and the lives of the women who came before us and fought for our rights and the resulting benefits to our children, I wonder what you – male or female – would like to bequeath to the next generation and generations to come. What lessons would you want to share.  To help yourself along imagine perhaps what you’re older self would like to tell your younger self. Share with us in prose or poem. If you feel comfortable, leave the piece or a link to it in the comments below so that I and others might enjoy it.

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HEADS-UP SAN MATEO CALIFORNIA: Join PEACE ACTION SAN MATEO CALIFORNIA in celebrating International Women’s Day 2017 on the sidewalk – at 3rd Avenue and El Camino in San Mateo…in front of the Bank of America building.

Bring your signs and your spirits to recognize women’s achievements and to inspire actions for the advancement of women’s equity and parity, human rights, a peaceful world, and healthcare for all (just to name a few concerns).

Everybody is invited to be there from 4:30-6 PM! Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 -16:30 to 18:00

ALSO SAVE THE DATES: 

Monday, March 20: A Talk About the U.S., NATO and Russia with Peace Leaders Kevin Martin and Reiner Braun. Details HERE.

Sunday, March 26: Toby Blomé of CODEPINK on Drone Warfare. Details HERE. (Click on the title in the blogroll to your left.)

To find your own local Peace Action affiliate link HERE. I imagine there are others celebrating today too. 


The recommended read for this week is Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast by Pulitzer Prize winning Megan Marshall who studied with Bishop at Harvard. This biography is richly spun,  energetic, engaging and even inspirational despite the breathtaking depth of Bishop’s losses, her sense of marginalization and her head-long push into alcoholism. Indeed, some of the inspiration comes because with all her loses, Bishop managed to hold poetry tight. Her poems were for her a charm “against the loneliness they often expressed.” The book covers Bishop’s relationships with other poets and her romantic interests, the last was for me the singular wearisome downside, much overrided though by the book’s pleasures and values. It is laced with Marshall’s own stories and together the lives of these two bare witness to the power of words to give shape, sense and meaning to life. We come away with a strong sense of Elizabeth Bishop, one of America’s most extraordinary poets. A page-turner. A must read or everyone who loves and writes poetry.

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