Play Nice, a poem

Syrian refugee children attend a lesson in a UNICEF temporary classroom in northern Lebanon, July 2014

“Millions of children are on the move. Some are driven from their homes by conflict, poverty or disaster; others are migrating in the hope of finding a better, safer life. Far too many encounter danger, detention, deprivation and discrimination on their journeys.” UNICEF MORE



...no fair
shout it like an indignant child
no fair, the dispossessed and hungry,
no fair, the murdered and the maimed,
no fair, the great disruption and those

forced to abandoned hopes, homes
the children flee only to camp out
without country, on swollen borders,
escaping by rough land or bloated boat,
starving, bewildered and lost

it’s not fair, not fair, it’s just not fair
this human condition, call it insanity,
the adults who don’t play nice as our
mothers, each one of them, bid us do

“Almost 1 in 10 children live in areas affect by armed conflicts.” UNICEF

© 2019, poem, Jamie Dedes; photo credit Russel Watkins, DFID – UK Department for International Development under CC BY 2.0 generic license




According to UNICEF’s Global Compact for Migration:

  • “Between 2005 and 2015, the number of child refugees worldwide more than doubled from four million to nine million
  • “Refugee children are five times as likely to be out of school than other children
  • Almost 1 in 10 children live in areas affected by armed conflicts. More than 400 million live in extreme poverty”

“Not long when I was a child,crossed barbed wires,across borders
in camp for two nights, wonder how Mother felt and held us? Tight
then on we came to the green hills, and I knew not,was it refuge ?
or a new land a home of peace-how attained?what was left with enemy-

“where are the roots that make a family,out of the masses who survived
you cannot guess,for I have seen only images and heard broken voices
who lost half the thought in trying not to remember,bodies cut slain in fields
why we laughed sang,then we cried silently in pain, in the remains”

– Anjum Wasim Dar, excerpt from a poem written out of her life experience

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, it’s likely you will have to link through to the site to view this very short video on The Global Compact for Migration / UNICEF.



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Four poems by Jamie Dedes

Many thanks to poet/editor/activist, Reuben Woolley, for featuring four of my poems in “I Am Not a Slilent Poet.”

I am not a silent poet

the century of possible peace

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,after Muriel Rukeyser

I lived in the century of world wars and
into the century of “hot spots” and “conflicts,”
those isolated regions of hostility and battle, of
choreographed shows of military cliché and the
violent disaffected eruptions of the marginalized

Every day is an homage to some insanity
Media reports are conveyed with facile intensity
by hyperkinetic journalists – they deliver easy
and ominous conclusions based on seemingly
recondite facts, quickly moving to celebrity
gossip and other insipid topics . . .

I have lived in two centuries of wars
I know what it is to be exhausted by the
vain posturing of the ruling class and
the tired protestations of tribal unity and
supremacy based on accidents of birth

I know what it is to imagine peace across
the circumference of one small blue ball
in a Universe of inestimable size and…

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rain, with love and blisses, a poem… and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra (πέτρα), meaning “stone”, and īchōr (ἰχώρ), the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.” Wikipedia … we have John Anstie (My Poetry Library) and friends to thank for an introduction to this word: “Petrichor Rising” and How the Twitterverse Birthed Friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection 



evening rain patters about, plays the
rooftop like a kettle drum, taps a code
on window panes, spills itself and
the scent of petrichor rises from
mud puddles and rain-carved rills

sly stars caper in a game of hide and
seek, shy clouds spoon in the smoky
quartz of a subdued moon, a late
dawn will rise in subtile pewter light

Oh!

how they steal our sleep
these, the beloved nights  
so rich in comforting blisses

© 2019, Jamie Dedes; photograph, U.S. Department of Agriculture, public domain

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

The challenge this week is to write about the emotions rain engenders in you. For me it’s joy (and perfect weather for writing), although I’ve never experienced rain to the point of flooding and I don’t have rheumatoid arthritis as so many of my friends do, so no pain or anger. For some people rain is depressing. How about you?  Tell us in your own poetry.

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 thepoetbyday@gmail.com 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, May 27 by 8 pm Pacific Standard Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, we recommend using ​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.


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I Am the Answer, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Girls are one of the most powerful forces for change in the world: When their rights are recognized, their needs are met, and their voices are heard, they drive positive change in their families, their communities, and the world.” Kathy Calvin, United Nations Foundation President & CEO



They come like thistle and thorn,

and write their rage upon my body.

They come like locusts and

feed on the fields of my soul.

Like an angry storm, they drown me.

Like the desert sands, they sufficate me.

They see me, a little person of

little consequence …

a girl.

Just a trinket, a toy, a receptical.

Something to sell, buy, and trade …

a workhorse.

– But hear me –

I am the answer.

I am the calm after the storm.

I am the antidote to your stone heart

and desiccated soul.

I am the future, the present, the past.

I am the hope, the dream, the reality.

I am authentic.

I am human.

I am the answer.

~ As the women go, so goes the world ~

© 2010, Jamie Dedes; illustration courtesy of Mohamed Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan, Public Domain Pictures.net

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

“There are more than 500 million adolescent girls living in the developing world today. Every one of them can potentially help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, with ripple effects multiplying across her society.” Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

In November 2010, I wrote I Am the Answer for a Universal Children’s Day event sponsored by UNICEF. It’s not that men don’t make constructive contributions. It’s not that boys and men don’t suffer.  It’s just that we’ve seen what a difference it makes in the lives of all children and the grown-ups they become – no matter the gender – when women are respected, educated, and not forced into marriage. What difference would it make if women and girls were not looked down upon within their cultures, religions, the workplace, and government? What difference would it make in the world if girls were always and everywhere seen as fully human. Tell us in your poem/s.

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 thepoetbyday@gmail.com 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, May 20 by 8 pm Pacific Standard Time.

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.


ABOUT