after the injera, the wat, the niter kibby – a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt


his hands flutter over and on the kebero
a world constructed in the moments of sound
a world razed in the moments of silence
a rhythm of birth and rebirth
of heartbeat and life-blood

he’d gone to Africa, this young man
to chase down his roots
to buy exotic drums
to make rhythms with his brothers
to sing with his sisters
to learn, to grow, to come home and teach

he was full of grace, brimming with jazz
just rocking his universe, rolling with spirit
alight with green and gold,
the breath of wild savannas and
wilder cheetahs, monkey pranks
and elephantine tuskedness

what, i had to ask, was the take-away
after the safaris and the drumming
after the injera, the wat, the niter kibby
and berbere spices, the many fine meals
downed with ambo wuhteh

I met a sister as i was driving a forlorn road. She was walking alongside, carrying a bundle of wood and I stopped, offered her a lift. No, she said, NO! If I ride today, I’ll want to ride tomorrow. It’s a recipe for unhappiness. She’s right, you know, he said, from wanting comes despair …

and so i drum, just drum, he said
his hands fluttering over and on the kebero
a world constructed in the moments of sound
a world razed in the moments of silence
a rhythm of birth and rebirth and peace of heart

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes; photograph by Karl Heinrich and generously released into the public domain; Kebero, a conical hand drum, for the traditional music of Ethiopia and Eritrea  


Tell us in poem about the most important take-aways you experienced from a vacation or other travel. Leave your poem/s or a link to it in the comments section below. All poems shared on theme will be published next Tuesday. The deadline for response is Monday evening, 8:30 p.m. PDT. All are welcome – encouraged – to join in: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about getting to connecting with other poets, showcasing your talent and having your say. If it’s your first time sharing a poem for Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photograph to These are posted with the work of first participants by way of introduction.



Played on the Jersey Shore, a poem . . . and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

My apologies.  When I logged in this a.m. I saw that I accidentally scheduled two prompts today.  I’m leaving them both up since poets have started responding.  😦  At any rate, if you want to participate – and I hope you do – please feel free to do so for both if so inclined.  Thank you! 


The days were as golden as the sunsets

when we played on the Jersey Shore,

sandy and fevered in the summer heat,

the sun fading our hair and swim suits,

the evenings finding us a motley bunch,

hungry, ready to ply some old tin forks

to my aunt’s mac and margarine.


After dinner we tossed our gritty bodies

into a claw-footed bathtub. Sand swirls

where once the tub was white and scoured.

We’d move on, impish, soap-scented and

clean from the bath to our cots and lay on

worn sheets. We were quick to transition to

a sound-proof sleep, comforted by breezes

lapping at the open windows, leaking

promises of more romp and wrestle days.


While the moon-lighted nights pondered and

kissed broken shells and unkempt seaweed,

a cold custard of salty-wet beach waited …

for us, the dawn and our small bare feet

in blithe dance to a rowdy morning swim.


But these were short stays. Sunday would

arrive, unwholesome and unwelcome, time

to pack our bags and our laundry, our aunt

and uncle – raw-edged nerve – and we kids,

our spirits subdued, our skin browner-hued.


© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes; I have no photographs of the Jersey Shore. This one is of Seal Beach in Northern California


Well, this one is akin to the first composition assignment on returning to school after summer vacation:  Tell us about your most fondly remembered vacations.  Perhaps you enjoyed it because it involved family and childhood.  Perhaps it was a dream vacation come true. Or, maybe it was an unexpected adventure.  Or, perhaps your best vacation is the one you are planning now. Tell us about it in poetry or prose and, if you feel comfortable, share your work in the comments section below or leave a link to it.  Responses will be published here next Tuesday.

We continue with the current recommended read: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Left, right or center – American or not – it’s a must read.

LESSON SEVEN Be reflective if you must be armed. “If you carry a weapon in public service, may God bless you and keep you.  But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things.  Be ready to say no.” Prof. Snyder,  On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

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

Mini (Two-Day) Vacation


“The ant is knowing and wise, but he doesn’t know enough to take a vacation.”
Clarence Day (1874-1935), American novelist best know for Life with Father.

Back on Sunday with

Joy! Beauty! Delight! …. an evening with Maxine Hong Kingston


“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”
John O’Donohue (1956-2008), Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher

Photo courtesy of morgueFile.