One Lifetime After the Other, a poem . . . and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

Angel and Dove, original watercolor c 2010 Gretchen Del Rio

Angel and Dove, original watercolor c 2010 Gretchen Del Rio

one day, you’ll see, i’ll come back to hobnob
with ravens, to fly with the crows at the moment
of apple blossoms and the scent of magnolia ~
look for me winging among the white geese
in their practical formation, migrating to be here,
to keep house for you by the river …

i’ll be home in time for the bees in their slow heavy
search for nectar, when the grass unfurls, nib tipped ~
you’ll sense me as soft and fresh as a rose,
as gentle as a breeze of butterfly wings . . .

i’ll return to honor daisies in the depths of innocence,
i’ll be the raindrops rising dew-like on your brow ~
you’ll see me sliding happy down a comely Jacaranda,
as feral as the wind circling the crape myrtle, you’ll
find me waiting, a small gray dove in the dovecot,
loving you, one lifetime after another.

© 2013, poem , Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved,  Illustration by Gretchen Del Rio © 2010, All rights reserved, used here with Gretchen’s permission

WRITING PROMPT

Some people believe in reincarnation. They say we continue as humans when we arrive back on earth after our stay in what the Buddhists call the Bardo. Others say we might come back in nonhuman form. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, imagine how you would like to come back? What form would you take? Where would your loved ones find you? Tell us about it in a poem. I imagined being a dove, a symbol of spirit in many traditions. I have a friend who imagined coming back as an extraterrestrial with a special peace mission. If you feel comfortable, share your poem or a link to your poem in the comment section so that I and others may read it.

Here are links to some poems in response to last week’s prompt.

Visit, read and comment.  Encourage our colleagues.


51hlj5jhdkl-_sx329_bo1204203200_The recommended read for this week is Robert Pinsky’s Singing School, Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry. No rules or recipes here just learning by studying the pros. Charming. Fun.

In making your Amazon purchase through links from this site, you help to support its maintenance.

The WordPlay Shop offers books and other tools especially selected for poets and writers.

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

Blown Across Timelessness, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

photo-37-1I watched it all over my friend’s dear shoulder,
that time of living while dying and celebrating ~
like a garden snake ~ the shedding of the skin,
the detritus of material man with its hungers and
wild, woody creative soul, sketching ruby-jeweled
memories in sand to be blown like a Tibetan mandala
across Timelessness . . .

while he,

lone monk,

gripped

by systems on systems of hospital wiring, billing,
approvals, and laws around funerals and burials,
estates, plans, and proposals for headstones and
the where, when, and how of a memorial service,
the left-overs of his life to be sorted, sold or stashed
or sent to the right people in the right places.

Done!

… as though there had been nothing. No one.

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

There were a number of things on my mind when I wrote this, but one was the dramatic (or so it seemed to me) juxtaposition of the sacred (first stanza) and the material (second stanza).  That juxtaposition seems particularly clear in birth and death but it is also apparent at other points of change and transition – leaving home for the first time, marriage, dealing with catastrophic illness, career or job change and so forth. When in your life was this juxtaposition most profound for you?  Tell us in poem or story; i.e., in  creative nonfiction or in a fictionalized account.  If you feel comfortable, leave the link to your piece in the comments below so I and other readers may read you work.

© 2017, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


51qqbcpwhul-_sx332_bo1204203200_The WordPlay Shop offers a selection of books and tools especially selected for poets and writers … and in some cases, activists. Sales from the shop go to support the maintenance of this site.  Suggested reading this week – a read for these times – is the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber’s The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear

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

tears into light, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without the thorn. Martin Amis

“Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without the thorn.” Martin Amis

if my voice was an angel voice
i’d sing you into ecstasy
if my hand was a healing hand
i’d touch you into grace

would that i could measure poems
to turn tears into light
to put dance in your feet
if i knew my own soul, i could
touch the tarnished silver of yours
and bring your smiles back again

© 2017, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

WRITING PROMPT

Write a poem about what you would do or what you would like to do in the hope of healing someone else’s pain.  When you are done and if you feel comfortable, leave the URL to your poem in the comments section below so I and others might read it.


51cipgnflbl-_sx331_bo1204203200_The Wordplay Shop offers a special selection of books to inspire beginning and emerging writers as well as recommended poetry collections and other books or materials of interest to poets, writers and readers.

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

Mind Chattered, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

1210-12410701093yvu

MIND CHATTERED

The mind in chatter mode will do you in
Like a car without a driver
It’s a good tool gone rogue
It will numb you with its burden of
old stories and wishing wells
could have beens, should have beens
crowd teasers and ego pleasers
It will desecrate your sacred space
with the rotting carcass of old resentments
tired rivalries, rigid renunciations
It will domesticate your dreamscape with
the dreck of times gone by and
tedious, trivial, trumpery thinking
With mind in chat mode trapped in earthy ken
your most wonderous inner worlds go sadly
unimagined and unexplored and you –
YOU! fully chattered, shattered, scattered
will never even know

WRITING PROMPT

unknownIn From Strength to Love Martin Luther King, Jr, wrote:

“The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”  

This is the great paradox of our times. Thanks to science and technology we have the means to modify or control the external landscape but our internal landscape languishes. Anxiety reigns in the Western world and one article I read recently said that one-in-four CEOs suffers from depression.

The scriptures of our various religions provided us with spiritual technologies that have been well-tested in the laboratories of time. The Vedic scriptures teach us to use devotion, education and culture to address the internal enemies: lust, greed and anger.

The Christian scriptures teach us that there are seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth.  The Catholic Church suggests we counter them with the four virtues derived from the wisdom of the ancient Greeks: prudence, justice, restraint, and fortitude. These are to be partnered with the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

The Buddhist’s have the best – in my opinion – technology for addressing anxiety and depression: meditation.

411nlajxojl-_sx320_bo1204203200_Echart Tolle in The Power of Now suggests that mind-chattering represents a false self and that accessing the “Now,” the present moment where everything is complete, is the antidote. When Tolle’s book came out – a good valuable book – the idea of living in the Now was seen by many as a new idea. It’s actually an old wisdom. It’s very Buddhist and, among others, the great German theologian, philosopher and mystic, the Dominican Priest Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328), said much the same thing.

Prompt:  Write a poem or story that illustrates the habits that cause our distress, anxiety and depression. If it feels natural to approach the subject from the point of remedy, do that.  If you like, put a link to the piece in the comments section so that I and others might read it.

© 2017, poem and prompt, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved;  Illustration courtesy of Frits Ahlefeldt, Public Domain Pictures.net


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