Photo on 2014-03-31 at 17.16 #3

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January Is On The Wane

with a nod to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

January is on the wane
leaving behind early dark and champagne hopes
for the genus Rosa. Wild or tame, they’re lovely.

Garden roses need pruning, solicitous cultivation ~
Layer shorter under taller, drape on trellises
and over pergolas, the promise of color and fragrance,
climbers retelling their stories in ballet up stone walls,
an heirloom lace of tea roses, a voluptuous panorama
rhymed with shrubs and rock roses in poetic repetition.
Feminine pulchritude: their majesties in royal reds
or sometimes subdued in pink or purple gentility,
a cadmium-yellow civil sensibility, their haute couture.

Is it the thorned rose we love or the way it mirrors us
in our own beauty and flaw and our flow into decrepitude?
They remind of our mortality with blooms, ebbs, and bows
to fate, a noble death to rise again in season, after Lazarus.
Divinely fulsome, the genus Rosa, sun-lighted, reflexed ~
And January? January is ever on the wane.

one lifetime after another

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.

the century of possible peace

…….after Muriel Rukeyser
I have 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
vein 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 breadth
I know that darkness can descend with the
speed of light and that love is more than an
anchor and that hope keeps our dreams alive

I have lived into the century where the world is
grown small, where the peacemakers are tireless
and perhaps enough hearts have grown large …
sometimes I think I am living in the century
where peace is as possible as war

the lesser being of a lesser god

i always come back to the sea ~
in the winter when gardens lay waste
and the contemplative time is upon us
and in summer, languid and color crazy

no matter the season, she shines

decked-out in sun-lighted spray
tossing her waves into wild arabesque
roaring her traveling chants

no reluctant tourist, the sea

the eternal sea,
in the power of her is-ness
she mocks me
marks me as the lesser being
of a lesser god

I waged His wars, and now I pass and die.
O me! for why is all around us here
As if some lesser god had made the world …
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King

Rumi’s Field

like the ripeness of brown, like ground,
opening to growth, the primal sward,
or the harder than rock diamond, the
quiet way a good word cuts out the

voice of deception, draws us into
the nameless as it’s written on glass
to see us though … words have
a way of multiplying themselves like

cells when they divide, like the birds
breaking from their shells, words
pick at our teeth the way ants do
candy, they dance in the ear, spilling

out with each breath, ready to help
or haunt – take hate, door slamming,
end of discussion, or unlatching love,
breaks down walls, willing to debate

and so delectable, like a sweet kiss
the first time before union transfixing,
and prayer, a different sort of melding,
it’s one that transforms us …

that we might make the peace, tear
the ragged pages from the old lexicon,
an act that breaks the binding of our
language to free the fresh sprouts

pushing though the ether, populating
Rumi’s field, such an opening for grace,
like faith, hope and charity, renewed,
purified, taken clean and hard polished

and used in a poem with a new spirit ~
words, a boat that takes us from here
to there, and having arrived, we let it go …
floating beyond messages of wrong or

of right, in our spring – in Rumi’s field,
we’ll lie down on the lilt of grass, so full,
our peace no longer needing any words
or any poetry, nor even any name  . . .

Once Upon a Time When They Were Old

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m beautiful now
in ways I never was in my callow youth …
On fire now with the violet fire of soul speak,
treading a lighter path with a lighter spirit.
Sparks of pink tourmaline, green jade, amethyst, and
blue sapphire flash through the cloud of my being,
like shooting stars in a cobalt sky.
I shed the pyrite, lead, hematite, the heavy, the dross.
Lost in a whisper of indigo dreams,
like a gray sparrow feather -
I float through Eternity,
a fragile-strong willow-wisp of joy.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am beautiful now,
beautiful in the way of all young women in that
once-upon-a-time when they were old.

I have been searching
 Old Woman
and I find her 
my Self
Daughters of Copper Woman, Ann Cameron

itinerant teachers

out of the threads of your sacred languages
out of the spare sculpture of your homely wisdom
we formed clubs and built ironclad canon
we spawned conspiracies of hate -
now we are goose barnacles clinging to the rotting flotsam of old boats,
we are weighted with the dust of fear and the mold of suspicion

though we bluster and grandstand our way through time,
the original purity of your intentions is still rooted in Eternity,
your guileless simplicity is stronger than the dogs of war,
it is the calm light at the center of our frenzied dark
it is the grace of the gazelle,
the rivers of compassion that flow as tears

sometimes we hear your spirits whispering
in the mindful pleasure of our morning tea
in the rhythmic stirring of a pot of oatmeal
or in a fresh dawning after a tide has turned
and the wind of rectitude has cleared the air

squeezing a penny

my mother never knew the names for things
the trees were just trees, the flowers just flowers,
but she knew life as a sigh and love as a linchpin
and how to get to work and maneuver in the dark,
she could squeeze a penny and was known to force
tired feet into worn shoes, she could make them dance

Beginner’s Luck

We left before any glimpse of a daffodil sunrise,
off to the nearby docks on novice hope and dare

The vessel reeked of years at sea, but we boarded,
kept company with philistines and fishing rods,
sights set on a sun-sparked lime-green ocean where
the contents of our untrained stomachs made chum

The boat splashed its way, cold christening us with
salt water spray; feckless, we spun our reels, chance
landing four fat salmon, legal limit, beginner’s luck

- Jamie Dedes

225592_347930165315583_165440687_n-1I am a mom and a medically retired (disabled) elder. The graces of poetry, art, music, writing and reading continue to evolve for me as a sources of wonder and solace, as a creative outlet, and as a part of my spiritual practice.
© 2013, content of this page including the photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Updated: January 21, 2014