Prayer as Action for Peace

Jamie Dedes:

On The Bardo Group blog this p.m. … the perfect peace from Terri Stewart … it is a collection of prayers from many traditions … Enjoy!

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP:

Editorial note:This was originally written by Terri Stewart for Saturday, September 7, 2013, in response to a call for worldwide prayer and fasting to focus on peace in Syria. With all that is going on in the Middle East and given the Ukraine crises, the many conflicts in Africa and the deaths and dislocations resulting from drug wars in Central and South America, this seems a good time to post it again in the spirit of peace, love and community …

I have seen many things happening–prayer vigils, personal meditation practices, marches, and communications with elected officials. We decided to offer a Labyrinth Walk for Peace at Bothell UMC in Bothell, WA in the morning. I gathered inter-faith prayers, we walked, prayed, and focused on bringing peace to the world. What follows is prayers and photos from that journey that became deeply personal for each attendant. There was a…

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BARDO NEWS: Wilderness Week coming up….

Jamie Dedes:

The Bardo Group invites participation in this event, which we are making a global event … read on …

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP:

Editor’s Note: Please join us for this event sponsored by The Bardo Group and hosted by Priscilla Galasso (scillagrace).


004PRISCILLA GALASSO ~ started her blog at to mark the beginning of her fiftieth year. Born to summer and given a name that means ‘ancient’, her travel through seasons of time and landscape has inspired her to create visual and verbal souvenirs of her journey. Currently living in Wisconsin, she considers herself a lifelong learner and educator. She gives private voice lessons, is employed by two different museums and runs a business (Scholar & Poet Books, via eBay and ABE Books) with her partner, Steve.

During the week of August 31 – September 6, The Bardo Group will post essays, photos and poems on Wilderness to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act being signed into law in the U. S.   You are encouraged to…

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little autumn leaf

photo-21You floated into our lives ~
an autumn leaf edged in gold,
a tiny froth of smile and grumble,
a lifetime of grit and grizzle.

Your mind over-larded and lost
in the never-land of ninety years.
Yours such a small body, such pain.

So bravely, autumn leaf, you chose
the wind on which to slip away,
leaving us to the emptiness of your
special chair and our wistful hearts.

For Mary Kate

© 2010/poem, 2014/photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

brightness beckoned

Watercolor by Gretchen Del Rio

Watercolor Phoenix by (c) Gretchen Del Rio

“In the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray…”
Inferno Canto 1, Durante (Dante) degli Alighieri

in a mood
he stood at the wood’s edge and thought



this pained walk
under dark skies
living on the verge
wondering if he was
the plaything of his Lord, if so
a cruel game

from somewhere brightness beckoned
on the wing beat of sudden insight ~

it’s not your memory melting in the heat of time
or your true music dissolving unsung
nor the whimsy of some capricious god
it is, perhaps, Dante’s transformative hell

no love without yearning
no compassion without pain
no charity without failure

a Phoenix, he rose from his ashes
a Moses, he fell before the flaming bush
in his found humanity, he embraced life whole

This is for Victoria Slotto’s Writers’ Fourth Wednesday writing prompt today on The Bardo Group blog. Please join us and link in your own poem. Mister Linky will remain open for seventy-two hours. We’ll visit your blog to read and comment and hope that you will visit others to encourage and support them. If you are uncomfortable using Mister Linkey, just leave the link to your piece in the comments section.

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Gretchen Del Rio (Gretchen Del Rio’s Art Blog), All rights reserved, posted here with Gretchen’s permission

Join us for Writers’ Fourth Wednesday …

Join us on The Bardo Group blog tomorrow for Writers’ Fourth Wednesday. This event is hosted by Victoria C. Slotto, novelist, poet and writing coach. We hope you’ll join us and link in your own work, which may be prose or poetry. Mister Linky will remain open for seventy-two hours, so you’ve plenty of time. Victoria and I will visit, read and comment and we hope you will make visits as well to lend one-another support and encouragement.

Prince Arthur and The Faerie Queen by Johann Heinrich Fussili c 1788

Prince Arthur and The Faerie Queen by Johann Heinrich Fussili c 1788

Just to give you a jump start on Victoria’s writing prompt for this month: it’s allegory …

I’ve been taking a peek at Edmund Spencer’s The Faerie Queene, so that came to mind immediately. I’m not conversant with Tudor England and Elizabeth I, hence I know that much of that work is lost on me. Clearly though … and famously … this epic poem is filled with allegorical device. Each knight in the story represents a virtue. Allegory is after all simply a metaphor with a broad scope. Think of Plato’s Cave as another example.

In the following prose poem, the protagonist’s journey home from work is implied and I used the plight of cattle, a real neighborhood and the sacrifice of the Mass to represent the crushing aspects of life … As a sort-of subtext, I also wanted to make a point about the suffering we cause by using animals for food.

From the Butcher’s Blade

Arriving at our stop, it would spit us out … so much cattle, regimented and ragtagged, tired and numb.  Once dumped, the rail-car doors would close behind us and we were whirled in the windy wake of the train rushing to the next station. Then, a sudden silence, and we were free to plod our way home, a final few blocks in Gravesend, a new ‘s-Gravenzande*, if you will, but an old irony. I’d stop at the bakery first and go on to Paul the butcher and his merchant’s rictus. His beef, he told me, “is like butter,” perfect for my carnivore husband. Paul’s face seemed bloodless to me, as if in some moment of devotion he chose to infuse the dead. Still more child than woman, I would study the varied cuts waiting to be bought, waiting to be devoured. I’d fancy their missing eyes, bones, and very lives crying out. These offerings of body and blood from Paul’s steel blade to my tattered tin chalice fed me for two years on the futility of hope.

Gravesend / ‘s Granvenzande –  Gravesend is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. It was originally settled by the Dutch. The name is thought to come from ‘s-Gravenzande, a Dutch province in South Holland, Netherlands.

Thanks for bearing with me in this experiment with prose poems: “a piece of writing in prose having obvious poetic qualities, including intensity, compactness, prominent rhythms, and imagery.”


© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photo of the Faerie Queene painting is public domain; cattle photograph courtesy of morgueFile

as writers it’s all a gift, all grist for the mill …

Unknown-2“A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian poet, short-story writer, essayist and translator, Twenty-Four Conversations with Borges: Interviews with Roberto Alifano, 1981-1983