Le Fée Verte, Absinthe

A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world, what difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset.” Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish writer and poet

in the wilderness of those green hours
gliding with the faerie muse along café
walls virescent, sighing jonquil wings of
poetry, inventing tales in the sooty red
mystery of elusive beauty, beguiled by an
opalescent brew, tangible for the poet and
the pedestrian, the same shared illusions
breaching the rosy ramparts of heaven

Note: This poem is posted for Victoria Slotto’s Writers’ Fourth Wednesday prompt on The Bardo Group blog HERE. We invite you to join us. The prompt is about using color in our writing. 

© 2011, poem Jamie Dedes,  all rights reserved

Albert Maignan’s painting of “Green Muse” (1895) shows a poet succumbing to the green fairy (absinthe). Musée de Picardie, Amiens.

HEADS-UP: Tomorrow is Writers’ Fourth Wednesday …

Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer's Expo March 2012

Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer’s Expo March 2012

Poet, novelist and writing coach, Victoria C. Slotto is host. The prompt is about writing with color and it will go up at 12:01 a.m. PST on The Bardo Group blog HERE. We hope you link in your own work – you have seventy-two hours to do so – and share it with us and that you will visit and support other participants.

Photo credit ~ Victoria Slotto, All rights reserved

Ecco Panis

“Where is God? Wherever you let him in.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, Poland 1787

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti …

Clad in blue-gray woolly plaid, senisble shoes

and pressed, pristine white uniform-blouse

on the morning walk from the dorms to the convent

past the apple orchard, now ripe and dropping its ruby fruit,

past big-eyed, benign cows gently lowing,

walking briskly across that green pasture land and then

into the brown wood rich in conifers,

the piney detritus crunching amiably under foot,

in the single-minded pursuit of

Sister Mary Francis, the kitchen, bread.

… we therefore beseech thee, O Lord, to be appeased, and to receive this offering of our bounden duty, as also of thy whole household …

The romance was not with bread to eat,

but with yeasts to proof, batters to mix,

and dough to knead, and rest, and grow -

that beautiful, mystical living thing you have

before the baking and dying into bread, and with

the clanking music of ovens firing up, pans crashing,

the rhythmic swish and sway of our quiet community

punctuated by the clicking of Sister’s rosary as she

monitors the students and novices at bakers’ tables.

This, the sacred work of those early hours before Mass and school

and the busy business of music lessons and art classes and

the methodical ticking of Liturgical Hours until finally Compline, sleep and

the contemplation of that final sleep and dust-to-dust.

And this being Tuesday, the day to commemorate St. John the Baptist,

and the day to bake our bread for the week to come.

…order our days in thy peace; grant that we be rescued from eternal damnation and counted within the fold of thine elect. Through Christ our Lord …

The next bake day, Thursday, dedicated to the Holy Apostles.

Oh, palpable Presence, we work in the silence of Adoration.

In a quiet alcove

mixing flour, salt, and holy water,

then the fragile process of baking wafers on baking tongs,

silver antiques.

… which offering do thou, O God, vouchsafe in all things …

The wafers from my hand sanctified, bread into body.

Enigma into doubt.

…to bless, consecrate, approve, make reasonable and acceptable

that it may become for us the Body and Blood of thy most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ…

Friday, The Cross and Theotokos, Mary

mother of both God and man, Divine and human,

a girl like me, a baker of breads.

…who the day before he suffered took bread into his holy and venerable hands, and with his eyes lifted up to heaven, unto thee, God, his almighty Father, giving thanks to thee …



A lifetime ahead to figure it out …

Ecco Panis.

Take this Bread.

… he blessed, brake, and gave to his disciples saying: Take and eat ye all of this…

from the pastures and the woods, from the sky and stream

from nature’s great cathedrals, everywhere present

… hoc est enim Corpus meum…

for this is my body


© poem ~ 2011, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved



The Orchid Flower

img_0839Just as I wonder
whether it’s going to die,
the orchid blossoms
and I can’t explain why it
moves my heart, why such pleasure

The Orchid Flower by Sam Hamill (b. 1942), Poet and Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press, from his book Dumb Luck

Inspired today, I decided to make the short trip from the contemplative solitude of my room to the busy, bustling, sometimes even boisterous-with-conviviality Trader Joe’s not too far from here. The purpose: to buy some orchids.  I thought I remembered that Trader’s had orchids for sale at reasonable prices. They do indeed. And how lovely they are. I bought two (the picture doesn’t do them justice) and two tea roses to light my room and softly complement and complete the green leafy plants that have been my companions for some years now.  With their complex formation and color variation, the orchids have a natural poetry that blends with the book-lined shelves. They make me smile as I spin my own soul’s poetry, which has to be worked for and which I can only hope will be as fully organic as the naked beauty of an orchid.

© 2014, words and photo, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

The Burden of a Shared Name

Jamie Dedes:

As part of celebrating interNational Poetry Month, Blaga Todorova (Between the Shadows and the Soul) has written an essay about the Bulgarian poet, Blaga Dimitrova, which is posted today on The Bardo Group blog. Dimitrova was – in addition to being a poet – a writer and the former Vice President of Bulgaria. She was the inspiration for John Updike’s short story “The Bulgarian Poetess” … so read on and link through to the complete post. Two of Blaga Dimitrova’s poems are included there …

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP:

571px-Blaga_Dimitrova_Youn I used to hate her, foolish, a teenager’s hate that can only be explained in a parallel universe where logic doesn’t exist. I was a sixteen-year-old girl in a class with additional studies of mathematics. I was supposed to have the sharp brain, the emotion-free behavior required for someone who was a shining star in solving mathematical problems. Then suddenly there it was: the literature lesson about her and one of her poems I don’t even remember. The teacher decided that I was the one who should talk about her that day because of the first name we shared. 41GHNKWJ10L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

It was a disaster! I hadn’t read a word from what was written in the school books about her and her poetry. When I was asked the question ‘What do you think Blaga Dimitrova’s poem symbolizes?’ all I could think about to answer was, “The only person who really knows what the words…

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just toking O2 … Hallelujiah! It’s a Leonard Cohen kind of day.

The view from my window of my new place, a Japanese Tea Garden

A Japanese Tea Garden, the view from the window of my new apartment in senior housing

it’s a Leonard Cohen kind of day,
walkers lined up by the dinning room
like race horses at the starting gate …
the Asians worship the Lord, Jesus Christ
the Europeans embrace Vipassana

at three they’re viewing Brokeback Mountain
but i’m staying in my room, playing Halleluljah,
my compressor humming in the background …
just toking O2, enjoying the complexities,
savoring the ironies, Hallelujah, Glory be

“Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means ‘Glory to the Lord.’ The song explains that many kinds of Hallelujahs do exist. I say: All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value. It’s a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.” Leonard Cohen (b. 1934), Canadian muscian, singer/songwriter, poet and novelist

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved Photo via Panaramio

Academy of American Poets, expanding the reach of poetry

The 2014 National Poetry Month poster

The 2014 National Poetry Month poster

……It is difficult
to get the news from poems
…..yet men die miserably every day
……….for lack
of what is found there.

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), Latino-American Poet

If you are of an age, you remember a time when newspapers and magazines, local and regional, regularly served up poetry and fiction, which was then read and enjoyed by masses of people. Many of the old iconic poets and writers you enjoy today began publishing that way. Now the Academy of American Poets is partnering with news syndicate King Features to bring its Poem a Day program (currently distributed by email subscription) to newspapers, websites and magazines.

In her announcement yesterday Academy of American Poets Executive Director, Jennifer Benka, said:

“It’s been a generation since new poems have been available to daily news readers. We’re thrilled to help renew this tradition, which will bring greater visibility to contemporary poets.

While we will make the poems available for free, the benefits of expanding the access to poetry in this way are undeniable. Readers who would never have otherwise encountered a poem, will find them amid current events.”

The effort is initiated this April in concert with the Academy of American Poets’ annual celebration of Poetry Month.

- Jamie Dedes