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

HEARTBLEED BUG: WordPress is okay but Facebook and other social networking sites might not be

heartbleed… and you thought all your personal info was held just between you, your God, the NSA and that hacker in Eastern Europe who shall remain nameless. No poetry here!

I hoped I could spend the afternoon reading, settled comfy with Billy Collings’ Picnic, Lightning. I had to ruin things by checking my email first only to learn that while WordPress is safe, the technoscenti (no, there’s no such word, but you get the idea) recommend changing our passwords to Facebook and other social networking sites … and to gmail, by the way.  I don’t use any of the other networking sites, but you might. Link HERE to Mashable’s list of sites that are vulnerable to this flaw. It includes corporations, government and tax sites, and banks and brokerage firms …

Related feature:

The Programmer Behind Heartbleed Speaks Out

Heartbleed logo is free to use, rights waived via CC0

the fairy who lives in the moon

480px-Wonderful_Fairies_-_45_-_Fairy_Girl winter has stopped rattling the glass
and spring has arrived, tentative in an
uncertain green, touching down and
than taking off again, peripatetic

night falls with a chill wind, hugs a tree
and the fairy who lives in the moon pens
ghost stories of Earth as she might be

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved Illustration via Wikipedia: A fairy girl (by illustrator Cora M. Norman), seen at the end of “The Cloud Fairies” in Ernest Vincent Wright’s The Wonderful Fairies of the Sun.

Why not write a poem about your mother?

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Jamie Dedes:

Niamh Clune, C.E.O. of Plum Tree Books (PTB), has announced the intention to publish an anthology offering blogger – poets the possibility of publication. Read on …

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP:

img118 April has been declared International poetry month and The Bardo Group* are celebrating with all things poetry. Plum Tree Books will participate in interNational Poetry Month by publishing a new anthology of poetry.

Because we love all things children and all things poetry, I would like to bring together two marvellous themes: International poetry month with the recent celebration of Mother’s Day. Our anthology will celebrate all things MOTHER! Would you like to write a poem for your mother? Are you a mother who would love to encapsulate the experience of mothering? Would you love to write a poem for your child that will live forever? Or maybe, you are a child who would love to send in a poem about your mother?

This anthology will celebrate the essence of mothering. Send in an image to accompany your work, if possible…(details below)

I am also calling on artists and illustrators who would…

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