Posted in Poem/Poetry

THE SCENT OF MA’AMOUL, a poem

Lebanese shortbread cookies stuffed with figs, dates or walnuts (the original fig newton???)
Lebanese shortbread cookies stuffed with figs, dates or walnuts (the original Fig Newton???)

The year we shaped our lives in the redwood forest,
you brought a wounded salamander inside to heal.
We gathered woodsy things, thistles and pinecones.
We made rose-hip syrup, dried the last of the herbs.
I decorated the cabin in an ensemble of earth tones,
a spicy blend to match the fires you built in the hearth
and the scent of the East in the ma’amoul baking. Our
seasonal hibernation was swathed in sweets and books.
Our winter warmed on the gold-dust of our dreams.

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photograph, mamoul: biscotti libanesi, by fugzu under CC BY 2.0 license

Posted in Poem/Poetry, Wednesday Writing Prompt, writing prompt

the century of possible peace, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

img_1488

the century of possible peace

after Muriel Rukeyser’s “Poem”
.
I 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
vain 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

– Jamie Dedes © 2013 poem, the century of possible peace and 2016, photographJamie Dedes, All rights reserved

51mVnm2RrDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Poem
.
I lived in the first century of world wars.
Most mornings I would be more or less insane,
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
The news would pour out of various devices
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.
I would call my friends on other devices;
They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to pen and paper,
Make my poems for others unseen and unborn.
In the day I would be reminded of those men and women,
Brave, setting up signals across vast distances,
Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.
.
I lived in the first century of these wars.
.
– Muriel Rukeyser
.
Muriel Rukeyser (1913 – 1980), American poet and political activist. Some consider her the greatest poet of her generation. Adrienne Rich has said of her, “Rukeyser was one of the great integrators, seeing the fragmentary world of modernity not as irretrievably broken but in need of societal and emotional repair.” You can read more about this poet HERE.
….
© 1968, Poem, Muriel Rukeyser, The Speed of Darkness (recommended)
 

8

WRITING PROMPT

Literary allusion is a device by which a writer refers – directly or indirectly – to an individual, an event, or a work of art or of literature. We use this to connect our text to the greater world and the experiences, emotions and ideas that are the common human condition. In the poems above, the subject is war and the way the news of it is delivered and reacted to. I allude to Muriel Rukeyser’s Poem (it’s below mine) in the first line of my poem with “I have lived in the century of world wars.” I feel as she did and echo her observations and emotions in my own way and from the perspective of my own time.

Choose a poem that you very much relate to. Use one line of it in your own poem and explore the subject from your time, place and perspective.

Enjoy!

 

Posted in Wednesday Writing Prompt

The Taste of Baklava, a poem … and therein lies your Wednesday Writing Prompt

225592_347930165315583_165440687_n-1

Honestly, there are times
when the taste of baklava
finds my tongue and speaks to me
in the language of my grandmother’s hands,
when the honey and fresh mint in tea
vitalizes my very being ~
and I remember everything
. . . . . everything
even the scent of you, your eyes
the way we lingered over dessert,
tapered candles flaming wisps of hope,
your red roses wilting in a crystal vase,
dropping velvet petals like dreams
on the white damask of our forever

© 2012 poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

*****

WRITING PROMPT

A singular moment – romantic or otherwise – that is etched in mind, yesterday or years ago, full of color and vigor.  Write about your moment in poem. Fill it with detail: scent and hues, setting (indoor or out), include one object that references the “other” in the scene and makes their role come evident and alive. Take your time and have fun with this.

Posted in Poem/Poetry

Awakening on Our Rocky Rebel Road, a poem

img_4452Sometimes
We love living in shadowlands that ride our backs,
pregnant with dream demons and rhinestone illusions ~
On such days we come crashing at the abrading edges
of narrow channels and wide-open oceans ’till we are
caught between moon-sight and sun-gold distortions
Easy then to precipitate bursts of chaos in the
hoary hibernation of our soul’s winter, denying the truth
in our own voices, the god-awful transience of our bodies
Yet here we are … Yes! Here we are
awakening on our rocky, rebel road …
serving our spiny poetry like Don Juan his peyote buttons

© 2011 poem, 2016 photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved