Posted in Jamie Dedes, Poems/Poetry

Our Cassandra


Our Cassandra’s agony


in poems of prophecy

and breaks our hearts

upon the stone

of her insanity

She calls on death

to visit

one self-appointed night

And we,

her guardian angels,

wearied by her fight


we soldier on

with all our might

©2012,poem,Jamie Dedes,All rights reserved * Illustration ~painting/Cassandra by Evelyn De Morgan (1885-1919), U.S. public domain photograph

Photo on 2012-09-19 at 20.00JAMIE DEDES ~ My worldly tags are poet and writer. I am in my sixth year of blogging at The Poet by Day,the journey in poem, formerly titled Musing by Moonlight.  Poetry is my spiritual practice. Through the gift of poetry (mine and that of others), I enter sacred space.

Posted in Essay, Naomi Baltuck

Today (we are all survivors)

We are all survivors, of our personal histories, our family lines, and of the human race.  Since the dawn of time, think of the families ended abruptly by a bullet, a spear, a club, a predator, illness, by accident and even by someone’s own hand.

Today is the anniversary of D-Day, the Normandy invasion in 1944.  It was the day my Uncle Lewis was launched onto the Normandy beaches into a cruel war.  I think it no coincidence that today is also the anniversary of my father’s death in 1965.

The day before he died, while his kids ran and laughed and played in the yard, my father planted a walnut tree—just a stick of a sapling–by the side of the house.  Did he know what he was going to do?  Did he plant that tree as his own memorial?

I hope not, because someone else is living in that little house in Detroit, and my Dad’s walnut tree is long gone, cut down in its prime.  This I know, because I drive past each time I go back to visit my Aunt Loena.   So these words must serve as a memorial to a World War II vet who came home without his little brother and best friend.  That was the sin his mother never forgave him for, the sin he could he never quite forgive himself for either.

My army buddy, Jack Oliver, attended boot camp with Uncle Lewis.  He helped me understand that my father was as much a victim of the war as my uncle.  When the War Department tallies the casualties, it counts the dead, the wounded, the missing in action.  But no one ever takes into account the broken hearts and broken families left by the wayside in the wake of war.  If they did, perhaps they would stop sending our children off to fight and die.

But today is a day a of forgiveness, a day of understanding, a day to be thankful that life goes on.  It is a day of sorrow, but most of all, today is a day to love.

– Naomi Baltuck

© 2012, essay and photographs, Naomi Baltuck, All rights reserved

NaomiPHOTO1-300ppi410xuqmD74L._SY300_NAOMI BALTUCK ~ is a Contributing Editor and Resident Storyteller here at Bardo. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer, and story-teller whose works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE. Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV. She also conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi

Posted in Essay, Jamie Dedes

CHRISTOPHER HITCHINS: Life, Death, and Deathbed Conversions


English-American journalist and author

In the course of a forty-year career, Christopher Hitchins, famous (or notorious, depending on your view) for his atheism has dismayed a lot of believers of one persuasion or another. Last year he was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Many have wondered if on his deathbed he would become an eleventh-hour convert. Here in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Hitchens discusses his thoughts and feelings about life and death. It’s an interesting addition to the on-again off-again discussions on this blog of illness, dying, and death. I found two things particularly striking: 1.) Hitchins willingness to accept culpability for his illness as a result of his chosen life-style, which included cigarettes and alcohol. 2.) Hitchins’ mother committed suicide and Cooper’s brother did. The two men agreed that there’s no closure. Having had a suicide in own family, I find I agree with them.  Jamie Dedes

If you click on the video, it will take you to YouTube where you can view it.

Photo credit ~ Christopher Hitchens by Omaraty009 via Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attritution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Video uploaded to YouTube by 

Posted in Jamie Dedes, Poems/Poetry





Jamie Dedes

With gullible hazel eyes fringed in black lace

she looked out at the world.

With ears tuned to pulpit and street

she mistook . . .

. . . love for wisdom

. . . suffering for sanctity

. . . sex for intimacy

. . . saccharine for sincerity.

Because she endured,

she thought she was strong.

She took the tarnished confines

of her dark, singular world

for the broad vision of her god.

Living by accident,

she died on purpose.

Photo credit ~ Statue of a Young Nude Woman by Andrew Schmidt, Public Domain