“Explaining a Peace Sign to a Toddler” …. responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt



THE LAST WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT June 21: Times and places of peace leave no scars to jog our memories and stoke the fires of our hope. Remember peace or imagine it: What would a world at peace look like?

My own poem that accompanied the prompt was about re-imagining a war torn place – Syria – into peace. Some have taken the prompt and pointed it at inner peace or the personal experience of a peaceful moment, both of which would be the everyday norms of a peaceful world. S.E. Ingram writes about explaining peace to a child … and it is peace to that child when he and his brother stop hitting one another. And so it is with the world at large.

Thanks to all who came out to play.


EXPLAINING A PEACE-SIGN TO A TODDLER

It never occurred to me how impossible
it might be to describe a concept to a child
An innocent whose frame of reference
doesn’t yet extend to encompass such
atrocities as war
So how to explain the need for peace

I give him a teddy-bear that is tie-dyed,
a souvenir from a trip to New Orleans;
I don’t notice until he’s holding it that
the bear is sporting a peace sign on its
miniature T-shirt, and naturally the 2 year
old wants to know what it “says”

He understands the hexagonal red road
signs mean “stop”, and the inverted yellow
triangles mean “wait” (yield actually, but
it’s a word still beyond him)
But peace? I try to explain about fighting
and then no fighting
He nods wisely, asks me if it’s like when he
and his brother “hit” and then get into
trouble
Is it “peace” when they both stop hitting
In a way, I tell him, in a way…

© 2017, S. E. Ingram


on a hill

above a bay containing a quiet sea
not quite knowing
so many years ago
the drift of my soul
or the even more alien drift of the soul
of that other now just
a sometimes voice on the telephone—
this single event
comes back to me now
when I could very well do without it:
it was a moment before going back for hotel teatime
on a hill complete with sensation of slipping down & off
above a bay containing such a quiet sea

such a long remorseful soul-drift
between then & now

and that is all you’ll know of it
except that you’ll compare it
with that small event that drifts
in & out of your own recollection
particle & wave depending on your angle
(both together when you look away
from what’s held in place
by time & space maybe something like
a hill… a bay… a sea quietly moving there
stuck like a tune on an old record)

my self the zero coordinate
(emergent uprising)
held in place momentarily by
the elements that constitute
a State of Being:

walker & path walked;
dreamer & dream-journey;
thinker & web of thought

*

This was a moment of peace that may seem like some kind of scar but my own quiet state now is a ‘zero coordinate’, unifying all, which is a rather larger moment of peace still warmly linked to that hill above a bay… I feel myself there right now nearly sixty years ago!

The poem comes from my The Recovery of Wonder (Hub Editions, 2013)

© 2013, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All & Everything)


The Star Second to the Right

In a time primordial when first life began
unimaginative of the harsh realities of wars
when sunrises and sunsets were ethereal
she can only imagine stepping into dreams
of discovering an unblemished world of those
dreams made of translucent skies so that
much like Peter all she has to do is to go
to the star second to the right and straight
on till morning or perhaps like Alice she
should eat but a small bit of cake to become
just the right size to enter the garden
there upon discovering a different world
for in seeing forever is the powerful force
where oceans teeming with life are no longer
a graveyard of war ships but only coral reefs
a delightful dance of colors and creatures
and where gardens floral are wondrous delights
for children playing for hate is not a word
so cannot invade her dreams that will always
be pristine as newly fallen snow in Winter
with skies so clear she can revel to see them all
from anywhere to blissfully fly to the star second
to the right and straight on till morning

© 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


.reflect.

it is an older mirror,
speckled with time.

liquid memories,

we make a place of safety
with our thoughts and habits.

our work. our souls
are in our chests.

look here, she said.
please, do not touch
the ladies bed,
with lavender and velvet pillow.

the way is barred now,
the time is past.

things have become misshapen.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, R.C.A.)

that feeling, that .

arrives unexpected from darkness, some winters’ mornings,

opening the door to the sound of one black bran bird calling.

track four repeated. that

comes on waking finding peace and comfort bound in clean
linen.

arises with perfume, an uncertain memory.

it may be chemicals, peptides in the brain as love, what
ever the germ or warfare

I find no word to describe, no random feather nor dust on
my plate. pass a finger.

that feeling of trimmed nails upon the keys pounding
words and silences.

while music plays. that feeling. that.

syrup stings my tongue.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, R.C.A.)


We Stop Decay

devote lives to prevent decay
of wood, breath, bone, brick,
gardens of our minds,
faculties of our hearts

Each day we weed, we resow,
rework, rebuild
the wood, breath, bone, brick,
gardens of our hearts,
faculties of our minds.

Laugh to heal the stench
of rot, worm eaten
brick, bone, breath, wood
landscape of flesh
fresh produce of light.

Born to decay in decay
heal the ever opening wound
brick, bone, breath, wood
flesh of landscape
light produce of flesh.

Laugh.

© 2017 Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Rob Time

of it’s place.

Early morning await vintage diesel train
to Great Yarmouth.

One off First Class Pullman name on backs of armchairs, table light, upturned China tea cups and side plates for

complementary tea and coffee and Chelsea bun.

Pass Manvers Industrial Estate where I used to work and Rotherham where she used to work.

Green and golden fields.

We brought a pack up. Dining Experience too expensive. Pringles and Pound Shop Special Toffee.

Sun shining. Expecting rain at the coast.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Inhale Dappled , A Perfumed Air,

step through cast
illuminated windows
of tree crowns,

birdsong lilts blossom fall.
Key all senses keener.
See claw hunt feather.

Feathered mams rescue bairns
from hungry talons. Bigger birds
snatch fluffy kids from nests

to feed their young. Beetles battle
over territory. All fend, forage
in this vision of quiet.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rain)


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

CONTEST, KUDOS, PRIVACY & TECHNOLOGY


Important Note: I value encouraging and supporting other poets and writers and sharing helpful news and information. For clarity and accuracy, if you have announcements to share the preferred method is to send complete information to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Honestly, I find messaging cumbersome, hard to read and track, time-consuming and complicated by some personal challenges: mild dyslexia, poor vision and hand and finger tremors. Publication is subject to editorial discretion.


Addendum to last Sunday’s Announcements:

CONTEST

POETRY SOCIETY OF INDIANA, (Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs) 2017, 39th Annual Fall Rendezvous Poetry Contest July 1-Sept 1. Details HERE.


KUDOS

  • David Grossman winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for A Horse Walks Into a Bar (rather dark) and kudos to translator Jessica Cohen. David is the author of many works of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and has been translated into thirty languages around the world. He is the recipient of many prizes, including the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Buxtehuder Bulle in Germany, Rome’s Premio per la Pace e l’Azione Umitaria, the Premio Ischia— International Award for Journalism, Israel’s Emet Prize, and the Albatross Prize given by the Günter Grass Foundation.
  • Poet, actor and translator, Hélène Cardona for her work in translation from French and Spanish including Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press, Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for WhitmanWeb. Helene also translations from the Spanish of her father José Manuel Cardona’s The Birnam Wood (El Bosque de Birnam, Consell Insular d’Eivissa, 2007). You can read poetry excerpts and details on writers and poets HERE. News and updates on Helene’s poetry collections and her translations HERE.
  • The winners of the New York Times Eighth Annual Found Poem Student Contest. The Times is publishing their work through July 3. Read the whole collection HERE. (This is just fun.)


NEWS & INFORMATION

Privacy & Technology – Reading and Your Civil Rights


Good reading


DISCLAIMER

Often information is just that information – and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications featured in Sunday Announcements or elsewhere on this site. Awards and contests are often a means to generate income and publicity for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I am homebound due to disabiliity and no longer attend events. Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products or paying fees, or attending events et al.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

the witching hour, a poem

Poetry is not a profession, it is a destiny. Mikhail Dudan


Must be something about the witching hour,
magic after all, when from sound sleep I so
suddenly awake to the silent scratching and
rough shaking of a poem, uninvited but near
fully formed, dropping in from some unnamed
peculiar heaven or hell to disturb the languid
luxury of this rare blue somnolence. A poem from
neither the horn or ivory gate that snatches me
from the welcome arms of Morpheus, from the land
of Demos Oneiros, where I long – an elegant ache
to return. I chew the poem like a baby new flavors,
trying to define shape and character, to hold the
memory intact until dawn when I can – perhaps –
name it. I … repeat it … repeating, repeating,
my mind wrapping itself around the words like my
arms the pillow, hugging their sensations, rolling
in the silk and nub and color, not willing to let go,
not able to sleep. In the chill before daybreak, I
give up and get up and taking the laptop in hand,
lay the words on a new page, ready post of the day.

© poem, 2011, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved;  Artwork – Morpheus and Iris by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, 1811


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, Events and Other News and Information

CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

THE LASCAUX REVIEW features literary stories, poems and essays. Submissions are read year round and published on a rolling basis. This is a paying publication : $100 for published stories, poetry and essay.  The Lascaux Review hosts contests yearly (not currently open for submissions) with awards of $1,000.  Submission details HERE.

ALABAMA WRITERS’ FORUM, Cultivating the Literary Arts in partnership with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, is currently accepting submission for the fall 2017 issue of Matador Review. Submissions of unpublished poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction are welcome in English language as are translations into English that include the original text. Submissions of visual art are also welcome for consideration. Deadline August 31. Details HERE along with the guidelines for the UNO Press Publishing Lab Prize, deadline August 15.

3ELEMENTS REVIEW is now accepting submissions for Issue 16. “The elements are SCALE, PEPPERMINT, and BREACH. All three words must be used in any poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction submissions. Art and photography submissions must represent at least one of those elements. We have published new and well-known writers and artists from all over the world.”  July 31 deadline. Details HERE. Scroll down.

“ABSTRACT”INTERNATIONAL Call For Artists and Writers by ArtAscent Deadline: June 30, 2017Abstractions are all around us. Ideas can be abstract; existing as an idea, feeling or quality but not having a tangible existence. Some conversations can be abstract, vague and theoretical and not based on particular examples or facts. And of course, there is abstract art which evokes feelings without trying to realistically represent the appearance of people or things. Abstract art, like poetry, offers a fragment of a mysteriously familiar narrative without directly revealing it in a realistic way. Reveal your most ABSTRACT thoughts.” Details HERE. Scroll down.

J JOURNAL, Department of English, John Jay College of Criminal Justice “seeks new writing – fiction, creative nonfiction (1st person narrative, personal essay, memoir) and poetry – that examines questions of justice … We encourage writers to approach the justice issue from any angle.” Submit up to three poems or up to 6,000 words of fiction or nonfiction. Details HERE.

CONTESTS/COMPETITIONS

Opportunity Knocks

KILLER NASHVILLE’S BROKEN RIBBON CONTESTS are open through November 15. Submit up to four poems of any form at one time “that present images of noir, mystery, suspense, and the feeling of wanting …”  Details on both fiction and poetry contests HERE.

WRITERS’ DIGEST SELF-PUBLISHED eBOOK AWARDS is open for submissions. Deadline is August 1, 2017.  Details HERE.

WRITERS’ DIGEST POPULAR FICTION AWARDS is open for submissions. Deadline is October 16. Details HERE.

WRITERS’ DIGEST POETRY AWARDS is open for submissions. Deadline is October 2. Details HERE.


EVENTS

SUN VALLEY, IDAHO,WRITERS’ CONFERENCE WITH BILLY COLLINS, June 30 — July 3, Details HERE.

FIRST FRIDAY IN THE GREEN ROOM AT METRONYMY MEDIA Metonymy Media, 1052 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, July 7, 6-9 p.m. EDT “featuring art by Indy Near West artists in collaboration with Indy Convergence, an acoustic performance by Robin Goodfellow, and a First Friday confessional booth, a la reality TV.  Free admission.

INDY WORD LAB, THE GREEN ROOM, 1052 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, Monday, July 10, 7- 8:30 PM EDT ” … one of the most unique reading and writing events in the city. Unlike other creative writing workshops, the premise behind Word Lab is creating something new. This Word Lab event will feature Ball State professor, Patrick Collier, who’ll be sharing some of his fabulous Martini Haikus and giving a brief lesson on crafting haikus, concluding with a prompt to guide the writing portion of the evening. The night will also include martinis to drink! Shaken or stirred.”Attendees can listen, write to the prompt, kick back, and share their work if they so desire.”

SPLIT THIS ROCK POETRY FESTIVAL: POEMS OF PROVOCATION & WITNESS 2018. Sponsorships and internships are now being accepted. Calls or proposals due by June 30, 2017 latest. Event scheduled for April 19-21, 2018 in Washington D.C. Details HERE.


FROM THE BeZINE AND THE BARDO GROUP BEQUINES

UPDATE: Well, here we are with half this whirlwind year almost gone. Thanks to all who have shared info and/or opinion on our FB discussion page and those who read, offer feedback and help to promote each issue of the Zine and who submitted work to the Zine for consideration. It takes a village to wage the peace. Special thanks to the core team for their many insights and varied contributions and ongoing support of one another and this effort.
 ..
This month we welcome poet Phillip Stephens as a core team member.
 ..
Thinking ahead about themes @ The BeZine:
  • July – Prison Culture/Restorative Justice, Terri Stewart host
  • August – Theatre, a theatre person will be a guest host. I’ll announce the name shortly.
  • September – 100,000 Poets (and other artists) for Change, Michael Dickel host
  • October – Music, John Anstie host
 ..
Note: In September we’ll publish our usual issue and on the 30th. We’ll do our traditional virtual 100,000 Poets for Change event. Everyone is invited to participate with Michael Dickel as our skilled and gracious master of ceremonies. Message Michael (on Facebook) or leave questions for me here in the comments section.
 ..
If you wish to submit work for consideration, deadline is always the 10th of the month. email bardogroup@gmail.com
 ..
If you are interested in organizing a 100TPC event in September, don’t forget to register at 100tpc.org, hosted by founders Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion. You may also announce your 100TPC event on our Facebook discussion page. If you send a write-up to thepoetbyday@gmail.com, I’ll include it in Sunday Announcements …
 ..
In need of daily inspiration? Visit our sister site hosted by Terri Stewart at Beguine Again. Direct message Terri on Facebook if you have a spiritual practice you’d like to share there.
 ..
After the first of the year, we’ll move to publishing the Zine either quarterly or every two months. More on that to come. We will also have a donate button to enable (encourage) donations to Terri’s Youth Chaplaincy Coalition for incarcerated youth.

KUDOS

Sylva Merjanian (Celebrating American She-Poets #19), Aprilia Zank, Hélène Cardona (Celebrating American She-Poets #27) and many others we know featured recently in Levure littéraire. More kudos: to Hélène for translation work, coaching, and the promotion of poetry worldwide and to Aprilia for a phenomenal number of awards and cover publications of her photographs and the publication of The Word in the Word.   

.days. – artwork by Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA, has been selected for the Visa feed. It will be displayed from Thursday 22 June 2017 at 11:09 am (Paris, France time). You can view the piece HERE.

Nigerian-American Uche Nduka (b.1963), poet, writer, lecturer and songwriter who was awarded the Association of Nigerian Authors Prize for Poetry in 1997, for his first book to be published in Nigeria in twenty-years. Featured in Poetry magazine, he was once quoted as saying ““So far I just like doing my own thing and not buying into the hype of either formal or informal English; traditional or avant-garde usages. I enact a language style that suits my mood and the subjects I am interested in. Linguistically it seems there are a lot of trenches that have not been explored in poems/poetry. I keep attempting to investigate them. I don’t want to feel like people expect me to write in English timidly.” His Amazon page is HERE.


NEWS and INFORMATION


This is the organization from from which I adopted my Baxter. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and are planning to adopt, I recommend elder dogs and Muttville. 


DISCLAIMER

Often information is just that information – and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications featured in Sunday Announcements or elsewhere on this site. Awards and contests are often a means to generate income and publicity for the host organize, some of which are more reputable than others. I am homebound due to disabiliity and no longer attend events. Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, paying fees or attending events et al.

If you have announcements to share please send them to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Publication is subject to editorial discretion.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY