hero of the practicalities, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt


What can I tell you?
She loved the guy …
She even loved the
scent of whiskey and cigarettes
She took note of the clues
warning of devises and vices
that she’d never acquired
She didn’t care
He was charming

Coupled in delicate balance
A yin and yang of extremes
An odd marriage of differences,
fog being the common denominator ~
though his drink didn’t mix well with her
off-in-the-clouds-somewhere being
The accountant of just-the-facts ma’am
and the writer of improbable dreams
She was a trial

The bear who liked to escape to the woods,
nonetheless some comfort, a decent person
A hero of the practicalities
A maker of omelets and fixer of things
A reader, a gardener ~ An Angry Man

Anger . . .
. . . read pain
but you probably knew that ~
a pain that waltzed with Jack Daniels,
lent itself to long diatribes and
Pilsner-inspired pontifications
It skied through the veins
Built road-blocks to his heart ~
and in the end . . .
in the end
in the end
the pain did him in
…..That lost man
That well-meaning, decent
distant, funny, lost man

© 2013, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Marriage and other relationships can be difficult, beautiful or mixed. Tell us about that. If you feel comfortable, leave your work or a link to it in the comments section. All poems shared on theme will be published in next Tuesday’s poetry collection. You have until Monday night, 8:30 p.m. PST to respond.


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“The Grand Scheme of Things” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


In these responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, November 15, gods of our making, you’ll find some moving and discerning views into the way we create false gods, stuggle with and spin the fabric of belief, sometimes to justify the unjustifiable, and the ways in which belief systems learned in youth may come up wanting in the face of common sense and the hard realities of adult life.

Kudos to Mike Stone (new here and welcome), bogpan, Kakali Das Ghosh, Colin Blundell, Ginny Brannon, Renee Espriu, Anthony Carl and Paul Brookes for work that is engaging, honest, well considered and well written.

Anyone who would like to join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt is welcome to do so no matter the status of career: beginning, emerging or pro. All work shared on theme will be posted in the next collection on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, enjoy these …


The Grand Scheme of Things

(Raanana, April 11, 2016)

The dark cloud squats heavily on the horizon
Undecided whether to drift slowly
Over our dusty fields with its fat bladder
Full of drought quenching rains
Or to drift up the coast a ways
To quench the thirst of our enemy’s fields.
O Lord, I know it makes no difference
In the grand scheme of things,
But I can’t help the fact
It would make all the difference in the world
To me.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Beliefs

(Raanana, December 4, 2016)

That I know what my wife is feeling,
That my love will be enough to protect her
From the lovelessness around her,
That my particular being might have some worth
In the eye of the Grand Schemer of Things,
That the sun will climb over the eastern mountains tomorrow,
That the ground on which I walk
Is as solid as any reality,
These are small beliefs I think
That won’t hurt anyone else,
At least I don’t believe so.
But there are grander beliefs
That grow stronger
With every man and woman who believes them,
That only the grandest edifices
Can house them,
These beliefs,
Like who’s a chosen people
And who’s a virgin, an only son, or a true prophet,
Beliefs that hurt those who don’t believe them.
These are the beliefs I don’t believe
Are any good for anything
That’s not a building.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

A True Believer

(Raanana, February 10, 2017)

Although there is truth
I will never know it
Or be absolutely sure.
Although the world
And universe above and below
Do in fact exist
I will never perceive or conceive it.
Although all this is true
There is not enough evidence
To make of me a true believer
A skeptic or a cynic
An optimist or pessimist.
According to forensic science
Every criminal leaves a trail
Except for God and His magicians.
All this and less
As we move forward in our time.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Forsaken Children

(Raanana, September 23, 2017)

The child is taught
When there is no help
God is our help,
When there is no hope
God is our hope,
When there is no redemption
God is our redemption.
These are honeyed words
To hear on sabbath after new years,
They succor us until we need them to be true
And then they desert us
Just like God did long ago
And we cry out from our crosses
With our last breaths like His Son
Why have You forsaken Me?
The truth is it’s our beliefs that crucify us,
Better to die like a lion roaring
Against the jackals of death
Or an eagle falling silently
From the sky
Than like forsaken children
Waiting for redemption.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Mike Stone

MIKE STONE Although this is Mike’s first time on Wednesday Writing Prompt, I think many of you know him from other venues. I do believe he has participated in every The BeZine 100TPC event as well. Mike was born in Columbus Ohio, USA, in 1947 and was graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology. He served in both the US Army and the Israeli Defense Forces. He’s been writing poetry since he was a student at OSU and supports his writing habit by working as a computer networking security consultant. He moved to Israel in 1978 and lives in Raanana. He is married and has three sons and three grandchildren.


(Have the life)

The wings are bending of a dead
wind.
Under the fallen papers with words
blank
not burnt cockroaches are running
back
and forth
making noise…
And the ocean dries up.
The death is whispering in eyes
every single while,
when you’re bent above the oars.
The oars are making after the hits
circles
and they’re expanding.
A twitch and the end.
But the tries are repeated.
It doesn’t matter.
They leave sweat and tears,
pieces of keels,
trails of activity,
grief.
Where are you going in the early afternoon,
When the twilight
Is lying on your shoulders?
(but love is a place sedentary).
Repent –
know-it-all.

Have the life!

© 2017, bogpan (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия)


they asked Bertrand Russell

how he would react
if when dead he found that God really did exist —
that he had been wrong all along…

what would he do when he arrived
at the Pearly Gates
to be welcomed by St Peter?

what would he say to God?

without hesitating Russell said:
I’d go up to him and I’d say
you didn’t give us enough evidence

(From my The Recovery of Wonder (2013)

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


Still Searching for Answers

I have lifted my eyes to the heavens to pray
trying to renew the faith I once felt;
coming to find at the end of the day
that life as I know it is centered on doubt.
How can God sanction such anger and hate,
the loss of a parent to such a young child;
the illness and pain that never abates…
too many questions left unreconciled.

We thank God for all of the good things that come,
but who takes the blame for the unanswered prayer?
Time intercedes until we’ve become numb—
stuck in this place between hope and despair.

I believe there are angels who wander among us:
in the friend who just senses when you need to talk;
in the kindness of strangers when we are in crisis,
who lift and support us when we cannot walk.

Life lessons learned have hardened this heart;
still God bless the ones who can truly believe.
Blind faith without proof is really an art;
it’s through love and kindness I’ll find my reprieve.

I still ponder the words that we heard in our youth:
to pray, to have faith that our voice will heard;
but have come to acknowledge this as my truth—
my Divinity’s found helping those here on earth.

© 2017, Ginny Brannan (Inside Out Poetry)


Gods Like A Twining Snake

Gods cloaked as inner fears
grounded in DNA
like a twining snake
posed to lunge
to strike

waiting within a tired mind
weariness a braided chain
harnessing movement

reality sinking into quicksand
bogs of memory calling
burning names
taunting

Gods of money and loving guns
meaningless possessions
of nameless masses

when the use of words like arrows
taken from the quiver
can be weaponry
to fight

dueling with engines
created of cells
stinging like bees

identified as expectations
masked as perfection
a straight line
blue chalk
do not cross

we try to let go, let be
erase illogical revenue
nothing money
can buy

for these Gods leave
no purchase
are grounded
on a slippery
slope

quickly buried by mud slides
that alter belief in self
confidence askew
in the remnants
of time

© 2017,  Renee Espriu  (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, AR, Haiku & Haiga)


#Falsehood of legendary Gods#

Swimming through their tears I live
Shedded leaves let out a deep sigh
The fiscous sky leaves a black smile
Howl of funous thunder
Heehaw of rampant lightning
tear apart hearts
A lorn’s cry for mom
A beggar’s bowl beside a temple
A street child’s furious search for a wrapper
A destitute aback a flash flood
Casts the falsehood of legendary Gods
Towards galaxies
Towards constellations
Towards this whole universe.

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh


alma mater

i.

the machine believes money
is love. honor and prestige
parade through the town

with cash clenched tightly
in their hands. they build
monuments to honor sport

while souls are crushed
under the clamor of their
self-congratulatory speech.

ii.

the hallowed halls
ring hollow with words,
reeking of self-preservation.

indeed if ghosts
still pass through these walls,
the living do all the haunting.

© 2017, Anthony Carl (Anthony Carl)


Godfather Life

I am born dead.
My father weeps
as he has nowt
and hopes for best.

He holds us out
in middle of our road
and offer as whoever
says they want me

can be my godfather.
God turns up first
and says as he can give me
eternal life in heaven.

Dad tells him to bugger off
as I’ll still be dead
and he’ll still be bereft.
Devil arrives next,

and says he can give me
all riches and principalities
in world at cost of my father’s
blood and soul.

Dad tells him to bugger off
as riches are in other things
and he don’t want me
without a father.

Then Life turns up
and says he will make me
a miracle worker and bring
other folk to life. Dad agrees.

When I’m of age
Life says to me
“I’ve given you breath
of life you can gi to others.

When you see me not there
it means as they shunt
have it. Don’t make me smile.
You won’t like it.

If I laugh it will be at you
not with you. You’ll have
disobeyed me, so I must
take away your gift.”

Then my wife drowns suddenly.
I think surely life
won’t mind, but
it isn’t there. I kiss

her lips till they redden.
And there was Life
at the foot of the bed,
and it’s smiling.

It tells “Well done.
Pleased to see such progress.
You have challenged me.
I like your spirit. Let

it go this once. Your wife
needs a hug.” Then my dad
dies of asphyxiation
in a car accident.

As I’m about to give
Dad my breath
Life pulls me away
with a “I know you

want the best for him.”
I reply “If you take
my gift give it to him.”
Life takes my breath away.

© 2017, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

A Sea God

“Don’t let it get away!”
my sister shouts as my Dad’s hot air
wrapped in rubber flaps up
over the ocean in a cross gust.

We both climb in to steady it.
“We’re going out too far!
“I can’t see mum and dad.”
She shouts clambering back out.

She grasps the rope to pull
it forward but gust is too strong.
She lets rope go. “I’m going
back.” she shouts and swims away.

I paddle but gust is against me.
I get out, grab the rope, try to haul,
the current against me. I climb
back in. Watch beach and mam

and dad disappear, till there is only
the gusted, grey green waves.
It is cold. In my trunks I curl
into a question mark
in the rubber dinghy.

Suddenly, a shout. A huge hand
gathers me and dinghy up.
I rise into air. Lifted
into a smelly fishing boat.

“Thought tha wa lost their lad.”
the sea god says.

© 2017, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Editorial Note: I just finished reading Paul’s newest collection, She Needs That Edge, which is scheduled for publication shortly. Look for the alert on Paul’s site or here in Sunday Announcements. It’s another fabulous read by this indefatigable Yorkshire poet. In this collection Paul combines his singular style with acute insight into the human condition. He takes us through five stories, pictures of the great and small ironies of life. We observe the daily routines, rituals and reactions in lives where birds have jam sessions on rooftops, mausoleums live on fridge doors, the memory of a touch stays with the skin; lives where hands are telling and people hunger, give what’s not wanted and take what’s not given. In short, Life with all its pathos and ethos. She Needs that Edge will be well worth your time and pennies.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

small scarlet secrets


the chambers of our hearts
hold small scarlet secrets
like a rose garden blooming
under the summer sun

© 2017, Jamie Dedes


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

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

CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

BEATDOM LITERARY MAGAZINE, a beat-generation literary journal publishes essays, short stories, poetry and art but primarily seeks essays about the Beats. Pays $50 for accepted essays. Currently interested in essays about the Beats in Asia. Deadline: March 1, 2018 Details HERE.

BLUELINE, A literary magazine dedicated to the spirit of the Adirondacks was founded in 1979 and sponsored by the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam. Submission window closes on November 30. Blueline editors welcome submissions from both emerging and established writers and seek “poems, stories and essays about the Adirondacks and regions similar in geography and spirit, focusing on nature’s shaping influence. We also welcome creative nonfiction that interprets the literature or culture of the region, including northern New York, New England and Eastern Canada.”  Submission guidelines HERE.

CLOUDTHROAT “is an online Indigenous journal that aims to publish the vast spectrum of Indigenous venture, creativity, and revolt. Our goal is to act as a platform for Indigenous innovation through writing and art and publish the diverse voices of Indigenous communities.”  Folio Submissions are open for the first folio edition featuring Indigenous women, non-binary communities, and two-spirit communities. Deadline is November 30, 2017 Visit the blog post for more information.

COFFEE, TEA and POETRY coffeeteaandpoetry dot net is a home for simple pleasures and features poets and their poems, specialty teas and coffees along with slow-carb grain-free recipes. Send food poems and brief bio to Jamie Dedes for consideration – thepoetbyday@gmail.com with Coffee, Tea and Poetry in the subject line. Recent Posts: A poem after Basho … and Genmaicha, the people’s tea and Research on Parkinson’s Disease … and Ketogenic Diet for PD; today’s poem is “Vision Quest.”

GEIST a magazine of ideas and culture publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, art, reviews, little know acts of interest, cartography and crossword.  Details HERE.

PALIMPSEST, a biannual print publication edited by graduate and professional students at Yale University, featuring fiction, poetry, visual art, nonfiction, and media related to architecture and music has announced a call for submissions for its upcoming issue, Volume IX: TRANS: Across. Beyond. Between.   Current reading period ends November 30th. Details HERE.

PACIFIC LITERARY REVIEW publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, photography, and art & design twice a year in print and all year online. Details HERE.

ROOT & STAR the magazine for the whole child is open for submissions for: Issue 16 July/August: ORANGE (deadline January 1, 2018); Issue 17 September/October: CROWS (deadline February 1, 2018); Issue 18 November/December: STONES (deadline April 1, 2018). Details HERE.

SAND HILLS LITERARY MAGAZINE, “Augusta University’s premiere little magazine,” welcomes submissions from U.S. writers and artists for its first national publication scheduled to debut in Spring 2018.  Interest is in drama, poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction and visual arts. Submissions fees: $3. Deadline: December 15. Details HERE.

SAND HILL REVIEW is open for submissions of stories, nonfiction articles and poems. Reading fee: $10. Details HERE.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be December issue – themed Spirituality (Spiritual Paradigms, Awakenings, Miracles)  is now open and the deadline is December 10thNEW RULES: Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send submissions to me (Jamie) at bardogroup@gmail.com. Publication is December 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.  No demographic restrictions. Please read at least one issue and the Intro/Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples.

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

I do consider previously published work if you hold the copyright and I encourage submissions from beginning and emerging poets and writers as well as pro. I am especially interested now in short stores, feature articles, music videos and art. / J.D.


CONTESTS

Opportunity Knocks

CUTBANK ONLINE Genre Contests are open for submission. Winners will be featured in CutBank 89, the summer 2018 issue, and will receive $500. “All submissions will be considered for print publication. Submission dates vary so be sure to carefully consult the site. There are three contests: fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Details HERE.


EVENTS

  • Join poets Peggy Robles-Alvarado and Paul Tran as they read from their work at Zinc Bar, 82nd W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012, on November 15, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • POETREE ~ A lively discussion of reading and writing poetry. Contact: info@sapl.org6:00pm, Igo Library, 13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy., 78249 San Antonio, Texas

SPECIAL

2017 INDIGINOUS PEOPLES SUNRISE GATHERING ON ALCATRAZ Departure: Alcatraz Pier 33 Ferry Terminal Each year on Thanksgiving morning Alcatraz is closed for the day for regular visitors, but from 4:45 AM till 6:00 AM the ferries run every 15 minutes and bring people to the island to celebrate the Alcatraz Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering After the event the ferries run from Pier 33 until the last sailing at 8:45 AM, when all visitors must leave Alcatraz. Tickets (IN ADVANCE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED) cost $14 per person & free for kids under 5.The box office opens at 3:00 AM Thanksgiving morning, or you can buy tickets online here.


ACTIVITIES FOR POETS and WRITERS

ALL POETRY says it’s the largest poetry community, more than 500,000 poets, beginners and experts who offer critiques. The site sponsores no-fee contests, cash prizes, discussion forums, and publishes an annual anthology.

dVERSE POETS PUB hosts prompts three times a week, form and theme based, which allow you to exercise your writing muscle and “meet” other poets and writers.

WRITER’S DIGEST offers weekly writing prompts to help you with your latest novel or short story effort.

Some suggested Facebook groups:

If you have a Facebook Poetry or Arts Group you’d like included in next week’s Sunday Announcements send it to thepoetbyday@gmail.com with “announcement” in subject line.

KUDOS TO:

  • Hélène Cardona for a lovely book review of Life in Suspension in the Pacific Rim Review of Books.
  • Amy Barry for her collection, Spearing Dreams.


OTHER NEWS

American Book Fest has announced the winners and finalists of The 2017 Best Book Awards . Over 400 winners and finalists were announced in over 90 categories. Awards were presented for titles published in 2015-2017.

Among the award winners is our own Hélène Cardona for Life in Suspension.

Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of American Book Fest said this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from mainstream and independent publishers, which were then narrowed down to over 400 winners and finalists.

Keen says of the awards, now in their fifteenth year, “The 2017 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States. With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of the Best Book Awards, this year’s winners and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the upcoming holiday retail season.”

Winners and finalists traversed the publishing landscape: Wiley, McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, St. Martin’s Press, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, Rowman & Littlefield, New American Library, Forge/Tor Books, John Hopkins University Press, MIT Press and hundreds of independent houses contributed to this year’s outstanding competition!

Keen adds, “Our success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise.”

American Book Fest is an online publication providing coverage for books from mainstream and independent publishers to the world online community.

American Book Fest has an active social media presence with over 96,000 current Facebook fans.

A complete list of the winners and finalists of The 2017 Best Book Awards are available online at American Book Fest.


Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

  • The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career (emerging or established) or status (amateur or professional). Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) will be published here on the following Tuesday.
  • The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers.
  • THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  
  • Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.

SPECIAL REQUEST: More and more magazines are charging submission fees and these are in some cases going up. The highest I encountered recently was $23 for the submission of one poem. Sometimes the publication pays writers and poets. Sometimes it doesn’t. This is not new, of course. Its been going on for some years now. It makes me wonder how much of a barrier that creates for writers. I’m collecting material on how you feel about these charges as a poet/writer and/or editor. Fair? Not fair? Okay depending on rate? Okay depending on whether or not they pay poets and writers? That sort of thing. I do plan to share the results of this informal survey at The Poet by Day. I won’t quote you by name without first getting your permission. Please let me know your thoughts about submission fees in the comments section below or by email: thepoetbyday@gmail.com.  Thank you! J.D.

Related:


YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to jamiededes@gmail.com (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything. Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • though your book or other product doesn’t have to be available through Amazon for review here, it should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.

Often information is just thatinformation – and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY