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Dreaming of the Moon … poets respond to last Wednesday’s Writing Prompt

LAST WEDNESDAYS WRITING PROMPT: What would be your fantasy about the moon? Tells us in poem or prose and share the link to the piece in the comments section below if you are comfortable doing so that we all might read it. This is light one. Enjoy!

Renee Espiru (Renee Just Turtle Flight) said this prompt was timeley for her. She’s now a great-grandmother.  Congratulations, Renee and family. She writes about that experience with this poem.


I dreamt that I met you smiling
long before you were born

that I told you in sweet loving
to the moon and back we’ll go

that we held hands briefly soaring
seeking the beauteous moonscape

we traversed stars in the milky way
in meteorite showers of gold we played

we walked along dazzling moon beams
silken threads our carpets in space

too soon you left me in wonderment
life’s cord cut a spiraling empty place

& you sped quickly down to earth
faster even than Halley’s comet

that day I finally saw your birth
I remembered our dance among stars

marveled at so much of me in you
that your hands held stardust imbued

© Renee Espriu

And from Paul Brooks (The Wombwell Rainbow). Among other things, Paul says he does the things he does because ” I want to make sense of who I am, where I came from and where I live. An impossible but engrossing job.” Poetry can certainly be self-revealing.

The Moon

in the man
is transgender.

born of a collision
of bodies revolves
about its mam

tied by gravity’s apron strings
though mam does not wear aprons
as they’re not hip

pulls at her tides,
waxes on and off
wanes off and on

stepped on in pools,
admires our longing
sickles into plumpness

slight to fat as if pregnant,
gives a cheesy smile.

© Paul Brooks

From Sonja Benskin Mesher. Sonja tells us, “My studio is in a medieval longhouse in Llanelltyd, North Wales surrounded by mountains, lakes and rivers, and also very near to the sea. I moved here in 1993 to change the quality and direction of my life. This ancient place affects work profoundly, with its space, peace and sense of freedom.”

It was here that the work started, and I have worked full time as a visual artist since 1999, after an initial period of study of Art & Design.

dance under the moon

shall we place our heads together
and hum,
shall we twine our arms
and drift.
shall we lean together,
and hold each other up.

shall we slowly
dance under the moon
quivering in the frost
and starlight

shall we live the moment
forgetting time,
and opinions,
our choice, no reason.

or shall we slowly
bleed and die?

© Sonja Benskin Mesher

Kudos Sonja, Paul and Renee, intrepid poets.  Well done. Thanks for participating and sharing. ♥

The recommended read for this week is A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into Formal Imagination of Poetry by Robert Hass (b. 1941), an American poet who was our Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997. He won the 2007 National Book Awardand shared the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for the collection Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005. In 2014 he was awarded the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets.

In A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into Formal Imagination of Poetry Hass brings to bear the same senisbility that marks his poetry with force, clarity and eloquence. From Rome in the time of Caesar to the Renaissance and our own times, Hass breaks down poetry, examining its components from a postmodern perspective. The book is ranging and intense. It’s over four-hundred pages – informed, witty, erudite – something we can go back to again and again.  Never a boring moment. It’s all about love.

By shopping at Amazon through The Word Play Shop and using the book links embedded in posts, you help to support the maintenance of this site. Thank you! (Some book links will just lead to info about the book or poet/author and not to Amazon.)

The WordPlay Shop offers books and other tools especially selected for poets and writers.

THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

LITERATURE AND FICTION oo Editor’s Picks oo Award Winners oo NY Times Best Sellers

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


Opportunities Knocks

THE BeZINE, Be inspired … Be creative … Be peace … Be Michael Dickel and I are reviewing submissions for the April’s special poetry edition. Traditionally at the Zine we celebrate April as interNational Poetry Month. Deadline is April 10 and pub date is April 15, so you still have time to submit poetry on any subject and in any form. International submissions are encurage but poems must be in English. You may also include your poem in your first or other language to go with the English translation. Also of interest: features on poets and poetry, the art and craft of poetry, why and how poetry matters, history and development and so forth. Welcome also are reviews of books and collections as well as literary criticism. Submissions to  Please check out the Zine first so that you understand our mission. Intro and Mission Statement HERE.  Submission guidelines are HERE. Thank you!  

GRANTA in publication since 1889, is a prestigious lit mag that says of itself: “From Nobel laureates to debut novelists, international translations to investigative journalism, each themed issue of Granta turns the attention of the world’s best writers on to one aspect of the way we live now. Granta does not have a political or literary manifesto, but it does have a belief in the power and urgency of the story and its supreme ability to describe, illuminate and make real.”  Granta accepts submissions in different categories during the following periods: Poetry 3 October – 3 November; Fiction 16 January – 16 February; Non-fiction 24 April – 24 May. Details HERE.

THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, another venerable old lit mag accepts unsolicited work during the following periods: fiction and nonfiction from September 1 through December 1;  poetry from September 1 through March 1.  Details HERE.

AMERICAN SHORT FICTION publishes the work of emerging and established writers three times a year and often these works are included in anthologies. In publication from 1991 – 1998 and then resumed in 2006, it has an excellent reputation for delivering quality literature. Details HERE.

ZYZZYVA, A San Francisco Journal of Arts and Letters founded in 2011 offers readers a curated view of contempoary fiction, nonfiction and poetry “with a distinctly San Francisco perpsective.” Submission guidelines HERE.

THE BLACK WARRIOR REVIEW  (BRW) “is named for the river that borders the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Established in 1974 by graduate students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing, BWR is the oldest continuously published literary journal produced by graduate students in the United States.” This biannual publication includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic writing, comics, and art and is published twice yearly. Black Warrior Review reads submissions from December 1 – March 1 and June 1 – September 1. Submission guidelines are HEREThis publications sponsors a contest each year but hasn’t posted for 2017.  Watch the site. It should come up in April.

NARRATIVE seeks “to advance literary art in the digital age” and “to connect writers and readers around the globe.” It is free to readers but writers are paid. It accepts submissions of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. Details HERE.


Opportunity Knocks

THE $4,000 NARRATIVE PRIZE of Narrative magazine (featured above) is an annual event with the deadline of June 15 every year. The price is awarded annually for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative. Details HERE.

WRITER’S DIGEST‘s annual Writing Competition is in its 86th year and the Digest announced that almost 500 winners will be chosen. Prizes inlcude a cash awards ($5,000 for the grand prize) among other things.  Deadline May 5, 2017. There is a submission fee. Details HEREWriter’s Digest also sponsors poetry, fiction and self-published book competitions but these are closed for the year.  Put it on your watch list for 2018.

The Seventh 2017 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry offers a $1,000 award, publication in Evansville Review and an invitation, with honorarium, to read in June 2017 as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm. “The reading opens the Frost Farm Poetry Conference, which is devoted to metrical poetry. The winner also receives a scholarship to attend the conference.” International submissions (in English) are welcome. Heads-up: Deadline is March 30, 2017. You can submit electronically, so you have time to make the deadline if you have something prepared.  Details HERE.


  • 03/28/2017, 6 p.m. Chrystal Williams & Amelia Blanquera, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Reading and Discussion at  NYU Bookstore, 726 Broadway, New York City, NY 10003 Details HERE.
  • On March 31: Starting From San Francisco. A Life of Writing by Armienian-American author, David Kherdian.  You can pre-order this memoir for $7.99. Thanks to Silva Merjanian (Rumor) for the heads-up announcement.
  • April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. and interNational Poetry Month at The BeZine. Check out our special poetry issue online on April 15.
  • Singing American Sunrise by Joy Haro is feature by Poetry Foundation. Each line ends with a word from Gwendolyn Brook’s We Real Cool.  It’s pretty fabulous. Link HERE to listen and get the back story.

Saturday, April 8 at 7:15 PM – 9:30 PM EDT at Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, 1 Railroad Plz, Bay Shore, New York 11706.

***SHAKESPEARE IN DOWNTOWN BAY SHORE!*** Join hosts Matt Pasca and Terri Muuss every second Saturday at Cyrus’ for the kind of poetry, coffee, treats and open mic experience you’ve been looking for!!! Our features will move and inspire you with their honesty and scintillating presence. Open mic follows features, so bring your ukulele, cello, double bass, guitar, sonnets, spoken word, villanelles and more!

Amy & Ty Lemerande have been touring the country and beyond, bringing their electric performances to audiences of all kinds, since 2003!! Their mission is simple: make Shakespeare cool again. Amy & Ty move Shakespeare off the page and onto the stage, where he belongs. But not just any stage — a Knighthorse stage is unlike anything you have ever seen. It has no dimensions, no boundaries, no limits. It is not constrained by the “fourth wall” because for Amy & Ty it doesn’t even exist. Actor and audience occupy the same space. They believe in theatre that is a communal experience filled with cheers, jeers, fears and tears.

**Be prepared to enjoy theatre and Shakespeare in a way you never thought you could! We guarantee it!** Don’t miss this opportunity!!!

For more information:




wearing down stone, a poem

the sun came out of hiding this morning,
peeked in on me, disturbing my sleep
persistent, like a question nagging
as I play on the verge of knowing, of finding
of touching and wearing and loving from the
seat of my soul, perhaps my heart, a place
from which to think and be and I am no lonelier
than any tree anchored to the earth, reaching

outside a bird builds its nest, steadfast in its
construction, ants on the march for food
people going to work, the roar of the freeway
incomprehensible, building and rushing ~
on this earth you earn your keep, how tidy
and how untidy, this way of forming a self
by working against the rhythms of the heart,
which wants nothing more or less than flow
flow, like the rivers flow, wearing down stone

© 2017, Jamie Dedes

In honor of Derek Walcott who died a few days ago, the recommended read for this week is The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013.  Walcott first poem was published when he was fourteen and this book was published in his 84th year. Never more than now has the world needed the grace, wisdom and universality of his poetry. This is a must add to your poetry book collection.  It doesn’t include the epic Omerosalso recommended, but it does include some of his earlier work that I have not seen included elsewhere.

By shopping at Amazon through The Word Play Shop and using the book links embedded in posts, you help to support the maintenance of this site. Thank you! (Some book links will just lead to info about the book or poet/author and not to Amazon.)

The WordPlay Shop offers books and other tools especially selected for poets and writers.

THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

LITERATURE AND FICTION oo Editor’s Picks oo Award Winners oo NY Times Best Sellers

Heads-up San Mateo, CA: Justice Action Monday, Flash Advocacy … “Resistance” works

Every Monday evening from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Rev. Benjamin Meyers and members of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM) invite neighbors in North Central San Mateo gather with them to “Resist.”  This Monday evening  postcards will be set asking Congress to reject Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the arts, the sciences and to social service programs like Meals on Wheels and to protest his proposed massive increase in military spending. Postcards will also go to thank those media outlets that are telling the truth and to those companies that have pulled their advertising from Breitbart.  Supplies, snacks and convivial company provided.

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS OF SAN MATEO, Justice Action Mondays, Flash Action Advocacy,  300 E. Santa Inez Ave, San Mateo, Phone: 650-342-5946 Office Hours: Tu-Fri 10-5

RESISTANCE WORKS: Hillary Clinton’s response to yesterday’s health insurance victory.