LATE BREAKING NEWS: Opportunity Knocks for Poets and Writers

SEQUESTRUM is accepting submissions for poetry for its Annual Editor’s Reprint Awards.  Entry fee is $15. Deadline is April 30, 2017. Details HERE.

SEQUESTRUM is accepting submissions of Fiction and Nonfiction for its Editor’s Reprint Award.  Entry fee is $25.  Deadline is April 30, 2017.  Details HERE.

“One of My Tomorrows” and other poems in response Wednesday Writing Prompts

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT, April 12, 2017 (1) Vacations: Well, this one is akin to the first composition assignment on returning to school after summer vacation: Tell us about your most fondly remembered vacations. Perhaps you enjoyed it because it involved family and childhood. Perhaps it was a dream vacation come true. Or, maybe it was an unexpected adventure. Or, perhaps your best vacation is the one you are planning now.

To Italy

you never expected this
we touch Florentine great black hog’s ringed cold snout
a ritual au revoir

taste best bitter coffee on the TGV
see snowed peaks of lower Apennine mountains
out of warm train windows

enter massive
Milan train Station
nine days coach trip
poke me in the side
when coach pace nods me off

stroll spiral down to medieval streets and a tilted horse race square

walk Rome’s cobbles amphitheatre
marvel at Vatican mosaics
we thought paintings
want to stroke cordoned vast
marble muscles

lilt up Venetian canals
wonder why when renovating buildings at home
builders don’t have picture tarpaulins
of the building beneath

you never expected this
for my fortieth
expected Wales or Scotland
then I request you order
a passport,
and live nine days
out of a suitcase

and thank your late father
our invisible companion
who made this possible

© 2017, Paul Brookes

White Flags Flying

Excitement palpable within me
butterflies dancing
fluttering wings beating
against my stomach

every year the very same
each time I am dreaming of
tall pines, pine cones
needles making

a blanket beneath the tent
heavy and green smelling
of musty canvas
and flags

waving on a line strung across
our site by dad
clean diapers drying
marking the spot

where the tent is pitched
a Coleman stove sets
ready to cook a meal
a lantern lit

lighting branches a reflection
a glow of campfire
the sky filled with stars
happiness overflowing

© April 2017 Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)

there was a time

when one bottle of wine
seemed as if it was going to last forever;
the one I’m thinking of (purchased
one dinnertime in summer at 7/6d)
occupied a space in my life
a mile high and spanned the gap
all the way to Tibet; as you drank a glass
that dinnertime it seemed to refill itself
from the dregs of love

when one kiss would last
as long as the Rachmaninov cello sonata
whenever you put the record
on the turntable and let the needle fall –
obliterated in the so well-known cadences
which I could have been whistling
had my lips not been squashed against hers

when a bicycle ride would construct a day
down to the sea and back
across the long valley and over the downs –
magic ride often repeated –
I fill it from these dregs of memory

© 2017, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell)

Colin recently did quite a wonderful guest blog: Antidotes to Tyranny and Concentration Camps of the Mind

. again, the small things.

it is the little things that excite, even
in the height of summer, low look
for seeds, small flowers studded
in hedgerows, dry stone walls here.

our lane remains dusty, unmade, plans
delayed a while to update. developers have
bought the big house, a nice place for holidays
and rabbits.

the stone lion is gone, due to health
and saftey, wobbly.

there is a small pool, to look
in for blessings , a reflection
on the day .

for the future.

© Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher RCA)

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT, April 12, 2017 (2) Memories of those lost. Have there been people in your life that you don’t loose no matter what? Perhaps people like parents who are so much a part of you, you seem to sense their presence even after they have died.  How good is that? Or, maybe you don’t think it is. Tell us about it in poem or prose.

One of My Tomorrows

for Celia

Our last goodbye was casual
as if I would see you again
on one of my tomorrows

I touched your arm
you flinched. In pain.
I felt persistent guilt

Born of carelessness
only nervous uncertainty
could freely demonstrate

Born of habitual presumption
that you were in charge
you weren’t. Not really.

You never were, save
your own sense of duty
to boss, nay care for everyone

Too much on small shoulders
that weren’t as strong as the
force of that inner being

the force that stopped being
that was someone once
whom I loved and miss

Some time after we’d helped you
to meet your God, one starlit night
I heard your voice as clear as the sky

O lamb of God, who takes away
the sins of the world, have mercy
and grant us peace. I swear

this was not my voice!

© 2017, John Anstie (My Poetry Library), All rights reserved

English musician and poet, John Anstie

John is not new to this site, but he is new in the context of Wednesday Writing Prompt. He is a part of the core team – a sort of editorial board – for The BeZine. John’s interest in the arts is quite catholic but he is most enamoured of music. Along with the members of the Grass Roots Poetry Group, he published a collection,  Petrichor Rising (eBook and paperback), the profits from which go to charity.  You can read more about John and his projects at: Petrichor Rising and how the Twitterverse birthed friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection.




my “you can do it”
and my trusted counsel: “stop!”

mi casa es su casa
as like family, you know you are

we share
we dare
we fight
we cry
we laugh
we scamp
we stride into the world
as lamps

and, whether it’s together
or by miles apart
the love of friendship is
a gift of courage
to the mind and in the heart

– Juli (Juxtaposed, (Subject to Change)


Lantern swinging down path —
I wonder if it is really there,
if that is you, or just some accident
of moonlight and wind.

How is it possible for the night
to be so black that no adjective
makes sense? Just black-black,
with shadows hovering and the wild phlox
lopped over reflecting greywhite back up.

No lantern, but there might as well be,
my heart lighting every moment,
bringing you back through memory
to stroll ahead telling me that story
I promised to never forget.

© 2017, Jennifer Cartland (Poems from Between)

This is the first time Jennifer Cartland is featured on The Poet by Day. . She says of herself simply, “In between meetings, in between errands, seat cushions, and ‘oms’, I try to nab those little guys flying though my noggin’ and shake them up a bit, turn them into something humans can understand.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  Sometimes they are happy I did, sometimes they aren’t.” 

Lavender & Whippoorwills

nasturtiums growing
in hollyhock fields
smelling of lavender
& blue whippoorwills

whose song bids me
follow the spirit
of you
entwined as we are
in consummate truth

i see you dancing
beneath the elm tree
with boughs your
dance partner
forever & free

as you slip transparent
from my view
the music plays softly
as it is never adieu

from the lemon bush
filtering meringue
soft dreams
to the orange orchard
citrus scenes

i knew you loved me
before i became a whisper
& held me near
before the dance…
taste of cinnamon cinders

nasturtiums growing
in hollyhock fields
smelling of lavender
& blue whippoorwills

© 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)

. haunted .

a meditation on thread,

mediation of red, i dream

of you.

clearly your clothes remain

the same, worn, washed,


your ideas come different, you

talk of immersion,

and security, nothing was

further from my mind.

the moon came early

a different window.

this does not mean i

have time,

i will be sewing.

i have made notes and numbers,

pinned it to the wall.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA)

My Late Mam Still Spring Clean

“I couldn’t live at your mam’s
It’s like a show house. Spotless.”
One of my girlfriends says.

And the gusts over mam’s grave,
brush the winter debris away,

quick sprays of spring rain
coat her surface as dead leaf

and blown bud dusters polish
the Yorkshire stone black letters

to a shine, feed the vase of flowers
whose heads move towards the sun.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Well, such wonderful responses to Wednesday Writing Prompts. I think it makes rather a lovely collection, which I hope you enjoy.  I hope you’ll also visit these poets at their blogs and get to know them better.  Look for another Wednesday Writing Prompt tomorrow.

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

We continue with the current recommended read: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Left, right or center – American or not – it’s a must read.

LESSON NINE: Be kind to our languge. “Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does.  Think up your own ways of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying.  Make an effort to separate yourself from the Internet. Read books.”  Prof. Snyder,  On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century