“Eclipsing Rainbows” and other poetic responses to last Wednesday’s prompt

LAST WEDNESDAY’S WRITING PROMPT May 3, 2017 asked “How does wild nature make you feel at the very core of your being? Tell us in prose, poem or even photography.” Below are the works share by other poets in response to this prompt. Thanks to Renee, Sonjia, Colin and Paul for good reading.


Eclipsing Rainbows

There are moments of clarity drenched in a soul’s peace
where everything is an eclipse of brilliant rainbows
and becoming is like being mirrored images in lakes
where coral reefs are arms cradling infinite oceans
whereupon mountain rising islands are pristine views
touched only by Galapagos creatures of uniqueness

entering into a communion devoid of ritualistic cups
and eyesight becomes like those raptors’ rapturous quest
to make the flight over the highest of mountain ranges
like child’s play when there is a vision to fly along
and wings are the freedom of song birds a narrative song
in chorus with insects accompanied by frogs croaking

perceiving the world in a field of flowers engaging in
the mystery of becoming seeds under dark brown earth
and pushing up toward the brilliance of mother sun to
sprout into every conceivable bloom with stamen covered
with the sweetest of nectar drawing hummingbirds for
their respite and insects unknowing a pollination of life

© 2017,  Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


i cannot live through
stagnant water,
i need oxygene
to survive this life,

to swim in clear
utter glory,
natures sweetest potion,
float among lilied notions

and live readily.

rancid pools a bitter
marriage make,
yellow scum upriver,
comes down reminding
sleepless nights
and half remembering.

running water or amnesia?

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

just how is it

that you suddenly feel an urge
to reach for pen & notebook
to record some Great Thought?

some itch of the brain –
grumble of neurons:
the remembering of rolling a little ball of snow
around a winter lawn till it becomes
impossible to manage the times
when you looked up at the night sky
to locate Orion’s Belt

Niord’s horn sounding
over all the bent forest winds
to come to this place here & now
where the river flows in & out
all day & night

moment for picking up
the thread of things once more
making a knot in time

Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell.com)

As I Dive

I make the world.
Become young and lithe.

Turn from bird
to fish, from fish

to a water’s swerve
I am feathered water,

dots and dashes curve
in ash black and flame white

rippled negative sunlight
ribbons over

sleek and sheen,
I swallow pike, perch,

trout, and bass.
An underwater ember.

I clamber on shore
as lumpen land.

I put on years.
My paddles in the wrong

place. They waddle my weight,
a loon. I give birth

clumsily, mumble
a tremolo, yodel,

wail, and hoot
across the waters,


Let Me Dive Quick White

turbulent eddies,
preen copious oil,

wild silver flows easily
over streamlined
strong legs and feet

pinion rocks under and above.

All black, but for a white bib:
a dinner suit with white

serviette draped from the collar,
dine fresh meat river.

Don’t give me stillness:
stagnant, silent, dead.

Give me bright, loud, lively lilt
so muscle winged and flaps over

closed nostrils, eyelids feather
submerge, strong short bill

tumbles pebbles, sorts meat course

momentum immerses
into maelstrom,

barely make wake,

splash in flight,
Rock jump

float on belly,
wings spread like oars.



© Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

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 SEVENTEEN, Listen for Dangerous Words. Be alert to the use of words extremism and terrorism. Be alive to the fatal notions of emergency and exception. Be angry about treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.” Prof. Snyder,  On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration

Later today I’ll post the responses from readers to last Wednesday’s writing prompt, which is usual every Tuesday. Meanwhile . . . 

In December 2015 world events led to a spontaneous eleventh hour special section – Waging the Peace –  in The BeZine, which I edit. This seems a propitious moment to bring to the fore once again those ideas, ideals and experiences shared with us by Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, Rev. Ben Meyers, Father Daniel Sormani, C.S. Sp., Sophia Ali-Khan, Israeli-American poet Michael Dickel, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi. Thanks to all of them and to Carla Prater, the assistant director of Buddhist Global Relief for their contributions to this collection and their assistance. I’ve included links to each of the features in table of contents for Waging the Peace. It is below the following introductory remarks.

Rabbi SteinBerg-Caudill (the Interfaith Rabbi) is a teacher who espouses a Jewish Spirituality and Universalist teaching for the future brotherhood of all people. When I contacted him about this effort he reminded me of what surely should be foremost in our minds and hearts:

“The Hebrew word for PEACE – שלום – does not imply a lack of strife. It implies instead WHOLENESS, COMPLETION. If one is in a state of peace, he can still be whole in a time of chaos.”

Rev. Meyers of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo also counsels inner peace with his You are the promise … the one … the hope. Rev. Meyers says:

“I understand and often share the ‘urge of urgency’ over the peacefulness of peace. But this I also know: We live at the intersection of action and reflection.”

Father Sormani, a Spiritan priest who has lived and worked in Algeria and Dubai and is now teaching theology at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, asks What Have We Done that People Can Pick-up Weapons and Kill. Father Dan says:

“We have become our own worst enemy. Whenever we separate the world into ‘them’ and ‘us’, whenever we accept blind generalizations and cease to see a unique individual before us, whenever we forget we are all victims of carefully orchestrated deceit and deception for wealth and power, the force of darkness wins. Bullets will never win this struggle, only the heart and mind will.”

Lest you missed Sofia Ali-Khan‘s letter, Dear Non-Muslim Allies, which made the rounds on Facebook and was also picked up by some mainstream media, we’ve included it here.

We’ve also included a video recitation of Tunisian poet Anis Chouchéne‘s profoundly moving poem against racism and fanaticism. Chouchène speaks directly to radical Islam  … but I think you’ll agree that he ultimately speaks to the fear in all of us.

“Peace we keep an eye on/while it packs its bags/to abandon our lands, little by little …”

Chouchène concludes as Father Dan does, that we must be able to see the individual.

Michael Dickel‘s poem Mosquitoes (excerpt from his chapbook, War Surrounds Us – 2015, Is a Rose Press), is featured. The poem starts out with Israelis and Palestinians crossing the artificial lines that divide to offer one another condolences on the deaths of their children.  This is a favored poem of mine, especially so because when I initiated The Bardo Group (now The Bardo Group Beguines) in 2011, I had in mind virtual crossing of borders through the arts. (Our mission statement is HERE.) Michael’s poem demonstrates how we are manipulated by the propaganda machine.

We’ve included a short video presentation on the seven steps to peace developed by peace activist, Rabbi Marc Gopin. Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC).

The Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi is Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition, an author and teacher. He is the founder of Buddhist Global Relief.  With permission, we offer the 2015 talk he gave at the New Year’s Interfaith Prayer Service, Chuang Yen Monastery. Bhikkhu Bodhi says:

“Real peace is not simply the absence of violent conflict but a state of harmony: harmony between people; harmony between humanity and nature; and harmony within ourselves. Without harmony, the seeds of conflict and violence will always be ready to sprout.

Bhikku Bodhi goes on to analyze the obstacles to achieving world peace, the prerequisites of peace, and the means to realizing these goals.

On behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines and in the spirit of love and community,

Jamie Dedes,
Founding and Managing Editor of The BeZine.

Waging The Peace
An Interfaith Exploration

You are the promise . . . the one . . . the hope, Rev. Ben Meyers

What Have We Done That People Can Pick Up Weapons and Kill?, Fr. Daniel Sormani, C.S.Sp.

Dear Non-Muslim Allies,  Sofia Ali-Khan

Peace Be Upon You, شوشان – سلام عليكم, Anis Chouchène

Mosquitoes, American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel, Jewish

Peace Steps: One Man’s Journey Into the Heart of His Enemies, Rabbi Mark Gopin

Waging Peace, Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, Buddhist teacher