“the doctrine” and other poems in response to the most recent Wednesday Writing Pompt


The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, May 10: Words have power to hurt, heal, fool, free or nourish. They have weight. Sometimes a word – worthy in its way – is just not right for an occasion or circumstance … or for your latest poem or story. It doesn’t meet the test of your vision; but you believe  the right word will come to you. You work at it, play with it and sometimes wait quietly, as an invitation of sorts, until the perfect word arrives and speaks to you, the word that you know will speak to others as well.

What are the stale words – the inadequate words – you hear used to describe something you value? What words are better or best? Tell us in prose or poem.


. words needed .

alongside gestures of despair,

may communicate thought

better. or worse?

so lets be singular

enjoy our own space,

and be friends, forever.

she says that you

cannot see some people’s souls,

perhaps we need to look harder.

there is a lot going on.

© 2017, sbm.

:: those words again ::

rather a lot of words were said in friendship.

yesterday.

good words.

#writing for jamie.

words on health and well

being.

recovered, we admired

the socks, little boots.

she knew who i meant, a small

description. the bluebells are down

the road she told us.

kind words come in memory and subjected

elements.

some folk cannot connect other than eyes

while some utter such kind words; honey

and furry bears.

© 2017, sbm (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA)


the doctrine 

of inevitable progress –
the present the highpoint
of cultural and personal development –
the ancestors treated with condescension
the thinkers ignored unread
(those who told it how it really is) –

the present (so they say – the powerful ones
in their powerful ignorance) is
the threshold to a Golden Age –
provided you accept our
version of events…

tissues of false imagery
& abstraction

progress is the ghost
of a big black dog
cocking its leg against the lamp-posts
of infinite dark streets –
a convenient construct;
an unsubtle trick of the imagination;
a laying of eggs
in a basket that does not exist

© 2017, Colin Blundel (Colin Blundell: All and Everything)

“This comes from my collection The Recovery of Wonder (2013)
I focused on ‘words that fool’ and remembered this one. There are many words that fool, especially abstractions. The way to recognise an abstraction is to wonder whether you could put whatever the word is supposed to represent into a wheelbarrow. You could put a pound of apples in a wheelbarrow but what about ‘justice’, ‘beauty’, ‘love’, ‘democracy’, and in this case ‘progress’?” Colin


Being Unpolished and Knowing

Like strands of pearls uncultured, unconnected
they lie strewn at your feet tantamount to words
discarded and useless unable to be linked as one
until something more refined comes along

she knows this every moment of every day speaking
is broken by hesitation, pauses and frustration
like diamonds rough from nature not yet expertly cut
by the jeweler’s hand in minuscule sharp detail

something like disparate but not really the same
just as peculiar is not exactly being self-serving
for who can say she is not the bowels of that same venue
as she compiles opinions based on incomplete knowing

she ultimately sees herself on the fringe of everything
and anything but peculiar touting her uniqueness as
that of shrewdly knowing but like that of the pearls
as that of the diamond she too can be unpolished

© 2017, Renee Espiru (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


No Words

Like Light On A Needle

light shivers on a cobweb strand
between curved lace frills
of a woven white table cloth
in a spring front room.

Glare of harsh words
incandescent behind watery eyes
focus on insignificant details
as each of us folds our legs
away from the other

in the silence
below the radio songs
below the doppler
of cars and people outside
waves break up sunglint
on a pebbled shore

Don’t Read

this sentence.

Don’t understand this meaning.
Don’t interpret this link between words.

Don’t interrogate each word
as having a separate existence
from this context.

Don’t recall where you first heard,
or read these words as they
have no history.

They have not been written before.
They are new born, awaiting meaning.
They need maturity to fit in correctly.

Will have their wild times in places
where they shouldn’t be, next to words
they will be embarrassed to recall.

Second Fiddle

Always the presence
never in the presence of…

Always carries the coat,
never owns the coat.

Always opens the door to…
never for whom it is opened.

Always the ghost…
never the blood and sinew.

Always mouths other’s words
never mouth’ own.

Always imitative
never innovative.

Always derivative
never different enough….

First Fiddle

never in the presence…
Always the presence

never carries the coat,
Always owns the coat

never opens the door to…
Always for whom it is opened

never the ghost…
Always the blood and sinew

never mouths others words
Always mouths own

never imitative
Always innovative

never derivative
Always different enough….

Finding

Chat to the motor museum curator
at his post behind the counter.

“Have to bring my wife. She was into bikes, and can remember every…”

He looks at me.

“every…”

I am an idiot.

“Those things with numbers and letters on the front of cars?”

“Number plates”.

He replies with sharp sarcasm,
and no smile.

The older I get
what were once obvious words arrive less
and less when and where I need them.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)


From Mike Stone (Uncollected Works) via comment)

“I’m reading an excellent book, “To the End of the Land” by Israeli author David Grossman. I just came across a review of the book that does good justice to Grossman’s latest novel (http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/a-wayward-eulogy), but I wanted to mention just one of the many pearls in his book: “… Do you mean these paths speak Hebrew? Are you saying language springeth out of the earth? …” I loved the idea that our languages spring from the land that our forefathers and descendants live and die in, that Hebrew and Arabic have exactly the right sounds to onomatopoeicly express the realities of the Middle East. Of course the English poems I write about Israel can never really capture the essence of this land, unfortunately for me. My ears were formed by the backwoods of Ohio and Indiana. I feel like Moses standing on Nebo Peak seeing Israel from afar, but unable to enter it. I am in Israel, but in some other dimension of it.”


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2 thoughts on ““the doctrine” and other poems in response to the most recent Wednesday Writing Pompt

  1. I especially like Mike Stone’s comment. To the End of the Land is a powerful novel, about a woman crashing into her past while hiking through Israel in an attempt to avoid her future. She intuits a knock on the door from uniformed strangers giving her official notification of the death of her soldier-son, who has left for the first Lebanon war. The poignant backstory to the novel is that while David Grossman (a long-time peace activist) was writing it, his son was sent off to the second Lebanon war (called her the Hezbollah war). Grossman writes in a note at the end that his son would ask how it was coming along in phone calls, and the author would read parts of the draft to him. His son died in combat before the book was completed. Personally, I don’t know how he managed to finish it, but the language is rich, the imagery strong. The land itself is a central character of the novel, and the interrelationships of people and the land nearly as significant as those of the human characters. I will never forget that book, and highly recommend it to all.

    Liked by 1 person

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