“Time Fetches” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

© Original watercolor, colored pencil and acrylic by the multitalented Renee Espiru. Her poem is featured below.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Wishing you all treats and no tricks … and here’s your first treat of the day, a poetic Halloween celebration courtesy of Paul Brookes, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Colin Blundell, Renee Espiru, Kakali Das Gosh, and John Anstie with a link to Joseph Shaw’s audio of John’s poem to music.  Enjoy!  … and do join in tomorrow for a prompt from a special guest poet. All are welcome, no matter where you come from or whether you’re beginning, emerging or pro. The last Wednesday Writing Prompt was “Twas All Hallows Eve, October  25.

Time Fetches

Received English version

Watch yourself as it’ll soon be time
that the tall hawthorn hedge
that bars you from other worlds
becomes thin this season
in it’s cloud ghosted ditch
so folk from the other side
can bleed through to ours
and you’ll see these weird folk
walk outside your door.

Burn a candle in your home
and light lanterns, jack o’lanterns,
candles outdoors to show
the weird folk, spirits and all
the direct way back. We don’t
want them to detour where
they are not welcome. Respect them
and they’ll respect you.

This night light a fire
in your hearth
to protect yourself
or better yourself.

Write on a scrap a paper
a part of your life
that you wish to be rid off,
such as anger, a baneful habit,
misplaced feelings, disease.

Throw it in the flame
so you may lose
that part you’re ashamed of

Yorkshire Dialect version

Watch thee sen as time fetches on
as tall hawthorn hedge that bars
tha from t’other worlds
in its cloud ghosted ditch
gets thin this season so as folk
from other side can fetch them
sens over an bleed through to ours
and tha’ll see these weird folk
take a stride outside thee door.

Blaze a candle in tha home
and set a flicker lanterns, jack o’lanterns,
candles outdoors to show
the weird folk, spirits and all
direct way back to where
they bide from, so as they don’t
detour where they’re not welcome.
Respect them, they’ll respect thee.

This night light a fire
in tha hearth
for to protect thee sen
or better thee sen.

Scribe on a scrap a paper
a part of thee life
tha wish to be rid on
anger, a baneful habit,
misplaced feelings, disease.

Lob it int flame
so tha may lose
that part tha ashamed on.

This Samhain, All Hallows Eve

place on your table a skull,
small animal skeletons
of shrews, mice, rats disgorged by
forest owls. Lay your gravestone
rubbings as welcome placemats.

Down the centre carved pumpkins,
squash, carrots, swede amongst pine nuts,
walnuts and berries, and dark
breads, rye, pumpernickel, dried
yellow, red leaves, open fir cones.

Fill a cornucopia
with abundant fruit, apples, pears,
leeks. Fill each cup with apple cider,
sweet wine, or honey mead.

Light all with fragrant candles,
to flicker over the plenty.

The table is a thankyou,
a blessing on the goodness.

Go outside, collect dead plants,
to twist and turn and mold a man
or woman to bring inside,
and place on the table.

Give thanks to them and your dead
ancestors before you eat.

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

.there is a day.

when i listen to cowboy films

on the radio, carve the pumpkin,

breath held in case they scalp him.

every year the same, festival stress

reduced by wanton knowledge

that none of it matters, that I can achieve,

that maybe even I could be worthy, the same

as you.

a surprise party after,

no one came,

no surprise, no one invited,

only you.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

.. then there is halloween..


not on saturday although that may be

more convenient. all hallows,

the reading of the dead.


dust. just

names .

we made the pumpkin again, it comes easier with practice.

he came to tell me about the new baby and said boo . dinner


the names of the dead

are read.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

there’s something about a bonfire

that compels you: perhaps it’s the flames
that leap and curl (free engulfing spirits)
or lick gently at the dead waste
calming to eat away at the centre of things
throughout the empty night

perhaps it’s the isolation –
you and Fire alone in the dark night
in which reflecting fires hang forever

perhaps it’s purification –
sterilisation of assembled dross… its reduction
to a usable commodity associated with
the neat feeling of arranging a garden
in the midst of the wilderness

perhaps it’s like death – convenient
tidy cleansing eradicating…
my father knew what he was doing ordering
‘No Mourners’: if they’d been there
it would have been attenuated
hypocritical unholy

fire is none of these things

(1971/72 revised 1982 revised 1992)

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

Autumnal (2)

” Rainbow hues turning
chill air low sun (but) warm hearts
beauteous day-long dawn

pink light (on) timeless trees
yield a golden fleece and warmth
(for) aching Mother Earth

sleeping beauties wake
from enduring frozen night
in Spring refreshing ”

© 2017, John Anstie (My Poetry Library)

Set to music by Joseph Shaw

#Addiction on Halloween #

It was the time of coming winter after fall
And she came from a ball
It was a Halloween evening
She loved and groped that Eve harmonizing
It was the time for feast
She loved the spirit though came from the east
It was the time for fun
She wore gleaming costumes with a bun
It was the time to unfold new spirit
The air blowing felt different autumn waved and heart enlightened bright
It was the eve when the pall between worlds was sleazy
And to rhyme melodies of worlds was so easy
It was the time to taste candy
She relished its flavour with a brandy
It was the time to sense eerieness lurking around the corner
And the eastern country girl addicted to all unknown being just a learner .

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh

Goblins, Witches & Ghouls

Every year at Halloween
excitement filled the air
and children waited
on bated breath

to be goblins, witches,
hoboes and clowns
be become something
of a magical flare

where two streets over
lived a witch to bate them
her house decorated
with pumpkins and ghouls

but who could resist the
table laid before them
with all manner of sweet things
to cause you to drool

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


From the wreckage of your life . . .

“Make art from the wreckage of your life.” Miguel Parga, screenwriter

Isn’t that a fabulous instruction to follow? It was shared on Facebook by the smart and savvy “Only Cin” – Cindy Taylor.


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


Opportunity Knocks

APEX MAGAZINE is an “online prose and poetry magazine of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mash-ups of all three. Works full of marrow and passion, stories that are twisted, strange, and beautiful. Creations where secret places and dreams are put on display.”  While it does not accept unsolicited submission of poetry, it is open for submission of original short fiction, reprint fiction,nonfiction and artwork.  Details HERE.

BREAK THE PARENTING MOLD for parents with special needs children seeks: “Stories about advocating for your child; Stories that lift up parents with children who have special needs; Aha! Moments; Why having a special need can be a gift; HUMOR!; Activities; DIY therapy ideas and tips on building language and motor skills; Recipes that address food allergies.” Will consider previously published work. Details HERE.

DYING DAHLIA REVIEW seeks previously unpublished work by women writers and artists and welcomes submissions of poetry, flash fiction and art. Editor Abbie Coleman and team are on break but encourage continued submissions. Details HERE.

GREAT WEATHER FOR MEDIA has an open call for poetry, short stories, flash fiction, dramatic mono glue and creative nonfiction for an anthology. There is no theme but their focus is on”te earless, the unpredictable, and experimental.” Deadline: January 15. Details HERE.

OFFBEAT, a literary journal affiliated with the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Culture at Michigan State University has an open call for “the thought-provoking, humorous, and quirky” and welcomes submissions of fiction, nonficton, poetry and sequential art. “Show us writing that falls off the beaten path.” Submission fees: $3. Details HERE.

PØST contemporary poetry will announce the opening of its call for submissions for issue two. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to know when their next call for submissions opens, which should be sometime in the Spring. Visit their website HERE.

WISING UP PRESS, WRITERS COLLECTIVE has an open call for submissions to its 2018 anthology, Surprised by Joy. Prose and poetry. No submission fee. Payment in copies. Deadline: February 1, 2018. Details HEREScroll down on the page.

WISHING UP PRESS, WRITERS COLLECTIVE has an open call for second or their novels or short-story collections. “Books need to fall under one of the subject areas the press focuses on: Creative Acculturation; Pluralism in Families; Social and Psychological Resilience; Illness and Meaning; Creative Aging; Listening Across Faith Traditions; Social Justice and Inclusion; Citizen-Scholars.

” No submission fees. Details HERE.

SLAB, Sound & Literary Art Book is open for submission until the end of December. Interest is in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and text-based graphic art. Details HERE.

THE BeZINE call for submissions

The November 2017 issue – themed Hunger, Poverty and Working-class Slavery –  is now open and the deadline is November 10thSend submissions to me at bardogroup@gmail.com. Publication is November 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.

Submissions of work on your country and its history and culture are welcome no matter your citizenship, national origin, first language, religion or lack thereof. The more diverse the representation, the better. English only or accompanied by translation into English. 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 a gift of life and love and an entirely volunteer effort. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge for submissions or subscriptions.

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. / J.D.

The BeZine fosters understanding through a shared love of the arts and humanities and all things spirited; seeks to make a contribution toward personal healing and deference for the diverse ways people try to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of a world in which illness, violence, despair, loneliness and death are as prevalent as hope, friendship, reason and birth. Actively supports peace, environmental sustainability, social justice and a life of the spirit.


  • The October music issue of The BeZine is available for reading.
  • HEADS-UP ON THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF The BeZine: the theme is Spirituality (Spiritual Paradigms, Awakenings, Miracles). Deadline: December 10.
  • Beginning January 2018, we’ll move to a quarterly format with themes and – possibly – sub-themes. Your suggestions for sub-themes are welcome. Email me at bardogroup@gmail.com


Coffee, Tea and Poetry is a home for simple pleasures and features poets and their poems, specialty teas and coffees along with slow-carb grain-free recipes.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Send food poems and brief bio to Jamie Dedes for consideration – thepoetbyday@gmail.com with Coffee, Tea and Poetry in the subject line.

Encourages responsible sourcing and wholesome – not prefabricated – foods.

Recent Posts:


GLIMMER TRAIN PRESS Annual Family Matters CONTEST (1st place – $2,500) welcomes submissions through November and December. The call is for stories about families of all configurations. Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome. Details on this and other Glimmer Train Press contests HERE.

ROSE METAL PRESS Twelfth Annual Short-Story Chapbook Contest opens on November 1 and classes on December 1. Cash prize. $10 reading fee. Details HERE.

SCRIBES VALLEY PUBLISHING short story contest is open through November 30. Submission fee: $7. Cash award for top three. Details HERE.

Name: Essay Writing Competition 2017

Task: Write essay in fluent English and with depth on the topic
Last date: 31 December 2017
Prize money: $850 
Eligibility: Open for all (FREE)
Participation Fees: Zero

Kayla Ann (Kayla Ann – Write, Drink Tea, Live Life, Repeat –), an author who recently signed with a publishing house to write a non-fiction, scholarly book on human agency in The Hunger Games series, has opened a poetry contest on her site where she plans to offer writing tips to encourage other writers. She says, “Lately I have decided to host a Poetry Contest for two reasons. I love reading poetry and it helps me meet new people!”


  • To be eligible for this competition you must be subscribed to my page (i.e. following and receiving emails.) Not subscribed yet? No worries! Go to my home screen and click FOLLOW (I’ll receive a notification when you do :D)
  • Leave your poem or a link to your chosen poem in the comments below.
  • I will be using a point system to chose the winner:
    • You will receive 5 points automatically for subscribing (everyone must subscribe to be eligible)
    • You will receive another 2 points for sharing the contest on your your own blog and linking back
    • Your poem will be rated on a 1-10 scale based on creativity, structure, content, and overall awesomeness. While we are near the holidays, you do not have to write a holiday poem (although you are welcome too as well!)
    • Technically someone can still win without sharing my contest, but sharing would provide additional points for any poems that are tied.
    • Because of the expected high volume of submissions, please keep your poem at a reasonable length. For sure no poems 3 pages +. If you have any questions regarding length, feel free to ask in the comment section!
    • You can only submit one poem per blogger.
  • Last date for submissions is November 20th!


  • The winner of this poetry competition will received two things
    • First: their poem and their blog/bio will be featured on my site. This will be a great chance for you to get some publicity on another blogger’s site.
    • Second: they will receive a copy of The Dazed Starling. This journal contains poetry and short stories (one of which is mine!)



welcomes writers from anywhere in the world

November 1 – November 30, annually

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November and was initiated in 1999 by Chris Baty with just twenty-one participants in the San Franciso Bay Area. Now, billions of people (adults and youth) participate from all over the world. Children participate with their classmates and even multiple members of families participate.  For several years, my daughter-in-law and I enjoyed this exercise and I recommend it for those of you play with prose as well as poetry.

Participants attempt to complete a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. Well-known authors write “pep-talks” to keep them motivated throughout the process. The website provides participants with tips for writer’s block, information on where local participants are meeting (usually coffee shops or libraries), and an online community of support. NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish their first draft so that it can later be edited at the author’s discretion. Details HERE.

Logo © NaNoWriMo and posted under fair use.


The Poet by Day actively supports freedom of expression and we work and pray for the day when incarceration, torture and murder of poets and other artists is a thing of the past. Julian Hanover (My Poetic Side) brought this round-up by Joanne Jeffries to our attention: Behnd Bars: 61 Poets Who Went to Jail.  Thank you Julian and Joanne.

Of further interest:


  • Poets Speak Loud!, October 30, Monday, 7:30 pm EDT at McGeary’s Irish Pub, 4 Clinton Sq., Albany, New York 12207 This is the long-running open mic for poetry and spoken word with a featured poet every month. Hosted by Mary Panza. Sign up at 7:00 PM.
  • Alexander McCall Smith in Oakville, Ontario, November 7, Tuesday, 7 pm. Atrium, Oakville Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville
  • JENNIFER TSENG reading from Not So Dear Jenny and The Passion of Woo & Isolde, November 20, 8 pm at the Blacksmith House Poetry Series, With Brionne Janae. $5.00 entry. Blacksmith House Poetry Series, Spiegel Auditorium, 56 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • SOFIA SAMATAR and CHRIS ABANI in conversation about memoir and the speculative in regard to their recent books—Samatar about Monster Portraits and Abani about The Face—at Women & Children First , May 17, Thursday, 7:30 pm. Free and open to the public.Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois
  • San Francisco Film Screening of Doctors Without Borders’ Exodus, a special screening of the award-winning documentary Exodus (KEO Films – 2015). This ground-breaking film features footage shot by refugees using smartphones to document their harrowing journey fleeing war and persecution to seek safety in Europe. Register to attend. This event is part of a traveling exhibition about the global refugee crisis: Forced From Home.

Accessible from anywhere in the world:

  • The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week 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 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.

Well this is intimidating. 🙂

Super talented and smart: Solli Raphael, 12, Becomes Youngest National [Australia] Poetry Slam Winner. Thanks to Susanne Harford for this one.

And another:

Says young Solli: “I am very passionate about creating a life of harmony & equality. I cannot really understand inequality other than for one reason – and that is because it is a part of our past. “EMBRACE OUR DIFFERENCES” raises my view on inequality. I hope that you enjoy this poem :)”


  • Amy Barry for the publication of her poem Fall in the Fall 2017 issue of The Opiate
  • Sofia Kioroglou for the publication of her poem No tertium quid in Outlaw Poetry and her poem Like a Fallen Adam from Grace in Pages & Spine
  • Michael Lee Johnson on the occasion of his 139th YouTube poetry video (This one features his homage to Alexandra David-Neel.)
  • Sakina Minhaj Shikari for the lovely cover design for upcoming book, Adrift, Poems by Shyam


Thanks to Michael Dickel (Meta/Phor(e)/Play) for the first two of these.

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:

  • 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.


FAT NEVERLAND (I’M LOATHIN’ IT) by Luke Prater … and a call for help from Luke and his family

LUKE PRATER‘s poetry is ever fascinating to me. He will tackle – as he has here – the same subject in more than one poetic form. Dedication, keen intellect and a singular irreverance are the hallmarks of this thirty-five year old English poet who took a degree in English lit with creative writing and performance and subsequently went to SOAS, London to study ethnomusicology at the master’s level. At twenty-seven he took up poetry, which he says saved his life – a thing it has done for many of us. More recently Luke added “iPhoneography” to his formidable list of accomplishments, shooting pictures and “editing the hell out of them.” J.D.

“They say a picture paints a thousand words; I’d argue the opposite.” Luke Prater


Fat Neverland (I’m Loathin’ It) – villanelle

Factory-farm ‘em on rainforest land,
jab ‘em with jittery antibiotics, in
serving a hoodwinked world’s worst burger-stand.

Nutrient nadir damn should have you banned,
even when just drunken teens in your night-kitchen
sucking down scared meat from rainforest land.

Wretched obese bloat and roll at your hand;
farmers on statutory antidepressants been
plying, supplying world’s worst burger-stand.

Consciences slip through ringed fingers like sand.
Wallets are plump; I’m still wondering why? (you grin)
greenlighting greenfelling greenforest land.

Golden the arches, but ain’t worth a grand;
Ronald’s grave future sees past catching up with him –
homeless – McCuster’s last fastburger-stand.

Clown let the kids party Fat Neverland,
Tinkerbell grounded by chow she’s demolishing.
Cattle confused grazing rainforest land,
passed off as food at world’s worst burger-stand.

Fat Neverland (I’m Loathin’ It) – Pushkin Sonnet

The cattle farmed where once was leafage,
force-fed with drugs unfit for us,
supplying world’s worst burger beefage
by farmers in disguised disgust.

Nutrition nadir should be outlawed,
to spare the trees the rasping chainsaw;
to spare the cattle cheap mince fate;
to close the flooding fast-food gate.

In wilful ignorance we swallow,
in sucking down scared meat with Coke.
Obese, they bloat in oily soak,

in lack of self-esteem they wallow.
Let kids carouse Fat Neverland,
at Ronald’s clowning, cloying hand.

Fat Neverland (I’m Loathin’ It) – free verse

Factory-farmed on rainforest land;
force-fed with antibiotics to serve a
hoodwinked world’s worst burger-stand.

A nutrient nadir that should have
them banned, even when just drunken
teens in their night-kitchen, sucking
down scared meat with cardboard and Coke.

Wretched obese bloat oily soak, in
triple chins of self-loathing they wallow;
farmers swallow disgust and
statutory antidepressants
supplying mass substandard beef.

Consciences slip through
ringed fingers like sand.

Wallets are plump

…………..greenforest land.

Golden the arches, but ain’t worth a thing;
Ronald’s grave future sees
past catching up with him –
homeless –
……………….McCuster’s last fastburger-stand.

Clown let the kids carouse Fat Neverland,
now Tinkerbell’s grounded
by chow she’s demolishing.

Cattle confused, passed off as food
at world’s worst burger-stand.

Villanelle – A1-b-A2 | a-b-A1 | a-b-A2 | a-b-A1 | a-b-A2 | a-b-A1-A2

Pushkin Sonnet (Onegin Stanza) – AbAb CCdd Eff Egg


© 2012, Luke Prater, All rights reserved

LUKE PRATER is a seriously talented English poet and musician. Many of you may be familiar with his work. (And I believe his dad was a fairly well know and highly regarded musician in England.) Luke founded Facial Expression Poetry and Critique and WordSalad blog, both of which are gone now. He shared the piece above with readers here several years ago. I present it as an example of his work for those of you who haven’t read him.  He’s a very worthy man. If you can help a bit I hope you’ll consider doing so. / J.D.
Image may contain: 3 people, outdoor and text

Luke Prater updated his profile picture.

**We’re two thirds of the way there!**

I’ve been seriously unwell for a very, very long time. Fourteen years, in fact. Some of you know this, others don’t. For Facebook friends, and old friends I haven’t seen since school or my early/mid twenties, the truth is I have often made it seem like nothing is wrong. Which is possible on the internet, and with the crutch of a lot of medication. It almost feels like I’ve been living a lie for years, (when not completely absent), because I just wanted to snatch a few minutes of normal. To pretend everything’s okay. The point I’ve reached is this: I cannot continue — the years slipping away, existing rather than living, the continual pain, dis-ease and discomfort. Therefore my family (including sisters Susie Ro Prater and Joy Prater) are fundraising so I can go for treatment at a private clinic in Germany that specialises in chronic and degenerative diseases using stem-cell therapy and other protocols. We’re two thirds of the way there! Here is the link to the fundraising campaign –