Last Wednesday’s Writing Prompt, The Scent of Ma’amoul, October 18 was to write about favorite winter memories and these poems are mostly just that. All are well done. Welcome to Anthony Carl and Lisa Ashley, newcomers to Wednesday Writing Prompt. A warm welcome back to Renee Espiru, Kakali Das Gosh, Colin Blundell, Paul Brookes, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Ginny Brannon. Enjoy this weeks collection and visit the poets at their blogs as well. Join us tomorrow for the next prompt. Everyone are welcome to share their work, no matter the stage of career: beginning, emerging or experience.

winter offering

the first frozen
day and my whole
world is swallowed
in snow. quiet air
chills my bones
as i draw each breath.


every grey puff
is winter’s sacred
meditation chime,
an invocation
of gratitude as time
fades quickly away.

© 2017, Anthony Carl (Anthony Carl)

Anthony Carl

ANTHONY CARL majored in English Literature and has worked in the financial services industry for twenty years. Poetry is his outlet for creativity and staying sane. He is the author of one collection of poetry, Awaiting the Images, and his work appears in publications such as Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Panoply, and Empirical Magazine.

Snowball Wars

Red rubber boots, unlined and stiff, crackling with the cold,
stuffed with small round snowballs at days’ end,
attached to our snowpant cuffs
like the thistle burrs in summer to our socks,
we seven heedlessly dumped it all out on the kitchen linoleum,
pulling off those puffy clown pants,
draping wet woolen mittens, grandma knit,
over the wooden rack in the corner.
The mittens and hats never dried between forays
into that foot-deep,
knee-deep white stuff,
yet back on they went, wet and clammy next day
our enthusiasm warming the wet threads.

We never tired of building the snow forts
creating our cover, our barricade for attacking the neighbor kids,
defending our clan against them all,
my job to form the balls,
keep the pyramid pile stacked
so my brothers could jump up and fire them
over the top of the u-shaped fort.
I cowered from the enemy’s rock-hard snow bullets,
happy to make the ammunition behind the front line.
Were we catching a sense of what a war would be like,
years before my brother was sent to Vietnam?
I tried hard to follow directions,
pack the snow hard,
slapping the balls together in my smaller hands.

They were older, my brothers, like savages sometimes,
so maybe that’s why they invented the ice ball—
snow dipped in a bucket of water,
then surrounded with more snow—
so dangerous when they connected.
Perhaps our padded clothing kept us safe,
the ice ball dipping the source of their soaked mittens.
Gram had hot chocolate on the stove sometimes
when we came inside in the twilight
on the best winter days.
And no, my balls never measured up to theirs.

© 2017, Lisa Ashley

A Long Winter’s Sleep

The dash says 53 today,
not bad for January.
I glance across the street
into the opening of his tent
pitched there
on the sidewalk
under the overpass.
What tethers his tent there?
His body? His belongings?
He’s a white man, balding.
I can’t stop looking at him.
I check the light.
I invade his tent again.
He’s putting on his shoes, I think,
his tent flap rolled up
to catch the morning light.
Cars move through the intersection
rolling by one after the other.
It’s my turn to go.

Winter’s cut crystal breath
blasts concrete city
and clement countryside alike
as darkness drops down.
We live mostly inside these days.
Some live outside,
connected without choice
to nature’s moods and rhythms.
Gelid wind rushes ‘round corners
down brick and steel canyons,
sneaks beneath crackling tarps
pitched in peril
on grass-barren ground.
Mean homes huddled together,
snugged up behind a stone pole,
the metal dumpster,
a frigid freeway barricade
in hopes of blocking sleety rain.

Who blows on numb hands
inside these rimed plastic walls?
He lies on back-breaking sidewalks
night after night,
hears stiff tarps snapping
with the same indifference
as the taps of sharp-soled boots
skirting his home.

It’s colder than a witch’s tit out there,
we tell each other
over a drink at the bar
while hundreds
hunker down
that frozen-in-time night,
waiting for morning
when the tent flap can roll up.

© 2017, Lisa Ashley

LISA ASHLEY, MDiv, Spiritual Director, Chaplain with incarcerated teens at the King County Detention Center, story-catcher and emerging poet, lives on Bainbridge Island, WA, where she meets with clients, writes and blogs at  She has also written for The BeZine.

#None keeps promise #

That scarlet evening beside Shilabati is still sleepless
That earthen road through which we did wayfaring
is still waiting for you
That deck bridge across the river
is abiding still now just for you
Some wintry leaves are flying on its chest agonized
On that severe brumal evening
lights of sideway poles were reflecting from the crystalline rivulet
After a long walk we settled on a giant pebble
Grasses -sedges and bamboos were grown most for their foliage
Remains of some aquatic plants were kissing our mortal feet
Divers waterbirds were peeping through hydrilla
You uttered softly witnessing the pole star
,”Jhimli -we will come here again during the next fall of dew .”
and touch the last pole
Now it is a wintry evening anew
I’m tramping again restless and lonely here
Tears rolling down my cheeks are amalgamating with crystalline water of the rivulet
You haven’t kept your words
The mild bridge is calling me
saying -“Don’t wait anymore -none would come –
none would wipe your tears -none keeps promise .”…..

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh

..that feeling that..

arrives unexpected from darkness, some winters’ mornings,

opening the door to the sound of one black bran bird calling.

track four repeated. that

comes on waking finding peace and comfort bound in clean


arises with perfume, an uncertain memory.

it may be chemicals, peptides in the brain as love, what

ever the germ or warfare

I find no word to describe, no random feather nor dust on

my plate. pass a finger.

that feeling of trimmed nails upon the keys pounding

words and silences.

while music plays. that feeling. that.

syrup stings my tongue.

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

..twigs again..

it has always been the same,

water going down hill,

thick frost of winter’s morning.

now the birds song at 4 am,

bad news soften by dreams,

new days. it has usually

been the same.

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

something there is

that now perceives a full moon in darkness
slightly hazy behind the thinnest of cloud coverings
behind the stark grasp of wintered branches –

a something – but in reality an absolute nothing
dreaming inconsequentially that it’s a something
by reason of the idea that it guides the scudding pen

across the page in the way it learned long ago to do
to produce a modicum of words – just sufficient
to say that there’s a something that perceives…

and so on and on; there will come other occasions
when it will choose to allow itself to be beguiled
into imagining that grand & conspicuous heaps

and heaps of words make some kind of sense –
all the stout metaphors and the dancing images
circumlocutions qualifications periphrastics…

but in these bold moments before this winter dawn
it has a sudden understanding that between words
– whatever words you so carefully choose –

and the infinite scintillations of externality there are
gross mucky swamps and dire deserts monstrous
mountains & galaxies that can never ever be traversed

© From a 2011 collection ‘pseudo-clarities” – Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

Magic and a Mystery

The rusted tool chest on wheels now
a silent reminder of childhood wonder
when in mystery it did appear as

the night spread before us and sleep
a distant presence wrapped
in the excitement of holiday magic

we were sent to bed you and I
to await the morning’s sunrise
but I was vigilant and
so were you

as I listened to laughter seeping
beneath the door I smelled the
familiar scent of cigarette smoke

from the neighbor who often was seen
visiting but it was late at night….and

I knew something or someone was about
as I saw you quietly push the door
to opening

I wanted to know if the gossip was true
that there was no Santa or St Nicholas
who would magically appear for
wishes come true

as we peeked carefully into the living room
it was mother who busied herself there
with the wonder of
holiday gifts
and fare

a shiny red tool box on wheels she moved
beside the tree as she smiled
with care

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

Mile Markers

Gray chalk hills fade one behind another
until they dissolve into oyster sky.
Ice crystals dance on gelid air,
glisten highway’s edge, and settle
in the crooks of sleeping maples.
Evergreens bend with the weight
of their thick winter shawls.
In spite of its bleakness, we are taken by
the stark frost-coated beauty of it all.


my core senses those timeworn mountains
long before my eyes discern them.
Yet, it is not these ancient mounds
that draw me back, but the folks therein
I long to see—those I love who wait for me.

With each mile passed, the years begin to dissipate;
like those hills now veiled by mist and gloam;
my pulse beats faster as this heart anticpates
that final stretch of road that leads me home.

© 2017, Ginny Brannan (Inside Out Poetry)

Comfort Zone

A sudden snow shower,
flakes fly past the panes,
we watch in silence
mugs in hand; steam rising.
You turn on an old movie—
one seen a dozen times,
maybe more…
we laugh in unison,
quoting favorite lines,
echoing off each other,
anticipating what comes next…
as the steam rises

© 2017, Ginny Brannan (Inside Out Poetry)

This Winter Tercet

Cold snuffles wound round lean naked limbs.
Wet wends beneath sinew, soaks into blind bone.
Ice builds crystal by crystal simple net of things.

A cracked miniscus mirrors low sun’s sharp moan.
A fallen ocean blinks between blood red bricks.
As gust raises bare barkskin, snaps rendered stone.

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

Nudd Offered

At bottom of this Winter ale
had a word about end of the world
with Nudd, Lord of the Underworld

Nudd says “Your wife and kids are dead
and gone with the other Lord
pustuled and poxed, ill fed

come with me below
to the lake beneath the mountain
never age never hunger never ail
meet your wife and kids again

I agree, get up to go
lift the latch
trip and fall in snow.

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



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