“The Grand Scheme of Things” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


In these responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, November 15, gods of our making, you’ll find some moving and discerning views into the way we create false gods, stuggle with and spin the fabric of belief, sometimes to justify the unjustifiable, and the ways in which belief systems learned in youth may come up wanting in the face of common sense and the hard realities of adult life.

Kudos to Mike Stone (new here and welcome), bogpan, Kakali Das Ghosh, Colin Blundell, Ginny Brannon, Renee Espriu, Anthony Carl and Paul Brookes for work that is engaging, honest, well considered and well written.

Anyone who would like to join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt is welcome to do so no matter the status of career: beginning, emerging or pro. All work shared on theme will be posted in the next collection on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, enjoy these …


The Grand Scheme of Things

(Raanana, April 11, 2016)

The dark cloud squats heavily on the horizon
Undecided whether to drift slowly
Over our dusty fields with its fat bladder
Full of drought quenching rains
Or to drift up the coast a ways
To quench the thirst of our enemy’s fields.
O Lord, I know it makes no difference
In the grand scheme of things,
But I can’t help the fact
It would make all the difference in the world
To me.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Beliefs

(Raanana, December 4, 2016)

That I know what my wife is feeling,
That my love will be enough to protect her
From the lovelessness around her,
That my particular being might have some worth
In the eye of the Grand Schemer of Things,
That the sun will climb over the eastern mountains tomorrow,
That the ground on which I walk
Is as solid as any reality,
These are small beliefs I think
That won’t hurt anyone else,
At least I don’t believe so.
But there are grander beliefs
That grow stronger
With every man and woman who believes them,
That only the grandest edifices
Can house them,
These beliefs,
Like who’s a chosen people
And who’s a virgin, an only son, or a true prophet,
Beliefs that hurt those who don’t believe them.
These are the beliefs I don’t believe
Are any good for anything
That’s not a building.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

A True Believer

(Raanana, February 10, 2017)

Although there is truth
I will never know it
Or be absolutely sure.
Although the world
And universe above and below
Do in fact exist
I will never perceive or conceive it.
Although all this is true
There is not enough evidence
To make of me a true believer
A skeptic or a cynic
An optimist or pessimist.
According to forensic science
Every criminal leaves a trail
Except for God and His magicians.
All this and less
As we move forward in our time.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Forsaken Children

(Raanana, September 23, 2017)

The child is taught
When there is no help
God is our help,
When there is no hope
God is our hope,
When there is no redemption
God is our redemption.
These are honeyed words
To hear on sabbath after new years,
They succor us until we need them to be true
And then they desert us
Just like God did long ago
And we cry out from our crosses
With our last breaths like His Son
Why have You forsaken Me?
The truth is it’s our beliefs that crucify us,
Better to die like a lion roaring
Against the jackals of death
Or an eagle falling silently
From the sky
Than like forsaken children
Waiting for redemption.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Mike Stone

MIKE STONE Although this is Mike’s first time on Wednesday Writing Prompt, I think many of you know him from other venues. I do believe he has participated in every The BeZine 100TPC event as well. Mike was born in Columbus Ohio, USA, in 1947 and was graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology. He served in both the US Army and the Israeli Defense Forces. He’s been writing poetry since he was a student at OSU and supports his writing habit by working as a computer networking security consultant. He moved to Israel in 1978 and lives in Raanana. He is married and has three sons and three grandchildren.


(Have the life)

The wings are bending of a dead
wind.
Under the fallen papers with words
blank
not burnt cockroaches are running
back
and forth
making noise…
And the ocean dries up.
The death is whispering in eyes
every single while,
when you’re bent above the oars.
The oars are making after the hits
circles
and they’re expanding.
A twitch and the end.
But the tries are repeated.
It doesn’t matter.
They leave sweat and tears,
pieces of keels,
trails of activity,
grief.
Where are you going in the early afternoon,
When the twilight
Is lying on your shoulders?
(but love is a place sedentary).
Repent –
know-it-all.

Have the life!

© 2017, bogpan (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия)


they asked Bertrand Russell

how he would react
if when dead he found that God really did exist —
that he had been wrong all along…

what would he do when he arrived
at the Pearly Gates
to be welcomed by St Peter?

what would he say to God?

without hesitating Russell said:
I’d go up to him and I’d say
you didn’t give us enough evidence

(From my The Recovery of Wonder (2013)

© 2013, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)


Still Searching for Answers

I have lifted my eyes to the heavens to pray
trying to renew the faith I once felt;
coming to find at the end of the day
that life as I know it is centered on doubt.
How can God sanction such anger and hate,
the loss of a parent to such a young child;
the illness and pain that never abates…
too many questions left unreconciled.

We thank God for all of the good things that come,
but who takes the blame for the unanswered prayer?
Time intercedes until we’ve become numb—
stuck in this place between hope and despair.

I believe there are angels who wander among us:
in the friend who just senses when you need to talk;
in the kindness of strangers when we are in crisis,
who lift and support us when we cannot walk.

Life lessons learned have hardened this heart;
still God bless the ones who can truly believe.
Blind faith without proof is really an art;
it’s through love and kindness I’ll find my reprieve.

I still ponder the words that we heard in our youth:
to pray, to have faith that our voice will heard;
but have come to acknowledge this as my truth—
my Divinity’s found helping those here on earth.

© 2017, Ginny Brannan (Inside Out Poetry)


Gods Like A Twining Snake

Gods cloaked as inner fears
grounded in DNA
like a twining snake
posed to lunge
to strike

waiting within a tired mind
weariness a braided chain
harnessing movement

reality sinking into quicksand
bogs of memory calling
burning names
taunting

Gods of money and loving guns
meaningless possessions
of nameless masses

when the use of words like arrows
taken from the quiver
can be weaponry
to fight

dueling with engines
created of cells
stinging like bees

identified as expectations
masked as perfection
a straight line
blue chalk
do not cross

we try to let go, let be
erase illogical revenue
nothing money
can buy

for these Gods leave
no purchase
are grounded
on a slippery
slope

quickly buried by mud slides
that alter belief in self
confidence askew
in the remnants
of time

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


#Falsehood of legendary Gods#

Swimming through their tears I live
Shedded leaves let out a deep sigh
The fiscous sky leaves a black smile
Howl of funous thunder
Heehaw of rampant lightning
tear apart hearts
A lorn’s cry for mom
A beggar’s bowl beside a temple
A street child’s furious search for a wrapper
A destitute aback a flash flood
Casts the falsehood of legendary Gods
Towards galaxies
Towards constellations
Towards this whole universe.

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh


alma mater

i.

the machine believes money
is love. honor and prestige
parade through the town

with cash clenched tightly
in their hands. they build
monuments to honor sport

while souls are crushed
under the clamor of their
self-congratulatory speech.

ii.

the hallowed halls
ring hollow with words,
reeking of self-preservation.

indeed if ghosts
still pass through these walls,
the living do all the haunting.

© 2017, Anthony Carl (Anthony Carl)


Godfather Life

I am born dead.
My father weeps
as he has nowt
and hopes for best.

He holds us out
in middle of our road
and offer as whoever
says they want me

can be my godfather.
God turns up first
and says as he can give me
eternal life in heaven.

Dad tells him to bugger off
as I’ll still be dead
and he’ll still be bereft.
Devil arrives next,

and says he can give me
all riches and principalities
in world at cost of my father’s
blood and soul.

Dad tells him to bugger off
as riches are in other things
and he don’t want me
without a father.

Then Life turns up
and says he will make me
a miracle worker and bring
other folk to life. Dad agrees.

When I’m of age
Life says to me
“I’ve given you breath
of life you can gi to others.

When you see me not there
it means as they shunt
have it. Don’t make me smile.
You won’t like it.

If I laugh it will be at you
not with you. You’ll have
disobeyed me, so I must
take away your gift.”

Then my wife drowns suddenly.
I think surely life
won’t mind, but
it isn’t there. I kiss

her lips till they redden.
And there was Life
at the foot of the bed,
and it’s smiling.

It tells “Well done.
Pleased to see such progress.
You have challenged me.
I like your spirit. Let

it go this once. Your wife
needs a hug.” Then my dad
dies of asphyxiation
in a car accident.

As I’m about to give
Dad my breath
Life pulls me away
with a “I know you

want the best for him.”
I reply “If you take
my gift give it to him.”
Life takes my breath away.

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

A Sea God

“Don’t let it get away!”
my sister shouts as my Dad’s hot air
wrapped in rubber flaps up
over the ocean in a cross gust.

We both climb in to steady it.
“We’re going out too far!
“I can’t see mum and dad.”
She shouts clambering back out.

She grasps the rope to pull
it forward but gust is too strong.
She lets rope go. “I’m going
back.” she shouts and swims away.

I paddle but gust is against me.
I get out, grab the rope, try to haul,
the current against me. I climb
back in. Watch beach and mam

and dad disappear, till there is only
the gusted, grey green waves.
It is cold. In my trunks I curl
into a question mark
in the rubber dinghy.

Suddenly, a shout. A huge hand
gathers me and dinghy up.
I rise into air. Lifted
into a smelly fishing boat.

“Thought tha wa lost their lad.”
the sea god says.

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

Editorial Note: I just finished reading Paul’s newest collection, She Needs That Edge, which is scheduled for publication shortly. Look for the alert on Paul’s site or here in Sunday Announcements. It’s another fabulous read by this indefatigable Yorkshire poet. In this collection Paul combines his singular style with acute insight into the human condition. He takes us through five stories, pictures of the great and small ironies of life. We observe the daily routines, rituals and reactions in lives where birds have jam sessions on rooftops, mausoleums live on fridge doors, the memory of a touch stays with the skin; lives where hands are telling and people hunger, give what’s not wanted and take what’s not given. In short, Life with all its pathos and ethos. She Needs that Edge will be well worth your time and pennies.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

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8 thoughts on ““The Grand Scheme of Things” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

    1. They are aren’t they. I just checked your site again. I had thought you were writing some poetry. At any rate, you are welcome to join any prompt, including tomorrow’s. Would be happy to see you here.

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