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

A wonderful collection today that illustrates just how complex relationships are, as complex as the human beings who compose them. These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Hero of the Practicalities, November 22, 2017. Welcome and thanks to newcomer, Denise Aileen DeVries. Thanks also to stalwart participants: bogpan, Colin Blundel, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Paul Brookes.

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 published in the next collection on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, enjoy these …


The dark and fire
of the linotype and the roar
of the press were safe for her,
more than the house, plastic-
covered from lampshades to floors.

At home, nothing was ever finished,
mute dishes dirtied themselves,
yolks broke in the skillet,
shirts weighted the end
of the ironing board.

She had nothing to prove
to men who thought they owned
the secrets of melted lead.
She knew the language of em and en;
she could read upside-down.

At home, my father’s mood
could tip the day,
luminous floors becoming
ominous, two silent children
eating her mistakes.

Work meant
achievement, putting words
to lead, to ink, to bed.
Newspapers of two small towns
passed through her hands
from formation
in cooled lead slugs
to inky rollers, to birth
off the end of the press,

© 2017, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia – talking about living in two places)

Marriage of two minds

Mind-reading in marriage is somewhat unpredictable. The other day, we were sitting in front of the TV, and I wanted my husband to get me some dessert. It took me at least 2 minutes of focused thought before he said, “shall we have some ice cream?” Yet, a few days later, while he was three miles away at the grocery store, I thought, “I wish I had some chocolate,” and when he came home, he handed me a bar of milk chocolate. Mind-reading seems to work best with food, but even after 20 years, it’s not infallible. I would have preferred dark chocolate.

Because we each grew up speaking a different language, mind-reading comes in handy when our vocabulary fails us. It’s quite normal for our dinner conversation to go something like this: “can you pass the…” “donde está el…” “next time we go to the tienda, hay que comprar…”

This is not to say that we think alike. In fact, the list of things on which we disagree is much longer than those on which we agree. This may be confusing for people who think that in marriage “two become one.” I’ve often been horrified by people’s assumptions that one of us can express the opinion of both. Especially if that opinion isn’t mine!

© 2017, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia – talking about living in two places)

Denise Aileen DeVries

This is Denise’s first time responding to Wednesday Writing Prompt. (Welcome!) This is what she tells us, “I was the girl who squeezed through the barbed-wire fence behind the sheep pen and disappeared for hours all alone looking for cactus flowers and mariposas. The dry side of the dam is where I live now,
past all that water under the bridge, the history and humidity, reflections and memories all under water.”

that moment

when I said – this symphony
is so full of beautiful tunes
which just go on and on

you smiled such a caressingly
honest smile that I sensed
the light of your Being
touching mine (mine yours)

I expected the moment
to last forever

From my ‘Years Later’ (2016)

© 2016, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

The Brandished Knife


A Filey clairvoyant:

“You will meet the Right Man

and know it in two years time.

His name begins with,

I can’t quite distinguish

a P or B or R.”

Well, I’d had a Bernard and Paul.

I feel sorry for Ray
tells me his fat
girlfriend just sits
around house,

no housework.
He prepares all meals.
She just sits
reading Mills and Boon.

drinks and sleeps
Never together when out.
She with her friends, he with his.

He goes out,
returns she’s brandishing a knife,
interrogates him

where he’s been.
He is a designer
witty with it.

Manager at my workplace
he sends me a picture
of an American Indian

with palm up
and five statements on how
we should get together.

How did he know
the guardian angel who appears
bottom of my bed
is a North American Indian?


I ask
“Why haven’t you moved out?”
He says
“When my last marriage broke up
my wife got house and everything
and my girlfriend won’t move out.”
He makes sense.

I want a boyfriend with either
motorbike or a landrover.
He’s just sold his bike.

Landrover is soft topped.
Takes me and Ben out walking
to Dark Peak.

We enjoy pictures rather than
He makes meals for the family.

My friends said if my last husband
turns up Ray
would not hesitate to lay him out.

We spend evenings planning places
things we can do, together.
He smokes
socially when he drinks, like me.

Christmas he moves in.

On way out to a Parents evening
at Ben’s school I tell him
“We’ll talk when I return.”
On return I find all drink gone

him crashed out drunk in my bed.
In morning he says
“Please forgive me.”

Over the next month we go out
hold hands, and are gentle
down by the bridge while Ben plays
ahead with our dog.


Over next month he fills my
wardrobes with his clothes
my shelves with his CD’s.

Then I notice
him going to pub straight after
work returns home crashes

out to sleep.

He works drinks sleeps.

Comes from work after pub
says he’s tired,
sleeps rest of night.

I wait for him downstairs.

I sit alone in house on an evening
or when he is in
he gawps at TV in bedroom.

He does not let me to go
out with my friends.

We go out again after I have words.
Two weeks later he is back
drunk and sleeping again.

On few occasions we go out
he leaves me on my own
he spends evening talking
to a biker or someone at bar.

I talk to his fat girlfriend Sophie.
She’d been holding a knife
because she was cutting veg
as she always did

preparing meals for him while he
went out and got drunk.
He catches me talking to her

“Don’t believe her, she’s a liar. She’ll say
anything to get me back with her.”

Tells me all the girls at work
are after him.
I talk to them.

They wouldn’t touch him.
He promises me he’ll not go drinking
starts excuses when I smell it on
his breath.

I tell him so.
I say
“I’ll go to a counselling session with you.”

He’s having none of it.
His tears when I phone him at local
pub and tell him

“Your stuffs in the driveway.”
Down on his knees he is,
tears and moans, begging me to

He says
“Your right in everything you say.

I’m at fault and I’ll change.”
He is really suffering.
I nearly break

but people never change.

I meet him a month or two later while out with my mates.

He comes in pub.
Sends one of his mates over to me
“Ray wants a private word”

I say
“Whatever Ray has to say he can say while my mates are present.”

Anyway he comes over.
I ask
“How’s Sophie?”

he tells me
“Eff off!”

I feel nothing.

Mark is the man for me,
but he is married
and she is kind.

I have known the family for ten years now.
It is only recently I admit to myself I love Mark.

I would not hurt their kids .
I have seen them settle down
round meal table of an evening.

I come home, collapse on sofa
and cry for I know we would be good together.

I want to settle down.
For a time with Ray I forget about Mark.

Ray never knew about him.
I see Mark less.

I will not move from this cul de sac
because I feel safe with Mark down the road

and the fabulous view of the moors.
Perhaps because I love Mark I find it difficult
to love anyone else.

I’ll keep looking.

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


comes home
atter long day at work
to find his lass
lugged art on lounger
in back garden

“a thort this is where ad find thee.”
he says.

“aye”, she says ” and friggin’ fairies
came art an hung all this, you grate

as she points to three lines
o’ washin hung art


‘ome from shoppin’
his lass says ‘look what a bought.’
“temple balm. Where’s temple
rahnd ‘ere?”

she points to her crows feet

“a bow darn to them then.”
he says.

“tha will when a black thee eyes”
she says.

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Her Forgetting Him

Steve says his wife often
comes into their bedroom
and says “Where’s Steve?”

And he says to her.
“I’m here love. We’ve
been married forty years.”
And she says,
“Of course you are. We have.”
And she laughs.
“How did we first
get together?”

At the end of the next day,
when they’ve been out
to the shops and visiting
old friends she’ll say,
“What have we done today,
Steve?” And she remembers
none of it.

At mealtimes she picks
up her knife and fork
and holds them very close
to her glazed eyes.

Holds them
like javelins to eat
her meal.


You’ve stolen them.
Haven’t you?”
“Stolen what, love?”
“You know what.

She shows him her
fingers, and he sees
they are no longer fat
but thin to the bone.

“Come on,love.
They must have dropped off.
I’ll help you look for them.”
He offers.
“In the place you’ve hid
them. I bet. I know
your game, Steve.
I’m wise to you.”

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

The Fall

You’re such a klutz! She exclaims
as I pull out my wallet
and silver coin falls out.

I hold your warm hand
after all these years
and something passes,
something does not fall.

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


We do not know each other.
The fog is carving the ghostly
silhouettes of houses, people
and hopes.
And like a sound the hand is –
a semitone of the scream
of seagulls “Arriva … Arriva”
Nothing is coming.
Nothing has come.
I am trying to breathe –
in a time beyond.
In the gardens of the cascades
before the dawn and after the rain.
We do not know each other.
You’ve melted in the sun,
a sun in the fog
and you’ve never been here.
The paper remembers some passed
sounds come from the outer
world – Arriva.

In our eyes we are burning.

Arriva (ital)-arrives

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

. humming gently .

quietly humming here,

from the hum book,

still thinking on that river.

flowing hard today, peat black,

down from the valley above,

rain soaked

turbulent, dark current blind,

yet silvered edged

to paddle.

disappointed at the madog flow,

tiding edging in , brought a yellow scum,

like badness in a marraige.

i hum in the dusk

at the pity of

of bandages through eyes

that cannot see

**( notes i cannot tag here) and if i could, who would you see?

small edges,

the voiced pledges.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher


the importance of a partner/no partner.

answer me ?

when all around is singing,

why silence this?

the importance of anything

is relative, do not place

a value on something

that is not important.

ðɛːˈbʌɪ/ unimportant.

broaden the world.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher