“Repenting Peter” (El Greco) …. and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


This may be one of our finest collections yet, poetry written and/or shared in response to Ecce Panis [Take This Bread], Wednesday Writing Prompt, December 6, “What event or experience or time in your life (doesn’t have to be associated with religion) birthed for you the freedom to explore beyond the boundaries set for you?” These poets have certainly risen to the occasion. Much thanks to  Denise DeVries, Paul Brookes, Mike Stone, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), Gary W. Bowles and Sonja Benskin Mesher.

Join THE NEXT WRITING PROMPT, JANUARY 3, 2018. Once I put The BeZine to bed on the 15th, I’ll be offline for family time and taking a rest until January 3. Many blessings for joy in this season that is sacred to so many and for your peace of heart in the new year.

Thank you for your support, kind comments and sharing through The Poet by Day site this past year. In a world gone mad, you are the hope, the grace, and the voices of sanity. Poetry is the flagpole around which we gather in compassion and acceptance.  You are valued.

All are welcome to come out to play for these writing prompts no matter the stage of your poetry career: beginning, emerging or pro.  It’s about sharing and friendship, discretion not judgement.


A Town Where Nothing Ever Happens

I lived in a small landlocked town
and would probably never go anywhere.
My parents rejected the foreign
language teacher’s offered lessons.
They didn’t like the looks of him.
Something could happen…
Years later, I find myself
in Central America, in a town
where nothing ever happens,
except me, trying to speak Spanish.
In the market, the black
head of a calf stares up at me.
A tiny tiny old woman in
native dress embraces me
and kisses my hand, speaking
a language I’ve never heard before.
Beggars wait on cathedral steps
for the priest to finish asking God
in his North American accent,
“Quita los pecados del mundo.
Danos paz.” The children want
to know why I am crying.

© 2017, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia)


Path Of Seeds

O, Lady of the breath,
selfish and in control

you decide the path of seeds
you carry and drop in my grove.

Landscape architect place
an acorn here, a daisy here,
chestnut over there. No negotiation.

Blow my intricate clocks into half spheres,
my Sycamore immigrants spin
through your gusts.

Shoot moss into these worn mortared walls.
Broadcast grass between these carefully
laid pavements.

With you I have no choice
you deliver into me
whatever you hold.

I welcome your unexpected gifts

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

O, Lady Of The Breath (Six Vacanas)

1. You Rise

from my forest and leave
out of the gob and earth falls.

It shivers renewed,

welcomes a similar you
into my gob.

You excite my spring buds,
allow the earth to rise, again.

2. Can’t Let

you stay long in the dark,
or the earth will rot.

I can’t let you out for long,
or the earth will rot.

Let’s follow this pattern.
I’ll briefly allow you into my dark wood,

But please don’t take woodsmoke, car fumes,
coal dust, iron filings, water in with you,

else I’ll hack you out. These companions
quicken the rot.

3. Help With The

tasting snake in my cave
form the words I need to say.

Take my words out into air
loud enough for others to hear.

Please don’t say you are weak
and can’t carry such a weight.

Please don’t say I failed to welcome
enough of you into the forest.

4. My Dad Let You

in with pungent watercolours on his back,
stink of Clwyd cowpats and fresh mountain air,

but when he scraped boilers you secretly
took into his forest asbestosis strands

that speed his rot and ruin. I can’t understand
your thought in all of this

5. My Sister Threw You

out over her steering wheel,
her forest crushed by molded plastic.

She tried to welcome you back
but the wood was gone,

so you gust over her grave
under an overseeing tree.

O, my lady of the breath.
I welcome your coming and going.

6. Your Cheyne Stokes

delay before my unconscious Nanna
let you in.

I waited a minute, a 10-20
second episode of
stopped breath

suddenly her welcome
let you in

deeper and again
deeper in and out.

then delay

then delay

then delay

her welcome of you
and delay I watched seven days

until she refused your entry for good.

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


“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)

“An Agnostic’s Prayer”
(Raanana, January 23, 2014)

Just for the record
I don’t believe in you
So there’s no point in capitalizing, is there?
That doesn’t mean I don’t wish you were
Here, there, somewhere.
God knows I do,
Well, maybe not the you
Of everybody else.
You know exactly what I mean,
Someone who’s not always
Making clever excuses
Why he’s never around
When we need him.
I’d like to see you try that on my wife.
She wouldn’t fall for it.
She’d tell you
You’re either here or you’re not here,
So don’t bother trying to be
Somewhere in between.
She’d say if you want someone to believe in you
Then be there, front and center,
Instead of hiding behind the guy
Who’s hiding behind the curtain
Hoodwinking the true believers.
Then tell them they have only
One life in this godforsaken universe
And that one life is so gut-twistingly precious
That they should get up off their knees,
Walk out into the sunshine,
And smell just how blue the sky is.

© 2014, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)


“A Lasting Image”
(Raanana, April 5, 2008)

Frozen shards of light litter the dusty ground and
The moon-colored skulls of creatures whose blood
Once warmed the earth and sated its thirst
If only for a moment.
There is a trail I must follow
Through this forest dark and mordant
That snakes its wending way from
The womb of my first love
To the parched throat of my last.
I think sometimes of the ancient ones
And the things of their world
Of which they were certain.
It is not so hard to believe in a God,
An animus for every animal
Or a hoary herald above the spheres.
But a monstrous God
Who plots to devour our innocence
And rend our hearts with the cruel beauty of its beings,
Indifferent yet demanding our prayers and oblations;
Such a God I believe in:
A God of holocausts and broken promised lands.

© 2008, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

“A Certain Silence”
(Raanana, September 22, 2015)

There is a certain silence
On a day like this
That carries you on its wide wings
But only those whose souls are weightless
A silence that muffles the shouts of children
And banal chatter of adults on mundane matters
But only for those whose souls are transparent
A silence that vows to be true
Even when we live among lies
But only among those
Whose souls are consumed by other souls.

© 2008, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)


The Repentant Peter (El Greco c. 1600 Spain), Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., U.S., public domain photograph of the painting

Repenting Peter (El Greco)

since as
everything is Uttered
a land to even up
the eye
you touch grope about
the walls
more and more high
(on) cracks
the third road is the hardest
nowhere somewhere
the third road is the easiest
am I
I
cursed
cursing
swear
in net
(Peter)

“that the mighty angel tugs
along with net of fishermen”*

*Giorgos. Seferis (Greek poet and diplomate)

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


Pheidippides Defiant

A legend has
A courier
Who ran and ran
And told, and died,
Per Lucian,
Pheidippides’
“We win–rejoice!”
The dying words
Of this young man.

A summer day
In ’84
Ten thousand ran
On Market Street,
And skirted San
Francisco Bay,
And saw through fog
The Golden Gate,
And past its Park,
And up a hill
So steep a man
In wheelchair
Went but four in-
Ches at a time.

We crossed the thrice-
Blessed Finish Line
At Union Square
To cheering crowds,
To honor dead
Pheidippides,
Who, truth be told,
Did not exist,
Or, if he did,
Not quite the way
The legend tells.

But there WAS strife
In ancient Greece,
And Persians died
At Marathon,
The site now known
As the event,
A footrace long
and arduous.
And when I ran
In ’84,
I briefly WAS
Pheidippides,
Defiant of
Impossible,
Horizon breached,
My battle won,
And I rejoiced
And did not die.

© 2017, Gary W. Bowles (One With Clay)


. no horizontal line .

early it came,where there are no roads, no silent killer.

spinning. set me free. let me see swallows return to

nest.

let us cause a reaction, turn our heads quickly. no one

is looking, there is no one here. we are not afraid of

the night.

we spin.

soft cottons, whimsy thread, mothlike.

turn about hour on hour. your time is

come.

we spin.

to spite silent killers.

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

. tudor .

it seems that in moving the body we can free the mind, from one place to another. slightly out of focus.

time is moving forward.

that is the theory……

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


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3 thoughts on ““Repenting Peter” (El Greco) …. and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Jamie, you are a great inspiration! Thanks. In addition, “In 1963, Seferis was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature” for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Greek world of culture. “

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