“Rainy Day Comfort”. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Promp

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Madeleine L’Engle … perhaps one can even say this applies to poetry.



Tuesdays are among the most popular days for people to visit the The Poet by Day and that’s because of the quality of work our poetry community produces and the fascination I believe we all have with the variety of reactions to a prompt. Such delight.  So here today are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, April 18, The Taste of Baklava. 

Thanks to these talented, often visionary, and intrepid poets for coming out to play: Irene Aaron (a.k.a. Irene Emanuel), Paul Brooks, Sheila Jacob, Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Pleasant Street. The artful Sonja has shared her illustrations as well.  

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome – encouraged – to participate no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  Meanwhile, read on, enjoy, and be inspired.


RAINY DAY COMFORT  

Afternoon rain,
steam on tar;
liquid leaves litter rain-sparkled grass.
School-shoe leather
splashing sweet-water puddles,
spraying the grey air with promise.
Homeward bound
after school, comfort food
beckons with tempting smells.

Batter on griddle,
sizzling pancakes
drowned in farm butter and maple syrup.
Olfactory senses
unlock fragrances of
security and warmth,
a taste of childhood days.

© 2018, Irene Emanuel

*A special welcome today to Irene Aaron, new to Wednesday Writing Prompt. Irene’s pen name is the lovely Irene Emanuel. Irene didn’t have a chance to email her bio and photo. When she does, I’ll add it to this post as is tradition with writers new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt.


My Mam’s Spice

Our home were spiced up,
when she were well.
Mam put wooden pots
of her favourite fragrances
on the tiled hearth,
strung garlands
on the hallway walls.

Allspice, cedar wood shavings
cinnamon bark and cassia bark
cloves, cypress wood shavings
fennel seed, incense-cedar
wood shavings, jasmine flowers
and oil, jujube blooms,
juniper wood shavings.

I thought it magic,
‘ cause it didn’t rot,
lavender leaves,
lemon balm leaves,
lemon peel, marjoram leaves,
mignonette leaves, mint leaves,
mugwort, orange peel,

sweet citrus infused all rooms,

pelargonium leaves, pinyon pine
shavings and cones, rose flowers,
hips, rosemary leaves,

even on the gusty winter day mam died,
and the sharp tangs were stench
and the pots were emptied,
garlands binned, odours dissipated
from rooms but not memory.

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Dad Never Only Considers Most

relevant part of a map.
When he gets lost, he stops,
at the entrance to the busiest junction,
sometimes, before a roundabout,
and unfolds a view of the world
to its fullest extent to find his way.

Perhaps, at work when he changes
one tiny part of the system he traces
its effect on a detailed draughted whole diagram
of council offices, hospitals
or nuclear subs where he has installed
new heating waste management services.

And I at work or home cursed with the same
need for thorough deliberation,
find bosses, wives and workmates sigh
at my slow, detailed examination
of an issue, that had I rushed,
as when angry, only find confusion.

My dad and I bring the whole going on
to a brief stop as others
who wish to get on, hoot, cringe,
whistle and toot their dismay.
We ignore them all to, quietly,
stubbornly, slowly map our way.

Original publication in “Verse Virtual.”

© 2018, Paul Brookes


Blowing bubbles

We lean into a breeze skittering
off the hills, send bubbles
soaring through plastic rings.
Our grandsons cheer-
their turn next and we caution
mind you don’t trip
don’t run into the road
but they’re sure-footed, stay
close, race one way then another
across an ellipse of lawn.

* * * * *
I recall dandelion-clocks
in a long ago garden.

puff-breath count the seeds
watch them fly tell the time
one o’clock two o’clock
tick-tock mind the nettles
rub a dock leaf on stings
hold a buttercup under your chin
loop a daisy-chain over your wrist

* * * * *
I feel a child’s arms around
my waist, kiss his blond head.
His brother runs to me:taller,
raven-haired, I hug them both,
wipe soap-sticky hands
and the four of us chase
fresh bubbles, catch some
on our palms, pop the highest
with our fingertips, let others melt
into trodden tufts of grass.

© 2018, Shiela Jacob


PEBBLE

I choose a pebble from the beach

and  lick a fleck of salt

from  the red/brown round. Pebble

to cherish through this journey. Grit

 

and strength and wit must all combine

to carry out this pledge.  Northwards.

Find the first hill. Grief lies

beyond evasion and found  me in moments

 

of repose between fell and crag,

peat bog and flooding stream. Two

hundred miles, one sea left behind,

the other found. Sunlight then spindrift,

 

one last steep hill falling between the red-tiled

homes to the flat,grey sea.  A membrane bursts,

spilling everything distilled:

sorrow  and ache and pride. Jolted,

 

I gasp and clutch a rail, salt burns

my cheek. Walk, walk. I place the pebble

on my boot. A wave inspects

and takes its tribute. I turn and climb, talking

again in silence to one unseen.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

 

. a vision request .

early while driving.                     omen repeating

 

sometimes the sun comes lower after the crest

 

one moment

 

imagine them marching,           slow & white.

 

will you name them?

 

in the wake all things come clear.

 

slow & white.

 

later below the peaks i tell him. he said it is

the dark crystal.

 

© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher

 

shot_1336199156760.jpg

. a moment .

when the world runs cold,

water freezing, eyes held

from the words.

 

moments with the old story,

knowing it will be understood.

 

each day a moment to be

shared out here.

 

the poetry circle is closed.

 

now.

 

do not believe all you read.

 

© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher

 

spoon

 


Falling Star, 1989

I didn’t belong there and I knew it
how you were not mine yet
and she did not know you were there
with me
letting something grow
that was for keeps
in time
keeping time, and
holding on tightly
so that no one could sever our bond
looking upwards
that fierce green streak
putting a stamp on it
on us
and for once
I believed in signs

© 2018, Pleasant Street


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