the transformation of things, a poem . . . and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

Zhuangzi Dreaming of a Butterfly, Ming dynasty, mid-Sixteeth Century – ink on silk

A Man sleeping …
A Butterfly flitting… 
Zhuangzi, dreamer of Butterfly,
ponders what joy there might be
in that tiny Butterfly brain

so subtle

too subtle to be perceived by I or eye

Is he dreaming me? Zhuangzi asks.
Imagine the Universe thus engaged.


a Cosmic Belly Laugh 

Ho! Ho!

Then Zhuangzi knows: He is silent,
flitting from flower to flower in eternal spring.

coming and going, going and coming

This is called the Transformation of Things.

©2011, Jamie Dedes


Zhuangzi dreaming a butterlfy, a butterfly dreaming of Zhuangzi

Zhuangzi dreaming of a butterlfy; a butterfly dreaming of Zhuangzi

I love this allegory from The Book of Zhuangzi, one of the two greatest books of the Chinese mystical Tao. (The other book is the I Ching.) The allegory is about chi (qi), the energy of creation, which some might call God. 

Write and share with us a poem or poems that illustrates your experience with or perception of transformation. It does not have to be related to religious or spiritual allegory unless that is what calls to you.

Share your poem/s on theme or a link to it/them in the comments section below.

All poems shared on theme will be published next Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook. If you do it’s likely I’ll miss it or not see it in time.

IF this is your first time participating in The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at in order to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-).  These will be partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

Deadline:  Monday, July 2 at 8 p.m. PDT.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, sharing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning nonjudgemental place to connect.

Illustration credits: first illustration courtesy of Lu Zui and in the public domain/ second illustration courtesy of About Qigong.


“That yes” . . and other poems to the Last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” W.B. Yeats

These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, in praise of all hallelujah, perfect and fractured, June 20, are painfully wise and honest and moving to the point of tears. Times are hard, no doubt about it. Well done, Bozhidar Pangelov (bogan), Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Debbie Felio, Carol Mikoda, and Marta Pombo Sallés. Thanks also to artist/poet Sonja Benskin Myers for including her illustration along with one of her poems.

So here is our gift to enrich your day. Please do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

Hallelujah for the deprived

the church (is) carved
on a steep hill

on broken glass
crunched under the footsteps of wild animals
which rarely pass by
pieces of wind and stone slabs
falling from names
(the names go away)

we sold our lives
a hand cuts off the wrist
no live cypress trees
or birds
the past starts
and the shadows do not move into the grave
„poor my Jorik“
you have never been born

those deprived of time
cannot die
they do not know how

the folded pin is the eye

© 2018, bogpan (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия, блог за авторска поезия)

hallelujah unison

arthritic hands clasp and hurt each other
eyes squeeze and phosphenes march
“hallelujah,” she whispers

miles away there is a beheading
“hallelujah!” they shout

miles away a child is born
“hallelujah,” say the three
(one inaudibly)

miles away there is home in the headlights
miles away a bell tower reverberates
miles away a monitor flatlines

and miles away a man sees someone waiting for him under a streetlight
shifting her feet
seeing him
and catching her breath

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image and Text)


My steady breath and regular beat of my heart as I wake is a fire goaded from the snuffed out taper
of yesterday.

Welcome shouts and hugs from my family, opens petals of wonder releases sweet fragrance of warmth.

Thankyous from the boss of all my efforts curves into smiles of bairns released into the arms of aggrieved parents.

Hallelujahs out of broken, divorced, stamped out, water logged ashes lick and dance heat and light in eyes renewed.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

That Yes

of your breath as it lets go into the fresher air opportunity offers with open hands,

an apology for pain given from the giver heals the sores and blemishes, some self inflicted, hands

over a cup of tea, coffee or glass of fresh greeting
A wholesome kiss and gleam gladdened eyes

without expectation of return or reparation,
sip down electricity that sparkles your bones.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

How Fragments Make

room for new making
You are the better maker.

Muscle and skin and idea undone
reveal shapes unconsidered.

Pieces of belief disassembled
into nonsense make a different sense.

Necessary chaos you can tangle
Into another order. Praise the entangled.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

No Hallelujahs

without darkness
without questions
without nonsense

No hallelujahs

without failure
without mistakes
without doubt

No hallelujahs

without hard decisions
without dislocation
without recovery

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)



How long we wait
Again for righteousness
Lifting up the
Lives of the lost
Echoing the
Longing for

© 2018, deb y felio

glory be

a host of horrors greet us each day
multitudes of madnesses
economies of scale sing hymns
ailing rotting-on-the-inside riffraff
make holy homemade videos
that go virulently viral in stupefying style
scores bursting at the seams about to crack

en masse we raise voices
This! Life! is astonishing
life on earth
with its variegations in virtue
imperfections impressive in their number
it is good nevertheless this creation

find a statue or painting of god
that’s not a little bit broken
let alone one of us humans

ever-morphing clouds
roll across the storm sky
to release, in their fractures,
photon beams
across swarming humanity’s home
until Hallelujah! a stunning sunset show

© 2018, Carol Mikoda

:: numbers ::

:: numbers ::

i limped.

into the cathedral.
my life will be sorted,
if i bought the book @
£1.99, said suffering is

i looked at the boys,
looked at the floor,
read ecclesiastes,
we are as dust,

and limped out.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

men in the village, are older now. the moth returns.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Dance of Hope

Wrapped in orange dress
of hope is the dance.
Fluttering veil seals
renewed serene bliss.

Fans turn in the air
tasting this new flair
of hope tied in rope,
invisible thread
that beats with the heart.

Bathing in moonlight
of newly found joy
I danced my hope with
a fluttering veil
and turned my fans in
the winds of a change.

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


Paul’s poem below is from Tuesday, June 19 responses to the Wednesday Writing Prompt, the lesser being of a lesser god, June 13. His poem was posted incorrectly.  You can use the link to read the entire collection, which is quite wonderful.

Gust Is Deaf, Hills Are Blind,

trees can’t walk properly,
Flowers twitch haphazardly.

Grass is mute, rivers are dumb.
Nature is differently abled.

Mountains are too tall,
struggle to talk when they can’t

bend a knee, get down to those smaller
who are in awe when all mountains need

is to speak face to face , dispel their myth.
Same with water that rushes by,

no time to stand and stare, moments pass
before they have time to fully comprehend.

Flux needs a still moment but has to go on.
Still waters wish they could rush.

All hankers after what it Is not,
Cannot accept their place as their lot.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration * History * Imagination)



Dream-World Ecology, a poem by Michael Dickel

No more reliable lemon drops in London,
The lemon trees—all gone.
Next will be ginger ale,
The frail root rotted.
The lime trees? Shot.
Some onion-paper men all in a dither
Over freeze-dried pastries preserving
The flavor of sweet cream and butter.
Whoever they are who dig up
Our future cities find feathers
At the museum.

—Michael Dickel
© poem and cover art, 1994

From: Breakfast at the End of Capitalism by Locofo Chaps (Chicago, 2018) — download free PDF here
First published in Poems for a Livable Planet. Fall (1994). p. 3


SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, and Other Information and News

“If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God


I am formally affiliated with The BeZine ( and The Poet by Day ( Read guidelines below for The BeZine before submitting.  The Poet by Day is by invitation only except for participation in The Poet by Day/Wednesday Writing Prompt or if you have news for Sunday Announcements.

Please don’t send me submissions for other zines or magazines. The best I can do to help you get published is the info shared on this site, especially Sunday Announcements.

“Call for Submissions” means submissions through Submittable or via the magazine’s website or by eMail or snail mail. “Calls for Submissions” are NOT an invitation to telephone editors.

You’ll increase your odds of acceptance if you carefully read submission guidelines and one or two issues of a journal, zine or magazine to be sure that what you submit is appropriate and properly formatted. 

Good luck and write on … 


Opportunity Knocks

BETTER THAN STARBUCKS, not your ordinary poetry magazine, publishes a range formal and informal verse. Featured poems: $20 payment otherwise payment for published work is choice of PDF copy or eBook. Accepts previously published work. Details HERE.

THE LYRIC MAGAZINE, the oldest [1921] poetry magazine devoted to traditional poetry in North America. No submission fee. Payment on publication: contributor copy and eligibility for quarterly and annual prizes. Details HERE.

MEASURE PRESS considers full-length manuscripts: poetry, criticism and poetry instruction and is open for submissions open year round. Guidelines HERE.

NARRATIVE MAGAZINE publishes stories, book-length work, poetry and audio. Small submission fee for unsolicited work. Cash payments: $150 for a Story of the Week, with $400 each for the annual Top Five Stories of the Week; $150 to $350 for 500 to 2,000 word manuscripts; $350 to $1,000 for 2,000 to 15,000 word manuscripts. Rates for book-length works vary, depending on the length and nature of the work; $50 minimum for each accepted poem and audio piece. ($25 for poetry reprints); $200 each for the annual Top Five Poems of the Week; $100 for Readers’ Narratives. Details HERE.

THE NEW REPUBLIC accepts unsolicited submissions of poetry and nonfiction via email. Details HEREScroll down on the page.

ONE STORY (reminder) publishes literary fiction between 3,000 and 8,000 words. Next reading period is September 1 through November 15. Payment: $500 and 25 contributor copies. Details HEREAlso publishes One Teen Story.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN, THE JOURNAL OF FORMAL POETRY will open for fall submission from August 1 through October 15.  Details HERE.

SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE accepts unsolicited manuscripts from freelance writers. Details HERE.

TALES FROM THE FOREST invites submission for the ninth issue. The theme is: limits. Publishes art and poetry and stories that nod to limits and restrictions and obstacles and nuisances. In keeping with the theme. Fiction: no more than 750 words. Submit one piece only. Art: any medium. Submit one piece only. Poetry: any length. Submit one piece only. Deadline: Sunday September 16th. 

TRIQUARTERLY of the MA/MFA program at Northwestern University is “an international journal of writing, art, and culture, which publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, short drama, video essays, hybrid works, interviews and craft essays from established and emerging writers. Calls for poetry and videos for the fall and winter issues will open October, November and December. Calls for fiction and creative nonfiction will open in November and December. Craft essays and interviews are open year round. Modest submission fees. Honoria for published works. Details HERE.

The BeZine

Call for submission for the September issue.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be. Submissions for the September issue – themed Social Justice – close on August 10 at 11:59 p.m. PDT .

Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send photographs or illustrations as attachments. No google docs or Dropbox or other such. No rich text. Send submissions to

Publication is September 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.

No demographic restrictions.

Please read at least one issue. We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples. 

  • September 2018 issue, Deadline August 10th, Theme: Human Rights/Social Justice
  • December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

Previously published work may be submitted IF you hold the copyright. Submissions from beginning and emerging artists as well as pro are encouraged and we have a special interest in getting more submissions of short stores, feature articles, music videos and art for consideration. 

The Poet by Day



Response deadline is Monday, June 25th at 11 p.m. PDT. All poems shared on theme will be published on this site on Tuesday, the 26th. Details HERE.


Last Tuesday’s collection of responses to Wednesday Writing Prompt had some errors. Please check in tomorrow to view the corrections to Paul’s and Irene’s poetry. You won’t be disappointed.


Opportunity Knocks

BETTER THAN STARBUCKS 2018 HAIKU CONTEST sponsored by John DeCesare and CraftekDesign. No entry fee. First prize $50; second prize $30; third prize $30. Deadline August 1, 2018. Details HERE.

UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA VICE-CHANCELLOR INTERNATIONAL POETRY PRIZE is accepting entries through deadline 30 June 2018. Entry fee. Cash prize. Details HERE.


  • Poet Anthony Wilson for his paper: “Towards a model of poetry writing development. It was presented on June 23 at at the Great Writing Conference (UK). You can link to download the PDF HERE.
  • Dr. Aprilia Zank on being an official member of World nations Writers’ Union Kazakhstan.


Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

  • The Poet by Day always available online with poems, poets and writers, news and information.
  • The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career or status. Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) will be published here on the following Tuesday.
  • The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers. Due to other Sunday commitments, this post will often go up late in the day.
  • THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  
  • Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.

YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything.Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.



PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two.

Often information is just thatinformation– and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.