“Scaffold” . . . and other Responses to Wednesday Writing Prompt

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.” Ursula K. Le Guin



These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, the lesser being of a lesser god, June 13 certainly take us through time and geography, touch lightly or deeply on theme, all while warming our hearts and spinning our minds along the way.  Enjoy! and Thanks! to Paul Brookes, Irene Emanuel, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Marta Pombo Salés. These poets seem always up for a challenge.

Thanks also and a warm welcome to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt to Debbie Felio, Carol Mikoda and Anne G. Myles, accomplished writers all.  Debbie’s work was featured before on The Poet by Day but not for Wednesday Writing Prompt, so here she is introduced in this context.

Join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome to share their work on theme.


Least of These

I find myself
in losing self
amid the grander
moments in creation

for why would I
settle as the larger
of the lesser
among so little

grant me the serenity
to seek the enormity
of a great God’s creativity

lesser me at the edge
of Grand Canyon’s
cragged colors

lesser me in the depths
and breadths
of roaring oceans

lesser me in the wonders
of rainbows and cloud banks
snowstorms and tornados

lesser me counted
as one of millions
stars and galaxies

never am I so grand
as when the Grandest
includes in His resume
the lesser me.

© 2018, Deb Felio

Debbie Felio

DEBBIE FELIO is a poet/witness living and writing in Boulder, Colorado

 

 


Death’s Immensity

Stand next to one wall, let’s say
the north side, of a massive
building. Look up into the
sky, noticing only a
few puffs of clouds. Sweep your eyes
back down, catching sight of this
wall — gray, smooth, unending — and

recall it.

Instantly, the personal fantasy of
existence disintegrates,
leaving only wisps. Lungs

empty,

breath sucked away.
Only flatness,
a loss of all
color and detail.
Once again,
know Death
and be

paralyzed.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda

Carol Mikoda

CAROL MIKODA teaches writing and new teachers in upstate New York. She lives in the country where she walks in the woods, studies the sky to photograph clouds, and grows vegetables and flowers. She also sings and plays piano, guitar, and bass. Although she enjoys travel, her cat, Zen Li Shou, would rather she stayed home.


*

Scaffold

For Mary Dyer, Quaker martyr, d. 1660

1.

The only woman to be taken to the scaffold twice.

In October, you watched your friends drop,

then they let you go. In May you came back

and the second time it was for real.

Both times they marched you the last mile

flanked by soldiers, drummers, ministers —

the charivari of execution. You said

It is the greatest joy I can enjoy in this world.

 

I hunt online to see what you saw before you,

gaze lifted, sure and unrepentant:

the raw wood architecture of terror

set up on Boston Neck,

a strange delicacy in it perhaps;

its silence, its certainty, full stop.

The light that was the frailest metaphor

pouring through the noose.

2.

Scaffolding, as educators call it,

means how you model or demonstrate

the way to solve a problem,

how you build on students’ experiences

adding support, until in time

they can do it for themselves.

 

When the terror of the present gripped me

I wanted to write your story,

attempt to interweave it with my own,

tell what happened while it was possible.

By the time I reached the end, I hoped

(though I no longer believed what you did

as I’d tried to many years ago

and it almost crushed me)

you would teach me to be brave.

3.

Before they led imaginary

John Proctor to the scaffold,

before he thought better of it,

before he chose the honor of his name,

he bellowed in desire

I want my life!

4.

The poet said in workshop:

The scaffolding of a poem is its skeleton.

Consider the poem as a body;

what’s keeping it upright?

What are the rules that keep it alive,

that build its world?

 

I couldn’t help but smile.

I saw that after all it was this I got:

in middle age as you were,

you helped bring me back to poetry

and left me there, lesser, grateful,

heart pounding with desire

to walk and keep on walking

in my own recovered light.

© 2018, Anne G. Myles

ANNE G. MYLES, originally from the east coast, and now  Associate Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, specializing in early American literature. You can find some of my earlier academic thoughts about Mary Dyer in her Wikipedia entry, as I recently learned to my surprise. I have been drawn back to my lost origins in creative writing in the past year or so, and poetry (the form in which I was trained) even more recently, including but not limited to working on a series of Mary Dyer poems. I hope to begin sending work out soon. I have a blog about matters related to my recovering my creative voice at “How public — like a Blog –,” annegolda.blog


*

My god is

Imperfect, a perfect image for me.
Humbled by its mistakes.

My god is a mistake.
A wrong answer,

Differently abled.
Its winters often in spring.

Its summers sometime in autumn.
My god is a fracture, a flaw.

Gender fluid. Defined by its
Inhumanity, it is complete

in its incompleteness. Aspires
not to aspire. My god is contradiction,

counter intuitive. Fresh in its decay.
Its more is always less. Thank god.

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

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.

       ONE NIGHT ON CRADLE MOUNTAIN—-TASMANIA
Never before, nor ever again
will there be such a special night;
the night a possum stopped at my feet
and allowed my touch without fright.
Glancing round the purple-black,
I saw a wondrous sight;
sparkle-threads of countless stars
roped round the Milky Way;
back-dropped moon-beams
filigreed in shining silver ray.
Thrilled beyond coherent thought,
I blended with this dream
and optically imprinted
that empyreal starry scene.
Cradle Mountain calls to me,
with haunting “siren” powers;
“come back and stay,
you’ll be entranced,
your life forever ours.”

© 2018, Irene Emanuel


. the robe.

 

kept in a box, precious.

lifted down for those to see,
that care.

did the understanding come,
the idea that all old things
are wanted, needed for their story.

not discarded on higher ground,
where dust and moth abound.

the lesser garment became prefered,
as the last shall become the first.

we shall look at the photographs.

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

shot_1399971890954

 

.. bad night dreaming ..

 

dreamed of devastation,           flew miles        low

over concrete .   skeletons,      bones of the thing.

 

all is dust, as dust we have become.                 slow.

 

grey.    nothing moves here no more.          no sighs.

 

they have forgotten us.        we have forgotten them.

 

are we  now the bones of what we were?

 

bad night dreaming.

 

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


 

Llac de Banyoles copy

Confidence

With ebbs and flows
like sea and lake waters
the ground was trembling,
magnificent earthquake
confidence was at stake.
Wanted to do your best
so never felt at rest
you are too self-demanding
so confidence faded.
Too much self-exigency
leave me please, let me be
tell it now.
That parent, sister, brother,
that relative of yours
or that good friend or lover
if not, the teacher you had
someone said: great, keep up
or someone said, instead,
I think you have no talent
you will not earn a living
you are now wasting your time.
Your confidence fluctuating.
Ghosts of self-exigency
ghosts of negative people
let them vanish.
Hateful comparisons,
like storms amid the sea
till everything seems awash,
like strong winds on Earth
till each house looks swept,
mercilessly taken.
What light dwells in your soul
what thoughts in your mind
this is not to be disregarded,
disrespected or dismissed.
From your uniqueness, your creation
comes as a true revelation.
Let the ghosts of comparison
fade away from the sea
from the land you inhabit.
As the sun shines on you
so will confidence.

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


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