::crumbs:: … and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.” (From Smith’s acceptance speech, National Book Award [nonfiction], November 17, 2010)” Patti Smith

The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, iPoem, July 25, was meant to offer something on the lighter side after the seriousness of previous prompts. We can see here a mix of humor with sometimes underlying notes of pathos. Some surprise. Much pleasure. Kudos to Gary W. Bowers,  Paul Brookes, Debbie Felio (Deb y Felio), Kakali Das Gosh, and Sonja Benson Mesher. Read on and be with us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

I hope you’ll visit and get to know these poets. It’s important for us to support and encourage one another in our art and in our solidarity for peace, sustainability and social justice.  I’ve linked in blogs for your convenience. If the poet doesn’t have a site, chances are you can catch up with them on Facebook.

three-ring circuits

smartphone is a contra
diction in terms

features include spell autoincorrect
wrong-sign astrology
minuscule x so if you don’t touch it
with micrometer precision
you may be on your way to installing
the hell app
also known as the he’ll app

it is less smart than a dog
most dogs i should say

dogs that know how to he’ll

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image & Text)

“You Had Me, You

I shout
at my Mam and Dad.

“You were all we could afford,
son. You’re only a teenager.
We’ve all been there.”

And I wish I was dead.
My parents wanted kids
so they bought my mind
and body with a Bilder loan,
(Babies Integral Learning
and Development Responder).

Now I’m eighteen and can
buy stuff myself, my mind

is full of adverts for upgrades
I can buy, that Mam and Dad
used to buy for me.

For each level of my education
they were charged
For advice and for my knowledge
they were charged
For my toys food and clothes
they were charged.
Now paid in full.

I get automatic adverts for workskills
downloaded into my mind,
for skills I can accept as upload,
for new bodies I can upload
my mind into.
After every thought in my head,
an advert,
pay extra for advertless content.

Now the bank’s Maturity Adviser,
with my best interests at heart,
advises The Dark Option,
Sex, drugs, rocknroll, short life.
The Light Option, marriage, kids,
work and pleasant retirement.
I have to choose a life option,
or what they call “The Best of Both”

Mam says ” Get used
to the adverts in your head.
We have them too.
Life is unfair. Live with it.”

(From “The Spermbot Blues”, OpPress, 2017)

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

My Robot

skin forgets tha softness.
At least me snout works,
I can smell thee cherry lips,
and strawberry perfume.

When my old bod got weak
and fell down more than stood up
tha had me swap to this robot job.

with “flexible skin-inspired touch sensors
as store tactile information,
like haptic memory”
or some such, as manual said.

Store touch sensations
in my brain, like what
old one used to.

Few decades on, this grip
no longer delicate,
damages stuff like fruit,

your skin smells of strawberries.
I used to be able to
remember it soft,
but “softs” only a word,
with no memory
of what it meant
or means.

My skin stored
a handshake from a particular person,
their kiss, their hugs.

It forgets now.
Squeezes too hard.
Hurts thee, and I can
do nowt about it,
‘cept keep away from thee.

Robot doctor has it my skins pressure-sensitive layer no longer
changes in electrical resistance
when force applied.
Wants us to spend more cash,
us can ill afford for the cure.

Sensors retain information
for about a week, if that.

My record of touch,
It’s touch memory loss.
I squash a lot of fruit.

I cannot touch thee.

Bloody tear ducts work.

(From “The Spermbot Blues” , OpPress, 2017)

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

Retro Is

the new Black.

When I were nobut a bairn
A fella dahn our street got one.

He’d traded in his 100 inch
HDR: HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG
4 x HDMI with Integrated soundbar

For an analog black and white valve TV.
We couldn’t wait to see it.

Picture had a cool fuzziness.
He couldn’t have it on long

as the valves acted like his own heater.
Godsend in the winter.

Leaving our boneshakers outside
we perched on his brown leather sofa

in our tank tops and shorts agog at the cool
beeps and scratches and when the screen

started scrolling when it weren’t meant to
or fog sidled out its big perforated back

we laughed like a barrelful of monkeys.
This were real retro. This were wizard.

(From an ongoing ekphrastic collaboration with Hiva Moazed, atist for future publication)

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

Parting Ways

I admit I’m a computerholic
before thirty years ago my life was bucolic
I could manage my time, the news, my data
If I misplaced something it didn’t much matta’
I knew it was here somewhere in the stack
With a little search I would have it back.

But that all changed with internet speed
no more waiting for dial up – a gift indeed
immediate access to required information
along with so much from across the nation
and the world coming in at incredible rate
who could imagine the future fate.

What would only take a minute or two
now requires hours – to read streaming news
I begin to write and then a new ping
I have to click – can’t miss a thing
then I return and autocorrect
has made the last sentence a total wreck.

It is a marriage made in hell
this computer and me – you know too well
a love/ hate thing – everyday a bout
I keep coming back – can’t live without
It knows me best, permanently recorded
if only I could get it sorted.

One wrong key I scream out loud
it’s lost forever in some stupid cloud.
Which password did I use last
our good times are going fast.
I’ve grown too old, I’m getting tired
More memory for both is surely required

I’ll close this out, I’m shutting it down
Cold turkey – there’s no patch that I’ve found
to make the parting any less hard.
It’s been a good run, but now I’m charred
Good bye old comp, it’s been a great fling
but wait! let me check that very last ping!

© 2018, Deb y Felio

#How to confine life?#

A frantic search for life ,
A chase for a rivulet of a thirsty stag .
Life , a dazzling sunshine ,
a murmuring stream walking over shingles ,
How to confine ?
How to compare
The screen of my computer in a chamber finite
The slate of clouds in the sky azure infinite ?
Comfort , gifts of technology
Crawls in my brain , body ;
Atomic war , sucks my blood like a leech .
Beauty – my earth ,
My grassy -flowery way ,
Scent of my motherly air ,
My hills snowy , my dandelions , birds in my skylight
Are nothing but passion fruits
In every nook and corner
Of my heart and soul ,
Smearing a cool ointment
Over my sore throat .

© Kakali Das Ghosh

.with regard.

maybe connections are missed the link dismissed. metaphors faint as my flimsy whispers symbols do you deny me peace? perhaps you utter the words constantly? look closely

or brush it regularly. talk about birth. stand during the rain fall. regard the chimney. take it off to return it. sometimes we need to commit a while, until we don’t no more

this is not a word i have used much recently, if i did it will be related to plants i expect. adjective. i may use plush in regard to velvet clothing, cloth, clothed. another adjective

it could have been simple, days of sewing crosses. red. eight thiry till five. it could have been easy, yet there were issues of the electronic kind meaning wasting time with wires and connections

she suggested that i write a novel, when i noted that she walked briskly to the post box, dressed suitably. i do not copy plagiarise or write about my friends

some of us like to be neat in some ways. some of us draw big and messy, and i understand both. we have made marks a long time, since the dawn of. probably

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: crumbs ::

she orders a sonnet about modern tech

nology , some recent language urban

slang. wiki & googling helps while spellcheck

defeats nistakes . publishing on blurb and

lulu. gifs no issue. focus on taste.

.work. memes are impossible to pronounce.

denounce the pass it forward, copy/ paste.

why write verse when we can talk or announce

loudly.. save in my cloud to edit share

. no rhyme no more. no elizabethan

manner. we taps it clear. is with difficulty

keyboards sticky, some have no empathy

that I prefer old ways. yet computer

smart create in a more abstract manner

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher 

we have washing.

we always have washing, yet it is the dusting needs doing, behind where no one can see, except me

with a torch..

so i label wiring, and wonder at it all.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. fact, fiction, myth .

it is a fact.

all is computerised,

of course these days. yet cold comfort

counting is the order of a quiet day,

to correct the till, as, maybe

we have input wrong. we do

sometimes you know.

so we count the stuff, lose our

minds , hope it all adds up.

when probably it was right.

i hope this is alright?


© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.