CAUGHT BETWEEN SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS: Apologies for post delays!



I’m using someone else’s computer for a moment. Comcast is scheduled to come and work some tech magic. I should be back online late Thursday or early Friday. I’ll post the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt then and also this week’s Wednesday Writing Prompt. This coming Sunday Announcements should be rich with two weeks worth of info. Fingers crossed. Thanks for hanging with me.


“The poet is the priest of the invisible.” Wallace Stevens in Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose


ABOUT

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.

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The Unfettered Canticle of Trees, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” John Muir, Our National Parks



Still for a moment the church bells
pealing the ancient canonical hours.
Still the lyric call of the muezzin.
Silence the Shacharit, the Mincha, the Arvit.
Stay the wheels and the flying flags.
Let nature’s prayer alone reverberate
in the unfettered canticle of trees.

A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.” John Muir (1838-1914), Scottish-American naturalist, environmental activist, and author

© 2014, poem and photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

I wrote this poem for National Wilderness Week in 2014. Around here (Northern California), we have forests of sturdy redwood that bring joy to eyes, heart and spirit.  As you might suspect from my poem, the redwood forests make me feel as though I’m in a cathedral. They’re a religious experience. I’m wondering today what you feel like in the wilderness: awed, intimidated, comforted, inspired? Perhaps you’ve never been and you have speculations to share. Perhaps you went camping and it was a hugely enjoyable adventure; or, maybe it camping was the worst decision you’ve ever made. Tell us about your thoughts and adventures in a poem or poems.

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

All poems 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 joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com in order to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These will be partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, August 27 at 8 p.m. Pacific.

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.


ABOUT

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.

“Transformation” … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina



A thought provoking response – and rather wide-ranging in terms of focus and perspective – to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Our Evolving, August 15.  Enjoy! this collection courtesy of newcomer (Brava! and Welcome!) Susan St.Pierre and of Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Irma, Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Carol Mikoda

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 around our concerns for the social and ethical issues we care about.  I’ve linked in blogs for your convenience. If the poet doesn’t have a blog, it’s likely you can catch up with her/him on Facebook.

Read on and be with us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.



Knots of Time

Believe.
Evolution insists upon changes
Physically rearranges
All but our memories,
Experience.
Random threads of finite days
Weave one single maze
A sui generis emerges,

UnBreAkaBle.

© 2018, Susan St.Pierre (Silly Frog Susan)

Susan St.Pierre

“I’m a ‘nearly’ retired family day care provider. I have invited (often 6) children into my home 5 days a week for approximately 10 hours a day since 1975. It’s been the most enlightening, humbling, and messy experience!

“Meanwhile, my husband and I raised two children and have gained two granddaughters. I have two blogs, which I’ve neglected for a few years, but this Fall will open up my day for much more “me” time. Hopefully, that will include writing time. Besides finding the company of kids and pets inspiring, I also enjoy Nature, painting, drawing and reading. I don’t know how well I’ll do in moments of quiet, though. My best work has always been accomplished among clutter and chaos!”


Evolving Door

In goes a lungfish
And out comes an outcome.
Pop go the measles
And wipe out a tribe.

Lenny heard Zug Nicht
And wandered about some.
Thundering Diesels
Suggest we imbibe.

In goes a notion
And out comes an essay.
Guidelines and labels
Give sojourning ease.

Spit in the ocean
And spite minks and sables.
Laissez-faire less, eh.
And conquer displease.

Tuppence for pleasantries;
Cheese-whizzed parcheesi
Challenges wellsprung
Make Autumn to mold.

If you’re uneasy,
Dear Reader, nor well hung,
Take ye some evolvement
Out doorways to freedom
And bed and break strictures
To push through the membrane;
Grow pairs not of testes
But peregrine wings.

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


From…

evercrash of waves put me
on the untouched shore

I crawl because i don’t know
how to walk this grain.
Now I would say tumbled waves

are fletched like an arrow constantly
turned to ensure its flight straight
and unencumbered by splinters.

Later I staunch blood, remember
the now of the sun then, too bright,
too warm in this comfort blanket.

Now I would say I was slippery
as bladderwrack or between thighs
of a woman heated by want,

and hungry but not for food.
I leave it to the ocean
behind me that flickers

with sounds some of which
i understand but the waters
less and less drag me back,

push me to drygrain land.
I must find leafshelter
in the arms of mothered soil,

in the limbs of the trees,
beneath the coddling leaves,
a fallen tree stump helps

me stand. I break a branch
test it does not break with my weight.
I stand free of the stump. Upright.

Now I would say my skin
lost its sheen, became sticky
as the green blood of plants
that trap food with their leaves.

from The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017)

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

To…

upright, you can see further,
and in the sand prints
of your own feet, and others,
smaller, differently shaped,

Now you would say these are scratches
on pages, distinct signs in a forest,
or plain, each holds itself a tell, a map,
of sense and season and root.

smooth your hand over gnarled
stick of then that supports your weight
when you stride forward to follow
the beckoning of others tracks,

inhale the freshness from the waves,
that tastes salty to your tongue,
the sweetness from the inland trees,
and smaller flimsy coloured leaves,

and a bitterness, a stink gets stronger,
as you trace the tracks other
than your own go inland, broken
leaves. How many feet does it have?

Now accused of techno anomie
because you refuse others access to your senses,
your avatar still in the forest, on the plain,
walks without aid beside the everwaves .

from The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017)

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


Evidence Against Evolution

women dragged by the hair into the dank rock caverns of the cavemen

women uncounted in records of attendance when miracles performed

women operated on to remove bits of brain believed
to create trouble for men

women unacceptable as witnesses in man’s court

women condemned to death by superstitious men

But now
with more education, enlightenment, progress

women drugged, raped, silenced
– without ever being victims of hate crimes

women questioned and doubted in courts and media
– dismissed by sound bite hash tags and tweets

women humiliated for combining emotional expression
and intelligent thought

– the 1% used as proof glass ceiling is gone, when it is
only windexed

women condemned to death by superstitious men
– for shedding their own blood rather than another’s

Evolution?

Just finer tuned delusion.

© 2018 deb y felio

I Can Do It Myself

said the 2 year old to his mommy
and tripped on the untied shoelaces
falling to the ground and waited
for his mommy to pick him up,
dust him off, and set him right
so he could once again insist,
“I can do it myself!”

© 2018, Deb y Felio


Opposable Thumbs

It sets us apart from other animals

The ability to grasp objects and concepts

To finely manipulate tools and other people

With this simple communication

We can catch a ride or point the way back

We can say Winner or Loser

With a twist of the wrist

For complexity

We now use them like beaks

Pecking letters that make or break relationships

The more it gets used

The faster it gets

Bypassing the higher brain

Thinking only of the print it wants to leave behind

Mayhap, flattened against the button

Signaling the start of the end

Of evolution.

 

© 2018, Irma (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too …)


ON THE CUSP

A yacht sails in summer, northwards to the Pole.
A slush of gelatinous grey greets its bow
as it makes its ambivalent journey.
On Admiralty charts a woman replaces islands,
sketches new sandbars, reefs marked with buoys,
while their people are moving into legend.

Lines of footprints cover deserts; jackals, bones,
eyeballs. Driven from shelter to shelter, children
ailing and confused, half-filled ditches,
refuse tips: where will the unborn live as
their families take flight?

A gig
was once a party, an impromptu concert
in a corner pub, a mingle of music, sweat
and beers.A world of miasma now,
of beck and call for paupers’ pay, waiting
to be plucked like a lobster from a tank.

Yes, yes, the richest should have more,
more tax-breaks crammed into their maw
until they vomit gold, excrete jewels and mansions,
super yachts and private jets, smearing
earth and airwaves
with their self-obsessed banalities.
In shadowed lobbies, their hired hands work
on dispossession, the cutting of common bonds,
democracy just one more acquisition.

Anthropocene.
Swallowing the future
Is the corporate plan.

We know enough
To stop and turn and heal
Our poisoned planet.
Are we enough
To gather now together?

© 2018, Frank McMahon

FALSE LIGHT

The moon scatters the light it has stolen
out of vanity, cycling round us in
its futile effulgence. Earthworms harvest
the autumn’s leaves, enriching the crust, thin
below the dwindling branches where we sit
and watch the axes hew the trunk and slash.

© 2018, Frank McMahon


.head above water, a swimmers perspective.

Metaphorically, i have spent much of my life, keeping my head above water.

Dealing with life facts and disappointments, not forgetting the quiet times to help the work along

I lived on the coast, played by the sea

As a child, I floated gently until all became spongey. Now I swim head above water, up and down obsessively counting, hoping all will come clear..

Friends in water talk more, baring much, reflecting their clothing

I am drawn to water, my work reflective. Writing, swimming, painting, drawing.

I collect cuttings of people in water.

“a diary, a personal relationship with the landscape.

“Shoreline would be more an exploration of the concept….shorelines more related to actual examples…..how about that?

Shoreline…..an ever-changing interface……between 2 media…..2
worlds…..can be crossed in both directions, but only temporarily?……but
aren’t we only here because something had the courage to cross
permanently…..something emerging from the sea is such a powerful
image….turtles, ursula andress in dr. no, monsters from the deep…..and
why do we find it such an attractive place to be
xx salty”

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the query.

.winding wool is mindless

she said, well maybe madam,

yet look at the lovely machine,

all red and cream plastic, that

winds in a way we cannot do

by hand.

look at my work which evolves

while working this and thinking.

i folded her goods tidily, packed in a

nice paper bag, said nothing

except mere politeness and niceties.

then got on with winding.

mindfully.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. day six .

your eyes last night were wide, your body

smaller without the sleep, all that

worry and distress.

it will not end , just change and evolve.

sometimes it takes years, and then it is

never the same.

any more.

maybe you must go back to sleep

a while.

i will keep reading, tell you all

when you wake

#bear.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

There’s much to enjoy in Sonja’s art and you can view much of it on her sites and she shares are generous amount on her Facebook Page. So multitalented.


Transformation

Systems call out for evolution,
for complexity, development, transformation,
a whole new suit
of cells, mutation of molecules
and microbes replacing themselves
at rapid rates, a constant reminder
that so much of myself
is not myself, but a cocktail party
of bacteria and viruses, which
sounds bad, very noisy gut,
but so efficient; they communicate,
even between different sorts.
Their differences do not
paralyze them. This human
language I am so proud of,
is clunky next to what happens,
the communication of organisms
and systems, inside me.
So many misunderstandings out here
among humans, while inside us,
networks are constantly lit up,
exchanging essential info, proteins
and amino acids, adjusting
and altering, individual evolutions,
on a daily basis, sometimes hourly.
I should listen more, learn something.
But mostly that’s just not how I roll.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda (At the Yellow Table, We are stardust: Change is What It’s All About)

ABOUT

Testimonials

Disclosure

Facebook

Twitter

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently 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. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

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

“Poetry is the only one of the arts which comes literally from inside the body, a thing secreted as well as made. It is not so much written as it is breathed onto the page.” from “Poetry Is Ordinary Language Raised to the Nth Power,” by Paul Engle, New York Times, 1957



BENNINGTON REVIEW, birds, not birdcages [Bennington College] publishes poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction will open for submissions on November 1, 2018. Paying market. Details HERE.

CARTE-BLANCHE opens for submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and translations on October 1, 2018. Details HERE.

CHERRY TREE, A National Literary Journal @ Washington College invites submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and Literary Fade (a special feature) through October 1st for its fifthe issue. Paying market. Details HERE.

THE FANTASIST, A MAGAZINE OF FANTASY NOVELLAS is open to considering works from 15,000 to 40,000 words. Payment is $100 plus a % of ebook sales. Details HERE.

INVERTED SYNTAX, An Art and Literary Journal For Those Who Dare is accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, illustration and other visual art. There’s also an interest in Blog articles on craft. Details HERE.

THE LITERARY REVIEW, which publishes essays, fiction, interviews and poetry,  will open for submissions in the fall. Watch HERE to see when calls open.

MAGNUM OPUS: A Poetry Anthology on Universal Oneness seeks submissions to its 2019 publication. Editor Vivikenand Jha say, “Poetry is the divine antidote to inner upheaval and is a medium of peace itself.” Poems of up to fifty lines from poets living anywhere in the world are welcome for consideration. Prior publication is okay if you hold the copyright. Deadline: December 31, 2018. Details HERE.

THE MALAHAT REVIEW publishes poetry, fIction,creative nonfiction, book reviews, and criticism and is open for submissions. Details HERE.

NARRATIVE, Tell me a story . . .  is “currently looking for great new short works in our iStory and iPoem categories.”

OPTIMUM POETRY ZINE will consider up to five poems for online publication. Details HERE.

RIVERFEET PRESS ANTHOLOGY is currently reviewing fiction, nonfiction and poetry for its second nature/environment themed anthology, Awake in the World,” through September 30, 2018. “Previously published content will be considered.” $10 USD submission fee. Details HERE.

RELATED:


The BeZine

Call for submissions for the December issue.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be. Submissions for the December issue – themed A Life of the Spirit – closes on November 10 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific .

 

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 bardogroup@gmail.com.

Publication is December 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. 

  • 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. 


Reminder:

ATTENTION EDITORS AND PUBLISHERS

BEST OF THE NET ANTHOLOGY

Open call for submissions of poems, stories, essays, creative nonfiction to be considered for a Best of the Net Anthology published by Sundress Publications. Submissions must come from editors of journal, chapbook, zine and so on. Deadline is September 30, 2018. Details HERE.


COMPETITIONS

  • The Eugene Paul Nassaar Poetry Prize, Utica College, Celebrating Upstate New York Authors. Cash award:$2,000. Submission Deadline: August 31, 2018 [The announcement says 2017, but I’m fairly certain that’s a mistake.] Details HERE.
  • Fan Story regularly hosts story and poem contests. Details HERE.
  • Stanza Poetry Competitions: Tradition. No entry fee to Poetry Society (UK) members. Closing date: Monday 10 Septermber 2018. Details HERE.

OTHER NEWS AND INFORMATION

*****

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Vintage has published a new edition. The two short videos below Nabokov discusses Lolita in a show from the 1950s TV show, Close Up.

*****

A good catch from our friend Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play):

*****


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 weekend commitments, this post will often go up late.

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 thepoetbyday@gmail.com. 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 jamiededes@gmail.com (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.

TO CONTACT ME WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER INFORMATION FOR THE POET BY DAY: thepoetbyday@gmail.com

TO CONTACT ME REGARDING SUBMISSIONS FOR THE BeZINE: bardogroup@gmail.com

PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two emails.


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.


ABOUT

Testimonials

Disclosure

Facebook

Twitter

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently 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. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

* The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton