“Unlearning” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.” Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

The sense of shared values and a rather enthusiastic and almost immediate response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Pigeon Pie, August 1 suggests that we share concerns over the bill of goods with which our cultures, corporations, and marketing gurus attempt to engage us and with the soul-numbing responses from folks who buy in.

Thanks to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Debbie Felio (Deb y Felio), Carol Mikoda, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Marta Pombo Sallés for sharing their work, ideals, and convictions in such glorious poetic form. Bravo! A warm welcome to newcomer, Irma, and we look forward to more from her.

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.


I learned in the back seats of cars

The alcoves of bars

How to please

And how to tease.

I learned at the department store

How to dress to settle the score.

And underneath, my angel side

Learned how to cause a great divide.

A push, a pinch, a tug, a spin

Put pain to the side; upfront, just grin.

I learned my worth, a ratio

Of tits and ass and let it go.

And when you think the game is done,

You spy your girls and know they’ve won.

Those weren’t lessons, they were deceit.

I was fooled, their greatest feat.

Should I just acquiescent to my defeat?

Oh hell no.



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

c Irma

IRMA: “I am a mother, runner, writer, social worker – not always in that order and definitely not all at the same time! I have recently restarted my blog while I am in the process of restarting my ‘life” now that all my kids will be in school this fall.

“I hope that is enough info. I am happy to tell you more juicy details about my life if you would like (and by “juicy” I mean things like what my kids made at camp and what my laundry routine is like).
“I have very much enjoyed the poetry and the community of writers created here. I am new to the poetry blogging community and I feel a resonance in this niche that I didn’t find in the running blogging community.”

denimous snake

there was a ne’er-do-well who lived nearby,
his smile the potting soil his words the sphagnum,
he beamed and charmed the chicks, the milfs, the spry,
and toasted conquests with a well-chilled magnum.

with jeans and opal-buttoned shirt and hat
he two-step-swept the younguns into bed,
and played with fiery reds, and blondes, and flat-
blacked glossless goth girls, poor to topdrawer-bred.

one found he’d used an alias with her
but on the fly he cooked a quick excuse
and soon he moved to who was more demure,
less gullible, and up for frequent use.

he’s down and out now, old and full of grief–
not quite a rapist. certainly a thief.

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

A Retail 

for Mark

Park where your psychology is assaulted
by money hankering aisles that say buy me,

where all is marked up as essential, basic.
Necessary for your wellbeing and good health.

You travel with a list made at home,
yet are assailed by choices symptomatic

of freedom, of indulgence, of sensual overload.
Tricked into a purchase that is more than you need.

from a forthcoming collection called “Please Take Change”

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


on edges of his arms,
frozen peas, coffee jars,
large pack of ice cubes,
two tins of dog food,

Smiles as unloads it all
on my conveyor.
“Let me guess, you only
came in for one thing?”

He smiles “And I haven’t
even got that.”

“Shows the shop worked.”
I offer as I blip through
his collection. No answer
as he fills his rucksack.

from a forthcoming collection called “Please Take Change”

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

A So Last Year

on trend,
style conscious,
old school ,
need not want
is invention
to makes me buy more.

There was once only one
suit, tie, shoes,
golden age that never existed.

I’m suggestible to better,
faster, cleaner, sexier,
leaner, easier.

Pure impulse. I kid myself
It’s all deliberated,
considered, thought through,
that I’m reasonable.

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

Targeted Customer Reached


Remember a time when you thought
you would live forever,
you were immortal.

Well, we can offer you
that time again,

that time without wrinkles,
you felt not tiredness,
but joy reaching the summit,

your mind was not dull,
and blunted but sharp
and alive.

When you could make a difference.
We  offer you
that time again.

You’re welcome to visit
and feel the difference
at any of our shops,

or look online, experience
the virtual models
of you at your best.

Terms and conditions apply.

From “The Spermbot Blues”, OpPRESS, 2017

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

Encore over and over

Free trial offer
1-800 holds all the secrets
3 easy steps to whatever you’re looking for
4 pills to increase the places you want to grow
or reduce those you don’t
also increases your energy and productivity
libido and get up and go

every electronic was to free up time
which is now spent tied to those same
voluntary monitoring devices
tracking our location, heart rate and friends

Votes to make America Great again failed
to determine which America that was –
the Founding and Philandering Fathers?
When slavery was a measure of wealth?
When women and children of the white men
were also chattel?
When only property owning white men
could vote for other property owning
white men?
When women were denied education,
credit, and the right to own property?
When children had no protection
from abuse or labor and no
guaranteed education?

When Change is Possible didn’t define
the where and what and the only real
change was the late night show hosting
the White House friend of Weinstein
and the golf courses and Hawaiian
vacation spots he would be staying
and the increase in racial volatility
and the lack of accountability
because no one wanted to appear

and the continued
proliferation of the great pretend
that the next election will
be the one just the way the last
war – whatever it was – would be the last

and neither will ever be because
if there is one thing we know
it is how to repeat past mistakes
over and over.

So for a limited time only
and for those reading this
I am offering a free book – ‘3 Easy Steps
to the Life, Family and Country You Want”
with a free 30 day sample of supplements
to improve you and those around you for
just the shipping and handling costs of
$39.95. Just send your name
address and credit card number and
receive this limited time free offer.
It will prove change is possible and
make America great again.

© 2018, Deb y Filio


‘ i was scared of saying it, telling it, so

long. only recently shared it. they seem

to like it ‘


‘do you like it?’

yes. i like it too.

‘will i be scared again though?’


© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. no horizontal line .

early it came,where there are no roads, no silent killer.

spinning. set me free. let me see swallows return to


let us cause a reaction, turn our heads quickly. no one

is looking, there is no one here. we are not afraid of

the night.

we spin.

soft cottons, whimsy thread, mothlike.

turn about hour on hour. your time is


we spin.

to spite silent killers.


(written for those with out understanding)


© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.. small item ..

what you see is magnified.

they leave here larger than life,
petrified in their own forests.
scan beds and lens.

light the cracks, the boxes.

tie the books closed, leather
bound, broken, words lost.

boxes can be opened to

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


We can watch the ads
that air like heartbeats
before viral videos
during news or bad sit com reruns
we can inhale the small print
the fast talker spewing
tales of disease and death
side effects to life
in the passing lane
of twenty-first century pharma
whose lobbyists build
artificial islands in the ocean
from whence they will come
to bury the quick and the dead
right after we talk to our doctors
about the newest tetra-recyclable
pseudo-opioid topical cream
to apply to any symptom
for a complete revival
of ancient natural biomes
in the bowels of our bowels.

Or we can stop the movement
from wallet to Wall Street
bank to brokers
hand to mouth
go for a walk sing a song
paint a picture throw a baseball
skate from here to there
play the piano or even the drums
bake a cake chop kohlrabi into salad
build a fence for the chickens
swim to Penny Island and back
take deep breaths in quiet rooms
until Roman candles release
clouds of butterflies
that completely engulf
the labs dissolve the white coats
turn back the chemical clock.

Cue the rainbow.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda (At the Yellow Table – We Are Stardust: Change Is What It’s All About)


From Marta: Her poem in both English and Catalan. Enjoy!

The Black Pigeon 

A tasty lentil soup

keeps you warm from the cold.

Coldness outside

speaks of emptiness,

sadness in a cloudy day.

Or is it just the fog all around

that saddens your mind and spirit?

Going through the streets

the walking dead

if they can still walk.

You saw poverty’s face

the system’s decay.


Needles in their hands,

hollow eyes, ailment,

people lost without a second chance.

Is this what you came here for?

But you had your lentil soup

that kept your body warm

while your bleeding heart

sank into the deepest darkness.

You detached it from the body

took it to analyze and

put it on to a microscope


And the bleeding heart spoke up

vomited nothing but the truth

awaiting the other truth that hurts.

You knew it would happen.

The lentil soup eaten

in the Arabian restaurant

and then a sudden sound,

a slight noise on the floor,

something moves near your table.

You raise your eyes and there it is:

A black pigeon inside

walks a few steps toward you

as if he wanted to speak.

“Do we have a new guest?”

The waitress gently guides him

to the main room

near the entrance door.

The bird moves his wings

flies inside the restaurant.

The waitresss, a little scared,

utters an “oh” sound

while the black pigeon

displays his wings, flies away

through the restaurant door.

A sad bird looking

for temporary company,

maybe a friendship

but forever unattainable.


El colom negre

Una saborosa sopa de llenties
t’escalfa del fred.
La fredor a l’exterior
parla de buidor,
tristesa en un dia plujós.
O és només la boira per tot arreu
que t’entristeix la ment i l’esperit?

Anant pel carrer
els morts caminant
si és que encara poden caminar.
Has vist el rostre de la pobresa,
la decadència del sistema.
Agulles a les seves mans,
ulls buits, malaltia,
gent perduda sense una segona oportunitat.

És per això que has vingut aquí?
Però tu et menges la teva sopa de llenties
que t’escalfa el cos
mentre la teva ànima sagnant
s’enfonsa en la més profunda foscor.
La separares del teu cos
i l’agafares per analitzar
posant-la en un microscopi.

I l’ànima sagnant va parlar
vomitant res més que la veritat,
esperant l’altra veritat que fa mal.
Ja sabies que això passaria.

La sopa de llenties menjada
en el restaurant àrab
i llavors, un soroll sobtat,
una remor al terra,
alguna cosa es mou prop la teva taula.
Alces la mirada i és allí:
Un colom negre a dins.
Camina uns passos cap a tu
com si volgués parlar.
– Tenim un nou convidat?
La cambrera el guia gentilment
cap a la sala principal.
L’ocell mou les seves ales,
vola dins del restaurant.
La cambrera, una mica espantada,
deixa anar un “oh!”
mentre el colom negre
desplega les ales, vola lluny
a través de la porta del restaurant.
Un ocell trist, buscant
companyia temporal,
potser una amistat
però per sempre, inabastable.

© 2018, poem (English and Catalan), Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)






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.”