“Born on the Wind” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”  John Muir, Travels in Alaska  



Phew! At last we are up and running again and much appreciation for everyone’s patience, especially those who so spiritedly and generously participated in the last prompt, which was inspired by California’s Redwood Forests and John Muir (1838 – 1914), the Scottish-American naturalist, activist, and environmentalist.

Featured this week: Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Debby Felio), Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Carol Mikoda, Tamam Tracy Moncur, Marta Pombo Sallés, and Susan St. Pierre.  These poets talents are not limited to poetry. They also work variously in crafts, art, photography, essay and short-story writing. Special thanks this week to Marta and Susan for sharing their illustrative photographs.

The responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Unfettered Canticle of Trees, August 22 are filled with movement, color, texture, keen observation, a tad of humor and more than a soupçon of wisdom and grace.  

I hope you’ll visit participating poets and get to know them. It’s important for us to support and encourage one another in our art and in our solidarity around concerns for the social and ethical issues we care about, even if we disagree. Respectful discussion is a healthy thing. I’ve linked in blogs for each poet and 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 later today for the next (however belated) Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome – encouraged – to join in: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about exercising our imagination and our writing muscle, showcasing our efforts and getting to know other poets. This is a safe discerning place to share.


Thorns

pale and too weak to move
cough your guts over
edge of your bed
in faint light from the door
two trees
walk towards you

one black, the other white

black tree becomes a pair of eyes
you inhale smoke drifting up from a fire
sharp fruit fragrance
spiky, dark, sinewy, stiff bark,
oval leaves with a serrated margin

move
quickly over your body
touches points here and there,
painful thorns nick out bubbles
of your blood
it mutters strange
under its breath
with a low, crackling voice.
The night grows old,
dawn approaches
dissolves into

the white tree
with long bright hair,
lays a cool gentle hand on your brow,
mutters with a sweet bell-like voice
your sight sharpens
until the white tree,
becomes a woman,
your pain eases.  She sweeps
brown-grey, knotted
and fissured skin,
slender and brown limbs
covered in thorns
that do not hurt
up and down
your body, touches same places
as the black tree
pain vanishes
refreshed
into easy, restful sleep

From The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

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

Oaksong

oaksongs

How can you be in two places
at once? I asked. A Christian
friend replied ” You can have
one foot inside the door
and the other foot outside.”

You would be forever
on the threshold, neither
one nor the other, or both.
A fence sitter, neither
Summer or Winter
God or Man.

Would you sacrifice the other
to be wholly another? To step
in and close the door
shut out the weather
from the other side.

Are you coming in or what?
Your letting in a right breeze?
Put wood in the hole.
Decide whether your in or out!

*******
I watch the traffic lights
consider a walk this way or
a green man allows me
to avoid bloodied bone

my mouth and ears
thresholds and doors
full of oaklimbs and leaves

reborn I stretch down
to deep dark moist

I stretch up to cloudlight
barkskin palmtouched
I let others breathe
shelter and endure

*******

moors were once forests
national parks heavy industrial
this oak headland a pitsite

lads snap off livelimbs
anarchic coppicing
black dogshitbags sway
on limbs left alone

don’t visit in a storm
oaks are lightningtrees
people can be oaks

oakgroves of druids
duir means a door
exit and entrance

raw open wounds of sacrifice
still bleed sap

this hand has molded
a garden out of wildlife
words out of nonsense

she used to say “when
one door closes
another opens”

From Stubborn Sod , forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

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

This Brash and Burn

1. To Burn Brash

Sat back barked.
Small insects crawl
down tree stretched above
inhabit hair
worn gloves
bruised brashed branches

Breathe wet peat,
damp soil, leaf decay,
autumn dead leaf dance,
spring bluebell wend
summer sacred stainglass
canopy sunshaft play
winter heavesnow clear paths

Sat back barked
canopy leaf horizon
floats shimmers

Calm

2. Our Wombwell Boxed

Lift small boxes wooden lid smell
broadleaved woodland
before rail/road
Press plastic button hear
Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Woodpeckers,
before rail/road.

Press plastic button watch
Videowalk ancient Beech, Oak, Birch
before rail/road.

Electronic ringtone.

We would like to advise all visitors
The museum is closing soon.
Please exit through main door.
We hope you have enjoyed your visit.
Please come again.

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

Extracts from “Woodbrains, woodbrides, woodwives”

Grovemind, groovemind

synaptic branches
neuron tipped limbs
sacred grove recovery

oakbrain opens doors in my head
ashbrain spears my ideas
elmbrain plays the fey

electric gust moves limbs
inside my head

barkskin neural net
circumnavigates damage
fruited hemispheres
replenish, restore, reimagine

senses water roots
grove in my head
grooves in my head

between oaklimbs
between ashlimbs…

…Whispering forest

walk among us, as us

known as oakman
known as birchwoman
known as elmlad
known as ashlass

Each one gentle,
one is strong
one elegant
all older than they look

their voices not listened to
“I talk to the tree”
“Hug a tree”
“I am a tree”
seen as signs of waywardness
to be laughed at,
pilloried and scorned.

later they will scream
when cut down
or have a limb amputated

we ought to listen.

From The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

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

Paul’s Amazon Page U.S.

Paul’s Amazon Page U.K.


Whose

Once again
we lay a claim
on land
not ours

chop down
build up
less natural
habitation

wildlife wanders in
refusing to give up
its native lands

to secluded cabins
in awe filled
fairy forests

bears feast on
chokecherries
and bird feeders

share trashed
leftovers
with foxes,
raccoons

toms, hens and chicks
claim grasses
and trees
for homes

deer leave
calling cards
thank you for
the flowers

mountain lions
prowling
remind all
who is king

I am grateful,
they share the space.

© 2018, Deb y Felio


To the river

This is where we came, here, to the river
for the first time, along the rutted path,
cowslips, bluebells crowding at its edge; past
the dandelion meadow, its pale-white
quilt of puffballs waiting to be blown and cast.

Together to the river to explore
vigorous and sinuous, limpid rills
and ripples,the glistening flow of water.
Beneath the cobalt sky, each moment
folding into itself the heat,intense
upon our faces, the stones’ cool splash and spray,
shouts and birdsong; each uplifted stone setting
free the grains of memory,where we were
one time held, entranced, imagination’s
captives in the bubble of our dreams.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


..wild wood..

photograph the trees. notice the wild wood

early while walking, imagine it may

be mine. to care for , to let be. it could.

it is for sale. new sign on the gate, today

the charcoal burner . he is a woods man

smoke rises grey. price is mentioned . plenty.

I think on his words, the idea, owning land,

crashing back into the wild wood. empty

headed. it is good to be quiet, alone

away from their thickening throng , the dread .

soft voices. smoke rises slow, ashes. old bone.

dust and dust , by dust we bury the dead.

he will split the wood. they may come and buy,

yet in my head the wild wood will be mine.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the wild wood again.

when the fog clears we creep back into the wild wood watch birds eat wettened crumbs. softly rain falls each year falls an anniversary

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the new arrival.

hear that, crashing in the old wood, trees fall and die.

seems time stands still, nothing moves . happening.

older times are done, quiet now, seamlessly it will start

again.

one word, one sound, then blindly we will crash into the wild woods

again.

i met a man who did not know, had just arrived.

we may learn in time.

© 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.


Cathedral of trees,

where I worship every day;
Where I go to breathe in peace;
Where I go to be restored;
Where I go to bring back faith:
persevere in drought;
sustain my weak soul;
grow beyond eons.

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


Patricia’s Garden

The tall oak tree…a sentinel
Standing guard over the small yard
Wards off invasions of mayhem
Keeping peace in the inner sanctum

Painted rocks surround pathways
Leading to artistic creativity
While small tables and chairs
In camaraderie congregate together

The mums sing colors across the garden
Yellow and lavender tones harmonize
Brilliant red petals bellow magnificence
In a perennial summer performance

Peace and compassion frolic in fun
Chasing joy between the evergreens
The sun’s reflection shimmers off the muraled wall
As happiness dances slowly towards the impending fall.

The tall oak tree…a sentinel
Standing guard over the small yard
Wards off invasions of mayhem
Keeping peace in the inner sanctum

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)


Sunset SF

English

That Evening

That evening I sat

on a stone bench

gazing at the evening sun

over the peaceful ocean.

Birds flew across the sky

sun reflected on the water.

I sensed everything.

Closed my eyes

felt the breeze

filling my soul.

Gazed at the sun again

and hoped one day

it would dry my open wounds.

The sun set magestic

the sky slowly turned red

like the wounds you inflicted

on me.

Unwantedly.

There was no other way.

It was meant to be.

I shall stare at the sun

and thus hope

my still open wounds

will heal with the passing

of time.

Catalá 

Aquell vespre

Aquell vespre em vaig asseure
en un banc de pedra
contemplant el sol de la tarda
sobre l’oceà pacífic.
Els ocells volaven pel cel,
el sol reflectit a l’aigua.
Vaig sentir-ho tot.
Amb els ulls tancats
sentia la brisa
omplint la meva ànima.
Vaig contemplar de nou el sol
i vaig esperar que un dia
m’assecaria les ferides obertes.
El sol es va pondre, magestuós,
el cel es tornà vermell
com les ferides que vas infligir
en mi.
Sense voler.
No hi havia altra opció.
Havia de ser així.
Contemplaré el sol
i d’aquesta manera esperaré
que les meves ferides encara obertes
es curin amb el pas
del temps.

© 2018, poems and photograph, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


050

Born on the Wind

Uniform saplings compete
-inspired with-
expectations of touching the sky.
Days, more days
-purposed on –
expectations of touching the sky.
Aged survival earns
-scarring from-
expectations of touching the sky.
Resigned and rooted
-seeds fly-
born on the wind … from the sky.

© 2018, Susan St. Pierre (Sillyfrong’s Blog – “Once a pond a time …” )


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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