“Tears of God” … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“It’s ironic that poets use words to convey what lies beyond words, that poetry becomes most powerful where simple language fails, allowing one to bridge the conscious and unconscious.” – Diane Ackerman, poet and writer



These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt on parenting and being parented (yes! I coined an ackward word), September 12 are likely to bring you to tears, to awaken forgotten memories or validate ones that are vivid in mind. Thanks to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Renee Espriu, deb y fell (Debbie Felio), Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, and bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov) and a warm welcome to Jennifer Collins.  Brave, wise and wonderful poets all.

Read on and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt tomorrow.  All are encourage: novice, emerging and pro.


The long road home

The umbilical cord between us,
Invisible to the naked eye,
Has a life of its own.
No matter how hard I try,
To pull away, even at my age,
It has an elastic snap
And cuts me short, then bounces
Me back to you.

I wonder how long it spans,
Even as you get carted away,
Across highways,
Somewhere upstate,
I know I will feel the internal tug,

Pull and tug and pull,
Till the pain brings tears to my eyes
And I run to the kitchen to grab hold
Of the scissors to cut and cut and cut
Me away from you.

But no matter how hard I try,
The damn thing finds its way back
And re-attaches itself to my heart,
To my gut- to your beating belly center
From which it was born.

© 2018, Jennifer Collins

JENNIFER COLLINS: I’m a writer, yoga instructor, social worker, wife and mom. I live on long Island. Writing for me has always been an outlet and a way to navigate and understand the world and my experiences. It is my compass, guiding me through the rough and quiet waters of my life.

 


toughish love

dad had a note he would send
one of the three of us brothers
to the store with: “please sell my son
2 packs of pall malls”

i didn’t like to do it
i never liked to do it

one day i refused.
i had to not lie.
“dad. i’m not going to do this
any more.”
i looked at him
and made my eyes say You
Want Me To Help Kill You.

in his eyes
was a question.
Do I Let You Defy Me?

Then there was an answer:
Ah, Well,
It’s Because He Loves Me.

dad said, “okay,”
and i never bought him cigarettes again.

i was twelve,
he was thirty-three,
but i was the parent that day.

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


Tears Of

God

My sons eyes are cold.
I have seen this look before.
He lugs my dog Sheba by her mane,

hauls her along the floor
a piece of meat, slopping over gunnels
in an abattoir, blood down the drains.
Her paws scratch and scrape
he dumps her at my feet.

“Bite its ear!”
I shake my head.
“If it’s done wrong, and it has
bite its ear.” I shake my head
mumble

“Done nothing wrong.”

“Eh! Speak up woman!”

“It ‘aint done nothing wrong. Jack!”

Fine rain falls through grey skies
in the pub yard, and a yellow
fluid flows out from under the dog.

“Dirty bitch!”
He kicks Sheba in her side.
She whimpers, puts her head
pleadingly on the black shiny
surface of my court shoes.

“I’ll do it then!”
Snatches her up
by the scruff

“Getting a dog
and not bringing it up right.
Stupid cow!”

He snaps at the silk of her ear.
She yelps. I cry.

“Stupid sodding cow!”
He slaps me hard
across my face. I feel
his gold rings on my cheek.

“Stop whimpering!”
Pushes me up against
the wet wall. His cold eyes
up close make me shiver.

One hand on my throat,
the other points at her. I mumble.
“Not again Jack. Please!”
My legs have gone.

“Treat the bitch right
and it’ll treat you right.”
Sheba inches against the wall,
low and hung back like the grey clouds.

Jack lets me fall. The pub door slams
Sheba, up on her legs again,
licks my face, lays down by my side
puts her head on my black court shoes.

Her neck is warm. My back hurts.
They call the rain the “Tears of God”

Originally published in Degenerate Literature, Domestic Violence Edition, Weasel Press

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imaginationand now running The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews [of poets and writers] )

Billy

still wears a nappy at seven
doesn’t understand
why folk tell him off

climbs through an open
window with his six year old
sister whose dress tears

as they tumble on wet
grass in the garden
amongst the dogshit

and mucky diapers mam
has chucked out the kitchen
door, and they walk

on the broken glass
from beer bottles dad
has lobbed out onto

the asphalt path to the front
garden gate that has only
one hinge and they totter

down the street to the big
sign of the supermarket
where steal some sweets

and sit outside and somebody
shouts at him and tells him off
and he doesn’t know why.

originally published in Nixes Mate Magazine

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

“A fist in

the ear.”

he whispers to me

“What she needs.
She pushes me to it.
Harder than any squaddies.

And her children.
Her little bastards,
that’s what they need

I tell her,
a fist in the ear
and they don’t
lack discipline anymore.

They’ve got to tell me
she’s got to tell me,
where she goes,
what she does,
who she meets.

I’ll not worry then
will I?

What she needs,
If she’s off with some other
I’ll bring a shotgun to her.”

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

No More Fetch

you here,
Fetch you home.

Fetch my lips to thine.
Fetch my arse to this.

Fetch you dinner.
Fetch you a snog.

Fetch your groceries.
Fetch your washing and ironing.

Fetch your slippers
Fetch my social to your wallet.

Fetch my hand up to stop thy fist.
Fetch your belongings in a black bag.

Fetch your gob and its mouthful.
Fetch mesen to thy want.

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


Details

I zero in

On the cracks in the walls

The spaces between the tile and grout

The layer of dust on the grand piano

The peeling Formica under 80’s sought after giveaway cups

The places where your innovative nature took precedence over getting the job done right.

I zero in

On the grays in your hair

And the spots on your hands

The slowness in your cane aided walk

Your mouth agape during your afternoon nap

The hand me up shirt you’ve been wearing for decades because it still fits

I zoom out

And see the humor and kindness in your eyes

The hands that lovingly prepare my favorite meal

The 20 year old bed that fits generations

The clock where time has stopped but happiness lives on

The struggle of remembering and honoring and forgetting and accepting.

I zoom out

And notice what you do without

What you’ve sacrificed

What you’ve preserved

What you’ve done with love

What you’ve done for love.

I zero in on that detail.

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


Oranges and Apples

A mother is what she needed
not a friend that played
jacks, marbles and jump rope

where she was left
to her own devices of
making mischief
with her brother

or watching a locomotive
barrel down steel tracks
to crush a penny
newly set
upon them

but her mother an only child
longed for siblings
for playmates
to fill
a yearning

so even as she needed
wanted a mother
oranges and apples
would not mix

yet her mother turned flour sacks
into underclothes and slips
for her sewn dresses
to lie upon

her mother cooked food
laden with the aromas
of love

pies trimmed in the lace
of gold brown crust
even when money
was a
luxury

she would surmise in life
that mothers do the best
with what life
gives them

© 2018 Renee Espriu (Angles, My Muse & Turtle Flight)


It’s No Big Deal

A minor slight —
sliver of glass
under the skin
every day

how bad could it be?

© 2018, deb y felio

Broken

How can we not
when it is in our
blood

How can we not
when it is in our
histories & herstories

Broken love —
self seeking,
conditional,
misunderstood
assumptions.

How can we not
when it is in our
cultures

How can we not
when it is in our
pasts and presents

How can we not
hurt/break others
when we start that way

enter broken —
what else can be given
but brokenness
passed generations
to generations
in disguised iterations

I will never be
her, him, them
but how can I not

Memory in words
action, emotion
overwhelm, repeat

How can we not
what else is there —
only practiced brokenness.

Father forgive them
Father forgive me
When I cannot.

© 2018, deb y felio


.mother love.

mother loves; son loves.

three. sons arrive. two.

father disappears a while,

&

while he is gone they grow.

up.

mother loves; son loves.

a while.

middle one dies, elder blames

mother, abuses her daughter.

a while.

the younger blinks and stutters.

mother loves; son loves.

he has a different story.

mother loves; son loves.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Second response

..slabbed..

lay dead . do not speak nor ask for fear.

lay quiet. do not write nor tell. there are

new shoes by the wardrobe. at an angle.

still. do not move nor participate in any

way.

do not breathe, nor cry. there are new

shoes by the wardrobe, new shoes.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


The Shadows of Addiction

Addiction
Affliction
Abuse
What’s the excuse?

Substances infuse the brain
No pain
Worries…anxieties flee
Mocking reality

Illusions of joy
Permeate the atmosphere
No fear
Confidence in abundance
Eradicates the twins
Insecurity and timidity

Crack cocaine dances with heroin
Down opioid lane
The life of the party has been born
Sworn in only to begin
The cycle over and over again

The belle of the ball
Begins to fall
Tumbling…tumbling…tumbling
Into the depths of despair
Where even love-starved children
Cannot pierce the fierce
Grasp of addiction

Brokenhearted families
Succumb to the numbness
Of a devastating madness
Found in pipes…pills…powders
In the streets…prescriptions
over the counters
living death destroying
the fabric of love…

Addiction
Affliction
Abuse
What’s the excuse?

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

Pain In Your Heart

“Art creates the dream of life”

Is that the season?
The leaves are hitting the silent windows
and some roots of trees are creaking,
but I am a dream.
I do not recognize the colors,
when the sun of that town
without time shelters me like Mum.
Which flowers shall I gift to you?
I am not a saint – I cannot revive you.
I cannot even grieve

To gift to you – a last flower.

© 2018, bogpan / Bozhidar Pangelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия  блог за авторска поезия )


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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