“souls and human beings”. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The urban poor buy water from water vendors for, on average, about five to 16 times the metered price. Photo courtesy of Oxfam East Africa under CC BY 2.0

“Wealth does not trickle down to the poor. Oxfam knows this, the IMF knows this, the World Bank knows this. Poor people have always known this.” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director



These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, which was “poverty,” September 19th demonstrate sensitivity, observation, conscience, compassion and skill. Clearly, these are more than good poets. They are the most decent human beings. Thanks Irene Emanuel, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Marta Pombo Sallés and bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov). Also with appreciation for participating and sharing their fine work, a warm welcome Wendy Bourke and Alethea Kehas.

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


souls and human beings

she walked down the street median … passed the row
of idling cars that would have raced by her,
but for, the bright red orb that signalled: stop

she held a cardboard sign ‘pregnant – need money for food’ …
I could not tell, if the gloom upon her old young face
reflected anger or hate or sadness or pain or all of it

it is impossible to move around this manic city without anguish …
without words like ‘souls’ and ‘human beings’ tumbling
across your mind, like tosses of dice in a game of craps

she caught me … staring at her through the window …
and I sheepishly cast my eyes down – for I knew the look I wore
expressed my shock and frightened thoughts of the fate
that awaited the unborn child … if there was an unborn child

she came up to my car door, as if she’d been summoned
and, rolling down the window, I pressed a blue five bucks
into a limp and grimy hand … wondering … if I’d just been played …
as if such speculations have a place … where human beings beg

© 2018, Wendy Bourke (Words and Words and Whatnot)

Canandian Poet, Wendy Bourke

WENDY BOURKE lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes, goes on long rambling walks gathering photos and inspiration – and hangs out with family and friends.  After a life loving words and scribbling poetry lines on pizza boxes and used envelopes, Wendy finally got down to writing ‘in earnest’ seven years ago.  Her work has appeared in over 100 poetry anthologies and journals.


Bloated Bellies

I wasn’t poor for long,
At least that’s what I chose to believe
My grandmother tells me the story of our return
From the Hare Krishnas
Faces the color of ashes, bellies bloated
Over skinny legs
I was too young to remember
But the ache has become
A troublesome cyst
I refuse to extract
Inside a place to dark and deep
For life. Like the hole in our outhouse
I don’t remember walking in the night
But I remember shame folded
Into second-hand clothes
And the pink satin nightgown
Never worn by another child
All that was missing was a crown

© 2018, Alethea Kehas (Alethea Kehas, Author and owner of Inner Truth Healing & Yoga)

Writer Alethea Kehas

When she was two, ALETHEA KEHAS spent several months in hiding with the Hare Krishnas from a father she chose to believe was a villain until she reunited with him at the age of thirty-six. Alethea’s story is told in her memoir, A Girl Named Truth. She is also the author of The Labyrinth, Book 1 in the Warriors of Light fantasy series for children of all ages, but especially those who feel a little different on the inside and outside. Alethea’s Amazon page is HERE.


A Penny Drop

must never happen.
We must always be misunderstood

to communicate clearly and cogently.
Wrong end of the stick grasped firmly.

Vagueness is clarity.

If you let the penny drop confusion
and disillusion will result.

Please misunderstand me.

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

The Poor

burn amongst riches.
Shreds flicker fall from height,

Billow into drives of mansions.
Poor though they have less

always give more than the rich.
So many missed in the flames

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

As many of you know, Paul launched a series of interviews a few weeks ago. HERE is the link to the most recent.  It’s with Deborah Alma, one of my faves.  She was also featured on The Poet by Day and in The BeZine regarding #Me Too a women’s poetry anthology. She is England’s “Emergency Poet.”
HERE is the link to Paul’s U.S. Amazon page. HERE is the link to Paul’s U.K. Amazon page.

Togetherness

They’re there;
hollowed into make-shift sponge-foam beds,
tight-curled into malodorous rag-blankets
and plastic of dubious origin.
They’re there;
the shadow-ghost people
of no fixed abode,
gathered loosely together
in cohesive misery.
They’re there;
existing on society’s fringe,
sustained by the government’s pandering promises;
sharing glue-highs and garbage rot.
They’re there;
old children, dying people,
together in perpetual poverty.
They’re there;
trampled contours on grass verges,
silhouettes on street corners,
robotic vendors with nothing to sell but themselves.
They’re there;
the street-people of forgotten causes,
unified in the rainbow nation
of lost hopes.

© 2018, Irene Emanuel


Blessed

We met every Friday at 5:30

I gave without thinking

You were never poor in spirit.

Me, in my Abercrombie and Fitch,

You, with your Aromatic and Filth

We met every Friday at 5:30.

Pasta and tacos,

Admonishments and side eye

I gave without thinking.

Survival your strength

Laughter your life line

You were never poor in spirit

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

Irma is doing so well with her poetry. Four of her poems are featured in the September issue of The BeZine. Brava, Irma!  


.green road.

green road is where I was born; in winton.

green grocer delivered each tuesday and thursday.

green front doors and hedges line the road, repetitive.

green shooting brake denotes uncle’s arrival, posh we thought,truth came later.

green our neighbour’s face as bombs fell/were pushed; she hid in the outside toilet.

green school knickers; janet next door under her gymslip.

greens up the garden, with spuds & rhubard, runners & plums.

greens for dinner, liver & gravy; poor food, i guess there was rationing.

green her coat with big buttons,darted & half belt she wore while shopping.

green my mittens, shetland hand knitted; a souvenir.

green the scarf that matched, richer now.

green the sky; the storm passes.

2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.four boils

the planing office is up the road, by the old hospital

that was once a work house for the poor & suffering

to suffer more.

boils.

pass by regular on the way to somewhere else.

it is listed so any changes are scrutinised.

boils.

there have been a few.

changes.

i do apologise

did you say planet?

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


And Tiny Little Poem

and tiny woman
with
and tiny puppy
(in front of the bins)
collects
into big bags
her life

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


Ode to Trump’s Vanity et al

Spring anticipation in the air
Orange reddened sun
Gets ready to hide its rays
Behind the lowest of all mountains
Mirroring itself on the lake.
Vanity at its highest level.
Yet the picture turns out different
In a mixture of yellow and blue
Of greed and sadness a faithful clue.

“You’re so vain,
You probably think
This march is about
You…”
Reads the banner
At the Women’s March
January 21, 2017.

Millions came together
Across the globe
To raise their voices
Against your choices
Mr. Trump.
Your misogyny,
Racism,
Xenophobia,
Your greed and your lies
Are most unwelcome
Because it is your vanity
That makes you lie.

Where’s the first media-built man
That promised jobs for the working-class
To make America First and great again
When all you bring is constant pain
Erasing truths and liberties from earth.

The second man’s now on the surface,
Two sides of the same coin,
And the reddened sun sets down
While Vanity School runs high
For Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders,
Frauke Petry, Beppe Grillo…
And the like.

Even Spain’s Rajoy’s a little Trump,
Profound ignorant and clown,
Who drains the fund backing pensions
With an air smell of corruption.

Won’t you grant us, Catalans,
Once for all that referendum
Any democratic state would offer
To a stateless people to decide:
The right to self-determination.

No, instead, you’re blurring powers
Just exactly as Donald Trump
Judicializing politics and sending
The very democrats to court
For organizing a participatory process
In Catalonia, November 9, 2014.

Vanity School expands its limits
And buys a handful Orwell’s 1984
While the sea has just began to weep:

Mare Nostrum, Mare Mortum,
In 2016 almost 5.000 people
Drowned and died
From 2000 till now 30.000 dead!

With Barcelona’s pro-refugee rally,
The largest in Europe and perhaps
In the entire world till now,
We will surely not have enough
To eradicate our human misery.

The red sun has just hidden
Behind the lowest mountain
And as darkness unfolds
The picture changes colors:
Grayish blues carrying their shadows
On a rippled lake obscured
Where birds and ducks move
Swiftly countercurrent.

© 2017, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Marta’s “A tasty lentil soup” served up in both English and Catalan was published in response to another prompt, but we’re going to share it again … Enjoy!

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, Marta Pombo Sallés


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.

Advertisements

2 Comments on ““souls and human beings”. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

    • Yes! There are. Always joy and inspiration in these responses. Thank you for joining in with your excellent poem. Hope to see you here again, Alethea.

      Like

Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: