“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama XIV, The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness: An Anthology of Writings By and About the Dalai Lama [recommended]

These are responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Swallowed Whole, December 5, in which I asked folks to write about values gone awry.  Kudos and thanks for coming out to play with such extraodinary grace: Gary W. Bowers, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Jen E. Golden, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

In addition to their words and illustrations, I’ve included links to blogs or websites where available. I hope you’ll visit these poets and get to know their work better. It is likely you can catch up with others via Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do come out to play tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate: beginning, emerging and pro. You are also invited to submit poems in languages other than English if they include a translation into English. See you tomorrow! 🙂

up up and awry

when a man is hacked to pieces
while still alive and
the murder was suborned
by a royal
and small fry are arrested
and the big shot walks
and another big shot says
in effect
and the world takes five minutes’
and shrugs–

decency has taken a powder
ethics is in A locked chest in the attic
and kindly is an uncomfortable party guest
who gets hints to leave
from the big boy host

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

A Peaceful Goodbye

My eyes were parched, yet I kept them open, watching you as I did when you walked to the school bus. It seemed like such a long way for you to walk with your little legs. I told you not to look back, that looking back would make it harder, and I wanted us to have a “peaceful goodbye”. Peace was the September “virtue of the month” and it helped those first days when being apart wasn’t normal.

My throat closed up, as if I could cry, choking the words I wanted to call out – I love you! I’m proud of you! But you didn’t need to hear that – your humility and compassion allowed you to understand more than your 4 year old self should.

My heart slowed, a molasses drip, wondering what you were thinking as your tiny feet plodded on. Perseverance and courage might as well be etched on your retreating back. But the little wrinkles on your forehead would spell curiosity – we had that common. I wanted to help you, but you respectfully said you would go alone and that I should stay. I would have held you back, you honestly said. You knew I wouldn’t want that. Oh, how wise you had become!

My breath hitched and I was afraid – afraid you wouldn’t find the joy that I knew you deserved. But you didn’t look back and when you started to run – that’s when I knew:

You were going to where you truly belonged.

This short story is in response to Hélène Viallant’s “What do you see?” Picture prompt. There were so many ways to respond to this picture that Hélène posted – it could be scary or exciting or sad. It could have elements of science fiction or fantasy. Or a metaphor. My story is a little bit of all that. The back story could be that the world is coming to an end, the mother left behind to perish watching the sole survivor, her child, walking towards the unknown. Is it hopeful? Or ominous?

I also incorporated several virtues (or values) from Montessori education to fulfill Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt request to “tell us about values gone awry”. My children attend a Montessori school and these virtues are lessons that are incorporated in the classroom and that I also try to utilize and exemplify at home. This whole child viewpoint of teaching is one of the reasons I love Montessori education.

While I’m not sure my story is one of values gone wrong, it does remind me of the saying “good guys finish last”. But do they really? If they believe their behavior, their sacrifice is for a noble cause, are they finishing last or being the first hero?

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


What are the lessons mothers taught
when what they said was not for nought

“Family is important, Charlie” was Mrs Manson’s word

“You are what you eat,” is what Jeffrey Dahmer heard

“Find a nice girl,” Ted Bundy’s mom said,
“You’ve got the looks to knock ‘em dead.”

“Don’t play alone”, said Virginia to Billy
Play the her – monica, and watch your willy.”

“Work you body and open up more,”
Mrs.Weinstein said to Harvey as he went out the door

Mrs Crosby said,“Share your Jello, Bill,”
“And accept some help from oblivious Camille.”

“Don’t listen to others’ opinions,” Mary Anne told Donnie
“Your voice trumps them all even when you sound funny.”

So much wisdom distorted, misused
History is only very old news.

So mothers be careful, what comes from your mouth
You never know when it could all go south.

© 2018, deb y felio (writer’s journey)

Spelling Bee…..

Please spell AWRY.
: not straight or neat
: not working correctly
: not happening in the expected way
: off the correct or expected course
: in a turned or twisted position or direction

AWRY:a sentence?
“If one or another part of this progression goes awry,
there are sufficient compensating processes
in the average social environment”.
“Because each assumption requires extra tests,
fewer assumptions mean a smaller probability
that the assumptions go awry.”
AWRY: A- W- R- I
WRONG! be seated.

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie (Jen E. Goldie)

Change comes quickly

Sweet melodies,
Obsessive love,

all around awry

warnings not taken
deaths, tragedies,
horrors, starvation
clouding our vision,

Peggy Lee singing,
“Is that all there is.”

of love and war
cancelling each other
regrets to late
to regret
no time to run.
Its done.

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie (Jen E. Goldie)

.moving on.

moving on from the last verse of girly looking

after girly, we stopped at the jeweller’s window.

the assistant, neat looked bore & very clean. the

rings were three thousands and more.

enough to take her home and more.

“yes sir you may buy the ring, for a
thousand pounds, or choose to save
her life”

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


so we panned the work, stitches.
while before they panned
for gold.

all much the same.

peoples’ values.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the prize.

the prize came as unexpected

a big building enough to house

the poor, the homeless the dis

possessed. it was tea and

i felt sick

i will rather give the money away

the added value of the food. ritz.

crackers. that bread can cost so much

spread with regular stuff cut thin

the waiter smiled ; i noted his shoes

an honest worker like me

alongside they enjoyed the moment

without the anxiety of my chest where

reparation fails. this is the promise

the outcome of a difficult day

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Manufactured Mankind or …

He asked, ‘What kind of man?
why of Mankind ‘ he said,

‘of patience bereft, of agitation disposed,
not so eloquent nor with knowledge
or apprehensive  of   consequences
No, he fears none but mosquitoes

No, he fears none, no one

what language, or words of wisdom ?
‘none,sire  but a stare baleful, of rage
a chaos in cape carries he, chosen
but outcast, a clever archimage,

No, he fears none, no one

manufactured, of  lustful desire,
embroidered with adventure
en-robed with possession
of dark deceit, half concealed

No he fears none, no one

mankind today, lost astray,
oblivious of truth, a symbol
of hate, a killer without motive,
a killer for cash and pay-

No he fears no one-

mankind today, siding with evil,
a terrorist, beguiler kidnapper
Oh, where is the mystagogue?
fettered in a dungeon, I may

I may write an apologue !

O mankind your spirit is good, turn,
a repentant forgiver grateful person,be
turn, turn, towards the right travelogue’
so that the Light of Truth ye may see

before it is too late, for you and me-

© 2018, poem in English and Urdu (below) and artwork below) Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

manufactured mankind

ٰٓاج  کا  انسان ٓ

ٓاج  کا  انسان  کچھ  بھی در گزر  کرتا نہین  ھے
ٓاج کا  انسان  اللاہ سے نہین  مچھروں سے ڈرتا ھے

استاد  کی  زباں  پے وہ اقوال زرین نہین ھین
ٓاج کا  استاد کیا  لکھتا   ھے  کیا  پرکھتا  ھے

ٓاج    کا   انسان    پیار  کا    بھوکا    ھے
ھر نظر پر نظر  ھر  ھاتھ  پر ھاتھ  رکھتا ھے

ھر غریب بے کار  ھر امیر دوست  لگتا ھے
اج کا  انسان  کیا  اپناتا ھے  کیا  پرکھتا ھے

دوستی   نرمی    صبر    و   برداشت  کہاں
سب کو گرم غصے  کا  بخار  چڑھتا  ھے

ٓاج     کا     انسان     طیش     کا     سامان
ٓٓاج  کا  انساں   شیطان  کی ھمدردی کرتا ھے

ٓاج     کا     انسان     دھشت       گرد
ٓاج  کا  انسان   پیسے  کے  لیے   مرتا   ھے

اے    لوگو    دل  و روح  کے  اچھے  ھو   زرا
سوچو  سیدھی  راہ   تلاش  کرو  سیدھی راہ چلو

“Let us all strive for peace on Earth for all. Let us make a better world. Write to make peace prevail.”  Anjum Wasim Dar, Pakistani poet, writer, artist, educator, and parent.






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

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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


  1. Respected Jamie Dedes Thank you. I am grateful for the honor and encouragement.I look forward to another challenging prompt.May the Lord Bless you always amen.

    Liked by 1 person

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