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Witching Hour … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Alas! a woman that attempts the pen,
Such an intruder on the rights of men,
Sucha presuptuouos Creature, is esteem’d,
The fault can by no virtue be redeem’d …
How are we fallen, fallen by mistaken rules?
Ad Education’s , more than Nature’s foods,
Debarr’d from all improve-meats of the mind,
And to be dull, expected and designed …
-Anne Finch, The Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilesea, ed. by Myra Reynolds
as quoted by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Shakespeare’s Sisters, Feminist Essays on Women Poets

I think our poets just had a lot of fun with the last Wednesday Writing Prompt,Spinning With Shakespeare, February 20, 2019. I had  fun reading them and so will you.

Thanks Gary W. Bowers, Irma Do, Jan Goldie, and Anjum Wasim Dar.  Thanks also to Cubby (Sonya Annita Song) for her contribution. Please welcome her warmly. She is new to Wednesday Writing Prompt.  Special thanks to Irma Do and Anjum Wasim Dar for the added value of the photographs and to Anjum for her artwork as well. Appreciation to Clarissa Simmens for sharing her Shakespeare homage.  They’ll be shared in a separate post.

I’m tickled to see that folks are commenting on one another’s poems and visiting one another’s sites.  That what it’s really all about. Bravo!  Readers will note that links to sites are included when they are available so that you can visit. If there’s no site, it’s likely you can catch up with the poet on Facebook.

Enjoy this unique collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

To Scratch or Not to Scratch

To scratch, or not to scratch, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The itch and burn of abusive mosquito bites
Or to take arms against a sea of irritation
And by opposing end them:

To scratch, to rub, no more;
And by a rub to say we end
The frustration and the maddening,
Relentless shocks that flesh is heir to?
‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

To scratch, to rub – to rub, perchance to slake:
Aye, there’s the bub,
For in that rub of satiation
What doubts may come
When we have abandoned
This self-restraint must give us pause.
There’s the inanity that creates confusion
Of such simplicity:

For who would bear the jolts and pangs of bites,
The insatiable lust,
The sleepless nights,
The pangs of irate skin,
The obsessive thoughts,
The insolence of the unbitten,
And the spurns that impatient scratchers
By the self-righteous take,
When he himself might his liberation make
With a sole finger?

Who would itchiness bear,
To shake and tremble
Under a tortured skin,
But that the dread of something
After the scratch,
The possibility of greater itch to come,
From whose scratch no human can deny,
Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear the itch we have
Than scratch to others that we know not of?

© 2019, Sonya Annita Song (a.k.a. Cubby) (Reowr, Poetry that purrs. It’s reword because the cat said so.)

c Sonya Annita Song

SONYA ANNITA SONG is a poet whose rhymes are loved by both adults and children. Her writing style for children is delightfully whimsical with a natural flow meant for reading out loud. Sonya’s goal as a children’s author is to create engaging rhyming picture books that children and parents will have fun reading together. One of her favorite memories as a child is going to the local library in the summer and bringing back shopping bags full of books to read. Books were, and still are, passports to incredible destinations full of joy and wonder, and Sonya hopes all children will discover the marvels of reading just like she did. Children’s site:;  Poemhunter: .  Clipped from Cubby’s Amazon page.

dj b.ill.e shex

how sharper n a SERPENT’S tooth
n one bare bodkin
singe my white head
4 b n old
2 b r naught
poor tom’s acold

ah words words words
r’t naught th point
o band o bruhs
time out
a joint

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image and Text)

Recycling Shakespeare for a Better World – A Haiku Sonnet

In this brave new world

Plant a heart of gold, harvest

A bouquet of friends

Faint-hearted farming

Doesn’t yield food for the soul

Cold comfort hunger

Break the ice – Be brave

Be fancy free with warm words

Of love and welcome

All our yesterdays

Are meant to be composted

Nutrient wisdom

Silence can kill with kindness

But regretful words do not.

This was a fun and challenging prompt initiated by Jamie for The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt. She writes, “Fe, foh, and fun … Take a spin with Shakespeare and write us a poem using phrases of his that have come into common usage.” I honestly didn’t realize that all these phrases came from Shakespeare’s work! I’ve really only read “Romeo and Juliet” and some sonnets so seeing all these common phrases attributed to his work was quite a surprise. Check out this link if you want to see what Shakespearean works the phrase I used came from.

And of course, I had to do a sonnet to further honor The Bard. To give it a bit of my own flavor, I chose the Haiku Sonnet form. Again, I never new there was such a thing until I saw it in this website here.

Learning new things and new ways of looking at the world is one of the best gifts I’ve gotten from writing and reading poetry. What do you think of this recycled Shakespearean piece?

© 2019, words and photo, Irma Do (I Do Run. And I do a few other things too …)

Witching Hour

All that glitters, is not gold and

all’s well that ends well, he sighed.

Yet there was no method in his

madness, for the naked truth is,

he made the foregone conclusion,

that misery acquaints a man with

strange bedfellows, and that the

course of love never runs smooth,

which left him heartsick and lackluster.


At the witching hour of the night,

When churchyards yawn and hell

itself breathes out, and as he breathed

his one last breath, a ministering

angel of infinite space, came to save

him from the jaws of death, and

trippingly on the tongue, said,


What, a piece of work is man.

What  fools these mortals be,

violent delights have violent ends.

Ah, There’s the rub.Truth will out,

he’s had too much of a good thing.

Love is not love which alters

when, it alteration finds.

And thereby ends the tale.

Which is tedious as a

Twice Told tale, but

What is done is done.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams and the Occasional Cat)

In Words: A Shakespearian Tale

Neither a borrower nor a lender be!
As luck would have it, in this brave new
world I managed to break the ice,
discovering that brevity is the soul of wit.
The fellow refused to budge an inch, this
was cold comfort as conscience does
make cowards of us all. I, with bated breath,
In one fell swoop, decided to play it fast
and loose, set my teeth on edge
and with a heart of gold, proclaimed,
ill wind blows no man to good!
You have eaten me out of house and home,
For goodness sake! Good riddance!
I am more sinned against than sinning!
In my heart of hearts, I had to conclude
the game is on. Love, is blind filled with
forgotten yesterdays. I gave the devil
his due, for much ado about nothing.
“O God, O God, how weary, stale,
flat, and unprofitable seem
to me all the uses of this world.”
“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart,
Or else my heart, concealing it, will break.
And rather than it shall, I will be free
Even to the uttermost, as I please,
in words.”

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams and the Occasional Cat)

‘Tis the Road Out of the Frame


Who’s there? unfold yourself ‘
Oh ’tis the road, out of frame, once
in grace, wore an inky metaled cloak …

With memories sweet- on it
trotted Arabian horses, held by leather
reins, with mirth in riding, jingling bells

Would lift the learning loads and
stay on the beat-  but
something is rotten, makes me sick
at heart-  behold  in silence it lies 

So defiant in dilapidated defeat!
it seems to be there, still serving in retreat-
Though gone is the tar crush and concrete;

Ah Old  Harley Road, I speak with reason,
You have the best on you, treading 
You are replete with learning homes
words words and words,

But، Ah there’s the rub-
The craters humps and dilapidation-
Oh Lord, what are we learning  
in this precarious condition? 
That is the question-

While yet the memory of good times
be green ,me thinketh,
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
the slings and jumps of outrageous travel-
The heart aches, thousand natural shocks
that the flesh is heir to-or to take up arms
against oceans of ditchy trouble,
Or by opposing, clean sweep them…?

Who would bear the whips and scorns
of time immemorial, the laws delay,
the repairs astray, the rains decay ;
all is not well, tis an unweeded garden-
do we continue to grunt and sweat
on a weary road? tis but my fantasy,
as  foul deeds will rise’, beware  the
Ides of March…

Oh Fair Poetess, soft you now ,
Ah there’s the bump..OUCH…!
Angels and ministers of grace defend us’

s.peares home
Shakespeare’s Home -An Artist’s View

© 2019, poem (English and Urdu), photograph, and colored-pencil drawing, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

کچھ  خستہ و بدحال سڑک کے بارے میں

کون ھے؟
اپنے آپ کو ظاھر کرو

ارے  یہ  تو  اکھڑی ھویؑ سڑک ھے  زخمی 
کبھی  گہری   شاھانہ  پوشاک پہنے ھوتی تھی

میتٹھے سہانے سفروں کی یادیں سمیٹے ، گھنٹی
بجاتے تانگوں پہ بچوں کو سکول پہنچاتی تھی

اب  خاموشی  میں لپٹی  اطاعت  سے  بچھی ھے
 گر  چہ اڑ  چکا ھے  تار کول ، غایب ھے بجری ساری

دلاؑیل  سے بات ھو تو سوال اٹھے ، جھٹکے دھکے
کھا کر گزریں، کیا حاصل علم ھو ، روحانی یا کتابی

جب تک اس پہ گزرے وقت کی اچھی یادیں باکی ھیں
دل تھام کہ اٹھایں غلیل ،مرہم پٹی سب کرواین  سرکاری

 کون کرے انتیظار،قانون پہ  انہسار، ھو بارشوں میں خوار
  ملک مشکل میں ،کھرپا  درانتی نا مالی، پھر خزانہ بھی خالی

اے شاعر معصوم  انجم   مہینہ مارچ کا سخت ھے بچنا زرا
 یہ  لو ، کھایؑ   اک اور ظرب کاری speed breaker آیا آیا او 

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar



“Great dangers stalk the globe—the four horsemen of the apocalypse: war, famine, pestilence, and death. There is no mystery about them. They are self-fulfilling prophecies. Joyous, transcendent creativity expresses itself in the positive vision that is the key to defeat the general that commands the four horsemen—despair itself. Trust, hope, and creativity can defeat the horsemen. We must not just call for them. We must develop them step-by-step.”  Robert A.F. Thurman

Note: It has become clear that given some life complications I may not be able to do this weekly posting on the same day each week, so I am changing it from “Sunday Announcements”  to “Opportunity Knocks” and plan to continue on a regular schedule, which I hope will be weekly. Information on poetry events around the world are shared on The Poet By Day Facebook Page. Tuesday responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt will post here later today.. / J.D.

Cofounder Michael Rothenberg, is celebrating his birthday by asking for donations to 100 Thousand Poets for Change. He’s chosen this nonprofitContinue Reading

$131 raised of $500 and approximately 40 hours left to donate at the time of this posting. 

100 Thousand Poets for Change

US 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization


Opportunity Knocks

ARSENAL PULP PRESS is not accepting submissions of poetry collections at this time but is open for submissions of book-length literary fiction and nonfiction on a variety of subjects. Details HERE.

NEW WORLD REVIEW accepts submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry via its contact page HERE.

THE PANGOLIN REVIEW, a bimonthly online literary publication, is open for submission of 1-3 poems up to 35 lines.  The editors are currently reading for the March 8 and May 8, 2019 issues. Details HERE.

RATTLE has an open call for submissions to its Fall 2019 (issue #64) issue, which will feature African poets.  Poems may be of any style, length, or subject. Submission may include artwork. The poet must be living in Africa. Deadline: April 15, 2019. Details HERE.



THE BeZINE Be Inspired. Be Creative. Be Peace. Be.


Opportunity Knocks

Submissions deadline for the March issue – themed Waging Peace – is March 10  at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard.

Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send photographs or illustrations as attachments. No google docs or Dropbox or other such. No rich text.

Send submissions to

Publication is March 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.

No demographic restrictions.

Please read at least one issue.

We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples. 

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

Previously published work may be submitted IF you hold the copyright. Submissions from beginning and emerging artists as well as pro are encouraged and we have a special interest in getting more submissions of short stores, feature articles, music videos and art for consideration.


Opportunity Knocks

Dwarf Stars Award, an annual award presented by the Science Fiction Poetry Association to the author of the best horror, fantasy, or science fiction poem of ten lines or fewer published in the previous year, is open for entries April 1 through May 1, 2019. Details HERE.

GLIMMER TRAIN last calls for fiction contests. Deadline: February 28. Entry fees. Cash awards and publication. Very short fiction contest details HERE. 3,000 – 6,000 word fiction entry details HEREGlimmer Train is closing its doors in May this year

PANGLIN REVIEW POETRY PRIZE is open for submissions through 31 October 2019. Cash awards and publication. Entry fees. Details HERE.

THE WRITER MAGAZINE 2019 ESSAY CONTEST closes on March 1. The theme is “the writing life.”  2,000 words.  Entry fees. Cash award and publication. Details HERE.


Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

The Poet by Day always available online with poems, poets and writers, news and information.

The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career or status. Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) are published here on the following Tuesday.

The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers. Due to other weekend commitments, this post will often go up late.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  

Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.

YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything.Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.



PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two emails.

Often information is just thatinformation– and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my Opportunity Knocks (formerly Sunday Announcements) or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.

Poems by and Interview with Egyptian writer Amirah Al Wassif, To Be a Brilliant Woman In the Third World

“…you have to stitch and cherish and nourish and never have the chance to flourish!” Amirah Al Wassif

Amira’s exquisite poetry and prose have the lilt of Arabic and although I know many American editors would be tempted to edit into more standard straightforward English, I am loath to do so. This is perhaps because from childhood my ear is used to listening to English lyrically spoken by family and friends for whom Arabic was a first language. It is my pleasure to bring this young intuitive talent and her unique perspective to you here today. Enjoy! / J.D.

To Be A Brilliant Woman in the third world!

to be a brilliant woman in the third world
you have not to be!
so, if you want the basic tips
kindly listen to me
put your mind in a box
be ready to say every moment “agree”
announce your eternity silence
stop whirring like a curious bee
act as a bird in a cage
never dream to get free
don’t consider obedience as a guilty
it is honor getting down on your knee
and about your gifts
very enough to know all the electrical appliances, kind of dishes and how to make the tea?
nobody cares about gifts
it is not necessary, it is too wee
don’t try to laugh aloud
it is perfect to be a tree
and understand that argument is so dangerous
the best for a woman is to flee!

to be a brilliant woman in the third world
you have to obey!
your family, your husband, your neighbor, your president
whoever he or she!

you have to stitch and cherish and nourish and never have the chance to flourish!
you have to silence 
not crying whee!
in your success or if you finally could see!
in the third world 
all you have to be 
is not to be
nobody cares about your gifts
enough having a degree
in the obedience lessons
or cooking puree!

© 2019, Amirah Al Wassif

For Those Who Don’t Know the Chocolate by Amirah was published in the last issue of The BeZine. The theme was A Life of the Spirit. What is more indicative of that life than a compassionate connection to the suffering of others. The video below is beautiful done and you can read the text HERE.

for those who don’t know chocolate from Paul Broderick on Vimeo.


JAMIE: How did you come to poetry?

AMIRAH: I think I fall in love with poetry since my childhood, this magic made me more sensitive towards everything including the very small details. Poetry appeared firstly in my writing in Arabic, then I found myself sinking in a harsh conflict, I felt that I am in need to write with this fascinating language which touches my heart and my mind, I love English despite I am not a native writer but I saw my passion in it, writing poetry by any language, of course, it achieves the poet goal, when it will exist but in my case, I adore writing poetry and many kinds of literary arts in English although I have 5 books in Arabic, I found my enjoyment and my own voice and world when I started writing in English, poetry came to me without realizing from me, it absorbs my spirit and gave me a mysterious kind of beauty, I feel it in many ways, I can say it is one of the poetry secrets, when it covers your body and your soul without permission, without noises.

JAMIE: Why is poetry so important to the global community?

AMIRAH: I believe in poetry power, and I want to say without using repeated expressions, poetry language reveals what behind our minds, it makes us more harmonic with each other, it unites the people around the world, the politics, and the religion don’t have the amazing ability which poetry haswe need more and more from poetry, we need to focus on beauty signs, we need to create it. I believe in the marvelous ability of the poetry in pushing the people to taste life twice and to make our darkness colorful.

JAMIE What poet do you find most inspiring and comforting and why?

AMIRAH: There are many inspired poets for me, including Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Charles Bukowski, Pablo Neruda, Jalaluddin Rumi, Indian poet Tagore, Gibran Khalil Gibran, Maya Angelo, Robert Frost, and others. There are many inspiring poets for me.

The piece of poetry that pierces my heart intelligently inspires me and I can not stop thinking about it, that kind of idea that feeds my hungry spirit.

JAMIE: What do you hope to accomplish with your own poetry?

AMIRAH: I want my poetry to have an aesthetic sensitive taste and a human impact in the real world

AMIRAH AL WASSIF is a freelance writer (28 years old) from Egypt. She has written articles, novels, short stories poems and songs. Five of her books were written in Arabic and many of her English works have been published in various cultural magazines. Amirah is passionate about producing literary works for children, teens and adults which represent cultures from around the world. Her first book was published in 2014 and her latest illustrated book, The Cocoa Book and Other Stories is forthcoming.


Spinning with Shakespeare – a poem and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears
Moist it again, and frame some feeling line
That may discover such integrity …
William Shakespeare, Two Gentleman of Verona

E tu Brute

He did not beware
the Ides of March
And thereby hangs a tale
As luck would have it
It beggared all description

In my mind’s eye:
Is this a dagger I see before me?
Good riddance, you said
Fight fire with fire
You cried havoc, and he
Dead as a doornail
Cold as stone

Oh, woe is me
When sorrows come,
they come not as single spies,
but whole battalions
Short shift
You sent him packing
and more fool you

© 2019, poem, Jamie Dedes; public domain illustration ~ “This was long thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare that had any claim to have been painted from life, until another possible life portrait, the Cobbe portrait, was revealed in 2009. The portrait is known as the ‘Chandos portrait‘ after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery (U.K.) in 1856. The artist may be by a painter called John Taylor who was an important member of the Painter-Stainers’ Company.”


Fe, foh, and fun … Take a spin with Shakespeare and write us a poem using phrases of his that have come into common usage.  If you need a bit of help, you’ll find some HERE. You can mix your own words with Shakespeare’s or stick strictly with his. Your choice.

Share your poems on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them. All poems on theme will be published on the first Tuesday following this post.

 No poems submitted through email or Facebook will be published. 

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, February 25 by 8 pm Pacific Standard.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


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