A Seepage of Spirit . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.”  Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass



I think it was Sherman Alexie who said imagination plus anger equals poetry. Here we might be inclined to say imagination plus acceptance and a soupçon of humor equals poetry as Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Deb Felio), Jen Goldie, Marta Pombo Sallés, and Anjum Wasim Dar conjour their afterlives, their dissipation “Into the / Elsewhere” as Gary writes. The results are rather stunning. Two poems read like meditations. Paul imagines not just himself but others and even points to the degradation of earthly conditions, as does Anjum. Paul touchingly includes his son. It was not planned, but our theme comes on the loss of W.S. Merwin who famously wrote On the Anniversary of My Death. These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Where the Wisteria Grows, March 13, 2019. Thanks to our six lively and intrepid poets. Enjoy!

Readers will note links to sites are included that you might visit these stellar poets.

Enjoy this collection. It just might inspire some more of your own poetry; and, do join us tomorrow for the another Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are invited to come out to play, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


A Seepage of Spirit

The flesh in which I resided
Spilled its life’s blood onto the asphalt
And last vibrations that influxed
To my twin tympani of eardrums
Were Screech Thump Holy/Sweet Jesus

and the fog of my spirit meandered
with the help of–what else?–a spirit guide
whose nonvoice soothed nonadmonishingly
and invited my fog to revues

I had had
Love and waste,
Graceless gluttony,
Needless haste,
Petty cowardice,
Endless friending,
Harsh truth-grapples
Spiral-trending.

the angel (might as well call her so)
freed me of some
of my nonsensical notions
and told me my elsewhere was coming.
not quite yet though.
she invited me to skim
the landscapes and tableaux
of the venues where i’d
devoted my life’s energies,
and my fog narrowed in
to a ceramics studio
and the furnace roar
of a gas kiln
where i let my fog fill
the interior, becoming
a volume of inbetweens,
everywhere the vessels
and statuettes and frieze
weren’t.
i controlled sensing
so that the heat
was a perfect hot bath. i seeped
into the glaze-fusing forms
and blessed them, peeking
with bucking-broncos omniscience
into the lives
of the students who created them.

Suddenly I doppelganged
Into the 1979 lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel,
Pulled a cashwad out of my pocket,
Threw $140 into the table,
Received my chips,
Put $80 on the Pass Line,
Rolled an Eleven, and let
Myself dissipate
Into the
Elsewhere.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image & Text)


Where You Will Find

where to find me
in this home of seasons

what you will find
in the quiet between gusts

where I am, what I mean
to the spring vase on the windowsill

where you are, what you are
to the summer dust on the mantelpiece

where things stand, how they are,
up and down the autumn of stairs

when they will be what you want
once the winter mattress is turned

how my tongue rests on
what I have said to you

when the sun rises, when it sets,
how it is to be in the rain.

what tears mean when you cry
what there is between us

in this home of changing weather
we pass on to our children

© 2019, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

My Afterlife

is a half life.
is a rainbow.
Brief but colourful.

A bucket and spade
left on a beach
for the sea to play with.

A sentence ending
in a connecting word.

Scatter my Ash
on a sea of plastic,

on the remains of the last living
thing that is now extinct.

In the concrete underpasses
tagged graffitied dismissed.

Under the feet of refugees,
on the drowned water
of those that did not make it.

Scatter me like fragrant leaves
In the baths of the rich.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Can We Play Ghosts?

I want to be a ghost?”
A young girl shouts in the street.

A newspaper blows in the street.
It says a young girl was killed
In a road traffic accident last Wednesday.

Across This Street

Death and I are in separate rooms.
It lives across the pitted street,

keeps grey lace curtains open,
shadows flicker across the pane.

bricks made of cremation ash,
the window frames coffin wood.

Mummified flowers in a pale vase.
I see myself in its black linteled window.

My encoded consciousness will move
house, when I die. I will look back

at my old home and remember,
how the floorboards creaked,

where not to place my feet on the stairs,
how the whole house breathed in winter

and find myself in Death’s home, and know I’ll never die.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Death Is

solid. My son never complains

he can’t walk through walls or people.
He dies only with wishes not to become

the shadow of a building or street furniture

recycling or public bin, lamppost, unwanted old sofa or bed.

Better to be people’s shadow as he leaves this world,
then find himself with skin, breath and blood

where before floated as air, as mist as we do.
Soon whatever he becomes in death.

as his Dad and Mam we will move through him
and he may not even know we do so.

And if he does we will be ghosts to him.
Perhaps he’ll recall his time as a ghost.

from Paul’s collection, A World Where, (Nixes Mate Press, 2017)

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

Ghost Holiday

Briefly open the gate into your dark,
allow your dead to move among you,
the living,
sup in their old pubs,
enter their old homes,

a room has been left as it was
when they died,

others find their goods given
to charity, sold, some kept,

their home lived in by strangers
who chase them off crashing
pots and pans too loud for the dead.

Soon they must return to your dark.

From the third and final book of Paul’s three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished

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

Time Fetches

Watch thee sen as time fetches on
as tall hawthorn hedge that bars
tha from t’other worlds
in its cloud ghosted ditch
gets thin this season so as folk
from other side can fetch them
sens over an bleed through to ours
and tha’ll see these weird folk
take a stride outside thee door.

Blaze a candle in tha home
and set a flicker lanterns, jack o’lanterns,
candles outdoors to show
the weird folk, spirits and all
direct way back to where
they bide from, so as they don’t
detour where they’re not welcome.
Respect them, they’ll respect thee.

This night light a fire
in tha hearth
for to protect thee sen
or better thee sen.

Scribe on a scrap a paper
a part of thee life
tha wish to be rid on
anger, a baneful habit,
misplaced feelings, disease.

Lob it int flame
so tha may lose
that part tha ashamed on.

From the third and final book of my three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished

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

Feast Of Larvae

just atter midnight
man of house
I do this ritual.
Get out of bed

call upon me dead folks
to help me this neet.
I potter round our house
barefoot no belt or owt.

Nine dried black beans in my gob.
Me hands raised
thumb thrust through
me clenched fingers,
after protruding clit
of Mater Manua,
mam of good dead.

wi this I ask she look art for us
aginst any unwanted spirits,
the larvae
who broke into our house.

I wash me hands,
chuck some beans with me left hand
over me left shoulder look farard
turn me head,
avert me face to right,
as I raise palms of both hands
against left a says
“With these beans I lob,
I redeem me and mine.”

I do it nine times
every room in our house. wash me hands agin,
clang a gong and shaht
nine times “Ancestral spirits,
time tha flitted!”

From the third and final book of Paul’s three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished; also previously published in Three Drops From A Cauldron

© 2019, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play


When My Spirit Returns

Once freed from this world’s gravity, my spirit would ascend the skies
encounter the Almighty who welcomes me,
in love and purity, I rise

Empowered with all knowledge I never knew before
He offers me a choice of how to serve and live
and how to love him more

One is resting in the magnificence of his kingdom’s golden streets
another is in the heavenly choir,
Every note his praises release

The third is different, within his hand
a bloodstained cloth he holds
a shelter and a comfort for all in every land

I would return unseen but felt
when others cry from death, abuse, so many reasons
grief and pain are dealt

I choose this path to visit earth
now with new found power and purpose
surrounding others with the remembrance, they have been loved from birth

this cloth brings hope, comfort, and healing
for times when nothing else could
believing they were forsaken, forgotten and would rather be dead than feeling

I watch as the power of that cloth, blood stained,
dries tears and comforts loss, returns their hope, and courage
for another day, regained

It shelters them in the dark of night, in storms and in affliction
wrapped around them they hold on
receive it as a final benediction

My spirit never wearies since it is no longer of its own
but is with the child, the mother, the man
whispering, ‘you’re not alone.’

This is my hope for eternity, finding paths to trod
to bring hope, and comfort to anyone
needing the love of God.

© 2019, Deb y Felio (Writers Journey)


A Memory:

Life is a trail of memories,

 

forming into years, that

 

which we call time,  

 

and, as the years slip by

 

unnoticed, and unseen,

 

I’ll be but a passing

 

memory, twinkling in

 

your mind, and waltzing

 

with your soul, until we

 

meet again…

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams, and the occasional cat)

And So It Goes

What is left of me, will be nutrient

for the next to be,

I will vaporize

as the dew is want when the sun drowsily

awakens, from a night of lustful love-making

with the day, the night’s sultry mistress.

The worms will have their way with me,

joyfully, as I seduce the progeny of the

flowers who rest with me, they will nurse

on my yielding nipples, as I consummate,

titillate, arouse and propagate the

depths of my new labour, whetted

in the loving embrace of earth, my mother.

I will enchant, beguile and enrapture life

for a new day, to bewitch me for eternity,

as my spirit flies joyously

into

the light…..

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams, and the occasional cat)


The Thread of Intimate Resistance

Ominous winds sweep the earth
Brazen.
Flames get higher and almost
Burn you.
Breathing fresh air while rowing,
Your journey
Goes on.
The piercing ground lies at your feet,
The sheltering sky is also pierced
And more distant
Than ever.
Take your needle
Start to sow
Recompose the broken pieces
Of life’s puzzle.
This thread is your most
Intimate resistance.
Sow the sky, the ocean and
The earth.
Make a dress to protect the nudity
Of the leafless tree.
Save the heart from burning
And keep on rowing your boat.
Keep yourself afloat.

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


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O Restless Spirit

What times are these now
cries fill the city, incense
prevails in moaning,

O Restless Spirit’

O Restless Spirit
what aches thee, what ails thee so
to fly not, but flee-

O Restless Spirit’

To the skies I wish
to soar, body feels laden,
feet lead and so sore,

O Restless Spirit’

go’ see the sea, No-
fish in plastic are choking
daily caught in nets

O Restless Spirit

In forests saws are
cutting a tree after tree
felling frightens me

O Restless Spirit

flowers full in bloom
captives in terra- cotta
for show, then no more –

O Restless Spirit

O  falcon come now
my flight, my place is with thee
atop the mountain

O Restless Spirit

no palace I need
but peace and tranquility
contented,  I pray

Inspired By  the Poem
–TO A YOUNG MAN       ایک  نو جوان کے نام

By Dr Allama Mohammed Iqbal    Poet of The East   National Poet of Pakistan

نہیں  تیرا  نشیمن  قصر سلطانی  کے   گنبد  پر
تو  شاہیں ھے بسیرا  کر پہاڑوں کی چٹانوں میں

Thy abode is not on the dome of a royal palace;
You are an eagle and should live on the rocks of mountains.

© 2018, poem and photograph, Anjum Wasim Dar Photo Credit  CER  ©  2019 (Poetic Oceans)

“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


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