“Sourdough” … and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Gray and rainy days but beautiful flowers blooming outside the Standford B & B.

April Rain Song
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—
And I love the rain.
– Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics) [recommended]


Another collection, eclectic and often magical, in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Oxygen Hunger,March 27, a prompt on the necessities of life.  Well done by poets: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Gen E. Goldie, Frank McMahan, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you! and special thanks to Irma and Anjum for their illustrations and to Anjum for the addition of a music video she found inspiring.  

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


RE: Oxygen Hunger, the poem 

  • “scars” – we can’t breath through scarred lung tissue. It’s not permeable so there is no exchange of gases; i.e. oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • “oxygen hunger” – more commonly call “air hunger” is real.  It happens as organs are shutting down during the dying process, when it is treated with morphine and sometimes supplemental oxygen.  When people suffer from oxygen hunger due to lung and heart issues but are not yet tripping over the door to Eternity, oxygen hunger is then treated with supplemental oxygen and other medications to slow the processes of deterioration and provide comfort and functionality.

Enjoy this collection. It just might inspire some more of your own poetry.  The Poet by Day will be on hiatus for a Spring and Easter break and the next Wednesday Writing Prompt will post on April 24. All are invited to come out to play, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


in solitary refinement

guilty said
the paper the judge read
so the system did a trick
it learned from the cult novel
NORSTRILIA
by cordwainer smith:

they put a thinking cap on her
and it imprisoned her
for eight hours
but due to wireless accelerants
and virtual reality mushware
the eight hours were as eighteen years
for her offense was extreme

and doing her time
was not a walk in the park
no “club fed”
ghosts-or-not mocked her
bribed ghost guards to get her alone
packratted her with hurting things

and she fought back
and ended up in solitary
bread and water only
(plus oxygen)
(plus dreams)

she found though
that virtuality had its virtues
the bread could be any bread
the water any water
and so she feasted
pumpernickel dense as brick
cinnamon toast richly steaming
lavosh pita arrowwheat
and she slaked
smartwater dumbwater sparkling cold

and her oxygen’s purity could be amped
and her dreams could be imagineered
she could dance with Fred
sojourn through oz
change endings
create worlds

so she asked that her term of solitary “confinement”
be extended indefinitely
and the mushware obliged

eighteen seeming years were up
she had learned who she was
what she wanted
and the rudiments of a new trade

she woke
and marvelled at disappearance
of liver spots and despair
she was indeed free
bore no burdens
no grudges
and no guilt

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

As some of you know, Gary is multi-talented, combing visual art with poetry or prose narrative.  He is also a potter. A sample of his work is pictured below. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business care. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


The Terminal

Stretched thin
he spits out
of his car door
as I get in,

and we drive out
the short stay
carpark below
the train station.

“What are you
going to do
day I die?”
he asks. I tell him
what I need to know.

“Oxygen tanks are no use
as they don’t
increase surface
of my lungs that

take in oxygen.
Doctors can do no more.”
Dad replies.
My dad collapses into himself

disappears into black hole
in space
of his lungs on
where there is
no oxygen

for his brain
or heart,
only coughs
to loosen phlegm
for the spit bag,

he carefully seals air tight.

(From a forthcoming collection of my late dad’s drawings and paintings and my writings about him, No title as yet)

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Clear Plastic Tube

in both her nostrils

a tiny woman
with wavering voice

says “If you can
put these in this bag

I’ll put some in my trolley.
It’s not a shopping trolley.

It’s for my oxygen tank.
Shouldn’t worry.”

From Paul’s latest collection called, Please Take Change (Cyberwit.Net, 2018)

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Skyfish

Below a sunset or rise of mountains

a load of bull

eyecatches a celebration
of blue and red fish
midflight
leaping
and smiling,

I or you ride the flight
of one fishback
hold the other fish
in hollow of an armpit
Between waterholes of words.

Taste the fresh water verbs
Salt water star shine.
We are skyfish rode
By reader or viewer

We are two fishes tethered by smiles
of smaller fish.

A brown fish mouth agape
rests a fin on a waterholes side
to watch our fishback ride.

From my forthcoming collaboration with Iranian artist Hiva Moazed, called Fish Strawberries

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

This Value Of Water

as I wet my Nanna’s mouth
with a tiny bud of wool

she lies half in this world
half in another unseen.

My hand fetches water from the well
of the cup, every time my eyes

notice cracks appear in softness,
dry earthquakes open soil

like her trowel levers earth open
for the receipt of a seed or flower.

From my collaborative collection with Dutch artist Marcel Herms, Port Of Souls, Alien Buddha Press, 2018

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Three Bread Crumbs

I.

Christ passes a Bakers shop,
smells new bread,
Says to disciples
” Fetch us a loaf.”

The Baker says
“Thas nowt for free here.
Get him to miracle up his own”
but,
Bakers wife
and six daughters
secretly stuff couple of loaves
in disciples bag.

For this Christ sets them
in spring sky
as Seven Stars

He makes the baker a cuckoo
the Dusty Miller,
who so long as he sings in Spring
St. Turbutius Day to St. Johns
can see his bright wife and daughters
warm the night.

II

Me Mam dies as she gives birth,
to sis and I.
Our new mam murders us.
Feeds our cooked sinew and muscle
to our dad. Separates heart and bones,
crams rest beneath
gables of our home.

Buries our heart and bones
in a hole in a tree,
that coddles us.
Our bones lock our refreshed hearts
in a new cage, so we fledge
in dusty grey feathers.

We fly to local miller’s
pick up a millstone
in our strong beaks

let it fall as we fly
over
our new mother
whose blood and bones
grind beneath its weight.

III

After my sis and I disappear,
Christ knocks on Dad’s door

Says, ” I’m parched mate,
can tha spare a drop
of thee water.”

Our Dad brings stranger
a cup of fresh water.

As he sups Christ says:
“Tha looks badly, cocker.
What’s up with thee?”
Our Dad says ” Me kids
are no where to be seen.
Pain right here says they’re
both dead.
I miss them summat chronic.”

“Aye, it’s a bad going on.
Perhaps, next Spring
from East gables of this place
tha’ll see summat
to buck thee up.”

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

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


The Need for Stars and Moonbeams

Open your eyes to the need for dreams
Oxygen can only fill you ’till death
A shooting star can surpass moonbeams

Sustenance is more than what it seems
Bread will only increase your breadth
Open your eyes to the need for dreams

Like water rushing from the streams
Joining with the ocean’s wealth
A shooting star can surpass moonbeams

The body’s needs can be redeemed
Any oasis can restore health
Open your eyes to the need for dreams

Your heart’s words, a primal scream
The need for more, rising from the depth
A shooting star can/should surpass moonbeams

Can you live with broken schemes?
A life lived without true breath?
Open your eyes to the need for dreams
A shooting star will surpass moonbeams

This is my first attempt at a villanelle courtesy of SarahSouthWest at d’Verse Poets who provided a very thorough explanation of the form. The subject matter was inspired by Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem about one or more of the “four necessities of life,” namely, “bread, water, oxygen and dreams.”

In my villanelle, I have ranked “dreams” as the number one necessity needed to survive life. Food, water, oxygen are all needed to sustain life, but to survive the hardships of life, to thrive in this sometimes unforgiving environment, we need our dreams, our hopes. To me, it is the difference between living and Being Alive.

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


B-R-E-A-T-H, an acrostic

B eginnings beauty brim bounty

R eceiving resplendent radiant reception retention reparation

E ternal exhale ecstasy elixir

A bsorption acceptance awareness

T ime ticking threshold terminus tip

H ealing hands helping

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (A Little of This and A Little of That, Some Real, Some Imaginings, How About That ….)

Heavenly Dreams

Spring breezes wafting sweet fantasies

amidst daytime patio dreams, one by one, feeling

the warmth of memories, of days gone by,

tragedies, triumphs, her love of these.

Lingering behind her eyes, hopes,

deepening dreams, warm thoughts,

posing passing questions of how she knew such passion,

blithely conscious of her spirit within,

a bitter sweet reminder of her own mortality,

she is heartened and comforted.

by heavenly dreams…….

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (A Little of This and A Little of That, Some Real, Some Imaginings, How About That ….)


Sourdough

Does it have to be like this? My hands trapped
in this ectoplasmic blob. It seemed harm-
less last night when I laid it down to rise.
I really should have picked a simpler task:
making sense of quantum physics, riding
a penny-farthing in a force nine gale.

No use now as I wrestle with this dough,
nay, monster. First proving, I slathered you
in olive oil. Was I too rough as I
pounded and pummelled, stretched, stretched, stretched you out,
a line of white intestine? Entrapment
was your game, yet I have tamed you with my
farinaceous hands, caressed and then reformed
you, laid you in the tin, a baby in its cradle.

Say not that the struggle naught availeth
as the firm, warm bread nestles in my palms.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


blue skies.png

Ah, the stuff of survival: “bread, water, oxygen and dreams.”

When life begins in a state of loss-

where is the hope of finding
where is the joy of having
where is the music of dancing
where is the rhythm of peace

where is the love of liberty
where is the link of brotherhood
where is the blood of kinship
where is the vision of tolerance

and where is the cry of
O Life! Let me Live”
I have been sent here’

This world is temporal
But I have to survive, avail
the time, till then I must abide
in obedience reside, or fail

O Life ‘ Let me Live for I
have a dream a vision to
achieve, to unseen heights

I must fly, to the high skies
But I need the vital essence,
I feel like a falcon, flapping
to take off-O Life give me the
sacred vapor called oxygen’

ستاروں سے آگے جہاں اور بھی ھیں ‘
ابھی عشق کے امتہاں اور بھی ھیں

beyond the stars are even more worlds
there are even more tests of passion

تو شاہیں ھے پرواز ھے کام تیرا
تیرے سامنے آسماں اور بھی ھیں

you are a falcon your task is to fly
there are other skies before you,to reach’

(Verses Quoted from the National Poet of Pakistan Dr Allama Mohammed Iqbal’s Book ‘Bal e Jibril’ 1935)

II

oxygenoo

night and day, follow each other,
in a state of ordained obedience
like the two seas meeting,
with a barrier in between,

what dream mixes, salty water
and tears, oft fallen in loss ‘n fear,
crossing over with love? no-
sacredly, eternally forbidden,

so let’s

go where gardens grow, flowers
bloom as life lives there, you will
find love peace and pure fresh air
no garden is ever lost, do not despair,

with truth and good deeds we
shall survive,our return will be
a rejuvenation a salvation
a quintessence, like ”the return to innocence”

Find Anjum here:
https://anjumwasimdar.wordpress.com/    Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose  writing
knitting projects/stories
https://helpingenglishteachinginpakistan.wordpress.com/  ELT   Work experience/educational service for the country

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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