.memoire. … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Along the drive by my friend Mick B’s house.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Lost: One Grandpa Bodhisattva, May 1 was a call to write about friends and/or friendship. What you’ll mostly find here in response is how affected we are by the loss of our friends who have meant so much to us and done so much for us. The aching emptiness cannot be filled. The memories are joy and pain. There are a few other notes in these songs of friendship: Irma and the support of her running friends; one of Sonja’s poems puts me in mind of Pooh Bear; Paul writes about the strange intimacy of distance; and Anjum’s poem shows such a deep appreciation for friendship, a flower the scent of which permeates our lives. All these poems are worth your time and thought and will likely trigger a few tears and a few poems of your own. Read on …

Thanks to mm brazfield, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Anjum Wasim Dar for coming out to play this week. Thanks to Irma and Anjum for the added value of their illustrations. And once again, thanks to everyone for your patience with the time it took to get this post published, still Tuesday here but Wednesday already in England (Paul and Sonja) and in Pakistan (Anjum) and Wednesday in the places where a lot of readers live.

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

… do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, whether you are a beginning poet, emerging or pro.  All are welcome – encouraged – to come out and play and to share their poems on theme, which will be published here the following Tuesday.


sometime in an August

Asa who laid in the Panhandle with me you strung out on love i on wild chemistry from around the Tenderloin Asa who lent me his Walkman for Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters as i stared into the night sky higher than our hangout on Coit Tower Asa who was ecstatic when we shared stories about the boys we kissed at the Trocadero on Wednesday nights as i cried when you told me your fate Asa you with your toothy smile biting my cherry Danish as you took off the shirt from your back to cover all of my track marks when the workers came to take you away to your mother’s place in silence and all i could do for you Asa was stand as the ambulance pulled away

© 2019, mm brazfield (words less spoken)


What’s So

special about me
after my mates are gone?

Nobody to talk to.
They left before I could say goodbye.

They bleed and I don’t.
No reason. I went to their leaving.

I can’t hug them.
They are so cold

Wish I could have left.
At the same time.

Wish I could be as cold.
No reason.

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

I Always Lose

contact with everybody
so find out how they’re invaluable.

Taught at school to make promises
that can’t be kept can’t keep. As is fashion

Lost contact with school mates.
Taught memory makes you responsible

for their anniversaries, forgot
to pay the provider. No internet.

Taught to lose books cos they dont
tell you owt. Libraries are records

of folk losing stuff. What I want
to read that for. Enough on forgetting

my own, our lasses and I swear some
kids are saying am theirn. All in air.

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

My Strangers

are friends who haven’t been estranged yet.

All my mates are strangers.
I keep them at a distance.

Chat to them in third person.
Internet on my mobile tells me

when I’ve to give them best wishes
for a special occasion like anniversaries.

They inspire closeness and loyalty.
I can trust them.

They know me.
What I eat, sup.

laugh at.
Strangers are more intimate than friends.

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

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

On Female Friends

Both tote cans of lager,
all in black leggings

get the weekly shop in.
One says to the other who

Packs the shop “I’ll stand
on his face. Tell him.

I’ll stamp on his face.”
The next couple,

“Mam, you buy the weirdest.
What’s suet for the birds? Fat balls?”

“It’s your dad’s dinner, pet”
They both laugh.

From Paul’s last collection Please Take Change  (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The 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


For Karen:

You’re bright!
And lovely!
And beautiful!
I will always
Hold that gift
In my heart.
Because,
The warmth
And joy
Your friendship
Has offered
Will stay with
Me,
Forever.

As I said…a simple poem.
But straight from my heart.

This is a simple poem I wrote many years
ago for a true friend I’d known for over 30
years. She has passed now. But I still benefit
from her strength and passing wisdom and
I will never forget her.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (From the Corners of My Heart)


Heaven Sent Group Run

Eyes up to heaven

Running mile seven

I’m tired

My legs feel deaden

“Come on,” you beckon

Perspired

Running moms hearten

Together driven

Inspired

Another Lai Poem for D’Verse. The topic for this one uses the prompt from Patrick’s Pic and a Word #185 – Heavens. I’ve been on a streak with Patrick’s wonderful prompts! Head on over and see the lovely photos and words he uses for his weekly challenge. Patrick’s photos and poems from his recent travels are magnificent!!

While I didn’t get to actually run my seven miles this weekend like I was supposed to (rain and family obligations had me cutting it short), I was very grateful for the women who joined me from my local Moms Run This Town chapter. I was running short intervals while two other mamas were running longer intervals and our speedster mama was just running. We would leapfrog each other on the out and back trail, coming back when we would get too far out.

Even though I was running by myself at my own pace for most of this group run, just knowing my running friends were ahead of me or behind me made me happy and kept my motivation high. That’s running heaven!

I’ve also submitted this for Jamie’s Wednesday Writing prompt on The Poet by Day to write about friends. Is it weird that most of my friends are runners or writers?

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


For Karen:

You’re bright!
And lovely!
And beautiful!
I will always
Hold that gift
In my heart.
Because,
The warmth
And joy
Your friendship
Has offered
Will stay with
Me,
Forever.

As I said…a simple poem.
But straight from my heart.

This is a simple poem I wrote many years
ago for a true friend I’d known for over 30
years. She has passed now. But I still benefit
from her strength and passing wisdom and
I will never forget her.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (From the Corners of My Heart)


ROYALTY

For Bryan Southwell

You were the King, upbraided in rehearsal
for taking too long to die. “They’ll all miss
the last bus home if you don’t speed this up!”
Even now, your fury reverberates.

Ah, my gracious friend, so many miles walked
upon the links, everything elegant,
even your bon mots in the midst of our
vulgar chaffing. The Schubert Impromptus

as we drove those Norfolk byways, the sun
flecking the chestnut leaves. The Canterbury
Tales in Melton, shared hours of bawdiness
and helpless laughter. You could have graced those boards
making love to the Wife of Bath and who knows else.

Admissions and discharges, blow
after vicious blow, cries of pain filling
the ward, nothing imagined for effect.

In the end, death could not come soon enough.
You slipped away, into the wings, denying
us all one final curtain call. You were
ready, not us, no, palms uplifted, empty.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.friends.

we are friends .

we are friends , we met in the lane.

the words sound like poetry, the quiet
voice sounds shouting in this silence.

it can make windows and opportunities,
space to accompany the music.

travel far and in between, play the right notes,
write notes, and then maybe, all will come

clear. or not.

i need that stop.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

#facebook friends day

so bear says,

why aren’t i in the film,

i am your friend.

ah yes i says,

yet no one will

believe that.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.memoire.

he says it is the word.

they will remember.

i will remember them all,
tidy, kind, white table cloths,
napkins, the favourite
picture.

i will remember you,
work out your age
every year. the wind blows.

all beautiful faces. the friends.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

                                            You my friend  –  A Flower

If Humans Are Friends

Your thoughtful  smile makes me stay
a little while more than I really should
lost in space, I am like Icarus, wings burnt
many lessons in life I have now learnt

I would fly over ethereal plain, if I could,
To meet you at this stage of life,
The distances are understood,
Of age  culture and traditions,
You’ a flower and me, a piece of wood.

images  formed,  are shattered soon
Time like dust ,vanishes over the moon,
You inspire me and give me hope though
as friends for long, I’m scared  of the scope,

What lies ahead what tomorrow brings
What, where, now’  I will not think,
See the miracle of hearts and feelings
With all the spaces, no family dealings-

I am hopeful of good and beautiful things
As shared in moments short and precious
Your advice as a poet writer, full and sincere
Given asked and unasked,without fee or fear,

We met as friends as friends should be
Who make life joyful  light  and easy
I will remember till heartbeats permit
If humans are  friends,
Allah’s Blessings are writ۔

© 2019, illustration and poems (English and Urdu), Anjum Wasim Dar

کچھ امیدیں  ابھی باقی ھیں

اگر دنیا  میں ٰانسان دوست مل جایںؑ تو
کچھ امیدیں  ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اس کی مسکراھت  میری روح  کی رکاوت بنی
کچھ  ضرورت سے زیادہ رکنے کا احساس ،
خلا کی وسعت  میں گم اونچی اڑان  سے
،اونچی اڑان  سے پر جلا کر سوچ میں محو   

کچھ سبق  سیکھنے ابھی باقی  ھیں

ٓٓپھر بھی عمر ا  ٓخر میں  اس دوست  سے  ملنے 
افلاک  پہ فظاوںؑ میں  اڑتے ھوےؑ  فاصلوں کو  کاٹتے 
ھوےؑ ، رسم و رواج کو  نظر  انداز کرتے  ھوےؑ صفر
کا آغاز  ، سورج  کی شعاوں میں ، چاندنی راتوں میں

کچھ راستے  طے کرنے  ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اے  دوست، یک پھول کی مانند  پاوؑن  تجھے
میں کہ اک لکڑی  کا کٹا  ھوا   تکڑا بے  بس
تصور  جو  کیا  بکھر  گیا ، وقت  گزر  گیا،  بس
 تمھاری  ھمت  سے  زندہ  ھوں سانس باقی  ھے

کچھ  کام  کرنے  ابھی  باقی ھیں

مجھے نہیں  سوچنا  کہ کل کیا ھوگا 
کب کہاں کیسے یہ سب کیسے  ھوگا
بس احساس  کے دلی جزبات کے  حیراںکن
معجزات  کی دعایںؑ ملی ھیں  بضشش  کی 

کچھ رشتے نبھانے ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اس کی تحریروں پہ ھدایت  ملتی رھی 
لمحہ ببہ  لمحہ  قیمتی گھڑیوں میں  
پوچھنے پہ  اور  پوچھے  بغیر  بھی،یہ
  قدریں دوستی میں  اب نایاب ھیں سبھی

ابھی کچھ  افسانے لکھنے باقی  ھیں 

دوست بن کے ملے دوست ہی رھیں گے
جو زندگی  کو  پر لطف  اور خوشگوار بناےؑ
بھلا  سکتے  نہیں  انہیں  جو اللاہ کے لیےؑ 
دلوں میں رہتے ھیں ، اگر ایسا ھو تہ سمجھ لیں

کہ اللاہ  کی رحمتیں ابھی بہت باقی  ھیں 

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

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