“Father Timebomb” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“I read differently now, more painstakingly, knowing I am probably revisiting the books I love for the last time.” Nicole Krauss, Great House


These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Come Spring, June 19. Aging – pending, observed, or deep into – is not the easiest thing to face, but I think all our poets have done it with a mix of affection, yearning, courage and a soupçon of humor.

Thanks to mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb Felio (Deb y Felio), Jen Goldie, Shiela Jacob, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Clarissa Simmens for the pleasure of their poetry shared here today.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


father timebomb

she shouts from the bathroom
that she doesn’t know what to do.

her son shouts back, CLEAN YOURSELF UP. BE GENTLE.

OK. a flush. NOW WHAT?

WASH YOUR HANDS IF YOU CAN. IF YOU CAN’T, THERE ARE WIPES OUT HERE.

there is the merciful sound of water in the sink. five minutes go by.

YOU ALL RIGHT IN THERE?

NO. but she sounds curious, not distressed. then, as yesterday, THERE’S SOMEONE ELSE IN HERE.

THAT’S YOU, MOM. THAT’S YOUR REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR.

OH. And in a minute she eases herself past the hallway doorjamb, that hesitant smile on her face.

her son hears the ticking
of his own Father Timebomb,
and wonders who he will be
in twenty years.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: 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 here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


where did Opa go

accordions were not of import to me
until you were no longer there
the caramel and gray plaid La-Z-Boy chair
sat gaping at the ceiling wondering as i was
where did Opa go
we didn’t really talk no one taught me how
instinctively you knew though
that i loved your oversized navy blue trousers
and your red suspenders
except for the lederhosen not my style
regret burns hotter at night
while i sit silently on the kitchen counter
alone in the dark sometimes with pained wrists
and old cracked ribs dislocated in my youth
sit along beside me good times
where did Opa go
time rippled down your face
porcelined and freckled
both by illness and by cure
you would stare at mom’s cat
as the din of Lawrence Welk
seemed to echo from the corners of the room
where did Opa go
remember when i was 13
my socks were old and dingy
five sizes too big
and as you shook your head
you took out $50 from your wallet
and motioned me to get new socks
i just shrugged and smiled
turning my back on you
Mutta’s fancy mirror
stabbed me with
your puzzled dewey face
at my ignorant rejection
why did i let go
Opa

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Time Triolet

Grey hairs fall in tides on foreshores
Wrinkles contour into round earth.
Time’s tooth too long in the wild wars.
Grey hairs fall in tides on foreshores.
Earth’s skin gets thinner with the sores.
Ordnance survey lines huddle steep.
Wrinkles contour into round earth.
Grey hairs fall in tides on foreshores.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

My Decrepit Is Good

Bring on grey hairs turn to silver.
Bring on sharp pain in the knees
as I hobble downstairs.

Bring on memory loss
as I know no different.
Bring me my stick,
my arrow of desire.

Bring it all on, fuzzy brain,
misty sight, zimmer frame,
adult nappy’s, oxygen through
plastic tubes, a knowing.

Bring on wrinkles, laugh lines,
tang of autumn, radical spice
of spring, footskate winter,
wild summer, all natural process.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Paul’s site is: The Wombwell Rainbow

Paul Brookes, prolific Yorkshire poet

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


She aged more …

She aged more,
noticed the wrinkles by the eyes,
that dropped the last tears, blurring the sight
soon smoky clouds blocked the cool moonlight,
in the window where she sat alone, unconscious of
unknown seventy years, a time called ‘age’
she ignored the sagging skin, the broader forehead
but looked for the divine mark, in vain
in a few hours, she had aged more, waiting-
waiting for just one special valued birthday wish=

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Ji’s sites are:

“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


Details

A Poem for my Parents

I zero in
On the cracks in the walls
The spaces between tile and grout
The layer of dust on the grand piano
The peeling Formica under 80’s sought after giveaway cups
The places where your innovative nature took precedence over getting the job done right.

I zero in
On the grays in your hair
And the spots on your hands
The slowness in your cane aided walk
Your mouth agape during your afternoon nap
The hand me up shirt you’ve been wearing for decades because it still fits

I zoom out
And see the humor and kindness in your eyes
The hands that lovingly prepare my favorite meal
The 20 year old bed that fits generations
The clock where time has stopped but happiness lives on
The struggle of remembering and honoring and forgetting and accepting.

I zoom out
And notice what you do without
What you’ve sacrificed
What you’ve preserved
What you’ve done with love
What you’ve done for love.

I zero in on that detail.

© 2019, Irma Do

Fighting Age

A Haiku

Combing through darkness
Five stand, admitting defeat
Plucked out – victory!

© 2019, Irma Do 

Irma’s site is: I Do Run, And I do a few other things too ….


Mind the Gap

For seventy minutes a one man play
by a man in his fifties who memorized
multiple characters on their way
to heaven or hell, each would decide.

He changed characters’ minds and voices
debating reasons, they pleaded and cried
lured by tempting leave or stay choices
to inflate their positions and their pride.

How to break the chains and be set free
to discover our own truth deep inside
separating delusion from reality
hope is alive, it never died.

His memory used to recite the lines
continues to find new roles to ride.
Proving old folks still can shine,
I wait in the wings to make my stride

A thought within me – it might be my time
to step into the light sublime
but my body and memory long past due
on stage all I recited was an aging haiku.

© 2019, Deb y Felio

Deb’s site is: Writer’s Journey


The years drift away
Capturing glimpses of time
Lost in memories

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Jen’s sites are:


Never Too Late to Learn

Teeth were small, milk-white bones
that fell painlessly out of my mouth
and meant sixpence under my pillow.

Hair was a length of chestnut strands
my mother brushed, combed, twisted
into plaits and tied with bright ribbon.

Who will leave fifty pence for teeth
that decay despite silver amalgam,
Oral-B paste and regular check-ups?

Who will help me style white-grey hair
that escapes across the bedroom
like blown seeds of a dandelion clock?

Who will tell me birthdays aren’t burdens
but lemon drizzle cakes topped with icing,
candles and rice-paper primroses?

My response to the old age prompt. A bit wistful!

© 2019, Sheila Jacob


.the rain came suddenly.

sun, was done and dusted.

by the slate they talked, shining.
faces older now, friendship retained.

learned a little more on life, the small
things, wisdom rings
the generations.

i did not need all the mange tout.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the critic.

i have the urban dictionary,
on line, and the standard
in the book case, thesaurus
in the cellar, where spiders
and cowebs abound.

typing goes wild if
i get hiccups, whilst
the flow depends on
radio plays.

i was born in england, south coast,
now live in wales. we speak a different
language.

difference should make no
difference.

i am older now.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


The World

The World is so much more
Than Earth and the visible
Night sky
Telescopes and space cameras
Transport us to galaxies unknown
Where tarot cards were first shown
Although there were always a few souls
Who knew what was out there in the vastness
Of space

THE WORLD is the archaeology of our past
Moving us through the present
And showing us the future
Symbols on cards mimic
Symbols of everyday life
Like the day I found an engraved coin
With my name and home address
Of a place I lived before age seven
Lying in the mud near a shed of broken crates
My past zoomed in and saw myself
Winning tickets for Skee Ball
To use on the mechanical engraver
In an Atlantic City arcade
Before casinos wrecked the ambience
Of ocean and sand and fries in a paper cone
Of cinnamon donuts and black coffee at midnight
From Mammy’s with my Gran

I rediscovered the coin
After finding a feather
That pointed the way
Very small feather
From a Florida Black Vulture
Stripping the flesh
From a corpse so fresh
And so here is my future
I thought
Death

To live in the now
Would be best
So I hauled out my tenor guitar
Music,the most beautiful part of
Anyone’s present
Although old songs transport us back
To the past
The words are seared in memory
Never to go
Always with us in the current phase

This trio reminds me
Of a wedding superstition:
Something old (coin)
Something new (guitar)
Something borrowed (feather)
Uh, oh, I’m blue
Because I
Always have
Always do
Always will
Need to find images of life
And force them into
Patterns
Patterns that ease the chaos
Of my world

And like the moon
We go through the stages
Circularly
As past, present, and future
Twirls like the Earth
Orbits the sun of our existence
And tilts with the seasons
The World
The tiny world that is ours
Our personal world of elation and sadness
Of terrible regrets but moments of gladness
We dream of space and vastness
But we are the microcosm
Like symbols imitating life
We mimic the macrocosm
Because the World is us…

© 2019, Clarissa Simmens

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review
From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)

A mostly bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a vitual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor.


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



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