Some Mothers Hearts Have Stopped, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

photograph of some mothers’ children, victims of the Ghouta chemical attack in the Syrian Civil War, The Ghouta Massacre by Bkwillwm  under CC BY 3.0 license (I believe it may be a screen shot from a news video)

“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?’” American poet, Eve Merriam



Some mothers’ children stare unseeing
No sweet, wet baby kisses from blistered lips

. . . . songs unsung

No wedding portraits to dust and treasure
No graduations or trips to the sea

. . . . just their bodies to bury

crushed
beaten
stilled

by the engine of nihilism

Limbs cracked and broken, bellies torn
Faces purpled, hearts stopped

Hearts stopped . . .
. . . . hearts stopped

Some mothers’ hearts have stopped

Published in Poets Against the War and  I Am Not a Silent Poet

© 2015, Jamie Dedes 

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

THEME:  Tell us in your poems about families and war, heartbreak and perhaps hope …

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

PLEASE NOTE:

  • only those poems on theme and shared in the comments section under this post will be published. 


Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.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 thepoetbyday@gmail.com 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, September 23 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

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.

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


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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

32 thoughts on “Some Mothers Hearts Have Stopped, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. Dear Jamie Ji

    Life to end some day
    no win war,kill or be killed
    in hatred no hope

    war blue pale cold still
    frozen children innocent
    dust,no breath no shroud

    flung in rubble lost
    mothers heart stopped bombed shot dead
    hush,no breath no shroud

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I Asked My Mother About The War

    She said she wasn’t afraid.
    Just got on with things,
    everyone did, they had no choice.

    Yet there were nights when Heinkels
    droned across the sky.
    Bombs fell like leaden birds
    and roofs collapsed
    in clouds of rubble.

    Wasn’t she afraid her house
    might be hit?
    Didn’t she have nightmares
    of Nazi troops landing on the coast:
    of tanks rumbling through local streets
    and grinding past the sweet shop,
    grocers and Parkfield Café?

    She turned eighteen
    the month war was declared
    and knew it wasn’t a game;
    worked in a factory during the week
    and discussed with other girls
    whether or not to join the ATS.
    She went to the pictures
    on Saturday afternoons
    and spent Sunday mornings at church;
    prayed for the King and Queen,
    her Dad, sister, elder brothers
    stationed “somewhere in England”
    and whispered an extra Our Father
    for her Mom who held down
    two jobs, queued for rationed meat
    and conjured tasty meals from scraps.

    She insisted she didn’t dwell on death
    and perhaps she didn’t.

    Perhaps fear was the shadow
    at her heels some evenings
    as she waved her Mom off to work,
    heard sirens wail in the distance
    and closed the blackout curtains.
    Perhaps she hurried
    to the kitchen’s warmth,
    sat with hands clenched
    and white-knuckled
    around a mug of strong tea.

    Like

  3. When I Asked My Mother About The War

    She said she wasn’t afraid.
    Just got on with things,
    everyone did, they had no choice.

    Yet there were nights when Heinkels
    droned across the sky.
    Bombs fell like leaden birds
    and roofs collapsed
    in clouds of rubble.

    Wasn’t she afraid her house
    might be hit?
    Didn’t she have nightmares
    of Nazi troops landing on the coast:
    of tanks rumbling through local streets
    and grinding past the sweet shop,
    grocers and Parkfield Café?

    She turned eighteen
    the month war was declared
    and knew it wasn’t a game;
    worked in a factory during the week
    and discussed with other girls
    whether or not to join the ATS.
    She went to the pictures
    on Saturday afternoons
    and spent Sunday morning at church;
    prayed for the King and Queen,
    her Dad, sister, elder brothers
    stationed “somewhere in England”
    and offered an extra Our Father
    for her Mom who held down
    two jobs, queued for rationed meat
    and conjured tasty meals from scraps.

    She insisted she didn’t dwell on death
    and perhaps she didn’t.

    Perhaps fear was the shadow
    at her heels some evenings
    as she waved her Mom off to work,
    heard sirens wail in the distance
    and closed the blackout curtains.
    Perhaps she hurried
    to the kitchen’s warmth,
    sat with hands clenched
    and white-knuckled
    around a mug of strong tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here it is …
    War and Peace

    Let’s talk about war
    humanity sunk to
    new levels of the old
    salivating avaricious

    degrading everything
    precious
    hovering over a fate
    that ordains one must
    watch others die
    before succumbing

    let’s not talk about clouds
    of chickens in a poultry pen
    like a company of pigs
    awaiting the sticking knife
    icing a throat to end appeals
    in a universal language

    we’ve reserved the fanfare
    of war for ourselves

    life’s a fistful of rupees at
    the local bazaar
    awash with the lilies of
    heated haggling to hide
    the smells of fear and pain
    carnage unleashes in
    daily forms on warm
    families of bodies huddled
    under less privileged names

    knife wielding peace
    makes little sense
    to the other side
    hovering over a fate
    that ordains one must
    watch others die
    before succumbing

    double edged slaughter
    stains severing hands

    beasts of war will be nourished
    until life is viewed in entirety
    and impresses both
    sides of the coin

    Liked by 2 people

  5. :: other peoples’ children ::

    i guess yours sleep in bed,
    clean and cosy, safe, loved and cherished.

    others love and cherish , yet their families
    sleep in mud, on streets, wherever they can find.

    they have left the place where bombs drop on children.

    yes. a person simply decides to drop barrel bombs on children.

    on everything.

    now be angry.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A wife keeps the phone by her side
    with the volume up
    Some mothers’ hearts have stopped, a poem make a call
    What the future looks like
    at the end of the war
    A sister can’t tell and brother
    He is very young
    Just counting down by the time
    They are going and some eyes are already longing ….!!
    (A wife keeps the phone by her side
    with the volume up
    Some mothers’ hearts have stopped)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Flaws
    An indelible wound
    Shaded in taking sides
    Stabbing ruins of fierce restraints
    Obvious bruises that shadows pains of the past
    In the middle of questioned thoughts
    A gaze and a stare
    With events of civil unrest
    The peculiar cry of the heart
    Fights with unending demands
    Voices of grief
    Engraved in words
    Penetrating struggles for peace and freedom
    A protest in waiting
    -Benedicta Boamah 2019

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Dear Respected Jamie Ji
    Some lines for this week’s prompt

    A Tragedy
    For The Mother Alone

    Innocent child smiling laughing
    with the front teeth missing
    running wild with open arms
    happiness flooding with a toy
    oblivious of time trial or suffering
    death or exhaustion-
    just a colorful world of fun and joy
    of toffees chocolates and ice creams
    of sound sleep and sweet dreams
    But hark! Stillness creeps, Look Out!
    speeding trucks, shells and bomb blasts
    cruel and wild, dashing falling fast-
    bubbling laughter turned to screams
    twisted iron and ripped seams-
    A light extinguished
    A silenced home
    A love lost
    A shattered dream’
    Many more put to sleep
    in the vicious scheme-

    people stood and looked
    stared and stared,no one shared
    no one could share
    the shock the grief the pain-
    the invisible cutting chain
    can a child be called, ‘my own?’
    how the soft warm heart turns
    into a hard feeling less, stone-
    the silent perpetual moan is
    For The Mother Alone-
    For The Mother Alone

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Flaws
    An indelible wound
    Shaded in taking sides
    Stabbing ruins of fierce restraints
    Obvious bruises that shadows pains of the past
    In the middle of questioned thoughts
    A gaze and a stare;
    With events of civil unrest
    The peculiar cry of the heart
    Fights with unending demands
    Voices of grief
    Engraved in words
    Penetrating struggles for peace and freedom.
    -Benedicta Boamah 2019.

    Liked by 2 people

Thank you!

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