When I Asked My Mother About War . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

nights with ghosts
.
dear samueri, my friend
i will never see you again;
maybe i will.
but i shall not know
until father finds us a new address
,
addresses!
we have none anymore.
we are of no address.
.
now that i have written this letter,
where do i post it to?
shall i say, samueri,
care of the next rubble
harare?

—child’s poem
This poem was included in an article by American poet Karen Margolisin the now defunct Poetry of Solidarity. You can read the backstory on this poem HERE.



Here we are at Tuesday again, the day when we share poems submitted in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Some Mothers’ Hearts Have Stopped, September 18, which brought attention to the hearts of mothers who have lost their children to war.  I know people didn’t like the photo I put up with it, but I felt that the reality needs to be faced. We may not like to look at it, but it is the what some people in some places face everyday. Often they have never known another way of life.

This compassionate collection is courtesy of  Anjum Wasim Dar, Sheila Jacob, Urmila Mahajan, and Sonja Benskin Mesher. Today we introduce and warmly welcome Benedicta Boamah with her poem Flaws. Benedicta also made her debut in this month’s issue of The BeZine.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning.


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

© 2019, Benedicta Boamah  

BENEDICTA BOAMAH is a skilled emergency nurse in Ghana who writes poetry during her leisure periods. I was born in Bloemfontein, Free State though a Ghanaian and completed my degree program as a professional nurse in Garden City University College in Kumasi, Ghana.I’m the fourth and last child and as it stands my parents are retired lecturers. Currently, I have a personal blog on WordPress and a partner organisation that deals in emergency courses and live webinars. I have an inner passion to write daily from the heart in making a difference as a poet in an outstanding literary world.



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

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

No Breath, No Shroud
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
© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

The Piper Has Called

and I wonder,I wait-
whose turn would it be
which country which people
after the Kashmiri?
and like many other on other
lands, ruled by hate and race
as if each one came first
all is mine no matter what-
what possessiveness strong
resides in man, making him blind
what to say with guns and pellets
no traditions no laws no bonds
distances, absences, missing sons
and husbands, walls and fences
‘grieving hearts in survivor bodies’
how to move on in fear and blood
no more would there be the music
of the pipe- what good to follow hence
we wait for -then The One Man who
will come, help guide comfort and
make all the difference-

© 2019,  Anjum Wasim Dar

May the God Lord Help You All

white is natural and so is black
but for black white would not be-
in darkness stars are the light
by day it is the sun
variegated colors of the world
in deserts yellow in fields green
in people dark and pale
in animals spots and lines
in wars, red with blood
covered or uncovered
heads are round –
bullets guns missiles
are the same, all kill
in oceans or mountains
on land and sea-
nothing matters when
hate comes in –
‘Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul’ and
sings the tune without words
and never stops-at all-‘
despair reigns in camps
isolated parched famished-
can an emoji reflect captivity
curfew torture rape or death ?
Hark ! I believe I hear the Piper’s Call
May the Good Lord help us all
Amen.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

“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

When I Asked My Mother About 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.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase her little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com


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

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew

..the civil war..

i posted it, titled it. civil war.

stopped and wondered how any war, any fight,

any death, anger and destruction. any child hurt.

can be termed, ‘civil’.

even with punctuation.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: 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.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage 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.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * 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


7 thoughts on “When I Asked My Mother About War . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. What an excellent collection, Jamie! You always bring out the best in poets. These writings were heartbreaking and thought provoking. I have been MIA dealing with family “stuff” but hope to be back with a submission for this week’s prompt. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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