To Be a Poet. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“. . . when a good poet is confronted with difficult facts that he knows to be true but also are inimical to poetry, he has no choice but to flee to the margins; it was . . . this very retreat that allowed him to hear the hidden music that is the source of all art.”  Orhan Pamuk, Snow

And this being Tuesday, here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, I Am the Poem, October 9., which involved process. The poems which form today’s collection include two from newcomers who are warmly welcomed here: midnight sky’s poet and Erik Nicholson.  The other are from our stalwart participants: Gary W. Bowers, Olive Branch, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Clarissa Simmens, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning. All are welcome to come out and play, no matter the stage of your career: beginning, emerging, or pro.

To Be a Poet

To be a poet
is to sit behind the throne,but put
pen on paper and rule the kingdom.
To be a poet
is to cry and be broken,but put
pen on paper and create a smile for somebody else.
To be a poet
is to fail and lose your faith,but put
pen on paper and give hope to the world.
To be a poet
is to look into his eyes and stammer,but put
pen on paper and win a handful of hearts.
To be a poet,
is to be only human,but put
pen on paper and build a castle on the moon.

© 2019, midnight sky’s poet

Wecome, midnight sky’s poet!
midnight sky’s poet has a passion for all things literary, especially poetry and is new to blogging and to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt.  Link HERE to visit and encourage.

I am not a poem
written from the other side

a hundred poems remained unwritten
when you were alive
and now
the letters blur and drop
out of sight
in a fugitive dance of black
and white

this unwritten poem hears your whispers
from the other side
and wishes to
lie alongside the annotations you made in pencil
when it could
be fixed if only your annotations
were collected up
and rearranged in dark lines
along side
a rejected passage
filial fellowship

but this
unwritten poem cannot
set in ink the past’s lack.

© 2019, Eric Nicholson

Welcome, Eric Nicholson (Erik Leo, All Things Creative)
I am retired and live in England. I try and keep active and interested and involved in a variety of activities: yoga, singing, walking and writing, to name a few. I am a volunteer in the nearby countryside and help to monitor the activities of the iconic red kites. My reading includes poetry, fiction, philosophy and other non-fiction. My writing reflects my interests, as you can see. I have many poems and articles published online.

you are in there somewhere

michelangelo moved on
but left behind the notion
that what sculptors did was free
imprisoned beauty
or trapped wiadom
from an embedded limbo

every slab of marble is a jail cell
and the sculptor has
the chiselmallet keys

and so you o secret net of words
o conveyance of transcendance
you are tangled
you are caught
but my chisel is discernment
my mallet insistence
and in three more words
you are free

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: One With Clay, Image and Text


It began at an ending
and at the forefront of
an attempt to decipher the darkness
and sift through the tensions of
As dilemmas grew, the need was to
reconcile the tension and
provide catharsis to emotion.

At times the natural world brought beauty
and balm and later
there was more of trying to
grasp that reality.

Much of what is now present seems
inconsequential, and
the belief this endeavor brings to the table
something less than a glass full, to most
it is possibly nearly
perhaps the result of
neglect, time and weariness of
left unsolved.

© 2019, Olive Branch


window at dusk
clove cigarette
clings between wet lips
diet coke
dangerously close to keyboard
sad tired eyes
the color of gypsy moss
blood trickles
from her nose
at times
thoughts bounce
like dandelion pappi
blown from the tiny lips of babes
and at times
an invisible pang
slightly electrically melancholic
in the middle of the chest
looking down to see
how people such as we
just all wander
on Spring street
she thinks with slightly damaged brain
do they see as i see
she feels the wounds of the mistaken
and soothes the misguided vigor of the innocent
the sweet sweat of gardenias
distract the ghost
locked in her heart
life becomes less ordinary
and so she sits to write
out the fabric of her soul

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken

A World Where

I can’t recognise this pattern of words,
the timetables at work. I can’t make

a pattern is a world without form,
without substance, an out of focus

pictures in which there maybe more
than one of me. I don’t orientate

without signposts or landmarks or signatures.
All is blur. Meaning elusive.

If I make it could be false. There is grief
at a loss of shape, of pattern.

A gallery of random words and pictures
I can reshuffle so every time a picture

has different words, words you can apply
to any other picture. The application of shape

more meaningful perhaps. As we can’t say
when someone close will leave this earth.

Port of Souls is found landlocked sometimes.
Like marrow locked inside a bone, at other

Times it is a small island surrounded
by a repetition of water. Occasionally after

so many have passed into memory,
a port of souls occupies our inside.

From Paul Brookes and Marcel Herms A Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

The Bestiary

You sit cross legged cradle its bairn
as Imagination with its feet on the ground
talks to the fish who hangs in the air.

The fish speaks of the tides of the gusts,
fronds of the trees and breaking crests
of the crash of clouds.

Those images are so lame Imagination replies,
So already done. Exercise your fish brain,
More you train larger it gets.

You recognise the bairn’s bawl
so settle it under imaginations udders..
Gently place its mouth around a teat.

It sucks contentedly as the fish speaks
of the lotic waters of the clouds,
upended deltas of trees and turbid air.

Imagination smiles as her bairn sups,
winces at the backward leap of the fish
Into obscure words to deepen what’s said.

Forthcoming in Skyfish (Alien Buddha Press)

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Yon Gob Agape

A neet starstruck,
rocks kal in dialect.
Spoutin’ foreign.

Oyle in rock
is a wobbly gob.
Tha spies stars in spate.

Can’t dip thee hand in
and grab a mite
o’ clear blue and sparkle.

Stars are sparking
molten steel,
creation unmaking,
remaking themsens

in words wi a different roll
off of the tongue,
that touches a new
combination of truths.

An almost oxbow and meander
frames itsen agog
at leet streamin’ into this cave.
Spouts another lingo.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

O, Lady Of The Breath (Six Vacanas)

1. You Rise

from my forest and leave
out of the gob and earth falls.

It shivers renewed,

welcomes a similar you
into my gob.

You excite my spring buds,
allow the earth to rise, again.

2. Can’t Let

you stay long in the dark,
or the earth will rot.

I can’t let you out for long,
or the earth will rot.

Let’s follow this pattern.
I’ll briefly allow you into my dark wood,

But please don’t take woodsmoke, car fumes,
coal dust, iron filings, water in with you,

else I’ll hack you out. These companions
quicken the rot.

3. Help With The

tasting snake in my cave
form the words I need to say.

Take my words out into air
loud enough for others to hear.

Please don’t say you are weak
and can’t carry such a weight.

Please don’t say I failed to welcome
enough of you into the forest.

4. My Dad Let You

in with pungent watercolours on his back,
stink of Clwyd cowpats and fresh mountain air,

but when he scraped boilers you secretly
took into his forest asbestosis strands

that speed his rot and ruin. I can’t understand
your thought in all of this

5. My Sister Threw You

out over her steering wheel,
her forest crushed by molded plastic.

She tried to welcome you back
but the wood was gone,

so you gust over her grave
under an overseeing tree.

O, my lady of the breath.
I welcome your coming and going.

6. Your Cheyne Stokes

delay before my unconscious Nanna
let you in.

I waited a minute, a 10-20
second episode of
stopped breath

suddenly her welcome
let you in

deeper and again
deeper in and out.

then delay

then delay

then delay

her welcome of you
and delay I watched seven days

until she refused your entry for good.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Mop And Bucket

are poetry to me.
My pen is a mop

I stick in a bucket
of disinfectant floor cleaner

pull out mop sodden
with words and splash

them backwards and forwards
slop lines one after the other

until the floor fair shines.
My mop is dry, needs another dip.

I squeeze out the gunk
back into the bucket.

More the floor shines,
dirtier the bucketful gets.

A good poem is a clean floor.

From Please Take Change (, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes


and brush are poetry.
Brush is my pen

sweeps all the words
dust, ripped plastic packaging,

used sucked lollipop sticks,
shop receipts, religious pamphlets

sausage roll pastry, used product
labels into a neat pile,

position the dustpan to receive
the words. Carefully flick

the words towards a dustpan page.
Inevitably, some words are swept

under the page. I have to rescue those.
Sometimes the page is the floor.

Sometimes the pen cleans away
a chaos of words to leave a poem.

From Please Take Change (, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Poem as Competent Nineteenth Century Merchant Mariner

This poem is able
to Chock a Block,
make a mat
or splice a rope.

This poem is
a rope block heaved to its full extent.
Full up, no room for any more.
When the two blocks
of this poem’s tackle meet
it will prevent any more
purchase being gained
Keep cargo from a shift
in the dark hold

This poem is
a rope yarn mat used to fasten
upon outside of exposed parts
of standing rigging exposed
to friction of yards, bolt-ropes of sails,
or other ropes.

This poem splices rope
twists words wrapped
into sentences that strengthen
when tautened by meaning.

This poem is
carefully rigged
for cargo
into your imagination.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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

By Grace

A sensation invisible awakens in the soul
stirs the spirit into restlessness , cold
warmth engulfs the soul, it is love being

desire tender like a rosebud, soft like
the kiss of a butterfly, caressing deep inner
recesses, yearning to emerge, take shape and
create a revelation.

O heart show me the way.
I will, just touch me when you transform
in petals soft , layered in magical encasements
to emanate , manifest, a colorful coronet.

O Intellect add thy wisdom complete the process
Bless me with language to mold the thought
meaningful that aspires to be known , to reach the
realms of the printed universe!

The Pen Moves tracing patterns on paper
word by word line by line, this is it, a poem
it is by grace, a blessing, an act of The Divine.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

A Brief Comparison First

poetry comes in all shapes and sizes
so does knitting in moods ‘ere one realizes
poetry instructs as well as delights
knitting covers the shivers, fevers and ‘frights’
poetry supports all living things
felines frogs to human beings
if not poetry its knitting mittens
no wonder the first poem was, “three little kittens”
for long paper or words may stare
hunt for rhymes or synonyms spare
blog page if you dare, only one ounce ?
watch out, needle, ready is poem, to bounce, er.. pounce…
poetry is beauty if you may think
write, whatever you see in a blink
rhyme or not, blank open or run-on
which is easy, to knit? or ‘ poetry’ with skill n wit’

© 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

Down a Dark Hall

I wander down a dark hall
Peeking in this room
Throwing wide the doors in another
This door is locked
That door I quickly shut
One door leads me down a corridor that takes me a few hours to get through and back to where I was before
Now, I have to walk quickly
The light from my phone
Illuminating the way
I find a door and pull it
But it’s stuck
I jiggle it
I lean into it
I hip check it
I take a running start and slam into it
I slide down and sit
My back against it
It opens
And there sits my Muse
She says, “Hello, Poet!”

© 2019, Irma Do

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


We shuttle, like spiders,
between the fractured, anguished days
and the leap of the heart
in a transcendental moment,
weaving our threads in the sway
of wind and rain, patient
for the time when the light
will play on the captured dew
and the passer-by will pause
as we wait behind the curling leaf.

© 2019, Frank McMahon

.. my writing ..

have spent three days

handwriting, neatly. it gets

on my nerves that it is so

tidy, repetetive, that i never

did achieve the badge at school

for such a skill.

words a bother too,

always gentle, no grit

really, no filth, or dastardly


i spent three days writing,

one eye closed, storm building.

you never know what goes on

behind the scenes.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

The Love of My Life

She watches the idiot boy tinkering.
Muttering, mumbling, worrying at the cud,
stuttering through the fog, clutching at limp scraps,
floundering in discarded redundancies.

She recalls that piece of paper on which he
scrawled “Words are the pegs on which experience
is hung out to dry.” Inconsistent or what?
The image bristles with frustration, contempt.

Is he completely disenchanted by words?
Yet it was words neatly condemning themselves
satisfied him so deeply as he wrote them.
He loves paradox, adores ambivalence.

They’re like two long wedded lovers, him and words.
A profound affection for one another,
but also resenting the chains of habit
and codependence that tie them together.

She is happy to be his occult bedmate;
mistress also of that realm where sounds are born,
she knows how to set them coursing through his veins:
a great deluge; a mighty niagara.

Essence of being and experiencing
thunders through the flume, sparks flecks of vocal spume.
Words once again stand agape, untongued, dumbstruck.
For this is the mistress of his heart, true

love of his life.


The relationships between the poet, his wife (words) and his mistress (the Muse – gateway to the Essence).

© 2019, Ben Naga

Ben Naga’s site is: Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire.”

Pandora’s More Fortunate Daughter

All the usuals
All the emotions
The real me
Kept boxed up
Until one day

What to do?
Collection of boxes
Containing nothing but
Sparkly dust
Poured a bit into my palm
A sonnet appeared
Oh, sure, not Shakespeare-worthy
But each day it grew
Until there were twenty-two
One for each symbol
Of the Major Arcana
Then there were twelve
Terza Rima
For each Zodiac sign

And each box
Had its own lines
Until there was a
Rima Royale of birds
And a tiny box of Haiku
Slightly larger box of Tanka

But in a special box
Of the loveliest cloisonne
Shone silver Moon dust
Mixed with golden Sunlight
And Stars of blue and every hue
They whirled above me
Then gently drizzled down
Covering my head, lips, shoulders

And as I grew older
I became bolder
Free at last
Poetry that had no use for rhyme
Gutter talk
A touch of erotica
Words made up
Words spilling from a box
Filling ten books
Of words hidden inside
For decades
The real me

Then one day
Those magical boxes
Were empty
I’d open the lids
In the three a.m. shadows
Whispering, “Where’d you go?”

So, I bought more boxes
My collection growing
And one cloudy morning
Something sang out
From a new box
And there
As I hastily opened the lock
Was a different dust
Sparkling? Not quite
Like electricity
And poetry melded
With musical chords
And songs were born
Euterpe with her magic flute
Pushed open the lids
Danced with her sister

And I wrote
And strummed
And sang
And hummed

But I see
The magical dust
In my box collection
Is once again disappearing
And so I say
Today is the day
I shop for a new box
And begin an unknown

© 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.

Blank Page

Virgin white page, finger poised,
words falter,
ink dries.

Great plops of rain, purple-blue splatters on
colourless glass,
forms patterns.

My mind engages the diary of the soul
silver memories,
the rhythm opens.

Begin the beginning.

© 2019, Leela Soma

Leela site is:

Ode to a Poem

Raanana, July 17, 2015

The first time I saw her,
Her flowered dress hanging loosely
From her slender body,
Her boyish haircut belying her doll-like face,
Her dactyl fingers holding
The frail unfolded page she recited from
Trembling but heroic in her hexameter,
Lips touching the microphone in a whisper,
I knew she was a poem
And not a real person like me.
I saw her once again in a city park
With her small daughter
Who is also a poem,
A haiku full of frogs and butterflies,
Ponds with bridges and lanterns,
And crayon buddhas
Dancing in her dreams of childhood,
Tucked in by her mother’s watchful love
But not a real person like my child.
My mother was a poem
A southern antebellum belle,
Sitting on the floor,
Her generous skirts flowing out from her,
Her freeform youth and beckoning beauty
To all who admired her poetry,
The only language she could speak and sigh,
She knew to be a poem you had to die,
Not a real person like me.
Me, I don’t rhyme, I scarcely scan,
My iambs died from anapestilence,
I go to work and come back home,
I watch the news and worry some,
My wife and I go to movies when there’s a good one,
I walk my dog and deal with encroaching silence,
And this man in mirrored parody
Becomes increasingly estranged to me,
But it’s a life I’d feign give up.
Still and yet at times I wish
I were a poem too.

(c) 2015, Mike Stone

On Poetry

Raanana, July 3, 2015

It’s been said by poets who should know
That it’s a sin to write a poem about a po-
Em, probably because it’s hard
To find a word that rhymes with poem
But, if I could, that sure would show ’em.
All of my life I’ve been thinking of poems,
From day break to night fall, from five until three,
Why can’t they just once be thinking of me?
I may not be in possession of beauty but
I can rhyme truly in dactyl tetrameter,
Though most of my rhythm is sprung into free verse,
That’s no excuse, n’est-ce pas, for not thinking
Of me.

© 2015, Mike Stone

“A Poem Unwritten”

Raanana, March 9, 2012

No one has ever written a poem about a poem unwritten
Of the many virtues of such a poem
The perfect meter of noambic nometer
The clarity and minimalism leave
Even haiku silent with envy.
The language of silence is universal
Requiring no translation.
It will be unread by billions!
It’s amazing that no one has thought of it,
No one and I.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Want Ad

Raanana, June 5, 2009

Wanted muse to pose for poet
Work challenging but not too strenuous
(Just need to exist)
References desirable previous poets
Preferably Romantic though
Classic also accepted
Exquisite beauty and grace not required
Please reply in fourteen lines or less

© 2009, Mike Stone

Like Ghosts

Raanana, August 25, 2006

Poems are like ghosts,
Not everyone can see them,
Floating behind the rocks and distant pines.
But when you finally do see one
Your eyes open wide
In wonder full of surprise
Like someone I knew once
Who is herself a ghost now.

They are so powerless,
They can’t even open a door by themselves
But must wait for someone real to walk through.

Poems can’t be forced,
They’re like a talking horse
That only speaks when
Others are not about.

Poems can’t be heard by everyone.
They are much like silence
And there’s no knob to turn the volume up
There’s just

Poems have a sense in which they’re right
That can’t be understood by everyone
Within the bounds of normalcy
Like dreams and madness.

Yet I believe in them
Having heard one once myself,
But never more.

© 2006, Mike Stone

No Words

Raanana, June 25, 2005

Can a white man dream
a black man’s dreams?
Can a man think
a woman’s thoughts?

If I use words to tell you how I feel,
You won’t understand me,
Nor I you.
What use are words?

They’re only good for lies and prayers
and stirring winds of war,
not for poems
or for poets sick of them.

Find another occupation:

© 2005,  Mike Stone

I Ink Therefore Iamb

Raanana, December 22, 2004

A few things I’ve learned about poetry:
Never write a poem about poetry,
And the more emotion you put into a poem
The less you get out of it,
And rhyme is less important than reason,
And a poem not read is as sad
As a poem not written.

© 2004, Mike Stone

Little Jack Horner

Raanana, March 3, 2003

Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner
Eating his humble pie;
He plunged in a dagger
Pulled out his heart
And said what a good poet am I.

© 2003, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, It contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did.  Recommended. / J.D.


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, 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 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