The Journey . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America



Here we are at Tuesday again, the day when we share poems submitted in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, A Study in Contrasts, October 23.

Today’s thoughtful collection is collection is courtesy of  mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Sheila Jacob, Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Kelly Miller, Ben Naga, Erik Nicholsen, Bishnu Charan Parida, and Clarissa Simmens.

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


baseless essence

mirrors slates to the eyes
cold blood hot cries
in the forests of wires
camping for leisure
in soul of one who
was once a beauty
now the dump
they along with the trash
typhus and the brass pipes
in the underground
akin to the bony
once strong legs
of our fathers
stones from her river
are epoxy sold in bags
at the mostly made in China
flower and craft shops
we and they still people
we are flesh
twenty nine doors down
we also have botulism
to soothe the angst
of those whose spirits
have been mislead
to look inside the slate
and not see
the true worth of their inner glow

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


cpl thisthat & his fathfool shamp/onion, thutherthing

cpl thisthat mead alist
as was gidding olivertwist:

tonic/dominant
figure/ground
silence/crescendo
razory/round

over his shoulder was thutherthing reading
staching his woundless nonforearm unbleeding

(to be continues unaverse
post heatdeath of the UniVerse)

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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


I’m Feral Lass

I’ll trash your tidy desk
rip all your documents
scribble on your certificates
shit in your desk drawers
slap a poster of my
photocopied arse
above it, with the message

“kiss it”

tip your rubbish bins
down the street

my fretted crests’ll slop
over your
carefully built barriers

spontaneous fires’ll burn
your precious stuff

my earth’ll move your home
shatter it to splinters

I’ll cut you
and kiss it better
in the blaze of my thighs

break your neat pavements
pothole your smooth roads

flood your flood defences
overgrow your borders
put weeds in your flowerbeds

steal your freshly sown seeds
bloody your egg laying chickens

shag your mates
swear at your mam and dad
give them a hug

wide eyed I’ll scarper
with a whistle
and skip down your street

shout “Anyone wanna shag me?”

And say to you,

“Now, do you love me?”

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Commital

White autumn mist hangs gently
in the valley as I walk
down the steep hill
a philip’s screwdriver
in my inside pocket
to open the casket.
I wish to recall every detail.

Carry Nana’s ashes in a pine casket,
secured by six philip screws
with four thin white strings attached,
held on by six gold pins
and this in a brown cardboard box
that has her name printed in black felt tip
on one of its leaves,

and this in a strong red paper
carrier with two gold rope like handles,
and I am surprised how heavy
it is in my hands and have to bend
my knees to pick it up. It squeaks
like new shoes when I walk.

Careful not to lose
the certificate of cremation,
I stand at the bus stop
opposite the half completed

new estate of houses built
on land I knew last year
as a cornfield where discarded
energy cans and crisp bags
lined the edge.

I walk up the hill
to the church to meet the vicar
dressed in white with gold detail.
He asks ” Do you want the casket
to be lowered in the grave
by the verger or yourself?”
I give my answer.

I lay the casket on the Lord’s table
as requested, the vicar speaks
of the resurrection and the life,
quotes revelation about the lamp
and the world without night.

I follow him and verger
down the hill of graves
past bushes full of bright red berries,
brown mushrooms flourishing
on rotten soaked wood,

kneel on the green rubber kneeler,
beside the prepared hole
under an oak tree in leaf fall
and lower the casket down
with the white string,

the gold of her nameplate
on top of the casket contrasts
with the dark clayey soil.
We say the Lord’s prayer.

Verger leaves the earth
on the grave slightly raised
so it may settle, agrees
to green bin my cardboard box

and paper carrier. I shake
his hand and say “Thankyou.”
Walk down the hill to the bus.
No screwdriver was needed.

© 2019, 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


Oneness of Opposites

Life is a necessary study in contrasts
of war and peace, bombs and blasts
perhaps like a rose bush awaken, only
to find the stem all full of thorns-

Clothes tattered and torn, feet bare
watch from the shop window,
someone buying a new pair,not
feeling your own cold blues’

Life and onlookers say ‘Oh look a girl’
inside you have a spirit much different
to stay, play, walk, hands in pockets
whistling a tune, head in air, indifferent

The world, art, self, explain each other
each the aesthetic oneness of opposites,
light beyond darkness, sun shining on,
while lifeless moon smiles in reflection,

to find discretion, individuality in pain
helpless in brokenness or absence of
the necessary-to find discontinuity in
design and form, continuity in spirit-

A symbiosis meaningful, love and hate
or to be an octopus, blocked by the
beauteous sea anemone which travels
for fun with the crab, in waters deep.

Life is structured with beauty in ugliness
its reality like two seas muddy and blue join,
yet do not mix, neither add nor subtract, fear
not but make sense of good and evil, at best.

O Alice You grew and shrunk in wonderland
Gulliver you commanded the Little,feared the
Giants. Fallen Angels once glorious reduced
to bees, good or bad? Yes, but by comparison-

© 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


Green Leaf Brown Leaf

I feel the scrunch
and slip of leaves
under my feet,
tread stars of cerise,
amber, saffron.
I catch one as it falls,
cradle it in my hands
and later, close it
between pages
of a book.

The earth is turning,
days are shortening
and restless swallows
have travelled south.
Winter is posting
its early love letter:
a hieroglyph
of shadowed branches
promising bare trees
on silver- pink skylines.

Bird’s nests will display
their woven emptiness.
A solitary wren
will etch a path
on newly laid snow
before her wings
brush the air in memory
of first tousled flights
beneath the ring
of a rosy sun.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase Sheila’s 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


What is not is

Silence skirts
its own issue
turning
from noise

to splinters

of a squirrel’s frenzied cry
that gag stillness

to stirrings

the faint drip
of rain
brushed
off
a
leaf
by
rustling
wind

to remote

palpable pleas on stoic faces
anger fortissimo in the
crease of a forehead
voiceless echoes
from endless wells

to

mountains of silence
that communicate
within themselves

I too am contoured by what I am not

© 2019, Urmilia Mahajan

Urmila-ji’s site is: Drops of Dew


:: binding ::

binding

may be the contrast here
on
the national library stairs.

guided to the cupboard,
the collection dusted, labelled,
named as important. emptied,
it
is the proof that nothing can be
rare.

nothing is now something, quality
of non existence, held us in a
moment, then we moved on blindly
looking for something,

as we are bound.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


A Sour Honey

Bitter

Excruciating Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul suffering Bleeding Healing Bleeding Healing Opening and closing our wounds Self-inflicted and victimized Hanging on and letting go of the theory “It gets better with time” Love takes Greedily While we give out Completely Love loves scheming Exploiting our hope, faith, and innocence What began with purity and bliss Ends in perversion and depression Stepping on the sharp clinging briars Nestled in that beautiful lush green grass Must we take the bitter with the sweet?

Sweet

Ecstasy Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul reaping Blossoming Growing Blossoming Growing Opening and closing on romance Every second apart is some great deprivation Enraptured and constricted Hanging on for dear life to the theory “Love is everything” Love provides in full Generous and compassionate While we take in desperation of its ripe fruits Consuming and yearning for more Protecting our hope, faith, and innocence The promise of forever thrives within desire and endurance Climbing the stepping stones to a perfect divine passion Rain turns into liquid sunshine We maintain a dying infatuation with pleasure Must we take the bitter with the sweet?

From Kelly’s collection The Riddle and the Dedication II, available on Amazon.com

© 2019, Kelly Miller

Kelly’s site is: Found My Touch, Creating and Discussing Visual Art


The Living Room

We’re uncertain exactly where we are
Or what it is we are for that matter
One day we found ourselves cohabitation
No idea how that happened to happen

The bedroom’s not to either of our tastes
But that matters not, we pay little heed
Spend time in sleep, dreaming or dalliance
The living room – quite another matter

For here is where we spend most of our time
Agreeing, disagreeing, arguing
It seems important to get it just right
If only our visions weren’t so diverse

No that’s not it let’s try it over here
Or maybe a slightly different colour
You say we preferred it a while ago
I have to say I don’t remember that

Paint tester pots have left their splotchy marks
Loved by the one but not by the other
A whole rainbow of dissatisfactions
Look around – our living room is a mess

All kinds of ill-matching chairs and sofas
Piled with old issues of Ideal Home
Not a place we ever sit and relax
Let’s face it … we’re just as ill-matched ourselves

We strove to create our own mise-en-scène
The expression of that that which we are
Let’s give up as we are already here
For this is our truth – a study in contrasts

© 2019, Ben Naga

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


John Everett Millais’ The Blind Girl

…………………………First of all I sat for the blind girl. It was dreadful suffering, the
…………………….sun poured in through the window. I had a brown cloth over my
forehead which was some relief but several times I was as sick
as possible and nearly argued. Another day I sat outside in a hay
field, and when the face was done Everett scratched it out; he
wasn’t pleased with it and complained about the showers.

Smoke from Everett’s pipe got in my eyes so I had to shut them.
He told me to keep them shut. He told me not to see the beggar
boy on the toll road; he told me not to see the three crows
feeding on a dead rabbit or the adder by his own left boot.
I laughed and said I could still see with my eyes shut. I could
smell the acrid smoke rising from a factory chimney; I could
hear the donkeys coughing in the field; I could hear the boy
weeping. He told me to be blind.

The concertina was lent by Mr Pringle who had a daughter who
had died. It was hers. He said we could keep it as it would never
be played again. I smoothed my orange skirt and rested the
concertina on my lap doing my best to be blind. It was difficult
to keep my eyes shut on such a beautiful day. Everett said there
was a double rainbow so I had to look. Everett wasn’t pleased as
he was doing the face again. I stretched out my right hand and
touched a wild flower growing in the grass. I knew it was a
harebell as my little finger fitted inside just as if it was a
thimble.

The next day the weather seeped into our drawing room and the
double rainbow arched over the carpet. I had my eyes open and
could see a painted lady fluttering at the window pane. I could
hear concertina music softly playing.

Part-found prose poem: Source/ Effie Millais’ journals

© 2019, Eric Nicholsen

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. Eric’s site is: https://erikleo.wordpress.com


The Journey

Like a road, the journey
Moves through the picturesque countryside,
Jungles, plains and plateaus
Full of fauna and flora,
Down through the verdant valleys,
Spiraling, meandering, rising, falling
Over the strenuous mountains
And rough, rocky terrains,
Crawling through the underpasses
Climbing over the bridges

Flying in the air
Or sailing on the sea, and,
Sometimes through barren meadows,
The journey trudges through the eerie deserts, even,
Stretches of infinite nothingness and evanescent horizons

The moment when a newborn cries,
Heralding its arrival, the family celebrates birth
With joyousness and vigor,
But death deceives the dearest departing untimely,
Leaving the kin breaking in tears

The whole earth rotates
And revolves,
Time changes its colors
Happiness and sorrows
The ceaseless journey spears through,
Dawn or dusk
Day or night
Black or white
Up or down
Birth or death
In a striking contrast

© 2019, Bishnu Charan Parida

Bishnu-ji’s site is: Bishnu’s Universe Bishnu is just getting his blog started. We wish him much joy in this creative effort. 


Something About a City

Sometimes I can smell Philadelphia
But I’m really scenting my youth
Tasting it
Feeling all my senses
Reaching out
For the city I love

Sitting behind the Gothic pile
Known as City Hall
Skyscrapers towering above it all
Unknown but should-be known
Rock band serenading us for free

So much human life
In contrast to my swamp so rife
With four-legged dwellers
Fascinating to watch
Lacking, though, in conversational skills

Wish I could live in both
Out the front door, city
Out the back door, swamp

And like Tarot’s Temperance
I’d have one foot in the mire
One foot in the asphalt
Perfectly balanced…

© 2017, Clarissa Simmens

Simply the Sun

The sun is not mysterious enough
To rate writing about
Moon mystique is endlessly
Fascinating
Appearing in the darkness
Drawing our blood, tides
And ruling our emotions
Contrast the sun
A necessity for all life
Dosing us with Vitamin D
Nothing enigmatic though
Just there
Even if it seems invisible
Like during polar winters
Of utter darkness
Or on stormy sub-tropical noons
Even on cloudy beaches
Evidenced by the wind-blown skin damage
It is there on twilight evenings
As night-bloomers like Evening Primrose
Open and stretch
Toward its sleepy rays
Dark or light
Dim or bright
The sun is always there
No, nothing mysterious about it
Just a burning ball having
Occasional tantrums
As the spots explode
We understand its punishment
On desert roads
Our bodies mercilessly drying
There are so many moon songs
But not many sun ones
So what’s to write about?
Yet, my favorite time of day is dawn
When the sun sails above the Earth
Breaking through the horizon’s rim
My heart thuds loudly because another day
Another chance for a good day
Is once again hovering in the dawn
Let it be today, I think longingly

© 2017, 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.


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

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