“I am not a silent poet,” this Wednesday Writing Prompt in honor of Reuben Woolley

c estate of Reuben Woolley

“I have been seeing such increasing evidence of abuse recently that I felt it was time to do something. I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms, colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of the NHS, the rape culture are just the examples that come to mind at the moment. It is not a site for rants which, if they are well written are welcome here [i.e. Facebook]. My idea for this group is for discussion about abuse and what we can do about it. There is room here, of course for poetry. I just felt it was time for me to get off my arse and try to do something.” Reuben Woolley, publisher of the webzine I Am Not A Silent Poet, A magazine for poetry and artwork protesting against abuse in any of its forms

Reuben Woolley died last week and so many of us are feeling the loss of this man who shared our ideals, wrote poems of protest and resistance, and published “quality poems of protest” on his webzine site as well as poetry and information on his Facebook discussion page. His most recent book. This Hall of Tortures, was published in April 2019.  He recently sent me a copy for review. I was waiting until he got out of the hospital to send my interview questions.

“I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms: colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of health services, the rape culture, FGM, our girls in Nigeria are just some of the examples that come to mind at the moment. It is not a site for rants.” 

Reuben was laid to rest on Monday and his daughter writes, “Although he was not a religious man, we decided to do brief ceremony at the Iglesia de los Milagros in Ágreda. In the same place where he and my mother got married 40 years ago, we came today to cry his death and celebrate his life.

“Remembering all our roadtrips around the UK listening to the Rolling Stones’ album “Let it Bleed” , I thought that playing for him “You can’t always get what you want” one last time would be a good way to remember him. Personally, I think he would have got a huge kick out of knowing that he caused a Rolling Stones’ song to be played in this quaint Spanish cemetery. Cheers dad.”

requiescat in extremis

the dark denizens
come forward
in flux
& what i have is
the hole in the picture the
red balloon & a child
follow me this
& one time only

there is weather a
hindrance & my chair i
sit too much listening
to pure crazy jazz
in this brain my
dangerous habitat

extinguish me now say
a pointless gesture ever & down
load this my stupid requiem

© Reuben Woolley, September 13, 2019


In the spirit of I am not a silent poet and in honor of Reuben, please share a protest poem or two – any topic but NO RANTS, per Reuben’s rules.  Comments on and memories of Reuben are welcome also if you’d like and will be published along with your poem/s next Tuesday.

  • 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


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, December 9 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.

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 and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications: Five by Jamie Dedes on The World Literature Blog,  Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Womawords Literary Press, November 19, 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