Page 9 of 9

Sea Fever Again … and other poems to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of Cindy Tang, Unsplash

“How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!” Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four



Today is Super Tuesday here in the United States. It’s the day that the largest number of states hold their primaries to determine who will be the nominee for the next presidential election. What a relief to come back to the sanity of poetry and to let go the news, which I listened to on-again off-again as care givers were in and out today.

What a bracing collection of poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, walk sedately through the forest, February 26, which encouraged poets to write about nature as witness. These poems are more about observing or being in nature than being observed by nature. Close enough for our purpose, which is to provide a place to share creative work, to inspire, to exercise the poetic muscle, to connect with other poets, and to encourage.

This week we warmly welcome Kate Copeland and Adrian Slonaker to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt and welcome back Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Erick Nicholson, Clarissa Simmens, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone.

Join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro.



Envelope

little flakes of cloudy breaths
from the top all the way down
Winter beauty and bear
a cold pale and pain for
grey eating and drinking
So strategically dressed
she sticks to sitting outside
where the patio heater
Cannot read, concentrate
filling days with endless
songs and numberless walks
Watercold still no matter
there’ll be birdsong without fall
Wrapped up in a thousand shawls
as jewelry has different looks
On the back of an envelope
she scrawls her fears for the
November monsters in dreams now
the ginger-haired guy from her
adolescence nightmares is back
Summer makes her someone else
entirely no dark on the doorstep
no bogeyguys on an envelope
later when it turns light
no shadow days blue nights
to stare at and do nothing

© 2020, Kate Copeland

All the water in the world
a grey afternoon and just now
it starts to rain, big drops
in small pools on her terrace
looking outside – another
glass in her hand
the house gets dark
last light through the living
a house already silent since
he is gone, big drops
on the roof beating a drum
beating her dead heart
she sits down, suddenly
dead-tired but too afraid to
lie on their bed, big drops
against those windowpanes
a year of loss
has started
a lifetime of love
has ended
the man has cut her landline
and she cannot believe
there will ever be a
rising of another sun a
blowing out the clouds
another good morning beautiful
another – looking outside
all the water in the world will
not free the lights in the lake
this is how she will remember
losing, forever

© 2020, Kate Copeland

Upstate

Through the kitchen window to where the
lake ends and the trees touch her
lustrous sides, a rippleless motion
in the reeds waving at all the colours –
at me –

and the pines’ crowns simply
add a powdery green to where
the water starts a black-blue dark
leaving such velvety shine –
to me

Then dive in
because the leaves
they rustle turn a light
wind, stroking the season
still warm enough
to dive in unripple
this brightness the calmth

a happiness
polished by so much beauty
trees surrounding the lake
circles lost in this
dialogue of sounds and colours
how many identifiers are

there to believe?
crickets are laughing, a prey bird
sleuths the satiness

a happiness
so unworldly
a gratefulness
so unearthly

that I just dive in
bring me down back
to lights ways to wish
of colours and crowns

© 2020, Kate Copeland

Star System

A sultry summer night in August.
Crickets trill and the blue pool
water calms down. The hills smell
of oleander and she lies there.
Her bikini inviting, a vermouth
with no ice. Tempting lifetime in
California. I need help, she says.

Try to get to where
I am, he relucts, not a lot
better but at least you try.
And drifts off. About time
to get your act together
not ask more questions or
invite, so she sleeps soundly.

And winds up her dreams,
forgets the rain, his love
once. What matters not a lot
more than no ice than
to look outside where
hills, wealth, water
A sultry blue night in August.

© 2020, Kate Copeland


The Forest Beings Reply

We grow as Nature ordains
never complain and bear the pains
from black to grey, green to brown
one by one we fall to the ground
Our duty done with full obedience
spreading freshness and fragrance
with peaceful quietude we surrender
making space for others in elegance.
This is The Truth This is The Call
This is The Providence of The Fall
Be it Oak, Pine Fir or Kowhai
Sown ‘n Grown, This is The Final Cry’

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

A Walk in the Green Forest

Green leaves trembling
With the tremors
Shivering with laughter
What do they see?
That makes them murmur
Sweet rustlings
Tender whisperings
Like the twittering
And the fluttering,
Manifesting Nature
In the green sea;

Waving leaves
Like the waves
Moving the living
And the dead
Spread for miles yet
With limits bound
Trunk so firm
in the ground
But the green
So serene
Silently brave
Taking life’s chance
Continues with the dance
Happy to be, to us unseen
With what, they see around.

© 2020, Anum Wasim Dar

These two poems are from Anjum Ji’s unpublished novel The Pencileeze Hall Forest Mystery, Winner NANOWRIMO 2012

Connect with Anjum here:


Biking to the Beach” – A Cascade Poem

The shoreline changes
My breath holds steady
Memories of salt, my beacon

The sea air shifts the sand
While waves grab the wet grains
The shoreline changes

Yet directions are not needed
The old bicycle just needs legs to pedal
My breath holds steady

Despite the sting in my eyes
Quickly there and then gone
Memories of salt, my beacon

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.private land.

yet there are paths,

walked, not just

by one or two.

or rabbits.

have young feet run here,

or solitary folk, thinking,

watching light hit water,

where monks crossed.

the abbey is swathed in snowdrops,

this time of year.

look for twigs.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Connect with Sonja here:


Sea Fever Again
[Apologies to John Masefield]

I must go down to the sea again, to the dirty sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a Greenpeace ship and a cause to sail her by;
And the oil slick and the dead fish and the oiled gulls drowning;
And a green scum on the sea’s face and a poisonous dawn breaking.

I must go down to the sea again to rescue the beached whales;
Most are covered in oily sludge so our futile rescue fails;
And all I ask is a clean-up plan and a white surf flying,
And a pure spray and dolphins leaping and bright gannets diving.

I must go down to the sea again and offer up a prayer
For the dolphins caught in plastic nets and seals gasping for air.
And all I ask is a global vow to honour life on earth;
To work together for a green vision and a glorious new birth.

© 2020, Eric Nicholson

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


Invasion

The feet flexed
in vegan Earth Shoes,
but the thudding of size-eleven soles
mutilated the
woods’ wind-laced silence
that had snaked through
bare birch branches and along
boulevards of elms and maples and oaks-
sharing names with samey sterile streets
in the suburb I’d escaped
to seek an illusion of
pristine paths upon which I
encroached as inappropriately as a
cockroach at the Ritz.
My thirsty eyes sipped a pair of
blinking gray owls above a toad
darting around a puddle
polluted by a packet
tossed by another trekker
who’d snacked on granola
marketed by a
multinational conglomerate
as 100% natural.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


Sedately Sauntering

Brambling buckets of blackberries
Hands torn by thorns
Moving from bushy density
To towering treeful forest
Lightning-struck structures
Of burned bark becoming
Horizontal forest barriers
Keeping some out
Some in
But either way we can win
Crackling clumps of leafy deciduosity
Red-orange-green
Self-composted bridges breaking
Bubbled muddy carpetry
Winding through lean, mean lanes
And I hear my name
Sung through dappled sunshine
Leading me mysteriously
As I walk erect and brave
Passing hidden graves of
Unknown feathered poets
Who serenaded their ribbon
Of life’s silken road
Composing high-strung music
Of unrecognized joy and tears…’

© 2020, Clarissa Simmens

Clarisa’s site is: Poeturja


Vermillion

Leaves fall down, blown away in the autumnal blitz
Gold strewn paths crunch and crackle underfoot
A single vermillion leaf like a tear drop stands proud
Defiant, blood red, life courses through its veins.

The widow looks askance; the blood red leaf sends a shiver
The memory of her wedding day, a bride adorned with jewels
The red sindoor* in the parting of her hair, beginning a new life
Of wedded love, happiness, babies, the start of a journey.

The sudden death of her spouse, the ritual of her widowhood
An awakening of the day as the sindoor on her forehead is wiped away
The bindi, the dot, the point at which creation begins, negated forever
The jangle of broken glass as bangles are crushed and ornaments discarded.

The white sari envelopes her shroud-like, a colourless palette
A life of the walking dead bereft of feelings, love or emotion.
Vermillion turned to ash, grey, unassuming as the leaden skies.
The blood red leaf is trodden under the walker’s brisk steps.

A lifeless mess of veins traces its lineage etched on the path
Lies submerged in the brown heap of dead leaves.

* Sindoor: Is a red dot applied to the bride on her wedding day and removed on widowhood.

© 2020, Leela Soma


Walking in the Forest

Walking in the forest
With God at my side
The two of us just talking
I took Him at His word
Because
of
the
sparkling
thing
Going on around Him
Me pushing the branches
Away from my face
And swatting at the gnats
And Him just walking
With nothing in His creation
Daring to touch Him.
Do
you
have
a
moment
to
see
something
beautiful?
He asked me of a sudden
And I said sure why not
So He walked up this tree
As though He were walking on a fallen log
Easy
as
could
be
While I had to shinny up
The tree bark
To get to that little branch so high up
But when I reached it
He showed me a little bird
Just loving to be so little
And love being little birds’ love
It seemed so natural.
I climbed back down carefully
While God just walked back down
As
easy
as
you
please.
We walked on in silence
Me and my gnats
And God and his Teflon demeanor
Til He stops and asks me a question.
Why
do
you
worship
Me?
What’s not to worship? I say.
Do
you
understand
Me?
He asks.
You move in mysterious ways, I say.
Do
you
think
I’m
moral?
I don’t know, I say
Not like we should be.
So
why
do
you
worship
something
immoral
you
don’t
understand?
That was the last I saw of Him
We cleared the forest a few years back
The missus and I
Have a clear view
From our back porch
Of
the
end
of
our
world.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Waiting for a Poem

You sit down on a bench
Facing the tree
In a small garden
Made quiet by the wrought iron
Fence and gate around it
Across the street from the bookstore.
You wonder will it ever find you again
So long ago and far away
From where you held on to each other
For dear life
Yes life was dear then
And then you wonder how you’ll recognize it
When it finally does arrive
It might be that ant making its way
Laboriously over a blade of grass
Toward that small range of pyramids
It calls home
Or a huge heffalump
Trumpeting in the Hundred Acre woods.
You notice a folded newspaper
On the edge of the bench
And reach over to pick it up.
Unfolding it you see her handwriting
Along a margin on the front page
“Aught have many
Many ought have one than naught”
And you think to yourself
That nothing in this godforsaken world
Is faster than the speed of night.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Hunting for a Poem 

You wake up before the sky over the hills lightens
When the dew is still wet and corpulent
Or you don’t go to sleep at all
Instead, you hunt in the blind night
Careful, slow and silent, intent
Like a child on what you want
While the hunted sleep trustfully but fitfully
In the forest awake with dangers
Or perhaps the city
House to house, door to door
Window by window, it may be watching you
Behind the curtains
It might be very small or very large
You won’t know until it’s too late
It may be in front of you
Or behind you
Ready to lunge at you
Or to fly off in a loud flapping of wings
How will you know
When you don’t even know the shape of it
Or the smell of it
Or the taste
Until you are locked in its deadly embrace?

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Walking the Fog 

First of all, fog is more practical than clouds;
I don’t have to tell you how down to earth it is.
Then there’s the fact that some fogs are friendly
While others are decidedly not.
I was walking home through the forest one evening
On the path I always follow
And saw it creeping silently toward me
Between the trees and over fallen logs and grasses
Licking my cheeks with its cold tongue.
Except for the nebulous grey-white
I couldn’t see beyond my poor shoes.
I turned around abruptly and picked up a naked branch
To use as a blind man’s tapping cane
And turned back toward the fog
That had swallowed me so thoroughly
Within its leviathan belly, that I had no clue
What was forward and what was back.
I remembered that the path was slightly less overgrown
With grasses than the sides, one of which climbed upward
While the other overlooked a rocky promontory.
The fog thickened and thinned in small swirls
As though taunting me to go this way or that
But behind the thinness was always
An impenetrable thickness.
That was when I saw the ghostly outline
Fading in and out of the fog,
Her sleeve and hood visible then invisible,
Visible and invisible,
Like a memory you try to reach
But can’t.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2020, Mike Stone

On Liking Maps Too Much

Personally, I like maps.
The precision of the black line boundaries,
The colors of the bounded entities,
And the proof that only four are needed
To separate each entity, whether town or country.
Like I said, I like maps, but not too much.
Whether two-dimensional or globular,
I’ve never come across a bound’ry line so well-defined
Or patch of ground colored just like on the map
On any of my nature walks.
Besides, I don’t much care for towns or countries,
But forests, lakes, the seas, and mountains,
Clouds and animals, and kind-hearted people,
Those are the beacons for my soul.
I’d like a map to show me where
The people are friendly and where they’re not,
Where the place is good for raising kids,
Where animals are treated well,
And where the earth is well-respected.
I don’t care if the boundary lines meander
Like creeks and clouds are wont to do.
This would be a map worth having –
I’d tuck it in my travel pouch.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, 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:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Fabulous Resource for Bloggers, Artists, Educators: Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Free Images for Broader Public Use

“Open access is a milestone for the Smithsonian in our efforts to reach, educate and inspire audiences,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III. “Through this initiative, we are empowering people across the globe to reimagine and repurpose our collections in creative new ways.”



The Smithsonian has launched Smithsonian Open Access, an initiative that removes Smithsonian copyright restrictions from about 2.8 million of its digital collection images and nearly two centuries of data. This means that people everywhere can now download, transform and share this open access content for any purpose, for free, without further permission from the Smithsonian.

Among museums and cultural institutions, this is the largest and most interdisciplinary open access program to date. The Smithsonian will continue to add items on an ongoing basis, with more than 3 million images designated as open access by late 2020.

“Open access is a milestone for the Smithsonian in our efforts to reach, educate and inspire audiences,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III. “Through this initiative, we are empowering people across the globe to reimagine and repurpose our collections in creative new ways.”

The Smithsonian Open Access content includes high-resolution 2D and 3D images of collection items, as well as research datasets and collections metadata, which users can download and access in bulk. All of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo contributed images or data to this launch. The program includes content across the arts, sciences, history, culture, technology and design, from portraits of historic American figures to 3D scans of dinosaur skeletons.


The Apollo 11 Command Module, Columbia, carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins to the Moon and back on the first lunar landing mission in July, 1969 / Source Smithsonian under CCO license

Previously, the Smithsonian made more than 4.7 million collection images available online for personal, non-commercial and educational use. Now, with Smithsonian Open Access, nearly 3 million of those images carry a Creative Commons Zero designation, which waives the Institution’s copyright and permits a greater variety of uses, both commercial and non-commercial, without the need for Smithsonian permission or payment.

“Open access exemplifies the Smithsonian’s core mission: the ‘increase and diffusion’ of knowledge our institution has fostered for nearly 175 years,” said John Davis, interim director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, who led the initiative from its inception. “With Smithsonian Open Access, we’re inviting people everywhere to make that knowledge their own––to share and build on our digital collections for everything from creative works, to education and scholarly research, to bold innovations we have yet to imagine.”

The Smithsonian is joined in this launch by collaborators using the Institution’s open access collections to create original works and discover new insights:

  • Artist Amy Karle used a 3D scan of a Triceratops skeleton from the National Museum of Natural History to create nine sculptures that explore the impact of technology on evolution.
  • Google Arts & Culture applied machine learning to the entire Smithsonian collections dataset to uncover connections between early women scientists at the Smithsonian and their life’s work.
  • Creators of the children’s book series “AstroNuts”––author Jon Scieszka and illustrator Steven Weinberg––produced a free, downloadable booklet showing K–12 students how to remix Smithsonian Open Access images for their own projects.
  • Georgetown University Library’s Maker Hub challenged students to create projects––from textiles to electronics to artworks––based on the Smithsonian Open Access collections.
  • Open access also makes Smithsonian content available via Creative Commons, Google Arts & Culture, Wikipedia and other digital platforms, increasing the reach and impact of these collections.

“The Smithsonian launched open access with new platforms to give the public ready access to our trusted collections and data,” said Effie Kapsalis, the Smithsonian senior digital program officer, who managed and guided implementation of the program. “We are excited to see how people worldwide use this dataset, which represents nearly two centuries of interdisciplinary research, to understand and solve today’s challenges.”

The Smithsonian Open Access launch event is presented in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. Data hosting is provided by Amazon Web Services Public Dataset Program.

Visit HERE to browse the Smithsonian Open Access collections and learn more.

THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION was founded in 1846 with a bequest from British scientist James Smithson (1765–1829) to found at Washington an establishment for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoological Park.

The Smithsonian’s collections document the nation’s history and heritage and represent the world’s natural and cultural diversity. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, including more than 146 million scientific specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Womawords Literary eZine Establishes Poet Hall of Fame; Ramingo! moves to digital format and calls for submissions

Raised-relief image of Minerva, goddess of wisdom and arts, on a Roman gilt silver bowl, first century BC / Public Domain

“Poems are like dreams: in them you put what you don’t know you know.” Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations



Womawords, an international eZine based in Africa, is the creative child of multi-award winning Zimbabwean poet in exile, Mbizo Chirasha.  It was established to support women and girls through the publication of activist poetry by women.  Current projects are Womawords companion publication, Liberating Voices Journal, and the newly founded Womawords Hall of Fame.

The Womawords Hall of Fame seeks to amplify women’s voices through literary and other arts and comprises representatives from around the globe: writers, poets, editors, and mentors among others.

The recently published first 2020 issue of Liberating Voices Journal features profiles of and poems by the women in Womawords Hall of Fame.

1.Doleres Meden, Northern Europe Associate, Sweden
2. Ambily Omanakuttan, India Associate , India
3.Nancy Ndeke, African Continent Associate, Kenya
4.Awadifo Olga Kili, Young Writers Representative, Uganda
5.Anjum Dar Wasim, Contributing Writer, Pakistan
6. Melissa Begley, #DaughtersoftheEarth Project, Southern United States
7. Jamie Dedes, Wombawords 2020 Poet Laureate
8.Tracy Yvonne Breazile, Guest Mentor in Residence
9.Samuella Conteh, Contributing Writer, West Africa
10.Beulah Kleinveldt, Contributing Writer, South Africa
11.Hokis, Guest Brand and Arts Writer
12.Beatrice Othieno- Ahere, Contributing Writer, Kenya
13.Omwa Ombara , Africa in Diaspora Associate
14.Catherine Magodo-Mutukwa, Contributing Writer in Zimbabwe
15.Kari Krenn, South America Associate , Argentina
16.Munia Khan, Contributing Writer , Bangladesh
17.Miroslava Panayotova, Eastern Europe Associate

You can read the profiles and sample poetry HERE.



The Ramingo’s Porch Staff (Mendes Biondo is the poetry editor) announce:

It’s time to submit again! But there are a few things that are changed here. You used to know The Ramingo’s Porch as a quarterly printed magazine. Due to high shipping costs, we decided to change it into an e-magazine, publishing selected submissions continuously.

Now let’s see how to submit your writings to us.

1) The email is always the same: ramingoblog@gmail.com. Send your submissions with your first name and surname in the object of the mail along with the kind of submission you’re sending. For example:

Mendes Biondo – Poetry

2) Put all your writings (up to five) into one file. We are able to read doc., docx., rtf. and pdf. too. If you prefer, feel free to copy and paste your submission in the body of the mail.

3) We like to read new stuff so please send us only previously unpublished works.

4) Send us also a short bio (max 150 words) and a picture of you.

5) We try to reply as fast as we can but if you do not receive any answer after a month, please write us a mail. We are humans after all.

6) We may edit, with your consent, the writings you sent in case of necessity.

7) There are no themes and no restrictions to a simple kind of writing style. We enjoy poems, short stories, short essays, haiku, short plays and everything you can do with words. Except for shopping list. We hate shopping lists…

8) Unfortunately we are not able to pay. But one day, maybe…

9) What are you waiting for? Stop waiting for Godot and send us your very best!


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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