If We Lived in a Just World (or Country) . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of Annette Batista Day, Unsplash


“If we lived in a just world (or country)
We wouldn’t raise hopes where there were none to raise
We’d just roll up our sleeves and do the best we could
We’d know the difference between right and wrong
And forget the difference between right and left
We wouldn’t have to choose between our past and our future
Because nobody can take away our past
And nobody should try to take away our future.

– Mike Stone



Well, the computer is finally up and running and I’ve spend a good part of the day catching up on things. Still Tuesday here, but dinner time and at last I can deliver the poems in response to Wednesday Writing Prompt, Beyond Yearning to Hope, April 1, 2020.  That prompt asked poets to focus on right versus wrong, life versus death, on living wages, guaranteed health-care for all, unemployment and labor rights. Dare we move beyond yearning to hope? I think for the most part the answer is equivocal. There’s certainly a sense of moral agreement with regard to the ideals and the abuses but whether or not we can spur compassionate and sensible change remains the question in the air.

This collection – I think an important one in its way –  is courtesy of Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Nancy Ndeke, Miroslava Panayotova, Adrian Slonaker and Mike Stone.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged: beginning, emerging, and pro poets.


RSPH OldMoor

From our skies small figures
In camouflage plumage, laden with binoculars
and scopes wend between hides.

We record them as they record us.
We are Royal Society For Protection
of Humans.

Nothing worse than for humans
to sense they have no control
over their landscape

so we make it seem they care
for us, design this site, build the hides,
nurture our nature.

They must feel valued and necessary,
and make their own decisions.
Sometimes the females carry all the equipment.

Stats: 3 Widowers, 2 female single parents
And 3 young, 4 unemployed males, 7 volunteers.

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Paul’s site is The Wombwell Rainbow
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


One Day when I had the time and freedom to go for a walk I met Life on the way–

I went for a walk, to nowhere have I been
my eyes are painful at what they have seen

have stepped on trash rough paper and stones
have bent down to peer at what was ‘real bones’

stray cats dogs cows and goats seemed to wink,
as I wandered near many a strange company

Walking to a book center was heavy on the feet
if school were good I would’ve stayed on the beat

question me not please, for I have no answers
have no words, for humans, living as campers

fumbling empty tins bags bottles and cans
living often without food water, pots and pans

kids roamed, hair disheveled scratching away
hungry, hopeful beyond hope, ignorantly at play

what people are these, are they refugees ?
do they need passports and passes, please

I wanted to be at ease, but restless I felt
there is more than eye can see, the ears

can hear, figures grow, the world thickens
unkempt more, like a place of Charles Dickens

question me not for what more I see
people hit, shot, killed, a girls bleeding body–

Oh now I question myself, about right and wrong
a world for all, a world just, equal, fair and strong

am I awake is this real I ask myself, as I turned back
why can’t I reach for the answers, in- The Book on The Sh

One Day when I had the time and freedom to go for a walk I met Life on the way–

I went for a walk, to nowhere have I been
my eyes are painful at what they have seen

have stepped on trash rough paper and stones
have bent down to peer at what was ‘real bones’

stray cats dogs cows and goats seemed to wink,
as I wandered near many a strange company

Walking to a book center was heavy on the feet
if school were good I would’ve stayed on the beat

question me not please, for I have no answers
have no words, for humans, living as campers

fumbling empty tins bags bottles and cans
living often without food water, pots and pans

kids roamed, hair disheveled scratching away
hungry, hopeful beyond hope, ignorantly at play

what people are these, are they refugees ?
do they need passports and passes, please

I wanted to be at ease, but restless I felt
there is more than eye can see, the ears

can hear, figures grow, the world thickens
unkempt more, like a place of Charles Dickens

question me not for what more I see
people hit, shot, killed, a girls bleeding body–

Oh now I question myself, about right and wrong
a world for all, a world just, equal, fair and strong

am I awake is this real I ask myself, as I turned back
why can’t I reach for the answers, in- The Book on The Shelf?

me not for what more I see
people hit, shot, killed, a girls bleeding body–

Oh now I question myself, about right and wrong
a world for all, a world just, equal, fair and strong

am I awake is this real I ask myself, as I turned back
why can’t I reach for the answers, in- The Book on The Shelf?

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Not long ago I was not in a lock down situation
though I felt like being in one, restricted in ways
unreasonable- socially distanced for unknown fears
‘women of the house should stay in the house’
someone said bluntly at a combined family picnic,
‘so why are you lazing on the mat after a hearty
meal, a hot mug of tea with brownies sweet?’
No one dare say that to the man of the house-
Today, I see the whole world ‘locked down’,
in isolation, in full covering of body, fighting for
life’ –

‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ is the glaring call
For All rich or poor,white or black,short or tall-
It is not ‘come closer’ it is ‘stay away’- Ha! Life
is at war,terror fills the air, humans caged inside
as animals roam free, shattered is the economy,
roads parks markets streets silent and empty

Covid-19 is the deadly enemy,
restricting those who restricted others
isolating those who isolated others
forcing obedience on disobedient
forcing cleanliness on the unclean
exposing cowards against the brave
forcing charity on the possessive-
Creating Fear? but wait, perhaps a far cry’
hunger poverty suffering need for medical
care, threat and danger everywhere,

Heartless humans had rendered many
homeless,hungry raped deprived deceived
life screamed for justice peace and equality –
Earth suffocated in soil and sea, pleas
fell on deaf ears,powerful showed no mercy’
So much wrong without a bit of right, how long
would torture bear the plight,as cries of innocent
took the flight and reached the Purest Point of Light
Covid-19 overnight awoke humanity to a painful sight

No more, no more, will be, the laws of might,forget -me
-not became ‘touch -me-not- if you love me hug me not
can’t hold your hands first wash them please, you may
kill me by this deadly viral disease, though I can’t see
but I know it is there, If only I had followed the law of
Care Share Beware and Be Fair—

And now Nature is taking its course as hope remains
for blessing and cure, a renaissance a cleansing a
reset for sure, a hope for faith pure-
There is hope there should be there is still some
honest just humanity-

© 2020, 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


Bananas

I sit on my overstuffed couch
Scrolling on my iPhone
Waiting
Impatiently for groceries
Annoyed
At not being able to get all the food
I ordered from that same couch
Two weeks ago

She sits in her second hand Honda
Giving her phone to her toddler
Popping the trunk
Opening her door in the rain
Gathering two bags at a time
Making five trips
Leaving them on the covered porch
After ringing the doorbell
And then swiftly getting back into her car

I open the door
Dismayed that two bags had fallen over
And the cereal had gotten wet
I see her drive off with the toddler in the back
Eating a banana
And I wonder if that’s why I didn’t get bananas in my groceries.

© 2020, Irma Do

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


:: really, oh really ::

what some folk feel is right

others consider wrong, some

write with the music

a few fail, falter

without much to live on

no one to care for them

some say this is not fair, yet

i find that fair does not even figure

this life you gets what you gets

and feels how you choose to

after

dealing

however the dice fall

the cards come out

this may be your heaven

here on earth

if you like

if that is the way to think

really, oh really.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


THAT’S WHY,
I water this house bound potted plant for i now know it’s feeling,
I speak softly to my pet petting it to calm it’s days indoors,
I make an effort to check kin near and far to offer an assurance I have in short supply,
I sing songs that has my throats conscripted,
I reflect on yesterday’s and marvel at my assumed ignorance,
I read a good book and refuse to get frayed,
While I yearn for a hug and a kiss close,
While I year for a drive and the wind on my face,
I remain grateful knowing many are worse off,
I turn inward and offer a prayer in humility,
Not just for me and my household,
But for humanity whom I admit are me,
And as I stay in and about my space,
My heart aches for those lying on a rocky pillow,
I cry in prayer for one isolated unable to breath unassisted,
I forgive those who should have known better but chose to ignore,
And I send good vibes to the universe with this plea,
May we never again as a species with ability to chose,
Ever again divide and demonize the very essence of life in health.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


We haven’t had winter,
but we have spring,
with rain and even some snow.
We were locked home
and only the birds sing outside.

The cage can be cozy,
if we go back to ourselves again.
It is raining hard
and the birds are singing,
while someone is saving the world.

© 2020, Miroslava Panayotova

Miroslava’s blog is HERE.


Considerations

Shop doors and borders,
opportunities and certainties
slam with a bang
as millions of fingernails are
frayed and
billions of curses are
screamed,
yet among the maelstrom of
closures comes
the kindness of the
pharmacist finding a way to
dispense multiple months of
blood pressure pills to a
panic-ridden patient despite
restrictions against stockpiling or the
hotelier reducing rates
for self-isolators
in a strange city or the
project manager setting aside
special assignments for the freelancer
freaking out about rent.
Pandemics and presidential elections
linger as blips in textbooks, but
undying compassion is what secures
sustainable safety nets.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


If We Lived in a Just World (or Country)
inspired by Jamie Dedes

If we lived in a just world (or country)
We would not deny a seat at our table to someone who came after us
And no one would be forced to choose between medicine and food
Between one child and another
Or between grandparents and younger people.

If we lived in a just world (or country)
We wouldn’t have to be generous because our government wasn’t
The government wouldn’t steal money from us to give to the rich
The rich wouldn’t choke us and cook us with their carbon dioxide
Our armies wouldn’t march into weaker countries just because they could
And we wouldn’t turn back immigrants because we were once them.

If we lived in a just world (or country)
We wouldn’t raise hopes where there were none to raise
We’d just roll up our sleeves and do the best we could
We’d know the difference between right and wrong
And forget the difference between right and left
We wouldn’t have to choose between our past and our future
Because nobody can take away our past
And nobody should try to take away our future.

 from The Hoopoe’s Call

(c) Mike Stone 2020 

And yet We Live

We don’t know why life leaps from nonliving things
And yet we live.
We don’t know why we see a bird or think a thought
And yet we see and think.
We don’t know why we die
And yet we die.
I don’t know why you love me
And yet you love me.
Aren’t these things enough for us?

© 2020, Mike Stone

The Two Colors of Wisdom

All things in the world
Are painted with two colors:
The color of good
And that of evil.
Those with wisdom
Can see both colors
But some only see one color
And not the other.
Don’t blame the blind
For being unable to see.

© 2020, Mike Stone

Making Peace With Ourselves

Most of the time I’m just me
And sometimes I’m we
But every once in a while, we are them
And they are us.
It seems to me that everyone
Who wants their story heard
Would want their own country
To tell it loud and clear
And the problem with countries
Is that nobody will give you one
Just because you asked for it nicely
And nobody wants to be occupied
So, if you still want a country
You’re going to have to make life
Pretty uncomfortable for the occupiers.
I mean when we were them
And they were us,
Why can’t we remember that?
Then maybe we could make peace with ourselves.

© 2020, 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:

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