Photograph courtesy of Martin Widenka, Unsplash

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room



Here now Tuesday and the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, A New House in the Suburbs, April 22, 2020.  That prompt asked poets to write an ekphrastic poem inspired by this painting.

New House in the Suburbs
1924 – National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Today’s responses are gifted to us by Anjum Wasim Dar, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Adrian Slonaker. I’ve included an old poem of my own. Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged: beginning, emerging, and pro poets.


This Is The House

this is the house I dream of and long for
on a beautiful piece of Gods Earth, where I
first cried and opened my eyes, I am told
It was a cool evening of June otherwise hot
It was my Grandma’s house, made of strong
wood and and a roof of iron sheets-

logs burnt in a small brazier kept inside the room-
the place a hill station built around a lake, bordered
by the River Jhelum-houseboats lined the lakeside,
but my grandma’s house was on land, with trees
around a small lawn, and a small vegetable garden

but I have heard only stories about the house
never saw it nor ever will, the real houses are fading
memories,
‘we shall meet in a house in heaven’ father used to
say,’pray for that for that is real’ , and so he left this
world, and grandfather too and grand mother even
before him- all in a home in heaven-

and now we say, ‘stay home stay safe’ as safe as
houses indeed. but not always, not in war with bombs
falling and shells blasting’ but perhaps in a pandemic
of the Corona kind,
O heart mind and soul, true love strong faith breaks all
roofs,distances, spaces and walls
houses or no houses, the faithful are, will be together
all-
all culture erased all traditions wiped out-life’s uncertainty
matters not for new ones, memories survive like tender
butterflies as love and life itself flutters with colors
fragrance and the softness of a pansy flower.

© 2020, 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


Houses of Silence

they dwelt in houses of silence
chewed through grudging fences
swam in oceans of best intentions
tried to find one another on the
shores of their fears and confusions,
alienation was their warrior shield

their lives were lived in a boxing ring
the fist in the glove was a malignancy
and the mom passed her days sparring,
she thought the winner would be the
woman who was pretty and hushed
she saw herself as a victim,
she exhausted her own mother’s charity

when she turned her silence on kinfolk
there was no one else she could
beat upon or say her grief to or even
show her bruises and lacerations ~
except for that wee child of silence,
useless in matters of such magnitude

© 2012, Jamie Dedes

My sites are Jamie Dedes’ The Poet by Day Webzine and The BeZine


..new house in the suburbs..

was not for me

though i imagined it to be

pleasant

i would have wondered how

it could  have been

to live there

new and important

with parents tidy

neat garden and no bashing ever

not in that house

yet

maybe that is where it happened

behind the shiny clapboard

the neat hair and spectacles

foul mouths hidden

tempered by gins those

other nasties

came gathering here

hidden in the shiny

exterior

my honeys

oh really

down in the cellar

not painted so fine

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Sticky Summer Morning

Daybreak mimicking Homer’s “rosy-fingered Dawn”
(once hammered into my head by a high school literature teacher)
attacked the starkly white aluminum siding
on the boxy property
my parents had built just before I turned two.

They’d never predicted
that an accountant a decade my senior
would someday park his sedan in the driveway
under the basketball hoop –
where my brother and I played “H-O-R-S-E” –
after said sibling and Mom and Dad had departed
for an August adventure in Boston that I’d
flaked out on
following one of our gargantuan arguments

or that the visitor would deflate my dream of what
my deflowering would look like,
unfolding on the family room floor as
a poorly-paced procedure between
a basket of oily onion rings and a
yawning goodbye,
but I didn’t regret the “meh,”
since it had to happen sometime,
and at least I’d proved I wasn’t
too grotesque for sex,
as some of my classmates had concluded,
so I raced through my prayers and nestled
on the settee for an
air-conditioned nap
as a black-and-white sitcom
flickered across the TV.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


Jamie Dedes:

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

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