The First Rain . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Luca Bravo, Unsplash

“We need the tonic of wildness .  .  . At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

And this being Tuesday, it’s time to share the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt,The Last Blue-green Spring, May 27, which invited poets to share a singular seasonal (any season) moment that for some reason (any reason) continues to pulse with life in  memory. What made it so vivid an experience? What were the colors, scents, shape, encounters with nature that made such a deep impression?  Thanks to Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah, Anjum Wasim Dar, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Nancy Ndeke, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone for this inspired collection. Enjoy! . . .

. . . and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets. This is a safe place to exercise your poetic muscle, to introduce yourself to our community, and to meet other poets who may be new to you.

Nature in its outmost form
The dryness of the sunny days
Eratic in moments of seasonal outbursts,
Zealous flares of flowery blossoms
Honey from the beecomb
Witheld sounds of colors in yellow whistles; faded fallen dried leaves
Picturestic of the weather
Nature has its own turns
With photosynthesis in play
The blue green Genesis of unknown hours.

© 2020, Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah

You can find more of Benedicta’s poetry using the search feature on this site.

Moon Over Makhadd in Northern Pakistan

In a flash like on angel’s wings,
smooth on the road the wheels
did spin,
moving on through avenues
bordered by elegant trees
we flew,
to the grandeur of Makhad,
mountains brown as pegs
head to head, conical sloping
supporting valleys
protecting with stony strength
bordering fields of mustard
yellow, making peace in spirit and
in heart,mellow-
there is The Quiet The Presence
in the mountains is the secret essence
till the Last Day,
there is no sudd of the Nile
mountains shield the land
the lifeblood of Makhad

and so we stood, protected
we felt in the valley of the North
as evening shadows lengthened
and the moon manifested itself
in glowing white, never so peaceful
a place I had seen nor been to,
when Nature raw and loving
spread its grace and held the place
a holy tapestry woven.

© 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

Family Gathering

This is where we’ve met,
where landscape offers space.

“ Quick, quick, you can’t catch me!”
Oh yes I can, with cunning.
I know where the flower beds narrow.
You’ll never escape me there.
Unless I pretend.
I’ll pretend.

“ Play hide and seek? Count to ten then,
no fifteen!” They’ll find me by water,
gazing on pondweed, deadly green like Sunday
afternoons when clocks dragged their feet,
ticking the echoes of the morning’s sermon.
Wildly we emitted raw blasts of turbulence, braced
to pay the consequential price
for breaking Sunday’s peace.

Aspens whisper, braid the breeze
between their leaves, rumour rain.
Elderberries beaded with drops
of late summer’s dew. A squall of rooks
crashes from the clustered woods.

“ Sorry, I was.” Somewhere between,
somewhere between.“ Here, let me show
you this sunflower, yellow-headed diva,
admitting with grace the butterflies
to hover and partake.”

Tree house is clattering with chatter,
explosive ululations. Who is really listening
and does it really matter as
long as they can have these moments
of unguarded light?

Wren’s ostinato fades to quiet
in the stillness of the birch.
Scrolls of pure white bark, nicks, music-
-box notes, ships plotted on radar,
heading where?

mid-life, pondered in currents
of easy conversation. And ours?
as we drift our hands through
lavender and rosemary.
Passion and remembrance jostle,
loss and history, the past imperfect. Old
questions niggle still, leading where?
Simpler to pick apart a teasel
piece by piece.

Hungry calls distract. “Wait, look how
they sway and bow, these reeds, courtiers
before the kingcups. Yellow is
the colour of homage today, do you wear
yellow? No but you are pardoned. Eat!”

Follow the shafts of light: scarlet
rosehips, crimson plums , dusted blue
by night moths’ wings, first blush on apples
skimped by drought.

House wall, solid but evidence
of slip and restitution,
infill and making do.

Present and future,
intertwined, pulsing together.
Let them run on and on,
this day, these days.

Except from At the Storm’s Edge (Palewell Press, 2020)

© 2020, Frank McMahon

At the Storm’s Edge is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.

.liking all seasons.

yet i like the summer fabrics,
crisp cotton with flower
spots, reminiscent of other
days. when all clean, pressed,
we wore the best dress
to town, the museum, aviary,
then down to the beach

to bathe.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.one winter day.

no snow here as yet
though we did have that
flurry late autumn, the day
we went to the cinema

it was very localised

the mountain was rough
with it, a sliding accident
at the top of the pass
that day

yet elsewhere all came clear
and the film was raw

warm here again
logs stacked yesterday

pleased to say the manic
energy returned & much is

preparing for weather
which may not occur

i heard the crows
a distance away
as i worked

dark lonely sounds

i feel enough has died
yet it seems that power
deems that death can
answer some issues

these days
though it
is wrong

and not for survival


as i could now argue
another way and become

that which is to be demonstrated

maybe another way
to resolve things

i suggested chocolate money

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

November Dawn in Northwood

Nature’s fan turns
Fingers sing
Where winter has dramatised the trees.
Beside the drive
Dropped leaves are cupped with frost.

In six o’clock light
Dawn comes.
Thin songs are jerky, interrupted
By chattering
Of birds’ beaks amid ruffled sleepy feathers.

The milkman’s step.
Gravel crunches up the drive.
The house
Suspended above is quiet.
The holly is still as the wind drops.

The bang of glass bottles
Against the step.
The faint sigh as the float slips into life.
And disappears …

© 2020, Ben Naga

Ben’s site is Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-for loud recanter ma brake histories.”

Half Way the Mountain.

Africa is summer land, rare for degrees to dip below zero,
Unless atop the mighty Kirinyaga.
A child of the Arabica coffee terrain,
A kilometer from the forest line,
Many a man and woman from distant land and lingo,
Would hop atop the villages loaned landrovers,
Transport to the base of the mountain,
Tales of Jumbo’s and moor’s large,
Lakes with dazzling whiteness to blind,
Tricky terrain and freezing cold,
Silence to spare energy to climb,
Tales I carried in my growth,
As I, enjoyed the spectacle that the mountain was,
From the ridge where my father’s coffee crop swayed,
Teenage led a leg to schools far,
College danced the cities new flavor,
Marriage and children tending,
Career swing and switch,
Till, a visit did a rhyme,
On a soul at peace with itself,
And suddenly, my feet ached to do the climb,
And what a trek!
First was the forest unpretentious,
Mahogany and teak,
Then bamboo in all its clustered glory,
Amid careful skirting to keep wild owners at peace,
First night at camp,
Rolled onto a sleeping bag,
A fire merrily singing it’s warmth,
Cold was real, but pleasure too was,
And before sunrise, with eggs and bacons tucked,
Second leg began in earnest,
Sunrise that blinded one to the way,
Was the mood treck to great,
Expanse of whites amidst blues and purples,
God’s own mountain Eden,
The freshness of nature so real, music formed itself,
A hunter of something or other we did meet,
Keep your eyes down, the leader said,
By mid-day, a quiet did settle,
As guts got fuelled,
Then rain like ice fell in sheets,
Pushing us into a cave,
Where stones arranged like an old empires dinning room,
Afternoon merged with night as tales of the mountain rose and fell,
Sleep and aches came fast,
And soon morning popped, another wonder of nature’s splendor,
East on a fire brilliant beyond believe,
Roast rabit and smoked Salmon waiting,
Why pretend to be Ninja when muscles spoke in firely tongues,
A porter led a much needed hand,
Handing me two spikes to score the climb,
Air was getting thinner, walk was slower,
And tales subsided to grunts and the occasional curse from tripping,
A light lunch and a quick match,
Lake Nicholson we must make for the night,
Pitching tents and lighting evening fires,
Time for catch up with days events,
But up to this point, I had to reign my wits,
Yes, I loved the excussion and would love to trudge on,
But the vagaries of age were telling a different tale,
From a life of easy and untested car rides,
To go any further was a noise most unwelcome,
Watching the dark sky with it’s millions of stars,
The coward of the village took a bow ,
And the next morning,
While every one else hefted their bags up for day three up,
I, and my paid hand, took to the lower grounds with our rations,
Heaven is real, heaven is sweet to smell and spectacular to watch,
And it’s in the very nature that so far we haven’t “Tamed”
A testimony of a mountain climber who climbed a quarter way.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy Ndeke’s Amazon Page is HERE.

Snapshot of an Autumn Afternoon

As the tenth month instead of the eighth-
despite its moniker-
October is pregnant with pranks,
so vivacious shades of leaves
merely mask their imminent demise,
some already crackling to arid dust under the
sneakers of backpack-burdened kids
finishing their first quarter before sniffles and flus
and Remembrance Day poppies
start to pop up.
The supermarket down the street
hawks the honeyed nuances of candy corn,
as polarizing as the pleas of political candidates-
the consummate jokers-
just weeks before
the polls open.
Mass-produced slick plastic costumes
rival the versions crafted by parents cursing over
the hum of sewing machines and the snip of
scissors while glitter scatters in a diaspora, only
to be spotted in dust-bunnies around Easter.
Jack-o’-lanterns get stabbed next door
not by Jason or Michael, but
by hands moist with mushy gourd guts
and seeds reserved for roasting and snacking
during thriller marathons thrusting screams
and sinister soundtracks out of rooms as dark
as the cats and bats plastered on pendulous paper decorations,
and, through my window, the weather wavers
between the hangover of
sweaty torpor and the promise of polar chills
that will predominate when
apples for bobbing
become apples for pies.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker

You can read more of Adrian’s poetry by using the search feature for this site and for The BeZine.

Primary Colors

Raanana, June 5, 2009

Between the palm and weeping willow
It’s the sudden confrontation with beauty
That kills you every time.
The palettes from which the skies are painted
And the grasses and the seas
Must once have belonged to children.
In my country
Even the primary colors
Are mixtures of
Birds flowers and sadness.
The edges of shadows under the trees
Are sharp like a knife against your throat.
The sky is so bright it’s like
Looking into the face of God.
And the silence,
It’s the silence
That finally betrays you.

Except from The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone

© 2009, Mike Stone 

Winter Rains

Raanana, December 6, 2018

Winter rains rat-a-tat-tat
On the cold tin roofs of cars.
Cats crowd under any car
With engine warm, watching
Daisy and me with suspicious eyes.
Daisy, oblivious to my umbrella
Or the rain, looks back at them
With calculations of inbred hatred
And limits of leash length.
Back in our apartment,
Cats forgotten, if not forgiven,
Dripping Daisy unfurls her wetness
With a shivering wave.
I dry the remaining dampness from her fur
And we appreciate the lightning and thunder
Approaching our window,
As rain becomes thought
Which becomes rain again.

Excerpt from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2018, Mike Stone 

The First Drops of Winter

Raanana, September 8, 2018

This morning
The first drops of winter
After a long drought,
A farmer raises eyes heavenward
Even the sandy soil,
The nibbled petals,
And the green-brown leaves
Raise themselves in silent toast –
To life, God,
To life.

Except from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2018, Mike Stone

Wintry Sabbath

Early morning
The nonbelievers dreaming still
Under thick comforters,
Old men walking to the synagogue
Against the blustery rain
Without umbrellas
And a dog-walker with umbrella
Taking small slow steps
In sync with an old dog
When love is not enough
To keep her dry and warm.
I look over at the old men
Walking their God on an invisible leash
Or is He walking them?

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

The First Rain

The first rain of the new year
The drops are more like soft pinpricks
Pointillistic with a taste of dust
When you open your mouth to say something
To Daisy, but she tastes the dust too
And sniffs the warm air with wet nose.
It’s the encroaching desert
Playing with our emotions,
Not enough yet to warrant an umbrella
Or to cool the body with its wetness.

Except 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 and other books of poetry and of science fiction by Mike are available from Amazon all over the world. Mike’s U.S. Amazon Page is HERE.

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