The Taste of Baklava, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

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Honestly, there are times
when the taste of baklava
finds my tongue and speaks to me
in the language of my grandmother’s hands,
when the honey and fresh mint in tea
vitalizes my very being ~
and I remember everything
. . . . . everything
even the scent of you, your eyes
the way we lingered over dessert,
tapered candles flaming wisps of hope,
your red roses wilting in a crystal vase,
dropping velvet petals like dreams
on the white damask of our forever

© 2012 poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

*****

WRITING PROMPT

A singular moment – romantic or otherwise – that is etched in mind, yesterday or years ago, full of color and vigor.  Write about your moment in poem. Fill it with detail: scent and hues, setting (indoor or out), include one object that references another in the scene and makes their role evident and alive. Take your time and have fun with this.

Leave your poem/s or a link to them in the comment section. Feel free – encouraged – to participate no matter the status of your poetry career: novice, emerging or pro. If this is your first time responding to Wednesday Writing Prompt, send you bio and a photo to thepoetbyday@gmail.com.  These will be used to introduce you to readers.  PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL YOUR POEM. PLEASE USE THE COMMENTS SECTION FOR THAT. Thank you! 🙂 All poems shared on theme will be published here next Tuesday, April 24. You have until Monday evening, April 23, 8 p.m. PDT to respond.


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“Identical with a Twig” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt



I shed more than one tear when reading these responses to Our Small Beginnings, the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, April 11. May you be touched and inspired.

Thank you to bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), Paul Brookes, Frank McMahan, and Sonja Benskin Mesher for coming out to play. Of special note, Sonja has once again shared her art along with her poetry. Paul has created an ekphrastic poetry challenge for himself in honor of  National Poetry Month. Visit his blog to see what he’s been up to.  Worth your time.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


New Soft

nervous she does
what she knows
pushes a pram
cuddles a baby

moves others’
toys that get
in her way

chews her toast,
sups her juice
asks where mummy is.
where her sisters are.

sobs at a boy
in a Spiderman mask,
rough and tumble
older boys.
wants her comfort cloth

climbs, head over heels
explores a soft world

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Cuddled Sobs Cradled

hawk back shudder
at vacuum absence
of hugwarm.

Gutempty, boneneed
heartgripe ache
for those once close
now ashed in earth.

in my arms she sobs
for her mam’s voice,
and my heartsob
for my late mam’s voice.

Rhythm of her grief
as she nods on my chest
almost lulls me to sleep.

She shudders awake
heaves herself to the floor
as her mam, only on an errand
walks a smile through the door.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Fixes It

As a parent you believe
you can fix everything.

when they’re in pain,
regrow bones, restore lost

blood, a pillow for their head,
neck hugged in bright,

playcentre foam
while enquiries are made,

you cry hugfulls,
then, you drive

as fast as you can,
imagine their absence as the worst

now, you make them laugh
warm their cold hands

push their hair away from their eyes
hold it, together

hold it …..together
hold it together

I can’t have

dogshit on surfaces,

settee and chairs,
kids in mucky diapers.

hold it together

but I have.

hold it together

but I have.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)


Identical with a Twig

At some unnamed night,
and it will be bright,
I’ll go away.

The door I will never
close
the flowers will keep
fragrance.
My children will have fallen asleep
the most deeply
covered and caressed
and somebody will cant to them again
a cradle song.
It will be light like in a temple
and clear like a voice
in mountains.
Then I’ll leave
forgotten all the words…

A branch in the white snow.

© 2018, bogpan (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия, блог за авторска поезия)


GROWING PAINS

Silence was your fortress. Sometimes you would

venture  to whisper through its narrow slits,

granting entry to very few across

the drawbridge, nursing your tenderness while

watching for wolves prowling from the forest.

 

Time and the winds brought seeds, sun, soft  rain.

Now kingcups fill the moat, campion the keep.

Briony and rose are capturing the walls;

swallows return  to their niches every year

and  in the valley, blackbirds sing your songs.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

CURIOSITY

You would converse with otters if you could,

count the bubbles as they break the river’s

sheen, your mind a submarine to follow

them wherever they and the waters run;

surface then to roll amongst the meadow

-sweet  and thyme, newest of their brood.

 

You would take a felucca on the Nile,

cresting its yearly flood, turning back time

to  etch hieroglyphs on the temples’ walls, grind

corn in a quern, dine at the High Priest’s

table, look up as the Pharoah passes.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

THE ETERNAL CHILD.

We were all ready, our homes and our

imagined worlds, waiting to give you,

day by day and year on year, the best

of our  imperfect selves, to watch you

climb the branches of our love

and catch the world’s excitement.

But you were overwhelmed.

Our earth-bound pathways have diverged.

Yet you will voyage with us, there

in every season,in the dappled sunlight

of our days, learning all the steps

of your childhood’s dance.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


.. boy ..

 

some shops

sell fairy dust in                 small bottles,

various shades of pastel.                 cork

stoppers, a wee note inside at just £1.99.

 

i bought you      one,

to treasure. to place

on your bedroom shelf,

in case.

of emergencies.

© 2018, poem and illustration, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; sonja-benskin-mesher.co.uk)

.. driving past woods..

oh you are a beauty, showing your legs,                dress swinging.

 

in rhythm. in photos , little gifs,                                      to share.

 

how can we  look the same?                   i think i look different

 

now. now that i have grown,                          watched you grow.

 

now. now.

 

now that i helped  when you were sick.                   now.now.

 

now i am older and watched you die.                          all of you.

 

i say goodnight to some and remember                       all of you.

 

how can i look the same.                                                  now. now.

 

remember all that has been done.                                           how

can i look the same?

 

you are still a beauty.

 

dress swinging.

© 2018, poem and illustration, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; sonja-benskin-mesher.co.uk)


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there are a hundred-thousand stories in the naked city …



… at least one of them is about walking fearlessly through the understated beauty of San Mateo downtown at night. I’ve been thinking of that as I settle into my new city and my new home in an area that doesn’t lend itself to evening walks with their peace and their quiet inspiration.

“Night is a time of rigor, but also of mercy. There are truths which one can see only when it’s dark.” Isaac Bashevis Singer

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© 2014, photographs (San Mateo, CA), Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, Events, and Other News and Information



CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

BORROWED SOLACE, a journal of literary ramblings, is open now for submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, art and photograph to its fall issue themed Home. This journal publishes twice a year, one themed issue and one without theme. Details HERE.

GLASSWORKS MAGAZINE, A publication of Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing program, will open its reading period from August 1 through December 15. It publishes poetry, prose (including essays and flash fiction) new media and art. Guidelines HERE.

THE MASTERS REVIEW NEW VOICES CATEGORY is open for submissions of fiction under a free category. There’s a submission option for “fast response.” Payment of $0.10 per work up to $200 for fiction or narrative nonfiction up to 7,000 words. Details HERE.

MICHIGAN QUARTERLY REVIEW, an interdisciplinary journal of arts and culture, publishes poetry and prose (fiction, creative nonfiction, critical essays) and is next open for submissions from June 1-30 and August 1-November 30.  $3 submission fee. Details HERE.

TRANSFERENCE, A literary journal featuring the art and process of translation, features previously untranslated tests as well the older and well-known works. Submissions by translators are welcome for consideration. Details HEREThis is a publication of the Department of World Languages and Literature, University of Western Michigan at Kalamazoo.

THE TURNIP TRUCK(S), an im-possible publication, accepts submissions of essay/story, poems, and visual arts year-round for its online publication. Details HEREIt leans toward works concerned with the dialectics, human and environmental, that are creative and critical. It also publishes a themed journal.

URBAN FARMHOUSE PRESS accepts submissions from April through August online and via mail. It seeks work to be consider for: Crossroads Poetry Series: minimum 50-60 pages of poetry,single spaced, and one poem per page; Fiction: minimum 150 pages of prose, 12 pt font, double-spaced; Novellas: 60-145 pages of prose, 12 pt font, double-spaced; Cities of the Straits Chapbook Series: 20-40 pages of poetry or fiction. 12 pt font, double-spaced.  Details HERE.

WEST TEXAS LITERARY REVIEW seeks submissions of poetry, essays, flash fiction and photography for consideration year-round. Publishes quarterly in print and online. Submission fee. Details HERE.


The BeZine

Call for submission for the June issue.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be. Submissions for the June issue – themed Sustainability – close on May 10 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.  

New rules: Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send photographs or illustrations as attachments. No google docs or Dropbox or other such. No rich text. Send submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com.

Publication is June 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.

No demographic restrictions.

Please read at least one issue and the Intro/Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples. 

  • June 2018 issue, Deadline May 10th. Theme: Sustainability
  • September 2018 issue, Deadline August 10th, Theme: Human Rights/Social Justice
  • December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

Previously published work may be submitted IF you hold the copyright. Submissions from beginning and emerging artists as well as pro are encouraged and we have a special interest in getting more submissions of short stores, feature articles, music videos and art for consideration. 


FELLOWSHIPS


CONTESTS

Opportunity Knocks

THE MASTERS REVIEW FLASH FICTION CONTEST “The winning writer will be awarded $3000 and publication on The Masters Review site. Second and third place will be awarded $200 and $100, respectively, as well as publication in The Masters Review. So here it is: a home for your very best small fiction. Send us big worlds in tiny packages, large ideas with a low word count. Dazzle us with your best fiction under 1000 words. $20 entry fee. Deadline: May 31, 2018. Details HERE.

THE PATRICA GRODD POETRY PRIZE FOR YOUNG WRITERS “recognizes outstanding young poets and is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world. The contest winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop. In addition, the winning poem and the poems of the two runners-up will be published in The Kenyon Review, one of the country’s most widely read literary magazines.” Details HERE.

TOM HOWARD/JOHN H. REID FICTION & ESSAY CONTEST is open through April 30, 2018 for published and unpublished work. $5,000 in awards for short fiction, essay or short work of nonfiction. Top twelve entries to be published on line. This is their 26th contest. Any theme. No demographic restrictions. Submission fee. Details HERE

WERGLE FLOMP HUMOR POETRY CONTEST for best humor poems published and unpublished. No entry fee. $2,219 in prizes. Open through April 1, 2019. Details HERE.


EVENT/S

Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

  • The Poet by Day always available online with poems, poets and writers, news and information.
  • The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career or status. Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) will be published here on the following Tuesday.
  • The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers. Due to other Sunday commitments, this post will often go up late in the day.
  • THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  
  • Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.

OTHER NEWS and INFORMATION


YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to jamiededes@gmail.com (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything. Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.

TO CONTACT ME WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER INFORMATION FOR THE POET BY DAY: thepoetbyday@gmail.com

TO CONTACT ME REGARDING SUBMISSIONS FOR THE BeZINE: bardogroup@gmail.com

PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two.


Often information is just thatinformation – and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.


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