“I Am Not My Dad” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot



Here are the oh-so-relatable poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, who are you, July 4, 2018.  Thank you to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Debbie Felio, Kakali Das Ghosh, bogan (Bodhizar Pangelov), Sonja Benskin Mesher and to newcomer Rob Bowes, who steps out of the closet as a poet soul and debutes here today.  Well done all. 

Contributor websites/blogs are added so that you may visit and get to know one another. I hope you do. Some don’t have sites but you can probably catch up with them on Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do join us tomorrow for the next The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: novice, emerging and pro. 


The Creation

The radiant Sun rises,
Former black, empty shadows,
Reformed. Full. Colourful.
Exploding, popping, intriguing –
Spellbinding to Everyone.
Myself, mystified, bewildered, bemused…As it
Transformed, singular to plural, a whole
Intertwining of emotions,
Heart to heart throbbing, pulsing, pounding
Throughout our minds, bodies and souls.

The portrait of perfection before me;
An artist (unique) skilled to create a
Masterpiece.
By the Hand of God you breathe
The sweet succulent scent of hope and desire,
Humble (curious) as the spring bee I am drawn
Naturally my starving eyes feast.

Feeling of uncertainty and disbelief evaporate as
Real fireworks of emotion form and take over –
Controlling and honing the skies of senses to One;
With which the Moon rises to
Shadows now revealed, open and completely aware.
Alongside the vast peace and utter calm

I stand, wholly joined with

Love, hand in hand, heart to heart with

You.

© 2018, rjbowes (The Bowes Blog, Thinking out loud. Be creative)

Rob & Laura Bowes

ROB BOWES tells us, “I am a farmer and agronomist. I manage farmers crops for them and work in the North East of England, UK. My Grandfather was a published author and lived for writing, travelling and taking photographs, all of which have inspired me to do the exact same. My notepad and camera come with me on all of my travels. My only downside is I never do anything with my photographs or writing so this is the first step in being more open and showing everyone what I’ve got. Hope you like my poem I’ve popped on your comments section, thank you.”


whodunit

i at six
questioned the baskin-robbins ice cream pricing.
they wanted ten cents
for a cone with one scoop,
twenty for a cone with two scoops,
thirty for one with three.
why would anyone buy the three-scooper
when they could get three ones at the same price
and get two extra sugar cones?

i at seventeen
kissed the most splendid creature in the universe.
that was most of my life ago.
only two times since
have i been that happy.
i at twenty-one
crossed the finish line
at the 1984 San Francisco marathon.
my friend waiting there
asked me how i felt.
with my first breath i said,
truthfully,
“i feel terrible!!”
with my second breath i said,
truthfully,
“i feel great!!!”

at thirty-five i saw
the top of my newborn’s head
bookended by my poor then wife’s skull-tightened flesh.

today at sixty-three
I feel accursed by congestion of the nose
and blessed by what the day
promises.

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image and Text)


I Am Not My Dad

“I can’t cope with babies.”
says my Dad.

“Now you’re nine I can talk to you.”
He wants me to play board

or card games, or build
Airfix Golden Hind,

I’d rather read or draw.
He does not know

how to step into my shoes.
My two year old granddaughter

on my knee we sing nursery rhymes.
She makes me a cup of tea

with her wooden cups, saucers,
and teapot. I drink the tea,

munch on her wooden pizza,
toast and tomatoes.

© Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination)

Our Identity

is unnecessary. Don’t
haul around the weight
Of what you are.

I am not defined by my roles,
Husband, grandfather, son, brother.

I am not defined by my choices
Whether to help others or not.

I not classified, regulated, defined
In law, financial position or clump

of negative biases. I am not programmed
from birth to contribute.

I am not what I say I am not.

© Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination)

Trace back
through father’s asbestos boiler lungs
a glaziers eye,
a solicitors assistant’s discretion
a linen merchants fingers
a hotelier’s welcome
a linen merchants touch
a coal merchants aroma
a farmer’s tread

he walk towards me
short coated in sky blue
a waterman of the River Wytham

© Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination)


Self Search

I am not

myself

or the you

you were looking for.

parents with unfinished dreams

pour into new life

their old ones

friends looking for a place

to belong / to rest

seek you in their

desires

lovers needing love

to restore / affirm

embrace a possibility

without attaching

reality

I myself

only have myself

for moments

before transmuting

to another self

contained within

an aging, forgetting

mind and body

forgetting what it knew

where muscle

was held tight

and who

I was

supposed

to be

© 2018, Debbie Felio 


#Rejoinder Of The Mirror #

” Who am I? ”
Sprouting from my mother’s womb
I’m here to you ,
I belong to my parents like you ;
Is it enough for my identity ?

Then why I’m an escaped from hustle of all sounds ?
Then why I’m traversing a lonesome peak
Where the first ray of sun lights my heart ?

Then comes my child -part of my corpus ,
Entangling my all .

Time rotates -he finds out his own world ,
Then that query chases me asking-
“Who are you ?”

Approaching to a mirror my query goes ,
” Who am I ? ”
The mirror replies laughingly –
“you are the one with your own view-own judgement -own love -own passion and own perseverance .
You are not just a body evolving from genetic materials ,
Rather a heart -a spirit laid in the cluster of atoms
Of your own physique ;
Your footsteps on this earth
will fade with you ,
Just colors of your composition would subsist for ages . ” ;
But still I think ,
“Who am I ?”

© 2018, Kakali Das Ghosh


‘Head Above Water: A Swimmer’s Perspective’.

Metaphorically, i have spent much of my life, keeping my head above water.

Dealing with life facts and disappointments, not forgetting the quiet times to help the work along

I lived on the coast, played by the sea

As a child, I floated gently until all became spongey. Now I swim head above water, up and down obsessively counting, hoping all will come clear..

Friends in water talk more, baring much, reflecting their clothing

I am drawn to water, my work reflective. Writing, swimming, painting, drawing.

I collect cuttings of people in water.

“a diary, a personal relationship with the landscape.

“Shoreline would be more an exploration of the concept….shorelines more related to actual examples…..how about that?

Shoreline…..an ever-changing interface……between 2 media…..2
worlds…..can be crossed in both directions, but only temporarily?……but
aren’t we only here because something had the courage to cross
permanently…..something emerging from the sea is such a powerful
image….turtles, ursula andress in dr. no, monsters from the deep…..and
why do we find it such an attractive place to be
xx salty”

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. i am the pin .

:: a book of pins :: handwritten, copied in a day.

the drawing, the written page.

i am paint and cotton

i am pins and details

codes and reasons

calm and seasons.

i am boxes, charcoal,

fires and birds.

i am hand writing.

i am the old house,

all things considered.

i am the joker, the radio,

the music.

i am four dots.

i am the folded page,

the falling face.

i am the picture, the painting,

i am the mouse, the little bird,

a monstrous woman.

i am a word document, a picture file.

i am the pin.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


The Light Toy-Railway

The light toy-railway is traveling,
with the kids who aren’t anymore.

To Paris, to Brussels is traveling,
to the Black Africa too.
The light toy-railway is grieving,
for the fawn’s steps under Christmas tree,
for the luster in the eyes and
ah, for the toys.
For the Blue Bird, for the white photos,
for the hand that is putting the little star.
For the dream that’s coming true.

The light toy-railway is traveling.
Traveling.

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


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,  Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

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Neil Gaiman’s “Eight Rules for Writing”

Neil Gaiman by Kyle Cassidy CC BY-SA 3.0

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” Neil Gaiman, Coraline [recommended]



Neil Gaiman (10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won many awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards. [Wikipedia] Neil’s Amazon page is HERE.


If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, it’s likely your have to link through to the site to view the video: An Interview witih Neil Gaiman.


ABOUT

Jamie Dedes

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,  Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

without love, there’s only fear … Pearl Buck’s “Words of Love” poetry collection with short commentary by Myra Schneider

Pearl Buck (1892-1973) photo circa 1932 around the time “The Good Earth” was published. It was take by Arnold Genthe and is in the public domain

I give you the books I’ve made,
Body and soul, bled and flayed.
Yet the essence they contain
In one poem is made plain,
In one poem is made clear:
On this earth, through far or near,
Without love there’s only fear.

Essence by Pearl Buck, novelist and humanitarian



“One merit of poetry few persons will deny: It says more and in fewer words than prose.” Voltaire

So often I have the idea for a story that ends up in a poem instead. Poetry is such an efficient medium and economically captures the essence of what I want to say, which is always – no matter what the story  – an expression of love. It was interesting to me to discover that one of the novelists I admire, Pearl Buck, felt the same.


June 26th was the anniversary of Pearl Buck’s birth in 1892 in Virginia. Pearl Buck was the daughter of missionaries. She grew up in China and spoke Chinese before she spoke English. She was a prolific writer, poet and a human rights activist. She was black-listed because of her advocacy work and the values reflected in her writing. Of her novels, The Good Earth is probably the best known.

To my knowledge, there is only one small book of her poems. It was published in 1974, a year after her death. It is now out of print. The book is titled Words of Love. It is gracefully illustrated with Asian art by Jeanyee Wong and was published by The John Day Company, the publishing firm founded by Ms. Buck’s second husband. Occasionally copies are available on Amazon.

I view Ms. Buck –  I started reading her books when I was twelve – as a sort of spiritual mother, so I felt fortune smiled when I found a copy of her one book of poetry in a used bookstore some years ago. In brief, eloquent, deft strokes, the poems do indeed express the themes of her novels.

Dust-jacket, Words of Love by Pearl S. Buck.


A few years ago in an interview with me British poet, Myra Schneider, said this about Pearl Buck’s poem, Essence:

Myra Schneider

Myra Schneider

” This spiritual poem is an expression of what Pearl Buck feels is at the heart of living and writing – love. Without it life would have no meaning, nothing to offset the negativity, dangers and fears of living. What I understand too is that in all else she has written, all she has given body and soul to, love is the essence. I’m glad she used the word essence because for me the poetry that really matters – both what I read and what I write – is spiritual poetry, poetry which searches below the surface for meanings . This is not say that I write or look for poetry which is very solemn or far removed from the everyday or humorless – rather that I want to explore what lies beneath the ordinary, what raises it, makes it not ordinary.”


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and  California Woman.

POET, TEACHER, INSPIRATION: Dilys Wood and the Latter-day Saphos

Sappho (/ˈsæfoʊ/; Attic Greek Σαπφώ [sapːʰɔ̌ː], Aeolic Greek Ψάπφω, Psappho [psápːʰɔː]) was a Greek lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos. The Alexandrians included her in the list of nine lyric poets. She was born sometime between 630 and 612 BCE, and it is said that she died around 570 BCE, but little is known for certain about her life. The bulk of her poetry, which was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity, has been lost; however, her immense reputation has endured through surviving fragments.

“Sappho (/ˈsæfoʊ/; Attic Greek Σαπφώ [sapːʰɔ̌ː], Aeolic Greek Ψάπφω, Psappho [psápːʰɔː]) was a Greek lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos. The Alexandrians included her in the list of nine lyric poets. She was born sometime between 630 and 612 BCE, and it is said that she died around 570 BCE, but little is known for certain about her life. The bulk of her poetry, which was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity, has been lost; however, her immense reputation has endured through surviving fragments.” [Wikipedia]


When this post originally went up a few years ago, The Poet by Day didn’t have quite the following that is does now. Hence the repost. Both poet and organization are deserving of wide audience and big applause. / J.D., June 18, 2018.

Sunday: I began my dive into Dilys Wood’s Antarctica* (Greendale Press, 2008), spending my discretionary time engaged by this collection, which includes The South Pole Inn, a novella in verse.

“I dreamt I gave you the white continent
I wrapped it in white wedding wrap, embossed
with silver penguins and skiis …”
from Her Birthday Present in the section Love in a Freezing Climate: Four Poems

*****

“Wherever I look, the bacillus of melt
weakens the floes.”
from Future

DILYS WOOD is a poet, an editor and the founder (“convenor” as she might say) of the London-based Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN), which produces the biannual ARTEMISpoetry and includes a publishing arm, Second Light Publishing.  I first encountered Dilys thanks to Myra Schneider. That award-winning poet with eleven published collections is a consultant to SLN.

While Internet and email have a way of helping to cross borders and make affinity-based connections, closing the gaps in culture and miles – in this case some 5,500 miles as the crow flies – the tools are imperfect. It’s not the same as meeting, talking and observing in person. However, when you read what people write, when they risk themselves by putting their very souls on paper, you do get to know something about their values and passions. My strongest sense of Dilys was as the quiet persistent energy behind a women’s poetry collective and an apparently indefatigable advocate for women’s right – including women over 40 – to poetic voice. 

At the point in which I first encountered Myra, Dilys and SLN, Dilys had collaborated on (mainly with Myra) four anthologies of women’s poetry. She had two collections of her own poetry published, Women Come to a Death (Databases, 1999) and Antarctica. That was, I think around 2010. Since that time, we are gifted through Dilys and Myra, Anne Stewart (poetry p fand others on the SLN team with so many fine anthologies and magazines of women’s poetry, that I can hardly keep track. 

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Dilys is modest in presenting herself. Her Poet’s Page on SLN’s website says simply –

Dilys started writing poetry again after retiring from the Civil Service, where her jobs included being secretary of the Women’s National Commission. She shortly after founded Second Light, focussed on the needs of women reconnecting with writing after forty. Second Light Network developed into a support group and, on a small scale (though reviews suggest significant), publisher of women’s poetry. Together with her own writing (Antarctica, 2008; Women Come to a Death, Katabasis, 1997), Dilys has been the joint editor (mainly with Myra Schneider) of 4 womens poetry anthologies.

If The Poet by Day was a poem, its title would have to have the tagline after Dilys Wood. This site is not the product of collaboration and membership. Nonetheless, its commitment to sharing information on poets and poetry, including gifted if lesser-known poets, and promoting and encouraging poets who are marginalized by their gender, ethnicity, disability or age – is very definitely inspired by Dilys’ work and commitment to mature women and the work and commitment of Myra Schneider and the other SLN women as well as by my own love of poets and poetry and the whole of poesy history and culture.

This is Dilys in her own words as she “spoke” in a guest blog post here several years ago:

NEW SAPPHOS, CHALLENGES FOR WOMEN POETS

I run a network for women poets and naturally I want our members to be treated equitably, with recognition of any woman’s potential to be in the top flight of creative artists.

Some poets feel that ‘male and female he made them’ should not be an issue. I disagree because I want to celebrate and gain personal inspiration from the last fifty years. There has been a vastly increased involvement of women as students of poetry, published poets, book purchasers and consumers of ‘products’ such as poetry festivals. I also want it debated why this has not meant equality of treatment by journals.

Why do some leading journals publish fewer poems by women and use fewer women reviewers? What part is played by prejudice and what by our diffidence? Do we submit enough work and persist when submissions are rejected? Are there subtle shades of prejudice? Are we taken seriously on ‘women’s topics’ but not when writing about spiritual experience or politics?

A first step is to convince ourselves that there is no ceiling. Emily Dickinson surely lives up to the epithet ‘unique genius’? Her work is incredibly economical, dense, universal and deeply moving. She is totally original in style and thought. Her work alone ought to kill the slur that biology-based inferiority explains historical under-achievement.

So many more women have found now their voice. Let’s celebrate poets who excite us, from Emily Bronte (say) to Jorie Graham (say). We can also start thinking seriously about differences and about inflated reputations. Let’s be wary about ‘celebrity status’. This tends to narrows true appreciation. Read voraciously. Include lesser known poets and dead poets. You will be impressed by how much exciting writing is on offer.

– Dilys Wood

* “Antarctica,” Greendale Press, 2008 (all proceeds to Second Light Network funds). �5.95 through poetry p f (scroll down on the page to which this is linked)

© The New Sapphos, Dilys portrait, book cover art, Dilys Wood; © introduction, Jamie Dedes; Sapho embrassant sa lyre Jules Elie Delaunay (1828-1891), public domain

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ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication, currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

* The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

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