One of a Kind, a poem by John Anstie

(for Myrra)

Is she the last of a generation,
who lived through two centuries
of cataclysmic events and change;
a century that felt the consequence
of moving territories and boundaries.
From crowns to oligarchical republics,
from rags to riches beyond counting,
technological revolution, the benefits
of science, engineering and medicine,
a system of healthcare and welfare that,
despite the imposed failings of ideology,
looked after her so well … until she left.

Is she the last of a generation,
of whom we’ll be able to say:
“She’s the last of her generation”,
who fought childhood infection
by their own in-built immunity
– no pharmaceutical intervention
to compromise nature’s ways –
who fought for their country
with hope, fear and courage
as their constant companions
without leave for counsel or therapy
to help them through their days.

Malevolent, engineered conflict,
driven by and driving the revolution,
through deeply rooted anxiety
that keeps us at war with others,
with each other, with ourselves …
a continuum of change, so rapid
that we had no time to reflect on
its merits (or not) leading headlong,
steadily, insidiously, irreversibly..?
to a virtual, digital, designer world,
addicted to things that loosen our grip
on a life that once was, not so long ago.

A life more in touch with nature
in which they could roam free;
step out and walk wild for the day
in casual clothes and wellies, with a tin,
a packed lunch, made by their mums;
play games, whose names we forgot.
Walk shoulder to shoulder with a friend,
make daisy chains, mud pies and fish
with a stick in streams and wild rivers,
but virtual games carry young lives away,
so our smart phones all too often convey
in a digest of news, twenty four hours a day.

Is she the last of her generation,
gifted with ‘freedom’ from the toxic
stale air of hyperventilating media
or will we one day be able to say
in the eternity of time and space:
we are all unique, each one of us
was born of a time, from a special
exotic recipe of genes and place,
bringing our gift to the world by
the pull of the moon and the stars,
the physics and chemistry of life
that mould us into what we are …

… one of a kind.

© March 2018,John Anstie, Shared here with permission. All rights reserved.  You can visit John at My Poetry Library. John is also a member of The BeZine core team and you will find a piece by him in the June 15 issue when it is published.

[In her own words: “Born in Yorkshire in March 1919, Myrra Robb Anstie was educated at Southport Girls’ High School. She then won a scholarship for three years at Southport School of Art. She worked as a draughts-woman until the outbreak of WW2, when she enlisted to serve in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (A.T.S.). She lived, from the early 1960’s, in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, where she worked as a teacher of Art, exhibited and sold her work. She returned to the U.K. in 1986, spending a few years teaching portraiture and oil painting for Adult Education in Leicestershire, before settling in Devon in 1991. She was then a member of the Exmouth Art Group. Her hobbies are golf, bridge, computers and sewing. Her favourite subject in art is portraiture.”

My words: Myrra was my step-mother, ‘mum’, and part of my life for nearly fifty years. She married my Father in 1963. I first met her in 1971. Born only a year after the end of WW1, she died in February just three weeks short of her 99th Birthday. She was a woman with a strength of character and opinion that made her a force of nature. She cites her hobbies as including golf. To say it was a hobby is a slight understatement. She was a very competitive golfer, in fact she was competitive at almost everything she did. She shared her passion for the game with my father for the 42 years they were married. Both of them had played from a very young age. She was also competitive as a Bridge player. Her mainstay, her profession, throughout her life was that she established herself as a talented artist, specialising in portraiture. She was a teacher as well as a practitioner of her art. My children and grandchildren benefitted from her teaching. She became a particularly major part of our lives after my Father died in 2005. She will be missed.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem for her that she was very rude about and told me never to write another one about her! I was offended, but, with hindsight, I confess and concede that particular poem was not my best work. To be kind, I guess she was applying her own high standards to my art, as she applied to her own. To honour her wishes, this poem is not about her; it’s about the age through which she lived. It is, nevertheless, dedicated to her.]

John Anstie

JOHN ANSTIE (My Poetry Library and 42) ~ is a British writer, poet and musician –  a multi-talented gentleman self-described as a “Family man, Grandfather, Occasional Musician, Singer, Amateur photographer and Film-maker, Apple-MAC user, Implementation Manager, and Engineer”. He has participated in d’Verse Poet’s Pub and is a player in New World Creative Union as well as a being a ‘spoken-voice’ participant in Roger Allen Baut’s excellent ‘Blue Sky Highway‘ radio broadcasts. He’s been blogging since the beginning of 2011. He is also a member of The Poetry Society (UK).

Recent publications are anthologies resulting from online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group (Petrichor* Rising. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

Petrichor – from the Greek pɛtrɨkər, the scent of rain on the dry earth.



the lesser being of a lesser god, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt


I waged His wars, and now I pass and die.
O me! for why is all around us here
As if some lesser god had made the world …
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King

i always come back to the sea ~
in the winter when gardens lay waste
and the contemplative time is upon us
and in summer, languid and color crazy

no matter the season, she shines

decked-out in sunlighted spray
tossing her waves into wild arabesque
roaring her traveling chants

no reluctant tourist, the sea

the eternal sea,
in the power of her isness
she mocks me
marks me as the lesser being
of a lesser god

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo courtesy of morgueFile


Sometimes in the face of nature’s magnificence, I really do feel as though I might be the child of a lesser god, though goodness knows we humans are as much beauty and miracle as any other manifestation of that creative energy, called by many “God.”  When, how, where have you felt like a lesser being … in the face of what? Tell us in your own poem/s and share them or a link to it/them in the comments section below.

All poems shared on theme will be published next Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook.

IF this is your first time participating in The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at in order to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-).  These will be partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

Deadline:  Monday, June 18 at 8 p.m. PDT.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, sharing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning nonjudgemental place to connect.


“Fog” , “This Poem Must Be Taken Literally” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

“The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

“If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

The theme for Wednesday Writing Prompt, awakening on our rockey rebel road, June 6, 2018, was to share with us the poet in non-ordinary reality, the doorways that lead from the physical to the spiritual. This was perhaps not the easiest of prompts but these poets rose to the occasion with depth and panache. Lovely! 

Thank you Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pangelov and Anjum Wasim Dar. Bravo!

A warm welcome to poet, writer and educator, Michele Stepto, new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. I included a link below to her book, which looks fascinating.  It’s on my reading list.

Enjoy this fine collection with its profound delights and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. Links to each poet’s site are included below so that you can visit, read more of their work, and get to know them.


She received as a gift a carpet
with fog in it and moved
the furniture and rolled
the carpet out in the middle
of the room and found
that fog was rising out of it
in little wisps
and that when she stood
at the edge of it it
was just like standing at the edge of a cliff
high up over the ocean in the evening
when the fog is coming in

She moved the furniture back
and it did not
fall through the carpet
it did not disappear
she sat down in her old
armchair next to the lamp
and thought
she was floating in mid-air
on a foggy day
or flying a plane in the fog
everything feeling pleasantly
cold and damp as she closed her eyes

She sat there for a long while
dreaming about trees seen in fog
and things coming toward you
out of the fog small birds
who stayed put and didn’t fly in the fog
as she was staying put
now in her chair
their heads tucked
under their wings and dreaming
as she was of paradise
of their own Shambhala
high in the mountains
girdled in fog
or clouds
it hardly

© 2018, Michele Stepto 

Michele Stepto

MICHELE STEPTO: I have taught literature and writing at Yale University for many years, and recently at the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont. My work has appeared online at Verse-Virtual, What Rough Beast (at, Ekphrastic Review, NatureWriting, Mirror Dance, Lacuna Journal, and One Sentence Poems, which nominated “The Unfinished Poem” for a Pushcart Prize this year. Along with my son Gabriel, I translated from the original Spanish Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World.


„Убийството на Марат“, Бодри, (1868)

“Miss Corde was reading Plutarch by night the books then used to be taken seriously” Zbigniew Herbert

(Adam Lux – Meditations)

Miss (or already, why not, Missis)
is reading.
So did she before getting married. The revolution of 1960s All is Love is over.
She used to sleep in tents. Why not?
The freedom has to be defended.
Drums, fires, the screams:
“Down with! Who doesn’t jump is.”
Rumble behind the walls. Marat is. Alive? Death? Used to live?
The time is traveling. The crown’s refined hat.
The hair short. With all the colors.
“In a dress like a blue rock.”
Obelisk? Yes! of passing from
necessity to
necessity (for survival).
Mrs. Corde, is reading. The Game of …
She’s dreaming. “All is love”.
The day is the most usual.

She administrated justice.
The falling stars are glowing.

Democratic changes in Bulgaria started after the Berlin Wall in 1989 Jean Paul Marat, a prominent French Revolution. Charlotte Conde is his murderer.

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


Sleep deprivation
May lead to conversation
That you wake up inthemiddleof
Even though it is you who is talking.

The Goddess of Sleeplessness
In that other underworld
Has made you an emissary of her
And conferred on you
The demigod’s trick
Of creating monsters.
Become eyes…

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

A Smooth Skin

is ugly. Trace beauty
in bloody edges of scars.
Tattoo your face and hands
with raw wounds. Glow.
Bruises brighten your looks.
Pimples and spots mark sexiness.
Wrinkles entice awe.
The look is all in scabs.


do not contain. Vacuum
is packed with it all.

I wish you were more obtuse.
I can’t understand this clarity.

All is tightly enclosed in open space.
All is nebulous.

Please talk in riddles. Plain
Sentences confuse my head.

Exactitude is imprecise.
Clarity is obscurity.

Distance is not a measure.
I need you to be woolly with words.

Only The

incompetent do their jobs properly.
Ensure you are only partly trained.

Half skilled emergency services save lives.
It’s what you don’t know that counts.

Amateurs are the only professionals.
Fully trained and experienced cause accidents.

Complete competency leads to lack of trust.
Once experienced you are useless to society.

Successful people are always trainees.
They are oil in the cogs, ensure smooth running.

Mistakes ensure a job is done thoroughly.
They ensure society is rectified.

Be Promising

There are no promises.
Money does not exist.
Nothing to breach.
No agreements or vows.

One can never be broken.
You can never be on one.
No laws, no lines can’t be crossed.
You promise not to promise.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

This Poem Must Be Taken Literally

My body is a rainbow
My blood is an explosion
My heart is a rusty cage
These are not metaphors

Please take this literally
That cloud is my opinion
That road is an orange
That wish is my house
That burnt toast is my belonging

These are not metaphors
This hand is a metal spade
This foot is a knife edge
This mouth is a dark valley
These words are made of light

This is not a poem
This is the ultimate answer.
This tells you how to live
This tells you the only truth

This Mop And Bucket

are poetry to me.
My pen is a mop

I stick in a bucket
of disinfectant floor cleaner

pull out mop sodden
with words and splash

them backwards and forwards
slop lines one after the other

Until the floor fair shines,
My mop is dry, needs another dip.

I squeeze out the gunk
back into the bucket.

More the floor shines,
dirtier the bucketful gets.

A good poem is a clean floor.

© 2018, Paul Brookes  (Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

. reading for anna .


carrying the book, gently,
i find that jesus
is off the wall again.

breeze from the doors
blows him and cobwebbed minds
as i write the small book,
on black keys of words.

gentle here this morning,
sun dreams in,
quiet in all the rooms,
and arms held high,
i come into the morning,
with string and sealing wax.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.valley of the widow.

grey day, rain.
squeaky bath taps.
this is the valley
of the widow.

this is the day.
writing the wall,
trees stand tall.

yellow flags, the route,
to another place

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

There Is Someone

There is someone who talks to me
And keeps me waiting-
If only I could see The Spirit
Which I feel close by, yet so far

A bar on thoughts and actions,
I cannot think because my mind is quiet
And not moving or stirring
Lest the sweet words of The Spirit
May not find their way in-
And I may crush the tender layer thin

In between which keeps us bound,

I cannot let go the joy
I have found in my heart
at hearing the mellifluous melody
of the affectionate aura around,

which seeps into my soul to make peace
and washes smoothly away the tears
and the fears so deep,
I can now sleep with ease

For I cannot speak of the
Good Night Prayer
That descends in time so rare
my soul, to repair

And I cannot say that if I wake
Life may be like a snow flake
White and pure and sure, as
The Angels will come to Heaven, take.

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)



Feeding Our Creativity, not just for poets


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare? —
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”

W.H. Davies, The Collected Poems of William H. Davies

I recently encountered an article that listed over thirty activities – hobbies – with which one might fill leisure time. All well and good, but I find my real leisure joys, the joys that heal me and feed my creativity, are quiet and of the more or less passive variety that involve connecting to Sacred Space:

  • listening (meditation);
  • creative visualization (as in Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization), a cognitive process involving mental imagery; and
  • channeling poetry and art, in other words letting poems and drawings come through from the Ineffable without my frail linear interventions.

Hobbist activities are good. They certainly have their place and can certainly be exercised mindfully and often as a kind of meditation, but they are largely about doing and we humans are essentially creative creatures. We need time to simply be.  Perhaps it’s good to remember the root of the word leisure: from Old French leisir, based on Latin licere ‘be allowed.’ We might spin that – “TO allow” … to allow the Sacred a voice in our lives, in our poetry, art and music, through tranquil leisure-time BEing.

– Jamie Dedes