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

Photograph courtesy of Jian Xhin, Unsplash

“All of us, whoever we may be, have our respirable beings. We lack air and we stifle. Then we die. To die for lack of love is horrible. Suffocation of the soul.”  Victor Hugo, Les Misérables



And this being Tuesday, it’s time to share the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Hypoxic Moment,  June 17, which invited poets to share poems about situations that are suffocating, literally or metaphorically.  Thanks to Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Irene Emanuel, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone for this collection, which invites you to ponder and to sympathize.  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.


To my Stubborn Father from your Stubborn Daughter

Dearest Dad – You always stood your ground
With standards high above my reach
Standing on that moral hill
Cloistered rules, you did teach
I inhaled it all
Principled breath
Held belief
Until
Truth
Breathed
Knowledge
You don’t know
Of the “Other”
Exhaled, these old rules
No longer hold my views
I have climbed another hill
And stand on ground planted by you
With love and principles – Your Daughter

© 2020, Irma Do

Irma’s site is: I Do Run, And I do a few other things too . .  


Oxygen a Lifeline

Then in hypoxic moments everyone must be
sometime, in some moments of life, as human
beings, me, a restless soul nurturing anxiety
facing confusion, falling often suffering a neck
injury at the age of six, unconscious, for long, I
survived that hypoxic moment, to live with pain,

a tiny insect that killed a powerful king, entered
my body through the skin, injecting poison that
polluted my blood, caused shivering, sweating
intermittent fever and occasional hypoxic gaps
a severe sudden abdominal spasm would
put me off balance , gasping into oblivion.

unconscious falling into a terrifying hypoxic
moment,I survived,fortunately with help close by
“Malaria can do anything”. The doctor said, “Keep
quinine in your bag”, the sweaty feverish attacks
would drain my energy leave me bedbound for
days and weeks, the tabs prevented but did not cure.

There would be recurrent attacks, more,what caused
them, I never was sure,long time later, one night, a
severe painful spasm twisted the system inside me
nausea intense, vomiting gasps, seconds later collapse
in a hypoxic moment, no breath, no consciousness
lifeless, my head fell from side to side, darkness engulfed

the door of light closed.
“She is all blue, she will not survive”.
All was dark again, no breath, no sound, no movement
I sensed being lifted, hypoxic moment prolonged but
I had time to stay on Earth, a fast falling drip hung by
the window’s bolt, Father’s faint vision appeared before my
eyes, I slipped back into darkness unknown unfelt,

I could not breathe, someone rubbed the top of my head,
someone my feet, this hypoxic moment finally faded away
a new life blessed, my head felt empty I had no voice nor
strength in the eyes. I lay in bed for days, sipping orange
juice with glucose and D.vitamin,
I saw the line between life and death is fragile and thin.

© 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


The Darkness
What blackness pulls me,
protesting that I prefer the light,
but still wrenches my soul
into its glacial madness.
What triumphant tentacle
tweaks my tiredness
into tedious paralysis.
What despicable emotion
delivers my self-respect
into oblivion.
What relentless ribbon
encircles my lungs and
rivets my breath
to my throat.
It is the dull depressive dankness
that deprives my brain
of its life-force
and I die by degrees.
© 2020, Irene Emanuel
Choking
Why is it called a “Heat Wave”
when it doesn’t wave;
it sticks around and burns
up all the moisture within its reach?
It feels like the heat is choking
the life out of everything;
it’s so still and oppressive:
Please let it rain soon
before the World shrivels
into the “Heat Age.”
© 2020, Irene Emanuel
You may read more of Irene’s poems by using the search engine on this site.

..ocean challenge..

1.
write the words, she says
that helps.

it is a drop in the ocean, and cannot
help those already lost.

it was said in depth we drown, and so
it is
so.

we cannot rescue the drowning, record the names.

here.

so we draw dresses.

black dresses do not sell so well.

2.
looks like you are drowning and
hope i am wrong. i can see the
struggle
the turn about in water.

i have done that too
pat says that i have paid the price
but i wonder

i hope

you survive and come clean bare
your feathers.

fly high

if not
i will lay a petal
and think of you

as i think of the others
that drowned before you

3.
to explain to you who cannot see,
the cloy, the quantity of water, tasks, and other
hurts, that fit into a day. the moment
your feet slide into mud, with one word.

heard , read, imagined, the sentence dives and plays
whole, yet as days move on, flotation occurs,
buoys, slowly we face back to sea , swim on.
either that or drown.

4.
will you watch the world treading.
water floats my heart high, reflected red
below, sky above.
will you hold me up when i am failing, no
longer floating . will you play soft music
say
that we are in this together. meanwhile shall
we keep swimming
together?

5. will you save me from drowning?
will you let me breathe?

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..verdict..

she

lay as dead did not speak nor ask for fear

lay quiet did not write nor tell there were

new shoes by the wardrobe at an angle

still

did not move nor participate in anyway

did not breathe nor cry there are new

shoes by the wardrobe new shoes

found

guilty always guilty

there was no charge

there was no trial

there were no photographs

no evidence no one talks of it no more

she no longer breathes

no more

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.. there is a dampness..

they called it heavy

the adults

before a storm

pits hang damp

lips prickling then he said it

he said it

so I hid in the plant house amongst the smell; the frogs

should I add fetid air or will that just be another cliché

look my device added the required accent there

so it was all dripping down reminding of grandma’s kitchen

brown gloss paint & mustard walls running in cabbage juice

she boiled it dreadful

well they did in those days

no al dente then

it was after the war

now where was i

yes hiding

my heart beating my head out

breath catching

oh no is this my asthma or the disease

going round, have you heard of it

if I tell him I have it will he go, leave me alone

should I cough a lot or is that against the guidelines

even in this situation

I hid a long time, maybe days and when I was sure he

had left

I finally breathed out

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Terror

Step by step,
unsteadily clawing
away from the
tentative comfort of my sanctuary –
with even the moving molecules of air
too public, too exposed, too raw,
the corridor too wide,
fingertips touching, clutching,
tapping, groping, palpating
wallpaper, columns, strangers’ doors
before I drag my boulder-like body,
mind lurching from lucidity,
into an inescapable elevator
I’ve waited a maddening current of minutes for,
wobbling in loafers as a dry mouth
panted, praying to God and Jesus and the Virgin Mary
it’d be empty and no one would witness the
trembling and fidgeting of feet and hands and
the heartbeat hammering like the hits I
used to dance to in nightclubs in
less dangerous times
(please don’t stop or retreat into an arrhythmia that’ll make me pass out or die and bang and crash against the tiles with the pattern of sixteen perpendicular lines I’m trying to focus on)
and the smears of sweat on my forehead,
only to scowl or snicker at a scapegoat
perceived as a pale druggie on
coke or meth or heroin or angel dust or bennies,
a stain on sane society,
instead of a frantic agoraphobe
(a shut-in before it became fashionable)
burdened by a daily panic attack
on the way to check the mail.

2020, Adrian Slonaker

You can read more of Adrian’s poetry using the search feature on this site andThe BeZine.


Obsessions

Raanana, November 6, 2015

The obsession of breathing
In out, in out
Quickly
Slowly
It doesn’t matter
As long as it continues
In out
Forever
You think about it
And you dream about it
In out, in out
But then the time comes
And you hold onto it
Until you can’t.

The obsession of thinking
The eternal internal babbling
The great chain of associative thought
One thought leads to another
And another
And
Another
Without end
Without silence.

The obsession of loving
Another
So much that you cease to exist
Against the other existence
And how can you love
If you don’t exist
But your love swallows you
And you try to escape love
But it runs along beside you
Holding your hand.

The obsession of writing
About my obsessions
Because writing fulfills one’s obsessions
In the imagination of following them
And to write about her breathing
And to write about thinking of her
And to write about loving her
Is all that a writer wants to do.

The obsession of reading
About other people’s obsessions
If they are like mine
And they write about her breathing
And they write about thinking of her
And they write about loving her
And you can do anything in the world
But look away.

The obsession of living
Of watching the sunset in the roiling sea
And of watching it rise from behind the eastern hills
Ex Oriente lux just one more time
Of hearing the well-practiced flute
From the open window of an apartment
While I’m walking Daisy
To feel the freshness of rainfall from the sky
Like manna from heaven
And her skin against mine
To taste the tang of tangerines and bitterness of coffee
To breathe the fresh washed smell
Of my granddaughter’s hair
Just one more time
One more moment
And not being able to let go of her hand
Or to look away.

Excerpt from Yet Another Book of Poetry

©  2015, Mike Stone  

In Cold Blood

Raanana, September 7, 2015

Cold, oh so cold,
The life and all colors bled from the air
Too cold to breathe
My lungs fill up with coldness
And my blood carries only coldness to my dying limbs
But my dying eyes still see you
Moving away from me
The summer warmth of your beauty
The colors of your eyes and your hair
The warmth of your breathing
And the sound of it
Retreating but returning
Your arms open towards me
To keep me from retreating
But I’ve already gone
Too far away
It is night now
And I am lost.

Excerpt from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Last Will and Testament

Raanana, February 2, 2013

I John H. Doe being of sound body and mind
Do solemnly wonder what it will be like
To have a last will,
Not to will or want anything more
In this life, of this earth,
Not to change my fate or my mind,
Not to stop, turn around, and go back from the edge.
I John H. Doe do solemnly wonder
What it’ll be like to draw my last breath,
To look around for more to breathe
But to find none,
To understand that that is probably that.
I John H. Doe being of sound mind and body
Do solemnly wonder what it will be like
To lose my first marble
My favorite Cats Eye memory of my very first love
Or my last marble,
My best won Dragonfly memory
Of my last and lasting love,
The smell of sunlight on her skin,
The weight of summer against her thigh.
I John H. Doe being of sound body and mind
Do solemnly bequeath my best memories
To the wind whispering through her hair.
I John H. Doe

Excerpt from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2013, Mike Stone  

The Mullet and the Osprey

Raanana, October 7, 2018

O what a perfect day
Fragments of dappled sunlight play on rocks
Swimming is effortless as
We fly over and between the smooth rocks
One with the browngreen flow of water,
My friends on either side of me.
Days like these make me happy
For no reason whatsoever.
My friend leaps with joy into the breathless air
And like a ripple, his friend leaps too.
Now it is my turn to leap above the water
O joy!
O stabbing pain!
I can’t breathe, release me, pray!
O horror, stab and crush of talons,
The thud of wings pounds the air
Death awaits me in the nearing nest,
Death, pray, release me from life’s pain.

Excerpt from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 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.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

I Still Recall . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Jude Beck, Unsplash

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”  Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum



And this being Tuesday, it’s time to share the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Hello Nazim . . . Hello, June 10, which invited poets to share memories and thoughts on their fathers. Some share good stories and some share sad experiences, not unlike the world’s populations writ large.  Thanks to Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do,  Irene Emanuel, Joan Leotta, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Nancy Ndeke, and Adrian Slonaker for this distinctive and relatable 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.


a stern look
the outer resilence
of a man who instills discipline.

2020, Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah

You can read more of Benedicta’s poetry using the search engine on this site.


Dear Father, if you were alive today

Life would have been so different, I would
have spent a day with you, served you hot tea,

Discussed some aspect of English Language
then played an exciting game of Scrabble with you.

You inspired us all, by your elegant professionalism
I admired you in uniform you honored it so rightly.

Up early getting ready for office, I remember the
sweet smell of lather, the small foamy shaving brush

You would lovingly tease me by touching my cheek
with it, your silver table mirror swinging back from

time to time, and had to be adjusted again and again,
the small mug of warm soapy water, I watched in awe

when you changed the blade after shaving the cheeks
a bit of chin, you respected the beard but never kept it.

I remember the brand name Treet, sharp metallic cutter,
wrapped in yellow and purple, while music played on

Radio Ceylon,Triple 5 cigarette tin stood at attention,
uniform clean pressed stiff, brass pips shining, awaited you

How lovingly and expertly you would treat us in times when
we injured ourselves running and falling, or getting fever,

Your love of music always surprised us in joyful suspense
till the needle of Grundig touched the HMV 75 rpm record,

this reflected the musical moods of the Renaissance. The best
collection was of books,every month from England

“The Companion Book Club”classics arrived. I know all that
reading created the writer in me. Thank you Father, I love you,

miss you, I could write so much more, as there is so much more,
with you in heaven, then I talk to you in silent prayers,

I am fortunate to receive so much affection, care, teachings of
true values of life in this world. Your best lesson was:

“Have a big heart, forgive and relax, always try to do good with
patience and courage, to be alive is a blessing”.

Father,  You were a true soldier, served actively in Burma and Java, experienced a brush with death against the Japanese, a healing doctor of humanity, veteran of WW II, awarded the Burma Star, King George the 6th Queen’s Medal 1950, Royal British Indian Medical Service Medal and Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Service and Indo-Pak War Medal 1965.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

I Still Recall

I still recall the moments

when I sat up in bed crying

for how long?

I do not know,no one came

for quite some time, perhaps

because it was

in the late hours of night-

I was hardly four or five

playing more and eating less-

I was crying for food

I guess…

and then he was by my side-

Father sat patted and said,

“What’s the matter dear?

is it something that you fear?

Its not the cold nor heat nor pain,

its hunger you need something to eat”.

And so I still feel the taste so sweet

delicious to the root,full juicy was the

tinned mixed fruit.

Father opened the can right there

made me eat with love and care

what else so ready could he get,as

I felt hungry in the middle of the night…

No sooner had I eaten

when all tears were forgotten

I was overtaken by peace

and fell off into a very deep sleep.

Father your love was profound

it sustains me still.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Da

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


Details

I zero in
On the cracks in the walls
The spaces between the tile and grout
The layer of dust on the grand piano
The peeling Formica under 80’s sought after giveaway cups
The places where your innovative nature took precedence over getting the job done right.

I zero in
On the grays in your hair
And the spots on your hands
The slowness in your cane aided walk
Your mouth agape during your afternoon nap
The hand me up shirt you’ve been wearing for decades because it still fits

I zoom out
And see the humor and kindness in your eyes
The hands that lovingly prepare my favorite meal
The 20 year old bed that fits generations
The clock where time has stopped but happiness lives on
The struggle of remembering and honoring and forgetting and accepting.

I zoom out
And notice what you do without
What you’ve sacrificed
What you’ve preserved
What you’ve done with love
What you’ve done for love.

I zero in on that detail.

© 2020, Irma Do

Irma’s site is: I Do Run, And I do a few other things too . . . 


FOR MY FATHER

My heart’s bereft
now you have left this Earth.
Just thoughts of you
to see me through the years.
When last did I
see eye to eye with you?
Your World and mine,
by age and time, were different.

As memories come creeping in,
why, only now, do I begin to see your worth?
How dumb and blind;
how closed my mind to everything of you.
You tried your best,
why did I test your love?
Love and warmth were always there,
I just never gave my share to you.

And now you lie beneath the ground,
my words of love are tightly bound inside me.
So all the times I ever had
to say ” I love you, Dad,” are gone forever.
Too late I’ve woken,
the words unspoken remain unheard.
Why did you go
before I let you know
how much I loved you?

© 2020, Irene Emanuel

FATHER

He was otherworld;
othertime, otherplace;
he was othertongue;
otherman, otherface.
He was a Polishman;
strongman; bright and aware;
wiseman, everybody’s friend,
busyman, goodman, always there.
He was a workman;
kindman; animal lover.
He was caring and gentle,
adored his kids, worshipped our mother.
He was a sickman;
weakman, fading away,
he lingered on until he died
one glorious bluesky day.
He was Polish Henek, English Henry,
different names and time—–
for me, he was my fatherman,
my dearest Daddy, mine.

© 2020, Irene Emanuel

You may read more of Irene’s poems by using the search engine on this site.


Dreaming Across the Styx

My father walks into my view.
He is in a long, narrow room,
wearing his tan trench coat.
A finely blocked felt hat
tops his jet-black, wavy hair.
He tamps down the tobacco
in his cherry wood pipe, then turns
to me, his brown eyes twinkling.
He steps back into
a poorly lit hallway I do not recognize.
Dad removes his coat and
sits in an orange plastic chair.
Coat on his lap,
he draws softly on the pipe and
nods toward me .
Cherry -flavored tobacco smoke
soothes me.
Dad is waiting for me,
as always.
Through theatre classes
piano lessons, dance lessons.
Patiently enmeshed in his own thoughts,
he waits without complaint.

Suddenly I wake.
I’m at home.
No hallway. No chair.
No cherry tobacco.
Only the smell of coffee.
My father smiles from his photo.
Some say dreaming across the Styx means
Ferryman Charon will soon arrive.

Not for me.

Instead of Charon,
my own beloved father
waits, patiently, to
ferry me across the Styx
in his white 1960 Thunderbird.

First published, Red Wolf Journal, Summer 2014, this is an excerpt from Joan’s collection Languid Lusciousness with Lemon

© 2020, Joan Leotta

Donut Dialog with Dad

Once a month on an

afternoon when my

dad worked night shift,

he’d pull up to my school in

his white Ford Thunderbird

at one, to fly downtown.

so the orthodontist could poke,

prod, and adjust the cacophony of

wires and metal bands

promising to shape

my teeth into a better smile.

By 2:30 it was over.

Dad would check his watch.

“Time for a donut?”

We headed to the swirly counter stools

of the Mayflower Coffee Shop.

Dad ordered coffee, and I hot chocolate.

Sour cream cake donut—

always his choice.

I vacillated between Boston Cream

and vanilla cake with chocolate icing.

One afternoon, after our donuts came,

I poured out a litany of all the day’s

wrongs – friends, studies.

“Why do I need a better smile, if

I have nothing to smile about?”

Dad sipped his coffee quietly.

When I finished, he pointed to the

ceramic mosaic behind the counter

with its iconic poem and read,

“Keep your eye

upon the donut, Joanie,

not upon the hole.”

Words to live by,

not just when eating donuts.

First published in ovunquesiamo spring, 2020

© 2020, Joan Leotta

Joan tells us: “I still miss my father. He passed in 1988.” Joan’s site is: What Editors Want You to Know


A SEAMAN’S POUCH

R166216
Lost, replaced, now traced at last,
my father’s.
Neat cursive script in different hands,
no wasted words:
ships, dates, evaluations,
a carpenter in a world
of steel and water.

Winnipeg2/ chartered once by Pablo Neruda/ to take from France/
Spanish refugees/ and carry them to Chile/
“The critics may erase all of my poetry if they want/
But this poem, that today I remember, nobody will be able to erase”/

Convoy ON-139
A line of life stretched taut
and fear haunts each keel.
Curse/ bless the storm pounding
against the knuckled rivets;
pray that the head grinding
down against the crushing walls,
pray that the head will rise and breathe,
pray that the engines will not fail,
pray you will not be lost
in the ocean’s wrack.
22/10/1942
U-443, Wolf Pack Puma.
This line of life, men and cargo,
war, time and water intersect.

49°,51’ North, 27°,58’West
Two sudden blows.
The pictures show a ship in a gentle ocean,
scuppers nearly under water, men in lifeboats.
I magnify and peer, hoping I will see him.

21.48. The line of life, a shipmate
who saw he wasn’t there,
who went below, hefted him
over his shoulder. Four days unconscious.

Only once he talked about what he had seen and heard,
annihilating seas and storms, men burning in oil.

A father discharged from life
with honour.

This is an except from Frank’s debut collection, At the Storm’s Edge, (Palewell Press, London, January 2020)

© 2020, Frank McMahon

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


..father’s side of the family..

it goes deep. they came from malta. maybe gibralta. they rhyme you see.

it was because of her accent, her size and working in the laundry. sun light

was the name.

she could not say electricity nor mattress i believe. thought it leaked through

the wire.

he was deaf when i found him, could not hear my words, so not the right

answers there, wherever it was.

we wonder , we wander in drifts.

even if we knew the truth, it may be wrong.

for us.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..desertion..

my father told me that he was too deaf for the war

so stayed in britain instead

of fighting

my father said he did not understand my mother’s illness

no one told him beforehand

the incidents

said that the doctor advised his leaving; the desertion

he said that he was there at my brother’s funeral;

stood back

where no one saw him, no one heard him

my father said he was always around if we had needed him,

so i said where?

but he did not hear me.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Story in the History of a Man

The name that is also a thing,
What a story in the history of a man,
The man who give me his love wrapped in a name,
Ndeke; loosely translates to Aeroplane,
A bird too, both creatures of flight,
A man married to the soil of his land before a wife,
A man true to the seasons,
Now, firmly rested in the very soil that so amazed his hands,
Every cup of coffee bears memories of this man,
Every bird, every jet and chopper,
A poet melting metaphors of the crops and sweat,
A boon to his brood and provisions,
A legacy of tireless endeavors,
Laughter was a short affair in a grunt,
Discipline came with a stern look and a wave of the head,
When he pointed a finger in admonishment, raised remorseful regret spoke,
For this rough and refined figure of my father,
Led the example with his own ways,
School meant much to him, and rebuke came by way of sample failures,
Never heard a single ” I love you child ” from his tongue,
Yet, never doubted this love withheld verbally,
Only once in my life,
Did I hold my father close to my heart,
A hard time fell on his son,
And age added to great sorrow,
Brought my father to my bossom,
He said nothing, but said everything in that moment,
A year later, he went his sky way,
Now, he lives in my name and bones,
And the wonder of his efforts,
That’s a testimony to this verse.
May all father’s leave something to hold for their children.
I have a name.
And a legacy too.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy Ndeke’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Vinyl Run

In a burgundy Buick LeSabre
stopped before a storefront
stammering “Records! Records! Records!”
waited a professor
with salt-and-pepper hair,
puffing on a pipe
packed with Dutch Masters tobacco,
on a break from weekend yardwork
while his bespectacled kid with brackety braces
lingered inside,
fingering forty-fives and albums and
mulling over which artistes
merited his allowance
and the privilege of spinning on
the stereo supplied
by the chap in the car
watched through a window
by an incredulous clerk who
clucked, “That must be
the world’s most patient man.”
Blushing with shame,
the teen high-tailed it to the till,
swapped crumpled banknotes for
rock ‘n’ roll and
rushed to shower his chauffeur
with contrition and thanks.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker

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


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

 

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?

Futures,
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
achieved

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

discuss

as i could now argue
another way and become
rattled

qed
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.
Rattles
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.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

 

One Night on Cradle Mountain . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Lukasz Szmigiel, Unsplash

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring
……pines and the hemlocks,
“Bearded with moss, and in garments green,
…….indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and
…….prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on
…….their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced
…….neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the
…….wail of the forest . . . “
Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



And this being Tuesday, it’s time to share the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, remembrance, May 27, which invited poets to share works about places that inspire a sense of connection with primeval roots. The result is an engaging collection that takes us around the world:  Australia, England, the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Kashmir, Pakistan, Africa, and Israel. Thanks to Pat Bailey, Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irene Emanuel, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone.

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.


From the end of a dock…

One early morning of a trillion others.
A child’s body lying tummy down on a wooden dock
gazing into the shallow, clear water of a small lake,
sun warming arms and legs from cooling breezes.

The sun centered in a universe beyond the grasp of a young mind;
this universe a part of a system beyond the grasp of brilliant scientists.

She gazes into the shallows,
with her fingers exploring the wonders of water,
making ripples that expand to places beyond.

water flowing through rock, aquafers, streams, rivers, oceans;
water in billowing clouds floating overhead.

As she lies quiet,
she giggles at minnows exploring her fingers,
a new object in a minnow’s unfathomable universe.

© 2020, Pat Bailey

Pat’s site is: A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully, Photography and Thoughts About Life and Aging


The Fall of Remembrance

flashbacks
retrospective of classical moments
history beckons in pulses;
the canyons of memories
heralded in footsteps
Tiptoes in the days of youthful exuberance
Patterns of hope & transformation
An outer cry of the good old days
Iron sharpens Iron
Flirtatious flames in footfalls
Falls from a mountainous view
Picking up the pieces of remembrance.

© 2020, Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah

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


Reminiscing the Home Town

Drenched in anamnesis, grieving a lost home
my sister and I, childhood migrants, looked at
each other, as the plane rose, gained height
revealing below a green sea of pine trees, and a
mighty rugged range of snow capped Himalayas
as far a the eye could see. In the depths of this
divine valley along the powerful Gilgit River
lay the hometown, the spirit longed for.

Eager anticipation of a reunion with native soil
left us speechless, mirth mixed with Covid funerals,
dirges in lock down,some holding a weak supposal
of duty,with state of work out of frame,that we in our
wisest sorrow set on this journey,with memory
of our lost Kashmir ,still green in the folds of the heart.
Small patches of terraced fields,cordoned by stone walls
golden apricot trees saluting guards of honor.

Roads jeepable,often trafficked by trotting donkeys,
bordered by fresh water streams called “cools”.A
sharp turn,a steep climb ended in front of a wooden
cottage,air dense with peach fragrance cool breeze
cut the warm August temperature,the mountain
range smiled to welcome as peace entered the soul.

Trayful of double cherries, abundant sweet,natures opulence
within reach,in the distance the pipe played with the rhythmic
drumbeat, the bugle soon blew the retreat,such moments stay
In mind as if it all was just yesterday

© 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


One Night on Cradle Mountain

Tasmania

Never before, nor ever again
will there be such a special night;
the night a possum stopped at my feet
and allowed my touch without fright.
Glancing round the purple-black,
I saw a wondrous sight;
sparkle-threads of countless stars
roped round the Milky Way;
back-dropped moon-beams
filigreed in shining silver ray.
Thrilled beyond coherent thought,
I blended with this dream
and optically imprinted
that empyreal starry scene.
Cradle Mountain calls to me,
with haunting “Siren” powers;
“come back and stay,
you’ll be entranced,
your life forever ours.”

© 2020, Irene Emanuel

You will find more of Irene’s poetry by typing her name into the search feature on this site.


.away.

the museum man

says it is the medieval place,

that causes the feeling

of calm and acceptance,

and smiled at our excitement

on the glass , the remembrance

and hallmarks.

he works there.

he said he never

noticed the thistles,

just handed me the bag.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Along the Banks of Mara River

Sitting by the banks of this mighty river, mothering my mother’s baby,
As she rent the river a rhyme all her own,
Slap,slap of dads hard jeans on a rock,
The roar of the river as it mourned with logs from up the mountain,
I watch beetle’s ferry their load of dung,
As baby relieves her load of banana mash on the old shawl,
Across the other bank, two more mother’s answer the slap, slap rhyme,
Up the high eucalyptus tree, fish eagle’s babies drop their drops on the fast river,
A mutuja fruit tree still carrying it’s unripe babies rushes down the river un-afraid,
It’s time for baby break to clean it’s bum and feed,
I watch, I envy the slappy gush of bustling milk from the exposed breast,
No shame here at the bank of the Mara river,
Not even when a strange man passed by and held a conversation,
I strayed up stream to fetch menyua and matomoko,
I shared my harvest with the home nurturer,
Soon, it’s my turn to undress for a midday scrub,
No eyes roved over my brown body with nothing to show but scrawny legs,
From down the lower side of the river came a whistling of kijia,
Only to be answered by another from way up stream,
But as we did the long haul upstream,baby strapped on my clean back,
The kijias did meet only they were not birds,
They were future Mr and Mrs Bundi as Christmas was to witness,
Down the banks of Mara river was a street and a lawn ,
Where known and unknown were exchanged,
Most talks flew past my understanding,
When code was encoded to cheat young ears,
And innocence did rule the days,
As trust exchanged handshake,
A little fun, a little break,
Adventure for the village and it’s folks,
The Mara river has long dwindled to a sickly old stubborn stream,
It’s banks the same but different, it’s roar now a whispered whimper,
But deep in memories held for five decades and counting,
It’s a paradise lost and a loss to the age of innocence,
To the brutality of development and perpetual entanglement with cash crops,
Which drinks more of the river, leaving it malnourished.
At the banks of the Mara river, I first saw Eden raw.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke


The Stones Remember

Far within these cold, stone walls,
lies the spirit of the Keep.
Mortar mixed with blood and sweat,
the foundations buried deep.

The stones remember battles fought
and won, and kings on noble steeds.
They also recall Dark Ages past,
filled with both great and awful deeds.

Wild grass grows now between the ruins–
the crumbled, tumbled rocks.
Guarded by ghosts and memories,
there is no need for locks.

The once mighty walls have fallen low,
relenting to the hand of Time.
The wind mourns through the jagged
cracks, that only the insects find.

A sense of ancient ways surrounds
the ramparts, tall and steep.
The codes and credos still reside
with the spirit of the Keep.

It still has strength of purpose,
though now, it is only a shell.
The craftsmen who built this ode
to defense, made sure they built it well!

Though crumbling from years of disuse and age,
though empty, forgotten, it stands,
the stones remember all
who have passed this way,
felt the strength wrought from human hands.

When worn to dust this place will be,
when the sun is only an ember,
when shadows abound on empty ground,
the stones will still remember…

Inspired by Ruin Dornach, Scotland 

© 2003, Corina Ravenscraft

Corina’s site is: Dragon’s Dreams


Observations in a Roomette

On its first June run,
the VIA Rail train from Vancouver
veered into the formidable biome
of Boreal Forest in northern Ontario,
the antipode in demeanor
of our destination in a
downtown station in sweaty,
attention-hogging Toronto. .
With a teletype rhythm
we rocked and chugged,
hugging the jaggedness of the
Canadian Shield-
shielding against what?-
in the lake-lapped, cryptic
darkness past midnight
more manitou than human,
more dreamlike than
mundane but somehow also more
authentic than the thicket
of tech and turmoil
that had tricked me.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker

You will find more of Adrian’s poetry using the search feature on this site and on The BeZine.


Jerusalem

Raanana, August 2010

Jerusalem. It sits in your mind,
It rolls gently off your tongue,
It lingers languidly on your palate.
Jerusalem – four syllogistic solipsistic syllables.
Yerushalayim – five phonemes,
Last a little longer in my mouth.
Ir HaShalom, city of peace.
Al Quds, the holy.
Just saying its name is almost a poem.
Younger than the spring,
Older than the mountains girding her dry loins,
Like an old woman who has buried far, far too many children.
Her stones, cubit by cubit by cubit, glitter in the sunlight
And weigh heavily on the rubble of our bones,
Too heavy to carry, too dear to shrug off.
The clang and gong of her iron bells,
The nasal atonalities of her myriad muezzins,
The chaotic murmurs of gossip and prayer
Rumble and soar skyward from her breast.
The night flows in through open windows
And shushes her children to sleep,
But there’s no room for even one more dream,
One more hope,
One more ghost.
Then almost an after-thought,
A bomb bursts into jagged thudding light as
Thousands of ululating shrapnel sing through buttery flesh
And pock the burning stone.
Jerusalem will always have a place in her heart for
One more ghost.

From The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone

© 2010, Mike Stone

Canaan

Raanana, August 1, 2009

Turquoise the water laps the pristine shore
Sand grains glitter needles of warm light
Around the edges of palm and eucalyptus shade.
Low lying hills in the distance
Hide their dry envy of the cool sea
Behind a haze of dust and trembling heatwaves.
For as far as the eye can see in any direction
No men or women
No sound other than the slow lapping
No sign or artifact
No footprint
Nothing but the tenuous insistence of quiet.
From the distant northeast come the dusty ghosts
Of Abraham, his long-dead wives and sons,
His slaves and goats,
And his belief in God;
Enough to populate the night skies
With stars beyond number.
And from the far north through cedar forests
Come the Hittites on their chariots pulled
By powerfully galloping horses
Their arrows quivering to be let fly
Into any heart that will accept them,
Scarcely aware of Canaan on their way to Egypt.
And west from the sea come the longboats of wood and iron
Of Greek Philistine giants
With their goddess of Ashtar
Their columns and temples
And the clang and thud of their swords
To silence Hebrew prayers.

from The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone

© 2009, Mike Stone 

A Tale of Two Cities

Raanana, October 9, 2015

It was the blessed of cities
It was the cursed of cities,
A city located halfway between heaven and earth
And a city halfway between earth and hell,
A city where stones are cool and soft
From evening breezes and countless feet
A city where stones are hot with blood
And sharp with crashing down on heads,
A city purchased with the blood of David
From Jebusites for more than it was worth,
A city worth more today than the blood of all our children,
One city’s Mount Moriah where Isaac was bound for sacrifice
Another’s Al-Masjid al-Aqsa where Mohammed ascended,
A city protected by youthful soldiers
And a city defiled by youthful soldiers,
Jerusalem the capital of Israel
And al-Quds the capital of Palestine
But in truth the capital of no earthly nation,
A city twice destroyed
A city indestructible,
A city about which everything said is true
And one about which nothing said is true.

from Yet another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

By the River Jordan

Raanana, August 5, 2015

Once upon a time forgotten,
Or so they say,
God walked alongside Abraham
On goat paths crisscrossing mountains
When they were still new and green,
When Moriah was not yet named.
But sometime later God took his angels
And his box of miracles to his bosom
Leaving us to our own devices,
Existentialism and science.
Perhaps because our faith was not enough,
Because we understood the letter
And not the spirit,
Because His creation could not create
But only destroy itself,
He left us to ourselves.
We fought our enemies oh so bravely
But, when the enemy was ourselves, capitulated.
Now we live in a moral flatland,
Two-dimensional creatures on a yellowing page
Without height or depth.
We kill because we can,
We hate and hatred makes a home of death.
By the River Jordan,
By the caves of Qumran,
By the hills of Jerusalem,
We lay down and wept for thee, Zion.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, 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.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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