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

 

Can We …? . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Kalafat/Çanakkale Merkez/Çanakkale, Turkey courtesy of Zekeriya Sen, Unsplash

“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.” Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas



Here we are at Tuesday and the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt,Out of the Womb of Time, May 13, which asked poets to consider:  Where are we in the great continuum? What do we gain from those who came before? What do we give to those who will come after? As always, it’s interesting to read the different perspectives from which each poet plays with the same theme. As a matter of fact, that’s one of the pleasures in this exercise. So, enjoy these poems, gifted to us by Anjum Wasim Dar, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Adrian Solanker, and Mike Stone. And do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All who’d like to participate are invited: beginning, emerging and pro.


Can We….?

Out of the womb of time,unseen
from the fluids of the water lodged
in the ground, immeasurable-
from sounding clay, from mud moulded
into shape and form, gifted uniquely,
capable, blessed with knowledge, free will

Out of the noble pair came generations
“a hundred great men” listed Prophets as best
in roles as guides and Messengers, as shepherds
healers, peace makers, law givers, grand fathers
‘grand mothers,’ on whose shoulders we stand’

their teachings and books are with us- but
are we all with them , do we read enough?
we drink and dance, we eat and sleep
we say what they said, but our hearts and spirits
have drifted away, or so it seems

is their deeper wisdom lost to the winds?
or has it taken refuge in water tight iron boxes
has our learning scattered like particles all over?
the bells do chime and toll, the “Calls do echo’
for there is Hope”

and now humanity, in chaos, seeks coherence, a
collective holism, a new more compassionate normal
free of hunger, poverty and disease, can we educate?
pass on true knowledge,stop and rebuild the collapse
ecological? can millions of bombs and guns remove hate ?

stuck in meaningless systems can we heal breeding
grounds of crime? or control domestic violence? or restore
ruined soil? or raise dense green forests in days, calculated?
wars , killings murders horrifying brutalities more we have given
than peace gardens, joy food learning and justice equal?

confined for years to the paths of our predecessors , we have
been led to senseless global conflicts, mass shootings unbalanced
social systems intense pollution and surging health crises, what good
is in hold scaffold ed for future generations ? isolated digital deceptions?
corruption? injustice ? suffering?

nature has sent an unseen tsunami a warning for humanity
to pause, think, reflect upon the grave threats, seek ways to
peace not war, to health not sickness, to joy not grief,
out of the womb of time slide out new meanings, the new 3 Rs
reunion of holism , repair of community, rejoining the web of life-

Out of the womb of time, comes a time for a reset of our precious world.

© 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


..kiss the ancestors..

i am travelling to the end of the world

with you.

all.

unless we stop to

start again.

unless we travel more careful

we shall see

blackened lakes.

kissing the ancestors, hugging the memories presently.

now

the will of the people over rides that of the mystery.

throwing all into
misalignment.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Language Marches On

With gigantic glasses and
feathered hair, yet not even
an embryonic inkling of
“vegan,” “churro,” or “blogs,”
my geeky teenage self,
still convinced that
“sick” signified “disgusting” instead
of “desirable,” couldn’t have
conceived that now
I’d chow down on
a vegan churro bar
while browsing blogs.
Less baffling would’ve been the binaries
between “swine,” “sheep,” and “cow”
and “pork,” “mutton,” and “beef”
because the Anglos once kept the livestock
while the Francos devoured the viands.
Do my nieces,
wrinkled newborns a decade past Y2K,
deride my Valley Girl-like sprinkling of “like”
as, like, naff fossil-speak, and
will they someday declare
on my tombstone:
“(downward arrow) (sleeping emoji) Pibling Adrian,
rip (crying emoji)”?

© 2020, Andrian Slonaker

To read more of Adrian’s work, just do a search on this site and/or on The BeZine.


Having Once Existed

Raanana, March 7, 2019

Having once existed,
I will not cease to exist
Once my life ends.

And having once existed,
My existence will continue
As long as there are consequences
No matter how insignificant
From my existence
Until the end of time.

And having once existed,
Before I existed
I existed as a possibility
A possibility that was inevitable
Since time’s beginning.

Like the universe
That existed as a possibility
Before time’s beginning,
Unfolding its wondrous petals
Of space and time,
And will exist as a consequence
After time’s end,
We will exist
Forever and ever
And ever.

from The Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2019, Mike Stone

Yggdrasil’s Children

We thank our foremothers for our roots
Reaching back to the mists of first times
And we bless our branches
Those that are strong and healthy
And those that are yet to sprout
Toward unknown skies.
These humans think they’re so different from us
But Yggdrasil remembers when
Our cells split off from our eukaryotic mother.
They walk past us like tumbleweeds
Unattached to the soil
As though they are going somewhere
But it’s always the same earth,
The same sky.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

 Outside of Eden’s Garden

As it is written,
God told Abraham to take his son, Isaac,
Whom he loved, to Mount Moriah
To make of him a burnt offering to Him
But sent only a messenger
To stay Abraham’s raised knife.

As it is written,
Moses led the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery
Through the sea and deserts to the Land of Canaan
Where from the top of Mount Nebo
Moses saw his people enter
The Promised Land without him
Because God forbade him entry,
A man with a single doubt
Without whom his people would have perished.

And as it is written,
God put Job in the hands of Satan
On condition that he spare Job’s life
Because Job was righteous,
No matter what evil might befall him
Just to win a bet with Satan
Who destroyed everyone and everything
That poor Job had or loved.

Sometimes it is difficult
To tell the difference between God and Satan
Or justify His mysterious moves
But the truth is
We’ve outgrown Him
As we must if we’re to survive
Outside of Eden’s garden.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

A Thousand Years 

In a thousand years we won’t see
People being led into temptation
Folly, pride, hatred, and other evils
By false prophets in white houses or mud huts.

In a thousand years we won’t see
Smokestacks or exhaust pipes
Belching breathless smoke
Into the darkened skies.

In a thousand years we won’t see
The rich gentry carving fat birds
For falsetto voices and powdered faces
While children’s stomachs bloat from hunger.

In a thousand years we’ll see
Tall trees with rustling leaves
Beside brooks with grassy banks

Because only good will be left standing
Because only good can stand alone.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2020, 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

Surrender. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Image courtesy of Simon Matzinger, Unsplash

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


Depending on where in the world you live, it’s already Wednesday. Here in Northern California it’s still Tuesday, though a late hour for this weekly post, an indication of the weight of the day’s deadlines and editorial responsibilities. Here now are poems that face the reality of living with dying, as we all ultimately do. These poems were inspired or shared in response to the last poem and prompt, Almost Time, May 6. Enjoy the lyric wisdom of mm brazfield, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, Nancy Ndeke, Clarissa Simmens, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets.


my trip with Azrael

you know the time is nigh
you won’t need anything
would you agree
yes i’m prepared
while we travel can i tell you
how i loved the cool walks
the strong espressos and
the smell of fresh baked croissants over at Figaros
and when i was young
i loved the life that was
fast hard strong and brutal
was that when you felt invincible
Azrael asked
i suppose i didnt really feel anything
can i tell you about all of the beautiful people
dressed in all the colors and walk
step by step
and the children
they the true celestial thousand points of light multiply in God’s eyes forever
did you incur any regrets after all you’re just a human Azrael reminded
time lost revelling in my hatred and my pain first of self then of my nature of my sins and my enemies my inability for many years to feel with all of me
and seeing that i was about to cry Azrael lifted me with warmth and ease as my last breath sweet with smells of incense drew from me a soul unique and we clasp hands into the light of eternity

© 2020, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken, Gen X’r chronicles the art from of living in the Angelino metropolitan environment through poetry, creative writing, art, photography, and culture


Death-Mediocrity is Everywhere

Dedicated to Mary Oliver

Life moves in time in moment sublime
in moments painful in moments divine

life begins so joyfully with smiles yet
ends cuttingly, bodies scatter for miles

a month of obligation abstinence patience
teaches lessons of resilient tolerance

end a celebration a gratitude for completion
festive for some for some fatal cremation

horrible terrible killing fear murder cruelty
enemy advances ending lives brutally

Death Death Death all around ,will come
If it be not now, yet it will, for sure, come’

when the hearts bleed beat slowly slowly
when kids are burning dying, what is Holy?

what festivity what feast what happiness
what is Eid ~ what is care for family ?

a moment joyful reveals life is temporary
next, we should know heaven and eternity

Ah how truly said the great romantic poet
‘ In the very temple of delight resides veiled melancholy’

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

And When Death Comes

And when it comes
I will meet the Angel and smile
and say ‘you came before, lifted me,
quietly, I felt the pull,

I saw my self flying straight up high
it was so swift, in flight a few seconds
and as I looked down- I trembled-

‘oh where are you taking me?
my children are so young
and my parents are in later age
they need me too, see,they are alone,

And Oh Angel you were so kind
You let me go’
You had permission to do that
and I heard you say something’ ?

Now if I have been good
have looked after my parents
and have guided my children,
on the straight path,

I hope and pray that
my way, will be illumined
each day of life ,scented,
colorful like daisies and pansies,

life will begin afresh, pure, peaceful
as the Almighty is Gracious and Merciful
“I am precious to The Earth’,
I need not be frightened’and definitely
not as simply having visited this world’

© 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


Surrender

I will stare into your eyes
As the poison drips into my arms
And laugh when I tuck plane tickets
To Europe in my suitcase

I will make faces at you
As I lay on the operating table
And laugh when my shirts are looser
And I see how much weight I’ve lost

I will flip you the finger
As I’m holding my kids
Celebrating graduations and birthdays
And even just regular days

I will slap you as you try to steal
The warmth of my blankets
And the heat of my lover
Wrapped in promises of forever and never

Yet when the time comes
And I know the difference between beignet and brioche
And I’m down to my high school weight
And the kids have gone back to their full lives
And my lover has fallen asleep on the couch

I will look you in the eyes
And smile sweetly
As I beckon you to me
And lay my head on your shoulder
Holding tightly
As you carry me across the threshold

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.prompt.

yes i think of you fondly

all of you gone this while

we continue thankful in that we knew you

a while

while

feeling fortunate

in that we have been here a while during the good bits,

learning from the other bits

there are a few of you in the garden while others are

elsewhere

some too far to visit

with one down the lane

handy

i keep that tidy & maybe the gardener is now unecessary

i will not attach photos

i see you all in mind

& i thank you

my life continues

& i thank you

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Looking Back
Standing at the threshold suspended between life and death doing my best to capture the fleeting images flashing before my face in this race which for me is about to be over…gone forevermore…never to be again.

Early childhood memories in Berkeley, CA. Harmon Street to be exact…my grandmother pouring out buttermilk from a jug just for us to go with our lunch…ugh…yuck. Delicious pies cooling in the window overlook the yard as chickens peck at the dirt unaware of their fate.

A middle schooler headed to Camp Timbertall totally enthralled by the Redwood trees…trunks a mahogany red stretching high into the sky…up…up… up…green leaves ballooning atop the elongated trunk declaring summer fun has arrived in all its anticipation and expectations.

Piano lessons from age six…scales…arpeggios mixed with the classical…playing in the Jr. Bach festival…brother the boogie woogie king of the neighborhood…always some good piano music swinging with singing having fun ‘til the day was almost done.

High school graduation…civil rights demonstrations…relocation to the east coast…falling in love with New York City…Harlem nights, jazz, poetry…meeting the man who was to become my husband…trombonist…composer deep-rooted in the avant-garde revolutionary music.

Marriage vows…jumping the broom in a small room in front of a self-avowed minister declaring “until death do us part”…days and nights filled with wine, filled with art…then suddenly burnt out…new start…change of heart…God becomes my all in all.

Newark, NJ… our new home…my husband’s home town…going back to school…six children…the absolute rule for three decades wading through the deep waters of raising children…music education/ elementary ed certification…teaching is now my life.

Diary of an Inner City Teacher, my story about the glory, the good, the challenges in the honorable profession of teaching…reaching out to, and understanding students regardless of learning styles…regardless of emotions, just learning to go that extra mile for each and every child.

Fifteen hour flight to Johannesburg South Africa…a trip home to my ancestral land…Africa the motherland…family and cultural ties severed by slavery but reconnected through the church to the drumbeat of my soul to a whole nother aspect of my being.

Images have been captured…will I be raptured? My breathing now labored…my vision blurry….although very cloudy I feel a hand enclose mine…a voice in the distance says “it’s your time”…the melodic sound of voices draw me into the realm of absolute silence.

© 2020, Tamam Tracy Moncur

Tracy’s book is Diary of an Inner City Teacher, a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line.


AT THIS MOMENT,
Reaching out to my transport yonder, seconds reel to hug thoughts, one more time,
The flood of joy of creations gift in a child, O what a miracle!
Seeing the innocence and trust as only Heaven must know,
That first cry announcing birth, what mystery!

Reaching out to my transport yonder, seconds play an old tune,
Mother’s gentle hand massaging away a dreary fever, while,
Father held heaven to a session of hope for the child,
The bliss of safety anchored in the pillars of parentage,
Knowing for sure nothing would be spared for my sake.

Reaching out for my transport yonder, seconds rushing to close my eyes,
Deep heaves over that sorry never given, and silence when speech would suffice,
Pride of anger and bastard hoarding of hurts so useless,
Time fleeting and I so sad,
That when chance availed itself,
I now leave without embracing the fulnes in the beauty of peace,
One that comes from full acknowledgement,
Of the frailty of not letting go when time allowed.

Reaching out for my transport yonder,
Time closes the divide and erects a wall
I look at the agony of love and know nothing matters than love,
And though tears are beyond recall of my journey,
These hurriedly scribbled words should alert you of your time.
Nothing matters in matters of life but goodwill, love and care for those in need,
For as I soar away from what held me captive,
I bid you do good for it’s sake,
To beat the vanity that I now know to be,
As my last breath expires and material drops to dust.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE


***(With its death)

With its death
the day gilds
the leaves.
I do not know the names of
the tree
and it doesn’t matter for
beauty.

© 2020, Bozhidar Pengelov, a.k.a. Bogpan

Bozhidar’s site is: bogpan – блог за авторска поезия, блог за авторска поезия 


Constituents 

Seventy-two
Nothing new
Except the feeling
The feeling of time
Taking a turn for the worse
Can’t think about loved ones
No contest
Will miss them most
Who
Or what
Will I also cry for?
Surrounded by Elements
Of beauty and truth
Solid Earth
Birthing botanicals
And crystals
The poor person’s diamonds
Liquid Water
Amniotic life
Cool as rain
Hot as unwanted pain
Mixed Gas, creator of Air
Softly blowing my hair
And the Plasma of life’s Fire
Burning passionately
From this love affair with Life
Thought I’d see you all
Forever etched in the gray matter
But that, too, will be Dead
There, I said it: Dead
It hurts to know
That although
Thought I’d touch you forever
Smell you
Taste you eternally
See your beauty
While hearing your music
That music of the universe
In my 3-beat heart
I so thought it would never stop
But no
How can I go on
Without the Elemental Beauty
Of Life…?

© 2020, Clarissa Simmens

Clarissa’s site is: Poeturja, Poetry


Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe

Last week was speckled with
Kardashians and stock markets and
crude internet memes, yet now
the nuclear annihilation
my father once foresaw has
spontaneously spread
from an unexpected pocket of the planet,
labeling nearly all life with a
pressing expiry date.

Back during Dorito-and-Aqua Net-stained
marathon phone sessions
in the safe, dark coolness of the sofa in the basement,
my high school crony Ron revealed that, if
a mushroom cloud ever bloomed nearby, he’d
survey the display with his dad on the porch.
Deprived of that option, I merely
remember my parents,
probably praying and mouthing Isaiah 41:10
in a tearful huddle with my brother’s brood,
and spark a last DuMaurier Ultra Light
(a shared tobacco habit
being one of our few common features)
despite having quit because it’s more soothing
than the scarier smoke I’ll be
choking through soon.

If my hammering heart doesn’t halt from horror and
anger, my vital organs will be envenomed by
other people’s politics and pride, and I’ll never again
hear Dusty Springfield’s vulnerable voice
wailing about “Your Hurtin’ Kind of Love” over swirling strings
while I spin in time to the vinyl in exhilarating circles
between the cuckoo clock and the iced chai latte with oat milk
that’ll spoil, unsipped.
Summer sunlight shimmers, and I’m missing rain, spitting
against my shaved head and naked arms or
on my window as I nestle into freshly-washed pillowcases,
not unlike the rushing veil of water on that morning
in Moncton when my buddy with the scratchy beard and pirate eyes and I
showered together.

I drop-kick my laptop off the balcony because
there’s no point in completing that
tedious editing job to pay rent rendered needless
since death is at least free for the corpse, and,
over the chaos and crying and swearing and shooting,
an unseen beak trills in a soprano, competing with
those sirens savaging my eardrums.
I press Natasha against my chest,
not far from armpits
permeated with perspiration;
I need to protect her, even if
the gesture is a sham for show, and
her heat is what I wish to feel before
meeting my peace-loving Mennonite ancestors
who’ll say, “we told you so.”

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


Final Interpretation of Silence

Raanana, August 10, 2018

Today Death touched my friend’s lips
With her icy finger and silenced them,
Enfolding him in her long dark robes
And carrying him against her cold breast.
Across the wide sea, I stand alone now
Unable to cobble together a few words
To measure the greatness of my friend.
He called himself a wordsmith
But I called him a poet.
He knew the names of every flower,
Every bird and every cloud.
He could paint a picture in your mind
So detailed you’d swear you’d been there,
And if you called yourself a poet too,
You’d have died to write like him.
What a eulogy of himself he could have given
If Death had not taken away his breath first,
Now silence must be his eulogy
With nobody left to interpret it.

from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2018, Mike Stone 

I’ve Seen Death Come

Raanana, June 4, 2018

I’ve seen death come for some
But not for others.
I’ve seen it drag souls from those they loved
And seen souls pull death’s slippery robes
Begging to be taken with it
Wherever it may go.
I’ve seen death sit patiently by a bedside,
Waiting for some soul to ask to be released,
And seen it rescue others
From the fear or pain of dying,
A thousand times worse than death, once come.
What else can be said of death?
That it’s unknown until it comes
And once it comes,
There’s no time left for wisdom’s gain.

from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2018, Mike Stone 

Zen and the Art of Dying

Raanana, December 23, 2017

Death, after a full life, is not so fearsome.
It’s like a kind of meditation,
A relaxation from the tensions of living and dying,
A clarity that sees illusions, but also through them,
A detachment from pain and desire
In which the subject and object disappear together
And all that is left is invisible and silent.
Death is not a thing that stalks you,
That finds you where you hide,
It’s not a thing you can hold in your hand,
Thumbs up or thumbs down,
But the end of a life that never was forever,
That proffers bitter-sweet meaning
To those who accept it
On its threshold.

from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2017, Mike Stone

The Hermit and the Cabin

My poor soul, bless its,
Well, you know what I mean,
Would soar like an eagle over dappled valleys
Dragging my body along with it if it could
But it has grown accustomed to the weight
And cumbersomeness of my body
Like a hermit grows accustomed to his cabin
Of rough-hewn logs and thatched twig roof
Lost in a wilderness of loveliness and terror.
The cabin protects it in a small way
From the vicissitudes of a heart’s seasons
And the uncertainties of our knowing,
But eventually the weeds send their tendrils
Through the chinks between the logs
At first admitting welcome daylight
But then unwelcome cold and finally
Strangling the logs with their slow sure strength
Until the hermit is forced to leave the cabin
Looking for another not too overgrown or exposed.
The old cabin will miss its hermit
Until the last log falls to ground
And the roof lies unthatched among the weeds, but
What cares the hermit for the cabin
Or the soul for its earthly body?

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

You Are with Me, a Villanelle by Anjum Wasim Dar

Photograph courtesy of Daiga Ellaby, Unsplash

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” Henri Nouwen 



I have memorized you, like a sacred hymn
a precious gem in the necklace of friendship
ever shining star of the night skies, though dim.

You are with me, a spirit like a cherubim,
comforting, blowing away painful sadness
I have memorized you like a sacred hymn.

I hope for a journey to your land, like a pilgrim
beside me in isolation, at distance beyond measure
ever shining star of the night skies, though dim

the path is tough, shoes wear out, my cover is scrim
homeless, lost, tortured, of oppression a victim
I have memorized you like a sacred hymn

Chains of freedom may break, chances are slim
tears cannot wash the grief nor drown the fears
ever shining star of the night skies, though dim.

In images royal, in poetry sweet, up to the brim
you appear,giving me joy unseen, with flowers
I have memorized you like a sacred hymn,
ever shining star of the night skies, though dim.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Wasim Dar

ANJUM WASIM DAR (Poetic Oceans) was born in Srinagar (Indian occupied Kashmir) in 1949. Her family opted for and migrated to Pakistan after the Partition of India and she was educated in St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi where she passed the Matriculation Examination in 1964. Anjum ji was a Graduate with Distinction in English in 1968 from the Punjab University, which ended the four years of College with many academic prizes and the All Round Best Student Cup, but she found she had to make extra efforts for the Masters Degree in English Literature/American Studies from the Punjab University of Pakistan since she was at the time also a back-to-college mom with three school-age children.

Her work required further studies, hence a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad and a CPE, a proficiency certificate, from Cambridge University UK (LSE – Local Syndicate Examination – British Council) were added to  her professional qualifications.


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