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
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced
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.
… 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
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:
- Behance … artwork
- CER Professional Development
- Poetic Oceans poetry on WordPress
- Poetic Oceans poetry on Blogspot
- Anjum on Facebook
- Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose writing
- ELT Work experience/educational service for the country
“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
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;
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.
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
he works there.
he said he never
noticed the thistles,
just handed me the bag.
© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher
Sonja’s sites are:
- Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings (This is her Facebook page, so you can connect with her there as well as view photographs of her colorful paintings.)
- Sonja on Twitter
- Sonja’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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