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Sonnet of State Secrets … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, January 17, Dancing Toward Infinity. It garnered a neat collection of responses, including work by three poets new to these pages: Carolstar286, Pamela Ireland Duffy, and Pleasant Street. Welcome to all!  Back for this round and in stellar form are: Paul Brooks, Renee Espriu, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Mike Stone and Anjum Wasim Dar.  Enjoy! And do join us tomorrow for the next prompt.

Sonnet of State Secrets

As I told the State the other day, I rarely
dance but when I do I dance some Latin
sort of thing, like a salsa, in which one seems
never to stop moving, which makes it more difficult to pin
me down. My hips sometimes get tired so I have
to stop; two days later I ache but I am that much
closer to the goal, the infinite, the end-that-is-not-
the-end. The State is very goal-oriented,
hence the two questions that must be asked
of everyone with only four possible answers.
I almost always want to invent my own
responses but there you have it: no other
possibilities. Frustration ensues. Occasionally
I have thoughts of threats, murder, assassination.
The solution is to look up, to contemplate clouds, or stars
that look like lively souls in their dance to infinity.

© 2018, Carolstar 236

“Old lady dancing”

Not much music
at the end of the line
in this half-world
of might-have-beens
and time run out
but still she dances
on iridescent water
oil spillage not dreams
but still she dreams
of other universes
other lives
of endless possibilities
where words change worlds
and her grandchildrens’ laughter
is real
and she is dancing in her sleep
daring to dream
of somewhere
where the music
never stops.

© 2018, Pamela Ireland Duffy

Pamela Ireland Duffy

PAMELA IRELAND DUFFY is interested in Qi Gong, reading/lecture, writing/écriture, poetry/poésie. Pamela is also published on on “I am not a silent poet” and in “L’Inventoire”, She studied at the University of Leeds and at Larkhill House School, Preston, Lancashire. She currently lives in Périgny, Poitou-Charentes, France and is originally from Macclesfield. 

‘Do you fear the fire’
(for my mother, 1940-1997)

Walking through the woods
my mother spoke of fire–
of course I had noticed it
a lack of green, and the scent
of the foray of pitiless flames
in a matter of months
and the ashes beneath our feet

Was it a dream? Perhaps–
upon opening my eyes
seeing her feet, immaculate
walking amongst the flames
in a frantic dance for life–
and afterward, the renovation–
her attempt to cover it up
with a smile and a flower

Overjoyed to see something
colorful and blooming
my jaw went slack, while the flower fell
from where she had taped it
to the scorched vine, fooling me
with the comfort of red petals
amongst the endless black.
‘But black is your color.’

Black had been the color
of cool and calm, during a time
when I could not settle myself–
tailor-made for me, the crisp lines
of white cotton over black silk
were enough to blur the vision
of soot smudges
on her cheek and forehead

I had not been there for her.
I wanted to stay.

And, bending to grab at the rose
I moved too quickly
a thorn piercing my finger–
‘You have blood on your
shirt”, she said
‘you have work still to be done–
wake up.’

© 2018, Pleasant Street (Are You Thrilled)

PLEASANT STREET is a mother, baker, and poet. She has been writing poetry since fourth grade. Now she is writing a neo-noir thriller and a collection of poems about the seasons of life and God’s abundant and ever-changing earth. She thinks too hard and feels too deeply, and appears to be stuck in 1948. She is still dreaming up a way to use baked goods as legal tender.

Pleasant lives on a tree-lined street where nothing seems to happen on the outside, but she is certain many thrillers are contained behind closed doors. She is often carried away by flights of fancy, but that suits her very well.

once such night black

was a chance to gather strength
for the coming day; to invade
the stars in order to appropriate
their pinprick energy;
now its curious restless oblivion
is merely a rehearsal for the long sleep
that’s to come – the living out
of trillions of years
with nothing to think about

it tosses & turns and sometimes
dreams of swimming again amongst
those stars so often gleaming
through the apple trees of youth

come spring and I suppose
I will contrive to fling the curtains
wide once more to greet the sun
for the beginning of time once more
but now I hardly dare to wake
into this familiar night black

© 2018, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)


On A Road  

a wick young lad meets Devil.
Wise with old tales

he goads Devil.
“Before I do owt for you

I want tha soul.” Devil gobsmacked
replies “I have no soul

of my own. Only souls of others.”
“Then gi me those.” answers

lad and I’ll do whatever tha hankers for .”
Devil hands him a mobile.

“This phone contains all my souls.”
“There is a woman who
would have your tongue. I ask
you visit her and take hers.”

“God didn’t sleep with me.
He chose that cow Mary.”
Devil put you on to me,
Young un’ tell you I need
Your tongue and you need
To take mine.

“I offer you hunger,
wrinkles, short life
and disease, and me
as an ugly bitch.
on Saturdays when
I look like a model
and you have eternal life,
youth and health.
Manage your expectations.”

Young chuff replied
“To me you’re beautiful
for six days. Only a monster
on Saturdays when you’re a serpent
from waist down. Accept this mobile.
It contains all Devil’s souls.”

And young man returned
To Devil with her stories
“Accept the Sibyl’s tongue.”
He said and Devil scowled
at this young buck’s cleverness.

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

Angels Infinite

A symbiotic relationship in
a universe stretching infinite
where stars are like angels
their wings as chariots
taking flight becoming
a safe harbor for the soul
now desolate with grief
now hungry for peace
now joyous in its’ vision
however brief that it too
will be immersed
in that infinity

© 2018, Renee Espriu


layered in air

we dance with glass

small souls with small lives


to the challenges

she says you know we do not gets what we want

we gets what we get


ours has been much easier than so many others

*listen to the radio

they threw them all on the fire


© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

“A Poem about Nothing”
(Raanana, October 24, 2015)

This is a poem about nothing
How it happened that
Today nothing happened.
I didn’t turn on the radio
Well maybe I did for a moment or two
But then I turned it off again
Before something happened.
I slipped on some jeans and
Took Daisy for a walk
She still had a slight limp
From the night before
And I said a silent prayer
To the One who Barks at Infinity
That she’s not getting old on me
Remembering her shivering
First time I held her to my heart.
Then I thought about Dad
For no good reason on this earth
When I’d laid him gently down into the ground
How all the prayers we say
Were meant to send him on his way
But all I wanted was to call him back
Some prayers will never pass my lips.

© 2017, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“Saint Yellow’s Gate Revisited”
(Raanana, March 24, 2017)

Through light Saint Yellow’s gate I’ve fled
Leaves long fallen, trees long dead
To come full circle as she said
No meaning, only clues instead.

Clues pointing to eternity
Open graves to see through pity
Stilted men walk through the city
The death of rationality.

What say you now of dreams my friend?
Succubi make love pretend
Climax waking in the end
Nothing left to comprehend.

© 2017,Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“Walking to the Moon”
(Raanana, September 1, 2012)

Sometimes you have to walk a poem
To see the shadows of it go in front of you
And then behind you,
A funny kind of locomotion
Walking crablike, orthogonally.
It’s been so long since I’ve written,
You must have thought I’d forgotten,
If you thought about me at all.
No, I hadn’t. Couldn’t. Ever.
These were the dimensions of your loveliness,
The smell of sunlight on a field of wheat in your hair,
The cool touch of my rough hand on your soft thigh,
The vibrations of your voice as your meaning danced across it,
But the publicity of your smile
For all around you to see,
Not just for me,
Meant the sunlight soft vibrations of you
Might as well be like walking to the moon.

© 2012, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“When a Poet”
(Raanana, June 30, 2017)

When a poet wakes up in the morn
He puts his pants on
One leg then another,
And when he buys his milk and wants to pay
He stands in line between
The woman with her screaming kids
And the foreign workers,
But when the poet looks up at clouds
Or the night-time constellations,
Orion’s scabbard or Cassiopeia’s tilted throne,
He sees encyclopedias never writ nor read
By the likes of you or me,
And when he loves,
It’s Trojan Paris
Who’s faced ten thousand ships
And went to war for naught but one.

© 2017, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“Life’s Cold Eye”
(Raanana, January 7, 2016)

Hello Orion my old friend
I’ve come to battle you again
Though your sword is in its scabbard
You hold above my head the tides of time
And bury me under the horizons of eternity
But I’ll defeat you with love’s clarion call
And life’s cold eye on death.

© 2016, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

waltzing on

spiral galaxy in Constellation, Coma Berenices, 60 million light years from Earth

waltzing on the melodious
music, feather like, rising
gliding,  embraced by light-
the Earth is All Bed
Sky all dome, a roof
shining in the day
glittering at night-
to show us the way

Boundless infinity oceanic
no end in sight,timeless,
and we mortals in oblivion
think about being en-gloved,
encircled we dance immersed
in  perpetual  meditation

we shall, in cool shadows be
with obedience and charity
for good we did, in year past
what good we do now, to last,
our hearts, swirling constellation
a nucleus smooth, unfurled silk

in time dissolved, myriads to
dust, rising spiraling merging
with countless orchestras in
harmonic symphonies of the
milky way, unknown infinity
like the never ending sea in oceans

cycling fresh blessings in motion
warming steam to vapors, floating
to infinity in dancing drops in
rotation, creating revolution
from sky to sand, and we say
rain falling, cooling drowning


and I say Blessed, drenched in
peace like the circling dervish
one with nature,in stillness bent
‘in my beginning is my end’
Light makes me light,boundless
flight, I say I am embraced…
Embraced in Eternal Heavenly Light

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar  (EternalLights, Life Style and Strange Stories and Poetic Oceans)


“it was after a journey” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

If you look closely, you’ll see the little Rufus Hummingbird. Hummingbirds remind us that the sweetest nectar is within.

And here are the responses to last Wednesday’s writing prompt, posted late in the day – Tuesday – with my apologies. I know that for Kakali and Anjum it is already Wednesday dawn. Colin, Paul and Sonja are still fast asleep. In just a few hours bogpan will be getting up and getting ready for work. Only for Lisa, Miguel and me is it still Tuesday, around dinner time. Phew! It’s been that kind of day for this poet.

Last week’s prompt, Brightness Beckons, January 10, was about transformative moments and I believe these poets have risen to the occasion, some by a thread and some all-in, but each one delivered a well-considered work. Enjoy!

Do join us tomorrow for the next prompt. All are welcome, no matter the stage of your career.  It’s all about exercising the writing muscle and meeting other poets.


In utter despair
heart-broken open
stroke after stroke,
water engulfs me,
cradling, warm,
absorbing goggle-trapped tears.

Released, they said,
from one hell to another—
not free, not free to go home,
released from youth jail
to adult jail to wait for trial,
released, they said, cruel sentence.

Swimming my prayer,
I can’t do this any more,
his pain,
merging with mine,
drop into drop.

Ears to hear, broken open,
voice in my head:
You must continue
they need you
he needs you
you can do this

Who speaks?
imagination or God?
mysterious mentor,
self pity called out—
Lady Justice, Compassion, Love—
who speaks?

Stroking the white-blue water
image etched on liquid canvas,
heart sliced open,
blood drops falling,
gold needle pulling golden thread,
closes red pulsing flesh.

Water holds me,
windmill arms can’t stop,
thunder breaths hauled in
puffing past ears that hear,
scolded, emboldened, submerged—

He, sitting behind bars,
sixteen, innocent,
Me, swimming,
I can do this. I must.

© 2018, Lisa Ashley  (

it was after a journey

of fourteen hours
by plane and train when
arriving at a lonely station
in the far North I approached a man
who’d obviously been
standing in the road outside
for a hundred years
and was therefore likely to know
his way around like the back of his hand

– I want to go to Etlic I said
– Etlic: you’ll need to go to Mrs Warrender
who runs the boat service; you see that trail…

he pointed down a long sea-embattled peninsular
down which the yellow trail snaked
into the distance; it seemed that Mrs Warrender
had a boatyard in some village
at the end of it

active mind in ailing body
set off along the track
which went though tunnels with deep puddles
over many stiles and up through manholes
which was entirely appropriate
for a man in a hole struggling
with many other pilgrims
intent on making the next boat to Etlic
which he failed to do

throughout the following day
I maintained an active image of Mrs Warrender
whom I must have met in some other life


Don’t ask me where ‘Etlic’ is. I dreamed about the place so it must be somewhere! It had a kind of Bright Hope attached to it!

© 2018, Colin Blundel (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

Gustave Doré’s illustration of Canto III: Arrival of Charon; public domain illustration

Almost a Song

“Per me si va nella città dolente…”
Dante Alighieri

You haven’t forgotten
you won’t forget…
In ices is swelling
the river again and trawling
roots and weeds,
and foam.
It leaves the shores bent,
swamps and frost.
But on the day
it kindles a glow.
With movements
spiral of
the hands,
I’m folding the air
after the beasts –
to that one threshold
(what does it say
no, I don’t know).

And the death ones leave.

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

“Per me si va nella città dolente” … The Inferno, Canto III, “Through me the way to the city of woe”  


And a clean cloth is what she needs
to scrub the smeared pains of her heart

just as Jill needed vinegar and brown paper to repair Jack’s broken bonce

after he fell carrying a pale of water,
but her spirit is not in a bucket,

but in a pane of glass that needs cleaning so she can see clearly the obstacles

in her way and be a pilgrim
and wipe tears from her granddaughter’s eyes.

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

Every Key She

puts in the door is her 21st when she hauls her late five year old screaming

daughter to the dentists to get her braces tightened, folk looking askance

as the child shouts for help as if she’s being abused and milking the attention

and five years later after her final visit
to the hospital she puts the key into her

echoing house when she would have been glad to hear her daughter’s voice.

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

The Neighbour’s Traveller

crawls along a mountain’s shoulder,
down a verterbrae of spines,

into the leaf mould of birth
where it cradles a knapsack of beliefs

in a bonegirdle. Pioneer savage
come to swap gifts with half
dressed gentlemen.

His garden drystone wall
of philosopher’s stone

waits for an answer to a question
it has forgotten. Meanwhile spiders hunt

spaces between carefully placed slabs.

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


a sower here

— showed
a belief
as rising up

as change, as malleable

thought to call it god —

I spoke not knowing what I would say

just as easily —

the growing mountains of
mean something
as insurmountable as speech
to really

and that leaves the
obvious quiet

thematically dragged out on cue

— dream in cycles

each of these things committed
in silence — think
of the plethora —

guard as treasure

dub She

(c) 2018, Miguel J. Escobar 

#The Song Of A Dewdrop#

My chest twisted as a dying leaf
That had it’s last swing on  that grey hill
When suddenly I saw a dewdrop ,
A pearly corn on that dying leaf
In the rosy -pink light of dawn
fondling  a scarlet flower
Dazzling and giggling
in the wintry breeze .
Sparkling like diamond nose pin
That glitters and glistens on a queen’s nose
Or as a glossy prism  on the grassy leaf
It sang mirthfully
One beam of hope still  surpasses
That grey agonised mountain chest

©2018, Kakali  Das Ghosh

Post-Op. 2009

I’m roused from sleep again,
the nurse’s fob watch
twinkling silver
as she take my pulse.

She whispers an apology:
must do my obs.
check nothing’s come loose
and we grin.

I’m multi-tubed,lie flat
like a beached octopus.

I tell her I don’t mind.
I’m glad she disturbs
these drifting hours
between midnight and morning.

I’m glad of soft lights
above my bed,
glad of electric suns
along wide-awake corridors.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob 

.on spring #2.

black bird sings early, the same bird calls late.
new light drowns darkness, spring spins around.
black bird calls early, the same bird calls late.
sonnet sings ten beats to another’s spare sound.

who asks for word, who knows which hour it starts,
which minute, which rule of rhyme or reason.
making of lines , counting the breaks, our hearts
open. this is february, split season.
moon draws the tide, upper river pools
on spring, a note , a sonnet , a dance
where light or other prayers redeem fools,
those who rage the world sons may change perchance.

on spring we write in fourteen lines, to date,

black bird sings early, the same bird calls late.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

Pilgrimage Toward the Light

     after Dr. Allama Iqbal’s poem, “Pilgrimage to Eternity”

O Restless spirit what seekest thou , since
awareness dawned, in innocence encased
bits of paper became letters symbolic ,
what messages were lost and  received
unknown unseen till strange sounds
sailed through the cool silent breezes
and the heart beat faster,fingers grew cold

eyes roamed the boundless skies, finding no cuts or breaks
birds flew trembling fluttering closer to each other
as the golden ball seemed to sink out of sight, finding darkness
behind the eyes turned to the skies again, behold, bejeweled
was the roof with diamonds arranged, twinkling for long hours
becoming small, disappearing from vision yet still present
‘Know that they are still there’ only hidden by Light’

Hidden by Light? and a voice called ‘Allah ho Akbar’
The Greatest is He, Prayer is better than sleep
prayer is better than sleep’ and the sight descends
to touch the earth,flat dry strong stony rough solid
The heart beat faster again…

‘feel the inner strength,the magnetic touch the Light’
slight pain in the back I felt, head down, bent in
body slipping instantly, invisibly flying to nowhere
in semi darkness, I reached a room square in shape
a small window opening near the ceiling, a single bed
lay in the center, on the floor…I smoothed the folds of
the white sheet, satisfied that all was set, I returned…
or was brought back…I awoke …the light streamed on

‘He made the day  for work and night for rest, and the
day allowing sight ‘there was no chaos, all was pure
clean ethereal and with great speed…

I heard another voice, ‘not now later’ a voice so clear
the night slipped away making way for the lightc
it grew brighter moment by moment, the eyes
roamed from one end of the to the other,seeking
what dost thou seek?
I still don’t know…

the light grew yet brighter till
the glow was whiter than any light , blinding…
the appeared small shapes like people sitting on
the floor bowing towards one point…brightest in the center

and ‘the gleam increased’ unbearable light’
the Lamp as it shone revealed more Light
and I felt weak in the limbs…
where are the stars of the night?

the rainbow in the clouds
the colors on the ground
the amazing shapes in clouds
carrying holding water drops

I sailed through and through
flew like a bird, who holds their
wings,held me too, no desire for
food nor thirst for a drink just nothing
yet so much…yet felt only …
unseen purity “Light Of Divine Love’

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar  (EternalLights, Life Style and Strange Stories and Poetic Oceans)


“A Gift of Love” … and other responses to Wednesday Writing Prompt

Here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, January 3, Too Late for Miracles, which asked poets to share what’s on their minds as we move into the new year.

Welcome to newcomers: Isadora De La Vega, Miquel Escobar, Sheila Jacob, Elaine Reardon and Anjum Wasim Dar.  As is custom for new poets, their bios are included by way of intro.  

Thanks to Colin Blundel, Paul Brookes, Denise Aileen DeVries, Renee Espriu and Sonja Benskin Mesher for coming out to play again.

Together these poets have given voice to joys and concerns that we all share and they’ve done so beautifully from their diverse perspectives.

Anyone who would like to join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt is welcome to do so no matter the status of career: beginning, emerging or pro. All work shared on theme will be posted in the next collection on the following Tuesday. If you are sharing work for the first time, please send your bio and a photograph to me at Meanwhile, enjoy these poems. I hope they delight you as they do me.

A Gift of Love

Without you,

Life is just existing.

With you,

Life is worth living.

You put a name on the

Songs, birds sing.

And, you bring the smell of flowers,

To a breezy spring.

You are my sun,

You are my moon,

You are in my heart,

Forever and a day.

© 2018, Isadora De La Vega (Inside the Mind of Isadora)

ISADORA DE LA VEGA, my homegirl (we’re both from New York) is: “Intriguing, sensitive, mysterious, loving, artistic and crackling with excitement for life is a pretty good description of who I am. I’m retired from the art world where I sold my Artfully Designed Handmade Jewelry for 28 years.  Art will always be a part of who I am no matter what venue I choose to express it.  I’m always dreamin’ of ways to touch the hearts of those who visit me in far greater ways then before they happened upon my blog. ”

Everyone Counting

a lost year

just gone by
just gone

oh hell

one argues as much there
lost as hope wants to bubble
up ahead uncreated

— built-in grace period up
until thawing

the real bear the lost was —
is in hibernation

the carryover is pure genius

the straddling
the picture
sitting on the fence

absence of go-go dancers

ten weeks in the grand
scheme of things
there is no good answer
to the question

while the northern
axis observes
this tilt

can we
respect metaphorical roots
as much as continue to use them as

everyone counting

© 2018, Miguel Escobar

Miguel Escobar

After a long career in software technology that is in its last few years, MIGUEL ESCOBAR is newly living alone and channeling what he calls his other Self from bygone years: poet, musician, songwriter, aspiring editor, appreciator and sometimes critic of the Arts. He shared regularly on social media off and on in 2007-2008 and now again since 2015. He’s had a small number of poems published with Luciole Press, and Diaphanous Press and looks forward to a future of defining, developing and evolving a personal Art life that right now feels almost like a religious calling.

As the old year ends

Days and nights
bring silver moons
and tangerine sunlight
melting snow
from the mountains;

tell of a rose bush
bearing crumpled flowers
and branches scarred
by summers long gone,
summers to come.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob

Sheila Jacob

SHEILA JACOB was born and raised in Birmingham, England and now lives in North Wales with her husband. She has three children and five grandchildren. She resumed writing poetry in 2013 after a long absence. Since then her work has been published in various U.K. magazines and websites. Her ambition is to have a collection of her poems published before her seventieth birthday in three years. 


New Year

The cold.
Pushes through each
thin crack by frigid wind
I greet the two degree temperature
happily. It’s climbing! Housebound,
I walk the stairs between the woodpile
and couch, hot water bottle ready.
I aim the heater to the back of the cabinet,
so it warms the pipes on the outside wall.
I cut my compost into small pieces,
lay them on the snow to feed the hungry
driven to my front door in the full moon’s light.
The radio on is on for company, against
the all day quiet. I hear about North Korea first,
then President Trump’s bigger button. Is this his
New Year’s address? I remember us all
crouching beneath our desks at school drills,
head tucked in, dog tag on, when I was a kid.
Was that the Bay of Pigs? Maybe there is some
hope, if we now send cruise ships to Havana.
Maybe one day NorthKorea will welcome cruise ships, too.

© 2018, Elaine Reardon (Elaine Reardon, Poetry, nature, art, magic, environment, relationships)

ELAINE REARDON is a poet, herbalist, educator, and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, won first honors from Flutter press as the top seller of the year. Her writing includes featured poet in the January 2017 issue of ezine, Bella, Three Drops from a Cauldron Journal and yearly anthology,, naturewriting. com, And MA Poet of the Moment. Elaine also published global curriculum through University of Massachusetts Press. She lives tucked into hillside forest in Western Massachusetts.

Who Knows What Life May Have in Store

The year ends,
leaving gifts joys and blessings
reunions , joining relationships
for some the time is joyful
for some full of pain
as days of sorrow and parting
come back again

this year I feel peace and joy
yet sorrow and fear move along
for life manifests hungry poverty
threats to security and liberty
enemies restless firing bullets
innocent killing goes on…

some enjoy the snow and play
for them cold snow is a game
some lie shivering,no name
some build bonfires the same
sing dance and be merry
for tomorrow is,no blame

will come to shine and light
my heart says forgive more
make happiness and space
for others to share, spend less
save more, war looms ahead

who knows what life may have
in store,
work work and work
make life meaningful and easy
for others,help them if you can
smile smile smile
be grateful for all the blessings
look around there are miles
and miles and miles of them

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (EternalLights, Life Style and Strange Stories and Poetic Oceans)


ANJUM WASIM DAR says she is Srinagar born and Kashmiri educated at St. Anne’s presentation Convent High School Rawalpindi. She has a Masters Degree in English & History and is a professional ELT /TEFL teacher and trainer. Anjum is dedicated to serving the cause of education and English Language Training in Pakistan.

the moon’s chimneypot
on the back lawn

© 2018, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

Will is fuel

Impulse is potential.
Emotion without mind is violence.
The mind without heart is sterile.
The unfiltered will is scattered.
The untethered will is impotent.

Harmony is passion and reason,
refined and anchored, to perfect,
that conscience may be as leaven
in Humanity, to honour and express
the Beauty of the cosmic sum.

The heart beats. The mind’s job is to justify its rhythm to the soul.

© 2018, Juli [Juxtaposed] (juxtaposed – subject to change)

End of the World (again)

It was the year of air raid drills,
learning to crouch under desks
in the third grade classroom.
Little did we know, the world
had ended the year before.
By my high school graduation,
I had survived five annihilation
predictions, not counting
my personal teenage tragedies.
After four more apocalypse dates,
I finished college, married,
moved closer to ground zero.
The world ended six more times
and my first child was born,
a sign of hope in a hopeless world.
Four more Armageddons passed
and I gave birth twice, still hopeful.
Twenty-three holocausts later,
my last child was born. Life
persisted. The world
has not ended, despite predictions
and even our heartfelt wishes.
I have stopped counting cataclysms.
It’s time to do the dishes.

© 2018, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia)

Too late for miracles

Little miracles happen every night in life.
That’s what the old blind man told me, leaning against the rugged bench in the park. And at this point, a ladybug shone in front of my eyes. He saw – he smiled at me – it was the mother of the seven-color arc.
He smiled again
went over the rainbow.

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

Old Year

Celebrate the going of the new year
and the arrival of the old year.

At midnight on Old Year’s eve
sing of how it all ends,

make decisions to keep old habits
And not pander to new ones

that have outstayed their welcome.
Newness gives you wrinkles.

Stay with youthful decrepitude.
The fresh has lost its taste.

Welcome the old with fireworks.
Reold the world

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

We Must Avoid

doors that open too smoothly,
scissors that open too well,
doors slam in your face,
scissors cut you to strips.

Words that come too easily,
stories that come ready made,
success handed on a plate,
accolades sent too soon

poetry that slips off the tongue,
without hard work and sweat,
words that bother the reader,
with too much work to do,

poetry without music and rhythm,
complicated images and phrases,
not asking if it’s boring,
not being entertaining enough.

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

Buy More (From “Queue At World’s End)

food than we need.
Never want to join again

these endless queues.
The end of the world

is due so we’ve got to make sure
we have enough

of everything for two days
when the shops are closed.

Two days closed is an economic sanction,
an act of war we rush to counter

with extra rations, things we would not
normally buy. Just in case a battle

breaks out and we are bunkered
in our homes. Eat and be merry.

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

Paul’s most recent collection, She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Books, 2018) is available now from Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE. Another fabulous read by this indefatigable Yorkshire poet. This time with his singular style and and acute insight into the human condition, Paul takes us through five stories, pictures of the great and small ironies of life drawn as we observe the daily routines, rituals and reactions in lives where birds have jam sessions on rooftops, mausoleums live on fridge doors, the memory of a touch stays with the skin; lives where hands are telling and people hunger, give what’s not wanted and take what’s not given. In short, Life with all its pathos and ethos. She Needs that Edge is well worth your time and pennies.

Dreams of Flight

Closing my eyes dream like synapses
coalesce images of youthful fears
tainted by mountain high and
valley lows of emotions

feathered wings in flight I fancied
releasing me from my humble dawning
with the smell of lemons and lilacs
growing against a backdrop of cement
tainted with the odors of asphalt

on the other side of town peppered
with factory workers, shop owners
life ached for gleaming upscale as
housewives tended children crying
dutiful lives of status quo

but only dreams took me flying
into the darkness of night
smelling of sweet honeysuckle
scaling walls of rising freedom

as now all dreams of tender youth
have left me I no longer fear
nor struggle from whence I came
for the spring of my soul
bubbles forth a peace within

© 2018, Renee Espriu  (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, AR, Haiku & Haiga)

::the year::

gently go forward, then gently back
recreating past deeds and misdemenours
you thought forgotten.

gently go forward knowing we are mostly
all the same, with motes not spoken of,
except disorder.

gently it passed behind you, seen
clearly while looking for god.

gently gather winter leaves to keep
in paper bags. these are the golden
days .

my friend.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)