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

 

A Long Day’s Journey Into Montana . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash

“if i knew what the artist knows,
i would surely respond soul and body
to the echo of the Ineffable in rough earthy things

i would not fear decay or work left undone
i would travel like the river through its rugged, irregular channels
comfortable with this life; imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”
Wabi Sabi, Jamie Dedes (inspired by Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren



And this being Tuesday, here are the wonderful, inspired, and through-provoking poems from the poets who came out to play in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt and poem, The Art of Reinvention, April 29. I have no doubt that you will enjoy these poems by Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Frank McMahon, Sandra Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Nancy Ndeke, Eric Nicholson, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone.

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


She said…
My birth was a reinvention, nature’s just intervention,
against worldly desirous selfish, the spirits conspired.

Ever since I opened my eyes and saw Land Ahoy’
my caretaker’s faces fell, Oh it’s a girl, not a boy’

O boy, O boy, how I lost all attention, in the newly
found dimension, and to adapt to the Earthly code

I was reinvented from a ‘star’ to the human mode,
Life was all peaceful joy, lots of frolic and fun

Books pens and colors, my best teacher was a nun,
all good till I grew a bit, life then pointed a loaded gun

Not a golden buttercup, nor a bed of red roses, life was
a journey with hypertension and little comprehension

Flashes of love, commands, reprimands, and countless
demands, as ‘you girl, stop romping like a tomboy, restless’

Reinvention began early in skin and bone , a change enforced
had to leave and move away from the personal comfort zone.

Repeated bouts of illness drenched me in sweat and pain
I came under the surgeon’s knife again and again and again.

So she said

Destined to shine in a constellation up high, for a purpose,
sacredly pure, nature tested experimented me for sure

Called ‘short’ in height and low on the scales, actively smart
at home with three sisters I became ‘The prince of Wales.’

The young carefree part was over too soon, reinvention
returned to transform me into a bride, wife and mother.

What people saw was a lucky lady, sari clad laden with gold
what my inner self felt was a commodity invented, and sold.

Reinvention did not stop, as roles and health kept changing
from bride to wife, to mother cook , a total maid in the making.

‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on’, all revels will end,
Earth’s surface is emptied, humanity to isolated lock down, sent.

People are reinventing a whole new digital life, a fresh slice,
but this time a tube a mask a cane or wheelchair may not suffice.

So she said

Reinvention is the art, part of life, it is in nature from the start
For all in this world, a role to play, a duty, before we depart.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Some Lines

I am but a label in a category
of diverse species, of humanity
surrounded by crows, chicken
and cats,visited by cows, in
company with a grey African parrot,

Sun’s changed position gives light
moon sometimes peeps through the
window at night,silence distorted by
barking dogs, wonder they are angry
or happy at humans locked down.

Unseen ecosystems decaying or
surviving, green or brown,one moment
wood, the next misunderstood, sprayed
netted drowned in fathoms bottomless,
nature changes forms, reinvents, recreates
all terrestrial on Earthly plane, all celestial
in the Milky Way-

and I say
‘All life is forever to be-
O Lord Thou hast made me-
shall thy work decay?’

© 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


Red Cup Revisited

The red cup – a fixture in pictures
My focus yet blurred in my mind
Strong and sweet – the fake message
Scared and silenced – the truth
It matched everything
Or so I thought
Remember?
I can
Not
Stop
Drinking
Toss the cup
Where can I drown
This fear of living
Who can I reinvent?
Lost for so long in the mix
I need to climb out of the rocks
Where is the hand holding the red cup?

© 2020, Irma Do

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


Schrodinger’s Cat

Desperate to avoid reality’s sharp spears,
the walls of his world closing in,
he thought he’d apply for the role
of Schrodinger’s cat. He’d read a bit
about it, liked the idea of being at the same time
somewhere and nowhere.

He thought he’d seen an advert inviting
applications, in a paper or on-line,
he wasn’t sure. He dug around
on the world-wide web, learned that Schrodinger
had died. Or so it said. But how could they be sure?

To be a cat, sure of its identity,
pampered master of the household!
To have nine lives! He’d need those, or one
at least if they sealed him in the steel-
walled chamber, give him for company
an atom, which might decay or then
again might not. And if it did go off, triggering
the deadly charge of cyanide or bomb,
then his other self would be elsewhere
outside the chamber, observing the scientists
or safely ensconced in Harrogate.

He dreamed of this happy feline state.
To be and not to be, that indeed
was the question, inside reality
and outside. It might lead on, perhaps,
to a part in Cats: Eric, the quantum cat.

He fell asleep, humming the Great Escape,
replete with dreams. Until a worm
of doubt began to slither and ruffle
his grey, drowsing cells, led him, nearly,
to the edge of a fundamental question.

© 2020, Frank McMahon

At the Storm’s Edge, Frank’s debut collection, is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.


.reinvention, day one.

so we have no internet, the

tv went off, we slept lovely.

woke to pouring rain and i

am still in pyjamas,

not a bit angry.

was hoping to write grevious

and nasy, yet without the spell

check i am as nothing.

it is later now, a slight

reinvention.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

…reinvention, another day…

seems i have reinvented

everything quieter than before.

wet autumn days or is it winter,

the change comes

gradually.

i dreamed a cloud of

falling leaves, awake to find it is so.

it is so very quiet here today.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Unconventional Gambit

Shall I compare thee to a pile of dung
Left, still warm and steaming, by my horse?
So graceful, so well groomed, so well hung.
I describe the creature not myself of course
And pray my words may not, my darling, cause dismay.
Oh forgive a fool whose ardour outruns his tongue.
Should my simple similes offend thee what can I say
But that ’tis from untrimm’d spontaneity they’ve sprung.
If thou wrinkle thy nose at the smell, even sight
Of manure let my lips bid you reconsider the conceit.
Coming upon such ordure to the gardener is a delight
To be shovelled up and carried away tout de suite
For forking it into a bed is surely only but meet.
Without such sustenance would a rose smell so sweet?

© 2020, Ben Naga

Ben’s site is Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire.”


Past This Corner.

Names define, like locales and culinary delights,
Faith’s too and the practices demanded,
Routines set, manners and etiquettes,
Arriving at ports of who the outside says we are,
See how the tides disagree,
With the silent wind howling and sweeping,
Knocking sense of old forts down,
Hear the rhythm of anxiety drive leaders to tears,
See the rise of questions over old biases,
Notice the flattening of hills of divisions,
Depths are shallowing with new eyes,
Everywhere a new dawn speaks,
Deference is no longer business as usual,
Indifference is learning a new thing,
Every truism is called for re-evaluation,
Hearts are matching with a light lense,
One not trained to pay allegiance to differentiate,
Reprograming the senses to acknowledge more,
We are back at the drawing board of humanity,
And shocking results bear witness,
That all we held prestigious is hollow,
And those we thought minions are angels,
And that material can be so valueless in times of need,
And that humanity needs a higher power to pull it out of it’s own mess,
Leading fact being,
It’s taken a tempest to teach us to be human again,
Harshness has sent us to observe,
Ever so carefully,
That either,
We reinvent our collective treatment of Earth and earthlings,
Or, tragically,
Man walks the dinosaur road.
Everything teaches.
Let agony teach us repentance ,
Forgiveness and fair play.
Respecting life and it’s sustainer.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


In the Shadow of Covid 19

In the garden
daffodils wilt; blossom falls.
Some may see today repeating
like a wind-up toy, while
what may seem hum drum,
the hum of the fridge,
a ticking clock,
the science fiction silence outside,
is the world renewing itself
in each dying moment.
And we too, while honouring
the bitter taste of each
remembered mistake
can fall apart again and again.

© 2020, Eric Nicholson

Eric’s site is: https://erikleo.wordpress.com


Long Night’s Journey Into Montana

Barely cognizant of the college town
just clinging to the jagged western edge
of Big Sky Country
the way a hostage hangs on to hope,
I’d never been to Missoula.
But at three-thirty a.m. last Thursday,
inspired by filtered internet images
and a kind wrestler in a cowboy hat
raised in the region,
I bought a one-way ticket,
concluding that this
must be a place capable of
incubating a fugitive from
stultifying status quos
who’s ghosted
his foot-gazing gait
and pizza-packed paunch,
swapping them for tight-fitting togs
and a swagger that surfaced
once he split from
toxic sap staining a family tree
and a metropolitan apartment
polluted with the vibrations of
vicious self-vilification.

So I spend the plane’s descent
placing a faded denim jacket
over broad, bony kneecaps,
extracting a pocket spiral notebook
adorned with the address of a
hotel-turned-home,
and noting down a new name
that spontaneously becomes
my own.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker

Use the search feature on this site and on The BeZine to read more of Adrian’s poetry. Worth your time.


Body and Soul

All things physical were once naught,
Became, changed, continued changing,
And will be naught once more,
Whether it is a living breathing thing,
A skyscraper or a star,
And if it was once beautiful
That will also change,
But Plato spoke of ideals,
Perfect and so unchanging,
Untouched by the experience of time,
So impossible in the world of physicality
Yet so real as only souls can be
Where time never was nor will be
And if a soul is beautiful
Then beautiful it will always be.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

©2020, Mike Stone

Hope and Despair

There are but two futures to portend:
Hope is one, despair the other.
Despair comes to you from the western horizon
Bearing a large sack on his hunched back
And kerplatzes his fat tuches on your chest,
Plucking reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t
From his heavy sack.
Hope is not a safety net to catch you if you fall
Unless first you put one under you.
Hope comes to you from the east
Bearing nothing but her thin light
To dispel the western darkness.
Hope softly persuades you to change
What you can and must.
She gently pushes you over your nest’s edge
Impossibly high off the ground
So that you may fly
Or die.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2020, Mike Stone

Creating a Language

I had a thought one day:
Why not create a special language?
After all, it has been said that
Languages shape the way we think
And likely what we think,
And since we can do whatever we do want,
I would like to change our language.

I would start by getting rid of certain words,
The hateful, hurtful, shameful ones,
The ones we wish we’d never said or heard:
Killing, hurting, raping, stealing,
Cheating, lying, disrespecting,
Boasting, pointing fingers,
Singing na-na na-na,
Warfare, torture, threats, and frightening,
Anger and self-righteousness.
There’s probably more, I’ll let you know
When I think of them.

I wouldn’t get rid of sad words
Since sadness is the other side of happiness
And nothing has just one side.

Then I’d add some brand-new words,
Some words we wished we had but didn’t:
Words that tell you how I really feel,
Rainbow words with all the gradients of feeling,
Like different grades of love,
Powerful words that can do what they say,
Single words that say everything,
Words that make you lift your head to hear them,
Different lengths of silence, like rests in music;
These are words I’d like to add.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

I Am What I Am

I’m not what I once was
Neither am I what I will be.
I am what I am
Until death do me part.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

To Survive in a Haphazard World

To survive in a haphazard world
In which good and evil are meaningless words
To understand what is happening all around
What has happened and what might happen or not
To feel what is good or evil to oneself and others
To think of what one’s done and not done
What one might do and what one must
To believe what one can’t think through
And to doubt those beliefs when doubts arise
To act when there’s no more time to think
But to stop that action when there’s time to think
Or it’s no longer needed,
These are what a mind is for.

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 contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did.  Recommended. / J.D


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

Golden Wrinkles . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Clément Falize, Unsplash

“It is best as one grows older to strip oneself of possessions, to shed oneself downward like a tree, to be almost wholly earth before one dies.” Sylvia Townsend Warner, Lolly Willowes



Here now Tuesday and the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Vintage Point, April 15, 2020.  That prompt asked poets to focus on maturity. What is the value-added as years go by?  Poets were not required to be “old” or “elderly” to respond to this prompt. After all, no matter the age today there are more years lived than ever before. The poems in this collection highlight the joys and drawbacks, the rewards and concerns of aging. They combine to offer us rich and diverse perspectives.

This poetry is gifted to us by Christine Bialczak (new to our pages and warmly welcome), Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Gorata Mighty Ntshwabi aka Poko Boswa (also new to our pages and warmly welcome), Bozhidar Pangelov aka Bogpan, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone.

Enjoy! and …

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


As I have aged…
As I have aged I have learned so many things…

I remember wondering how my nightgown made real sparks in the dark of a summer night.

I remember wondering how berries knew to grow on the same bushes every year.

I remember wondering how I would ever live without my parents, even if I got married.

I remember wondering how anyone could afford to buy a car.

I remember wondering how my mail could get to another country in a few days.

As I have aged I have learned to love things…

Being a mother

Being a giver, not a taker

Being a friend

Being kind

Being smart

Being happy

Being thankful.

As I have aged I have learned to hate things….

Losing loved ones

Lives ending

Sadness

Sickness

War

Aging is all about learning.

© 2020, Christine Bialczak

Christine’s site is Stine Writing


to be left aside, maturity has diminished , staring vacantly, not finding answers the mind’s inner recesses do not stir, lock down imposed since childhood , often a living grave, a way of life, for us women
growing up with fear, a ruck sack kidnapper, the servant who lives in the quarters.smiling sweetly the tenderer of flowers, for him young girls are flowers too, smacking jostling poking bus conductor shouting..’close close closer’, make space’ , maturity trespassed, what are we ? vulnerable so easily accessible?
in silence back to lock down, day by day, year by year, purpose focused we move on , books in arms, abaya or hijab is no barbed wire, a lock down better than a classroom?
avoid hugs of loving uncles? they feel so different love is painful, be brave be mature, we have come so far , road replete with panthers perils and playboys,
home sweet home, home safe home, but enter another form, eyeing elderly women , inspectors of beauty in their own sense defined
Ah Maturity why did you silently rise?
We have not run after butterflies yet not rolled on the lush green grass, nor sang the sweet songs of youthful joy ,nor jumped or skipped to the cool winds of Spring or early Summer?
Prepare now for the new lock down at another’s home sweet home
O Maturity you are taking us there
Can we think our own thoughts ?
A new life begins to grow , a new journey to maturity, we have forgotten our own
forgotten our needs
forgotten our shares
forgotten our dreams
We are mature now to see things as they are, to grasp the grandeur of language as we hear it from another
box, forgetting the crude utterances on the side
we have come a long way,but with no memories of the stay
world is still in conflict,hatred jealousy
wars votes,greed, restless for powerful command, maturity is unknown to poverty
but we have attempted to bear and do good, maturity is our responsibility
the world may not be …
O Maturity we have grown up with thee
Lead us now to love care and safety
the world old or new may be or may not be …

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Just Yesterday

Just Yesterday
It seems in memories
we read about the Great Flood

Just Yesterday
We heard stories
Of killing and the flowing blood,

Just yesterday
we suffered and tread
crossed borders for ‘The Divide’

Just yesterday
We played ‘touch the tree’
hopscotch marbles seek and hide

Just Yesterday
We drove around in
Chevrolet s Fiats with Jeeps beside

Just yesterday
we spent warm afternoons
lazing and building castles in the sand

Just yesterday
Ran for the ice lolly
at the ringing of the Cart man’s bell.

Just yesterday
some others’ ruled,
many people easily fooled

Today I look at photographs
reflecting memories
Of moments good and bad.

life is more of indoor stay
a screen and a couch, is all
the ground to play

distances wired, yet wireless
physical isolation, visual connection,
tourism occupies the planet.

maturity yet far away, language
in disarray, rights violated , freedom
curtailed states taken over, leaders jailed

relationships leave much to be desired
rich more rich, poor poorer despised
ignorance of dark ages amidst chaotic fuss

In comes Corona Virus
unseen, forcing a metamorphosis
humanity is halted, equally.

What now, happiness or sorrow
Who knows or may see tomorrow
I tear and pile up the photographs

All are distanced, washing hands
new law of lands, paperless life, cold
I gather my sheaves, all set- to be sold.

© 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


Cinched

I cinch this belt
Yet not as much as I did
Yesterday
Another notch left unused
And soon there will be none left
To even give an illusion
Of an indentation

I cinch this belt
With hands rough and lined
No lotion softness
Just stories
In each scarred crevice
Lessons etched for
20-20 palm reading

I cinch this belt
This hard-won
Welterweight Champion of Maturity Belt
And walk proudly into the Ring of Life
To face my always opponent, Unknown.
The bell dings

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.catching twigs..

it is good to move things about
to stitch and make things
stitch and mend things

harder to thread the needle
daylight helps
by the door

when we gets distracted by
trees and birds
and suchlike
natural things

i like the stitch backwards
the stretching threads

the littled dress

she is older now

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..the rain came suddenly..
sun, was done and dusted.

by the slate they talked, shining.
faces older now, friendship retained.

learned a little more on life, the small
things, wisdom rings
the generations.

i did not need all the mange tout.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.i don’t write dramatic.
may be i am soft like
gentle ways.

we went to the mountain
sat at the base chatting,
looking up.

walking the path, the sun
caught our shoulders,

at the salmon leap, we paused
at the lack of fish.

grass grew greener,
we are older now,

happy.

enough.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


SONG OF AN OLD MAN

…..I

Here I am
With a story
Without a beginning, without an end, without a story
But here I am
I came here
Proudly
With my fine circus
With my elephants, my clowns, my highwire
And my fleas
No – now my memory fails me too
I never had fleas till I came here
Proudly
With my circus in a bag on my back
In the country my circus was a rage
Everyone came
Everyone marvelled and took something home
But then I came to the city
Spying out the land
And all those people
Rushing back and forth
I don’t know
Frightened me somehow
With their beards and monocles
Their sweaters and nylon stockings
Frightened me somehow
And I clung on to my bag
To keep my circus quiet
Out of sight till the time came

…..II

Remembering
How old was I when you gave me my circus?
Pleased at first as children are
Then awed, ecstatic, angry, indignant, blind with rage and screaming as I learned
All the time learning
I remember the accidents
Fire in the stables roasting horses like chickens
Young girls missing the net to explode like wine glasses
I couldn’t close my eyes
Saw every hurt
Felt blood flow
And all the time learning my trade
Until you should make me master of the ring
Good times too
Delivering foals at 3 a.m.
Lovers holding hands a hundred feet up
The clown risking his life when the lion got loose
All the stories the artistes had to tell
All the time learning
Learning my trade
For I was to announce them and their stories
In the city
And here
Here I was
Nervous
Dumbstruck

…..III

I have been proud in my life
I have had to learn not to thank you for making me like this
Not to thank you I am not as other men
But now as a reward
Please please
Let me be like them
Please
I was too prudent
I did not book a hall
I did not light lights
Hang up posters
Parade them through the town
I kept them quiet
Out of sight till the time came
I was too prudent
It was a wet November
The streets reflected the lights
And clung to my shoes
I huddled in cafés
Slept in alleys
I bought drinks for people I thought might like circuses
Made them my friends
I told them anecdotes
I spent years at it
I learned to speak
To make people laugh by keeping a straight face
And by crying to make them cry
But many didn’t understand me

…..IV

And some – some I trusted
Thought ill of me
That my stories were lies
Were all mine
In some way “my opinion”
And cost me more years of learning
For only a fool is angry when no one listens
And no one listens to a fool
So now I am an old fool
But I heard – I saw those stories
They belong to me
To you
To the people who drank my drinks
And would not listen
I was too prudent
And too foolish
I have spent all my money
I have sold everything to buy people drinks
My elephants, my clowns, my highwire
All I have left are my fleas
I would ask you to book a hall for me
To light lights
Hang up posters
To buy back my animals and parade them through the town
But I am afraid
For you would refuse
I would ask you if my fleas are enough
But I am afraid
For you would say yes

© 2020, Ben Naga

Ben’s site is Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire.”


Golden Wrinkles

Maturity means thanks giving to childhood
Multiplication of years hence birth and showers of unmeasurable and priceless firm brains
It is a mountain top full of greener wonders
A waterfall of blessings every little soul awaiting to grasp and feel
It is a time when the beaming and gleaming stars gather for all to gaze on
Not only to gaze on but to reap up the best of the life journey
An angelic Ark which carried us all to cross over the Jordan river
This is a sacred life never to be forsaken
A haven of heavens we all wish to step unto!

© 2020, Gorata Mighty Ntshwabi aka Poko Boswa


The season that didn’t exist

So the time
just like a river
lowers each waterside
from a higher
to a small one
or from colorful
to horizon.
Yes.
So the time.

The children,
each fall
the yellow leaves
they gather.

© 2020, Bozhidar Pangelov (aka Bogpan)


Progress?

When I was age ten,
wrinkled worms of worry
squirmed their way into the ignorant squeals
of ghost in the graveyard
as buddies’ begetters were jettisoned from their jobs
during the Reagan Recession.
When I was age twenty, about to
burst upon the pomp of
a piece of parchment
(previously promoted as
a passport to prosperity)
drawn up in uselessly pretentious Latin,
I tripped into a mosh pit of Generation X grumblers
bitching about becoming the
first generation to fare worse than
its fathers and mothers as
grunge tracks lashed clouds
of clove cigarette smoke on café sofas.
When I was age thirty, a soaring stock market
sank into post-nine-eleven oblivion in
a waxing new century of
underwhelming wilting.
When I neared age forty, along with gray
hairs rose the Great Recession, punching any
progress practically back to nil.
And now that I sneak up on the half-century signpost,
having naively considered that
I could,
at last,
coast on a comfortable career,
COVID-19 has crushed the economy
with a death blow not dealt since the Depression.
Middle age may not have lowered my libido or
dampened my desire for candy or daydreams,
but as it takes longer and longer
for me to find my birth year
on drop-down menus,
I’m nagged by a need to
cherish achievements
before the elusive illusions of stability
between the mortar board and the mortuary
melt into the sad sighing of Sisyphus.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


I Am What I Am

I’m not what I once was
Neither am I what I will be.
I am what I am
Until death do me part.

October 2019

© 2020, Mike Stone

Seek Not beyond those Horizons

On another world, in another time,
A world and time whose horizons are close and familiar
Unknown to our enemies or their missiles
Where God rises over the hills in the morning
And sets in the sea in the evening.
He sees us with the light of his eyes,
Hears our cacophony of supplications,
Feels us with His gentle breezes,
And tastes us with His blue seas.
He protects us from evil,
Provides for our needs
Before we think to ask,
And collects us to His breast
When we are old.
We have only to seek not beyond those horizons
Or question the wisdom
Of those who came before us.

October 2019

© 2020, Mike Stone

Death’s Grace

On the other side of the world
A mother’s soul grows childlike
While her body withers and shrivels
Under the blankets and darkness
Of curtains and closed doors
Waiting for God’s grace
Or Death’s.

September 2019

© 2020, Mike Stone 

The Colossal Feats of Ramses Two

Ramses Two, Ozymandias, third king of the nineteenth dynasty,
Son of Seti One or the sun, as you would have us believe,
Conqueror of Nubia, Libya, Canaan, Syria, and the Hittites,
Enslaver of the Hebrews who carried your pyramids on their broken backs,
You built temples to forgotten gods,
Cities buried under shifting sand dunes,
And colossal statues of yourself in stone
Commemorating your colossal feats for all posterity
Striking awe and terror in your peoples’ hearts,
Intimidating those who would invade,
But all that remains are the colossal feet,
The rest resides in a British museum.
Your mummied body, five foot seven,
Hunched over ancient arthritis and abscessed teeth,
Is now in some Parisian museum viewed by
Heartless bodies with a plane to catch.
If you could see yourself as we see you now,
The submerged relics of your once and future greatness,
Would you have thought it worth your efforts
And not a waste of precious life?
Life crashes through all of us,
As through paper walls or
Trampling you and me like blades of grass
Under a careless runner’s feet
To reach some distant star.

July 2019

© 2020, 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?

June 2019

© 2020, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, It contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did.  Recommended. / J.D


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

Jazz Me Do, a poem by Ben Naga

Photograph courtesy of Chris Bair @chrisbair, Unsplash

“Poetry, like jazz, is one of those dazzling diamonds of creative industry that help human beings make sense out of the comedies and tragedies that contextualize our lives.”  Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry



Memory splinters … Splinters linger on
Orphaned … Amputated … Alien
Earlier hellbent … Later bent
Like a banana
Like a tasty adventure
Up … Behind … To infinity and beyond

Like the neighbour who
Spotting the Buddha in the back garden asks
“What’s wit’ monk?”

Like a glance above wondering
In this boundless blossoming heaven
“What’s wit’ bird?”

What’s wit’ Bird?
Variations on a theme
Came a long long way to end up here
To land up here wondering
“What’s wit’ Miles
What’s wit’ all these miles an’ miles?”

© 2020, Ben Naga

Ben Naga

BEN NAGA (Ben Naga / Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire) has lived in England all his life, apart from brief periods in France, India and Scotland. Music is probably his greatest love, with England’s Lake District not far behind. He has privately published “Northern Limericks” and “September Shadormas” and is working on two other collections. His poems have been published in several online magazines.