“oracle” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The oldest known love poem. Sumerian terracotta tablet from Nippur, Iraq. Ur III period, 2037–2029 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul courtesy of Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) under CC BY-SA 4.0

“May poetry and God’s name have mercy on us!” Mahmoud Darwish, Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems



Here we are at Tuesday again, the wonderful day when we share poems submitted by diverse writers in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt. Rising Up, You Poets, August 22, which questioned whether or not poetry can inspire change. The consensus seems to be yes: in the zeitgeist, in the reader, and in the writer. Gary points out that poetry comes in many guises, productive and inspiring.

This fine collection is courtesy of Gary W. Bowers, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob,  Frank McMahon, Urmila Mahajan, Pali Raj, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone. Today we introduce and warmly welcome Bishnu Charan Parida with his poem Arousal.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning.



Arousal

The day dawns in my courtyard ,
As the silent sunrays play on the green grasses ,
The shy squirrels run squeaking on the tree branches nearby ,
Slowly I open my window to see the world beyond…

Activity resumes in my neighbouring avenues ,
As the street dogs play among themselves
The morning walkers gather at the tea stall, gossiping

Speeding crowds upsurge along the city roads,
As monsoon clouds cluster and collide thundering across a serene sky,
A soft tender morning opens out to full bloomed day

I am too , part of these busied goings ,
Rushing through a road jampacked with whistling cabbies and colourful crowds,
The hills, the horizons and the vibrant earth
Resonate in my heart and in my poetry ,
Poetry that rouses me
Rising in me,
To the living moments

©® 2019, Bishnu Charan Parida

BISHNU CHARAN PARIDA (Bishnu’s Universe) is a bilingual poet writing in English and Odia .He is from Jajpur Road, Odisha. An engineer by profession he carries passion for poetry. His poems have been published in many anthologies and magazines of national and international repute. He has been honored in the state level Kalinga Nagar book festival 2015 in Odisha and at 11th Guntur International Poetry Festival 2018. He has been the world featured poet of Pentasi-B, China in 2019. Recently he has received the prestigious R. N. Tagore award from Xpress Publications, Kerala, India.


tankstoppers

a walking poem
stood his ground in tiananmen square
and a tank ground to a halt.
a russian poet
used a poetic silence,
having been ordered to fire
in his submarine,
to prevent nuclear conflict
in 1962.

on another submarine,
years before,
the sub commander,
the last man topside,
ordered the man at the hatch
to “TAKE HER DOWN!”
that three-word poem
killed the skipper
and saved his crew.

a poem
is often not
words on a page.

a poet
may compose with sacrifice
or with a timed caress
or with a knee on the ground.

if that is not poetry
what would there be to codify?

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: One With Clay, Image and Text

As some of you know, Gary is multi-talented, combing visual art with poetry or prose narrative.  He is also a potter. A sample of his work is pictured here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


oracle

it’s not that i am being difficult Majesty
my people have no food to eat
not a pond to wash their tired feet
and my sons they squabble in vain
my daughters they struggle in pain
Majesty all i‘m saying is that my words
should not offend you as you have told
me always speak truth
but i have realized that i
do not agree that my tongue should be tied
and my soul deprived of freedom
to be who i am to soar to the heavens
or to delve in the deep
i do not agree that my limbs
should be caged if i have to
wage war against the enemies of my innocent babes
i don’t mean to be ungrateful
and rebellious at times
but when my children are cut down
by your Princes and clowns
i have to attack with my voice and my heart
through words that are poison
to your ego fueled mind
the sergeants of time
will slowly creep by
and carve out a zone
where i might just languish
in your punishing hate
but don’t turn your back
on those who adore you the most
because with every flower and offering
and purse full of coins
that they render to you
will only weigh you down
to a perdition of soul of spirit and crown
you can shut my lips and burn my body down
but it’s just a body a bag made of vanishing flesh
however Majesty you cannot neglect
the truth in their eyes
the strength in their breath
the beauty in their spirit
their righteous battle call
when the war rages out
the wicked will fall

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


A Poet Is Not Silent

A poet is not silent, bowed, complacent.
A poet is not cowed into submissiveness.
A poet must see clearly, highlight abuse,
A poet sees into the corners,
behind closed doors,
through the language mist thrown out
to disguise intention.

A poet always does the difficult thing,
climbs the impossible, holds the hand of the lost.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Cause Offence

It challenges the norm.
Gets folk off of their laurels.

Is a shot in the arm.
Keeps folk in the ballet,

on their toes.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  •  Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play


Plato

banished poets
would not be happy
seeing so many

writers thinking
and writing poetry

Poets,

writing

are not fighting

nor are they blasting

nor putting innocents

to eternal sleep

Poets

Tempted
by inspiring prompts

may repair wrongs

in lives and lines

making people strong

poets….

change lives

for the better

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Ode to The Power of Poetry

O Thou, Heavenly Hellenic Linguist
What tales did unfold inside caves
what stories uncloaked, in waves
Of signs symbols and patterns, sets
of lines dashes, seen in lit lanterns, all
in a balance, all in rhythmic meters net,
deciphering letters, forming words, shaped
into a ‘made up thing’ named poietes’

You stepped in tracing transforming
making joys into journeys, voices into
voyages on high seas, revealed monsters
demons, deities wise and goddesses naïve,
unraveled kingdoms, inspired feats of
Herculean strength touching the grandeur
of Rome, magnificence of emperors, racing
gilded chariots, defeating Troy, killing Achilles.

You made the Great Islands overflow with
linguistic jewels, Regained Lost Paradise, restored
the monarchy, transitioning to the wonders of
Renaissance. Your revelation of Epics of Art and Word
led to the great Enlightenment, as civilized Empires
spread across the Sahara Deserts. You related lines
and lines of mighty battles, shining armor and victories
These tales inspired millions to adopt your style and diction.

You laid the foundations of recording fact and fiction,
‘the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’ that all
humans are kin to, you gave the theory of ‘ to see the thing
in itself as it truly is’ ‘the velvet footsteps of Spring’ that
softly touched the senses and brought forth Romanticism.
Encompassing other branches of the lingual system your
great adventure gave birth to Persian and Urdu in the South
Asian region. You caused the chain of change’with all charm.

You were present in the Courts of Kings and Emperors and
emerged as the Ghazal form representing love romance and
social reflection. People enjoyed the expression recitation and
expression as new phrases devices and techniques converged.
With your power nations experienced the change of fate and
blessing of freedom when Dr Allama Iqbal Poet of East’ instilled
the spirit of ‘Self’ Discovery, awakening the Muslim nation
to the true realization and strength of faith and the Right Path.

He wrote
Koi andaza kr sakta hai uss ke zor e bazoo ka
Nigah e mard e momin se badal jati hain taqdeerein
can anyone even guess at the strength of his arm?
by the glance of a true believer even destiny is changed

You changed the state of the human world every time it
was in pain grief and segregation, you gave hope, uplifting
suffering souls, bringing them together , creating peace –
You are a bridge of sustenance comfort and positivity
your makers are now more, more than a hundred thousand
You have proved the function that is your special feature
To inspire, motivate, provide catharsis, instruct and delight
your need was never ignored nor ever felt urgent as of today-

Come it is almost September the World awaits you –

Your Coming is sacred and holy, the planet is burning
smoke is rising, war threatens innocent generations , they
look up to YOU- Lead Them to The Long Awaited ‘CHANGE’
with Peace and Togetherness, as you did in the past-
Poetry Your Power To achieve The best for this world
will never be in doubt- September is the season of apples
let us raise our hands in prayer thank the Almighty and
with joy happiness and forgiveness , fill all the barrels.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Ji’s sites are:

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar


The Caged Bird Caterwauls

I know why the caged bird sings
Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Vibrating out into the fractured world
There is no accompanying harmony

Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
There is no accompanying harmony
When the free birds don’t want change

Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
She caterwauls until the cage shatters
When the free birds don’t want change
Her powerful voice portends the power of action

She caterwauls until the cage shatters
Vibrating out into the fractured world
Her powerful voice portends the power of action
That’s why the caged bird sings

© 2019, Irma Do

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


Give Sorrow Words

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart
and bids it break”. Macbeth Act 4 Scene 3 William Shakespeare

And if your throat turns dry
let ink flow from pen to paper.
Write grief into the light.
Name it purple or black, fevered
or frosty, pulsatingly loud
or snake-soft and hissing.

Give sorrow its voice.

Let words trace the tangle
of your heart and someone
you’ve never met will read,
exclaim: I, too, walked
alone in the rain and wept.
I too, hid in the nearest shop

to avoid a friend who always
asked how I felt, suggested
we went for a coffee/watched
a movie/met up for lunch.
I, too, preferred the company
of strangers and empty streets.

Lay old hurts to rest.

But when they’re new, bare
them; share them, rawness
to rawness until they’re held,
and understood and verses arc
across the page beating towards
that tiny” thing with feathers”.*

*From Hope by Emily Dickinson

© 2019, Sheila Jacobs

To purchase Sheila’s little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com


What Use?

I imagine the opposite, where poets break
their pens, clamp silence on their tongues,
where every line of verse has been erased:
blank pages, empty screens.

I imagine then a desert where remorseless
dunes have buried waterholes and trees,
where no one dares to irrigate or plant,
where the wind no longer carries voices.

What is a land without rain?
What is one voice against the censors
and the engineers of souls?

I sing because I must.
Somewhere a flower may bloom,
induce the implacable
to hesitate
as the words uncoil and move
through eye and ear to the heart,
to reconsider.

Somewhere another voice may sing
and another and another
and another and another.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


Poetry

Poetry is what you hear when
you open yourself up to the
vibration of the universe
what you feel when patterns
twine and intertwine until
your pulse harmonises

it abounds in the patient
slump of a grey heron’s back
master fisherman who mas-
tered the zen of waiting, the
arch of a dancer’s sole aching
on a hardwood floor, rocks
that funnel a singer’s voice
into the clouds and blot out
city lights, profuse purple heart
that trap your feet and your path
path, the curve of creation

if you can reflect a strand of
the world as it is, with the frag-
ment of glass you’re given,
slant its lustre into minds that
receive, a poet’s work is done

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew


Craftwork

We shuttle, like spiders,
between the fractured, anguished days
and the leap of the heart
in the transcendental moment,
weaving our threads in the sway
of wind and rain, patient
for the time when the light
will play on the captured dew
and the passer-by will pause
as we wait behind the curling leaf.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


Roads and leisure
Blood rising ……huh,
Shops and marketing in: when
I give a shout ‘I have no coin’
in a slither of sweat ‘legs join’:
My cheek gets cut. Her rights bleed
Holding on tight I urge
Rising up, you poets – a poem will be fine.
I give a shout ‘I have no coin’

PLEASE HELP _/\_

© 2019, Pali Raj


Phoenix

Mangled , strangled, blood, ink
blood red, ink black colours dripping on
asphalt tracing strange patterns
blood red, ink black fuse -indigo-
ripped pages curl up in the smoke,
book bindings melt, leather tomes
the gilt spines blackened, words lost
or are they?

like a phoenix rising, the blue-black
red-tinged words fly high up in the sky
the world over. Al Muttanabbi Streets
forge ahead in shiny new pages of white
brown, hues, the palette of colours
rich as the artists and writers of the world
as they birth verses, sketch a new world
to replace pain, loss. The shock and awe of love
reinvigorates, unites and creates.

Author’s Note: This poem was written as a tribute to the booksellers at AL Muttanabbi Street in Iraq, a street where a lot of booksellers lost their lives by a car bomb in 2007. Poets world wide have responded and here is my contribution which I read at an event entitled ‘Al Mutatanabbi Streets Start Here’ in Glasgow Scotland.

© 2007, Leela Soma


Hiding Behind the Truth

Raanana, October 3, 2016

A poem is a wild thing
Untamable, it never tasted bit or reign,
A naked thing
You’d never take to church
Or have to Sunday dinner.
It uses an outlandish language
And it’s always true although
You’d be hard-pressed to say just how.
It’s true because
The poet with nowhere else to hide
Hides behind the truth,
But it’s the poet who is the wild thing
Untamable
The naked thing
Who cannot help but tell the truth
Hoping you won’t understand
But love him for outlandishness.

© 2016, Mike Stone

The Lips of Infinity

Raanana, May 16, 2019

And he welcomed them,
The children, the old ones, the infirm,
The youth, the busy young men and women,
The forsaken and excommunicated,
The doubters and disbelievers,
Agnostics and atheists,
The doctors, the scientists, and technicians,
And, yes, philosophers and poets,
From all over the world,

And he spoke to them in the one language
They all understood, the language of silence and action,
And this is what he said:

I am not descended from David
Or the son of anyone but my father.
My only credentials are the truth of my words,
Which are your words,
If you would only be silent long enough
To hear them inside you.

I have not come to tell you
What to believe,
Whom to love or not to love,
Or what to do.

I say only these things:

For your own sakes, believe in someone or something
Because belief gives you strength to go on
In an uncertain world,

For your own sakes, love someone or something
With abandon and utterly,
And don’t mete love out parsimoniously
As though you might use it all,
Because love lifts you up to the lips of infinity,

For your own sakes, do what you must
To follow your belief and protect your love
Like a wavering flame in cupped hands,
And the rest do with empathy and concern
To cause the least evil possible.

They left as they came,
Saying among themselves,
Not much of a message,
And each went his separate way

But when each arrived home
And was alone and silent,
He heard the words inside himself
And knew they were true.

© 2019, Mike Stone

The Emperor’s New Changes

Raanana, September 11, 2016

A hundred thousand poets for change
That’s us.
That’s what we called ourselves last year
And the year before.
So they’ve stopped lynching the poets in Arabia?
They’ve stopped stoning the raped women in Kabul?
What about the mutilation of genitals of young girls?
So they’ve stopped burning down Black churches in Bama?
Stopped desecrating the lands of our Sioux brothers?
How about the carbon they’ve dumped in the atmosphere?
Did they stop that?
Do they believe now the earth is too warm to live on?
Are philosophers kings yet?
Are kings philosophers?
I don’t mean to be cynical
But it doesn’t seem like much has changed since last year.
We’ve read a few poems,
That’s all.
Come to think of it,
Have we really changed,
Except for getting a year older?
If that’s change
Then we better change change
So that it’s palpable
So that we can feed people with it
So that people can walk tall from it
So that people can protect themselves with it
So that people can make love to it
Until change is done changing
And the world is all the Republic we need.

© 2016, 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.

MIKE STONE’S AMAZON PAGE IS HERE.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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