“Awakening! Sweet or Rude” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“I’d love to wake up to complete silence, white sheets, and the smell of crisp air and roses.” Maria Elena, Eternal Youth



And it being Tuesday, here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Awakening, August 7. Today our poets explore the ins, outs, pleasures and occasional weirdness of one of the most pivotal points of the day.

Brown-eared Bulbul shared under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

This collection is courtesy of bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, Pali Raj, and Clarissa Simmens.

Today we also warmly welcome Urmila Mahajan in her first appearance on this site. Urmila mentions a bulbul bird in her poem.  I’d never heard of it. I had to look it up. The bulbul – pretty bird – doesn’t live in the Americas or in Europe.

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


Beginnings

I occupy a crevice
that night has burned and
day has not yet filled
where Earth is stilled until
the first bulbul chimes its
two-toned announcement
of another dawn

the ageing cat takes precedence
over frozen morning feet as I
hobble to touch a trembling purr
on bony flanks of fading flesh
to replenish a feeding bowl and
scrub flecks of meaty morsels
off the floor

to carefully strain a litter
by a single yellow lamp
and start the day with twosome
caring and a daydream
flickering in both minds of
many more such mornings
to come

we move on padded paws to keep
the brittle hush from snapping
and squinting without spectacles
I see the glowing crucialness
of beginnings

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila Mahajan

URMILA MAHAJAN worked for over two decades as an English teacher in various schools. Passionate about drama she now works as a drama consultant for schools.

Her poetry has won several online prizes. She published her poetry book, Drops of Dew, with a foreword by Ruskin Bond, in 2005. Her more recent poems can currently be found at on her blog HERE.

Her full-length children’s novel, My Brother TooToo, was published in 2010. Around the same time, her articles on using English correctly were a regular feature in a youth magazine.

She lives in Hyderabad, India. Her hobbies include birdwatching, growing organic vegetables and of course, looking after her cat.


joy

to fall asleep
a book
with your reading glasses
(on a lamp)
the dawn is
blue

© 2019, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov)

bogpan’s site is:  (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия  блог за авторска поезия)


Zorya

there she is
bright bold with golden arms
the lady who comes to purify my blood
just 2 hours and 34 minutes in the past
did the moon with his mariachi suit
cry with me because he is a gentleman
we had clinked tequila glasses
while he kissed my hands
but with each step Zorya takes toward my window
i’ve come to prefer the strong espresso roast
dark heavy smoldering like your heart
you prefer to sleep
after quaking and quivering through my mounds
and when your eyes come open wide your armor
will cover you again
as i remain the faithful wench
in the china cup where to gold has chipped off
filled with mud and some manipulative tears
my cigarette will drown in sorrow
so i walk into the bathroom
to wash your sheep’s odor
off my she wolf fur

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


alarm

as i hack
through the unliving
with my broadsword
there suddenly comes
into my dream
tinkling cloying music
worse than zombies
for it snatches
me from glory
and its purpose
into the mundane
drab and dismal
day to day

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay)

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.


The Hyperbolic Poet Awakes

My eyelids open
are two worlds unfettered by cloud.

I splash the seven oceans
On the continents of my skin.

Rake the tombstones inside my mouth.
Tumble downstairs is scree down a mountain.

Open the wooden doors of delight,
Recover the pottery of ages,

Pour an avalanche of muesli
Farmed on sunny hillsides,

Crushed by the quern.
Grab the milk hosed out

By gargantuan herbivores,
Refined in their udders of heaven.

Wash and restacked pottery,
I stride over the open threshold
A veritable colossus.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Rain Is Awake

when it falls
hits the snuggled earth
with wet caresses

Conscious movement
rippled determination
to move forward
once a route is found,

knows it must find rest
a place to sleep
but other droplets insist
on movement forward

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Her Fur Elise

I awake to Beethoven as Mam taps the upright
piano downstairs in the through lounge

where morning light highlights dark brown dining table
and varnished coffee table both polished

with Pledge until you see yourself. Later
chemo will make her petite fingers fat,

Fur Elise break into fragments as disease progresses
and piano sold as her hands come to rest.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Tom Tit

Suddenly awake I hear
milk float electric whirr, his
bottles rattle in their baskets
the clink as milkman delivers.

“Fetch milk in”, mam sharts.
I open our snowed door to find
Blue Tom Tit has been at it
again, claws stood on the lip,
beak strips the silver foil top
for a sup and winter sip.
I am not a milksop
“Tit’s been at it again, mam!

© 2019, Paul Brookes

our god sleeps

with his gob open.
When he opens his gob
It could be dawn, noon or midday.
whenever we must awake
to work in the mountains.
The mountains of god’s tongue.

They shake and gust blows.
We must find
our balance.
Hunt for food
on the undulations.

Never know
when god will close his mouth
for night to fall, again.

Sometimes night is short.

Folk say there is life
over the mountains
in god’s teeth.

None have returned.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

The Owl Guide

As you lie on that hospital bed unconscious
in a maybe
What more can you do,
What more should you have done

As a young girl, excited and unaccustomed to city-ways, gallop your dads milk horse
away from your white home,
through downtown Sunderland streets
where this morning it trotted
Dads milkcart rattle on a milkround.

Folk scatter, run scared.
A bobby captures your reins.
Arrested and thrown in prison
with the rapists, killers and paedophiles.

sob yourself to sleep.
Shortly after midnight awake
to flap, flap flap near the door,

stood wide open. You softly
step out, closed the door behind you.

See an owl,
perched on a wooden fence,

who awaits your escape.
The owl flies in front of you,
guides you past bobbies,

through dark streets, till you came
to a saddled horse and a bundle of fresh clothes.

You mount, the owl pulls the horses head
Towards the white dairy farm

then leaves, as it must as the owl
In a maybe
Is your future daughter who dies before you do.
What more can you do?
What more should you have done?

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Servant

For a time I do bother
to polish the surfaces,
hoover, wash and iron.

If only for myself,
but then myself is not enough.
Dust piles, crumpled clothes dirty.

I fall asleep among dirty sheets,
empty crisp packets,
half eaten cold pizzas,
stink of mice piss.

Awake to freshly laundered sheets,
clean carpets, clothes washed, ironed.
Surfaces polished smell of Lavender.
How could this happen?

Again I fall asleep while tv on,
amongst discarded chocolate papers,
left over cake on plates,
half drunk cans of lager.

Awake to tv off, rubbish binned,
plates washed, dried put away,
Citrus not stale beer and rotting smell.
I’m intrigued. Curious.

It takes no effort to be a slob, again.
Spill crisps down sides of chairs,
dribble tea into carpet, crumbs.
Energy drinks ready I stay awake.

Energy sup is the biz. Make
Me hyper so I see these two tiny
Folk, man and woman, like regular
Nanites sorting my crap.

Like my old man never were
this one hoovers up crumbs,
packs his black bin bag with cans,
busies, polishes, scrubs to his bones.

His old woman like mam, I guess,
dusts, scours a whirlwind devil.
Part of me says they do as they must,
the other sees what they lack.

Next night I leave them a gift
of nothing to tidy, to put away.
They seem contented as I watch
surrogate mam and dad leave for good.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, 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.



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


Awakening! Sweet or Rude

In Lethe we stay
dipped drugged forgetful of life
seasons pass in time

childhood is a dream
fettered forced youth,innocent crime,
silver streaks,await

the promise in vain,
bent weak constantly in pain,
hope to rise again?

right guidance will come
love light peace freedom will shine,
to awaken me.

® 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


On Being Awakened

The joy of morning
Crowded out by small elbows
In my lower back

© 2019, Irma Do

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


Like The First Morning

Break, morning, and fly to me,
be my golden songbird.
Lift me from huddled sleep,
tuck me between your wing
and sun-dappled breast
and carry me over the rooftops.

Break, in all your new colours.
Wrap me in scarlet flame,
ease my bones and warm my heart
against your own as you soar
above mountains and pine trees
spooled with silver mist.

Break, morning, as though
you were the first to unveil
creation’s radiant face;
teach me your glory-unto-him
psalm of sunlit waking:
and breaking, from night’s heft.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

Replacing The Empties

Woken by summer’s early light
I heard the chug of a milk- float
down the road. It rattled to a stop
outside our house, the milkman
unlatched our wooden gate
and bounded up the path.

A chime of glass and he’d replaced
the empties, left two full bottles
on the front step. Pasteurised
for my porridge or custard,
sterilised(long-lasting and thin)
for Mum and Dad’s tea.

The door opened and closed.
Mum had brought the milk inside-
time for me to yawn, stretch,
go back to sleep for another hour.
Downstairs, Mum brewed a pot
of tea for Dad’s work- flask.

She made sandwiches, wrapped
two slices of cakes in greaseproof
and packed them in his rucksack.
After he’d left, she topped up the pot
with fresh water, opened the stera.
and sipped the best cup of the day

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase this 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


.upper rooms.

some mornings while drifting

i see the writing in my head

come patterned, neat lines balancing

dancing with the rain

at the window

on waking

yesterday we remembered blancmange

and jelly, ideal milk and water

pineapple that split cream

food that touched

yesterday we remembered our granmas

our mothers

bundles of cotton with colours

required for mending always

yesterday she explained to sew

the four holes in synchronicity

tight

on linen

yesterday the words came easily with labels

and names

today on brightening

forget

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.touch the surface.

i slept a darker paint,

a place of nowhere,

no marks, no texture,

clarity.

waking, touch the surface.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. the theory .

that feeling, that . arrives unexpected from darkness, some winters’ mornings, opening the door to the sound of one black bran bird calling. track four repeated. that comes on waking finding peace and comfort bound.

it is a fine line we walk, gently avoiding peptides, only just a theory, yet used independently, alongside honest work

reading how the body works, you will have a better understanding, yet they do not teach of this

at school. they teach of clever yoghurt in adverts, i did not know microbes fancy food, move our choices.

the play continues, some of the old cast, new actors oblige, ideas on lack of addictive ways. simple days without receptors. singing under breath, numbers.

have you been to the counting?

lines ruled to stop

vertigo setting in.

two

three

four

five

two

three

it is a fine line we walk, gently avoiding peptides, only just a theory, yet used independently, alongside honest work.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Angels Singing Hallelujah

Angels singing hallelujah pull the sun up from behind the horizon splashing the colors of dawn across the sky calling for the spirit of life to arise in God’s radiance.

Sleeping flowers perk up preparing to unfold in their resilience and in their brilliance.

The rolling green hills in the distance framed by cumulus clouds stand firm in their resolve to praise God.

The birds twitter and tweet good morning to the universe then take wing and sing to the inhabitants of earth.

Gentle sounds emitting from a cell phone alarm roam through the air at that moment penetrating the dark silence of a deep sleep in another world…in another place…in another space.

Scripture settles a sleepy soul sweeping away cobwebs of confusion and illusions lighting the way to the manifestation of a new day.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ….

Conscious mind awakes collecting bits and pieces of memory fragmented by the divide between reverie and reality then places them back into the puzzle of existence…the new day begins.

© 2019, Tamam Tracy Moncur

Diary of an Inner City Teacher is a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line. Over two decades in the trenches, educator Tamam Tracy Moncurexposes through her personal journal the plights, the highlights, the sadness, and the joys she has experienced as a teacher. Come to understand why the United States Department of Education and the various state departments of education must realize the teaching of academics cannot be divorced from the social issues that confront the students. Let s be innovative together and design new millennium schools that address the educational needs of the inner city students before it s too late! Our children s very existence is at stake! Laugh, cry, and become informed as you embrace the accounts of an inner city teacher.


Can a love, you don’t name
Can be love
On awakening, a poem ask
Answer me, if you have to die
How can I quit eating
‘over salted pie’

I feel happy, and dead
(On awakening) I visit your profile when

Go, look at your profile views ….yeah
I find myself on a porn 😭 when
I tap on link to know more 🤔
Answer me
Can a love, you don’t name
Can be love

I feel happy, and dead
(On awakening) I visit your profile when

I am an effeminate ….yeah
At night late *so what*
I visit your profile
You are a vamp …..yeah
I find myself on a porn 😭 when
I tap on link to know more 🤔

I feel happy, and dead
(On awakening) I visit your profile when

Can a love, you don’t name
Can be love
Look at my photo then
Answer me, if you have to die
How can I quit eating
‘over salted pie’

© 2019, Pali Raj

On Awakening

Betrayal!
Don’t like to sleep
But actually slept
For a few hours
No hypnagogic images
No dreams
Just … nothing
Two dogs snuggled in
Trying to take over
My pillow
My place on the mattress
I leap from the bed
(Well, an aging woman’s leap)
Dash into the kitchen
Grind the coffee
Swallow the BP meds
And this Morning Aries
Tugs open the sliding glass door,
Joining the joyful dogs
Noses to the ground
Following the scent of
The wascally wabbit
Impossible possum
Wrecking my palm tree
While the early birds
Peck at the feeder
Too lazy to find the worm
While the feral cat
Safe from the dogs
On the other side of the fence
Yowls to be fed
And I say
Thank you to the Cosmos
For giving me another day…

© 2019, Clarissa Simmens 

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Five by Jamie Dedes, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 11, 2019) / This short story is dedicated to the world’s refugees, one in every 113 people.

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group / Beguines, pushers of The BeZine of which I am managing editor. Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or commissions.

“A Dark Matter” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“We sit and talk,
quietly, with long lapses of silence
and I am aware of the stream
that has no language, coursing
beneath the quiet heaven of
your eyes
which has no speech”
– William Carlos Williams, Paterson


These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, your darkness, my light – how is it that love transforms us, October 3, 2018, delight, intrigue, thrill your mind and touch the heart. I know you will enjoy them and the two “value-added” sections (Frank’s lastest victory and Mike’s comment) as much as I have.

Kudos and thanks to Renee Espiru, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Marta Pombo Sallés, Mike Stone and Anjum Wasim Dar. A very warm welcome to Christi Moon. I’ve been reading her work on Facebook for some years and am delighted to have the opportunity to include her here today.

I’ve included links to blogs or websites where available. I hope you’ll visit these poets and get to know their work better. It is likely you can catch up with others via Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


Arrivals

(foreword)

I want to write about a man beside a train.
A year later and I’m still looking for the words.
The palm of that strong hand-
balm on small of my lower back;
always, pulling.

I’m getting closer.

Arrivals

I’ve only taken a few steps
when my legs stop responding
to the signals from my brain

my vision locked
on an image

you’re running
beside the train
your green hat folded
in your hand

five hundred thousand minutes
careen

into this
one

my feet can’t feel the ground

airy echoes
of your name
far away and
thrumming

she sounds like me

in s l o w m o t i o n
cinematography
we are captured
in these frames

in front of the lens
behind the lens
we are the lens

we are

standing still
and spinning

as the clocks vanish beneath

we are

heaved beyond
the gates

of this brief ceiling

© 2018, cs moon

CHRISTI MOON grew up in a small coastal town in California and currently resides in rural southeastern, Pennsylvania.  Her poetry has been published in the journal Brush Strokes and Ink Spots, an Anthology of Poetry and Art ~ The River Journal, Nomos Review edition 3 ~ Women on War and Conflict, Meat For Tea ~ The Valley Review Vol 8, Need Change, Poets Against War, and Twisted Tungz art & literature magazine, and online on Combustus, VerseWrights, The Creative Nexus, Solstice Initiative ~ Aqueous, and The River Journal. When not writing poetry, her personal interests also include; photography, yoga, and exploring local nature trails. She also facilitates poetry workshops for local cancer patients.


Flourishes & Whorls

When I first made your acquaintance
my hand wrapped ’round you
and found warmth & light

even though a tiny fragment of cedar
I minded not the lustrous feel of
your soft black carbon
within

as I grasped you time & time again
my muse trembled in anticipation
as she watched gradations of lines
forming

creating magic with loops curving
in every direction
to give life to every breath I
inhaled & exhaled

giving substance to the wind
to the very universe of which
the rotating earth is
contained

with each flourish & curve
you became as putty in my hand
as burning fuel for my muse

whereupon the light of day
merged with the dark of night
transforming sunrises
sunsets

igniting the embers in my soul
within my heart
into a flame

I have kept you close since
that crucial moment
the dawning of
a single
letter

© 2018, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


EVOLUTION

It takes a big leap of the imagination
to see the line of descent from dinosaur to
blackbird, until you view the fossil record. But
you still can’t quite collapse fifty million years into
an hour’s time-frame. Think then instead about falling
in love and being in love. Falling, but more
crucially, being caught in passion’s net, held or trapped
depending. Two tyros learning their moves on high-wire
or trapeze, diving earthwards, hands outstretched. Maybe
love really begins when they both discard the net.

This poem was first published in England in The Cannon’s Mouth.

© 2018, Frank McMahon

COSMOLOGY

Some millions of years ago two stars collided,
creating cosmic dust of platignum and gold.
Seven shillings: your nuptial ring, signifying
the conjunction of orbits,love’s trajectory,

not like Cassini, all mapped out. Some few details
clear, the rest to be discovered in those early
starlight days; trial and error, error and trial; flesh and
blood, proud children, losses, carefree days and friends,

small frustrations and winter days
yet love lacing a necklace of stars
round deepening inner space, new elements
re-fashioning our Periodic Table.

© 2018, Frank McMahon

Frank McMahon’s first radio play was broadcast last week.  It concerns the last two years in the life of William Tyndale, the priest and scholar who translated much of the Bible into English and was convicted of heresy for so doing. If you want to hear it, then go to: http://www.Corinium Radio.co.uk, follow the link to Listen Again and look for Somewhere Else Writers Present ” A death in Flanders.” Bravo! and Kudos! to Frank.  

Tyndale, before being strangled and burned at the stake in Vilvoorde, cries out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”. Within four years, four English translations of the Bible were published in England at the King’s behest, including Henry’s official Great Bible. All were based on Tyndale’s work. Woodcut from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563) / Public Domain.


.love . the numbers.

he kindness that is. glass reflecting. slowly it starts. maybe we need to check our numbers?

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. mathematics .

irregular, you came, your best clothes shining. never mind. the first tune hit the mind, patterns and mathematics. the kindness that is.

he said. machine you see. glass reflecting. slowly it starts repeating. the walls of differing colours. we have the dvds. on and on repeating on and on repeating on and on repeating.

back to the counting, how many have there been, how many are left still standing. an issue for some, yet we amend the figures here and move on. lucky ones, maths divides and decimates others.

1.2

repeating.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher


The night is speaking like a cascade

The night is speaking like a cascade.
She’s knitting filigreed lights and shadows.
Sunk in the deep sea
of Sargasso eyes
I stay quiet and don’t find words.
And the scars on your hand
are fading, in order to burn
in my heart.
Oh, sailboats after a long trip
with all the winds in the sails –
sand is calling you.
But it isn’t death!
Oh, it isn’t the end too!
The hand
is going to knock up a hut for you
and in the wide garden
it smells with magnolia and manuscripts…

And I am a sign.

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


When Silent Love Met with Boasting Vanity

A long time ago
I got used to living with
My open wounds,
The last withered while
I was staring at the sunset
In the middle of the fog.

Yes, you told me so many times
About your suffering,
How your heart shrunk
Fisted in bleeding red
While your eyes tasted
The salt of the ocean waves
And cristal pearls were running
Down your cheeks.

On that plane you felt
The freezing coldness
Where just one thing
Would not freeze:
The fountain of your tears.

Yes, indeed I remember
All the pain on that plane.
You sent me back to the
Land of rejection.

Yet I am a resilient rock
With my withered wounds
That I carry since ancient times
On this eroded earth.

But to exist is to resist
And so I dwell in human hearts
Who care for each other.
And may I receive your boasting waves
Crashing on my shores
Those hearts will restore me again
For I am silent love and not vain.

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


“Your lines (and prompt), “your darkness my light” caused an explosion of thoughts in my mind. I thought about the latest scientific speculation about the composition of the universe, that most of it is composed of dark matter and dark energy that don’t interact with the matter and energy that we sense. I thought about how we focus on the sources of light and its reflections, the things that exist, the presences, but gloss over the sources of darkness, dismissing it as merely the absence of light, rarely able to sense the absence of things that once were, or that never were. Our world is filled with those things, words that were never spoken, or were spoken and unheard, or forgotten. I will try to come up with a poem that embodies these thoughts before the prompt is due, but I do have one poem that is more-or-less on theme. [Dark Matter – below]

“… and of course there’s the idea of somebody composed of dark matter falling in love with somebody composed of “normal” (baryonic) matter, although current laws of physics declare that impossible. Dark matter is not anti-matter. Anti-matter and matter interact by destroying each other. Dark matter and regular matter are just ships passing (through each other) in the night.” Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

“A Dark Matter”

(Raanana, October 4, 2018)

I see you everywhere I go
You follow me even into the bedroom
And crawl into bed beside me
Entering my dreams.
You are the dark sun shining your dark photons,
Your shadows are my only light.
You are every age you’ve ever been,
You are the idea of you
Just after I discovered I was pregnant,
You are this thing growing in my belly
Now, this homunculus bursting from my womb
Suckling my breast,
And suddenly you are human,
Helpless, still inchoate, primal.
Then you see me seeing you and you smile,
You crawl, you stand unsteadily on your feet
And then you start to run.
You hold my hand, going to the nursery
And won’t let go.
Suddenly you’re holding her hand
Going to the Homecoming
In our car.
Then you come home
From the place you can’t talk about,
Your uniform full of grease and stench
Which I wash and iron throughout the night,
Then they knock on the door
And tell us you can’t come home,
That we can’t see your body
Because there’s nothing left to see.
When you were alive,
You were just a single person
In just one place, nowhere else.
Now that you are dead,
All of you,
The idea of you, the homunculus,
The primal human,
The little boy holding my hand,
The young man holding her hand,
The soldier coming home,
The soldier never coming home again,
Are everywhere, all the time.
You are my darkness,
I want no other light.
Your absence is so palpable to me
I don’t think I could live without it.

© 2018, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works/Call of the Whippoorwill) 

“Dimdumim”

(Raanana, September 14, 2018)

Here they call it dimdumim
But you call it twilight,
Still light when the orange sun
Sinks behind the distant trees
Or the purple sea under the far horizon
And the colors of the things around you,
The whites, the browns, and the greens,
The grass and trees, even the faces of people,
Bleed into gray, move farther away than before,
Not yet dark, yes, darkening perhaps,
But not quite dark. Suddenly the air
Through which you wade cools slightly,
Is easier to breathe, making you almost weightless,
Waiting for the absolute darkness of night.
In its obscurity possibilities hide,
Almost anything can happen
In the cool darkness
And the obscurity takes any shape
That thoughts can touch.
When night does come
You never see just when
The dimdumim disappears.

© 2018, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works/ Call of the Whippoorwill )

“A Poem Unwritten”

(Raanana, March 9, 2012)

No one has ever written a poem about a poem unwritten
Of the many virtues of such a poem
The perfect meter of noambic nometer
The clarity and minimalism leave
Even haiku silent with envy.
The language of silence is universal
Requiring no translation.
It will be unread by billions!
It’s amazing that no one has thought of it,
No one and I.

© 2012, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works/Yet Another Book of Poetry)

“Waiting to Be”

(Raanana, December 4, 2015)

What does a poem look like
Before it is written?
Just like a lover looks
Before you have met her
Or an infant looks
Before it is conceived
Like a soul looks
Whenever you look
Like potential,
Pregnant but barren,
Like the blank page of a notebook
But more than that
More than nothing
But undefinable
Waiting in the dark
To collect itself
To be.

© 2015, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works/Yet Another Book of Poetry)

Bemused is Mike Stone’s third book of poetry, covering the years from 2016 to 2017. The title means “perplexed” but Mike intended a more literal meaning: “in thrall to the Muse”. Mike has been in the Muse’s thrall for most of his seventy years. This collection shows his maturity as a writer and his courage in facing the dilemmas of life’s endgame without fear or delusion.

Kindle (digital): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0786JQJHQ/ ($2.99)

Amazon (paperback): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981543775/ ($19.95)

Mike is one of The BeZine’s nominees for Best of the Net 2018.


Does Age Matter

And I believed in you because

I loved you

as a charming human being

Knowledgeable attractive witty and quick

And I tried to bear with your weaknesses

Because we all have them and impress

And I believed in you because

I wanted to

For I could see the tremendous potential

In you as a creative enthusiastic loveable

Charming personality that

The Almighty

Had made you.

And I believed you

That you knew so much more

than me

You could drive the car so perfectly

And examine the patients

so expertly

as your learning taught you.

And I believed you that you would share

With me all

That I wanted to tell you

That I wanted you to learn

You could do so much more

In your profession

And I believed you when you said

I always say’ Help yourself’

And you planned your time

And tried to read every book

that came your way

and after meeting you I had hopes of

reviving my shattered faith and trust

In relationships

And I loved you because

I believed we could make it together

I gave you all the chance

And I am still hopeful

That despite our age difference

We can still be happy with each other

And share care and learning and achievements

And I am sure it will be so

Because I believe in You.

CER © 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

This is Anjum’s poem in Urdu. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the breaks right for which I apologize to Anjum and to any readers who speak/read Urdu. At least we have this, another example of how our poetry crosses borders.

مسکراؤں تو کس کے لئے آنکھوں کو چمکاؤں تو کس کے لئے غم کو بھول جاؤں تو کس کے لئے کوئی اپنا تو ہو کیوں دنیا ایسی لگے کیوں اپنے بوجھ بڑھیں کیوں اپنے غیر لگیں کیوں میں غیر بنوں میں بے وفا تو نہین چمکتی ہوں سب کے لئے رات بھر ٹمٹماتی ہوں خاموش کس کے لئے کوئی اپنا کہنے والا نہ ایگا کبھی انجم دل کا دروازہ کھلا رکھنا ، محبت انجن جگہ پانے گی


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

“Repenting Peter” (El Greco) …. and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


This may be one of our finest collections yet, poetry written and/or shared in response to Ecce Panis [Take This Bread], Wednesday Writing Prompt, December 6, “What event or experience or time in your life (doesn’t have to be associated with religion) birthed for you the freedom to explore beyond the boundaries set for you?” These poets have certainly risen to the occasion. Much thanks to  Denise DeVries, Paul Brookes, Mike Stone, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), Gary W. Bowles and Sonja Benskin Mesher.

Join THE NEXT WRITING PROMPT, JANUARY 3, 2018. Once I put The BeZine to bed on the 15th, I’ll be offline for family time and taking a rest until January 3. Many blessings for joy in this season that is sacred to so many and for your peace of heart in the new year.

Thank you for your support, kind comments and sharing through The Poet by Day site this past year. In a world gone mad, you are the hope, the grace, and the voices of sanity. Poetry is the flagpole around which we gather in compassion and acceptance.  You are valued.

All are welcome to come out to play for these writing prompts no matter the stage of your poetry career: beginning, emerging or pro.  It’s about sharing and friendship, discretion not judgement.


A Town Where Nothing Ever Happens

I lived in a small landlocked town
and would probably never go anywhere.
My parents rejected the foreign
language teacher’s offered lessons.
They didn’t like the looks of him.
Something could happen…
Years later, I find myself
in Central America, in a town
where nothing ever happens,
except me, trying to speak Spanish.
In the market, the black
head of a calf stares up at me.
A tiny tiny old woman in
native dress embraces me
and kisses my hand, speaking
a language I’ve never heard before.
Beggars wait on cathedral steps
for the priest to finish asking God
in his North American accent,
“Quita los pecados del mundo.
Danos paz.” The children want
to know why I am crying.

© 2017, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia)


Path Of Seeds

O, Lady of the breath,
selfish and in control

you decide the path of seeds
you carry and drop in my grove.

Landscape architect place
an acorn here, a daisy here,
chestnut over there. No negotiation.

Blow my intricate clocks into half spheres,
my Sycamore immigrants spin
through your gusts.

Shoot moss into these worn mortared walls.
Broadcast grass between these carefully
laid pavements.

With you I have no choice
you deliver into me
whatever you hold.

I welcome your unexpected gifts

© 2017, Paul Brookes   (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

O, Lady Of The Breath (Six Vacanas)

1. You Rise

from my forest and leave
out of the gob and earth falls.

It shivers renewed,

welcomes a similar you
into my gob.

You excite my spring buds,
allow the earth to rise, again.

2. Can’t Let

you stay long in the dark,
or the earth will rot.

I can’t let you out for long,
or the earth will rot.

Let’s follow this pattern.
I’ll briefly allow you into my dark wood,

But please don’t take woodsmoke, car fumes,
coal dust, iron filings, water in with you,

else I’ll hack you out. These companions
quicken the rot.

3. Help With The

tasting snake in my cave
form the words I need to say.

Take my words out into air
loud enough for others to hear.

Please don’t say you are weak
and can’t carry such a weight.

Please don’t say I failed to welcome
enough of you into the forest.

4. My Dad Let You

in with pungent watercolours on his back,
stink of Clwyd cowpats and fresh mountain air,

but when he scraped boilers you secretly
took into his forest asbestosis strands

that speed his rot and ruin. I can’t understand
your thought in all of this

5. My Sister Threw You

out over her steering wheel,
her forest crushed by molded plastic.

She tried to welcome you back
but the wood was gone,

so you gust over her grave
under an overseeing tree.

O, my lady of the breath.
I welcome your coming and going.

6. Your Cheyne Stokes

delay before my unconscious Nanna
let you in.

I waited a minute, a 10-20
second episode of
stopped breath

suddenly her welcome
let you in

deeper and again
deeper in and out.

then delay

then delay

then delay

her welcome of you
and delay I watched seven days

until she refused your entry for good.

© 2017, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)


“Beliefs”
(Raanana, December 4, 2016)

That I know what my wife is feeling,
That my love will be enough to protect her
From the lovelessness around her,
That my particular being might have some worth
In the eye of the Grand Schemer of Things,
That the sun will climb over the eastern mountains tomorrow,
That the ground on which I walk
Is as solid as any reality,
These are small beliefs I think
That won’t hurt anyone else,
At least I don’t believe so.
But there are grander beliefs
That grow stronger
With every man and woman who believes them,
That only the grandest edifices
Can house them,
These beliefs,
Like who’s a chosen people
And who’s a virgin, an only son, or a true prophet,
Beliefs that hurt those who don’t believe them.
These are the beliefs I don’t believe
Are any good for anything
That’s not a building.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

“An Agnostic’s Prayer”
(Raanana, January 23, 2014)

Just for the record
I don’t believe in you
So there’s no point in capitalizing, is there?
That doesn’t mean I don’t wish you were
Here, there, somewhere.
God knows I do,
Well, maybe not the you
Of everybody else.
You know exactly what I mean,
Someone who’s not always
Making clever excuses
Why he’s never around
When we need him.
I’d like to see you try that on my wife.
She wouldn’t fall for it.
She’d tell you
You’re either here or you’re not here,
So don’t bother trying to be
Somewhere in between.
She’d say if you want someone to believe in you
Then be there, front and center,
Instead of hiding behind the guy
Who’s hiding behind the curtain
Hoodwinking the true believers.
Then tell them they have only
One life in this godforsaken universe
And that one life is so gut-twistingly precious
That they should get up off their knees,
Walk out into the sunshine,
And smell just how blue the sky is.

© 2014, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)


“A Lasting Image”
(Raanana, April 5, 2008)

Frozen shards of light litter the dusty ground and
The moon-colored skulls of creatures whose blood
Once warmed the earth and sated its thirst
If only for a moment.
There is a trail I must follow
Through this forest dark and mordant
That snakes its wending way from
The womb of my first love
To the parched throat of my last.
I think sometimes of the ancient ones
And the things of their world
Of which they were certain.
It is not so hard to believe in a God,
An animus for every animal
Or a hoary herald above the spheres.
But a monstrous God
Who plots to devour our innocence
And rend our hearts with the cruel beauty of its beings,
Indifferent yet demanding our prayers and oblations;
Such a God I believe in:
A God of holocausts and broken promised lands.

© 2008, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

“A Certain Silence”
(Raanana, September 22, 2015)

There is a certain silence
On a day like this
That carries you on its wide wings
But only those whose souls are weightless
A silence that muffles the shouts of children
And banal chatter of adults on mundane matters
But only for those whose souls are transparent
A silence that vows to be true
Even when we live among lies
But only among those
Whose souls are consumed by other souls.

© 2008, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)


The Repentant Peter (El Greco c. 1600 Spain), Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., U.S., public domain photograph of the painting

Repenting Peter (El Greco)

since as
everything is Uttered
a land to even up
the eye
you touch grope about
the walls
more and more high
(on) cracks
the third road is the hardest
nowhere somewhere
the third road is the easiest
am I
I
cursed
cursing
swear
in net
(Peter)

“that the mighty angel tugs
along with net of fishermen”*

*Giorgos. Seferis (Greek poet and diplomate)

© 2017, bogpan  (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия)


Pheidippides Defiant

A legend has
A courier
Who ran and ran
And told, and died,
Per Lucian,
Pheidippides’
“We win–rejoice!”
The dying words
Of this young man.

A summer day
In ’84
Ten thousand ran
On Market Street,
And skirted San
Francisco Bay,
And saw through fog
The Golden Gate,
And past its Park,
And up a hill
So steep a man
In wheelchair
Went but four in-
Ches at a time.

We crossed the thrice-
Blessed Finish Line
At Union Square
To cheering crowds,
To honor dead
Pheidippides,
Who, truth be told,
Did not exist,
Or, if he did,
Not quite the way
The legend tells.

But there WAS strife
In ancient Greece,
And Persians died
At Marathon,
The site now known
As the event,
A footrace long
and arduous.
And when I ran
In ’84,
I briefly WAS
Pheidippides,
Defiant of
Impossible,
Horizon breached,
My battle won,
And I rejoiced
And did not die.

© 2017, Gary W. Bowles (One With Clay)


. no horizontal line .

early it came,where there are no roads, no silent killer.

spinning. set me free. let me see swallows return to

nest.

let us cause a reaction, turn our heads quickly. no one

is looking, there is no one here. we are not afraid of

the night.

we spin.

soft cottons, whimsy thread, mothlike.

turn about hour on hour. your time is

come.

we spin.

to spite silent killers.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

. tudor .

it seems that in moving the body we can free the mind, from one place to another. slightly out of focus.

time is moving forward.

that is the theory……

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY