My Life Is Not Mine—
Give wanting what other people have.
That way you’re safe.
“Where, where can I be safe?” you ask.
This is not a day for asking questions,
Not a day on any calendar.
This day is conscious of itself.
This day is a lover, bread, and gentleness,
More manifest than saying can say.
Thoughts take form with words,
But this daylight is beyond and before
Thinking and imagining.
Excerpt from The Essential Rumi, Colman Barks
Well, it’s rather late Tuesday here, but still Tuesday, and apologies for the delay in publishing this post and for some of the confusions in correspondence with poets. The past week has been complicated by low oxygen saturation and if you understand oxygen hunger, you know it’s disorienting and exhausting. Thanks for understanding and patience.
We have a profoundly moving collection today with responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt. Silent Life, September 4, which asked poets to write about their lives. This is another collection where you might want to keep a box of tissues handy. There are a few that will touch your heart. Some others will make you nod your head because they present experiences that you’ve had as well.
This fine collection is courtesy of bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, and Pali Raj.
Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning.
and on that day of sun
the leaves of the chestnut
like arms are shielding
and I see through the dream
like through some mirrors
the garden with some boats
far steps of the see
that is killing me
© 2019, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov)
bogpan’s site is bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия
sometimes in the middle of the night
i take the train from one part of town
and then back to the other side
i can’t sleep so i face my curiosity
tipping into the cleavage of the city
and her girlfriend moon
outside of the rolling cab my eyes
they register that it’s dirty
i swear i can see the car exhaust
black sooty pungent belching vulgarity
in the lungs of LA
behold the automotive crack pipe
then my attention flutters to the men
velvet skin plastic smiles and silver tongues
selling me a piece of Jesus and His hotrod
Hollywood Boulevard how much to eat me tonight
i burrow my alien feelings into the tunnels
And the cocky rail rides me to the platform
where humanity scrambles at the truth
of how small we must be to the Bitchgoddess
of everything all poets in history
have lamented about
to chase and purr on the formidable
lies that we are fed
only to show who kindness i wonder
i’m too old and out of time
to place gender or definition on my pleasures
the time to gamble with the rules and regulations
is quickly ending
at dawn pink and gray
with the smell of the city and
her beautifully cruel courtesans
on my hands and lips
i stagger up 7th street
and bum a cigarette from the Meals on Wheels guy
chat up Bang Me Billy and ask about his truck
we stroll to the rich folk Starbucks
he waltzes me up to the lines
we both feel very alive again
and smile at the young savvy people
when they turn up their nose
© 2019, mm brazfield
mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken
It is a day of discovery,
a loft of belonging,
her mid sentences with
no beginning or end.
Empty cases and rucksacks,
hide paintings he did in the fifties,
a still life framed in dark brown wood
a delicate vase sprouts colour,
another Mold Memorial day.
No time to stop and stare
the memory house, its corners,
its edges must be made bare.
We have no time to contemplate
every memory we find, ancient letter,
we have our own homes to decorate
with memories of our own, employment
pays for us to accumulate
thoughts in physical enjoyment
for our sons and daughters to sort
once we can no longer recall
what recollection we bought.
We clear dads loft
walk over asbestos,
lift objects out of the fluff,
I say we ought to wear masks
as dad died of industrial disease,
could not walk, his thoughts
Asbestos clouds struggled
like loose strands out of his mouth.
© 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.
More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play
Life Yesterday-Life Today
My Life began in a state of war and fear, so I was told
I was too young to understand or remember the operation
after my birth, our life was threatened by the enemy,cold
and to safety was no way, but a journey of urgent migration
Life After Crossing the Barbed Wire Border
On awakening I found life full of family and love, picnics
in the hilly forest with fresh water springs,cherries apples
tinned fruit, Hollands condensed milk, England’s Lipton’s tea,
Marie Biscuits Danish Butter cookies, jujubes,n home made ice cream
I learned to ride a bicycle and how to drive a jeep
I loved the illustrated dictionary story books to peep
played hopscotch, enjoyed the swing, and loved school
school life was a treasure, in memories buried deep
Come September as college began, when war returned
sudden attacks by tanks and artillery blackouts all were in-
fear returned as Father left, to tend the wounded soldiers
no one really wins a war’ lives lost, all is over but the din
Oh dear life began anew with strangers all around, unknown
many a ground, five years ago life was full of reading books
so soon life takes a turn,as one is taken and given away to
a strange world of changing dresses and preparing looks’
Life was all in young motherhood, pain and pressure
care and concern, away from home life put me in a home
and I as a mother also became a cook and a cleaner
where did love go I wonder’ the world seemed a lot meaner
we changed cities, houses, bought a blue Volkswagen
bought a five band Sanyo transistor and a 20inch TV
life was kind to us as a family, books returned as school
began and I found real love in kids in nature as a rule.
Life never seemed silent for more than a few hours
color music laughter and fun, filled the atmosphere, then
separations gradually seeped in as one by one, death
started catching up, now and when, who next will lose breath?
fear returned, life had books but no school fun, as day by day
terror warnings halted life, my day uncertain, will I be back home?
yes, I would but with numerous stoppings at armed barricades
am I back in enemy territory, or am I in a war story movie?
Life became a bit peaceful with a mini migration from city to city
all was quiet in a small town,simple people,seemingly content
sipping tea in their roadside shops, and I would see through the
window, simple life in a village is better and I silently joined the party
nature blessed me with family to care,spent the day in cooking and
knitting, a bit of teaching but a lot more of writing reading and poetry
life is a dichotomy of war and peace of love and hate, of good and
bad, my life today has more than before, I think I don’t need any more
Now I am again on my own,each day with my pencils and books
I make my own breakfast mug of tea, toast with jam or honey
I wash my own clothes and cook too but dishes I leave for my
partner to do, he loves to clean so i am free to leave aside the broom.
there is no garden nearby where I could enjoy flowers or walk
my partner avoids conversation and ‘talk’ so that leaves me with
my unseen friends, to text talk share and chat’,till its summer the
sounds I hear are the perpetual whirring of ceiling fans or muezzins call
I am grateful to be alive to be able to understand the purpose of life
to be a giver’ a helper’ to spread love and kindness and be silent’
If one has a silent life one hears the love and kindness of the divine
I was given a life and time, I must give too for ‘nothing was nor is’ all mine
© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar
From the Redness of Dawn to the Golden Grandeur of Dusk
Who is it ? Ah, it wakes me again, in silence, with half opened eyes,
I half rise shaken from oblivion, turn again, sit up, sense the darkness,
The unseen power has put life back in me, I am fortunate but let me be
not proud, I could be asleep for long,to miss the obligation, and be a sinner’
but no, the power gives me time, ‘Away Away O Sloth, tempt me not in dreams
pleasurable,in sleep drugged,for my life has a purpose,to fulfill, I must achieve.
Express gratitude O ungrateful soul, you have wasted enough time,the sky is still
dark,a few stars show hope,I have hope I will always have hope, I have seen
the golden orb smile with changing colors, I will see it again,forget the mug of tea
the sweetness of mixed fruit jam, the faint burnt aroma of toast, stand straight,bow
and bow again,as rightly as you can, soon the birds will stat to chirp their prayer, are
they better in faith and manner? they are, and how regular and disciplined, alas’ but
I am not a bird, my nest is empty though, no giggles or laughter do I hear,no steps
no songs,loneliness hovers around-Ah light appears behind the curtains,dawn breaks
I have the gift of day, tea tastes good with honey,sip it slowly,eat a bit for just energy
two pills now, one for hypertension,the other a blood thinner,life depends on the tiny
red and white tablets, panic strikes when I misplace the medicine pouch, forgetful me
now where are the reading glasses, again? well, I guess its normal at the platinum edge
kitchen table displays the bowl of vegetables, cut and washed, awaiting my attention,
must I cook? wish we had not lost the ‘mann o salwa’ , it’s past eleven, half the day
slipped away,let me check the mailbox,perhaps someone remembers me there’ -nothing
elsewhere in the world, killing, more killing,innocent killing,quarreling,arguing,commenting
impatience,intolerance,the planet has gone crazy,am I contributing to all the chaos? Yes?
the muezzin calls, Come to Prayer Come to Success’ so I must turn’ I must be on the right
afternoon,a bit of lunch and again drowsiness takes over, what did I do ten years ago
I would smile at the flowers,hug the kids and trees,listen to songs and skip a little too
Oh I see my children coming in the room smiling Mama Mama ‘ but what’s this, no one around
a short vision, curtains aside show the hillside green, a small house, wonder who lives
there? alone or with family? light clouds cover the sky, its all grey now- cries I hear of
people in captivity,without food water and medicine ‘freedom we want freedom’ Oh my heart
trembles and I move away from the window’ what tyrants are still ruling and roaming on
this planet, dinosaurs long gone instinct, big though were less harmful, Oh mankind what
greed ails thee what hunger for power makes thee mad? evening draws near,thoughts filled
with fear,nothing concrete have I done today’ news of deaths has droned all day, where is
peace where is joy, then Oh a beep a tingle of joy’ a friend far away, a spirit which cares
remembers with all the suffering in her share’ Ah now my day is made I thank the Almighty
He is present He cares and sends comfort in His own special way’
Hoping for the darkness to be light,praying for another peaceful day’
Hoping to make it worthwhile while I can while,here my spirit stays.
© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar
Anjum Ji’s sites are:
- Behance … artwork
- CER Professional Development
- Poetic Oceans poetry on WordPress
- Poetic Oceans poetry on Blogspot
- Anjum on Facebook
- Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose writing
- ELT Work experience/educational service for the country
“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar
Forty-four words is not enough…
In the nick of time
My motto, my nemesis
My days overfilled with
Running miles – Ha! No
Running behind – yes
Secretary, chef, driver
Driving myself crazy
Oh look something else to sign up for!
© 2019, Irma Do
Irma’s site is: I Do Run, And I do a few other things too . . .
Coming Up Roses And Daffodils
“So how are you guys?” our kids text
and we try not to bore or alarm them
with a litany of aches and pains
and murmurs of our mortality.
We’re fine, we reply, and so we are
when we itemise each blessing,
tell how we’ve painted the kitchen
in a colour called lemon sorbet,
ordered some new roller blinds
to co-ordinate and plan a shade
of powder blue for the bathroom.
Our roses have spread from a single,
stringy bush we bought years ago
into an ebullience of sugar pink
clustering that empty corner space
we thought nothing would fill.
We’re pulling up stubborn weeds
pruning deadwood, filling tubs
with fresh compost for winter pansies:
might buy more daffodil bulbs
though there’s a crowdful underground
slumbering until next spring.
© 2019, Sheila Jacob
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
.the story of my life.
i could write the story of my life remembering all that was,
forgetting the things i forget. i could start at the beginning,
work through to the end when it comes. it could be that way.
may be, i have already written much of it in bits and scraps
here and there. such is the way of it. some things come random.
not as you expected. i was to tell my story, you said.
i cannot be
bothered. there is no interest.
if there is, it can be googled, gathered, stitched quilt like into some
i cannot remember my granpa fondly, for he was dead a while before.
you told me your tale, silked tongue, the things you wished me to know.
no need to impress. cat piss leaves on skin leave black marks. remember?
© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher
Sonja’s sites are:
- Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings (This is her Facebook page, so you can connect with her there as well as view photographs of her colorful paintings.)
- Sonja on Twitter
- Sonja’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.
My Silent Thoughts
Silent thoughts ride through a cloud of memories scattered freely into the bay of time that resides in the mind…alas a constant reminder of dreams and aspirations still to pursue and undone goals left to do in a future stretched out in a haze and a maze of aging and uncertainty.
Silent thoughts…private thoughts tiptoe tentatively along the path of restoration seeking new musical sounds to bring to fruition amid creation…singing abstract harmonies that dance in between the syncopated rhythms of eighth notes gliding into victory.
Silent thoughts perch on the branches of tree lined streets observing cars neatly parked along curbs of hospitality and in driveways of ownership waiting patiently for drivers to take possession and drive off into their respective realities and obsessions.
Silent thoughts cringe at a world obsessed with violence…violence in defense of ideologies piercing the fibers of sensitivity refusing to embrace diversity…violence in defense of the dollar sign raping the economies…raping the environment…raping the positive use of technology.
Silent thoughts search the heart for inspiration…for courage…for creativity to permeate the USA in these dark days of insanity to persuade minds to incorporate once again democracy and justice for all…to stand tall on the legacy upon which this country was built.
Silent thoughts seek to “reach out and touch” and captivate the minds of the angry, the lost, the weary…to replace hate with tolerance…to replace dope with hope…to replace anger with a peace of mind that comes from on high… that comes from “something bigger than you and I”.
Silent thoughts escape from under the weight of oppression into the setting sun colored by deepening orange hues blended with shades of pink coloring the sky with magnificence and brilliance inspiring a myriad of poetic words to send messages of love through out the universe.
© 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.
Calm down today, but how
Our house is bigger ….yeah,
Today, we loud ever
Jai Shree Ram,
or make prayer?
Silent life, a poem wish to live
LIFE GOES ON
Live it wow
Live it up ….yeah,
What can live up to this amount of pressure?
Silent life, a poem wish to live.
Today, I wish to live.
Today, I wish to work.
© 2019, Pali Raj
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 email@example.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.
Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * 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