“The Endless” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or, have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”  Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom



When I posted the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Elusive Soul, July 10, I wasn’t sure anyone would want to come out to talk about death and reincarnation. But lo! Here we are. We have a poetry feast, sometimes surprized by humor and quirkiness, but mostly fed by experience, observation, intuition, and the sacred. Prepare for a few laughs, a lot to think about, and maybe inspiration for a poem of your own.

Today’s feast is brought to us courtesy of mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb y Felio, Irene Emanuel, Sheila Jacob, Elena Lacy, Bozhidar Pangelov, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Pali Raj. New to our poetry family this week and warmly welcome: Bhaha d’Auroville and Melting Neurons. I didn’t have a bio from Bhaha, so I pieced one together and hope, Bhaha, that it works for you. Since Bhaga’s bio tangentially introduces Sri Aurobindo, I’ve included a photo and a poem by him, theme related.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. It is open to beginning, emerging, and pro poets. Don’t be shy. Join us tomorrow for a prompt that I hope you’ll like though it won’t be as stimulating as this one. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to swap it out for something more challenging. It’s late as I put a wrap on this post and tomorrow is a big day for me. You’d be surprized how busy a homebound writer can be.


Tempting Topic

For once I thought ‘It’s Wednesday,
Let’s see what today’s prompting is…’
And couldn’t believe what it was!
What to write, if I don’t believe
In reincarnation, but live
With it since I was a newborn?
And how can I write about it
‘Just from my imagination’,
When memories are flooding me
From so many places and times
Which I have known and have known me?
Oh, I do feel universal,
Old soul with yet another face
On top of another body
Whose cells still hunger for the food
They used to live by long ago
And still act upon the old vows
That I pronounced, meaning well,
In so many monasteries
Of so many dire religions
All over the entire planet,
Imprisoning myself in them!
Or other vows claiming Freedom
Without knowing quite what it was…
Yet in this life it all came back
As a whole harvest of lifetimes
Leading to this one’s turning-point
In the true Light at last of Love
For myself and for all ‘others’:
Unconditional Love at last,
Healing all with its strong Delight…
Shall I try to express all that?
It is such a tempting topic…

© 2019, Bhaga d’Auroville

My Very First Memory

My very first memory?
Deep sadness.
Deep sadness within me at knowing, and telling myself:
“Here I am again,
having to pretend being a separate person again,
instead of a blissful part of the loving Whole… ”
Sadness like a huge sigh in my being,
in the Soul that I was
since ever
for ever.
The feeling of going at it once again,
out of a sense,
not of obligation,
but of accepted duty.
Like shouldering up again a burden
that has to be carried
to its destination,
whatever time it may take.
This was when I was supposed to be a tiny baby
just newborn,
arriving back into this difficult physical world
of planet Earth.

© 2019, Bhaga d’Auroville

copyright Bhaga

BHAGA d’AUROVILLE lives in Auroville, a conscious community in Puducherry in South India. Auroville is also, I believe, a United Nations supported site for sustainable agriculture and global human uniity. This self-contained diversely-populated community is dedicated to the vision of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), an Indian poet, yogi, guru, and philosopher. Sri Aurobindo was a nationalist who joined the Indian movement for independence from British colonization. He was also a spritual reformer who held a vision of human progress through spiritual evolution. Some Americans may remember that Woodrow Wilson’s daughter Magaret was a follower.  In the spirit of her community, Bhaga’s blog is Lab of Evolution, For Research on Conscious Evolution.  She writes,”Conscious Evolution is for you and me. It is for the whole planet. It is the Next Step which is simply the logical, to be expected continuation of all that Evolution has already made happen upon this little Earth over the eons past. The difference is that now the human species is there, and we human beings can consciously participate in our own gradual transformation into a more evolved species. Any progress in that direction, by any of us, will help accelerate the overall progress for the whole Earth and all its inhabitants. It is happening. Will you help?’



Sri Aurobindo / public domain photo

Life and Death

Life, death, – death, life; the words have led for ages
Our thought and consciousness and firmly seemed
Two opposites; but now long-hidden pages
Are opened, liberating truths undreamed.
Life only is, or death is life disguised, –
Life a short death until by Life we are surprised.

– Sri Aurobindo



The Endless

I’d ravage The Endless back into a savagely peaceful state,
where the darkness ceased against the ripping of sunlight
and flesh was made to stagger under new form and structure.
I’d break down amidst the ferocity of nerves completely aflame,
blazing mysterious life back in a rictus of fresh birthed anguish
that would howl up and out a throat misshapen to memory.
I’d rest my pained eyes on reflective surface and cast out,
cast out into the recesses of my mind to search for recognition,
failing and withering beneath the harsh gasp of true newness.
So I would be reborn, brought about by misguided hope,
faithfully preserved in the belief that housed in a new sanctuary
madness and sanity would restore to a natural balance
leaving me aware of a change, but aching with the loss.

© 2019, Melting Neurons

MELTING NEURONS resides in Wenatchee, WA where he lives with his wife, dog and stuffed owl. They hail from Bend, OR originally, except the dog, who’s a Texan death row survivor. He has lived in more than 75 cities across the country at various points including Boston and New Bedford, MA. His writing centers around a lifetime filled with adventures in schizoaffective bipolar, addiction, and the dichotomy of being everything from a corporate executive to homeless on the streets for years. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and enrolled in Wenatchee Valley College studying English and Creative Non-Fiction. His blog is HERE.


plished

as a young dad he formed the
habit of when leaving the house
of telling his young wife and tod
dler with mock-solemn drama:
“i am going on a mission…
from which…
i may never return.”
he did that 218 times.
there was a thirty-five year
gap
between #217 and #218,
which was on his deathbed,
staring lovingly
into his daughter’s
tear-swimming eyes.

she laughed a little, then hiccup-
sobbed. but he ska-sneezed
her hand
and said “mission accom–”
and died.

in this life
i suddenly remembered.
and so i say
“plished.”

© 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.


RSVP

hi
Rabbi
i’m that girl
this Eden is
very beautiful
i’ve crawled on my belly
since the time of the Pharaohs
and i’m feeling deeply tired
today i make the case that gifting
me free will does not compare to heaven
when i close my eyes the cries of Mary
still echo in my ears while Martha’s
brother slumbers wrapped in linens
and the taste of chocolate
melting joy on my tongue
careless angels send
Your blessed signs
however
i am
done

© 2019, mm brazfiled

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Knowing

Gone to ground
he sharply sees far below the hole
he crouches in,

his fellows hop and thump,
gust in his wings as he dives,
break of bone and fur,
bloodseep
of his daughters limp body
as he takes her to his perch
to feed hungry beaks.

Aware he did this once.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Soul Nonsense

Writers use the word without thought.
Expect readers to know what they mean.

Never define the word in their work.
A throw away word to mean something deep.

Used without care a word out of place
repeated so often it is meaningless.

Air, ether, fire or light once thought
incorporeal. If air perhaps our breath

actions at a distance. Breathe in spirit.
Perhaps we refer to our emotions.

Endeavour to give them gravity.
Don’t throw away, pick carefully.

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

I See Daylight

when the blade
opens a gash in his skin,
a valley I can walk through.
The sharp edge
narrowly misses me.

I step out of his wound,
his valley.
Reborn.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A World Where

I can’t recognise this pattern of words,
the timetables at work. I can’t make

a pattern is a world without form,
without substance, an out of focus

pictures in which there maybe more
than one of me. I don’t orientate

without signposts or landmarks or signatures.
All is blur. Meaning elusive.

If I make it could be false. There is grief
at a loss of shape, of pattern.

A gallery of random words and pictures
I can reshuffle so every time a picture

has different words, words you can apply
to any other picture. The application of shape

more meaningful perhaps. As we can’t say
when someone close will leave this earth.

Port of Souls is found landlocked sometimes.
Like marrow locked inside a bone, at other

Times it is a small island surrounded
by a repetition of water. Occasionally after

so many have passed into memory,
a port of souls occupies our inside.

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Traffic

I watch the traffic lights
consider a walk this way or
a green man allows me
to avoid bloodied bone

my mouth and ears
thresholds and doors
full of oaklimbs and leaves

reborn I stretch down
to deep dark moist

I stretch up to cloudlight
barkskin palmtouched
I let others breathe
shelter and endure.

© 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


A Star from Afar

I believe I am an eight pointed star incarnate
I once orbited the central celestial dark space
where I was a reflector of pure light and peace
and was circling on duty on an invisible plate

many light years ago a new planet was born
and a twinkling dome was set as a guide, I
was transferred to move and shine, to pray
and light the way for those who would seek

for many more light years I remained suspended
and guided many lost sea and desert travelers
til some enemies down below started shooting
and one day I broke and lost my invisible footing

I am quite sure that I am in my third life now
from a star and a guide and in pure light, I
am in a different form called female, and in
a meteor shower mixup,got the spirit of a male.

and now my name though means a star
but am still in a state of confused war
many a times in lists and divisions I find
that my seat or chair is in the boys bar

the worst is when the organizers look me
up and down and refuse to believe that I
am a she and not a he’ as they had thought
shake their heads and reluctantly let me pass

so who is to blame if incarnation takes place
not according to what one wished or desired
or wished to be a prince or a princess royal-
when reality strikes you find, Oh, the change misfired

© 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


Nirvana Knows 

a Pantoum

Redo my life please
I paid good money for that paper on the wall
It glares at me with disapproving rage
As I struggle with my final breath

I paid good money for that paper on the wall
A professional path to fame and fortune
As I struggle with my final breath
I think, “Regrets.”

A professional path to fame and fortune
Bartered for super tight hugs and sticky kisses
I think, “Regrets?
No, I am dying happy.”

We tried to barter super tight hugs and sticky kisses
But the cancer still clutched my breasts
Now, I am dying happy
Nirvana knows I made the right exchange

The cancer that clutched my breasts
Glares at me with disapproving rage
Nirvana knows I made the right exchange
Redo my life? No, thank you!

© 2019, Irma Do

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


Another Life

Once I was a worshipped cat,
I’m absolutely sure of that.
Whisker greys adorn my face,
which are the basis for my case.
At ease with every cat I meet,
without a cat, I’m not complete.
We greet and speak by sight and touch
and though that really isn’t much,
I swear the cats know who I was
when formally, I was their boss.
So when a cat is scared and hisses,
I shower him with gentle kisses,
until the present is the past
and he knows who I am at last.

© 2019, Irene Emanuel


ha!

in the fifties there was war
and hatred of those people
in the sixties there was war
and the hatred of those people
in then eighties, nineties, the same
then a new century came
no different now
war and hate
why would anyone
want to reincarnate
to be the hater or the hated
you lose either way
I’ll just stick
with Groundhog Day

© 2019, deb y felio


Second Time Around

Inspired by Joy Harjo

Let a roan mare house my soul.
Let her coat be blue.
Let her name be Ocean.
Let her spine be strong.
Let her mane flow unplaited.
Let her ears twitch at the growl of thunder.
Let her face be winsome and her eyes gentle.

Let her tail swish to the hush of the tide.
Let her be free from bridle, saddle and bit.
Let her run in the company of other horses.
Let her chase the wind across green fields.
Let her travel country lanes and city streets
and mountain paths dusted with pine cones.
Let her follow the river and reach the valley.

Let her drink from clear streams.
Let her graze under the stars.
Let her gallop across sand and shingle
and the sea’s frothing hem.
Let her whinnying breath scatter the clouds.
Let her dance on the beach at sundown
and trace the moon’s halo with silver-tipped hooves.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob


What if …

Waking up after centuries of silence
Old memories still linger, but their meanings are elusive.
My Self, woven deliriously at the intersection of the old world neuroses,
Is trying to reach out for mirrors
Searching for familiar worries and joys
Suspended and in need of direction.
And, all of a sudden, that need for change feels familiar.
Life is flooding my existence once again…

© 2019, Elena Lacy

Elena’s site is Hyperimage’s Blog


. reincarnationˌriːɪnkɑːrˈneɪʃn .

coming home can be.

frightful, in snow or heavy rain,

dark the days are, the evenings darker.

forecasts bring gloom and panic, then are cancelled

minutes later, the phone kicks off.

ice is predicted, mountains white

i may be reborn in this valley….

now there is a story, meanwhile

arriving home to candlelight, fire the same

and hopefully all will be well a while.

the mouse, the bear,

are quiet ones.

the word count is 62, the years are 8,

and i dreamed it was 2 months ; longer

than all the other numbers.

i may be a long time coming home.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


In the sunny mantle

In the sunny mantle
the souls fall asleep
They are returning to Earth
forever
(to calm the fast time)
And if ever
on the green hill
surrounded
from a clean river
someone woke you up
stretch your hands
with your palms up
and you will feel
streams of golden sparks –
the soul of the sun

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov

© Bozhidar Pengelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


wish I wish I were born too stunned.
my mom must have sensed my presence.
don’t look at me as though I have grown another head.
what if, I can feel your nerves bubbling up?
elusive soul, a poem make a stand ….yeah
I shake my head smiling.
I smile a small smile.
p.s. it’s difficult to me to show outward affection.

© 2019, Pali Raj


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

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, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.


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

 

.sports day. – . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

[On writing:] “There’s a great quote by Julius Irving that went, ‘Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.'” in an  interview with Budd Mishkin; New York March 25, 2007.)” David Halberstam (Author, Glenn Stout (Editor), Everything They Had: Sports Writing



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Bottom of the Ninth, May 29, 2019 was a call to “write a poem about any sport that engages you. What delights you about it?  Perhaps for you the topic lends itself to poetic memoir?  Maybe you’re a soccer mom or a baseball dad. Do you see your fave game as a metaphor for life? Or, as a poet and writer, do the idioms delight you?”

I’m charmed by the responses (and you will be too) from Paul’s moving I Watched Athletics With My Mam to Anjum Ji’s cultural introduction to cricket, it is once again a rich response to Wednesday Writing Prompt.  I never knew chess was considered a sport. I had to look that up. Thank you, Bozhidar.  Every writer will sympathize with deb y felio’s unexpected twist and Jen Goldie’s game effort, well done. You’ll be engaged by Sonja’s signature chiseled poems, Sheila’s poem, part triumph, part homage to her dad, and the sensual elements of running in Irma’s Quiet Run.

Readers will note links to sites if available are included that you might visit these treasured poets. The links for contributors are always connected to their blogs or websites NOT to specific poems. If the poet doesn’t have a website, it’s likely you can connect with him or her via Facebook.

Enjoy this Tuesday collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, whether you are a beginning poet, emerging or pro.  All are welcome – encouraged – to come out and play and to share your poems on theme.


I Watch Athletics With My Mam

I sit on her soft bed, rest an arm
on a spare pillow. Mum’s pillows
stack behind her as we watch a
tv placed where her dress mirror stood.

Chemotherapy means she does
not like reflective surfaces.
All house mirrors have been removed.

Once she cried as her hair fell out.
She cried as she gained each pound weight
because she takes the chemicals
to stop her dying, stop the spread.

Together we watch lithe bodies,
sharp muscle tone dash for the end.

Once she was ‘petite’, now Mum’s fat jowls, bingo wings slop on the bed.

Her home is spotless, a show home.
Every day we polish, scrub,
vacuum, she wants it welcoming.

She nods off half way through the
100 metres, I soft clap
the winner as she would have done.

I remember good times, and smile
at her laughter, gleam in her eyes
when she sees another winner
dash over the race finish line.

Next week she looks forward to Oakwell,
a new fan of Barnsley FC.

I never go as I don’t like
football, regret my selfishness
and time not enjoying her life.

She will sit in her hired wheelchair
yell and clap at their confidence,
vitality, their will to win.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)



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



Quiet Run

Crash boom ba dum ba dum ba dum boom
Drum practice or brothers wrestling?
Vroom vroom whee-ooo whee-ooo waah!
It’s mine! I got it first!
Stop annoying me!
Sister slams door
I tie shoes
Bye Hun
I
Run
Away
Quietly
Footsteps shushing
Faster to capture
The scent of mowed, mulched lawn
The feel of sunset’s soft breath
The taste of silent sanity
Glistening saltily on my cheek

This double nonet incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #189 – Quiet and also Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about any sport that engages me.

I have never been a “sporty” person – I was usually one of the last people picked for teams and I was definitely the last person to finish the mile run in high school (collapsing at the end just to prove how unsporty I was!). I didn’t even know my high school had a football team until I started dating one of the players. And I only learned about the rules of the game when I started watching football in college.

My first foray into sports was running which I discovered in my early 30’s. I figured if I could walk, then I could run since putting one foot in front of the other didn’t seem to require that much coordination or other athletic ability. Yeah, right. Still, I was smitten by the race medals and the opportunity to have some “quiet me time” when I ran. As my family can attest – I am a much nicer person after a run!

© 2019, words and illustration, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too ...)


Novel Approach

first draft better in sports than writing
the bull pen has no ink but still
prepares for the pitch to come

contracts yield higher numbers
with travel paid to tour
with team members
effusing praise on one another

critics abound
from prepaid seats
hoping to catch
a big hit

Patrons fill bars
Pa’tron fills glasses
waiting for arrival
of that day’s stars

One for the books
when things go well
easy to know the beginning
and the end

A promise for unending
sequels
a multi-game deal
with signing bonuses

How do writers
learn to play
this kind of ball?

® 2019, deb y felio (Writers Journey)


Ghost Baseball

Why can I still smell the glove,
feel the smoothness of the leather.
Why does the sound of the crack of
the bat still linger, the joy I felt hitting
one for the team as a child.
Why does running so fast I might fall
just to catch a ball, excite memories.
Why are these things in my bones?
Why are these memories so strong?
Perhaps we build our confidence by way
of those things that give us strength.
The things that gave us self- esteem.
There’s no strength, as powerful as a team.
These are childhood memories,
joyful memories of comradeship,
friendships, bonds and trust.
Childhood memories I can still taste.
Visions that still linger in my mind as
a warm summers day, the sweet
odor of the grass and the laughter
rising from the delight of my friends.
I am not a professional, nor do I still
play Baseball, but I can still smell,
feel and forever linger in the joy of baseball.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Jen Goldie and Starlight and Moonbeams … and the Occasional Cat )

A Means to an End

I chose to try using idioms.
Using sport idioms to work together
isn’t as easy as I thought.
Each has there own special meaning
and is designed to be an expression of
that particular sport.
I gave it a shot,
but I’m throwing in the towel.
So here’s what I’ve got.

*****

It was par for the course,
he was in a sticky wicket,
Had to take it on the chin,
He wouldn’t take a dive
Or throw in the towel
Or even run interference,
He’d roll with the punches,
And be first past the post
No desperate Hail Mary passes
Could help him go the distance
He was down for the count,
Down and out, and sidelined,
Until someone in his corner
And in a ring side seat,
Threw his hat in to the ring,
Then the punch drunk
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Got off his padded couch,
And In his boxers and sport T,
Began to dance and sing,
Take Me Out To The Ballgame,
I’m the Slam Dunk King!

*****

© Jen Goldie

As a child and teen, I did participate in Sports. Five-pin
Bowling gave me a start. My parents were avid bowlers
and bowled in league play. I went along. I was quickly
lured into the game and was coached by a wonderful
Woman named Doris Luke who ran a Young Peoples
League for the Youth Bowling Association. Starting at
3 years of age gave me an edge and I competed with
The seniors, still racking up the crests and trophies. When
I think back it was the comradery, not the competition.
It was my Dad taking me to tournaments and consoling
me when, as they say, I froze and didn’t give it my best
effort. It’s o.k. he’d say, next time. I still have most of those
crests but somehow the box of trophies disappeared.
I still have the bowling shirts and wonder, when I was so
small.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Jen Goldie and Starlight and Moonbeams … and the Occasional Cat )


Hockey Sticks And Oranges

It was the closest I came
to flying as I sped down
the right wing. Wind keened
across the playing field,
teased the flimsy flap
of my wrapover skirt
and whipped my hair
into a chestnut tail.

I made the school team,
used the new stick
Dad proudly bought me;
tapped, flicked or swung
the ball to the striker,
heard the clash of wood
against wood and cheered
when she scored a goal.

We paused for breath
at halftime, sucked segments
of orange and shivered,
our arms goose-pimpled.
We didn’t always win-
finished bottom of the league
one season. Bad luck,
Dad said, keep trying.

After he died I tried
harder; leaned forward,
stick poised, impatient
for the bully-off.
Then I ran with a sting
in my eyes, mud on my shins
and morning’s wind
in the small of my back.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob


.sports day.

i do not wish to win the race nor even take part in it

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.walk.

do you like the feeling, walking ahead quickly, moving forward, loosening limbs. pushing

through wind, through water, rain slanting. shouting, counting the rams, shadowing

shepherd. wee mouse on the path, beady eyed. these are the hopeful days, weak sun

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.hoping for a hero.

i search for champion, hoping for a hero. it gives me clothing.

the sort i will never wear. i do not do sport only walking

and swimming, nothing competitve. it is a shame

the pools are at a distance, needing time and effort. I feel younger in

water and see no reflection with out glasses. i understand

a health and nutrition app can be most helpful these days, and while

i type this i hear the gardener down the big house mowing lawns since

early morning.

now tis mid afternoon.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Sheh-Mate

I like the chess.
The figures are equal
and clear the rules
(with a little superiority
after all of the white).
And various gambits
the Queen’s and
the King’s ones
are the beauty.
And in the Sicilian
Defense
the dagger is hidden
but perks up
(it is only
the ancient game).
I am not interested in
the result
and all sorts of the ratings
(boring)
but the pulsating Insight.,

now:
Мate for the Queen!
Queen for the King!

Clarification – according to chess rules mate is given only to the king.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


‘ Sports’~ Is it Cricket ?
کھیل موقع مقابلہ شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ

Match game chance, be it anywhere on any land

be it  sword, spear, bat ball, gun or lance,
forces have fought in thicket and on wicket
dauntless ,  fearless , songs sonorous have
been sung, arms raised , aimed and swung,

pride and steadfast hate, in arenas Greek

or green grounds, what mighty contest up rising
For no reason just or sound, no crime no blast
no war no treason, just another cricket season,
But this game is a combat on war like footing
padded gloved helmeted , ready for the shooting

thick as autumnal leaves head to head like sedge
police and crowd together will watch the match,
all around the fence, circled, from  edge to edge,
how many will hold, stare and breathe their last ,
as wickets fall, bails fly or hands miss a catch,

all eyes on London the final battle ground
a place eternal justice ordained and bound
no Trojan horse or Aegean sea, no ship or gift
or gun, just a velvet green, a white orb, three
to three, twenty two yards of hit and run,

to be weak on it, is unthinkably miserable
no contestant spared, no mistake forgivable,
who will the new possessor be, of a cup,
some say the blues, some say the greens,
yellows, reds, maroons, blacks, or carmine

result anxiously eagerly excitedly awaited
whatever it may be, millions are awake,
hearts beating, hands together in prayers,
the best will soon be , what odds are at stake
aim is، protect the wicket’ and make a high score

game of skill, strategy entertainment, a fight 
the rest is with  umpires two and the third
it should be honest  fair play, all skill no check 
no tampering trick it or else it would  be war
and ‘Not Cricket’،may the best team win،

to be’ the star’

© 2019, English and Urdu poems, Anjum Wasim Dar

کھیل  مقابلہ  موقع 

تلوار نیزہ  گیند بلا   تیر  ےا بندوک  خوب  چلے گا کھیل
بے باک بے خوف  نغمے  بہادری  کے گاتے  ھوےؑ بازو
گھماتے  ھوےؑ نشانہ  لگاتے  ھوےؑ  فخر سے اکھاڑے  میں
اترے جیسے یو نانی شمشیر زن ، سبز میدان میں جمے گا 

کسی زمیں پر شروع  ھویؑ  اک جنگ

مقابلہ زبردست، بے وجہ  ،نہ جرم نہ دھماکہ خونی
  اک کھیل کا موسم جاری،سماں ایسا،پہنے ٹوپی
عوام   پولیس  مانند  خزاں کی   پت جھڑ کے   ڈھیر
چارون  اطراف میداں کے کھڑے دعکھیں گے  میچ 

دستانے پیڈ ہلمٹ بھاری شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ 

کتنے آیں گے اور جایں گے دوڑیں گے بھاگیں گے
گریں گے گرایں گے وکٹیں  اور پکڑیں گے کیچ
سب نظریں دنیا کی لندن شہر انصاف کی جگہ ھے
نہ بحیرہ نہ بیڑہ نہ کاٹھ کا گھوڑا نہ تحفہ نہ دھوکہ

 چاندی کے کپ کہ لیے شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ

سبز مخملی گھاس پہ سفید گیند تین تین وکٹوں کے 
بیچ   لگایں   گے بایسؑ گز کی دوڑ ، مار اور بھاگ
کمزور کی جگہ نہیں یہ نا ہی ڈرپوک کی نہ غلتی کی
گنجا یشؑ نہ معافی  نہ زمانت ، کون جیتے گا یہ  رنگ

رنگیں لباس میں شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ

نیلا سبز  میرون پیلا  یا  کالا تیز  یا نرالہ  کس کی کٹے 
گی پتنگ  کون ھوگا بے رنگ  کون بچاےؑ گا وکٹین  اور
بناےؑ گا بڑا سکور  کون کرے گا سب کہ بور، جاگ رھے 
ھیں لاکھوں نتیجے کے انتظار میں  ھاتھ جوڑے دعاوؑں میں

سچا کھیل کرنا نہ فراڈ کویؑ نہ دینا دھوکہ نہ کویؑ چکر 
ورنہ کھیل نہ کہلاےؑ گا   یہ  کرکٹ نہیں  یارا جو محنت 

کرے بنے وہ چمکتا  ستارہ شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ  

A Preamble

Respected G Jamie Dedes Sports Prompt this week has coincided with the opening of ICC World Cup International Cricket Competition 2019 being held in England.
For me the prompt was like the drop of a silver stone in a clear water pond creating ripples of fond nostalgic memories of life in the early years when sports events were followed almost with near religious sanctity. Radio and newspapers were the main source of information. Listening skills were sharpened and newspapers helped in creating scrapbooks of key players of national and international teams. Collecting and compiling and organizing data was the best learning activity. Before I share my poem I would like to share a few pages from my memoirs with my readers. I am sure this would be an interesting  addition  to the growing variation of contributions to Respected Jamie Ji’s exciting thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable weekly prompts. Thank you Jamie Ji for creating these wonderful writing opportunities. 

Indoor or outdoor ‘Sports’ had a sacred place in daily activities as a favorite hobby and leisure time occupation at home in the early years of life in the new country.The 1950s and 1960s reflect high standards of national team performances in the games of field hockey,tennis, cricket, squash, and athletics.The whole family was deeply involved in each match tournament or international competitions.My interest in Sports was the result of the high enthusiasm at home specially manifested by my loving father. He himself was a good hockey and tennis player. Indoors the games played with family members were Bridge (a card game) Carom and Chess. In fact the truth was the ‘absence of digital technology and television which left ample spare time for healthy sport activities. An occasional classic movie like ‘The Cruel Sea’ ‘Gone With The Wind’, To Kill a Mocking Bird’, ‘The King and I’ and specially the comedy series of Laurel and Hardy were a treat enjoyed  at the local Cinema Houses.

© Anjum Wasim Dar

Here one can see father in his white sports shorts  black blazer and white socks and sports shoes , commonly called then, the ‘PT Shoes’. He is holding my younger sister, his third daughter. Almost every evening a couple of tennis games in the nearby GHQ Tennis Courts were part of the weekly routine. The weekends would be set aside for home affairs.
An ideal personality for many friends and family my Father’s smoking style would always be captured too. During the International Cricket matches of Pakistan with either England Australia or India (these were the top  teams in those years) after office hours listening to the running commentary of the match on the radio was not missed.

>
Field hockey was another favorite.I remember when Pakistan was playing the quarter final match with Germany in the Olympics in Rome in the 1960’s. When Germany scored the equalizer goal father was quite disturbed. Listening to the commentary he would remark, ‘Oh No, why give a back pass, there is no back pass in hockey, one needs to play forward , attack the opponents goal’ Pakistan won by 2-1 score and later also won the Gold medal  by defeating India in the final by a single goal.The historic goal was scored by Nasir Bunda. The excitement and anxiety of the match involved everyone at home. The game was fully enjoyed by all and we learnt much about sportsman’s spirit and how to accept defeat bravely. Other important lessons were following rules, sharing and making  efforts as a team. Over the years sports has undergone tremendous change, from white dress and a red ball to multi colored clothes and a white ball  and from the radio to live digital internet / telecasts.

I still believe old times had a special charm in  sports and to top it all Pakistan has a former cricket team captain and a world cup winner as its Prime Minister. The Political party symbol being none other than the ‘cricket bat’, obviously…

© 2019, essay, Anjum Wasim Dar

Behance  … artwork
Poetic Oceans poetry on WordPress
Poetic Oceans  poetry on Blogspot

“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


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poems in I Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom in HerStry
* Three poems in Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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



 

The house that does not exist, a poem by Bulgarian poet Bozhidar Pangelov

“These verses believe; they love; they hope; that is all.”
Arthur Rimbaud, Complete Works



The house that does not exist
(Ah, Shiraz, the Nightingales sing
at night)
nothing but the whole
hope exists
(do not sell carpets with
patterns, Fatima).
There the river flows into
River. As a dream in
dreams
(he speaks nothing of sorrow
already, you with a veil ).
They quietly sing,
sing without being heard,
without having them.
Quietly, they quietly squeeze
the fingers of my hands

of unbelief.

© 2017, bogpan (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия, блог за авторска поезия, All rights reserved


The poem above was Bozhidar Pangelov’s (a.k.a. bopan) response to my short story, The Damask Rose Garden, a fairytale meant to bring attention to the lives of refugees escaping areas of violent conflict.

I’m always held breathless by the lyric beauty of Bozhidar’s poems. English is not his first language, so he’s the more impressive for that.

According to one reviewer, he “has been present among contemporary Bulgarian poets for some time, a long time. He is a poet who manages to disorder the order of the usual in order to breach a material world for a more human world of ideas and feelings. Using dramatic tensions within the poetic and semantic, Pangelov’s spare yet verdant imagery evokes the sound of bamboo sticks and Zen Buddhist monks, poem after poem.”

Writer and poet Palmi Ranchev says, ‘Pangelov will enrich the palette of world poetry with new colors and nuances.’

Of what I’ve read to date of Bozhidar’s work I’d have to agree with these analyses. However spare his poems are, they are never stark. They are never rigid. There’s movement, color, feeling. The sharp edges of pain are all the more striking juxtaposed against the subtleties of his style. Lovely!

“There the river flows into
River. As a dream in
dreams”

Visit Bozhidar’s blog. He often shares poems there that he has written in English and – sometimes – we are fortunate to have Bozhidar participate in Wednesday Writing Prompt.


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and 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 PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

“Moon Child” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


I’ve so enjoyed the responses to the last prompt, the republic of innocence, January 31, which was to tell us how near to good and honest is that which is untamed in ourselves. Thanks! and Bravo! to John Anstie, Lisa Ashley, Colin Blundell, Bozhidar Pangelov (bogan), Ginny Brannon, Paul Brookes, Sheila Jacob and Sonja Benskin Mesher.

I’ve also included some information on Pretichor Rising, a collection of The Grass Roots Poetry Group (proceeds to UNICEF) and Anjum Wasim Dar’s gentle response to Evelyn Augusto’s passionate U R Not Your Gun.

Join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. You are welcome here.


Moon Child

Once in a while you exceed yourself.
Are you blue, because we thought no more of you
as the driving force for life on Earth
or potent impetus for the exciting waves of witches.
Thrilling moments … or contemplative
of a thriving, muddy, salty, riverine universe of life
waiting for you to draw the pelagic
covers repeatedly over the fruits of sustenance.

A force of nature, fully formed
yet so much smaller than the mother of your birth,
you hold sway, in countless ways
you touch our lives and drive us through our days.
Humble, unassuming, even unnoticed
by those who hurtle, mindlessly, and make no time
for the wisdom of our insignificance
or feel the difference between our age and yours.

As necessity tramples over truth
most days, we hide in fear of the darkening,
of the madness that ensues.
Does not the hunter choose your waning dark
to spike the nervous memory,
and remind us of the untamed Wolfpack?
We may not ever tame you
but your mother is dying a slow and painful death.

Oh super blood blue moon,
does not your God and our God sing the same tune?

© 2018, John Anstie (My Poetry Library and 42 … Of Life, the Universe and Everything)

JOHN ANSTIE is a poet, musician, renaissance man, The Bardo Group Beguines core team member, and editor of and contributor to Petrichor Rising (eBook and paperback), a delightful 2013 poetry collection of The Grass Roots Poetry Group. The proceeds from sales go to UNICEF.

I dislike using the word “accessible.”  It’s usually code for a lack of intricacy or profundity. The work here is comprehensible but still complex. The poems move from nostalgia to appreciation, from the beauty of nature to the frailties of humanity, from sorrow to hope. From Craig Morris’ Introduction, which sets the mood, to Joe Hesch’s theme poem Petrichor, which closes the book, it’s a joy. Well organized with the weather metaphor as the through line, the sections are The Drought, Gathering Storm, and The Rain.

For more about Pretrichor Rise, John Anstie and The Grass Roots Poetry Group, read Pretrichor Rising and how the Twitterverse birthed friendships and that in turn birthed a poetry collection.

Two dancing white butterflies have no idea
how dark the world is today—
fires and floods, ethnic cleansing,
wars in deserts and in words—
nor the brown spider who just lowered herself
from the red and purple fuchsia blossom
to the green basil glowing in the September sun.
Those lives go on, still, as does mine,
part of a greater web, gossamer threads, tensile strength.

The neighborhood is noisy with construction equipment
moving earth for seven new houses. Seven.
People need a place to live,
though the trees are gone, crashing to earth,
once homes to birds, insects, mosses, squirrels.
And though I’m tucked away in my own private paradise
I know school buses are lining up
to carry young ones home.

We’d go for rides when he was very small
searching for construction equipment so he could name them—
front-end loader, grader, the double-dump. He knew them all.
The big machines, the small boy, the love bursting from my heart,
pink flush on his cheeks when he spied a big scoop,
Mary Ann, Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel, in the flesh.

He turned over rocks on the beach
to touch tiny crabs
before they skittered to safety,
oblivious, like the butterflies and the spider,
of their near-death experience at the hands of a toddler,
or the suffering of the huge world,
still with us these many years.

The apples are turning redder every day.
I made a pot of soup yesterday.
Apples and pears in golden crust,
juices oozing warm cinnamon and ginger breath
to my eager nose, salivating mouth,
hedging my heart against the misery of so many
struggling mightily to survive.
The butterflies dance down the yard,
untamed,
as they must,
lighting my wild love, again.

© 2018, Lisa Ashley  (www.lisaashleyspiritualdirector.com)


a lion hunt

begins with the hypothesis of lion:
a roar in the night; a boy gone missing
or a bullock; an enormous spoor
in the path where the women walk;
a fur-net caught in the thorn bushes
speculatively examined by the old men

so it is with the pursuit of poetry:
one assumes that there is
something called poetry to be found –
but compared with hunting a lion…
well you can know in advance
what lion will look like
when you catch up with him
while the whole purpose
of the pursuit of poetry us to discover
by running it down just what a poem is

the pursuit must begin more or less
where it hopes to end – with a report
of the rather dubious quarry; if you start
with the wrong report you will end up with
the wrong phoenix or the wrong unicorn –
or whatever the fabulous creature
turns out to be

what one needs is a reliable scout
– somebody who was there at the end and
(against all odds) managed the journey back
– then you become the scout

*

From my ‘Years Later’ (2016)

*

© 2016, Colin Blundell  (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)


Return to innocence

The hand that caresses the wave.
The mouth that hardly opens –
breathes in the fresh wind of the stone-pines.
To speak to the stars,
to write out signs –
that can be learnt.
It is known by the astrologers, magi,
illusionists, newspapermen.
All this can be learnt.
To be in conformity
with the expectance.
That is the art
of the skilful ones, the thought of the blind men.
People who sing in the boat
that has sailed off, do they know?
Does the sand remember other steps
but those of the children?

The hand that caresses the wave.
The mouth breathes in – the fresh wind
of the stone-pines.

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


Optical Illusions, Dreams, and Delusions

We watch as moon ascends in eastern sky,
a massive disc now peaking over fence—
an optical illusion on the rise,
appearing ever larger to our eyes
than any image captured through a lens.

And what we see and what the mind imprints
border between concrete and surreal;
we tuck away to pull out and reprise,
but should we find delusion has dispensed
we search to understand what was revealed.

Same could be said for all the pain we feel,
whether it is caused by physical distress
or mental anguish covert and disguised—
setting off alarms and raising shields,
then leaving us despondent and depressed.

‘Hope’ rises like the moon in pale nightdress
her whisper carried soft among the stars—
and even earthen mother can surmise
that if trials and tribulations are the test;
then blessings and endowments are our prize.

© 2017, Ginny Brannan (Inside Out Poetry)


Believe

I don’t believe folk who are honest.
I were brought up with lies.
I’m happy with dishonesty.

It’s more real. Tell me porkies.
Elaborate. I take my wife, my kids,
government with a pinch of salt.

If anybody tells you you’re good
You can see their eyes twinkle.
Same if they tell you you’re rubbish.

Tongues forked or straight
wind you up. I smile sweetly

when you say I’m handsome,
talented. Always I say, “O, aye!”

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

The Need

for your inattention.
Don’t compare and copy me.

My life is not an example.
Don’t follow my words.

Don’t try to match your skills
and attitude to mine.

All these sites ask for followers
and likers. My popularity

is not measured in clicks.
A comment is not a vaiidation.

A share is not a support.
You are not mimetic.

Do not find yourself in others.
You’re not hollow.

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

History (A World Where 2)

is only ever now.
Events marked as then

can be dismissed as unreliable
personal testimony.

All records are falsifiable,
vague and without substance.

Numbers and dates are prone
to change with new evidence.

The past is uncertain.
Only the now is trustworthy.

Memories are full of doubt,
false and fake images.

Have faith in the eternal present.
It can’t be held onto.

Whatever can’t be grasped
has our hope, faith and trust.

I love you now. Whatever happened
is subject to conjecture.

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


In the garden with Caius

I follow him across puddles,
his yellow wellies twinkling.
He climbs onto a tree stump,
points to water-logged grass.

“Now look,Gran,look,
this is the floor,
down,
and this”
-gesturing upwards-
“is the sky.”

He stretches out his arms,
raises them, leaps,
lands and cheers.

“You do it, Gran”
and I do it,
his face
the unruffled lake
where I run
clear as moonlight,

balance perfectly
on damp, sawn wood.

We take turns, root
beneath the garden’s
green memory,
our hands brown leaves
cupping the breath
of early autumn.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob


::you say such nice things, sir::

one dot.

not two?

you say such nice things sir, while you are one in many,

many

disagree.

some struggle with the work each day, yet carry on, what

else can be done?

working in the field is good & honest.

quiet day with bread, purposeful baking, folding and pleating.

tomorrow is the run of the mill type daily.

as before, this is no metaphor.

where is the self worth sir, when we look full long in the mirror, see

darkly the things of youth, darkly those ideas & happenings not

written of here.

no guardian review.

it has not been the

experience we hoped for. we shall wear pyjamas. the book remains

tied.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; Sonjia’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.)

.he wanted a garden.

have you collected seeds of many years, packed, labelled, dated.

have you died, and left the table unprepared. i have them now in boxes, a gift.

from those who love. they will bring me work, joy, an independent air.

seeds need water.

sun stays later.

i have imposter syndrome, never diagnosed yet googled when heard on radio live .

there may be too many additives these days not enough honesty grown.

she said i should have something new in the greenhouse.

i have, i said, and thought of you who

planted the seeds.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; Sonja’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.)



Anjum wrote the following poem in resonse to Poet Takes a Stand Against Gun Violence in the United States

If Guns Were Flowers

if guns were flowers they would be colorful

beautiful, appealing and smell so nice

they would be light to carry, would carry love

and powder of affection rather than affliction

if guns were flowers there would be gardens

more and graves less, joy more, sadness less

would soothe comfort please and caress

friends favorites fans more,enemies less

if guns were flowers I would plant them

then gather the seeds to share for PEACE

then gather some more, go to the shore

sail the seas on ancient ship,to get more

Anjum Wasim Dar

Pakistan

CER Copyright 2018


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY