Sonnet of State Secrets … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, January 17, Dancing Toward Infinity. It garnered a neat collection of responses, including work by three poets new to these pages: Carolstar286, Pamela Ireland Duffy, and Pleasant Street. Welcome to all!  Back for this round and in stellar form are: Paul Brooks, Renee Espriu, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Mike Stone and Anjum Wasim Dar.  Enjoy! And do join us tomorrow for the next prompt.

Sonnet of State Secrets

As I told the State the other day, I rarely
dance but when I do I dance some Latin
sort of thing, like a salsa, in which one seems
never to stop moving, which makes it more difficult to pin
me down. My hips sometimes get tired so I have
to stop; two days later I ache but I am that much
closer to the goal, the infinite, the end-that-is-not-
the-end. The State is very goal-oriented,
hence the two questions that must be asked
of everyone with only four possible answers.
I almost always want to invent my own
responses but there you have it: no other
possibilities. Frustration ensues. Occasionally
I have thoughts of threats, murder, assassination.
The solution is to look up, to contemplate clouds, or stars
that look like lively souls in their dance to infinity.

© 2018, Carolstar 236

“Old lady dancing”

Not much music
at the end of the line
in this half-world
of might-have-beens
and time run out
but still she dances
on iridescent water
oil spillage not dreams
but still she dreams
of other universes
other lives
of endless possibilities
where words change worlds
and her grandchildrens’ laughter
is real
and she is dancing in her sleep
daring to dream
of somewhere
where the music
never stops.

© 2018, Pamela Ireland Duffy

Pamela Ireland Duffy

PAMELA IRELAND DUFFY is interested in Qi Gong, reading/lecture, writing/écriture, poetry/poésie. Pamela is also published on on “I am not a silent poet” and in “L’Inventoire”, She studied at the University of Leeds and at Larkhill House School, Preston, Lancashire. She currently lives in Périgny, Poitou-Charentes, France and is originally from Macclesfield. 

‘Do you fear the fire’
(for my mother, 1940-1997)

Walking through the woods
my mother spoke of fire–
of course I had noticed it
a lack of green, and the scent
of the foray of pitiless flames
in a matter of months
and the ashes beneath our feet

Was it a dream? Perhaps–
upon opening my eyes
seeing her feet, immaculate
walking amongst the flames
in a frantic dance for life–
and afterward, the renovation–
her attempt to cover it up
with a smile and a flower

Overjoyed to see something
colorful and blooming
my jaw went slack, while the flower fell
from where she had taped it
to the scorched vine, fooling me
with the comfort of red petals
amongst the endless black.
‘But black is your color.’

Black had been the color
of cool and calm, during a time
when I could not settle myself–
tailor-made for me, the crisp lines
of white cotton over black silk
were enough to blur the vision
of soot smudges
on her cheek and forehead

I had not been there for her.
I wanted to stay.

And, bending to grab at the rose
I moved too quickly
a thorn piercing my finger–
‘You have blood on your
shirt”, she said
‘you have work still to be done–
wake up.’

© 2018, Pleasant Street (Are You Thrilled)

PLEASANT STREET is a mother, baker, and poet. She has been writing poetry since fourth grade. Now she is writing a neo-noir thriller and a collection of poems about the seasons of life and God’s abundant and ever-changing earth. She thinks too hard and feels too deeply, and appears to be stuck in 1948. She is still dreaming up a way to use baked goods as legal tender.

Pleasant lives on a tree-lined street where nothing seems to happen on the outside, but she is certain many thrillers are contained behind closed doors. She is often carried away by flights of fancy, but that suits her very well.

once such night black

was a chance to gather strength
for the coming day; to invade
the stars in order to appropriate
their pinprick energy;
now its curious restless oblivion
is merely a rehearsal for the long sleep
that’s to come – the living out
of trillions of years
with nothing to think about

it tosses & turns and sometimes
dreams of swimming again amongst
those stars so often gleaming
through the apple trees of youth

come spring and I suppose
I will contrive to fling the curtains
wide once more to greet the sun
for the beginning of time once more
but now I hardly dare to wake
into this familiar night black

© 2018, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)


On A Road  

a wick young lad meets Devil.
Wise with old tales

he goads Devil.
“Before I do owt for you

I want tha soul.” Devil gobsmacked
replies “I have no soul

of my own. Only souls of others.”
“Then gi me those.” answers

lad and I’ll do whatever tha hankers for .”
Devil hands him a mobile.

“This phone contains all my souls.”
“There is a woman who
would have your tongue. I ask
you visit her and take hers.”

“God didn’t sleep with me.
He chose that cow Mary.”
Devil put you on to me,
Young un’ tell you I need
Your tongue and you need
To take mine.

“I offer you hunger,
wrinkles, short life
and disease, and me
as an ugly bitch.
on Saturdays when
I look like a model
and you have eternal life,
youth and health.
Manage your expectations.”

Young chuff replied
“To me you’re beautiful
for six days. Only a monster
on Saturdays when you’re a serpent
from waist down. Accept this mobile.
It contains all Devil’s souls.”

And young man returned
To Devil with her stories
“Accept the Sibyl’s tongue.”
He said and Devil scowled
at this young buck’s cleverness.

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

Angels Infinite

A symbiotic relationship in
a universe stretching infinite
where stars are like angels
their wings as chariots
taking flight becoming
a safe harbor for the soul
now desolate with grief
now hungry for peace
now joyous in its’ vision
however brief that it too
will be immersed
in that infinity

© 2018, Renee Espriu


layered in air

we dance with glass

small souls with small lives


to the challenges

she says you know we do not gets what we want

we gets what we get


ours has been much easier than so many others

*listen to the radio

they threw them all on the fire


© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

“A Poem about Nothing”
(Raanana, October 24, 2015)

This is a poem about nothing
How it happened that
Today nothing happened.
I didn’t turn on the radio
Well maybe I did for a moment or two
But then I turned it off again
Before something happened.
I slipped on some jeans and
Took Daisy for a walk
She still had a slight limp
From the night before
And I said a silent prayer
To the One who Barks at Infinity
That she’s not getting old on me
Remembering her shivering
First time I held her to my heart.
Then I thought about Dad
For no good reason on this earth
When I’d laid him gently down into the ground
How all the prayers we say
Were meant to send him on his way
But all I wanted was to call him back
Some prayers will never pass my lips.

© 2017, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“Saint Yellow’s Gate Revisited”
(Raanana, March 24, 2017)

Through light Saint Yellow’s gate I’ve fled
Leaves long fallen, trees long dead
To come full circle as she said
No meaning, only clues instead.

Clues pointing to eternity
Open graves to see through pity
Stilted men walk through the city
The death of rationality.

What say you now of dreams my friend?
Succubi make love pretend
Climax waking in the end
Nothing left to comprehend.

© 2017,Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“Walking to the Moon”
(Raanana, September 1, 2012)

Sometimes you have to walk a poem
To see the shadows of it go in front of you
And then behind you,
A funny kind of locomotion
Walking crablike, orthogonally.
It’s been so long since I’ve written,
You must have thought I’d forgotten,
If you thought about me at all.
No, I hadn’t. Couldn’t. Ever.
These were the dimensions of your loveliness,
The smell of sunlight on a field of wheat in your hair,
The cool touch of my rough hand on your soft thigh,
The vibrations of your voice as your meaning danced across it,
But the publicity of your smile
For all around you to see,
Not just for me,
Meant the sunlight soft vibrations of you
Might as well be like walking to the moon.

© 2012, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“When a Poet”
(Raanana, June 30, 2017)

When a poet wakes up in the morn
He puts his pants on
One leg then another,
And when he buys his milk and wants to pay
He stands in line between
The woman with her screaming kids
And the foreign workers,
But when the poet looks up at clouds
Or the night-time constellations,
Orion’s scabbard or Cassiopeia’s tilted throne,
He sees encyclopedias never writ nor read
By the likes of you or me,
And when he loves,
It’s Trojan Paris
Who’s faced ten thousand ships
And went to war for naught but one.

© 2017, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

“Life’s Cold Eye”
(Raanana, January 7, 2016)

Hello Orion my old friend
I’ve come to battle you again
Though your sword is in its scabbard
You hold above my head the tides of time
And bury me under the horizons of eternity
But I’ll defeat you with love’s clarion call
And life’s cold eye on death.

© 2016, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

waltzing on

spiral galaxy in Constellation, Coma Berenices, 60 million light years from Earth

waltzing on the melodious
music, feather like, rising
gliding,  embraced by light-
the Earth is All Bed
Sky all dome, a roof
shining in the day
glittering at night-
to show us the way

Boundless infinity oceanic
no end in sight,timeless,
and we mortals in oblivion
think about being en-gloved,
encircled we dance immersed
in  perpetual  meditation

we shall, in cool shadows be
with obedience and charity
for good we did, in year past
what good we do now, to last,
our hearts, swirling constellation
a nucleus smooth, unfurled silk

in time dissolved, myriads to
dust, rising spiraling merging
with countless orchestras in
harmonic symphonies of the
milky way, unknown infinity
like the never ending sea in oceans

cycling fresh blessings in motion
warming steam to vapors, floating
to infinity in dancing drops in
rotation, creating revolution
from sky to sand, and we say
rain falling, cooling drowning


and I say Blessed, drenched in
peace like the circling dervish
one with nature,in stillness bent
‘in my beginning is my end’
Light makes me light,boundless
flight, I say I am embraced…
Embraced in Eternal Heavenly Light

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar  (EternalLights, Life Style and Strange Stories and Poetic Oceans)