“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,
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)


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,
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,



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


© 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


CER Copyright 2018


“Corpse Watcher” … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

As always I am fascinated by how varied are the responses and interpretations of a given prompt, in this case Ms. Weary’s Blues, January 24No newcomers took up the challenge this time round but we have engaging – even intriguing – responses from Colin Blundell, bogpan, Paul Brooks, Kakali Das Ghosh, Renee Espriu, Sheila Jacob, Sonia Benskin Mesher and Anjum Wasim Dar.  Thanks to these intrepid and talented poets for coming out to play.

Please join us tomorrow for the next prompt. All are welcome no matter the status of career: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about showcasing your work, getting to know other poets and exercising the writing muscle. Meanwhile, enjoy these poems   …

there’s one way

and another way
and a third way
of doing things; but it’s useful
to think of doing things

‘otherwise’ as the Master said in line with
what (gazing at the bridge of his nose)
his grandmother told him:
viz ‘in life never do as others do;

either do nothing—
just go to school—or do something
nobody else does’
when she promptly died…

this my children
and my children’s children
is what I would have you
take inside your uttermost being:

never go along with the herd;
never copy others; let your uprush
of learning be your very own
never dependent on others

Note: The Master = GIGurdjieff

(from my ‘The Recovery of Wonder’ 2013)

© 2013, Colin Blundell  (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)


and not to eternity the predefined will happen accidently
but to a cry
unheard and clear and the sermon that will BE
to shelter the torn off grains in the summer
the sunspots priest in the reflections
of the water
in blue

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

Corpse Watcher

He tells me he watches corpses
and looks forward to mine.

Its the stillness, and sometimes
If you’re lucky the movement.

Only chemical but shocks.
I like the shocks.

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


Sunblaze drinks thee pint as it were after doing thee a favour, stop thee brain box from wondering

an thy art beholden to it for doing so. Then mizzle sets on tummeling down, drizzles like it were making gourmet dish of the day with attractive swirls.

And ice cold thinks you owes it a living, serrates your bones like a decent knife sharp butcher

Who knows which cut hurts most and where to prolong the wound so it slowly bleeds out a sunset.

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

Suddenly The

Sky opened and closed
Earth darkened and glowered.
Ocean frittered and wittered.
Air garnered and hoary.

Child across the earth.
Teenagers stretch clouds.
Adults narrow seascape.
Aged pinpoint gust.

Travellers are still.
Homely explore vastness.
Refugees carry home.
Ghosts are solid once more.

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

The Book

When born he opened
The Book Of Everything
that had all the questions.

It was too much so he skimmed
chapters that didn’t seem relevant
until much much later in the book.

Later in life he closed
The book of nothing
That had all the answers

because it was too much effort,
to find his glasses put somewhere safe.

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

#Lost My Blues #

Blues ,my measly blues pursued me
Emerging from the bottom of that grave gorge
Surging from the waves of that deep ocean
Sprouting from the storm of that black forest
Blues ,those insistent blues
never waved to me a song ,a farewell song
And followed me unto rocky mountains and flowing rivulets
Chased me to red plateaus
and dusty desserts
Halted I -where golden beams reflected from a broken mirror
Where a phoenix arose from its ashes
Where pearly rains oozed from a misty cloud
And where a scarlet dandelion peeped from a rocky chest
And by my astonishment
I lost my blues ……….
Footsteps of my measly blues —-

© 2018, Kakali Das Ghosh

Silver Threads of Nature

I will leave you the peace in my soul
that will find you in the love of my heart

for I will leave you the memories shared
whether joyous dancing on the stage of life
or sadness fading in the shadows of day

for life has woven me a colorful garment
with silver threads of nature’s wisdom

that has hollowed out a place for you
where warm you will be in the sun’s embrace
followed by the path of a starlit moon

within which voices will sing in stardust
to lull you to sleep at the end of each day

where always you will wake to bird song
within which you will hear my voice true
giving you the peace within my soul
surrounded by the love within my heart

© 2018, Renee Espriu  (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, AR, Haiku & Haiga)

Rites of passage

To you,earth,I leave my ashes.

To you,sky,my unfinished dreams.

To you, ocean, blown kisses.

And to you, wide world,
the very best of me
warm and alive.

Two daughters, one son,
already entrusted
when I birthed them years

ago into your light,
heard their first startled cries
on a March morning,

an August night, in May’s
early hours; watched
the midwife lift each

perfect body still plaited
to mine, gift-wrapped
and glistening with my blood.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob

. we too shall die .

we have a memory or two. the world goes dark, we teach and learn, wait for light to appear

it is the way of things, while there are birds. while you read, you will not understand all words, that is the way of things.

it is natural, it is what they do, they live in the wild. . we have no power, they, no disgust that reels and kicks. yet while small birds live, they too will die. like us.

drift. in air, in words. symbols of poetry, cut and pasted. literally. naturally .

everyday tiny things sing.

when some small birds have failed and gone others sound just the same.

touched by the small things, softly, we drew


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

: side parting :

looking for a legacy

i find nothing / no words

no comfortable leavings

parting on the wrong side

can be painful

some hide secrets

i do not

we hope you will feel good

about pins

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

             Light is neither matter nor myth
         it is The Only Truth 
in moments when engulfed is the spirit
with warmth unseen, who makes existence
tremble and shiver?  as beads moist appear
 from nowhere, soon to transform
 one to coolness…doors of sight
half shut, flipping up and down, 
‘reach out, a voice calls
you hear, ‘help me,  oh please, help,
I can’t see, it is so dark and 

I am so weak, ‘heat ‘dark heat, go …
put on some Light’ O Light’
Light Upon Light’ 
blues surround as blackness shifts, is it
going to lift or grow less? am I awake ?
or sinking, or rising, ascending into
more darkness…darkness before being
and darkness after? I am not aware…
my being is being created, in fluids unseen
I have no voice, nor breath, it is not Death?
I float and swim, it is so dark…
put on some Light’ O Light’
Light Up The Light’ 
who do I call? who will hear?
Who will come near? who will bear
the pain and make me well again?
It is The Light The Truth The Unseen One
that is the Character, No Myth or Matter
Look up , it is day…it is full of Light
Look up, it is night, it is bejeweled with Light
Light Upon Light ‘ and The Book is Bright
and when I once was, in the blues
I did not know what would be
listless weak  helpless was the spirit
in me, would I be? or would I be no more?
doors of sight dimly saw the “saline drip”  bag
drop by drop, drip drip,dropped the drops
would it be dark soon? or ..as I lay…slowly
darkness flew away, brightness made its way

before I knew , brighter it grew till I
 could bear no more
Light it was Light all over me, Light
Upon Light Upon Light, it did stay
till my heaviness was light and
 my blues faded away, away far away
Light the Healer, Light is Blue, see the sky?
up high or see the sea  below
layer upon layer, vast boundless in view
why blue is the color of peace?
Celeste Marion is painted in this hue’
tis holy and sacred and true’
To have hope is good to pray is best
chose the good blue, but be not in the blues’
Light Upon Light is the Ultimate Truth
Turn towards it to be out of darkness
Be Guided, out of fear, out of all ‘fright’ 
what I leave behind and what I may take
the good deeds I do the joy I make
the help I give the needs I fulfill and all
what for the Lord I share…for Life is a test
and to be grateful is the rest
I will go for ‘life is a journey not
a destination’ …from darkness to 


“A Gift of Love” … and other responses to Wednesday Writing Prompt

Here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, January 3, Too Late for Miracles, which asked poets to share what’s on their minds as we move into the new year.

Welcome to newcomers: Isadora De La Vega, Miquel Escobar, Sheila Jacob, Elaine Reardon and Anjum Wasim Dar.  As is custom for new poets, their bios are included by way of intro.  

Thanks to Colin Blundel, Paul Brookes, Denise Aileen DeVries, Renee Espriu and Sonja Benskin Mesher for coming out to play again.

Together these poets have given voice to joys and concerns that we all share and they’ve done so beautifully from their diverse perspectives.

Anyone who would like to join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt is welcome to do so no matter the status of career: beginning, emerging or pro. All work shared on theme will be posted in the next collection on the following Tuesday. If you are sharing work for the first time, please send your bio and a photograph to me at thepoetyday@gmail.com. Meanwhile, enjoy these poems. I hope they delight you as they do me.

A Gift of Love

Without you,

Life is just existing.

With you,

Life is worth living.

You put a name on the

Songs, birds sing.

And, you bring the smell of flowers,

To a breezy spring.

You are my sun,

You are my moon,

You are in my heart,

Forever and a day.

© 2018, Isadora De La Vega (Inside the Mind of Isadora)

ISADORA DE LA VEGA, my homegirl (we’re both from New York) is: “Intriguing, sensitive, mysterious, loving, artistic and crackling with excitement for life is a pretty good description of who I am. I’m retired from the art world where I sold my Artfully Designed Handmade Jewelry for 28 years.  Art will always be a part of who I am no matter what venue I choose to express it.  I’m always dreamin’ of ways to touch the hearts of those who visit me in far greater ways then before they happened upon my blog. ”

Everyone Counting

a lost year

just gone by
just gone

oh hell

one argues as much there
lost as hope wants to bubble
up ahead uncreated

— built-in grace period up
until thawing

the real bear the lost was —
is in hibernation

the carryover is pure genius

the straddling
the picture
sitting on the fence

absence of go-go dancers

ten weeks in the grand
scheme of things
there is no good answer
to the question

while the northern
axis observes
this tilt

can we
respect metaphorical roots
as much as continue to use them as

everyone counting

© 2018, Miguel Escobar

Miguel Escobar

After a long career in software technology that is in its last few years, MIGUEL ESCOBAR is newly living alone and channeling what he calls his other Self from bygone years: poet, musician, songwriter, aspiring editor, appreciator and sometimes critic of the Arts. He shared regularly on social media off and on in 2007-2008 and now again since 2015. He’s had a small number of poems published with Luciole Press, and Diaphanous Press and looks forward to a future of defining, developing and evolving a personal Art life that right now feels almost like a religious calling.

As the old year ends

Days and nights
bring silver moons
and tangerine sunlight
melting snow
from the mountains;

tell of a rose bush
bearing crumpled flowers
and branches scarred
by summers long gone,
summers to come.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob

Sheila Jacob

SHEILA JACOB was born and raised in Birmingham, England and now lives in North Wales with her husband. She has three children and five grandchildren. She resumed writing poetry in 2013 after a long absence. Since then her work has been published in various U.K. magazines and websites. Her ambition is to have a collection of her poems published before her seventieth birthday in three years. 


New Year

The cold.
Pushes through each
thin crack by frigid wind
I greet the two degree temperature
happily. It’s climbing! Housebound,
I walk the stairs between the woodpile
and couch, hot water bottle ready.
I aim the heater to the back of the cabinet,
so it warms the pipes on the outside wall.
I cut my compost into small pieces,
lay them on the snow to feed the hungry
driven to my front door in the full moon’s light.
The radio on is on for company, against
the all day quiet. I hear about North Korea first,
then President Trump’s bigger button. Is this his
New Year’s address? I remember us all
crouching beneath our desks at school drills,
head tucked in, dog tag on, when I was a kid.
Was that the Bay of Pigs? Maybe there is some
hope, if we now send cruise ships to Havana.
Maybe one day NorthKorea will welcome cruise ships, too.

© 2018, Elaine Reardon (Elaine Reardon, Poetry, nature, art, magic, environment, relationships)

ELAINE REARDON is a poet, herbalist, educator, and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, won first honors from Flutter press as the top seller of the year. Her writing includes featured poet in the January 2017 issue of stanzaicstylings.com ezine, Bella, Three Drops from a Cauldron Journal and yearly anthology, poetrysuperhighway.com, naturewriting. com, And MA Poet of the Moment. Elaine also published global curriculum through University of Massachusetts Press. She lives tucked into hillside forest in Western Massachusetts.

Who Knows What Life May Have in Store

The year ends,
leaving gifts joys and blessings
reunions , joining relationships
for some the time is joyful
for some full of pain
as days of sorrow and parting
come back again

this year I feel peace and joy
yet sorrow and fear move along
for life manifests hungry poverty
threats to security and liberty
enemies restless firing bullets
innocent killing goes on…

some enjoy the snow and play
for them cold snow is a game
some lie shivering,no name
some build bonfires the same
sing dance and be merry
for tomorrow is,no blame

will come to shine and light
my heart says forgive more
make happiness and space
for others to share, spend less
save more, war looms ahead

who knows what life may have
in store,
work work and work
make life meaningful and easy
for others,help them if you can
smile smile smile
be grateful for all the blessings
look around there are miles
and miles and miles of them

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


ANJUM WASIM DAR says she is Srinagar born and Kashmiri educated at St. Anne’s presentation Convent High School Rawalpindi. She has a Masters Degree in English & History and is a professional ELT /TEFL teacher and trainer. Anjum is dedicated to serving the cause of education and English Language Training in Pakistan.

the moon’s chimneypot
on the back lawn

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

Will is fuel

Impulse is potential.
Emotion without mind is violence.
The mind without heart is sterile.
The unfiltered will is scattered.
The untethered will is impotent.

Harmony is passion and reason,
refined and anchored, to perfect,
that conscience may be as leaven
in Humanity, to honour and express
the Beauty of the cosmic sum.

The heart beats. The mind’s job is to justify its rhythm to the soul.

© 2018, Juli [Juxtaposed] (juxtaposed – subject to change)

End of the World (again)

It was the year of air raid drills,
learning to crouch under desks
in the third grade classroom.
Little did we know, the world
had ended the year before.
By my high school graduation,
I had survived five annihilation
predictions, not counting
my personal teenage tragedies.
After four more apocalypse dates,
I finished college, married,
moved closer to ground zero.
The world ended six more times
and my first child was born,
a sign of hope in a hopeless world.
Four more Armageddons passed
and I gave birth twice, still hopeful.
Twenty-three holocausts later,
my last child was born. Life
persisted. The world
has not ended, despite predictions
and even our heartfelt wishes.
I have stopped counting cataclysms.
It’s time to do the dishes.

© 2018, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia)

Too late for miracles

Little miracles happen every night in life.
That’s what the old blind man told me, leaning against the rugged bench in the park. And at this point, a ladybug shone in front of my eyes. He saw – he smiled at me – it was the mother of the seven-color arc.
He smiled again
went over the rainbow.

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

Old Year

Celebrate the going of the new year
and the arrival of the old year.

At midnight on Old Year’s eve
sing of how it all ends,

make decisions to keep old habits
And not pander to new ones

that have outstayed their welcome.
Newness gives you wrinkles.

Stay with youthful decrepitude.
The fresh has lost its taste.

Welcome the old with fireworks.
Reold the world

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

We Must Avoid

doors that open too smoothly,
scissors that open too well,
doors slam in your face,
scissors cut you to strips.

Words that come too easily,
stories that come ready made,
success handed on a plate,
accolades sent too soon

poetry that slips off the tongue,
without hard work and sweat,
words that bother the reader,
with too much work to do,

poetry without music and rhythm,
complicated images and phrases,
not asking if it’s boring,
not being entertaining enough.

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

Buy More (From “Queue At World’s End)

food than we need.
Never want to join again

these endless queues.
The end of the world

is due so we’ve got to make sure
we have enough

of everything for two days
when the shops are closed.

Two days closed is an economic sanction,
an act of war we rush to counter

with extra rations, things we would not
normally buy. Just in case a battle

breaks out and we are bunkered
in our homes. Eat and be merry.

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

Paul’s most recent collection, She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Books, 2018) is available now from Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE. Another fabulous read by this indefatigable Yorkshire poet. This time with his singular style and and acute insight into the human condition, Paul takes us through five stories, pictures of the great and small ironies of life drawn as we observe the daily routines, rituals and reactions in lives where birds have jam sessions on rooftops, mausoleums live on fridge doors, the memory of a touch stays with the skin; lives where hands are telling and people hunger, give what’s not wanted and take what’s not given. In short, Life with all its pathos and ethos. She Needs that Edge is well worth your time and pennies.

Dreams of Flight

Closing my eyes dream like synapses
coalesce images of youthful fears
tainted by mountain high and
valley lows of emotions

feathered wings in flight I fancied
releasing me from my humble dawning
with the smell of lemons and lilacs
growing against a backdrop of cement
tainted with the odors of asphalt

on the other side of town peppered
with factory workers, shop owners
life ached for gleaming upscale as
housewives tended children crying
dutiful lives of status quo

but only dreams took me flying
into the darkness of night
smelling of sweet honeysuckle
scaling walls of rising freedom

as now all dreams of tender youth
have left me I no longer fear
nor struggle from whence I came
for the spring of my soul
bubbles forth a peace within

© 2018, Renee Espriu  (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, AR, Haiku & Haiga)

::the year::

gently go forward, then gently back
recreating past deeds and misdemenours
you thought forgotten.

gently go forward knowing we are mostly
all the same, with motes not spoken of,
except disorder.

gently it passed behind you, seen
clearly while looking for god.

gently gather winter leaves to keep
in paper bags. these are the golden
days .

my friend.

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


“ARIVA” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

A wonderful collection today that illustrates just how complex relationships are, as complex as the human beings who compose them. These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Hero of the Practicalities, November 22, 2017. Welcome and thanks to newcomer, Denise Aileen DeVries. Thanks also to stalwart participants: bogpan, Colin Blundel, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Paul Brookes.

Anyone who would like to join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt is welcome to do so no matter the status of career: beginning, emerging or pro. All work shared on theme will be published in the next collection on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, enjoy these …


The dark and fire
of the linotype and the roar
of the press were safe for her,
more than the house, plastic-
covered from lampshades to floors.

At home, nothing was ever finished,
mute dishes dirtied themselves,
yolks broke in the skillet,
shirts weighted the end
of the ironing board.

She had nothing to prove
to men who thought they owned
the secrets of melted lead.
She knew the language of em and en;
she could read upside-down.

At home, my father’s mood
could tip the day,
luminous floors becoming
ominous, two silent children
eating her mistakes.

Work meant
achievement, putting words
to lead, to ink, to bed.
Newspapers of two small towns
passed through her hands
from formation
in cooled lead slugs
to inky rollers, to birth
off the end of the press,

© 2017, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia – talking about living in two places)

Marriage of two minds

Mind-reading in marriage is somewhat unpredictable. The other day, we were sitting in front of the TV, and I wanted my husband to get me some dessert. It took me at least 2 minutes of focused thought before he said, “shall we have some ice cream?” Yet, a few days later, while he was three miles away at the grocery store, I thought, “I wish I had some chocolate,” and when he came home, he handed me a bar of milk chocolate. Mind-reading seems to work best with food, but even after 20 years, it’s not infallible. I would have preferred dark chocolate.

Because we each grew up speaking a different language, mind-reading comes in handy when our vocabulary fails us. It’s quite normal for our dinner conversation to go something like this: “can you pass the…” “donde está el…” “next time we go to the tienda, hay que comprar…”

This is not to say that we think alike. In fact, the list of things on which we disagree is much longer than those on which we agree. This may be confusing for people who think that in marriage “two become one.” I’ve often been horrified by people’s assumptions that one of us can express the opinion of both. Especially if that opinion isn’t mine!

© 2017, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia – talking about living in two places)

Denise Aileen DeVries

This is Denise’s first time responding to Wednesday Writing Prompt. (Welcome!) This is what she tells us, “I was the girl who squeezed through the barbed-wire fence behind the sheep pen and disappeared for hours all alone looking for cactus flowers and mariposas. The dry side of the dam is where I live now,
past all that water under the bridge, the history and humidity, reflections and memories all under water.”

that moment

when I said – this symphony
is so full of beautiful tunes
which just go on and on

you smiled such a caressingly
honest smile that I sensed
the light of your Being
touching mine (mine yours)

I expected the moment
to last forever

From my ‘Years Later’ (2016)

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

The Brandished Knife


A Filey clairvoyant:

“You will meet the Right Man

and know it in two years time.

His name begins with,

I can’t quite distinguish

a P or B or R.”

Well, I’d had a Bernard and Paul.

I feel sorry for Ray
tells me his fat
girlfriend just sits
around house,

no housework.
He prepares all meals.
She just sits
reading Mills and Boon.

drinks and sleeps
Never together when out.
She with her friends, he with his.

He goes out,
returns she’s brandishing a knife,
interrogates him

where he’s been.
He is a designer
witty with it.

Manager at my workplace
he sends me a picture
of an American Indian

with palm up
and five statements on how
we should get together.

How did he know
the guardian angel who appears
bottom of my bed
is a North American Indian?


I ask
“Why haven’t you moved out?”
He says
“When my last marriage broke up
my wife got house and everything
and my girlfriend won’t move out.”
He makes sense.

I want a boyfriend with either
motorbike or a landrover.
He’s just sold his bike.

Landrover is soft topped.
Takes me and Ben out walking
to Dark Peak.

We enjoy pictures rather than
He makes meals for the family.

My friends said if my last husband
turns up Ray
would not hesitate to lay him out.

We spend evenings planning places
things we can do, together.
He smokes
socially when he drinks, like me.

Christmas he moves in.

On way out to a Parents evening
at Ben’s school I tell him
“We’ll talk when I return.”
On return I find all drink gone

him crashed out drunk in my bed.
In morning he says
“Please forgive me.”

Over the next month we go out
hold hands, and are gentle
down by the bridge while Ben plays
ahead with our dog.


Over next month he fills my
wardrobes with his clothes
my shelves with his CD’s.

Then I notice
him going to pub straight after
work returns home crashes

out to sleep.

He works drinks sleeps.

Comes from work after pub
says he’s tired,
sleeps rest of night.

I wait for him downstairs.

I sit alone in house on an evening
or when he is in
he gawps at TV in bedroom.

He does not let me to go
out with my friends.

We go out again after I have words.
Two weeks later he is back
drunk and sleeping again.

On few occasions we go out
he leaves me on my own
he spends evening talking
to a biker or someone at bar.

I talk to his fat girlfriend Sophie.
She’d been holding a knife
because she was cutting veg
as she always did

preparing meals for him while he
went out and got drunk.
He catches me talking to her

“Don’t believe her, she’s a liar. She’ll say
anything to get me back with her.”

Tells me all the girls at work
are after him.
I talk to them.

They wouldn’t touch him.
He promises me he’ll not go drinking
starts excuses when I smell it on
his breath.

I tell him so.
I say
“I’ll go to a counselling session with you.”

He’s having none of it.
His tears when I phone him at local
pub and tell him

“Your stuffs in the driveway.”
Down on his knees he is,
tears and moans, begging me to

He says
“Your right in everything you say.

I’m at fault and I’ll change.”
He is really suffering.
I nearly break

but people never change.

I meet him a month or two later while out with my mates.

He comes in pub.
Sends one of his mates over to me
“Ray wants a private word”

I say
“Whatever Ray has to say he can say while my mates are present.”

Anyway he comes over.
I ask
“How’s Sophie?”

he tells me
“Eff off!”

I feel nothing.

Mark is the man for me,
but he is married
and she is kind.

I have known the family for ten years now.
It is only recently I admit to myself I love Mark.

I would not hurt their kids .
I have seen them settle down
round meal table of an evening.

I come home, collapse on sofa
and cry for I know we would be good together.

I want to settle down.
For a time with Ray I forget about Mark.

Ray never knew about him.
I see Mark less.

I will not move from this cul de sac
because I feel safe with Mark down the road

and the fabulous view of the moors.
Perhaps because I love Mark I find it difficult
to love anyone else.

I’ll keep looking.

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


comes home
atter long day at work
to find his lass
lugged art on lounger
in back garden

“a thort this is where ad find thee.”
he says.

“aye”, she says ” and friggin’ fairies
came art an hung all this, you grate

as she points to three lines
o’ washin hung art


‘ome from shoppin’
his lass says ‘look what a bought.’
“temple balm. Where’s temple
rahnd ‘ere?”

she points to her crows feet

“a bow darn to them then.”
he says.

“tha will when a black thee eyes”
she says.

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Her Forgetting Him

Steve says his wife often
comes into their bedroom
and says “Where’s Steve?”

And he says to her.
“I’m here love. We’ve
been married forty years.”
And she says,
“Of course you are. We have.”
And she laughs.
“How did we first
get together?”

At the end of the next day,
when they’ve been out
to the shops and visiting
old friends she’ll say,
“What have we done today,
Steve?” And she remembers
none of it.

At mealtimes she picks
up her knife and fork
and holds them very close
to her glazed eyes.

Holds them
like javelins to eat
her meal.


You’ve stolen them.
Haven’t you?”
“Stolen what, love?”
“You know what.

She shows him her
fingers, and he sees
they are no longer fat
but thin to the bone.

“Come on,love.
They must have dropped off.
I’ll help you look for them.”
He offers.
“In the place you’ve hid
them. I bet. I know
your game, Steve.
I’m wise to you.”

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

The Fall

You’re such a klutz! She exclaims
as I pull out my wallet
and silver coin falls out.

I hold your warm hand
after all these years
and something passes,
something does not fall.

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


We do not know each other.
The fog is carving the ghostly
silhouettes of houses, people
and hopes.
And like a sound the hand is –
a semitone of the scream
of seagulls “Arriva … Arriva”
Nothing is coming.
Nothing has come.
I am trying to breathe –
in a time beyond.
In the gardens of the cascades
before the dawn and after the rain.
We do not know each other.
You’ve melted in the sun,
a sun in the fog
and you’ve never been here.
The paper remembers some passed
sounds come from the outer
world – Arriva.

In our eyes we are burning.

Arriva (ital)-arrives

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

. humming gently .

quietly humming here,

from the hum book,

still thinking on that river.

flowing hard today, peat black,

down from the valley above,

rain soaked

turbulent, dark current blind,

yet silvered edged

to paddle.

disappointed at the madog flow,

tiding edging in , brought a yellow scum,

like badness in a marraige.

i hum in the dusk

at the pity of

of bandages through eyes

that cannot see

**( notes i cannot tag here) and if i could, who would you see?

small edges,

the voiced pledges.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher


the importance of a partner/no partner.

answer me ?

when all around is singing,

why silence this?

the importance of anything

is relative, do not place

a value on something

that is not important.

ðɛːˈbʌɪ/ unimportant.

broaden the world.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher