A Seepage of Spirit . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.”  Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass



I think it was Sherman Alexie who said imagination plus anger equals poetry. Here we might be inclined to say imagination plus acceptance and a soupçon of humor equals poetry as Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Deb Felio), Jen Goldie, Marta Pombo Sallés, and Anjum Wasim Dar conjour their afterlives, their dissipation “Into the / Elsewhere” as Gary writes. The results are rather stunning. Two poems read like meditations. Paul imagines not just himself but others and even points to the degradation of earthly conditions, as does Anjum. Paul touchingly includes his son. It was not planned, but our theme comes on the loss of W.S. Merwin who famously wrote On the Anniversary of My Death. These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Where the Wisteria Grows, March 13, 2019. Thanks to our six lively and intrepid poets. Enjoy!

Readers will note links to sites are included that you might visit these stellar poets.

Enjoy this collection. It just might inspire some more of your own poetry; and, do join us tomorrow for the another Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are invited to come out to play, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


A Seepage of Spirit

The flesh in which I resided
Spilled its life’s blood onto the asphalt
And last vibrations that influxed
To my twin tympani of eardrums
Were Screech Thump Holy/Sweet Jesus

and the fog of my spirit meandered
with the help of–what else?–a spirit guide
whose nonvoice soothed nonadmonishingly
and invited my fog to revues

I had had
Love and waste,
Graceless gluttony,
Needless haste,
Petty cowardice,
Endless friending,
Harsh truth-grapples
Spiral-trending.

the angel (might as well call her so)
freed me of some
of my nonsensical notions
and told me my elsewhere was coming.
not quite yet though.
she invited me to skim
the landscapes and tableaux
of the venues where i’d
devoted my life’s energies,
and my fog narrowed in
to a ceramics studio
and the furnace roar
of a gas kiln
where i let my fog fill
the interior, becoming
a volume of inbetweens,
everywhere the vessels
and statuettes and frieze
weren’t.
i controlled sensing
so that the heat
was a perfect hot bath. i seeped
into the glaze-fusing forms
and blessed them, peeking
with bucking-broncos omniscience
into the lives
of the students who created them.

Suddenly I doppelganged
Into the 1979 lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel,
Pulled a cashwad out of my pocket,
Threw $140 into the table,
Received my chips,
Put $80 on the Pass Line,
Rolled an Eleven, and let
Myself dissipate
Into the
Elsewhere.

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


Where You Will Find

where to find me
in this home of seasons

what you will find
in the quiet between gusts

where I am, what I mean
to the spring vase on the windowsill

where you are, what you are
to the summer dust on the mantelpiece

where things stand, how they are,
up and down the autumn of stairs

when they will be what you want
once the winter mattress is turned

how my tongue rests on
what I have said to you

when the sun rises, when it sets,
how it is to be in the rain.

what tears mean when you cry
what there is between us

in this home of changing weather
we pass on to our children

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

My Afterlife

is a half life.
is a rainbow.
Brief but colourful.

A bucket and spade
left on a beach
for the sea to play with.

A sentence ending
in a connecting word.

Scatter my Ash
on a sea of plastic,

on the remains of the last living
thing that is now extinct.

In the concrete underpasses
tagged graffitied dismissed.

Under the feet of refugees,
on the drowned water
of those that did not make it.

Scatter me like fragrant leaves
In the baths of the rich.

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

Can We Play Ghosts?

I want to be a ghost?”
A young girl shouts in the street.

A newspaper blows in the street.
It says a young girl was killed
In a road traffic accident last Wednesday.

Across This Street

Death and I are in separate rooms.
It lives across the pitted street,

keeps grey lace curtains open,
shadows flicker across the pane.

bricks made of cremation ash,
the window frames coffin wood.

Mummified flowers in a pale vase.
I see myself in its black linteled window.

My encoded consciousness will move
house, when I die. I will look back

at my old home and remember,
how the floorboards creaked,

where not to place my feet on the stairs,
how the whole house breathed in winter

and find myself in Death’s home, and know I’ll never die.

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

Death Is

solid. My son never complains

he can’t walk through walls or people.
He dies only with wishes not to become

the shadow of a building or street furniture

recycling or public bin, lamppost, unwanted old sofa or bed.

Better to be people’s shadow as he leaves this world,
then find himself with skin, breath and blood

where before floated as air, as mist as we do.
Soon whatever he becomes in death.

as his Dad and Mam we will move through him
and he may not even know we do so.

And if he does we will be ghosts to him.
Perhaps he’ll recall his time as a ghost.

from Paul’s collection, A World Where, (Nixes Mate Press, 2017)

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

Ghost Holiday

Briefly open the gate into your dark,
allow your dead to move among you,
the living,
sup in their old pubs,
enter their old homes,

a room has been left as it was
when they died,

others find their goods given
to charity, sold, some kept,

their home lived in by strangers
who chase them off crashing
pots and pans too loud for the dead.

Soon they must return to your dark.

From the third and final book of Paul’s three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished

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

Time Fetches

Watch thee sen as time fetches on
as tall hawthorn hedge that bars
tha from t’other worlds
in its cloud ghosted ditch
gets thin this season so as folk
from other side can fetch them
sens over an bleed through to ours
and tha’ll see these weird folk
take a stride outside thee door.

Blaze a candle in tha home
and set a flicker lanterns, jack o’lanterns,
candles outdoors to show
the weird folk, spirits and all
direct way back to where
they bide from, so as they don’t
detour where they’re not welcome.
Respect them, they’ll respect thee.

This night light a fire
in tha hearth
for to protect thee sen
or better thee sen.

Scribe on a scrap a paper
a part of thee life
tha wish to be rid on
anger, a baneful habit,
misplaced feelings, disease.

Lob it int flame
so tha may lose
that part tha ashamed on.

From the third and final book of my three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished

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

Feast Of Larvae

just atter midnight
man of house
I do this ritual.
Get out of bed

call upon me dead folks
to help me this neet.
I potter round our house
barefoot no belt or owt.

Nine dried black beans in my gob.
Me hands raised
thumb thrust through
me clenched fingers,
after protruding clit
of Mater Manua,
mam of good dead.

wi this I ask she look art for us
aginst any unwanted spirits,
the larvae
who broke into our house.

I wash me hands,
chuck some beans with me left hand
over me left shoulder look farard
turn me head,
avert me face to right,
as I raise palms of both hands
against left a says
“With these beans I lob,
I redeem me and mine.”

I do it nine times
every room in our house. wash me hands agin,
clang a gong and shaht
nine times “Ancestral spirits,
time tha flitted!”

From the third and final book of Paul’s three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished; also previously published in Three Drops From A Cauldron

© 2019, Paul Brookes (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


When My Spirit Returns

Once freed from this world’s gravity, my spirit would ascend the skies
encounter the Almighty who welcomes me,
in love and purity, I rise

Empowered with all knowledge I never knew before
He offers me a choice of how to serve and live
and how to love him more

One is resting in the magnificence of his kingdom’s golden streets
another is in the heavenly choir,
Every note his praises release

The third is different, within his hand
a bloodstained cloth he holds
a shelter and a comfort for all in every land

I would return unseen but felt
when others cry from death, abuse, so many reasons
grief and pain are dealt

I choose this path to visit earth
now with new found power and purpose
surrounding others with the remembrance, they have been loved from birth

this cloth brings hope, comfort, and healing
for times when nothing else could
believing they were forsaken, forgotten and would rather be dead than feeling

I watch as the power of that cloth, blood stained,
dries tears and comforts loss, returns their hope, and courage
for another day, regained

It shelters them in the dark of night, in storms and in affliction
wrapped around them they hold on
receive it as a final benediction

My spirit never wearies since it is no longer of its own
but is with the child, the mother, the man
whispering, ‘you’re not alone.’

This is my hope for eternity, finding paths to trod
to bring hope, and comfort to anyone
needing the love of God.

© 2019, Deb y Felio (Writers Journey)


A Memory:

Life is a trail of memories,

 

forming into years, that

 

which we call time,  

 

and, as the years slip by

 

unnoticed, and unseen,

 

I’ll be but a passing

 

memory, twinkling in

 

your mind, and waltzing

 

with your soul, until we

 

meet again…

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams, and the occasional cat)

And So It Goes

What is left of me, will be nutrient

for the next to be,

I will vaporize

as the dew is want when the sun drowsily

awakens, from a night of lustful love-making

with the day, the night’s sultry mistress.

The worms will have their way with me,

joyfully, as I seduce the progeny of the

flowers who rest with me, they will nurse

on my yielding nipples, as I consummate,

titillate, arouse and propagate the

depths of my new labour, whetted

in the loving embrace of earth, my mother.

I will enchant, beguile and enrapture life

for a new day, to bewitch me for eternity,

as my spirit flies joyously

into

the light…..

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams, and the occasional cat)


The Thread of Intimate Resistance

Ominous winds sweep the earth
Brazen.
Flames get higher and almost
Burn you.
Breathing fresh air while rowing,
Your journey
Goes on.
The piercing ground lies at your feet,
The sheltering sky is also pierced
And more distant
Than ever.
Take your needle
Start to sow
Recompose the broken pieces
Of life’s puzzle.
This thread is your most
Intimate resistance.
Sow the sky, the ocean and
The earth.
Make a dress to protect the nudity
Of the leafless tree.
Save the heart from burning
And keep on rowing your boat.
Keep yourself afloat.

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


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O Restless Spirit

What times are these now
cries fill the city, incense
prevails in moaning,

O Restless Spirit’

O Restless Spirit
what aches thee, what ails thee so
to fly not, but flee-

O Restless Spirit’

To the skies I wish
to soar, body feels laden,
feet lead and so sore,

O Restless Spirit’

go’ see the sea, No-
fish in plastic are choking
daily caught in nets

O Restless Spirit

In forests saws are
cutting a tree after tree
felling frightens me

O Restless Spirit

flowers full in bloom
captives in terra- cotta
for show, then no more –

O Restless Spirit

O  falcon come now
my flight, my place is with thee
atop the mountain

O Restless Spirit

no palace I need
but peace and tranquility
contented,  I pray

Inspired By  the Poem
–TO A YOUNG MAN       ایک  نو جوان کے نام

By Dr Allama Mohammed Iqbal    Poet of The East   National Poet of Pakistan

نہیں  تیرا  نشیمن  قصر سلطانی  کے   گنبد  پر
تو  شاہیں ھے بسیرا  کر پہاڑوں کی چٹانوں میں

Thy abode is not on the dome of a royal palace;
You are an eagle and should live on the rocks of mountains.

© 2018, poem and photograph, Anjum Wasim Dar Photo Credit  CER  ©  2019 (Poetic Oceans)

“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

“Phantom Limbs” . . . and other poems in responses to your last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”

William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents [recommended – read it too late and wish I’d read it sooner. Would be a great holiday gift for young and/or about to be parents]



These are responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Zero At Bone and Marrow, November 28, in which I asked folks to write about their children. These poems bare in common the light of love and joy and underpinnings of wisdom, but some are marked by extraordinary pain and courage. It brings to mind one of my preferred reminder quotations from Lucille Clifton “Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”

Kudos and thanks to Billy Antonio, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Sheila Jacob, Mike Stone, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

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

Enjoy! … and do come out to play tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


3 Haiku and a Tanka

ordinary day
the slow unfolding
of butterfly wings

the nest
louder than usual
youngest child

11th birthday
the tenderness
of a sapling

unwrapping
the day
with laughter
my child
turns two

Billy Antonio
Laoac, Philippines


Why So So Hard

Mam?

– I were brung up with pillows
– Pillows are soft Mam.
– Not held over your mouth, love.

– I were given cake.
– Cake’s sweet, Mam.
– Not made of seasalt and road grit, love.

– I were cuddled.
– That’s what I like, Mam
– Till I couldn’t breathe, love.

– I were bring up reight.
– You’re bleeding me, Mam.
– How it should be, love.

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

Bairns Are Old Codgers

Before I get taken to play at my soft playcentre,
my one year granddaughter toddles with her zimmer frame.
Later we will take her to the memory cafe
where she’ll remember her past lives.
“Hard”, of before dawn and midnight hours:
A welder in the Clyde shipyard, 1942.
“Stinks that,” she says of the steel shavings, and Swarfega.
“Heavy”, of the hammer…
A kitchen servant in a big house.
“Hurts”, of calloused pestle and mortared deferment…
I’m all giddy at tumble down
slides, scramble nets and ballpools.

From my “A World Where” (Nixes Mate, 2017

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

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

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


Twilight Sonata

In the brief twilight of your life

The melody of anger and disbelief

Left my fingers

Caressed your small form

Saturated the ground

Flowed like sorrow

Off the expectant page

This Quadrille is in response to Hélène gorgeous “What do you see?” picture prompt. There are so many lovely details here! Gina’s response to this same prompt, The Music Tree (an absolutely heart wrenching poem), drew my attention to the little figure by the tree. Coupled with Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, to “write about a child in my life”, and this poem and the next one were born!

I have mentioned in the past about losing my twins, Larissa and Lucas, who were born too early at twenty-three weeks. This Quadrille and the next poem are dedicated to them. They are still and will always be children in my life – their song lives in my heart forever.

Moonlight Sonata: Quasi Una Fantasia

Sitting at the instrument

Of lament and longing

Listening to the moonlight

Touch my eyelids

Willing for this to be fantasy

For you to hear the harmony

Of safety and love

Bookmarking this time and place

So our stardust can, one night, embrace again

This poem is a companion to the Quadrille written for Hélène Vaillant’s and Jamie Dedes’prompts for this past week. It’s a beautiful gift when inspiration strikes twice.

This secondary title of this poem, Quasi Una Fantasia, means “almost a fantasy” and comes from this essay on Beethoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata. I do not listen to a lot of classical music, however this piece I am familiar with since I shed many tears listening to the First Movement after my twins died. That phrase, “almost a fantasy” describes the surreal feelings and thoughts I experienced after I got home from the hospital without my babies in my arms. It also describes the “what if’s”, “if only’s”, and “I should have’s” of the grief experience, as well as the hope that eventually leads to healing.

© 2018, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things)


Time Frames

I carried him for nine months and strangers said
‘It will be over before you know it’-
the bulge that kept me slightly off
balance for the last trudging month

until labor started with the pangs and contractions –
but nothing short in that process even
as nurses assured
‘it will be over before you know it’.

Wrapped him in blankets of blue and pink stripes
and then the going home outfit of white and blue,
to begin real motherhood
of crying afternoons
and sleepless nights,
well meaning friends who assured
‘this will be over before you know it’.

Wet diapers, wet beds and my wet shirts,
and those who had been here ahead whispering
‘It will be over before you know it’.

Then rocking and hugging and sweet times
and grandmas saying ‘hold on to this,
it will be over before you know it’.

Crawling, climbing, chewing everything
walking, talking, playing,
toddler to young boy
preschool to kindergarten
‘Help me’ turns to ‘I can do it’
‘Pick me up’ to ‘Let me down’
‘Come with me’ to ‘You stay here’
‘Look at me’ to ‘Leave me alone’.
And he walks away with his backpack loaded
so self assured
and boards the bus
Turning to wave and happy to go
to first grade, then middle school, then
high school

Then driving himself off to college and a future.
I watch and wonder why someone
didn’t tell me

it would be over before I knew it?

© 2018, deb y felio (Writer’s Journey)


Clare And The Summer Of ’76

It was a speedy birth that early
August night after the Midwife
checked your heartbeat
and a Doctor rushed to my side.

He delivered you with forceps
and unlooped the cord
coiled tightly around your neck.
You cried in less than a minute,

stopped only when I cwtched you
in the crook of my arm,
kissed your blood-freckled face.
Then I cried too; in a family

of brunettes, you wore a cap
of woven gold as though
the sun-spun summer of ’76
had filtered through my skin

day by day and beamed
at you in your warm-water cradle,
reflected the light you still offer,
Clare, living the name you own.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob


..africa ..

a slight safari,
the front living room.

we sit there when my
daughter stays
over.

we watch the elephants
and bgt.

i have two living rooms.

the other is in india.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: gay pyjamas ::

my daughter says

that pyjamas are cool

on every one,

and she wishes

she could wear them

all the days.

as i plod around

this morning,

mine a gay tartan,

i tend to agree.

perhaps that why

they wore them in china

a long time.

awoke arms high,

a little happier,

since the doc

said i was not broken too bad,

and since the taps stopped running.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


A Moonlight Sonata

Raanana, April 24, 2016

The moon slid down through my open window
On a slippery ramp of pale light
Strangely silent for a child
Falling toward his father’s arms
But then the moon was not a child,
The child had grown older,
And I am just an old man
Rocking in the moonlight.
Words when they have no ears waiting for them
When they are not the words that wanted to be heard
Are swallowed by the vast silence
Like drowned sailors
But your words would have had my ears
And the world I’d have given to hear them.
My suitcase is in the trunk of the cab
You hug me hard
I kiss your forehead and tell you to write
But you’re too young to know the value of words,
You only know the value of grace and loveliness.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

A Riddle

Raanana, January 17, 2014

Don’t have much history,
I’m only four days old.
To most of you my name’s a mystery.

I’m the promise of the Promised Land,
I’m the crown on top the tree
Whose roots embrace the sea and sand.

I’m the fullness which you’ll never faze,
There’s nothing you can add or yearn,
These are all the things my name conveys
In a tongue I’ve yet to learn.

My face will launch a thousand rhymes
And maybe I’ll write some of them myself.
My future’s bright-eyed, ‘tween the lines.

If my riddle makes you kneel
Don’t lose heart,
My name is Klil.

© 2014, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Phantom Limbs

Raanana, March 28, 2014

He felt ambiguated
Yes, he thought, that might be the word.
His unbounded happiness had saddened him.
After all, it was bounded
By the foreshortening of his life
From his perspective.
His wide unwieldy wings ached
To enfold his young granddaughter
Whose hair smelt of fresh wheat on a summer hillock.
He wanted to take her in his arms,
His heavy wings thrumping the air
Until slowly rising above the treetops
One with the cobalt sky
They’d soar and swoop
Over quilted fields and shadowed valleys,
Then back for tea and hoops
And lessons.
Back at home
Sometime during the night,
Or was it when he woke?
His wings were gone
But the ache remained
Like phantom limbs.

© 2014, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Ori

Raanana, June 22, 2018

You sit on my shoulders
And I hold your chubby legs
In my calloused hands.
“Look, Saba, a flag!”
“Take care, Oriki, the branches are low,”
I say. He ducks his head
And I duck my knees.
“Look, Saba, the moon!”
And I think my light is weightless
On my shoulders
Like walking on the moon.

Notes:
1. “Saba” means “Grampa” in Hebrew.
2. “Ori” is a name meaning “my light” in Hebrew and “Oriki” is a diminutive of “Ori”.

© 2018, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Little Flame

Raanana, March 25, 2018

I cupped my hands around your little flame
Protecting it from susurrating air
So finite against the infinity of night
Until you rise above the eastern mountains
And light the skies with your burnished rays.

© 2018, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Ellah and the Terebinth

Isaiah 6:13
Raanana, March 18, 2018

Just five days old such big hopes
Rest on such tiny shoulders,
Little Ellah, are you a goddess
Or a terebinth tree?
Your name means both these things.
Maybe you’re the goddess of the terebinth,
The holy seed foretold in Isaiah’s prophecy:
No matter what befalls us,
Like a terebinth that has been felled
Above its grounded roots
We shall grow back,
Stronger
Taller
Sweeter.

© 2018, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Mike Stone’s Amazon Page is HERE.


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I never felt the distance before
Nor sensed the silence in the room,
I never missed the familiar footstep
Nor the clutching click of the door;
Now often I think I hear
The soft burr of your bike
Rolling, whirring in the lane
The lifting flick of the gate way latch
And the ‘tick tick’ on the window pane;
At times I see you on the prayer mat
Or in your writing chair;
Where you would sit for hours on end
To read and write and note and plan,
And from time to time
Would turn around, to exchange
A friendly chat;
And now I know why God made sons
Why faith and peace is strong,
When love is true and distances long,
No absence can ever break the bond;
And now I know
How one so close, can be so far away,
No one can show, no one can wait
To stop and pat and wipe your tears away;
My son my dear, in distant land
You are with me, each day
As when I first held your hand
You first opened your eyes,
And tried to say….”Aye”
Time moved on and time moves on
Time is just fair
My son My dear, in another land,
You are not here ….
You left the footsteps in the sand;
I know… I wake up with a start,
You are forever in my heart;
Your helmet heavy in your hand,
I see you, standing there.

© 2018, English and Urdu translation and photograph,  Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans, Poetry for Peace and Reform)

Translation in Urdu

203

اس سے قبل فاصلوں کا مجھے ،احساس نا ہوا تھا کبھی
نہ ھی ستاروں میں بستی خامشی روح میں سماعی تھی

جو تمھارے کمرے میں، چاندنی بن کر ٹہری ھوی تھی
وہ قدموں کی چاپ ، اور دستک دروازے پر ھلکی سی

مگر اب اکثر

موٹر بایک ، ھلکے سے گلی میں ٓاتی سنای دیتی ھے
گیٹ کھلنے کی اھٹ،کھڑکی کے شیشے پر ٹک ٹک
سنای دیتی ھے

مگر اب اکثر

کبھی  کبھی جاے نماز پے یا  پڑھنے والی کرسی پے
جہاں گھنتوں بیتھے سوچتے لکھتے پڑھتے رہتے تھے تم

اور گاھے بگاھے رک رک کے مڑ ٘٘مڑ کے کوی نہ کوی
اچھی باات کرنے کو تیار ، اور اب  یہ بات سمجھ   میں ٓای

اللاہ نے بیٹے  کیوں بنایے اور یہ بھی سمجھ میں ٓای کہ
امن اور ایمان  کی  طاقت کیا   ھے

جب  پیار ھو سچا، فاصلے زیادہ کوی عدم موجود گی
رشتے توڑ نھیں سکتی ،جو دیل کے قریب ھو ، دور نھیں

انتطار کون کرے ،  تسلی دے، انکھون سے موتی چنے
میرے بیٹے پردیس میں  مجھ  سے  دور نھیں ،قریب ھو تم

،جیسے زندگی کی پہلی سانس  ،پہلی بار  ھاتھ  پکڑا، وقت
رکتا نھین چلتا رہتا ھے چلتا رہا ، میرے بیٹے دور دیس میں

پاس نہیں ھو ، پر ریت پے قدموں کے نشاں چھوڑ گعے
مگر مجھے خبر ھے دل میں ھو میرے ھر دم ، ھر لمہا

اپنی  بھاری ھلمٹ  اٹھاے ھر دم دیکھوں تمہیں سامنے

دور نھیں ھو تم

© 2018,Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans, Poetry for Peace & Reform)

“Let us all strive for peace on Earth for all. Let us make a better world. Write to make peace prevail.”  Anjum Wasim Dar, Pakistani poet, writer, artist, educator, and parent.


ABOUT

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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently 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. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”



 The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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

“Born on the Wind” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”  John Muir, Travels in Alaska  



Phew! At last we are up and running again and much appreciation for everyone’s patience, especially those who so spiritedly and generously participated in the last prompt, which was inspired by California’s Redwood Forests and John Muir (1838 – 1914), the Scottish-American naturalist, activist, and environmentalist.

Featured this week: Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Debby Felio), Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Carol Mikoda, Tamam Tracy Moncur, Marta Pombo Sallés, and Susan St. Pierre.  These poets talents are not limited to poetry. They also work variously in crafts, art, photography, essay and short-story writing. Special thanks this week to Marta and Susan for sharing their illustrative photographs.

The responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Unfettered Canticle of Trees, August 22 are filled with movement, color, texture, keen observation, a tad of humor and more than a soupçon of wisdom and grace.  

I hope you’ll visit participating poets and get to know them. It’s important for us to support and encourage one another in our art and in our solidarity around concerns for the social and ethical issues we care about, even if we disagree. Respectful discussion is a healthy thing. I’ve linked in blogs for each poet and for your convenience. If the poet doesn’t have a blog, it’s likely you can catch up with her/him on Facebook.

Read on and be with us later today for the next (however belated) Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome – encouraged – to join in: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about exercising our imagination and our writing muscle, showcasing our efforts and getting to know other poets. This is a safe discerning place to share.


Thorns

pale and too weak to move
cough your guts over
edge of your bed
in faint light from the door
two trees
walk towards you

one black, the other white

black tree becomes a pair of eyes
you inhale smoke drifting up from a fire
sharp fruit fragrance
spiky, dark, sinewy, stiff bark,
oval leaves with a serrated margin

move
quickly over your body
touches points here and there,
painful thorns nick out bubbles
of your blood
it mutters strange
under its breath
with a low, crackling voice.
The night grows old,
dawn approaches
dissolves into

the white tree
with long bright hair,
lays a cool gentle hand on your brow,
mutters with a sweet bell-like voice
your sight sharpens
until the white tree,
becomes a woman,
your pain eases.  She sweeps
brown-grey, knotted
and fissured skin,
slender and brown limbs
covered in thorns
that do not hurt
up and down
your body, touches same places
as the black tree
pain vanishes
refreshed
into easy, restful sleep

From The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

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

Oaksong

oaksongs

How can you be in two places
at once? I asked. A Christian
friend replied ” You can have
one foot inside the door
and the other foot outside.”

You would be forever
on the threshold, neither
one nor the other, or both.
A fence sitter, neither
Summer or Winter
God or Man.

Would you sacrifice the other
to be wholly another? To step
in and close the door
shut out the weather
from the other side.

Are you coming in or what?
Your letting in a right breeze?
Put wood in the hole.
Decide whether your in or out!

*******
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

*******

moors were once forests
national parks heavy industrial
this oak headland a pitsite

lads snap off livelimbs
anarchic coppicing
black dogshitbags sway
on limbs left alone

don’t visit in a storm
oaks are lightningtrees
people can be oaks

oakgroves of druids
duir means a door
exit and entrance

raw open wounds of sacrifice
still bleed sap

this hand has molded
a garden out of wildlife
words out of nonsense

she used to say “when
one door closes
another opens”

From Stubborn Sod , forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

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

This Brash and Burn

1. To Burn Brash

Sat back barked.
Small insects crawl
down tree stretched above
inhabit hair
worn gloves
bruised brashed branches

Breathe wet peat,
damp soil, leaf decay,
autumn dead leaf dance,
spring bluebell wend
summer sacred stainglass
canopy sunshaft play
winter heavesnow clear paths

Sat back barked
canopy leaf horizon
floats shimmers

Calm

2. Our Wombwell Boxed

Lift small boxes wooden lid smell
broadleaved woodland
before rail/road
Press plastic button hear
Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Woodpeckers,
before rail/road.

Press plastic button watch
Videowalk ancient Beech, Oak, Birch
before rail/road.

Electronic ringtone.

We would like to advise all visitors
The museum is closing soon.
Please exit through main door.
We hope you have enjoyed your visit.
Please come again.

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

Extracts from “Woodbrains, woodbrides, woodwives”

Grovemind, groovemind

synaptic branches
neuron tipped limbs
sacred grove recovery

oakbrain opens doors in my head
ashbrain spears my ideas
elmbrain plays the fey

electric gust moves limbs
inside my head

barkskin neural net
circumnavigates damage
fruited hemispheres
replenish, restore, reimagine

senses water roots
grove in my head
grooves in my head

between oaklimbs
between ashlimbs…

…Whispering forest

walk among us, as us

known as oakman
known as birchwoman
known as elmlad
known as ashlass

Each one gentle,
one is strong
one elegant
all older than they look

their voices not listened to
“I talk to the tree”
“Hug a tree”
“I am a tree”
seen as signs of waywardness
to be laughed at,
pilloried and scorned.

later they will scream
when cut down
or have a limb amputated

we ought to listen.

From The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

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

Paul’s Amazon Page U.S.

Paul’s Amazon Page U.K.


Whose

Once again
we lay a claim
on land
not ours

chop down
build up
less natural
habitation

wildlife wanders in
refusing to give up
its native lands

to secluded cabins
in awe filled
fairy forests

bears feast on
chokecherries
and bird feeders

share trashed
leftovers
with foxes,
raccoons

toms, hens and chicks
claim grasses
and trees
for homes

deer leave
calling cards
thank you for
the flowers

mountain lions
prowling
remind all
who is king

I am grateful,
they share the space.

© 2018, Deb y Felio


To the river

This is where we came, here, to the river
for the first time, along the rutted path,
cowslips, bluebells crowding at its edge; past
the dandelion meadow, its pale-white
quilt of puffballs waiting to be blown and cast.

Together to the river to explore
vigorous and sinuous, limpid rills
and ripples,the glistening flow of water.
Beneath the cobalt sky, each moment
folding into itself the heat,intense
upon our faces, the stones’ cool splash and spray,
shouts and birdsong; each uplifted stone setting
free the grains of memory,where we were
one time held, entranced, imagination’s
captives in the bubble of our dreams.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


..wild wood..

photograph the trees. notice the wild wood

early while walking, imagine it may

be mine. to care for , to let be. it could.

it is for sale. new sign on the gate, today

the charcoal burner . he is a woods man

smoke rises grey. price is mentioned . plenty.

I think on his words, the idea, owning land,

crashing back into the wild wood. empty

headed. it is good to be quiet, alone

away from their thickening throng , the dread .

soft voices. smoke rises slow, ashes. old bone.

dust and dust , by dust we bury the dead.

he will split the wood. they may come and buy,

yet in my head the wild wood will be mine.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the wild wood again.

when the fog clears we creep back into the wild wood watch birds eat wettened crumbs. softly rain falls each year falls an anniversary

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the new arrival.

hear that, crashing in the old wood, trees fall and die.

seems time stands still, nothing moves . happening.

older times are done, quiet now, seamlessly it will start

again.

one word, one sound, then blindly we will crash into the wild woods

again.

i met a man who did not know, had just arrived.

we may learn in time.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

There’s much to enjoy in Sonja’s art and you can view much of it on her sites and she shares are generous amount on her Facebook Page. So multitalented.


Cathedral of trees,

where I worship every day;
Where I go to breathe in peace;
Where I go to be restored;
Where I go to bring back faith:
persevere in drought;
sustain my weak soul;
grow beyond eons.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda (At the Yellow Table, We Are Stardust: Change Is What It’s All About)


Patricia’s Garden

The tall oak tree…a sentinel
Standing guard over the small yard
Wards off invasions of mayhem
Keeping peace in the inner sanctum

Painted rocks surround pathways
Leading to artistic creativity
While small tables and chairs
In camaraderie congregate together

The mums sing colors across the garden
Yellow and lavender tones harmonize
Brilliant red petals bellow magnificence
In a perennial summer performance

Peace and compassion frolic in fun
Chasing joy between the evergreens
The sun’s reflection shimmers off the muraled wall
As happiness dances slowly towards the impending fall.

The tall oak tree…a sentinel
Standing guard over the small yard
Wards off invasions of mayhem
Keeping peace in the inner sanctum

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)


Sunset SF

English

That Evening

That evening I sat

on a stone bench

gazing at the evening sun

over the peaceful ocean.

Birds flew across the sky

sun reflected on the water.

I sensed everything.

Closed my eyes

felt the breeze

filling my soul.

Gazed at the sun again

and hoped one day

it would dry my open wounds.

The sun set magestic

the sky slowly turned red

like the wounds you inflicted

on me.

Unwantedly.

There was no other way.

It was meant to be.

I shall stare at the sun

and thus hope

my still open wounds

will heal with the passing

of time.

Catalá 

Aquell vespre

Aquell vespre em vaig asseure
en un banc de pedra
contemplant el sol de la tarda
sobre l’oceà pacífic.
Els ocells volaven pel cel,
el sol reflectit a l’aigua.
Vaig sentir-ho tot.
Amb els ulls tancats
sentia la brisa
omplint la meva ànima.
Vaig contemplar de nou el sol
i vaig esperar que un dia
m’assecaria les ferides obertes.
El sol es va pondre, magestuós,
el cel es tornà vermell
com les ferides que vas infligir
en mi.
Sense voler.
No hi havia altra opció.
Havia de ser així.
Contemplaré el sol
i d’aquesta manera esperaré
que les meves ferides encara obertes
es curin amb el pas
del temps.

© 2018, poems and photograph, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


050

Born on the Wind

Uniform saplings compete
-inspired with-
expectations of touching the sky.
Days, more days
-purposed on –
expectations of touching the sky.
Aged survival earns
-scarring from-
expectations of touching the sky.
Resigned and rooted
-seeds fly-
born on the wind … from the sky.

© 2018, Susan St. Pierre (Sillyfrong’s Blog – “Once a pond a time …” )


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.