“Mother With the Green Hair” … and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Japanese Tea Garden, San Mateo, CA

“how the morning is greated
fight for the money or
fight for the soul the saying goes
but another goal is to
fight for neither. …”
Ecodeviance (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness, CA Conrad

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!  It’s that lovely time of week when we share the work of fellow poets on the last Wednesday Writing Prompt theme. Last week’s prompt was Beach Scene, July 3, which asked about times when poets felt most at one with nature. This lovely collection today is thanks to the talents of mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb y Felio, Jen Goldie, Sheila Jacob, Elena Lacy, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Clarissa Simmens.  Also chiming in this week are newcomers Dick Jones and Debasis Mukhopadhyay, both warmly welcome.

Enjoy this fine read and do join us tomorrow or the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome, beginners, novice and pro.

Beach Boy

For a boy, aged 5, newly diagnosed as autistic.

Stones and shells.
Each grey disc
or pink ellipse
is a crashed planet.
Driftwood and splinters.
Dreams tangled up
in the mystery script
on blown cartons
and vagabond bags.

He scuttles, unshelled,
under a carillon
of seagulls, drunk
on salt and ozone.
This child who fears
clouds and mirrors
for the shapes
they throw at him
is healed for a day
by the moonstruck
logic of the tides.

© 2019, Dick Jones

DICK JONES was initially wooed by the First World War poets and then seduced by the Beats. He’s been exploring the vast territories in between since the age of fifteen. His work has been published in a number of magazines, print and online, including Orbis, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Ireland Review, Qarrtsiluni, Westwords, Mipoesias, Three Candles, Other Poetry, Rattlesnake and Ouroboros Review. In 2010 Dick received a Pushcart nomination for his poem Sea Of Stars. His first collection, Ancient Lights, is published by Phoenicia Publishing and is available from them or via Amazon. His translation of Blaise Cendrars’ influential epic poem ‘La Prose du Transsiberien…’ was published in an illustrated collaborative edition with artist Natalie D’Arbeloff by Old Stile Press in 2014.

sea-bound stroll

now retsina


old stitches


summer jaunts

fomenting the sepia waves

of lassitude

the fresh catch grilled at sundown

dabbled memories

nea paralia nea paralia

and an opalescent sea

rustling across a bloated brochure

called gateway

or maybe

sea-bound stroll

with azure galore

beguiling the eyes

like those hydrangeas flaunting

a clear blue

within easy reach

from the deck flowing to

a time


salty pebbles

keep rolling in

on the wounds

and the spume

swathes a heart in the sand


like a touch of warm cotton swabs




said once

love you


walked by the sea

© 2019, Debasis Mukhopadhyay

DEBASIS MUKHOPADHYAY (between ink and inblot) has been featured on The Poet by Day Before, but this is the first time in response to Wednesday Writing Prompt. He is the author of the chapbook “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context(Finishing Line Press, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals & anthologies, including Posit, Words DanceThe Curly Mind (UK), Erbacce (UK), Strange Poetry (UK), Yellow Chair ReviewI Am Not A Silent Poet (UK), The New Verse News, Rat’s Ass Review : Love & Ensuing Madness, Writers Against Prejudice (UK), Manneqüin.HaüsAlgebra of Owls (UK), The Skinny Poetry JournalOf/With : Journal of Immanent Renditions, Anapest JournalCommunicators League (Nigeria), No Tribal Dance (UK), Quatrain.Fish, Duane’s Poe TreeWalking Is Still Honest, Leaving My Shadow : A Tribute to Anna AkhmatovaThirteen Myna BirdsWhale Road Review, The Apache Poetry Blog (Sweden), Scarlet Leaf ReviewSilver Birch Press, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Foliate Oak, Eunoia Review, Revolution John, Fragments of Chiaroscuro, Down in the Dirt, With Painted Words (UK), The Wagon MagazineSnapping Twig, Words Surfacing, Praxis, Apple Fruits of an Old Oak, and Voice of Monarch Butterflies. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. MORE

take a peak

once squaw peak
now is piestewa peak
because etymology
because war hero

it is a hunk of rock
an asteroidal embedment
of the rocky mountains
or it seems so

despite artifactual distractions
like memorial benches
and erosion-checking cement
and rails

at night it transports you
through a piece of the solar system
and when the climb harshens your breathing
it sounds like that of an astronaut

you and your rock
on the sweat-wringing trajectory
toward a magical world
enjoyed at peak’s peak

panorama of an alien civilization
its photonic array twinkling
rectilinearly below
on your back the rock drinks your sweat

and you/rock bathe
in ancient light from the everywhere
yet you enfold

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: One With Clay, Image and Text

As some of you know, Gary is multi-talented, combing visual art with poetry or prose narrative.  He is also a potter. A sample of his work is pictured here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


desert you look very pretty in your tender green veil
it’s been a while since i was here visiting you
inner struggle and rebirth brought me to your boulder bosom
i see my brothers the Joshua Trees have gotten taller
therefore waving more lost children toward your safety dear friend
oh and the hares and wood peckers they still look
me over with caution and pity they sense my spirit
is still shackled in some ways but they are right
i’m just a human mother Joshua but how are you
i’ve brought you great news there will be rain later
this evening that rock you say yes that will be
good shelter the tiny lizard queen is a great hostess
the breath of your slate tinged skies is beginning to
smell like wet earth just like my grandmother’s hair when
as a babe i’d grab fistfuls and put it in
my mouth yet i don’t know how i can remember
her we were both too young when she had to
go up to the silver stars above my head oh
mother Joshua did you tell Oma to come and visit
there you see she’s the one next to Venus smiling
at me hey little ants get off my cake here
i’ll place it by your hill take it to your
queen my regards to her and now my eyes focus
to see the splendor of the ocotillo fire red blossoms
held up to the peacock sky and i breathe deeply

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken

Your Bones Remember

what my skin forgets.

What your sky forgets
my earth remembers.

Your rivers forget the distance travelled
My earth remembers where direction changed.

Blood memory stains your riverbed.
Skin never restores its shape.
Absence is character unrecognised.

Absence is a never return, a forgotten way
marked by signs unrecognised as signs.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Find Yourself

All in the air
All in the earth
All at sea
All in the stars

All in her skin
All in her blood
All in her bones
All in her

All at once
All at sixes and sevens
All in a state
All for her

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Earth Always

looks down,
sniffs tracks the sky makes.

Sky always looks up
sniffs tracks the earth makes.

One day they will apologise
when they bump into each other.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Water Frets

gives and takes her contours,
every ripple adds or removes

years, smooths and plumps,
wrinkles and scars, blisters

and bubbles. Each surge
an encounter begins in laughter.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

riverbrain, rivermind

synaptic rivulets
neuron canals
sacred water

riverbrain flows in my head
fountainbrain channels my ideas
lakebrain plays the fey

electric rivulets move earth
inside my head

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

senses water roots
springwaters in my head
well in my head.


her flaps of the water
bride of the waveskin
her inner lips of the river,
spring and waterfalls,
fermented honey drip
not dragonfly laced stained glass

lamina moist make out

fragile weirs into lust

tongue kindly these guardians

a becomes a river

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Ma Firesongs

inhale my sage, mint,
basil, saint john’s wort,
sunflower and lavender

leap through my balefire
an ‘I do’

burn my gorse and hay
fields to stubble

dress me in dried herbs,
potpourri, seashells, summer flowers, and fruits.

colour me blue, green, and yellow

let me handfast to you
think on harvest to come


breathe in mistletoe
oak, rowan, and fir.

watch sticky moon rise
as if honey
outa hive

yon fires r small suns
t’ massive blaze
nar set this short neet

she as bairn
in her belly
and soon a must pass
this fertile crahn
from oak t’ holly

tek int shape
and tale
o’ other folks fires
on yon hills
as tha would pattern
stars make
int neet sky wi art clards
an scry what’s t’come

an sup elder wine
an et this bread
of yon fields
grahnd thru yon stones
into fire
into r gobs
an bellies

an leet a candle
a midneet
aside this bowl
a rain watta
t’ catch moon n
r face n hands
in it

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

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play

I rejoice in a state of eutierria

I sink into sleep
enshrouded by oblivion
my sensing mind quiets

I fall in a state of eutierria

my grieving soul cries
tears raindrops flow together
drenched deaf to thunder

I soak in a state of eutierria

no more! stone marble
senses green, naked in soil
break bonds to connect.

I succumb to a state of eutierria

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Ji’s sites are:

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar

Mother With the Green Hair

Rough brown skin scratches my cheek
I lean into your strength
My arms wrap around you
My fingers not touching
Reminding me of your age
A comfort in this short sighted world
Your willowy boughs sway in the hot breeze
But under your protective shadow
I am but one who rejoices in your giving nature.

© 2019, Irma Do

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

When the season of change comes once more

sun of summer come
it has been too long
already like my own
days are short again

the leaves will turn
from youthful green
abundant to gold
scant as the briefest
breeze tumbles them

leaving bare spindles
vulnerable witness
to times past
and futures uncertain

sun of summer come
warm this body
too soon grown cold
in the shadows
of light.

© 2019, deb y felio 

Eagles sweep the sky
Bemused as the clouds drift by
Bewitched by silence

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Jen’s sites are:

Blodeuwedd’s Lament

I knew the warmth
of a man’s body
though no blood
ever surged
through my veins.

I was oak-flower,
broom and meadowsweet
conjured into woman
without flesh and bone
and beating heart.

The moon O-hed
at the smoothness
of my face.
The sun paled
at the earth-gold
of my hair.

I loved Gronw,
the lord of Penllyn.
I lay in his arms
and we plotted
to kill my husband.

Now, for my sinfulness
I am shunned
and alone
at the woodland’s edge.
I am owl.

I am beak and talons,
feathers and sharp eyes.
I wait, still as death,
in the shadow
of midnight leaves.

In Welsh legend, Blodeuwedd (Flower-Faced”) was made by magicians
Math and Gwydion to be the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes.She and her lover
Gronw Pebr attempted, unsuccessfully, to murder Lleu. Gwydion turned
her into an owl as punishment.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

Garden Greeting

It’s still there
behind the splash
of sunlit curtains
freeing me from night’s
dark dream.

Even wayward grass
is rooted, jostles
for space with irises,
geraniums, alliums
and deep-cerise pinks.

Fruit of every seed
I’ve sprinkled
and every bulb
I’ve pressed
into the earth.

I amble along the path,
learn the colour-speak
of potted residents:
pansies, petunias,
bee-kissed marigolds.

There’s a breezy,
rose-scented wave
and murmurs of mock-orange
flowering after a decade
of solitary leaves.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

Now I’m Nearly Sixty Nine

I want to grow more poppies
like these that intoxicate
my garden and out-blaze
the sun; I’ll keep the seeds
when green wand are flowerless
and rake them into the soil
for next summer.

I’ll still remember playgrounds
of childhood and the scent
of lilac; my mouth will moisten
at the thought of home-grown
blackcurrants but I won’t
hanker to go back, sit on the grass
and blow dandelion clocks.

I’ll be busy growing poppies,
admiring petals of extravagant
scarlet silk that outlive sultry
afternoons and noisy outbursts
of evening rain: that sway
beneath a clear blue sky and cup
a day’s worth of light.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

You can connect with Sheila on Facebook.  A review of her chapbook will appear on this site on Thursday, July 11 along with an interview and a sampling of poems.

A Beach Poem

Follow the thin line
Between the water and the land,
Between the sky and the earth.
Follow it until you see the horizon
That lured your ancestors
To explore the thin line in search of a better life
All the way, from Africa to South America,
All the way, from Africa to Australia,
All the way from Africa to …
Humanity is a thin line
At the whim of the moody Moon
That buries it under the high tide
Or bares it by pulling the waters back.
Follow the thin line.
Keep your eyes on the horizon.

© 2019, Elena Lacy

Elena’s site is Hyperimage’s Blog


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

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

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



down the back lane there are puddles, huge amounts of water fell, flooded the abbey ruins. branches blown , creaking twigs while rain stays off a while. she is a new walking partner, quite fast, no bother.

lean on the fence to look over a steep drop to the river

tears well as we speak of it openly


to break the cut a pheasant comes comely all collars & spectacles walks sedately to the edge, leans forward, ambles down.

the walk.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

envy the rural living.

make some.

walk the dunes
each day,
know the places,
to stop,
where berries grow.

where the photograph tree
what lays beneath.

look at each gentle place,
to keep in a pocket
of love,for that rainy
day, you do not go.

then in mine, in honour
walk the place in mind.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..the hare..

have you ever gone back,
that repeat journey,
watching swallows dip
as if they had never been away.

staggering the stones
you may find god in
water falling.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

Think, Wait, Fast

I come to the pocket-sized beach
In winter only
No longer liking to be close to strangers
Alone, dreaming in Green Key Park
In the Gulf of Mexico dawn
I sit on the sand, drinking
Drive-through black coffee
Comforts more than stimulates
Birds, palms, sunrise on the Gulf
I pretend it is the sea
Here, it is warm like a bathtub
But not quite placid
Some tidal action
A bit of wave hiking up to the shoreline
Sand and negative ions
Water and fiery sun
Elemental balance
Aligning my body and soul
Entwined with Nature’s rhythm
I go inward more and more each year
Feel like Hesse’s Siddhartha on the river
He, like me, can think, can wait, can fast
Well, fasting, ok, not quite there yet
But able to do the rest
Because the inner life is best…

© 2019, Clarissa Simmens

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.


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

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale Press,Metho/BlogThe Compass Rose and California Woman.

I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. I’ve been featured on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, several times as Second Light Live featured poet, on Belfast Radio and elsewhere.

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

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

Three by Debasis Mukhopadhyay, author of “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context”

Debasis Mukhopadhyay

“I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive.” Jorge Luis Borges in Boast of quietness

I am pleased and honored to introduce DEBASIS MUKHOPADHYAY (between ink and inkblot) here today, though I suspect there are many who already know his work.

Debasis is the author of the chapbook “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context(Finishing Line Press, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals & anthologies, including Posit, Words DanceThe Curly Mind (UK), Erbacce (UK), Strange Poetry (UK), Yellow Chair ReviewI Am Not A Silent Poet (UK), The New Verse News, Rat’s Ass Review : Love & Ensuing Madness, Writers Against Prejudice (UK), Manneqüin.HaüsAlgebra of Owls (UK), The Skinny Poetry JournalOf/With : Journal of Immanent Renditions, Anapest JournalCommunicators League (Nigeria), No Tribal Dance (UK), Quatrain.Fish, Duane’s Poe TreeWalking Is Still Honest, Leaving My Shadow : A Tribute to Anna AkhmatovaThirteen Myna BirdsWhale Road Review, The Apache Poetry Blog (Sweden), Scarlet Leaf ReviewSilver Birch Press, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Foliate Oak, Eunoia Review, Revolution John, Fragments of Chiaroscuro, Down in the Dirt, With Painted Words (UK), The Wagon MagazineSnapping Twig, Words Surfacing, Praxis, Apple Fruits of an Old Oak, and Voice of Monarch Butterflies. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net.

He was born in India & spent many years of his life in Kolkata (Calcutta), where he began writing poems. A fair number of poems in pora gach o megh oré, his debut collection of poetry in Bengali (Art Publishing,  2005), date back to this time of his life in India. Debasis holds a PhD in literary studies from Université Laval, Québec, Canada. His doctoral thesis constitutes an instance of multidisciplinary approach, exploring the linkage between two broad themes of social epistemology : travel and spatiality. The work is focused on the analysis of the Occidental subjectivity’s search for self and its perception of spatiality through Third World travel. The thesis can be found here :

Voyage à la Rencontre de la misère et pouvoir d’attraction de l’espace de l’Autre. Calcutta dans l’imaginaire occidental contemporain – étude de cas: Le chant de Kali et La Cité de la joie (Travel to Meet With The Poor and The Power Of Attraction of The Space of the Other. Calcutta in the Contemporary Western Imagination – A Case Study of Song of Kali and La Cité De La Joie).

Debases now lives in Montreal with his wife and his son. When his hand turns poetry, he just walks up to Monnet’s poppy field against the wall & bends down to swaying flowers thinking of the words gone in blood. When he is not writing, his best inspiration turns out to be what Xu Schen wrote (58 CE  ̶  ca. 147 CE) : “Ink, whose semantic component isearth‘, is black.”

Connect with Debasis at debmukhop@yahoo.ca or @dbasis_m on Twitter.

India journal

New Delhi : to get more than the dawn

a red tulle body flaring up.

the mosquito net

white & whooshing at times

& this foundry of wings of mosquitoes

now ready for the spilled over blood.

here sun.

somewhere birds crack the sky

dawn what I fear has never been so late


kid’s head buried in my chest.

do I know

what’s to cry like a bleating sheep

broken lines unfurls K’s poems in my thoughts

obliterating the bleeding sun dissolving into now a distant hum

very soon a cacophonous mix

what’s K to make of it in his poems

I think of the young poet of Kolkata.

somewhere the oblique overpasses ask for boundless love

slogging through memories

snuffing out the first azan of the day & the litanies of the stray dogs


kid’s skull rolls on my chest

his eyes waking to dawn

what’s that poet to make of it

kid’s eyes etched on his notebook page

which is perhaps whiter than the mosquito net now emptied like times

when I used to live in this land

& never had to step inside.

tomorrow I would be again in Kolkata

brushing dust from a palimpsest 

today I would just pass the day

Kipling Sahib gazing hatefully on New Delhi

the breeze stirring a tattered liana of madhabilata

high up among the colonial columns

dust on dust

to creep through

Kolkata : the waterboarding 

K’s poems are now bowing lower than this plane

bleeding off its speed

the cinnamon colored brick kilns look plastered by a green

that feels so unwanted in a blood brick telecast on BBC

years of rising smoke have gnawed the moulded bricks but the green

green green so green that I turn to Lorca’s ballad

& cry like a fool unheeded

for the girl of bitterness

until the touchdown when I hear K whispering

I leave you alone for the eve

now you would be too blind to trust my poems

begin me only when you end your quick days & nights in Kolkata

when you are left again to think that

you are still stuck like an albino bone in its craw made of loose scoria

these long years


these long years

were not so imminent in my mother’s dream of me becoming a Caliph one fine day

seven thousand miles away.

these long years were not a life book that rustles inside memories dying in the throat.

for a crown of light

she has been counting a thousand & one nights.

every morning

kneeling to the earth she tries to find me again amongst the sprouts.

ha the world has to pass

mutters my father

sparrows cluster in the back of his throat.

& here we are home, kid

hello hello

I say opening the gates of shadows of the crows

aloft & aground.

the long-spiked coconut tree leaves dance across K’s sun-blazed notebook page

capturing kid’s fingers making a ghost with a lump of earth

mine tearing the sword-shaped leaves only to reminisce all afternoon

upon a palm frond hat from my schooldays


maybe everything might have been…

everything like your face in my hands

dark eyes glistening in the folds

like malaria now & then

those love vomit & rum stained clothes moving under the coal iron in the neighborhood

coming back laundered the following afternoon

only to redeem truth

& to rehearse a hundred summers of solitude…

to think I’m going to see you again tonight

a conjurer had his time

on earth this is the place

where I can sing I am your man

a place that has no place in time

or maybe it’s always just half passed

like this late afternoon sun on water in K’s notebook page

like this fish put out to crawl through a hologram

never failing kid

fish eyes always give him thrills


processions pass

the foreheads of the deceased pressed against the cobwebbed evening

feel the reference point that had rattled so hard in life

now the queue in the burning ghats 

souls reassured once oxidized flake after flake

& then beguiled by the creeping waters.

placid slumbers the Ganges like the night at the bottom of the root 

this is the country

where cicadas chase every evening the crackling stars of each cast & class.

my friend sings taking my breath away

the dead to become boats floating downward the rim of the dark skies

drifting anew in the city alleys

in search of hearts that had no refuge from any versions of hearts.

processions pass

shouts drawling a tribute to dawn

poppy red flags

a street full of scars

you ask me how I feel now with my eyes peeled

K’s poems stopped to bleed into the evening

so wet & claiming

now again mouth into mouth

we keep frisking & gamboling round the night 

we come & coming on

like a hemorrhage

like Fidel Castro floating belly up dying of his own death

I need not watch for the moon

I close my eyes to get more than the dawn

more than its billow & spray

more than K’s love poems glittering like war

their curl of waves that come rolling in

& I say


my tin soldier

the waterboarding is all yours
First published in The Wagon Magazine July 2017
© 2017, Debasis Mukhopadhyay


November 9, Kristallnacht

all again

rein in

a throwback steed

for a headlong rush

into bodies

that are

apprised of sledgehammers

the vanity of a crystal night

raising its head


dry assaults

against parasites

are said dropped things

like a mirror

in flashcubes

sticking a gimlet to


with what you can scavenge

on this day in History


the bludgeoned frogs

live through the November moon

crawling in the pit somewhere

ha you ain’t got nothing to recall

crying blood

the disgusting god

in our vain skulls

has never felt

sky rustling in & out

of cinders

of those millions awaiting

First published in Yellow Chair Review November 13, 2016

© 2016, Debasis Mukhopadhyay

Notice to rebroadcast

O Sultan mine, I just read your poem Notice to recast where looking on your flowerpot sky you feel the smudge of my absence on your skin. You hear the train behind the fence, you hear the rain in the kitchen and you are reminded of the necessity of touch. Several lines down you say, “I heard it and I heard it again. A song that stayed unopened in my throat.” Honestly, I am never very sure how your poetry works on me. You could hear everything : the rainstorms behind the kites, the pantomime in the trammels, the trampoline behind the rampages, the songbirds in the pantechnicons… everything across your roughcast of solitude. And everything reminds you of everything, from windpipe sonata to wingspan of a pansy. I wish I could understand how you napalm me while I sleep. As if just like my body my mind also can’t shake you and always awaiting you in bed unopened. True that poetry never sucks and the blancmange sloughing in the overdone ruts between my thighs. Sultan dear one, my husband, my boyfriend, my needleman of tournament, my winger right to left, my slaloming tramline behind my fertility, my panegyric of fucking superintendent, why can’t I understand your poems? Or why can’t I just write a poem that is what when my handgun trades the simile of blankness? But that won’t make it all right. No point in blitzkrieging to unbalance the brain. Let’s think about honeyed baklavas and listen to balalaikas. If you are my bloody bastard, I remain your bloodied bitch.

First published in Posit issue 14, June 2017

© 2017, Debasis Mukhopadhyay



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.

“Birmingham, 1931” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“For the city, his city, stood unchanging on the edge of time: the same burning dry city of his nocturnal terrors and the solitary pleasures of puberty, where flowers rusted and salt corroded, where nothing had happened for four centuries except a slow aging among withered laurels and putrefying swamps. In winter sudden devastating downpours flooded the latrines and turned the streets into sickening bogs. In summer an invisible dust as harsh as red-hot chalk was blown into even the best-protected corners of the imagination by mad winds that took the roofs off the houses and carried away children through the air.” Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Cities certainly do stir the emotions as you’ll see from the passionate responses to the last prompt, Ciao Bella, Beloved, July 11, which was to write about the city in which you grew up or one that you grew to love.

Thanks and a warm welcome to newcomer Lexi Villa and thanks to stalwart regulars: Paul Brookes, Isabela DeLa Vega, Sheila Jacob, Frank McMahon, and Sonja Benskin Mesher.

Special acknowledgement to debasis mukhopadhyay, between ink & inkblot: Debasis’ latest collection is “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context(2017, Finishing Line Press ). I am unable to include his poem today due to some technical issues, but I hope to bring you more from this acute and prescient poet soon. Meanwhile visit his site and …

… enjoy these offerings below.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome no matter the status of career: novice, emerging or pro. Responses to tomorrow’s prompt will be published here on Tuesday as is tradition and this week’s responses will also be considered for inclusion in the September issue of The BeZine, which is themed social justice.

Devastation to My Happy Place

I remember running across the street to the little old lady’s tiendita.
After a long day of exploring canals and giving in to vendors (who definitely overcharged me because of my pale skin), I was hungry.
Can you hear the rain tapping against my window?
Can you hear that old lady’s silence from across the street?
Can you hear my stomach growling?
It was cloudy & dark, but I wanted to continue my adventure.
I only had that interaction, or rather transaction, with the old lady.
But as I lay here in my home, I think about that sandwich I bought from her.
Ham, cheese, & jalapeños. No condiments.
I’m laying here now, where the worst I’ve experienced is 125 degree weather.
What happened to that city the day the earthquake hit?
What happened to the businesses run along the canals?
But above all, what happened to that little old lady?

© 2018, Lexi Villa

LEXI VILLA: “Hey! I’m Lexi, just turned eighteen and decided to participate. I only really dabble in poetry, I am not a professional. However, something I entered in a competition did get picked up for publishing. So I guess I must have a knack for it to catch the eyes of publishers right? I look forward to participating :)”

Even More Invisible Town

A paragraph/stanza difficult to read, then urge/ntly to know widens eyes, detail foregrounds, colour sharpens, shadows acute

No electric/gas light. Wood fires flicker at street ends, in single rooms shadow on walls, glorious stars and robbers abound

Every street must be a wasteland: broken bottles, discarded rubbish, rusty nails, decaying carpet. Belonging is discouraged.

Amount and weight not quality of jewellery you wear is sign of wealth/prestige. Piercings/tattoos admired/flaunted.

Violence is always acceptable. Non violence is cowardice, defeat admitted. Only big, strong survive. Bullying praised.

Freezing cold is welcomed. All animals slaughtered, every part used to build shelter, skins warmth, bone tools, percussion.

All surfaces are child friendly soft. All houses have slides, all workplaces ball pools. Play is work. Riotous creativity

dark corners are encouraged. It is an architectural trend to see how many can be made in one building. Cleaners despair.

where a buildings decay is encouraged as a haven for wildlife. People born/live/die in hides, record wildlife as heirlooms.

Nobody puts things back correctly. Compensation is unknown. Goods on wrong shelves. Kids to wrong houses. Fiction in non


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

A City In His Pocket

Searched his donkey jacket,
business suit and blazer.

Nowhere. In his dreams hand
in pocket it felt smooth like wet cobbles

his hobnail boots slipped on and faltered,
clattered and echoed in a cave of streets,

crammed with bread on the bake,
spicy curry and sweet dark chocolate,

or the top of a Christmas dome
you upturned to see snow fall

on gothic spires and picket fences,
or hand in pocket spiky and harsh

like police speed traps or his wife’s voice.
Pick pocketed now empty pocket.

Gust blew across the abandoned threads.
Aha! He’d put it in his hi viz jacket.

Previously appeared in The Coffeelicious

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

More Impressions of Wombwell

Backyard, eye swag silver, two joy, pica pica purplish-blue iridescent sheen wing feather green gloss tail

on train squeal chatter, vivid, green, blue, beavers, cubs, scouts, ventures: anarchy in uniform

unshaven bald man, open green raincoat, brown leather shoes, hauls local paper packed lime green trolley

old folk bench gab, mothers stroll babies down funeral paths eye gambolling squirrels, cemetery a parkland

bright cemetery leaves behind dark, Bakers window 6 loaves, 1 burnt, nurse boards bus, ‘I was miles away’

sunstruck leaf bunch drips bright molten green glass, other leaves luminescent silver stars in green matter, shade cut

patient silver hubcap rests under stone cemetery wall behind blue bus stop halo, full moon fall: day waits

Shadows pass over bus as if it is stop motion animated. I get on the animation. Hand held camera glare work journey

Town a small canvas tent unzipped tied back crowcall, fragrant grass, earth close, sun blue. Is on holiday

light quality early noon than morning, 3 patient full brown potato bags by grocers, cloud dispersal pends

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

Invisible Town on the Cards

At bus stop 6 playing cards played 3 of Diamonds, Queen of Diamonds face up. Empty coke can: a bus on the cards

Bus stop other side from morning Ace of Hearts 7 of Diamonds 5 of Spades 6 9 of Diamonds face up. Afternoons hand

Hill top Mrs Wood, grocers, coming down street cemeteries avenue hill bottom where pit used to be a lush forest.

In siling down bus is a big kid in wellies a splash laugh in every pothole puddle, hurriedly shops import goods

Slanted rain rolls down slanted roof slanted street each angle geometric downpour wet arithmetic blatant flashes

Estate Agents white box A4 copier paper door stop charity shop rush takes green leather sofa armchair out of rain

‘value’ ‘bonus’ ‘Low, Low Prices’ big on bright blue next to ‘On Offer’ ‘To Let” boarded, flagged market forces

Pale blue sweatered woman bent at right angles pushes her brown tartan square four wheel shopping trolley up hill

Greenery now over spoilheap less work less danger canal no longer used all leisure, industry moved into headsets

Young man in flak jacket grey snapback struggles to attach long fishing rod rest and shopping to bikes handlebars

Bright cool blue sky cafe puts out green plastic chairs stacked like plastic cups bakers window 4 loaves 2 burnt

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

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A tree grows in concrete

As such, a sight to see

I hadn’t given much thought

To how lonely it might be

One tree, weatherworn, twiggy bark

Hardly standing, day in and day out

Alone, trying to be burly strong

In need of care, no one did

City life, concrete at its’ feet

Rain, sleet and snow

No breaks, nothing but woe

Yet, there it stands for all to see

© 2018, Isadora DeLaVega (Inside the Mind of Isadora)

Birmingham 1931

I’ve come at this a bit slantwise. I see the city through my father’s eyes.

From the terraced
where he was born.
The poor end of town,
near Saltley gasworks
and sluggish canal
under the railway bridge.

Pigeon-roost on slate
roofs, sheen of starlings
in rain-puddles, hoot
and hiss of steam trains
spiralling smoke and grit,
roar of Saturday’s home
crowd at Villa Park.

Trams and buses trace
the city’s inner circle,
drop workers off
at Ansell’s Brewery,
Lucas’s,HP Sauce, streets
humming as he meanders
to school with his mates.

They’ll be fourteen, soon,
time for first suits
and steady jobs, they dream
football but know their
future’s in a car factory
needing ambitious lads
eager to learn a trade.

© 2018, Sheila Jacobs


Paris, Venice, Udaipur: noise, rainbow
glitter, sensory orgasmatrons yet
nothing called serenity or the bliss
of a child carefree on a swing.

Here is my city, patient work of seeds
and seasons, pink campion, knapweed
and hawkbit’s yellow, filling the meadows’
edge around the solitary ash. High

ridge on a clear day, chalk or clay
underfoot, silent, watch the hawk’s lift
and stoop to the clustered oaks, sheen
on clear spring water bubbling. Cross

an open field where the breeze lifts away
the dreck and bric-a-brac of cares and toils,
open and be filled with birdsong,
float in moments endless ethereal.

Here is my city.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

harrogate in the rain.

cheap umbrella broke,

a delightful shade of pink,


abandoned the street

for the parlour, the crown.

mourned my shoes, wet

and ripping.


white nubuck.

watched the trees,

falling leaves.

good coffee


the pumproom.


© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher


. oswald’s tree .

never fails to excite .with all the talk of leaves

here, falling, i am interested to see another breed

of folk that love and gather.

remind me of roseberry road, the younger days.


sat in the upper room, read a letter to his mum,

about the trenches, the first world war,  wished

to drown his sorrow in  that bloodied mud. the floor

tilted, a scrap lay crumpled.


each room has a different door.

we left, fell the last few steps.

© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher


# Oxford

lost in the ashmolean, lost
in antiquity.

i may have paid the price.

the museum is free.


as i spoke,
i could not help
but cry.

we do not often talk of it.


© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher



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.