In response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt: A collection of poems of protest and comments in honor of Reuben Woolley

Reuben Woolley

In response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, today we celebrate Reuben Woolley’s life, poetry, and commitment to protest poetry. Reuben was published widely in print and digital publications. He also hosted to poetry zines: I am not a poet and Curly Mind. I believe his most recent collection is This Hall of Several Tortures.

I am not a silent poet is a zine dedicated to poetry and artwork of protest against abuse in all shapes and forms. Reuben’s motivation for founding the site: “I have seen such increased evidence of abuse recently that I felt it was time to do something. I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms, colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of the NHS, the rape culture and, of course, war and its victims are just the examples that come to mind at the moment.”



Please enjoy these poems of protest and the commentaries in memory of Reuben from a few of the many poets who know and admired his commitment and his work. Out of respect and in order not to detract from the solemnity of the occasion, the usual links to sites and so forth are not included this week. Our for this commemoration go to mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Rob Cullen, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Kelly Miller, Ben Naga, Eric Nicholson, Pali Raj, Leela Soma, and me. I included a couple of poems that seems to me to be more poems of mourning than protest, but there you go.


“recusants you and i”

night drive slow speed
body tired windows bleed
city light a million times
soul sucker dynamite
blare the sin out from below
steel cold brick you sunk me
my fingers crooked now
with the countdown of this town
but don’t underestimate
the heart mine least of all
look me in the silence of that eye
i dare you to deny
that after you’ve torn
us both down
spit on our ancient right
that a tree of force will not emerge
from where my human blood’s been shed
from where my love everlasting powerful
and pure will for all of time
triumph over you
and our perversions

© 2019, mm brazfield


protest tor

first protest was against confinement
and the mama-to-be felt and saw
the ridge of fetusfoot
bugsbunnying across her swollen kidslammer
soon after the child was released via scalpel and hoist
ave caesar
vivendi te salutamus

there were of course the infantile
screamings for food and attention
disqualified because ignominy
from true protest
which was to come
long before bar mitzvah:
a roughneck boy sat behind him
a kid with a reputation
that preveded this first day
of the seventh grade
and the teacher offered a word game:
“how many words can be formed
from the word RESOURCE? who’s got one?”
class members exclaimed
“our!” “sore!” “curse!”
then the bad-rep kid said “sour!” and the teacher…GLARED.
he lit into the kid,
though the kid had given
a PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE ANSWER.
“i’m going to be watching you, Mister. i’ve HEARD about you.”
bad vibes filled the room,
but then
the kid sitting in front of him said,
distinctly and loudly,
“sir, there was nothing wrong with his answer! why
are you giving him a hard time?!”

and what do you think happened, Boys and Girls?
we can guess,
but we will never know, because
that stirring protest and defense above
was never delivered; the boy
thought it but did not say it.
and that cowardly failure
to stand up and be counted
has haunted his days for fifty-three years.

so this is a protest of Cowardice, which is rife nowadays.
the boy can be forgiven: he was twelve.
voting adults must be more courageous.

must face ugly truths.

must stand up to be counted.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers


Poems I had written about child abuse – both my own experience and children and adults I worked with – was met with rejection and silence. I had the clear understanding that there was a taboo on the subject amongst Editors and Publishers – particualrly in terms of male abuse experience – Reuben saw things differently shared my view and was understanding and encouraging. At a time when I felt most despondent he published a poem of mine that had been difficult to write let alone send to a publisher. I will be forever grateful to Reuben.

The examination of time and its modes.

We are the explorers
of time
in which
our watchfulness
reveals
an awareness
of life’s turning wheel.
We the silent sentinels
examine time
embracing
the glue that alloys
that anneals and binds
the eternal tick
hum and thrum
of the Atomic
oblivious to the inhalation
and exhalation of breath
we breathe
a measurement of time.
And dream itself
three thirty
in the darkness
a stop time
in slow time
when nightmares wake
and temperatures drop
a degree or two
and old people’s
grip on time
is loosed,
loosened
they leave
and are left.
Goodbye.
Slow time.
Stop time.
Time to wake
time to go
slow time
stop time.
One day I found
myself wearing
two watches
I was unaware when
I’d strapped them on
there is a third
too delicate to be worn
the gold watch
given to an old man
on finishing.
Stop time.

The first watch
measures
now time
fast time.
The second
measures
get it got it
measures
slow time
stop time
looking at it
may make
you decide
it’s broken
stopped working
but it works
measuring
very slow time
stop time
another time
known only to us
known only to you
Postponed Time
Since the Disaster
slow time stop time
known to those
whose alarm
wakes them
stops them
from healing
stops our sleep
brings it to a grinding
Halt! Halt! Halt!
with a scream
a shout
a cry for help.
Let me go.
Let me go.
A cry. A cry
to start time.
and so the saying goes
there is a time
and place
for everything
But which time
is not specified.
Time heals.
Time will tell.
What goes around
comes around
and on and on it goes
the vagaries
of our understanding
of time abounds.
Times up!
There is no more time.
I have no time for you.
I have no more time for you.
I couldn’t give him
the time of day.
Did you keep time
for me?
Where did you keep it?
Was it on your
person?
On your body?
Pocket?
A locket perhaps?
Locked up
somewhere.
Time to get away.
How did it get away.
Did you lose it?
Did you give it away?
I have no time
for you.
Slow time.
Fast time
reaches
and seeps away
while we were
not looking
We, I didn’t look.
Carelessly
it seems
we
lose track
of time.
The sands
of time
are running out.
Running again
Sand.
Don’t get me
started.
Oh well.
Sand
running slow
sand running fast.
sand running
to a stop.
Sand stopped running.
Sand is running
out where.
Enough is enough.
Time to go.

Time redefined

And now?
Am I marooned here?
You told me to go
Go go go go go
when you decided
that it was done
that you were done
with me.
But I have been left here
somehow
then now
now then
time stands still
for some things.
Trapped in this silence
now and then
a fracturing of time.
Fractured?
Torn?
Shredded?
Ripped?
Sheered?
I struggle
for words.
It’s not true
that time heals
it simply
that pain lessens.
I am like a bell
that has not chimed true
for so long
but I am not silent
only in quietness
will you hear
the deep vibration
of my calm.
I can’t make
up for lost time
making up
for lost time
What time?
Who’s time?
A clock
Clocka
Clagan
Or Clocc.
A silent
instrument
missing a bell
is called
a Time piece.
I clock you
You you you you
You. And you!
I watch you you
you and you.
and you.
I was five
I didn’t know.
Hunt hunt hunt
Hunt the twat
Hunt hunt hunt
Hunt the cunt
Hunt hunt
Hunt hunt
Catch him
Tie the twat up
Tie the cunt up
Tie him hold him
Tie him hold him
Shut the cunt up.
I knew you
You you you
And you.
I didn’t know you.
I was five
I didn’t know
Hunt him
Catch him
Hunt hunt
Hunt hunt
Catch him
Tie the cunt up
Tie him him him
Shut the twat up
I see you now
I know you now
I do not name you
That decision
Is my domain
Talking talking
Suddenly aware
Of you you you
You. And You.
Standing there
Watching watching
How long had you
Been watching?
In silence.
Stalking me.
The snare
Tying my hands
With twine
It was a game
But the rope
Bit tight
Cut into my wrists
And you stopped
My crying
With your fists
You you you
You. And you.
Hitting my head
Hitting my arms
Hitting my legs
I was five
I didn’t know.
Strip him strip him
Spread his legs wide
Tie him down
Then came the knives.
Cut his dick off
Cut his dick off
Do you want
To know the rest.
Do you really need
To know
Every last
Detail of what
Was done
Done to me
When I was a child.
I was only five.
I didn’t know them
I don’t know you.
I refuse to be
Defined by you
By what you, you, you,
You. And you
Did to me.
I am the man
The man I am
But it doesn’t
Define me.
You will not
Define me.
My anger
About what you did
You you you
You. And you.
Does not define
Me and my life
It is you see
Only a small
Part of what I call me
A small part
Of who I am
Now.
This is my time
My space
And I decide.

Time

I hear your laughter still
I was five
I was a child
I knew you
I did not know you
I hear your laughter still
I was five
You will not go.
As incoherent
As the rattle
Of an empty plate
The image of a bell
Of an empty tea cup
Turned upside down
Chimes intertwine
Merging for reasons
That are maybe sublime
In their incoherence
A bell chimes
Making time
An upturned cup
Signs no more
I am empty
I am full.

© 2015, Rob Cullen


Behind Bolted Doors

Lift the latch and
you will find cracks
in the door, scarred
traces of hot tempered
rackets-
sad sorrowful echoes of
screams slaps and strikes
in the tender dwellings of
famished femininity-
whose chest is crammed
with refrains of ugly curses
profane, drafted with hatred
mundane-
beauty’s blend for care
created for eternal company
stays abused spared not
why?
who will cut the strings
of human bondage
lacerant tortured
Suffering Silent Cry!
What was ancient
ignorant and abolished
made eloquent and sacred
Open the door and you will find
famished femininity current
in countless fetters
slowly visibly tabescent-
Why-

© 2019, Anjum Wassim Dar


Reuben was unflinching in calling things by their true names. I appreciate the consciousness and compassion that was evident in his work and stalwart commitment to protest poetry and poets. I did not know him personally, but I feel a deep sense of loss.

The Crude Rude Red Rooster

The family patriarch was a big man
A big crude red-faced rooster of a man
With cock’s comb of jet that wilted
In the golden glow of an honest sun
He wrapped fear around himself in the way
Of a frail old woman with her shawl
His boom and blather made the girl shiver
Like the surface of a pond brushed by a dark wind

In a greedy closet big enough to live in
He gathered his indulgences and ego props
He grew fat and aggressive on flesh foods and alcohol
He drove a big car and in parking it made
Sure intrude on his neighbor’s grace

He thought himself a “man’s man”
He kept the women in their places, as defined by him
He whipped the elder son into nervous abandon
Tried to craft him into a clone and a validation
To keep the upper hand, he pitted brother against brother
He drove the wedge of his insecurities between his sons and their wives

In his service business, women were “broads,”
And there were codes for the others –
Seven was for “Spic”
Six was for “Nigger”
Five was for “Sand-Nigger,”  like the girl, or so he thought

Time passes, people decline, and the rooster lost his peck

His wife grew brittle
She came to rule the roost and the rooster –

a “broad” ran credibly to be her country’s president
a “seven” is an astronaut, a “six” is a U.S. President,
a “five” is a governor; she never dreamed she’d see the day

As for the crude rude rooster –
He just did what most of us mostly do
He did as he was taught …

What his father taught him
What his father taught him
What his father taught him

© 2008, Jamie Dedes


I’m so saddened to hear about Rueben’s passing. His site uplifted voices that needed to be heard. Here is my submission, hopefully it is on target to honor him.

Aftermath of Silence

I turned away, jaw clenched,
Breath held, yet still seeing
The crushed spirit within her
Earth brown eyes that had
Pleaded for me to do
The thing I feared the
Most – to speak up for her
And tell him to leave
Her the fuck alone

© 2019, Irma Do


It is almost two years to the day that Reuben posted Berlin 1933, my first published poem.
Yes, his website was a place for protest against injustices but protest is another way of expressing love and concern for fellow-citizens and to affirm “our better angels”.
And wouldn’t the world be a much better place if the great majority of on-line posts expressed love and tolerance, rather than their odious opposites.
Here in the UK we are in the middle of a general election and I fear that the party which has made so many more people poorer may be re-elected.
I attach a poem which tries to go the heart of that.

In the Gulag

A crippled man, eight floors up, the lift
broken again. A woman, bed-bound,
her harassed carers late once more while she
hazes in a dream of rotting fruit.

Homeless citizens fly-tipped
to alien towns or camped
beneath the underpass; others
filling night-time doorways.

Third child, non-child!
Third child, non-child!
Should have thought of that
before….!
Just join the food-bank queue.

Better like this, no need
for wire or watchtowers,
the rabid press as guard-dogs
of the dark and scattered places,
our gulag of wilful degradation.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.head2head.

I hold you often, this time,
I cannot save you.

they come as stinking flies
and burn us.

we are as dust, you and i.

this time, I cannot save you.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Your Little Soldier

Even though you chose to let him back in
Remember
I’ll always be there
If just to stand in front of you
To block his hit
Just as I’d always do
Even though I get so upset
Over thinking
Trying to figure out why you accept him
Remember
I’ll always be there, if just to stand up for you
When he calls you ugly names
Even though I tell myself I told you so
Knowing
There’s no way he could ever change
Remember
I’ll always share your painful tears when I hear the tremble in your voice
Right before you begin to cry
Even though my pride tries to tell me I don’t care anymore
Constantly
And that it’s your problem, not mine, whatever he may say or do to you
Remember
I’ll always be there to allow the way I care to override my stubbornness
If just to try my very best to protect you when the situation becomes too violent
Dangerous
I’ll always be there, if just to help you pack your bags and run with you
Even though I know every time you’ll run backwards
Remember
I’ll always be there, if just to go back with you to make sure you’ll be ok
I’ll always be there for you
Why?
Because I love you with not only all my heart, but with all I am
Sincerely
If you’re happy, even under the most depressing circumstances
Remember
I’ll always be there, if just to imitate your forgiveness
Why?
Because I’m your little soldier
I always have been and always will be
I’ll always fight for you, because no one will take you away from me

©2014, Kelly Miller

She Died Of a Broken Heart

As her health began to fail
You didn’t notice, you didn’t care
Your sharp cruel words cut deep into her chest
Yet you said to lift her up, you did your best
Giving the wound no attention
You made it worse with jealousy’s incision
From her body the blood of hope drained
While you kept disappointing her, she strained in pain
While she lay helplessly on the ground
You failed to assist her, you weren’t around
Her life slipped away and you took no note
When all she needed was you, love’s antidote
As the rescuers rolled her away on a stretcher
The detective shook his head and said
“She died of a broken heart. God bless her.”

© 2019, Kelly Miller


Reflections on Government

From simple language much may be inferred;
America’s lust for pleasure and commotion
Like Britain’s anal culture, I’ve a notion,
Reveals itself within the very word
Used when our nations’ rulers have concurred.
Whilst here the House is said to “pass a motion”
The other side of the Atlantic Ocean
“An act of congress” is the term preferred.
But though such speculation may be fun
The world goes on as it has always done;
It’s true: “A rose by any other name
Would smell as sweet” and so we must conclude
That whether we get shat on or get screwed
The end result is pretty much the same.

© 2019, Ben Naga


Climate Change

you’ve stolen my dreams living without limits but I can
find solace gazing at clouds and

I can watch Half-Animal Half-Girl Set In A Japanese Restaurant
in which the camera follows the activities of a masked creature
half-girl half-animal in which the camera pans to a window
through which the sky is seen to be indigo in Fukushima, 2011.
I can watch Dog Barking in which a woman gets out of her car
and makes eye contact with a dog which barks. I can watch a woman
sitting on top of a hippo manically reading newspapers and occasionally
blowing a whistle. I can watch Men Hack Off Sharks’ Fins For Shark-Fin
Soup. I can watch Tigers Singing Plaintively About Colonialism
and I can watch Jungle Book where Baloo speaks Bengali and Mowgli
speaks Spanish. I can watch People Becoming Creatures which isn’t anything
like Kafka’s nightmare. I can watch Loverfinch in which a finch teaches
an ornithologist a beautiful song. I can watch Aquarium, swap lungs for gills
and enter another world. I can stand next to a beach tree and scratch
and make a work of art from the marks and call it Where a Brown Bear
Stood Recently Clawing a Tree. I can watch Polar Bears Stranded On
a Small Volume of Ice. I can travel back three million years into the past,
press my bare feet into the fossilised footprints of The Laetoli Bipeds
and walk along my ancestors’ path, 54 steps into the future.

you’ve stolen my dreams living without limits but I can
find solace gazing at clouds and I can

invite you to listen to the purr of a cheetah the song of a blue
whale the song of a nightingale the rustle of leaves starlings
imitating ring tones and the buzz of a million
honey bees

© 2019, Eric Nicholson


You might think
conversation is futile
that telling the truth
is stressful
so you choose
to remain mute
and everything
in your midst
and in your life
has fractured
silence is
after all
deafening
and isn’t
it interesting
that Jesus
came to
set the captives
free by making
the mute speak
the deaf hear
and the blind see.
See
How many people
In your midst
Have suffered abuse
You might be one of them
I might be one of them
Your mother, brother,
Sister, father, neighbor
Stranger, friend
When will the silence end?
Only then, will stress fractured
Relationships begin to mend.

© 2019, June G Paul


……..love
…………. care
……………….freedom
………………………justice
The crowd shout when it feels something like you and me.

© 2019, Pali Raj


Images

A photograph is all that remains
But my soul searches
For those rose coloured
Stills
images printed
In the heart.

© 2019, Leela Soma



 

wobbly sobby. . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry.”  Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers [recommended reading]



This week we bring you poems of on the perfection in imperfection in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Wabi Sabi, November 13. This wasn’t an easy prompt because the philosophy was new to many.

“In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-Sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”  . . . Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.” Wikipedia MORE

As always, all poets have come through beautifully for us, putting their own creative mark on Wabi Sabi.

Thanks for this collection go to: Gary W. Bowers, Anjum Wasim Dar,  Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Eric Nicholson, Pali Raj, and Leela Soma. Enjoy! and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome to join in: novice, emerging, or pro.


wobbly sobby

on the potter’s wheel is an opportunity
to fail. the future potter rarely raises a cylinder
the first time, nor times two through ten.
getting good at wheel-throwing takes a
determination shared by marathoners
and golfers and ballroom dancers. meanwhile,
the future potter uses his wire tool
to cut heap after heap of wobbly, wet clay
from the wheelhead or the batt. when at last
a cylinder is up, there are almost always
many things wrong with it.

here is a still-future potter
and his new creation. it slumps
slightly. it wobbles
when the wheel is brought up
to trimming speed. the hat
drawn by dr. seuss for his cat
has a similar shape.

the still-future potter doesn’t care. he sobs,
but not out loud, for joy. he will never
feel as though raising a cylinder
is out of his reach. that it took
so many times, and wobbles, and sobs,
only reinforces the bedrock
of his foundation
of his becoming.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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


A Perceptive Romance

crimson gold,shaded cool sunset
so deeply loved,fills empty souls
what hate prevails in daylight-
A perceptive romance

beloved sheep with precious wool
sheered to the skin, undressed
sacrificed goaded roasted
bleating is no music

water mirror like, ivory silver
smiled at, caressed , hated in
stagnant filthy swamps
its loss, mourned.

love the creative spirit in non
creativity, like lotus in muddy pond
tree valued green or brown-
body and soul, split in bond

embrace all,cool or hot
all here will be soon, gone
circle will come full circle
imperfection, – the mortal round

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:


Dewdrop

Every life is an intake of breath
in the corridors of humanity
The spirit of the past
unfolds within
A stirring that

churns the present
Every moment is splendid
with the awareness
that like a drop of dew
I can only be certain
I am here now

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew


. skin imperfect.

some of you is gone, halfed,

precious skin.

the dress

hanging black

is photographed

as if you have no memory.

may be

more soothing,

than remembering.

touch the surface.

water.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: mole hillls & broken plates ::

we discussed the hardness of the ground,
it is still quite cold. yet we found that moles
make soft places for planting.

dig up buried crocks for saving.

old photographs spur us on, to
care and treasure, to sweep and clean.

so wash and mend your broken plates
my friends, become a gentler way,
make a pleasant day.

look for mole hills, and old photographs.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Days and days

Philip Larkin told us Days
bring the priest and doctor
running over the fields.
On this rainy day I’m pressed
into the Day’s four walls, the cold
seeping into my bones. Restless
I’m too aware the Day doesn’t fit me;
it’s like an oversized overcoat.

My brother texts me and I reply,
Winter isn’t my favourite time,
Ditto, he replies. Afterwards
I resist thinking of summer sun
and wish I could wear each day
like a well-tailored suit.

© 2019, Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. Eric’s site is: https://erikleo.wordpress.com


For a long long time
I couldn’t figure it out
Who I am?

I went to school
Asked a teacher
She said, ‘I’ll talk to your father’.

I was a kid. A little kid.
I had to learn
How to kiss?

I returned to the book
Flipped about twenty pages
I kinda need help

For a long long time
I couldn’t figure it out
Who I am?

I went to a bar
Asked the bartender
He said, ‘I’ll make you cocktail’

I had a peg. A little peg.
I had to learn
How to introduce myself?

I took a sip.
Spoke a few English words.
Genius. Lover. Coward. Drinker.
I’m kinda happy whoever I am.
I was drunk.

For a long long time
I couldn’t figure it out
Who I am?

© 2019, Pali Raj


Nature’s music

Morning dew like jewels on spring green grass
crystals shimmering in the glow of a dawn sunrise,

drip, drip of tiny of raindrops, a soft chord
Or drizzle from heaven brushing soft on my eyelids
mist, layers of mist over rivers that flow ever so gently
Silver spray, sea foam caressing my ankle on the shore
Rippling, the swash, the crest white returning to the blue

trees swaying fiercely as autumn winds denude them
Music of orphaned leaves lying uncared for like
carpets of gold, brown and red over grey pavements
Scrunching sounds under foot, like a beat to
the hailstones falling on the roof tiles. Cold

frost and ice a chilling serape of winter hibernation
snow-sprinkled homes with a soft light in the window
nature’s notes, musical score, a beautiful symphony.

© 2019, Leela Soma

Leela’s site is: Leela Soma, Scottish Writer and Poet


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications: Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Woma Words Literary Press, November 19, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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

schrodinger’s heart . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

 

“May we find the language
that takes us
to the only home there is ~
one another’s hearts ….” from TAKING THE SKY: A Palestinian Childhood by the Palestinian-American poet, writer, educator and humanitarian, Ibtisam Barakat (ابتسام بركات).



Tuesday again! One of our fave days: Here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Heart Knowledge, October 16. The poems which form today’s collection include one from Steven Tanham, new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt and warmly welcome.  Thanks to Steve,  Gary W. Bowers, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Eric Nicholson, and Pali Raj we offer a heart felt (okay – corny, but I couldn’t resist) collection.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning. All are welcome to come out and play, no matter the stage of your career: beginning, emerging, or pro.


In Heart

Found always within itself
Yet never discovered
You named me so that
I could wander the world
And be known
By what turned out
To be me
All along

© 2019, Stephen Tanham

STEPHEN TANHAM (Sun In Gemini, Steve Tanham – Writing, Mysticism, Photography, Poetry, Friends) lives in the English Lake District, where it rains all the time but is very green. He writes poems, articles and books centred around the human search for authentic love and the self’s mystical quest. He also takes a lot of photographs.


heart of the matter

i love going to the hills
atop Silver Lake
where i can see Hollywood
my home my western shore
my dusty concrete paths
winding with a promise
to all that we are alive
in the City of Illusions
and that life is no illusion after all
paradox is my goddess
and Los Angeles my church
my habit was my pope
and my grit was my curse
perhaps we all strive
to go back home to reconcile
the hemorrhaging broken vein
and that’s all we want

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


schrodinger’s heart

with an imagined ribcage like the box
schrodinger kept his imagined cat in
let us bring to thought-experiment life
a heart that is not only both alive and dead
but also both stone and gold
both weeping and exultant
hard and soft
sleevebound and hidden
light and leaden

but instead of poison
and coinflip
there would be an unknown substance
and rheostatic delivery
perhaps love potion #9
perhaps oil of cloves uncapped in a forest glade
perhaps the memory of shunning
or the sight of a breathtaking face
and the release would not be binary all-or-nothing
but any intensity from barest hint
to full blast

the physical heart of an unborn human being
may be heard through the uterine wall
and its resting rate is quicker than that
of most of the born
if my unborn daughter was typical
and as i listened to her rapid-blessed vitality
it seemed to me that her heart not only beat
but spoke
a repeated word of yearning:
wishwishwishwishwishwishwish

some day some ultrasoundish nanotech
may make available to us
a means to free our own schrodinger’s hearts
from their ribcage confines
and reveal to us via virtual emoji and annotation
a snapshot of the exact shape and substance
and level of toxicity
or salubrity
how alive
how free
and how
attuned
are our
hearts

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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


My Heart

Bolt upright awake at 2am.
My heart pumps
its cage door.
Asks to be let out.

Rapid breath tries
to bolster the door,
heaves and heaves
until heart calms.

Breath sighs slows
head on pillow.
The door is bruised,
sleep uneven.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Their Hearts

Their long heart stretches
from sunrise to sunset
from moonrise to moonset
arcs skies as if travels
to another world.

Their short heart blinks once
at sunrise and at sunset,
at moonrise and moonset
never arcs across skies
stays where it is.

Their great value heart,
meets their expectations,
is thoughtful of others
tells them how they’re doing,
and how they might improve
is open to suggestions and feedback,
especially when things go wrong.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Your Door Is A

valve that opens
and closes
Lets me flow round
the home of your heart.

Keeps us both in good health.
One day the door will shut
And I will not move

© 2019, 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


Heart To Heart ~ Dil-e Nadaan O Innocent Heart

O Heart I never saw you nor ever will,
you give me life keep me pure and strong-
do you hold me or do I keep you?
Others told me that you do,

I must be grateful
O heart you were with me, I knew that day
when I gave you away, I could hear your
sound, but felt you were not there, you
sustain me constantly without rest in the
Bony cage and give me the best-
I must be grateful
With a faint rhythmic whispering beat
I heard my inner seat of the will, speak-
I keep the epignosis for you , the intellect,
feelings and spring of all desire, you keep

me clean and tranquil , without ire
Fill me not with indigestible oily food
nor pride or deceit or sheer laziness
nor hate nor envy nor revenge or
greediness, keep me joyful and good.
You must be grateful
O heart my unseen life , keep me warm
with love and strength, fill me with care
that I may with others share, drench me in
peace that I may spread and sprinkle everywhere
O Human then use the knowledge that I
carry within, the line between life and
death is tender fine and thin….
work in time do not be late
lest loss become your final fate.

© 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


..my heart..

my heart is quiet

i do not feel it beating yet

the rhythm is there

may heart is silent

while all comes well around

yet roused it will sound

louder

come the other days

come the sadder ways

heart is there just there, look

&

i think my soul is thereabouts

where the feelings come and pain

or gain

quietness

again

they say it is the brain that does the thinking

yet

we may also listen to our heart

carefully

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Hearts

He plays the queen of hearts
She moves her castle – Check
Though she has a queen too
They play two different games

© 2019, Ben Naga

Ben Naga’s site is: Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire.”


The Heart of John Ruskin

[part-found poem]

1. Childhood

Mr Runciman’s instruction sustains disgrace
in my long memory. He gave no indulgence
to the extraordinary gift I had of drawing delicately
with the pen-point. Yet he taught me much.
He taught me perspective and composition;
he cultivated in me the habit of looking
for the essential points in nature so as
to abstract them decisively. I find my quite first
sketchbook, an extremely inconvenient upright
small octavo in mottled and flexible cover; the paper
pure white and ribbedly gritty, filled with outlines
irregularly defaced by impulsive efforts at finish.
I have set aside for preservation the first really fine
sketch I ever made from nature being No.1
of a street in Sevenoaks for which I had no praise.

2. Art Tutor

Imagine this dialogue if you wish:

Please sir make artists of us.

I could as soon tell you how to
manufacture an ear of wheat
as to make a good artist of you.
Perfect art proceeds from the heart;
imperfect art proceeds from the grasping hand.

There are two paths; see how the lotus
is rooted in the mud. Don’t quit this living
stem; quitting root and branch
leads to death; the other dark path.

First: seize some natural facts, say
a silvery necklace-web
and the glistening jewel in its centre,
and let them lead to the life
of the crowned spirit. Make
your choice boldly and avoid seeing
your manufactured face. Learn to belong
to yourself and give the gift of a flower
to a stranger.

3. Pedagogical

Have we only to copy, and again copy,
for ever and ever, the imagery of the universe?
Not so. We have work to do upon it,
but the work is not to improve, but explain.
The infinite universe is unfathomable; every
human creature must spell out each part, extricating
it from infinity as one gathers a violet out of grass,
making the flower visible in a new way.

Here’s a painter casting his whole soul into space,
content to be quiet amongst the rustling leaves
and sparkling grass, and purple-cushioned heather;
simple-minded as a child, his brush lovingly
dropping pigment into rose-suffused clouds,
now flying with the wild wind and sifted spray,
now climbing with the purple sunset, now resting
among modest grasses and humble snails;
but always working with the passion of nature’s
freedom burning in his own heart.
*
® 2019, Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. He blogs at:
https://erikleo.wordpress.com


My heart is my heart
I opt to say
It’s is ignite only love.

© 2019, Pali Raj


I included this mantra along with my poem in the last Wednesday Writing Prompt:

Heart Mantra

gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā / gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, so be it

In response, Ben Naga shared this video.  If you are reading this post from an email subscription, it’s likely your’ll have to link through to the site to view this.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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