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“declaration of victory” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

A refined though modest collection this week in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Fishing Trip (beginner’s luck), April 25. Thanks to intrepid poets: Gary Bowers, Frank McMahan, and Sonja Benskin Mesher for coming out to play. Bravo! and thanks to Sonja for generously sharing her illustrations as well. Enjoy their work and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

declaration of victory

looks easy i said
to my thuggish older brother and his foppish friend fred
bet I can do better
gimme a try

how much? said the brother
and how much better? said the fred
all I got i replied
twelve cents
and I will hit
not just the tree trunk
but the knot on the left
seven feet up
from twice as far away

they did not want to
but the twelve cents
and curiosity
got them
reluctantly fred handed me the slingshot
and i picked a round little rock
and backed off another ten yards

here is where the quantum multiverse steps in
in one universe i aimed at my brother and hit him in the side
in another i ran off with the slingshot laughing
and there are many others
that would have gotten
the crap beat out of me
by the two thugs

but in this ‘verse
I aimed at the knot
and almost hit it
solidly thwicking the trunk
as i somehow knew i would
and coughed up the twelve cents
two dollars safe in another pocket
and declared victory

I so wanted to try that slingshot
and twelve cents was a small price
for that thrill

and I had done better with my first shot
than they
with all of theirs

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image & Text)


An island without water. We rose just
after dawn, this summer of endless sun
and strawberries, unmoored the boat, began
to work the oars. Steady lift splash pull,
lift splash pull,’ till we could drift mid-fjord.
One simple line and spinner. Wait as sweat
dries; salt, silence then sharp tug, resistance
against the filament drawn in. First fish!
squirming black silver grey. And on and on
as mackerel filled the boat around our feet.
Much easier this than working out love’s
complications, shimmer and wonder
lifting me beyond youth’s self-absorptions.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

the first cafetiere.

we take coffee at the royal sportsman

most weeks

with others

every other


i remember the first cafetiere

dockside southampton


the waiter showed us




we are adept plunging

pouring sincere


counting cups & payments

deducting discounts


drink enjoy the extra cup

& biscuit






hoovering continues upstairs

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


“Rainy Day Comfort”. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Promp

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Madeleine L’Engle … perhaps one can even say this applies to poetry.

Tuesdays are among the most popular days for people to visit the The Poet by Day and that’s because of the quality of work our poetry community produces and the fascination I believe we all have with the variety of reactions to a prompt. Such delight.  So here today are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, April 18, The Taste of Baklava. 

Thanks to these talented, often visionary, and intrepid poets for coming out to play: Irene Aaron (a.k.a. Irene Emanuel), Paul Brooks, Sheila Jacob, Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Pleasant Street. The artful Sonja has shared her illustrations as well.  

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome – encouraged – to participate no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  Meanwhile, read on, enjoy, and be inspired.


Afternoon rain,
steam on tar;
liquid leaves litter rain-sparkled grass.
School-shoe leather
splashing sweet-water puddles,
spraying the grey air with promise.
Homeward bound
after school, comfort food
beckons with tempting smells.

Batter on griddle,
sizzling pancakes
drowned in farm butter and maple syrup.
Olfactory senses
unlock fragrances of
security and warmth,
a taste of childhood days.

© 2018, Irene Emanuel

*A special welcome today to Irene Aaron, new to Wednesday Writing Prompt. Irene’s pen name is the lovely Irene Emanuel. Irene didn’t have a chance to email her bio and photo. When she does, I’ll add it to this post as is tradition with writers new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt.

My Mam’s Spice

Our home were spiced up,
when she were well.
Mam put wooden pots
of her favourite fragrances
on the tiled hearth,
strung garlands
on the hallway walls.

Allspice, cedar wood shavings
cinnamon bark and cassia bark
cloves, cypress wood shavings
fennel seed, incense-cedar
wood shavings, jasmine flowers
and oil, jujube blooms,
juniper wood shavings.

I thought it magic,
‘ cause it didn’t rot,
lavender leaves,
lemon balm leaves,
lemon peel, marjoram leaves,
mignonette leaves, mint leaves,
mugwort, orange peel,

sweet citrus infused all rooms,

pelargonium leaves, pinyon pine
shavings and cones, rose flowers,
hips, rosemary leaves,

even on the gusty winter day mam died,
and the sharp tangs were stench
and the pots were emptied,
garlands binned, odours dissipated
from rooms but not memory.

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Dad Never Only Considers Most

relevant part of a map.
When he gets lost, he stops,
at the entrance to the busiest junction,
sometimes, before a roundabout,
and unfolds a view of the world
to its fullest extent to find his way.

Perhaps, at work when he changes
one tiny part of the system he traces
its effect on a detailed draughted whole diagram
of council offices, hospitals
or nuclear subs where he has installed
new heating waste management services.

And I at work or home cursed with the same
need for thorough deliberation,
find bosses, wives and workmates sigh
at my slow, detailed examination
of an issue, that had I rushed,
as when angry, only find confusion.

My dad and I bring the whole going on
to a brief stop as others
who wish to get on, hoot, cringe,
whistle and toot their dismay.
We ignore them all to, quietly,
stubbornly, slowly map our way.

Original publication in “Verse Virtual.”

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Blowing bubbles

We lean into a breeze skittering
off the hills, send bubbles
soaring through plastic rings.
Our grandsons cheer-
their turn next and we caution
mind you don’t trip
don’t run into the road
but they’re sure-footed, stay
close, race one way then another
across an ellipse of lawn.

* * * * *
I recall dandelion-clocks
in a long ago garden.

puff-breath count the seeds
watch them fly tell the time
one o’clock two o’clock
tick-tock mind the nettles
rub a dock leaf on stings
hold a buttercup under your chin
loop a daisy-chain over your wrist

* * * * *
I feel a child’s arms around
my waist, kiss his blond head.
His brother runs to me:taller,
raven-haired, I hug them both,
wipe soap-sticky hands
and the four of us chase
fresh bubbles, catch some
on our palms, pop the highest
with our fingertips, let others melt
into trodden tufts of grass.

© 2018, Shiela Jacob


I choose a pebble from the beach

and  lick a fleck of salt

from  the red/brown round. Pebble

to cherish through this journey. Grit


and strength and wit must all combine

to carry out this pledge.  Northwards.

Find the first hill. Grief lies

beyond evasion and found  me in moments


of repose between fell and crag,

peat bog and flooding stream. Two

hundred miles, one sea left behind,

the other found. Sunlight then spindrift,


one last steep hill falling between the red-tiled

homes to the flat,grey sea.  A membrane bursts,

spilling everything distilled:

sorrow  and ache and pride. Jolted,


I gasp and clutch a rail, salt burns

my cheek. Walk, walk. I place the pebble

on my boot. A wave inspects

and takes its tribute. I turn and climb, talking

again in silence to one unseen.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


. a vision request .

early while driving.                     omen repeating


sometimes the sun comes lower after the crest


one moment


imagine them marching,           slow & white.


will you name them?


in the wake all things come clear.


slow & white.


later below the peaks i tell him. he said it is

the dark crystal.


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



. a moment .

when the world runs cold,

water freezing, eyes held

from the words.


moments with the old story,

knowing it will be understood.


each day a moment to be

shared out here.


the poetry circle is closed.




do not believe all you read.


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




Falling Star, 1989

I didn’t belong there and I knew it
how you were not mine yet
and she did not know you were there
with me
letting something grow
that was for keeps
in time
keeping time, and
holding on tightly
so that no one could sever our bond
looking upwards
that fierce green streak
putting a stamp on it
on us
and for once
I believed in signs

© 2018, Pleasant Street


“Identical with a Twig” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

I shed more than one tear when reading these responses to Our Small Beginnings, the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, April 11. May you be touched and inspired.

Thank you to bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), Paul Brookes, Frank McMahan, and Sonja Benskin Mesher for coming out to play. Of special note, Sonja has once again shared her art along with her poetry. Paul has created an ekphrastic poetry challenge for himself in honor of  National Poetry Month. Visit his blog to see what he’s been up to.  Worth your time.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

New Soft

nervous she does
what she knows
pushes a pram
cuddles a baby

moves others’
toys that get
in her way

chews her toast,
sups her juice
asks where mummy is.
where her sisters are.

sobs at a boy
in a Spiderman mask,
rough and tumble
older boys.
wants her comfort cloth

climbs, head over heels
explores a soft world

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Cuddled Sobs Cradled

hawk back shudder
at vacuum absence
of hugwarm.

Gutempty, boneneed
heartgripe ache
for those once close
now ashed in earth.

in my arms she sobs
for her mam’s voice,
and my heartsob
for my late mam’s voice.

Rhythm of her grief
as she nods on my chest
almost lulls me to sleep.

She shudders awake
heaves herself to the floor
as her mam, only on an errand
walks a smile through the door.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Fixes It

As a parent you believe
you can fix everything.

when they’re in pain,
regrow bones, restore lost

blood, a pillow for their head,
neck hugged in bright,

playcentre foam
while enquiries are made,

you cry hugfulls,
then, you drive

as fast as you can,
imagine their absence as the worst

now, you make them laugh
warm their cold hands

push their hair away from their eyes
hold it, together

hold it …..together
hold it together

I can’t have

dogshit on surfaces,

settee and chairs,
kids in mucky diapers.

hold it together

but I have.

hold it together

but I have.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Identical with a Twig

At some unnamed night,
and it will be bright,
I’ll go away.

The door I will never
the flowers will keep
My children will have fallen asleep
the most deeply
covered and caressed
and somebody will cant to them again
a cradle song.
It will be light like in a temple
and clear like a voice
in mountains.
Then I’ll leave
forgotten all the words…

A branch in the white snow.

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


Silence was your fortress. Sometimes you would

venture  to whisper through its narrow slits,

granting entry to very few across

the drawbridge, nursing your tenderness while

watching for wolves prowling from the forest.


Time and the winds brought seeds, sun, soft  rain.

Now kingcups fill the moat, campion the keep.

Briony and rose are capturing the walls;

swallows return  to their niches every year

and  in the valley, blackbirds sing your songs.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


You would converse with otters if you could,

count the bubbles as they break the river’s

sheen, your mind a submarine to follow

them wherever they and the waters run;

surface then to roll amongst the meadow

-sweet  and thyme, newest of their brood.


You would take a felucca on the Nile,

cresting its yearly flood, turning back time

to  etch hieroglyphs on the temples’ walls, grind

corn in a quern, dine at the High Priest’s

table, look up as the Pharoah passes.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


We were all ready, our homes and our

imagined worlds, waiting to give you,

day by day and year on year, the best

of our  imperfect selves, to watch you

climb the branches of our love

and catch the world’s excitement.

But you were overwhelmed.

Our earth-bound pathways have diverged.

Yet you will voyage with us, there

in every season,in the dappled sunlight

of our days, learning all the steps

of your childhood’s dance.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

.. boy ..


some shops

sell fairy dust in                 small bottles,

various shades of pastel.                 cork

stoppers, a wee note inside at just £1.99.


i bought you      one,

to treasure. to place

on your bedroom shelf,

in case.

of emergencies.

© 2018, poem and illustration, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings;

.. driving past woods..

oh you are a beauty, showing your legs,                dress swinging.


in rhythm. in photos , little gifs,                                      to share.


how can we  look the same?                   i think i look different


now. now that i have grown,                          watched you grow.


now. now.


now that i helped  when you were sick.         


now i am older and watched you die.                          all of you.


i say goodnight to some and remember                       all of you.


how can i look the same.                                                  now. now.


remember all that has been done.                                           how

can i look the same?


you are still a beauty.


dress swinging.

© 2018, poem and illustration, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings;


“enough, Enough, ENOUGH!” … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, April 4, Where is the will of the cup to overcome the sword?, are marked by compassion, concern, insight, and sadness. A collection of heartfelt works by three poets new to Wednesday Writing Prompt (June G. Paul, Frank McMahon, Siobhan Tibbs – bios included by way of introduction) and by three of our dear regulars (Paul Brookes, Sonja Benson Mesher, and Mike Stone).  As a part of her response, Sonja has treated us to some of her artwork this week.

Thanks to all six poets for generously sharing their work and coming out to play. We hope you’ll join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome – encouraged – novice, emerging or pro.

The Golden Shovel Poem

The bar brawl began after midnight, blood and wine splattered where
she was sitting and asking herself, Has everyone gone out of their mind? Tell me if this is
real? Is it true that some people still do not believe that the holocaust has happened?  The
ignorance and denial of people, the erasing of and rewriting, of the history of mankind will
certainly be the cause of the end of
us all. And will the end of the world come before the end of all time? The
woman wondered, as she leaned over to pick up the cup
he had dropped during during the brawl. Standing there with the empty cup she opened her mouth to
speak, quietly asking him in whispers, Why is it so hard for you to overcome
your past, your addiction to alcohol and fighting about the weapons of warfare when it was the
Word of God, who spoke before and on the cross, offering peace with his two edged sword?
“Where is the will of the cup to overcome the Sword?”*
© 2018, June G. Paul
* line in the poem:  time for the temple whores to sleep with insanity, and take the war from it,   (c), 2017 by Jamie Dedes
enough, Enough, ENOUGH!
We drink the cup of the new covenant without
taking in its meaning, for God’s sake
Jesus Christ
turned water, into wine, into blood.
The blood of the Passover lambs replaced with
the wine in the Passover cup he called the blood of the new covenant.
There is wine to be shed, wine to be poured out at the altar
instead of blood being shed all over this earth.  Enough!
Enough drinking from this cup without living into its meaning,
without remembering Jesus Christ and his will for us – Peace.
Enough! Overcome the sword, wake up, stay, and pray, save yourselves.
Enough of the drunken soldiers drinking, trying to forget, and crying over
the blood shed from all the wars they’ve fought on this earth, Enough!
Enough! Drink, all of you, the cup of the new covenant and remember
Jesus Christ
lifted the cup in his hands while speaking his will for it and for all –
Drink, all of you, it will be shed for the forgiveness of sin.
He poured out his life of prayer for us, remember Jesus,
Remember his will for us – Peace.
It’s time we sacrifice our sin for Him, to overcome the sword,
for our own sakes and for God’s sake, to save ourselves from
the hell we’ve been causing on this earth – Nuclear blasts and bombs
bursting over and under and into the air, the land and the sea
we’re polluting ourselves and our own eternity.
enough, Enough, ENOUGH!
Now is the time to cease our fighting, now is the time to bring an end to war.
enough, Enough, ENOUGH! the battle cry of peacemakers,
Kings and Queens and Princes of Peace on earth are crying out.
Now is the time to call out and bring out the peacemakers
Those who believe in the will of the cup and the new covenant
will overcome the will to draw their swords, setting world at ease
There is time, Today, time to fill and bless the cup and lift it up
There is time, Today, time enough to be forgiven of sin,
There is time, Today, time enough for us all to sacrifice our sins and live
There is time, Today, for us to live in peace with all nations.
Now is the time to set the nations at ease instead of keeping them on edge
Now is the time for the will of the cup to overcome the sword and the world.
In peace, let the people of the earth, heal and forgive,
In peace, let us all find joy in co-creating Heaven on earth,
for that and therein is where the will of the cup is found.
(c) 2018, June G. Paul
June G. Paul

JUNE G. PAUL is an aspiring poet, wife and grandmother who enjoys creativity.  She and her husband live in Portage WI.  She recently scheduled a series of monthly poetry readings with featured poets and open mic time.  June is currently working on several different writing and art projects.  She has self-published two books and will be soon coming out with her first Chapbook which she is titling, My Poems: Chapped not Trapped.



Find me words to stop the slaughter.
Find me words which will be heard
and  not just heard but taken up,
amplified and echoed. But not

just  voiced by millions or painted
onto banners. Find me words which
will pierce concrete walls and steel-clad
minds, find me words which will stop.

Find me powers to lay across
their desks and war-room floors broken
bones and flesh, find me powers to
make them cradle in their arms

the headless child, to salve her mother’s
napalm-shredded skin, unclog
the students’ gas-filled lungs, prise out
the shards of shrapnel while they order

more assaults. If they will not desist,
then give me power to move them
to the cellars, the shattered streets
and farms and make them wait alone
while we decide their future. What
can they offer to atone? The dead
and maimed must speak, pronounce. Find
them words to write the final page.

© 2018, Frank McMahon, originally published on Reuben Woolley’s I am not a silent poet

FRANK McMAHON is a professional social worker in the UK and includes work with the Red Cross. He’s written several plays and more recently had a creative burst writing poems. His publications include I am not a silent poet, The Cannon’s Mouth, and Cirencester Scene. Frank lives in Cirencester. He’s had two more poems to appear later this year in other journals and is also a member of a local writer’s group.


a few help the others, while the others suffer


there was a picture of a bomb   in blaenau, next

to a drawing of a dick, and a passage from the bible.

hash tag.