A Long Day’s Journey Into Montana . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash

“if i knew what the artist knows,
i would surely respond soul and body
to the echo of the Ineffable in rough earthy things

i would not fear decay or work left undone
i would travel like the river through its rugged, irregular channels
comfortable with this life; imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”
Wabi Sabi, Jamie Dedes (inspired by Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren



And this being Tuesday, here are the wonderful, inspired, and through-provoking poems from the poets who came out to play in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt and poem, The Art of Reinvention, April 29. I have no doubt that you will enjoy these poems by Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Frank McMahon, Sandra Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Nancy Ndeke, Eric Nicholson, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets.


She said…
My birth was a reinvention, nature’s just intervention,
against worldly desirous selfish, the spirits conspired.

Ever since I opened my eyes and saw Land Ahoy’
my caretaker’s faces fell, Oh it’s a girl, not a boy’

O boy, O boy, how I lost all attention, in the newly
found dimension, and to adapt to the Earthly code

I was reinvented from a ‘star’ to the human mode,
Life was all peaceful joy, lots of frolic and fun

Books pens and colors, my best teacher was a nun,
all good till I grew a bit, life then pointed a loaded gun

Not a golden buttercup, nor a bed of red roses, life was
a journey with hypertension and little comprehension

Flashes of love, commands, reprimands, and countless
demands, as ‘you girl, stop romping like a tomboy, restless’

Reinvention began early in skin and bone , a change enforced
had to leave and move away from the personal comfort zone.

Repeated bouts of illness drenched me in sweat and pain
I came under the surgeon’s knife again and again and again.

So she said

Destined to shine in a constellation up high, for a purpose,
sacredly pure, nature tested experimented me for sure

Called ‘short’ in height and low on the scales, actively smart
at home with three sisters I became ‘The prince of Wales.’

The young carefree part was over too soon, reinvention
returned to transform me into a bride, wife and mother.

What people saw was a lucky lady, sari clad laden with gold
what my inner self felt was a commodity invented, and sold.

Reinvention did not stop, as roles and health kept changing
from bride to wife, to mother cook , a total maid in the making.

‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on’, all revels will end,
Earth’s surface is emptied, humanity to isolated lock down, sent.

People are reinventing a whole new digital life, a fresh slice,
but this time a tube a mask a cane or wheelchair may not suffice.

So she said

Reinvention is the art, part of life, it is in nature from the start
For all in this world, a role to play, a duty, before we depart.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Some Lines

I am but a label in a category
of diverse species, of humanity
surrounded by crows, chicken
and cats,visited by cows, in
company with a grey African parrot,

Sun’s changed position gives light
moon sometimes peeps through the
window at night,silence distorted by
barking dogs, wonder they are angry
or happy at humans locked down.

Unseen ecosystems decaying or
surviving, green or brown,one moment
wood, the next misunderstood, sprayed
netted drowned in fathoms bottomless,
nature changes forms, reinvents, recreates
all terrestrial on Earthly plane, all celestial
in the Milky Way-

and I say
‘All life is forever to be-
O Lord Thou hast made me-
shall thy work decay?’

© 2020, 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


Red Cup Revisited

The red cup – a fixture in pictures
My focus yet blurred in my mind
Strong and sweet – the fake message
Scared and silenced – the truth
It matched everything
Or so I thought
Remember?
I can
Not
Stop
Drinking
Toss the cup
Where can I drown
This fear of living
Who can I reinvent?
Lost for so long in the mix
I need to climb out of the rocks
Where is the hand holding the red cup?

© 2020, Irma Do

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


Schrodinger’s Cat

Desperate to avoid reality’s sharp spears,
the walls of his world closing in,
he thought he’d apply for the role
of Schrodinger’s cat. He’d read a bit
about it, liked the idea of being at the same time
somewhere and nowhere.

He thought he’d seen an advert inviting
applications, in a paper or on-line,
he wasn’t sure. He dug around
on the world-wide web, learned that Schrodinger
had died. Or so it said. But how could they be sure?

To be a cat, sure of its identity,
pampered master of the household!
To have nine lives! He’d need those, or one
at least if they sealed him in the steel-
walled chamber, give him for company
an atom, which might decay or then
again might not. And if it did go off, triggering
the deadly charge of cyanide or bomb,
then his other self would be elsewhere
outside the chamber, observing the scientists
or safely ensconced in Harrogate.

He dreamed of this happy feline state.
To be and not to be, that indeed
was the question, inside reality
and outside. It might lead on, perhaps,
to a part in Cats: Eric, the quantum cat.

He fell asleep, humming the Great Escape,
replete with dreams. Until a worm
of doubt began to slither and ruffle
his grey, drowsing cells, led him, nearly,
to the edge of a fundamental question.

© 2020, Frank McMahon

At the Storm’s Edge, Frank’s debut collection, is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.


.reinvention, day one.

so we have no internet, the

tv went off, we slept lovely.

woke to pouring rain and i

am still in pyjamas,

not a bit angry.

was hoping to write grevious

and nasy, yet without the spell

check i am as nothing.

it is later now, a slight

reinvention.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

…reinvention, another day…

seems i have reinvented

everything quieter than before.

wet autumn days or is it winter,

the change comes

gradually.

i dreamed a cloud of

falling leaves, awake to find it is so.

it is so very quiet here today.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Unconventional Gambit

Shall I compare thee to a pile of dung
Left, still warm and steaming, by my horse?
So graceful, so well groomed, so well hung.
I describe the creature not myself of course
And pray my words may not, my darling, cause dismay.
Oh forgive a fool whose ardour outruns his tongue.
Should my simple similes offend thee what can I say
But that ’tis from untrimm’d spontaneity they’ve sprung.
If thou wrinkle thy nose at the smell, even sight
Of manure let my lips bid you reconsider the conceit.
Coming upon such ordure to the gardener is a delight
To be shovelled up and carried away tout de suite
For forking it into a bed is surely only but meet.
Without such sustenance would a rose smell so sweet?

© 2020, Ben Naga

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


Past This Corner.

Names define, like locales and culinary delights,
Faith’s too and the practices demanded,
Routines set, manners and etiquettes,
Arriving at ports of who the outside says we are,
See how the tides disagree,
With the silent wind howling and sweeping,
Knocking sense of old forts down,
Hear the rhythm of anxiety drive leaders to tears,
See the rise of questions over old biases,
Notice the flattening of hills of divisions,
Depths are shallowing with new eyes,
Everywhere a new dawn speaks,
Deference is no longer business as usual,
Indifference is learning a new thing,
Every truism is called for re-evaluation,
Hearts are matching with a light lense,
One not trained to pay allegiance to differentiate,
Reprograming the senses to acknowledge more,
We are back at the drawing board of humanity,
And shocking results bear witness,
That all we held prestigious is hollow,
And those we thought minions are angels,
And that material can be so valueless in times of need,
And that humanity needs a higher power to pull it out of it’s own mess,
Leading fact being,
It’s taken a tempest to teach us to be human again,
Harshness has sent us to observe,
Ever so carefully,
That either,
We reinvent our collective treatment of Earth and earthlings,
Or, tragically,
Man walks the dinosaur road.
Everything teaches.
Let agony teach us repentance ,
Forgiveness and fair play.
Respecting life and it’s sustainer.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


In the Shadow of Covid 19

In the garden
daffodils wilt; blossom falls.
Some may see today repeating
like a wind-up toy, while
what may seem hum drum,
the hum of the fridge,
a ticking clock,
the science fiction silence outside,
is the world renewing itself
in each dying moment.
And we too, while honouring
the bitter taste of each
remembered mistake
can fall apart again and again.

© 2020, Eric Nicholson

Eric’s site is: https://erikleo.wordpress.com


Long Night’s Journey Into Montana

Barely cognizant of the college town
just clinging to the jagged western edge
of Big Sky Country
the way a hostage hangs on to hope,
I’d never been to Missoula.
But at three-thirty a.m. last Thursday,
inspired by filtered internet images
and a kind wrestler in a cowboy hat
raised in the region,
I bought a one-way ticket,
concluding that this
must be a place capable of
incubating a fugitive from
stultifying status quos
who’s ghosted
his foot-gazing gait
and pizza-packed paunch,
swapping them for tight-fitting togs
and a swagger that surfaced
once he split from
toxic sap staining a family tree
and a metropolitan apartment
polluted with the vibrations of
vicious self-vilification.

So I spend the plane’s descent
placing a faded denim jacket
over broad, bony kneecaps,
extracting a pocket spiral notebook
adorned with the address of a
hotel-turned-home,
and noting down a new name
that spontaneously becomes
my own.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker

Use the search feature on this site and on The BeZine to read more of Adrian’s poetry. Worth your time.


Body and Soul

All things physical were once naught,
Became, changed, continued changing,
And will be naught once more,
Whether it is a living breathing thing,
A skyscraper or a star,
And if it was once beautiful
That will also change,
But Plato spoke of ideals,
Perfect and so unchanging,
Untouched by the experience of time,
So impossible in the world of physicality
Yet so real as only souls can be
Where time never was nor will be
And if a soul is beautiful
Then beautiful it will always be.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

©2020, Mike Stone

Hope and Despair

There are but two futures to portend:
Hope is one, despair the other.
Despair comes to you from the western horizon
Bearing a large sack on his hunched back
And kerplatzes his fat tuches on your chest,
Plucking reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t
From his heavy sack.
Hope is not a safety net to catch you if you fall
Unless first you put one under you.
Hope comes to you from the east
Bearing nothing but her thin light
To dispel the western darkness.
Hope softly persuades you to change
What you can and must.
She gently pushes you over your nest’s edge
Impossibly high off the ground
So that you may fly
Or die.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2020, Mike Stone

Creating a Language

I had a thought one day:
Why not create a special language?
After all, it has been said that
Languages shape the way we think
And likely what we think,
And since we can do whatever we do want,
I would like to change our language.

I would start by getting rid of certain words,
The hateful, hurtful, shameful ones,
The ones we wish we’d never said or heard:
Killing, hurting, raping, stealing,
Cheating, lying, disrespecting,
Boasting, pointing fingers,
Singing na-na na-na,
Warfare, torture, threats, and frightening,
Anger and self-righteousness.
There’s probably more, I’ll let you know
When I think of them.

I wouldn’t get rid of sad words
Since sadness is the other side of happiness
And nothing has just one side.

Then I’d add some brand-new words,
Some words we wished we had but didn’t:
Words that tell you how I really feel,
Rainbow words with all the gradients of feeling,
Like different grades of love,
Powerful words that can do what they say,
Single words that say everything,
Words that make you lift your head to hear them,
Different lengths of silence, like rests in music;
These are words I’d like to add.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

I Am What I Am

I’m not what I once was
Neither am I what I will be.
I am what I am
Until death do me part.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

To Survive in a Haphazard World

To survive in a haphazard world
In which good and evil are meaningless words
To understand what is happening all around
What has happened and what might happen or not
To feel what is good or evil to oneself and others
To think of what one’s done and not done
What one might do and what one must
To believe what one can’t think through
And to doubt those beliefs when doubts arise
To act when there’s no more time to think
But to stop that action when there’s time to think
Or it’s no longer needed,
These are what a mind is for.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, It contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did.  Recommended. / J.D


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Blackbird, a poem by Frank McMahon

Photograph courtesy of John Yunker, Unsplash
“I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.”

Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird



He’s there again on the apex of the gable,
telling the world he’s got the title deeds
to number 14. There’s a boundary, not marked
on any map but he knows where it is,
so stay outside. Unless of course you’re a female
looking to share a very des.res. And raise some chicks.

Was there ever a warning sign as musical as this?
Not the baritone drone of the collar dove
or the obligato chatter of the sparrow’s octet,
not even the starling’s jazzy chuckling
somewhere between a sax and clarinet

No, none of these but the fluted mastery
of notes and scales, the end stops of our waking day
as he rings down the dark-blue curtains of the sky
and echoes curl inside the silent leaves.

© 2020, Frank McMahon

FRANK McMAHON‘s debut collection, At the Storm’s Edge, was publish just this past January by Palewell Press. Frank is a frequent contributor to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. He was born and raised in Birkenhead, Merseyside. After graduating he began his career in Social Work/Welfare as a practitioner and manager, working for three Local Authorities, British Red Cross and Action for Children. He also served for nine years as a school governor. His last full-time post was to set up and manage a SureStart Children’s Centre. “There is nothing like working with and for young children. They constantly teach you to look at the world with fresh eyes and be open to new experiences.” Frank is married with two children and six grandchildren. When not writing (plays, a novel, short stories and poems) he enjoys walking, (The Cotswolds are his new playground); his allotment (save for the weeds), golf, chess, travel, music, and counts himself fortunate to have some wonderful friendships. He is a member of Somewhere Else Writers Group in Cirencester, whom he thanks for their patience in reading and critiquing his work. As part of that group, he works with Corinium Radio on programmes and plays.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!

FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

“To Survive in a Haphazard World” and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of John Towner, Unsplash

Humanity is not a single thing with thumbs and brain
But a great chain of being extending
Far back to some imagined Eden
And forward to worlds beyond imagination.
To Be Human, Mike Stone



And today, being Tuesday, we share responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, through the ache of time, February 12, which asked poets to tell us what Life is trying to express through us. In response we have a collection of some depth gifted to us by Olive Branch, m m brazfield, Anjum Wasim Dar, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Nancy Ndeke, and Mike Stone.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow. All are welcome to come out and play: beginning poets, emerging and pro.


Life –
pure,
primordial,
prana.
The subtle breath –
every second, minute, hour,
day, week, month, and year.
The challenges –
ongoing.
Learning to appreciate existence again –
this took some self-talking to.
Life, it can change–
pure,
primordial,
prana.

© 2020, Olive Branch (Corneliatrent)


My Gown

look beyond my dark thick gown
be strong and courageous
God is all around me
but you must look past my heavy gown
my light my freedom never closes
for i am not a door without a knob
look beyond my cowebbed gown
but make sure that you clasp your thoughts hand
you will need them for this journey
take time and show me that you are opening a window breathe liberation in
when the threads and seams of my tightly stitched sleeves imprison you
open your heart and push on through
the light is closer than it seems
there will be times when you’ll get lost amongst the blackest gauze of my deceptive petticoats
you will ache cry curse moan writhe in madness
dont be afraid to use the sharpness of righteous diligence to cut on through
don’t be afraid of my gown
within it lay your wings

© mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)


Life Expresses Through Us, The Truth

It is transparent, fragile, tender, light, soft
In flight, painless when free, a form,.an outline

Life is short see the industrious ant the tiny bee
in split seconds crushed killed under the feet

life is joy loss and sorrow,there is but tomorrow
all have a journey a purpose, strong or weak

all things but appear a meaningless scatter
when lost is the touch, body gone for ever

objects clothes even words don’t score
when cherished valued person is no more

one may keep snaps , books, cards and files
it becomes a storehouse of still silent piles

The heavy prompt rests on a serious note
reminds me of poet Ghalib and I quote

‘when I ceased to be,they found no ends
only’some love letters, some snaps of friends’

(chnd tasweer e butan, chnd haseenon ke khatoot
baad marne ke mere ghar se ye samaan nikla)

so what to leave behind and what all to take
leave the old memories, carry all good, no fake

for a writer, its the pen filled with non drying ink
the notebook , the laptop, to maintain the link

with it I may sling on my camera a gifted Sony
would love to ride and fly on a white winged pony

strong or weak, bright or dark, all end down on knee
but stars shine, will shine till eternity, for you and me,

Life tells us, it’s love, devotion, believing emotions’
strength surrender, impermanence here, eternity there

This is the enlightenment that distances matter not
If hearts have love, one is present, present or not

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Life Moves Like the Earth

Life moves like the Earth, revolving yet still,
it is unseen,felt only in places cut like crevices
and gorges, swimming in blood under cover
like rivers and streams, trampled over like
avalanches, corrosion and erosions, some
natural some by humanity,some by necessity
some to heal, some to accept, some to forget
some to live with,
Life is replete with diversity, color shape and
size,life is joyful serene and beautiful.
Life is time unseen, felt only, unpossessed
uncontrolled, it moves life
only time moves and reveals itself in ‘change’
in emotions reactions in patience in acceptance.
Life is a journey here, life has another life’.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:


The Bower Bird

Quintessentially.
Are we any different to the bower bird
following the in-built urge to procreate
offering or seeking a home for two
and then a few? More?

Genetic obligation to keep
the species going, dinosaur
or bug, potto, platypus or worm
living within their means.

Then we arrived, infusing life
with something different: nature,
nurture, conscience, community,
( though the trees showed us the way ),
artistry and greed. So here we are,
Tintoretto with a neutron bomb.

© 2020, Frank McMahon

At the Storm’s Edge, Frank’s debut collection, is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.


. the same tune.

if they played the same tune
over, will despondancy ensue?

life is full of multiplicities, other
hard spellings, lessons to drench a life.

whilst in the midst, the struggle, we fall
and grow.

these things do happen,
to most people.

except some seem immune to
harm.

who are the chosen ones?

the radio plays the same tune,
faintly upstairs.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Gaia’s Offspring

Are we any more then than shadow?
Cast by some greater light, then adrift
Wriggling fingers of a greater hand
Scratching for some miserly purchase
From endless oceans of fine ground sand
Or pen and ink with which to stake claim
In truth no Shelley nor even Smith
The core of us barely substantial
Yet strut our stuff and nonsense at will
As self-appointed lord and master

Wild histories strained through calendars
Fuzzy snapshots back before colour
Ghost spirits captured in black and white
Beckon ever further inward yet
Moments, centuries, millennia …
Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius
Join hands with Leo – a circle dance
To comfort those who seek for shelter
From the icy blasts of Fenrir’s howls

Parasites biting the hand that heals
Imagine that, a serpent with hands
Mythic conjurations down the years
Coded missives handed soul to soul
Like wormholes threading through the fabric
White with black within and black with white
Future yesterdays in present time
Before the confluence was broken

Who dreamt who dreamt before this head show?
Way back before the Word was spoken
Paradise captured in rhythmic rhyme
Across the darkness, “Let there be light”
Though not enough to read the rubric
Revealing the journey as the goal
Triumphs and failures, laughter and tears

Roaming eyes and hands mocked wedding bands
One for his nob and two for his heels
Reprobates disguised in monkish cowls
History’s course runs helter-skelter
Manifestation a game of chance
Your turn to despair, Ozymandias

Borne on see-through wings, ephemera
Born to dance one graceful minuet
Knowing too well death comes before night
In denial beneath the pallor
Masking the stench with sweet lavenders

The blood rushes faster and faster
The time approaches to pay the bill
The evidence is circumstantial
Time to see what hides behind the myth

Mayhap just a game – no blame, no shame
A pageant being played out as planned
In some realm beyond thought of purpose

Fresh blooms revealed all across the land
A new day emerges as mists shift

Wildflowers nodding slowly in a meadow

© 2020, Ben Naga (Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me)


OF BALANCE AND TIPPING,
There is no formulae, of how and when,
To be concieved, to be birthed, or to exit the physical,
There is no blue print, of where and to who,
Souls pick flesh and names,
Yet, billions call earth home,
Earth is generous, almost insatiable in it’s taking, but also,
In it’s giving,
Seeking blindly in a path trodden for eons with bias,
Man is a stranger to his ways,
A racing heart out to conquer,
Often blinded by inner drives that feels little,
Or nothing for fellow kin,
Onwards match footing, marked by retrogression,
Ascending stairs to self appointed deityhood,
Man is a strange one even to fellow creatures,
Enough refuses to quench his man made thirst and,
Excess defines his bloated bludgeoning of everything,
He blames those he victimizes,
He laughs at the weak,
He taunts the struggler,
And despices the fallen,
His mortal body is a prison sentence for the pain of those easily manipulated,
What does Earth’s terrain teach the wickedness within man’s heart and deeds?
History never forgets neither does Karma smile,
The universe is the perpetual witness who never misses a detail,
We curse ourselves by our acts to others,
When we change the scales to gain us,
When we look the other way for inequity to grow roots,
When we wage dogged dogmas to kill thinking,
Or mislead to milk following for gain,
What then, after all the glory,
Begotten of spilt hopes,
Do we applaud the story of our life’s?
Nothing is not as empty as it sounds,
But a life devoid of balance whichever way it tilts,
Is a life distraught with gaps that harms,
Life is a gift ,
Sometimes without glamour or fair bells,
Still, it’s life ,
Sometimes without humor and with steep bills,
Still, it’s life,
And it’s differently the same for the grass and the grasshopper,
Man and beast,
Genders etal,
So we take within our means with a fair hand,
So we give within our means with a dear hand,
And act with the humility of the frail flesh, that all life is,
For to act otherwise,
Is to leap ahead into the abyss that historys of war chronicle,
And calamitous scrolls of nature angered enough to slap back the face of man.
As co-creators with the CREATOR,
May it be in arts or acts ,
Ours should be to seek to do good to all,
For we are children of the same sky’s,
And dust of the Earth.
To think otherwise is vanity, a fact that is in Vogue in our sad vague life’s.
Still, hope reigns in the hearts of few.
Hope is a mastard seed. Something will give.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


To Survive in a Haphazard World

To survive in a haphazard world
In which good and evil are meaningless words
To understand what is happening all around
What has happened and what might happen or not
To feel what is good or evil to oneself and others
To think of what one’s done and not done
What one might do and what one must
To believe what one can’t think through
And to doubt those beliefs when doubts arise
To act when there’s no more time to think
But to stop that action when there’s time to think
Or it’s no longer needed,
These are what a mind is for.

© 2010, Mike Stone

A Response to RS Thomas’ Poem (Balance)

Yes, God is the pirate who sails the wide seas
Between existence and non-existence,
Between time and space,
We walk His plank, not knowing where or how to fall
And yet we fall, abandoning our theories and our faith.
Our minds, then, what, pray God, is the purpose of our minds?
Our minds that weigh less than nothing,
Yet think of weighty matters,
These doubts, why were we given them?
To balance what we think can be known
Against what we think cannot,
So our soul may keep its balance
Walking God’s narrow plank.

© 2019, Mike Stone

A Meditation

Walking Daisy in the morning
Is a kind of meditation.
The trees burst with raucous chirping
A cat sits in a windowsill
Watching a lone bird walking
In the alley underneath.
What else can life come up with?
Oh look, there’s a butterfly!
It is the nature of beauty to beckon us
And our nature to follow.
A plump mango falls to the ground
As easy as that.
Would that all things good were easier
Than doing evil.

© 2019, Mike Stone

The Hermit and the Cabin

My poor soul, bless its,
Well, you know what I mean,
Would soar like an eagle over dappled valleys
Dragging my body along with it if it could
But it has grown accustomed to the weight
And cumbersomeness of my body
Like a hermit grows accustomed to his cabin
Of rough-hewn logs and thatched twig roof
Lost in a wilderness of loveliness and terror.
The cabin protects it in a small way
From the vicissitudes of a heart’s seasons
And the uncertainties of our knowing,
But eventually, the weeds send their tendrils
Through the chinks between the logs
At first admitting welcome daylight
But then unwelcome cold and finally
Strangling the logs with their slow sure strength
Until the hermit is forced to leave the cabin
Looking for another not too overgrown or exposed.
The old cabin will miss its hermit
Until the last log falls to ground
And the roof lies unthatched among the weeds, but
What cares the hermit for the cabin
Or the soul for its earthly body?

© 2019, Mike Stone

To Be Human

Poets, philosophers, and even scientists
Have wondered what a human is,
I mean precisely what,
And so, I offer ever so humbly,
Though it may be riddled with loopholes,
Nonsequiturs and insufficiencies,
My poor view of what a human may well be
Whether or not one is made of blood and flesh,
Walks upright or can construct a proper sentence:
First of all, a human should be in possession of humanity,
That is, being sentient of what goes on around oneself
And caring for the sentience of other beings
Whether they bear one’s likeness or not.
Humanity is not a single thing with thumbs and brain
But a great chain of being extending
Far back to some imagined Eden
And forward to worlds beyond imagination.
Lastly, humanity is not measured by what one knows
But how honestly one deals with one’s ignorance.
A human might be able to whittle it down a bit
But it will always be infinite.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, It contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did.  Recommended. / J.D


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Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

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

c estate of Reuben Woolley

Reuben’s motivation for founding I am not a silent poet: “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.”



Compromised

…….
It takes a moment’s reflection of pain
in near-death eyes of a sparrow escaped
the clutch of an eagle’s, lying still on
a broken leg, twisting its head at my frame
standing mighty and stoic at the door
of a sun-skimmed balcony; in that moment
is when a broken soul shows no gesture but of
repentance for the death she would see,
the death she’d allow over a life that met
a delayed leap of response. To, then, bring
a water container to the trembling beak
to sprinkle drops in a mouth that can see
the largesse before its eyes, but a body limp
to drag closer to the rim, is the way
of a broken soul to show care. Let the eyes
know of a clean water pond – is the only duty
towards a dissimilar being. To bring it the way
of tasting more than a sip is commitment
too deep and wide for retention in dissociated
wells growing salt reeds.
….8
© 2019, Sheikha A.


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


I wish to honour Reuben by thanking him for all the poems he accepted that I submitted to I Am Not A Silent Poet.

World Is

always at war.
Every bulletin lists casualties,
devastated buildings, grief.

Bloodied, scarred, lost, missing,
found dead. What about the lost dead?

Forever wanting you to discover,
uncover their brief candle burn.

We Live

in a fake peace between world wars,
shop and shop to stay reasonable.

Families are killed elsewhere.
We see their relatives tears on plasma screens.

Sometimes tears drop closer to home,
and we are reminded of our fake comfort,

that is preferable, a faux fur covered blade
sometimes bleeds and we are keen.

Our Justification

for the gang rape
and killing
of your eight year old
Child
Is that, like you,
She was
Not human
And therefore
Not under
The rights
And privileges
Of humans.

You must
Be tolerant
Of our beliefs
If you wish
To stay
On our land.

Some Baked Bread

or the journey
to the hole in the ground

where they were asked to lay
on the still warm dead
neighbours and children
to be shot

As their ethnicity was cleansed.
the soldiers with guns
wrote home from the war.
It was such an event.

A Queued

Life. Born to this line
Of cotted bairns,

Crocodiled infants,
Slumped with others outside

A locked classrroom,
Marshalled exams desks,

Job interview staring at strangers,
Ranked at work,

Drs, dentists waiting rooms,
appointmented even my wedding.

Waiting list for a council house,
Parents evening lined up with others

Listed as deceased in papers, online.
Regimented plaque for my cremation.

As that world ends another begins.
Join another queue, another thought

of final judgement already delivered,
or forever pended.

Without Permission

he walked on her grass,
uprooted her wild flowers,

She says “Don’t touch
without asking. It’s abuse.

Stop it. No means no!”
Fantasies of ravagement

on both sides who know
these are merely fantasies

that should never be public
so a no becomes yes,

and abuse pleasurable. Always safe
words agreed beforehand.

Always taken too far, control
and power corrupt.

Slavery

is good for you. All folk
should be chained,

manacled to a mortgage,
to work, to an employer

a partner. Freedom denies
your human rights. Slavery

teaches you the meaning of life.
demands you act properly

constrains you to common sense,
sets out a wild world of imagination

creativity and invention. Freedom
is too wishy washy. Lock

and load your chains. Don’t let
loose and free your mind. Freedom

Is heavy, restricts, denies movement
of blood, bone and brain.

Become a slave and see our world
with new eyes, fresh perspectives.

Hopelessness Is Life

Only the hopeless live.
Only hopelessness makes you smile.

When all hopelessness is gone
then you will grieve at the loss.

There are three streets we can go down,
Faithlessness, Hopelessness and Selfishness

Without one of these the others cannot exist.
There must always be hopelessness

in the best of times. It reminds us of an edge
to life. Surrender to hopelessness

and all will be well. It is the force that drives
all that is worthwhile and good.

An Inappropriate Life

Born inappropriate to this inappropriate world
this inappropriate earth I learned how to be inappropriate

in school, met a lass
who said she was inappropriately ready

to be inappropriately wed, so we inappropriately married
after three months of inappropriate courting

she bore inappropriately our first kid
after six months whilst I worked inappropriately

in inappropriate employment
Promoted inappropriately to inappropriate manager

so we bought our first inappropriate home,
furnished inappropriately, after decorating inappropriately.

I had an inappropriate allotment where I grew inappropriate carrots
and potatoes and cabbages.

She died inappropriately after seven years inappropriate fighting
lung cancer. I never remarried inappropriately

Bring up our second child inappropriately
tell her inappropriate dream stories
of our inappropriate love inappropriate life.

Guns Are

good. Make you feel safe.
Make you more responsible,

like your own child. Nobody
hurts my child. I’ll shoot anyone

that does. My child needs
A decent education. Some shooter

Who wants to be famous kills
my little one in lessons.

I’m glad I’ve got my gun
So I can kill the shooter

And his family. Guns are good.
Make folk sit up and listen.

A Bridge

anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)

It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.

A vein.

between places,
one person and another,

A Bridge

anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)

It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.

A vein.

between places,
one person and another,
you and your kids,
a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.

Broken, blocked, under investigation.

No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message,
via media bridges.

Bins must be wheeled back to their places.

a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.

Broken, blocked, under investigation.

No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message,
via media bridges.

Bins must be wheeled back to their places.

Mobiles

are in the shape of small graves
for children who mine the precious
metal inside that make it work
and I look Into the screen
to stay connected but do not see
their gritted lives as they haul
the valuable out of the hole
and the world has never been
so connected by this small grave
I carry in my pocket.

Deliberate Death Of A Conformist

I insist I nod in agreement
at all they accuse me of.

I refuse to make a spectacle of myself.
I will not protest. I agree with all

the folk in power do. I always obey
the law. Drive correctly. I want

an easy life. No hassle. Why am I
guilty? Whatever it is I did it.

They tell me -That’s too easy.
You must have done something worse.

If we told you to jump out
of that window would you do it?

So I do. Now they arrest me again,
-You caused a public disturbance.

-I agree I say. – There must be something
you don’t agree with they say -No I reply.

– If we tell you you died in that fall,
and this police station is heaven – I agree.

Refugee

is good. To belong
is wrong. Be homeless.

Mortgages and rents are chains.
Tread the world without burden.

Find a banquet in a crumb.
A glassful in a droplet.

Warmth in a newspaper blanket.
Comfort is a concrete underpass.

Our Folk Burn

Management say “Lessons will be learnt”
Folk have already warned bosses.
Management say “Our sympathies are with the families”
Death toll expected to rise.
Management say “Lessons will be learnt.
Austerity costs must be met.”

Because

people killed further away
do not grieve any less.

a mother is a mother
even if her fashion is not ours.

a father is a father
even if we disagree with his beliefs.

an explosion is an explosion
even when on a flat screen.

Nothing (For Manchester)

is real.

My smile was a pink balloon
floated above me. I sang.

A big bang.
Blood on the balloon.

I find metal nuts and bolts.
I can’t sing. It isn’t real.

I’m Just About

managing between the barricades.
My kids play between sniper targets.

I fetch the shop through broken
buildings perforated by gunshot,

past cars jammed across streets.

I’m just about managing between regimes.

“Why Dad?”

It happens a lot.
I look up to see
a soldier
with the butt of his rifle
move Dad forward.

“Why, Dad?”

“They don’t know where
we belong.” He says.

© 2019, Paul Brookes


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