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“oracle” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The oldest known love poem. Sumerian terracotta tablet from Nippur, Iraq. Ur III period, 2037–2029 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul courtesy of Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) under CC BY-SA 4.0

“May poetry and God’s name have mercy on us!” Mahmoud Darwish, Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems



Here we are at Tuesday again, the wonderful day when we share poems submitted by diverse writers in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt. Rising Up, You Poets, August 22, which questioned whether or not poetry can inspire change. The consensus seems to be yes: in the zeitgeist, in the reader, and in the writer. Gary points out that poetry comes in many guises, productive and inspiring.

This fine collection is courtesy of Gary W. Bowers, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob,  Frank McMahon, Urmila Mahajan, Pali Raj, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone. Today we introduce and warmly welcome Bishnu Charan Parida with his poem Arousal.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning.



Arousal

The day dawns in my courtyard ,
As the silent sunrays play on the green grasses ,
The shy squirrels run squeaking on the tree branches nearby ,
Slowly I open my window to see the world beyond…

Activity resumes in my neighbouring avenues ,
As the street dogs play among themselves
The morning walkers gather at the tea stall, gossiping

Speeding crowds upsurge along the city roads,
As monsoon clouds cluster and collide thundering across a serene sky,
A soft tender morning opens out to full bloomed day

I am too , part of these busied goings ,
Rushing through a road jampacked with whistling cabbies and colourful crowds,
The hills, the horizons and the vibrant earth
Resonate in my heart and in my poetry ,
Poetry that rouses me
Rising in me,
To the living moments

©® 2019, Bishnu Charan Parida

BISHNU CHARAN PARIDA (Bishnu’s Universe) is a bilingual poet writing in English and Odia .He is from Jajpur Road, Odisha. An engineer by profession he carries passion for poetry. His poems have been published in many anthologies and magazines of national and international repute. He has been honored in the state level Kalinga Nagar book festival 2015 in Odisha and at 11th Guntur International Poetry Festival 2018. He has been the world featured poet of Pentasi-B, China in 2019. Recently he has received the prestigious R. N. Tagore award from Xpress Publications, Kerala, India.


tankstoppers

a walking poem
stood his ground in tiananmen square
and a tank ground to a halt.
a russian poet
used a poetic silence,
having been ordered to fire
in his submarine,
to prevent nuclear conflict
in 1962.

on another submarine,
years before,
the sub commander,
the last man topside,
ordered the man at the hatch
to “TAKE HER DOWN!”
that three-word poem
killed the skipper
and saved his crew.

a poem
is often not
words on a page.

a poet
may compose with sacrifice
or with a timed caress
or with a knee on the ground.

if that is not poetry
what would there be to codify?

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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

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


oracle

it’s not that i am being difficult Majesty
my people have no food to eat
not a pond to wash their tired feet
and my sons they squabble in vain
my daughters they struggle in pain
Majesty all i‘m saying is that my words
should not offend you as you have told
me always speak truth
but i have realized that i
do not agree that my tongue should be tied
and my soul deprived of freedom
to be who i am to soar to the heavens
or to delve in the deep
i do not agree that my limbs
should be caged if i have to
wage war against the enemies of my innocent babes
i don’t mean to be ungrateful
and rebellious at times
but when my children are cut down
by your Princes and clowns
i have to attack with my voice and my heart
through words that are poison
to your ego fueled mind
the sergeants of time
will slowly creep by
and carve out a zone
where i might just languish
in your punishing hate
but don’t turn your back
on those who adore you the most
because with every flower and offering
and purse full of coins
that they render to you
will only weigh you down
to a perdition of soul of spirit and crown
you can shut my lips and burn my body down
but it’s just a body a bag made of vanishing flesh
however Majesty you cannot neglect
the truth in their eyes
the strength in their breath
the beauty in their spirit
their righteous battle call
when the war rages out
the wicked will fall

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


A Poet Is Not Silent

A poet is not silent, bowed, complacent.
A poet is not cowed into submissiveness.
A poet must see clearly, highlight abuse,
A poet sees into the corners,
behind closed doors,
through the language mist thrown out
to disguise intention.

A poet always does the difficult thing,
climbs the impossible, holds the hand of the lost.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Cause Offence

It challenges the norm.
Gets folk off of their laurels.

Is a shot in the arm.
Keeps folk in the ballet,

on their toes.

© 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.

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

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


Plato

banished poets
would not be happy
seeing so many

writers thinking
and writing poetry

Poets,

writing

are not fighting

nor are they blasting

nor putting innocents

to eternal sleep

Poets

Tempted
by inspiring prompts

may repair wrongs

in lives and lines

making people strong

poets….

change lives

for the better

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Ode to The Power of Poetry

O Thou, Heavenly Hellenic Linguist
What tales did unfold inside caves
what stories uncloaked, in waves
Of signs symbols and patterns, sets
of lines dashes, seen in lit lanterns, all
in a balance, all in rhythmic meters net,
deciphering letters, forming words, shaped
into a ‘made up thing’ named poietes’

You stepped in tracing transforming
making joys into journeys, voices into
voyages on high seas, revealed monsters
demons, deities wise and goddesses naïve,
unraveled kingdoms, inspired feats of
Herculean strength touching the grandeur
of Rome, magnificence of emperors, racing
gilded chariots, defeating Troy, killing Achilles.

You made the Great Islands overflow with
linguistic jewels, Regained Lost Paradise, restored
the monarchy, transitioning to the wonders of
Renaissance. Your revelation of Epics of Art and Word
led to the great Enlightenment, as civilized Empires
spread across the Sahara Deserts. You related lines
and lines of mighty battles, shining armor and victories
These tales inspired millions to adopt your style and diction.

You laid the foundations of recording fact and fiction,
‘the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’ that all
humans are kin to, you gave the theory of ‘ to see the thing
in itself as it truly is’ ‘the velvet footsteps of Spring’ that
softly touched the senses and brought forth Romanticism.
Encompassing other branches of the lingual system your
great adventure gave birth to Persian and Urdu in the South
Asian region. You caused the chain of change’with all charm.

You were present in the Courts of Kings and Emperors and
emerged as the Ghazal form representing love romance and
social reflection. People enjoyed the expression recitation and
expression as new phrases devices and techniques converged.
With your power nations experienced the change of fate and
blessing of freedom when Dr Allama Iqbal Poet of East’ instilled
the spirit of ‘Self’ Discovery, awakening the Muslim nation
to the true realization and strength of faith and the Right Path.

He wrote
Koi andaza kr sakta hai uss ke zor e bazoo ka
Nigah e mard e momin se badal jati hain taqdeerein
can anyone even guess at the strength of his arm?
by the glance of a true believer even destiny is changed

You changed the state of the human world every time it
was in pain grief and segregation, you gave hope, uplifting
suffering souls, bringing them together , creating peace –
You are a bridge of sustenance comfort and positivity
your makers are now more, more than a hundred thousand
You have proved the function that is your special feature
To inspire, motivate, provide catharsis, instruct and delight
your need was never ignored nor ever felt urgent as of today-

Come it is almost September the World awaits you –

Your Coming is sacred and holy, the planet is burning
smoke is rising, war threatens innocent generations , they
look up to YOU- Lead Them to The Long Awaited ‘CHANGE’
with Peace and Togetherness, as you did in the past-
Poetry Your Power To achieve The best for this world
will never be in doubt- September is the season of apples
let us raise our hands in prayer thank the Almighty and
with joy happiness and forgiveness , fill all the barrels.

© 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


The Caged Bird Caterwauls

I know why the caged bird sings
Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Vibrating out into the fractured world
There is no accompanying harmony

Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
There is no accompanying harmony
When the free birds don’t want change

Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
She caterwauls until the cage shatters
When the free birds don’t want change
Her powerful voice portends the power of action

She caterwauls until the cage shatters
Vibrating out into the fractured world
Her powerful voice portends the power of action
That’s why the caged bird sings

© 2019, Irma Do

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


Give Sorrow Words

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart
and bids it break”. Macbeth Act 4 Scene 3 William Shakespeare

And if your throat turns dry
let ink flow from pen to paper.
Write grief into the light.
Name it purple or black, fevered
or frosty, pulsatingly loud
or snake-soft and hissing.

Give sorrow its voice.

Let words trace the tangle
of your heart and someone
you’ve never met will read,
exclaim: I, too, walked
alone in the rain and wept.
I too, hid in the nearest shop

to avoid a friend who always
asked how I felt, suggested
we went for a coffee/watched
a movie/met up for lunch.
I, too, preferred the company
of strangers and empty streets.

Lay old hurts to rest.

But when they’re new, bare
them; share them, rawness
to rawness until they’re held,
and understood and verses arc
across the page beating towards
that tiny” thing with feathers”.*

*From Hope by Emily Dickinson

© 2019, Sheila Jacobs

To purchase Sheila’s little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com


What Use?

I imagine the opposite, where poets break
their pens, clamp silence on their tongues,
where every line of verse has been erased:
blank pages, empty screens.

I imagine then a desert where remorseless
dunes have buried waterholes and trees,
where no one dares to irrigate or plant,
where the wind no longer carries voices.

What is a land without rain?
What is one voice against the censors
and the engineers of souls?

I sing because I must.
Somewhere a flower may bloom,
induce the implacable
to hesitate
as the words uncoil and move
through eye and ear to the heart,
to reconsider.

Somewhere another voice may sing
and another and another
and another and another.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


Poetry

Poetry is what you hear when
you open yourself up to the
vibration of the universe
what you feel when patterns
twine and intertwine until
your pulse harmonises

it abounds in the patient
slump of a grey heron’s back
master fisherman who mas-
tered the zen of waiting, the
arch of a dancer’s sole aching
on a hardwood floor, rocks
that funnel a singer’s voice
into the clouds and blot out
city lights, profuse purple heart
that trap your feet and your path
path, the curve of creation

if you can reflect a strand of
the world as it is, with the frag-
ment of glass you’re given,
slant its lustre into minds that
receive, a poet’s work is done

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew


Craftwork

We shuttle, like spiders,
between the fractured, anguished days
and the leap of the heart
in the transcendental moment,
weaving our threads in the sway
of wind and rain, patient
for the time when the light
will play on the captured dew
and the passer-by will pause
as we wait behind the curling leaf.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


Roads and leisure
Blood rising ……huh,
Shops and marketing in: when
I give a shout ‘I have no coin’
in a slither of sweat ‘legs join’:
My cheek gets cut. Her rights bleed
Holding on tight I urge
Rising up, you poets – a poem will be fine.
I give a shout ‘I have no coin’

PLEASE HELP _/\_

© 2019, Pali Raj


Phoenix

Mangled , strangled, blood, ink
blood red, ink black colours dripping on
asphalt tracing strange patterns
blood red, ink black fuse -indigo-
ripped pages curl up in the smoke,
book bindings melt, leather tomes
the gilt spines blackened, words lost
or are they?

like a phoenix rising, the blue-black
red-tinged words fly high up in the sky
the world over. Al Muttanabbi Streets
forge ahead in shiny new pages of white
brown, hues, the palette of colours
rich as the artists and writers of the world
as they birth verses, sketch a new world
to replace pain, loss. The shock and awe of love
reinvigorates, unites and creates.

Author’s Note: This poem was written as a tribute to the booksellers at AL Muttanabbi Street in Iraq, a street where a lot of booksellers lost their lives by a car bomb in 2007. Poets world wide have responded and here is my contribution which I read at an event entitled ‘Al Mutatanabbi Streets Start Here’ in Glasgow Scotland.

© 2007, Leela Soma


Hiding Behind the Truth

Raanana, October 3, 2016

A poem is a wild thing
Untamable, it never tasted bit or reign,
A naked thing
You’d never take to church
Or have to Sunday dinner.
It uses an outlandish language
And it’s always true although
You’d be hard-pressed to say just how.
It’s true because
The poet with nowhere else to hide
Hides behind the truth,
But it’s the poet who is the wild thing
Untamable
The naked thing
Who cannot help but tell the truth
Hoping you won’t understand
But love him for outlandishness.

© 2016, Mike Stone

The Lips of Infinity

Raanana, May 16, 2019

And he welcomed them,
The children, the old ones, the infirm,
The youth, the busy young men and women,
The forsaken and excommunicated,
The doubters and disbelievers,
Agnostics and atheists,
The doctors, the scientists, and technicians,
And, yes, philosophers and poets,
From all over the world,

And he spoke to them in the one language
They all understood, the language of silence and action,
And this is what he said:

I am not descended from David
Or the son of anyone but my father.
My only credentials are the truth of my words,
Which are your words,
If you would only be silent long enough
To hear them inside you.

I have not come to tell you
What to believe,
Whom to love or not to love,
Or what to do.

I say only these things:

For your own sakes, believe in someone or something
Because belief gives you strength to go on
In an uncertain world,

For your own sakes, love someone or something
With abandon and utterly,
And don’t mete love out parsimoniously
As though you might use it all,
Because love lifts you up to the lips of infinity,

For your own sakes, do what you must
To follow your belief and protect your love
Like a wavering flame in cupped hands,
And the rest do with empathy and concern
To cause the least evil possible.

They left as they came,
Saying among themselves,
Not much of a message,
And each went his separate way

But when each arrived home
And was alone and silent,
He heard the words inside himself
And knew they were true.

© 2019, Mike Stone

The Emperor’s New Changes

Raanana, September 11, 2016

A hundred thousand poets for change
That’s us.
That’s what we called ourselves last year
And the year before.
So they’ve stopped lynching the poets in Arabia?
They’ve stopped stoning the raped women in Kabul?
What about the mutilation of genitals of young girls?
So they’ve stopped burning down Black churches in Bama?
Stopped desecrating the lands of our Sioux brothers?
How about the carbon they’ve dumped in the atmosphere?
Did they stop that?
Do they believe now the earth is too warm to live on?
Are philosophers kings yet?
Are kings philosophers?
I don’t mean to be cynical
But it doesn’t seem like much has changed since last year.
We’ve read a few poems,
That’s all.
Come to think of it,
Have we really changed,
Except for getting a year older?
If that’s change
Then we better change change
So that it’s palpable
So that we can feed people with it
So that people can walk tall from it
So that people can protect themselves with it
So that people can make love to it
Until change is done changing
And the world is all the Republic we need.

© 2016, 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.

MIKE STONE’S AMAZON PAGE IS HERE.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing 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.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * 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

“Ambiguous Spring” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Union Cemetery, Redwood City, CA

This morning
The first drops of winter …
excerpt Call of the Whipporwill, Mike Stone



And it being Tuesday, here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Gone the Winter Gods for Those of Spring, July 17, which asked poets to write about a season or the seasons and so they do.  From spring in Bulgaria to spring in India, from a pensive visit to a cafe in Los Angeles during a humid July to feast of seasons in South Yorkshire, from the sun in Côte d’Azur to rain in Dartmoor, from the promise of spring in San Jose (CA) to the seasons as metaphor and memory in Pakistan, the yearly devisions are weighted with sensual pleasures, rituals, reminders, and symbols.

This week’s collection is courtesy of bogpan, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob, Dick Jones, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Pali Raj.

Enjoy! And do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome. To those who’ve written to ask how to be published on The Poet by Day, participation in Wednesday Writing Prompt is the best way to introduce yourselves.  


green green

ah, you won’t remember the sweet October when amber juice drips from the vines
and where does the little grape picker go on that greenest afternoon

ah, the sea got stormy today

little girl, shrink midst the swollen grapes quickly
because the goats’ hooves sing, ah, a joyful god and his dusty entourage,
and a green coluber in the sea of green

ah, you won’t remember the sweet October when you take a sip of juice

© 2019, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov)

bogpan’s site is:  (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия  блог за авторска поезия )


moment of clarity

july evening warm humidly noisy
in the city i sit between Spring and Broadway streets
at a mall downtown where i’d like to fantasize Bradbury
could be found drinking coffee
looking to my left there are the kids joshing and cussing
rolling on skateboards zephyrs with iphones
to my right hipsters with credit cards today green means something else
micro chips smart chips designer chips vegan chips
i smile Mona L style and sip my Vietnamese coffee straight up
pigeons coo me out seductively with the waffle sound
of their aged wings dusty with the history of my time
here in this old new modern city
a tiny crack on the wall
by the fire department’s emergency pipe
holds my attention but i knit by brows
dainty lilac flowers
offered up to the most attentive student
the teacher dark green weed shows the little creatures
exquisite tiny intricate jewels luring in the bees
another universe within my urban home
i don’t like hot weather
sweat panting and stickiness
should only be for sex
but if the retiring sun hadn’t drawn me out
for the night i would have missed the buzzing of life
and random thoughts of HST soul madness and did JD really
shoot his ashes out of a canon
crazy kids at times trapped by the freedom of the mind
i’m working on an espresso now looking around
twirling my ankle like a cat’s tail
am i happy today i must be
today i’m not running
as much

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Our Home

where the linnet calls
it breaks big white back
of winter; craggs out
grey veins dry stone walls
of territory.

Male Ring Ouzel calls,
cock Lapwings tumble,
Short Eared Owls hunt
wasteland: incomers.
birds swoop upstream bones
moved by these false springs.

Then the Curlew calls.
Spring staggers from brok
en white shells, tubers
unsteady or sharp
suck out hill’s feathered
underside.

There the Golden Plover
takes fledglings across
warming ice: snow broth
whispers down to crack
the river’s quiet
hibernating voice.

Published in South West broadsheet 1993, featured in Paul’s as yet unpublished chapbook about birds “Feather”

© 1993, Paul Brookes

A Winter

My oak skin believes
it is spring, electric rhythm
pushes out long
yellow catkins
and small female flowers,
purple hairstreak
butterfly caterpillar food
A false spring in dendrites
in my wintered head.

My leaf-burst happens
next mid-May
not this end of December.

Watch my hawthorn buds blink,
new fresh green leaves cum creamy white flowers, Queen bumblebees pierce
nectar and pollen from my Spring flowers,
frogspawn wobble in my ponds, ditches.
Bluebells confetti my woodland
hear Chiffchaffs arrival ‘chiff chaff’
tops of my trees and Cuckoos, swallows,
house martins and swifts feathered return.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Sweetness So

late in the season,

I ask the tree,
“Please can I take some

of your fruit?”,
the easy pleasure

my hand reaches out,
amongst the almost naked,

gnarled limbs,
my fingers round

the full luscious belly
of a hard green pear,

and gently twist to snap
the umbilical cord,

and place it in the basket.
And say “Thankyou.”

On the ground gnawed
and sucked broken skins

rest on mown grass,
sweetness oozes into cold air.

Soon the aroma of apple
and pear crumble inhabits

the fresh rooms of our house,
the heat in the pastry,

the knife’s blade cuts
a portion.

“Blow on the spoon, love.
I need to know

if the pears are soft enough.”
says my wife as she ushers

bubbling fruit and crumble
to my quivering tongue.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Wombwell Summered

Big animal heat corrugates
radiates, illuminates
dirty windows building flaws
bounds over rooftops
primal veracity.

Pigeons, spuggys
shadow puppetry streets, houses.
Tarmac warm shivers.
Radiant windows flash mirror
passing traffic.

Evening spitting,
growling, flaming,
fluid lads/lasses on heat,
short shirts tempers.
This is the barbecue.

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

Old folk bench gab,
mothers stroll babies
down funeral paths
eye gambolling squirrel,
cemetery a parkland.

Blackbird gob skyward
atop Victorian six pointed
terracotta Crown top
chimney pot
trills red brick streets.

Bright yellow sharp
edged box hedge sun
cracked pavements
yellow metal skip
blocks alleyway
All sun snogged

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

Shadows pass over bus
as if it is stop motion animated.
I get on the animation.

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

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Wombwell Autumned

cheapskate jewellers inlaid
caught raindrops set them
with garnet and ruby placed
their gleam in window trays
diamond

golden leafed pot pouri lines
road and path mulches
in downpour.
Smell wet forest on the street.

Woman: ‘Bus is a horse and cart.
Knocking us to and fro.’ As it made
way up Packhorse Road down
which salt was brought.

A crocodile of Canada geese
across yellow glow clouds.
Two parts of broken iron
bath loaded in a van
goodbyes.

Blown remains of burnt out
abandoned leaves left
by summer’s joy riding trees
eyesore streets.
Some always stay green

Town is vivid grey,
but yellow shines
out of closed pound shop,
open butchers, grocers,
mini market
early risers.

Bus stop lad, snapback cap
red American football shirt,
‘Billy’ tattooed neck, says
‘xbox3 fixed by hairdryer. Sorted’

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Wombwell Wintered

Circular torquoise baby
traveller leans against wall
beside blue & green recycling bins
outgrown its use

Young man, pink card factory
bag massive metallic blue
balloon gets bus in soaking wet
everyone smiles

Parkered Cemetery Openers
toy Yorkshire Terrier tartan
coated in downpour trots beside her
only watter

On wooden garden table/bench,
nest terracotta/black plastic
plant pots,
behind bakers glass bread sheen

white wooden door atop
rammed yellow skip,
blue mattress, wardrobe,
table, worn tires
broken world portal

internal curved mirror
raindrop stores light
in a bucket corona
crown wet siles down
prompting reflection

After rain tiny drainbound
streams bubble broken
rubbish down causey edge
urban streamfront property

Streets wet week, Sodden &
Gomorrah, entryways shelter,
windows pebbledashed
towns grieves for a laugh

Please Use Other Door
arrow points up High St.
large To Be Let, For Sale on pole
signs of redirection.

Wet pavements dry world
mercator maps estuaries
coastlines islands cloud animals
imaginations silhouettes

like morning summer broken
dries wintered leaf blasts
blue cloud pummels spring breath
out autumnal still.

Atop Green bin green eyed
ginger cat paws folded under
On white wash line mid travel
cable car raindrops.

High Street man, black frizzy
wig, pink wrapped flowers,
pink, white, purple balloons
adjusts rucksack.

Rainpools broadcasting
light unresolved
mirror restless refraction
image holds brief seconds
undecided reflection

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Wombwell Springed

Small pair of step ladders
roped together
pink bucket
childs yellow chair
stood outside terrace
window await instruction

washing strung out
between red brick
terrace walls
and wooden fence lats
signs of spring

street bottom cold mist
like over grainy movie
photographic fault
greys out background
like floating

detached house
stands to one side
observes
with a disinterested point of view

not like our terrace
where neighbours hear through walls
or in entryway
our oven fan
flaps through boisterous
kids play football,
humpbreathed lovers at night
a gunning motorbike

follow bitumen
pavement trails
pipework underground
odd bitumen patches
road potholes filled
highway maintenance

beneath billows of surf clouds
walk against tide
in dappled sunlight
over tarmac sea floor
pass ash maple fronds
where marine call centre
talks bubbles

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Paul Brookes, prolific Yorkshire poet

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


Too Kind Seasons

Oh seasons warm and cool
you are good as a rule
sometimes harsh in hail
and heat when humans fail

to defeat pearly drops on the
brow, when comes the fall
trees become bare, silence
covers all, like friends far away

unseen unknown like seasons,
change with time, making sadness
in cold, and joy in the Spring
life is made of tender things

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Hark Listen Think Celebrate

in cold, grief snow bound encapsulated
crushed fallen swept foliage separated
branches heaving moaning sighing
I , like the brave trunk stiff,contemplated

December’s last days, ending or drifting
to new beginnings, dreary evenings
what is to be celebrated, one is thinking
it is a time of gathering and blessing…

bloodshed blasts, death blows through
North East North West North South North
does not stop- by benumbing weather
death knows not barbed wire or border

why celebrate the coming of Peace when
peace is not belief,when strafe and strife
is here there and everywhere, then, do
do we really love or care for human life “?

Celebrate with joy in white and red
white is a shroud and blood is red
spirits rise, bodies lie, darkened sky
players play with arms’ held high-

I seek Peace and Holy Peace will come!
we pray and decorate honor and wait’
‘O People do not stop to Celebrate’ the
Gift of Life, let the Bells Ring, anticipate

bury the hate for black or white
world is a rainbow ‘ day or night
think stop think no one is winning’
Hark, I feel, Someone Blessed is Coming’

Know now the reason the time, not, is late’
Time to Be Happy Time to Celebrate , Celebrate

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

An Icy Embrace

the moment we stepped
outside the glass door
Lo we met , face to face

an icy embrace

sending shivers deep inside
coat collar rolled up,tight
pushed back against the tide

an icy embrace

we kept walking slowly
unseen force engulfed
pulled controlled coldly

an icy embrace

someone cried ‘O Jesus’
and I knew how cold he
felt, as he bowed and knelt

to the icy embrace

O Aeolus thou wast kind
but sleep conquered mind
Greed left All Good behind

an icy embrace

man must know this
is the best unseen gift
Nature’s Power to uplift

Life in an icy embrace

cold or warm it is good
wind it is, as understood
fly sail breathe,no falsehood

though it may be

an icy embrace

© 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


Thoughts on January 6

A Quadrille

My summer island beckons me
When the sun hides behind
Winter clouds. Her waves, trapped
In whispering shallows, softly request
My return. Her rocky shoreline
Curved in a waiting embrace.
Her salty scent of carefree
Days warming the frigid air.
Only 6 more months.

© 2019, Irma Do

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


Remember Remember The Fifth Of November

We gathered branches
from overgrown trees,
wove them into a wigwam
and lit plugs of paper.

The woodpile blazed,
filled the night air
with a tangy crackle
of bark and rose-thorns.

Rockets flew
towards the moon.
Roman candles flared,
hissed into gold cascades.

Catherine wheels
sizzled and shone,
spun out their lives
on our garden fence.

We waved sparklers
like magic wands
and watched
the old year burn.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase this little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com


SUN AND RAIN

La Croix-Valmer, Côte d’Azur.

By day we burn into our own
shadows. Crash-landed
on white sand, scoured

by salt, we rust and wither,
Once we were flesh,
now we are part terra cotta,

part dead leaves, all oven
dust. That birthright
certainty, cool water

falling, belongs to legend
lodged in rumour. Rising,
rising, the sun yells

in a blue room and
we drown inside
each other’s steam.

By night we slip
between cool covers
and we dream in green.

:::

Fernworthy Reservoir, Dartmoor.

Inside the gold-green heart
of rain we move like figures
in each other’s memory.

Directionless, we’ve lost
the certainty of standing water,
under a moiling sky, splayed

face down across the moor.
Now mighty blades of rain
have chopped the logic

of the hills into broken
language and we can’t read
the meaning of this world

without horizons. Taproot boots
are sucked between tussocks
and we stand, motionless,

mouths open, doomed beneath
our packs, bog men dissolving
back to salt and sinew.

© 2019, Dick Jones

Dick’s collection Ancient Lights is available through Amazon HERE.


AMBIGUOUS SPRING

The colours were returning: pathfinder celandine,
yellow as rich as butter freshly-churned,
pale infantry of hellebore and crocus,
racy flights of blackthorn, early bees.

A pelt of snow has caped the distant hills;
milk-white ice conceals. Now wind shrives skin,
uncorks a furl of rooks to larrick
in the heady draughts while buzzards
rise, their plangent calls ringing through the air
above the trees, at ease in their hunting spirals
or jousting, perhaps, in early season foreplay.

How will they fare tomorrow
when gales will drum and thump
and a waterfall sweeps downwards from the sky?
I will sow seeds, drink tea, wait until the storms
have clawed their way beyond,
judge the wisest moment to emerge,
to steep my hands in earth’s true wealth,
when sun and water have balanced
what the winds have weathered,
to sample,grit under finger nails, palms
dark-stained or smeared blue with clay,
to fondle the webbèd texture,
test, grain by grain, its tilth, sniff aromas
of leaf and loam, praise the work of worm
and microbe, frost and air, declare,
to no one in particular, that the land is ready.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.fail in the cold.

the days of heaven gold

are coming to its end.

are we the children

of the fall, those of us

who dance in the leaves,

who fail in the cold or the

brashness of summer

**

read about the courage of others,

about the closing of doors,

against the rain and the wind

blowing.

read about the loss of brothers,

about the moving of house

escaping pain,and remember

these golden days of autumn.

going

**

read about the perfection

that never is, the quality that fades

in time, with crosses,

people’s minds.

read about the rain in the cwm,

that blinds and blinds,

and loses paths and footings

**

read about the days

in the old house

the days that are, and were,

and may come with dreams,

and fortitude.

read about it all, and i ask,

why do you read

here?

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..winter song..

winter bare her soul.

medieval trees reach up

for solstice and better days.

sing in silence and simplicity.

sing for those in remembrance .

dark winter bares the soul, those

that believe. sing in silence.

one voice breaks.

dark winter.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Blossoms and promise
Spring begins
Hopeful heart, who would now spoil a day
Winter is dead.
Sure, you can snuggle up *with*
a cup of tea and read
*I ain’t a bad guy*
What is it like?
Gone the Winter Gods for Those of Spring, a poem make an escape….yeah
I ain’t this year and I ain’t your fault.
Blossoms and promise
Spring begins ….

© 2019, Pali Raj


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Five by Jamie Dedes, 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)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

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


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

 

“a genesis with a Dada twist” and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“an image or phrase can jump into your head,
so strange you nearly get run over by a taxi”
Matthew Sweeney and John Hartly Williams, Write Poetry and Get It Published



In one of Mike Stone’s comments on the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, How to Be a Poet he said, “They say it’s a sin for poets to write about poetry. Poets should write about everything else in the world besides the subject of poetry. What they really think about writing poetry will be reflected in the poems they write.” As it turns out, I am grateful that I and others here didn’t know about that injunction and that Mike – knowing it –  ignored it. What an enthusiastic response to the last prompt! It’s not a surprise really, given the nature of our community. Here today you have in effect a digital chapbook … or “pamphlet,” depending on from whence you hail.

Thanks for coming out to play mmbrafield, Paul Brookes, Kakali Das Ghosh (welcome back, Kakali), Jen Goldie, Sheila Jacob, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pengelov (Bogpan), Mike Stone, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate.

I know this is a late post for many of you; but, in Northern California it is still Tuesday.


a genesis with a Dada twist

in  the  beginning  when She  did  pick oxygen carbon hydrogen and nitrogen and He did stir the clay with hot holy essence all the words in the world were at a finger’s length beyond my reach

so close they were that i then leapt out of the nest of my pink blue galaxy and into the pavement of down town LA the words they did follow in time i’d pluck tiny words for tiny worries and the Nephilim smiled for they knew i was falling

in love with the charge of turning the misery hatred pain starvation violence and rape of it all into the beauty found on the hem of the robe of the Goddess and the wing of a humming bird

that’s reaching for the higher hanging words drenched in the nectar from the Tree of Knowledge i strung them up to detail the anatomy of a broken heart with its crystal shards wrapped in Cleopatra’s linens sanctimoniously tucked away in a Payless shoe box atop an urban closet shelf

of the condemned building in the bosom of desperation and the pool in eyes of children stack did i those words like bricks made of powder to bring the kingdoms down and with the rabble of defeat as i burnt down i built up a nation of wordsmiths

who with their quills pens papyrus key boards tablets and marketing firms wait gingerly drinking lattes on the Stratford Upon Avon wicker chairs

that my English teacher said she dusted for the scribes who mused the signs letter symbols into the dendrites of my mind but not before Allen Will Bill Jack Hank Dylan Langston Lou Bowie Leonard and Ms. Angelou were anointed and leaving me with words less spoken

HERE is the link to mm brazfield’s poem more properly laid out

© 2019, mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)


Sound Sculpture.

Look at the noise.
Listen to the squiggle.

Kaleidoscope a still symphony.
Music is stillness.

When your eyes move over
Its surface there are bass notes,
treble, wooden mallets on metal.

When your eyes focus on one part,
orchestration deepens, zooms

into the chord runs. When are you
alive?

Between the notes.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Poem

touches the photo
hears the photo
sees the photo
tastes the photo
smells the photo

This photo is invaded
This photo is annexed
This photo is a refugee
This photo has no home

This photo knows
It’s photographer is dead
This photo feels
the photographers fingerprint

This photo does not
know what colour it is

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Poem as Competent Nineteenth Century Merchant Mariner

This poem is able
to Chock a Block,
make a mat
or splice a rope.

This poem is
a rope block heaved to its full extent.
Full up, no room for any more.
When the two blocks
of this poem’s tackle meet
it will prevent any more
purchase being gained
Keep cargo from a shift
in the dark hold

This poem is
a rope yarn mat used to fasten
upon outside of exposed parts
of standing rigging exposed
to friction of yards, bolt-ropes of sails,
or other ropes.

This poem splices rope
twists words wrapped
into sentences that strengthen
when tautened by meaning.

This poem is
carefully rigged
for cargo
into your imagination.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

The Hyperbolic Poet Awakes

My eyelids open
are two worlds unfettered by cloud.

I splash the seven oceans
on the continents of my skin.

Rake the tombstones inside my mouth,
tumble downstairs is scree down a mountain.

Open the wooden doors of delight,
recover the pottery of ages,

pour an avalanche of muesli
farmed on sunny hillsides,

crushed by the quern.
Grab the milk hosed out

by gargantuan herbivores,
refined in their udders of heaven.

Wash and restacked pottery,
I stride over the open threshold
a veritable colossus.

If Poet Cries

the world cries

If poet laughs
the world laughs

Poet is world.
Solipsistic.

Poet tells life as poet finds it.
So this is the world.

The world is not beyond the poet.
Poet is not beyond the world.

Poet is history. Relate to the words
of the poet. The poet has you

compare your life to the words.
Poet is reader is poet.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Mop And Bucket

are poetry to me.
My pen is a mop

I stick in a bucket
of disinfectant floor cleaner

pull out mop sodden
with words and splash

them backwards and forwards
slop lines one after the other

Until the floor fair shines,
My mop is dry, needs another dip.

I squeeze out the gunk
back into the bucket.

More the floor shines,
dirtier the bucketful gets.

A good poem is a clean floor.

From my 2018 collection Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Dustpan

and brush are poetry.
Brush is my pen

sweeps all the words
dust, ripped plastic packaging,

used sucked lollipop sticks,
shop receipts, religious pamphlets

sausage roll pastry, used product
labels into a neat pile,

position the dustpan to receive
the words. Carefully flick

the words towards a dustpan page.
Inevitably, some words are swept

under the page. I have to rescue those.
Sometimes the page is the floor.

Sometimes the pen cleans away
a chaos of words to leave a poem.

From my 2018 collection, Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Paul’s website is HERE.

Paul Brookes, prolific Yorkshire poet

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


a bloody poem

When a dawn gives a blue bird its ears
I walk along the far away beach
The vast sea lullabying giant waves speaks with me in whisper
I listen all his untold stories
And a poetry evolves in my heart.

When a dusk gives a fallen leaf its heart
I walk towards those broken shanties
tingled by dull last sun rays
I listen there stories of hardship
And a bloody poetry awakes in my heart.

© 2019, Kakali Das Ghosh


Ode to a Poet

we seek a synonym
to sanctify a noun
to agitate an adverb
to verbiage a mime
All equally compelling
Just short of being crime.
Then we sensually sanctify
The confessions of the mind
A poet you say?
Oh, the menacing muse
leading to confuse.
I would give half thrice and twenty
Even more if you please
To subjugate a wiser muse
who added to my purse
to reimburse my verse.

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Penning Prose

Music moves my soul to dance
or heave a sigh
or weep a tale perchance
or pedigree a poem,
or to, like Shakespeare,
rail and “beweep my outcast fate”
and “trouble deaf heav’n”
“wishing me like to one more
rich in hope.”
as I cry for lost love, or
perhaps a Beatle tells me to “Let it Be”
or McKuen’s part words and phrases,
I would rather Emily be, with luscious
integrity laying down the words
with solemnity, en class
To contemplate their symmetry
and pen the prose my soul can see.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Jen Goldie and Starlight and Moonbeams … and the Occasional Cat )


My First Poem

How could I not be moved
and try to make sense
of the war in Vietnam?
My best friend felt the same
but when I showed her my poem
she raged. I’d gone too far,
I’d dared to write as though
I was a teenage G.I.in Laos.
What did I know?
What had I ever suffered
compared with the stench
of a battlefield?

Our friendship faltered.
We stopped connecting
even as I remembered
I’d inhabited that world,
lay flat on my belly
and wormed through
damp undergrowth,
rifle on my shoulder.
Fear clung to me like sweat.
I waited to obey orders
and wondered why I was there.

It became my history,
my tragedy, my time.

There’s always a life
that runs alongside mine
and a place
where the two paths meet.

I write this path:
step into army boots
or the skin and bone
of bare feet on broken glass.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

A review, interview, and selection of poems from Through My Father’s Eyes, Collected Poems by Sheila Jacob coming to The Poet by Day soon.


To be a poet

is to leave behind the thronging
crowds and head towards the empty
shore; sleep beneath the stars, catch
your breath as the sky fills with light,
walk slow below the cry of birds,
turn your face to the stinging rain,
inhale the scent of kelp and salt;
imagine your past as dreck, pebbles,
flotsam, jewels, petals, all
spread out for you to comb
before you plunge wordsticks in the sand,
watch what the tides take away
and what they leave; fashion
from what you find a song
to take back to the thronging crowds.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.the rewrite.

rewrite it, add the dots, delete the rhyme.

erase the last draft, start again,constantly.

wrap arte facts in paper. box for transportation.

lose the plot,scrap the lot, fear the repercussions
constantly.

now there is a good word, if the space bar works.

do you wish you wrote longer stuff, important tomes,
well i do,
constantly.

it is all ready now, i just need your instructions,
and i know you have asked.
constantly.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the writers.

not thinking it comes good,

just write, share and eventually

correct, edit,delete

you like, comment.

on reading others ( pause ) regret these

simple ways

i am not clever, everyone is a writer.

she said so.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.anonymous writer.

Having trouble getting back.

Difficulty finding words, of the
simple type, to type.

Spell out the consequences,
of an easy life.

Is it criticism, or a general sensitivity,
which abounds, confounds the
smallest heart.

She says we should not handle bats.

They write better stuff than me

words i never have

or think in

They have been to a university

I have been there twice visiting

while two have died

there

They write in patterns

I watch with difficulty

&

admiration

Yet glad i feel better today

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Creative Writing

at the corner are walking
people?
that
has nothing to do
with the creative writing
with your manner
to transfer (slowly)
the cigarettes into a cigarette case
to understand
I’m one of the others?
yes
like a white mountain is
the woman by me
who
is falling asleep

©. Bozhidar Pengelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


Hey Mister Poetry Man

Raanana, December 20, 2018

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Make me a poem if you can,
Don’t put it on a shelf so high
That I can’t reach it
And don’t put it down too low,
My back’s not what it used to be.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Tell it simple in plain words
That people use for every day.
It shouldn’t be too smooth or slick,
I trust a man who struggles with his words
More than one who doesn’t.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Show me something I haven’t seen before,
I know you’ve been around places
I’d never get to.
It should lift me off my feet,
Throw me down,
And lift me up again.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Let me try it on for size,
What’s good for you
May not be for me.
It doesn’t matter how long it is
As long as there’s some magic there
Before the end.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Hearty Low-Carb Poetry

Raanana, December 14, 2018

First, gather the ingredients:
Two or three fresh ideas from your backyard
A sprig of dappled sun and shadow
A touch of time
A pinch of rhyme (not too much!)
Don’t forget the meter
A bissel of iambs will definitely do.

Preheat the drawer to a comfortably musty degree
Add in the ideas, one at a time,
Into an old but well-loved pot
Stirring slowly all the while,
Finely chop the sprig of sun and shadow
Sprinkle time over the chopped up sprig
Pour the rhyme and iambs sparingly.

Put it in the drawer, no need to heat or rush,
Take it out when the poem’s done
And it will serve at least
One starving poet.

© 2018, Mike Stone

What Can a Poem Do?

Inspired by the poems of Linda Chown
Raanana, December 9, 2018

What can a poem do? They ask
With their sideways snickersnacks.
Well, a poem can swoop down
From high above the clouds
With talons bared and ready
Almost touching ground, but not quite,
The image of prey in its dilatated pupils,
But a reader will say,
Take me whole,
Take me now.
This is what a poem can do, it says,
So put away your snickersnacks,
It’s not for you, my talons bare
But if, by chance, my talons pierce your heart,
To the ends of space and time
Your heart is carried,
But your heart must find its own way home.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Somewhere, Sometime, to Someone

Raanana, September 6, 2018

One preacher opens church doors wide at night
To succor the homeless and the helpless
While another locks the doors against the thieves.
One imam speaks of love and peace
To anyone with an open heart
While another preaches death to infidels.
One soldier gives his food ration
To a hungry child
While another aims a joystick in the clouds.
One king honors poetry
And another hangs the poets.
Don’t look for truth in poetry
Though truth hides there
As certainly as souls hide in all things,
For everything a poet writes
Is true
somewhere
sometime
to someone.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Looking for a Poem

Raanana, March 9, 2018

I woke up this morning
Got out of bed
With an unexplained hankering
To write a poem today
So I slipped on my jeans
And looked for a poem to write
That hadn’t been written yet.
I looked in the cupboard and then in the fridge
But seemed we were fresh out.
I looked through the paper,
The stories and pictures,
Even the ads,
Page after page
For something between the lines
Or the silence before and after,
But nothing was found.
Honestly,
Don’t know why people read newspapers.
Daisy and I walked out
For her necessities
While I looked in the bushes and tree branches.
Sometimes I see something
Flashing the sunlight
Or reflecting the quick shadows of clouds
That let go a flood of memories
And old loves.
I used to go out looking for girls to love
But now I go out looking for poems.
I suppose that’s a kind of love too,
Sometimes a dalliance
But mostly unrequited.
Later I went to the gym
Where we torture our bodies
In hopes we’ll trim fat or grow muscles
And looked for a poem
Between the weights and the treadmills
But truth was the beautiful came beautiful
And left beautiful,
The strong came and left strong,
The rest of us stayed tired and tortured
With nary a poem to show for it.
After that,
I stopped at a coffee shop
My hand trembling a cup
I looked around at the other tables
But nobody was reading a dogeared book
Or writing a poem
Or looked up at me
As I looked away,
Though the tables were busy
With people reciting their well-rehearsed plaints.
No poems on the menu
For lovers of Buddha
So I went back home thinking
Maybe this is a poem.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Poems Like Ghosts

Raanana, September 18, 2017

Poems, like ghosts, won’t just come to you
Whenever you want.
They decide the time and place,
Whether to come at all.
They size you up and down
And sideways
Whether you’re worthy or not.
Oh, I’ve known people who’ve gone
Their whole lives without ever knowing one.
You can be pretty
You can be smart
You can pray to God almighty
But that doesn’t mean a poem
Will come to your house
And knock on your door.
When they do come though,
They come naked as the day
They were born
And they expect you to be that way too,
Stripped down to your very soul.

© 2017, Mike Stone

When a Poet

Raanana, June 30, 2017

When a poet wakes up in the morn
He puts his pants on
One leg then another,
And when he buys his milk and wants to pay
He stands in line between
The woman with her screaming kids
And the foreign workers,
But when the poet looks up at clouds
Or the night-time constellations,
Orion’s scabbard or Cassiopeia’s tilted throne,
He sees encyclopedias never writ nor read
By the likes of you or me,
And when he loves,
It’s Trojan Paris
Who’s faced ten thousand ships
And went to war for naught but one.

© 2017, Mike Stone

Seducing the Muse

Raanana, September 25, 2015

The room was dark except for one dim bulb
Trembling its cone of light above her head
Balanced delicately upon her swanlike neck
While the poet sat in shadow scarcely visible
Scratching his quill inside a notebook.

What care I for your poems poet?
I must have launched a thousand of them
But never read a single one.
Who has time or inclination for such pinings
When one is busy with life’s sordidness?
What’s that you ask for? Do speak up!
Oh, you want me to remove my blouse?
You’re all alike. My skirts, my shoes, my undergarments?
Shall I go on? My soft white flesh,
My muscles and my skeleton, you’re all the same,
Pornographers of the soul you are.

When all that remained was silence
And his empty head
He closed the notebook and wondered
What had just passed through him
And when it’d come again.

© 2015, Mike Stone

Ode to a Poem

Raanana, July 17, 2015

The first time I saw her,
Her flowered dress hanging loosely
From her slender body,
Her boyish haircut belying her doll-like face,
Her dactyl fingers holding
The frail unfolded page she recited from
Trembling but heroic in her hexameter,
Lips touching the microphone in a whisper,
I knew she was a poem
And not a real person like me.
I saw her once again in a city park
With her small daughter
Who is also a poem,
A haiku full of frogs and butterflies,
Ponds with bridges and lanterns,
And crayon buddhas
Dancing in her dreams of childhood,
Tucked in by her mother’s watchful love
But not a real person like my child.
My mother was a poem
A southern antebellum belle,
Sitting on the floor,
Her generous skirts flowing out from her,
Her freeform youth and beckoning beauty
To all who admired her poetry,
The only language she could speak and sigh,
She knew to be a poem you had to die,
Not a real person like me.
Me, I don’t rhyme, I scarcely scan,
My iambs died from anapestilence,
I go to work and come back home,
I watch the news and worry some,
My wife and I go to movies when there’s a good one,
I walk my dog and deal with encroaching silence,
And this man in mirrored parody
Becomes increasingly estranged to me,
But it’s a life I’d feign give up.
Still and yet at times I wish
I were a poem too.

© 2015, Mike Stone

On Poetry

Raanana, July 3, 2015

It’s been said by poets who should know
That it’s a sin to write a poem about a po-
Em, probably because it’s hard
To find a word that rhymes with poem
But, if I could, that sure would show ’em.
All of my life I’ve been thinking of poems,
From daybreak to nightfall, from five until three,
Why can’t they just once be thinking of me?
I may not be in possession of beauty but
I can rhyme truly in dactyl tetrameter,
Though most of my rhythm is sprung into free verse,
That’s no excuse, n’est-ce pas, for not thinking
Of me.

© 2015, Mike Stone

About Poetry

Raanana, March 31, 2012

Poetry is a mode of thought that allows us to use our language to break through the boundaries of common experience to speak of uncommon things.

© 2012, Mike Stone

A Poem Unwritten

Raanana, March 9, 2012

No one has ever written a poem about a poem unwritten
Of the many virtues of such a poem
The perfect meter of noambic nometer
The clarity and minimalism leave
Even haiku silent with envy.
The language of silence is universal
Requiring no translation.
It will be unread by billions!
It’s amazing that no one has thought of it,
No one and I.

© 2012, Mike Stone

Want Ad

Raanana, June 5, 2009

Wanted muse to pose for poet
Work challenging but not too strenuous
(Just need to exist)
References desirable previous poets
Preferably Romantic though
Classic also accepted
Exquisite beauty and grace not required
Please reply in fourteen lines or less
Iambically
M.

© 2009, Mike Stone

I Ink Therefore Iamb

Raanana, December 22, 2004

A few things I’ve learned about poetry:
Never write a poem about poetry,
And the more emotion you put into a poem
The less you get out of it,
And rhyme is less important than reason,
And a poem not read is as sad
As a poem not written.

© 2004, Mike Stone

Little Jack Horner

Raanana, March 3, 2003

Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner
Eating his humble pie;
He plunged in a dagger
Pulled out his heart
And said what a good poet am I.

© 2003, Mike Stone

6000 Miles and 30 Years Away

Raanana

Old world spirits must be overrunning this country;
How else to explain this poetry coming into my hand
After all these years.
Must be the autumn lights,
Same as childhood’s.

My mother was a poetess.
Father was a writer and a storyteller.
She wore a scarf.
Emily was the name she would have chosen for herself.
Her long autumnal hair, lifted by iambic breezes.
She wrote a book of poetry.
I never saw it.

Father had all the instincts.
She didn’t wear her motherhood so easily.
Father left school to be a father and a husband.

One day, Mother left home to be a poet.
One day, she left the country.
One day, she left the world.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, just out last month I believe. 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.

MIKE STONE’S AMAZON PAGE IS HERE.


On— How To Be A Poet

See first in vision the falcon’s high view
invoke Calliope Erato Polyhymnia Thalia
acquaint thyself with the epic classics
sacrifice a black goat’s head to Writing God Thoth
grab a writing palette and an ink jar,like his
a copy of his book ‘Book of the Dead
arm thyself with powerful weapons,pens
pencils, quills ball pens tablets modern-
dig into a dungeon invisible,
in utter dark solitude,brood,for immeasurable
moments,be oblivious of waste and wild,think not
of companions beloveds partners-
be far removed,in fact farthest is best-begin
commence the quest- idea must be supreme
like the Idea of Order of Key West
remember,know,that you have a song to sing
first sing to self if by the sea then a water melody
It must be on chords of ‘dashing water’ and moaning wind’
you are now on the spiritual plain,
in the happy realm of the creative domain,leave aside
the sense of injured merit, maintain with steadfast love
outward lustre,transform the alphabet into shapes beautiful
match it with the idea and there -you have what is called – a poem
and you will be -who is known as – a poet

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

A divine gift …

A divine gift, a blessing in the discerning eye
in the receptive mind, an ability in the grey
matter , opening the unseen box , a theory
of participation, of creation, a revolution, an
evolution, a single color to a rainbow, opening
trapped emotions, releasing enslaved feelings
letting a catharsis emerge, a torrent of tears, a
burst of energy, a sudden sprouting of a seed,
an awaited blossoming of a bud, the fall of the
last leaf , an Oracle of Delphi, a prophecy, a
spell in the forest, an untreaded path, a road
not taken, a lashing wave, a light in a cave,
waning or waxing the moon, a constellation
in the Milky Way, a new world order, a new
planet in boundless blackness floating, A
destiny all known yet created in expressions
rhymed or un rhymed in lines and symbols
expressed manifesting new meanings, new
vistas opening to form overtures, notes musical
by a musician, painting by an artist , a poem
by a poet.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Poetic Idea

A thin screen
finer than the spider’s web
an unseen transparency
a void, yet a space, appears
between thoughts and the spirit,
a vision seeking words, to take
shape and form,to manifest the
idea, a thought normal transformed
from nothing to something, from
the mind’s eye to world view, to
see the hidden, expose it with beauty
more than inherent in nature and by
doing so initiate a movement, bring
into the seventh moment, language that
lay latent, to form the symphony from chaos
that would fill the sails of the harbored ship
and set it off on a journey through undiscovered
oceans and uncharted seas- this would be
the force called poetry and one who arrives
at the still point would be called a poet’

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Behance  … artwork
Poetic Oceans poetry on WordPress
Poetic Oceans  poetry on Blogspot

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


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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



 

.memoire. … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Along the drive by my friend Mick B’s house.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Lost: One Grandpa Bodhisattva, May 1 was a call to write about friends and/or friendship. What you’ll mostly find here in response is how affected we are by the loss of our friends who have meant so much to us and done so much for us. The aching emptiness cannot be filled. The memories are joy and pain. There are a few other notes in these songs of friendship: Irma and the support of her running friends; one of Sonja’s poems puts me in mind of Pooh Bear; Paul writes about the strange intimacy of distance; and Anjum’s poem shows such a deep appreciation for friendship, a flower the scent of which permeates our lives. All these poems are worth your time and thought and will likely trigger a few tears and a few poems of your own. Read on …

Thanks to mm brazfield, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Anjum Wasim Dar for coming out to play this week. Thanks to Irma and Anjum for the added value of their illustrations. And once again, thanks to everyone for your patience with the time it took to get this post published, still Tuesday here but Wednesday already in England (Paul and Sonja) and in Pakistan (Anjum) and Wednesday in the places where a lot of readers live.

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

… do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, whether you are a beginning poet, emerging or pro.  All are welcome – encouraged – to come out and play and to share their poems on theme, which will be published here the following Tuesday.


sometime in an August

Asa who laid in the Panhandle with me you strung out on love i on wild chemistry from around the Tenderloin Asa who lent me his Walkman for Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters as i stared into the night sky higher than our hangout on Coit Tower Asa who was ecstatic when we shared stories about the boys we kissed at the Trocadero on Wednesday nights as i cried when you told me your fate Asa you with your toothy smile biting my cherry Danish as you took off the shirt from your back to cover all of my track marks when the workers came to take you away to your mother’s place in silence and all i could do for you Asa was stand as the ambulance pulled away

© 2019, mm brazfield (words less spoken)


What’s So

special about me
after my mates are gone?

Nobody to talk to.
They left before I could say goodbye.

They bleed and I don’t.
No reason. I went to their leaving.

I can’t hug them.
They are so cold

Wish I could have left.
At the same time.

Wish I could be as cold.
No reason.

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

I Always Lose

contact with everybody
so find out how they’re invaluable.

Taught at school to make promises
that can’t be kept can’t keep. As is fashion

Lost contact with school mates.
Taught memory makes you responsible

for their anniversaries, forgot
to pay the provider. No internet.

Taught to lose books cos they dont
tell you owt. Libraries are records

of folk losing stuff. What I want
to read that for. Enough on forgetting

my own, our lasses and I swear some
kids are saying am theirn. All in air.

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

My Strangers

are friends who haven’t been estranged yet.

All my mates are strangers.
I keep them at a distance.

Chat to them in third person.
Internet on my mobile tells me

when I’ve to give them best wishes
for a special occasion like anniversaries.

They inspire closeness and loyalty.
I can trust them.

They know me.
What I eat, sup.

laugh at.
Strangers are more intimate than friends.

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

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

On Female Friends

Both tote cans of lager,
all in black leggings

get the weekly shop in.
One says to the other who

Packs the shop “I’ll stand
on his face. Tell him.

I’ll stamp on his face.”
The next couple,

“Mam, you buy the weirdest.
What’s suet for the birds? Fat balls?”

“It’s your dad’s dinner, pet”
They both laugh.

From Paul’s last collection Please Take Change  (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

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

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

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

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

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

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


For Karen:

You’re bright!
And lovely!
And beautiful!
I will always
Hold that gift
In my heart.
Because,
The warmth
And joy
Your friendship
Has offered
Will stay with
Me,
Forever.

As I said…a simple poem.
But straight from my heart.

This is a simple poem I wrote many years
ago for a true friend I’d known for over 30
years. She has passed now. But I still benefit
from her strength and passing wisdom and
I will never forget her.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (From the Corners of My Heart)


Heaven Sent Group Run

Eyes up to heaven

Running mile seven

I’m tired

My legs feel deaden

“Come on,” you beckon

Perspired

Running moms hearten

Together driven

Inspired

Another Lai Poem for D’Verse. The topic for this one uses the prompt from Patrick’s Pic and a Word #185 – Heavens. I’ve been on a streak with Patrick’s wonderful prompts! Head on over and see the lovely photos and words he uses for his weekly challenge. Patrick’s photos and poems from his recent travels are magnificent!!

While I didn’t get to actually run my seven miles this weekend like I was supposed to (rain and family obligations had me cutting it short), I was very grateful for the women who joined me from my local Moms Run This Town chapter. I was running short intervals while two other mamas were running longer intervals and our speedster mama was just running. We would leapfrog each other on the out and back trail, coming back when we would get too far out.

Even though I was running by myself at my own pace for most of this group run, just knowing my running friends were ahead of me or behind me made me happy and kept my motivation high. That’s running heaven!

I’ve also submitted this for Jamie’s Wednesday Writing prompt on The Poet by Day to write about friends. Is it weird that most of my friends are runners or writers?

©️2019, words and illustrations, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too …)


For Karen:

You’re bright!
And lovely!
And beautiful!
I will always
Hold that gift
In my heart.
Because,
The warmth
And joy
Your friendship
Has offered
Will stay with
Me,
Forever.

As I said…a simple poem.
But straight from my heart.

This is a simple poem I wrote many years
ago for a true friend I’d known for over 30
years. She has passed now. But I still benefit
from her strength and passing wisdom and
I will never forget her.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (From the Corners of My Heart)


ROYALTY

For Bryan Southwell

You were the King, upbraided in rehearsal
for taking too long to die. “They’ll all miss
the last bus home if you don’t speed this up!”
Even now, your fury reverberates.

Ah, my gracious friend, so many miles walked
upon the links, everything elegant,
even your bon mots in the midst of our
vulgar chaffing. The Schubert Impromptus

as we drove those Norfolk byways, the sun
flecking the chestnut leaves. The Canterbury
Tales in Melton, shared hours of bawdiness
and helpless laughter. You could have graced those boards
making love to the Wife of Bath and who knows else.

Admissions and discharges, blow
after vicious blow, cries of pain filling
the ward, nothing imagined for effect.

In the end, death could not come soon enough.
You slipped away, into the wings, denying
us all one final curtain call. You were
ready, not us, no, palms uplifted, empty.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.friends.

we are friends .

we are friends , we met in the lane.

the words sound like poetry, the quiet
voice sounds shouting in this silence.

it can make windows and opportunities,
space to accompany the music.

travel far and in between, play the right notes,
write notes, and then maybe, all will come

clear. or not.

i need that stop.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

#facebook friends day

so bear says,

why aren’t i in the film,

i am your friend.

ah yes i says,

yet no one will

believe that.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.memoire.

he says it is the word.

they will remember.

i will remember them all,
tidy, kind, white table cloths,
napkins, the favourite
picture.

i will remember you,
work out your age
every year. the wind blows.

all beautiful faces. the friends.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

                                            You my friend  –  A Flower

If Humans Are Friends

Your thoughtful  smile makes me stay
a little while more than I really should
lost in space, I am like Icarus, wings burnt
many lessons in life I have now learnt

I would fly over ethereal plain, if I could,
To meet you at this stage of life,
The distances are understood,
Of age  culture and traditions,
You’ a flower and me, a piece of wood.

images  formed,  are shattered soon
Time like dust ,vanishes over the moon,
You inspire me and give me hope though
as friends for long, I’m scared  of the scope,

What lies ahead what tomorrow brings
What, where, now’  I will not think,
See the miracle of hearts and feelings
With all the spaces, no family dealings-

I am hopeful of good and beautiful things
As shared in moments short and precious
Your advice as a poet writer, full and sincere
Given asked and unasked,without fee or fear,

We met as friends as friends should be
Who make life joyful  light  and easy
I will remember till heartbeats permit
If humans are  friends,
Allah’s Blessings are writ۔

© 2019, illustration and poems (English and Urdu), Anjum Wasim Dar

کچھ امیدیں  ابھی باقی ھیں

اگر دنیا  میں ٰانسان دوست مل جایںؑ تو
کچھ امیدیں  ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اس کی مسکراھت  میری روح  کی رکاوت بنی
کچھ  ضرورت سے زیادہ رکنے کا احساس ،
خلا کی وسعت  میں گم اونچی اڑان  سے
،اونچی اڑان  سے پر جلا کر سوچ میں محو   

کچھ سبق  سیکھنے ابھی باقی  ھیں

ٓٓپھر بھی عمر ا  ٓخر میں  اس دوست  سے  ملنے 
افلاک  پہ فظاوںؑ میں  اڑتے ھوےؑ  فاصلوں کو  کاٹتے 
ھوےؑ ، رسم و رواج کو  نظر  انداز کرتے  ھوےؑ صفر
کا آغاز  ، سورج  کی شعاوں میں ، چاندنی راتوں میں

کچھ راستے  طے کرنے  ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اے  دوست، یک پھول کی مانند  پاوؑن  تجھے
میں کہ اک لکڑی  کا کٹا  ھوا   تکڑا بے  بس
تصور  جو  کیا  بکھر  گیا ، وقت  گزر  گیا،  بس
 تمھاری  ھمت  سے  زندہ  ھوں سانس باقی  ھے

کچھ  کام  کرنے  ابھی  باقی ھیں

مجھے نہیں  سوچنا  کہ کل کیا ھوگا 
کب کہاں کیسے یہ سب کیسے  ھوگا
بس احساس  کے دلی جزبات کے  حیراںکن
معجزات  کی دعایںؑ ملی ھیں  بضشش  کی 

کچھ رشتے نبھانے ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اس کی تحریروں پہ ھدایت  ملتی رھی 
لمحہ ببہ  لمحہ  قیمتی گھڑیوں میں  
پوچھنے پہ  اور  پوچھے  بغیر  بھی،یہ
  قدریں دوستی میں  اب نایاب ھیں سبھی

ابھی کچھ  افسانے لکھنے باقی  ھیں 

دوست بن کے ملے دوست ہی رھیں گے
جو زندگی  کو  پر لطف  اور خوشگوار بناےؑ
بھلا  سکتے  نہیں  انہیں  جو اللاہ کے لیےؑ 
دلوں میں رہتے ھیں ، اگر ایسا ھو تہ سمجھ لیں

کہ اللاہ  کی رحمتیں ابھی بہت باقی  ھیں 

Find Anjum here:
https://anjumwasimdar.wordpress.com/    Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose  writing
knitting projects/stories
https://helpingenglishteachinginpakistan.wordpress.com/  ELT   Work experience/educational service for the country

ABOUT