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

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

declaration of victory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

© 2018, Frank McMahan

the first cafetiere.

we take coffee at the royal sportsman

most weeks

with others

every other


i remember the first cafetiere

dockside southampton


the waiter showed us




we are adept plunging

pouring sincere


counting cups & payments

deducting discounts


drink enjoy the extra cup

& biscuit






hoovering continues upstairs

© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher, (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; sonja-benskin-mesher.co.uk)


“the moses manifest” … and other poems in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The variety of responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” September 27 are a pleasure to read. Thanks to Renee Espiru, Sonja Benskin Meshery, Gary Bowers and Paul Brookes for coming out to play and sharing their fine work.

Join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome to take part no matter the status of career. Beginners and experienced are welcome to come, be inspired, share their poems and get to know other poets.

A Life Betrayed

She lives the only life
she has ever known
inside someone else’s home

she wonders how she came to this
miles of fields and distance
a breeze touching her
now frail being

did someone leave her here
without her knowing and
will she wake one day
to find she’s dreaming

for she loved him so in her way
but was he a mirage or
just a ruse she wrote of
in her own knowing

before her body did betray
and stole her life
and youth

© 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, AR, Haiku & Haiga)

..the flight to egypt..

Edwin Longsden Long RA was an English genre, history, and portrait painter.


there are many pictures at this house, two dimensional and more. how can I love one

child above another?

I had only one, so that was easy, then questioned if I loved the late arrival more, I said no just different.

so I talk out loud instead of writing .

a new prose. I talk of formative years, the safe place.

russell coates museum. have you been there? it was free on thursdays a haven from the rain,



indoor fish pond, quiet on the stairs, to the edwin long gallery. the flight to egypt. looking

back now, I never thought of it religious. immense it covered the wall.

I use the past tense, yet it is still in place.

on googling I see the topic is biblical, I remember the procession, the faces, the space as

if his meaning was hidden to me.

now by choice it is.

do I make such pictures? no.

weird stuff as if installed in a museum.


© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

The Specificity of the Ordinary by Colin Blundell

in Iris Murdoch

the characters for the most part
get themselves into such a muddle
usually intent on mirroring
the messes & muddles of others
closely observed by scheming clowns
with special peculiar insights

how will they get out of the muddle?
a question which keeps you entranced
turning the pages rapidly
never really wanting an unravelling

no linearity just sets of closed circles
of rather bizarre impossibility

occasionally a character will experience
a bright moment of illumination
or clarity which I have come to call
the specificity of the ordinary:
the cat on the terrace dust particles
lizard on a sunny bank
bare gritty floorboards leaves in the wind
ivy climbing on a rock as it might be
to refer it all to myself measuring
the impact of the ordinary

if only the characters had listened
to their author’s commentary
more carefully they might all have been
able to rescue themselves

© 2017, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

the moses manifest

he grips the tablets in his charge, this
courier of commandmenta, and takes umbrage or looks
askance at some person or
persons on
his left. on his head
are zigguratish lumps,
horns, that should have been
unsculptable rays of
light. julius the pope, the vicar
of christ, has left
his mortal remains entombed
here, and moses to guard
them. the likeness
of julius was to be
the capstone of the tomb
but it was never
done. the militant pope
had need of his hireling
visionary elsewhere,
as plasterer and muralist
for a now-renowned chapel.
the tomb was finished in 1545,
decades after julius’s promotion
to resident of Heaven.

© 2017, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image & Text)


The Hay Wain (1821), by John Constable (UK), (1776-1837)


Her milkman Grandad often takes
her, his horse, cart and churns on his rounds
gifts her a small pony trap and horse.

Older she hangs a copy of “The Haywain”
above a dark brown oak dining table
with its curved back oak chairs

lit by white light French windows
on to a grey concrete slabbed patio.

She knows the smell of worked horse,
creak of cart and water’s rhythm,
much like milk slap and hooves on cobbles.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Photograph by Paul Brookes

My Dali

A teenager, I was a poster
Christ crucified in a sky
above a cove
and dried blue tac
on my bedroom wall
lets Christ
lets me
fall at one edge.

I was a swan reflecting elephants
the need for it to be other
my fingers mirrored rocks.

I was a spoon on crutches,
anything but me.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Golconde (1953), by Rene Magritte (Belgium), (1898-1967)

These Shapes

are not symbols.
Do not attach meaning.

Bowler hats and gentlemen
may fall on the page

in this frame. The words
do not mean the thing.

Magritte is a mark only.
All that attaches to it

is irrelevant. It does not help.
A birdcage is not a rib cage.

© 2017, ​Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

The Blood Serape and other ekphrastic poems by Paul Brookes


“the wild rumpus will now begin” … reader-poets respond to last Wednesday’s writing prompt

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT, June 7, 2017 Remember “Let the wild rumpus start!” in Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are? Such a wonderful book and that exclamation has stayed with me – probably you as well – and I always wanted to do something with it. This poem is what came from that inspiration. So, my challenge to you this week, is to use “wild rumpus” in a poem.

Thanks to Paul Brookes, Gary Bowers, Sonja Bensken Mesher and Renee Espriu for coming out to play.  Poem on…

He Was Pandemonium

He caused such a noise, such outcry, such a racket
from the time he crawled, had words & was walking
& with every sibling that arrived within our midst
there was discord between them and between us
from a knock on the door with unfortunate news
of the fact that a boy was perched upon the roof
to his sisters upset as they walked into a bedroom
to see the scurry of a frog causing a commotion
to the neighbor stating your son is in the alley
ought not to be experimenting with matches ought he
to the surprise knock of the police at the door
with a number of hood ornaments in his possession
to the night of upheaval he came home quite sodden
that as I thought in dismay of all the pandemonium
of the day he was born with strawberry blond hair
never I thought ‘the wild rumpus will now begin’ and it did

© June 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)

‘the shelter’

I will
quite like a wild rumpus here some time,
a make shift band, a straggled procession
down the lane, chanting, scaring the neighbours.

it is often quiet here, though Kenny’s voice

there will be four of us, costumes and laughing,
happy knowing who we are, comfort in skin.

we used to push you in the toy pram, your legs
spilling out, our selves the show.

it is often quiet here now, you have grown, this
is not your area.

we walk the district quietly.
wait in the shelter.

I will
quite like a wild rumpus here some time.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonjia Benskin Mesher, RCA)


my child a sump is
the coming of plumbing
and mycroft a plump whiz
and speeches undumbing.

but times lately jump us
we show unpreparedness
and fate may then trump us
unto our assbaredness,

so let us don jumpers
to join the wild rumpus
our rumps warm as dumpsters
our bumpers full bumptious.

© 2017, Gary Bowers (One With Clay)

This Psychonaturalist Notes

reedflare flamereed flickerflicker emberkernels lap air, conflagration without heat

in the lap of the grain as it breaks against gust
wild rumpus
amongst reedsway, cootcall, waveruffle, barkgangsign, trunksundials

amongst Geese and Seagull echoes perfect reflections under a halfmoon and quiet blue

evensong of last bell before eyeshorizon darkens and thought
sinks into eyes well to fetch waters reverie into light.

winter colours layered weather bittercoldflares inside skin, cloudsputter sharpcinder ice crackles faces.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Imagining the Divine Feminine…four poems by reader-poets in response to last Wednesday’s Writing Prompt


These poets responded to last Wednesday’s Writing Prompt, which suggested imagining the divine feminine. 


o god
thou residest betwixt r and t

god s be thy name
birther of us all
mixmistress of galaxies
crecher of clusters
ovulatrix of ylem

thy mother’s care is in the dew
thy admonishment is in the don’t
and when we want to play in the woods of reckless fun
thou respondest “we’ll see”
which almost always means “fat chance”

thy human smartalecks speak of heat death
it is merely a pause
in thy menopause
and soon thou’lt bake us cosmic cookies again

thanks for Ever

© Gary Bowers

unnamed-1GARY BOWERS (One With Clay) Born August 30, 1954, Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital, Inglewood, California. Artist since the age of 2-1/2 (“Portrait of the Artist’s Mother with Ten Snaky Fingers”). Poet since the age of seven (“I was walking on the road./Then I saw a big fat toad./He was big and fat and round./Then he hopped along the ground.”). Limericist since the age of nineteen (“A Chinese chick went to Osaka/To meet up with a dude named Tanaka./He wined her and dined her/Seduced her, reclined her/But she, unimpressed, said ‘You baka [Japanese for “stupid.” My then girlfriend, taking a Japanese class at the University of Arizona, had as part of her homework a sentence to translate into Japanese that went something like “The Chinese girl is traveling to Osaka and will meet with Mr. Tanaka there.” When I saw that probably-unintentional rhyme, the limerick practically wrote itself. I knew a little Japanese from my Japamese-American girlfriend, including ‘baka,’ which she and her siblings called each other frequently].”), and Second-Place Winner of Roger Ebert’s Great Limerick Contest at the age of 55. Performing poet since becoming a “Monsoon Voice” for the Phoenix, Arizona Monsoon Voices event on September 18, 2007. Master of Ceremonies for “Sonora Bard Poetry Night” at Bards Bookstore from 2009 to 2011. Featured poet at Valley events Conspire, Caffeine Corridor, and Poetry at the Puppet Theatre. Creator of blog “One with Clay, Image and Text” which debuted December 3, 2012 and has has well over 1000 posts, usually illustration or poetry or both.

Day jobs have included warehouseman, busboy, dishwasher, receiving clerk, deliveryman, “Helpful Hardware Man, Tournament Office Manager for the Pyrex Tennis Championship, information analyst for Samaria Health Service Patient Financial Services and Scottsdale Healthcare.

Just She

No divine God is she

Nor gospel or ruler

Only a smile from the heart when a smile is needed

A root in the tree of knowledge with branches that reach out to all

The sparkle in crystal clear water that gives us life

A deep breath of air to calm us

The land that gives us solid footing

The beauty of a kind heart who gives love and respect to all who cross her path

She preaches nothing, nor writes down words to be twisted and controlled by man

She is never fear

Only a smidgen of a presence

Your own heart beating with each step that you take

© Dianne Turner

unnamedDIANNE TURNER (Pandamoniumcat’s Blog) lives in Hervey Bay, Queensland in Austraiia. In between studying and woking, she writes. She works in Education and Community Sector. Recently Diane completed a Bachelor of Professional Writing and Publishing with Curtin University. Her writing is inspired by nature and humanity. Her poetry is published in the 2015 Grieve Anthology for Hunters Writer’s Centre, The D’Verse Anthology for D’verse Poets, Freak Anthology for Pure Slush Books and other stories and poems under a previous name Buckman. Dianne has also appeared as a guest poet in The BeZine.

Omnipresence of Life

Her omnipresence is felt in the universe
transcending solar systems unknown
past the galaxy of the milky way
glittering within the aurora borealis

she embraces her duality always complex
orchestrating the life cycle
of a caterpillar from cocoon to butterfly
exquisite of design and beauty

she extends her arms as tree branches
taller than redwoods wider than mighty oaks
contained in the tiniest clover flowers
fragrant as fields of wild roses

she gives birth to both male and female
always with her heart and strength
loving with tender passionate acceptance
the uniqueness of all creation

she laughs in playful abandonment
as dolphins and otters of rivers and oceans
dispersed like a whale song balm
so tempers the opium of fear and hate

she is intertwined in fabrics’ existence
stronger than silk of worm or web of spider
will not be broken or manipulated falsely
without her there would be no life

© Renee Espriu

c796b9e96120fdf0ce6f8637fa73483cRENEE ESPRIU (Renee Just Turtle Flight) I am a daughter, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and seeker of Spiritual Peace and Soul Filled Freedom. I have been to graduate school at Pacific Lutheran University and have a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. I have also been to Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary from which I acquired a Certificate in Theology. I have eclectic beliefs that encompass many faiths and believe Nature to be the basis of everything that is and that everything that is is also a part of Nature.

Due to emergent open heart surgery in 2015 I am now retired and devoting more of my time to writing, which includes the writing of a fiction book and one that is solely poetry. I have a Blog site at reneejustturtleflight where I have been posting my writing since 2011. I have been a guest contributor to The BeZine and participated in The BeZine 2016 100,000 Poets for Change virtual event. I also have a passion for art. I draw and paint.

To Biddy

Scatter radiances of milk
on her icy sod.
Let each brightness warm her earth.

Broadcast flames of oats
on her waters, stoke embers of fish.
Let her waves be ablaze with shoals.

Brush and scrub your home for her visit.
Put her bread and butter on windowsills.
Make her a bed of twigs for her rest.

Waxing light polishes
her crone wrinkles
into maiden’s roundness.

Make her a doll
out of primroses
and snowdrops.

© Paul Brookes

unnamedPAUL BROOKES (The Wombwell Rainbow) was shop assistant, security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer, with “Rats for Love” and his work included in “Rats for Love: The Book”, Bristol Broadsides, 1990. His first chapbook was “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”, Dearne Community Arts, 1993. He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for sixth formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live. Recently published in Clear Poetry, Nixes Mate, Live Nude Poems and others. Forthcoming in the spring 2017 an illustrated chapbook “The Spermbot Blues”, published by OpPRESS.

51ylkyldh7lThe recommended read for this week is Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: 100 Men on the Words That Move Them compiled by the father and son team, Anthony Holden and Ben Holden. I have to thank my good friend Linda F. for this recommendation. A moving book and a unique perspective. This is a poetry anthology in which 100 men from diverse backgrounds share the poems that they can’t read without being moved to tears and they tell us why.  The poems and poets featured span the centuries and the world. Definitely worthy of our time.

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