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

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



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

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

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

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


wobbly sobby

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

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

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

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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


A Perceptive Romance

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

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

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

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

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

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:


Dewdrop

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

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

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew


. skin imperfect.

some of you is gone, halfed,

precious skin.

the dress

hanging black

is photographed

as if you have no memory.

may be

more soothing,

than remembering.

touch the surface.

water.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: mole hillls & broken plates ::

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

dig up buried crocks for saving.

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

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

look for mole hills, and old photographs.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Days and days

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

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

© 2019, Eric Nicholson

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2019, Pali Raj


Nature’s music

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

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

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

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

© 2019, Leela Soma

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


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

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

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


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

In Support of Dissident Poets and Poetry, Responses to last Wednesday’s Prompt sponsored by Poet-in-Exhile, Mbizo Chirasha

 

Mbizo Chirasha

“In my works on African culture, I am not against races or tribes, but systems that betray Africa. People must stop being stooges and writers must write against second and third colonialistic winds.” Mbizo Chirasha in an interview with The Herald HERE.



Mbizo Chirasha

We did something unusual with the last Wednesday Writing Prompt.  We asked poets to respond specifically to the situation of Zimbabwean Poet-in-Exile, Mbizo Chirasha. (Not all the poets actually responded on theme, but they did respond on related issues that concern them and so we included their poems in this collection.) The purpose of the theme is to help us create awareness of the plight of our fellow poets like Mbizo and other writers, artists and activists who are directly fighting authoritarianism, despotism and kleptocracy on the front lines and putting their general welfare and even their lives at risk in doing so. These are socially-engaged creatives who are in danger from amoral govenments in their own beloved countries. We appreciate your participation as writers, readers and humanitarians in this week’s unusual and important prompt.

Mbizo writes in response to the submissions:

Great poets around the world, readers of poetry, esteemed audience of  The Poet by Day: I salute you with my sincere gratitude for timeous creative support. You are word revolutionaries fighting with me in trenches for the attainment of social justice, human rights, and  freedom of expression.  This is as it should be. Writers should be first to shoot words, sling metaphors, and pose readily in the artistic armour to wage a resilient, creative and nonviolent war.

I am heartily touched by the amount of  commitment, depth and detail in these submissions. We should remain resilient, focused strong and creative in the quest for national harmony, regional peace, and global sanity. Writers must write and continue to write to mitigate bad governance, corruption, injustice, hegemony, dictatorship, political violence, and social malaise.

Aluta continua!
Mbizo Chirasha

Our thanks to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Mike Stone, Pali Raj, and Sonja Benskin Mesher for the richness of this collection. Countries represented in the post are: England, Kashmir, India, Israel, Pakistan, United States, and Zimbabwe.

We’ll return to the traditionally prompt response layout and inclusions next week. We’ve modified it this week out of respect for the occasion. Thank you for understanding. A brief update on Mbizo’s status (not good) closes this post.



artivist artifice artemis bolt

artivist artifice artemis bolt
wring out a dream and give despots a jolt.
artemis arm&fist activist strike
shake out a mindset and shore up a dyke.
artifice artdoesthis anarchist grow
muralize justice for over and throw.
antidote anecdote anthemnote strive
make visitations of souls kept alive.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

How To Be Corrupt And Be Seen As Honest.

Here is the syllabus. This will be a tough course.

Introduction will focus on the psychopathology of hard business and unwavering pursuit of profit.
We will teach you how to see people as things. Your mother and father will be unrecognisable to you, as will your kids and spouse. They are merely objects to be maneouvred.

Main course content.

1. How to steal money from public coffers, whilst supporting charitable causes. How to steal food from babies mouths, how to watch the poorer become poorer.
2. How to store stolen money in off shore accounts, defended by laws not available in your home country.
3. How to employ PR to defend your reputation, white wash your actions.

Good luck on the course.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

In Response to Mbizo Chirasha Freedom Poetry

For I sang the freedom song for years
in vain, in pain,
One day I will return
O my homeland ,my heaven, land of
pure peace,

I am the native child, born in captivity
my feet never touched my beloved soil
I breathed but for a while in mother’s
lap,
In sleep, led away, far away, to refuge
One day I will return, I sang my song-

It is a nightmare
futile dream of the happy return
my earth oozes martyrs’ blood spills
resounds with raped women’s screams
burns with saffron spreads in wide fields
weeps with weeping willows in the streams
One day I will return, and I sang my song,
in vain, in pain

I am the houseboat abandoned
I am the ‘shikara’ floating,empty
I am the moaning water of Dal
I am the aroma of sweet apples
I am the snow of mountain tops
I am the color of pansies and lotus
I am the music of the ‘rubaab’
I am the child of a captive state

One day I will return I sang my song
in vain, in pain

But now my heart is silent,my voice
stilled, my feet in fetters, my home
locked, my road blocked, guarded
I am tired of pellets bullets and gas,

I am cold like a stone, no ‘Kangarri’
I carry , no greens or beans I cook
I am but a listed item, a numberless
number, a lost identity, snatched
wrenched annexed conquered

My song of freedom rings aloud
but can anyone hear? Will anyone
come? Will anyone cry for me? Or
my land, to set free? Perhaps one day,

if the music sails on, reaches the stars
Showers the rain which pours free
and washes away the mud of captivity
breaks the chains lifts the barriers and
calls-
Come Your land is yours, gone is the
enemy- but I woke up again, in pain
in vain,
I hear the fearful scream-heavy boots
shaking the soil, tearing up roots
I do not wish to sing, but pray, hope
It is all a dream-
In vain I sing, in pain I try to-sleep

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

To The Defenders of Freedom

When peaceful protest fails
and protesters are put in jails
then forces must stand
bravely to defend the land-

In attack
outnumbered ten to one
crawled under enemy tank
martyred to glory, sank in
body, blood in native sand

In loyalty
you saved the land
blasting enemy tanks
with bravery supreme
grenades in hands

In honor
you remain for ever you live
those who die a life they give
and repel the enemy aggressive.

And now I say and know
battles have been fought
public protests prevail
as Freedom must be saved
at all cost-

or else, all is forever lost

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

In Freedom

In Freedom There is Fear
When a close and dear
one, is no more,

In Freedom there is blood
When all you made in life
Is washed away in flood;

In freedom there is sacrifice
When all you claim and own
Is taken away without a price;

In freedom there is liberty
For many just a statue
fights, no rights, nor equality;

In Freedom there are letters
promises and false hopes
soon you are in iron fetters;

In Freedom I was born
I never saw my land
I long for its beauty
In dewdrops shining
In the morn;

In Freedom there is a gift
treasure not and you find
it floating by and adrift;

In Freedom there is ease
calm and harmony, hold
it strong for eternal peace

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Do Not Make War

1.

it must be painful for them to write, those poets in tough-times and hard places
where blood and tears and poverty contaminate the air, stain the sidewalks, and consume the people

the blood must be soul-sick and rusted and tasting of acid, not salt,
and the poems meant to heal the writer and stroke the cheeks of the wounded,
to dry their eyes and gently kiss their gray heads

to poem in such places must be like walking shoeless on glass shards

perhaps the most sacred thing in the dream-time meadow of poets’ desire is Light ~

can you awaken to meet the Divine when you are on the run, in hiding, on the battlefield, in the camps, in government housing or in the ghettos?

if so, you are a saint, not simply an artist

2.

in my small world, my civilized world, people fall asleep reading or after making love or playing in the yard with their children

if they wander, it is through books or planned travel

there are luxuries
there is food
there is cleanliness and paper on which to write
no bombs are dropping to scorch and scar the Earth
no government thugs stalk us with ill intent
there is a certain dignity

3.

in San Francisco we walk along the beach at night, near the Cliff House
we walk to the sound of the waves, the song of the Earth chanting its joys
our feet are bare and relish the comfort of cool sand

the air is clear and cold and easy to breathe, tasting of salt and smelling of sea life ~
here is a pristine moment of peace

i want to bequeath this peace to you, to everyone,
as though it were a cherished heirloom
it is really a birthright

i want to plunge into the waters and gather the ocean in my cupped hands, to offer it to you as sacramental wine

i want to form seaweed into garlands for all of us to wear, to hang over our hearts, a symbol of affection

i want to collect pine cones from the trees that congregate along the coast and feed them to the children to remind them to cherish this Earth and all its creatures, themselves included, and to say …

do not make war in your heart or upon your mother’s body

© 2016, Jamie Dedes

Silent, poor, innocent, youth
They witness democratic loot
Corruption rise,
And businessmen fight when
Economic slowdown
They are blown into religious fight
They seek a person with opposite ions
When their grief rise
You call me activist, but
I must also sleep the long night
Well, activism
I haven’t wished for it, nor consented to it
I only love my nation.

© 2019, Pali Raj

Then as Now

The sweet pungency of rose and violets
Floats on the gentle breezes
And down the road a ways the church bells toll
As they did then.

At the shooting range, you still see bullet holes
But they buried all the targets in mass graves,
Not helter-skelter like some graveyards,
But very orderly as they were then.

The tall poplar trees surround electric fences,
They seem inviting, leaves rustling in the breeze,
A nightmare inside a blonde and blue-eyed dream,
As it was then.

They scrub the showers, ovens, and the smokestacks,
The red brick raw and spotless.
A pile of shoes stands in silent accusation
But no one hears, then as now.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Hatred

And the prophet stood among a few people.
In the marketplace of ideas, there were many prophets
But this prophet spoke quietly. He said
Hatred is not a state of mind
That one can enter and leave at will;
It is a road that starts in innocence
Leading ever downhill
And ends in unplumbed evil.
I don’t tell you turn the other cheek
When struck, as another prophet said,
But I say don’t answer hatred with hatred.
Hatred comes from ignorance of others,
Thinking they are not like us,
That they don’t love their children
Or honor their parents
Or fear for their future as we do.
Why not answer hatred with hatred?
Because it creates a circle without exit or break
And perhaps their hatred comes from
Honoring their past or fearing their future.
What should you do?
When you understand those whom you call “other”
You will know what to do, and hate
Will wither like dry tumbleweed in the desert
Because there is no other,
There is only us.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Blessed Are the Rich

Blessed are the rich
For they shall inherit the meek
And enslave them.
Blessed are the rich
Who will inherit new worlds to suck dry
After they have sucked dry our only world.
Blessed are the rich
Who make their own blessings
And the gods to bless them.
Cursed are the poor
Who bow down to worship
The gods of the rich,
Who count the blessings of the rich
Who are sucked dry by the rich
Who are enslaved by the rich.
Cursed are the poor
Who bless the curse of meekness
For their children to inherit.

® 2019, Mike Stone

Birdsong

A small bird landed on the branch of an old tree
Where other loudly chirping birds were perched.
The other birds on this branch twittered critically
And decided she was not one of them.

If you want to perch on our branch, they said to her,
You’ll have to cut off your right wing like all of us
And the little bird saw that the other birds
Had only their left wings. But how do you fly, she asked.

One of the birds responded by jumping off the branch,
Flapping his left wing and spiraling downward
Until he crashed beak first into a rock.
To each bird, according to its needs, the other birds tweeted.

The little bird flew to another branch on the old tree.

If you want to perch on our branch, they said to her,
You’ll have to cut off your left wing like all of us
And the little bird saw that the other birds
Had only their right wings. But how do you fly, she asked.

One of the birds responded by jumping off the branch,
Flapping his right wing and spiraling downward
Until he crashed beak first into the hard tree root.
To each bird, according to its capabilities, the other birds chirped.

The little bird flew to another branch on the old tree.

If you want to perch on our branch, they said to her,
You’ll have to cut off both your wings like all of us
And the little bird saw that the other birds
Had no wings. But how do you fly, she asked.

One of the birds responded by jumping off the branch,
But having nothing to flap, plummeted down
Until he crashed beak first into the hard ground.
We are neither left nor right, the other birds sang.

The little bird flew to another tree
And sang a two-wing song for you and me.

© 2019, Mike Stone  

What Use Is Beauty?

What use is beauty
If it merely masks an inner ugliness,
If it just confuses us
Like too much wine
Making us think we’re gods?
What good is truth
If falsehood is far more useful
For getting what you need or want
And easier to believe by far
Besides, who has time for truth?
What purpose does freedom serve
If it only starves us
or makes us lonely?
Most prefer a bond or two
To a mindless multitude.
What’s the point of words
If they are not the right words,
The precise ones that we think
Or those that others want to hear?

© 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.

© 2019, Mike Stone

:: exiles ::

i heard on the radio.

they decided to walk.

he asked her what she had..

nothing she said, nothing.

money? nothing, nothing,
nothing. nothing.nothing.

nothing left except my girls.

i have not lost them, we hold hands,
hold hands, hold hands.

we have nothing.nothing. nothing left.

they decided to walk.holding hands

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher



A Brief Status Update on Mbizo*

Mbizo Chirasha

We’re still $295 short of the Go-Fund-Me goal. Mbizo is in hiding, without any regular source of food or access to a computer, which would facilitate his radio interview and preparing his applications for asylum and other assistance. You are able to donate anonymously through go-fund-me. Even a few dollars will help us reach goal. This effort is hosted by an organizer from International Human Rights Art Festival.  If you can help in some other way, please connect with Mbizo at girlchildcreativity@gmail.com.Thank you!

*
RELATED

“We remain resilient in the quest for justice, freedom of expression and upholding of human rights through Literary Activism and Artivism. ALUTA CONTINUA.” Mbizo Chirasha



 

The Journey . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America



Here we are at Tuesday again, the day when we share poems submitted in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, A Study in Contrasts, October 23.

Today’s thoughtful collection is collection is courtesy of  mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Sheila Jacob, Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Kelly Miller, Ben Naga, Erik Nicholsen, Bishnu Charan Parida, and Clarissa Simmens.

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


baseless essence

mirrors slates to the eyes
cold blood hot cries
in the forests of wires
camping for leisure
in soul of one who
was once a beauty
now the dump
they along with the trash
typhus and the brass pipes
in the underground
akin to the bony
once strong legs
of our fathers
stones from her river
are epoxy sold in bags
at the mostly made in China
flower and craft shops
we and they still people
we are flesh
twenty nine doors down
we also have botulism
to soothe the angst
of those whose spirits
have been mislead
to look inside the slate
and not see
the true worth of their inner glow

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


cpl thisthat & his fathfool shamp/onion, thutherthing

cpl thisthat mead alist
as was gidding olivertwist:

tonic/dominant
figure/ground
silence/crescendo
razory/round

over his shoulder was thutherthing reading
staching his woundless nonforearm unbleeding

(to be continues unaverse
post heatdeath of the UniVerse)

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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


I’m Feral Lass

I’ll trash your tidy desk
rip all your documents
scribble on your certificates
shit in your desk drawers
slap a poster of my
photocopied arse
above it, with the message

“kiss it”

tip your rubbish bins
down the street

my fretted crests’ll slop
over your
carefully built barriers

spontaneous fires’ll burn
your precious stuff

my earth’ll move your home
shatter it to splinters

I’ll cut you
and kiss it better
in the blaze of my thighs

break your neat pavements
pothole your smooth roads

flood your flood defences
overgrow your borders
put weeds in your flowerbeds

steal your freshly sown seeds
bloody your egg laying chickens

shag your mates
swear at your mam and dad
give them a hug

wide eyed I’ll scarper
with a whistle
and skip down your street

shout “Anyone wanna shag me?”

And say to you,

“Now, do you love me?”

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Commital

White autumn mist hangs gently
in the valley as I walk
down the steep hill
a philip’s screwdriver
in my inside pocket
to open the casket.
I wish to recall every detail.

Carry Nana’s ashes in a pine casket,
secured by six philip screws
with four thin white strings attached,
held on by six gold pins
and this in a brown cardboard box
that has her name printed in black felt tip
on one of its leaves,

and this in a strong red paper
carrier with two gold rope like handles,
and I am surprised how heavy
it is in my hands and have to bend
my knees to pick it up. It squeaks
like new shoes when I walk.

Careful not to lose
the certificate of cremation,
I stand at the bus stop
opposite the half completed

new estate of houses built
on land I knew last year
as a cornfield where discarded
energy cans and crisp bags
lined the edge.

I walk up the hill
to the church to meet the vicar
dressed in white with gold detail.
He asks ” Do you want the casket
to be lowered in the grave
by the verger or yourself?”
I give my answer.

I lay the casket on the Lord’s table
as requested, the vicar speaks
of the resurrection and the life,
quotes revelation about the lamp
and the world without night.

I follow him and verger
down the hill of graves
past bushes full of bright red berries,
brown mushrooms flourishing
on rotten soaked wood,

kneel on the green rubber kneeler,
beside the prepared hole
under an oak tree in leaf fall
and lower the casket down
with the white string,

the gold of her nameplate
on top of the casket contrasts
with the dark clayey soil.
We say the Lord’s prayer.

Verger leaves the earth
on the grave slightly raised
so it may settle, agrees
to green bin my cardboard box

and paper carrier. I shake
his hand and say “Thankyou.”
Walk down the hill to the bus.
No screwdriver was needed.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

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

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


Oneness of Opposites

Life is a necessary study in contrasts
of war and peace, bombs and blasts
perhaps like a rose bush awaken, only
to find the stem all full of thorns-

Clothes tattered and torn, feet bare
watch from the shop window,
someone buying a new pair,not
feeling your own cold blues’

Life and onlookers say ‘Oh look a girl’
inside you have a spirit much different
to stay, play, walk, hands in pockets
whistling a tune, head in air, indifferent

The world, art, self, explain each other
each the aesthetic oneness of opposites,
light beyond darkness, sun shining on,
while lifeless moon smiles in reflection,

to find discretion, individuality in pain
helpless in brokenness or absence of
the necessary-to find discontinuity in
design and form, continuity in spirit-

A symbiosis meaningful, love and hate
or to be an octopus, blocked by the
beauteous sea anemone which travels
for fun with the crab, in waters deep.

Life is structured with beauty in ugliness
its reality like two seas muddy and blue join,
yet do not mix, neither add nor subtract, fear
not but make sense of good and evil, at best.

O Alice You grew and shrunk in wonderland
Gulliver you commanded the Little,feared the
Giants. Fallen Angels once glorious reduced
to bees, good or bad? Yes, but by comparison-

© 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


Green Leaf Brown Leaf

I feel the scrunch
and slip of leaves
under my feet,
tread stars of cerise,
amber, saffron.
I catch one as it falls,
cradle it in my hands
and later, close it
between pages
of a book.

The earth is turning,
days are shortening
and restless swallows
have travelled south.
Winter is posting
its early love letter:
a hieroglyph
of shadowed branches
promising bare trees
on silver- pink skylines.

Bird’s nests will display
their woven emptiness.
A solitary wren
will etch a path
on newly laid snow
before her wings
brush the air in memory
of first tousled flights
beneath the ring
of a rosy sun.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

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 is not is

Silence skirts
its own issue
turning
from noise

to splinters

of a squirrel’s frenzied cry
that gag stillness

to stirrings

the faint drip
of rain
brushed
off
a
leaf
by
rustling
wind

to remote

palpable pleas on stoic faces
anger fortissimo in the
crease of a forehead
voiceless echoes
from endless wells

to

mountains of silence
that communicate
within themselves

I too am contoured by what I am not

© 2019, Urmilia Mahajan

Urmila-ji’s site is: Drops of Dew


:: binding ::

binding

may be the contrast here
on
the national library stairs.

guided to the cupboard,
the collection dusted, labelled,
named as important. emptied,
it
is the proof that nothing can be
rare.

nothing is now something, quality
of non existence, held us in a
moment, then we moved on blindly
looking for something,

as we are bound.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


A Sour Honey

Bitter

Excruciating Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul suffering Bleeding Healing Bleeding Healing Opening and closing our wounds Self-inflicted and victimized Hanging on and letting go of the theory “It gets better with time” Love takes Greedily While we give out Completely Love loves scheming Exploiting our hope, faith, and innocence What began with purity and bliss Ends in perversion and depression Stepping on the sharp clinging briars Nestled in that beautiful lush green grass Must we take the bitter with the sweet?

Sweet

Ecstasy Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul reaping Blossoming Growing Blossoming Growing Opening and closing on romance Every second apart is some great deprivation Enraptured and constricted Hanging on for dear life to the theory “Love is everything” Love provides in full Generous and compassionate While we take in desperation of its ripe fruits Consuming and yearning for more Protecting our hope, faith, and innocence The promise of forever thrives within desire and endurance Climbing the stepping stones to a perfect divine passion Rain turns into liquid sunshine We maintain a dying infatuation with pleasure Must we take the bitter with the sweet?

From Kelly’s collection The Riddle and the Dedication II, available on Amazon.com

© 2019, Kelly Miller

Kelly’s site is: Found My Touch, Creating and Discussing Visual Art


The Living Room

We’re uncertain exactly where we are
Or what it is we are for that matter
One day we found ourselves cohabitation
No idea how that happened to happen

The bedroom’s not to either of our tastes
But that matters not, we pay little heed
Spend time in sleep, dreaming or dalliance
The living room – quite another matter

For here is where we spend most of our time
Agreeing, disagreeing, arguing
It seems important to get it just right
If only our visions weren’t so diverse

No that’s not it let’s try it over here
Or maybe a slightly different colour
You say we preferred it a while ago
I have to say I don’t remember that

Paint tester pots have left their splotchy marks
Loved by the one but not by the other
A whole rainbow of dissatisfactions
Look around – our living room is a mess

All kinds of ill-matching chairs and sofas
Piled with old issues of Ideal Home
Not a place we ever sit and relax
Let’s face it … we’re just as ill-matched ourselves

We strove to create our own mise-en-scène
The expression of that that which we are
Let’s give up as we are already here
For this is our truth – a study in contrasts

© 2019, Ben Naga

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


John Everett Millais’ The Blind Girl

…………………………First of all I sat for the blind girl. It was dreadful suffering, the
…………………….sun poured in through the window. I had a brown cloth over my
forehead which was some relief but several times I was as sick
as possible and nearly argued. Another day I sat outside in a hay
field, and when the face was done Everett scratched it out; he
wasn’t pleased with it and complained about the showers.

Smoke from Everett’s pipe got in my eyes so I had to shut them.
He told me to keep them shut. He told me not to see the beggar
boy on the toll road; he told me not to see the three crows
feeding on a dead rabbit or the adder by his own left boot.
I laughed and said I could still see with my eyes shut. I could
smell the acrid smoke rising from a factory chimney; I could
hear the donkeys coughing in the field; I could hear the boy
weeping. He told me to be blind.

The concertina was lent by Mr Pringle who had a daughter who
had died. It was hers. He said we could keep it as it would never
be played again. I smoothed my orange skirt and rested the
concertina on my lap doing my best to be blind. It was difficult
to keep my eyes shut on such a beautiful day. Everett said there
was a double rainbow so I had to look. Everett wasn’t pleased as
he was doing the face again. I stretched out my right hand and
touched a wild flower growing in the grass. I knew it was a
harebell as my little finger fitted inside just as if it was a
thimble.

The next day the weather seeped into our drawing room and the
double rainbow arched over the carpet. I had my eyes open and
could see a painted lady fluttering at the window pane. I could
hear concertina music softly playing.

Part-found prose poem: Source/ Effie Millais’ journals

© 2019, Eric Nicholsen

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


The Journey

Like a road, the journey
Moves through the picturesque countryside,
Jungles, plains and plateaus
Full of fauna and flora,
Down through the verdant valleys,
Spiraling, meandering, rising, falling
Over the strenuous mountains
And rough, rocky terrains,
Crawling through the underpasses
Climbing over the bridges

Flying in the air
Or sailing on the sea, and,
Sometimes through barren meadows,
The journey trudges through the eerie deserts, even,
Stretches of infinite nothingness and evanescent horizons

The moment when a newborn cries,
Heralding its arrival, the family celebrates birth
With joyousness and vigor,
But death deceives the dearest departing untimely,
Leaving the kin breaking in tears

The whole earth rotates
And revolves,
Time changes its colors
Happiness and sorrows
The ceaseless journey spears through,
Dawn or dusk
Day or night
Black or white
Up or down
Birth or death
In a striking contrast

© 2019, Bishnu Charan Parida

Bishnu-ji’s site is: Bishnu’s Universe Bishnu is just getting his blog started. We wish him much joy in this creative effort. 


Something About a City

Sometimes I can smell Philadelphia
But I’m really scenting my youth
Tasting it
Feeling all my senses
Reaching out
For the city I love

Sitting behind the Gothic pile
Known as City Hall
Skyscrapers towering above it all
Unknown but should-be known
Rock band serenading us for free

So much human life
In contrast to my swamp so rife
With four-legged dwellers
Fascinating to watch
Lacking, though, in conversational skills

Wish I could live in both
Out the front door, city
Out the back door, swamp

And like Tarot’s Temperance
I’d have one foot in the mire
One foot in the asphalt
Perfectly balanced…

© 2017, Clarissa Simmens

Simply the Sun

The sun is not mysterious enough
To rate writing about
Moon mystique is endlessly
Fascinating
Appearing in the darkness
Drawing our blood, tides
And ruling our emotions
Contrast the sun
A necessity for all life
Dosing us with Vitamin D
Nothing enigmatic though
Just there
Even if it seems invisible
Like during polar winters
Of utter darkness
Or on stormy sub-tropical noons
Even on cloudy beaches
Evidenced by the wind-blown skin damage
It is there on twilight evenings
As night-bloomers like Evening Primrose
Open and stretch
Toward its sleepy rays
Dark or light
Dim or bright
The sun is always there
No, nothing mysterious about it
Just a burning ball having
Occasional tantrums
As the spots explode
We understand its punishment
On desert roads
Our bodies mercilessly drying
There are so many moon songs
But not many sun ones
So what’s to write about?
Yet, my favorite time of day is dawn
When the sun sails above the Earth
Breaking through the horizon’s rim
My heart thuds loudly because another day
Another chance for a good day
Is once again hovering in the dawn
Let it be today, I think longingly

© 2017, Clarissa Simmens

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.


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

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

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


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

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

 

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



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

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


In Heart

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

© 2019, Stephen Tanham

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


heart of the matter

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

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


schrodinger’s heart

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

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

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

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

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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


My Heart

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

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

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

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Their Hearts

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

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

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

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Your Door Is A

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

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

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

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

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


Heart To Heart ~ Dil-e Nadaan O Innocent Heart

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

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

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

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Ji’s sites are:

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


..my heart..

my heart is quiet

i do not feel it beating yet

the rhythm is there

may heart is silent

while all comes well around

yet roused it will sound

louder

come the other days

come the sadder ways

heart is there just there, look

&

i think my soul is thereabouts

where the feelings come and pain

or gain

quietness

again

they say it is the brain that does the thinking

yet

we may also listen to our heart

carefully

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Hearts

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

© 2019, Ben Naga

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


The Heart of John Ruskin

[part-found poem]

1. Childhood

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

2. Art Tutor

Imagine this dialogue if you wish:

Please sir make artists of us.

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

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

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

3. Pedagogical

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

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

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


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

© 2019, Pali Raj


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

Heart Mantra

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

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


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

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

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


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