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“The Forbidden Birthplace” … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

City of San Mateo, Japanese Tea Garden courtesy of Daderot and generously released into the Public Domain

“In great cities, spaces as well as places are designed and built: walking, witnessing, being in public, are as much part of the design and purpose as is being inside to eat, sleep, make shoes or love or music. The word citizen has to do with cities, and the ideal city is organized around citizenship — around participation in public life.” Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Today we have a wonderful collection of poems submitted in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, From the Churches and the Houses, August 28, which suggested poets write about their city.  The result is a virtual tour from cities in India and Pakistan to ones in England and the United States.

This virtual tour is gifted to us by a Wednesday Writing Prompt newcomer, Olive Branch, whom we warmly welcome, and by Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Irene Emanuel, Sheila Jacob, Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Pali Raj, and Clarissa Simmens.

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

The Two

This was her tale of two cities,
nothing revolutionary, only
wide-eyed comparisons,
each bearing its own
pronounced individuality
as she struggled to find
a niche in one and then
the other.

One was born of strong
politics and toughness and
every winter a new coat and
shoes. The other grew out
of Quaker thought and old money
and neighborhoods bearing
the stamps of Ireland and Italy.

Both she would long to leave as
finding a niche was
an ache that always plagued.
She finally gave up her story,
believing she could go
anywhere and find home,
only to realize the wrongness in her bones
has made her battle weary
(and longing again for
a place).

© 2019, Olive Branch

OLIVE BRANCH (Cornelia Trent) I live in a small city in the U.S. Northeast and writing poetry has, at times, proven to have been a catharsis for me in my adult life.  I’ve only been published a few times in print and in recent years normally I write poetry under the pen name of “Olive Branch.”  I’ve been writing a blog on WordPress under the name of Cornelia Trent that tends to feature other poets’ poems, pieces about fiction & nonfiction writers and also songs and sometimes photography.  I work as a Librarian currently for a suburban township library.


My Friend’s City

When I visit your page,it is as if I am visiting your place in a famous city
a city of japanese gardens, a kaleidoscope of bright flowers,of music in the air
reaching out it turns into a dream and I wish I was actually there-

when I visit your page I feel the warmth of your hospitality, an aroma of a hot cup
of coffee served with chocolate muffins and strawberries, bright sun
shines through the window as

your soft furry cat eyes me jealously and springs and slips around me finally landing
onthe sofa, while you smile patiently, and I wish I had a
cat if not anyone else around-

when I visit your page I hear the cars and trucks on the road down below,
an occasional siren or two, your city is so well planned and seems a lot
in order so, unlike many others

when I visit your page I find your city full of books and magazines, inhabited by talented
gifted authors and poets,it gives me great joy to find
a reading public lives nearby

My visit to your page guides me through my thoughts, I compose words on paper
and leave for you to see, and hope and pray that I may come again and again
to leave all affection there and take love away

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Rawalpindi City Pakistan

Ah Old Harley Street, If Only You could Speak
Where art thou? With All Thy Grace and Treat
Where evening cool breeze would gently sweep
And the open spaces would be free and neat;
Where I learned to ride the bicycle and Greet
My friends who came out to meet-
Ah Harley Street! where art thou?
With memories sweet-
This same road where bell tingling horse driven tongas
With strong horses and shining leather reins
Would lift the learning loads and stay on the beat-
At that time, this same road was all for residents
No sounds, not even an innocent lambs bleat.
Ah Harley Street! where art thou?
So defiant in dilapidated defeat!-
YOU seem to be there still serving in retreat-
Though gone is the tar rubble crush and concrete;
Ah Harley Street . All is not lost.
Courage never to submit or yield-
YOU have the BEST on YOU
YOU are replete with –Institutes of Education
Tuition Guidance and Dedication-
But AH there’s the rub-
The cuts craters humps and dilapidation-
OH Lord, what are WE learning and teaching
in this precarious condition? That is the question-
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
the slings and jumps of outrageous travel
The heart aches and
thousand natural shocks that the flesh is heir to-
Or to take arms against oceans of ditchy trouble..err. rubble-
And by appealing begging imploring
“Please Sir , may we have some more” Ah No!
Or by opposing clean sweep them….?
Who would bear the whips and scorns of time immemorial
The laws delay, the repairs astray, the rains decay ; AH SILENCE!
Do we continue to grunt and sweat under a weary life?
Or has conscience made cowards of us all?
AH Harley Street! If only you could speak’

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

The Forbidden Birthplace

Walking for more than half a day,she sat on a large stone by the deserted road
thought how far now, the place of birth, just once she wished to set eyes on

‘all roads lead to unknown places, never go anywhere,stay where they are laid.
Oh a passerby! please stop a while and tell me, have you seen the heaven here?

‘the heaven on earth, the land of fruit and flower gardens, and a lake full of boats
yes,there is a place,where weather stays cool and fresh, vegetables grow in plenty

No the passerby replied, ‘heaven can not be on earth,you are mistaken, this road
leads to nothing but death and destruction, killing,shooting, and occupation by enemy

Oh No,heaven is beautiful peaceful,green and glorious, with no killing or any pain
where peace eternally prevails,contentment reigns,quietude rests as mountains protect.

No, sorry’ the passerby walked away shaking his head.’Oh a horse rider’ trotting along
Oh Rider please stop a while and tell me,have you seen the heaven here, quite near?

‘Hmm No, I don’t think heaven can be here. It used to be long ago,I heard people say so,
but my horse and I are tired, in vain looking for grass and clean water,but nothing for miles

O Farmer with your cow,please stop and tell me have you seen heaven here,nearby?
O Sister Dear, go back go back, there is not a barn or a haystack, all broken and burnt

the wooden huts with slanting roofs, lawns with pine and chinar trees, pansies and roses
in flower beds, no more no more, you will find,nothing in air is clean and kind,all are blind’

Oh No, what do these people say and why, how can a heaven on earth be so destroyed
lush green hills be dry, lake devoid of lovely shikara boats,rows of graceful poplar trees

that lined the road, seen no more, shops closed, windows and doors barred- smoky air
the road is here,but no traveler travels, barbed wires cordon streets, all empty,unfair-

O dear, the journey in vain, the quest remains, how places by enemies are overtaken
birthplaces vanish in gunfire and teargas,bomb blasts, fires, stone and brick fights-

Tis a pity how humans hate, cannot tolerate or follow advice,spread love and peace
and grant the deserving rights, bless and comfort,fulfill each others basic needs –

Alas, heart is heavy the spirit laden,no return ever to a birthplace called heaven
majestic mountains pure air, sunny days filled with apples red,starry nights,gone

All that remains are stories, heard, the house was wooden but shone like gold
a home is no home,it has to be left or abandoned,’ a dream in life is all, to hold’

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

My Pine Scented Home Town,

The last five miles are
winding winding ways,
As the bus turns the corners,
I remember the winter days,
Home, home on the range
Reflecting autumnal grace,
Before you know, its
Behold ! the town itself, reveals,
At its own, the evergreen stature,
The Spiritual Presence of Nature

Majestic melodious mountains,
Blow the Highlanders March,
of The Hundred Pipers.
As early as cool February
As fresh as is the month of May
When Spring awakes
and apple blossoms call,
Soft snowflakes greet you,
Sinking and vanishing, as they fall;

Serenity intense, beauteous nature
crisp and pure
White and sure;
Oh! Let me feast my eyes
On the beauty of my town,
Breathe in the sweet smell of pine,
Oh! Let me live the truthful moments
While they are there
And let the freshness creep into my soul

© 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

Salt of the City
They were mostly tall, thin, and dark skinned like the softest black velvet. Their clothes hung on them. Their feet in flip-flops covered with dust. Yet their voices were strong, offering their wares in accented English – mini Eiffel towers, larger Eiffel towers, ones that light up as if it were covered with fireflies, ones that were staid. Their bodies seemed strong, carrying large sacks of these trinkets to different parts of the park. The odor of their sweat was strong, evidence of their hard work in the heat.
They stood out among the tourists – they were their working, laboring under the sun – while we were there for fun, our choice to stand in lines under the sun.
Maybe they arrived in this city with a degree or some other skills; definitely they arrived with hope. Yet their labor in the City of Lights seemed to diminish the light in their own eyes.
Summer’s salty sweat
Seasons the immigrant’s work
Hope masks bitterness

© 2019, Irma Do

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

The Dancer

Static in the traffic,
Sparks Road on a cool mundane morning.
Selfishly sorting my day into easy
slices of work and food,
I blank-watch the robot.
I disregard the news vendors so that
I won’t note the latest crime statistic.
I dismiss the sad eyes and life-weary palms
aimed at my car window.
I am in my motor-home,
I am not seeing visitors today.
Ahead is the corner vacant lot,
charred by open fires and human detritus.
Transient dwellers stirring their raggedness
into their bleak empty day.
Slow smoke-wisps swirl softly over
the scandalous scene.
As my eyes seek a prettier place,
the cars inch forward and I see him;
jumping through the smoke,
a joyous spinning dancer,
oblivious to his shocking surroundings.
Raising his smiling arms to the grey sky,
shouting his pleasure at being alive.
Suddenly the lot is etched in gold
and I am filled with gratitude for my good fortune.
The green light beckons me onward as
the dancer completes his pagan pirouette.

© 2019, Irene Emanuel


You’ve changed, of course, since I saw
you last, whispered Tarra a bit, Brum.
You boast a glitzy New Street Station
and the Reference Library’s a chapter
in your history of bulldozed buildings.

But I’ll recognise you after eight years.
I’ll soon connect with your bustling hub,
find my feet the moment my toes touch
your pavements and I hear the ker-swish
of bus doors and hum of passing shoppers.

Don’t forget how many times I circled
your heart. Bloodlines will pulse me down
Corporation Street, over the traffic lights
and into Priory Queensway, opposite Argos.
I’ll wait at the 14 bus stand, check the fare.

It’s the old route home through Nechells
where Dad was born, the back-to-backs
long gone except as names for the new estate.
Rupert Street. Cromwell Street.
Do you hear them echo in your bowels?

Do you meet the friendly shade of Bridget,
Dad’s Mom, on her knees and soaping
her doorstep, greeting a neighbour across
the yard? Or Ernie, his Dad, in a white muffler,
striding to the millwrights at the edge of town?

I’ll reach Saltley Gate then window-gaze
through Alum Rock, where Mum grew up.
Once, on my way to see her, a young couple
caught the bus at the Gate and asked the driver
if he could stop near Parkfield Road.

Don’t know it, he said, and I called out:
I’ll tell you when to ring the bell.
I know where Parkfield Road is.
I was born there,
in my Granny Kate’s house.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

Down The Old End

Some of them survived
until the mid-60’s,
waited to be demolished
like rows of smoke-stained teeth.

Birmingham’s back-to-backs,
three walls out of four
joined to the next dwelling
and, through covered alleyways,
courtyards with communal privies,
a streetlamp and clothes lines.

This is where my Grandmother came
as a young bride, took the key
to 2/228, Cromwell Street, Nechells,
and called it home.

This was where she bloomed,
thrived in a community
of silversmiths, button makers
and biscuit-factory workers.
She reared four children,
worshipped with them
at the local Catholic church,
kept her kettle on the boil
for tea and gossip
and bustled each day
to the corner shop that sold
bootlaces, tobacco and cough drops.

She liked her spacious house
in a leafy suburb,
enjoyed a hot bath
filled by water from the tap
but still hankered
after “the old end”,
told how neighbours
drew comfort from one another
and the shared red brick
that weathered births, deaths
and two world wars.

© 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

Bangalore through the window
Like dairy-free chocolate the square
tiled yard sweats sultriness livened
by sparks of music from the living
room piano. Past the iron gate
autos trundle as insistent as bikes
that thunder in the lane where
a listless dog drags a woman swinging
her pointless cane past the vendor
with sharp samosas in his voice
smearing yesterday’s oil in today’s
newspaper. Money plants struggle
in verandas crammed with city
life too preoccupied to care
for other things besides.
Pot-bellied and backpacked
even pressured fore and aft
an old man hangs in the balance
(much like our existence) with
eyes that rake the sky. It’s long
overdue and not the way
when he was young
when it was greener.
He tracks the points of no
return as dominoes topple.
Away from these musings
a schoolgirl masticates to
appease shooting hunger
focused on a short-lived
bargain from a kirana store.
Keys ripple as a
koel pleads in the soupy
mirage for rain.

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew

.the little city.

little place
we did not live there really
only in heart in memory
power house
god of clattering birds
hills and history
a place to look at cows
look at
clean houses
coffee small cakes
pot jam
trusted patrons
we need to concentrate on detail
to describe things properly
need to
go there each year a while
to retain to remain in memory
need to
care for little things
st david
may be a myth a memory
he carved it so
said it was the centre of the universe
for some it is
st david’s
the city is in Wales

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


come gently with birth
come gently with life
grow with the place
until we grew beyond how it was
beyond the culture and crowding
becoming unsettled
retaining memory


cycling the promenade hoping
some one will love us some day
baking down dunes
walking down tracks
barefoot hoping for less paving in town

2. humbling for a home
walking looking in windows
will some one want us
house us?

3. finding the two above
settling for the place where folk
come to holiday beautiful
while we work the bones of it
the grit beneath
bournemouth beautiful
the reason beneath the move away
is beyond any words i have just
where folk
come to holiday beautiful

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.then there was manchester.

maybe in the fifth visit i met him
in the city in the thrift shop
from nine maybe till six or five thirty
several buttons and an open face
adorned with patterns
he opened easily
recognised we are not robots
despite the badges
it is colourful in the city
she mentioned it in suprise
immediately apologised
notice i talk more about people than
the archtiecture though that was appreciated
and wrote of it especially
do you know i watched the pigeon paddle
the parakeets flying
over the road carefully minding the trams
the tram lines
tripping gently forward
we found ouy way together
in manchester the fifth time

© 2919, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

A city lover….
I’ve a home is my city and you gotta tell me
what’s the city’s name?
where a boy is insane and you couldn’t help
but smile back.
I cry out for God sake
Tell me, where do you wish to be framed
would you stay in a hotel ….yeah,
From the churches, and the houses, a poem is out to the prayer.
wish you all the best:
Tell me what’s the city’s name?

© 2019, Pali Raj

Beastly Beauty

Big city late night smogging
Human volcano awaiting
Final intolerance of life
Neighborhood via drugs degrading

Nominally safe inside row home
Dangling a keychain of pepperspray
Alone while sons at work today
Overactive imagination spirals away

Back home in humid Florida
Gators move prehistorically
Searching for mates in yards and swamps
Devoid of any sensuality

Here in my old hometown Philly
Human hoards do the same
Cruising in cars, buses and subways
Any-cost sex, biological imperative aim

Inside I strum guitar and read
While some sad soul screams outside
Teetering between two realities
Alone on a great divide

Where is the truth
Worthy to compare?
Or is beauty hidden

© 2019, 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 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, 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 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


“The Endless” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt








“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or, have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”  Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom

When I posted the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Elusive Soul, July 10, I wasn’t sure anyone would want to come out to talk about death and reincarnation. But lo! Here we are. We have a poetry feast, sometimes surprized by humor and quirkiness, but mostly fed by experience, observation, intuition, and the sacred. Prepare for a few laughs, a lot to think about, and maybe inspiration for a poem of your own.

Today’s feast is brought to us courtesy of mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb y Felio, Irene Emanuel, Sheila Jacob, Elena Lacy, Bozhidar Pangelov, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Pali Raj. New to our poetry family this week and warmly welcome: Bhaha d’Auroville and Melting Neurons. I didn’t have a bio from Bhaha, so I pieced one together and hope, Bhaha, that it works for you. Since Bhaga’s bio tangentially introduces Sri Aurobindo, I’ve included a photo and a poem by him, theme related.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. It is open to beginning, emerging, and pro poets. Don’t be shy. Join us tomorrow for a prompt that I hope you’ll like though it won’t be as stimulating as this one. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to swap it out for something more challenging. It’s late as I put a wrap on this post and tomorrow is a big day for me. You’d be surprized how busy a homebound writer can be.

Tempting Topic

For once I thought ‘It’s Wednesday,
Let’s see what today’s prompting is…’
And couldn’t believe what it was!
What to write, if I don’t believe
In reincarnation, but live
With it since I was a newborn?
And how can I write about it
‘Just from my imagination’,
When memories are flooding me
From so many places and times
Which I have known and have known me?
Oh, I do feel universal,
Old soul with yet another face
On top of another body
Whose cells still hunger for the food
They used to live by long ago
And still act upon the old vows
That I pronounced, meaning well,
In so many monasteries
Of so many dire religions
All over the entire planet,
Imprisoning myself in them!
Or other vows claiming Freedom
Without knowing quite what it was…
Yet in this life it all came back
As a whole harvest of lifetimes
Leading to this one’s turning-point
In the true Light at last of Love
For myself and for all ‘others’:
Unconditional Love at last,
Healing all with its strong Delight…
Shall I try to express all that?
It is such a tempting topic…

© 2019, Bhaga d’Auroville

My Very First Memory

My very first memory?
Deep sadness.
Deep sadness within me at knowing, and telling myself:
“Here I am again,
having to pretend being a separate person again,
instead of a blissful part of the loving Whole… ”
Sadness like a huge sigh in my being,
in the Soul that I was
since ever
for ever.
The feeling of going at it once again,
out of a sense,
not of obligation,
but of accepted duty.
Like shouldering up again a burden
that has to be carried
to its destination,
whatever time it may take.
This was when I was supposed to be a tiny baby
just newborn,
arriving back into this difficult physical world
of planet Earth.

© 2019, Bhaga d’Auroville

copyright Bhaga

BHAGA d’AUROVILLE lives in Auroville, a conscious community in Puducherry in South India. Auroville is also, I believe, a United Nations supported site for sustainable agriculture and global human uniity. This self-contained diversely-populated community is dedicated to the vision of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), an Indian poet, yogi, guru, and philosopher. Sri Aurobindo was a nationalist who joined the Indian movement for independence from British colonization. He was also a spritual reformer who held a vision of human progress through spiritual evolution. Some Americans may remember that Woodrow Wilson’s daughter Magaret was a follower.  In the spirit of her community, Bhaga’s blog is Lab of Evolution, For Research on Conscious Evolution.  She writes,”Conscious Evolution is for you and me. It is for the whole planet. It is the Next Step which is simply the logical, to be expected continuation of all that Evolution has already made happen upon this little Earth over the eons past. The difference is that now the human species is there, and we human beings can consciously participate in our own gradual transformation into a more evolved species. Any progress in that direction, by any of us, will help accelerate the overall progress for the whole Earth and all its inhabitants. It is happening. Will you help?’

Sri Aurobindo / public domain photo

Life and Death

Life, death, – death, life; the words have led for ages
Our thought and consciousness and firmly seemed
Two opposites; but now long-hidden pages
Are opened, liberating truths undreamed.
Life only is, or death is life disguised, –
Life a short death until by Life we are surprised.

– Sri Aurobindo

The Endless

I’d ravage The Endless back into a savagely peaceful state,
where the darkness ceased against the ripping of sunlight
and flesh was made to stagger under new form and structure.
I’d break down amidst the ferocity of nerves completely aflame,
blazing mysterious life back in a rictus of fresh birthed anguish
that would howl up and out a throat misshapen to memory.
I’d rest my pained eyes on reflective surface and cast out,
cast out into the recesses of my mind to search for recognition,
failing and withering beneath the harsh gasp of true newness.
So I would be reborn, brought about by misguided hope,
faithfully preserved in the belief that housed in a new sanctuary
madness and sanity would restore to a natural balance
leaving me aware of a change, but aching with the loss.

© 2019, Melting Neurons

MELTING NEURONS resides in Wenatchee, WA where he lives with his wife, dog and stuffed owl. They hail from Bend, OR originally, except the dog, who’s a Texan death row survivor. He has lived in more than 75 cities across the country at various points including Boston and New Bedford, MA. His writing centers around a lifetime filled with adventures in schizoaffective bipolar, addiction, and the dichotomy of being everything from a corporate executive to homeless on the streets for years. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and enrolled in Wenatchee Valley College studying English and Creative Non-Fiction. His blog is HERE.


as a young dad he formed the
habit of when leaving the house
of telling his young wife and tod
dler with mock-solemn drama:
“i am going on a mission…
from which…
i may never return.”
he did that 218 times.
there was a thirty-five year
between #217 and #218,
which was on his deathbed,
staring lovingly
into his daughter’s
tear-swimming eyes.

she laughed a little, then hiccup-
sobbed. but he ska-sneezed
her hand
and said “mission accom–”
and died.

in this life
i suddenly remembered.
and so i say

© 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.


i’m that girl
this Eden is
very beautiful
i’ve crawled on my belly
since the time of the Pharaohs
and i’m feeling deeply tired
today i make the case that gifting
me free will does not compare to heaven
when i close my eyes the cries of Mary
still echo in my ears while Martha’s
brother slumbers wrapped in linens
and the taste of chocolate
melting joy on my tongue
careless angels send
Your blessed signs
i am

© 2019, mm brazfiled

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Gone to ground
he sharply sees far below the hole
he crouches in,

his fellows hop and thump,
gust in his wings as he dives,
break of bone and fur,
of his daughters limp body
as he takes her to his perch
to feed hungry beaks.

Aware he did this once.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Soul Nonsense

Writers use the word without thought.
Expect readers to know what they mean.

Never define the word in their work.
A throw away word to mean something deep.

Used without care a word out of place
repeated so often it is meaningless.

Air, ether, fire or light once thought
incorporeal. If air perhaps our breath

actions at a distance. Breathe in spirit.
Perhaps we refer to our emotions.

Endeavour to give them gravity.
Don’t throw away, pick carefully.

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

I See Daylight

when the blade
opens a gash in his skin,
a valley I can walk through.
The sharp edge
narrowly misses me.

I step out of his wound,
his valley.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A World Where

I can’t recognise this pattern of words,
the timetables at work. I can’t make

a pattern is a world without form,
without substance, an out of focus

pictures in which there maybe more
than one of me. I don’t orientate

without signposts or landmarks or signatures.
All is blur. Meaning elusive.

If I make it could be false. There is grief
at a loss of shape, of pattern.

A gallery of random words and pictures
I can reshuffle so every time a picture

has different words, words you can apply
to any other picture. The application of shape

more meaningful perhaps. As we can’t say
when someone close will leave this earth.

Port of Souls is found landlocked sometimes.
Like marrow locked inside a bone, at other

Times it is a small island surrounded
by a repetition of water. Occasionally after

so many have passed into memory,
a port of souls occupies our inside.

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes


I watch the traffic lights
consider a walk this way or
a green man allows me
to avoid bloodied bone

my mouth and ears
thresholds and doors
full of oaklimbs and leaves

reborn I stretch down
to deep dark moist

I stretch up to cloudlight
barkskin palmtouched
I let others breathe
shelter and endure.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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

A Star from Afar

I believe I am an eight pointed star incarnate
I once orbited the central celestial dark space
where I was a reflector of pure light and peace
and was circling on duty on an invisible plate

many light years ago a new planet was born
and a twinkling dome was set as a guide, I
was transferred to move and shine, to pray
and light the way for those who would seek

for many more light years I remained suspended
and guided many lost sea and desert travelers
til some enemies down below started shooting
and one day I broke and lost my invisible footing

I am quite sure that I am in my third life now
from a star and a guide and in pure light, I
am in a different form called female, and in
a meteor shower mixup,got the spirit of a male.

and now my name though means a star
but am still in a state of confused war
many a times in lists and divisions I find
that my seat or chair is in the boys bar

the worst is when the organizers look me
up and down and refuse to believe that I
am a she and not a he’ as they had thought
shake their heads and reluctantly let me pass

so who is to blame if incarnation takes place
not according to what one wished or desired
or wished to be a prince or a princess royal-
when reality strikes you find, Oh, the change misfired

© 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

Nirvana Knows 

a Pantoum

Redo my life please
I paid good money for that paper on the wall
It glares at me with disapproving rage
As I struggle with my final breath

I paid good money for that paper on the wall
A professional path to fame and fortune
As I struggle with my final breath
I think, “Regrets.”

A professional path to fame and fortune
Bartered for super tight hugs and sticky kisses
I think, “Regrets?
No, I am dying happy.”

We tried to barter super tight hugs and sticky kisses
But the cancer still clutched my breasts
Now, I am dying happy
Nirvana knows I made the right exchange

The cancer that clutched my breasts
Glares at me with disapproving rage
Nirvana knows I made the right exchange
Redo my life? No, thank you!

© 2019, Irma Do

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

Another Life

Once I was a worshipped cat,
I’m absolutely sure of that.
Whisker greys adorn my face,
which are the basis for my case.
At ease with every cat I meet,
without a cat, I’m not complete.
We greet and speak by sight and touch
and though that really isn’t much,
I swear the cats know who I was
when formally, I was their boss.
So when a cat is scared and hisses,
I shower him with gentle kisses,
until the present is the past
and he knows who I am at last.

© 2019, Irene Emanuel


in the fifties there was war
and hatred of those people
in the sixties there was war
and the hatred of those people
in then eighties, nineties, the same
then a new century came
no different now
war and hate
why would anyone
want to reincarnate
to be the hater or the hated
you lose either way
I’ll just stick
with Groundhog Day

© 2019, deb y felio

Second Time Around

Inspired by Joy Harjo

Let a roan mare house my soul.
Let her coat be blue.
Let her name be Ocean.
Let her spine be strong.
Let her mane flow unplaited.
Let her ears twitch at the growl of thunder.
Let her face be winsome and her eyes gentle.

Let her tail swish to the hush of the tide.
Let her be free from bridle, saddle and bit.
Let her run in the company of other horses.
Let her chase the wind across green fields.
Let her travel country lanes and city streets
and mountain paths dusted with pine cones.
Let her follow the river and reach the valley.

Let her drink from clear streams.
Let her graze under the stars.
Let her gallop across sand and shingle
and the sea’s frothing hem.
Let her whinnying breath scatter the clouds.
Let her dance on the beach at sundown
and trace the moon’s halo with silver-tipped hooves.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

What if …

Waking up after centuries of silence
Old memories still linger, but their meanings are elusive.
My Self, woven deliriously at the intersection of the old world neuroses,
Is trying to reach out for mirrors
Searching for familiar worries and joys
Suspended and in need of direction.
And, all of a sudden, that need for change feels familiar.
Life is flooding my existence once again…

© 2019, Elena Lacy

Elena’s site is Hyperimage’s Blog

. reincarnationˌriːɪnkɑːrˈneɪʃn .

coming home can be.

frightful, in snow or heavy rain,

dark the days are, the evenings darker.

forecasts bring gloom and panic, then are cancelled

minutes later, the phone kicks off.

ice is predicted, mountains white

i may be reborn in this valley….

now there is a story, meanwhile

arriving home to candlelight, fire the same

and hopefully all will be well a while.

the mouse, the bear,

are quiet ones.

the word count is 62, the years are 8,

and i dreamed it was 2 months ; longer

than all the other numbers.

i may be a long time coming home.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

In the sunny mantle

In the sunny mantle
the souls fall asleep
They are returning to Earth
(to calm the fast time)
And if ever
on the green hill
from a clean river
someone woke you up
stretch your hands
with your palms up
and you will feel
streams of golden sparks –
the soul of the sun

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov

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

wish I wish I were born too stunned.
my mom must have sensed my presence.
don’t look at me as though I have grown another head.
what if, I can feel your nerves bubbling up?
elusive soul, a poem make a stand ….yeah
I shake my head smiling.
I smile a small smile.
p.s. it’s difficult to me to show outward affection.

© 2019, Pali Raj


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* 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 for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.

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


An Homage to Our Critter-Friends in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Bob Seger Dedes

The sweetness of dogs (fifteen)

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. Full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit,

I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! How rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were
his perfect moon.”
Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems [Recommended]

So many funny, sweet and poignant poems, well-considered and finally wrought, an homage to our critter friends in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Practical Cat on Cinco de Mayo, March 6, 2019.

Thanks to Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Irene Emanuel, Jen Goldie, Mike Stone, and Anjum Wasim Dar for this touching collection. Special thanks also to Irma, Jen, and Anujum Ji for sharing their delightful illustrations. Grab a tissue and enjoy another stellar collection from our intrepid reader-poets … and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome to participate.

Apologies for the lateness of this post. Big tech issues. Sigh!  

The Gift

A small dark shape on kitchen tile
stared over by our cat,

Move closer. it is a sparrow bairn,
whose chest balloons out as my sigh releases.

Scooped up, as I take it out to the garden.
It stands on the plastic lip.

Over the fence our neighbour stands in hunched
dark tears “My mam won’t be coming out of hospital”

My breath caught.
The sparrow flies away.

From Paul’s second forthcoming pamphlet to be published in England probably later this year

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


Every morning our tabby
sits beside the grave
beside the wall
of her black predecessor
Our lass and I joke
she is speaking
to her ‘grandma’

My Nana hates cats
who leave “messages”
in her garden
Don’t know how
people can live
with cat hair…

disgusting how people
let them walk
on surfaces.
She never visits us.

Cat and Nana never meet.
Their senses fail
at the same time.
Eyes, ears, mouth.

Something tells me
not long after our cat
goes Nana will too.

Arrivee from work
our cat rigor mortis stiff
across her armchair.

Three days later
I get a phone call
Nana has fallen.
I sit beside her
hospital bedside.

Arrive home to find
a new tabby cat
who asks me
to stroke her
in the way our
black cat did.

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

My rough

tongue licks my sharp claws
as i see warm flesh canter up hill.

Haunches heavy with meat,
back heavy with rider.

I leap at the horses backside
claws gain purchase.

Rider crashes, hot meal gallops away.
I snarl at the dismounted man.

Human can be good meat.
He challenges me with metal.

My claws taste his blood,
again and again. He rushes

toward a spired house of stone.
Tries the locked door.

I am in the porch with him.
He a trapped animal like me.

We press on each other.
Neither tamed, die together.

Based on the local legend of “The Cat And Man”

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

I Found Kittens In Our Settee

I had to trash
vintage settee

we’d just got
of off that thief Mavis.

We’d lost our fat cat.
Couldn’t find her for love nor…

Settee were making noises.
Used kitchen knife.

Found cat and new kittens
sat on £350.

Mavis hadn’t stolen it
after all. I’ll buy her some cheap wine.

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


You hear a blackbird trill,
stroked by a gentle wisp.
You inhale seeds and grass
and suddenly know why

your Grandad spent time
out of the house in the garden
away from the barrage,
snipes and aggro of his wife.

And as you weed the bricked path
to the front door your black cat complains
to be let in and you quietly advise
that he has a perfectly serviceable
cat flap at the back, until

your wife opens the front door
and let’s him in and scowls at you
as she shuts it.

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

As Abandoned

black kitten lobbed out of joyrider’s car window
top of our street, always had bare patch
on her upper thigh, could not get enough
strokes, hugs, Daddy’s girl.

in her moving owner’s back garden for months,
new owner could not keep her
due to his chickens and dog, always her small
paws catch your clothes as you pass.

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

If Only My Dead Dears

deliberately hid away

like our new kitten who disappears
so we cannot hear her bell,
her purrs.

We open cupboards, look under,
into, around
and sigh they’ve gone for good
this time

then smile.

And it is as if she says
he, he, couldn’t find me.

No matter how hard we look
we only find the dead in our heads.

And sometimes smile
as we remember them in a place
we had not thought to find them
for some time.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (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

Sunning the Queen – a Nonet

Lick lick purrrr
Rumble grumble
Lazy eyes open
Head languidly turning
Anything interesting?
Oh no – just you – scratch my head now
The sun makes me sleepy. Time to eat?

This nonet was written for Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem about an animal companion. The original title for this poem was “Fat Cat in the Sun”, for indeed, Kassidy was a chubby wubby kitty cat, but she was also ruler of our home. My parents would do anything for Kassidy – come home early to feed her, go to a different grocery store to buy her special food, made sure she had several special beds to lie around the house. In return, she always greeted you at the door so you could scratch her head the minute you came in before you even got a chance to put down your keys. Kassidy died about 3 years ago yet she always will hold a place in our hearts.

© 2019, photo and words, Irma Do (I Do Run – And I do a few other things)


My file was open on my desk,
I left it there a while;
I did not know a judge was close
and watching with a smile.

I started work on something new,
my file was out of sight;
the noise I heard alerted me,
I turned and got a fright.

The judge was sitting near my file,
his back was hunched and tense;
he threw-up on my poetry,
with careful negligence.

My poems must have turned his lunch,
he really was in pain;
that blasted cat disliked my work
and vomited again.

It seems my poetry is deficient,
I’ll watch TV instead;
but if that cat sits on my lap,
I’ll smack his furry head.

© 2019, Irene Emanuel




This morning death was on

my doorstep, no one died

no one particularly,


Someone’s cat, someone’s

Dog, a birdie possibly,

Sadness overwhelmed me


So, I had my morning tea

As all those old memories

Flooded over me, my heart


began to ache and the new

days sun washed over me.

With pleasant memories.


I still can’t draw a cat.

© 2019, poem and drawing, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moon Beams, And the Occasional Cat)

On the day of……….

as we prepared for….

as I prepared for.


You looked at me inquisitivly


 I had no answer….

for you this time.

what are

the tears for?

Where are

we going?

So many questions

Keep going

I took the day

so we














In loving memory of Simon. Devoted, loving, steadfast, trusting and true. I’ll never forget you. ❤😔

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moon Beams, And the Occasional

The Day the Cat Stood Still

This is a story as told by me, that no fat

or otherwise cool Cat could deny. The

Day the Cat Stood Still was a catastrophe,

she made a cat’s paw of me, decidedly

deciding I’d not cat’ch on to her curiosity,

Where could the cat be, a cat’ch phrase

we all know constantly. She was playing cat

and mouse with me, no caterwauling, no

hell Cat catapulting, no cat nabbing at hand,

I calmly considered, there’s more than one way

to skin a cat, we’ll see which way the cat jumps.

And So, I with ears perked

roamed the room stealthily, when suddenly

I hear a meow, and there she was Kitty

cornered in a drawer, looking like the cat

that got the cream, cool cat on my cat pajamas,

kitty whiskers teasing me.

Cat got your tongue?

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moon Beams, And the Occasional Cat)

As always dedicated to my dearly departed friends of the four legged feline kind. 💗💕

.little dog gone.

oh you were so very small

hash tag

not a proper dog

was said.

oh you were good company

hash tag

not like a human

was said.

oh boy on a good day how you

would run.

hash tag.

more like scampering

was said and overheard.

little dog gone.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

West Wind

Raanana, August 3, 2013

Her spirit rushes over the waving grasses
And the jittery tree leaves
Like the West Wind
Racing to fetch the stick
I’ve thrown so high and far
But the stick lies still
Where it has fallen.

© 2013, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works, Yes Another Book of Poetry and Stories)

Tears and Toys

Raanana, January 31, 2013

A poem is sometimes like a joke
Except instead of being funny
It’s so sad your heart leaps out of your chest
And you look around to see whether anyone else saw that
But they never do.
I once read a poem about my dead dog Chewy
How I buried her with my tears and her toys
Only I didn’t say her name or that she was a dog.
Some people came up to me afterward, a man and a woman,
And she told me how they appreciated my poem
Because they had buried their daughter too
With their tears and her toys.
Then I told them the punch-line
That my poem was about my dog Chewy
(I loved her so)
Because honesty’s the best policy.
The woman winced once, I think,
And then a curtain came down
Hiding their faces from me.
Now and then I hear laughter
And I look around
But don’t see any joke being told.
He seems to slap his knees at our sorrows.
Sometimes I get all mixed up about
Who’s God
And who’s the poet
And who’s burying their dead love
With their tears and her toys.

© 2013, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works, Yes Another Book of Poetry and Stories)


Raanana, June 21, 2013

What if they don’t come home?
I’ve been standing on the couch
I don’t know how long
Looking out the window …
What if they don’t come home?
Their cars aren’t there,
The black one or the brown one,
What if they don’t …?
It’s quiet and I’m so lonely –
What if …?
Nobody will give me water
And nobody will give me food
And nobody will love me
And nobody will come.
Don’t they know what could happen
When they say goodbye to me?
What if they don’t come home?
I’ll lie down to sleep
I don’t know how long.
At least I won’t think about
What if they don’t come home,
But I can’t sleep because
What if they don’t come home?
Don’t they know what I think?
Don’t they care?
If they only knew
How impossible it is to think like this
They’d never leave me.
What if they don’t come home?
Please come back … now.
What if they don’t come home?

© 2013, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works, Yes Another Book of Poetry and Stories)

The Service Revolver

Raanana, May 22, 2009

Sixty-six pounds of snarling anger
In the only path to safety
For six pounds of cold fear.
A chain squeezes suddenly around the honey-colored throat
And the anger moves on,
At first reluctantly, and then
Loping along at a goodly pace
Wet nostrils flared and quivering,
Ready to sift and scoop up
Anything of taste or interest
Along the dark and lamp-lit way.
Walking my dog Daisy
Whose name belies her vigor and strength
Barely controlled by a pact initialed
But never formally ratified,
She leads me through the valley of my loneliness
Which I measure in the scrape and echo
Of footsteps having no place to go.
Walking under an archway of sparse leaved bracken
And thick limbs of eucalyptus
Thoughts swarm around us
In no particular rhyme or meter,
Like the personal black hole
Pulling me towards an eventual horizon
In gossamer strands of infinity,
And another: at what point in our lives
Does it become reasonable
To contemplate suicide,
To feel the coolness and weight of one’s service revolver
Against the weight of continuing to be?

(c) 2009, Mike Stone (The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone)


Raanana, February 4, 2007

I have a riddle for you:
‘When is a house empty, even though it’s full of people?’
She had more names than God Himself.
We should have called her Uhuru—
Freedom was the one thing she loved more than us
And finally she’s escaped the soft clutches of our love.
In our eagerness and innocence
We brought her home too soon
To be weaned from her mother,
A frightened little thing
No bigger than my fist.
She grew to love us though,
As fiercely as we loved her.
Some people were scared of her
But we’d give anything
For her to warm herself against us.
Last night her little heart burst its bounds
And she escaped her life
Running free at last through open fields
Photographed by death.
This morning when we buried her,
It rained cats and dogs.

(c) 2009, Mike Stone (The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone)

Mike Stone’s Amazon Page is HERE.

Dreaming Guard


More grey than white she was,
sensuously stirring,
if otherwise
sleeping or pretending
to sleep,
what attracted her, to peep
through the glass
then back down and pass
to the side to laze as if
in a drunken daze

daily visit , a long quiet look
then off to the nook,
satisfied with one ,
deep open eyed glance,
set her in the love trance,
no desire to roll or prance,
contentment replete, in form n fur,
silent breath, silent purr,
guarding the door, on barren floor,
profound faith, defying death_
my love have seen , no desire for more
to heaven I’ve been.
now oblivious of dogfights,rat races
she sleeps or pretends to sleep
snuggled cozily on the metallic bonnet
musing warmly on composing a sonnet
perhaps dreaming of a beloved  felidae.

© 2019, poem (English and Urdu, below) and Illustrations, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

بلی کے امور

خوابوں میں  ڈوبی یا سویؑ  ھویؑ ،

سفیدی مایل ،رنگ ھلکے کی زیادہ وہ لگتی تھی ،
جھوٹ موٹ دکھاوے کے لیؑے سویؑ ھویؑ بلی رانی

کس کی کشش  کھینچ لایؑ اسے کھڑکی تلے
نظر بھر کے دیکھا ، مسکرایؑ نشے میں ڈوبی ھویؑ

وہ روز روز آنا دوڑتے ھوےؑ  آنا، اک نظر کی تسلی
وہ دوستی نبھایؑ، سب پا لیا تو کرنے آرام وہ لیٹی

انوکھا پیار انوکھا کھیل قدرت کا میل کویؑ میاوؑن نہیں
محبت میں بھیگی خر خراتی ھویؑ ، ھے چوکیدار بنی

پرواہ نہیں موت کی نہ چوھوں کی چاہت و  خواھش
دنیا کرے جنگ یہ خوابوں میں کھویؑ سوچے اپنی شاعری

“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


“souls and human beings”. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The urban poor buy water from water vendors for, on average, about five to 16 times the metered price. Photo courtesy of Oxfam East Africa under CC BY 2.0

“Wealth does not trickle down to the poor. Oxfam knows this, the IMF knows this, the World Bank knows this. Poor people have always known this.” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director

These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, which was “poverty,” September 19th demonstrate sensitivity, observation, conscience, compassion and skill. Clearly, these are more than good poets. They are the most decent human beings. Thanks Irene Emanuel, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Marta Pombo Sallés and bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov). Also with appreciation for participating and sharing their fine work, a warm welcome Wendy Bourke and Alethea Kehas.

Read on, enjoy, be inspired and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt tomorrow.  All are encourage: novice, emerging and pro.

souls and human beings

she walked down the street median … passed the row
of idling cars that would have raced by her,
but for, the bright red orb that signalled: stop

she held a cardboard sign ‘pregnant – need money for food’ …
I could not tell, if the gloom upon her old young face
reflected anger or hate or sadness or pain or all of it

it is impossible to move around this manic city without anguish …
without words like ‘souls’ and ‘human beings’ tumbling
across your mind, like tosses of dice in a game of craps

she caught me … staring at her through the window …
and I sheepishly cast my eyes down – for I knew the look I wore
expressed my shock and frightened thoughts of the fate
that awaited the unborn child … if there was an unborn child

she came up to my car door, as if she’d been summoned
and, rolling down the window, I pressed a blue five bucks
into a limp and grimy hand … wondering … if I’d just been played …
as if such speculations have a place … where human beings beg

© 2018, Wendy Bourke (Words and Words and Whatnot)

Canandian Poet, Wendy Bourke

WENDY BOURKE lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes, goes on long rambling walks gathering photos and inspiration – and hangs out with family and friends.  After a life loving words and scribbling poetry lines on pizza boxes and used envelopes, Wendy finally got down to writing ‘in earnest’ seven years ago.  Her work has appeared in over 100 poetry anthologies and journals.

Bloated Bellies

I wasn’t poor for long,
At least that’s what I chose to believe
My grandmother tells me the story of our return
From the Hare Krishnas
Faces the color of ashes, bellies bloated
Over skinny legs
I was too young to remember
But the ache has become
A troublesome cyst
I refuse to extract
Inside a place to dark and deep
For life. Like the hole in our outhouse
I don’t remember walking in the night
But I remember shame folded
Into second-hand clothes
And the pink satin nightgown
Never worn by another child
All that was missing was a crown

© 2018, Alethea Kehas (Alethea Kehas, Author and owner of Inner Truth Healing & Yoga)

Writer Alethea Kehas

When she was two, ALETHEA KEHAS spent several months in hiding with the Hare Krishnas from a father she chose to believe was a villain until she reunited with him at the age of thirty-six. Alethea’s story is told in her memoir, A Girl Named Truth. She is also the author of The Labyrinth, Book 1 in the Warriors of Light fantasy series for children of all ages, but especially those who feel a little different on the inside and outside. Alethea’s Amazon page is HERE.

A Penny Drop

must never happen.
We must always be misunderstood

to communicate clearly and cogently.
Wrong end of the stick grasped firmly.

Vagueness is clarity.

If you let the penny drop confusion
and disillusion will result.

Please misunderstand me.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History / Imagination)

The Poor

burn amongst riches.
Shreds flicker fall from height,

Billow into drives of mansions.
Poor though they have less

always give more than the rich.
So many missed in the flames

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History / Imagination)

As many of you know, Paul launched a series of interviews a few weeks ago. HERE is the link to the most recent.  It’s with Deborah Alma, one of my faves.  She was also featured on The Poet by Day and in The BeZine regarding #Me Too a women’s poetry anthology. She is England’s “Emergency Poet.”
HERE is the link to Paul’s U.S. Amazon page. HERE is the link to Paul’s U.K. Amazon page.


They’re there;
hollowed into make-shift sponge-foam beds,
tight-curled into malodorous rag-blankets
and plastic of dubious origin.
They’re there;
the shadow-ghost people
of no fixed abode,
gathered loosely together
in cohesive misery.
They’re there;
existing on society’s fringe,
sustained by the government’s pandering promises;
sharing glue-highs and garbage rot.
They’re there;
old children, dying people,
together in perpetual poverty.
They’re there;
trampled contours on grass verges,
silhouettes on street corners,
robotic vendors with nothing to sell but themselves.
They’re there;
the street-people of forgotten causes,
unified in the rainbow nation
of lost hopes.

© 2018, Irene Emanuel


We met every Friday at 5:30

I gave without thinking

You were never poor in spirit.

Me, in my Abercrombie and Fitch,

You, with your Aromatic and Filth

We met every Friday at 5:30.

Pasta and tacos,

Admonishments and side eye

I gave without thinking.

Survival your strength

Laughter your life line

You were never poor in spirit

© 2018, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too …)

Irma is doing so well with her poetry. Four of her poems are featured in the September issue of The BeZine. Brava, Irma!  

.green road.

green road is where I was born; in winton.

green grocer delivered each tuesday and thursday.

green front doors and hedges line the road, repetitive.

green shooting brake denotes uncle’s arrival, posh we thought,truth came later.

green our neighbour’s face as bombs fell/were pushed; she hid in the outside toilet.

green school knickers; janet next door under her gymslip.

greens up the garden, with spuds & rhubard, runners & plums.

greens for dinner, liver & gravy; poor food, i guess there was rationing.

green her coat with big buttons,darted & half belt she wore while shopping.

green my mittens, shetland hand knitted; a souvenir.

green the scarf that matched, richer now.

green the sky; the storm passes.

2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.four boils

the planing office is up the road, by the old hospital

that was once a work house for the poor & suffering

to suffer more.


pass by regular on the way to somewhere else.

it is listed so any changes are scrutinised.


there have been a few.


i do apologise

did you say planet?

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

And Tiny Little Poem

and tiny woman
and tiny puppy
(in front of the bins)
into big bags
her life

© 2018, bogpan / Bozhidar Pangelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия  блог за авторска поезия )

Ode to Trump’s Vanity et al

Spring anticipation in the air
Orange reddened sun
Gets ready to hide its rays
Behind the lowest of all mountains
Mirroring itself on the lake.
Vanity at its highest level.
Yet the picture turns out different
In a mixture of yellow and blue
Of greed and sadness a faithful clue.

“You’re so vain,
You probably think
This march is about
Reads the banner
At the Women’s March
January 21, 2017.

Millions came together
Across the globe
To raise their voices
Against your choices
Mr. Trump.
Your misogyny,
Your greed and your lies
Are most unwelcome
Because it is your vanity
That makes you lie.

Where’s the first media-built man
That promised jobs for the working-class
To make America First and great again
When all you bring is constant pain
Erasing truths and liberties from earth.

The second man’s now on the surface,
Two sides of the same coin,
And the reddened sun sets down
While Vanity School runs high
For Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders,
Frauke Petry, Beppe Grillo…
And the like.

Even Spain’s Rajoy’s a little Trump,
Profound ignorant and clown,
Who drains the fund backing pensions
With an air smell of corruption.

Won’t you grant us, Catalans,
Once for all that referendum
Any democratic state would offer
To a stateless people to decide:
The right to self-determination.

No, instead, you’re blurring powers
Just exactly as Donald Trump
Judicializing politics and sending
The very democrats to court
For organizing a participatory process
In Catalonia, November 9, 2014.

Vanity School expands its limits
And buys a handful Orwell’s 1984
While the sea has just began to weep:

Mare Nostrum, Mare Mortum,
In 2016 almost 5.000 people
Drowned and died
From 2000 till now 30.000 dead!

With Barcelona’s pro-refugee rally,
The largest in Europe and perhaps
In the entire world till now,
We will surely not have enough
To eradicate our human misery.

The red sun has just hidden
Behind the lowest mountain
And as darkness unfolds
The picture changes colors:
Grayish blues carrying their shadows
On a rippled lake obscured
Where birds and ducks move
Swiftly countercurrent.

© 2017, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Marta’s “A tasty lentil soup” served up in both English and Catalan was published in response to another prompt, but we’re going to share it again … Enjoy!

A tasty lentil soup

keeps you warm from the cold.

Coldness outside

speaks of emptiness,

sadness in a cloudy day.

Or is it just the fog all around

that saddens your mind and spirit?

Going through the streets

the walking dead

if they can still walk.

You saw poverty’s face

the system’s decay.


Needles in their hands,

hollow eyes, ailment,

people lost without a second chance.

Is this what you came here for?

But you had your lentil soup

that kept your body warm

while your bleeding heart

sank into the deepest darkness.

You detached it from the body

took it to analyze and

put it on to a microscope


And the bleeding heart spoke up

vomited nothing but the truth

awaiting the other truth that hurts.

You knew it would happen.

The lentil soup eaten

in the Arabian restaurant

and then a sudden sound,

a slight noise on the floor,

something moves near your table.

You raise your eyes and there it is:

A black pigeon inside

walks a few steps toward you

as if he wanted to speak.

“Do we have a new guest?”

The waitress gently guides him

to the main room

near the entrance door.

The bird moves his wings

flies inside the restaurant.

The waitresss, a little scared,

utters an “oh” sound

while the black pigeon

displays his wings, flies away

through the restaurant door.

A sad bird looking

for temporary company,

maybe a friendship

but forever unattainable.

El colom negre

Una saborosa sopa de llenties
t’escalfa del fred.
La fredor a l’exterior
parla de buidor,
tristesa en un dia plujós.
O és només la boira per tot arreu
que t’entristeix la ment i l’esperit?

Anant pel carrer
els morts caminant
si és que encara poden caminar.
Has vist el rostre de la pobresa,
la decadència del sistema.
Agulles a les seves mans,
ulls buits, malaltia,
gent perduda sense una segona oportunitat.

És per això que has vingut aquí?
Però tu et menges la teva sopa de llenties
que t’escalfa el cos
mentre la teva ànima sagnant
s’enfonsa en la més profunda foscor.
La separares del teu cos
i l’agafares per analitzar
posant-la en un microscopi.

I l’ànima sagnant va parlar
vomitant res més que la veritat,
esperant l’altra veritat que fa mal.
Ja sabies que això passaria.

La sopa de llenties menjada
en el restaurant àrab
i llavors, un soroll sobtat,
una remor al terra,
alguna cosa es mou prop la teva taula.
Alces la mirada i és allí:
Un colom negre a dins.
Camina uns passos cap a tu
com si volgués parlar.
– Tenim un nou convidat?
La cambrera el guia gentilment
cap a la sala principal.
L’ocell mou les seves ales,
vola dins del restaurant.
La cambrera, una mica espantada,
deixa anar un “oh!”
mentre el colom negre
desplega les ales, vola lluny
a través de la porta del restaurant.
Un ocell trist, buscant
companyia temporal,
potser una amistat
però per sempre, inabastable.

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés


Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.