“To Live in a Haphazard World” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world. ” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Here we are at Tuesday again, my favorite day of the poetry week when we share poems submitted by diverse writers in response the the prior Wednesday Writing Prompt.  The last week’s prompt was Not Quite Fatal, August 14, a prompt that encouraged a wide range of exploration: “Climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity are threats that combine to become even more insidious with the current zeitgeist of fear, racism, war, conflict, and genocide, all supported by hate and tradition, the Hatfields and McCoys writ large. These concerns are on all our minds … Share your thoughts with your poem/s …” And so they have …

From mm brazfield’s on our becoming, to Anjum Ji’s poignant poem born of the trauma of the Partition, relocation, and the current crisis in and over Kashmir, to Isadora’s writing on the skin-color divide, and Mike’s poem on the quality of being truly human, to cite just a few because each of these ten poets have explored with pain, passion, and wisdom the follies of our times and the ideals each of them holds high.

This collection is courtesy of mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Isadora DeLaVega,  Irma Do, Sheila Jacob, Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, June G. Paul, and Mike Stone.

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

Werdin Alley

he walls
are brick and
yet have witnessed many things
the stains of age are in the page
of the city’s palm the angels speak and demons kick out in laughter
i walk on thorns the books are long and i can’t see anything
that breaks the spell of misery’s iron grasp
the worried sunrise comes and shines a light that fades into the
cracks of time in the monuments to lethargic progress and flowers bloom in
screens of doom and shots are too quickly taken
unlike Tokpella this alley way has finite space and we all walk
in crippling slumber John Wayne won’t get me here
amongst this man made thunder the blood is thin and made of ashes
as i lay the east escapes from me
Pahana you are over due
canyons fell down
life out

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken

Opens To The Public

on Andrew Farmer’s painting of the view from Cusworth Hall grounds to Doncaster

In this public space let us sit
on the grassy hillside recently cut

by council mowers, open
our plastic containers, our

vacuum packed crisps,
sip from reususable mugs,

admire the constructed view,
take photos of the refurbished

Eighteenth century lake
for our Facebook accounts,

Like old post cards but quicker.
Let the bairns run wild

safe and secure, monitored
“Molly don’t pick that up it’s dirty!”

“Sure when us et our sarnies
were more plagued with wasps
and bees when I were young.”

A church and skyscrapers rise
from the daubed horizon like computer tabs.

Manmade landscape manmade,
designed and framed.

Featured in the “The Painter, The Poet, and The Portrait” exhibition at Doncaster Art Gallery, 2019

© 2019, Paul Brookes


is how things should be.
The bloodied disturb our equilibrium.

Skin should be cold and plastic.
Remember a monster made us

but now we mold ourselves
whilst monsters are flesh, blood,

And bone making little monsters
that are pushed out of a dark hole

One monster must enter another to produce
these children. You are correctly aghast.

I know it is the shape of your nightmares.
Don’t worry, soon all the world will be plastic.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

The Cost Is Prohibitive

to refreeze the poles,
bury carbon dioxide beneath the oceans,

to save our fellow animals extinction,
the death of insects.

We have to watch the pennies
to manage this extinction event.

The cost will be too high.
We could bankrupt ourselves
to save the earth.

Is it worth becoming paupers
to save this planet?

Count the pennies in your purse.
Count the lives in your hands.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

The Annoyance Of Flies

is the thing I miss most.
A buzz of irritation landing
like a single tickle
on the skin,
not even a continuous tickle

then the awful thought of where
it landed last where it accumulated
potential disease so you swat,

and it returns
and returns
till now when it never returns.

and spiders die, birds die.
Never to return. The annoyance
of things that will never return.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

What use poetry when it floods?

As waters rise above your threshold,
dampen what work you had achieved,

wash away the efforts of days.
All possessions beyond repair,

family photographs curl, float away,
only your memories in your head,

only the effort in your sinew and bone,
beat of your heart to help a neighbour

into a rescue boat. Hard to count your blessings,
as if someone has died, anger at authority

who failed to see it, resignation at losses,
adamant determination you shall not be beaten,

by the sodding weather.

© 2019, Paul Brookes


“Do you want a carrier bag, sir?”
“I friggin don’t. Clog up the seas

with plastic all over. Even in fishes,
birds and what not. It’s all our fault.

Even down to microscopic. Seeps
Into food we eat I bet. Plastic folk

poisoning friggin world we live in.
No, I’ve got my own bags thankyou.

I won’t be one that kills the friggin world.
Here can you put them in here, lad?”

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

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Your Damned Anthropocene

“We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”
as Stewart Brand said, and you agreed.

O, your presumption did not account
for the delicacy of flesh and bone,
the death wish of the human soul,
even in this supposed transhuman age.

You had an impact on my future,
I’m not sure I forgive you.
There is your clear signature
in the fossil record , an observable
sudden decline

in the abundance and diversity of plant
and animal life. Perhaps we should
define your time from here.

Did it start when we traced your pulse
at the start of the Industrial Revolution?
Your carbon-dioxide pulse that underlay
what you thought was global warming.

O, your dreams to guide mankind towards global,
sustainable, environmental management.
How could you see
the juggernaut was unstoppable?

And as we move our minds
from this body to that,
we do not lose the terrors of being lost,
the night sweats of our own death.

From Paul’s collection The Spermbot Blues (OpPress, 2017)

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

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

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

Not Quite Fatal

Blindfolded by mother’s soft hands not blinded yet by pellets,
I can find my way up the hills, I can feel the mountains, hear the
song of the cool stream, sense the moaning of
the trees, be shaken by falling thuds of dead bodies
and listen to the hard footsteps of occupation,
I am deaf to shots ringing every now and then,
life gives pain, life goes on the injuries bleed

not quite fatal

brought forth in darkness, surely for a purpose
I know not light, nor the graceful glide of the
flight, with wings spread out full breadth, ‘away
away,up and down, how how long will Aeolus
carry me, and how far, as space above I know,
but not beyond the hill,or else I will lose my wings
fall I will,crippled, disabled, the wound will be

not quite fatal

speak of letting go’ of emotional detoxification’ and ‘letting in
love peace forgiveness joyful togetherness with kindness’
were we not guided? were we not warned ? were we not told
of good and bad and reward and punishment ? Alas’ it is us-
ungrateful we remain thankless mindless careless,making fuss,
brutal anger reigns supreme,each one thinks’ he is the best,thus
create conflict, commit genocide, take over if not given, rape’ it is

not quite fatal

born behind barbed wires, blinking weakly in spreading light,
freedom’, a gift of nature yet to be received,lagged behind like a
snail,blackouts and bullets won the race,on land and in space,
All Cities are Unreal Cities’ All faces prepared to meet ‘other faces’
Humans love to act wild, love the power of command and control
so make way’ but do not call’ Come’ under the shadow of the red rock,
The Will is to Kill ‘ that is the thrill’ have fun,play the game, its just a game

not quite fatal
not quite fatal

© 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

I am Unique

We look in the mirror; see flaws.
We don’t like what we see.

Our skin color is darker.
And, our countenance is mystifying.

Trying to change into people,
we’re comparing ourselves to.

To create the person, hopefully, you’ll see.
But, anger and hatred is a major ruination.

When will they understand?

Inside, we are good people.
Just like them.

Why don’t they see?

I can’t make them value me.
All I can do is show them.

What I feel and what I believe.
It’s up to them to realize my worth.

I am unique.
I am love.

© 2019, Isadora DeLaVega

The Cure – not the Band 

For sale! The Ultimate Cure for your ills
It removes pride, hatred, entitlement
It heals hearts and minds as your soul, it fills
But I don’t say this for my amusement
In fact, that’s the cure for Life’s excrement

Put on your fun pants, ignore the pshaw
Start with a titter, a chuckle, guffaw
The wheels start turning when you realize
That laughter, the cure-all, relaxes your jaw
So smile in the face of what you despise

This isn’t snake oil but conflict detox
Holster your words, your glares, your fist and gun
Your howl of hilarity will outfox
The zombies who follow the orange one
Mark Twain said laughter is the best weapon

Stockpile some toothbrushes, toothpaste and mints
Practice your giggles and comedy stints
Change what you can then get your wheels churning
Let the arc on your face leave its imprint
The laughing cure keeps the world from burning

© 2019, Irma Do

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

Child’s Play

I remember a game
I played at school.

Whisper a message
to the girl beside you,
shield her ear
with your hand
and say” Shush,
pass it on.”

A silly, giggly game
I never quite understood.

I dream, now,
that messages
are votive candles.

One is ignited
from the wick
of the first
and placed
in the front window
of every house
in every street
of every town
until it’s a link
in a chain of light
and every country
of the world
is a map of earth-stars
welcoming the lost,
the lonely,
the stranger.

What if I nurtured
this dream,
whispered “Pass
it on” ?

© 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


It’s a continental drift of thought-drops
when opiate ideas carve the sky,
land and all that ripples between.

It’s a sinking of reverence when
obsessive order regresses into
cataloguing creation on your finger-

tips with too many birds snared in hand.
How do we salve fragile existence when
hairline cracks web porcelain minds?

You spin circles raising the ghost of history,
reflecting deep its rise and fall, breathe in
breathe out, the inside and outside are one.
A glimmer of light still strains through

the gathering haze, within and without,
while the earth gently prods us it’s
spinning out of antidote and time.

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew

. kindness.

deserves praise, yet should come as natural.

there may be too many additives these day,

not enough honesty grown. she said i should

have something new in the greenhouse.

i have, i said, and thought of you, who

planted the seeds

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: next wednesday 29 ::


simple notes, there is much discussion now, where the place used to be pure quiet and acceptance.

it seems to him that talking does not get the job done. gently balancing wool. words fall .

we had gathered here before to watch the weathering. referendum come and gone with fury.


fails us.

simple notes. none rise higher than the one next.

to you, to me, this may not be

the acceptance


© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: this is a new story ::


where does collaboration work? here.

with you, you, you and you, i have named you


with tags and capitals, links and other stable


i was only stitching. a steady hand. it was an offer,

happily accepted.

i was only drawing. so we drew together. here

& another place.

i was only writing a, yet there are many of

us who came together.

we are alone, until we start working


it comes a wider space, with mistakes and misgivings.

nothing in this world is perfect. it is raining today. the

washing is out.

neighbours help.

writers help, drawers

line our walls with

notes & labels. a few

of us

work together.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

The Edge of Fall

At the edge of fall when the seasons merge
People pause in wonder at the bountiful
gifts of color bursting in and out of life.

As winter edges in, before the trees
lose their leaves, they lose their shades of green.
Burnt umber, brown, yellow, orange and red
are colors seen now dancing in the breeze.

This makes me wonder,
Why do they not see the beauty
in all the colors of skin
skin humanity is clothed with?

Why so difficult for everyone
to pause in wonder at the bountiful
gift all the colors of skin
we burst into and out of life with?

Why do we live on earth
as if the colors of our skin
is the cause of our fall?

© 2019, June G Paul

To Survive in a Haphazard World

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

© 2019, Mike Stone

On Liking Maps Too Much

Personally, I like maps.
The precision of the black line boundaries,
The colors of the bounded entities,
And the proof that only four are needed
To separate each entity, whether town or country.
Like I said, I like maps, but not too much.
Whether two-dimensional or globular,
I’ve never come across a bound’ry line so well-defined
Or patch of ground colored just like on the map
On any of my nature walks.
Besides, I don’t much care for towns or countries,
But forests, lakes, the seas, and mountains,
Clouds and animals, and kind-hearted people,
Those are the beacons for my soul.
I’d like a map to show me where
The people are friendly and where they’re not,
Where the place is good for raising kids,
Where animals are treated well,
And where the earth is well-respected.
I don’t care if the boundary lines meander
Like creeks and clouds are wont to do.
This would be a map worth having –
I’d tuck it in my travel pouch.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Used to Be

Used to be
Evil was more personal.
You had to be there to do it.
Now just somebody doing his job
(Someone has to do it).
A small child all curled up
Hugging the floor
Because there’s nothing else to hug
Thinking maybe that will protect him
Feed him.
An old woman
Survived the Holocaust
The concentration camps
The selections
Her bare-lightbulb
Peeling walled room
Filled with shiny new exercise equipment
Carrot peelers turkey stuffers satellite radios back scratchers
And other stuff she didn’t need
Because she couldn’t say no
To the nice lady on the phone.
The trees being cut down
And people cows factories and cars
Blowing carbon into the sky
Til the last one of us drops breathless
To the ground he made great again
While our world went to hell.
Used to be good
Though there always was some evil
But you could always see it coming
From a mile or two away
And the world was always greater.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Isaiah 2:4

In times of great evil such as ours
There are no prophets like Isaiah
To block our paths to self-destruction.
It is the end of days for godless religions
And men will beat their plowshares into swords
And pruning hooks into spears again
And children will learn war once more
And they will walk in darkness
Believing it is light
But when it comes
The light will shake the earth.

© 2019, Mike Stone

To Be Human

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

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

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



Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

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

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

Lens-Artists Challenge #40 – Something Different

A “Lens-Artists Challenge” from pro photographer Tina R Schell for those of you who do photography as well as poetry, often combining the two. Thanks to the hugely talented Isadora de la Vega for the intro to Lens Challenge. You can visit Isadora here: https://isadoraartandphotography.com

Travels and Trifles

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.”

A.A. Milne

group of cacti CACTUS CREATURE

Those who saw my post last week know that I was on the west coast, enjoying the super blooms of Arizona and California along with friends and family. Beyond the amazing flowers, I really enjoyed the differences between the Kiawah scenery and the desert landscapes .  As I thought about it, it seemed only natural that this week’s challenge should be “Something Different”.

2 living cholla cacti vs 1 dead cactus SIDE BY SIDE

“Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

The landscapes looked completely different depending on the time of day. The famous deep purple Arizona sunset cast a golden glow, while the blue sky of daylight provided a colorful contrast to the greens of the hillside sentinels.

cactus with pink flowers PRETTY IN PINK

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe…

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“A Gift of Love” … and other responses to Wednesday Writing Prompt

Here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, January 3, Too Late for Miracles, which asked poets to share what’s on their minds as we move into the new year.

Welcome to newcomers: Isadora De La Vega, Miquel Escobar, Sheila Jacob, Elaine Reardon and Anjum Wasim Dar.  As is custom for new poets, their bios are included by way of intro.  

Thanks to Colin Blundel, Paul Brookes, Denise Aileen DeVries, Renee Espriu and Sonja Benskin Mesher for coming out to play again.

Together these poets have given voice to joys and concerns that we all share and they’ve done so beautifully from their diverse perspectives.

Anyone who would like to join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt is welcome to do so no matter the status of career: beginning, emerging or pro. All work shared on theme will be posted in the next collection on the following Tuesday. If you are sharing work for the first time, please send your bio and a photograph to me at thepoetyday@gmail.com. Meanwhile, enjoy these poems. I hope they delight you as they do me.

A Gift of Love

Without you,

Life is just existing.

With you,

Life is worth living.

You put a name on the

Songs, birds sing.

And, you bring the smell of flowers,

To a breezy spring.

You are my sun,

You are my moon,

You are in my heart,

Forever and a day.

© 2018, Isadora De La Vega (Inside the Mind of Isadora)

ISADORA DE LA VEGA, my homegirl (we’re both from New York) is: “Intriguing, sensitive, mysterious, loving, artistic and crackling with excitement for life is a pretty good description of who I am. I’m retired from the art world where I sold my Artfully Designed Handmade Jewelry for 28 years.  Art will always be a part of who I am no matter what venue I choose to express it.  I’m always dreamin’ of ways to touch the hearts of those who visit me in far greater ways then before they happened upon my blog. ”

Everyone Counting

a lost year

just gone by
just gone

oh hell

one argues as much there
lost as hope wants to bubble
up ahead uncreated

— built-in grace period up
until thawing

the real bear the lost was —
is in hibernation

the carryover is pure genius

the straddling
the picture
sitting on the fence

absence of go-go dancers

ten weeks in the grand
scheme of things
there is no good answer
to the question

while the northern
axis observes
this tilt

can we
respect metaphorical roots
as much as continue to use them as

everyone counting

© 2018, Miguel Escobar

Miguel Escobar

After a long career in software technology that is in its last few years, MIGUEL ESCOBAR is newly living alone and channeling what he calls his other Self from bygone years: poet, musician, songwriter, aspiring editor, appreciator and sometimes critic of the Arts. He shared regularly on social media off and on in 2007-2008 and now again since 2015. He’s had a small number of poems published with Luciole Press, and Diaphanous Press and looks forward to a future of defining, developing and evolving a personal Art life that right now feels almost like a religious calling.

As the old year ends

Days and nights
bring silver moons
and tangerine sunlight
melting snow
from the mountains;

tell of a rose bush
bearing crumpled flowers
and branches scarred
by summers long gone,
summers to come.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob

Sheila Jacob

SHEILA JACOB was born and raised in Birmingham, England and now lives in North Wales with her husband. She has three children and five grandchildren. She resumed writing poetry in 2013 after a long absence. Since then her work has been published in various U.K. magazines and websites. Her ambition is to have a collection of her poems published before her seventieth birthday in three years. 


New Year

The cold.
Pushes through each
thin crack by frigid wind
I greet the two degree temperature
happily. It’s climbing! Housebound,
I walk the stairs between the woodpile
and couch, hot water bottle ready.
I aim the heater to the back of the cabinet,
so it warms the pipes on the outside wall.
I cut my compost into small pieces,
lay them on the snow to feed the hungry
driven to my front door in the full moon’s light.
The radio on is on for company, against
the all day quiet. I hear about North Korea first,
then President Trump’s bigger button. Is this his
New Year’s address? I remember us all
crouching beneath our desks at school drills,
head tucked in, dog tag on, when I was a kid.
Was that the Bay of Pigs? Maybe there is some
hope, if we now send cruise ships to Havana.
Maybe one day NorthKorea will welcome cruise ships, too.

© 2018, Elaine Reardon (Elaine Reardon, Poetry, nature, art, magic, environment, relationships)

ELAINE REARDON is a poet, herbalist, educator, and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, won first honors from Flutter press as the top seller of the year. Her writing includes featured poet in the January 2017 issue of stanzaicstylings.com ezine, Bella, Three Drops from a Cauldron Journal and yearly anthology, poetrysuperhighway.com, naturewriting. com, And MA Poet of the Moment. Elaine also published global curriculum through University of Massachusetts Press. She lives tucked into hillside forest in Western Massachusetts.

Who Knows What Life May Have in Store

The year ends,
leaving gifts joys and blessings
reunions , joining relationships
for some the time is joyful
for some full of pain
as days of sorrow and parting
come back again

this year I feel peace and joy
yet sorrow and fear move along
for life manifests hungry poverty
threats to security and liberty
enemies restless firing bullets
innocent killing goes on…

some enjoy the snow and play
for them cold snow is a game
some lie shivering,no name
some build bonfires the same
sing dance and be merry
for tomorrow is,no blame

will come to shine and light
my heart says forgive more
make happiness and space
for others to share, spend less
save more, war looms ahead

who knows what life may have
in store,
work work and work
make life meaningful and easy
for others,help them if you can
smile smile smile
be grateful for all the blessings
look around there are miles
and miles and miles of them

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (EternalLights, Life Style and Strange Stories and Poetic Oceans)


ANJUM WASIM DAR says she is Srinagar born and Kashmiri educated at St. Anne’s presentation Convent High School Rawalpindi. She has a Masters Degree in English & History and is a professional ELT /TEFL teacher and trainer. Anjum is dedicated to serving the cause of education and English Language Training in Pakistan.

the moon’s chimneypot
on the back lawn

© 2018, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

Will is fuel

Impulse is potential.
Emotion without mind is violence.
The mind without heart is sterile.
The unfiltered will is scattered.
The untethered will is impotent.

Harmony is passion and reason,
refined and anchored, to perfect,
that conscience may be as leaven
in Humanity, to honour and express
the Beauty of the cosmic sum.

The heart beats. The mind’s job is to justify its rhythm to the soul.

© 2018, Juli [Juxtaposed] (juxtaposed – subject to change)

End of the World (again)

It was the year of air raid drills,
learning to crouch under desks
in the third grade classroom.
Little did we know, the world
had ended the year before.
By my high school graduation,
I had survived five annihilation
predictions, not counting
my personal teenage tragedies.
After four more apocalypse dates,
I finished college, married,
moved closer to ground zero.
The world ended six more times
and my first child was born,
a sign of hope in a hopeless world.
Four more Armageddons passed
and I gave birth twice, still hopeful.
Twenty-three holocausts later,
my last child was born. Life
persisted. The world
has not ended, despite predictions
and even our heartfelt wishes.
I have stopped counting cataclysms.
It’s time to do the dishes.

© 2018, Denise Aileen DeVries (Bilocalalia)

Too late for miracles

Little miracles happen every night in life.
That’s what the old blind man told me, leaning against the rugged bench in the park. And at this point, a ladybug shone in front of my eyes. He saw – he smiled at me – it was the mother of the seven-color arc.
He smiled again
went over the rainbow.

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

Old Year

Celebrate the going of the new year
and the arrival of the old year.

At midnight on Old Year’s eve
sing of how it all ends,

make decisions to keep old habits
And not pander to new ones

that have outstayed their welcome.
Newness gives you wrinkles.

Stay with youthful decrepitude.
The fresh has lost its taste.

Welcome the old with fireworks.
Reold the world

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

We Must Avoid

doors that open too smoothly,
scissors that open too well,
doors slam in your face,
scissors cut you to strips.

Words that come too easily,
stories that come ready made,
success handed on a plate,
accolades sent too soon

poetry that slips off the tongue,
without hard work and sweat,
words that bother the reader,
with too much work to do,

poetry without music and rhythm,
complicated images and phrases,
not asking if it’s boring,
not being entertaining enough.

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

Buy More (From “Queue At World’s End)

food than we need.
Never want to join again

these endless queues.
The end of the world

is due so we’ve got to make sure
we have enough

of everything for two days
when the shops are closed.

Two days closed is an economic sanction,
an act of war we rush to counter

with extra rations, things we would not
normally buy. Just in case a battle

breaks out and we are bunkered
in our homes. Eat and be merry.

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

Paul’s most recent collection, She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Books, 2018) is available now from Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE. Another fabulous read by this indefatigable Yorkshire poet. This time with his singular style and and acute insight into the human condition, Paul takes us through five stories, pictures of the great and small ironies of life drawn as we observe the daily routines, rituals and reactions in lives where birds have jam sessions on rooftops, mausoleums live on fridge doors, the memory of a touch stays with the skin; lives where hands are telling and people hunger, give what’s not wanted and take what’s not given. In short, Life with all its pathos and ethos. She Needs that Edge is well worth your time and pennies.

Dreams of Flight

Closing my eyes dream like synapses
coalesce images of youthful fears
tainted by mountain high and
valley lows of emotions

feathered wings in flight I fancied
releasing me from my humble dawning
with the smell of lemons and lilacs
growing against a backdrop of cement
tainted with the odors of asphalt

on the other side of town peppered
with factory workers, shop owners
life ached for gleaming upscale as
housewives tended children crying
dutiful lives of status quo

but only dreams took me flying
into the darkness of night
smelling of sweet honeysuckle
scaling walls of rising freedom

as now all dreams of tender youth
have left me I no longer fear
nor struggle from whence I came
for the spring of my soul
bubbles forth a peace within

© 2018, Renee Espriu  (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, AR, Haiku & Haiga)

::the year::

gently go forward, then gently back
recreating past deeds and misdemenours
you thought forgotten.

gently go forward knowing we are mostly
all the same, with motes not spoken of,
except disorder.

gently it passed behind you, seen
clearly while looking for god.

gently gather winter leaves to keep
in paper bags. these are the golden
days .

my friend.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)


“Wonderlust Rain Forest” … poems and other works by readers in response to Wednesday’s Writing Prompt

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT April 26, 2017 ~ Climate change is on our minds these days – perhaps more than in the past given the regime – and we are feeling one with Mother Earth and all her creatures and gratitude for the people who marched on Saturday. What pictures come to mind when you think of our home? How do they make you feel or respond? Tell us in prose or poem . . . and several readers took the challange creating work that rewards your time spent.  Enjoy! … and do visit their sites. Get to them better and let them get to know you.

Costa Rican boat tour by Isadora DeLaVega

Wonderlust Rain Forest

Approaching fading blue skies, we wandered silently through the

Costa Rican Rainforest on our private boat tour. Reaching peaceful estuaries

quietly seeking the wildlife that inhabits this forest.

Silently listening to nature at play, we soon reached the end of our destination.

Unspoiled waters filled with hope for natures future.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

Photographer, Artist,Writer, Isadora DeLa Vega

Isadora DeLa Vega is featured for the first time on The Poet by Day. Since I’ve enjoyed her creativity for years, I’m pleased to have her response to last Wednesday’s writing prompt.

Isadora blogs at Isadora Art and Photography, A Place for Visual Creativity. She began her career in her late thirties after raising her children. For twenty-eight years, Isadora created award-winning silversmith art jewelry. When she retired due to failing health, she knew that she still needed to be creative. She decided to explore photography because she is inspired by and passionate about luscious colors. She says, “They’re the manna that feeds my soul.”  Before long she realized that writing and poetry were good outlets as well for conveying her thoughts. Her long-term goal is to one day publish a book with her photography and quotes.


in the wobble & bulge
of the hurtling universe
I am the sound of blackbirds
and the flutter of a butterfly wing

the shifting shadow on the summer lawn
and the tall tree wind getting up;
all this fixes me for the moment
along with the ancient memory

of two maternal relatives we visited
in Wimbledon Park—it seemed quite often
though it might have been but once or twice…
their lawn turned into a pathway

round a herbaceous oblong
to follow which seemed a minor mystery—
one that transposed many mysteries
to lead to this moment now

darkening shadows and squawk of pheasant
and beeflies above the mouldering sundial

© Colin Bundell (colinbundell.comfrom Colin’s The Recovery of Wonder Hub Editions 2013 (Note: Wimbledon Park is a suburb of London.)

Tarnished Goods

The fox follows her along the byway to reach untouched forests
those forests unfettered by time and pristine oceans devoid of human touch
and each time always she passes freeways littered with a garbage landscape
the fox glances at bottles and fast food wrappers collecting
on roads under construction on a continuum of future whys
where the smell of black tar invades with stinging and burning
she should be accustomed but wrinkles her nose in disgust
as does the fox now her shadow trusting she will reach a destination
not concrete and black asphalt now covering the richness of earth
and does she still hope windows rolled and closed will be enough
enough to keep her safe or will they be unable to block
out the constant drone of the noise of a civilized world
a world that is one built impinging on nature’s habitat
one adding insult to injury and becoming a macabre graveyard
to endangered species & the fox wonders if he will be next
but he cannot bring himself to let himself be absorbed
into track homes swallowing up citrus groves as the raccoons have done
stealing into the night to rob garbage cans of their next meal
this becoming an unnatural habitat as it has for bears and possum
and he feels oddly fortunate that tigers and lions do not live here
but he can still hear them all screaming in pain underpinned with sorrow
and the fox listens as he follows and always the level of noise increases
increases exponentially with every tree cut down and concrete poured
and the fox feels his shadow growing less as theirs becomes more
where claustrophobic habitats are multiplying housing for a rising populace
and the need to reach the forest to be able to stare in awe at the ocean
propels them down the road and she knows she is like the fox
and that no amount of polish will shine and bring it all back
to bring it back to a time delegated to past histories before her
before the fox became her shadow on a journey to find survival
the only solution being the ability of technology to merge with nature
to be a part of the answer in preserving the beauty here long before us
long before becoming tarnished goods in the midst of climate change
long before the fox became her shadow and she became the fox’s shade

© 2017 Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)

. reimagine the world .

leave your ideas at home.
on the hatstand. forget all
that you have learned, things
may not be so.

all people have thoughts, so
yours is not so precious now,

she told me that even things
at home have changed.

looking round we see they have.

reimagine the world, forget
the learning, start again,
then we may understand, or not.

king david.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. stitch. search .

we will not have blankets, if there are none, take the old rags, layer , stitch and stitch by hand till fingers bleed.

work is steady, absorbtion as if the outside world is ended. looking up find it has not. stitching can be rhythmic, and never mind the capitals. other words confound. birds beat the window.

the questions came that i cannot answer here or ever. did not count this time only the final one. noticed the first ones are now undone. the wrong knots.

maybe we need to check our numbers at the end to see if one or more are missing. ? we need to count them carefully, one side then the other?

work along the coast with thread and diligence. gather wools, layer carefully, we shall have warmth this winter.

eight thirty till five. it could have been easy, yet there were issues of the electronic kind meaning wasting time with wires and connections.

cover the surface. it takes time.

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

Your Damned Anthropocene

“We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”

O, your presumption did not account
for the delicacy of flesh and bone,
the death wish of the human soul.

You had an impact on my future,
I’m not sure I forgive you.
There is your clear signature
in the fossil record , an observable
sudden decline
in the abundance and diversity of plant
and animal life. Perhaps we should
define your time from here.

Did it start when we traced your pulse
at the start of the Industrial Revolution?
Your carbon-dioxide pulse that underlay
what you thought was global warming.

O, your dreams to guide mankind towards global, sustainable, environmental management. How could you see
the juggernaut was unstoppable?

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow) From Paul’s forthcoming chapbook The Spermbot Blues, OpPress, Summer 2017

THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

We continue with the current recommended read: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Left, right or center – American or not – it’s a must read.

LESSON THIRTEEN: Practice Corporeal Politics  “Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people.  Make new friends and search with them. ” Prof. Snyder,  On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century