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