“Sourdough” … and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Gray and rainy days but beautiful flowers blooming outside the Standford B & B.

April Rain Song
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—
And I love the rain.
– Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics) [recommended]


Another collection, eclectic and often magical, in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Oxygen Hunger,March 27, a prompt on the necessities of life.  Well done by poets: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Gen E. Goldie, Frank McMahan, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you! and special thanks to Irma and Anjum for their illustrations and to Anjum for the addition of a music video she found inspiring.  

Readers will notice links to sites are included that you might visit these stellar poets.


RE: Oxygen Hunger, the poem 

  • “scars” – we can’t breath through scarred lung tissue. It’s not permeable so there is no exchange of gases; i.e. oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • “oxygen hunger” – more commonly call “air hunger” is real.  It happens as organs are shutting down during the dying process, when it is treated with morphine and sometimes supplemental oxygen.  When people suffer from oxygen hunger due to lung and heart issues but are not yet tripping over the door to Eternity, oxygen hunger is then treated with supplemental oxygen and other medications to slow the processes of deterioration and provide comfort and functionality.

Enjoy this collection. It just might inspire some more of your own poetry.  The Poet by Day will be on hiatus for a Spring and Easter break and the next Wednesday Writing Prompt will post on April 24. All are invited to come out to play, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


in solitary refinement

guilty said
the paper the judge read
so the system did a trick
it learned from the cult novel
NORSTRILIA
by cordwainer smith:

they put a thinking cap on her
and it imprisoned her
for eight hours
but due to wireless accelerants
and virtual reality mushware
the eight hours were as eighteen years
for her offense was extreme

and doing her time
was not a walk in the park
no “club fed”
ghosts-or-not mocked her
bribed ghost guards to get her alone
packratted her with hurting things

and she fought back
and ended up in solitary
bread and water only
(plus oxygen)
(plus dreams)

she found though
that virtuality had its virtues
the bread could be any bread
the water any water
and so she feasted
pumpernickel dense as brick
cinnamon toast richly steaming
lavosh pita arrowwheat
and she slaked
smartwater dumbwater sparkling cold

and her oxygen’s purity could be amped
and her dreams could be imagineered
she could dance with Fred
sojourn through oz
change endings
create worlds

so she asked that her term of solitary “confinement”
be extended indefinitely
and the mushware obliged

eighteen seeming years were up
she had learned who she was
what she wanted
and the rudiments of a new trade

she woke
and marvelled at disappearance
of liver spots and despair
she was indeed free
bore no burdens
no grudges
and no guilt

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (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 below. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business care. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


The Terminal

Stretched thin
he spits out
of his car door
as I get in,

and we drive out
the short stay
carpark below
the train station.

“What are you
going to do
day I die?”
he asks. I tell him
what I need to know.

“Oxygen tanks are no use
as they don’t
increase surface
of my lungs that

take in oxygen.
Doctors can do no more.”
Dad replies.
My dad collapses into himself

disappears into black hole
in space
of his lungs on
where there is
no oxygen

for his brain
or heart,
only coughs
to loosen phlegm
for the spit bag,

he carefully seals air tight.

(From a forthcoming collection of my late dad’s drawings and paintings and my writings about him, No title as yet)

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Clear Plastic Tube

in both her nostrils

a tiny woman
with wavering voice

says “If you can
put these in this bag

I’ll put some in my trolley.
It’s not a shopping trolley.

It’s for my oxygen tank.
Shouldn’t worry.”

From Paul’s latest collection called, Please Take Change (Cyberwit.Net, 2018)

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Skyfish

Below a sunset or rise of mountains

a load of bull

eyecatches a celebration
of blue and red fish
midflight
leaping
and smiling,

I or you ride the flight
of one fishback
hold the other fish
in hollow of an armpit
Between waterholes of words.

Taste the fresh water verbs
Salt water star shine.
We are skyfish rode
By reader or viewer

We are two fishes tethered by smiles
of smaller fish.

A brown fish mouth agape
rests a fin on a waterholes side
to watch our fishback ride.

From my forthcoming collaboration with Iranian artist Hiva Moazed, called Fish Strawberries

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

This Value Of Water

as I wet my Nanna’s mouth
with a tiny bud of wool

she lies half in this world
half in another unseen.

My hand fetches water from the well
of the cup, every time my eyes

notice cracks appear in softness,
dry earthquakes open soil

like her trowel levers earth open
for the receipt of a seed or flower.

From my collaborative collection with Dutch artist Marcel Herms, Port Of Souls, Alien Buddha Press, 2018

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Three Bread Crumbs

I.

Christ passes a Bakers shop,
smells new bread,
Says to disciples
” Fetch us a loaf.”

The Baker says
“Thas nowt for free here.
Get him to miracle up his own”
but,
Bakers wife
and six daughters
secretly stuff couple of loaves
in disciples bag.

For this Christ sets them
in spring sky
as Seven Stars

He makes the baker a cuckoo
the Dusty Miller,
who so long as he sings in Spring
St. Turbutius Day to St. Johns
can see his bright wife and daughters
warm the night.

II

Me Mam dies as she gives birth,
to sis and I.
Our new mam murders us.
Feeds our cooked sinew and muscle
to our dad. Separates heart and bones,
crams rest beneath
gables of our home.

Buries our heart and bones
in a hole in a tree,
that coddles us.
Our bones lock our refreshed hearts
in a new cage, so we fledge
in dusty grey feathers.

We fly to local miller’s
pick up a millstone
in our strong beaks

let it fall as we fly
over
our new mother
whose blood and bones
grind beneath its weight.

III

After my sis and I disappear,
Christ knocks on Dad’s door

Says, ” I’m parched mate,
can tha spare a drop
of thee water.”

Our Dad brings stranger
a cup of fresh water.

As he sups Christ says:
“Tha looks badly, cocker.
What’s up with thee?”
Our Dad says ” Me kids
are no where to be seen.
Pain right here says they’re
both dead.
I miss them summat chronic.”

“Aye, it’s a bad going on.
Perhaps, next Spring
from East gables of this place
tha’ll see summat
to buck thee up.”

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

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


The Need for Stars and Moonbeams

Open your eyes to the need for dreams
Oxygen can only fill you ’till death
A shooting star can surpass moonbeams

Sustenance is more than what it seems
Bread will only increase your breadth
Open your eyes to the need for dreams

Like water rushing from the streams
Joining with the ocean’s wealth
A shooting star can surpass moonbeams

The body’s needs can be redeemed
Any oasis can restore health
Open your eyes to the need for dreams

Your heart’s words, a primal scream
The need for more, rising from the depth
A shooting star can/should surpass moonbeams

Can you live with broken schemes?
A life lived without true breath?
Open your eyes to the need for dreams
A shooting star will surpass moonbeams

This is my first attempt at a villanelle courtesy of SarahSouthWest at d’Verse Poets who provided a very thorough explanation of the form. The subject matter was inspired by Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem about one or more of the “four necessities of life,” namely, “bread, water, oxygen and dreams.”

In my villanelle, I have ranked “dreams” as the number one necessity needed to survive life. Food, water, oxygen are all needed to sustain life, but to survive the hardships of life, to thrive in this sometimes unforgiving environment, we need our dreams, our hopes. To me, it is the difference between living and Being Alive.

©️2019, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too …)


B-R-E-A-T-H, an acrostic

B eginnings beauty brim bounty

R eceiving resplendent radiant reception retention reparation

E ternal exhale ecstasy elixir

A bsorption acceptance awareness

T ime ticking threshold terminus tip

H ealing hands helping

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (A Little of This and A Little of That, Some Real, Some Imaginings, How About That ….)

Heavenly Dreams

Spring breezes wafting sweet fantasies

amidst daytime patio dreams, one by one, feeling

the warmth of memories, of days gone by,

tragedies, triumphs, her love of these.

Lingering behind her eyes, hopes,

deepening dreams, warm thoughts,

posing passing questions of how she knew such passion,

blithely conscious of her spirit within,

a bitter sweet reminder of her own mortality,

she is heartened and comforted.

by heavenly dreams…….

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (A Little of This and A Little of That, Some Real, Some Imaginings, How About That ….)


Sourdough

Does it have to be like this? My hands trapped
in this ectoplasmic blob. It seemed harm-
less last night when I laid it down to rise.
I really should have picked a simpler task:
making sense of quantum physics, riding
a penny-farthing in a force nine gale.

No use now as I wrestle with this dough,
nay, monster. First proving, I slathered you
in olive oil. Was I too rough as I
pounded and pummelled, stretched, stretched, stretched you out,
a line of white intestine? Entrapment
was your game, yet I have tamed you with my
farinaceous hands, caressed and then reformed
you, laid you in the tin, a baby in its cradle.

Say not that the struggle naught availeth
as the firm, warm bread nestles in my palms.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


blue skies.png

Ah, the stuff of survival: “bread, water, oxygen and dreams.”

When life begins in a state of loss-

where is the hope of finding
where is the joy of having
where is the music of dancing
where is the rhythm of peace

where is the love of liberty
where is the link of brotherhood
where is the blood of kinship
where is the vision of tolerance

and where is the cry of
O Life! Let me Live”
I have been sent here’

This world is temporal
But I have to survive, avail
the time, till then I must abide
in obedience reside, or fail

O Life ‘ Let me Live for I
have a dream a vision to
achieve, to unseen heights

I must fly, to the high skies
But I need the vital essence,
I feel like a falcon, flapping
to take off-O Life give me the
sacred vapor called oxygen’

ستاروں سے آگے جہاں اور بھی ھیں ‘
ابھی عشق کے امتہاں اور بھی ھیں

beyond the stars are even more worlds
there are even more tests of passion

تو شاہیں ھے پرواز ھے کام تیرا
تیرے سامنے آسماں اور بھی ھیں

you are a falcon your task is to fly
there are other skies before you,to reach’

(Verses Quoted from the National Poet of Pakistan Dr Allama Mohammed Iqbal’s Book ‘Bal e Jibril’ 1935)

II

oxygenoo

night and day, follow each other,
in a state of ordained obedience
like the two seas meeting,
with a barrier in between,

what dream mixes, salty water
and tears, oft fallen in loss ‘n fear,
crossing over with love? no-
sacredly, eternally forbidden,

so let’s

go where gardens grow, flowers
bloom as life lives there, you will
find love peace and pure fresh air
no garden is ever lost, do not despair,

with truth and good deeds we
shall survive,our return will be
a rejuvenation a salvation
a quintessence, like ”the return to innocence”

Find Anjum here:
https://anjumwasimdar.wordpress.com/    Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose  writing
knitting projects/stories
https://helpingenglishteachinginpakistan.wordpress.com/  ELT   Work experience/educational service for the country

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


ABOUT

A Seepage of Spirit . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.”  Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass



I think it was Sherman Alexie who said imagination plus anger equals poetry. Here we might be inclined to say imagination plus acceptance and a soupçon of humor equals poetry as Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Deb Felio), Jen Goldie, Marta Pombo Sallés, and Anjum Wasim Dar conjour their afterlives, their dissipation “Into the / Elsewhere” as Gary writes. The results are rather stunning. Two poems read like meditations. Paul imagines not just himself but others and even points to the degradation of earthly conditions, as does Anjum. Paul touchingly includes his son. It was not planned, but our theme comes on the loss of W.S. Merwin who famously wrote On the Anniversary of My Death. These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Where the Wisteria Grows, March 13, 2019. Thanks to our six lively and intrepid poets. Enjoy!

Readers will note links to sites are included that you might visit these stellar poets.

Enjoy this collection. It just might inspire some more of your own poetry; and, do join us tomorrow for the another Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are invited to come out to play, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


A Seepage of Spirit

The flesh in which I resided
Spilled its life’s blood onto the asphalt
And last vibrations that influxed
To my twin tympani of eardrums
Were Screech Thump Holy/Sweet Jesus

and the fog of my spirit meandered
with the help of–what else?–a spirit guide
whose nonvoice soothed nonadmonishingly
and invited my fog to revues

I had had
Love and waste,
Graceless gluttony,
Needless haste,
Petty cowardice,
Endless friending,
Harsh truth-grapples
Spiral-trending.

the angel (might as well call her so)
freed me of some
of my nonsensical notions
and told me my elsewhere was coming.
not quite yet though.
she invited me to skim
the landscapes and tableaux
of the venues where i’d
devoted my life’s energies,
and my fog narrowed in
to a ceramics studio
and the furnace roar
of a gas kiln
where i let my fog fill
the interior, becoming
a volume of inbetweens,
everywhere the vessels
and statuettes and frieze
weren’t.
i controlled sensing
so that the heat
was a perfect hot bath. i seeped
into the glaze-fusing forms
and blessed them, peeking
with bucking-broncos omniscience
into the lives
of the students who created them.

Suddenly I doppelganged
Into the 1979 lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel,
Pulled a cashwad out of my pocket,
Threw $140 into the table,
Received my chips,
Put $80 on the Pass Line,
Rolled an Eleven, and let
Myself dissipate
Into the
Elsewhere.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image & Text)


Where You Will Find

where to find me
in this home of seasons

what you will find
in the quiet between gusts

where I am, what I mean
to the spring vase on the windowsill

where you are, what you are
to the summer dust on the mantelpiece

where things stand, how they are,
up and down the autumn of stairs

when they will be what you want
once the winter mattress is turned

how my tongue rests on
what I have said to you

when the sun rises, when it sets,
how it is to be in the rain.

what tears mean when you cry
what there is between us

in this home of changing weather
we pass on to our children

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

My Afterlife

is a half life.
is a rainbow.
Brief but colourful.

A bucket and spade
left on a beach
for the sea to play with.

A sentence ending
in a connecting word.

Scatter my Ash
on a sea of plastic,

on the remains of the last living
thing that is now extinct.

In the concrete underpasses
tagged graffitied dismissed.

Under the feet of refugees,
on the drowned water
of those that did not make it.

Scatter me like fragrant leaves
In the baths of the rich.

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

Can We Play Ghosts?

I want to be a ghost?”
A young girl shouts in the street.

A newspaper blows in the street.
It says a young girl was killed
In a road traffic accident last Wednesday.

Across This Street

Death and I are in separate rooms.
It lives across the pitted street,

keeps grey lace curtains open,
shadows flicker across the pane.

bricks made of cremation ash,
the window frames coffin wood.

Mummified flowers in a pale vase.
I see myself in its black linteled window.

My encoded consciousness will move
house, when I die. I will look back

at my old home and remember,
how the floorboards creaked,

where not to place my feet on the stairs,
how the whole house breathed in winter

and find myself in Death’s home, and know I’ll never die.

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

Death Is

solid. My son never complains

he can’t walk through walls or people.
He dies only with wishes not to become

the shadow of a building or street furniture

recycling or public bin, lamppost, unwanted old sofa or bed.

Better to be people’s shadow as he leaves this world,
then find himself with skin, breath and blood

where before floated as air, as mist as we do.
Soon whatever he becomes in death.

as his Dad and Mam we will move through him
and he may not even know we do so.

And if he does we will be ghosts to him.
Perhaps he’ll recall his time as a ghost.

from Paul’s collection, A World Where, (Nixes Mate Press, 2017)

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

Ghost Holiday

Briefly open the gate into your dark,
allow your dead to move among you,
the living,
sup in their old pubs,
enter their old homes,

a room has been left as it was
when they died,

others find their goods given
to charity, sold, some kept,

their home lived in by strangers
who chase them off crashing
pots and pans too loud for the dead.

Soon they must return to your dark.

From the third and final book of Paul’s three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished

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

Time Fetches

Watch thee sen as time fetches on
as tall hawthorn hedge that bars
tha from t’other worlds
in its cloud ghosted ditch
gets thin this season so as folk
from other side can fetch them
sens over an bleed through to ours
and tha’ll see these weird folk
take a stride outside thee door.

Blaze a candle in tha home
and set a flicker lanterns, jack o’lanterns,
candles outdoors to show
the weird folk, spirits and all
direct way back to where
they bide from, so as they don’t
detour where they’re not welcome.
Respect them, they’ll respect thee.

This night light a fire
in tha hearth
for to protect thee sen
or better thee sen.

Scribe on a scrap a paper
a part of thee life
tha wish to be rid on
anger, a baneful habit,
misplaced feelings, disease.

Lob it int flame
so tha may lose
that part tha ashamed on.

From the third and final book of my three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished

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

Feast Of Larvae

just atter midnight
man of house
I do this ritual.
Get out of bed

call upon me dead folks
to help me this neet.
I potter round our house
barefoot no belt or owt.

Nine dried black beans in my gob.
Me hands raised
thumb thrust through
me clenched fingers,
after protruding clit
of Mater Manua,
mam of good dead.

wi this I ask she look art for us
aginst any unwanted spirits,
the larvae
who broke into our house.

I wash me hands,
chuck some beans with me left hand
over me left shoulder look farard
turn me head,
avert me face to right,
as I raise palms of both hands
against left a says
“With these beans I lob,
I redeem me and mine.”

I do it nine times
every room in our house. wash me hands agin,
clang a gong and shaht
nine times “Ancestral spirits,
time tha flitted!”

From the third and final book of Paul’s three volume A Pagan Year called Ghost Holiday as yet unpublished; also previously published in Three Drops From A Cauldron

© 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


When My Spirit Returns

Once freed from this world’s gravity, my spirit would ascend the skies
encounter the Almighty who welcomes me,
in love and purity, I rise

Empowered with all knowledge I never knew before
He offers me a choice of how to serve and live
and how to love him more

One is resting in the magnificence of his kingdom’s golden streets
another is in the heavenly choir,
Every note his praises release

The third is different, within his hand
a bloodstained cloth he holds
a shelter and a comfort for all in every land

I would return unseen but felt
when others cry from death, abuse, so many reasons
grief and pain are dealt

I choose this path to visit earth
now with new found power and purpose
surrounding others with the remembrance, they have been loved from birth

this cloth brings hope, comfort, and healing
for times when nothing else could
believing they were forsaken, forgotten and would rather be dead than feeling

I watch as the power of that cloth, blood stained,
dries tears and comforts loss, returns their hope, and courage
for another day, regained

It shelters them in the dark of night, in storms and in affliction
wrapped around them they hold on
receive it as a final benediction

My spirit never wearies since it is no longer of its own
but is with the child, the mother, the man
whispering, ‘you’re not alone.’

This is my hope for eternity, finding paths to trod
to bring hope, and comfort to anyone
needing the love of God.

© 2019, Deb y Felio (Writers Journey)


A Memory:

Life is a trail of memories,

 

forming into years, that

 

which we call time,  

 

and, as the years slip by

 

unnoticed, and unseen,

 

I’ll be but a passing

 

memory, twinkling in

 

your mind, and waltzing

 

with your soul, until we

 

meet again…

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams, and the occasional cat)

And So It Goes

What is left of me, will be nutrient

for the next to be,

I will vaporize

as the dew is want when the sun drowsily

awakens, from a night of lustful love-making

with the day, the night’s sultry mistress.

The worms will have their way with me,

joyfully, as I seduce the progeny of the

flowers who rest with me, they will nurse

on my yielding nipples, as I consummate,

titillate, arouse and propagate the

depths of my new labour, whetted

in the loving embrace of earth, my mother.

I will enchant, beguile and enrapture life

for a new day, to bewitch me for eternity,

as my spirit flies joyously

into

the light…..

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams, and the occasional cat)


The Thread of Intimate Resistance

Ominous winds sweep the earth
Brazen.
Flames get higher and almost
Burn you.
Breathing fresh air while rowing,
Your journey
Goes on.
The piercing ground lies at your feet,
The sheltering sky is also pierced
And more distant
Than ever.
Take your needle
Start to sow
Recompose the broken pieces
Of life’s puzzle.
This thread is your most
Intimate resistance.
Sow the sky, the ocean and
The earth.
Make a dress to protect the nudity
Of the leafless tree.
Save the heart from burning
And keep on rowing your boat.
Keep yourself afloat.

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


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O Restless Spirit

What times are these now
cries fill the city, incense
prevails in moaning,

O Restless Spirit’

O Restless Spirit
what aches thee, what ails thee so
to fly not, but flee-

O Restless Spirit’

To the skies I wish
to soar, body feels laden,
feet lead and so sore,

O Restless Spirit’

go’ see the sea, No-
fish in plastic are choking
daily caught in nets

O Restless Spirit

In forests saws are
cutting a tree after tree
felling frightens me

O Restless Spirit

flowers full in bloom
captives in terra- cotta
for show, then no more –

O Restless Spirit

O  falcon come now
my flight, my place is with thee
atop the mountain

O Restless Spirit

no palace I need
but peace and tranquility
contented,  I pray

Inspired By  the Poem
–TO A YOUNG MAN       ایک  نو جوان کے نام

By Dr Allama Mohammed Iqbal    Poet of The East   National Poet of Pakistan

نہیں  تیرا  نشیمن  قصر سلطانی  کے   گنبد  پر
تو  شاہیں ھے بسیرا  کر پہاڑوں کی چٹانوں میں

Thy abode is not on the dome of a royal palace;
You are an eagle and should live on the rocks of mountains.

© 2018, poem and photograph, Anjum Wasim Dar Photo Credit  CER  ©  2019 (Poetic Oceans)

“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


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“Gust Is Deaf, Hills Are Blind”. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“It’s that magnificent interlude in New York between winter and spring, when you feel the warmth stirring, and you remember that the dreadful naked trees will inevitably sprout tiny green buds, soon. Everyone rushes into the parks, the streets–and you even forget that, very soon , summer will come scorchingly, dropping from the sky like a blanket of steam…”  John Rechy, City of Night



In response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Another Kind of Beauty, February 20, 2019, poets Paul Brooks, Cubby (Sonya Annita Song), Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Frank McMahn, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Marta Pombo Sallés, Anjum Wasim Dar share the joy and inspiration they find in nature. Special thanks to Irma and Anjum for the added pleasure of their photographs and to Anjum for her artwork. Nicely done.

Readers will note that links to sites are included when they are available so that you can visit. If there’s no site, it’s likely you can catch up with the poet on Facebook.

Enjoy this nature collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


Gust Is Deaf, Hills Are Blind

trees can’t walk properly,
Flowers twitch haphazardly.

Grass is mute, rivers are dumb.
Nature is differently abled.

Mountains are too tall,
struggle to talk when they can’t

bend a knee, get down to those smaller
who are in awe when all mountains need

is to speak face to face , dispel their myth.
Same with water that rushes by,

no time to stand and stare, moments pass
before they have time to fully comprehend.

Flux needs a still moment but has to go on.
Still waters wish they could rush.

All hankers after what it Is not,
Cannot accept their place as their lot.

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

Let Me Pass Through

city walls
that bind all your threads together,

walk through this wood,
let your cityself take same walk, see
buildings as lone trees,
homeless hostel
is an oak, butchers
a willow that bends
down over the stream
where jammed traffic swims.

A dead bird breathes
animated by flies
is a man in the corner who sings
the blues to passers.

That fall of a leaf
tickertape homecoming parade.

Your pavement footfall
echoes in my forest.

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

Riverbrain, Rivermind. Riverwives

synaptic rivulets
neuron canals
sacred water

riverbrain flows in my head
fountainbrain channels my ideas
lakebrain plays the fey

electric rivulets move earth
inside my head

waterskin neural net
circumnavigates damage
fruited hemispheres
replenish, restore, reimagine

senses water roots
springwaters in my head
well in my head.

sheflow

her flaps of the water
bride of the waveskin
her inner lips of the river,
spring and waterfalls,
fermented honey drip
not dragonfly laced stained glass

faplap
lamina moist make out

fragile weirs into lust
nympha

tongue kindly these guardians

 Excerpt from The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

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

Grovemind, Groovemind

synaptic branches
neuron tipped limbs
sacred grove recovery

oakbrain opens doors in my head
ashbrain spears my ideas
elmbrain plays the fey

electric gust moves limbs
inside my head

barkskin neural net
circumnavigates damage
fruited hemispheres
replenish, restore, reimagine

senses water roots
grove in my head
grooves in my head

between oaklimbs
between ashlimbs

her flaps of the wood
bride of the barkskin
her inner lips of the forest
fermented honey drip
not butterfly laced stained glass

fapleaf
lamina mulch make out

fragile doors into lust
nympha

tongue kindly these guardians.

Excerpt from The Headpoke And Firewedding {Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

© 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


When Galaxies Cry

When galaxies cry,
The tears that they shed
Are showers of light
We see overhead
That leave us in awe
As we touch our cheeks,
Speechless but listening
When radiance speaks.

So gaze at the sky
When stars shoot above
And hear as they make
Their statements of love,
For they long to be heard
In the vacuum of space,
Stardrops streaming down
A celestial face.

© 2019, Cubby (Reowr, Poetry that purrs. It’s reowr because the cat said so.)

I Long to Climb

I long to climb into the sky
On steps of wisp and smoke;
I long to feel the sweet caress
Of heaven’s velvet cloak.
I long to greet the newborn dawn,
Blushing in its youth;
I long to shoo the honeyed rays
From shadow’s hungry tooth.
I long to hear the faeries sing
Conducted by the moon;
I long to dance with dimpled winds
In Eden’s fair lagoon.
I long to stroke a comet’s tail
Impetuous in flight;
I long to whisper in the dark
Of dreams beyond the night.
I long for things I cannot have
And I will not deny,
For beauty’s sake is why I long
To climb into the sky.

© 2019, Cubby (Reowr, Poetry that purrs. It’s reowr because the cat said so.)

Sonya Annita Song’s (a.k.a. Cubby) Amazon page is HERE.


March Madness – A Haibun

It is March and I am Mad. The sky is a vibrant electric blue. The clouds are soft cotton pillows. The sun is bright but not warm enough to melt the recent snow. It is a fake spring.

But when a gentle wind blows, soothing my brow with the feel of soft yellow daffodils and hot magenta tulips, I release the anger and betrayal.

Disappointment healed

By springs flowers marching on

The promise of hope


Another coming together of prompts! Merrill at dVerse requested a Haibun about “March Madness” while Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt asked: How does nature inspire joy in you, inspire your creativity and perhaps even your sense of peace? For me, the symptoms of spring sparks joy however where I am now, spring has been a tease – snowing one day then 60 degree temperatures the next. It is enough to drive one mad!

© 2019, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I do a few other things too …)


The Trees are making music

The trees
Are making music
To the sky today,
In apology for
Yesterday’s silence.

Music
With crystal bells
Of questions,
Hanging on the limbs,
Unspoken,
Unanswered.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams and the occasional cat)

DANCE WITH DESTINY

 

ETHEREAL WHITE SNOWFLAKES GENTLY

FALLING FROM AN UNSTIRRING GREY SKY. STATELY

FIR BOUGHS LADEN AND RELENTING UNDER  

NEW- FOUND WEIGHT. I’VE LOST MY LULLABY.

 

ONE PROLONGED AND LONGING BREATH AFTER

ANOTHER AND ANOTHER AND YET ANOTHER.

 

EYES FILLING WITH TEARS YEARNING FOR BEAUTY

TO ENFOLD ME ONCE AGAIN. MY PENCIL

SCRATCHES PAPER BUT I STILL CANNOT

SEE THE BEAUTY SURROUNDING ME,

 

A FOG OF DISMAY WASHES OVER ME

AS THE MIST DOES THE MEADOW.

THOUGH DESIRE IS ARDENT, MY VISION

IS CLOUDED, MY MUSE HAS ABANDONED ME,

 

ADRIFT IN A SEA OF MISCONCEPTIONS, NEGATIVITY

AND TRAGEDY. SPRING WITHIN MY REACH,

SO MUCH BEAUTY YET TO SEE, MY EYES

WEARY, MY SOUL MIRED AND LOST IN MISERY,

WARRING WITH COMFORT AND CHARITY.

 

JOY BROUGHT DESPAIR ALONG FOR COMPANY,

I TOOK HIS HAND AND HE DANCED WITH ME

THE WORST OF IT, IS, HE HAS STAYED WITH ME,

WHILE JOY LEFT THE FETE WITH HARMONY.

 

MY HEART HAS DONNED AN ICY COAT TO

HIDE ME FROM SADNESS, I CANNOT SEE THE

PATH TO HEAVEN, THOUGH I SEE THE ROAD

TO HELL, AS I DANCE WITH DESTINY.

 

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams and the occasional cat)


Wordsmiths

Letters inscribed in air; branches
write the seasons and their fickle
variations, shredding coherence
as they thresh and whine, blasts and rants
of leaves and barren seeds.

Gift of the wasp’s gall: indelible
tales from the oak’s heart and hearing;
grand hotel and shelter, shade for
transient languor.Acorn fall.
Sap retreats slow to reticence.

Meditation under rimed sky,
the hermit’s calligraphy spread
across the crystal sheet, utterance
of promise laid in autumn’s scatter.

The year turns; dew-varnished beech glints
with angled light. Decipher the forest’s
library: curlicues unfurling
on spring-dancing branches, stickiness
and insect hum, in April’s breeze
the Book of Kells unscrolling.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.turkey island.

they say it is too cold there. cold as icebergs

none came the year the storm broke, breached

the shingle bank

decisions were made

i hear

to not repair

now there is salt marsh where samphire grows

some eat it

i don’t

i like turkey island

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.clean water.

we left early to visit

clear pools of water,

the mountain sloped.

here we wandered,

among sheep.

watched the bug

glide the water,

sucked down

the fish leap.

storm past, this

was a day of sunshine.

we are good friends.

we got better.

so it goes.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


I just met a turtle

I just met a turtle in the park.

It was on the way

Not where its mates

Usually are,

Near the lake

Sunbathing.

It was solitary.

I figured out it spoke

To me.

Told me to slow down.

And so I sat

As words began to dance

In flight

Carrying a smell of pine trees,

Rosemary and lavender.

Like butterfly wings

Fluttering in the wind

They intertwined

And slowly began

To land on my paper

One by one.

I pulled my thread,

Took the needle

And began to sow

One after the other.

A word weaver

Just like my friend

Quim

And all the others.

I just met a turtle.

© 2017 Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

The Park

Trees and blue sky,
sweet lavender and rosemary
not knowing why
a few lines I could invent.
Soft wind caressing my face
and the birds singing distant
feeling this nature’s embrace
longing to hold.
So much there is now at stake
sunbeams crossing through tree leaves,
peaceful water of the lake
sensing all, what nature presents.
Let us go on rowing
together on our humble boat
even though not knowing
how long to keep it afloat.

© 2016, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Out of the Shell

Out of the shell!
the tortoise said
out of that hell!
the price was paid.
Now I am cold
but not in vain
as I am told
I won the pain!
I can walk free
did nothing wrong
there is no tree
but I stay strong.

I’m a bit old
and just need love
I’ll be a bit bold
and play the dove.
I found a girl
on a dating site
oh, how I swirl
to her I write.
She’s just too young
or I’m too old
but I’ve begun
and now I’m sold.

My name is Frank
and she’s Nicole
I’m not a prank
yet she’s my goal.
Told her the truth
what will she do?
she’s in her youth
and I feel blue.
Difference in age
is not so good
it is a cage
you think I should?

© 2019. Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Poem inspired by poet Newton Ranaweera’s post: See, we’re free!!: , and by chapter 6 of Mario Savioni’s novel Pickles and Tarts.


Jewels of Joy

Raindrops in heat,
showered  jewels of joy,
a backdrop white dark and grey,
of infinite mercy, yet warning
thunder, of a power beyond –
what joy I felt, as the sun I found
hiding behind a rainbow –

adorned, in grace crowned
unaware yet cautious, masked thorn,
protection visible, smile on the side
why so quiet in repose, love embodied
profound, yet in complete solitude,
few moments in time,when no words formed,
sweet sounds of love’s intense symphony
in two souls, silently merged, a
rose plucked, surrendered to the hand
that controlled, in colorful scent, that
its joyful destiny, meant,in complete
fragrant beauty, drowned-
Nature’s eternal joy in spirit, replete

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

rose4.jpg

                             قدرتی حسن کی دلکشی

یہ بارش کی بوندیں  خوشی کے ہی موتی  
ھیں رحمت  کے قطرے  ھے  بخشش برستی

یہ  قدرت کی طاقت  ھے   سب   سے   بڑی 
   خوشی و راحت ملی ، قوس و قزح پہ نظر جو

پڑیدلکش گلاب  محتاط  مسکراھٹ بکھیرتا  ھوا 
وقت کے خطرات سے انجان چند لمہوں میں 

محبت کے ہاتھوں میں مغلوب ،خشبو میں نہایا

ھوا ، کسی چاہنے والے کی خوشی کے لیے 

قربان ھوا، ،کہ قدرت نے اسی لیے ؑبنایا اسے
روح کی گہرایوں میں  اتر کر  خوشی مکمل  ملے

“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


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VANISHING SOLUTION . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.”
The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Plotting a Story, January 31, 2019 was a real challenge and it speaks volumes that it is so very difficult for us to envision a world where murder, torture, separation, and starvation are no longer options.  What would such a world look like? Intrepid souls all, Gary W. Bowers, Irma Do, Jen Goldie and Anjum Wasim Dar have risen to the occasion.  Well done, poets, and thank you!

Enjoy this little collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


dew unto others

suddenly dew
turned blue and combusted
trustworthy wherewithal
came with the aerosol

all who breathed hue
once spewed-hate-encrusted
dusted off bigotry
shed their misanthropy

new things to do
included feasts mustered
for clusters of needy
and all were ungreedy

arcadia stew
and utopia custard
frustrated our devils
and we reached new levels

all due to a psychologist
and major-league geneticist
and freejack climatologist
enacting armagenesis

her name was diana
euglena endora
late of tijuana
born in bora bora

when asked of the process
she wasn’t specific:
“i alchemized raw cess
found in the pacific

“a punster’s emotion
bears brunt/onus/blame
for making an ocean
live up to its name.”

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (On With Clay / Image and Text)


Vanishing Solution – A Rubaiyat

To vanquish all the demons of senseless aggression

The women left, with children on hips, for vacation

Without the men and older ones, corrupted too soon

In the middle of the night, they left without resignation.

It started with whispers under the heartbroken moon

Mothers left behind who wanted to hear a new tune

The song of “I’m sorry” for rape, murder, starvation

Made for a hollow dirge in the empty baby room.

Without any recourse than to cry and wail with rage

The women made a plan to change the history page

Eve’s disobedience might be original sin

But Cain killing Able spotlight the violent stage

Without testosterone, how/where would the anger begin?

It became clear that peace could never start from within

Add in voices loud with societal machismo

Can’t unlearn this behavior yet men had no chagrin

It took years to create the perfect utopia

Women agreed there was only one panacea

As much as it hurt to acknowledge the truth of it

Leave them behind, the only viable idea.

After kisses and climaxes for the lucky ones,

And tender tough love goodbyes for those who had older sons

The women vanishing in one night of defiance

Bringing babies, clothes, food, seeds, tools to create, no guns

When the world awoke, there was silence then confusion

There was crying and wailing and raging delusion

The accusations turned deadly with no end in sight

The world was burning, cleansing all those in collusion

And the women waited, teaching their children new ways

With emotional regulation, without fake praise

Listening, reflection, the basis for discussion

Decisions consensus, not perfect, a better phase.

Is separation the best course of action for now?

Or work hard together and put our backs to the plough?

I don’t know the answer or the moral of this tale

To change our world, what are we willing to disavow?

This is my first attempt at a rubaiyat – inspired by Frank Hubeny at dVerse call to action. Feedback is welcome and most appreciated!

The theme is in response to Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #172 – Vanishing as well as Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt. Jamie’s prompt this week deserved a lot of thought – it was hard (for me at least) to imagine what a world would be like without murder, torture, starvation. In writing this poem, I am NOT saying that all the bad in the world are due to men but statistically, most of the violence in the world are perpetuated by those with a Y chromosome.

I don’t think separation is the answer. As the saying goes, if you’re not part of the solution…however, sometimes I do just want to take a vacation from all the strife I hear about in the world. Yet, where would we go?

©️ 2019, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I do a few other things too)


He came to the end of the road,
looked left and looked right,
He feared looking forward.
His father once said,
Endings are beginnings
Concealed as doors,
and hidden from view, so,
Seek your way through.
But these doors were murky,
Hard and impervious,
Stained with blood and bone
by the scratching of nails on
the aged worn wood,
yearning for freedom,
tears have etched trails, with
deepening grooves of sadness,
in its woody worn frame.
These are days to remember,
Not days to forget.
Solemnly he gazed
into his Father’s vacant eyes,
and sighed,
We’ll find a way through.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)

The Noonday Place

Where are you going son?
To the Noonday Place Papa.
Where’s that son?
Where the sun shines!
And where the light lives!
The light Son?
Yes! the light!
Where the children play!
It’s a living place Papa,
A living place?
Yes papa!
No hurting, no fighting
No guns.
Where the flowers bloom
Where the birds sing
Where the rivers run.
Is that all son?
Is that all you need?
Yes Papa.
Alright Son
Thy will be done.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)


Still, Silent and Serene

23319098_1873071902708343_3608095764492300486_n (1)
see
no murder, nor starvation or separation
no people to torture, now you shall
see, no enemy

warm feelings smiling  eyes, cool
raindrops dropping  from the skies,
on  a green carpeted vast  expanse
embroidered from edge to edge,
said the one who saw the white horse run

see
no guns, no rifles or grenades
no barbed wires or walls، who
would ever think of sinning

 not one all would be in, for Heaven
said the one who saw the fiery horse driven

see
the Earth grows green, sweet gold
honey abounds 
even if we eat it all,
still 
there is more and more ,for the
seasons changing, times coming-

said the one who saw the black horse fall.

see
the  showers bloom the buds
life reawakens from deep slumber
graves descend to the depths beneath
disease defeated  must await its orders
said the one who saw the pale horse chained,

see
the world in perpetual beauty
peace silence fragrance abound
streams crystalline carry music
no shots nor blasts anywhere sound

see
no envy or pride, nor greed nor 
sloth to slow and hide all good
behind, go not for lust, for dust
we are and shall  to dust, return,
said the one who saw four horses gallop away

the world is still silent and serene.

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

یہ  دنیا  کیسی ھو اگر ظلم و تشدد قتل و غارت فاقہ کشی و جدایؑ نہ ھو

دنیا کی حقیقت  بس ؑ عارظی و فانی  اک   مدت   مقرر ہ   تک  ھے
گر ظلم و تشدد  قتل و فاقہ کشی نہ ھو تو کویؑ دشمن بھی نہ ھو

محبت بھری مسکراھٹ  ٹھنڈی بوںدوں کے موتی سبز وسعت پہ گرتے ھوں
 کنارے سے کنارے تک نقش و نیگار  کھلتے ھوں تو سب پر امن کیوں نہ ھوں

نہ ھتھیار نہ جنگ، نہ خاردار تار نا دیوار  ایسے ماحول میں کون گنہگار ھو
کیوں کر ممکن ھوجب  نہ خطاوار نہ  مجرم تو  کویؑ  محسن  بھی  نہ  ھو

    ھریالی زمیں  روانی شہد  خوراک کی فراوانی  موسم کی لازوال کہانی ھو  
  خوش حالی و  سکوں، کیسے ممکں ھے  کہ پایلؑ  کی  جھن جھن  بھی نہ ھو

 ھسین  رنگین  دنیا،  عارطی ھے پیرہن، زندہ رہیں کہ  فلحال  امراز مر چکے
      نفرت نہ غرور نہ لالچ کریں انجم ، من پاک ھو ،  میلا مگر تن بھی نہ ھو

یہ دنیا پر سکوں خاموش اور خو بصورت ھی ھو گی

“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


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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently 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. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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