“She Hurt” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Gender equality, equality between men and women, entails the concept that all human beings, both men and women, are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices. Gender equality means that the different behaviour, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally. It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Gender equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities.” ABC Of Women Worker’s Rights And Gender Equality, ILO, 2000. p. 48.



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, I Am the Answer, May 15 was a call to write about the need for girls and women to be treated as fully human with the same rights, responsibilities, and opportunities as men.   We have dramatic examples throughout the world of how whole families are pulled out of poverty when women are educated, treated with respect, and not forced into marriage and how boys and men benefit as well as girls.

mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Renee Espriu, Jen Goldie, and Anjum Wasim Dar, share their observations, experiences, and pain. The ironies will not be lost on anyone, most profoundly so in mm brazfield’s poem only her and in Paul Brookes poem Liberty.  

Thanks to all these poets and special thanks to Irma, Renee, and Anjum for the added value of their illustrations. Anjum has also gifted us with the poem Lament by the Indian Poet Sahir Ludhianvi via video in Urdu. You’ll find the English translation below the video. 

Readers will note links to sites if available are included that you might visit these stellar poets. The links for contributors are always connected to their blogs or websites NOT to specific poems.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, whether you are a beginning poet, emerging or pro.  All are welcome – encouraged – to come out and play and to share your poems on theme.


only her

you can close me off with fences

imprison my children

the tropics of virtue

you can ban me from freedom

steal my breath

you can poison my lakes

kill my volcanoes

destroy my mountains

spill all of my seas

imprison my clouds and the stars too

deny me the gods and saints

burn my trails

deny me the field

you can turn off my sun and the moon

abort my miracles and all of my flowers

certainly you can hurt me

and finish off my children

cut my eyes cut my veins and exploit my riches

you can deny me the heavenly secrets

and a simple drink of water

but you will never conquer the love of a mother

© 2019, poem (English, Spanish, Portuguese), mm brazfiled (Words Less Spoken)

Solo Ella

me puedes cerrar llenarme de bardas

encarcelar a mis hijos

los trópicos de virtud

me puedes prohibir libertad

robarme el aire

puedes envenenar mis lagos

asesinar mis volcanes

destruir mis montanas

derramar todos mis mares

aprisionar mis nubes y las estrellas también

negarme a los dioses y santos

quemar mis veredas negarme el campo

podrás apagar mi sol y la luna

abortar a mis milagros y todas mis flores

cierta mente puedes herirme y terminar

con mis hijos enyerbar mis ojos

cortar mis venas y explotar mis riquezas

podrás negarme los secretos celestiales

y un simple trago de agua

pero nunca vencerás el amor de una madre

só ela

você pode me fechar me encher de cercas

aprisionar meus filhos

os trópicos da virtude

você pode me banir da liberdade

roubar minha respiração

você pode envenenar meus lagos

mate meus vulcões

destruir minhas montanhas

derrame todos os meus mares

aprisionar minhas nuvens

e as estrelas também

negar-me aos deuses e santos

queima minhas trilhas me negam

o campo você pode desligar meu sol

o lua abortar meus milagres

e todas as minhas flores

certamente você pode me machucar

e terminar com meus filhos

meus olhos cortar minhas veias

e explorar minhas riquezas

você pode me negar os segredos celestiais

e uma simples bebida de água

mas você nunca vai conquistar

o amor de uma mãe


She Hurt

cradled in their arms her pain
gets up and swims around the room.

It swims from her head, beneath her skin,
Her skin is the yellow ocean that bleeds.

Fish rises in the sky a summer
Fish dives under the earth a winter

Her mother drips breastmilk into a cup
to feed her hurt baby.

Many hands wish to hold the pain,
Lift up the wounded body.

Wishes are wrapped in colour.
Yellow ghosts look on beside
plants ready to flower.

From Paul’s forthcoming collection Fish Strawberries

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

Liberty

is a woman holding up a torch
in a harbour whilst she is not free
in certain states to have control
over her own body.

Justice

is a woman who holds the scales
blindfolded and dumb.

I am not a statues so carry the torch with my words

and clearly see my future
decided by me.

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

In Charge of Her Own

body.
Her womb no longer
the property of the law.

No longer cut
and shaped by knives.
between her legs

Her voice not silenced.
Her opinions not downplayed
as over emotional, unreasonable.

Sometimes she does not feel
in charge of her own body
as it changes, but reminds herself
she knows how to find the answer
to the questions her body asks.

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

To And Fro

the iron
over bedsheets, his shirts,
as she stands three hours

hot poker of pain
in the small of her back,
lists what else to do,

take down window nets,
wash and iron,
vax front room,
lug it upstairs for bedroom,
carpets,
hoover front room,
lug it upstairs for bedroom
carpets,
clean windows inside
to and fro,
to and fro
polish beneath knick knacks
bought on holiday,
to and fro
strip and remake beds,
make his tea,
always meat and two veg

He arrives home and says,
“What have you ever done for me?”

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

Paul Brookes, prolific Yorkshire poet

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


This Female Body – A Trijan Refrain Poem

Born into this female body
So sweet was my first cry
I should have screamed like a banshee
For no princess was I
It may not seem my role in life
But fate has lead me to this strife
It may not seem
It may not seem
My strength and persistence is rife

Born into this female body
But told it’s not my own
I primp and starve and stare blankly
And let your seed be sown
I know you think I chose this role
But I hate not having control
I know you think
I know you think
But you don’t know what’s in my soul

Born into this female body
I vote for my free will
I am more than breast, womb, booty
My voice is loud and shrill
Listen to me – I’ll not abide
It is your turn to be denied
Listen to me
Listen to me
I won’t let you push me aside

This is a new poetry form I am trying – it’s called a Trijan Refrain. I discovered it through LadyLeeManila’s blog with her poem “On My Red Bike”. I was intrigued by the repeating refrain and the rhyme and meter constraints, so decided to try it out.

Jamie Dedes at The Poet By Day, inspired the topic for this Trijan Refrain. Her challenge was to write a poem about what it would be like if women and girls were seen everywhere as “being fully human”. I don’t know if I have fully captured the scope of this challenge. I do know that women are needed to use their voices and their votes to stop the reversal of rights and advances that our foremothers worked so hard to secure for us in the United States. I also believe, that around the world, uplifting women improves their lives as well as that of their families and communities.

I have often wondered what the world would be like if women did truly rule the world, on their terms, not those stipulated by our current patriarchal society. The role of women have been erased throughout history and today, women have been reduced to the role of hidden helper, silent supporter or thing-to-be-objectified. Is it because they are afraid if we regain our power, we will show how brightly we shine and fear getting burned with our brilliance?

©️2019, words and illustration, Irma Do (I Do Run, and I do a few other things too)


The Truth of Hindsight

Hindsight is always better it is said
always invoking in me the transgressions
in my past of the egregious kind

conceived into an ethnically diverse family
curious of the differences, yet both drawn
and repelled like a moth to a flame

one of only a handful of such families
in an all-white neighborhood
though I did not distinguish it
then

my reddish skinned father and white mother
craving more but for unspoken reasons
spoken in private understanding

she from impoverished beginnings
he in accepting only European roots

agreeing upon only one thing in union
the dictates of societal norms for me
a child of the female persuasion

that marriage is best accepted sooner
than later & children are part of the
sanctioned outcome

but mind you if such an arrangement
is not a path upon which you wish to tread
then only professions of nursing
and teaching will suffice

for creativity in writing or artistic endeavor
will never sustain you in living
and you would know this
in hindsight

now in hindsight I only understand that
not everything that comes before
is better than that which
comes later

in hindsight I wish I had known that
choosing the passion of your heart
over being accepted
is what my path
Should
Have
Been

© 2019, poem and illustration (taken from Public Domain Pictures and Created as Art) Renee Espriu (Angels, My Muse & Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity With Wings / Haibun, ART, Haiku & Haiga)


Had You Been A Boy

Had you been boy we’d have called
you Jeff. I was sorry for the theft
that resulted in a nest, while her past
desires, the freedom, the joy, the
dancing, all arrested by not so gentle
a man’s theft, and repeatedly attested
to, while unpaid, unearned damages left,
a girl’s desire not to conspire to the same
mistakes, yet though a mark was left.
I am Woman, I am Strong, my mind
and body my own, lessons learned
from the nest. I harken, to my own drum,
unlike others like our mother’s, that we
will never forget, and that singularly
innocent, yet flippant remark,
“Had you been a boy.”

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Jen Goldie and Starlight and Moonbeams … and the Occasional Cat )


It’s a Girl

It’s a girl,
O’hurry put her beneath the sand
Oh, no one can stand or understand
this creature, soft and tender
I wonder why ?
when life is so grand.
Girls ,mothers daughters
sisters and wives,
Can life move on without these five?
The land of Faith The land of oil
Did they really bury their daughters
alive?
Girls are the lively spirits
of a home or castles at heights
girls are Goldilocks Cinderellas
and Snow Whites
They are Queens Ranis and First ladies
blacks or whites-
When girls are born moods are forlorn
bringing up a burden in a teacup , a storm,
Then sold tortured and finally given away
Where is a girl’s real home, to stay?
Born buried and barred,
are they really so bad
and scarred?
Girls are sweet loving and kind
I wish we would be soft tender
and caring for them in
our hearts and mind.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

It’s her ’ and no one smiled, soon  abandoned,
just a heap of rot, despised, hated,maddened,

In many lands, born of any caste or creed,
not differentiated, nor separated just negated

cashed song composed without G Minor,
a fifteen to a forty niner, old miner, young niner

might as well dig earth, cut grass or carry bricks
face negligence, bear torture, meet injustice, get kicks

lift the latch anywhere and  find, cracks in the door
scarred traces burnt faces, signs of hot tempered rackets-

sad sorrowful echoes of screams slaps and strikes
in the tender dwellings of  fearful famished femininity-

whose chest is crammed with refrains of ugly curses
profane, drafted with hatred,unreasonable, mundane-

beauty’s blend for care, created for eternal company
stays abused, enslaved, spared not, restrained,  why?

who will cut the strings of  human bondage cruel,of
lacerant tortured, suffering, darkened, silent jewel

What was ancient unknown ignorant  and abolished
made eloquent graceful revered  and superbly sacred

current in countless fetters slowly, visibly, tabescent
is played with, raped, harassed, crushed as deficient

‘why’ is the question? life for her, made a punishment?
if disobedience be sin, hasn’t man first, set the precedent?

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

کویؑ مسکراہٹ نہ رہی باقی
چہرے مردہ خاموشی سے تکنے لگے

لڑکا نہیں  لڑکی  ھے

کیوں کویؑ خوشی نہ رہی باقی

چھپا دو  کہیں بھی ان نفرتوں کے ڈھیر کو
پیار کیا کرنے کو  اب  کچھ  محبت ہی نہ رہی باقی

زات عقیدہ رنگ و نسل  کے فرق کی بات نہیں
اب تو خواہش  اولاد ہی نہ رہی  باقی

اک سر  جو  راگ  سے  کٹ گیا  نغمہ فزا میں بکھر گیا
گیت بنے گا کیسے کہ دھن ہی نہ رہی باقی

انصاف نہیں غفلت و تشدد  و  دامن داغدار رھے
جینا ایسے تو کیا جینا جینے کی تمنہ ہی نہ رہی باقی

بچپن رک گیا  بڑھاپے سے زبردستی جڑ گیا اینٹیں اٹھاوؑ
گھاس  کاٹو   اپنا گھر اپنی باغبانی ہی نہ رہی باقی

کس کی چاہت کیسی عزت  کیسی رکھوالی زنجیر ہی
پڑے گی پاوؑں  میں  غلامی لکھی ھے آ زادی نہ رہی باقی

کون کاٹے گا یہ نفرت کی بیڑیاں سب کچھ تو جل گیا
الاہ کا قانون یاد نہیں کوؑلہ بنی ھے ، چمک ہی نہ رہی باقی

سوال ہیہ ھے ،یہ ظلم کیوں گناہ کیوں عزت کیوں نہیں
ماں بیٹی بہن بیوی کا مقدس رشتہ کہاں ؟ عقیدت ہی نہ رہی باقی

Lament

Woman gave birth to men
And men gave her the marketplace
To crush and trample at will
To reject and cast off at will
Woman gave birth to men…

She is weighed somewhere in dinars
And sold somewhere in bazaars
She is made to dance naked
In the courts of the debauched
She is that dishonored creature
Who is shared out between the honorable
Woman gave birth to men…..)

For men, every torment is acceptable
For a woman, even weeping is a crime
For men, there are a million beds
For a woman, there is just one pyre
For men, there is a right to every depravity
For a woman, even to live is a punishment
Woman gave birth to men……)

The customs that men created
Were given the name of rights
The burning alive of a woman
Was decreed to be sacrifice
In return for purity she was given bread
And even that was called a favour
Woman gave birth to men…..)

Woman is the destiny of the world
But she is still the one abased by fate
She bears reincarnations and prophets
But she is still the Devil’s daughter
Woman gave birth to men…..)

© Indian Poet Sahir Ludhianvi

Translation courtesy of Musical Rainbow

Find Anjum here:

ABOUT

.memoire. … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Along the drive by my friend Mick B’s house.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Lost: One Grandpa Bodhisattva, May 1 was a call to write about friends and/or friendship. What you’ll mostly find here in response is how affected we are by the loss of our friends who have meant so much to us and done so much for us. The aching emptiness cannot be filled. The memories are joy and pain. There are a few other notes in these songs of friendship: Irma and the support of her running friends; one of Sonja’s poems puts me in mind of Pooh Bear; Paul writes about the strange intimacy of distance; and Anjum’s poem shows such a deep appreciation for friendship, a flower the scent of which permeates our lives. All these poems are worth your time and thought and will likely trigger a few tears and a few poems of your own. Read on …

Thanks to mm brazfield, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Anjum Wasim Dar for coming out to play this week. Thanks to Irma and Anjum for the added value of their illustrations. And once again, thanks to everyone for your patience with the time it took to get this post published, still Tuesday here but Wednesday already in England (Paul and Sonja) and in Pakistan (Anjum) and Wednesday in the places where a lot of readers live.

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

… do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, whether you are a beginning poet, emerging or pro.  All are welcome – encouraged – to come out and play and to share their poems on theme, which will be published here the following Tuesday.


sometime in an August

Asa who laid in the Panhandle with me you strung out on love i on wild chemistry from around the Tenderloin Asa who lent me his Walkman for Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters as i stared into the night sky higher than our hangout on Coit Tower Asa who was ecstatic when we shared stories about the boys we kissed at the Trocadero on Wednesday nights as i cried when you told me your fate Asa you with your toothy smile biting my cherry Danish as you took off the shirt from your back to cover all of my track marks when the workers came to take you away to your mother’s place in silence and all i could do for you Asa was stand as the ambulance pulled away

© 2019, mm brazfield (words less spoken)


What’s So

special about me
after my mates are gone?

Nobody to talk to.
They left before I could say goodbye.

They bleed and I don’t.
No reason. I went to their leaving.

I can’t hug them.
They are so cold

Wish I could have left.
At the same time.

Wish I could be as cold.
No reason.

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

I Always Lose

contact with everybody
so find out how they’re invaluable.

Taught at school to make promises
that can’t be kept can’t keep. As is fashion

Lost contact with school mates.
Taught memory makes you responsible

for their anniversaries, forgot
to pay the provider. No internet.

Taught to lose books cos they dont
tell you owt. Libraries are records

of folk losing stuff. What I want
to read that for. Enough on forgetting

my own, our lasses and I swear some
kids are saying am theirn. All in air.

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

My Strangers

are friends who haven’t been estranged yet.

All my mates are strangers.
I keep them at a distance.

Chat to them in third person.
Internet on my mobile tells me

when I’ve to give them best wishes
for a special occasion like anniversaries.

They inspire closeness and loyalty.
I can trust them.

They know me.
What I eat, sup.

laugh at.
Strangers are more intimate than friends.

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

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

On Female Friends

Both tote cans of lager,
all in black leggings

get the weekly shop in.
One says to the other who

Packs the shop “I’ll stand
on his face. Tell him.

I’ll stamp on his face.”
The next couple,

“Mam, you buy the weirdest.
What’s suet for the birds? Fat balls?”

“It’s your dad’s dinner, pet”
They both laugh.

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

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The 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


For Karen:

You’re bright!
And lovely!
And beautiful!
I will always
Hold that gift
In my heart.
Because,
The warmth
And joy
Your friendship
Has offered
Will stay with
Me,
Forever.

As I said…a simple poem.
But straight from my heart.

This is a simple poem I wrote many years
ago for a true friend I’d known for over 30
years. She has passed now. But I still benefit
from her strength and passing wisdom and
I will never forget her.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (From the Corners of My Heart)


Heaven Sent Group Run

Eyes up to heaven

Running mile seven

I’m tired

My legs feel deaden

“Come on,” you beckon

Perspired

Running moms hearten

Together driven

Inspired

Another Lai Poem for D’Verse. The topic for this one uses the prompt from Patrick’s Pic and a Word #185 – Heavens. I’ve been on a streak with Patrick’s wonderful prompts! Head on over and see the lovely photos and words he uses for his weekly challenge. Patrick’s photos and poems from his recent travels are magnificent!!

While I didn’t get to actually run my seven miles this weekend like I was supposed to (rain and family obligations had me cutting it short), I was very grateful for the women who joined me from my local Moms Run This Town chapter. I was running short intervals while two other mamas were running longer intervals and our speedster mama was just running. We would leapfrog each other on the out and back trail, coming back when we would get too far out.

Even though I was running by myself at my own pace for most of this group run, just knowing my running friends were ahead of me or behind me made me happy and kept my motivation high. That’s running heaven!

I’ve also submitted this for Jamie’s Wednesday Writing prompt on The Poet by Day to write about friends. Is it weird that most of my friends are runners or writers?

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


For Karen:

You’re bright!
And lovely!
And beautiful!
I will always
Hold that gift
In my heart.
Because,
The warmth
And joy
Your friendship
Has offered
Will stay with
Me,
Forever.

As I said…a simple poem.
But straight from my heart.

This is a simple poem I wrote many years
ago for a true friend I’d known for over 30
years. She has passed now. But I still benefit
from her strength and passing wisdom and
I will never forget her.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (From the Corners of My Heart)


ROYALTY

For Bryan Southwell

You were the King, upbraided in rehearsal
for taking too long to die. “They’ll all miss
the last bus home if you don’t speed this up!”
Even now, your fury reverberates.

Ah, my gracious friend, so many miles walked
upon the links, everything elegant,
even your bon mots in the midst of our
vulgar chaffing. The Schubert Impromptus

as we drove those Norfolk byways, the sun
flecking the chestnut leaves. The Canterbury
Tales in Melton, shared hours of bawdiness
and helpless laughter. You could have graced those boards
making love to the Wife of Bath and who knows else.

Admissions and discharges, blow
after vicious blow, cries of pain filling
the ward, nothing imagined for effect.

In the end, death could not come soon enough.
You slipped away, into the wings, denying
us all one final curtain call. You were
ready, not us, no, palms uplifted, empty.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.friends.

we are friends .

we are friends , we met in the lane.

the words sound like poetry, the quiet
voice sounds shouting in this silence.

it can make windows and opportunities,
space to accompany the music.

travel far and in between, play the right notes,
write notes, and then maybe, all will come

clear. or not.

i need that stop.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

#facebook friends day

so bear says,

why aren’t i in the film,

i am your friend.

ah yes i says,

yet no one will

believe that.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.memoire.

he says it is the word.

they will remember.

i will remember them all,
tidy, kind, white table cloths,
napkins, the favourite
picture.

i will remember you,
work out your age
every year. the wind blows.

all beautiful faces. the friends.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

                                            You my friend  –  A Flower

If Humans Are Friends

Your thoughtful  smile makes me stay
a little while more than I really should
lost in space, I am like Icarus, wings burnt
many lessons in life I have now learnt

I would fly over ethereal plain, if I could,
To meet you at this stage of life,
The distances are understood,
Of age  culture and traditions,
You’ a flower and me, a piece of wood.

images  formed,  are shattered soon
Time like dust ,vanishes over the moon,
You inspire me and give me hope though
as friends for long, I’m scared  of the scope,

What lies ahead what tomorrow brings
What, where, now’  I will not think,
See the miracle of hearts and feelings
With all the spaces, no family dealings-

I am hopeful of good and beautiful things
As shared in moments short and precious
Your advice as a poet writer, full and sincere
Given asked and unasked,without fee or fear,

We met as friends as friends should be
Who make life joyful  light  and easy
I will remember till heartbeats permit
If humans are  friends,
Allah’s Blessings are writ۔

© 2019, illustration and poems (English and Urdu), Anjum Wasim Dar

کچھ امیدیں  ابھی باقی ھیں

اگر دنیا  میں ٰانسان دوست مل جایںؑ تو
کچھ امیدیں  ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اس کی مسکراھت  میری روح  کی رکاوت بنی
کچھ  ضرورت سے زیادہ رکنے کا احساس ،
خلا کی وسعت  میں گم اونچی اڑان  سے
،اونچی اڑان  سے پر جلا کر سوچ میں محو   

کچھ سبق  سیکھنے ابھی باقی  ھیں

ٓٓپھر بھی عمر ا  ٓخر میں  اس دوست  سے  ملنے 
افلاک  پہ فظاوںؑ میں  اڑتے ھوےؑ  فاصلوں کو  کاٹتے 
ھوےؑ ، رسم و رواج کو  نظر  انداز کرتے  ھوےؑ صفر
کا آغاز  ، سورج  کی شعاوں میں ، چاندنی راتوں میں

کچھ راستے  طے کرنے  ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اے  دوست، یک پھول کی مانند  پاوؑن  تجھے
میں کہ اک لکڑی  کا کٹا  ھوا   تکڑا بے  بس
تصور  جو  کیا  بکھر  گیا ، وقت  گزر  گیا،  بس
 تمھاری  ھمت  سے  زندہ  ھوں سانس باقی  ھے

کچھ  کام  کرنے  ابھی  باقی ھیں

مجھے نہیں  سوچنا  کہ کل کیا ھوگا 
کب کہاں کیسے یہ سب کیسے  ھوگا
بس احساس  کے دلی جزبات کے  حیراںکن
معجزات  کی دعایںؑ ملی ھیں  بضشش  کی 

کچھ رشتے نبھانے ابھی  باقی  ھیں

اس کی تحریروں پہ ھدایت  ملتی رھی 
لمحہ ببہ  لمحہ  قیمتی گھڑیوں میں  
پوچھنے پہ  اور  پوچھے  بغیر  بھی،یہ
  قدریں دوستی میں  اب نایاب ھیں سبھی

ابھی کچھ  افسانے لکھنے باقی  ھیں 

دوست بن کے ملے دوست ہی رھیں گے
جو زندگی  کو  پر لطف  اور خوشگوار بناےؑ
بھلا  سکتے  نہیں  انہیں  جو اللاہ کے لیےؑ 
دلوں میں رہتے ھیں ، اگر ایسا ھو تہ سمجھ لیں

کہ اللاہ  کی رحمتیں ابھی بہت باقی  ھیں 

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

ABOUT

“The Price of Peanut Butter” and other works in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth.
You are also as strong as your strongest link.
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean
by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet



Rich, Me, Dan

Thank you to all who sent messages and notes wishing us a happy family reunion. It was wonderful. We chatted and laughed as though we’d only seen one another yesterday, as though forty years hadn’t passed.  Thanks also to those who knew I went into the hospital right after our reunion and who wished me well and kept me in your prayers. I admit to slowing down, but I’m still here kicking thanks to loving family and friends, good doctors, and the grace of God.



I know it’s already Wednesday where some of you live, but it’s still Tuesday here in Northern California. My apologies though for the lateness of the post. So much catching up – good catching up – to do after the activities of the past few weeks.

It certainly looks like we hit a responsive nerve with the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, It’s Not the ’60s Anymore, asking for work that gives us a strong sense of time and place and how the writer and/or the times have changed. This collection is delightful featuring such a diversity of time, place, and ages and marked by depth, caring, and consciousness. I’m proud to be able to present this collection to you here today.

Thanks to our newcomer mm brazfield for her participation and a warm welcome.  Thanks to all for coming out to play: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Sonia Benskin Mesher, Taman Tracy Moncur, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan), Marta Pombo Sallés, Julie Standig, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

Links are connected to poet/writer websites where available – NOT to specific poems – to encourage readers to visit them and get to know their work.  If no website is available, it’s likely you can find the poet/writer on Facebook, where some folks also publish their work.

Read! Enjoy! And join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are encourage to share their work on theme, beginning, emerging or pro.


The Price of Peanut Butter

of course i remember the old Safeway, Hank. in closing my eyes i can see the Mahatma Rice Genie on the little rice bags and Jiffy cost less than a dollar. i was not taller than a yard stick, yet i knew my lime green pastel knit dresses were an infamy. Hank, i recall the prime parties on Berendo street, the last of the beehive hairdo elegant women in turquoise bell-bottoms, i a barefooted brat. and on alternate Saturdays the biker parties in the Silver Lake Hills. the Harleys looked like stallions. in the middle of the week, i can’t remember where i’d sleep, but AC/DC dueled with Tom Jones in my dreams. now, Hank, we have non-GMO juice stands and designer coffee drinks. i’m about a yard stick and a quarter tall now and i dress in black. i still enjoy Tom and Brian, but Nirvana and Cornell own my heart. i finally read the Torah too. but the fears, doubts, agonies and uncertainties are still within my universe. Safeway is now Vons. House of Pies is still there too, i feed on their Western Spaghetti. i’m going at it in a round-about way. Volkswagons’ and Mustangs aren’t what they used to be, but they’ve cut down on bad emissions. Hank, you wouldn’t believe, there’s almond, cashew, sunflower, pistachio and Brazil Nut butter. i don’t talk much, i type on the phone, even on dates, sitting right across the table from them all. i suppose i’ll never see a good bra burning anymore, i giggled at it as a child. but, they have apps for that now. i never really fit in any particular time in LA. from 8 tracks to Alexa and frozen peas to organic produce delivery. i don’t know, Hank. peanut butter today is quite expensive.

© 2019,  mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)

mm brazfield

MM BRAZFIELD was born and raised in urban Los Angeles and is a Gen X’er who chronicles and scrawls about the art form of living in the Angelino metropolitan environment. These offerings were inspired by the mental health crisis in the city. mb personally battles depression and anxiety, but utilizes writing and art to self-regulate. mb works in social services in the hopes of supporting others who endure the same.


fashion show 69

california: kitchen. future
Uncle Sonny (né Enoch) grins
in fire-engine red turtleneck
and atop it & his chest
a medallion like a
half-scale hubcap
dreaming of being
a mandala. the legs
of his hiphugging bellbottoms
looked like bras for metal detectors.

my aunt Diane
surfer girl of tawny hip
had painted-on capris
of brushed denim
and a variant of a peasant blouse
in loose chiffon
and midriff exposure.

i at 14
still in noisy corduroy
longed for a Nehru jacket
but revealed in my Mr. Muscle
Form-Fitting
T-shirt
in a burgundy
that lasted about
five washings
and imparted a blush tint
to my once-dazzling undies.

on the tv a girl sang,
“You’re my kind of guy,
I love you so,
Baby, everything about you
Is go, go, go!
And with Aqua Velva Lotion
Our romance began,
Because there’s Something About
An Aqua Velva Man!
Ah, ah, ah, ah…
Aha AAH, ah,ah,ah,ah…”

do you think
i would be gullible enough
to then desire to be
An Aqua Velva Man?

you bet i was.
so I weep,
do not answer,
for those pathetic nowadays boys
who think there is such a thing
as “the Axe effect.”

and i long
for fifty years ago.

© 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.ter. A sample of his work is pictured below. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


A Full Moon Christmas Day,1977

I, ignorant, molly coddled,
aged fourteen , outsider to pierced,
bright red mohicanned,
black bin bag dressed peers
on the bus, Christmas Eve.

Sexy ultraviolet lasses
in black tights and dockers,
kohl eyed intelligence
scares my Burton’s suit.

Fascinated by safety pinned
noses, brazen forward face
of defiance, I wince
into a corner, my mam’s

“Acceptable behaviour”,
“When you have your own
house you can dress how you like.”
And my step dad’s knuckle
marks pulse on my jaw.

Hard to rebel when cossetted,
pot pourried, warm duveted,
hugged and soggily kissed
by grandparents, all Sunday Bested
under this long cold full mooned
Christmas Day.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Candlelit Seventies Without

a thought switch flicked,
and if glass globe works light
and I recall candlelit Seventies
evening in Winter’s discontent.

How important during that Winter
electric light, few hours TV,
the extra jumpers and ignorant
thrill of days extraordinary nights.

Those nights I recalled stood
underground in Eighties, caplight off
a darkness lively with ghosts
as imagination lit by stories.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

On Trend

In Bus Station, now renamed, Transport Interchange
crazies herd, or stud on Friday night,

past disguised as fresh and new.
Filly’s Seventies platform throwback

high heels whipcrack and totter
past and shoutback,

“Can’t get enough!”, to the stallions.
Hormones on an after school

high josh one another into minor
crimes their pot bellies

will chuckle at when they’re pastured.
Big yellow hi viz “club bouncer”

jackets tap their ear phones
and watch the younger

good spirits rise, ready to corral a stampede.
A thin bright yellow hi viz jacket

pushes a blue plastic hygiene cart
whose white wheels clop on tiles

recall wooden clogs on sodden cobbles.
A crazy talks to himself

as he trots by, his eyes elsewhere
and then I see the leads

from the buds in his ears.
Young stud tucks his blue boxers

into his jeans waist below
his haunches, a US prison trend,

and old fashion now.
Yoga panted fillies giggle

at his shorts, as they, too
will blush at fashions sworn by

in their galloped youth.
And older some afford pasture,

others to the knacker’s yard,
and clothes no longer second hand,

or charity but sold as “vintage”.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Kept Himself

to himself. Quiet man always in sharp
waistcoat and tie.

Shoes keen like mirrors.
Afraid he will be found out.

His daughter and her family
forever tainted by his past,

his feeble mindedness, his shame.

His urgent nine year old grandson
full of The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare

Asks “What did you do in the war, Grandad?
Did you fight the Nazzies?”

He does not want disappointment
on this young face so invents:

“A German Tiger was coming towards me.
So I digs a hole so it goes over the top.”

“And what happened next, Grandad?
“Ask your Nanna. I need to do the Pools.”

*******

Nanna says he came to see her
when she worked in the Birmingham factories.

In midst of air raids, falling houses and fire.
“Your Grandad worked on the railways.”

So his grandson works it out.
Grandad never fought abroad.

“You know don’t you?” says his enfeebled Nanna
to her grandson, “Grandad’s dad?”

“One of his widowed mother’s lodgers?”
“Yes,” she says “Grandad was born out of wedlock.”

© 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

In the market, I’m

Hearing songs sublime

First dance

Takes me back in time

First date jitters – mine

No chance

First kiss fail – not prime

Now improved with time

Perchance

The Lai is a poetry form introduced by Grace for d’Verse’s Poetry Form Challenge. The brevity and constraints of this form makes it quite challenging however, I am enamored by it’s ability to capture so much in so few syllables. This is my first attempt to any feedback is welcome!

The topic of this Lai comes courtesy of Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem with a strong sense of time and place and how you and/or the times have changed. I wasn’t sure what to write for this prompt until I went grocery shopping this weekend. The song “Always” by Atlantic Starr started to play and I was instantly taken back to my first date with Elvio who took me to first dance and gave me my first kiss. I truly believed we would end up like that song until he told me that he was going to take Sally to the next dance because she was a better kisser. (Sigh.)

Have things improved dating wise for me? Well, yes!! Considering I don’t have to date anymore – saved from those trials and tribulations by my Honey. But the hope and innocence I felt in the 1980’s is also gone…(sigh)….

©️2019, words and illustration, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too . . . )


New and Not So Improved

Now listen people
wherever you are
trav’lin’ in trucks and
SUV cars
Your footprint is huge
and so is your track
the fossils you’re burnin’
we’ll never get back
so ease off the pedal
and give us some slack
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

All nature around us
calls out our name
Pollution abounds
and we are to blame
Ozone layers
welcome us in
what we’re leavin’ our children
is really a sin
so if you give a damn
then you better begin
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Big pharmaceuticals
expand the pollute
not just in the body
but waters to boot
what did you think
you flushed down the loo
those poisoning meds
along with your poo
so quit looking around
before the whole thing is moot
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Organic farms where good
used to grow
are being replaced
with big g-m-o
now salmonella and
e-co-li, too
wrapped in the plastic
then sold to you
don’t think you’re immune
your money’s for show
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Mother nature is having
her turn
Disasters are teaching
what we need to learn
drought and flooding
and fires set to burn
we waited too late
it’s all now in ruin
no longer we mask it
we’re in hell’s handbasket

‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

© 2019, Deb y Felio (The Journey Begins)


..28 every woman..

it is always there

in the bathroom,

ignored, as was the photo.

yesterday it came to light again,

every woman’s toilet,

book.

edited by mrs robert noble,

not dated, yet dated.

are artificial aids justifiable,

how to have a dimpled wrist

with excercise,

means, and massage,

a moderate diet essential.

we do not wish a muddy complexion?

no. nor to wear the years

away in sad ness and regret.

we just need an excellent lotion,

for tired eyes,

and carry on, rejoicing.

all that there is.

plus the photograph.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..188 jane austen again…

to live the life
of pomade and petticoats.

no ajustable waist.

one imagines there will
be no worry, yet the
adjectives will prove difficult
for me,renowned for
few words.

daily checking hips
in slanting mirrors,

reading of heaven over,
which is life on earth
randomly .

gods throwing dice,
rules changing constantly.

i find sadly,
i am not jane austen.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..straw hats & sunshades..

those of you that read austen,
and maybe little women,
know that on summer days,
with heat, the ladies
wear their straws, protecting
gentle necks and complexion.

sipping drinks . i think that sucking
may be frowned upon. therefore
it is not seemly to show
that drinking aid here.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Let Your Light Shine

Young love blossomed on the horizon immersed in “the days of wine and roses”. Afros and dashikis danced in the streets to jazz improvisations weaving in and out of the intricate beats of the drum declaring support in the fight for civil rights. The blues sang of heartache and tragedy while spirituals announced resilience of faith and survival in a changing world global in concern.

I remember the sixties well, coming of age in a nation where the stage was set with demonstrations, picket lines, marches against racism, prejudice, and hatred…empathy standing tall with dignity not afraid to die for belief in true democracy “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all” regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation,

Jim Crow was on the defensive murdering, lynching, bombing, burning…turning the south into fields of blood sprouting weeds of hostility and fear. Beautiful caring people united against the atrocities, linking arms, singing to the heavens “We Shall Overcome Someday” believing in their hearts that this was a new start in the United States of America.

Tragedy and triumph were marked by a cyclical progression over the next generations. War and peace remained combatants in the world arena…ideologies exploded into shards of hatred, greed, and lust killing innocence attempting to eradicate the concept of brotherly love while in the USA came the day a black president served for eight years. Sweet victory became a reality!

Then the divisiveness of hate, rooted in this country from its inception, once again sent it spiraling into the depths of degradation. The offspring of racism were unleashed when egomania moved into the oval office bringing his family with him..xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, and bigotry all claiming to want to make America great again.

Yet once more this country standing on the shore of time shall rise as the people lift up their eyes peering into the sky knowing the Creator is near and that hope is beyond the horizon ready to take wing and fly throughout the land raining perseverance and strength on those who want to make a positive difference as their collective voices are heard on high in a symphony of unity.

© 2019, Taman Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)

Diary of an Inner City Teacher is a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line. Over two decades in the trenches, educator Tamam Tracy Moncur exposes through her personal journal the plights, the highlights, the sadness, and the joys she has experienced as a teacher. Come to understand why the United States Department of Education and the various state departments of education must realize the teaching of academics cannot be divorced from the social issues that confront the students. Let s be innovative together and design new millennium schools that address the educational needs of the inner city students before it s too late! Our children s very existence is at stake! Laugh, cry, and become informed as you embrace the accounts of an inner city teacher.


For us, the people who lived behind the Iron Curtain, the 60s, began after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Protest (retrospective)
“Miss Corde was reading Plutarch by night the books then used to be taken seriously”
Zbigniew Herbert

(Adam Lux – Meditations)

Miss (or already, why not, Missis)
is reading.
So did she before getting married. The revolution of 1960s All is Love is over.
She used to sleep in tents. Why not?
The freedom has to be defended.
Drums, fires, the screams:
“Down with! Who doesn’t jump is.”
Rumble behind the walls. Marat is. Alive? Death? Used to live?
The time is traveling. The crown’s refined hat.
The hair short. With all the colors.
“In a dress like a blue rock.”
Obelisk? Yes! of passing from
necessity to
necessity (for survival).
Mrs. Corde, is reading. The Game of …
She’s dreaming. “All is love”.
The day is the most usual.

Charlotte?
She administrated justice.
The falling stars are glowing.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan)

————————————

The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793) / Public Domain photograph

“Jean-Paul Marat (French: [ʒɑ̃pɔl maʁa]; 24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793) was a French political theorist, physician, and scientist. He was a journalist and politician during the French Revolution.

He was a vigorous defender of the sans-culottes and seen as a radical voice. He published his views in pamphlets, placards and newspapers. His periodical L’Ami du peuple (Friend of the People) made him an unofficial link with the radical republican Jacobin group that came to power after June 1793.

Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer, while taking a medicinal bath for his debilitating skin condition. Corday was executed four days later for his assassination, on 17 July 1793.” [Wikipedia]


Girl, my little pearl

Girl, my little pearl
you swirl in golden waters
when you wear the highest heels
when you show your slim body
when you put on that lovely dress
when you wear that perfect make-up
when you exhibit those expensive earrings
when your fingers and toe nails are so carefully painted
when you completely remove all your hairs
(except those on your head)
when your hair is dyed accordingly
(never forget to dye it when you grow older,
you should always look younger)

Girl, my little pearl
you still want to swirl in goldern waters
when you exhibit those piercings and tattoos
though they are not still enough,
so you will want to have some more, perhaps
some botox and breast size operations too.

And girl little pearl says:

I do not want to wear high heels,
they’ll ruin my feet and back forever.
I was not born with a slim body so
why should I want to have it?

I do not want to wear that lovely dress,
it’s terribly uncomfortable, unpractical,
has no pockets and it’s too cold now,
so why should I wear it?

I do not want that make-up made of chemicals affecting my health.

They always want to sell
and so they never tell.

The same with nail polish. I do not want it
unless I buy these things at the organic shop
just in case I changed my mind.
I do not have earholes for earrings.

Why does almost every girl have them
to mark their gender as soon as they’re born?

My mum has those earholes and wore once
some unexpensive pair of earrings, bad metal,
and ended up with red skin, red spots and allergy.

No, I do not want earholes to mark my gender differentiation.
I want to choose if I want them or not when I grow up.
As for my hair and its natural color,
I am perfectly satisfied, well, perhaps
some streaks to highlight a bit of color
together with shades of greys and whites.
I want to look my age, why younger?
I am getting older and have grey hairs.
So what? Will I be less of a woman
if I don’t dye my hair anymore?

I refuse irreversible things
like piercings and tattoos.
Some other women and men
may like them very much.
Perhaps they’ve been the luckiest ones
who had no health problems so far
after piercings and tattoos
marked their bodies
forever.

I do not want this on my body
I do not want to be obsessed by esthetics
I do not want to do something just because
it’s fashion, everyone does it.
I do not want to be who I am not
I want to be myself
I want to be appreciated for who I am.
And if somebody wants to love me
I’ll say, please, look first at my inside
and then you’ll be able to decide.

I am no girl, little pearl
to swirl in golden waters
I am simply who I want to be
now you just take me or leave.

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

When Tomorrow Comes

Optimists say we are not afraid
but I am.
And people usually say I am an optimist.
What’s wrong with me now?
Why do I feel so much
Fear, Sadness and Uncertainty?
Why can’t I get a sufficient dose of
Calmness, Serenity and Confidence?
Yet this fear of mine
does not keep me paralyzed
for I know we must move on.
This is a human rights issue,
a fight for social justice,
just one more in our world.
And while some say Dialogue, Dialogue
some others say what dialogue
if one of the parts always refuses it?
We need international mediation.
Urgently.
But that part does not want it.
So what is left to do
for the Spanish-Catalan eternal conflict?
Where’s the lesser evil
after the October First events?
What do you tell the 1066 injured people?
What do you tell the man who lost his eyesight
because of a rubber bullet from the police?
How do you comfort all those
who made the vote possible?
who made everything peacefully and democratically?
Tomorrow Catalonia’s president will most probably
declare independence from Spain.

It will be like you’re in a room
with some people trying to chase you,
loaded with guns.
But you’re peaceful
and do not have guns
and see an open window.
So you need to jump down
before they arrest you,
before they kill the rights
you’ve been long fighting for.
The lesser evil is throwing yourself
out of that window.
Is it a desperate suicide?
Or is there someone below
who will come to rescue,
who will get you in their arms
before you crash into the ground
when tomorrow comes?

© 2017, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Link to the blog with the poem and a BBC video showing the brutality of the Spanish police forces against the peaceful voters in Catalonia.


I never heard my grandfather’s voice

Nathan lost everything in the Great
Depression. Funny, they called it that.

Did they mean the economy or was it
their state of mind? Well, Nathan lost

it all: his wife left him. Took their two
daughters and went to wealthy parents

in California. I’m not sure Nat ever left
Brooklyn. Moved in with his brother,

kept a photo on his nightstand:
two young girls dressed in hand-

me-down plaids, four scraggly arms
surrounding a Sycamore tree. He missed

the bobby socked, saddle shoed feet
dangling off the fire escape, as they knit

scarves for soldiers. He even missed
their complaints about Gregg shorthand

and boorish boys that taunted them
at Tilden High. He missed taking them

for a Nedicks orange drink, or Shatzkin
knishes, Lundy’s for steamers and chowder.

Laughter in bumper cars, bellyaches from
too many hotdogs and fast rides

on the Wonderwheel. His girls were gone.
The tumor took his mind. The depression

devoured the rest. And then his wife
took the kids.

Cruelty lasts a lifetime. No one recovered.

© 2019, Julie Standig


Time – I Am No Exception

time

Under the roof of peace in quiet meditation
Time seemed still, time was pure
time for prayer and forgiveness
asking for salvation

say nothing to time ‘
it is something else, colors show change
brown to red, living to dead, all are in range’
no accusation

Time tells me many stories
born in war I hear more wars
bloodshed bloodshed bloodshed
out of sight and dim are the stars

By the blue green sea ,
curling in rolling in and rolling back

Like tiny serpents creeping up
with stings poised,making one

more story –

Pulled back to unseen depths
Golden myriads glistened

as in sunlight life lay
Bathing basking relaxing-

There is enough time !
Delicately exposed yearning for the tan

Tender petal like still,  unaware lying
Ready bait for the brutal mind

It is My Time !

And from the  shade , came not the coolness
But hot fire,blistering bodies in the sand

Not shielding from the sun- Life so stilled  as
Hot bullets rained, sprayed from the gun

Then, there was no time’
Then, there was no time’.

Time now is Time uncertain
energy decreased  vision weak,
rampant obreption, subreption
time is now endless deception

Do I have time? Do I have time?

I must do good, I am no exception
I must forgive I am no exception’
I must make peace I am no exception’
© 2019, illustration and poem in English and Urdu, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

امن کے ساے تلے

امن کے ساے تلے  کیا کویؑ  مقدس  مقام نہیں
خاموش عبادت میں
ٹھرے ھوےؑ وقت مہں

مغفرت کی طلب میں
نجات و بخشش کی دعاوؑں  میں
زمانے کی   بات نھیں 

یہ کچھ  اور  بات،ھے
رنگ بدلتی  دنیا میں ،سب زد میں
ھر زات اور ھے

 امن کے ساےؑ تلے اب کویؑ الزام نہیں

یہ میرا وقت ھے
وقت کی داستاں گویؑ
جنگ کی پیشیں گویؑ
خونریزی  کرے کوی
ستارے نظر آتے نہیں
کیا میرے پاس وقت  ھے ؟ 
کیا میرے پاس  وقت ھے؟
مجھے اچھے کام   کرنے چاھےؑ
میں  سب   سے علیحدہ  نہیں 
مجھے سب کو معاف کردینا چاھے
میں سب سے  علیحدہ  نہیں
مجھے  دنیا  میں امن  پھیلانا چاھےؑ
میں سب سے علیحدہ  نہیں
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

Yon Dream Ont Cross. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The Japanese Tea Garden, San Mateo, California

Grow high. The devil can’t find you.
Grow deep. Buddha can’t find you.
Build a house and live there.
Gourd creepers will climb over it,
their flowers dazzling at midnight.
Ko Un, What?: 108 Zen Poems, forward by Thich Nhat Hanh



I’ve been trying to lighten things up a bit with the last few prompts and this collection is in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Contours of Joy, March 20. I would say today, that these poems make me smile, even when they report sadness or anger or questioning. It’s a wonderful thing – a healing and hope-filled thing – to read these poems. They’re not consistently full of joys, but always full of life, of cognizance. The latter is the hallmark of good poets and old souls.. Living in a world gone mad is serious business. With all the spheres of joy here today, there’s also an awareness of suffering, past, present and to come. Well done by poets: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Jen E. Goldie, Sheila Jacob, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Taman Tracy Moncur and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you! and special thanks to Irma and Anjum for their illustrations.

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.


moon and eye

“Well, I must go–pardon–I cannot stay:
My moonbeam comes to carry me away…”
The dying Cyrano in Edmond Rostand’s CYRANO DE BERGERAC, translated by Brian Hooker)

moon
and eye
interact
in an act
didactic:
sight.

swoon
and sigh,
artifact.
re-enact
galactic
light.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image and Text)


Let Go Of

weight that writhes
in your hands returns life

to your bones.
Water supped when parched thrills.

Air tastes lighter with more colour,
Sweeter.

Can’t get my breath breathes.
When you think you are alone
surprise of a familiar warm hand in yours
in cold caves colour leaps out

a fish released.

From Paul’s forthcoming collaboration with Iranian artist, Hiva Moazed, called Fish Strawberries to be published by Alien Buddha Press

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

The Tricycle

It isn’t the wonder of the wheels turn
As my feet press the plastic pedals,
But the big curved metal boot at the back
Where there is room to store my wonders:

Elastic bands, cotton reels, a shiny sixpence,
Grandad’s hat badge from when he went to war,
A bus ticket saved from my first trip last week
On two busses to Nanna’s new home. Must have been

Thousands of miles away but Mam says
It’s only three miles. I bet I could bike
to Nannas but Dad says its too far
And I’d get tired with all the hills to go up,

But I can wheely down them dad, I told him.
He nods and goes back to his pencil scribbles
On bits of paper in Mam and Dads bedroom.
I take my brilliant bike down our drive.

It sparkles like our gold fish did we won at fair
On The Stray when mam brought it back
And put it in a glass bowl where it swims round
In circles and I told mam it would get dizzy

So I try to ride round in circles but Dad
Says I must go on the road or onto the other
Road out of our sack I think dad said but
We don’t live in a sack, we live in a house

I tell my daft Dad, I can only ride half way round,
Turn and ride half way round again,
Then I hears it. Ice cream van dinging and singing

It must be close so I run to Mam and shout,
Can I have a Ninety-Nine, Mam. Can I? Can I?
And Mam rummages in her bag and pulls out

Her purse and am telling mesen come on,
Mam cos I can hear the dinging singing
Outside and know he only stays a bit
Less he’s got a queue. Come on Mam.

She puts coins in me hand and I almost
Don’t close it when I run like the clappers
And see there’s a queue and look up
At all the bright colours of what you can get

On side of his van and lads and lasses walk
Past with ice-cream dribble down their fingers
As they try to catch the sweet melt.
Then I see my bike in the road

With a lass I don’t know on it. Stolen
It. And I’m in the queue and just at end
I run to get my bike back cos its mine
Not hers, and she cries when I push her off

Onto the road. “My dad says not to ride in
The road I tell her., and she sobs and I see
The ice-cream van go out the sack,
And I almost cry but I’ve got my bike back,

And I check my boot to see its all there
My elastic bands, bus ticket, shiny sixpence,
And hear mam calling me in to tea
When she’ll ask Where’s me ice-cream.

From Paul’s forthcoming collaboration with Iranian artist, Hiva Moazed, called Fish Strawberries, to be published by Alien Buddha Press

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

We Shouldn’t Wonder

What so special about stars?
Attention seeking baubles
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about spring?
Gaudy flowers showing off
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about children?
Eyes hugging the breath from you
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about you?
Flaunting yourself in next to nowt
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about wonder?
Makes you better off than you should be
we shouldn’t wonder.

First published on Medium

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

Yon Dream Ont Cross

Al tell thee best dream av ad
in any midneet while folk were fast on
a sees a reet cross tree,
a ghoast in plated gold
ringed by shiny moon fascinator,
jewels like worth summat glow worms
rahnd base, five more ont cross beam.
Throngs o’ God’s angels tacked on it. This were no scam artists cross but every heaven spirit and earth folk had peepers on it: a see universe agog

And me, aware of wrong doing,
that native wood-beetle, eyed it too
felt a shiver of glory
from that cross barkskin beaten gold
wi jewels suited a cross a Jesus
and tha knows through all that gold barkskin
rattled folks bloodless yammering
how bleeding as stained crosses rightside.
Harrard an horrored
a that sullied wi leaked blood.

a lay there yonks
in agog sorrow fort Saviourcross
till me lug oyles heard glimmering cross pipe up:
“Ages since, I fetch back I were hacked
dahn at holt-edge, lugged off, hauled
shoulder heaved, squared top on a hill
adsed to a cross to carry wrong doers.
Then I see Christ, his balls ready fort hoisting. For us there’s no flitting, no shirking on God’s mind to: I might a fell on these folks. Then
God himsen, med himsen naked, to naked balls,
laid on us afore throngs of eyes
when saving on folks flitted in his bonce.
A shuddered at his touch, afeard splintering,
A had hold, I were raised as a cross,
hold heaven king high, afeard cracking. They tapped dark iron in us: scars tha still can see,
A cannot bear ’em stroked. They jeered at both on us. A felt his blood seep from his side
as he sighed himsen upards.

Av seen pain on this hill
saw Christ as on vicious rack
then roilin’ storm clouds, death to sunblaze,
covered o’er that blaze on God: a glowering gloom creation’s sorta: Christ on cross tree.
A see folk come forard, a felt splintered
as if added, but gev ne sen.
I were in their dannies, gore-wet, nail gashed.
They laid him art, a dead-weight atter ordeal,
final knackeredness. Then afore
murderers peepers, those folk med
a stone oyle and set Christ inside it.
Then late int day flitted knackered : left
Christ by himsen.

Long atter soldier’s lottery natter and cold rigor on Christ’s limbs,
us kept our places, drahned wi blood.
Then they sets to
felling us,
bury us in delved grahned, but disciples, friends fahned us…
put on us barkskin o’ gold an silver.

so nar tha knows, how sorra warped
me flesh, how malice worked with spintering iron. Now it’s time for earth foak and whole marvel on creation to cow eye this sign.
God-son were racked on us, so now ma glimmerin’ haunts heavens, can heal
all who afeard for us. Am honoured
by Christ above all forest trees as God favoured Mary above all women folk.’

Then by mesen, thrilled, me spirit high, let mesen rave that I can seek what a av seen,
saviour-cross: a peace with mesen that yearns a help on earth. Few mates still livin’ nar : most are int manor on heaven, av fetched upards. Now, daily, I listen art
fort cross-tree in my earthly nappin’,
to lead us from this flitting life
into great manor of heaven
where God has set a right feast.

May God-Son and Ghost be mates,
who were nailed to death for folk ages since :
a saviour as gin us life,
that we may put wood int oyle in heaven.

A Yorkshire dialect version of the Anglo Saxon poem The Dream Of The Rood, which appears in Paul’s collection The Headpoke And Firewedding, Alien Buddha Press, 2017

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

The Hyperbolic Poet Awakes

My eyelids open
are two worlds unfettered by cloud.

I splash the seven oceans
On the continents of my skin.

Rake the tombstones inside my mouth.
Tumble downstairs is scree down a mountain.

Open the wooden doors of delight,
Recover the pottery of ages,

Pour an avalanche of muesli
Farmed on sunny hillsides,

Crushed by the quern.
Grab the milk hosed out

By gargantuan herbivores,
Refined in their udders of heaven.

Wash and restacked pottery,
I stride over the open threshold
A veritable colossus

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

Fish Strawberries

A fish eye is my belly button.
Inside my stomach flaps, flops,

flips when I see her. My tongue
tastes her rich perfume.

Spice entices a sky full of Cod,
Haddock, Halibut, Salmon and Pike.

Sky is her aquarium. Fish
and chips and two forks

are the heat of heaven.
Warm ourselves huddled on a kerbside.

I can taste the salt she threw on her portion,
the wash of vinegar and strawberry lipstick nibbles

on her lips, inside her mouth where our tongues
talk in tastes as we stand at her front door.

Wings out I am a fish in flight.
Splash between bright pools home.

Title poem from a forthcoming ekphrastic collaboration between Iranian artist Hiva Moazed and Paul to be published by Alien Buddha Press, 2019

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

The Divorce of Heaven And Hell

The excess of roads leads to the wisdom of palaces.
The wrath of tigers are wiser than the instruction of horses.

Multi gendered I hang wet washing
on the horse nebula. Iron 3d to 2d.

I have domestics with myself.
Air turns blue and galaxy neighbours
hear my gusty rant and rain rave

Bang on thin wall between
dimensions. Our star children

weep beneath my screams. Remind
myself never to drink and argue again.

Tell my other half it needs to pull
its weight. I can’t be aware of all

that happens or needs doing.
Neighbours are different sides to me.

Our star children turn from
wild blue things to yellow average kids
to red in the face before their fire dies.

I must stop falling out with myself,
as it is always me deals with the fallout.

I multi task a weather of constellations. I cope.
I’m multi versed. Too many different sides.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The 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


Lamenting Joy 

Don’t you dare turn those unicorn eyes toward me
And keep your sparkly sparkles to yourself
That field was truly not meant for running or singing or dancing or jumping for joy.

Just stop with the rainbows and the technicolor sunsets
No need for close ups of baby chubby thighs
Or even your thighs sunning on white sand beaches.

Enough of the Sunday mornings watching your lover breathe
And definitely no more spontaneous water fights with the kids
Even those first moments that bring tears of joy are not the moments for me

No, not for me, wondering, how you can enjoy when
…..Children are kept in cages, sold to the highest bidder
…..Women are forced into dangerous back alleys, not owning their bodies
…..Veterans sleep on cardboard boxes, crazy instead of courageous
…..People still being judged by the back of their hand or the hand they’re holding

Unicorns and rainbows, white sand beaches and Sunday mornings
…..If you’re privileged to know Joy, don’t give her my number.

(Photo credit: Mine taken from the St James Social Justice Network póster created by Jeannette L.)

Jamie Dedes at The Poet by Day probably thought issuing a challenge to write about Joy would be an easy one to fulfill. She asks: Are we frail humans able to embrace the light, forgo the mundane for the miraculous? Maybe? Maybe not? Maybe sometimes?  Maybe we try and fail. Tell us about it in your own poem/s.

I started several poems about experiences, people, even things that bring me joy but I couldn’t finish them. The poems weren’t bringing me joy! And then I realized that I was actually not in a joyful mood thinking of the state of our current world. I failed to write about joy. I could not embrace the light. I could not forgo the mundane. The frailty of my human condition is on full display this week. Enjoy!

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


Past and Futures

Let’s not dwell in pasts and futures,

but rise to the occasion,

as the Morning Glory does.

Blossoming to

the splendor of the day,

which used to be future,

adding joy

to the lives of others,

and ending the day,

with a subtle retreat,

harkening the  present repose,

of a past.

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

March Miracles🌹

March miracles are afoot, new
beginnings are catching our breath
from every corner, as nature spreads
her wings sprouting new life, there
is a renewed lightness of spirit.
Yet in this month of miracles we
hear of tragedy and the dichotomy
of this duality, reminds us of, our
responsibility. Our mother, earth,
is taking a beating from her children.
Her children are killing each other.
In this month of miracles may we find
a renewed lightness of spirit and hope
that love will universally prevail,
taking joy in the love we create in
this season of rebirth
and new awakenings.

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

Spring Awakening

Springtime thoughts, drifting

their subtle way into memory,

reviving us with their beauty,

deep purples, yellows, pinks, blues

and greens all gathered so it seems

to delight and awaken our eyes,

to remind us of the simple Joys

we take for granted in our daily

life, enriched by the people who

nurture, our spirits selflessly.

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


Small Miracles Of The Moment

I’m sitting in a blue armchair
in a Ward called Acute Assessment.
A folded blanket covers my legs
and potassium chloride
is dripping into my veins.

I’m waiting in my own rootless place
between fear and the absence
of fear; between pain and the absence
of pain. I close my eyes
and see a narrow gravel path
crawling to the edge of the world.

This will pass, he whispers,
locking his fingers into mine.
This won’t last forever.

He’s going home to fetch my nighties,
toothpaste, toothbrush, towels, soap.
He’ll break the journey
into signposted miles, turn car wheels
towards the warm dark of dusk
and a capella of birdsong.

I think of morning’s hospital window-
an oblong of light
that showed a young tree
catching pin-drops of rain
on early pink blossom.
The rain grew heavier, hurried
through the tree’s torn umbrella
of branches and leaves
and grass shone like polished glass.

I cling to the memory of spring rain
anointing the dry earth.
I breathe the good air around my chair
and drip-stand and purse of healing salt.
I taste the moment and let it melt
on my tongue: this moment
now. The present. The gift.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob


.Jiang Yizi.

so naturally we think of heaven.

realise it is the pattern that makes us,

the familiar and ordinary. other prophets

come false.

in agreement we lose to the music, hell as

entity retreats.

there is a book at the university. i have

read it twice.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

the lime kilns are empty now,

yet the mass remains, the wonder

at the shape. spring came.

each road a picture, slowly staring,

came painting, visual

overload resulting.

then to explain birds, that need none,

drawing lines, weaving dreams

for peace of mind.

we walked together,

she told me stories.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

these are the shorter days, darker days, wood smoke, apple wood, colours of joy. believe in the world, that you can spell first time. be proud as you point out where you live…..

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Joy is…
Joy is the hue of a sunrise triumphantly spreading shades of blue pink purple orange across the galaxy declaring goodbye to yesterday’s sorrow, heartache, and misery.

Joy is swimming through the river of time butter-flying through waves of oppression dolphin kicking out of gloom and darkness into exhilaration…into a new day of expectation.

Joy is a baby’s wide eyed smile radiating innocence gurgling short outburst of “wat dat” in anticipation of exploring the newness of existence.

Joy is a four-year old’s discovery of a candy galore store with dinosaurs and many more gizmos and gadgets along with rows of amazing displays of sugary sweets…any child’s fantasy.

Joy is jazz piano tones cascading from fingers moving at an allegro pace filling the emptiness of space with messages of hope.

Joy is riding the harmonic emotional high church choir singing connecting with celestial sounds evoking the Holy Spirit to fill all hearts and minds with a love and peace that will never cease.

© 2019, Taman Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)

Taman’s article In Search of Peace is featured on The BeZine blog this week. 

Taman’s Amazon page is HERE.


Anjum Wasim Dar

At a time when the world is in shock and grief, mourning in black and burying in white, this week’s prompt turns the heart and mind towards the profound joy prevalent in nature.Sympathy comfort and support leads to a state of serenity, and acceptance of the harsh realities. Just as the endless sky meets the ocean line, grief slowly drowns deep, and wave after wave touches the shore to confirm eternal love and hope of more coming joy.
As the striking poem moves on the reader finds it replete with vivid imagery from the contours of the berries to the universal curves of celestial creation and can surely visualize the countless constellations beyond the moon and the solar system. The imaginative mind will leave the mundane, perhaps may not rest, but taking joy along will fly high to seek the ultimate bliss. Sharing some lines

O Joy’ I find thee rising from the merging colors of the horizon
In holy silence, encircled by the Kunlun Mountains of mystical Shangri-la
where beauty holds the breath, and poetry fills the spirit with ecstasy.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

A Thing of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

after John Keats                                                                                                   

I

Beauty is joyful
Is Joy only in nature ?
flowers reflect love,

Love makes us joyous
True love is rare, never found
Beauty? Ever present

If you look around
Truth makes the world happier
Then hate is drowned.

II

Why time stops still
the killer finds the kill
so suddenly coming?

why sharp is the strike
cutting like a knife
leaving us  bleeding?

why common places
are becoming Senlac?
why life is  a racetrack?

who is fighting for what
and for what winning?
this was not said by

Our Lord so Loving

why we dig but graves to fill?
On top of the High Hill, do you
see Proud Lucifer smiling ?

My heart with fear trembling
cannot for a moment be calm and still
hearing shattered glass and bullets shrill

Another blast another attack-
screams cries blood spilling
why death is brutal and erlking

© 2019, poem and illustration, Anjum Wasim Dar (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