Compassionate Poetry Projects courtesy of The Grass Roots Poetry Group, White Rat Press, and Silva Merjanian


Not only do some poets use their work to raise the general consciousness but they often donate their work to help fund worthy efforts. Here are three collections that have been featured here before in greater depth. I believe you’ll appreciate  should you decide to read them.

A bit of research reveals there are many other such published collections or anthologies in process. As just two examples, I found one for asthma awareness and another to help support a local ambulance service.

If there’s a cause you’d like to support through poetry, rummage around the Internet or consider producing a collection or anthology yourself.  Not easy work, I know, but you might enjoy it and it would surely be rewarding.


John Anstie whose poem was featured yesterday is a member of The Grass Roots Poetry Group, a collaboration that created and published Petrichor Rising. The proceeds from the sale of this anthology go to UNICEF. The backstory is Petrichor Rising  and how the Twitterverse birthed friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection. You’ll find links in that feature to purchase the book. John is also one of the earliest members of The BeZine team.


One day some time ago a few books arrived in my mailbox from Anne Stewart of  poetry p f and  Second Light Network of Women Poets Founder, Dilys Wood. Among the books was an anthology that deserved special attention: Hands & Wings, Poems for Freedom from Torture (White Rat Press, 2015).  For information to purchase contact: dorothy.yamamoto@whiteratpress.co.uk. Dorothy Yamamoto is a poet and the editor of this collection. The poems in it are freely shared by A-list poets. The proceeds from the sale of the collection go to help with the rehabilitation and support of torture victims seeking protection in the U.K.


When last I chatted with Silva Zanoyan Merjanian, she’d raised $682.70 for Mer Doon Inc. from the proceeds of Rumor (Cold Water Press, 2015). Mer Doon is an organization that houses orphaned eighteen-year-old girls aging out of care. This support gives the girls a chance to become financially independent and safe from human traffickers. So far the sales of Rumor have  generated over $5,000 for charities. Quite remarkable. If you buy the book directly from Silva’s site (as opposed to Amazon), all proceeds go to these charities. Rumor won the 2015 Best Book Award in the poetry category from the NABE. Three poems from the book were nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  It is Silva’s second published collection.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

“Blessed Are the Sacred Folk” and other poetic r esponses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, August 2, Hot August Nights. Enjoy and be sure to support and encourage these intrepid poets by liking, commenting and visiting their blogs. Thank you for joining us. Tomorrow another prompt will post and you are invited to come out and play and share your own prose or poetry.  All work shared will be featured in The Poet by Day the following Tuesday.


The Honeymoon’s Over

Spring’s promise of high summer
has passed, the lush greens gone,
and now less vibrant. Parched.
Stale somehow. Disappointing.

The promise so much sweeter
than reality; the heady warmth;
sun filled days and mirage haze
the balmy heat, hot naked nights.

We should enjoy this time, by rights
but if it brings us closer to the fall;
the Autumn of our life, if that is all
then can we not enjoy the cooling

promised winter chill, another world,
its yielding to the blacks and whites
mysterious greys, the icy haze,
the freezing hibernation, preserving.

But no. An earlier Spring, that comes
too soon, and sooner still the melting
Arctic ice. One day, there’ll be no more
dreaming of a summer honeymoon.

© 2017, John Anstie (My Poetry Library and FortyTwo)


29 days .

he came early today. screaming round the garden.

a gentle feel, all chill and autumn mist already,
with us only mid august, yet we know the signs the feel,
the smell of the tide in the air, here.

we panic as the small boy grows, as times passes.

they say quicker now, yet i am not so sure.

i went to town yesterday, saw the signs of another
world. stood in the bank some time, only one
assistant these days.

the sun colours the clouds with empathy.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCS – Fine Art and Illustration) and (Sonja’s Drawings)

. 107 just a summers day ..

it is like loving a ghastly child

she said.

looked down,

noticed her puffy

ankles

in the heat.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher ((Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCS – Fine Art and Illustration and Sonja’s Drawings)


Ghost Holiday

Briefly open the earth gate into your head dark,
allow your kindly dead through the gate to be with
you, the living, let them sup ale in their old pubs,
if the places are not boarded up, demolished,

allow them to enter their old homes. Their rooms left
as they
were when they died, or find their goods given to
charity, sold, some kept, their homes lived in now

by strangers, who chase them off, crash pots and pans too
loud for the dead. So they wander streets as homeless,

uncared, they find your home and photos of themselves,
relieved that someone still treasures their memory.

Soon, respite done, they return by the earth gate to
your head dark, until their next holiday among
the living, to see, again how time has moved on.

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

Blessed Are the Sacred Folk

who plough
who prepare the earth
who plough with a wide furrow to bring water from the river
who plant seeds
who trace the first ploughing, reploughing as first did not work
who harrow
who dig
who weed
who reap
who carry the grain
who store the grain
who share the grain
who share their good fortune with us, the dead

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

Open the Grain Store Between Your Thighs

world of
dark in your underworld
full of your dead ancestors
warm food for the cold times
riches kept snug
allow a kiss
allow a lick
I should not let the dark out
for long
I shall plug it
so after winter you can give birth to heat
bring out small bawling heat to help

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

Gather Harvest

offering

rain to earth
hard labour harvests
first fruits for winter

counsel

uncut grain holds earth
in secret counsel as seas
do not hold sea floor

conversation

scythe interrupts grain’s
conversation with its earth,
ears no longer hear

ruin

ruin oversees cornfields
must be placated with fires
in field, hearth and head

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


The Heat of Hot August Nights

The longing for warmer weather and sunny days
falls somewhere between Winter rain
and Spring flowers beginning to petal

but it all has given way to a heat so heavy
that it settles upon her August nights
as though weighted a substantial burden

it permeates every living thing and even
insects take refuge long for cooling air
causing the synergy of habitats once again

for the fine line between longing and needing
takes her back to the petals of flowers and green
days with a cool breeze a paramour of the sun

© 2017,  Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Mimagination & Creativity with Wings, Haiku Halburn and Art)


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

HEADS-UP SHEFFIELD and surrounding area: Save the Date, May 27th

“The chamber choir, for which I sing, along with two other local choirs (Stannington Mixed and Thurgoland Community Choir) and the talented Inyerface Arts musicians and soloists, are performing John Rutter’s Requiem as the core of a concert on Saturday, 27th May at the magnificent Victoria Hall in Sheffield. It would be very much appreciated it if you were able to share this amongst your friends, who might enjoy an amazing choral experience … Thank you.” John Anstie (My Poetry Library), is a singer, musician, poet and a member of The BeZine core team.

“One of My Tomorrows” and other poems in response Wednesday Writing Prompts

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT, April 12, 2017 (1) Vacations: Well, this one is akin to the first composition assignment on returning to school after summer vacation: Tell us about your most fondly remembered vacations. Perhaps you enjoyed it because it involved family and childhood. Perhaps it was a dream vacation come true. Or, maybe it was an unexpected adventure. Or, perhaps your best vacation is the one you are planning now.

To Italy

you never expected this
we touch Florentine great black hog’s ringed cold snout
a ritual au revoir

taste best bitter coffee on the TGV
see snowed peaks of lower Apennine mountains
out of warm train windows

enter massive
Milan train Station
nine days coach trip
poke me in the side
when coach pace nods me off

stroll spiral down to medieval streets and a tilted horse race square

walk Rome’s cobbles amphitheatre
marvel at Vatican mosaics
we thought paintings
want to stroke cordoned vast
marble muscles

lilt up Venetian canals
wonder why when renovating buildings at home
builders don’t have picture tarpaulins
of the building beneath

you never expected this
for my fortieth
expected Wales or Scotland
then I request you order
a passport,
and live nine days
out of a suitcase

and thank your late father
our invisible companion
who made this possible

© 2017, Paul Brookes


White Flags Flying

Excitement palpable within me
butterflies dancing
fluttering wings beating
against my stomach

every year the very same
each time I am dreaming of
tall pines, pine cones
needles making

a blanket beneath the tent
heavy and green smelling
of musty canvas
and flags

waving on a line strung across
our site by dad
clean diapers drying
marking the spot

where the tent is pitched
a Coleman stove sets
ready to cook a meal
a lantern lit

lighting branches a reflection
a glow of campfire
the sky filled with stars
happiness overflowing

© April 2017 Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


there was a time

when one bottle of wine
seemed as if it was going to last forever;
the one I’m thinking of (purchased
one dinnertime in summer at 7/6d)
occupied a space in my life
a mile high and spanned the gap
all the way to Tibet; as you drank a glass
that dinnertime it seemed to refill itself
from the dregs of love

when one kiss would last
as long as the Rachmaninov cello sonata
whenever you put the record
on the turntable and let the needle fall –
obliterated in the so well-known cadences
which I could have been whistling
had my lips not been squashed against hers

when a bicycle ride would construct a day
down to the sea and back
across the long valley and over the downs –
magic ride often repeated –
I fill it from these dregs of memory

© 2017, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell)

Colin recently did quite a wonderful guest blog: Antidotes to Tyranny and Concentration Camps of the Mind


. again, the small things.

it is the little things that excite, even
in the height of summer, low look
for seeds, small flowers studded
in hedgerows, dry stone walls here.

our lane remains dusty, unmade, plans
delayed a while to update. developers have
bought the big house, a nice place for holidays
and rabbits.

the stone lion is gone, due to health
and saftey, wobbly.

there is a small pool, to look
in for blessings , a reflection
on the day .

seeds
for the future.

© Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher RCA)


WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT, April 12, 2017 (2) Memories of those lost. Have there been people in your life that you don’t loose no matter what? Perhaps people like parents who are so much a part of you, you seem to sense their presence even after they have died.  How good is that? Or, maybe you don’t think it is. Tell us about it in poem or prose.


One of My Tomorrows

for Celia

Our last goodbye was casual
as if I would see you again
on one of my tomorrows

I touched your arm
you flinched. In pain.
I felt persistent guilt

Born of carelessness
only nervous uncertainty
could freely demonstrate

Born of habitual presumption
that you were in charge
you weren’t. Not really.

You never were, save
your own sense of duty
to boss, nay care for everyone

Too much on small shoulders
that weren’t as strong as the
force of that inner being

the force that stopped being
that was someone once
whom I loved and miss

Some time after we’d helped you
to meet your God, one starlit night
I heard your voice as clear as the sky

O lamb of God, who takes away
the sins of the world, have mercy
and grant us peace. I swear

this was not my voice!

© 2017, John Anstie (My Poetry Library), All rights reserved

English musician and poet, John Anstie

John is not new to this site, but he is new in the context of Wednesday Writing Prompt. He is a part of the core team – a sort of editorial board – for The BeZine. John’s interest in the arts is quite catholic but he is most enamoured of music. Along with the members of the Grass Roots Poetry Group, he published a collection,  Petrichor Rising (eBook and paperback), the profits from which go to charity.  You can read more about John and his projects at: Petrichor Rising and how the Twitterverse birthed friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection.

 

 


Friendship

beacon
anchor
mirror
prop
my “you can do it”
and my trusted counsel: “stop!”

mi casa es su casa
as like family, you know you are

we share
we dare
we fight
we cry
we laugh
we scamp
we stride into the world
as lamps

and, whether it’s together
or by miles apart
always
the love of friendship is
a gift of courage
to the mind and in the heart

– Juli (Juxtaposed, (Subject to Change)


Lantern

Lantern swinging down path —
I wonder if it is really there,
if that is you, or just some accident
of moonlight and wind.

How is it possible for the night
to be so black that no adjective
makes sense? Just black-black,
with shadows hovering and the wild phlox
lopped over reflecting greywhite back up.

No lantern, but there might as well be,
my heart lighting every moment,
bringing you back through memory
to stroll ahead telling me that story
I promised to never forget.

© 2017, Jennifer Cartland (Poems from Between)

This is the first time Jennifer Cartland is featured on The Poet by Day. . She says of herself simply, “In between meetings, in between errands, seat cushions, and ‘oms’, I try to nab those little guys flying though my noggin’ and shake them up a bit, turn them into something humans can understand.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  Sometimes they are happy I did, sometimes they aren’t.” 


Lavender & Whippoorwills

nasturtiums growing
in hollyhock fields
smelling of lavender
& blue whippoorwills

whose song bids me
follow the spirit
of you
entwined as we are
in consummate truth

i see you dancing
beneath the elm tree
with boughs your
dance partner
forever & free

as you slip transparent
from my view
the music plays softly
as it is never adieu

from the lemon bush
filtering meringue
soft dreams
to the orange orchard
citrus scenes

i knew you loved me
before i became a whisper
& held me near
before the dance…
taste of cinnamon cinders

nasturtiums growing
in hollyhock fields
smelling of lavender
& blue whippoorwills

© 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


. haunted .

a meditation on thread,

mediation of red, i dream

of you.

clearly your clothes remain

the same, worn, washed,

pressed.

your ideas come different, you

talk of immersion,

and security, nothing was

further from my mind.

the moon came early

a different window.

this does not mean i

have time,

i will be sewing.

i have made notes and numbers,

pinned it to the wall.

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


My Late Mam Still Spring Clean

“I couldn’t live at your mam’s
It’s like a show house. Spotless.”
One of my girlfriends says.

And the gusts over mam’s grave,
brush the winter debris away,

quick sprays of spring rain
coat her surface as dead leaf

and blown bud dusters polish
the Yorkshire stone black letters

to a shine, feed the vase of flowers
whose heads move towards the sun.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)


Well, such wonderful responses to Wednesday Writing Prompts. I think it makes rather a lovely collection, which I hope you enjoy.  I hope you’ll also visit these poets at their blogs and get to know them better.  Look for another Wednesday Writing Prompt tomorrow.


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


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

LESSON NINE: Be kind to our languge. “Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does.  Think up your own ways of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying.  Make an effort to separate yourself from the Internet. Read books.”  Prof. Snyder,  On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century