“a genesis with a Dada twist” and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“an image or phrase can jump into your head,
so strange you nearly get run over by a taxi”
Matthew Sweeney and John Hartly Williams, Write Poetry and Get It Published



In one of Mike Stone’s comments on the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, How to Be a Poet he said, “They say it’s a sin for poets to write about poetry. Poets should write about everything else in the world besides the subject of poetry. What they really think about writing poetry will be reflected in the poems they write.” As it turns out, I am grateful that I and others here didn’t know about that injunction and that Mike – knowing it –  ignored it. What an enthusiastic response to the last prompt! It’s not a surprise really, given the nature of our community. Here today you have in effect a digital chapbook … or “pamphlet,” depending on from whence you hail.

Thanks for coming out to play mmbrafield, Paul Brookes, Kakali Das Ghosh (welcome back, Kakali), Jen Goldie, Sheila Jacob, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pengelov (Bogpan), Mike Stone, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate.

I know this is a late post for many of you; but, in Northern California it is still Tuesday.


a genesis with a Dada twist

in  the  beginning  when She  did  pick oxygen carbon hydrogen and nitrogen and He did stir the clay with hot holy essence all the words in the world were at a finger’s length beyond my reach

so close they were that i then leapt out of the nest of my pink blue galaxy and into the pavement of down town LA the words they did follow in time i’d pluck tiny words for tiny worries and the Nephilim smiled for they knew i was falling

in love with the charge of turning the misery hatred pain starvation violence and rape of it all into the beauty found on the hem of the robe of the Goddess and the wing of a humming bird

that’s reaching for the higher hanging words drenched in the nectar from the Tree of Knowledge i strung them up to detail the anatomy of a broken heart with its crystal shards wrapped in Cleopatra’s linens sanctimoniously tucked away in a Payless shoe box atop an urban closet shelf

of the condemned building in the bosom of desperation and the pool in eyes of children stack did i those words like bricks made of powder to bring the kingdoms down and with the rabble of defeat as i burnt down i built up a nation of wordsmiths

who with their quills pens papyrus key boards tablets and marketing firms wait gingerly drinking lattes on the Stratford Upon Avon wicker chairs

that my English teacher said she dusted for the scribes who mused the signs letter symbols into the dendrites of my mind but not before Allen Will Bill Jack Hank Dylan Langston Lou Bowie Leonard and Ms. Angelou were anointed and leaving me with words less spoken

HERE is the link to mm brazfield’s poem more properly laid out

© 2019, mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)


Sound Sculpture.

Look at the noise.
Listen to the squiggle.

Kaleidoscope a still symphony.
Music is stillness.

When your eyes move over
Its surface there are bass notes,
treble, wooden mallets on metal.

When your eyes focus on one part,
orchestration deepens, zooms

into the chord runs. When are you
alive?

Between the notes.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Poem

touches the photo
hears the photo
sees the photo
tastes the photo
smells the photo

This photo is invaded
This photo is annexed
This photo is a refugee
This photo has no home

This photo knows
It’s photographer is dead
This photo feels
the photographers fingerprint

This photo does not
know what colour it is

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Poem as Competent Nineteenth Century Merchant Mariner

This poem is able
to Chock a Block,
make a mat
or splice a rope.

This poem is
a rope block heaved to its full extent.
Full up, no room for any more.
When the two blocks
of this poem’s tackle meet
it will prevent any more
purchase being gained
Keep cargo from a shift
in the dark hold

This poem is
a rope yarn mat used to fasten
upon outside of exposed parts
of standing rigging exposed
to friction of yards, bolt-ropes of sails,
or other ropes.

This poem splices rope
twists words wrapped
into sentences that strengthen
when tautened by meaning.

This poem is
carefully rigged
for cargo
into your imagination.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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.

If Poet Cries

the world cries

If poet laughs
the world laughs

Poet is world.
Solipsistic.

Poet tells life as poet finds it.
So this is the world.

The world is not beyond the poet.
Poet is not beyond the world.

Poet is history. Relate to the words
of the poet. The poet has you

compare your life to the words.
Poet is reader is poet.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Mop And Bucket

are poetry to me.
My pen is a mop

I stick in a bucket
of disinfectant floor cleaner

pull out mop sodden
with words and splash

them backwards and forwards
slop lines one after the other

Until the floor fair shines,
My mop is dry, needs another dip.

I squeeze out the gunk
back into the bucket.

More the floor shines,
dirtier the bucketful gets.

A good poem is a clean floor.

From my 2018 collection Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Dustpan

and brush are poetry.
Brush is my pen

sweeps all the words
dust, ripped plastic packaging,

used sucked lollipop sticks,
shop receipts, religious pamphlets

sausage roll pastry, used product
labels into a neat pile,

position the dustpan to receive
the words. Carefully flick

the words towards a dustpan page.
Inevitably, some words are swept

under the page. I have to rescue those.
Sometimes the page is the floor.

Sometimes the pen cleans away
a chaos of words to leave a poem.

From my 2018 collection, Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Paul’s website is HERE.

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


a bloody poem

When a dawn gives a blue bird its ears
I walk along the far away beach
The vast sea lullabying giant waves speaks with me in whisper
I listen all his untold stories
And a poetry evolves in my heart.

When a dusk gives a fallen leaf its heart
I walk towards those broken shanties
tingled by dull last sun rays
I listen there stories of hardship
And a bloody poetry awakes in my heart.

© 2019, Kakali Das Ghosh


Ode to a Poet

we seek a synonym
to sanctify a noun
to agitate an adverb
to verbiage a mime
All equally compelling
Just short of being crime.
Then we sensually sanctify
The confessions of the mind
A poet you say?
Oh, the menacing muse
leading to confuse.
I would give half thrice and twenty
Even more if you please
To subjugate a wiser muse
who added to my purse
to reimburse my verse.

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Penning Prose

Music moves my soul to dance
or heave a sigh
or weep a tale perchance
or pedigree a poem,
or to, like Shakespeare,
rail and “beweep my outcast fate”
and “trouble deaf heav’n”
“wishing me like to one more
rich in hope.”
as I cry for lost love, or
perhaps a Beatle tells me to “Let it Be”
or McKuen’s part words and phrases,
I would rather Emily be, with luscious
integrity laying down the words
with solemnity, en class
To contemplate their symmetry
and pen the prose my soul can see.

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


My First Poem

How could I not be moved
and try to make sense
of the war in Vietnam?
My best friend felt the same
but when I showed her my poem
she raged. I’d gone too far,
I’d dared to write as though
I was a teenage G.I.in Laos.
What did I know?
What had I ever suffered
compared with the stench
of a battlefield?

Our friendship faltered.
We stopped connecting
even as I remembered
I’d inhabited that world,
lay flat on my belly
and wormed through
damp undergrowth,
rifle on my shoulder.
Fear clung to me like sweat.
I waited to obey orders
and wondered why I was there.

It became my history,
my tragedy, my time.

There’s always a life
that runs alongside mine
and a place
where the two paths meet.

I write this path:
step into army boots
or the skin and bone
of bare feet on broken glass.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

A review, interview, and selection of poems from Through My Father’s Eyes, Collected Poems by Sheila Jacob coming to The Poet by Day soon.


To be a poet

is to leave behind the thronging
crowds and head towards the empty
shore; sleep beneath the stars, catch
your breath as the sky fills with light,
walk slow below the cry of birds,
turn your face to the stinging rain,
inhale the scent of kelp and salt;
imagine your past as dreck, pebbles,
flotsam, jewels, petals, all
spread out for you to comb
before you plunge wordsticks in the sand,
watch what the tides take away
and what they leave; fashion
from what you find a song
to take back to the thronging crowds.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.the rewrite.

rewrite it, add the dots, delete the rhyme.

erase the last draft, start again,constantly.

wrap arte facts in paper. box for transportation.

lose the plot,scrap the lot, fear the repercussions
constantly.

now there is a good word, if the space bar works.

do you wish you wrote longer stuff, important tomes,
well i do,
constantly.

it is all ready now, i just need your instructions,
and i know you have asked.
constantly.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the writers.

not thinking it comes good,

just write, share and eventually

correct, edit,delete

you like, comment.

on reading others ( pause ) regret these

simple ways

i am not clever, everyone is a writer.

she said so.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.anonymous writer.

Having trouble getting back.

Difficulty finding words, of the
simple type, to type.

Spell out the consequences,
of an easy life.

Is it criticism, or a general sensitivity,
which abounds, confounds the
smallest heart.

She says we should not handle bats.

They write better stuff than me

words i never have

or think in

They have been to a university

I have been there twice visiting

while two have died

there

They write in patterns

I watch with difficulty

&

admiration

Yet glad i feel better today

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Creative Writing

at the corner are walking
people?
that
has nothing to do
with the creative writing
with your manner
to transfer (slowly)
the cigarettes into a cigarette case
to understand
I’m one of the others?
yes
like a white mountain is
the woman by me
who
is falling asleep

©. Bozhidar Pengelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


Hey Mister Poetry Man

Raanana, December 20, 2018

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Make me a poem if you can,
Don’t put it on a shelf so high
That I can’t reach it
And don’t put it down too low,
My back’s not what it used to be.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Tell it simple in plain words
That people use for every day.
It shouldn’t be too smooth or slick,
I trust a man who struggles with his words
More than one who doesn’t.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Show me something I haven’t seen before,
I know you’ve been around places
I’d never get to.
It should lift me off my feet,
Throw me down,
And lift me up again.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Let me try it on for size,
What’s good for you
May not be for me.
It doesn’t matter how long it is
As long as there’s some magic there
Before the end.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Hearty Low-Carb Poetry

Raanana, December 14, 2018

First, gather the ingredients:
Two or three fresh ideas from your backyard
A sprig of dappled sun and shadow
A touch of time
A pinch of rhyme (not too much!)
Don’t forget the meter
A bissel of iambs will definitely do.

Preheat the drawer to a comfortably musty degree
Add in the ideas, one at a time,
Into an old but well-loved pot
Stirring slowly all the while,
Finely chop the sprig of sun and shadow
Sprinkle time over the chopped up sprig
Pour the rhyme and iambs sparingly.

Put it in the drawer, no need to heat or rush,
Take it out when the poem’s done
And it will serve at least
One starving poet.

© 2018, Mike Stone

What Can a Poem Do?

Inspired by the poems of Linda Chown
Raanana, December 9, 2018

What can a poem do? They ask
With their sideways snickersnacks.
Well, a poem can swoop down
From high above the clouds
With talons bared and ready
Almost touching ground, but not quite,
The image of prey in its dilatated pupils,
But a reader will say,
Take me whole,
Take me now.
This is what a poem can do, it says,
So put away your snickersnacks,
It’s not for you, my talons bare
But if, by chance, my talons pierce your heart,
To the ends of space and time
Your heart is carried,
But your heart must find its own way home.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Somewhere, Sometime, to Someone

Raanana, September 6, 2018

One preacher opens church doors wide at night
To succor the homeless and the helpless
While another locks the doors against the thieves.
One imam speaks of love and peace
To anyone with an open heart
While another preaches death to infidels.
One soldier gives his food ration
To a hungry child
While another aims a joystick in the clouds.
One king honors poetry
And another hangs the poets.
Don’t look for truth in poetry
Though truth hides there
As certainly as souls hide in all things,
For everything a poet writes
Is true
somewhere
sometime
to someone.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Looking for a Poem

Raanana, March 9, 2018

I woke up this morning
Got out of bed
With an unexplained hankering
To write a poem today
So I slipped on my jeans
And looked for a poem to write
That hadn’t been written yet.
I looked in the cupboard and then in the fridge
But seemed we were fresh out.
I looked through the paper,
The stories and pictures,
Even the ads,
Page after page
For something between the lines
Or the silence before and after,
But nothing was found.
Honestly,
Don’t know why people read newspapers.
Daisy and I walked out
For her necessities
While I looked in the bushes and tree branches.
Sometimes I see something
Flashing the sunlight
Or reflecting the quick shadows of clouds
That let go a flood of memories
And old loves.
I used to go out looking for girls to love
But now I go out looking for poems.
I suppose that’s a kind of love too,
Sometimes a dalliance
But mostly unrequited.
Later I went to the gym
Where we torture our bodies
In hopes we’ll trim fat or grow muscles
And looked for a poem
Between the weights and the treadmills
But truth was the beautiful came beautiful
And left beautiful,
The strong came and left strong,
The rest of us stayed tired and tortured
With nary a poem to show for it.
After that,
I stopped at a coffee shop
My hand trembling a cup
I looked around at the other tables
But nobody was reading a dogeared book
Or writing a poem
Or looked up at me
As I looked away,
Though the tables were busy
With people reciting their well-rehearsed plaints.
No poems on the menu
For lovers of Buddha
So I went back home thinking
Maybe this is a poem.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Poems Like Ghosts

Raanana, September 18, 2017

Poems, like ghosts, won’t just come to you
Whenever you want.
They decide the time and place,
Whether to come at all.
They size you up and down
And sideways
Whether you’re worthy or not.
Oh, I’ve known people who’ve gone
Their whole lives without ever knowing one.
You can be pretty
You can be smart
You can pray to God almighty
But that doesn’t mean a poem
Will come to your house
And knock on your door.
When they do come though,
They come naked as the day
They were born
And they expect you to be that way too,
Stripped down to your very soul.

© 2017, Mike Stone

When a Poet

Raanana, June 30, 2017

When a poet wakes up in the morn
He puts his pants on
One leg then another,
And when he buys his milk and wants to pay
He stands in line between
The woman with her screaming kids
And the foreign workers,
But when the poet looks up at clouds
Or the night-time constellations,
Orion’s scabbard or Cassiopeia’s tilted throne,
He sees encyclopedias never writ nor read
By the likes of you or me,
And when he loves,
It’s Trojan Paris
Who’s faced ten thousand ships
And went to war for naught but one.

© 2017, Mike Stone

Seducing the Muse

Raanana, September 25, 2015

The room was dark except for one dim bulb
Trembling its cone of light above her head
Balanced delicately upon her swanlike neck
While the poet sat in shadow scarcely visible
Scratching his quill inside a notebook.

What care I for your poems poet?
I must have launched a thousand of them
But never read a single one.
Who has time or inclination for such pinings
When one is busy with life’s sordidness?
What’s that you ask for? Do speak up!
Oh, you want me to remove my blouse?
You’re all alike. My skirts, my shoes, my undergarments?
Shall I go on? My soft white flesh,
My muscles and my skeleton, you’re all the same,
Pornographers of the soul you are.

When all that remained was silence
And his empty head
He closed the notebook and wondered
What had just passed through him
And when it’d come again.

© 2015, Mike Stone

Ode to a Poem

Raanana, July 17, 2015

The first time I saw her,
Her flowered dress hanging loosely
From her slender body,
Her boyish haircut belying her doll-like face,
Her dactyl fingers holding
The frail unfolded page she recited from
Trembling but heroic in her hexameter,
Lips touching the microphone in a whisper,
I knew she was a poem
And not a real person like me.
I saw her once again in a city park
With her small daughter
Who is also a poem,
A haiku full of frogs and butterflies,
Ponds with bridges and lanterns,
And crayon buddhas
Dancing in her dreams of childhood,
Tucked in by her mother’s watchful love
But not a real person like my child.
My mother was a poem
A southern antebellum belle,
Sitting on the floor,
Her generous skirts flowing out from her,
Her freeform youth and beckoning beauty
To all who admired her poetry,
The only language she could speak and sigh,
She knew to be a poem you had to die,
Not a real person like me.
Me, I don’t rhyme, I scarcely scan,
My iambs died from anapestilence,
I go to work and come back home,
I watch the news and worry some,
My wife and I go to movies when there’s a good one,
I walk my dog and deal with encroaching silence,
And this man in mirrored parody
Becomes increasingly estranged to me,
But it’s a life I’d feign give up.
Still and yet at times I wish
I were a poem too.

© 2015, Mike Stone

On Poetry

Raanana, July 3, 2015

It’s been said by poets who should know
That it’s a sin to write a poem about a po-
Em, probably because it’s hard
To find a word that rhymes with poem
But, if I could, that sure would show ’em.
All of my life I’ve been thinking of poems,
From daybreak to nightfall, from five until three,
Why can’t they just once be thinking of me?
I may not be in possession of beauty but
I can rhyme truly in dactyl tetrameter,
Though most of my rhythm is sprung into free verse,
That’s no excuse, n’est-ce pas, for not thinking
Of me.

© 2015, Mike Stone

About Poetry

Raanana, March 31, 2012

Poetry is a mode of thought that allows us to use our language to break through the boundaries of common experience to speak of uncommon things.

© 2012, Mike Stone

A Poem Unwritten

Raanana, March 9, 2012

No one has ever written a poem about a poem unwritten
Of the many virtues of such a poem
The perfect meter of noambic nometer
The clarity and minimalism leave
Even haiku silent with envy.
The language of silence is universal
Requiring no translation.
It will be unread by billions!
It’s amazing that no one has thought of it,
No one and I.

© 2012, Mike Stone

Want Ad

Raanana, June 5, 2009

Wanted muse to pose for poet
Work challenging but not too strenuous
(Just need to exist)
References desirable previous poets
Preferably Romantic though
Classic also accepted
Exquisite beauty and grace not required
Please reply in fourteen lines or less
Iambically
M.

© 2009, Mike Stone

I Ink Therefore Iamb

Raanana, December 22, 2004

A few things I’ve learned about poetry:
Never write a poem about poetry,
And the more emotion you put into a poem
The less you get out of it,
And rhyme is less important than reason,
And a poem not read is as sad
As a poem not written.

© 2004, Mike Stone

Little Jack Horner

Raanana, March 3, 2003

Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner
Eating his humble pie;
He plunged in a dagger
Pulled out his heart
And said what a good poet am I.

© 2003, Mike Stone

6000 Miles and 30 Years Away

Raanana

Old world spirits must be overrunning this country;
How else to explain this poetry coming into my hand
After all these years.
Must be the autumn lights,
Same as childhood’s.

My mother was a poetess.
Father was a writer and a storyteller.
She wore a scarf.
Emily was the name she would have chosen for herself.
Her long autumnal hair, lifted by iambic breezes.
She wrote a book of poetry.
I never saw it.

Father had all the instincts.
She didn’t wear her motherhood so easily.
Father left school to be a father and a husband.

One day, Mother left home to be a poet.
One day, she left the country.
One day, she left the world.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

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

MIKE STONE’S AMAZON PAGE IS HERE.


On— How To Be A Poet

See first in vision the falcon’s high view
invoke Calliope Erato Polyhymnia Thalia
acquaint thyself with the epic classics
sacrifice a black goat’s head to Writing God Thoth
grab a writing palette and an ink jar,like his
a copy of his book ‘Book of the Dead
arm thyself with powerful weapons,pens
pencils, quills ball pens tablets modern-
dig into a dungeon invisible,
in utter dark solitude,brood,for immeasurable
moments,be oblivious of waste and wild,think not
of companions beloveds partners-
be far removed,in fact farthest is best-begin
commence the quest- idea must be supreme
like the Idea of Order of Key West
remember,know,that you have a song to sing
first sing to self if by the sea then a water melody
It must be on chords of ‘dashing water’ and moaning wind’
you are now on the spiritual plain,
in the happy realm of the creative domain,leave aside
the sense of injured merit, maintain with steadfast love
outward lustre,transform the alphabet into shapes beautiful
match it with the idea and there -you have what is called – a poem
and you will be -who is known as – a poet

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

A divine gift …

A divine gift, a blessing in the discerning eye
in the receptive mind, an ability in the grey
matter , opening the unseen box , a theory
of participation, of creation, a revolution, an
evolution, a single color to a rainbow, opening
trapped emotions, releasing enslaved feelings
letting a catharsis emerge, a torrent of tears, a
burst of energy, a sudden sprouting of a seed,
an awaited blossoming of a bud, the fall of the
last leaf , an Oracle of Delphi, a prophecy, a
spell in the forest, an untreaded path, a road
not taken, a lashing wave, a light in a cave,
waning or waxing the moon, a constellation
in the Milky Way, a new world order, a new
planet in boundless blackness floating, A
destiny all known yet created in expressions
rhymed or un rhymed in lines and symbols
expressed manifesting new meanings, new
vistas opening to form overtures, notes musical
by a musician, painting by an artist , a poem
by a poet.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Poetic Idea

A thin screen
finer than the spider’s web
an unseen transparency
a void, yet a space, appears
between thoughts and the spirit,
a vision seeking words, to take
shape and form,to manifest the
idea, a thought normal transformed
from nothing to something, from
the mind’s eye to world view, to
see the hidden, expose it with beauty
more than inherent in nature and by
doing so initiate a movement, bring
into the seventh moment, language that
lay latent, to form the symphony from chaos
that would fill the sails of the harbored ship
and set it off on a journey through undiscovered
oceans and uncharted seas- this would be
the force called poetry and one who arrives
at the still point would be called a poet’

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Behance  … artwork
Poetic Oceans poetry on WordPress
Poetic Oceans  poetry on Blogspot

“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

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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



 

“.end games.” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“So I don’t think I’ll make Poet Laureate,
but I swear I’m not twisted and bitter,
If finely-wrought talents
don’t weigh in the balance,
I can always write haiku on Twitter.”

Rosy Cole, The Twain: Poems of Earth and Ether



A bit behind here due to recuperating from an unexpected and rather protracted hospital stay (thanks in part to California wild fires), but here we are at last: These moving and deeply felt poems are in response to the last Wednesday Writing prompt, the flautist wears a shaman’s headress (on the chaos in the world, the configurations of cruelty), November 14. Thank you to Kakali Das Ghosh, Jen E. Goldie, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Marta Pombo Sallés, and Anjum Wasim Dar for sharing their thoughts and talents, including photographs.

In addition to their words, I’ve included links to blogs or websites where available. I hope you’ll visit these poets and get to know their work better. It is likely you can catch up with others via Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do come out later today for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome including beginning and emerging poets. Poems in languages other than English are welcome as long as they are accompanied by a translation into English.


My Obsess

Your blue eyes
So deep but surged
I wished to swim
and be merged

I longed to play with you
But they called me shameless
Withered all my flowers were
Their clutches -my obsess

I longed for wings
I desired for a blue sky
They tied my dreams
and bade goodbye

Why I’m so confined
Should I now be blind
Why do they blame me
I just tried a Freedom to find

© 2018, Kakali Das Ghosh


“The price of order is dictatorship.
The price of democracy is chaos”. Jamie Dedes

To this I have to say:

There is a shadow
in my light,
That wants to
take away the joy,
the naivete,
and sense of security,
That I have had
in Mankind….

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie

I was a 50’s child. We were fairly sheltered no doubt,
because of the hardships our elders went through before us.
I was lucky, pampered and did not do without. But as I grew up
and the 60’s and 70’s crept in, I heard Chants like “MAKE LOVE
NOT WAR”. Although I was not perceivably effected by this, or
knowingly effected, I must have been. I wrote prolifically as I
grew to be aware of the world around me.

-DID I SAY IT WAS SWEET-
In all reality the fight is never the reward,
If reward there be.
They take the good times when they find them,
They step on those who could intentionally
Destroy them.
They never enjoy the good times but for themselves.
They would take the bread from your plate;
They would see you starved and boiled for oil
when they needed light. They never want to give.
The loss they suffer is their humanity
And sense of joy.
They are Dark People with shining faces.
They would challenge your integrity to win a fight.
Fortunately, they do not live around every corner.
If they did, God help us all.
The war would have begun and ended Mankind,
Long ago….

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie


.end games.

women of everywhere help each other talk clearly and predict the state of the sea

women of dolgellau are strong define them selves

the problems

x

a wonder you are not worried sitting there quite nicely watching politics again you are not shaking you were last week

x

one hundred years

x

some of us have changed our thinking to suit our life

end games

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

it is raining today
quite hard .
sounds constant.

we are dry, safe ,
lucky in our lot, to be born
here.

i have heard the news today.

it is so bad.

there will be gusts of 35 miles
an hour moving north.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

some days my world is small here, so….

.. today across the lane..

he is splitting logs & sawing

in the sun

they will go at the back where the wind

blows round

kenny says they take years to dry

he knows his stuff

i broke the mower & have two

strimmers that work

cut the paths

tenderly leaving the flowers to grow

we try not to go out here bank holiday

week ends

so a rest indoors now

with

ARTURO MARQUEZ – DANZÓN Nº 2; GUSTAVO DUDAMEL
in blue writing

as if

it is important

you see

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


violet white flower

A Raindrop In Your Desert

I am a dew drop in your desert
You are a pearl in my ocean
In this groaning world
It’s either dust or turbulent waters.

You’d die of thirst
I’d wish to die in a raging flood
But long ago the flood found me
By deceit I was swept away
By this neoliberal world.

Unveiling its darkness
Three bullets besiege our souls:
Overwork
Stole our precious time
“Bang”
Reload, two more rounds

I miss that I don’t read anymore
I’m subserviant to those who make the time
For personal growth, artistic reflection on self

Still as rocks we cannot be
Chipped away or burned to ashes
Awaiting Einaudi’s Divenire?
What will we become?

As Queen Bohemian’s Rapsody
Carries me by the headphones away
Part of me sees hope in surrender to the mundane
The other part of me only defeat
Amid the storm and its crashing waves

Hardened
Multilayered skins?

Each layer is a bullet fired
Against their system.

Layers of art and poetry lines
Our little raindrops in the desert.

I am a raindrop in your desert.
But unfortunately I cannot provide
All the rain a friend like you would need.
No rainy day friend.

If I could just make it rain
As it did yesterday in my town
After so many months of silence
I felt its sound and cadence
The humid touch on my skin.

This would be the rain
For a no rainy day friend.
Yet I am still a raindrop in your desert.

Dyed my hair red passion today
As I would just dye the wide ocean
And red would be the love we all need
Where three things must always be:

Your willpower, your talent and
The third, the most difficult
Of all the things to achieve, is
The opportunity,
Someone’s willingness, as you say
A world that mentors that love.

Marta wrote this poem in collaboration with Donald Standeford.  She recommends his blog.

© 2018 Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Cruelty, Thy Name Is Blood

gaza
O for whom the blood flowed first
when we were the young children
we knew by which enemy for what
cause reason or  division of landwe lost hundreds and hundreds then
we got the land for faith and peace
we knew the flag and leadership
but down the line,lost was the grip
somewhere entered the evil mind
slashing loyalty leaving faith behind
everything further divided destroyed
killers shooters n enemies employedlife became money and money life
race to be rich in struggle and strife
a freedom attained became enchained
freedom protests in free country life-strangest demand with song n dance

putting the children young in a trance                                  IMAG0266
once again we know the enemy for sure
but a nation dead, not alive anymore–when beauty salons and fashion grow
destructive decline of civilizations show
O people where did you lose the way?
is faith weak, have we gone astray?For whom the warm blood flows now?
gold of hemlock  have we drunk
growing greed  broken kin ships
how deep have we, in Lethe sunk?

what does it mean in a world, free?
are we free, then still ask, to be free ?
why palestinian people every day die,

 blinded with  pellets are the kashmiris ?

but death is rampant brutal and rude
we have forgotten  Aad and Samood
death will visit again,who knows
to separate lives, leave bodies in pain

smiling young innocent laughter
quietened for ever in every country
grieved, shocked at butchering blows

IMG_2286

O For Whom,the blood so young flows ?

helpless I feel but write I must
wake up faith, let us be just
rise repent, follow the true path
before as dust, we all return,to dust.

پہلے کس کے لیے خون کے دریا بہے ،
جب ہم بچے تھے ،
ہم جانتے تھے دشمن کو پہچانتے تھے
کس نے زخم لگاءے وار کیے وطن کو کاٹ دیا بانٹ دیا ،
سینکڑوں بچحڑ گےء قرباں ہوءے
امن و ایمان کی خاطر ، ہم اپنے جھنڈے کو سمجھتے تھے ،
اپنے قاعد کی دل سے عزت کرتے تھے
مگر افسوس ، کیا ہوا ؟ وقت کا دریا طوفانی رہا ،
پانی اس کا خونی رہا ،
کشتی بھنور میں پھنستی رہی ڈو لتی رہی
کہیں شیطانی زہن جاگا وفاداری دفناتے ہوے ء
لوٹنے کا جال بچھایا ،
ایمان کو روندا ،تباہی پھیلاءی
قاتل دشمن لٹیرے فریبی جھوٹے لالچی لاتا رہا بناتا رہا
جب فیشن اور اراءش و جمال کے ادارے بڑھیں
تو قوموں کا زوال ہوتا ہے ۔۔کہاں راستہ بھولتے گےء
اب کس کے لیے گرم خون بہایا ؟
کیا سونے کا زہر پی لیا ہم نے ؟
بھول گءے قوم آد و سمود ،
کیا دنیا آزاد ہے اور پھر بھی آزادی کی طلب گار ہے ؟
کیوں کشمیر جل رہا ہے ؟
فلستیں کا خون بہ رہا ہے؟
موت ہر طرف پھیل رہی ہے ؟
کیوں ظلم ہو رہا ہے ؟ اور رک نہیں رہا ہے .؟
کیا انساں کا کھیل بن چحکا ہے ؟
ظلم و ستم چوری اور لوٹ مار بس
بے قصور مسکراہٹ سرد ہو رہی ہے
ہر قوم ملبے تلے دب رہی ہے
اب کس کے لیے خون بہ رہا ہے ؟
بے بس ہوں مگر بے حس نہیں ہوں میں ،
آواز اپنی اٹھاوں گی ، لوگوں کا ایماں جگأو نگی
جاگو جاگو ایماں والو سمجھ بوجھ اور عقل والو
اٹھو استغفار پڑھو سیدھی راہ پے چل نکلو
اس سے پہلے کہ خاک سے بنے
خاک میں ملے پھر واپس خاک ہو جاوء تم
مالک نے بنایا انساں کو اشرفلمخلوقات نرم حلیم ابتر
کیوں انساں بنا اک خون پیتا قتل کرتا ظالم خونخوار جانور
دنیا کی تباہی جنگ و جدل چور بزاری کا حسین پیکر
کیا مالک نے ایسا ہی سوچا اس پیاری دنیا کا منظر ؟
نہیں نہیں نہیں نہیں

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

 

“I Am Not My Dad” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot



Here are the oh-so-relatable poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, who are you, July 4, 2018.  Thank you to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Debbie Felio, Kakali Das Ghosh, bogan (Bodhizar Pangelov), Sonja Benskin Mesher and to newcomer Rob Bowes, who steps out of the closet as a poet soul and debutes here today.  Well done all. 

Contributor websites/blogs are added so that you may visit and get to know one another. I hope you do. Some don’t have sites but you can probably catch up with them on Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do join us tomorrow for the next The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: novice, emerging and pro. 


The Creation

The radiant Sun rises,
Former black, empty shadows,
Reformed. Full. Colourful.
Exploding, popping, intriguing –
Spellbinding to Everyone.
Myself, mystified, bewildered, bemused…As it
Transformed, singular to plural, a whole
Intertwining of emotions,
Heart to heart throbbing, pulsing, pounding
Throughout our minds, bodies and souls.

The portrait of perfection before me;
An artist (unique) skilled to create a
Masterpiece.
By the Hand of God you breathe
The sweet succulent scent of hope and desire,
Humble (curious) as the spring bee I am drawn
Naturally my starving eyes feast.

Feeling of uncertainty and disbelief evaporate as
Real fireworks of emotion form and take over –
Controlling and honing the skies of senses to One;
With which the Moon rises to
Shadows now revealed, open and completely aware.
Alongside the vast peace and utter calm

I stand, wholly joined with

Love, hand in hand, heart to heart with

You.

© 2018, rjbowes (The Bowes Blog, Thinking out loud. Be creative)

Rob & Laura Bowes

ROB BOWES tells us, “I am a farmer and agronomist. I manage farmers crops for them and work in the North East of England, UK. My Grandfather was a published author and lived for writing, travelling and taking photographs, all of which have inspired me to do the exact same. My notepad and camera come with me on all of my travels. My only downside is I never do anything with my photographs or writing so this is the first step in being more open and showing everyone what I’ve got. Hope you like my poem I’ve popped on your comments section, thank you.”


whodunit

i at six
questioned the baskin-robbins ice cream pricing.
they wanted ten cents
for a cone with one scoop,
twenty for a cone with two scoops,
thirty for one with three.
why would anyone buy the three-scooper
when they could get three ones at the same price
and get two extra sugar cones?

i at seventeen
kissed the most splendid creature in the universe.
that was most of my life ago.
only two times since
have i been that happy.
i at twenty-one
crossed the finish line
at the 1984 San Francisco marathon.
my friend waiting there
asked me how i felt.
with my first breath i said,
truthfully,
“i feel terrible!!”
with my second breath i said,
truthfully,
“i feel great!!!”

at thirty-five i saw
the top of my newborn’s head
bookended by my poor then wife’s skull-tightened flesh.

today at sixty-three
I feel accursed by congestion of the nose
and blessed by what the day
promises.

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image and Text)


I Am Not My Dad

“I can’t cope with babies.”
says my Dad.

“Now you’re nine I can talk to you.”
He wants me to play board

or card games, or build
Airfix Golden Hind,

I’d rather read or draw.
He does not know

how to step into my shoes.
My two year old granddaughter

on my knee we sing nursery rhymes.
She makes me a cup of tea

with her wooden cups, saucers,
and teapot. I drink the tea,

munch on her wooden pizza,
toast and tomatoes.

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

Our Identity

is unnecessary. Don’t
haul around the weight
Of what you are.

I am not defined by my roles,
Husband, grandfather, son, brother.

I am not defined by my choices
Whether to help others or not.

I not classified, regulated, defined
In law, financial position or clump

of negative biases. I am not programmed
from birth to contribute.

I am not what I say I am not.

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

Trace back
through father’s asbestos boiler lungs
a glaziers eye,
a solicitors assistant’s discretion
a linen merchants fingers
a hotelier’s welcome
a linen merchants touch
a coal merchants aroma
a farmer’s tread

he walk towards me
short coated in sky blue
a waterman of the River Wytham

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


Self Search

I am not

myself

or the you

you were looking for.

parents with unfinished dreams

pour into new life

their old ones

friends looking for a place

to belong / to rest

seek you in their

desires

lovers needing love

to restore / affirm

embrace a possibility

without attaching

reality

I myself

only have myself

for moments

before transmuting

to another self

contained within

an aging, forgetting

mind and body

forgetting what it knew

where muscle

was held tight

and who

I was

supposed

to be

© 2018, Debbie Felio 


#Rejoinder Of The Mirror #

” Who am I? ”
Sprouting from my mother’s womb
I’m here to you ,
I belong to my parents like you ;
Is it enough for my identity ?

Then why I’m an escaped from hustle of all sounds ?
Then why I’m traversing a lonesome peak
Where the first ray of sun lights my heart ?

Then comes my child -part of my corpus ,
Entangling my all .

Time rotates -he finds out his own world ,
Then that query chases me asking-
“Who are you ?”

Approaching to a mirror my query goes ,
” Who am I ? ”
The mirror replies laughingly –
“you are the one with your own view-own judgement -own love -own passion and own perseverance .
You are not just a body evolving from genetic materials ,
Rather a heart -a spirit laid in the cluster of atoms
Of your own physique ;
Your footsteps on this earth
will fade with you ,
Just colors of your composition would subsist for ages . ” ;
But still I think ,
“Who am I ?”

© 2018, Kakali Das Ghosh


‘Head Above Water: A Swimmer’s Perspective’.

Metaphorically, i have spent much of my life, keeping my head above water.

Dealing with life facts and disappointments, not forgetting the quiet times to help the work along

I lived on the coast, played by the sea

As a child, I floated gently until all became spongey. Now I swim head above water, up and down obsessively counting, hoping all will come clear..

Friends in water talk more, baring much, reflecting their clothing

I am drawn to water, my work reflective. Writing, swimming, painting, drawing.

I collect cuttings of people in water.

“a diary, a personal relationship with the landscape.

“Shoreline would be more an exploration of the concept….shorelines more related to actual examples…..how about that?

Shoreline…..an ever-changing interface……between 2 media…..2
worlds…..can be crossed in both directions, but only temporarily?……but
aren’t we only here because something had the courage to cross
permanently…..something emerging from the sea is such a powerful
image….turtles, ursula andress in dr. no, monsters from the deep…..and
why do we find it such an attractive place to be
xx salty”

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. i am the pin .

:: a book of pins :: handwritten, copied in a day.

the drawing, the written page.

i am paint and cotton

i am pins and details

codes and reasons

calm and seasons.

i am boxes, charcoal,

fires and birds.

i am hand writing.

i am the old house,

all things considered.

i am the joker, the radio,

the music.

i am four dots.

i am the folded page,

the falling face.

i am the picture, the painting,

i am the mouse, the little bird,

a monstrous woman.

i am a word document, a picture file.

i am the pin.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


The Light Toy-Railway

The light toy-railway is traveling,
with the kids who aren’t anymore.

To Paris, to Brussels is traveling,
to the Black Africa too.
The light toy-railway is grieving,
for the fawn’s steps under Christmas tree,
for the luster in the eyes and
ah, for the toys.
For the Blue Bird, for the white photos,
for the hand that is putting the little star.
For the dream that’s coming true.

The light toy-railway is traveling.
Traveling.

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


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,  Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

Living with Dying … poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“There is only one law in the universe that never changes– that all things change, and that all things are impermanent.” Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, A Hunger For Bone, May 2, was on living with dying. We’re often in denial about this constant in our lives. The reality may hit us with the death of a friend, a sibling, a parent, a school mate. Today seven poets share their experiences and observations in writing that is honest, intimate and moving. You may find you need a tissue or two.

You will not fail to be touched by the sincerity of newcomers Sharmila Pupu Mitra and Marta Pombo Sallés (a warm welcome to both) and with the work of our “old timers” Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Kakali Das Gosh, Shiela Jacob and Sonja Benskin Mesher. Thanks to each for their willingness to touch our hearts and share their work.

Join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about the love of reading and writing poetry, sharing your work, exercising the writing muscle and getting to know poets who may be new to you.


A HUNGER FOR BONE

I grew up thinking
My mother to be
The strongest
         Woman
In the world; a
          Woman
With very healthy
And happy bones,
Because, she was
Always working,
Moving lithely, like
           A white cloud:
Light on her feet,
Quietly labouring
All day long at various
Household chores.
…Did not know then
What was in store
                        For her.
Over the years,
Pain in the lumbar-
sacral area started
Coming in burning
                       Waves
And her spine,
Which carried her face
Began to bend.
Even before the end
Of late youth
She began to stoop.
Then I was a girl;
Not exactly starry-eyed,
 not exactly a coveted
Pearl,
And I knew my mother
To be everything
             That none other
Would ever be.
I worried.
Day and night
Her pain assaulted her;
                      My mother.
Pain became
A way of life for her.
Years later,
When I was able to
Confront that liquid fire
In her bones–spine,
Radius, sternum, femur,
Pain spread everywhere
In her body growing frail,
It was–you can guess–
Very late.
But, we decided to finally
Address it, let the cause
Be discovered.
Test results showed
Why she was getting bowed–spinal TB!
THE BLOW TO ME!
Now she is free of it;
A huge loan has run up.
But we have won over
That dreadful pain.
But what is the gain?
Penury.
Fear that a slight injury
Can fell her again
           And hurt her brain.
Fear, that our synthetic life together, with our
Courage dragged through fire, may have
Become blighted.
Since then I have felt
Deep inside me
A hunger of bone.
Bones in my virtual wings
Are strained to the
Breaking point; my flight
                          Of fancy
Goes by fits and starts.
We and our old house
Creak every now and then
With the burden of the
Slow moving years,
Carrying our heavy hearts.
The liquid rush of time
Is somehow slowed down
As we take each day
As it comes, up or down,
Wherever
We are.
We will never give up
Though it seems easier
            To let it all go.
             In our bones
There is another kind
Of fire now. Another hunger.
Hunger for hope
That we will cope.
Our innocent animal children
Give us the fuel
To keep our fire burning,
Despite losses churning
Churning churning
Up the murky memories
Of past years, the memories of betrayal, neglect…
A hunger is in our bones.
Hunger for hope.
Hunger for healing.
We are trees with
               Bare brown branches
Hoping for another spring.
.
© 2018, Sharmila Pupu Mitra
.

Sharmlla Pupu Mitra

SHARMILA MITRA aka SHARMILA PUPU MITRA was born in the beautiful small town, Jalpaiguri, in North of West Bengal, India. She teaches English and is a poet. She tells us she is in love with words, and spends her time thinking how to use words to express her most intimately felt experiences. Her journey has been rough. Sharmila lives in her ancestral home in Kolkata, with her elderly mother and her rescued fur children. Life is a kaleidoscope to her.


Last Moments

Last moments together
peace of mind and spirit
magic energy flowing
my hand holding yours.
The pain has vanished
now sleep peacefully
take in all this love
I am giving you.
No grass in the park
no plants in the lake
though colorful flowers
give hope for your leaving.
The sculpture remains,
see the confident gaze
how she stands resolute
how she tells life to go on.

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés (moments)

Marta Pombo Sallés

MARTA POMBO SALLÉS is a German and English teacher working in a high school near Barcelona.  Marta has taught both languages since 1990. She says that at work and in her free time she feels the need to create things.

Marta was also featured on The Poet by Day yesterday in the post Poets Helping Poets.

CATALÀ: Hola a tothom, em dic Marta Pombo Sallés i sóc professora d’alemany i d’anglès en un institut a prop de Barcelona. Ensenyo aquestes dues llengües des de l’any 1990. Tant a la meva feina com en el meu temps lliure sento la necessitat de fer coses creatives.


turnstile

as my friend tom
grappled with another uncle’s succumb
to heart diease
he emailed an assertion
i will not forget:
“we’re all chunking up
to the turnstile.”

as my friend jeff
composed his last message,
and anti-seizure medication
did its eldrich thing,
on many screens in many homes
a horribly cheery woman’s voice
told listeners that use of this medication
may lead to suicidal thoughts
or actions.

as another day meets its midnight turnstile
the probability that turnstile day
for me
is imminent
is incrementally higher than it was
24 hours prior,

but i am not a bit more ready.

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay)

the skull of her son

it took a year for dna confirmation.
there were a scattering of bones
and a skull
missing the lower mandible.

the county called her
and she came down
from the high country
and at her request
they showed her
her son’s remains.

soundlessly weeping, smiling,
she carefully lifted
the bleached brainpan
and looked into the sockets
of the skull of her son.
she ran her finger over
the smooth cool top
and murmured his name.
she kissed her finger
and pressed it gently
against the skull-top.

she wanted the bones as is
but the law of the land said no.
they cremated
the sun-sterilized bones
and gave her the ash-filled urn.

she was astonished
at how heavy it was.

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay)


Sister’s Life

An evangelical church at seventeen
who say they will decide
what boyfriends she can have,
and when she can see them.

A clairvoyant who tells her at twenty-two:
“Your husband will be military,
you will have two children,
your spirit guide is a Native American Indian.”

A son and daughter with her Army husband.
He tries to control her need at twenty-four
to sell the kid’s unwanted toys,
have a life outside her home.

Carboot sales where she enjoys the buzz
and money selling at twenty-six,
kids in tow, a profit and loss,
a hope after she divorces him.

A Native American Indian spirit guide
at the foot of her bed at thirty
tells her “You will die young,
and join your hankered mam in afterlife.”

A nail in her tyre, or over the limit
after celebrating at thirty-five
her employee’s twentieth birthday,
her car turns over on a hard shoulder.

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

Her Fur Elise

I awake to Beethoven as Mam taps the upright
piano downstairs in the through lounge

where morning light highlights dark brown dining table
And varnished coffee table both polished

with Pledge until you see yourself. Later
chemo will make her petite fingers fat,

Fur Elise break into fragments as disease progresses
and piano sold as her hands come to rest.

***

She covered the piano with Laura Ashley
wallpaper off cuts from doing the walls.

As I unclamp one of my late sisters trapped Chinchillas, free its feet from the piano mechanism it bites deep.

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

I Watch Athletics With My Mam

All house mirrors have been removed.
I sit on her soft bed, rest an arm
on a spare pillow. Mum’s pillows

stacked behind her as we watch a
tv placed where her dress mirror stood.
Once she cried as her hair fell out.
She cried as she gained each pound weight

because she takes the chemicals
to stop her dying, stop the spread.
Once she was ‘petite’, now Mum’s fat
jowls, bingo wings slop on the bed.

Together we watch lithe bodies,
sharp muscle tone dash for the end.
Her home is spotless, a show home.
Every day we polish, scrub,

vacuum, she wants it welcoming.
She nods off half way through the
100 metres, I soft clap
the winner as she would have done.

I remember good times, and smile
at her laughter, gleam in her eyes
when she sees another winner
dash over the race finish line.

Meanwhile, she looks forward to Oakwell,
a new fan of Barnsley FC.
I never go as I don’t like
football, regret my selfishness

and time not enjoying her life.
She will sit in her hired wheelchair
yell and clap at their confidence,
vitality, their will to win.

Note: Mum died of cancer in 1997

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

My Mam Is

nothing if, not thorough.
Victorian reminder on a wall
full of telling aphorisms:

What will the neighbours say?
Our home shows us how
we treat ourselves.
Buff away grey clouds,

bring out the blue, make every
wood bell, crocus, daffodil
open their flowers today,
place a spruced up nest

for every chaffinch, green
and goldfinch, blackbird, dove.
Open all windows to “freshen”.
Clean outside and in,

see yourself without smears.
Tidy the memory home.
If you can see a job needs doing,
then do it. Why leave till tomorrow,

something that needs doing today?
Empty every drawer,
cupboard, wardrobe, surface,
scrub them clean, let spiders scurry off.

Launder, dry on the line winter’s
sombre deep cottons and woollens,
neatly fold away, in freshly
lavendered drawers.

It shows you respect yourself.
Rinse every item
of crockery, cutlery,
some unused for years.

Return them to scoured drawers.
Burnish copper ornaments,
delicately brush capodimonte

figures, feather dust top of doors,
skirting boards, deweb high corners,
Shine gas fire with Brasso. Polish
tables and furniture with Rosewood

or Lavender Pledge, all furniture pushed
into centre of rooms, to vacuum.
A person is what they do,
not what they say they will do.

Decant bookshelves,
every book cover cleaned.
Roll up, sling over washing line,
slap and beat dust out of all

rugs and doormats. Strip beds,
turn mattresses, air sheets.
It’s a warm spring day.
A clean home is a clean soul.

Bleach bath, sinks.
Glister chrome taps. Blue toilet.
Fragrance bathroom with Lemon.
Defrost fridge, full milk

bottles in a sink of cold water.
Unload and brush out garage,
vacuum Datsun Estate outside and in.
Weed patio and border, cut

straggly grass for first time this year.
Black bag food beyond sell by dates,
or out of fashion.
Likewise, shine your shoes,

pick bits off clothes,
straighten your skirt, tie,
tighten your belt.
A smart person is a smart mind.

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


#His dying footsteps #

Snowfall churned the wind
Gone through his ashes
I called him
None answered
The ridges through back the echoes
Of his dying footsteps
A balefire lighted in
That heath
Recalled his funeral
His white visage
Shivered fingers
Languid cheeks
Still stare at me
Awaiting for the
Undesirable last breath
On his steadfast .

© 2018, Kakali Das Ghosh


In your sleep

After paramedics found you
I counted lost hours
you’d spent alone
becoming-so it seemed-
more and more dead
as the sun rose,
curtains stayed closed
and your telephone rang and rang.

A nurse would have seen
blue lips, felt no pulse,
pulled the emergency cord
but you refused another
hospital stay, worn out,
at ninety, by the chafe
of cannulas, sticking plasters,
starched white linen.

You slept, one final night,
in your own double bed;
lay, pyjama-clad,
beneath a brown blanket,
the green quilt
you still called an eiderdown
and pink polyester sheets
blush-bright on your body’s chill.

© 2018, Shiela Jacob


.he wanted a garden.

have you collected seeds of many years, packed, labelled, dated.

have you died, and left the table unprepared. i have them now in boxes, a gift.

from those who love. they will bring me work, joy, an independent air.

seeds need water.

sun stays later.

i have imposter syndrome, never diagnosed yet googled when heard on radio live .

there may be too many additives these days not enough honesty grown.

she said i should have something new in the greenhouse.

i have, i said, and thought of you who

planted the seeds.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; sonja-benskin-mesher.co.uk; Sonjia’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.)

.. old blanket ..

I watch the blanket breathe,
hope it will never stop.

white, cellular, keeping warm,
the one I love, so vehemently.

scares me, this intensity of feeling,
that never stops,

and continues when the blanket lays quiet……

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; sonja-benskin-mesher.co.uk; Sonjia’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.)

 


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