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“We ring her door bell” …. and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Mangos and gardens, smiles and doorbells, all factor into the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, August 23, Neighbors by poets and writers sharing their talent, perspective and stories. Enjoy! … and join us tomorrow for the next prompt. All are invited to take part and share their responses, which are always published here on the following Tuesday. Poem on …

His Catapult

Neighbour’s lad gets a grin out of pot shots at birdlife in my garden. Thinks

I can’t see him between slats of broken fence. Dead birds litter my lawn. I’ve told

his mam, Alice who says he thinks he’s in Jurassic World to kill dinosaurs. I wish

he weren’t so wick and could see these dinosaurs don’t bite. I’ll fetch him round

to bury his dead, and have a quiet word.

© 2017, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Why Move?

To be closer to us, Mam
so we can be there for you.

chorus son and daughter in law.
Bert next door on his way out

always asks whether I need anything.
Sally over the way enquires after me,

Even with all she’s got on, her mam’s
Cancer and little ones severe ADHD.

Need a gardener only to do odds
and sods as I get tired quick. Bert volunteered

but he’s all on with his granddaughter’s
while daughter has hospital appointments.

These folk are here for me. I don’t need
To move away to strangers and elsewhere.

© 2017, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow)

We ring her door bell

Holiday slowly conquers my joints
My knee, my thumb
Little knife stubs
Brown spots, coffin spots
As my eighty years old neighbour
Says laughing
Her laugh healed her from cancer
She lost a breast but this year
She visited the Spanish Riviera

When I am down
When my spine is numb
When all my ships are sinking
We ring her door bell…

So the Black Sea is in her best mood
The holiday makes time insignificant
We move around the pole
Hunting the shadow
A solar clock
The kid spends hours in the greenish liquid
Our skins darker and darker by the minute
Soon to be the only sign that we ever been
Away from home
Where first thing first
We’ll ring her door bell

When I am numb
When my spine is down
When all the ships have sunk
We’ll ring her door bell to borrow a smile

© 2017, Iulia Gherghei (Sky Under Construction)

Persuaded by a Smile

I never knew her name and remembrance
of her face has faded from memory
but her kindness still remains steadfast
within the warmth of my beating heart

where upon I still see the upright grand
dusty and in need of repair standing
proudly in the living room of a house
I only encroached drawn by its’ beauty

for she saw I was smitten by its’ presence
and invited me to play for even though
not a lesson had I the music seemed to
pass without pause to my finger tips

as I came to knock each day upon the door
to see the beauty of her smile and knew
that she no longer played but entreated
me to sit once more at the upright grand

© 2017 Renee Espriu (Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, ART & Haiku)


we live rural.i have an immersion for hot water,

and for work. along side research and hot baths

keeps the days flowing.

there is a gas pipeline crossing near us, yet not with door neighbour is the gas man yet not required

locally.he has bottled stuff while i have not.

mary was stuck behind a lorry delivering the latter

so was later arriving here. today.

i switch it on each morning then evening though they

do say it can be economical to leave it on all day. i have

not tried that.


© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

#walking 4

it really is very early, still the radio plays

softly not to wake the neighbour. he is

a quiet man. a farmer.

reckon it was four miles up over the hill

in a summer dress. settled that evening

to watch the war

of the worlds.

slept early,

woke early.

it is raining today.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

.. bara brith..

quiet day, plenty to do,

workwise. no home brew

involved, yet he came to

my door smiling.


a bara brith.

to share, he said,

cut it in half,

I shan’t come in,

my boots are quite muddy.

there is a fete in the

village, sue won’t eat it,

so I thought I will spoil


they soak the fruit in tea,

and alcoholic drinks

if they have any.

isn’t it heavy?

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

Mangfera Indica Inflorescence

#Mrs . Brown :My Next Door Neighbour#

My little garden was the envy of my neighbours. My father liked to enjoy his favourite pastime of gardening. Variant greenery of our little garden soothed eyes of every pedestrian passing by our beautiful grove. Ours was a street of Alloy Steel quarters assembled gracefully. As we lived at one end of the street my father could rehash gardening acquiring a lot of space with a temporary boundary of wires. Our small garden was a lavish decoration with flowers of varied colours like rose, hibiscus, lily, petunia etc. Adjacent to the flower garden we had a little orchard too with fruits like mango ,pear, jackfruit etc. All day long chirruping of colorful birds echoed through our garden as well as little orchard inflicting vigorous pleasure flooding our heart and mind .

The event took place long long ago. In one summer evening Mrs. Katrina Brown stepped in our street as our fresh neighbour. It was the first time I encountered such a gorgeous Christian lady. To our great amazement she became our next door neighbour.
My parents were also happy getting their new charming neighbour. Everything was going alright for the first few days. It was the time of great amusement while I used to play Ha-do-do with Diana, the sweet daughter of Mrs . Brown with the proximity of my age.

Mrs Brown was an instrumentalist and till today I recall an intricate melody on her piano. She had a habit to attend a nearby church every Sunday along with Diana and her husband, Mr Brown, as each inhabitant of our street used to call him. One or two times I accompanied them and noticed how heartily – how profoundly that beautiful lady engaged herself to the prayer of the Almighty and at that very moment I kept a fixed look on her face entangled with a heavenly light of piousness, but I had yet to experience the other face of the coin.

In one early summer evening a heavy downpour commenced a new era of relationship between the two families – the Das and the Brown family. The rainfall was really ponderous along with strong blowing wind coming from the Arabian sea. Almost all the buds and verdant mangoes of a special mango tree were spread out everywhere of the courtyard of Mrs .Brown as that mango tree of our orchard tilted towards the portico of the Brown family with its clinging fruits yet to be ripened. Next morning I awakened with an agitated blast of words from Mrs. Brown’s mouth .She was telling to my mother -“Mrs Das -you have to cut down this mango tree. It has been tilted more towards my courtyard due to the storm that swept through the place yesterday and if it is kept being unshorn then the roof of my home as well as my courtyard would have to face scattered buds, shedded leaves and unripe mangoes each day onwards making my whole area dirty.

”That was our favourite tree as it bore the sweetest fruits among all the mango trees in the orchard. Moreover my father treated each tree of the orchard as his own child. Therefore my mother answered,”I understand your problem, Mrs. Brown, but the tree is like our child. Every year it bears the sweetest fruits. Please don’t make us compelled to cut it. The harvesting time is coming nearer and during the ripening time you may take all of its fruits but let the tree be survived.”

“Most of its flowers and fruits have been exuded -Mrs. Das .”-Mrs Brown said.

My mother said, ”Some fruits are still clinging to the tree and I request you to taste the ripened fruits this season. Moreover -all the fruits are yours -this year.”

Though Mrs Brown had some grudge against the tree but perhaps she agreed to my mother’s condition and departed without saying more.

In that ripening season she tasted all the sweet mangoes except ten as she fixed to be allocated to us.”The tree not only bears delicious fruits but also makes shady my terrace in these days receiving scorching heat of the sun. You were right Mrs. Das, the tree should not be cut down.I have now begun to love this tree. I would not ever mind to sweep its shedded leaves and next time we would share half of its fruits.” We were really happy as afterall she could realize the value of the tree. Thereafter she never told us to cut the tree though at every turn we used to hear that she was scolding the tree for shedding so many leaves on her terrace .

That year passed. Then it was the turn for the next mango season. The two families were awaiting for the sweetest mangoes of that very tree. Again a violent storm swept through our place.The storm was so fierce that it uprooted most of our trees, damaged electric poles and changed the course of the river at our place. Alloy Steel authority took decision to cut down the big trees touching the electric wires and they settled upon that the very mango tree of our orchard with the sweetest fruits to be trimmed as it touched the wires coming from the main electric pole of the area holding danger of an electric shock at any moment. Both my father and Mr. Brown requested the Maintenance Department under Alloy Steel Plant not to cut the tree but they paid no heed to them.

On a day fixed previously two choppers came to our house. As soon as they had stepped into our orchard with their motive to cut down the tree Mrs .Brown rushed there like an arrow from a bow and embracing the tree like her own baby requested them again and again to be refrain from cutting the tree, but it was an order from the higher authority. They were helpless. The giant tree was cut down before our bleary watery eyes. Mrs. Brown began to cry as like as a baby. A gloomy surrounding engulfed in all parts of our orchard when the last part of the tree trunk was chopped. Thereafter the health of Mrs .Brown suffered a steep decline. Many a days we didn’t follow her fingers on her favourite piano.

Then it was the turn for the rainy season. In one rainy morning we came out of our home hearkening an extremely melodious tune flowing out of her piano. It was really astonishing when our mindedness went to a sapling of mango that had sprouted out in that very place from where the giant tree was rooted out. Perhaps one of that lost mango tree‘s degenerated seed took that place and the first shower of the rainy season provided it the chance to germinate with its two tiny leaves.

Mrs. Brown first noticed it and with a reflection of getting back her lost mango tree, which she treated like her own baby. She placed her fingers again on her piano originating a new celestial melody enchanting the neighboring. Everyday she spent a lot of time to serve the sapling awaiting for the day when it would flourish with its unfurled branches with juicy, delicious fruits as well as soothing, tranquil shade. In the meantime my father got a transfer order and we had to leave the place. I don’t know how is Mrs. Brown for the time being or if she is on this earth till now but my innermost spirit throws its earnest glance today from a far away place at Mrs Brown‘s lovely tree, which may have remained standing in my nostalgic orchard still now bearing the dream and fancy of that fairy lady.

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh

Photo credit: Mango Flowers by Gihan Jayaweera under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.


Cooking Carrots . . . responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Such a wonderful mini-anthology of poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, August 20, A Puppet Dancing in the Dark. Featured today are three poets new to the weekly writing prompt. They are Iulia Gherghei, Kakali Das Ghosh and Reena Presad and, since they are new to this activity, their photos and bios are included. Also this week are the remarkably productive Paul Brookes, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Renee Espriu. These poets are all experienced, smart, talented and devoted to this art.  It’s fun to see how differently they spin the prompt, though clearly they share some values.  Enjoy! and please support and encourage our poets with likes and comments and visits to their blogs.

Spinning Endlessly

We are spinning endlessly
Around the sun
A sun who
From time to time is hiding under the moon
Probably he is bored too
History, a book of tales
Bible, a book of tales
Ideologies, some well sewn tales

Why do they feed us with tales
Are they responding to a need
Our need?
The need to fill the time between two blinks of the sun…

© 2017, Iulia Gherghei, (Sky Under Construction)

IULIA GHERGHEI is a Romanian poet writing in English. Her debut collection is Prisoners of the Cinema Paradiso.  In 2014, Iulia received the Poet of the Year title from Destiny Poets, run by Louis Kasatkin. In 2015 she won the Blackwater Poetry Group contest with her poem Lost in Blue Curtains. Her poetry is featured in many anthologies including The Significant Anthology (2015) edited by Dr. A.V. Koshy and Reena Prasad.

#The grave of darkness#

The brightest of lights is obscuring my vision ,
An aroma of darkness is permeating my vein,
Please – come as storm addicted to rain and thunderbolt,
I have kept my tears in a camouflaged hidden in dew drops over grassy lawns,
Craving the dumb show be arranged as a farewell through the last faraway train,
I’m waiting lonely for your storm in this dark station
Descrying a tormentor’s kick in an impoverished stomach,
My acoustics is shattered in lakhs* with a cramped girl’s cry,
And witnessing to a stabbed sanguineous boy
lying down on the railway line;
A demon of darkness is swallowing me wholly,
Is everyone born deaf, dumb and blind?
None has illuminated a flare,
Whistles of the trains reverberating through the night are no more greeted;
Perhaps one more corse**
or corpses would be waiting to be evacuated,
I’m scaring of the fair of sky burial
And eagerly waiting for your storm with celestial light and pearly raindrops,
As I’m encountering a gloomy grave frantic for drops of blood.

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh

* lakhs – rupees
** corse – corpse

Self-employed poet and writer, KAKALI DAS GHOSH was born in and lives in India. She did both her undergraduate and graduate work in Personnel Management. Kakali also works as a teacher.


The jungle crow is truthful. When he caws, he is the grandfather
and great grandfather too. The soul doesn’t differentiate between
male bodies charred at different times. The feminine rots to mute dust.

The rat snake and the cobra are slinky eyes
crawling over female forms-young, widowed or both
Fertile coconut palms brood over the misogynist terrain

The curry leaf plant recognizes friend from foe. The *Koovalam
disapproves of monthly spurts. The lemon tree withers away
upon female touch but is immune to bird eggs in its straggly, green shirt

The kitchen steps face south. I must not sit there, elbows on knees
or chin in hand. It is mourning that they fear here, more than death.

I will lie in the clearing, strangled by the vengeful biota
and the temple priest will chant mournful curses to free the trees

© 2017, Reena Prasad (Butterflies of Time, A Canvas of Poetry)

(*Koovalam = stone apple tree)

REENA PRASAD is a poet from India, currently living in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). She is the co-editor with Dr. A.V. Koshy of The Significant Anthology (2015). She writes poems looking in awe at the world from the seventeenth floor of a high rise in the Arabian desert. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and journals including The Copperfield Review, First Literary Review-East, Angle Journal, Poetry Quarterly, York Literary Review, Lakeview International Journal, Duane’s PoeTree, and Mad Swirl. She is the Destiny Poets UK’s, Poet of the Year for 2014.  More recently her poem was adjudged second in the World Union Of Poet’s poetry competition, 2016. Reena’s passionate essay about the comforts of poetry – Sanctuary – is popular here at The Poet by Day and in The BeZine.

Stained Glass Windows

She embraced the rituals of worship
of which practicing seemed to bring calm
to a personal life bereft of its’ being

whereupon entering a sacred place of
stained glass windows and the statues
of holy saints long dead brought
daily tests to question her soul

she watched men cloaked in white robes
garnished with vestments hung about
their necks symbols of their holiness

where the incense they spread in the air
afflicted her senses but must be done
for it was said it purified & cleansed
raising up the prayers of the faithful

but nothing addressed her innocence to
enlighten her of past holy wars that spread
death to those who believed naught the same

so she entertained a communion white veil
to be replaced later by a robe of red as
she promised to put her belief in those
words written by nameless faces of others

she believed in it all until the day her
faith stood the ultimate test of the reaper
causing her heart to have a hope of its’ own

© 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Haibun, ART & Haiku, Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity With Wings)

Red The Strong Says

“Belief is a ship
on the fish flecked sea,
close hauled and tacking,
against this Christian gust.

It has a dragon’s head,
and aft a crook, which turns up,
and ends in a dragon’s tail.

Gilded carved work on each side
of the stem and stern.
I call this ship “The Serpent”
Its hoisted sails are dragon’s wings.

I’m brought before me boss,
who offers me baptism.
“And,” says he, “I will not
take thy property from thee,

but rather be thy mate,
if thou wilt make thysen
worthy to be such.”

I exclaim with all me might
against his offer, say
“I’ll never believe in Christ,
and this so called God.”

Boss was wroth, and says “Thee
shall die worst of deaths.”

He orders I be bound
to a beam of wood, me face
uppermost, and round pin of wood
set between my teeth
to force me gob open.

Boss orders an adder
rammed down my gob,
but adder shrinks back
when I breathe against it.

A hollow branch of angelica root
is stuck in my gob; others say boss
put his horn into me mouth,
and forces adder in
holds a red-hot iron
before me open gob.
So adder creeps into it,
down me throat,
gnaws its way out me side.

My last breath is a ship
on the fish flecked sea,
close hauled and tacking,
against this Christian gust.”

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

A Bridge

anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)

It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.

A vein.

between places,
one person and another,

A Bridge

anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)

It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.

A vein.

between places,
one person and another,
you and your kids,
a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.

Broken, blocked, under investigation.

No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message,
via media bridges.

Bins must be wheeled back to their places.

a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.

Broken, blocked, under investigation.

No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message
via media bridges.

Bins must be wheeled back to their places.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

A Toleration

So I says to our Vicky
” ‘ow come thas back so soon lass.”
Well she were in a right towing.
says “I were right with him, only he weren’t with me, the wazzock.”

Well, I like a strong fella, misen,
makes us all soft inside and tha feels cossetted, but when as they start, demanding tha do this or that.
It’s a right pisser.

That lad, Olly, asking to wed her,
says to her, ” I think it best love, as tha abandon this pagan stuff so we’ve a regular going on.”

Vicky says, “I’ll not abandon my faith,
and that of folk afore me.
I don’t want thee to abandon thy Christian doings, either.” Understanding his predicament, like.

Well, laddo, sloshes her int face
with his glove. Tosser.
Well, she slaps him back,
as you would, and
comes back home, quicksticks.

Tha can only tolerate so much.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

“1712 we write of wool”

again, and weaving.

listen to the coventry carole,

little tiny child, fingers tapping

in time, the medieval, the membrance

of cathedral . walking up hill chanting.

repeatedly. they moved the stairs.

we hold the cotton, the wool

for comfort.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

white linen

.. cooking carrots, and thinking of belief ..

the other side of the mirror


it is a source of inspiration, and research. it is written, yet having writ. we use. imagination, add a dose of suggestion, slightly thinking this is fact we do not move on when perhaps we should. so moving on quickly……

cut them.

maybe we need to check our numbers at the end, see if one or more are missing. need to count them carefully, one side then the is all a pattern, that keeps us safely, leads us onward.

simmer them.

what about this list, to do it before you die, well as she said, you probably can’t do it after. some may disagree – another belief. we try not to judge, yet that bucket was not worth five pound,so

we paid two.

strain them.
ready for later.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

. magna carta .

is left behind with tiny writing. salisbury cathedral.

the back way. written in latin for those who matter.

those words and those words

an historian uttered sent me reeling outside.

where air is cleaner.

oh , by the way

left you both there too. were you trying to appease

the barons?

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings )