In response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt: A collection of poems of protest and comments in honor of Reuben Woolley

c estate of Reuben Woolley

Reuben’s motivation for founding I am not a silent poet: “I have seen such increased evidence of abuse recently that I felt it was time to do something. I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms, colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of the NHS, the rape culture and, of course, war and its victims are just the examples that come to mind at the moment.”


It takes a moment’s reflection of pain
in near-death eyes of a sparrow escaped
the clutch of an eagle’s, lying still on
a broken leg, twisting its head at my frame
standing mighty and stoic at the door
of a sun-skimmed balcony; in that moment
is when a broken soul shows no gesture but of
repentance for the death she would see,
the death she’d allow over a life that met
a delayed leap of response. To, then, bring
a water container to the trembling beak
to sprinkle drops in a mouth that can see
the largesse before its eyes, but a body limp
to drag closer to the rim, is the way
of a broken soul to show care. Let the eyes
know of a clean water pond – is the only duty
towards a dissimilar being. To bring it the way
of tasting more than a sip is commitment
too deep and wide for retention in dissociated
wells growing salt reeds.
© 2019, Sheikha A.

recusants you and i

night drive slow speed
body tired windows bleed
city light a million times
soul sucker dynamite
blare the sin out from below
steel cold brick you sunk me
my fingers crooked now
with the countdown of this town
but don’t underestimate
the heart mine least of all
look me in the silence of that eye
i dare you to deny
that after you’ve torn
us both down
spit on our ancient right
that a tree of force will not emerge
from where my human blood’s been shed
from where my love everlasting powerful
and pure will for all of time
triumph over you
and our perversions

© 2019, mm brazfield

protest tor

first protest was against confinement
and the mama-to-be felt and saw
the ridge of fetusfoot
bugsbunnying across her swollen kidslammer
soon after the child was released via scalpel and hoist
ave caesar
vivendi te salutamus

there were of course the infantile
screamings for food and attention
disqualified because ignominy
from true protest
which was to come
long before bar mitzvah:
a roughneck boy sat behind him
a kid with a reputation
that preveded this first day
of the seventh grade
and the teacher offered a word game:
“how many words can be formed
from the word RESOURCE? who’s got one?”
class members exclaimed
“our!” “sore!” “curse!”
then the bad-rep kid said “sour!” and the teacher…GLARED.
he lit into the kid,
though the kid had given
“i’m going to be watching you, Mister. i’ve HEARD about you.”
bad vibes filled the room,
but then
the kid sitting in front of him said,
distinctly and loudly,
“sir, there was nothing wrong with his answer! why
are you giving him a hard time?!”

and what do you think happened, Boys and Girls?
we can guess,
but we will never know, because
that stirring protest and defense above
was never delivered; the boy
thought it but did not say it.
and that cowardly failure
to stand up and be counted
has haunted his days for fifty-three years.

so this is a protest of Cowardice, which is rife nowadays.
the boy can be forgiven: he was twelve.
voting adults must be more courageous.

must face ugly truths.

must stand up to be counted.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

I wish to honour Reuben by thanking him for all the poems he accepted that I submitted to I Am Not A Silent Poet.

World Is

always at war.
Every bulletin lists casualties,
devastated buildings, grief.

Bloodied, scarred, lost, missing,
found dead. What about the lost dead?

Forever wanting you to discover,
uncover their brief candle burn.

We Live

in a fake peace between world wars,
shop and shop to stay reasonable.

Families are killed elsewhere.
We see their relatives tears on plasma screens.

Sometimes tears drop closer to home,
and we are reminded of our fake comfort,

that is preferable, a faux fur covered blade
sometimes bleeds and we are keen.

Our Justification

for the gang rape
and killing
of your eight year old
Is that, like you,
She was
Not human
And therefore
Not under
The rights
And privileges
Of humans.

You must
Be tolerant
Of our beliefs
If you wish
To stay
On our land.

Some Baked Bread

or the journey
to the hole in the ground

where they were asked to lay
on the still warm dead
neighbours and children
to be shot

As their ethnicity was cleansed.
the soldiers with guns
wrote home from the war.
It was such an event.

A Queued

Life. Born to this line
Of cotted bairns,

Crocodiled infants,
Slumped with others outside

A locked classrroom,
Marshalled exams desks,

Job interview staring at strangers,
Ranked at work,

Drs, dentists waiting rooms,
appointmented even my wedding.

Waiting list for a council house,
Parents evening lined up with others

Listed as deceased in papers, online.
Regimented plaque for my cremation.

As that world ends another begins.
Join another queue, another thought

of final judgement already delivered,
or forever pended.

Without Permission

he walked on her grass,
uprooted her wild flowers,

She says “Don’t touch
without asking. It’s abuse.

Stop it. No means no!”
Fantasies of ravagement

on both sides who know
these are merely fantasies

that should never be public
so a no becomes yes,

and abuse pleasurable. Always safe
words agreed beforehand.

Always taken too far, control
and power corrupt.


is good for you. All folk
should be chained,

manacled to a mortgage,
to work, to an employer

a partner. Freedom denies
your human rights. Slavery

teaches you the meaning of life.
demands you act properly

constrains you to common sense,
sets out a wild world of imagination

creativity and invention. Freedom
is too wishy washy. Lock

and load your chains. Don’t let
loose and free your mind. Freedom

Is heavy, restricts, denies movement
of blood, bone and brain.

Become a slave and see our world
with new eyes, fresh perspectives.

Hopelessness Is Life

Only the hopeless live.
Only hopelessness makes you smile.

When all hopelessness is gone
then you will grieve at the loss.

There are three streets we can go down,
Faithlessness, Hopelessness and Selfishness

Without one of these the others cannot exist.
There must always be hopelessness

in the best of times. It reminds us of an edge
to life. Surrender to hopelessness

and all will be well. It is the force that drives
all that is worthwhile and good.

An Inappropriate Life

Born inappropriate to this inappropriate world
this inappropriate earth I learned how to be inappropriate

in school, met a lass
who said she was inappropriately ready

to be inappropriately wed, so we inappropriately married
after three months of inappropriate courting

she bore inappropriately our first kid
after six months whilst I worked inappropriately

in inappropriate employment
Promoted inappropriately to inappropriate manager

so we bought our first inappropriate home,
furnished inappropriately, after decorating inappropriately.

I had an inappropriate allotment where I grew inappropriate carrots
and potatoes and cabbages.

She died inappropriately after seven years inappropriate fighting
lung cancer. I never remarried inappropriately

Bring up our second child inappropriately
tell her inappropriate dream stories
of our inappropriate love inappropriate life.

Guns Are

good. Make you feel safe.
Make you more responsible,

like your own child. Nobody
hurts my child. I’ll shoot anyone

that does. My child needs
A decent education. Some shooter

Who wants to be famous kills
my little one in lessons.

I’m glad I’ve got my gun
So I can kill the shooter

And his family. Guns are good.
Make folk sit up and listen.

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.


are in the shape of small graves
for children who mine the precious
metal inside that make it work
and I look Into the screen
to stay connected but do not see
their gritted lives as they haul
the valuable out of the hole
and the world has never been
so connected by this small grave
I carry in my pocket.

Deliberate Death Of A Conformist

I insist I nod in agreement
at all they accuse me of.

I refuse to make a spectacle of myself.
I will not protest. I agree with all

the folk in power do. I always obey
the law. Drive correctly. I want

an easy life. No hassle. Why am I
guilty? Whatever it is I did it.

They tell me -That’s too easy.
You must have done something worse.

If we told you to jump out
of that window would you do it?

So I do. Now they arrest me again,
-You caused a public disturbance.

-I agree I say. – There must be something
you don’t agree with they say -No I reply.

– If we tell you you died in that fall,
and this police station is heaven – I agree.


is good. To belong
is wrong. Be homeless.

Mortgages and rents are chains.
Tread the world without burden.

Find a banquet in a crumb.
A glassful in a droplet.

Warmth in a newspaper blanket.
Comfort is a concrete underpass.

Our Folk Burn

Management say “Lessons will be learnt”
Folk have already warned bosses.
Management say “Our sympathies are with the families”
Death toll expected to rise.
Management say “Lessons will be learnt.
Austerity costs must be met.”


people killed further away
do not grieve any less.

a mother is a mother
even if her fashion is not ours.

a father is a father
even if we disagree with his beliefs.

an explosion is an explosion
even when on a flat screen.

Nothing (For Manchester)

is real.

My smile was a pink balloon
floated above me. I sang.

A big bang.
Blood on the balloon.

I find metal nuts and bolts.
I can’t sing. It isn’t real.

I’m Just About

managing between the barricades.
My kids play between sniper targets.

I fetch the shop through broken
buildings perforated by gunshot,

past cars jammed across streets.

I’m just about managing between regimes.

“Why Dad?”

It happens a lot.
I look up to see
a soldier
with the butt of his rifle
move Dad forward.

“Why, Dad?”

“They don’t know where
we belong.” He says.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Poems I had written about child abuse – both my own experience and children and adults I worked with – was met with rejection and silence. I had the clear understanding that there was a taboo on the subject amongst Editors and Publishers – particualrly in terms of male abuse experience – Reuben saw things differently shared my view and was understanding and encouraging. At a time when I felt most despondent he published a poem of mine that had been difficult to write let alone send to a publisher. I will be forever grateful to Reuben.

The examination of time and its modes.

We are the explorers
of time
in which
our watchfulness
an awareness
of life’s turning wheel.
We the silent sentinels
examine time
the glue that alloys
that anneals and binds
the eternal tick
hum and thrum
of the Atomic
oblivious to the inhalation
and exhalation of breath
we breathe
a measurement of time.
And dream itself
three thirty
in the darkness
a stop time
in slow time
when nightmares wake
and temperatures drop
a degree or two
and old people’s
grip on time
is loosed,
they leave
and are left.
Slow time.
Stop time.
Time to wake
time to go
slow time
stop time.
One day I found
myself wearing
two watches
I was unaware when
I’d strapped them on
there is a third
too delicate to be worn
the gold watch
given to an old man
on finishing.
Stop time.

The first watch
now time
fast time.
The second
get it got it
slow time
stop time
looking at it
may make
you decide
it’s broken
stopped working
but it works
very slow time
stop time
another time
known only to us
known only to you
Postponed Time
Since the Disaster
slow time stop time
known to those
whose alarm
wakes them
stops them
from healing
stops our sleep
brings it to a grinding
Halt! Halt! Halt!
with a scream
a shout
a cry for help.
Let me go.
Let me go.
A cry. A cry
to start time.
and so the saying goes
there is a time
and place
for everything
But which time
is not specified.
Time heals.
Time will tell.
What goes around
comes around
and on and on it goes
the vagaries
of our understanding
of time abounds.
Times up!
There is no more time.
I have no time for you.
I have no more time for you.
I couldn’t give him
the time of day.
Did you keep time
for me?
Where did you keep it?
Was it on your
On your body?
A locket perhaps?
Locked up
Time to get away.
How did it get away.
Did you lose it?
Did you give it away?
I have no time
for you.
Slow time.
Fast time
and seeps away
while we were
not looking
We, I didn’t look.
it seems
lose track
of time.
The sands
of time
are running out.
Running again
Don’t get me
Oh well.
running slow
sand running fast.
sand running
to a stop.
Sand stopped running.
Sand is running
out where.
Enough is enough.
Time to go.

Time redefined

And now?
Am I marooned here?
You told me to go
Go go go go go
when you decided
that it was done
that you were done
with me.
But I have been left here
then now
now then
time stands still
for some things.
Trapped in this silence
now and then
a fracturing of time.
I struggle
for words.
It’s not true
that time heals
it simply
that pain lessens.
I am like a bell
that has not chimed true
for so long
but I am not silent
only in quietness
will you hear
the deep vibration
of my calm.
I can’t make
up for lost time
making up
for lost time
What time?
Who’s time?
A clock
Or Clocc.
A silent
missing a bell
is called
a Time piece.
I clock you
You you you you
You. And you!
I watch you you
you and you.
and you.
I was five
I didn’t know.
Hunt hunt hunt
Hunt the twat
Hunt hunt hunt
Hunt the cunt
Hunt hunt
Hunt hunt
Catch him
Tie the twat up
Tie the cunt up
Tie him hold him
Tie him hold him
Shut the cunt up.
I knew you
You you you
And you.
I didn’t know you.
I was five
I didn’t know
Hunt him
Catch him
Hunt hunt
Hunt hunt
Catch him
Tie the cunt up
Tie him him him
Shut the twat up
I see you now
I know you now
I do not name you
That decision
Is my domain
Talking talking
Suddenly aware
Of you you you
You. And You.
Standing there
Watching watching
How long had you
Been watching?
In silence.
Stalking me.
The snare
Tying my hands
With twine
It was a game
But the rope
Bit tight
Cut into my wrists
And you stopped
My crying
With your fists
You you you
You. And you.
Hitting my head
Hitting my arms
Hitting my legs
I was five
I didn’t know.
Strip him strip him
Spread his legs wide
Tie him down
Then came the knives.
Cut his dick off
Cut his dick off
Do you want
To know the rest.
Do you really need
To know
Every last
Detail of what
Was done
Done to me
When I was a child.
I was only five.
I didn’t know them
I don’t know you.
I refuse to be
Defined by you
By what you, you, you,
You. And you
Did to me.
I am the man
The man I am
But it doesn’t
Define me.
You will not
Define me.
My anger
About what you did
You you you
You. And you.
Does not define
Me and my life
It is you see
Only a small
Part of what I call me
A small part
Of who I am
This is my time
My space
And I decide.


I hear your laughter still
I was five
I was a child
I knew you
I did not know you
I hear your laughter still
I was five
You will not go.
As incoherent
As the rattle
Of an empty plate
The image of a bell
Of an empty tea cup
Turned upside down
Chimes intertwine
Merging for reasons
That are maybe sublime
In their incoherence
A bell chimes
Making time
An upturned cup
Signs no more
I am empty
I am full.

© 2015, Rob Cullen

Behind Bolted Doors

Lift the latch and
you will find cracks
in the door, scarred
traces of hot tempered
sad sorrowful echoes of
screams slaps and strikes
in the tender dwellings of
famished femininity-
whose chest is crammed
with refrains of ugly curses
profane, drafted with hatred
beauty’s blend for care
created for eternal company
stays abused spared not
who will cut the strings
of human bondage
lacerant tortured
Suffering Silent Cry!
What was ancient
ignorant and abolished
made eloquent and sacred
Open the door and you will find
famished femininity current
in countless fetters
slowly visibly tabescent-

© 2019, Anjum Wassim Dar

Reuben was unflinching in calling things by their true names. I appreciate the consciousness and compassion that was evident in his work and stalwart commitment to protest poetry and poets. I did not know him personally, but I feel a deep sense of loss.

The Crude Rude Red Rooster

The family patriarch was a big man
A big crude red-faced rooster of a man
With cock’s comb of jet that wilted
In the golden glow of an honest sun
He wrapped fear around himself in the way
Of a frail old woman with her shawl
His boom and blather made the girl shiver
Like the surface of a pond brushed by a dark wind

In a greedy closet big enough to live in
He gathered his indulgences and ego props
He grew fat and aggressive on flesh foods and alcohol
He drove a big car and in parking it made
Sure intrude on his neighbor’s grace

He thought himself a “man’s man”
He kept the women in their places, as defined by him
He whipped the elder son into nervous abandon
Tried to craft him into a clone and a validation
To keep the upper hand, he pitted brother against brother
He drove the wedge of his insecurities between his sons and their wives

In his service business, women were “broads,”
And there were codes for the others –
Seven was for “Spic”
Six was for “Nigger”
Five was for “Sand-Nigger,”  like the girl, or so he thought

Time passes, people decline, and the rooster lost his peck

His wife grew brittle
She came to rule the roost and the rooster –

a “broad” ran credibly to be her country’s president
a “seven” is an astronaut, a “six” is a U.S. President,
a “five” is a governor; she never dreamed she’d see the day

As for the crude rude rooster –
He just did what most of us mostly do
He did as he was taught …

What his father taught him
What his father taught him
What his father taught him

© 2008, Jamie Dedes

I’m so saddened to hear about Rueben’s passing. His site uplifted voices that needed to be heard. Here is my submission, hopefully it is on target to honor him.

Aftermath of Silence

I turned away, jaw clenched,
Breath held, yet still seeing
The crushed spirit within her
Earth brown eyes that had
Pleaded for me to do
The thing I feared the
Most – to speak up for her
And tell him to leave
Her the fuck alone

© 2019, Irma Do

It is almost two years to the day that Reuben posted Berlin 1933, my first published poem.
Yes, his website was a place for protest against injustices but protest is another way of expressing love and concern for fellow-citizens and to affirm “our better angels”.
And wouldn’t the world be a much better place if the great majority of on-line posts expressed love and tolerance, rather than their odious opposites.
Here in the UK we are in the middle of a general election and I fear that the party which has made so many more people poorer may be re-elected.
I attach a poem which tries to go the heart of that.

In the Gulag

A crippled man, eight floors up, the lift
broken again. A woman, bed-bound,
her harassed carers late once more while she
hazes in a dream of rotting fruit.

Homeless citizens fly-tipped
to alien towns or camped
beneath the underpass; others
filling night-time doorways.

Third child, non-child!
Third child, non-child!
Should have thought of that
Just join the food-bank queue.

Better like this, no need
for wire or watchtowers,
the rabid press as guard-dogs
of the dark and scattered places,
our gulag of wilful degradation.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


I hold you often, this time,
I cannot save you.

they come as stinking flies
and burn us.

we are as dust, you and i.

this time, I cannot save you.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Your Little Soldier

Even though you chose to let him back in
I’ll always be there
If just to stand in front of you
To block his hit
Just as I’d always do
Even though I get so upset
Over thinking
Trying to figure out why you accept him
I’ll always be there, if just to stand up for you
When he calls you ugly names
Even though I tell myself I told you so
There’s no way he could ever change
I’ll always share your painful tears when I hear the tremble in your voice
Right before you begin to cry
Even though my pride tries to tell me I don’t care anymore
And that it’s your problem, not mine, whatever he may say or do to you
I’ll always be there to allow the way I care to override my stubbornness
If just to try my very best to protect you when the situation becomes too violent
I’ll always be there, if just to help you pack your bags and run with you
Even though I know every time you’ll run backwards
I’ll always be there, if just to go back with you to make sure you’ll be ok
I’ll always be there for you
Because I love you with not only all my heart, but with all I am
If you’re happy, even under the most depressing circumstances
I’ll always be there, if just to imitate your forgiveness
Because I’m your little soldier
I always have been and always will be
I’ll always fight for you, because no one will take you away from me

©2014, Kelly Miller

She Died Of a Broken Heart

As her health began to fail
You didn’t notice, you didn’t care
Your sharp cruel words cut deep into her chest
Yet you said to lift her up, you did your best
Giving the wound no attention
You made it worse with jealousy’s incision
From her body the blood of hope drained
While you kept disappointing her, she strained in pain
While she lay helplessly on the ground
You failed to assist her, you weren’t around
Her life slipped away and you took no note
When all she needed was you, love’s antidote
As the rescuers rolled her away on a stretcher
The detective shook his head and said
“She died of a broken heart. God bless her.”

© 2019, Kelly Miller

Reflections on Government

From simple language much may be inferred;
America’s lust for pleasure and commotion
Like Britain’s anal culture, I’ve a notion,
Reveals itself within the very word
Used when our nations’ rulers have concurred.
Whilst here the House is said to “pass a motion”
The other side of the Atlantic Ocean
“An act of congress” is the term preferred.
But though such speculation may be fun
The world goes on as it has always done;
It’s true: “A rose by any other name
Would smell as sweet” and so we must conclude
That whether we get shat on or get screwed
The end result is pretty much the same.

© 2019, Ben Naga

Climate Change

you’ve stolen my dreams living without limits but I can
find solace gazing at clouds and

I can watch Half-Animal Half-Girl Set In A Japanese Restaurant
in which the camera follows the activities of a masked creature
half-girl half-animal in which the camera pans to a window
through which the sky is seen to be indigo in Fukushima, 2011.
I can watch Dog Barking in which a woman gets out of her car
and makes eye contact with a dog which barks. I can watch a woman
sitting on top of a hippo manically reading newspapers and occasionally
blowing a whistle. I can watch Men Hack Off Sharks’ Fins For Shark-Fin
Soup. I can watch Tigers Singing Plaintively About Colonialism
and I can watch Jungle Book where Baloo speaks Bengali and Mowgli
speaks Spanish. I can watch People Becoming Creatures which isn’t anything
like Kafka’s nightmare. I can watch Loverfinch in which a finch teaches
an ornithologist a beautiful song. I can watch Aquarium, swap lungs for gills
and enter another world. I can stand next to a beach tree and scratch
and make a work of art from the marks and call it Where a Brown Bear
Stood Recently Clawing a Tree. I can watch Polar Bears Stranded On
a Small Volume of Ice. I can travel back three million years into the past,
press my bare feet into the fossilised footprints of The Laetoli Bipeds
and walk along my ancestors’ path, 54 steps into the future.

you’ve stolen my dreams living without limits but I can
find solace gazing at clouds and I can

invite you to listen to the purr of a cheetah the song of a blue
whale the song of a nightingale the rustle of leaves starlings
imitating ring tones and the buzz of a million
honey bees

© 2019, Eric Nicholson

You might think
conversation is futile
that telling the truth
is stressful
so you choose
to remain mute
and everything
in your midst
and in your life
has fractured
silence is
after all
and isn’t
it interesting
that Jesus
came to
set the captives
free by making
the mute speak
the deaf hear
and the blind see.
How many people
In your midst
Have suffered abuse
You might be one of them
I might be one of them
Your mother, brother,
Sister, father, neighbor
Stranger, friend
When will the silence end?
Only then, will stress fractured
Relationships begin to mend.

© 2019, June G Paul

…………. care
The crowd shout when it feels something like you and me.

© 2019, Pali Raj


A photograph is all that remains
But my soul searches
For those rose coloured
images printed
In the heart.

© 2019, Leela Soma


The Journey . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Here we are at Tuesday again, the day when we share poems submitted in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, A Study in Contrasts, October 23.

Today’s thoughtful collection is collection is courtesy of  mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Sheila Jacob, Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Kelly Miller, Ben Naga, Erik Nicholsen, Bishnu Charan Parida, and Clarissa Simmens.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning.

baseless essence

mirrors slates to the eyes
cold blood hot cries
in the forests of wires
camping for leisure
in soul of one who
was once a beauty
now the dump
they along with the trash
typhus and the brass pipes
in the underground
akin to the bony
once strong legs
of our fathers
stones from her river
are epoxy sold in bags
at the mostly made in China
flower and craft shops
we and they still people
we are flesh
twenty nine doors down
we also have botulism
to soothe the angst
of those whose spirits
have been mislead
to look inside the slate
and not see
the true worth of their inner glow

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken

cpl thisthat & his fathfool shamp/onion, thutherthing

cpl thisthat mead alist
as was gidding olivertwist:


over his shoulder was thutherthing reading
staching his woundless nonforearm unbleeding

(to be continues unaverse
post heatdeath of the UniVerse)

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: One With Clay, Image and Text

I’m Feral Lass

I’ll trash your tidy desk
rip all your documents
scribble on your certificates
shit in your desk drawers
slap a poster of my
photocopied arse
above it, with the message

“kiss it”

tip your rubbish bins
down the street

my fretted crests’ll slop
over your
carefully built barriers

spontaneous fires’ll burn
your precious stuff

my earth’ll move your home
shatter it to splinters

I’ll cut you
and kiss it better
in the blaze of my thighs

break your neat pavements
pothole your smooth roads

flood your flood defences
overgrow your borders
put weeds in your flowerbeds

steal your freshly sown seeds
bloody your egg laying chickens

shag your mates
swear at your mam and dad
give them a hug

wide eyed I’ll scarper
with a whistle
and skip down your street

shout “Anyone wanna shag me?”

And say to you,

“Now, do you love me?”

© 2019, Paul Brookes


White autumn mist hangs gently
in the valley as I walk
down the steep hill
a philip’s screwdriver
in my inside pocket
to open the casket.
I wish to recall every detail.

Carry Nana’s ashes in a pine casket,
secured by six philip screws
with four thin white strings attached,
held on by six gold pins
and this in a brown cardboard box
that has her name printed in black felt tip
on one of its leaves,

and this in a strong red paper
carrier with two gold rope like handles,
and I am surprised how heavy
it is in my hands and have to bend
my knees to pick it up. It squeaks
like new shoes when I walk.

Careful not to lose
the certificate of cremation,
I stand at the bus stop
opposite the half completed

new estate of houses built
on land I knew last year
as a cornfield where discarded
energy cans and crisp bags
lined the edge.

I walk up the hill
to the church to meet the vicar
dressed in white with gold detail.
He asks ” Do you want the casket
to be lowered in the grave
by the verger or yourself?”
I give my answer.

I lay the casket on the Lord’s table
as requested, the vicar speaks
of the resurrection and the life,
quotes revelation about the lamp
and the world without night.

I follow him and verger
down the hill of graves
past bushes full of bright red berries,
brown mushrooms flourishing
on rotten soaked wood,

kneel on the green rubber kneeler,
beside the prepared hole
under an oak tree in leaf fall
and lower the casket down
with the white string,

the gold of her nameplate
on top of the casket contrasts
with the dark clayey soil.
We say the Lord’s prayer.

Verger leaves the earth
on the grave slightly raised
so it may settle, agrees
to green bin my cardboard box

and paper carrier. I shake
his hand and say “Thankyou.”
Walk down the hill to the bus.
No screwdriver was needed.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play

Oneness of Opposites

Life is a necessary study in contrasts
of war and peace, bombs and blasts
perhaps like a rose bush awaken, only
to find the stem all full of thorns-

Clothes tattered and torn, feet bare
watch from the shop window,
someone buying a new pair,not
feeling your own cold blues’

Life and onlookers say ‘Oh look a girl’
inside you have a spirit much different
to stay, play, walk, hands in pockets
whistling a tune, head in air, indifferent

The world, art, self, explain each other
each the aesthetic oneness of opposites,
light beyond darkness, sun shining on,
while lifeless moon smiles in reflection,

to find discretion, individuality in pain
helpless in brokenness or absence of
the necessary-to find discontinuity in
design and form, continuity in spirit-

A symbiosis meaningful, love and hate
or to be an octopus, blocked by the
beauteous sea anemone which travels
for fun with the crab, in waters deep.

Life is structured with beauty in ugliness
its reality like two seas muddy and blue join,
yet do not mix, neither add nor subtract, fear
not but make sense of good and evil, at best.

O Alice You grew and shrunk in wonderland
Gulliver you commanded the Little,feared the
Giants. Fallen Angels once glorious reduced
to bees, good or bad? Yes, but by comparison-

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:

“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

Green Leaf Brown Leaf

I feel the scrunch
and slip of leaves
under my feet,
tread stars of cerise,
amber, saffron.
I catch one as it falls,
cradle it in my hands
and later, close it
between pages
of a book.

The earth is turning,
days are shortening
and restless swallows
have travelled south.
Winter is posting
its early love letter:
a hieroglyph
of shadowed branches
promising bare trees
on silver- pink skylines.

Bird’s nests will display
their woven emptiness.
A solitary wren
will etch a path
on newly laid snow
before her wings
brush the air in memory
of first tousled flights
beneath the ring
of a rosy sun.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase Sheila’s little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at

What is not is

Silence skirts
its own issue
from noise

to splinters

of a squirrel’s frenzied cry
that gag stillness

to stirrings

the faint drip
of rain

to remote

palpable pleas on stoic faces
anger fortissimo in the
crease of a forehead
voiceless echoes
from endless wells


mountains of silence
that communicate
within themselves

I too am contoured by what I am not

© 2019, Urmilia Mahajan

Urmila-ji’s site is: Drops of Dew

:: binding ::


may be the contrast here
the national library stairs.

guided to the cupboard,
the collection dusted, labelled,
named as important. emptied,
is the proof that nothing can be

nothing is now something, quality
of non existence, held us in a
moment, then we moved on blindly
looking for something,

as we are bound.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

A Sour Honey


Excruciating Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul suffering Bleeding Healing Bleeding Healing Opening and closing our wounds Self-inflicted and victimized Hanging on and letting go of the theory “It gets better with time” Love takes Greedily While we give out Completely Love loves scheming Exploiting our hope, faith, and innocence What began with purity and bliss Ends in perversion and depression Stepping on the sharp clinging briars Nestled in that beautiful lush green grass Must we take the bitter with the sweet?


Ecstasy Mind, heart, and spirit The whole of the soul reaping Blossoming Growing Blossoming Growing Opening and closing on romance Every second apart is some great deprivation Enraptured and constricted Hanging on for dear life to the theory “Love is everything” Love provides in full Generous and compassionate While we take in desperation of its ripe fruits Consuming and yearning for more Protecting our hope, faith, and innocence The promise of forever thrives within desire and endurance Climbing the stepping stones to a perfect divine passion Rain turns into liquid sunshine We maintain a dying infatuation with pleasure Must we take the bitter with the sweet?

From Kelly’s collection The Riddle and the Dedication II, available on

© 2019, Kelly Miller

Kelly’s site is: Found My Touch, Creating and Discussing Visual Art

The Living Room

We’re uncertain exactly where we are
Or what it is we are for that matter
One day we found ourselves cohabitation
No idea how that happened to happen

The bedroom’s not to either of our tastes
But that matters not, we pay little heed
Spend time in sleep, dreaming or dalliance
The living room – quite another matter

For here is where we spend most of our time
Agreeing, disagreeing, arguing
It seems important to get it just right
If only our visions weren’t so diverse

No that’s not it let’s try it over here
Or maybe a slightly different colour
You say we preferred it a while ago
I have to say I don’t remember that

Paint tester pots have left their splotchy marks
Loved by the one but not by the other
A whole rainbow of dissatisfactions
Look around – our living room is a mess

All kinds of ill-matching chairs and sofas
Piled with old issues of Ideal Home
Not a place we ever sit and relax
Let’s face it … we’re just as ill-matched ourselves

We strove to create our own mise-en-scène
The expression of that that which we are
Let’s give up as we are already here
For this is our truth – a study in contrasts

© 2019, Ben Naga

Ben Naga’s site is: Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire.”

John Everett Millais’ The Blind Girl

…………………………First of all I sat for the blind girl. It was dreadful suffering, the
…………………….sun poured in through the window. I had a brown cloth over my
forehead which was some relief but several times I was as sick
as possible and nearly argued. Another day I sat outside in a hay
field, and when the face was done Everett scratched it out; he
wasn’t pleased with it and complained about the showers.

Smoke from Everett’s pipe got in my eyes so I had to shut them.
He told me to keep them shut. He told me not to see the beggar
boy on the toll road; he told me not to see the three crows
feeding on a dead rabbit or the adder by his own left boot.
I laughed and said I could still see with my eyes shut. I could
smell the acrid smoke rising from a factory chimney; I could
hear the donkeys coughing in the field; I could hear the boy
weeping. He told me to be blind.

The concertina was lent by Mr Pringle who had a daughter who
had died. It was hers. He said we could keep it as it would never
be played again. I smoothed my orange skirt and rested the
concertina on my lap doing my best to be blind. It was difficult
to keep my eyes shut on such a beautiful day. Everett said there
was a double rainbow so I had to look. Everett wasn’t pleased as
he was doing the face again. I stretched out my right hand and
touched a wild flower growing in the grass. I knew it was a
harebell as my little finger fitted inside just as if it was a

The next day the weather seeped into our drawing room and the
double rainbow arched over the carpet. I had my eyes open and
could see a painted lady fluttering at the window pane. I could
hear concertina music softly playing.

Part-found prose poem: Source/ Effie Millais’ journals

© 2019, Eric Nicholsen

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. Eric’s site is:

The Journey

Like a road, the journey
Moves through the picturesque countryside,
Jungles, plains and plateaus
Full of fauna and flora,
Down through the verdant valleys,
Spiraling, meandering, rising, falling
Over the strenuous mountains
And rough, rocky terrains,
Crawling through the underpasses
Climbing over the bridges

Flying in the air
Or sailing on the sea, and,
Sometimes through barren meadows,
The journey trudges through the eerie deserts, even,
Stretches of infinite nothingness and evanescent horizons

The moment when a newborn cries,
Heralding its arrival, the family celebrates birth
With joyousness and vigor,
But death deceives the dearest departing untimely,
Leaving the kin breaking in tears

The whole earth rotates
And revolves,
Time changes its colors
Happiness and sorrows
The ceaseless journey spears through,
Dawn or dusk
Day or night
Black or white
Up or down
Birth or death
In a striking contrast

© 2019, Bishnu Charan Parida

Bishnu-ji’s site is: Bishnu’s Universe Bishnu is just getting his blog started. We wish him much joy in this creative effort. 

Something About a City

Sometimes I can smell Philadelphia
But I’m really scenting my youth
Tasting it
Feeling all my senses
Reaching out
For the city I love

Sitting behind the Gothic pile
Known as City Hall
Skyscrapers towering above it all
Unknown but should-be known
Rock band serenading us for free

So much human life
In contrast to my swamp so rife
With four-legged dwellers
Fascinating to watch
Lacking, though, in conversational skills

Wish I could live in both
Out the front door, city
Out the back door, swamp

And like Tarot’s Temperance
I’d have one foot in the mire
One foot in the asphalt
Perfectly balanced…

© 2017, Clarissa Simmens

Simply the Sun

The sun is not mysterious enough
To rate writing about
Moon mystique is endlessly
Appearing in the darkness
Drawing our blood, tides
And ruling our emotions
Contrast the sun
A necessity for all life
Dosing us with Vitamin D
Nothing enigmatic though
Just there
Even if it seems invisible
Like during polar winters
Of utter darkness
Or on stormy sub-tropical noons
Even on cloudy beaches
Evidenced by the wind-blown skin damage
It is there on twilight evenings
As night-bloomers like Evening Primrose
Open and stretch
Toward its sleepy rays
Dark or light
Dim or bright
The sun is always there
No, nothing mysterious about it
Just a burning ball having
Occasional tantrums
As the spots explode
We understand its punishment
On desert roads
Our bodies mercilessly drying
There are so many moon songs
But not many sun ones
So what’s to write about?
Yet, my favorite time of day is dawn
When the sun sails above the Earth
Breaking through the horizon’s rim
My heart thuds loudly because another day
Another chance for a good day
Is once again hovering in the dawn
Let it be today, I think longingly

© 2017, Clarissa Simmens

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

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

“The New Narcissist” … and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“It was hitting me now, really for the first time, how being fucked up can turn into a form of narcissism. So that I barely acknowledged that others might need something from me.”  Koethi Zan, The Follower

And it being Tuesday, here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Narcissism Rising, July 24. We are all narcissists to one degree or another. Thankfully, we’re not all pathologically so.  A thought provoking collection here with our poets’ explorations of narcissism in its many manifestations.

This collection is courtesy of Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb y Felio, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Pali Raj, and Mike Stone. Today we also warmly welcome Shaun Jax and Kelly Miller and the poems they share.

Enjoy! And do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will be posted on August 7th.  I’m taking some time off from The Poet by Day to get caught up with other writing but I look forward to see you back here within a week.  Meanwhile, poem on …

The New Narcissus

Got my Prada
Got my Gucci
Got drama like Susan Lucci
I’m a TMZ All Star
Killin’ the Game
So check my follower count –
‘Cause everyone knows my name
And y’all, I’ll do anything
If it gets me noticed
Got those tabloid scandals
Like my name was POTUS
And I really don’t care
‘Bout no kids at the border
Trophy wife like Bugatti y’all
I had to import her
Now I wear her on my arm
Like a gold Rolex
‘Til she gets a little older
Then it’s “thank you, next!”
Just like DJ Khaled
All I do is win
And y’all actin’ so offended
But you keep tunin’ in
‘Cause this is Hadleyburg
Everybody knows it
All it took were some pieces
Of gold to expose it
So keep my name trendin’
Y’all, give it a boost
But don’t act so surprised
That I’ve come home to roost

© 2019, Shaun Jex

SHAUN JEX is the publisher and editor of the Citizens’ Advocate newspaper. In addition to his poetry and journalistic work, he writes frequently about pop culture history. To read more of his poetry, visit

The #1 Narcissist

I know how the #1 Narcissist operates
His ego we’ve learned to defend and tolerate
Ask for what He wants and He’ll grant it
With the quickness
Ask for what you want and He’ll ignore it
Like it’s bullshit
His Will is vapid and discriminatory
So know that you’re on your own my darling
He gives freely what you must earn
By toiling for nothing
And then He names it “blessing”
As you force yourself to appreciate
Thinking…knowing, “This isn’t for me.”
One-sided, selfish, and jealous
He full well knows that if He always comes first
There will be nothing left
And there will always be
An abrupt ending to your happiness
Before He recognizes all you’ve sacrificed for Him
And His unrealized promises
You will give out completely
Before you have realized your own dreams
Trying to live under the threat of the most righteous smite
Forbidden to, and anyway no energy left
To fight for your personal rights
Always feeling as innocently guilty
And highly undeserving as He says you should be
Yes, this is what you must deal with
As a subject of the #1 Narcissist
So just know that you’re on your own in all this
Precious Princess

From Kelly’s third book of poetry, The Riddle and the Dedication II

© 2014, Kelly Miller

KELLY MILLER is a fine artist and creative writer. Her art concentration is painting and her favorite writing genre is poetry. Kelly has been a professional artist since 2008 and an author since 2015. Her work can be found on,, and She’s have written three books entitled The Riddle and the Dedication, The Green Maze, and The Riddle and the Dedication II. Kelly says, ” I am excited to become a part of your creative community and share my poetry with you.”

Frame It

in high definition people take photos,
paint pictures of emptiness.

Ensure the image is pin sharp,
Every detail of blank space captured.

Many pixelled selfie. A landscape
without land. A panorama of stillness.

It has the highest click rate online,
a million likes and shares.

People wish to buy it, blow it up
for their walls, print the image on mugs.

It becomes a meme, an emoji.
Nothing is celebrated.
Frame It (A World Where 2)

in high definition people take photos,
paint pictures of emptiness.

Ensure the image is pin sharp,
Every detail of blank space captured.

Many pixelled selfie. A landscape
without land. A panorama of stillness.

It has the highest click rate online,
a million likes and shares.

People wish to buy it, blow it up
for their walls, print the image on mugs.

It becomes a meme, an emoji.
Nothing is celebrated.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Our Insanity

is healthy. Hurt others,
hurt yourself. Hospitals

widen wounds. Firemen
are firestarters. Doctors

avidly spread disease.
Dementia is encouraged.

Helpfulness and reasoned action
is criminal. Thought for others

will get you referred to a psychiatrist.
Multiple personality is encouraged.

Not knowing who you are is wellbeing.
Celebrate murder, envy, greed, selfishness.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

I Borrow

distortions. I want to look
like her or him, so I can be

her or him. I buy their perfume,
their makeup to look a million dollars.

I want to be distorted into them.
Only by doing this can I be true

to myself, and who I am. Plastic
surgery would make me feel better.

I could be younger, fresher more vibrant.
Adverts tell me this, because I’m not.

Adverts tell you how to distort yourself
into who you are. Are you with me?

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Must Be Shiny (A World Where 2)

This apple, your skin.
This car, this screen.

See yourself in them.
All buffed into mirrors.

These windows. This door.
Folk wear sunglasses always.

Brightness means brand new.
Eyes must sparkle.

Coffins burnished. Wars
between levels of bright.

Highly polished means highly skilled,
means sharp as glass, witty as stainless.

Born bright, live bright, die bright.
Gloom is dullness is ignorant.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Her Tongue

an unbroken red apple.

She rubs it on her inner thigh
till it gleams into a mirror.

Inspects her reflection
in the apple mirror.

Hungry she breaks the mirror
with her teeth. Sweetness

In her mouth makes her smile.
Her reflection is not poisonous.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Are Complete

We had our time to be made
whole, and perhaps thought we were
only part of what we could be,

find an image of what we could be,
and ignore the scary one that looks
back from the mirror because

it is all we don’t want to see,
so drape a silk scarf, or cardboard
over it, make it a partial likeness.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Soil Is A Mirror

we plant our needs in
we can see ourselves
in its grains
as it feeds the want
of our mouths

we admire ourselves
in its smooth curves
the way it flatters
our aging shapes
smooths wrinkles

as we tumble
on its glassy surface
shafts of light pierce
its dark skin
and we see ourselves
as shadows that play

upon grains of sand
fused into mystery.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play

Every time she took a step towards him, he took two away
‘stay at a distance’ the silent message cut across flat space
every time she lost grace but ‘Man is Master’ He commands
‘he has been taught to’, not obey nor cooperate nor guide

the new car, first day on road, hit a child, blood on the bonnet
and shirt cuff, then continuously hit other objects till the top
went from cherry to white, ‘I know how to drive,it’s the other
person’s fault’ running across the road without looking,head in air

‘Bring me my mirror’ tell me how best I look at this age too
no feeling of infirmity,I can sing and dance and eat and drink
‘who says I had the quad bypass’ see I can getup without support
and walk a mile and throw the ball and lift the box full to the brim

this is my room, this, my car, this my flower vase, this my cupboard
I always order chicken for my meals, usually with kebabs and ‘naan’
‘bread?it gets stuck in my throat’, and my timings for eating are regular
why, it is my dinner time and you people are having tea at 7.p.m.’ Uh’

the heat behind her head grew stronger, the spell like ‘mantra woke her up
‘he was praying’ ‘go out go out’ a voice warned, ‘I am with my God’ as I wish’
he said pushing the heater closer, ‘God is One and we all pray to Him, He hears
Alas’ man does not,’not listening is the thing that hurts’ not listening with a sneer’

The eyes, his eyes, fill his needs, all day, ‘pull the shirt down a bit
that is better, I like them longer, cover not the head, looks odd-

and so she became deaf and dumb and heartless and blind and thoughtless
drifting into another world of colorful music countless letters words and lines
what are needs ? what is company? Who needs them anyways, who indeed
see the blue sky, watch the birds fly, mind is the place , to walk between the pines.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Ji’s sites are:

“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

The Influencer’s Lament

I click a pic to show the world
 The cute outfit that shows my abs
10,000 likes and 100 retweets
It’s confirmed, I’m just so fab!
I send a tweet to show support
 For cleaning up the ocean
300 likes – I hit delete – wtf?
Not enough commotion
I try again, a sassy tweet 
No substance behind my stance
100K likes! A Kim K retweet!
Going viral – here’s my chance!
I know I’m great – I see my stats 
And now I’m getting money
Yet when I turn the iPhone off
My tummy just feels funny
And so I Insta, Tweet and Vlog
 My soul and body baring
50,000 friends like me, me, me
Yet still, I keep despairing…

© 2019, Irma Do

Irma’s site is: I Do Run, And I do a few other things too ….


In my garden there is a reflection pool
surrounded by narcissus
I spend admiring time there
contemplating the me in us.

I do want to know your thoughts
about me and what I think
and if you’re hungry or thirsty
and if you’d make for me a drink

What are your plans for the future
before you answer, here are mine
I hope you don’t mind I canceled
the reservations at that new place to dine

I knew there’d be distraction
you wouldn’t focus on yours truly
and what’s the use of spending the money
when we could stay home and be unruly

You’re such a trooper to understand
and always put me first
which of course is where I belong
otherwise it would a curse

to live with someone thinking less of himself
pretending humility
remember there’s no I in us
and also no YOU in ME.

© 2019, Deb y Felio

Deb’s site is: Writer’s Journey

. type of love .

was hoping to garden yesterday, clear the ground,
it was a challenge, with all that rain. so we
mended things, with love and string.

it is a challenge, 52 , to even think and google

many types, immeasurable, not three nor for all
of us. yet those of us who do, may trust blindly,
childishly love our toys, cherish home, hold

i looked up, that does not mean i love you.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. letter to a friend . eight .

it has been a while since we spoke.

even now, you will not receive this letter,
along with others not sent.

some went away to exhibition, while others remain in my head.

it is the rule, no contact. today is cooler, we change the clocks soon.

i suppose you are nearly retired, yet i have lost track.

even so, i reflect on what i have done, i ask, what have i done?

it lingers in the past with no judgement here, they are good friends.
we may ask what have you done, yet it does not matter now.

all things pass.

i shall occasionally write, and never send.

no contact.



© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

~ winter food ~

there was no fanfare,
no procession, no proclamation,
as i hit the button, no exclaimation
as i changed my life. as if no one
noticed, and if i am right, they
probably didn’t.

didn’t see as i drove the valley,
didn’t protest, or speak in tongues,
did not see the little things.

we bought winter food.


© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


did you notice the different weaves,
the names, the celtic not. have you

heard the language, problems arising,
too long spent driving. two of them
work well, one is new paper
that will not ash the flame.

will you remember them, narcussus,
small people who suffer?

i will send their photograph.

This is great. This is fantastic.
A distance up the beach
There are us
Shouting in the waves, ‘me-me’
And I feel someone grab my hand
Narcissism rising, a poem want to swim,
Then how could I stop loving you? YEAH
I don’t want you to think I am imagining a world without you.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

This is great. This is fantastic.
A distance up the beach
There are us
Shouting in the waves, ‘me-me’
And I feel someone grab my hand
Narcissism rising, a poem want to swim,
Then how could I stop loving you? YEAH
I don’t want you to think I am imagining a world without you.

© 2019, Pali Raj


Raanana, December 7, 2017

Back in the days when metaphors were taken literally
And myths were news hot off the minstrel’s breast
It was sung that Narcissus was transfixed
By the beauty of his reflection in a pond
And fell in, drowning
But the truth was that he wrote a poem
That drew a tear from the cheek of a young maiden
And was enamored with his reflection in her tear,
Then the skies became grey and bloated, letting go
Their raindrops which poor Narcissus saw his image
In each and every one,
Then he saw himself in every poem he read
(Everyone knows there’s more poems
Than raindrops in the sky)
He went crazy chasing every poem ever written
As well as those are yet to be,
And everyone knows that going crazy
Is far worse than drowning.

from Mike’s third book of poetry, Bemused

(c) 2017, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, 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.



Recent in digital publications: 
* Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman.

I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at for permissions or commissions.