“Shriveled Rose Petal” and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


So many takes on growing old: gifts, beauty and downsides. These are responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, October 11, Once Upon a Time When They Were OldWelcome to Billy Antonio, here for the first time and thanks to Billy, Ginny Brannan, Renee Espiru, Iulia Gherghei , Colin Blundell, Gary W. Bowers, Kakahli Gosh, Lady Nimue, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Paul Brookes for so beautifully rising to the occasion and so generously sharing their work. Find some smiles here, a giggle or two, a sigh, a tear … and a load of talent and wisdom.


shriveled rose petal
the intricate veins
on mother’s hands

© 2017, Billy Antonio

Billy Antonio

BILLY ANTONIO is a poet, writer, and public school teacher. He is the author of the mini-chapbook In a Country with Two Seasons (a haiku collection) published by Poems-For-All. His short story, The Kite, has been broadcast on 4EB-FM, 98.1 in Brisbane, Australia. Some of his fiction and poetry have been published in Tincture Journal, Red River Review, Poetry Quarterly, Akitsu Quarterly, Anak Sastra, The Cicada’s Cry, Frameless Sky, The Mainichi, Scifaikuest, Star*Line, The Asahi Shimbun, Sonic Boom, among others. His poetry has won international recognition. He lives in the Philippines with his wife, Rowena, and his two daughters, Felicity and Asiel Sophie.


Old age

prisoner of my bad temper
in search of my light past
when I used to laugh my tears out
everything was a reason for laughter
jokes on everyone
I was the soul of the party
the champagne was sparkling into my eyes
now the joke is on me
I’ve suddenly realized that
laughter had abandon the ship
I enjoy only the sound of a quiet evening
alone…
Now it’s a time in my life when my engines
run slowly
In fact I have energy just to watch others pass by
to watch leaves turning green
to really breathe the air and sense the fragrance of a fresh born flower
Now I run the movie of my life backwards
I’m stunt how always in a hurry I used to be
obsessed to be free, nobody to interfere in my way
Now when I am tired, and maybe smarter
for sure older
I stopped by the river side, stare at my reflection in the fluid mirror
And silently shared a tear

© 2017, Iulia Gherghei  (Sky Under Construction)


wither so ever

the sun is an e-z bake oven
the years are the crepers of flesh
these witches cast spells from their coven
and incubate me in a creche

their eye of newt makes me a baby
dependent and feeble and blind
to crawl via walker and maybe
refetusize curly-q-spined

old age ain’t for sissies said bette
i grow old said prufrock by eliot
the challenge for us who are ready
to set jaw and fire-in-the-belly it

when entropy renders defective
when age compromises reliance
and culture says Old’s Ineffective
that when we all most need DEFIANCE

so HERE WE ARE, Jamie, STILL PUNCHING
still proving we have what it takes
and on through the gravel-strides crunching
concocting NEW Models and Makes.

© 2017, Gary W. Bowers  (One With Clay)


A Magical Dance

See the youth that resides within me
mirrored dark curls framing a woman’s
face who now breathes easier

not often the case when questions curled
like a hazy halo of smokey confusion
within my days and nights

watch me convey knowledge soul filled
now a sign of experiential vibrant color
a glowing gold not in the guise
of youth’s vanity

see my spirit soar within mirrored eyes
clear as mountain spring waters
seeing deep as ocean valleys
thunderous as waterfalls

filling crystal clear rivers running swift
choreographed with a magical dance
of a sprite or fairy or two

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


#Desire for Endless Love#

Why so alluring this argil is !
Why so mysterious this forest is !
Clasping dusk in a swan’s wings
Groping the falling darkish with shedded coniferous leaves
In the twilight of life when each spirit waits for someone
Eyes brim with tears
Birds retire to their nests flying over the blue ocean
Defraying moistures in their slender feathers
Flute of a shepherd boy sway my old heart
The night comes through stairs of mist
Through my watery old eyes
Agony switches apiece
But today in this watery moonlit night someone is at my door
Someone has reposed his eyes in my old eyes
In this assembly of life
O my unknown love
Please never renounce my crooked hands
Life crinkles body shrinks

But Love is endless – eternal
Please love me dear till
My last breath
Saying I’m pretty in your eyes
with my grey hair
Dry lips and vague vision
Kissing me upon my doom and cheeks
With Crisscross streaks …

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh


..my world of leaves..

is this the final drop, slowly. not the white

wind blown kind that raises spirits. this

is due to a colder day, early morning five

below.

maybe this or a lack of adrenaline caused

it, the coming together of years which

slowly pass.

shadows of birds. dust motes in air.

marmalade toast.

is this the final drop?

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


it’s been such an easy life

on the outside (he says) counting the hours
that have fled all too quickly
a ripple in time
way beyond into the future

I’ve been awaiting something (he says)
for which I had to sit
in a comfortable anteroom
listening to the sounds of music
and laughter from inside the great hall

on the inside (he says) I’m still wondering
what I’m going to be when I grow up –
how I will frequent the literary pubs
& sit writing poetry at beer-stained tables
being a constant mystery
to the anxious youth at an adjacent table –
myself when young

I stride through all the Magic Cities;
I conduct my own symphonies of sound
and enter the soul of these two new cats

© 2017, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)


The Older Me

The older me knows my worth,
The value of my ideas and words,
She tells the stories with pride
That the younger me wants to hide;

The older me knows what’s lost
Was perhaps meant only as thoughts
But the more it lingered in the heart,
The younger me cried when time came to part.

The older me can not read this post
But she listens well and sings a lot
She dances on the whims of her own
Something that young me could not.

The older me is no more beautiful
Or any less than who I am right now
But she has a heart younger,mind pure
Than I can ever aspire to hold.

© Lady Nimue (Prats Corner: Pages of my mind: collecting words, experiences and memories …)


Unknowns

Who will I be when I grow old…
will I sit and babble nonsense rhyme
old poems and remnants left behind—
when those final years take hold.

Will past and present merge as one,
as mind relinquishes control;
or stay alert, my thoughts left whole
while body starts to come undone.

No gypsy fortune-tellers, we—
what lies before us, undefined
should favor nod as we decline
perhaps we’ll keep our sanity

Yes, all things acquiesce to time…
we only hope the years are kind.

© 2017, Ginny Brannan

Love Undying

He comes to visit each day,
reminding us as he enters that he’ll
be taking her home as soon as she’s
better, as soon as she’s stronger;
his dear sweet wife.

He lives for this woman, now mute
regressed in her memory–
holding tightly to a baby doll
perhaps for comfort, or perhaps
lost in vision of childhood
long past.

He gently wheels her through the halls
as though on some grand tour–
then he sits on the sofa in the hall
and lovingly clasps her pale parchment hand.
Talking softly, he asks

“Do you know what day today is?
It’s New Years eve day”

……”Can you hear me?”

……“Do you know who I am?”

and I wonder…

When I am old and lost in my thoughts
will someone come to see me each day,
gently take me by the hand–
and quietly remind me who I am?

© 2017, Ginny Brannan


Born Old

coddled in wool blanket drifts
Sun sears baby eyes through bright windows,
hospital paths cleared tall walls
of snow either side. I howled

a gust down shop aisles, on street
to the dentists. Crowds frowned.
Summer bike rides in country lanes
Spring divorced winter.

Summer was another dialect. Coarser,
to play was to laik, sweets were spice.
Wide games in a silver wood, ventured
into cold huts. Fun with sausages and custard.

Hull hunkered in Christian winter, relieved by Summer gamelan and hope for a vocation
to last manual work and taking the pillock.
It didn’t. Winter of closing pits.

Bristol summered in performance
Classes on interview technique, teach
Teenagers how to think into a job.
beyond unemployment benefit office screens

Spout words over dripped lager louts,
Back in summered day buzz of words clapped,
then winter cancered into debt
and prodigal return. No fatted calf

only steroid fatted bald mam and chores
in garden until I met my future wife
for a bet in breaks between admin.
Summered teach adults write and history.

A winter that lasted twelve years headset
yoked ears bent to abuse from wronged
Customers and peddled official lines.
Summer came with an unwanted death,

A years enjoyment of travel and delight.
Summer comes in to autumn with cash gone.
Life a priority. Bills must be paid. Work
only part time, buzz when I help customers.

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Know Old

You know you’re human when

you put your leg in the wrong
way in your boxer shorts.

you pick up your wife’s toothbrush,
not yours and use her toothpaste,
not yours, oblivious to both.

when it’s hot you put on too much
clothing, when it’s cold, too little.

wear underpants with holes
in the crutch through wear not design.

laugh at books and signs full
of epigrammatic phrases about
growing old, living with someone,
the habits of cats and dogs.

© 2017, Paul Brookes


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

“Stories of Hope” …. and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


Such beautiful and uplifting responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, l’chaim, October 4, 2017. Together, these are a small gift of antidote to news reports. Grab a cup of tea. Take a breath. Read. Ponder. Smile! These are as Paul Brookes says, “happy poems.”

Thanks to Paul, Lady Nimue, Renee Espiru, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Colin Blundell and Kakali Das Gosh for coming out to play.

Please join us for tomorrow’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, always theme – not form – based. You are welcome no matter the stage of your career – beginner, emerging, professional. It’s all about getting to know other poets and having your say.


Stories of Hope

The world thrives on stories of hope,

Little cracked,but surviving homes;

I live each moment in awe

From when life picked me first

So out of line, yet so full of want;

You are home to me,my world,

The only constant reminder,

My prayers and wishes answered;

No matter what changes around,

Am blessed;love can be found

If you raise a toast for the gifts

That equally to strangers, you receive to give.

© 2017, Lady Nimue, Prats Corner: Pages of my mind: collecting words, experiences and memories …

Lady Nimue is new to our pages but has been blogging and posting her poems and other works for years. She says in her “I, Me, Myself” – “I love to experiment in reading, watching and listening to all that suggested to Me by close friends and trusted sources; and then i maintain a record here of my reactions and impressions – what i hear myself say in my head and heart about all the living and non !

“Hope you find something of your liking too !! And  if you don’t let me know about that too ..”

We welcome Lady Nimue to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt.


there was a time

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

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

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

© 2017, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

From a forthcoming book of poems by Colin Blundell

NOTE: 7/6d old money in 1964 = what would be 36p now
= after inflation in 2017 £6.80 = US$ 8.80


.the year.

gently go forward, then gently back
recreating past deeds and misdemenours
you thought forgotten.

gently go forward knowing we are mostly
all the same, with motes not spoken of,
except disorder.

gently it passed behind you, seen
clearly while looking for god.

gently gather winter leaves to keep
in paper bags. these are the golden
days .

my friend.

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

..earth & heaven..

I have been away, this is the first day back.

not floods, yet death, and roofs flying, to produce home less ness.

I understand nothing of your situation, yet I know some stuff, and mostly i can only listen.

I guess we have to help ourselves. I met some good people away.

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


Every New Beginning

To every newborn baby born
to those that overcome
to family diverse and all

for every new sunrise bright
for every moonlit night

the seasons that bring change
mother nature nurturing growth
remains

as seen in fields of flowers
kaleidoscope colors
in seeding fields & in
fields laid fallow

to harvesting and being thankful
for the celebration of life
& living

within each beginning
lies peace
Meta

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


#An appeal to endure #

A dark tunnel
A murky avenue
A lunatic   storm
Puzzled looks
Embarrassed scenes
Pixilated hearts
A giggling child
A lotus pond
A blooming daffodil
Vanished agony
Annihilated pain
An appeal to endure …

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh


A Little Girl

places an autumn oak leaf
in all its yellow and red on my conveyor belt.

I consider my potential responses:

Sorry love you can’t buy that here.

Sorry love it has no barcode, so won’t go through.

That’s a free gift from nature, love.

At the finish I advise

Sorry you can’t put that through, love

and she removes the leaf from the belt.

At the finish it is all child’s play
in the adult buy and sell.

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

A Grandkid’s Hug

1.

You’re such a klutz!
as I pull out my wallet
and silver coin falls out

I hold your warm hand
after all these years
and something passes
something does not fall

2.

Magic a grandkids hug
Round the middle
Softens sharp nails
Smooths frayed edges

Unaware hug anyway
any how whatever any why
all hammering
all awkward shaving down.

Gone in an instant.
Grandkids hugs should be
ever prescribed
On NHS

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

In A Hush

of winter
from bare limbs silhouetted

against a grey sky
a sudden voice
from tiny lungs

your full heart lifts
as if the tree had blossomed
unexpectedly.

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

A Breathless

small boy in an angry bird t shirt,
mock flight jacket,
Hawaiian shorts and trainers
bursts into the shop shouting

“What-What-time-is-it?
When-do-you-close?
I’ve got fifty pee.”

I reply that we close at eight,
so he has an hour.

“Just ran all way here.
What can I buy? he asks
mouth open before a wall of sweets.

I show him in one corner trays full
of small chocolate eggs at 49p.
“Yes. Yes one of these.”

His delight makes me smile.

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


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY