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


wobbly sobby. . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry.”  Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers [recommended reading]

This week we bring you poems of on the perfection in imperfection in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Wabi Sabi, November 13. This wasn’t an easy prompt because the philosophy was new to many.

“In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-Sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”  . . . Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.” Wikipedia MORE

As always, all poets have come through beautifully for us, putting their own creative mark on Wabi Sabi.

Thanks for this collection go to: Gary W. Bowers, Anjum Wasim Dar,  Urmila Mahajan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Eric Nicholson, Pali Raj, and Leela Soma. Enjoy! and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome to join in: novice, emerging, or pro.

wobbly sobby

on the potter’s wheel is an opportunity
to fail. the future potter rarely raises a cylinder
the first time, nor times two through ten.
getting good at wheel-throwing takes a
determination shared by marathoners
and golfers and ballroom dancers. meanwhile,
the future potter uses his wire tool
to cut heap after heap of wobbly, wet clay
from the wheelhead or the batt. when at last
a cylinder is up, there are almost always
many things wrong with it.

here is a still-future potter
and his new creation. it slumps
slightly. it wobbles
when the wheel is brought up
to trimming speed. the hat
drawn by dr. seuss for his cat
has a similar shape.

the still-future potter doesn’t care. he sobs,
but not out loud, for joy. he will never
feel as though raising a cylinder
is out of his reach. that it took
so many times, and wobbles, and sobs,
only reinforces the bedrock
of his foundation
of his becoming.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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

A Perceptive Romance

crimson gold,shaded cool sunset
so deeply loved,fills empty souls
what hate prevails in daylight-
A perceptive romance

beloved sheep with precious wool
sheered to the skin, undressed
sacrificed goaded roasted
bleating is no music

water mirror like, ivory silver
smiled at, caressed , hated in
stagnant filthy swamps
its loss, mourned.

love the creative spirit in non
creativity, like lotus in muddy pond
tree valued green or brown-
body and soul, split in bond

embrace all,cool or hot
all here will be soon, gone
circle will come full circle
imperfection, – the mortal round

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:


Every life is an intake of breath
in the corridors of humanity
The spirit of the past
unfolds within
A stirring that

churns the present
Every moment is splendid
with the awareness
that like a drop of dew
I can only be certain
I am here now

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew

. skin imperfect.

some of you is gone, halfed,

precious skin.

the dress

hanging black

is photographed

as if you have no memory.

may be

more soothing,

than remembering.

touch the surface.


© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: mole hillls & broken plates ::

we discussed the hardness of the ground,
it is still quite cold. yet we found that moles
make soft places for planting.

dig up buried crocks for saving.

old photographs spur us on, to
care and treasure, to sweep and clean.

so wash and mend your broken plates
my friends, become a gentler way,
make a pleasant day.

look for mole hills, and old photographs.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

Days and days

Philip Larkin told us Days
bring the priest and doctor
running over the fields.
On this rainy day I’m pressed
into the Day’s four walls, the cold
seeping into my bones. Restless
I’m too aware the Day doesn’t fit me;
it’s like an oversized overcoat.

My brother texts me and I reply,
Winter isn’t my favourite time,
Ditto, he replies. Afterwards
I resist thinking of summer sun
and wish I could wear each day
like a well-tailored suit.

© 2019, Eric Nicholson

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

For a long long time
I couldn’t figure it out
Who I am?

I went to school
Asked a teacher
She said, ‘I’ll talk to your father’.

I was a kid. A little kid.
I had to learn
How to kiss?

I returned to the book
Flipped about twenty pages
I kinda need help

For a long long time
I couldn’t figure it out
Who I am?

I went to a bar
Asked the bartender
He said, ‘I’ll make you cocktail’

I had a peg. A little peg.
I had to learn
How to introduce myself?

I took a sip.
Spoke a few English words.
Genius. Lover. Coward. Drinker.
I’m kinda happy whoever I am.
I was drunk.

For a long long time
I couldn’t figure it out
Who I am?

© 2019, Pali Raj

Nature’s music

Morning dew like jewels on spring green grass
crystals shimmering in the glow of a dawn sunrise,

drip, drip of tiny of raindrops, a soft chord
Or drizzle from heaven brushing soft on my eyelids
mist, layers of mist over rivers that flow ever so gently
Silver spray, sea foam caressing my ankle on the shore
Rippling, the swash, the crest white returning to the blue

trees swaying fiercely as autumn winds denude them
Music of orphaned leaves lying uncared for like
carpets of gold, brown and red over grey pavements
Scrunching sounds under foot, like a beat to
the hailstones falling on the roof tiles. Cold

frost and ice a chilling serape of winter hibernation
snow-sprinkled homes with a soft light in the window
nature’s notes, musical score, a beautiful symphony.

© 2019, Leela Soma

Leela’s site is: Leela Soma, Scottish Writer and Poet

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 and encourages activist poetry.  Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications: Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Woma Words Literary Press, November 19, 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

To Be a Poet. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“. . . when a good poet is confronted with difficult facts that he knows to be true but also are inimical to poetry, he has no choice but to flee to the margins; it was . . . this very retreat that allowed him to hear the hidden music that is the source of all art.”  Orhan Pamuk, Snow

And this being Tuesday, here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, I Am the Poem, October 9., which involved process. The poems which form today’s collection include two from newcomers who are warmly welcomed here: midnight sky’s poet and Erik Nicholson.  The other are from our stalwart participants: Gary W. Bowers, Olive Branch, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Clarissa Simmens, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning. All are welcome to come out and play, no matter the stage of your career: beginning, emerging, or pro.

To Be a Poet

To be a poet
is to sit behind the throne,but put
pen on paper and rule the kingdom.
To be a poet
is to cry and be broken,but put
pen on paper and create a smile for somebody else.
To be a poet
is to fail and lose your faith,but put
pen on paper and give hope to the world.
To be a poet
is to look into his eyes and stammer,but put
pen on paper and win a handful of hearts.
To be a poet,
is to be only human,but put
pen on paper and build a castle on the moon.

© 2019, midnight sky’s poet

Wecome, midnight sky’s poet!
midnight sky’s poet has a passion for all things literary, especially poetry and is new to blogging and to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt.  Link HERE to visit and encourage.

I am not a poem
written from the other side

a hundred poems remained unwritten
when you were alive
and now
the letters blur and drop
out of sight
in a fugitive dance of black
and white

this unwritten poem hears your whispers
from the other side
and wishes to
lie alongside the annotations you made in pencil
when it could
be fixed if only your annotations
were collected up
and rearranged in dark lines
along side
a rejected passage
filial fellowship

but this
unwritten poem cannot
set in ink the past’s lack.

© 2019, Eric Nicholson

Welcome, Eric Nicholson (Erik Leo, All Things Creative)
I am retired and live in England. I try and keep active and interested and involved in a variety of activities: yoga, singing, walking and writing, to name a few. I am a volunteer in the nearby countryside and help to monitor the activities of the iconic red kites. My reading includes poetry, fiction, philosophy and other non-fiction. My writing reflects my interests, as you can see. I have many poems and articles published online.

you are in there somewhere

michelangelo moved on
but left behind the notion
that what sculptors did was free
imprisoned beauty
or trapped wiadom
from an embedded limbo

every slab of marble is a jail cell
and the sculptor has
the chiselmallet keys

and so you o secret net of words
o conveyance of transcendance
you are tangled
you are caught
but my chisel is discernment
my mallet insistence
and in three more words
you are free

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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


It began at an ending
and at the forefront of
an attempt to decipher the darkness
and sift through the tensions of
As dilemmas grew, the need was to
reconcile the tension and
provide catharsis to emotion.

At times the natural world brought beauty
and balm and later
there was more of trying to
grasp that reality.

Much of what is now present seems
inconsequential, and
the belief this endeavor brings to the table
something less than a glass full, to most
it is possibly nearly
perhaps the result of
neglect, time and weariness of
left unsolved.

© 2019, Olive Branch


window at dusk
clove cigarette
clings between wet lips
diet coke
dangerously close to keyboard
sad tired eyes
the color of gypsy moss
blood trickles
from her nose
at times
thoughts bounce
like dandelion pappi
blown from the tiny lips of babes
and at times
an invisible pang
slightly electrically melancholic
in the middle of the chest
looking down to see
how people such as we
just all wander
on Spring street
she thinks with slightly damaged brain
do they see as i see
she feels the wounds of the mistaken
and soothes the misguided vigor of the innocent
the sweet sweat of gardenias
distract the ghost
locked in her heart
life becomes less ordinary
and so she sits to write
out the fabric of her soul

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken

A World Where

I can’t recognise this pattern of words,
the timetables at work. I can’t make

a pattern is a world without form,
without substance, an out of focus

pictures in which there maybe more
than one of me. I don’t orientate

without signposts or landmarks or signatures.
All is blur. Meaning elusive.

If I make it could be false. There is grief
at a loss of shape, of pattern.

A gallery of random words and pictures
I can reshuffle so every time a picture

has different words, words you can apply
to any other picture. The application of shape

more meaningful perhaps. As we can’t say
when someone close will leave this earth.

Port of Souls is found landlocked sometimes.
Like marrow locked inside a bone, at other

Times it is a small island surrounded
by a repetition of water. Occasionally after

so many have passed into memory,
a port of souls occupies our inside.

From Paul Brookes and Marcel Herms A Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

The Bestiary

You sit cross legged cradle its bairn
as Imagination with its feet on the ground
talks to the fish who hangs in the air.

The fish speaks of the tides of the gusts,
fronds of the trees and breaking crests
of the crash of clouds.

Those images are so lame Imagination replies,
So already done. Exercise your fish brain,
More you train larger it gets.

You recognise the bairn’s bawl
so settle it under imaginations udders..
Gently place its mouth around a teat.

It sucks contentedly as the fish speaks
of the lotic waters of the clouds,
upended deltas of trees and turbid air.

Imagination smiles as her bairn sups,
winces at the backward leap of the fish
Into obscure words to deepen what’s said.

Forthcoming in Skyfish (Alien Buddha Press)

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Yon Gob Agape

A neet starstruck,
rocks kal in dialect.
Spoutin’ foreign.

Oyle in rock
is a wobbly gob.
Tha spies stars in spate.

Can’t dip thee hand in
and grab a mite
o’ clear blue and sparkle.

Stars are sparking
molten steel,
creation unmaking,
remaking themsens

in words wi a different roll
off of the tongue,
that touches a new
combination of truths.

An almost oxbow and meander
frames itsen agog
at leet streamin’ into this cave.
Spouts another lingo.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

O, Lady Of The Breath (Six Vacanas)

1. You Rise

from my forest and leave
out of the gob and earth falls.

It shivers renewed,

welcomes a similar you
into my gob.

You excite my spring buds,
allow the earth to rise, again.

2. Can’t Let

you stay long in the dark,
or the earth will rot.

I can’t let you out for long,
or the earth will rot.

Let’s follow this pattern.
I’ll briefly allow you into my dark wood,

But please don’t take woodsmoke, car fumes,
coal dust, iron filings, water in with you,

else I’ll hack you out. These companions
quicken the rot.

3. Help With The

tasting snake in my cave
form the words I need to say.

Take my words out into air
loud enough for others to hear.

Please don’t say you are weak
and can’t carry such a weight.

Please don’t say I failed to welcome
enough of you into the forest.

4. My Dad Let You

in with pungent watercolours on his back,
stink of Clwyd cowpats and fresh mountain air,

but when he scraped boilers you secretly
took into his forest asbestosis strands

that speed his rot and ruin. I can’t understand
your thought in all of this

5. My Sister Threw You

out over her steering wheel,
her forest crushed by molded plastic.

She tried to welcome you back
but the wood was gone,

so you gust over her grave
under an overseeing tree.

O, my lady of the breath.
I welcome your coming and going.

6. Your Cheyne Stokes

delay before my unconscious Nanna
let you in.

I waited a minute, a 10-20
second episode of
stopped breath

suddenly her welcome
let you in

deeper and again
deeper in and out.

then delay

then delay

then delay

her welcome of you
and delay I watched seven days

until she refused your entry for good.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Mop And Bucket

are poetry to me.
My pen is a mop

I stick in a bucket
of disinfectant floor cleaner

pull out mop sodden
with words and splash

them backwards and forwards
slop lines one after the other

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

I squeeze out the gunk
back into the bucket.

More the floor shines,
dirtier the bucketful gets.

A good poem is a clean floor.

From Please Take Change (, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes


and brush are poetry.
Brush is my pen

sweeps all the words
dust, ripped plastic packaging,

used sucked lollipop sticks,
shop receipts, religious pamphlets

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

position the dustpan to receive
the words. Carefully flick

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

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

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

From Please Take Change (, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Poem as Competent Nineteenth Century Merchant Mariner

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

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

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

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

This poem is
carefully rigged
for cargo
into your imagination.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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

By Grace

A sensation invisible awakens in the soul
stirs the spirit into restlessness , cold
warmth engulfs the soul, it is love being

desire tender like a rosebud, soft like
the kiss of a butterfly, caressing deep inner
recesses, yearning to emerge, take shape and
create a revelation.

O heart show me the way.
I will, just touch me when you transform
in petals soft , layered in magical encasements
to emanate , manifest, a colorful coronet.

O Intellect add thy wisdom complete the process
Bless me with language to mold the thought
meaningful that aspires to be known , to reach the
realms of the printed universe!

The Pen Moves tracing patterns on paper
word by word line by line, this is it, a poem
it is by grace, a blessing, an act of The Divine.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

A Brief Comparison First

poetry comes in all shapes and sizes
so does knitting in moods ‘ere one realizes
poetry instructs as well as delights
knitting covers the shivers, fevers and ‘frights’
poetry supports all living things
felines frogs to human beings
if not poetry its knitting mittens
no wonder the first poem was, “three little kittens”
for long paper or words may stare
hunt for rhymes or synonyms spare
blog page if you dare, only one ounce ?
watch out, needle, ready is poem, to bounce, er.. pounce…
poetry is beauty if you may think
write, whatever you see in a blink
rhyme or not, blank open or run-on
which is easy, to knit? or ‘ poetry’ with skill n wit’

© 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

Down a Dark Hall

I wander down a dark hall
Peeking in this room
Throwing wide the doors in another
This door is locked
That door I quickly shut
One door leads me down a corridor that takes me a few hours to get through and back to where I was before
Now, I have to walk quickly
The light from my phone
Illuminating the way
I find a door and pull it
But it’s stuck
I jiggle it
I lean into it
I hip check it
I take a running start and slam into it
I slide down and sit
My back against it
It opens
And there sits my Muse
She says, “Hello, Poet!”

© 2019, Irma Do

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


We shuttle, like spiders,
between the fractured, anguished days
and the leap of the heart
in a transcendental moment,
weaving our threads in the sway
of wind and rain, patient
for the time when the light
will play on the captured dew
and the passer-by will pause
as we wait behind the curling leaf.

© 2019, Frank McMahon

.. my writing ..

have spent three days

handwriting, neatly. it gets

on my nerves that it is so

tidy, repetetive, that i never

did achieve the badge at school

for such a skill.

words a bother too,

always gentle, no grit

really, no filth, or dastardly


i spent three days writing,

one eye closed, storm building.

you never know what goes on

behind the scenes.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

The Love of My Life

She watches the idiot boy tinkering.
Muttering, mumbling, worrying at the cud,
stuttering through the fog, clutching at limp scraps,
floundering in discarded redundancies.

She recalls that piece of paper on which he
scrawled “Words are the pegs on which experience
is hung out to dry.” Inconsistent or what?
The image bristles with frustration, contempt.

Is he completely disenchanted by words?
Yet it was words neatly condemning themselves
satisfied him so deeply as he wrote them.
He loves paradox, adores ambivalence.

They’re like two long wedded lovers, him and words.
A profound affection for one another,
but also resenting the chains of habit
and codependence that tie them together.

She is happy to be his occult bedmate;
mistress also of that realm where sounds are born,
she knows how to set them coursing through his veins:
a great deluge; a mighty niagara.

Essence of being and experiencing
thunders through the flume, sparks flecks of vocal spume.
Words once again stand agape, untongued, dumbstruck.
For this is the mistress of his heart, true

love of his life.


The relationships between the poet, his wife (words) and his mistress (the Muse – gateway to the Essence).

© 2019, Ben Naga

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

Pandora’s More Fortunate Daughter

All the usuals
All the emotions
The real me
Kept boxed up
Until one day

What to do?
Collection of boxes
Containing nothing but
Sparkly dust
Poured a bit into my palm
A sonnet appeared
Oh, sure, not Shakespeare-worthy
But each day it grew
Until there were twenty-two
One for each symbol
Of the Major Arcana
Then there were twelve
Terza Rima
For each Zodiac sign

And each box
Had its own lines
Until there was a
Rima Royale of birds
And a tiny box of Haiku
Slightly larger box of Tanka

But in a special box
Of the loveliest cloisonne
Shone silver Moon dust
Mixed with golden Sunlight
And Stars of blue and every hue
They whirled above me
Then gently drizzled down
Covering my head, lips, shoulders

And as I grew older
I became bolder
Free at last
Poetry that had no use for rhyme
Gutter talk
A touch of erotica
Words made up
Words spilling from a box
Filling ten books
Of words hidden inside
For decades
The real me

Then one day
Those magical boxes
Were empty
I’d open the lids
In the three a.m. shadows
Whispering, “Where’d you go?”

So, I bought more boxes
My collection growing
And one cloudy morning
Something sang out
From a new box
And there
As I hastily opened the lock
Was a different dust
Sparkling? Not quite
Like electricity
And poetry melded
With musical chords
And songs were born
Euterpe with her magic flute
Pushed open the lids
Danced with her sister

And I wrote
And strummed
And sang
And hummed

But I see
The magical dust
In my box collection
Is once again disappearing
And so I say
Today is the day
I shop for a new box
And begin an unknown

© 2019, 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.

Blank Page

Virgin white page, finger poised,
words falter,
ink dries.

Great plops of rain, purple-blue splatters on
colourless glass,
forms patterns.

My mind engages the diary of the soul
silver memories,
the rhythm opens.

Begin the beginning.

© 2019, Leela Soma

Leela site is:

Ode to a Poem

Raanana, July 17, 2015

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

(c) 2015, Mike Stone

On Poetry

Raanana, July 3, 2015

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

© 2015, Mike Stone

“A Poem Unwritten”

Raanana, March 9, 2012

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

© 2019, Mike Stone

Want Ad

Raanana, June 5, 2009

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

© 2009, Mike Stone

Like Ghosts

Raanana, August 25, 2006

Poems are like ghosts,
Not everyone can see them,
Floating behind the rocks and distant pines.
But when you finally do see one
Your eyes open wide
In wonder full of surprise
Like someone I knew once
Who is herself a ghost now.

They are so powerless,
They can’t even open a door by themselves
But must wait for someone real to walk through.

Poems can’t be forced,
They’re like a talking horse
That only speaks when
Others are not about.

Poems can’t be heard by everyone.
They are much like silence
And there’s no knob to turn the volume up
There’s just

Poems have a sense in which they’re right
That can’t be understood by everyone
Within the bounds of normalcy
Like dreams and madness.

Yet I believe in them
Having heard one once myself,
But never more.

© 2006, Mike Stone

No Words

Raanana, June 25, 2005

Can a white man dream
a black man’s dreams?
Can a man think
a woman’s thoughts?

If I use words to tell you how I feel,
You won’t understand me,
Nor I you.
What use are words?

They’re only good for lies and prayers
and stirring winds of war,
not for poems
or for poets sick of them.

Find another occupation:

© 2005,  Mike Stone

I Ink Therefore Iamb

Raanana, December 22, 2004

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

© 2004, Mike Stone

Little Jack Horner

Raanana, March 3, 2003

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

© 2003, Mike Stone

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.


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

“oracle” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The oldest known love poem. Sumerian terracotta tablet from Nippur, Iraq. Ur III period, 2037–2029 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul courtesy of Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) under CC BY-SA 4.0

“May poetry and God’s name have mercy on us!” Mahmoud Darwish, Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems

Here we are at Tuesday again, the wonderful day when we share poems submitted by diverse writers in response the last Wednesday Writing Prompt. Rising Up, You Poets, August 22, which questioned whether or not poetry can inspire change. The consensus seems to be yes: in the zeitgeist, in the reader, and in the writer. Gary points out that poetry comes in many guises, productive and inspiring.

This fine collection is courtesy of Gary W. Bowers, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob,  Frank McMahon, Urmila Mahajan, Pali Raj, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone. Today we introduce and warmly welcome Bishnu Charan Parida with his poem Arousal.

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


The day dawns in my courtyard ,
As the silent sunrays play on the green grasses ,
The shy squirrels run squeaking on the tree branches nearby ,
Slowly I open my window to see the world beyond…

Activity resumes in my neighbouring avenues ,
As the street dogs play among themselves
The morning walkers gather at the tea stall, gossiping

Speeding crowds upsurge along the city roads,
As monsoon clouds cluster and collide thundering across a serene sky,
A soft tender morning opens out to full bloomed day

I am too , part of these busied goings ,
Rushing through a road jampacked with whistling cabbies and colourful crowds,
The hills, the horizons and the vibrant earth
Resonate in my heart and in my poetry ,
Poetry that rouses me
Rising in me,
To the living moments

©® 2019, Bishnu Charan Parida

BISHNU CHARAN PARIDA (Bishnu’s Universe) is a bilingual poet writing in English and Odia .He is from Jajpur Road, Odisha. An engineer by profession he carries passion for poetry. His poems have been published in many anthologies and magazines of national and international repute. He has been honored in the state level Kalinga Nagar book festival 2015 in Odisha and at 11th Guntur International Poetry Festival 2018. He has been the world featured poet of Pentasi-B, China in 2019. Recently he has received the prestigious R. N. Tagore award from Xpress Publications, Kerala, India.


a walking poem
stood his ground in tiananmen square
and a tank ground to a halt.
a russian poet
used a poetic silence,
having been ordered to fire
in his submarine,
to prevent nuclear conflict
in 1962.

on another submarine,
years before,
the sub commander,
the last man topside,
ordered the man at the hatch
that three-word poem
killed the skipper
and saved his crew.

a poem
is often not
words on a page.

a poet
may compose with sacrifice
or with a timed caress
or with a knee on the ground.

if that is not poetry
what would there be to codify?

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

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

As some of you know, Gary is multi-talented, combing visual art with poetry or prose narrative.  He is also a potter. A sample of his work is pictured here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


it’s not that i am being difficult Majesty
my people have no food to eat
not a pond to wash their tired feet
and my sons they squabble in vain
my daughters they struggle in pain
Majesty all i‘m saying is that my words
should not offend you as you have told
me always speak truth
but i have realized that i
do not agree that my tongue should be tied
and my soul deprived of freedom
to be who i am to soar to the heavens
or to delve in the deep
i do not agree that my limbs
should be caged if i have to
wage war against the enemies of my innocent babes
i don’t mean to be ungrateful
and rebellious at times
but when my children are cut down
by your Princes and clowns
i have to attack with my voice and my heart
through words that are poison
to your ego fueled mind
the sergeants of time
will slowly creep by
and carve out a zone
where i might just languish
in your punishing hate
but don’t turn your back
on those who adore you the most
because with every flower and offering
and purse full of coins
that they render to you
will only weigh you down
to a perdition of soul of spirit and crown
you can shut my lips and burn my body down
but it’s just a body a bag made of vanishing flesh
however Majesty you cannot neglect
the truth in their eyes
the strength in their breath
the beauty in their spirit
their righteous battle call
when the war rages out
the wicked will fall

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken

A Poet Is Not Silent

A poet is not silent, bowed, complacent.
A poet is not cowed into submissiveness.
A poet must see clearly, highlight abuse,
A poet sees into the corners,
behind closed doors,
through the language mist thrown out
to disguise intention.

A poet always does the difficult thing,
climbs the impossible, holds the hand of the lost.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Cause Offence

It challenges the norm.
Gets folk off of their laurels.

Is a shot in the arm.
Keeps folk in the ballet,

on their toes.

© 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.

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

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


banished poets
would not be happy
seeing so many

writers thinking
and writing poetry



are not fighting

nor are they blasting

nor putting innocents

to eternal sleep


by inspiring prompts

may repair wrongs

in lives and lines

making people strong


change lives

for the better

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Ode to The Power of Poetry

O Thou, Heavenly Hellenic Linguist
What tales did unfold inside caves
what stories uncloaked, in waves
Of signs symbols and patterns, sets
of lines dashes, seen in lit lanterns, all
in a balance, all in rhythmic meters net,
deciphering letters, forming words, shaped
into a ‘made up thing’ named poietes’

You stepped in tracing transforming
making joys into journeys, voices into
voyages on high seas, revealed monsters
demons, deities wise and goddesses naïve,
unraveled kingdoms, inspired feats of
Herculean strength touching the grandeur
of Rome, magnificence of emperors, racing
gilded chariots, defeating Troy, killing Achilles.

You made the Great Islands overflow with
linguistic jewels, Regained Lost Paradise, restored
the monarchy, transitioning to the wonders of
Renaissance. Your revelation of Epics of Art and Word
led to the great Enlightenment, as civilized Empires
spread across the Sahara Deserts. You related lines
and lines of mighty battles, shining armor and victories
These tales inspired millions to adopt your style and diction.

You laid the foundations of recording fact and fiction,
‘the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’ that all
humans are kin to, you gave the theory of ‘ to see the thing
in itself as it truly is’ ‘the velvet footsteps of Spring’ that
softly touched the senses and brought forth Romanticism.
Encompassing other branches of the lingual system your
great adventure gave birth to Persian and Urdu in the South
Asian region. You caused the chain of change’with all charm.

You were present in the Courts of Kings and Emperors and
emerged as the Ghazal form representing love romance and
social reflection. People enjoyed the expression recitation and
expression as new phrases devices and techniques converged.
With your power nations experienced the change of fate and
blessing of freedom when Dr Allama Iqbal Poet of East’ instilled
the spirit of ‘Self’ Discovery, awakening the Muslim nation
to the true realization and strength of faith and the Right Path.

He wrote
Koi andaza kr sakta hai uss ke zor e bazoo ka
Nigah e mard e momin se badal jati hain taqdeerein
can anyone even guess at the strength of his arm?
by the glance of a true believer even destiny is changed

You changed the state of the human world every time it
was in pain grief and segregation, you gave hope, uplifting
suffering souls, bringing them together , creating peace –
You are a bridge of sustenance comfort and positivity
your makers are now more, more than a hundred thousand
You have proved the function that is your special feature
To inspire, motivate, provide catharsis, instruct and delight
your need was never ignored nor ever felt urgent as of today-

Come it is almost September the World awaits you –

Your Coming is sacred and holy, the planet is burning
smoke is rising, war threatens innocent generations , they
look up to YOU- Lead Them to The Long Awaited ‘CHANGE’
with Peace and Togetherness, as you did in the past-
Poetry Your Power To achieve The best for this world
will never be in doubt- September is the season of apples
let us raise our hands in prayer thank the Almighty and
with joy happiness and forgiveness , fill all the barrels.

© 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 Caged Bird Caterwauls

I know why the caged bird sings
Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Vibrating out into the fractured world
There is no accompanying harmony

Sour sweet melodies of human maladies
Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
There is no accompanying harmony
When the free birds don’t want change

Poetic squawks implored yet ignored by broken ears
She caterwauls until the cage shatters
When the free birds don’t want change
Her powerful voice portends the power of action

She caterwauls until the cage shatters
Vibrating out into the fractured world
Her powerful voice portends the power of action
That’s why the caged bird sings

© 2019, Irma Do

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

Give Sorrow Words

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart
and bids it break”. Macbeth Act 4 Scene 3 William Shakespeare

And if your throat turns dry
let ink flow from pen to paper.
Write grief into the light.
Name it purple or black, fevered
or frosty, pulsatingly loud
or snake-soft and hissing.

Give sorrow its voice.

Let words trace the tangle
of your heart and someone
you’ve never met will read,
exclaim: I, too, walked
alone in the rain and wept.
I too, hid in the nearest shop

to avoid a friend who always
asked how I felt, suggested
we went for a coffee/watched
a movie/met up for lunch.
I, too, preferred the company
of strangers and empty streets.

Lay old hurts to rest.

But when they’re new, bare
them; share them, rawness
to rawness until they’re held,
and understood and verses arc
across the page beating towards
that tiny” thing with feathers”.*

*From Hope by Emily Dickinson

© 2019, Sheila Jacobs

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 Use?

I imagine the opposite, where poets break
their pens, clamp silence on their tongues,
where every line of verse has been erased:
blank pages, empty screens.

I imagine then a desert where remorseless
dunes have buried waterholes and trees,
where no one dares to irrigate or plant,
where the wind no longer carries voices.

What is a land without rain?
What is one voice against the censors
and the engineers of souls?

I sing because I must.
Somewhere a flower may bloom,
induce the implacable
to hesitate
as the words uncoil and move
through eye and ear to the heart,
to reconsider.

Somewhere another voice may sing
and another and another
and another and another.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


Poetry is what you hear when
you open yourself up to the
vibration of the universe
what you feel when patterns
twine and intertwine until
your pulse harmonises

it abounds in the patient
slump of a grey heron’s back
master fisherman who mas-
tered the zen of waiting, the
arch of a dancer’s sole aching
on a hardwood floor, rocks
that funnel a singer’s voice
into the clouds and blot out
city lights, profuse purple heart
that trap your feet and your path
path, the curve of creation

if you can reflect a strand of
the world as it is, with the frag-
ment of glass you’re given,
slant its lustre into minds that
receive, a poet’s work is done

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila’s site is: Drops of Dew


We shuttle, like spiders,
between the fractured, anguished days
and the leap of the heart
in the transcendental moment,
weaving our threads in the sway
of wind and rain, patient
for the time when the light
will play on the captured dew
and the passer-by will pause
as we wait behind the curling leaf.

© 2019, Frank McMahon

Roads and leisure
Blood rising ……huh,
Shops and marketing in: when
I give a shout ‘I have no coin’
in a slither of sweat ‘legs join’:
My cheek gets cut. Her rights bleed
Holding on tight I urge
Rising up, you poets – a poem will be fine.
I give a shout ‘I have no coin’


© 2019, Pali Raj


Mangled , strangled, blood, ink
blood red, ink black colours dripping on
asphalt tracing strange patterns
blood red, ink black fuse -indigo-
ripped pages curl up in the smoke,
book bindings melt, leather tomes
the gilt spines blackened, words lost
or are they?

like a phoenix rising, the blue-black
red-tinged words fly high up in the sky
the world over. Al Muttanabbi Streets
forge ahead in shiny new pages of white
brown, hues, the palette of colours
rich as the artists and writers of the world
as they birth verses, sketch a new world
to replace pain, loss. The shock and awe of love
reinvigorates, unites and creates.

Author’s Note: This poem was written as a tribute to the booksellers at AL Muttanabbi Street in Iraq, a street where a lot of booksellers lost their lives by a car bomb in 2007. Poets world wide have responded and here is my contribution which I read at an event entitled ‘Al Mutatanabbi Streets Start Here’ in Glasgow Scotland.

© 2007, Leela Soma

Hiding Behind the Truth

Raanana, October 3, 2016

A poem is a wild thing
Untamable, it never tasted bit or reign,
A naked thing
You’d never take to church
Or have to Sunday dinner.
It uses an outlandish language
And it’s always true although
You’d be hard-pressed to say just how.
It’s true because
The poet with nowhere else to hide
Hides behind the truth,
But it’s the poet who is the wild thing
The naked thing
Who cannot help but tell the truth
Hoping you won’t understand
But love him for outlandishness.

© 2016, Mike Stone

The Lips of Infinity

Raanana, May 16, 2019

And he welcomed them,
The children, the old ones, the infirm,
The youth, the busy young men and women,
The forsaken and excommunicated,
The doubters and disbelievers,
Agnostics and atheists,
The doctors, the scientists, and technicians,
And, yes, philosophers and poets,
From all over the world,

And he spoke to them in the one language
They all understood, the language of silence and action,
And this is what he said:

I am not descended from David
Or the son of anyone but my father.
My only credentials are the truth of my words,
Which are your words,
If you would only be silent long enough
To hear them inside you.

I have not come to tell you
What to believe,
Whom to love or not to love,
Or what to do.

I say only these things:

For your own sakes, believe in someone or something
Because belief gives you strength to go on
In an uncertain world,

For your own sakes, love someone or something
With abandon and utterly,
And don’t mete love out parsimoniously
As though you might use it all,
Because love lifts you up to the lips of infinity,

For your own sakes, do what you must
To follow your belief and protect your love
Like a wavering flame in cupped hands,
And the rest do with empathy and concern
To cause the least evil possible.

They left as they came,
Saying among themselves,
Not much of a message,
And each went his separate way

But when each arrived home
And was alone and silent,
He heard the words inside himself
And knew they were true.

© 2019, Mike Stone

The Emperor’s New Changes

Raanana, September 11, 2016

A hundred thousand poets for change
That’s us.
That’s what we called ourselves last year
And the year before.
So they’ve stopped lynching the poets in Arabia?
They’ve stopped stoning the raped women in Kabul?
What about the mutilation of genitals of young girls?
So they’ve stopped burning down Black churches in Bama?
Stopped desecrating the lands of our Sioux brothers?
How about the carbon they’ve dumped in the atmosphere?
Did they stop that?
Do they believe now the earth is too warm to live on?
Are philosophers kings yet?
Are kings philosophers?
I don’t mean to be cynical
But it doesn’t seem like much has changed since last year.
We’ve read a few poems,
That’s all.
Come to think of it,
Have we really changed,
Except for getting a year older?
If that’s change
Then we better change change
So that it’s palpable
So that we can feed people with it
So that people can walk tall from it
So that people can protect themselves with it
So that people can make love to it
Until change is done changing
And the world is all the Republic we need.

© 2016, 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.



Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing 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.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * 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