Fatwood … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

A Word is Dead

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.”

Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

Thanks today to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Deb Felio (Deb y Felio), Jen Goldie, Anjum Wasim Dar, and new to our community, Maribeth Parot Juraska for responding with such well-considered and diverse perspectives to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, On the Way to the Top, February 13, 2019.  A warm welcome to Maribeth. And, for value added, a special thanks to Irma Do for her stunning butterfly photographs and to Anjum Ji for her lovely illustration. Together they have enriched our day.  Well done!

Enjoy this unique and thought-provoking collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome, no matter the stage of career – beginning, emerging or pro.


Buried by salt of dead sea;
one red maple perched atop patchy earth
grows narrowly
straight upside-down:

Roots in place of canopy,
poking upwards into sky’s electricity
like bed-head hair of old men,
fingers tangled in strands,
yanking, frantically, for just a few more
hours, floating somewhere with genies in bottles
of clouds risen from moisture
leaked out of their piss,
brown paper wrapper bags.

Branches budding into tunnels of earth,
burrowing like kangaroo rats into ground.
One whippoorwill singing,
“You’re doing it wrong.”
While chubby wind pummels, sound funnel of storm
rocking mud-tinged roots, taking two sapling capillaries,
every note of her song.

Even with renewed forms of ambition,
doubt, judgement,
never take long.

(Leaves, neither, never enough to cover
eggshells of empaths, mottled misunderstandings,
pioneering mistakes, despairing last breaths.)

And hence one red maple, topped by electrified scalp,
salty with sea brine, dives
where darkness becomes expectation,
not breach,
bringing what grains might help it adapt; and
sometimes, exhaling out impatience,
whispering wisdom to wriggly worms,
bites blindly, deeper into ground, misconceived as
growing its own matches, just another grave

© 2019, Maribeth Parot Juraska

Maribeth Parot Juraska

MARIBETH JURASKA, Ed.D. debuted in the world of ISBN numbers with selected poetry pieces in American Poetry Anthology (Vol. VIII) published by the American Poetry Association. Dr. Juraska has earned an Ed.D., M.S.Ed., and B.A. in English, and is a former Training & Development Director and Professor/Director of teacher-candidate preparation. She has conducted research on multiple themes in T&D/Education, writing and presenting in areas of andragogy, performance assessment, candidate training, diversity, inclusion and social justice. She’s now a professional researcher/writer, dabbling in creative writing and spending other free time scoffing at cold winters and decaf coffe

cramberry sauce

crammed into the arena
are mostly men stunned
by the woeful reversals
bequeathed them
by the recession

they attend this
FREE!!!! motivational seminar
to get some steam back
and will hear a former first lady
and a former astronaut
several former ceos
and a silvertongued real-estator

and will be bucked up
and will fall for new schemes
and will spend
an average of $107.28
and will still not learn
the meaning
of FREE!!!dom

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay. Image and Text)

Born Top

of the heap, King of the hill.
Ambition when retire is pushing broom,

at the valley bottom where the river flows.
Work your way steadily down slippery slope,

responsibilities and job titles roll away scree
downhill, watch ground underfoot, see silver

of the river, get bigger, find the bristles
and whittle the handle, nail together.

From “A World Where”, Nixes Mate Press, 2017

© 2019, Paul Brookes, (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Be Complacent.

Take all for granted.
Be blasé. Let it all happen.

Smile sweetly as that car kills
that bystander. There’s nothing

you or I can do. We are not
in the car to stop the driver.

We are not by the pedestrian’s side.
We can only witness it all.

Don’t get involved. It will take up
all your life. Valuable time you cannot give.

You have work and family commitments.
Must strive to better yourself.

© 2019, Paul Brookes, (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Be Vague.

Recognition follows your
strive to be vague.
Lose sharp edges. Fade
A little at the corners.

This will define you.
Nothing must be prominent.
If it stands out make it sit down.
Don’t make an exhibition of yourself,

blend into background.
Urban camouflage expert.
Stealth worker. No loud clothes.

Self efface, deface your selfies,
if you must. Annunciate in whispers.
Mumble. Stay off the interweb.

It is only self publicity and aggrandisement.
Aver bright colours keep
to the colour of shadows.

© 2019, Paul Brookes, (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)


“It’s a hobby.” he says
as he buys the latest adventure.

Level One: a half eaten pizza
goes cold as he outwits the foe.
Only 35 levels to go.

Levels Two-Ten: unopened bills
amass behind the front door.
He strives for a better score.

Levels Eleven-Twenty: The bath has
a black ring. Mice skitter dustclouds.
Over halfway and he is proud.

Levels Twenty-One-Thirty: He orders food
in on his mobile. His girlfriend left at level
Eighteen. If only he can reach the next level.

Level Thirty-One: He doesn’t hear or see the bailiffs
as they take his other tellies, cooker,
microwave and sundry furniture.

© 2019, Paul Brookes, (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

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 t

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

Ambition – A Haibun

Does the caterpillar look in the sky and seeing a bird strive to soar upon rainbow hues wings? Does she eat and eat out of envy and frustration? Does she hide away in her chrysalis, depressed that she hasn’t reached her full potential?

No, the ambition of a caterpillar lies in her ability to become her true self. The hard work is being satisfied and doing her best with each stage of life, so that when metamorphosis happens, she is ready in mind, body and soul.

Ambition becomes

Wings unfurled, colors revealed

The truth of hard work

Jamie, The Poet by Day, challenged us to write a poem about ambition. I had many thoughts about this but was inspired by a visit to a butterfly garden yesterday. Humans ambition has both positive and negative aspects of it but for animals, ambition or that strive to be the best seems to be ingrained. Maybe this is another aspect that sets humans apart from other animals.

Since I myself am not a very ambitious person, writing about it was somewhat of a difficult task. True, I have hopes and wants but I am content with whatever comes my way. It’s not so much that I don’t strive or that I don’t work hard (because I do!) but that drive towards a goal is not a focus in my life. While this drives my partner nuts (not to mention my parents when I was growing up), my ambitious drive is just not that strong. And I’m ok with that!

Thus, this totally not ambitious Haibun about ambition.

©️ 2019, words and photographs, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too …)

Be the 1

And everyone threw away whatever was an inconvenience
that challenged themselves to something more than themselves
God was first – not because of who he was but because
others’ misrepresentations, misbeliefs and misunderstandings
better he was wrong than they were
what they chose to keep and what they emulated —
writings by others who would abuse and misuse
weak science based in opinion
backed by big money
colleagues strung out on substitute
mini gods – manageable at least
an all for one and one for all mentality
each believing they were the one and the all.

© 2019, Deb y Felio (Writer’s Journey)

If You Do Not Stop

If you do not stop
on the way to the top,
to brace your footing,
on the way to the bottom
there will be no ledges.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie)



a human thing good or bad,holocaust,
moon landing, power, kingdom in hell,

to be king is to be but born a king,
beauty by itself cannot royalty be,

or chance may crown a commoner
so  kill on , you may commit error

and gain the throne, the game is on,
bullets may rain at any cross roads

you may be martyred, but that risk
must be taken, for fame or notoriety~


in  man’s first disobedience, lies supreme ambition,
in delusions of grandeur,  in deceitful revenge  ~

man lives with countless desires, the heart may
rule mislead but mind  must think,  be smart,

a struggle between choices,of wishes noble and base.
of reason, courageous honor, of  lust greed and anger

ambition self centered is Daedalus, in dead darkness,
ambition worthy, ‘inordinate desire, with no spurs’


شدت خواہش نے کی چاند تک رسایؑ، انسانی اچھایؑ یا برایؑ
گر برایؑ تو ،  بادشاھت جھنم ، شیتانی طاقت یا عالمی تباہی

                         چاھت  کی  سزا  سخت ھے  انارکلی  ایک مژال ھے
                  اللاہ  کو یہ  شکواہ نہ  ھو  کسی اور کو دل  میں بٹھا  لیا

خوبصورتی سے تاج شاہی نھیں،  خاندانی پیدایش چاھیے   
یا قسمت  ھو  تو عام  شخص بھی ھاصل کر لے تخت شاھی

 جنوں خبط   کی کویؑ حد نہیں  ، کتنے قتل کروگے
    جبری  طاقت ،موت پا کر  جلد  نظر ھوتی ھے  گولیوں کی   

خواھشات عظیم    کے  دھوکے میں جنت سے ھم نکلے
بڑے بے  اؑ برو ھو ےؑ ،  لالچ  میں   باغ ازل  سے  عزت   گنوایؑ

    اللاہ  نے عطا   کی  جب عقل   تو اسے   استعمال  کرنا
سوچ  کر چاھت کرنا ، سیکھنا  مگر  پہلے، اداب باغے شاھی

،امنگ سورج  کی  طرف؟, جلا ڈالے گی ، مٹ جایںؑگی لاکھوں
،خواہشیں  سب ، مستیؑ ہوس  دنیا  کی   لزتیں ہیں ،  عارظی

نفس متمعنہ کی سعی جاری رھے انجم دنیا ےؑ فانی میں
آرزو ھو  محبت، اللاہ کے لیے،رھے بیچ میانہروی میں زندگی

“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



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