“a genesis with a Dada twist” and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“an image or phrase can jump into your head,
so strange you nearly get run over by a taxi”
Matthew Sweeney and John Hartly Williams, Write Poetry and Get It Published



In one of Mike Stone’s comments on the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, How to Be a Poet he said, “They say it’s a sin for poets to write about poetry. Poets should write about everything else in the world besides the subject of poetry. What they really think about writing poetry will be reflected in the poems they write.” As it turns out, I am grateful that I and others here didn’t know about that injunction and that Mike – knowing it –  ignored it. What an enthusiastic response to the last prompt! It’s not a surprise really, given the nature of our community. Here today you have in effect a digital chapbook … or “pamphlet,” depending on from whence you hail.

Thanks for coming out to play mmbrafield, Paul Brookes, Kakali Das Ghosh (welcome back, Kakali), Jen Goldie, Sheila Jacob, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pengelov (Bogpan), Mike Stone, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate.

I know this is a late post for many of you; but, in Northern California it is still Tuesday.


a genesis with a Dada twist

in  the  beginning  when She  did  pick oxygen carbon hydrogen and nitrogen and He did stir the clay with hot holy essence all the words in the world were at a finger’s length beyond my reach

so close they were that i then leapt out of the nest of my pink blue galaxy and into the pavement of down town LA the words they did follow in time i’d pluck tiny words for tiny worries and the Nephilim smiled for they knew i was falling

in love with the charge of turning the misery hatred pain starvation violence and rape of it all into the beauty found on the hem of the robe of the Goddess and the wing of a humming bird

that’s reaching for the higher hanging words drenched in the nectar from the Tree of Knowledge i strung them up to detail the anatomy of a broken heart with its crystal shards wrapped in Cleopatra’s linens sanctimoniously tucked away in a Payless shoe box atop an urban closet shelf

of the condemned building in the bosom of desperation and the pool in eyes of children stack did i those words like bricks made of powder to bring the kingdoms down and with the rabble of defeat as i burnt down i built up a nation of wordsmiths

who with their quills pens papyrus key boards tablets and marketing firms wait gingerly drinking lattes on the Stratford Upon Avon wicker chairs

that my English teacher said she dusted for the scribes who mused the signs letter symbols into the dendrites of my mind but not before Allen Will Bill Jack Hank Dylan Langston Lou Bowie Leonard and Ms. Angelou were anointed and leaving me with words less spoken

HERE is the link to mm brazfield’s poem more properly laid out

© 2019, mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)


Sound Sculpture.

Look at the noise.
Listen to the squiggle.

Kaleidoscope a still symphony.
Music is stillness.

When your eyes move over
Its surface there are bass notes,
treble, wooden mallets on metal.

When your eyes focus on one part,
orchestration deepens, zooms

into the chord runs. When are you
alive?

Between the notes.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Poem

touches the photo
hears the photo
sees the photo
tastes the photo
smells the photo

This photo is invaded
This photo is annexed
This photo is a refugee
This photo has no home

This photo knows
It’s photographer is dead
This photo feels
the photographers fingerprint

This photo does not
know what colour it is

© 2019, 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

The Hyperbolic Poet Awakes

My eyelids open
are two worlds unfettered by cloud.

I splash the seven oceans
on the continents of my skin.

Rake the tombstones inside my mouth,
tumble downstairs is scree down a mountain.

Open the wooden doors of delight,
recover the pottery of ages,

pour an avalanche of muesli
farmed on sunny hillsides,

crushed by the quern.
Grab the milk hosed out

by gargantuan herbivores,
refined in their udders of heaven.

Wash and restacked pottery,
I stride over the open threshold
a veritable colossus.

If Poet Cries

the world cries

If poet laughs
the world laughs

Poet is world.
Solipsistic.

Poet tells life as poet finds it.
So this is the world.

The world is not beyond the poet.
Poet is not beyond the world.

Poet is history. Relate to the words
of the poet. The poet has you

compare your life to the words.
Poet is reader is poet.

© 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 my 2018 collection Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Dustpan

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 my 2018 collection, Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Paul’s website is HERE.

Paul Brookes, prolific Yorkshire poet

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


a bloody poem

When a dawn gives a blue bird its ears
I walk along the far away beach
The vast sea lullabying giant waves speaks with me in whisper
I listen all his untold stories
And a poetry evolves in my heart.

When a dusk gives a fallen leaf its heart
I walk towards those broken shanties
tingled by dull last sun rays
I listen there stories of hardship
And a bloody poetry awakes in my heart.

© 2019, Kakali Das Ghosh


Ode to a Poet

we seek a synonym
to sanctify a noun
to agitate an adverb
to verbiage a mime
All equally compelling
Just short of being crime.
Then we sensually sanctify
The confessions of the mind
A poet you say?
Oh, the menacing muse
leading to confuse.
I would give half thrice and twenty
Even more if you please
To subjugate a wiser muse
who added to my purse
to reimburse my verse.

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Penning Prose

Music moves my soul to dance
or heave a sigh
or weep a tale perchance
or pedigree a poem,
or to, like Shakespeare,
rail and “beweep my outcast fate”
and “trouble deaf heav’n”
“wishing me like to one more
rich in hope.”
as I cry for lost love, or
perhaps a Beatle tells me to “Let it Be”
or McKuen’s part words and phrases,
I would rather Emily be, with luscious
integrity laying down the words
with solemnity, en class
To contemplate their symmetry
and pen the prose my soul can see.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Jen Goldie and Starlight and Moonbeams … and the Occasional Cat )


My First Poem

How could I not be moved
and try to make sense
of the war in Vietnam?
My best friend felt the same
but when I showed her my poem
she raged. I’d gone too far,
I’d dared to write as though
I was a teenage G.I.in Laos.
What did I know?
What had I ever suffered
compared with the stench
of a battlefield?

Our friendship faltered.
We stopped connecting
even as I remembered
I’d inhabited that world,
lay flat on my belly
and wormed through
damp undergrowth,
rifle on my shoulder.
Fear clung to me like sweat.
I waited to obey orders
and wondered why I was there.

It became my history,
my tragedy, my time.

There’s always a life
that runs alongside mine
and a place
where the two paths meet.

I write this path:
step into army boots
or the skin and bone
of bare feet on broken glass.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

A review, interview, and selection of poems from Through My Father’s Eyes, Collected Poems by Sheila Jacob coming to The Poet by Day soon.


To be a poet

is to leave behind the thronging
crowds and head towards the empty
shore; sleep beneath the stars, catch
your breath as the sky fills with light,
walk slow below the cry of birds,
turn your face to the stinging rain,
inhale the scent of kelp and salt;
imagine your past as dreck, pebbles,
flotsam, jewels, petals, all
spread out for you to comb
before you plunge wordsticks in the sand,
watch what the tides take away
and what they leave; fashion
from what you find a song
to take back to the thronging crowds.

© 2019, Frank McMahon


.the rewrite.

rewrite it, add the dots, delete the rhyme.

erase the last draft, start again,constantly.

wrap arte facts in paper. box for transportation.

lose the plot,scrap the lot, fear the repercussions
constantly.

now there is a good word, if the space bar works.

do you wish you wrote longer stuff, important tomes,
well i do,
constantly.

it is all ready now, i just need your instructions,
and i know you have asked.
constantly.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the writers.

not thinking it comes good,

just write, share and eventually

correct, edit,delete

you like, comment.

on reading others ( pause ) regret these

simple ways

i am not clever, everyone is a writer.

she said so.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.anonymous writer.

Having trouble getting back.

Difficulty finding words, of the
simple type, to type.

Spell out the consequences,
of an easy life.

Is it criticism, or a general sensitivity,
which abounds, confounds the
smallest heart.

She says we should not handle bats.

They write better stuff than me

words i never have

or think in

They have been to a university

I have been there twice visiting

while two have died

there

They write in patterns

I watch with difficulty

&

admiration

Yet glad i feel better today

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Creative Writing

at the corner are walking
people?
that
has nothing to do
with the creative writing
with your manner
to transfer (slowly)
the cigarettes into a cigarette case
to understand
I’m one of the others?
yes
like a white mountain is
the woman by me
who
is falling asleep

©. Bozhidar Pengelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


Hey Mister Poetry Man

Raanana, December 20, 2018

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Make me a poem if you can,
Don’t put it on a shelf so high
That I can’t reach it
And don’t put it down too low,
My back’s not what it used to be.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Tell it simple in plain words
That people use for every day.
It shouldn’t be too smooth or slick,
I trust a man who struggles with his words
More than one who doesn’t.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Show me something I haven’t seen before,
I know you’ve been around places
I’d never get to.
It should lift me off my feet,
Throw me down,
And lift me up again.

Hey Mister Poetry Man
Let me try it on for size,
What’s good for you
May not be for me.
It doesn’t matter how long it is
As long as there’s some magic there
Before the end.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Hearty Low-Carb Poetry

Raanana, December 14, 2018

First, gather the ingredients:
Two or three fresh ideas from your backyard
A sprig of dappled sun and shadow
A touch of time
A pinch of rhyme (not too much!)
Don’t forget the meter
A bissel of iambs will definitely do.

Preheat the drawer to a comfortably musty degree
Add in the ideas, one at a time,
Into an old but well-loved pot
Stirring slowly all the while,
Finely chop the sprig of sun and shadow
Sprinkle time over the chopped up sprig
Pour the rhyme and iambs sparingly.

Put it in the drawer, no need to heat or rush,
Take it out when the poem’s done
And it will serve at least
One starving poet.

© 2018, Mike Stone

What Can a Poem Do?

Inspired by the poems of Linda Chown
Raanana, December 9, 2018

What can a poem do? They ask
With their sideways snickersnacks.
Well, a poem can swoop down
From high above the clouds
With talons bared and ready
Almost touching ground, but not quite,
The image of prey in its dilatated pupils,
But a reader will say,
Take me whole,
Take me now.
This is what a poem can do, it says,
So put away your snickersnacks,
It’s not for you, my talons bare
But if, by chance, my talons pierce your heart,
To the ends of space and time
Your heart is carried,
But your heart must find its own way home.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Somewhere, Sometime, to Someone

Raanana, September 6, 2018

One preacher opens church doors wide at night
To succor the homeless and the helpless
While another locks the doors against the thieves.
One imam speaks of love and peace
To anyone with an open heart
While another preaches death to infidels.
One soldier gives his food ration
To a hungry child
While another aims a joystick in the clouds.
One king honors poetry
And another hangs the poets.
Don’t look for truth in poetry
Though truth hides there
As certainly as souls hide in all things,
For everything a poet writes
Is true
somewhere
sometime
to someone.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Looking for a Poem

Raanana, March 9, 2018

I woke up this morning
Got out of bed
With an unexplained hankering
To write a poem today
So I slipped on my jeans
And looked for a poem to write
That hadn’t been written yet.
I looked in the cupboard and then in the fridge
But seemed we were fresh out.
I looked through the paper,
The stories and pictures,
Even the ads,
Page after page
For something between the lines
Or the silence before and after,
But nothing was found.
Honestly,
Don’t know why people read newspapers.
Daisy and I walked out
For her necessities
While I looked in the bushes and tree branches.
Sometimes I see something
Flashing the sunlight
Or reflecting the quick shadows of clouds
That let go a flood of memories
And old loves.
I used to go out looking for girls to love
But now I go out looking for poems.
I suppose that’s a kind of love too,
Sometimes a dalliance
But mostly unrequited.
Later I went to the gym
Where we torture our bodies
In hopes we’ll trim fat or grow muscles
And looked for a poem
Between the weights and the treadmills
But truth was the beautiful came beautiful
And left beautiful,
The strong came and left strong,
The rest of us stayed tired and tortured
With nary a poem to show for it.
After that,
I stopped at a coffee shop
My hand trembling a cup
I looked around at the other tables
But nobody was reading a dogeared book
Or writing a poem
Or looked up at me
As I looked away,
Though the tables were busy
With people reciting their well-rehearsed plaints.
No poems on the menu
For lovers of Buddha
So I went back home thinking
Maybe this is a poem.

© 2018, Mike Stone

Poems Like Ghosts

Raanana, September 18, 2017

Poems, like ghosts, won’t just come to you
Whenever you want.
They decide the time and place,
Whether to come at all.
They size you up and down
And sideways
Whether you’re worthy or not.
Oh, I’ve known people who’ve gone
Their whole lives without ever knowing one.
You can be pretty
You can be smart
You can pray to God almighty
But that doesn’t mean a poem
Will come to your house
And knock on your door.
When they do come though,
They come naked as the day
They were born
And they expect you to be that way too,
Stripped down to your very soul.

© 2017, Mike Stone

When a Poet

Raanana, June 30, 2017

When a poet wakes up in the morn
He puts his pants on
One leg then another,
And when he buys his milk and wants to pay
He stands in line between
The woman with her screaming kids
And the foreign workers,
But when the poet looks up at clouds
Or the night-time constellations,
Orion’s scabbard or Cassiopeia’s tilted throne,
He sees encyclopedias never writ nor read
By the likes of you or me,
And when he loves,
It’s Trojan Paris
Who’s faced ten thousand ships
And went to war for naught but one.

© 2017, Mike Stone

Seducing the Muse

Raanana, September 25, 2015

The room was dark except for one dim bulb
Trembling its cone of light above her head
Balanced delicately upon her swanlike neck
While the poet sat in shadow scarcely visible
Scratching his quill inside a notebook.

What care I for your poems poet?
I must have launched a thousand of them
But never read a single one.
Who has time or inclination for such pinings
When one is busy with life’s sordidness?
What’s that you ask for? Do speak up!
Oh, you want me to remove my blouse?
You’re all alike. My skirts, my shoes, my undergarments?
Shall I go on? My soft white flesh,
My muscles and my skeleton, you’re all the same,
Pornographers of the soul you are.

When all that remained was silence
And his empty head
He closed the notebook and wondered
What had just passed through him
And when it’d come again.

© 2015, Mike Stone

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.

© 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 daybreak to nightfall, 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

About Poetry

Raanana, March 31, 2012

Poetry is a mode of thought that allows us to use our language to break through the boundaries of common experience to speak of uncommon things.

© 2012, 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.

© 2012, 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
Iambically
M.

© 2009, 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

6000 Miles and 30 Years Away

Raanana

Old world spirits must be overrunning this country;
How else to explain this poetry coming into my hand
After all these years.
Must be the autumn lights,
Same as childhood’s.

My mother was a poetess.
Father was a writer and a storyteller.
She wore a scarf.
Emily was the name she would have chosen for herself.
Her long autumnal hair, lifted by iambic breezes.
She wrote a book of poetry.
I never saw it.

Father had all the instincts.
She didn’t wear her motherhood so easily.
Father left school to be a father and a husband.

One day, Mother left home to be a poet.
One day, she left the country.
One day, she left the world.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, just out last month I believe. 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.

MIKE STONE’S AMAZON PAGE IS HERE.


On— How To Be A Poet

See first in vision the falcon’s high view
invoke Calliope Erato Polyhymnia Thalia
acquaint thyself with the epic classics
sacrifice a black goat’s head to Writing God Thoth
grab a writing palette and an ink jar,like his
a copy of his book ‘Book of the Dead
arm thyself with powerful weapons,pens
pencils, quills ball pens tablets modern-
dig into a dungeon invisible,
in utter dark solitude,brood,for immeasurable
moments,be oblivious of waste and wild,think not
of companions beloveds partners-
be far removed,in fact farthest is best-begin
commence the quest- idea must be supreme
like the Idea of Order of Key West
remember,know,that you have a song to sing
first sing to self if by the sea then a water melody
It must be on chords of ‘dashing water’ and moaning wind’
you are now on the spiritual plain,
in the happy realm of the creative domain,leave aside
the sense of injured merit, maintain with steadfast love
outward lustre,transform the alphabet into shapes beautiful
match it with the idea and there -you have what is called – a poem
and you will be -who is known as – a poet

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

A divine gift …

A divine gift, a blessing in the discerning eye
in the receptive mind, an ability in the grey
matter , opening the unseen box , a theory
of participation, of creation, a revolution, an
evolution, a single color to a rainbow, opening
trapped emotions, releasing enslaved feelings
letting a catharsis emerge, a torrent of tears, a
burst of energy, a sudden sprouting of a seed,
an awaited blossoming of a bud, the fall of the
last leaf , an Oracle of Delphi, a prophecy, a
spell in the forest, an untreaded path, a road
not taken, a lashing wave, a light in a cave,
waning or waxing the moon, a constellation
in the Milky Way, a new world order, a new
planet in boundless blackness floating, A
destiny all known yet created in expressions
rhymed or un rhymed in lines and symbols
expressed manifesting new meanings, new
vistas opening to form overtures, notes musical
by a musician, painting by an artist , a poem
by a poet.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Poetic Idea

A thin screen
finer than the spider’s web
an unseen transparency
a void, yet a space, appears
between thoughts and the spirit,
a vision seeking words, to take
shape and form,to manifest the
idea, a thought normal transformed
from nothing to something, from
the mind’s eye to world view, to
see the hidden, expose it with beauty
more than inherent in nature and by
doing so initiate a movement, bring
into the seventh moment, language that
lay latent, to form the symphony from chaos
that would fill the sails of the harbored ship
and set it off on a journey through undiscovered
oceans and uncharted seas- this would be
the force called poetry and one who arrives
at the still point would be called a poet’

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Behance  … artwork
Poetic Oceans poetry on WordPress
Poetic Oceans  poetry on Blogspot

“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


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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



 

An Homage to Our Critter-Friends in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Bob Seger Dedes

The sweetness of dogs (fifteen)

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. Full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit,

I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! How rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were
his perfect moon.”
Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems [Recommended]



So many funny, sweet and poignant poems, well-considered and finally wrought, an homage to our critter friends in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Practical Cat on Cinco de Mayo, March 6, 2019.

Thanks to Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Irene Emanuel, Jen Goldie, Mike Stone, and Anjum Wasim Dar for this touching collection. Special thanks also to Irma, Jen, and Anujum Ji for sharing their delightful illustrations. Grab a tissue and enjoy another stellar collection from our intrepid reader-poets … and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome to participate.

Apologies for the lateness of this post. Big tech issues. Sigh!  


The Gift

A small dark shape on kitchen tile
stared over by our cat,

Move closer. it is a sparrow bairn,
whose chest balloons out as my sigh releases.

Scooped up, as I take it out to the garden.
It stands on the plastic lip.

Over the fence our neighbour stands in hunched
dark tears “My mam won’t be coming out of hospital”

My breath caught.
The sparrow flies away.

From Paul’s second forthcoming pamphlet to be published in England probably later this year

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

Coincidence

Every morning our tabby
sits beside the grave
beside the wall
of her black predecessor
Our lass and I joke
she is speaking
to her ‘grandma’

My Nana hates cats
who leave “messages”
in her garden
Don’t know how
people can live
with cat hair…

disgusting how people
let them walk
on surfaces.
She never visits us.

Cat and Nana never meet.
Their senses fail
at the same time.
Eyes, ears, mouth.

Something tells me
not long after our cat
goes Nana will too.

Arrivee from work
our cat rigor mortis stiff
across her armchair.

Three days later
I get a phone call
Nana has fallen.
I sit beside her
hospital bedside.

Arrive home to find
a new tabby cat
who asks me
to stroke her
in the way our
black cat did.

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

My rough

tongue licks my sharp claws
as i see warm flesh canter up hill.

Haunches heavy with meat,
back heavy with rider.

I leap at the horses backside
claws gain purchase.

Rider crashes, hot meal gallops away.
I snarl at the dismounted man.

Human can be good meat.
He challenges me with metal.

My claws taste his blood,
again and again. He rushes

toward a spired house of stone.
Tries the locked door.

I am in the porch with him.
He a trapped animal like me.

We press on each other.
Neither tamed, die together.

Based on the local legend of “The Cat And Man”

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

I Found Kittens In Our Settee

I had to trash
vintage settee

we’d just got
of off that thief Mavis.

We’d lost our fat cat.
Couldn’t find her for love nor…

Settee were making noises.
Used kitchen knife.

Found cat and new kittens
sat on £350.

Mavis hadn’t stolen it
after all. I’ll buy her some cheap wine.

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

Barrage

You hear a blackbird trill,
stroked by a gentle wisp.
You inhale seeds and grass
and suddenly know why

your Grandad spent time
out of the house in the garden
away from the barrage,
snipes and aggro of his wife.

And as you weed the bricked path
to the front door your black cat complains
to be let in and you quietly advise
that he has a perfectly serviceable
cat flap at the back, until

your wife opens the front door
and let’s him in and scowls at you
as she shuts it.

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

As Abandoned

black kitten lobbed out of joyrider’s car window
top of our street, always had bare patch
on her upper thigh, could not get enough
strokes, hugs, Daddy’s girl.

in her moving owner’s back garden for months,
new owner could not keep her
due to his chickens and dog, always her small
paws catch your clothes as you pass.

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

If Only My Dead Dears

deliberately hid away

like our new kitten who disappears
so we cannot hear her bell,
her purrs.

We open cupboards, look under,
into, around
and sigh they’ve gone for good
this time

then smile.

And it is as if she says
he, he, couldn’t find me.

No matter how hard we look
we only find the dead in our heads.

And sometimes smile
as we remember them in a place
we had not thought to find them
for some time.

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

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


Sunning the Queen – a Nonet

Plump
Meow
Lick lick purrrr
Rumble grumble
Lazy eyes open
Head languidly turning
Anything interesting?
Oh no – just you – scratch my head now
The sun makes me sleepy. Time to eat?

This nonet was written for Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem about an animal companion. The original title for this poem was “Fat Cat in the Sun”, for indeed, Kassidy was a chubby wubby kitty cat, but she was also ruler of our home. My parents would do anything for Kassidy – come home early to feed her, go to a different grocery store to buy her special food, made sure she had several special beds to lie around the house. In return, she always greeted you at the door so you could scratch her head the minute you came in before you even got a chance to put down your keys. Kassidy died about 3 years ago yet she always will hold a place in our hearts.

© 2019, photo and words, Irma Do (I Do Run – And I do a few other things)


THE JUDGE 

My file was open on my desk,
I left it there a while;
I did not know a judge was close
and watching with a smile.

I started work on something new,
my file was out of sight;
the noise I heard alerted me,
I turned and got a fright.

The judge was sitting near my file,
his back was hunched and tense;
he threw-up on my poetry,
with careful negligence.

My poems must have turned his lunch,
he really was in pain;
that blasted cat disliked my work
and vomited again.

It seems my poetry is deficient,
I’ll watch TV instead;
but if that cat sits on my lap,
I’ll smack his furry head.

© 2019, Irene Emanuel


 

catpicture

 

This morning death was on

my doorstep, no one died

no one particularly,

 

Someone’s cat, someone’s

Dog, a birdie possibly,

Sadness overwhelmed me

 

So, I had my morning tea

As all those old memories

Flooded over me, my heart

 

began to ache and the new

days sun washed over me.

With pleasant memories.

 

I still can’t draw a cat.

© 2019, poem and drawing, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moon Beams, And the Occasional Cat)

On the day of……….

as we prepared for….

as I prepared for.

 

You looked at me inquisitivly

 

 I had no answer….

for you this time.

what are

the tears for?

Where are

we going?

So many questions

Keep going

I took the day

so we

could

spend

time

together……………….

One

……….

Last

……….

Moment

………….

in

time………..

together.

In loving memory of Simon. Devoted, loving, steadfast, trusting and true. I’ll never forget you. ❤😔

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moon Beams, And the Occasional


The Day the Cat Stood Still

This is a story as told by me, that no fat

or otherwise cool Cat could deny. The

Day the Cat Stood Still was a catastrophe,

she made a cat’s paw of me, decidedly

deciding I’d not cat’ch on to her curiosity,

Where could the cat be, a cat’ch phrase

we all know constantly. She was playing cat

and mouse with me, no caterwauling, no

hell Cat catapulting, no cat nabbing at hand,

I calmly considered, there’s more than one way

to skin a cat, we’ll see which way the cat jumps.

And So, I with ears perked

roamed the room stealthily, when suddenly

I hear a meow, and there she was Kitty

cornered in a drawer, looking like the cat

that got the cream, cool cat on my cat pajamas,

kitty whiskers teasing me.

Cat got your tongue?

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moon Beams, And the Occasional Cat)

As always dedicated to my dearly departed friends of the four legged feline kind. 💗💕


.little dog gone.

oh you were so very small

hash tag

not a proper dog

was said.

oh you were good company

hash tag

not like a human

was said.

oh boy on a good day how you

would run.

hash tag.

more like scampering

was said and overheard.

little dog gone.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


West Wind

Raanana, August 3, 2013

Her spirit rushes over the waving grasses
And the jittery tree leaves
Like the West Wind
Racing to fetch the stick
I’ve thrown so high and far
But the stick lies still
Where it has fallen.

© 2013, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works, Yes Another Book of Poetry and Stories)

Tears and Toys

Raanana, January 31, 2013

A poem is sometimes like a joke
Except instead of being funny
It’s so sad your heart leaps out of your chest
And you look around to see whether anyone else saw that
But they never do.
I once read a poem about my dead dog Chewy
How I buried her with my tears and her toys
Only I didn’t say her name or that she was a dog.
Some people came up to me afterward, a man and a woman,
And she told me how they appreciated my poem
Because they had buried their daughter too
With their tears and her toys.
Then I told them the punch-line
That my poem was about my dog Chewy
(I loved her so)
Because honesty’s the best policy.
The woman winced once, I think,
And then a curtain came down
Hiding their faces from me.
Now and then I hear laughter
And I look around
But don’t see any joke being told.
He seems to slap his knees at our sorrows.
Sometimes I get all mixed up about
Who’s God
And who’s the poet
And who’s burying their dead love
With their tears and her toys.

© 2013, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works, Yes Another Book of Poetry and Stories)

Worry

Raanana, June 21, 2013

What if they don’t come home?
I’ve been standing on the couch
I don’t know how long
Looking out the window …
What if they don’t come home?
Their cars aren’t there,
The black one or the brown one,
What if they don’t …?
It’s quiet and I’m so lonely –
What if …?
Nobody will give me water
And nobody will give me food
And nobody will love me
And nobody will come.
Don’t they know what could happen
When they say goodbye to me?
What if they don’t come home?
I’ll lie down to sleep
I don’t know how long.
At least I won’t think about
What if they don’t come home,
But I can’t sleep because
What if they don’t come home?
Don’t they know what I think?
Don’t they care?
If they only knew
How impossible it is to think like this
They’d never leave me.
What if they don’t come home?
Please come back … now.
What if they don’t come home?

© 2013, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works, Yes Another Book of Poetry and Stories)

The Service Revolver

Raanana, May 22, 2009

Sixty-six pounds of snarling anger
In the only path to safety
For six pounds of cold fear.
A chain squeezes suddenly around the honey-colored throat
And the anger moves on,
At first reluctantly, and then
Loping along at a goodly pace
Wet nostrils flared and quivering,
Ready to sift and scoop up
Anything of taste or interest
Along the dark and lamp-lit way.
Walking my dog Daisy
Whose name belies her vigor and strength
Barely controlled by a pact initialed
But never formally ratified,
She leads me through the valley of my loneliness
Which I measure in the scrape and echo
Of footsteps having no place to go.
Walking under an archway of sparse leaved bracken
And thick limbs of eucalyptus
Thoughts swarm around us
In no particular rhyme or meter,
Like the personal black hole
Pulling me towards an eventual horizon
In gossamer strands of infinity,
And another: at what point in our lives
Does it become reasonable
To contemplate suicide,
To feel the coolness and weight of one’s service revolver
Against the weight of continuing to be?

(c) 2009, Mike Stone (The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone)

Chewy

Raanana, February 4, 2007

I have a riddle for you:
‘When is a house empty, even though it’s full of people?’
She had more names than God Himself.
We should have called her Uhuru—
Freedom was the one thing she loved more than us
And finally she’s escaped the soft clutches of our love.
In our eagerness and innocence
We brought her home too soon
To be weaned from her mother,
A frightened little thing
No bigger than my fist.
She grew to love us though,
As fiercely as we loved her.
Some people were scared of her
But we’d give anything
For her to warm herself against us.
Last night her little heart burst its bounds
And she escaped her life
Running free at last through open fields
Photographed by death.
This morning when we buried her,
It rained cats and dogs.

(c) 2009, Mike Stone (The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone)

Mike Stone’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Dreaming Guard

cat1

More grey than white she was,
sensuously stirring,
if otherwise
sleeping or pretending
to sleep,
what attracted her, to peep
through the glass
then back down and pass
to the side to laze as if
in a drunken daze

daily visit , a long quiet look
then off to the nook,
satisfied with one ,
deep open eyed glance,
set her in the love trance,
no desire to roll or prance,
contentment replete, in form n fur,
silent breath, silent purr,
guarding the door, on barren floor,
profound faith, defying death_
my love have seen , no desire for more
to heaven I’ve been.
now oblivious of dogfights,rat races
she sleeps or pretends to sleep
snuggled cozily on the metallic bonnet
musing warmly on composing a sonnet
perhaps dreaming of a beloved  felidae.

© 2019, poem (English and Urdu, below) and Illustrations, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

بلی کے امور

خوابوں میں  ڈوبی یا سویؑ  ھویؑ ،

سفیدی مایل ،رنگ ھلکے کی زیادہ وہ لگتی تھی ،
جھوٹ موٹ دکھاوے کے لیؑے سویؑ ھویؑ بلی رانی

کس کی کشش  کھینچ لایؑ اسے کھڑکی تلے
نظر بھر کے دیکھا ، مسکرایؑ نشے میں ڈوبی ھویؑ

وہ روز روز آنا دوڑتے ھوےؑ  آنا، اک نظر کی تسلی
وہ دوستی نبھایؑ، سب پا لیا تو کرنے آرام وہ لیٹی

انوکھا پیار انوکھا کھیل قدرت کا میل کویؑ میاوؑن نہیں
محبت میں بھیگی خر خراتی ھویؑ ، ھے چوکیدار بنی

پرواہ نہیں موت کی نہ چوھوں کی چاہت و  خواھش
دنیا کرے جنگ یہ خوابوں میں کھویؑ سوچے اپنی شاعری

“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


ABOUT

I’M NOT DONE YET … AND OTHER RESPONSES TO THE LAST WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

“When I was young and miserable and pretty
And poor, I’d wish
What all girls wish: to have a husband,
A house and children. Now that I’m old, my wish
Is womanish:
That the boy putting groceries in my car

See me. ”
Randall Jarrell, Selected Poems



What a generous and engaging response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, I Am Beautiful Now, February 6, 2019. I guess we all have something to say about aging: poignant, wry, wise, well considered. You’ll find a lot to munch on here today.

Thanks to Julie Standig (and a warm welcome), Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Marta Pombo Sallés (welcome back), Mike Stone, and Anjum Wasim Dar.  Well done, poets, and thank you!

Enjoy this stellar collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


I’m Not Done Yet

I lost my ovaries a week ago:
no, they were not misplaced,
like my keys, cell phone and eye
glasses. They were unruly
so, like that bad student years ago,
they were removed. Don’t miss ‘em.
Don’t need ‘em.

Heads no longer turn when I walk
down the street,and when I meet
my daughter on Columbus, the waiter
barely takes my order, but quickly
knows to hand me the cheque.
I expect it.

I’m the oldest woman at work.
My earrings don’t hang as long,
my heels are not too high,
and my hair is quite short.
I wear pants, and if they’re tight
is more around the waist.

But I love nights filled with music,
wine and friends. Amber necklaces
and oversized rings that still slide
over my knuckles.
Words are comrades, still, and so far
they have not deserted me.

The lines around my mouth and
creases at my eyes, I wear like medals.
Not for bravery, or a war that was won.
I can’t win this war and I know it.
I have lost, I miss, yet I have no regrets.
Beware.
I’m not done yet.

© 2019, Julie Standig

JULIE STANDIG was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Queens, lived on Long Island. She now splits time between New York City and Doylestown.PA. She has studied at the Unterberg Poetry Center,participated in Writer’s Voice and is an active member of a private workshop in NYC.  Published in Alehouse Press, Arsenic Lobster and Covenant of the Generations, Then and Now Issue of Sadie Girl Press, as well as the online journal, Rats Ass Review. Her first chapbook, Memsahib Memoir  has just been released by Plan B Press and is currently working on her next project.

Poetry is her voice and it has taken a long time to find it. She works her way through loss and dementia and her love of life. She writes on trains, in cars, Central Park walks, late at night and always somewhere between New York City and Doylestown.


Old Are Young

My wrinkles disappear,
No more crow’s feet.

Knees lack pain when I get up,
or walk stairs. Mind so pin sharp

it hurts. Touch my toes,
cartwheel, run marathons.

I’ve had to throw away my false teeth,
As I’ve grown new ones.

Age means less struggle.
Life should be struggle.

Age means less pain .
Everything should hurt.

I tell my wrinkled grandkids.
Never grow old. Wish it on no one.

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

My Decrepit Is Good

Bring on grey hairs turn to silver.
Bring on sharp pain in the knees
as I hobble downstairs, deafness
is my body’s editor.

Bring on memory loss
as I know no different.
Bring me my stick,
my arrow of desire.

Bring it all on, fuzzy brain,
misty sight, zimmer frame,
adult nappy’s, oxygen through
plastic tubes, a knowing.

Bring on wrinkles, laugh lines,
tang of autumn, radical spice
of spring, footskate winter,
wild summer, all natural process.

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

Biddy To A Young God

Have you some anti aging cream
in your warm skin young god
for as you caress these ancient hands
this bent body wintered
the wrinkles smooth out?

You have planted fresh
delight in these eyes
that sprout visions again
as when I was a young girl.

You have breathed
through my cold embers
and stroked warmth
into this thin skin.

My face has plumpness
and reddens
as your hands find flesh
for my angled skull.

My limbs no longer bare
begin to dress themselves
with buds and colour
for your lustful eyes.

Perhaps these changes
are only in your eyes,
and this puddle reflection
may be false, a false Spring.

From forthcoming book “Stubborn Sod”, Alien Buddha Press, 2019

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

Bairns Are Old Codgers

Before I get taken to play at my soft playcentre,
my one year granddaughter toddles with her zimmer frame.
Later we will take her to the memory cafe
where she’ll remember her past lives.
“Hard”, of before dawn and midnight hours:
A welder in the Clyde shipyard, 1942.
“Stinks that,” she says of the steel shavings, and Swarfega.
“Heavy”, of the hammer…
A kitchen servant in a big house.
“Hurts”, of calloused pestle and mortared deferment…
I’m all giddy at tumble down
slides, scramble nets and ballpools.

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

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

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


Chive On – A Limerick

There once was woman, aged forty five

Who felt her life was somewhat contrived

Despite her face being full of lines

She still wrote some pretty good rhymes

So she just stayed calm and continued to chive.

If you haven’t heard the phrase, “Keep calm and Chive on,” there is a link in the limerick explaining this saying. The last line was originally going to say “So she said “F#%& that” and continued to thrive” but I thought the modern reference was a “cooler” ending.

I’m turning a significant age this year (five years until half a century!), and like Jamie, I too feel quite comfortable at this age. Maybe it’s because despite my advanced age (thank you for that phrase, medical community!), I actually don’t feel “old”. I feel more secure in myself, more confident, more daring – all characteristics that are related to gaining experience and self knowledge, which can only come with age.

So this fun poem reflects the fun that I’m having now – being a mom, a runner, a partner, a friend, a writer – despite of or probably, because of, my advanced age!

© 2019, poem and photo, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I Do a Few Other Things Too)

Fighting Age

Combing through darkness

Five stand, admitting defeat

Plucked out – victory!

I’ve written a lot of poetry lately, but I’ve also done a fair share of running this past week. Thursday’s short 4 mile run was so hot that I couldn’t even even run the last two miles of it. My head was pounding and I was starting to feel dizzy. I felt defeated and annoyed at my inability to do these minimal miles.

Saturday, I ran 11 miles in cool weather with a slight drizzle and I felt great! I felt like I could have finished another 2 miles for an impromptu half marathon (I didn’t though, as coffee and a bagel was calling my name). I felt elated and victorious, ready to conquer the rest of the day.

Poetry and running keep my soul from getting old and stagnant. I never know what to expect but the range of feelings I experience before, during and after every run is similar to my writing experience. What a blessing to have both in my life and to also have a community of wonderful people to share it with!

© 2019, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I Do a Few Other Things Too)

Details

I zero in

On the cracks in the walls

The spaces between the tile and grout

The layer of dust on the grand piano

The peeling Formica under 80’s sought after giveaway cups

The places where your innovative nature took precedence over getting the job done right.

I zero in

On the grays in your hair

And the spots on your hands

The slowness in your cane aided walk

Your mouth agape during your afternoon nap

The hand me up shirt you’ve been wearing for decades because it still fits

I zoom out

And see the humor and kindness in your eyes

The hands that lovingly prepare my favorite meal

The 20 year old bed that fits generations

The clock where time has stopped but happiness lives on

The struggle of remembering and honoring and forgetting and accepting.

I zoom out

And notice what you do without

What you’ve sacrificed

What you’ve preserved

What you’ve done with love

What you’ve done for love.

I zero in on that detail.

© 2019, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I Do a Few Other Things Too)


Come,
see me now.

I am, the wind in your sails
when storms cause you fear,
I am, the love on your skin
when complexion gives in,
I am strength in your bones
as your bones become thin,
You will know me by sight
when your sight isn’t clear,
When darkness is near,
You will deny any fear.
I am the warmth
of your Sun.
and the light
of your Moon.
I am everything
you know,
I am everything
you knew
Who am I?

I am you.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)

Scorched Bones

Gathering thoughts
of remembrance
Time stood still.

My kind eyes
Muddied by a world
Full of hate,
We see everyday.

This is not
Where I want to be
This is not
What I want to see.

My gentle, trusting
Nature being worn
Away by the news
The confusion I see.

This is not
Where I want to be
This is not
What I want to see.

Beauty dying In front
of me not naturally
But gradually, and
strategically on course.

This is not
Where I want to be
This is not
What I want to see.

I and my friends
losing Grace, misplaced
Days dwindling by
Shortening time.

This is not where
I want to be
This is not what
I want to see.

Gone is the wonder
Gone is the trace of
Smiles erupting
on this aging face.

This is not where
I want to be
This is not what
I want to see.

God give me grace.
When the loving warmth
Of the final fire
scorches my bones.

This is not where
I want to be
This is not what
I want to see.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)

The Tallest Tree

Graying hairs, and
Weakened bones
Could snap as the fragile
Aging branches
Of the tallest tree.
I am now as tall
As I’ll ever be.
Time is mine to keep.
My eyes have opened
Though I can hardly see,
my limbs have
taken me the distance
and no longer carry me.
I am wind and I am sea,
The heavens tenderly
Beckon me,
My arms are open.
Please
look
at
me.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)


.the rain came suddenly.

sun, was done and dusted.

by the slate they talked, shining.
faces older now, friendship retained.

learned a little more on life, the small
things, wisdom rings
the generations.

i did not need all the mange tout.

how beautiful

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.angel.

sit with me, talk to me
about yourself and things
surrounding.

i am older now, look
like this, and will harm,
no living thing.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.these days these days.

are longer now, i feel younger now,

i am older. we do so many things.

we are no longer afraid.

make the best of summer days,

winter follows.

he remarked that it was

good enough

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Girl, my little pearl

Girl, my little pearl
you swirl in golden waters
when you wear the highest heels
when you show your slim body
when you put on that lovely dress
when you wear that perfect make-up
when you exhibit those expensive earrings
when your fingers and toe nails are so carefully painted
when you completely remove all your hairs
(except those on your head)
when your hair is dyed accordingly
(never forget to dye it when you grow older,
you should always look younger)

Girl, my little pearl
you still want to swirl in goldern waters
when you exhibit those piercings and tattoos
though they are not still enough,
so you will want to have some more, perhaps
some botox and breast size operations too.

And girl little pearl says:

I do not want to wear high heels,
they’ll ruin my feet and back forever.
I was not born with a slim body so
why should I want to have it?

I do not want to wear that lovely dress,
it’s terribly uncomfortable, unpractical,
has no pockets and it’s too cold now,
so why should I wear it?

I do not want that make-up made of chemicals affecting my health.

They always want to sell
and so they never tell.

The same with nail polish. I do not want it
unless I buy these things at the organic shop
just in case I changed my mind.
I do not have earholes for earrings.

Why does almost every girl have them
to mark their gender as soon as they’re born?

My mum has those earholes and wore once
some unexpensive pair of earrings, bad metal,
and ended up with red skin, red spots and allergy.

No, I do not want earholes to mark my gender differentiation.
I want to choose if I want them or not when I grow up.
As for my hair and its natural color,
I am perfectly satisfied, well, perhaps
some streaks to highlight a bit of color
together with shades of greys and whites.
I want to look my age, why younger?
I am getting older and have grey hairs.
So what? Will I be less of a woman
if I don’t dye my hair anymore?

I refuse irreversible things
like piercings and tattoos.
Some other women and men
may like them very much.
Perhaps they’ve been the luckiest ones
who had no health problems so far
after piercings and tattoos
marked their bodies
forever.

I do not want this on my body
I do not want to be obsessed by esthetics
I do not want to do something just because
it’s fashion, everyone does it.
I do not want to be who I am not
I want to be myself
I want to be appreciated for who I am.
And if somebody wants to love me
I’ll say, please, look first at my inside
and then you’ll be able to decide.

I am no girl, little pearl
to swirl in golden waters
I am simply who I want to be
now you just take me or leave.

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


A Dying Light

Raanana, July 14, 2017

Once when your light was at its zenith
We could see the possibilities of poetry
And now, and now,
Your light is swollen and bloodred
As it sinks below the crags of the far horizon
We would not venture to explore,
But even in the dying of your light
And the cold night that it portends,
You show us the way we all must tread
Through dreaded mindscape
That leads us lemminglike to fall free
Through the nothingness of nonexistence.
Though you would bid me follow you
Showing me the beauty here
Or the danger there,
You can only point at them
For words have deserted you,
Adjectives no longer describe
Nouns no longer are
Verbs no longer act,
And time itself was ever only deceit.

© 2017, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Retirement

Raanana, April 30, 2017

We sat at the kitchen table
The two of us as we did most evenings
Her eyes tear-brimmed.
I reached over and touched her arm
Why? I asked although I knew.
She had retired just a few months back
But I had kept on working
Til now.
We’ll turn into a couple of old people
It’s the last chapter of our lives, she said.
Both of us turned around and looked at Daisy
Snoring softly from her mattress
As she does most days now.
Neither of us could imagine life without her
But I sensed my wife’s sadness
Spilling and spreading out towards me
And I promised her
Wherever we’d go
We’d go together hand in hand
Til time’s far-flung end.

© 2017, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Wisdom

Raanana, April 4, 2017

And in the end
They’re right, you know,
The Hindus and the Buddhists:
All life is illusion
Cut adrift from the shores of reality
With a logic of its own
Like the shells on the beach
That my mother remembering
When she was a little girl
Picked up and put to her ear
And heard the sea in them.
This was the wisdom they talked about
Sitting around the fires
Toothless grins under a full moon,
A wisdom that is not a wisdom,
At all.

© 2017, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Trembling Hands

Raanana, October 8, 2016

My hands,
I look at them now
Trembling
As they are wont to do
And I wonder why
They do,
My hands.
My father’s hands trembled too,
More toward the end,
How I loved them,
His hands.
I think maybe they know something I don’t know,
My hands,
That starlight trembles in the night
From distance and the coldness of it,
That strings on violins tremble
From Sheherazade’s beauty,
Or remind me how my vulnerability
Lets me listen to your heartbeat.
O captain, my captain,
Perhaps your hand upon the wheel
Trembled before the port that was your destination.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Little Things

Raanana, January 3, 2019

The desert hills behind me
The white-flecked sea in front of me
Clouds roiling on the horizon
A chill wind shivers old bones.
That’s when the clementines are best
And a steaming cup of mud-black coffee.
The sky is golden just before dusk,
What more could one ask for?
My hands age while I watch,
I suppose, like everything else here.
Slowly,
It’s hard to tell,
If you don’t pay much mind,
Little things
Get subtracted from your life
Until there’s not much left
But I guess it’s simpler
To keep track of
What’s important
And what’s dying.

© 2019, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Mike Stone’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Age Is An Unknown Thing

img_20190210_162610.jpg                                                      Photo Credit  CER  ©  2019

age is an unknown thing
in silence  passes by
begins and ends with a cry
has honey and ‘a  sting’

Age is but a shadow dark-
why shadows are always
dark ? as night and day
– it’s all time, at play-

age is but a phase
called child,adult, old,
beauty grace wrinkled
body, bent slow and cold

age is but wisdom, 
in metallic sounds, a
a syzygy of time and life
a digital pattern

age is but a state of
mind, manner and matter
‘as old as one thinks’
a gauge of strength’

age is but ‘no age for love’
immune to all seasons
mobility gifted, a graceful cage 
 of  moments measured.

IMG_20190210_162504
Photo Credit  CER  ©  2019

Age is but beauty even in  
withered state, often ‘over
or under’ or right grade,yet 
praised or un praised,

all must fade…

© 2019, poem (English and Urdu) and illustrations, Anjum Wasim Dar  (Poetic Oceans)

 ءمر کیا ھے

اک انجان  ھقیقت  
اک خاموش راہ گزر 
اک آنسو اک مٹھاس
اک تیز چبھن اک ڈنگ       

،اک سایہ گہرا ،سایہ
 گہرا کیوں ھوتا ھے؟
جیسے رات اور دن
جیسے وقت کا کھیل

ءمر اک دور ھے 
بچپن جوانی بڑھاپا
خوبصورت جھریاں 
قمر  جھکی ھویؑ

عمر عقل کا نام ھے
عمر اک سوچ ھے
عمر اک وقت  ھے
عمر اک زندگی ھے 

اک  زہن  کا  تصور
اک  طاقت کا  اندازہ
عمر بس پیار کی عمر
اک وقت مقررہ عمر 

 عمر سب خوبصورت
عمر   سب  کی کہانی
عمر   بڑی  یا  چھوٹی
عمر     سب  کی   فانی

“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


ABOUT

Testimonials

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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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

NISHT A’HAIR UN NISHT AHIN (NEITHER HERE NOR THERE), WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE AN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE POET IN ISRAEL, BY MIKE STONE

“Language as the technology of human extension, whose powers of division and separation we know so well . . . ” Marshall McLuhan



 For Mike’s poetry visit him at Uncollected Works. [recommended] / J.D.

What’s it really like to be an English-language poet in Israel? What’s it like to speak, read, and write in more than one language? I was inspired to write this post after reading an excellent article by Dara Barnat, entitled No One’s Mother Tongue: Writing in English in Israel, appearing in the English & French poetry journal “Recours au Poeme”. It is well worth your reading, but don’t be daunted by the French at the beginning of the article if you are monolingual; the original English follows immediately. For those Francophiles struggling along in English, Sabine Huynh translated Dara’s article into French. Sabine is a talented poet in both French and English, and translates six languages at last count.

To answer the first question, I suppose it’s somewhat like being a Hebrew-language poet in America; not because so few people read English in Israel or Hebrew in America, but because so few people read poetry in any country. More people would rather read a blog post on poetry or see a movie about a poet, than read an actual poem. But seriously, Dara makes a valid point that being an English-language writer in Israel makes one “different”, “not normal”, and casts one in the undesirable role of being an outsider, insiders being those who are “normal”, who eat out of the same mess kit as you, who love what you love and hate what you hate. The funny thing about that is that’s the way I felt in America too. Maybe it’s a Jewish thing, except that’s the way I feel in a synagogue too.

Now would be a good time to explain the title of my post, “Nisht a’hair un nisht ahin”. It’s Yiddish for “neither here nor there”. That’s how a true outsider feels.

As for the second question, I speak, read, and write in English and Hebrew. English is my native language, my mama lushin, but I’ve lived in Israel more than half my life, so I don’t have to translate my thoughts from English to Hebrew. I think in both languages. I used to speak Spanish and German too, but unfortunately those tongues have atrophied in my mouth. So a curious monolingual might ask “what’s it like?” We see the world around us through our eyes but we filter what we see through the structures of our language. Actually there are a lot of different filters that raw reality has to pass through before it enters our minds, such as the structures of culture, of religion, and of nationality, but language precedes them. If we experience something for which we have no word or form of word, then we are not likely to remember that thing. We may not even be aware of it. Most languages possess common structures, or else we’d never be able to translate from one language to another, but every language also has its own unique structures. Hebrew speakers see the world through both common and unique language structures, for instance the concurrency of biblical time with modern time, the timelessness of the Holocaust, the synesthesia between our children and our soldiers, our love-hate relationship with religion and politics, our dependence on and mistrust of the outside world, the suspicion of abandoned baggage, to name only a few of our unique language structures. These will never be translatable into English or any other language. So what I am saying is that I see the world through both sets of language structures at the same time. The realities I see are painted from a richer palette. Richer is not necessarily happier. In my case, it’s sadder.

There is so much to love, but there is so much to lose and it can be so lonely when you’re an outsider looking in.

Mike Stone 

Raanana Israel

© 2019, Mike Stone; illustration, a public domain photograph of The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

MIKE STONE (Uncollected Works)was born in Columbus Ohio, USA, in 1947 and was graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology. He served in both the US Army and the Israeli Defense Forces. He’s been writing poetry since he was a student at OSU and supports his writing habit by working as a computer networking security consultant. He moved to Israel in 1978 and lives in Raanana. He is married and has three sons and seven grandchildren.



ABOUT

Testimonials

Disclosure

Facebook

Twitter

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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