When You Touch, a poem by Mike Stone from his collection, Call of the Whippoorwill

Courtesy of JR Korpa, Unsplash

These lessons come to me from dreams.
Dreams, like the fish in the sea
Or the birds in the sky
Cannot be taught
But they can teach us how to dance
When we’re alone.

Mike Stone



When you touch
You are touched by Otherness.
The soft grasses bend to feel your feet
The gentle breezes memorize your face
The clothes hold your nakedness in myriad hands
Whatever you feel feels you.
When you taste
You are tasted by Otherness.
The bittersweet tangerine tastes you in its spray
Your lover’s tongue in your mouth tastes you.
When you smell
You are smelled by Otherness.
When you breathe your lover’s breath
Her air is yours.
These lessons come to me from dreams.
Dreams, like the fish in the sea
Or the birds in the sky
Cannot be taught
But they can teach us how to dance
When we’re alone.

© 2019, Mike Stone

MIKE STONE (Uncollected Works) is a regular participant in The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. We are always delighted with the opportunity to read  and share his work.  Mike 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. Mike’s Amazon Page is HERE. His work is recommended without reservation.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Sea Fever Again … and other poems to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of Cindy Tang, Unsplash

“How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!” Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four



Today is Super Tuesday here in the United States. It’s the day that the largest number of states hold their primaries to determine who will be the nominee for the next presidential election. What a relief to come back to the sanity of poetry and to let go the news, which I listened to on-again off-again as care givers were in and out today.

What a bracing collection of poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, walk sedately through the forest, February 26, which encouraged poets to write about nature as witness. These poems are more about observing or being in nature than being observed by nature. Close enough for our purpose, which is to provide a place to share creative work, to inspire, to exercise the poetic muscle, to connect with other poets, and to encourage.

This week we warmly welcome Kate Copeland and Adrian Slonaker to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt and welcome back Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Erick Nicholson, Clarissa Simmens, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone.

Join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro.



Envelope

little flakes of cloudy breaths
from the top all the way down
Winter beauty and bear
a cold pale and pain for
grey eating and drinking
So strategically dressed
she sticks to sitting outside
where the patio heater
Cannot read, concentrate
filling days with endless
songs and numberless walks
Watercold still no matter
there’ll be birdsong without fall
Wrapped up in a thousand shawls
as jewelry has different looks
On the back of an envelope
she scrawls her fears for the
November monsters in dreams now
the ginger-haired guy from her
adolescence nightmares is back
Summer makes her someone else
entirely no dark on the doorstep
no bogeyguys on an envelope
later when it turns light
no shadow days blue nights
to stare at and do nothing

© 2020, Kate Copeland

All the water in the world
a grey afternoon and just now
it starts to rain, big drops
in small pools on her terrace
looking outside – another
glass in her hand
the house gets dark
last light through the living
a house already silent since
he is gone, big drops
on the roof beating a drum
beating her dead heart
she sits down, suddenly
dead-tired but too afraid to
lie on their bed, big drops
against those windowpanes
a year of loss
has started
a lifetime of love
has ended
the man has cut her landline
and she cannot believe
there will ever be a
rising of another sun a
blowing out the clouds
another good morning beautiful
another – looking outside
all the water in the world will
not free the lights in the lake
this is how she will remember
losing, forever

© 2020, Kate Copeland

Upstate

Through the kitchen window to where the
lake ends and the trees touch her
lustrous sides, a rippleless motion
in the reeds waving at all the colours –
at me –

and the pines’ crowns simply
add a powdery green to where
the water starts a black-blue dark
leaving such velvety shine –
to me

Then dive in
because the leaves
they rustle turn a light
wind, stroking the season
still warm enough
to dive in unripple
this brightness the calmth

a happiness
polished by so much beauty
trees surrounding the lake
circles lost in this
dialogue of sounds and colours
how many identifiers are

there to believe?
crickets are laughing, a prey bird
sleuths the satiness

a happiness
so unworldly
a gratefulness
so unearthly

that I just dive in
bring me down back
to lights ways to wish
of colours and crowns

© 2020, Kate Copeland

Star System

A sultry summer night in August.
Crickets trill and the blue pool
water calms down. The hills smell
of oleander and she lies there.
Her bikini inviting, a vermouth
with no ice. Tempting lifetime in
California. I need help, she says.

Try to get to where
I am, he relucts, not a lot
better but at least you try.
And drifts off. About time
to get your act together
not ask more questions or
invite, so she sleeps soundly.

And winds up her dreams,
forgets the rain, his love
once. What matters not a lot
more than no ice than
to look outside where
hills, wealth, water
A sultry blue night in August.

© 2020, Kate Copeland


The Forest Beings Reply

We grow as Nature ordains
never complain and bear the pains
from black to grey, green to brown
one by one we fall to the ground
Our duty done with full obedience
spreading freshness and fragrance
with peaceful quietude we surrender
making space for others in elegance.
This is The Truth This is The Call
This is The Providence of The Fall
Be it Oak, Pine Fir or Kowhai
Sown ‘n Grown, This is The Final Cry’

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

A Walk in the Green Forest

Green leaves trembling
With the tremors
Shivering with laughter
What do they see?
That makes them murmur
Sweet rustlings
Tender whisperings
Like the twittering
And the fluttering,
Manifesting Nature
In the green sea;

Waving leaves
Like the waves
Moving the living
And the dead
Spread for miles yet
With limits bound
Trunk so firm
in the ground
But the green
So serene
Silently brave
Taking life’s chance
Continues with the dance
Happy to be, to us unseen
With what, they see around.

© 2020, Anum Wasim Dar

These two poems are from Anjum Ji’s unpublished novel The Pencileeze Hall Forest Mystery, Winner NANOWRIMO 2012

Connect with Anjum here:


Biking to the Beach” – A Cascade Poem

The shoreline changes
My breath holds steady
Memories of salt, my beacon

The sea air shifts the sand
While waves grab the wet grains
The shoreline changes

Yet directions are not needed
The old bicycle just needs legs to pedal
My breath holds steady

Despite the sting in my eyes
Quickly there and then gone
Memories of salt, my beacon

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.private land.

yet there are paths,

walked, not just

by one or two.

or rabbits.

have young feet run here,

or solitary folk, thinking,

watching light hit water,

where monks crossed.

the abbey is swathed in snowdrops,

this time of year.

look for twigs.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Connect with Sonja here:


Sea Fever Again
[Apologies to John Masefield]

I must go down to the sea again, to the dirty sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a Greenpeace ship and a cause to sail her by;
And the oil slick and the dead fish and the oiled gulls drowning;
And a green scum on the sea’s face and a poisonous dawn breaking.

I must go down to the sea again to rescue the beached whales;
Most are covered in oily sludge so our futile rescue fails;
And all I ask is a clean-up plan and a white surf flying,
And a pure spray and dolphins leaping and bright gannets diving.

I must go down to the sea again and offer up a prayer
For the dolphins caught in plastic nets and seals gasping for air.
And all I ask is a global vow to honour life on earth;
To work together for a green vision and a glorious new birth.

© 2020, Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. Eric’s site is: https://erikleo.wordpress.com


Invasion

The feet flexed
in vegan Earth Shoes,
but the thudding of size-eleven soles
mutilated the
woods’ wind-laced silence
that had snaked through
bare birch branches and along
boulevards of elms and maples and oaks-
sharing names with samey sterile streets
in the suburb I’d escaped
to seek an illusion of
pristine paths upon which I
encroached as inappropriately as a
cockroach at the Ritz.
My thirsty eyes sipped a pair of
blinking gray owls above a toad
darting around a puddle
polluted by a packet
tossed by another trekker
who’d snacked on granola
marketed by a
multinational conglomerate
as 100% natural.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


Sedately Sauntering

Brambling buckets of blackberries
Hands torn by thorns
Moving from bushy density
To towering treeful forest
Lightning-struck structures
Of burned bark becoming
Horizontal forest barriers
Keeping some out
Some in
But either way we can win
Crackling clumps of leafy deciduosity
Red-orange-green
Self-composted bridges breaking
Bubbled muddy carpetry
Winding through lean, mean lanes
And I hear my name
Sung through dappled sunshine
Leading me mysteriously
As I walk erect and brave
Passing hidden graves of
Unknown feathered poets
Who serenaded their ribbon
Of life’s silken road
Composing high-strung music
Of unrecognized joy and tears…’

© 2020, Clarissa Simmens

Clarisa’s site is: Poeturja


Vermillion

Leaves fall down, blown away in the autumnal blitz
Gold strewn paths crunch and crackle underfoot
A single vermillion leaf like a tear drop stands proud
Defiant, blood red, life courses through its veins.

The widow looks askance; the blood red leaf sends a shiver
The memory of her wedding day, a bride adorned with jewels
The red sindoor* in the parting of her hair, beginning a new life
Of wedded love, happiness, babies, the start of a journey.

The sudden death of her spouse, the ritual of her widowhood
An awakening of the day as the sindoor on her forehead is wiped away
The bindi, the dot, the point at which creation begins, negated forever
The jangle of broken glass as bangles are crushed and ornaments discarded.

The white sari envelopes her shroud-like, a colourless palette
A life of the walking dead bereft of feelings, love or emotion.
Vermillion turned to ash, grey, unassuming as the leaden skies.
The blood red leaf is trodden under the walker’s brisk steps.

A lifeless mess of veins traces its lineage etched on the path
Lies submerged in the brown heap of dead leaves.

* Sindoor: Is a red dot applied to the bride on her wedding day and removed on widowhood.

© 2020, Leela Soma


Walking in the Forest

Walking in the forest
With God at my side
The two of us just talking
I took Him at His word
Because
of
the
sparkling
thing
Going on around Him
Me pushing the branches
Away from my face
And swatting at the gnats
And Him just walking
With nothing in His creation
Daring to touch Him.
Do
you
have
a
moment
to
see
something
beautiful?
He asked me of a sudden
And I said sure why not
So He walked up this tree
As though He were walking on a fallen log
Easy
as
could
be
While I had to shinny up
The tree bark
To get to that little branch so high up
But when I reached it
He showed me a little bird
Just loving to be so little
And love being little birds’ love
It seemed so natural.
I climbed back down carefully
While God just walked back down
As
easy
as
you
please.
We walked on in silence
Me and my gnats
And God and his Teflon demeanor
Til He stops and asks me a question.
Why
do
you
worship
Me?
What’s not to worship? I say.
Do
you
understand
Me?
He asks.
You move in mysterious ways, I say.
Do
you
think
I’m
moral?
I don’t know, I say
Not like we should be.
So
why
do
you
worship
something
immoral
you
don’t
understand?
That was the last I saw of Him
We cleared the forest a few years back
The missus and I
Have a clear view
From our back porch
Of
the
end
of
our
world.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Waiting for a Poem

You sit down on a bench
Facing the tree
In a small garden
Made quiet by the wrought iron
Fence and gate around it
Across the street from the bookstore.
You wonder will it ever find you again
So long ago and far away
From where you held on to each other
For dear life
Yes life was dear then
And then you wonder how you’ll recognize it
When it finally does arrive
It might be that ant making its way
Laboriously over a blade of grass
Toward that small range of pyramids
It calls home
Or a huge heffalump
Trumpeting in the Hundred Acre woods.
You notice a folded newspaper
On the edge of the bench
And reach over to pick it up.
Unfolding it you see her handwriting
Along a margin on the front page
“Aught have many
Many ought have one than naught”
And you think to yourself
That nothing in this godforsaken world
Is faster than the speed of night.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Hunting for a Poem 

You wake up before the sky over the hills lightens
When the dew is still wet and corpulent
Or you don’t go to sleep at all
Instead, you hunt in the blind night
Careful, slow and silent, intent
Like a child on what you want
While the hunted sleep trustfully but fitfully
In the forest awake with dangers
Or perhaps the city
House to house, door to door
Window by window, it may be watching you
Behind the curtains
It might be very small or very large
You won’t know until it’s too late
It may be in front of you
Or behind you
Ready to lunge at you
Or to fly off in a loud flapping of wings
How will you know
When you don’t even know the shape of it
Or the smell of it
Or the taste
Until you are locked in its deadly embrace?

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Walking the Fog 

First of all, fog is more practical than clouds;
I don’t have to tell you how down to earth it is.
Then there’s the fact that some fogs are friendly
While others are decidedly not.
I was walking home through the forest one evening
On the path I always follow
And saw it creeping silently toward me
Between the trees and over fallen logs and grasses
Licking my cheeks with its cold tongue.
Except for the nebulous grey-white
I couldn’t see beyond my poor shoes.
I turned around abruptly and picked up a naked branch
To use as a blind man’s tapping cane
And turned back toward the fog
That had swallowed me so thoroughly
Within its leviathan belly, that I had no clue
What was forward and what was back.
I remembered that the path was slightly less overgrown
With grasses than the sides, one of which climbed upward
While the other overlooked a rocky promontory.
The fog thickened and thinned in small swirls
As though taunting me to go this way or that
But behind the thinness was always
An impenetrable thickness.
That was when I saw the ghostly outline
Fading in and out of the fog,
Her sleeve and hood visible then invisible,
Visible and invisible,
Like a memory you try to reach
But can’t.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2020, Mike Stone

On Liking Maps Too Much

Personally, I like maps.
The precision of the black line boundaries,
The colors of the bounded entities,
And the proof that only four are needed
To separate each entity, whether town or country.
Like I said, I like maps, but not too much.
Whether two-dimensional or globular,
I’ve never come across a bound’ry line so well-defined
Or patch of ground colored just like on the map
On any of my nature walks.
Besides, I don’t much care for towns or countries,
But forests, lakes, the seas, and mountains,
Clouds and animals, and kind-hearted people,
Those are the beacons for my soul.
I’d like a map to show me where
The people are friendly and where they’re not,
Where the place is good for raising kids,
Where animals are treated well,
And where the earth is well-respected.
I don’t care if the boundary lines meander
Like creeks and clouds are wont to do.
This would be a map worth having –
I’d tuck it in my travel pouch.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, 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:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

“To Survive in a Haphazard World” and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of John Towner, Unsplash

Humanity is not a single thing with thumbs and brain
But a great chain of being extending
Far back to some imagined Eden
And forward to worlds beyond imagination.
To Be Human, Mike Stone



And today, being Tuesday, we share responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, through the ache of time, February 12, which asked poets to tell us what Life is trying to express through us. In response we have a collection of some depth gifted to us by Olive Branch, m m brazfield, Anjum Wasim Dar, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Nancy Ndeke, and Mike Stone.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow. All are welcome to come out and play: beginning poets, emerging and pro.


Life –
pure,
primordial,
prana.
The subtle breath –
every second, minute, hour,
day, week, month, and year.
The challenges –
ongoing.
Learning to appreciate existence again –
this took some self-talking to.
Life, it can change–
pure,
primordial,
prana.

© 2020, Olive Branch (Corneliatrent)


My Gown

look beyond my dark thick gown
be strong and courageous
God is all around me
but you must look past my heavy gown
my light my freedom never closes
for i am not a door without a knob
look beyond my cowebbed gown
but make sure that you clasp your thoughts hand
you will need them for this journey
take time and show me that you are opening a window breathe liberation in
when the threads and seams of my tightly stitched sleeves imprison you
open your heart and push on through
the light is closer than it seems
there will be times when you’ll get lost amongst the blackest gauze of my deceptive petticoats
you will ache cry curse moan writhe in madness
dont be afraid to use the sharpness of righteous diligence to cut on through
don’t be afraid of my gown
within it lay your wings

© mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)


Life Expresses Through Us, The Truth

It is transparent, fragile, tender, light, soft
In flight, painless when free, a form,.an outline

Life is short see the industrious ant the tiny bee
in split seconds crushed killed under the feet

life is joy loss and sorrow,there is but tomorrow
all have a journey a purpose, strong or weak

all things but appear a meaningless scatter
when lost is the touch, body gone for ever

objects clothes even words don’t score
when cherished valued person is no more

one may keep snaps , books, cards and files
it becomes a storehouse of still silent piles

The heavy prompt rests on a serious note
reminds me of poet Ghalib and I quote

‘when I ceased to be,they found no ends
only’some love letters, some snaps of friends’

(chnd tasweer e butan, chnd haseenon ke khatoot
baad marne ke mere ghar se ye samaan nikla)

so what to leave behind and what all to take
leave the old memories, carry all good, no fake

for a writer, its the pen filled with non drying ink
the notebook , the laptop, to maintain the link

with it I may sling on my camera a gifted Sony
would love to ride and fly on a white winged pony

strong or weak, bright or dark, all end down on knee
but stars shine, will shine till eternity, for you and me,

Life tells us, it’s love, devotion, believing emotions’
strength surrender, impermanence here, eternity there

This is the enlightenment that distances matter not
If hearts have love, one is present, present or not

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Life Moves Like the Earth

Life moves like the Earth, revolving yet still,
it is unseen,felt only in places cut like crevices
and gorges, swimming in blood under cover
like rivers and streams, trampled over like
avalanches, corrosion and erosions, some
natural some by humanity,some by necessity
some to heal, some to accept, some to forget
some to live with,
Life is replete with diversity, color shape and
size,life is joyful serene and beautiful.
Life is time unseen, felt only, unpossessed
uncontrolled, it moves life
only time moves and reveals itself in ‘change’
in emotions reactions in patience in acceptance.
Life is a journey here, life has another life’.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:


The Bower Bird

Quintessentially.
Are we any different to the bower bird
following the in-built urge to procreate
offering or seeking a home for two
and then a few? More?

Genetic obligation to keep
the species going, dinosaur
or bug, potto, platypus or worm
living within their means.

Then we arrived, infusing life
with something different: nature,
nurture, conscience, community,
( though the trees showed us the way ),
artistry and greed. So here we are,
Tintoretto with a neutron bomb.

© 2020, Frank McMahon

At the Storm’s Edge, Frank’s debut collection, is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.


. the same tune.

if they played the same tune
over, will despondancy ensue?

life is full of multiplicities, other
hard spellings, lessons to drench a life.

whilst in the midst, the struggle, we fall
and grow.

these things do happen,
to most people.

except some seem immune to
harm.

who are the chosen ones?

the radio plays the same tune,
faintly upstairs.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Gaia’s Offspring

Are we any more then than shadow?
Cast by some greater light, then adrift
Wriggling fingers of a greater hand
Scratching for some miserly purchase
From endless oceans of fine ground sand
Or pen and ink with which to stake claim
In truth no Shelley nor even Smith
The core of us barely substantial
Yet strut our stuff and nonsense at will
As self-appointed lord and master

Wild histories strained through calendars
Fuzzy snapshots back before colour
Ghost spirits captured in black and white
Beckon ever further inward yet
Moments, centuries, millennia …
Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius
Join hands with Leo – a circle dance
To comfort those who seek for shelter
From the icy blasts of Fenrir’s howls

Parasites biting the hand that heals
Imagine that, a serpent with hands
Mythic conjurations down the years
Coded missives handed soul to soul
Like wormholes threading through the fabric
White with black within and black with white
Future yesterdays in present time
Before the confluence was broken

Who dreamt who dreamt before this head show?
Way back before the Word was spoken
Paradise captured in rhythmic rhyme
Across the darkness, “Let there be light”
Though not enough to read the rubric
Revealing the journey as the goal
Triumphs and failures, laughter and tears

Roaming eyes and hands mocked wedding bands
One for his nob and two for his heels
Reprobates disguised in monkish cowls
History’s course runs helter-skelter
Manifestation a game of chance
Your turn to despair, Ozymandias

Borne on see-through wings, ephemera
Born to dance one graceful minuet
Knowing too well death comes before night
In denial beneath the pallor
Masking the stench with sweet lavenders

The blood rushes faster and faster
The time approaches to pay the bill
The evidence is circumstantial
Time to see what hides behind the myth

Mayhap just a game – no blame, no shame
A pageant being played out as planned
In some realm beyond thought of purpose

Fresh blooms revealed all across the land
A new day emerges as mists shift

Wildflowers nodding slowly in a meadow

© 2020, Ben Naga (Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me)


OF BALANCE AND TIPPING,
There is no formulae, of how and when,
To be concieved, to be birthed, or to exit the physical,
There is no blue print, of where and to who,
Souls pick flesh and names,
Yet, billions call earth home,
Earth is generous, almost insatiable in it’s taking, but also,
In it’s giving,
Seeking blindly in a path trodden for eons with bias,
Man is a stranger to his ways,
A racing heart out to conquer,
Often blinded by inner drives that feels little,
Or nothing for fellow kin,
Onwards match footing, marked by retrogression,
Ascending stairs to self appointed deityhood,
Man is a strange one even to fellow creatures,
Enough refuses to quench his man made thirst and,
Excess defines his bloated bludgeoning of everything,
He blames those he victimizes,
He laughs at the weak,
He taunts the struggler,
And despices the fallen,
His mortal body is a prison sentence for the pain of those easily manipulated,
What does Earth’s terrain teach the wickedness within man’s heart and deeds?
History never forgets neither does Karma smile,
The universe is the perpetual witness who never misses a detail,
We curse ourselves by our acts to others,
When we change the scales to gain us,
When we look the other way for inequity to grow roots,
When we wage dogged dogmas to kill thinking,
Or mislead to milk following for gain,
What then, after all the glory,
Begotten of spilt hopes,
Do we applaud the story of our life’s?
Nothing is not as empty as it sounds,
But a life devoid of balance whichever way it tilts,
Is a life distraught with gaps that harms,
Life is a gift ,
Sometimes without glamour or fair bells,
Still, it’s life ,
Sometimes without humor and with steep bills,
Still, it’s life,
And it’s differently the same for the grass and the grasshopper,
Man and beast,
Genders etal,
So we take within our means with a fair hand,
So we give within our means with a dear hand,
And act with the humility of the frail flesh, that all life is,
For to act otherwise,
Is to leap ahead into the abyss that historys of war chronicle,
And calamitous scrolls of nature angered enough to slap back the face of man.
As co-creators with the CREATOR,
May it be in arts or acts ,
Ours should be to seek to do good to all,
For we are children of the same sky’s,
And dust of the Earth.
To think otherwise is vanity, a fact that is in Vogue in our sad vague life’s.
Still, hope reigns in the hearts of few.
Hope is a mastard seed. Something will give.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


To Survive in a Haphazard World

To survive in a haphazard world
In which good and evil are meaningless words
To understand what is happening all around
What has happened and what might happen or not
To feel what is good or evil to oneself and others
To think of what one’s done and not done
What one might do and what one must
To believe what one can’t think through
And to doubt those beliefs when doubts arise
To act when there’s no more time to think
But to stop that action when there’s time to think
Or it’s no longer needed,
These are what a mind is for.

© 2010, Mike Stone

A Response to RS Thomas’ Poem (Balance)

Yes, God is the pirate who sails the wide seas
Between existence and non-existence,
Between time and space,
We walk His plank, not knowing where or how to fall
And yet we fall, abandoning our theories and our faith.
Our minds, then, what, pray God, is the purpose of our minds?
Our minds that weigh less than nothing,
Yet think of weighty matters,
These doubts, why were we given them?
To balance what we think can be known
Against what we think cannot,
So our soul may keep its balance
Walking God’s narrow plank.

© 2019, Mike Stone

A Meditation

Walking Daisy in the morning
Is a kind of meditation.
The trees burst with raucous chirping
A cat sits in a windowsill
Watching a lone bird walking
In the alley underneath.
What else can life come up with?
Oh look, there’s a butterfly!
It is the nature of beauty to beckon us
And our nature to follow.
A plump mango falls to the ground
As easy as that.
Would that all things good were easier
Than doing evil.

© 2019, Mike Stone

The Hermit and the Cabin

My poor soul, bless its,
Well, you know what I mean,
Would soar like an eagle over dappled valleys
Dragging my body along with it if it could
But it has grown accustomed to the weight
And cumbersomeness of my body
Like a hermit grows accustomed to his cabin
Of rough-hewn logs and thatched twig roof
Lost in a wilderness of loveliness and terror.
The cabin protects it in a small way
From the vicissitudes of a heart’s seasons
And the uncertainties of our knowing,
But eventually, the weeds send their tendrils
Through the chinks between the logs
At first admitting welcome daylight
But then unwelcome cold and finally
Strangling the logs with their slow sure strength
Until the hermit is forced to leave the cabin
Looking for another not too overgrown or exposed.
The old cabin will miss its hermit
Until the last log falls to ground
And the roof lies unthatched among the weeds, but
What cares the hermit for the cabin
Or the soul for its earthly body?

© 2019, Mike Stone

To Be Human

Poets, philosophers, and even scientists
Have wondered what a human is,
I mean precisely what,
And so, I offer ever so humbly,
Though it may be riddled with loopholes,
Nonsequiturs and insufficiencies,
My poor view of what a human may well be
Whether or not one is made of blood and flesh,
Walks upright or can construct a proper sentence:
First of all, a human should be in possession of humanity,
That is, being sentient of what goes on around oneself
And caring for the sentience of other beings
Whether they bear one’s likeness or not.
Humanity is not a single thing with thumbs and brain
But a great chain of being extending
Far back to some imagined Eden
And forward to worlds beyond imagination.
Lastly, humanity is not measured by what one knows
But how honestly one deals with one’s ignorance.
A human might be able to whittle it down a bit
But it will always be infinite.

© 2019, 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 DedesAbout /Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

A Note From An Irate Black Woman . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.” Eugene Debbs, Canton, OH, Anti-War Speech, June 16, 1918, Voices of a People’s History of the United States



Here we are at Tuesday again with responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Deception, January 5, which was suggested by Anjum Wasim Dar.

Today’s thoughtful collection is courtesy of Jane Wood, who is new to our pages and warmly welcome, and Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, Eric Nicholson, and Mike Stone

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning and is being hosted this week by Mbizo Chirasha. All are welcome to come out and play, beginning poets, emerging and pro.


Righteousness

We are living in a time of certain doubt.
Cruel men and mean women
wielding their self-anointed power of bibles.
Piously pulling verses over our eyes.
Poisoning us with dark lies.
Wretched faces hating at me from tv screens
screeching eternal damnation screams
in the name of their gods.
Americas royal lineage of preachers and politicians.
Immersed in godly superstitions.
With every breath condemn us to a hellfire rain
on an endless trek of tears
death
and pain.
Vengefully severed from the promised garden.
Surrounded by wailing walls of lamentation.
Rising from the volcanic mud of beasts
they prey upon us at their sin eaters feasts.
Death makes angels and devils of us all.
Made naked born to suffer for your heaven rewards.
Crucifix around my neck
‘hail mary’ on my lips.
Contemplating murder
or
forgiveness.

© 2020, Jane ‘SpokenWord Grenier

Jane ‘SpokenWord’ Grenier
JANE ‘SPOKENWORD” GRENIER‘s performances represent the spoken word as it is meant to be experienced, raw, uncensored and thought provoking. A poet and spoken word performer, her performances are eclectic and range from poetry reads, to slams, duos, trios, and various band formations. 

Jane’s collaborations include Min Tanaka of the Butoh theatre, Mayo Yamaguchi of the No Theatre, avant-garde Maestro Cecil Taylor, Founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Miguel Algarin, Beat Poet John Sinclair, her son, hip hop musician/producer Nastee, and her partner in all things Albey on Bass. Her experience spans a full spectrum of venues; the Nuyorican’s Poet Cafe, the Whitney Museum, The NYC Alternative New, Year’s Day Spoken Word Extravaganza, Bowery Poetry Club, Roulettes, Blue Stockings Bookstore, Cornelia St. Cafe, A Gathering of Tribes, Evolving Voice/Evolving Music Series, Arts for Art in the Parks, The Stone, Le Poisson Rouge, the Cantab, the Lizard Lounge, the Maple Leaf Reading Series, festivals include The Vision Festival, MA Poetry Festival, Lady Fest, Dumbo Art Festival, SxSW, Porch Fest, The New Orleans Infringe Festival, libraries, slam lounges, art galleries, clubs, street corners, and living rooms everywhere. 

Jane has self-published two books with cd’s and videos Tragically Hip and Word Against the Machine. Her piece I Am A Poet was recently chosen for publication in We Are Beat, National Beat Poetry Anthology, 2019. Various works have been  published in Good Housekeeping, Boston Magazine, the Boston Globe, Tragically Hip – L.E.S. Publication, TV Baby – OHWOW  Publications, and several anthologies: Estrellas En El Fuego (Stars in the Fire) – Rogue Scholars Express, Shadow Of The Geode, and Palabras Luminosas,


Doomed Deception

Obreption rampant,
post fall disobedience
leads to destruction,

color, creed or race,
one good in grace, one in face,
a face meeting a face,

lost heaven, fate doomed,
no fear, nor lessons taken,
why still, false beguile ?

crimes committed in
conniption, subreption reigns,
gold saves savages,

misprision, denial,
a trendy Bohemian style
Ah, but for a while,

the rich may stand tall,
puppets, idols, mafia,
deception soon dies.

Resile falsehood, then,
discern truth,adapt, accept,
wait, be blessed by Light!

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Editor’s note: Obreption and sobreption are Latin terms used in ancient Roman Law meaning to creep toward or against and in the Cannon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, where they refer to fraud (whether intentional, malicious, or done out of ignorance) when there is a plea for ecclesiastical dispensation. Obreption is also used in Scots law. 

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

“Self – Deception”
If I don’t swallow
the lie you put on my plate
My stomach grumbles
© 2020, Irma Do

.the deception.

light gentle sweet

you touched my spine

your face no picture

slow ɡradʒʊəl inevitable

you killed me

one shot to the chest

now

careful

healing

with silver

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: the invitation ::

i issue one invitation only, if you respond. a quaint
old fashioned idea, that we may be friends.

please come, talk ,take a drink, walk with me.

let us get to know each other, gently. not fall into bed.

do not over stay the welcome, 50 minutes will suffice.

breaking cups,spilling tea will abuse the hospitality

please come. i have the kettle on. this is not the time

for hostilities. beware those tendencies to deceive,

to live in trees. this double spacing annoying me.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


A Note from an Irate Black Woman

This a note from an irate black woman who still lives in hope despite the intolerance, the racism, the violence perpetrated against black people a direct result of the massive deception that justified the oppression of Africans forcing them into slavery using Christianity to camouflage greed and lust in a quest for money and for power…passed on through the generations to the hypocritical leaders of today still making obeisance to hate, the almighty dollar, and to avarice.

The image of Jesus changed “in the twinkling of an eye” from a brown man to a white man…a lie painted by a famous painter commissioned for this duplicity by a leader in the 15th century to paint and portray his son as Jesus another twist in the use and abuse of our Lord and Savior… Jesus the God of Love sent by the Father from heaven above to set our souls free filling our hearts with empathy for our fellow man.

Deceptive politicians and devious people hide behind the name of Jesus condoning liars pants all afire and ablaze with animosity wreaking havoc and bloodshed keeping the poor in subjugation hungry living out their lives in desolation…condoning war mongers in their insensitivity as they split up immigrant families…condoning bigotry as it destroys health care for the needy…where is mercy? where is New Testament charity in the land of plenty?

Jesus tells us to love God, love our neighbor even love our enemy. He comforts us in our deepest depression because He is our friend in the midst of feelings of isolation…He gives us a spiritual peace as we travel through the muck and the mire of this earthly existence releasing our innermost feelings to “the Creator of the ends of the earth”, to our God who sits “high and looks low”, to God the Father who is in control of this universe.

“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

© 2020, Tamam Tracy Moncur

Diary of an Inner City Teacher is a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line. Over two decades in the trenches, educator Tamam Tracy Moncur exposes through her personal journal the plights, the highlights, the sadness, and the joys she has experienced as a teacher. Come to understand why the United States Department of Education and the various state departments of education must realize the teaching of academics cannot be divorced from the social issues that confront the students. Let s be innovative together and design new millennium schools that address the educational needs of the inner city students before it s too late! Our children s very existence is at stake! Laugh, cry, and become informed as you embrace the accounts of an inner city teacher.


Anthony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud

A thousand metal struts thrum
in a quantum cloud
like a giant version of pick-a-stick
as you slowly circle round
you create a human spirit after all
the world’s sages talk of an energy
body distinct from what your eyes
tell you going beyond Single Vision
you are a collaborator
with the maverick metaphysician’s
uncertainty principle and slowly
together you populate space time.

View a photograph of Quantum Cloud HERE.

© 2020, Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. Eric’s site is: https://erikleo.wordpress.com


Truth?

The grain in the wood tells the story of years gone
Circles of time etched in its rich veins in sepia tone

The rain soaked wood has the tales of trees,
Hardened by sun and heat, cooled by breeze

Truth in its core displayed for all to see
the passage of time, centuries evoke
or

Lies?
Our lives are an illusion, maya, grasping wealth
in those brief years on earth, ego swelling stealth

Memories soften with age, truth or lies?
Images flash by in one’s inner eye, as one tries

A legacy, an image, transparent as gossamer
dust to dust, body interred, king or commoner.

© 2020, Leela Soma


Blessed Are the Rich

Blessed are the rich
For they shall inherit the meek
And enslave them.
Blessed are the rich
Who will inherit new worlds to suck dry
After they have sucked dry our only world.
Blessed are the rich
Who make their own blessings
And the gods to bless them.
Cursed are the poor
Who bow down to worship
The gods of the rich,
Who count the blessings of the rich
Who are sucked dry by the rich
Who are enslaved by the rich.
Cursed are the poor
Who bless the curse of meekness
For their children to inherit.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Hatred

And the prophet stood among a few people.
In the marketplace of ideas, there were many prophets
But this prophet spoke quietly. He said
Hatred is not a state of mind
That one can enter and leave at will;
It is a road that starts in innocence
Leading ever downhill
And ends in unplumbed evil.
I don’t tell you turn the other cheek
When struck, as another prophet said,
But I say don’t answer hatred with hatred.
Hatred comes from ignorance of others,
Thinking they are not like us,
That they don’t love their children
Or honor their parents
Or fear for their future as we do.
Why not answer hatred with hatred?
Because it creates a circle without exit or break
And perhaps their hatred comes from
Honoring their past or fearing their future.
What should you do?
When you understand those whom you call “other”
You will know what to do, and hate
Will wither like dry tumbleweed in the desert
Because there is no other,
There is only us.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Then as Now

The sweet pungency of rose and violets
Floats on the gentle breezes
And down the road a ways the church bells toll
As they did then.

At the shooting range, you still see bullet holes
But they buried all the targets in mass graves,
Not helter-skelter like some graveyards,
But very orderly as they were then.

The tall poplar trees surround electric fences,
They seem inviting, leaves rustling in the breeze,
A nightmare inside a blonde and blue-eyed dream,
As it was then.

They scrub the showers, ovens, and the smokestacks,
The red brick raw and spotless.
A pile of shoes stands in silent accusation
But no one hears, then as now.

© 2019, Mike Stone

The Colossal Feats of Ramses Two

Ramses Two, Ozymandias, third king of the nineteenth dynasty,
Son of Seti One or the sun, as you would have us believe,
Conqueror of Nubia, Libya, Canaan, Syria, and the Hittites,
Enslaver of the Hebrews who carried your pyramids on their broken backs,
You built temples to forgotten gods,
Cities buried under shifting sand dunes,
And colossal statues of yourself in stone
Commemorating your colossal feats for all posterity
Striking awe and terror in your peoples’ hearts,
Intimidating those who would invade,
But all that remains are the colossal feet,
The rest resides in a British museum.
Your mummied body, five foot seven,
Hunched over ancient arthritis and abscessed teeth,
Is now in some Parisian museum viewed by
Heartless bodies with a plane to catch.
If you could see yourself as we see you now,
The submerged relics of your once and future greatness,
Would you have thought it worth your efforts
And not a waste of precious life?
Life crashes through all of us,
As through paper walls or
Trampling you and me like blades of grass
Under a careless runner’s feet
To reach some distant star.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Used to Be

Used to be
Evil was more personal.
You had to be there to do it.
Now just somebody doing his job
(Someone has to do it).
A small child all curled up
Hugging the floor
Because there’s nothing else to hug
Thinking maybe that will protect him
Feed him.
An old woman
Survived the Holocaust
The concentration camps
The selections
Her bare-lightbulb
Peeling walled room
Filled with shiny new exercise equipment
Carrot peelers turkey stuffers satellite radios back scratchers
And other stuff she didn’t need
Because she couldn’t say no
To the nice lady on the phone.
The trees being cut down
And people cows factories and cars
Blowing carbon into the sky
Til the last one of us drops breathless
To the ground he made great again
While our world went to hell.
Used to be good
Though there always was some evil
But you could always see it coming
From a mile or two away
And the world was always greater.

© 2019, 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 DedesAbout /Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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