“Saturday” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photo courtesy of Mila Young

“Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” Edith Wharton, Artemis to Actaeon and Other Verses

The Sun Is In Love With Me

what a morning, good morning
burst of apricot, showering light
drizzling glee, a child’s laughter
if I had to live for just one day
it would be this one, morning-glory
nodding her bright-eyed blue head
and i know, there’s no such thing
no such thing as a death star
there’s only life, over hill and field
shining into windows, on warm grass
Look! the daisies are smiling
and the California poppies are
popping yellow like corn in a pot
the moon was muse last night
today the sun is in love with me

© Jamie Dedes



And here we are still poeming away in the time of COVID-19. It’s not surprising that many of these poems reflect the global strategies for containing the virus so relentlessly dominating our thoughts. The poems collected here today are in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Magnolia Teacups, March 18, which encouraged poets to write about life on their day off. In one of his poems, Our Empty Shelves, Paul reveals what a shock it is to come back to work at his grocery after his days off and see the changes wrought by the pandemic.

Isn’t it wonderful that we can sooth our spirits and connect with others through poetry without passing anything more dangerously contagious than perspectives and experience? Much thanks this week to mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonia Benskin Mesher, Nancy Ndeke, Miroslava Panayotova, Bishnu Charan Parida, and Adrian Slonaker for coming out to play and so gracefully responding to the challenge.

Enjoy! Be inspired, comforted, stirred,  … and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets.


sábado de manhã*

dew drops shape
coffee slowly drips
from the hallway foot steps fall
Cortana plays old time country tunes
the gray cat her ocean green eyes watch me write words that will remain unspoken

*Saturday Morning

© 2020, mm brazefield

mm’s site is Words Less Spoken, Gen X’er chronicles the art form of living in the Angelino metropolitan environment through poetry, creative writing, art, photography, and creative writing


Morning Turn

three keys to half raise a defensive eyelid.
Enter storm of the eye.

Listen to hum of preservers.
Two must be cleansed.

Tears sucked out,
waste removed.

Reloaded with boxes of insight.
Our fingers crinkle with their cold

as each box is placed so all can read
the new delight, the fresh view.

A new order of the day.

From Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2019)

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Our Empty Shelves

This Saturday morning in the shop.

there is a glut of emptiness.

Labels advertise what is missing
Like headstones.

We wait on the delivery.
It is late today.

No Sugar, pasta, flour.

We apologise to customers,

some in decorator’s facemasks.
Others wear ordinary gloves, mouth covered
by handkerchiefs like bandits
in childhood cowboy and Indian films.

Once the delivery arrives.
It is a joy to fill the spaces.

Often in the same motion,
Customers take what you have just placed.

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Her Fur Elise

I awake to Beethoven as Mam taps the upright
Piano downstairs in the through lounge

where morning light highlights dark brown dining table
And varnished coffee table both polished

with Pledge until you see yourself. Later
chemo will make her petite fingers fat,

Fur Elise break into fragments as disease progresses
and piano sold as her hands come to rest.

© 2020, Paul Brookes

I Fry Me Chips

in proper fresh Beef fat for better flavour, in a proper chip pan. Don’t let
old fat lie. Keep it new, not like neighbours, nowt against them,
not meaning to be offensive but veg don’t put hairs on your chest,
or give a bloke owt to hold onto on a night. There’s yon young un out
on a morning in her slippers and pyjamas hangs out her undies,
as if no ones looking. Him next door in his loose dressing gown lumps white
bags in grey bin, pussy cardboard boxes in blue. Like I said don’t let old fat lie.
Tha allus sees summat proper fresh
out thee windows.

From As Folk Over Yonder (Afterworld Books, 2019)

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Rubato

A book begins and ends in a garden.
A book begins and ends in delight.
See the coloured pages
Scattered like pixels.

Each bird note is a colour.
Each rustle is a colour.
Sometimes a rubato
out of the usual rhythm
of this morning and evening

The garden of memory.
His rock garden reminded my late dad
of Lake District mountains.
Each page is a leaf,
each leaf an instrument
played by the gust.
Every chorus of leaves
A fresh painting of the garden.

An as yet, unpublished poem, part of last year’s poetry month

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Paul’s site is The Wombwell Rainbow
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


Such Were Some Saturdays

Saturday mornings
omelette jam tea breakfast
rest with peaceful sleep

Day off, no duty
visits by kids, family
smiles hugs fun laughter,

much awaited day
to complete pending projects
watch classic movies.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

After Jamie Dedes

It was Friday night quite late, a silent voice told
me, ‘ pull the curtains and look’, right in front
suspended, illuminating the sky, smilingly
appeared the crescent, another bright star in its
company, ‘we are here, and you are not alone’

Lucky me to have seen them, I returned to my
desk and thought, ‘would I be able to finish my
pending work, the story that my son wishes me
to write? The poems, that are in the files needing
printing? The half knitted baby sweaters, and afghan

squares? the clock’s needle kept moving smoothly
not ticking, soon it will be predawn prayer time,
time to pull aside the curtains and see the first light
reveal the hillside, alas here there are no magnolias
nor roses nor tulips, but fields and a few farmers-

Birds will appear, to feast on the crumbs put on the
wall, crows fly over from time to time, strangely they
are silent, Saturday mornings are silent as schools are
closed, children are silent too sleeping late, peaceful
is the atmosphere- Saturdays are ‘get together days’

The village farmer will bring fresh vegetables, lay
them on the ‘charpoy’ on the roadside close to his field
and the day’s sale will soon begin-the city nearby will
gradually rise from its drowsy numbness, half opened
eyes watching vehicles begin to race as work begins

on a much slower pace, asking for and giving space
just a selfish concern and soon busy in the worldly
race….

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar


Saturday

Saturday mornings begin best with
Awakening while the sun still sleeps, dressing then
Trotting down the stairs with sneakers in hand, quietly making a PB and J yet
Ultimately waking the youngest ones with the coffee pot’s final hiss,
Rushing to get them back to bed then, quickly into the car, fueling and hydrating
(me not the car)
Driving to a favorite trail, late, but relieved that my tribe waited for me to
Arrive before starting on our group run.
Yes, this is the best way to begin a Saturday.

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.the day off work.

Dull here this morning. Cooler. The graveyard is quiet; traffic moves distant.

Your saddle was a try out, now you will not be hankering after that design and may settle on what you have?

Things disappoint often. I try not to have expectations much. Is not easy after years.

Your place is your home with all that entails. Enjoy it.

The flowers never fail to delight and now I know the colour patterns. Yesterday learned the seed germination times.

Ate a few strawberries from the garden and watched the hay being bailed down the lower field.

I too gather and build from the wild
as you may know.

it is a focus on those things some overlook
a focus on time passing
while i like your verse
this cannot compare

I have a day off from the mill as I worked extra in the week. I have croissants bought ready for later. At work I mainly have a yogurt and liquorice allsorts.

Poetry man is sweet, he asks questions i never answer, We have googling.

I had hoped to sleep late, yet that never works. Have a good day. Tell me more adventures……

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


My Saturday Morning

I have lived, I have been bereaved,
I have known joy leaping in bubbly bounces, and,
I have bowed completely defeated and defenseless,
But this one Saturday, is uniquely born,
A day of anxious waiting,
A day of tedious praying,
Marooned inside my mind and space,
Common nature sounds refuse to led the old tongue,
For my attenae is pulled long and hard into my chests behavior,
Listening to the engine humming,
Keenly hearing the erratic thrum,
Is it so is it not so?
Am I “goosed” am I not ” goosed”
I remember leaving my appetite at the doctor’s place,
I forget where I misplaced my seen of peace,
Photographs seem to mock my staring eyes,
My moves are jerky and my nerves frayed,
I want to pray but my tongue plays roof top stuck,
This Saturday morning is quite a mouth full,
It exposes the cowardly self of my self,
Preaching loneliness in a severe tongue and jeering at my speeding heart.
Across the fence a child cries and a mother sings,
In the distance, the train whistles,
Further still, thunder rolls,
The smell of moisture in the air fills my lungs,
I take a shower and a hot cup of coffee,
I have a load of mail to answer to and,
And a poem for this day,
Yes.
Was advised to socially distance till this cough runs out,
Yes.
Am alone but not so lonely,
And this Saturday is a day of and for lessons,
Sometimes, we take for granted the beauty of togetherness,
A fact if I survive, I do promise on this Saturday morning,
Never take for granted the simple joys of interactions.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Saturday –
not like all others
It’s like we’re in a movie
I wanted to become an actress
We are all actors now
Our way is a theater

© 2020, Miroslava Panayotova

Miroslava’s site is OKMSP


This Saturday Morning is Silent as a Dark Night

As the gentle zephyr blows,
Sweeping the dry leaves fallen on my colony streets,
The fear of Covid-19 curbing the human activity around,
This Saturday has begun with a morning, bizarre

As usual, yet,
The two street dogs Kanchia and Kalia, as I call them,
Greeted me with smiles at my gate, with wagging tails,
Rejoicing the March morning at their freedom best

A scanty footfall
Of the early risers, the morning walkers
Has added to all the doom and gloom, stilling,
The streets

The humans have chosen to stay home,
To stay safe, in a measure of social distancing
With the declared lock down, my hometown,
For the first ever dawned to a Saturday, as silent
As a dark night

© 2020, Bishnu Charan Parida

Bishnu’s site is: Bishnu’s Universe


At Liberty to Loaf

Nestled naked in a king-size bed,
I banish the brashness of Saturday morning sunrays
with blackout curtains
and quench a parched mouth with
starfruit sparkling water –
an upgrade from the Lucky Charms-infused moo juice
of my youth,
neutralizing the gorgonzola and mushroom pie
acquired from that quirky pizzeria run by hipsters
and the sucrose-laden liquid thought to be coffee
quaffed during the frenzy of fringe freak shows
known as Friday night trash TV,
trailed by an extended dose of calming darkness
with pressures popped like a succession of cracked knuckles
and a heart rate relaxed by
a fresh paycheck in the belly of my bank account
and a satin-bound blanket that doubles as a hug
when you’re single.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


Jamie Dedes:

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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

I Name You Fear . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Michael Ancher, “The Sick Girl”, 1882, Statens Museum for Kunst / Public domain photograph courtesy of Michael Peter Ancher

“Kleitos, a likeable young man,
about twenty-three years old
with a first-class education, a rare knowledge of Greek
is seriously ill. He caught the fever
that reaped a harvest this year in Alexandria.”
Kleitos’ Illness, Constantine P. Cavafy



Of special note:

  • Please don’t miss Iron Wind, Zimbabwean poet in exile Mbizo Chirasha’s response to the current prompt. An explanation for its solitary publication is included in the post.
  • Wisconsin poet, DeWitt Clinton, wrote, “I’ve visited many hospital rooms over the years, and occasionally, I was a patient. I’m always drawn to Sylvia Plath’s poem about her stay in a hospital following a surgical procedure.”  I didn’t have enough time to get Harper Collins’ permission to publish Tulips today. You can read it in its entirety HERE.
  • Irene Emmanuel and Diana Lundell, if you have sites or Amazon pages to which you’d like me to link, email the links to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com

Today I am pleased to present the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, At the Beginning of the Pandemic, March 11, in which Michael Dickel asked poets to ponder: “How to bring illness (personal or pandemic) of the ailing body, pain, and language to point to culture, philosophy, and consciousness in poetry that also points ‘…to what is still to be learned about our fragility, our mortality, and how to live a meaningful life’? Especially at this cultural-historical moment of an emerging pandemic?” The result is a journey through a spectrum of experiences and perspectives.

The poets who contributed to this collection are: Paul Brookes, Jamie Dedes, Irene Emanual, Joe Hesch, Diana Lundell, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Nancy Ndeke, Bozhidar Pangelov (bogpan), Corina Ravenscraft, RedCat, and Clarissa Simmens. Joe Hesch, Diana Lundell, and RedCat are new to Wednesday Writing Prompt and warmly welcome.

Please do come out to play tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro.

Stay safe and healthy,

Warmly,
Jamie


As I write this, my daughter is watching a YouTube live stream lesson. The Ministry of Education streams a lesson to all first graders from 9–9:30 each school morning. My son is working on tasks and following links posted on this class web page. At 11 am the fourth graders, his class, will have their half-hour live-streamed lesson. I have a moment to write while they work, before I leave for an “essential” appointment, which will likely be my last meeting this week. Later, I will go to the grocery store to pick up three or four things we are running low on. I’ll probably notice a couple of other things to get, just in case. The people I see and I will try to maintain a distance of two meters. Yesterday I went for a walk, just to get out of the house. The sun was warm, so I sat on a bench with my iPad and answered some emails. Those of us out kept our distance, but more than usual we made eye-contact, greeted each other, wished each other good health.

Welcome to COVID-19 time. I think that it is important to make eye contact, to acknowledge each other, especially as we make wide arcs around each other. I think it is important too keep our connections, even across distance. And this is something poetry does. Here, we offer the week’s responses to my prompt on writing poems about illness (personal to global) and pandemic, creating a literature that points to culture and meaning in the time of COVID-19.

We have amazing and strong responses. They range from cancer to COVID-19 pandemic panic syndrome, from personal to observational. The language is strong. The poems succeed in doing what Ann Jurecic, (Illness as Narrative: Composition, Literacy, and Culture, p. 131)  “…all point to what is still to be learned about our fragility, our mortality, and how to live a meaningful life.…”

In this COVID-19 time, please do your best to stay healthy. Support your community as you can, especially in helping to prevent spread, but also by catching a distant eye, nodding, smiling, saying “Shalom, manishma?” (Peace, how are you?) And wish them, “Libryut” “to (your) health.” Social distance need not be without connections.

Shalom, how are you? To (y)our health!

—Michael (Meta/ Poor(e) /Play)


The Virus

On my till
An old lady flinches when I touch
Her handing her change.

Boss is stockpiling anti-bac wipes.
Wash your hands as often as you can
As money is the dirtiest of things.

Anti-bac wipe your touch screen,
And where folk lift up the fridge doors,
And the price strips.

Toilet rolls are disappearing.
It dissipates the virus,
While it rests on other surfaces.

Folk avoid public bannisters,
Walk down the middle.
That old woman’s flinch
Stays in my mind.

© 2020, Paul Brookes

My Caladrius

All white bird a ghost who stares intently
into my jaundiced eye,

then flies towards sunblaze
where it sweats all my illness
in droplets to the earth.

If the bird looks away
this disease succeeds.

Some healthy hide the bird
under their coat,
refuse to offer it
with the thought
nobody gets owt for free.

Some say the bird is a saviour.
Some put faith in fleeting things.

Originally published in the Blue Mountain Review

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Disease Is A Gift

It was really cool to see who could get
illest first, cos you’d like get all this fuss.
My bestest mate Rhianna, reporters interviewed her, and she’d be on the news.

And folk who felt sorry for her gave
her lots of money so she could go
to Disney in America and have
the most expensive doctors,

and like, get well, but she didn’t,
and they wouldn’t let me see her,
said she was too ill, and then
she died and I cried a lot,

she wasn’t on the news anymore
but to me she was even famouser.

Except from Paul’s collection A World Where (Nixes Mate Press, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes 

Paul’s site is The Wombwell Rainbow
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


Lockdown

Bronchi and alveoli seeking respiratory droplets
Float on the air, a nightmare of guided munitions
Always a reckoning when such assassins are loosed,
And now the vineyard of joy is dead and gated, the
Elders are on lockdown, prisoners of Corvid-19,
Of a government that moves too slowly and this
Virus that moves with speed, children sent home
From school, the workers forced from their jobs, a
Run on TP, tissues and hand sanitizers, breezes
Caressing the face, now just a memory like love
And blisses, handshakes and bracing bear hugs
Like social networking of the off-line variety

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

Jamie is the curator of The Poet by Day.


Never Named

Chatter-clips in muffled murmurs
overheard.
Overt opinions in strained silence
suspended.
Tactful teacups in stilled saucers
of tears.
Reverberating reels of sudden shock
echoing.
Mystified minor in innocent ignorance
unaware.
Death danced in devilish delight
unnamed.
Years later, I learned about
CANCER.

A TOUCH OF CANCER

Unasked, unwanted, it appeared;
a black dot on the middle of my right cheek.
A spider bite? A probable assumption.
It developed a white head,
I squished it, it spurted and grew a scab.
Then it became an unsightly scabby growth
of potent ugliness, taking over my cheek.
A skin specialist was consulted.
He was fascinated, he concluded that this “spider bite”
needed an investigation.
He cut and sent a sliver to be biopsied.
Final diagnosis:
“Squamous Cell Carcinoma” of the cancerous type.
Remedy:
Immediate removal, non-negotiable.
Twenty-one stitches later, the growth lay vanquished.
As “Frankenstein’s” distant cousin, I faced the World.
Vitamin E oil has finally smoothed the scar
into a faded memory of a major scare.
I am eternally grateful to faith and Dr. J.

© 2020, Irene Emanuel


The Virus 

A sneeze from behind makes people cringe and turn
to see what culprit’s spreading the disease.
They’ve yet to call at night for dead to burn,
but just wait ’til we’ve more fatalities.

We ‘Mericans think we’re super powered
to fend off almost any aggressor.
But lately our record with wee foes has soured,
or haven’t you noticed that, Professor?

Now comes the smallest we’ve faced in a while,
and folks worry about how serious.
Heed your doctors, they won’t jive you with guile;
just don’t listen to pols imperious.

Wash hands, cover coughs, it’s not just the flu.
So prepare, but don’t panic. I care ‘bout you.

© 2020, Joe Hesch

Joe’s site is A Thing for Words


Pandemic

I have a small cold
and a library book to return.
Should I wipe it clean with disinfectant
and return it through the book drop?
Or let it become overdue?

I have a hair appointment
for next week Thursday.
If I feel better by then,
should I keep it?

I have a massage appointment
for the following week
which I really need
because I’m stressed
but they tell me not to come
for two weeks from the onset
of an illness. Do I count from
Monday when I began feeling
run-down or Friday
when I finally I knew why?
One means keep it,
the other cancel.

I don’t know if I have a fever.
My thermometer’s broken
and there are none in the stores,
but I’m in the target age group who die.

I have health insurance. Should I get tested?
The news says not to just show up
at your doctor’s office,
if you think you have the virus.
But will they then show at mine
making a spectacle, lights a-flaring,
outing me to the neighbors?
Or will it be like China
removing me by force?

My job tells us to stay home if sick
but they don’t provision for those
who don’t have enough sick leave
so I don’t call the doctor and go to work,
pretending to be perfectly well.

© 2020, Diana Lundell


..spoons..

yes, we have been indoors a while now

it has happened before, do you remember

that year the snow came & i had to have a

taxi to get there

how all the guttering & aerials went with

the weight of it

suspension springs snapped

then after everything was repaired

some words we google then change

the letters about to confirm with

that which is deemed correct

granny had special knives too, fish

and butter and some others. on a

rainy day she would let us play with them

i still enjoy cutlery

i am not called that, mine is more

the usual without the d, however

now he texts me i am abbreviated

into gma

which is cool

i am enjoying being in so much

yesterday i was already and coated

then saw the snow warnings on the

pass

so made coffee and ate malt loaf

the only other issue being some virus

out there

another reason, should i say excuse

for staying home

with my google assistant

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


I NAME YOU FEAR

Like the wind, your exact birth is shadowy, even murky,
But the flow, and rush, like an old bull, is marked by scores of bruises,
Laughter is now whispered jest,
Camaraderie is thinning like a slippery path,
Ten fingers pointing at one location,
Might we be missing the point?
Like the wind on a sneeze,
Breath carries death so they say,
Goose pimples on a population that now hibernates indoors,
Scrubbing hands behind masks to keep the stray bullets off the air waves,
Palpable is FEAR rippling down the spines of the assumed healthy,
Boarders shrinking before the eyes of a cruise ship afloat a memorable trip,
Statistics roll out with diversity,
Some minimizing, some maximizing,
Along while back, we learnt a sweet investment called individualism,
Fenced diffences against the onslaught of our privacy,
Would the wind honor this paid service or even approve it?
Death is a chief garantor of flesh after a time,
It’s the fate of birth,
But fear is the monster that serves deathness to the living,
As we suffer shortage of basics in the war against a warring virus,
Some have hoarded food supplies for a decade,
Some are stocking distance for their own in remote homes,
Some are breathing through masks In bunkers below the ground,
History has a thing about life,
Mans best intentions are tested by calamity,
And the world has one right now,
The morbid fear of catching a dreaded virus,
That has already taken some down and has no respect for boundaries,
How we die depends on how we live,
If fear governs our senses enough to barricade ourselfs away from those in need,
We shall for sure die,
But before the physical,
Our Soul will have died Twice over from fear,
And thrice over from the meanness of withholding help to the needy, in an effort to preserve ourselves,
So ” I name you fear”, O you colonial hunter of human health,
And banish you to the deserts of dusty horizons,
Where your barren unconcern must remain buried,
To give man a chance at rebirth in the genuine concern of one facing this ultimate test of living,
I ” name you fear” O you coward who escaped your masters rogue shed to shade the color of life a night without the dance of the stars,
I ” name you fear” and tag you loser for records show others came before you and perhaps did worse,
So we know we shall survive you for life is a survivor from the realms of amniotic fluids to the trenches of war,
For life is held by a divine hand that constantly looks onto it wellness,
So though unwelcome you came and may stay a bad season,
Tomorrow is not yours except in records.
And those too, shall remain in archival shelves,
Once more to remind tomorrow that the human soul is a giant ,
And indomitable to any spirit that is not from it’s maker.
We shall suffer pain.
We shall lose some.
But we shall overcome the fear that you sow indifference that kills the living.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Viva Italia

because we all
get influenced by all
and all is you
and the air is heavy on the shoulders
let’s sit down all
(the night is a round table)
accept each other and
give ourselves to all
then the song remains
eternal
(because is chanted)

after your voice comes mine
around fire

© 2020, Bozhidar Pangelov (Bogpan)

Bozhidar’s site is (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия  блог за авторска поезия )


~ SK was Right ~

They call it COVID, magic number 19,
One letter off, from birds who pick the bones clean.
Who are the carrion crows of this battle?
Who rake in profits from each, extended death-rattle?

The child king fired all the medic Gunslingers.
Now that he needs help, he only points fingers.
Has “Captain Trips” finally come at long last?
Does the Man in Black wear a plague doctor’s beaked mask?

“KA is a wheel…its one purpose, is to turn.”
Maybe Gaia just got tired of watching the world burn?
Each life snuffed out: a brick in the Dark Tower,
Each one, marking Mankind’s plummet from power?

All the child king’s puppets, and all his “Yes-Men”
Can’t put the world back together again.
If only we had some sort of Pandemic Team!
Or money for tests, instead of golf on the green.
Hindsight in 2020? Remains to be seen.

They call it COVID, magic number 19,

Perhaps it’s KA…and “All things serve the Beam.”

(Stephen King fans are probably likely to enjoy this piece a bit more than other readers. The number 19 is important to him, and figures deeply in many of his works, but none more so than in his Magnum Opus, “The Dark Tower” series.)

© 2020, Corina Ravenscraft


Novel Virus

Can a novel virus teach
What climate emergency so far have not?
The interconnectedness of a global world
No country beyond its reach
Collective action the only sensible plot
Work together without accusing insults hurled

Can a novel virus show
What’s closest to our hearts
What we value most of all
Do we dare accept, have courage to know
Faithfully confess what we display in all our art
Happiness only ever lay in following loving soul calls

Can a novel virus reveal
How compassionate living will be
Only way out the materialistic maze
Can we make a New Green Deal
Accept responsibility humbly
Changing our planet wrecking, extreme storm inducing ways?

© 2020, RedCat

RedCat’s site is The World According to RedCat


C-VIRUS

Moving toward the Megallion Swamp
My mystical swamp with a
Host of ghost characters
Summer sweats pheromones for
Mosquito troops hunting sweet blood
Females, say the science sites
Pregnant females feed on humans
I swat and stomp in ankle combat boots
Water moccasins visible
In the evaporating water
But me, I have a mission

Peopled swamp calling me
Some dressed in white
Hoodoo circle chanting
Others in white Baptismal light
Some in Grays or Blues
Maybe reenactment troops
Some in cheap suits like old
Blues bands shredding their guitars
Ghostly voices drifting over a
Tract of swamp advertised for sale
Of More-Or-Less 4.5 acres
Me, my mission moving toward summer
In the Sunshine State

Candidates spewing hate
Quarantined countries
Smiles and frowns hid behind
Medical masks while hoarding
Cases of hand sanitizers
The swamp shadows I see
Doctors with beaks
Bubonic Plague masks
“Bring out your dead!”
Time an illusion as
Einstein said
Because surely we’ve
Stepped off the Tardis of Time
Without Dr. Who to rescue me and you
Into a swamp of history
Repeating itself and all the
Technology
Uselessly
Impotent in the swarm of germs

What mission can a high-risk
So-called “elderly” woman claim?
What can I do except
Crash through the watery milieu of
Chaos
Carrying a bag of herbs
Extracted in Winn Dixie vodka
Waiting for the full moon to offer
The untried elixir to swamp denizens
And others
Gathered beyond my back yard
Of a once-sane haven
Beneath Orion’s protection.

And I hear voices
Voices in the swamp
I see miasmic misery
Smell the smoke of
Charred dreams
And must see if it is
A vision of expectations
Or the real thing

Healing Reiki bear
Comes bearing herbal gifts
From the Forest of pure rain
Cordoncillo
Jaborandi
Lapacho
Mighty words that
Might as well
Mean Abracadabra
Yet even that has worked for some
In the past

I so want to save us all…

© 2020, Clarissa Simmens


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

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

Courtesy of Sunyum, Unsplash

“Preventing war is much better than protesting against the war. Protesting the war is too late.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace



Nine poems this Tuesday in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, pulsing peace, March 4, which encouraged poets to write about abstaining from war and conflict while committing to compromise and to unity with and respect for nature into perpetuity. There is great depth of feeling here in the distain for the ruthless insanity war and the love of an abiding and sensible peace, a peace in which we all must collaboratively invest if it is to happen.

This week we warmly welcome Adrian Slonaker, new to these pages. This collection also includes the works of poets Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Nancy Ndeke, and Jane SpokenWord.

Join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  Michael Dickel (Meta/ Poor(3) /Play) is guest host this week.  All are welcome to come out and play: beginning, emerging, and pro poets.


Warlord

loves to be entertained.
After a battle where skulls are blown apart
he loves to sit and laugh at Anthem For Doomed Youth.

After a skirmish in which men are screaming
With half a leg or arm bone shattered
By shrapnel, he guffaws at Dulce Decorum Est.

The more graphic, the more comic to him.
He says if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.
Laughter is healthy. Laughter is human.

Laughter affirms life, essential before
a fight amidst bullets, stabs and snipers.

“Oh What A Lovely War”, is his favourite film.
“All Quiet On The Western Front” a comic classic.

He knows we laugh at what we fear most.
War is like great stand up when you can barely

Breathe for laughter, your sides hurt
as if they need stiches. War is medicinal.

From port of souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2020, Paul Brookes

We Live
in a fake peace between world wars,
shop and shop to stay reasonable.

Families are killed elsewhere.
We see their relatives tears on plasma screens.

Sometimes tears drop closer to home,
and we are reminded of our fake comfort,

that is preferable, a faux fur covered blade
sometimes bleeds and we are keen.

© 2020, Paul Brookes

  • 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


Come let us be, then in ….those

Warm sunny carefree mornings,
lazing on the mat , building castles in the air, as
soft gurgles of transparent streams make music
in the spheres, ripples of surging receding waves
play as Beethoven’s overture’s pauses, interlude’s
quietude engulfs the skies, being one with the golden
horizon where love reigns supreme-

Come let us waltz to Johann Strauss melodies,

And hold tender souls, breathe in pure peace, let the ocean
breeze caress the spirit for moments uncounted, evenings
may chase the nights, twinkles may keep bright the nights
emerging into holy day breaks, then in gratitude we bow to
find the gift of life, no more fear, no more strife, just poems
of love and tranquility, sweet soothing notes of flutes and pipes
and murmuring bleats of lambs innocent.

Come let us walk in forests safe, no Robin Hoods to play,

And sit with the squirrels, sing with the twittering birds, eat the
raw berries and lie on pine needles dry, let the animals freely roam,
the monkeys swing from branch to branch, flowers wild bloom around,
rest in shades and against the trunks as they brace the furious storms,
firmly rooted , no fear, no cuts, no brutal sawing of the elegant pines
no habitats destroyed, no homeless to die, no clearing no fines. Growing
on for invisible insects, purity and equality.

Come let us give up, then ………..for perpetual peace

Give up anger give up greed, give up deception and be free
give up hatred give up fights, give up conflicts give up wars
abstain from frowns to start wearing smiles, stop all conflicts for
miles and miles, give up force and corrupt power, and take up
tenderness as soft as butterflies, give up the guns and weapons and
work and sing with the bees, let us make life as sweet as honey and give
up once and for all the lust for money.

Come this is the time , let us then pray

May peace be high in perpetuity, the world may become,
as gentle as a butterfly
Amen.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Envisioning Peace on Earth

Ages ago right guidance was ordained
can we revert to the simple times again?

The Earth is alive below, beneath
shaking disturbed cracking, still-
yet in revolution,moaning,
rumbling protesting, death sprawling

O’ pale moon, bear witness
O’ sometimes silent sometimes chirping birds
take notes to the skies, fly, as nature holds the
wings-from darkness to dawn.

Speak not of the blood
that flows like rivers from wounds
that oozes from cruel cuts by sticks and pellets
that drops from splinters showered by blasts
that is visible on clothes tattered and shrouds

O’ Moon
see the other side and send
a sign of peace
a bird of song
a light of love
a tree of enlightenment

Find, find a harbinger of truth
justice and salvation.
The Earth is alive below, yearning,
to heal -hoping, anticipating,

II

The decision is made, now
let us pause and reflect,withdraw
into a state of tranquility and calm
think about right and wrong

withdraw into simplicity like
the desert plain and warm
think of joy love and peace
comfort sympathy and not harm

of trees plants fresh and green
of buds flowers bright and colorful
of streams and rivers pure and clean
of seas oceans calm and serene.

so we all abstain from abuse
hatred jealousy and refuse
hasty greed and grabbing spree
and being content, with all agree

Hope be our constant company
one fine day, peace will dawn
all shall live in harmony
a dream it is, a vision new

together we all, can make it come true.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar


The Path

The straight and narrow path calls to me
Stay strong, be brave, keep eyes ahead
Gluttonous green surrounds me
Lusciously tempting me
It can be all mine
Lumber, water
Resources
I will
Take

And
Share them
The path says
You have enough
Abstain from conflict
Caused by fear, greed, hurt, hate
Bridge ignorance with knowledge
Each slat a step to love and peace
Generosity widens the path

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.resistance to war.

:: this is a new story ::

where.

where does collaboration work? here.

with you, you, you and you, i have named you

before.

with tags and capitals, links and other stable

placings.

i was only stitching. a steady hand. it was an offer,

happily accepted.

i was only drawing. so we drew together. here

& another place.

i was only writing a, yet there are many of

us who came together.

we are alone, until we start working

together.

it comes a wider space, with mistakes and misgivings.

nothing in this world is perfect. it is raining today. the

washing is out.

neighbours help.

writers help, drawers

line our walls with

notes & labels. a few

of us

work together.

and do not fight.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


REACH FOR THAT CHILD, S/HE IS THE EMBODIMENT OF LOVE AND PURITY.

In us all, big, small and distance,
Is a child,
Regailing in the wonders of Nature,
Driven by appreciation of a stranger,
He watches the canterpillar, and Marvel’s at a blade of grass,
His play is pure, devoid of gender, even of color,
Humanity is one,
Divisions are selfishness driven by greed,
Our needs tell our oneness,
Not the relics of your worship,
Our pains inform our feelings,
Not boundaries and nationalitys,
Aren’t we all of a mystical source,
A river of interconnected beads,
Aren’t we dust, coming and going back?
We build monuments,
That stand in the way of truth,
Empasis being a stumbling block,
Lenses to discount and disclaim another,
We build economies,
That draw blood to stay afloat,
Trust has been eroded with the force of ideology,
History has been faked,
To mis- teach and misdirect our thoughts,
Away from the sameness of life,
Into the fabled divides that keeps us condemning,
O sons of men !
Why won’t we remember our days of childhood,
The bliss of spontaneous songs with fellow creatures,
When worship was praise of good will like kindergarten kids,
See how we build walls ,
Not to keep disease and wild life away,
But anyone deemed other by our spitting egos,
See how armed we are,
Not against alien invasion,
Or castrophes of nature,
But against fellow men,
From references of false teachings,
That has us,
Screaming obsecinities at who we are directed to hate,
We watch beasts marching in herds in the forests,
Fish swimming in choreograpged schools in the oceans,
As for bees, they work in uniform and focused synchrony,
Yet, US,
With capacity to think and make decisions,
Ours is a house so divided we are lost at home,
Wonder of wonders our humble beginnings are no secret,
Neither our sad ends,
We are for sure the danger that harms the innocent,
Yet , we do so with minimal remorse,
And maximum force under guise of ‘self protection’
Who is self if not fellow flesh,
Who is the other if not a mirror of your own,
We are at that time of year,
When over a billion hearts deny themselves to reach out to the sky,
Traditions of Faith’s talks of self denial to reach out to the light,
But pray tell,
Is the light we seek not within us and other?
Within each creature is the universe complete,
And for it to enjoy this space that life came to experience for a while,
Peace is Paramount,
And love of other is the foundation of good will,
Without which, our deeds come short,
Awake O men of flesh and dust to your moral campus,
Seek within the true nature of why our earth is in such agony,
Stand tall with the message of wholeness,
For wholeness is the path that allows life to thrive,
Not surviving from one calamity to the next,
A fact of the world we are currently living on.
Stand and be counted as an ambassador of Peace.
Reclaim who you were before misdeeds came to rule your concious.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke.

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


March Respite

On the way from
winter’s weather delays and icy
lashings to the exuberance of
excursions into splashes of
spring sunshine,
let us pause and ponder
and sacrifice the coveted asset of
busyness embraced by those who
clutter and choke their calendars with commitments
because idleness is undesirable and
“rest” really is a four-letter word. Let us
resist the temptation to burden and bully our
beautiful existence with over-toil and instead be still and
gaze at grackles hopping over grass drenched
by dew and chipmunks flashing their chubby cheeks
while honoring the early-bird boldness of crocuses
chasing away snow and the curling blossoms of
blue hyacinths mimicking Marge Simpson’s beehive hairdo.
Let us smile as sincerely and as gently at others partaking in
this pursuit of
peace and paz and salaam and shalom and shaanti and mir as
at our rushed brothers and sisters who are
abstaining as we strive to listen to the longings and
needs of our planet and of each other.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


I am cosmic
magnetic energy
hallucinating alternate dimensions
mask unveiled
I am in sympathetic vibration with the multiversal force
bridging time and space
creatively contemplated
coding time and consciousness
attempting to measure moments
waiting for resurrection
fusing conformity and dissention
through elevation
I am breathing in the cosmos
creationing and becoming
transform into music
feeling blue
’round midnight
I dance

© 2020, Jane SpokenWord


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

 

Poems from Paul Brookes to Honor Reuben Woolley and I am not a silent poet

c estate of Reuben Woolley

“I wish to honour Reuben by thanking him for all the poems he accepted that I submitted to I am not a silent poet.” Paul Brookes



Note: Due to a technical challenge all of Paul’s poems were left out of the original homage to Reuben Woolley. Hence, they are shared here. / J.D.

World Is

always at war.
Every bulletin lists casualties,
devastated buildings, grief.

Bloodied, scarred, lost, missing,
found dead. What about the lost dead?

Forever wanting you to discover,
uncover their brief candle burn.

We Live

in a fake peace between world wars,
shop and shop to stay reasonable.

Families are killed elsewhere.
We see their relatives tears on plasma screens.

Sometimes tears drop closer to home,
and we are reminded of our fake comfort,

that is preferable, a faux fur covered blade
sometimes bleeds and we are keen.

Our Justification

for the gang rape
and killing
of your eight year old
Child
Is that, like you,
She was
Not human
And therefore
Not under
The rights
And privileges
Of humans.

You must
Be tolerant
Of our beliefs
If you wish
To stay
On our land.

Some Baked Bread

or the journey
to the hole in the ground

where they were asked to lay
on the still warm dead
neighbours and children
to be shot

As their ethnicity was cleansed.
the soldiers with guns
wrote home from the war.
It was such an event.

A Queued

Life. Born to this line
Of cotted bairns,

Crocodiled infants,
Slumped with others outside

A locked classrroom,
Marshalled exams desks,

Job interview staring at strangers,
Ranked at work,

Drs, dentists waiting rooms,
appointmented even my wedding.

Waiting list for a council house,
Parents evening lined up with others

Listed as deceased in papers, online.
Regimented plaque for my cremation.

As that world ends another begins.
Join another queue, another thought

of final judgement already delivered,
or forever pended.

Without Permission

he walked on her grass,
uprooted her wild flowers,

She says “Don’t touch
without asking. It’s abuse.

Stop it. No means no!”
Fantasies of ravagement

on both sides who know
these are merely fantasies

that should never be public
so a no becomes yes,

and abuse pleasurable. Always safe
words agreed beforehand.

Always taken too far, control
and power corrupt.

Slavery

is good for you. All folk
should be chained,

manacled to a mortgage,
to work, to an employer

a partner. Freedom denies
your human rights. Slavery

teaches you the meaning of life.
demands you act properly

constrains you to common sense,
sets out a wild world of imagination

creativity and invention. Freedom
is too wishy washy. Lock

and load your chains. Don’t let
loose and free your mind. Freedom

Is heavy, restricts, denies movement
of blood, bone and brain.

Become a slave and see our world
with new eyes, fresh perspectives.

Hopelessness Is Life

Only the hopeless live.
Only hopelessness makes you smile.

When all hopelessness is gone
then you will grieve at the loss.

There are three streets we can go down,
Faithlessness, Hopelessness and Selfishness

Without one of these the others cannot exist.
There must always be hopelessness

in the best of times. It reminds us of an edge
to life. Surrender to hopelessness

and all will be well. It is the force that drives
all that is worthwhile and good.

An Inappropriate Life

Born inappropriate to this inappropriate world
this inappropriate earth I learned how to be inappropriate

in school, met a lass
who said she was inappropriately ready

to be inappropriately wed, so we inappropriately married
after three months of inappropriate courting

she bore inappropriately our first kid
after six months whilst I worked inappropriately

in inappropriate employment
Promoted inappropriately to inappropriate manager

so we bought our first inappropriate home,
furnished inappropriately, after decorating inappropriately.

I had an inappropriate allotment where I grew inappropriate carrots
and potatoes and cabbages.

She died inappropriately after seven years inappropriate fighting
lung cancer. I never remarried inappropriately

Bring up our second child inappropriately
tell her inappropriate dream stories
of our inappropriate love inappropriate life.

Guns Are

good. Make you feel safe.
Make you more responsible,

like your own child. Nobody
hurts my child. I’ll shoot anyone

that does. My child needs
A decent education. Some shooter

Who wants to be famous kills
my little one in lessons.

I’m glad I’ve got my gun
So I can kill the shooter

And his family. Guns are good.
Make folk sit up and listen.

A Bridge

anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)

It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.

A vein.

between places,
one person and another,

A Bridge

anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)

It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.

A vein.

between places,
one person and another,
you and your kids,
a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.

Broken, blocked, under investigation.

No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message,
via media bridges.

Bins must be wheeled back to their places.

a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.

Broken, blocked, under investigation.

No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message,
via media bridges.

Bins must be wheeled back to their places.

Mobiles

are in the shape of small graves
for children who mine the precious
metal inside that make it work
and I look Into the screen
to stay connected but do not see
their gritted lives as they haul
the valuable out of the hole
and the world has never been
so connected by this small grave
I carry in my pocket.

Deliberate Death Of A Conformist

I insist I nod in agreement
at all they accuse me of.

I refuse to make a spectacle of myself.
I will not protest. I agree with all

the folk in power do. I always obey
the law. Drive correctly. I want

an easy life. No hassle. Why am I
guilty? Whatever it is I did it.

They tell me -That’s too easy.
You must have done something worse.

If we told you to jump out
of that window would you do it?

So I do. Now they arrest me again,
-You caused a public disturbance.

-I agree I say. – There must be something
you don’t agree with they say -No I reply.

– If we tell you you died in that fall,
and this police station is heaven – I agree.

Refugee

is good. To belong
is wrong. Be homeless.

Mortgages and rents are chains.
Tread the world without burden.

Find a banquet in a crumb.
A glassful in a droplet.

Warmth in a newspaper blanket.
Comfort is a concrete underpass.

Our Folk Burn

Management say “Lessons will be learnt”
Folk have already warned bosses.
Management say “Our sympathies are with the families”
Death toll expected to rise.
Management say “Lessons will be learnt.
Austerity costs must be met.”

Because

people killed further away
do not grieve any less.

a mother is a mother
even if her fashion is not ours.

a father is a father
even if we disagree with his beliefs.

an explosion is an explosion
even when on a flat screen.

Nothing (For Manchester)

is real.

My smile was a pink balloon
floated above me. I sang.

A big bang.
Blood on the balloon.

I find metal nuts and bolts.
I can’t sing. It isn’t real.

I’m Just About

managing between the barricades.
My kids play between sniper targets.

I fetch the shop through broken
buildings perforated by gunshot,

past cars jammed across streets.

I’m just about managing between regimes.

“Why Dad?”

It happens a lot.
I look up to see
a soldier
with the butt of his rifle
move Dad forward.

“Why, Dad?”

“They don’t know where
we belong.” He says.

© 2019, Paul Brookes