“The Price of Peanut Butter” and other works in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth.
You are also as strong as your strongest link.
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean
by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet



Rich, Me, Dan

Thank you to all who sent messages and notes wishing us a happy family reunion. It was wonderful. We chatted and laughed as though we’d only seen one another yesterday, as though forty years hadn’t passed.  Thanks also to those who knew I went into the hospital right after our reunion and who wished me well and kept me in your prayers. I admit to slowing down, but I’m still here kicking thanks to loving family and friends, good doctors, and the grace of God.



I know it’s already Wednesday where some of you live, but it’s still Tuesday here in Northern California. My apologies though for the lateness of the post. So much catching up – good catching up – to do after the activities of the past few weeks.

It certainly looks like we hit a responsive nerve with the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, It’s Not the ’60s Anymore, asking for work that gives us a strong sense of time and place and how the writer and/or the times have changed. This collection is delightful featuring such a diversity of time, place, and ages and marked by depth, caring, and consciousness. I’m proud to be able to present this collection to you here today.

Thanks to our newcomer mm brazfield for her participation and a warm welcome.  Thanks to all for coming out to play: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Sonia Benskin Mesher, Taman Tracy Moncur, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan), Marta Pombo Sallés, Julie Standig, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

Links are connected to poet/writer websites where available – NOT to specific poems – to encourage readers to visit them and get to know their work.  If no website is available, it’s likely you can find the poet/writer on Facebook, where some folks also publish their work.

Read! Enjoy! And join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are encourage to share their work on theme, beginning, emerging or pro.


The Price of Peanut Butter

of course i remember the old Safeway, Hank. in closing my eyes i can see the Mahatma Rice Genie on the little rice bags and Jiffy cost less than a dollar. i was not taller than a yard stick, yet i knew my lime green pastel knit dresses were an infamy. Hank, i recall the prime parties on Berendo street, the last of the beehive hairdo elegant women in turquoise bell-bottoms, i a barefooted brat. and on alternate Saturdays the biker parties in the Silver Lake Hills. the Harleys looked like stallions. in the middle of the week, i can’t remember where i’d sleep, but AC/DC dueled with Tom Jones in my dreams. now, Hank, we have non-GMO juice stands and designer coffee drinks. i’m about a yard stick and a quarter tall now and i dress in black. i still enjoy Tom and Brian, but Nirvana and Cornell own my heart. i finally read the Torah too. but the fears, doubts, agonies and uncertainties are still within my universe. Safeway is now Vons. House of Pies is still there too, i feed on their Western Spaghetti. i’m going at it in a round-about way. Volkswagons’ and Mustangs aren’t what they used to be, but they’ve cut down on bad emissions. Hank, you wouldn’t believe, there’s almond, cashew, sunflower, pistachio and Brazil Nut butter. i don’t talk much, i type on the phone, even on dates, sitting right across the table from them all. i suppose i’ll never see a good bra burning anymore, i giggled at it as a child. but, they have apps for that now. i never really fit in any particular time in LA. from 8 tracks to Alexa and frozen peas to organic produce delivery. i don’t know, Hank. peanut butter today is quite expensive.

© 2019,  mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)

mm brazfield

MM BRAZFIELD was born and raised in urban Los Angeles and is a Gen X’er who chronicles and scrawls about the art form of living in the Angelino metropolitan environment. These offerings were inspired by the mental health crisis in the city. mb personally battles depression and anxiety, but utilizes writing and art to self-regulate. mb works in social services in the hopes of supporting others who endure the same.


fashion show 69

california: kitchen. future
Uncle Sonny (né Enoch) grins
in fire-engine red turtleneck
and atop it & his chest
a medallion like a
half-scale hubcap
dreaming of being
a mandala. the legs
of his hiphugging bellbottoms
looked like bras for metal detectors.

my aunt Diane
surfer girl of tawny hip
had painted-on capris
of brushed denim
and a variant of a peasant blouse
in loose chiffon
and midriff exposure.

i at 14
still in noisy corduroy
longed for a Nehru jacket
but revealed in my Mr. Muscle
Form-Fitting
T-shirt
in a burgundy
that lasted about
five washings
and imparted a blush tint
to my once-dazzling undies.

on the tv a girl sang,
“You’re my kind of guy,
I love you so,
Baby, everything about you
Is go, go, go!
And with Aqua Velva Lotion
Our romance began,
Because there’s Something About
An Aqua Velva Man!
Ah, ah, ah, ah…
Aha AAH, ah,ah,ah,ah…”

do you think
i would be gullible enough
to then desire to be
An Aqua Velva Man?

you bet i was.
so I weep,
do not answer,
for those pathetic nowadays boys
who think there is such a thing
as “the Axe effect.”

and i long
for fifty years ago.

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

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


A Full Moon Christmas Day,1977

I, ignorant, molly coddled,
aged fourteen , outsider to pierced,
bright red mohicanned,
black bin bag dressed peers
on the bus, Christmas Eve.

Sexy ultraviolet lasses
in black tights and dockers,
kohl eyed intelligence
scares my Burton’s suit.

Fascinated by safety pinned
noses, brazen forward face
of defiance, I wince
into a corner, my mam’s

“Acceptable behaviour”,
“When you have your own
house you can dress how you like.”
And my step dad’s knuckle
marks pulse on my jaw.

Hard to rebel when cossetted,
pot pourried, warm duveted,
hugged and soggily kissed
by grandparents, all Sunday Bested
under this long cold full mooned
Christmas Day.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Candlelit Seventies Without

a thought switch flicked,
and if glass globe works light
and I recall candlelit Seventies
evening in Winter’s discontent.

How important during that Winter
electric light, few hours TV,
the extra jumpers and ignorant
thrill of days extraordinary nights.

Those nights I recalled stood
underground in Eighties, caplight off
a darkness lively with ghosts
as imagination lit by stories.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

On Trend

In Bus Station, now renamed, Transport Interchange
crazies herd, or stud on Friday night,

past disguised as fresh and new.
Filly’s Seventies platform throwback

high heels whipcrack and totter
past and shoutback,

“Can’t get enough!”, to the stallions.
Hormones on an after school

high josh one another into minor
crimes their pot bellies

will chuckle at when they’re pastured.
Big yellow hi viz “club bouncer”

jackets tap their ear phones
and watch the younger

good spirits rise, ready to corral a stampede.
A thin bright yellow hi viz jacket

pushes a blue plastic hygiene cart
whose white wheels clop on tiles

recall wooden clogs on sodden cobbles.
A crazy talks to himself

as he trots by, his eyes elsewhere
and then I see the leads

from the buds in his ears.
Young stud tucks his blue boxers

into his jeans waist below
his haunches, a US prison trend,

and old fashion now.
Yoga panted fillies giggle

at his shorts, as they, too
will blush at fashions sworn by

in their galloped youth.
And older some afford pasture,

others to the knacker’s yard,
and clothes no longer second hand,

or charity but sold as “vintage”.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Kept Himself

to himself. Quiet man always in sharp
waistcoat and tie.

Shoes keen like mirrors.
Afraid he will be found out.

His daughter and her family
forever tainted by his past,

his feeble mindedness, his shame.

His urgent nine year old grandson
full of The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare

Asks “What did you do in the war, Grandad?
Did you fight the Nazzies?”

He does not want disappointment
on this young face so invents:

“A German Tiger was coming towards me.
So I digs a hole so it goes over the top.”

“And what happened next, Grandad?
“Ask your Nanna. I need to do the Pools.”

*******

Nanna says he came to see her
when she worked in the Birmingham factories.

In midst of air raids, falling houses and fire.
“Your Grandad worked on the railways.”

So his grandson works it out.
Grandad never fought abroad.

“You know don’t you?” says his enfeebled Nanna
to her grandson, “Grandad’s dad?”

“One of his widowed mother’s lodgers?”
“Yes,” she says “Grandad was born out of wedlock.”

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play

In the market, I’m

Hearing songs sublime

First dance

Takes me back in time

First date jitters – mine

No chance

First kiss fail – not prime

Now improved with time

Perchance

The Lai is a poetry form introduced by Grace for d’Verse’s Poetry Form Challenge. The brevity and constraints of this form makes it quite challenging however, I am enamored by it’s ability to capture so much in so few syllables. This is my first attempt to any feedback is welcome!

The topic of this Lai comes courtesy of Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem with a strong sense of time and place and how you and/or the times have changed. I wasn’t sure what to write for this prompt until I went grocery shopping this weekend. The song “Always” by Atlantic Starr started to play and I was instantly taken back to my first date with Elvio who took me to first dance and gave me my first kiss. I truly believed we would end up like that song until he told me that he was going to take Sally to the next dance because she was a better kisser. (Sigh.)

Have things improved dating wise for me? Well, yes!! Considering I don’t have to date anymore – saved from those trials and tribulations by my Honey. But the hope and innocence I felt in the 1980’s is also gone…(sigh)….

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


New and Not So Improved

Now listen people
wherever you are
trav’lin’ in trucks and
SUV cars
Your footprint is huge
and so is your track
the fossils you’re burnin’
we’ll never get back
so ease off the pedal
and give us some slack
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

All nature around us
calls out our name
Pollution abounds
and we are to blame
Ozone layers
welcome us in
what we’re leavin’ our children
is really a sin
so if you give a damn
then you better begin
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Big pharmaceuticals
expand the pollute
not just in the body
but waters to boot
what did you think
you flushed down the loo
those poisoning meds
along with your poo
so quit looking around
before the whole thing is moot
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Organic farms where good
used to grow
are being replaced
with big g-m-o
now salmonella and
e-co-li, too
wrapped in the plastic
then sold to you
don’t think you’re immune
your money’s for show
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Mother nature is having
her turn
Disasters are teaching
what we need to learn
drought and flooding
and fires set to burn
we waited too late
it’s all now in ruin
no longer we mask it
we’re in hell’s handbasket

‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

© 2019, Deb y Felio (The Journey Begins)


..28 every woman..

it is always there

in the bathroom,

ignored, as was the photo.

yesterday it came to light again,

every woman’s toilet,

book.

edited by mrs robert noble,

not dated, yet dated.

are artificial aids justifiable,

how to have a dimpled wrist

with excercise,

means, and massage,

a moderate diet essential.

we do not wish a muddy complexion?

no. nor to wear the years

away in sad ness and regret.

we just need an excellent lotion,

for tired eyes,

and carry on, rejoicing.

all that there is.

plus the photograph.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..188 jane austen again…

to live the life
of pomade and petticoats.

no ajustable waist.

one imagines there will
be no worry, yet the
adjectives will prove difficult
for me,renowned for
few words.

daily checking hips
in slanting mirrors,

reading of heaven over,
which is life on earth
randomly .

gods throwing dice,
rules changing constantly.

i find sadly,
i am not jane austen.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..straw hats & sunshades..

those of you that read austen,
and maybe little women,
know that on summer days,
with heat, the ladies
wear their straws, protecting
gentle necks and complexion.

sipping drinks . i think that sucking
may be frowned upon. therefore
it is not seemly to show
that drinking aid here.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Let Your Light Shine

Young love blossomed on the horizon immersed in “the days of wine and roses”. Afros and dashikis danced in the streets to jazz improvisations weaving in and out of the intricate beats of the drum declaring support in the fight for civil rights. The blues sang of heartache and tragedy while spirituals announced resilience of faith and survival in a changing world global in concern.

I remember the sixties well, coming of age in a nation where the stage was set with demonstrations, picket lines, marches against racism, prejudice, and hatred…empathy standing tall with dignity not afraid to die for belief in true democracy “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all” regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation,

Jim Crow was on the defensive murdering, lynching, bombing, burning…turning the south into fields of blood sprouting weeds of hostility and fear. Beautiful caring people united against the atrocities, linking arms, singing to the heavens “We Shall Overcome Someday” believing in their hearts that this was a new start in the United States of America.

Tragedy and triumph were marked by a cyclical progression over the next generations. War and peace remained combatants in the world arena…ideologies exploded into shards of hatred, greed, and lust killing innocence attempting to eradicate the concept of brotherly love while in the USA came the day a black president served for eight years. Sweet victory became a reality!

Then the divisiveness of hate, rooted in this country from its inception, once again sent it spiraling into the depths of degradation. The offspring of racism were unleashed when egomania moved into the oval office bringing his family with him..xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, and bigotry all claiming to want to make America great again.

Yet once more this country standing on the shore of time shall rise as the people lift up their eyes peering into the sky knowing the Creator is near and that hope is beyond the horizon ready to take wing and fly throughout the land raining perseverance and strength on those who want to make a positive difference as their collective voices are heard on high in a symphony of unity.

© 2019, Taman Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)

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.


For us, the people who lived behind the Iron Curtain, the 60s, began after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Protest (retrospective)
“Miss Corde was reading Plutarch by night the books then used to be taken seriously”
Zbigniew Herbert

(Adam Lux – Meditations)

Miss (or already, why not, Missis)
is reading.
So did she before getting married. The revolution of 1960s All is Love is over.
She used to sleep in tents. Why not?
The freedom has to be defended.
Drums, fires, the screams:
“Down with! Who doesn’t jump is.”
Rumble behind the walls. Marat is. Alive? Death? Used to live?
The time is traveling. The crown’s refined hat.
The hair short. With all the colors.
“In a dress like a blue rock.”
Obelisk? Yes! of passing from
necessity to
necessity (for survival).
Mrs. Corde, is reading. The Game of …
She’s dreaming. “All is love”.
The day is the most usual.

Charlotte?
She administrated justice.
The falling stars are glowing.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan)

————————————

The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793) / Public Domain photograph

“Jean-Paul Marat (French: [ʒɑ̃pɔl maʁa]; 24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793) was a French political theorist, physician, and scientist. He was a journalist and politician during the French Revolution.

He was a vigorous defender of the sans-culottes and seen as a radical voice. He published his views in pamphlets, placards and newspapers. His periodical L’Ami du peuple (Friend of the People) made him an unofficial link with the radical republican Jacobin group that came to power after June 1793.

Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer, while taking a medicinal bath for his debilitating skin condition. Corday was executed four days later for his assassination, on 17 July 1793.” [Wikipedia]


Girl, my little pearl

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

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

And girl little pearl says:

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

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

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

They always want to sell
and so they never tell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

When Tomorrow Comes

Optimists say we are not afraid
but I am.
And people usually say I am an optimist.
What’s wrong with me now?
Why do I feel so much
Fear, Sadness and Uncertainty?
Why can’t I get a sufficient dose of
Calmness, Serenity and Confidence?
Yet this fear of mine
does not keep me paralyzed
for I know we must move on.
This is a human rights issue,
a fight for social justice,
just one more in our world.
And while some say Dialogue, Dialogue
some others say what dialogue
if one of the parts always refuses it?
We need international mediation.
Urgently.
But that part does not want it.
So what is left to do
for the Spanish-Catalan eternal conflict?
Where’s the lesser evil
after the October First events?
What do you tell the 1066 injured people?
What do you tell the man who lost his eyesight
because of a rubber bullet from the police?
How do you comfort all those
who made the vote possible?
who made everything peacefully and democratically?
Tomorrow Catalonia’s president will most probably
declare independence from Spain.

It will be like you’re in a room
with some people trying to chase you,
loaded with guns.
But you’re peaceful
and do not have guns
and see an open window.
So you need to jump down
before they arrest you,
before they kill the rights
you’ve been long fighting for.
The lesser evil is throwing yourself
out of that window.
Is it a desperate suicide?
Or is there someone below
who will come to rescue,
who will get you in their arms
before you crash into the ground
when tomorrow comes?

© 2017, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Link to the blog with the poem and a BBC video showing the brutality of the Spanish police forces against the peaceful voters in Catalonia.


I never heard my grandfather’s voice

Nathan lost everything in the Great
Depression. Funny, they called it that.

Did they mean the economy or was it
their state of mind? Well, Nathan lost

it all: his wife left him. Took their two
daughters and went to wealthy parents

in California. I’m not sure Nat ever left
Brooklyn. Moved in with his brother,

kept a photo on his nightstand:
two young girls dressed in hand-

me-down plaids, four scraggly arms
surrounding a Sycamore tree. He missed

the bobby socked, saddle shoed feet
dangling off the fire escape, as they knit

scarves for soldiers. He even missed
their complaints about Gregg shorthand

and boorish boys that taunted them
at Tilden High. He missed taking them

for a Nedicks orange drink, or Shatzkin
knishes, Lundy’s for steamers and chowder.

Laughter in bumper cars, bellyaches from
too many hotdogs and fast rides

on the Wonderwheel. His girls were gone.
The tumor took his mind. The depression

devoured the rest. And then his wife
took the kids.

Cruelty lasts a lifetime. No one recovered.

© 2019, Julie Standig


Time – I Am No Exception

time

Under the roof of peace in quiet meditation
Time seemed still, time was pure
time for prayer and forgiveness
asking for salvation

say nothing to time ‘
it is something else, colors show change
brown to red, living to dead, all are in range’
no accusation

Time tells me many stories
born in war I hear more wars
bloodshed bloodshed bloodshed
out of sight and dim are the stars

By the blue green sea ,
curling in rolling in and rolling back

Like tiny serpents creeping up
with stings poised,making one

more story –

Pulled back to unseen depths
Golden myriads glistened

as in sunlight life lay
Bathing basking relaxing-

There is enough time !
Delicately exposed yearning for the tan

Tender petal like still,  unaware lying
Ready bait for the brutal mind

It is My Time !

And from the  shade , came not the coolness
But hot fire,blistering bodies in the sand

Not shielding from the sun- Life so stilled  as
Hot bullets rained, sprayed from the gun

Then, there was no time’
Then, there was no time’.

Time now is Time uncertain
energy decreased  vision weak,
rampant obreption, subreption
time is now endless deception

Do I have time? Do I have time?

I must do good, I am no exception
I must forgive I am no exception’
I must make peace I am no exception’
© 2019, illustration and poem in English and Urdu, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

امن کے ساے تلے

امن کے ساے تلے  کیا کویؑ  مقدس  مقام نہیں
خاموش عبادت میں
ٹھرے ھوےؑ وقت مہں

مغفرت کی طلب میں
نجات و بخشش کی دعاوؑں  میں
زمانے کی   بات نھیں 

یہ کچھ  اور  بات،ھے
رنگ بدلتی  دنیا میں ،سب زد میں
ھر زات اور ھے

 امن کے ساےؑ تلے اب کویؑ الزام نہیں

یہ میرا وقت ھے
وقت کی داستاں گویؑ
جنگ کی پیشیں گویؑ
خونریزی  کرے کوی
ستارے نظر آتے نہیں
کیا میرے پاس وقت  ھے ؟ 
کیا میرے پاس  وقت ھے؟
مجھے اچھے کام   کرنے چاھےؑ
میں  سب   سے علیحدہ  نہیں 
مجھے سب کو معاف کردینا چاھے
میں سب سے  علیحدہ  نہیں
مجھے  دنیا  میں امن  پھیلانا چاھےؑ
میں سب سے علیحدہ  نہیں
Find Anjum here:
https://anjumwasimdar.wordpress.com/    Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose  writing
knitting projects/stories
https://helpingenglishteachinginpakistan.wordpress.com/  ELT   Work experience/educational service for the country

 

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


ABOUT

“Stream Toward Unconsciousness” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Sometimes you see a man in a restaurant reading while eating — a very commn sight. He gives you the impression of being a very busy man, with no time even for eating.  You wonder whether he eats or reads. One may say that he does both. In fact, he does neither, he enjoys neither. He is strained and disturbed in mind and he does not enjoy what he does at the moment, does not live in the present moment, but unconsciously and foolsihly tries to escape from life.”  What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula



These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, In March, Flowering, November 21, which challenges our poets to dip their pens into stream of consciousness, a narrative style that gives the impression of the mind at work. I think Buddhists might be inclined to call this “monkey mind,” a mind that is restless, capricious, whimsical, confused, tortured, out-of-control. From a spiritual perspective, we want to still our minds, to be at peace. That’s why all our wisdom traditions encourage regular periods of prayer and meditation. In terms of writing though, I think giving in to the jumping monkey may work well.  If you find yourself blocked when you write, it’s likely that you are trying to write and edit at the same time. You’re like the man in the quotation above, really not writing or editing at all. That’s why some teachers give the advice to “just write.”  Write anything that comes to mind.  Why?  Because this takes you out of your edit mode and sets you free on the road to writing. Plenty of time to edit when your first draft it done.

I enjoyed the creative responses to this prompt.  Thanks to Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Jen Goldie and Sonja Benskin Mesher.  Thanks also to Irma and Jen for value added for me and other readers with their commentary. In addition to their words, I’ve included links to blogs or websites where available. I hope you’ll visit these poets and get to know their work better. It is likely you can catch up with others via Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do come out to play tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


Clamped

Clamped in the upright station of the world
Drowned in the come uppance daylight
Hunkered half light knowingness
Hefts hollow along kerbside

Ferret the mammal heart of the world
Become harsh chandeliers
Become rude shoeless adjectives
verb your character into business

letteropen an alphabet of fire,
a draining board of desire
a kitchen cupboard of flesh
a knifeblock of words
unseating themselves

Griddle down lightning days
Heavying nights moisten to open
Forgiveness in a handshake of trees
a massage of fields amid the nursery
Of war

record visual media
stand to attention wall
mounted retreat into hill
stations of past lives
lived hands free
autobot rainbow of perception

Tinker, tinker with children’s toys
repair your own gored scars
fix bro
ken and Barbie cars without
wheels pieces
lost toothless jigsaw

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombell Rainbow / Inspiration, History, Imagination)

The Hair

Grasp the hair of the snog
Paddle crevasses of the fog
Handle delights of worlds washbasin
Grapple sights of awful bootlacing.

Darken desperate ways wanton
Harken fenestrated days spoken
Loosen raids out into darkness
Gruesome braids entangle starkness.

Gargle the grimness of the day
Snaffle forgetfulness of yesterday
Hustle the heavenly toast buttered
Sisel roped fitness unfettered

Thimbleful of radiator love
Nimbleful of aviator dove
Hastle hungry heavy heads up
Castle chess players beds up

Delight in eyes of green and gold
Despite the sight of preen and mold
Alight the flight of mean and sold
A kite of might is lean and bold

Tucked behind the ear of a desk
rucked beyond the fear of a whelk
barrage ballooned beneficent bedlam
garaged consumed munificent headroom

Resistance is mobile
Subsistence is virile
Subsidence is active
Defiance is reactive

Pro plus days in delight
Ominous rays indelicate plight
Luminous phase conflagrate
Numinous ways profligate.

Allow broad canopies desperate energy
fall guarded heat intense jack knife
lilt motionless nervous oranges
permeate quietly rampant succumb
tremble under vernal wishes xeme your zest

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombell Rainbow / Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Photographs of Delerium

Photographs of delerium deceive
Mimeographs of insects believe
Radiographs of horribilis dear
Craniographs of fabulous fear

Take the ladder of sight into home
Rake the matter of flight into loam
Brake on platters of plight into roam
Ache in tatters of light zone

Sunlight is finelight is wildlight
Lifetime is wildlife is darklife
Finelight is darktime is moonlife
Deadwild is lifelight is darktime

Seasons are ripe control artists
Autumn swells a tuber orchestra
Winter times a criminal cold watch
Spring flames a filigree wish
Summer fry

History schools disguise hinges gold
Works marks eyeteeth buys goodnews
In letters as big as you like miserable
wherever it goes at the time

History restores fire original grounds
Polished integrity shines shoes
in worn leather arette discerns all
beauty remarkable story in time

Tea towel the evidence of tears
In the fabric of a face distraught
at broken crockery of living
Dissolved in the birth of Why.

Run the tap of silence till it goes cold
Rip the shower map of patience
Undone by the bath of life
Crazy at the loss of switches

Hunt down a crisis of coffee jars
Find wonderful in a winos fears
Wind up a clock that one son
Happenstance often disappears

Hit critical button pop up dolled down whimsical forgot me not blues
Hard assed holy mother of knives
in cracked wisdom tooth news

Caustic delivery hides hints and tints
Highly organised finery total respect
Oranges juice out frets of guitars
Willingly dissect green bins

Finest disarmament heals horror filled theatres bloody cogs log timidity
Terrorise frigidity in a week of woe
a great deal more like number.

Dance time crunch time grey time
Flounce your skulls into bounce
Castles in a sky of cat bowls half eaten hidden menus of menace

Let bygones be sandwiches made for you in the neatest handwriting all over the willingness of your body of truth or dare trembles terror

So much is about where we are in our days of telling each other where we are not half suspecting they know already the half truth you give

May you dream on the edge of time with the wild things and happen upon sanity when a penny drops in the morning

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombell Rainbow / Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

 


Stream Toward Unconsciousness

I am tired yet I can’t sleep

Thoughts of all the things I should have done today

That I didn’t

Thoughts of being in bed with you

yet writing and writing

the writing is getting in the way

but I have to get down these thoughts

still so many have escaped

I can’t write while I am driving

I can’t write while I am parenting

I can think of what to write but if I can’t get to the computer

if I can’t get to the pen and paper

The thought runs away

Probably the one that would have gone in that lit mag

in that e-mag

the one to win that accolade

It’s so fleeting the good words and phrases that come

In and out

I need to catch them

I need to hold them

I need to write them

I need to sleep

I need to pay attention to the children

and to you

and the laundry

Ugh I hate the laundry

and the dishes

I’m supposed to do these chores out of love for my family

But I don’t love the chores

It doesn’t mean I don’t love my family

I can show them love in other ways

by ignoring them so I can write words of love

To them for them of them

Or cooking

I love to cook

or snuggling

I love to snuggle

Or sleeping

Choosing writing over sleeping over you

But the deadline is tomorrow

There is no deadline for chores

or family or lovers

Or is there…

This stream of consciousness poem is the first I have ever written. I must admit it was a difficult write for me! I guess I usually edit my thoughts long before it reaches the paper – thinking about the words, phrases, rhythm before I even begin to type with my thumbs. Maybe because I do so much of my writing in little bits during the day on my phone, that I am loathe to edit once it’s already down. Can I blame technology for my writing style?

I wrote this piece around 2 am with a sick child who had kept me awake. I couldn’t go back to sleep since I was thinking about this prompt. I had tried a few other times to write something but kept getting interrupted or writing something that I knew wasn’t exactly stream of consciousness since I had already thought about what to write (I don’t cheat on these prompts!). It took an overtired brain to get to this un-filtered point! If I hadn’t fallen asleep, I wonder where else it might have led or if my words would have continued to perseverate….

©️ 2018, Irma Do (I Do Run, And a few other things too)

The True Artist

This is ecstasy,
This is love and lunacy,
This is the Artist.

The true artist is everyman,
Is any man,
Has a child’s sensitivity,
And knowledge only age can bring.
Unfettered of his earthly ties,
Sings through the ages,
Touching hearts, Touching minds,

And,

Creating joy and sorrow,
In the lives
of those he meets…

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie)

Dusk

Dusk comes earlier now!
ever pleasing,
“bird on the wing.”

The Sun was out
to play today!
I turned around
and she was gone…

Welcome Night…….

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie)

I Saw the Moon Tonight

I saw the Moon tonight!
It shone down like a beam
from heaven,
It made the stars more bright!

I’ll leave a sunshine path tomorrow,
That’s what I’ll do!
Wherever I go,
I’ll leave a little light,
enough for you to follow.

In celebration of the Moon Beam.

If you follow the light
You will see me there,
When you follow the light,
You will know I care.
………..Friendship………..

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie)

I had a marvelous Professor who stressed “Stream of Consciousness” as a method of writing. My first awakening to this was looking at a tree. Simply a tree. I hadn’t realized why I love images of trees until just now. He emphasized being in the moment, which is so fleeting. If the moment moves you to write. You MUST write!
“I saw the Moon tonight!
It shone down like a beam from heaven.
And made the stars more bright.”
Its the moments that most people miss in life. A poet cherishes those moments, and from what I’ve seen so far, all of the people who have graciously shared their moments with us have been “In the Moment”.

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie)

..you ask me to explain..

it is said i write abstract, in time to save

your feelings. you asked me to explain,

i did so lightly. the other said no one else

dare ask.

i tell you it is a full and complicated story

that may upset.

i wrote it quickly using shape,colour,

metaphor and symbol.

was loathe to read it for i may cry.

you wish a pretty picture yet i cannot

make it.

i thank you for asking, where others

do not read.

the writing circled

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the dying field.

dense night ; memorial

green underhedge ; hoar

frost ; rhythms of black

birds ; black

jack ; flap

jack

stream of conciousness

there is no rhyme

these recollections ; another time

eighteen hundred

eighteen hundred

too many dead

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

ABOUT

Testimonials

Disclosure

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Twitter

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



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

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

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

“leave it, give it up” … poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’ – that is, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.” Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life



These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, scag dancing (re: addiction), October 17, 2018.

Kudos and thanks to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Bhaga d’Auroville, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

I’ve included links to blogs or websites where available. I hope you’ll visit these poets and get to know their work better. It is likely you can catch up with others via Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do come out to play tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


need’ll

in the dead man’s car a needle
on the dead man’s face foamed saliva
and an easy smile.

the total count of needles in the car
was sixty-Two.

squirrel-stashed here and there
in his guesthouse abode
were many more. one of his
saltshakers
contained in unsalt. his spare teeth
were in a falsebottomed container.

his pain and
his holes of loss
of fellow wretches and
a wife had
at last
evaporated

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image and Text)


Hashish

Hijab covered she arrives
at my till with her two young girls
What us that smell? She exclaims
Hashish, I answer.
Her small kids hold close to her dress.
There should be a law.
Especially with kids around.
They shouldn’t have to suffer this.

The aroma of the previous male customer
still hangs around after she’s left.

From a forthcoming collection “Please Take Change,” Cyberwit.net, 2018

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT NOT BE AWARE: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes


Unreal Wombwell,

The Old Town Hall is a pub
where a pint sups half full or half empty,
pedestrians intent upon their daily task
Pied wagtails twerk and pass by
green unicorns, the canal and mines
frozen in metal on a gate into a side street,
Air is made of warm Potters pie pastry,
Hashish cracks doors of perception.
Old gypsy nags snort past betting shops.

The day assembled of colour coded bones
so it stands upright and invites a spy
of its wears, whyfores and whatevers
And wagtail dodge and weave between feet.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)


To Let the Sunshine In

Substance abuse?… I do not know
Of that myself – and this, although
I was born somehow right in time
For being a Hippie #metoo:
I loved ‘Hair’ (yes, I keep singing
Still ‘Let the Sun shine in’…),
I did study at La Sorbonne
And later lived ‘May 68’
When students and the young workforce
Did fraternize and reinvent
The French society, for a while.
I could then, as many others,
Have fallen into drug abuse,
Yet my soul kept me far from it
And never did I even try.
Cigarettes? I didn’t like them
And soon stopped wasting my money
Into packets my friends emptied
Before I remembered to smoke!
Alcohol? I’ll take a few drops
Of old rum drowned in cane syrup
And call that my own ‘Planteur Punch’…
More than that I wouldn’t enjoy,
So never got drunk, by God’s Grace!
My own addiction is much worse
For yes, I am in constant need
And require my fix all the time…
But far from destroying any
Of what I truly am, instead
It is making my whole being
Grow back ever more consciously
– And ever more blissfully too –
Into my deeper, truer Self,
My eternal and divine Self:
Right while being in this body
(And with all my dear body-cells
Taking their own share of the Bliss),
Addicted to Divine Delight
As to our natural birthright,
I make it my daily diet
And my more and more constant high
Except that I don’t get blissed out,
But rather blissed in, I would say!
It doesn’t require anything
External to my own being:
We’re all born with that potential
And can activate it at will.
Only, this is what we must choose
If this is what we want to have.
It is what we all truly crave
But most of us are never told
And hear only of outer drugs
When the Real Thing is in us,
Right in our own core, or also
Right around us, all around us,
Everything is bathing in it!…
The supply isn’t a problem
For the supply is infinite,
And yes, totally free to boot!!!
So here is my smiling advice
For true happiness as a vice:
Turn to this Divine Addiction
To Use Without Moderation,
Your sun then will shine from within
And make our world happier too!…
That’s what we all come here to do.

© 2018, Bhaga d’Auroville (Lab of Evolution,For Research on Conscious Evolution)


My Husband’s Affair with Ms. C

I know he doesn’t mean it

When he goes to you instead

He’s known you longer than he’s known me

Will you know him ‘til he’s dead?

I smell your perfume in his shirt

At the end of every day

I know he spends more time with you

Yet there is nothing I can say

Wordlessly I watch and wait

While his lungs turn goopy and burn

My love for him isn’t strong enough

He chose you and I lose my turn

© 2018, Irma Do (I Do Run,And I do a few other things too …)

c Irma Do

“While smoking may not seem as terrible as opioid addiction (it’s not illegal, it’s still somewhat socially accepted), it is still an activity that takes you away from your relationships, obligations and hurts your health. In fact, I think any activity – even ones that start off as healthy, like running – can become an unhealthy addiction.

“In this way, addiction has probably touched more lives that people might care to admit. Think of binge drinking in college or the even the use of smart phones – activities that people use as “coping skills” but, in reality, take people away from having real relationships and can cause serious mental and physical health problems. The mental and emotional components of addiction, as well as the physical aspects, has lasting effects, not only for the individual, but also for all the people in that person’s life.

“In my professional and in personal lives, I am keenly aware of “addictive thinking” and “addictive behavior”. Tragically, I had a friend who died from alcoholism that she hid very well from us for many years. There is still so much stigma around addiction but we can’t be quiet about it any more. People are dying and we can’t just “wordlessly watch and wait”.

© 2018, Irma Do


Relapse

Again I hear

it’s expected and part of recovery. Continued self discovery
And yet
some are discovered. Dead.

Again I hear

it’s illness. Or maybe genetic/ hereditary
And yet
it seems choice when
the needle goes in.

Again I hear

it’s a process, a journey
And yet
this journey takes me to hell.

Again I hear

there is no failure as long as I continue trying
And yet
there is no success in the trying.

Again I hear

I have my whole future ahead of me
And yet
there is a hole in the future.

Again I hear

everyone deserves another chance
And yet
the next chance looks just like the last.

Again I hear

keep coming back
And yet
I only come back to the abyss

Again I hear

Accept the things I cannot change
And yet

I have again.

Relapse.

© 2018, Deb y Felio

Basic Education

cold and wet in a bed
shared with two others
a single blanket barely
covering three

cereal dredged
from box bottoms
cracker crumbs
breakfast to go

darkened room
fuzzy cartoons
clothes in piles
and under chairs

stepping over
bottles and butts
spoons and powder
and stepping out

past yells and cries
smells and smoke
out to a yard
of condoms and needles

onto cracked sidewalks
fences and offers
for candy and rides
by not so strange strangers

arriving at last
into a classroom
of second grade friends
and the teacher announcing,

“Makir, you’re late, again.”

© 2018, Deb y Felio


..fine lines..

it is a fine line we walk,
gently avoiding peptides,

only just a theory,
yet used independently,
alongside honest work,
for mending.

the film continues,
some of the old cast, new actors oblige,
ideas on lack of addictive ways.
simple days without receptors.
singing under breath, counting, unpacking boxes,
this is the lead. hints are posted, and may you believe them graciously.

for many times will you be tested.

there were subtitles, out of focus,
we could not read the other language.
the film continues…. peptides.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

#valium

look at the little people.
arms held high. the medicine
is in the cabinet, they cannot
reach it.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


The gentle Anjum Wasim Dar reminds us by implication how much we have in common as human beings/the one human race and how poetry and other arts cross boarders and console our hearts. / J.D.

c Anjum Wasim Dar

Dearest Friend just read your message to come out to play..surely I will ..it’s way past midnight here [Pakistan] and my thoughts and pen keep me company..spent some time watching Zorba’s dance ..these days I am rewriting , compiling in neat writing my Urdu poems…am surprised at what I have expressed …there was a time I loved ghazals* specially those which were on the theme of ‘drinking and forgetting the hardships of life’ drinking away the loneliness sadness and helplessness’ maybe with kids away and parents no more one feels as such..poetry and writing helped me move on in life..but sadly few people understand this …this part of the sub continent have seen many poets writers and ghazal poems singers…when you ask me to write in Urdu I feel so honored and feel overwhelmed and can feel the magnetic force of your call’ my Urdu poetry is by my side and I find a couplet which I dedicate to you …

ان کے خیال میں جو ساتھ دیتا ہنے دھواں میرا ، وو کہتے ہیں کہ برا ہنے اسے چھوڑ دوں

when your thoughts make me sad this smoke consoles me comforts me, you say it’s bad, leave it give it up…

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to watch the video above. 

Mirza Asadullah Khan Baig Ghalib is considered the greatest and most influential poet of Urdu and Farsi ghazals / Public domain illustration

* “The ghazal ( Punjabi: ਗ਼ਜ਼ਲ, Urdu: غزَل ‎, Hindi: ग़ज़ल, Persian: غزل‎, Pashto: غزل‎, Bengali: গজল) is a form of amatory poem or ode, originating in Arabic poetry. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain.

A ghazal commonly consists of between five and fifteen couplets, which are independent, but are linked – abstractly, in their theme; and more strictly in their poetic form. The structural requirements of the ghazal are similar in stringency to those of the Petrarchan sonnet. In style and content, due to its highly allusive nature, the ghazal has proved capable of an extraordinary variety of expression around its central themes of love and separation.

“The ghazal is one of the most widespread and popular poetic forms, especially across the Middle East and South Asia. Readings or musical renditions of Ghazals are well attended in these countries, even by the laity. In a similar manner to Haiku, the Ghazal is gaining popularity among western poetry readers.” Wikipedia


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

“Born on the Wind” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”  John Muir, Travels in Alaska  



Phew! At last we are up and running again and much appreciation for everyone’s patience, especially those who so spiritedly and generously participated in the last prompt, which was inspired by California’s Redwood Forests and John Muir (1838 – 1914), the Scottish-American naturalist, activist, and environmentalist.

Featured this week: Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Debby Felio), Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Carol Mikoda, Tamam Tracy Moncur, Marta Pombo Sallés, and Susan St. Pierre.  These poets talents are not limited to poetry. They also work variously in crafts, art, photography, essay and short-story writing. Special thanks this week to Marta and Susan for sharing their illustrative photographs.

The responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Unfettered Canticle of Trees, August 22 are filled with movement, color, texture, keen observation, a tad of humor and more than a soupçon of wisdom and grace.  

I hope you’ll visit participating poets and get to know them. It’s important for us to support and encourage one another in our art and in our solidarity around concerns for the social and ethical issues we care about, even if we disagree. Respectful discussion is a healthy thing. I’ve linked in blogs for each poet and for your convenience. If the poet doesn’t have a blog, it’s likely you can catch up with her/him on Facebook.

Read on and be with us later today for the next (however belated) Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome – encouraged – to join in: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about exercising our imagination and our writing muscle, showcasing our efforts and getting to know other poets. This is a safe discerning place to share.


Thorns

pale and too weak to move
cough your guts over
edge of your bed
in faint light from the door
two trees
walk towards you

one black, the other white

black tree becomes a pair of eyes
you inhale smoke drifting up from a fire
sharp fruit fragrance
spiky, dark, sinewy, stiff bark,
oval leaves with a serrated margin

move
quickly over your body
touches points here and there,
painful thorns nick out bubbles
of your blood
it mutters strange
under its breath
with a low, crackling voice.
The night grows old,
dawn approaches
dissolves into

the white tree
with long bright hair,
lays a cool gentle hand on your brow,
mutters with a sweet bell-like voice
your sight sharpens
until the white tree,
becomes a woman,
your pain eases.  She sweeps
brown-grey, knotted
and fissured skin,
slender and brown limbs
covered in thorns
that do not hurt
up and down
your body, touches same places
as the black tree
pain vanishes
refreshed
into easy, restful sleep

From The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Oaksong

oaksongs

How can you be in two places
at once? I asked. A Christian
friend replied ” You can have
one foot inside the door
and the other foot outside.”

You would be forever
on the threshold, neither
one nor the other, or both.
A fence sitter, neither
Summer or Winter
God or Man.

Would you sacrifice the other
to be wholly another? To step
in and close the door
shut out the weather
from the other side.

Are you coming in or what?
Your letting in a right breeze?
Put wood in the hole.
Decide whether your in or out!

*******
I watch the traffic lights
consider a walk this way or
a green man allows me
to avoid bloodied bone

my mouth and ears
thresholds and doors
full of oaklimbs and leaves

reborn I stretch down
to deep dark moist

I stretch up to cloudlight
barkskin palmtouched
I let others breathe
shelter and endure

*******

moors were once forests
national parks heavy industrial
this oak headland a pitsite

lads snap off livelimbs
anarchic coppicing
black dogshitbags sway
on limbs left alone

don’t visit in a storm
oaks are lightningtrees
people can be oaks

oakgroves of druids
duir means a door
exit and entrance

raw open wounds of sacrifice
still bleed sap

this hand has molded
a garden out of wildlife
words out of nonsense

she used to say “when
one door closes
another opens”

From Stubborn Sod , forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

This Brash and Burn

1. To Burn Brash

Sat back barked.
Small insects crawl
down tree stretched above
inhabit hair
worn gloves
bruised brashed branches

Breathe wet peat,
damp soil, leaf decay,
autumn dead leaf dance,
spring bluebell wend
summer sacred stainglass
canopy sunshaft play
winter heavesnow clear paths

Sat back barked
canopy leaf horizon
floats shimmers

Calm

2. Our Wombwell Boxed

Lift small boxes wooden lid smell
broadleaved woodland
before rail/road
Press plastic button hear
Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Woodpeckers,
before rail/road.

Press plastic button watch
Videowalk ancient Beech, Oak, Birch
before rail/road.

Electronic ringtone.

We would like to advise all visitors
The museum is closing soon.
Please exit through main door.
We hope you have enjoyed your visit.
Please come again.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Extracts from “Woodbrains, woodbrides, woodwives”

Grovemind, groovemind

synaptic branches
neuron tipped limbs
sacred grove recovery

oakbrain opens doors in my head
ashbrain spears my ideas
elmbrain plays the fey

electric gust moves limbs
inside my head

barkskin neural net
circumnavigates damage
fruited hemispheres
replenish, restore, reimagine

senses water roots
grove in my head
grooves in my head

between oaklimbs
between ashlimbs…

…Whispering forest

walk among us, as us

known as oakman
known as birchwoman
known as elmlad
known as ashlass

Each one gentle,
one is strong
one elegant
all older than they look

their voices not listened to
“I talk to the tree”
“Hug a tree”
“I am a tree”
seen as signs of waywardness
to be laughed at,
pilloried and scorned.

later they will scream
when cut down
or have a limb amputated

we ought to listen.

From The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Paul’s Amazon Page U.S.

Paul’s Amazon Page U.K.


Whose

Once again
we lay a claim
on land
not ours

chop down
build up
less natural
habitation

wildlife wanders in
refusing to give up
its native lands

to secluded cabins
in awe filled
fairy forests

bears feast on
chokecherries
and bird feeders

share trashed
leftovers
with foxes,
raccoons

toms, hens and chicks
claim grasses
and trees
for homes

deer leave
calling cards
thank you for
the flowers

mountain lions
prowling
remind all
who is king

I am grateful,
they share the space.

© 2018, Deb y Felio


To the river

This is where we came, here, to the river
for the first time, along the rutted path,
cowslips, bluebells crowding at its edge; past
the dandelion meadow, its pale-white
quilt of puffballs waiting to be blown and cast.

Together to the river to explore
vigorous and sinuous, limpid rills
and ripples,the glistening flow of water.
Beneath the cobalt sky, each moment
folding into itself the heat,intense
upon our faces, the stones’ cool splash and spray,
shouts and birdsong; each uplifted stone setting
free the grains of memory,where we were
one time held, entranced, imagination’s
captives in the bubble of our dreams.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


..wild wood..

photograph the trees. notice the wild wood

early while walking, imagine it may

be mine. to care for , to let be. it could.

it is for sale. new sign on the gate, today

the charcoal burner . he is a woods man

smoke rises grey. price is mentioned . plenty.

I think on his words, the idea, owning land,

crashing back into the wild wood. empty

headed. it is good to be quiet, alone

away from their thickening throng , the dread .

soft voices. smoke rises slow, ashes. old bone.

dust and dust , by dust we bury the dead.

he will split the wood. they may come and buy,

yet in my head the wild wood will be mine.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the wild wood again.

when the fog clears we creep back into the wild wood watch birds eat wettened crumbs. softly rain falls each year falls an anniversary

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the new arrival.

hear that, crashing in the old wood, trees fall and die.

seems time stands still, nothing moves . happening.

older times are done, quiet now, seamlessly it will start

again.

one word, one sound, then blindly we will crash into the wild woods

again.

i met a man who did not know, had just arrived.

we may learn in time.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

There’s much to enjoy in Sonja’s art and you can view much of it on her sites and she shares are generous amount on her Facebook Page. So multitalented.


Cathedral of trees,

where I worship every day;
Where I go to breathe in peace;
Where I go to be restored;
Where I go to bring back faith:
persevere in drought;
sustain my weak soul;
grow beyond eons.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda (At the Yellow Table, We Are Stardust: Change Is What It’s All About)


Patricia’s Garden

The tall oak tree…a sentinel
Standing guard over the small yard
Wards off invasions of mayhem
Keeping peace in the inner sanctum

Painted rocks surround pathways
Leading to artistic creativity
While small tables and chairs
In camaraderie congregate together

The mums sing colors across the garden
Yellow and lavender tones harmonize
Brilliant red petals bellow magnificence
In a perennial summer performance

Peace and compassion frolic in fun
Chasing joy between the evergreens
The sun’s reflection shimmers off the muraled wall
As happiness dances slowly towards the impending fall.

The tall oak tree…a sentinel
Standing guard over the small yard
Wards off invasions of mayhem
Keeping peace in the inner sanctum

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)


Sunset SF

English

That Evening

That evening I sat

on a stone bench

gazing at the evening sun

over the peaceful ocean.

Birds flew across the sky

sun reflected on the water.

I sensed everything.

Closed my eyes

felt the breeze

filling my soul.

Gazed at the sun again

and hoped one day

it would dry my open wounds.

The sun set magestic

the sky slowly turned red

like the wounds you inflicted

on me.

Unwantedly.

There was no other way.

It was meant to be.

I shall stare at the sun

and thus hope

my still open wounds

will heal with the passing

of time.

Catalá 

Aquell vespre

Aquell vespre em vaig asseure
en un banc de pedra
contemplant el sol de la tarda
sobre l’oceà pacífic.
Els ocells volaven pel cel,
el sol reflectit a l’aigua.
Vaig sentir-ho tot.
Amb els ulls tancats
sentia la brisa
omplint la meva ànima.
Vaig contemplar de nou el sol
i vaig esperar que un dia
m’assecaria les ferides obertes.
El sol es va pondre, magestuós,
el cel es tornà vermell
com les ferides que vas infligir
en mi.
Sense voler.
No hi havia altra opció.
Havia de ser així.
Contemplaré el sol
i d’aquesta manera esperaré
que les meves ferides encara obertes
es curin amb el pas
del temps.

© 2018, poems and photograph, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


050

Born on the Wind

Uniform saplings compete
-inspired with-
expectations of touching the sky.
Days, more days
-purposed on –
expectations of touching the sky.
Aged survival earns
-scarring from-
expectations of touching the sky.
Resigned and rooted
-seeds fly-
born on the wind … from the sky.

© 2018, Susan St. Pierre (Sillyfrong’s Blog – “Once a pond a time …” )


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.