“A Plague on Both Your Houses” . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.”
Philip K. Dick

[Loneliness is your only friend]

In the face of algorithms, surveillance capitalism,
Political hacking, be in the world, not of it, the plague
Of lies and distortions, amoral predict-and-control,
Trust you to be the Truth and the Mercy, you are
The lived ethic  . . .
Jamie Dedes



Here we are at our first Tuesday in 2020 with responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Plague, January 7, which asked poets to write about living in a hacked world that is driving our consumption one our politics and policies

Today’s thoughtful collection is collection is courtesy of  Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Kakali Das Ghosh, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Mike Stone, and Clarissa Simmens.

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


E- Plague Massacre

No hack ride nor tool
a horse would pass through rush hour
masked rider, no fool.

No Pied Piper to kill
wired theft e-connect exposed
bankrupt, ethics raped.

hotmail then Yahoo
info data all gone, lost
paper pen, safer?

No! Black or White Hat
safe, not kidnapped to Kenya
e-mail hit by hack,

This plague will not die
communications may fly
mouse lives in wi-fi

© 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


Liar, Liar

Cough, cough, ahem,
Excuse me,
You’re on fire
Yes, you, holding the cell phone
And scrolling
Scrolling
Is it Facebook? Instagram?
Twitter? Tiktok?
Or maybe just the news?
Oh, you don’t notice the smell?
The smoke coming from your pants?
Those pants twisted from all the gymnastics you do –
Well, not actual gymnastics
But the mental gymnastics you do
So you can sleep at night
Oh wait, that’s right
You don’t sleep
You’re scrolling
At 2 AM
Your body, your mind
Your life
Hacked
Into believing
You’re the only one entitled to the American Dream

© 2020, Irma Do

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


Light in the darkness

A hot smoke is emitting from our land
Smoke of the volcano is terrible – its natural
But fumes of pseudo politics-jelousy and diplomacy is more deadly
The sun in the sky is the source of energy
But today we need a sun on the ground
A real politician
A true leader
Who can shine light in the darkness of despair
He may the one who can bring a strong cool shower on the hot smoke
From the wound of earthly heart .

© 2020, Kakali Das Ghosh


:: hack ::

although

twitter account,

hotmail hacked,

hacked me off,

will continue to write

low-quality, quickly

put-together articles,

hack llanelltyd

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


The Good Old Days

A dry wind rushes the fallen leaves along
Like a desiccated school marm hurrying
Her children in from recess or maybe
A frightened father calling his kids to the shelter
During the insane oscillations of the incoming sirens:
Choose your metaphor based on where you live,
And I think about our politicians calling us
To return to the good old days
When people were nicer
When they listened to each other before talking
When they all knew what was right
And it was pretty much the same for all folks
But nobody tells them how to return,
That to return to those good old days
You have to be those good old people
Instead of what you’ve somehow become
Today.

© 2020, Mike Stone, Raanana Israel

Find more of Mike’s poetry at his website HERE. His Amazon page is  HERE.


A Plague on Both Your Houses!

*Mercutio, “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare

Email bloated with accusing words
My own house, party,
Insisting on money
Issues like wet tissues
Disintegrating like my love of democracy
The issue is money to win
Worse, the other house
Opposing party
Tweets full of hatred
From a man I do not follow
Yet due to dictatorial rules
He raids my daily reading
With pictures and vitriol
Bacterial words of disease
Slamming the republic
Mocking my once-great land

I will vote
I will vote my house
Though plagued
Yet there is still a chance
For healing
Despite the unfeeling
Of those we put in power…

“We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?”**

**Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth

© 2020, Clarissa Simmens

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE;


Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout /Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

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

Link HERE for Free Human Rights eCourse designed and delivered by United For Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Fact



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

 

Pity the Nation, Voices of the Poet Prophets

© Jamie Dedes

All day yesterday visitors were flying to the original 2017 posting of these poems here at The Poet by Day. It’s not hard to guess what is driving interest in them. Here the poems are again for all to read and ponder along with a word from Bernie:  “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one,” Sanders declared Thursday . . . He . . . framed it as a moment of moral gravity akin to the run-up to the Iraq War, not least because so much of the present conflict with Iran stems from the fateful intervention that began in 2003.” MORE Huffington Post



Lebanese-American poet, Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) public domain illustration

Pity The Nation
Khalil Gibran, 1933, “The Garden of the Prophet”

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save when it walks in a funeral,
boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid
between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.


American poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919), photo credit voxtheory under CC BY-SA 2.0 license


“PITY THE NATION”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (After Khalil Gibran) 2007

Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except  to praise conquerors
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture
Pity the nation that knows
No other language but its own
And no other culture but its own
Pity the nation whose breath is money
And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away
My country, tears of thee
Sweet land of liberty!

© Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Link HERE for more of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poetry


Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

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

Link HERE for Free Human Rights eCourse designed and delivered by United For Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Fact



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Senator Bernie Sanders

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie for President.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

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

Oh lovely chance, what can I do
To give my gratefulness to you?
You rise between myself and me
With a wise persistency;
I would have broken body and soul,
But by your grace, still I am whole.
Many a thing you did to save me,
Many a holy gift you gave me,
Music and friends and happy love
More than my dearest dreaming of;
And now in this wide twilight hour
With earth and heaven a dark, blue flower,
In a humble mood I bless
You wisdom– your waywardness.
You brought me even here, where I
Live on a hill against the sky
And look on mountains and the sea
And a thin white moon in the pepper tree.
Sara Teasdale, The Collected Poems



This week we bring you poems in response to If You Get Another Chance, the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, December 11, 2019.  This interesting mix of wise, sad, and authentic is the gift of mm brazfield, Anjum Wasim Dar, Denise Fletcher, Alethea Kehas, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Pali Raj, and Clarissa Simmens.

Note: I am putting The Poet by Day on hiatus starting tomorrow for the holy days. I’ll return on January 8, 2010 with the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

Wishing you much joy in the year end festivities.

Best wishes for the 2020! 


element

if the rust stained bones in my frame
where to ever get a chance again
to glide across the universe
look into Pandora’s jet white eyes
and smell the lighted stars
like people sniff the roses
my soul to keep i’d give away
to plug the holes
and pave new ways
for dusk to kiss the lonely hearts
for dawn to inter the bitter crop
from where my old roots are rotted
i’d be a renegade of love again
with bombs of ear drums
i would fight
to give a spot to everyone
in God’s angelic choir
if the sacred morning dew
can forgive me
for not being wide awake
in baptizing my sinful state
in the worldly river of life
reason being i was up all night
marching behind my sisters and brothers
blinded by the poisoned dark
with intent to guide them out
of their imposed upon madness
or if the maidens of the light
would prefer to bring me back
i would want to be
a lightning bolt
looking to correct
the wicked negatives of the cold hard ground
with the positives in the celestial clouds
to quench the crops of kindness
that are drying out
yet in all honesty
i’d be more than content
to come back as a rainbow colored bubble
making some kid laugh

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


On a Positive Note

If ever I get the chance
to make a fresh start

I will go all the way to Rabat-
wearing a jambart, will keep
and push a tea -cart, serving all
in the street and ghat

my currency will be Thai Baht
will make many and sell, tarts
in bazars and all marts
will accept the Burmese Kyat

then love to rest under Green heart
and wish for a trip to Kalat
but before I depart I will
listen to Beethoven and Mozart

fill a large apple cart
dress up very very smart
will go slow not dart
outsmart all,this will be

my restart

© 2019, 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


I Guess

I guess it’s too late
To live in Nashville
and become a star

I guess it’s too late
To sing on the You
Can Be a Star show
Since it officially
ended in 1989.

I guess it’s too late
for that demo tape
To be found like
Lost treasure and fall
into the right hands

I guess it’s too late
To record another
Gospel tune for
my listening
Audience to hear

But it sure would
have been fun to
Be on that TV show
after my demo tape
Was accepted

I guess it’s too late
To live in Nashville
and become a star

Or is it too late?

© 2019, Denise Fletcher 


A Girl Named Truth

She would have been a wild child
Wind-blown without temperance
She would have held her truth
high like a flag, running
Her feet scraped raw
Her words etched into never-ending
Wonder. She would have gulped life
Ever-thirsty Her heart, the drum of Earth
River-blood in her veins
She would never stop
Until she flew wings
Cutting gravity. Each slice pushing
Her higher. Lungs becoming sky
So vast and blue she would not know
Ending, She would have been
Free

© 2019, Alethea Kehas


..lindisfarne..

it was you that made me do it

think back

and wonder if it could have

been different.

it could have

been better.

except it is what it is,

and was just what it was.

i do not expect to time travel

i do not expect a change in history

any time

soon.

she said that we were young then.

i do not remember that i think

i always felt older

i did not ever feel that young thing

except that day with you at sea

when after

they all shouted at me.

come away with me to lindisfarne

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

ah john

you ask what would i do different

if i could change the past

i cannot change it yet look to the future

to have more care and education for all

folk to understand have empathy

be kind

& let us keep it simple

maybe the creatures have good ideas

& go to bed when dark ; don’t destroy

the earth

the air smells good in the new book shop

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Tantrums, and cries
Capture hearts
So let it be
A bolt from blue
Say “Hi”
Well, you have got “Nothing” to say ….yeah
Then you tell me that
You don’t tell us “Sorry”
Join in our circle of friends
Let’s talk ….yeah
Let sags of your face rise and fall
More and more
Say “Hi”
Well, brace yourself to love
And make it a plan but little sense ….yeah
Smile
More and more
If you get another chance
Tantrums, and cries
Capture hearts
So let it be
A bolt from blue
Say “Hi”

© 2019, Pali Raj


Moment of Immanent Action

O, that moment of imminent action
When a confluence of worlds intersect
All is possible
Like The Death of Socrates
As he reaches for his hemlock
Iconic cup of forced suicide
What will he do? Recant?
It would change history
But the speechifying continues
Outcome clear
“Don’t!” I shout to the painting
As if there is no known conclusion
Might as well scream at the hero of a horror flick
“Don’t go down the cellar/up the attic/outside to the shed”
And now, in modern times
I find myself screaming at the dumb teenager:
“Charge your phone!”

O that special moment
Time etched on canvas in paint
And the Universe holds its breath
As I hesitate
And then say, “Sure, we might as well get married”
Maybe not as important as Hector
About to be murdered by Achilles
Can he surrender and live to fight
Another day?
And why do I
Focus on marriage?
Surely I regret giving up
Guitar, writing, tarot
Perhaps it’s just feeling Blue
During this Red, Green and Gold holiday
But junctures appear, innocently beckoning
And I so wish there had been
A painting depicting that imminent action
Something I could have studied and thought about
Before opening my mouth
And just maybe
Unlike Socrates and Hector
That moment could have been deflected
A lone laser point harmlessly careening
Into endless space…

© 2018, Clarissa Simmens 

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.


Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

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

Link HERE for Free Human Rights eCourse designed and delivered by United For Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Fact



FEEL THE BURN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Senator Bernie Sanders

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie for President.

“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