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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or, have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”  Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom



When I posted the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Elusive Soul, July 10, I wasn’t sure anyone would want to come out to talk about death and reincarnation. But lo! Here we are. We have a poetry feast, sometimes surprized by humor and quirkiness, but mostly fed by experience, observation, intuition, and the sacred. Prepare for a few laughs, a lot to think about, and maybe inspiration for a poem of your own.

Today’s feast is brought to us courtesy of mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb y Felio, Irene Emanuel, Sheila Jacob, Elena Lacy, Bozhidar Pangelov, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Pali Raj. New to our poetry family this week and warmly welcome: Bhaha d’Auroville and Melting Neurons. I didn’t have a bio from Bhaha, so I pieced one together and hope, Bhaha, that it works for you. Since Bhaga’s bio tangentially introduces Sri Aurobindo, I’ve included a photo and a poem by him, theme related.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. It is open to beginning, emerging, and pro poets. Don’t be shy. Join us tomorrow for a prompt that I hope you’ll like though it won’t be as stimulating as this one. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to swap it out for something more challenging. It’s late as I put a wrap on this post and tomorrow is a big day for me. You’d be surprized how busy a homebound writer can be.


Tempting Topic

For once I thought ‘It’s Wednesday,
Let’s see what today’s prompting is…’
And couldn’t believe what it was!
What to write, if I don’t believe
In reincarnation, but live
With it since I was a newborn?
And how can I write about it
‘Just from my imagination’,
When memories are flooding me
From so many places and times
Which I have known and have known me?
Oh, I do feel universal,
Old soul with yet another face
On top of another body
Whose cells still hunger for the food
They used to live by long ago
And still act upon the old vows
That I pronounced, meaning well,
In so many monasteries
Of so many dire religions
All over the entire planet,
Imprisoning myself in them!
Or other vows claiming Freedom
Without knowing quite what it was…
Yet in this life it all came back
As a whole harvest of lifetimes
Leading to this one’s turning-point
In the true Light at last of Love
For myself and for all ‘others’:
Unconditional Love at last,
Healing all with its strong Delight…
Shall I try to express all that?
It is such a tempting topic…

© 2019, Bhaga d’Auroville

My Very First Memory

My very first memory?
Deep sadness.
Deep sadness within me at knowing, and telling myself:
“Here I am again,
having to pretend being a separate person again,
instead of a blissful part of the loving Whole… ”
Sadness like a huge sigh in my being,
in the Soul that I was
since ever
for ever.
The feeling of going at it once again,
out of a sense,
not of obligation,
but of accepted duty.
Like shouldering up again a burden
that has to be carried
to its destination,
whatever time it may take.
This was when I was supposed to be a tiny baby
just newborn,
arriving back into this difficult physical world
of planet Earth.

© 2019, Bhaga d’Auroville

copyright Bhaga

BHAGA d’AUROVILLE lives in Auroville, a conscious community in Puducherry in South India. Auroville is also, I believe, a United Nations supported site for sustainable agriculture and global human uniity. This self-contained diversely-populated community is dedicated to the vision of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), an Indian poet, yogi, guru, and philosopher. Sri Aurobindo was a nationalist who joined the Indian movement for independence from British colonization. He was also a spritual reformer who held a vision of human progress through spiritual evolution. Some Americans may remember that Woodrow Wilson’s daughter Magaret was a follower.  In the spirit of her community, Bhaga’s blog is Lab of Evolution, For Research on Conscious Evolution.  She writes,”Conscious Evolution is for you and me. It is for the whole planet. It is the Next Step which is simply the logical, to be expected continuation of all that Evolution has already made happen upon this little Earth over the eons past. The difference is that now the human species is there, and we human beings can consciously participate in our own gradual transformation into a more evolved species. Any progress in that direction, by any of us, will help accelerate the overall progress for the whole Earth and all its inhabitants. It is happening. Will you help?’



Sri Aurobindo / public domain photo

Life and Death

Life, death, – death, life; the words have led for ages
Our thought and consciousness and firmly seemed
Two opposites; but now long-hidden pages
Are opened, liberating truths undreamed.
Life only is, or death is life disguised, –
Life a short death until by Life we are surprised.

– Sri Aurobindo



The Endless

I’d ravage The Endless back into a savagely peaceful state,
where the darkness ceased against the ripping of sunlight
and flesh was made to stagger under new form and structure.
I’d break down amidst the ferocity of nerves completely aflame,
blazing mysterious life back in a rictus of fresh birthed anguish
that would howl up and out a throat misshapen to memory.
I’d rest my pained eyes on reflective surface and cast out,
cast out into the recesses of my mind to search for recognition,
failing and withering beneath the harsh gasp of true newness.
So I would be reborn, brought about by misguided hope,
faithfully preserved in the belief that housed in a new sanctuary
madness and sanity would restore to a natural balance
leaving me aware of a change, but aching with the loss.

© 2019, Melting Neurons

MELTING NEURONS resides in Wenatchee, WA where he lives with his wife, dog and stuffed owl. They hail from Bend, OR originally, except the dog, who’s a Texan death row survivor. He has lived in more than 75 cities across the country at various points including Boston and New Bedford, MA. His writing centers around a lifetime filled with adventures in schizoaffective bipolar, addiction, and the dichotomy of being everything from a corporate executive to homeless on the streets for years. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and enrolled in Wenatchee Valley College studying English and Creative Non-Fiction. His blog is HERE.


plished

as a young dad he formed the
habit of when leaving the house
of telling his young wife and tod
dler with mock-solemn drama:
“i am going on a mission…
from which…
i may never return.”
he did that 218 times.
there was a thirty-five year
gap
between #217 and #218,
which was on his deathbed,
staring lovingly
into his daughter’s
tear-swimming eyes.

she laughed a little, then hiccup-
sobbed. but he ska-sneezed
her hand
and said “mission accom–”
and died.

in this life
i suddenly remembered.
and so i say
“plished.”

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: 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 here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


RSVP

hi
Rabbi
i’m that girl
this Eden is
very beautiful
i’ve crawled on my belly
since the time of the Pharaohs
and i’m feeling deeply tired
today i make the case that gifting
me free will does not compare to heaven
when i close my eyes the cries of Mary
still echo in my ears while Martha’s
brother slumbers wrapped in linens
and the taste of chocolate
melting joy on my tongue
careless angels send
Your blessed signs
however
i am
done

© 2019, mm brazfiled

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Knowing

Gone to ground
he sharply sees far below the hole
he crouches in,

his fellows hop and thump,
gust in his wings as he dives,
break of bone and fur,
bloodseep
of his daughters limp body
as he takes her to his perch
to feed hungry beaks.

Aware he did this once.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

This Soul Nonsense

Writers use the word without thought.
Expect readers to know what they mean.

Never define the word in their work.
A throw away word to mean something deep.

Used without care a word out of place
repeated so often it is meaningless.

Air, ether, fire or light once thought
incorporeal. If air perhaps our breath

actions at a distance. Breathe in spirit.
Perhaps we refer to our emotions.

Endeavour to give them gravity.
Don’t throw away, pick carefully.

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

I See Daylight

when the blade
opens a gash in his skin,
a valley I can walk through.
The sharp edge
narrowly misses me.

I step out of his wound,
his valley.
Reborn.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A World Where

I can’t recognise this pattern of words,
the timetables at work. I can’t make

a pattern is a world without form,
without substance, an out of focus

pictures in which there maybe more
than one of me. I don’t orientate

without signposts or landmarks or signatures.
All is blur. Meaning elusive.

If I make it could be false. There is grief
at a loss of shape, of pattern.

A gallery of random words and pictures
I can reshuffle so every time a picture

has different words, words you can apply
to any other picture. The application of shape

more meaningful perhaps. As we can’t say
when someone close will leave this earth.

Port of Souls is found landlocked sometimes.
Like marrow locked inside a bone, at other

Times it is a small island surrounded
by a repetition of water. Occasionally after

so many have passed into memory,
a port of souls occupies our inside.

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Traffic

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.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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


A Star from Afar

I believe I am an eight pointed star incarnate
I once orbited the central celestial dark space
where I was a reflector of pure light and peace
and was circling on duty on an invisible plate

many light years ago a new planet was born
and a twinkling dome was set as a guide, I
was transferred to move and shine, to pray
and light the way for those who would seek

for many more light years I remained suspended
and guided many lost sea and desert travelers
til some enemies down below started shooting
and one day I broke and lost my invisible footing

I am quite sure that I am in my third life now
from a star and a guide and in pure light, I
am in a different form called female, and in
a meteor shower mixup,got the spirit of a male.

and now my name though means a star
but am still in a state of confused war
many a times in lists and divisions I find
that my seat or chair is in the boys bar

the worst is when the organizers look me
up and down and refuse to believe that I
am a she and not a he’ as they had thought
shake their heads and reluctantly let me pass

so who is to blame if incarnation takes place
not according to what one wished or desired
or wished to be a prince or a princess royal-
when reality strikes you find, Oh, the change misfired

© 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


Nirvana Knows 

a Pantoum

Redo my life please
I paid good money for that paper on the wall
It glares at me with disapproving rage
As I struggle with my final breath

I paid good money for that paper on the wall
A professional path to fame and fortune
As I struggle with my final breath
I think, “Regrets.”

A professional path to fame and fortune
Bartered for super tight hugs and sticky kisses
I think, “Regrets?
No, I am dying happy.”

We tried to barter super tight hugs and sticky kisses
But the cancer still clutched my breasts
Now, I am dying happy
Nirvana knows I made the right exchange

The cancer that clutched my breasts
Glares at me with disapproving rage
Nirvana knows I made the right exchange
Redo my life? No, thank you!

© 2019, Irma Do

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


Another Life

Once I was a worshipped cat,
I’m absolutely sure of that.
Whisker greys adorn my face,
which are the basis for my case.
At ease with every cat I meet,
without a cat, I’m not complete.
We greet and speak by sight and touch
and though that really isn’t much,
I swear the cats know who I was
when formally, I was their boss.
So when a cat is scared and hisses,
I shower him with gentle kisses,
until the present is the past
and he knows who I am at last.

© 2019, Irene Emanuel


ha!

in the fifties there was war
and hatred of those people
in the sixties there was war
and the hatred of those people
in then eighties, nineties, the same
then a new century came
no different now
war and hate
why would anyone
want to reincarnate
to be the hater or the hated
you lose either way
I’ll just stick
with Groundhog Day

© 2019, deb y felio


Second Time Around

Inspired by Joy Harjo

Let a roan mare house my soul.
Let her coat be blue.
Let her name be Ocean.
Let her spine be strong.
Let her mane flow unplaited.
Let her ears twitch at the growl of thunder.
Let her face be winsome and her eyes gentle.

Let her tail swish to the hush of the tide.
Let her be free from bridle, saddle and bit.
Let her run in the company of other horses.
Let her chase the wind across green fields.
Let her travel country lanes and city streets
and mountain paths dusted with pine cones.
Let her follow the river and reach the valley.

Let her drink from clear streams.
Let her graze under the stars.
Let her gallop across sand and shingle
and the sea’s frothing hem.
Let her whinnying breath scatter the clouds.
Let her dance on the beach at sundown
and trace the moon’s halo with silver-tipped hooves.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob


What if …

Waking up after centuries of silence
Old memories still linger, but their meanings are elusive.
My Self, woven deliriously at the intersection of the old world neuroses,
Is trying to reach out for mirrors
Searching for familiar worries and joys
Suspended and in need of direction.
And, all of a sudden, that need for change feels familiar.
Life is flooding my existence once again…

© 2019, Elena Lacy

Elena’s site is Hyperimage’s Blog


. reincarnationˌriːɪnkɑːrˈneɪʃn .

coming home can be.

frightful, in snow or heavy rain,

dark the days are, the evenings darker.

forecasts bring gloom and panic, then are cancelled

minutes later, the phone kicks off.

ice is predicted, mountains white

i may be reborn in this valley….

now there is a story, meanwhile

arriving home to candlelight, fire the same

and hopefully all will be well a while.

the mouse, the bear,

are quiet ones.

the word count is 62, the years are 8,

and i dreamed it was 2 months ; longer

than all the other numbers.

i may be a long time coming home.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


In the sunny mantle

In the sunny mantle
the souls fall asleep
They are returning to Earth
forever
(to calm the fast time)
And if ever
on the green hill
surrounded
from a clean river
someone woke you up
stretch your hands
with your palms up
and you will feel
streams of golden sparks –
the soul of the sun

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov

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


wish I wish I were born too stunned.
my mom must have sensed my presence.
don’t look at me as though I have grown another head.
what if, I can feel your nerves bubbling up?
elusive soul, a poem make a stand ….yeah
I shake my head smiling.
I smile a small smile.
p.s. it’s difficult to me to show outward affection.

© 2019, Pali Raj


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.


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

 

Through My Father’s Eyes, Collected Poems by Sheila Jacob / Review, Interview, Poems

” . . . Two months later
you were hurried to the hospital
and died within the week.

“I stuffed your letters in a drawer
and found your fountain pen,
the ink inside still wet.”

excerpt from Letters From Home in Though My Father’s Eyes



I am often hesitant to review and recommend self-published books. Sometimes it seems that however talented and well-intentioned the poet, their collection needed another eye, an editor. We all need one frankly. Having said that, I am pleased with Sheila Jacob’s book as I knew I would be. Sheila did invite feedback from an editor and other poets before finalizing this volume, which I have now read twice and with great pleasure. Such is our humanity and the power of poetry that we can touch hearts across 3,500 miles and the wide Atantic.

Sheila, whose father died when she was thirteen, and I couldn’t be closer in terms of time (I’m a bit older than she is), roots (working class), and parents born on the cusp of or not long after WW I. Our parents were the hard-worked people of the global Great Depression and WW II. They were people who who kept their pain private, lived in gray cities, walked hard streets to work in factories and knew how to squeeze a penny. These elements are one reason why Sheila’s poems spoke to me, but I also know that her poems – this collection – will speak to anyone who values fine poetry as well as their own roots and their own loves and who have had to come to terms with loss and grief. Who among us has not? This small volume is a victory over sorrow and confusion and it brings to life one father and his daughter in all their loveable complex humanity. Recommended. / J.D.

The Doctors said I was a goner. You know the rest,
duck, an Irish nurse slipped a Lourdes medal
under my pillow and hours later I woke up, found
I could breathe on my own and talk.

You used to love the story.

Ah, yes, I see, perhaps I did make a meal
of it, ignored how I felt living through
the Blitz and coming home on leave
to streets of rubble.

I was loaded with memories
you were too innocent
to share.

excerpt from War Record in Through My Father’s Eyes


The poems and excerpts from poems in Through My Father’s Eyes are published here today with Sheila’s permission.


INTERVIEW

JAMIE: Not to diminish the extraordinary quality of your work and how meaningful it will be to others who read it, but writing these poems must have been cathartic for you. Did you come away from the writing feeling healed?

SHEILA: Yes, I did feel healed. Putting words on paper and clarifying my thoughts helped me make sense of my dad’s death, my reaction to it and my overall relationship with him. It enabled me to continue the grieving process which didn’t really begin until I was an adult and had left home. My parents, aunts and uncles, were from the post-war stiff-upper-lip generation who refused to dwell on grief. After Dad’s funeral they carried on as before with very little show of outward emotion and I was encouraged to do the same. My mum had always been a reserved person; she retreated into herself and never spoke to me about Dad even in the most general terms. I was angry and bewildered at the time though now I understand that it was the only way she could cope. 

I suspect there are poems waiting to be written about my mum’s experience: written, hopefully, with the generosity of spirit I didn’t have as a teenager and young adult. And I’m still writing “Dad” poems. The past never stays still.

I also found it necessary- and therapeutic – to explore my dad’s boyhood, which seems to have been a happy one despite financial deprivations, his love of football, and his time in the army during WW II. This gave me a fresh sense of belonging to and being rooted in my Birmingham past.

JAMIE: I seem to remember that you mentioned having stopped writing poetry for years and then started again.  What triggered your reengagement with poetry?

SHEILA: This began in 2013 during an episode of depression. I consulted a clinical psychologist, a most remarkable man with whom I am still in touch. He’d encountered the work of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath in his professional capacity. When he discovered I used to read and write poetry, he strongly encouraged me to start again. 

I remember how I‘d been seeing him for a few weeks and he suddenly said “Write a poem on the sessions so far.”

I cobbled something together for our next appointment and also dusted off my poetry library, mostly collections by Gillian Clarke, R.S.Thomas and T.S. Eliot.  I continued writing, for his eyes only at first. This gradually expanded. I read a lot about poetry as therapy and wrote a small piece about my own experience for Rachel Kelly’s Blog. Rachel is the author of Black Rainbow, an account of her long struggle against depression and the positive part reading poetry played in her recovery.

I found a website called Creative Writing Ink and took a beginner’s poetry course with a perceptive and experienced tutor, an Irish poet, Eileen Casey. Her feedback was invaluable. I began subscribing to various poetry magazines and, eventually, submitting.  

JAMIE:  In what ways has involvement with online poetry groups been productive for you?

SHEILA: They’ve helped greatly with the quality of my poems. I tend not to write one word when ten will do. I’ve learned/am learning to be more economical and precise with my use of words. My poems are still on the long side but I write in a narrative style that I think lends itself to the longer poem. I’m not a great lover of form but I’ve written sestinas, non-rhyming sonnets, tankas, cinquains and, of course, haiku which really concentrate the mind. I pay more attention to line breaks, line lengths and stanza lengths. I never used to edit my poems let alone re-edit them. Now, I often leave troublesome ones to cook for months before I return to them. 

It’s been enriching to discover the work of a wide variety of poets, living and deceased, and to explore different subject matter. I’ve done courses in ekphrastic poetry, poems of trauma, poems of protest, and poems of place. The most recent course I did was with Jonathan Edwards’ for The Poetry School where he asked us to “step into someone else’s shoes” and write from the point of view of an animal, a building, and an inanimate object, amongst others. I found this very enjoyable and liberating. 

The second benefit of poetry groups is the undoubtedly the fellowship. I’ve received valuable, constructive feedback, I’ve met poets from all over the globe, read styles of poetry I wouldn’t otherwise have engaged with and formed lasting, supportive friendships.

JAMIE: You chose to self-publish, which is something a lot of readers are contemplating.  Why did you do so and what was the experience like?

SHEILA: I would have preferred to publish my chapbook with an established poetry press but the ones I submitted to didn’t like my work well enough to take it on. I have no hard feelings about this. Maybe I should have tried more publishers and waited longer for submission openings but I’m almost sixty nine and didn’t feel that time was on my side.

There was also an emotional element involved. I wanted closure from this particular set of poems by sending them out into the world sooner rather than later. I’d worked hard on them over the years and felt there was a niche for them somewhere in the poetry world. 

I did a mentoring course with Wendy Pratt, a lovely lady and a very fine poet. I sent her a proposed collection to critique and she immediately suggested that I should focus solely on the poems about my Dad. Her encouragement gave me the confidence to self-publish. I also had a lot of support from a Facebook friend Jenni and a local poet friend David Subacchi who has self-published quite a few books and encouraged me to “just do it” without worrying that they weren’t “proper” poems or that it wasn’t a “proper” book.

Once I felt that the poems were as good as I could make them the actual publishing was very straightforward. I contacted a reputable local publisher, David Bentley, whose ideas on layout were useful. He suggested using a thicker, creamy paper to correspond with the memoir theme of the poems.

This wasn’t a cheap process but I had money saved for it and wanted to be in control of the proceedings on the ground rather than through a computer. If I self-publish again I may well take a different approach.


To purchase this little gem of a volume, contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com


POEMS

 The Power of Flight    

 After you died                                 

 the echo of your cough                                          

 roamed the house.

 

When a dark shape 

filled your bedroom’s

open window

 

I ran to tell Mum, 

who ran next door,

both of us unnerved

 

by the bird’s frantic

tumble of feathers

and whirr of wings.

 

It’s just a young one

our neighbour laughed

and calmed it with a lift

 

of her hands,

steered it towards                           

the power of flight,

 

the possibility of song.

.

A Boy Called Anthony

Anthony would serve at Mass, ring the consecration bell.

Anthony would play 5-a-side football, win gold trophies.

Anthony would pass his 11-plus, go to St. Philip’s School.

 

When the midwife cried “It’s a girl” Dad searched

for new names, called me after his favourite sister, he sang

pat-a-cake and bake it in the oven for Sheila and me.

 

I couldn’t be an altar boy but knew the Latin responses,

couldn’t play football but watched with Dad at Villa Park,

passed my 11-plus, went to St. Paul’s where the nuns taught.

 

When end-of-term results grew worse, Dad grew angry.

I scowled, sulked- I’d tried my best, just didn’t like Maths.

You should have been a boy called Anthony, Dad snapped.

 

Anthony would have excelled in Maths, Physics and Science.

Anthony wouldn’t have answered back, chewed his nails,

muttered bloody hell, been sent to his room in disgrace.

 

Anthony, I realised then, would never fail or win, Anthony

couldn’t drink dandelion-and-burdock through a straw,

Anthony couldn’t laugh, skip, scrage his knee and bleed.

 

Anthony would never run to Dad, blurt out I’m very sorry,

I promise not to be rude again. He couldn’t hug Dad, weep

against Dad’s shoulder, smell the Brylcreem in Dad’s hair.

 

Don’t forget it’s nearly Father’s Day                                                 

 

As if I could forget how it fell

two days after they lowered

his coffin into the earth

 

though fifty-odd years ago

I was spared online adverts 

for Ben Sherman socks 

and flagons of Dior Savauge.

 

As I’d have offered such gifts

to a man whose socks 

were hand-knitted, darned

at the heel with love;

 

whose favourite cologne

was pure Welsh water 

splashed from the cold tap.

 

As if I wouldn’t make each day

a day to remember had he lived

He’d be a frail centenarian

 

I’d cosset with chunky scarves

and camphor oil; open the old

draughts board knowing 

he’d outplay me every time.

            

– Sheila Jacob


SHEILA JACOB was born and raised in Birmingham, England and lives with her husband in Wrexham, on the Welsh border. Her poetry has been published in several U.K. magazines and webzines. She recently self-published her short collection of poems that form a memoir to her father who died in 1965. Sheila finds her 1950s childhood and family background a source of inspiration for many of her poems. You can connect with Sheila by email: she1jac@yahoo.com


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.


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



“Mother With the Green Hair” … and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Japanese Tea Garden, San Mateo, CA

“how the morning is greated
fight for the money or
fight for the soul the saying goes
but another goal is to
fight for neither. …”
Ecodeviance (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness, CA Conrad



Happy Tuesday, Everyone!  It’s that lovely time of week when we share the work of fellow poets on the last Wednesday Writing Prompt theme. Last week’s prompt was Beach Scene, July 3, which asked about times when poets felt most at one with nature. This lovely collection today is thanks to the talents of mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb y Felio, Jen Goldie, Sheila Jacob, Elena Lacy, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Clarissa Simmens.  Also chiming in this week are newcomers Dick Jones and Debasis Mukhopadhyay, both warmly welcome.

Enjoy this fine read and do join us tomorrow or the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome, beginners, novice and pro.


Beach Boy

For a boy, aged 5, newly diagnosed as autistic.

Stones and shells.
Each grey disc
or pink ellipse
is a crashed planet.
Driftwood and splinters.
Dreams tangled up
in the mystery script
on blown cartons
and vagabond bags.

He scuttles, unshelled,
under a carillon
of seagulls, drunk
on salt and ozone.
This child who fears
clouds and mirrors
for the shapes
they throw at him
is healed for a day
by the moonstruck
logic of the tides.

© 2019, Dick Jones

DICK JONES was initially wooed by the First World War poets and then seduced by the Beats. He’s been exploring the vast territories in between since the age of fifteen. His work has been published in a number of magazines, print and online, including Orbis, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Ireland Review, Qarrtsiluni, Westwords, Mipoesias, Three Candles, Other Poetry, Rattlesnake and Ouroboros Review. In 2010 Dick received a Pushcart nomination for his poem Sea Of Stars. His first collection, Ancient Lights, is published by Phoenicia Publishing and is available from them or via Amazon. His translation of Blaise Cendrars’ influential epic poem ‘La Prose du Transsiberien…’ was published in an illustrated collaborative edition with artist Natalie D’Arbeloff by Old Stile Press in 2014.


sea-bound stroll

now retsina

softening

old stitches

and

summer jaunts

fomenting the sepia waves

of lassitude

the fresh catch grilled at sundown

dabbled memories

nea paralia nea paralia

and an opalescent sea

rustling across a bloated brochure

called gateway

or maybe

sea-bound stroll

with azure galore

beguiling the eyes

like those hydrangeas flaunting

a clear blue

within easy reach

from the deck flowing to

a time

when

salty pebbles

keep rolling in

on the wounds

and the spume

swathes a heart in the sand

vowing

like a touch of warm cotton swabs

now-here

now-here

now-here

said once

love you

and

walked by the sea

© 2019, Debasis Mukhopadhyay

DEBASIS MUKHOPADHYAY (between ink and inblot) has been featured on The Poet by Day Before, but this is the first time in response to Wednesday Writing Prompt. He is the author of the chapbook “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context(Finishing Line Press, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals & anthologies, including Posit, Words DanceThe Curly Mind (UK), Erbacce (UK), Strange Poetry (UK), Yellow Chair ReviewI Am Not A Silent Poet (UK), The New Verse News, Rat’s Ass Review : Love & Ensuing Madness, Writers Against Prejudice (UK), Manneqüin.HaüsAlgebra of Owls (UK), The Skinny Poetry JournalOf/With : Journal of Immanent Renditions, Anapest JournalCommunicators League (Nigeria), No Tribal Dance (UK), Quatrain.Fish, Duane’s Poe TreeWalking Is Still Honest, Leaving My Shadow : A Tribute to Anna AkhmatovaThirteen Myna BirdsWhale Road Review, The Apache Poetry Blog (Sweden), Scarlet Leaf ReviewSilver Birch Press, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Foliate Oak, Eunoia Review, Revolution John, Fragments of Chiaroscuro, Down in the Dirt, With Painted Words (UK), The Wagon MagazineSnapping Twig, Words Surfacing, Praxis, Apple Fruits of an Old Oak, and Voice of Monarch Butterflies. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. MORE


take a peak

once squaw peak
now is piestewa peak
because etymology
because war hero

it is a hunk of rock
an asteroidal embedment
of the rocky mountains
or it seems so

despite artifactual distractions
like memorial benches
and erosion-checking cement
and rails

at night it transports you
through a piece of the solar system
and when the climb harshens your breathing
it sounds like that of an astronaut

you and your rock
on the sweat-wringing trajectory
toward a magical world
enjoyed at peak’s peak

panorama of an alien civilization
its photonic array twinkling
rectilinearly below
on your back the rock drinks your sweat

and you/rock bathe
in ancient light from the everywhere
surrounded
yet you enfold

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: 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 here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


peregrine

desert you look very pretty in your tender green veil
it’s been a while since i was here visiting you
inner struggle and rebirth brought me to your boulder bosom
i see my brothers the Joshua Trees have gotten taller
therefore waving more lost children toward your safety dear friend
oh and the hares and wood peckers they still look
me over with caution and pity they sense my spirit
is still shackled in some ways but they are right
i’m just a human mother Joshua but how are you
i’ve brought you great news there will be rain later
this evening that rock you say yes that will be
good shelter the tiny lizard queen is a great hostess
the breath of your slate tinged skies is beginning to
smell like wet earth just like my grandmother’s hair when
as a babe i’d grab fistfuls and put it in
my mouth yet i don’t know how i can remember
her we were both too young when she had to
go up to the silver stars above my head oh
mother Joshua did you tell Oma to come and visit
there you see she’s the one next to Venus smiling
at me hey little ants get off my cake here
i’ll place it by your hill take it to your
queen my regards to her and now my eyes focus
to see the splendor of the ocotillo fire red blossoms
held up to the peacock sky and i breathe deeply

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Your Bones Remember

what my skin forgets.

What your sky forgets
my earth remembers.

Your rivers forget the distance travelled
My earth remembers where direction changed.

Blood memory stains your riverbed.
Skin never restores its shape.
Absence is character unrecognised.

Absence is a never return, a forgotten way
marked by signs unrecognised as signs.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Find Yourself

All in the air
All in the earth
All at sea
All in the stars

All in her skin
All in her blood
All in her bones
All in her

All at once
All at sixes and sevens
All in a state
All for her

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Earth Always

looks down,
sniffs tracks the sky makes.

Sky always looks up
sniffs tracks the earth makes.

One day they will apologise
when they bump into each other.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Water Frets

gives and takes her contours,
every ripple adds or removes

years, smooths and plumps,
wrinkles and scars, blisters

and bubbles. Each surge
an encounter begins in laughter.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

riverbrain, rivermind

synaptic rivulets
neuron canals
sacred water

riverbrain flows in my head
fountainbrain channels my ideas
lakebrain plays the fey

electric rivulets move earth
inside my head

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

senses water roots
springwaters in my head
well in my head.

sheflow

her flaps of the water
bride of the waveskin
her inner lips of the river,
spring and waterfalls,
fermented honey drip
not dragonfly laced stained glass

faplap
lamina moist make out

fragile weirs into lust
nympha

tongue kindly these guardians

a becomes a river

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Ma Firesongs

inhale my sage, mint,
basil, saint john’s wort,
sunflower and lavender

leap through my balefire
an ‘I do’

burn my gorse and hay
fields to stubble

dress me in dried herbs,
potpourri, seashells, summer flowers, and fruits.

colour me blue, green, and yellow

let me handfast to you
think on harvest to come

*******

breathe in mistletoe
oak, rowan, and fir.

watch sticky moon rise
gold
as if honey
outa hive

yon fires r small suns
t’ massive blaze
nar set this short neet

she as bairn
in her belly
and soon a must pass
this fertile crahn
from oak t’ holly

tek int shape
and tale
o’ other folks fires
on yon hills
as tha would pattern
stars make
int neet sky wi art clards
an scry what’s t’come

an sup elder wine
an et this bread
of yon fields
grahnd thru yon stones
into fire
into r gobs
an bellies

an leet a candle
a midneet
aside this bowl
a rain watta
t’ catch moon n
wash
r face n hands
in it

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

© 2017, Paul Brookes

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


I rejoice in a state of eutierria

I sink into sleep
enshrouded by oblivion
my sensing mind quiets

I fall in a state of eutierria

my grieving soul cries
tears raindrops flow together
drenched deaf to thunder

I soak in a state of eutierria

no more! stone marble
senses green, naked in soil
break bonds to connect.

I succumb to a state of eutierria

© 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


Mother With the Green Hair

Rough brown skin scratches my cheek
I lean into your strength
My arms wrap around you
My fingers not touching
Reminding me of your age
A comfort in this short sighted world
Your willowy boughs sway in the hot breeze
But under your protective shadow
I am but one who rejoices in your giving nature.

© 2019, Irma Do

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

When the season of change comes once more

sun of summer come
it has been too long
already like my own
days are short again

the leaves will turn
from youthful green
abundant to gold
scant as the briefest
breeze tumbles them

leaving bare spindles
vulnerable witness
to times past
and futures uncertain

sun of summer come
warm this body
too soon grown cold
in the shadows
of light.

© 2019, deb y felio 


Eagles sweep the sky
Bemused as the clouds drift by
Bewitched by silence

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Jen’s sites are:


Blodeuwedd’s Lament

I knew the warmth
of a man’s body
though no blood
ever surged
through my veins.

I was oak-flower,
broom and meadowsweet
conjured into woman
without flesh and bone
and beating heart.

The moon O-hed
at the smoothness
of my face.
The sun paled
at the earth-gold
of my hair.

I loved Gronw,
the lord of Penllyn.
I lay in his arms
and we plotted
to kill my husband.

Now, for my sinfulness
I am shunned
and alone
at the woodland’s edge.
I am owl.

I am beak and talons,
feathers and sharp eyes.
I wait, still as death,
in the shadow
of midnight leaves.

In Welsh legend, Blodeuwedd (Flower-Faced”) was made by magicians
Math and Gwydion to be the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes.She and her lover
Gronw Pebr attempted, unsuccessfully, to murder Lleu. Gwydion turned
her into an owl as punishment.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

Garden Greeting

It’s still there
behind the splash
of sunlit curtains
freeing me from night’s
dark dream.

Even wayward grass
is rooted, jostles
for space with irises,
geraniums, alliums
and deep-cerise pinks.

Fruit of every seed
I’ve sprinkled
and every bulb
I’ve pressed
into the earth.

I amble along the path,
learn the colour-speak
of potted residents:
pansies, petunias,
bee-kissed marigolds.

There’s a breezy,
rose-scented wave
and murmurs of mock-orange
flowering after a decade
of solitary leaves.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

Now I’m Nearly Sixty Nine

I want to grow more poppies
like these that intoxicate
my garden and out-blaze
the sun; I’ll keep the seeds
when green wand are flowerless
and rake them into the soil
for next summer.

I’ll still remember playgrounds
of childhood and the scent
of lilac; my mouth will moisten
at the thought of home-grown
blackcurrants but I won’t
hanker to go back, sit on the grass
and blow dandelion clocks.

I’ll be busy growing poppies,
admiring petals of extravagant
scarlet silk that outlive sultry
afternoons and noisy outbursts
of evening rain: that sway
beneath a clear blue sky and cup
a day’s worth of light.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

You can connect with Sheila on Facebook.  A review of her chapbook will appear on this site on Thursday, July 11 along with an interview and a sampling of poems.


A Beach Poem

Follow the thin line
Between the water and the land,
Between the sky and the earth.
Follow it until you see the horizon
That lured your ancestors
To explore the thin line in search of a better life
All the way, from Africa to South America,
All the way, from Africa to Australia,
All the way from Africa to …
…love?
…compassion?
…wars?
….atrocities?
…humanity.
Humanity is a thin line
At the whim of the moody Moon
That buries it under the high tide
Or bares it by pulling the waters back.
Follow the thin line.
Keep your eyes on the horizon.

© 2019, Elena Lacy

Elena’s site is Hyperimage’s Blog


.323.

.323. the walk.
do you like the feeling, walking ahead quickly, moving forward, loosening limbs. pushing

through wind, through water, rain slanting. shouting, counting the rams, shadowing

shepherd. wee mouse on the path, beady eyed. these are the hopeful days, weak sun

aching

3.

down the back lane there are puddles, huge amounts of water fell, flooded the abbey ruins. branches blown , creaking twigs while rain stays off a while. she is a new walking partner, quite fast, no bother.

lean on the fence to look over a steep drop to the river

tears well as we speak of it openly

4.

to break the cut a pheasant comes comely all collars & spectacles walks sedately to the edge, leans forward, ambles down.

the walk.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

envy the rural living.

make some.

walk the dunes
each day,
know the places,
to stop,
where berries grow.

where the photograph tree
knows,
what lays beneath.

look at each gentle place,
to keep in a pocket
of love,for that rainy
day, you do not go.

then in mine, in honour
walk the place in mind.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..the hare..

have you ever gone back,
that repeat journey,
watching swallows dip
as if they had never been away.

staggering the stones
you may find god in
water falling.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Think, Wait, Fast

I come to the pocket-sized beach
In winter only
No longer liking to be close to strangers
Alone, dreaming in Green Key Park
In the Gulf of Mexico dawn
I sit on the sand, drinking
Drive-through black coffee
Comforts more than stimulates
Birds, palms, sunrise on the Gulf
I pretend it is the sea
Here, it is warm like a bathtub
But not quite placid
Some tidal action
A bit of wave hiking up to the shoreline
Sand and negative ions
Water and fiery sun
Elemental balance
Aligning my body and soul
Entwined with Nature’s rhythm
I go inward more and more each year
Feel like Hesse’s Siddhartha on the river
He, like me, can think, can wait, can fast
Well, fasting, ok, not quite there yet
But able to do the rest
Because the inner life is best…

© 2019, 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.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale Press,Metho/BlogThe Compass Rose and California Woman.

I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. I’ve been featured on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, several times as Second Light Live featured poet, on Belfast Radio and elsewhere.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or comissions.


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


“I Cannot See My Face”. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“All of a sudden I didn’t fit in anywhere. Not at school, not at home…and every time I turned around, another person I’d known forever felt like a stranger to me. Even I felt like a stranger to me.”  Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped



There probably isn’t anyone on earth who hasn’t felt like an outsider. Sometimes the feeling is from day one and chronic. Sometimes it’s an isolated moment. This all too common experience is well captured today by poets mm brazfield, Paul Brooks, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pangelov, and Mike Stone as well as Elaina Lacy and Pali Raj, new to our community and warmly welcome. Here are their responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Sojourner and Stranger, June 26.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


Once

Once, as a girl, I met grass and sky on my way.
Since then, with each year, I’m longing to come closer
To their fresh smell and enveloping vastness.
There’s a thin border of questions between us
About undercurrents and the wind,
About the things I only feel
They come to me in strangest shapes
How can I recognize them.
Will they recognize me?

© 2019, Elena Lacy

Elena Lacy

ELENA LACY My journey started in Estonia, continued in Russia, then Israel and, so far, I live in Kansas, USA. My interests are largely shaped by the people I meet on my way. The interest in poetry was mostly evoked by Michael Dickel (Dekel) whom I met a decade ago in Jerusalem and since then we are keeping a connection.  I’ve worked as a university professor, a tour guide, an interpreter. Currently, I am a neurodiagnostic technologist at one of the hospitals in Kansas City. Who knows what is coming next? But I am looking forward to that. 🙂  You can catch  up with her on Facebook.


Infiltrate

Much he tried. He kept his eyes, “May be that time is coming soon”
Brown grass. Dry lips.
She knew what he meant when
he said *refugee*
I watched a smile.
Sojourner and stranger, a poem make to next trip.
INFILTRATE
Much he tried. He kept his eyes:
Border wall ….yeah
One thing, that (he) would never hurt.

© 2019, Pali Raj

I have been to summer before
I can think of winter special
but when someone says
Come spring, a poem make to silence me.
Flaming red, Emerald green
Sort of things
I have been to summer before
I can think of winter special
but when someone says
Come spring, a poem make to silence me ….yeah
How do you know about me?
A SUDDEN CHILL BLANKETING MY SKIN
How do you know about me?

© 2019, Pali Raj

PALI RAJ lives in Patna, India and has a passion for the arts. You can catch up with him on Facebook


Aaron

when our palms met
that balmy Chinatown night
a little lost canary
from the corner pet shop
sang a melancholic cord
switching his little face
from right to left
he looked at me
and flew away
i had fallen in love
the kind of love
that makes you scrutinize
your breath your weight and even your thoughts
the kind where
you leave your beloved
friends pets and dishes
behind just to think about him
the kind of love
that makes you check your phone
fifty times at two in the morning
you know the kind you lose
your soul to in the encasing darkness
and nothing feels the same
distilled death and i churn my spirit
but you danced with me
for a few years
you are no longer Aaron
i am no longer me
i don’t recognize my smile
its erased forever in your cusp
my heart has melted away in your hypocrisy
my common sense buried under your peach tree
and Aaron he no longer lives here
and i don’t recognize
the song of the canary anymore

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Beside Yourself

If you could be beside yourself,
grab the ectoplasmic umbilical
and emerge as a space cadet
on the seat beside you,
appear as a stranger who sits
down, invades your space,

for whom you politely make space,
smile quickly and absorb
yourself in your phone,
a book, a tablet,
and pray the unknown

doesn’t speak to you,
then the realisation,
that all your hesitancy
movement, smile, absorption
has been sharply mirrored

by them and you ask yourself,
are they taking the piss,
are they the one who stabbed
your wife, raped your children,
set fire to your home and sat
on the wall outside to see it burn?

And see a cord between both of you,
and wonder if you touch it,
would it get their unwanted attention.
How could you cut it and have done
with this uncalled-for connection?
And wish you still had the knife.

From Paul’s chapbook The Spermbot Blues (OpPress, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Our Massacre

Always portray the killer as deranged,
abnormal, an aberration of society.

Their actions are not those of us
ordinary decent folk, though we arm

ourselves to the teeth with the same
firepower we are reasonable.

Their geography is not ours. We must
distance ourselves. This person

is not an old friend, a neighbour.
They are a stranger who acts

strangely. We must stress, though often
this behaviour is rare, an anomaly.

We do not know this person
who kills our friends and neighbours.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Strangers And Pilgrims On The

earth. My first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim. I’ll not relent,

each breath a step, an oar in watery graves
pushes against the unremembered waves

“How can you go abroad fighting for strangers?”
I am a thankful passenger.
I see the bright and hollow sky
I ride the how, what, where and why

to reach the final breath, final shore,
Nothing new here, stolen words restore

ancient thought and image, rearrange
the mundane to confront raw rage,

at the lights lit on the headland brighter
with each exhalation my body lighter

as the last place we embarked
gets darker and darker and darker.

From Paul“s Port Of Souls collection (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Insecurity Is Life

Taught how to spam, phish and hack at school.
Make sure your private details are sold on

to companies you’ve never heard of. Take money
from strangers accounts as they take cash from yours.

Privacy is a crime. Troll other’s social media
as they troll yours. Locking doors and windows

is forbidden. Transparency is paramount.
Let strangers use your home, car and food

as you use theirs. This is a life of trust,
but accidents happen and your life maybe broken.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

How Much

time has it been?
Has it been
so much time?

I have left me.
No, he has left me.
No, they have left me.

I’m single, aren’t I?
I feel I’m single.
Are you here
for a date?

Are we staying long?
Do I have a room?
This is my house.
Is this my house?

I recognise that furniture.
It’s mine. Have we just
moved in ? Why do you
make me confused?

Forty two years
and now he’s left me.
Twenty six years
we’ve lived here.

I thought we’d just
moved in. I don’t
want strangers
in my house.

Eyeing up my furniture.
Carers are strangers.
I don’t know who
everyone is.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Fact Losing

mission.

Somebody sent me out
to collect something somehow
somewhere.

over a rainbow. I stand
in a street I knew once
I am sure. It is familiar.
I can’t understand why.

A list of things is on a piece of paper.
It certainly is my piece of paper.
No one else is holding it.

The hand writing is unfamiliar.
Somebody wrote this.
I want to ask passers by,
but I do not know them.

They are strangers, even more
than the writing on the paper.

I want to cry.
I don’t feel safe.
Where is safe?

© 2019, Paul Brookes

My Strangers

are friends who haven’t been estranged yet.

All my mates are strangers.
I keep them at a distance.

Chat to them in third person.
Internet on my mobile tells me

when I’ve to give them best wishes
for a special occasion like anniversaries.

They inspire closeness and loyalty.
I can trust them.

They know me.
What I eat, sup.

laugh at.
Strangers are more intimate than friends.

From Paul’s chapbook A World Where (Nixes Mate Press, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes

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


Once Again…

once again a cold mist surrounds ,
once again quietude deafens the
senses, how soon the wheel comes
full circle, how soon music is silenced-

where have all the musicians gone?

so many walked the garden paths,smiled
at colored fragrances, but once, wheeled
past the rows of pansies,frail they looked
but happy, placed in the soil, enriched,

where have all the gardeners gone?

with all alike, the daffodils and carnations
all green stemmed, all in a row,all trees
brown and green all a dense shady forest
all grass a velvet blanket ,spread for rest

where have all the green forests gone?

all clouds grey dark thick soft and white,
all carry water,drop raindrops, shade,change
shapes,all birds fly and nest,all nightingales
sing, all distances vanish with friendship and love

where have all the happy birds gone ?

migrations immigrations borders barriers
bayonets bullets boundaries blasts
protests partitions partings patrols pellets
separated segregated sold sunk swept

where have all the good promises gone?

once again I a stranger, in time, in silence
no bell rings, no more will it, so I need not
wait nor hope nor smile,distances do return
they are ever present,only the sojourn ends-

where have all the peace makers gone?

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

The World Is a Foreign State

All the world is a foreign state
hate growing at a faster rate
reasons unknown, unshared
unexplained or is it just fate

I, a stranger to myself, more
today, passing a routine sojourn
in moonlight while it stays, am
not surprised nor feel betrayed,

unseen unknown stranger still
are relationships, travelers are
companions momentary, smile
go, each to his own destination

what respect is shown what love
expressed in soul and spirit stays
invisible, unfelt, vanishes in a void
silently as it reaches, soul’s inlays

Foreign is the birthplace unknown
enemy occupied, singled out in a
class of younger age, in a college
of a different faith,segregated

alienated in culture caste and
creed, better it is to be romantic,
turn to nature in a forest, be the
ever green tree, gifting fruit in

return for stones, shades cool
protect weak bones comfort
hug sing and cover, listen
assure never to desert or fool

All the world is a foreign land
All people living like strangers
All here for a purpose, a duty
All life a brief stay,a short sojourn

© 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 Cannot See My Face

Whenever I enter a place
My insides search to belong
I cannot see my face

Can I take up this space?
There’s times that I’ve been wrong
And need to leave a place

Those times I’ve felt displaced
An unwanted tagalong
I paste a smile on my face

I try to handle it with grace
So the discomfort won’t prolong
When I need to stay at a place

But why can’t you embrace
The me inside that’s strong
Can you look beyond my face?

I will not be erased
I’m not one of the throng
I cannot leave this place
I cannot change my face

© 2019, Irma Do

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


You brought me in hard
distancing me from the
start a cold memory

You brought me in hard
A child left alone
Crying for its mother,

You brought me in hard
I was yellow, black haired
You turned me away

You brought me in hard
No loving touches, no soft
murmuring moments.

You brought me in hard
I forever seek comfort
warily afraid.

Soon there were only cries
at night unanswered
disguised by a starlight
serenade from a radio
Rhapsody soothing my blues
Bethoven’s 5th
Op.67:1. Allegro con brio
Ravel: Pavanne for an infant
Defunte
absorbing the lesson
unintentionally taught
engraved in memory

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Jen’s sites are:


::other fridays::

are good here, while some are not.

not here or other places. we

listen to the news and wonder

at all the things that happen.

we wonder why, and why, and why

repeated.

yet no one answers with a comment

or a hash tag.

reacting seems to be a new thing

now.

the bear sleeps, while we do

not.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

#rr

it is with difficulty i write this.

the bear was correct, yet he

is not the only one in the village.

i met another yesterday.

it is with difficulty as the keyboards

stick, while others have no empathy

how deep it goes.

many have drowned, drowned

dead.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: another country::

we came from another country,

have another accent.

we spent quite a lot

of money, the card

worked.

we all wear socks.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


The Sixth Hour

Matthew 27:45-50 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

He opened the door and walked in
in the familiar room.
Stranger.
Talking to him is meaningless.
He has no words.
There are only eyes.

Or flights.

You will not understand it.

The sixth hour has come.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov

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


The Service Revolver

Raanana, May 22, 2009

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

© 2009, Mike Stone

Bookstore

Raanana, May 30, 2015

So this book walks into a store.
It’s dark inside after the bright sunlight of outdoors.
There are shelves upon shelves of books,
Their backs facing him impermeably.
He spots The Great Gatsby chatting up
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
In a particularly umbrous corner
And moves on into the darkness.
A thin volume sitting by herself
Catches his attention.
He sits down next to her unobtrusively,
Trying to be a fait accompli
Before the fait has been accompli.
He looks at her more than just a glance.
Haven’t I read you before, he ventures.
I wouldn’t think so, she closes his book on him.
Why wouldn’t you think so?
Because books don’t read other books, she says.
Only humans do.
Have you been read by humans? he asks.
Yes, actually, by quite a few, she answers smugly.
I’m sorry for not recognizing you,
He says softly after a while.
May I ask your name?
I’m the unabridged journals of sylvia plath, she says,
But you may call me unabridged.
I’d prefer to call you Sylvia if you don’t mind.
Haven’t you heard of me?
Almost everyone who’s anyone has.
Well, no.
Books can’t read, remember?
So you don’t know my story? she asks.
It ended in a scrumptious but silly suicide.
Don’t feel bad, she consoles him.
I guess I only know my own story, he says sadly.
They both are quiet,
Absorbing the ambiance of the musty old bookstore
For a long time.
So what’s your name, she asks brightly.
I’m The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone,
But you can call me Mike, he says.
I’d rather call you uncollected,
She says with a deficit of attention.
There is another long silence
That roars rather deafeningly.
After a while he suggests
It is getting terribly stuffy here.
Why don’t we go out into the sunlight?
She says you go ahead,
I’ll join you in just a moment.
He gets up and walks to the door,
Opens it and steps out
Into the fresh air.
He looks around him
At the shiver of tree leaves
In the thin breeze
Hopefully
Somewhat.
Time passes
As it is wont to do
But no Sylvia.
He opens the door,
Walks once more into the darkness,
And finds the thin volume of her,
Another volume beside her now,
The Great Gatsby, he thinks.
He walks outside
Once more into the sunlight
Crosses the street
Into the small garden
Made quiet by the wrought iron
Fence and gate bounding it.
He sits down on a bench
Facing the tree he had noticed
Just outside the bookstore
For the longest time
Until a young girl
Freckle-faced, he thinks,
Sits down beside him
And picks him up,
Amazed at her good luck.

© 2015, Mike Stone

Memories of Strangers

Raanana, October 19, 2013

Autumn crisp as crackling leaves
Slakes the thirst of summer with its rains.
Clouds portentous in their dreaming
And the tangy sweetness of green-skinned clementines.

The streets and sidewalks beside the coffee houses
Are washed and the posters on the kiosks are cleansed
The bitter coffee in the smudged glass
Slows scalding the fingers and the lips.

You sit two tables away from me
Reading a dog-eared book of poetry.
You look up, I look away,
And are unaware you are in my poem.

You will remember the first day of autumn
And I’ll remember you.

© 2013, Mike Stone

The Ticket

Raanana, November 19, 2017

Do you know what kills me,
What really kills me?
All that beauty in this world,
That shocking totally unexpected beauty
One right after the other
Everywhere you look
Even when you’re not looking
Morning afternoon and night
Right next to you and far as you can see,
You just want to stand near it
Feel its warmth, hear its loveliness
Touch it just barely, hold it hard and long
Smell its sweet pungence, taste its tang,
But you can’t because you don’t speak its language
And you don’t have the coin to buy a ticket
To pass through that gate.

© 2017, Mike Stone

Captive Audience

Raanana, December 21, 2016

I watch you through the cage bars,
Stupid creatures pointing, throwing popcorn,
Pulling faces and taunting
From distances you think are safe,
If you think at all.
We are a captive audience,
I am the captive
And you are the audience,
But sometimes I imagine
I am also the audience.
At night after the Parc Zoologique de Paris is closed,
My imagination slips through the bars,
Floods over the iron entrance gate,
Walks through the empty Avenue Daumesnil
To the Rue de Seine and looks through
The windows of the Alcazar
Where you sit daintily cutting a slice of meat
With your little finger poised heavenward
Your teeth too dull and weak to tear the flesh apart.
No wonder you’re afraid of me –
You know my spirit can’t be caged.
Only one of you imagines me
Walking in your empty streets at night
And he sits alone at a small table
By the smudged glass window
With a pen and dog-eared notebook,
Only he imagines me uncaged.
Toward dawn I tire of you and your empty streets.
I slip back over the iron gates
Through the bars and close myself
In the dreamless sleep of tigers burning bright.

© 2016, Mike Stone

Every Man Is an Island

Raanana, May 28, 2016

Alas the words of Donne
No man is an island
His words are done.
No longer breathed or thought
For every man is an island
Universe whose stars spiral
Slowly without purpose
Nobody served by them
With a gravity that keeps meaning
The knell of our tolling bell
From crossing its horizons.

© 2016, Mike Stone

A Delicate Balance

Raanana, April 18, 2019

I open the window beside my desk
To let in the breeze and children’s noise.
I take a sip of bitter coffee, cold already.
The dog comes in, as always,
And rubs black jowls against the bedspread.
There is a certain music loneliness makes
That gives rise to the thought that
Being alone is a delicate balance
Between solitude and loneliness,
The one, a turning inward,
To let the soul guide one’s hand,
To hear the Muse’s whispered words;
The other, an inability to turn outward,
To touch or be touched,
A hell we call forlorn,
A death in life
That beckons Death’s enfolding.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, just out last month I believe. It contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did.  Recommended. / J.D.

MIKE STONE’S AMAZON PAGE IS HERE.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poemsLevure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)
* The Damask Rose Garden, In a Woman’s Voice

A mostly bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove,I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a vitual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor.


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