S/Heroes . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of  Evgeni Tcherkasski, Unsplash

“They’re heroes, you know, real heroes
Not the ones in capes and caps, No!
The ones in scrubs, masks, nursing clogs”
Jamie Dedes, Latter-day Heroes



All over the world the heroes are stepping up. They are the first responders, the medical professionals and their support people, the police and firefighters, those who deliver essential services and supplies, the people in maintenance and transportation, the pharmacists and the pharmacy clerks, those who work in suicide prevention centers and services for victims of domestic violence, and the list goes on. The heroes of our day and every day. This week our poets present a small collection but one filled with gratitude in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Latter-day Heroes, March 25.  Thanks to Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, and Nancy Ndeke. Be touched. Be inspired. And do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets.


These Heroes

Folk call me a hero
as am a keyworker in a food shop.

I am not.

NHS staff, folk in nursing homes,
those supplying food parcels

to those self isolated,
those entertaining online
children out of school.

These are my heroes.

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Cleaners

are unskilled

They wash away our dirt,

scrub our consciences,

cleanse the surfaces of what we do,

clean the remnants of our days,

polish the valuables of our streets.

Make the stains we make spotless,

unsoil the soiled

unstain the stained,

unsully the sullied,

unblemish the blemished,

make our world pristine, speckless,

dirt-free, hygienic, sanitary, disinfected,

sterilized, sterile,decontaminated, healthy

with the correct chemicals and appropriate tools,

deep clean the nooks and crannies of our lives.

Still we call these heroes unskilled.

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Paul’s site is The Wombwell Rainbow
Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
Paul’s Amazon Page U.K.
HERE

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


My Doctor

When thoughts come, to a still.
When the heart is overfilled,
When the mind is not at ease,
When you do not feel well,
And you cannot tell,what is wrong with you?

When there is pain
And your head aches
When you lie down
With a very long face,
When you want someone to sit near you;

To hold your hand
And to smile at you;
To take away your pain,
To make you well again;
To bring happiness, then after, here comes, The Doctor!

Fear goes away, and there is hope
When you feel the stethoscope,
So there is nothing quite wrong
“But, here is a mixture.
To make you strong.”

Such politeness and care
Is a quality so rare,
But it is there. And I must say
Though not from a bank
But from the depths of my heart

I owe, my doctor many a million thanks.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

“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


S/HEROS.

Like swat teams, they sleep on the ready,
Never asking why or how,
Hearts worn on the giving hands,
The most unlikely of places you find them giving ,
The most precarious of spaces you find their hands extended,
Working beyond the call of duty and convenience,
Putting one tired foot ahead of another spasming in numbness,
Men and women life has got dependent on,
Even as few among us ‘ only look to the self’
Time of the double digit year that rose with a cold and runs with the heat,
Unsung saints have crashed from the weight of humanitys needs,
Undocumented stretches of giving and then some more,
Going the extra mile on fumes and the indomitable spirit of humanity,
Men and women beyond professional duties riding the waves of disastrous contacts to save a life,
Human angels filling the emptiness of commercial shelves with basics upon a cold night,
Medics walking on slippery quarrantine quarters to offer hope of a lone sufferer,
What of that ambulance man who last slept last week?
And the nurse whoses duty goes beyond administration’s of bandages into a listening and reassuring voice?
What of the old man who goes shopping on your behalf because you can’t?
The bedridden mum of three calling to cheer you up as your nose runs red,
What of that ‘highway man’ without a home and now down with flu,
His best shot would have been a blue look but for that lady berieved recently,
Times and seasons have a rhythm and a tune all it’s it’s own,
For the hurricane of worry that COVID 19 has thrust amidst humanity,
One thing has come up for sure,
Man is capable of being a human being for sure,
Discarding old habits and biases to stand and be counted,
To help within means and beyond those most in need,
And as the world sighs deeply with the burden of sick and dying,
Heros rise every day to perform tasks that make all proud,
It’s to such deeds and acts of kindly giving,
That tells earth is habitat of man,
A hard-work of a loving deity,
Once lost but now found,
At a time when such heroism is indeed needed.
Names may be forgotten but not the acts,
Time will pass and this monster conquered,
But let the lessons forever stay,
That with love, nothing is too hard to gain,
And that we are strongest,
When we are a brother’s keeper.
S/HEROS everywhere,
May you never lack a supporting hand while you live.
Yours too, shall be tended by the seeds you tend today.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Jamie Dedes:

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

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Lost Gardeners, a poem by John Anstie; spotlight on the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Northern Summerhouse garden at the Lost Gardens of Heligan courtesy of Heinz-Dirk Luckhardt CC BY-SA 3.0

“This intoxicating mixture of history and place was powerful enough to compel me to write this in their memory.” John Anstie



There was such colour and bustle
where now reflective calm.

In the thunderbox room
nearby the melon yard
haunting echoes of silent voices

once green fingers that pressed
a trigger for King and country
gently call from an early grave,
who once scattered humus here.

They shed tears for weeds
that stained the fresh leaves
of Spring, unfolding, unseen

cold frames of mouth-blown glass,
warmed the summer fare
that meant so much to those
who dug one last trench

so many lost at such a cost
shovelling cold organic mud
to sow the seeds of future green
in very unmilitary drills

and who would say what
could have been had peace
been thoughtfully nurtured
like the fruits of this place.

Inundated by nature’s mission
their names forever bleeding
from these crumbling walls

so few in the flesh of then
left much in the earth of now.

Originally published on The BeZine blog. John is a member of the Zine core team.

© 2019 John Anstie

A visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, in the United Kingdom, revealed to me a very poignant story of its gardeners, 16 out of 22 of whom lost their lives in the First World War; of the gardens, which subsequently fell into ruin until the 1990’s when a descendant of the original owners set about restoring them to become one of the UK’s most popular botanical gardens. The scene is set around the ‘thunderbox’ room where they would carve the names in the walls as they sat and the very peaceful garden adjacent to it, where you can feel the history of this particular part of the gardens, which had almost completely succumbed to nature’s will. This intoxicating mixture of history and place was powerful enough to compel me to write this in their memory. / John Anstie



Jamie Dedes:

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

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Latter-Day Heroes, a poem . . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

standard intensive care unit (ICU) within a hospital courtesy of Norbert Kaiser under CC BY-SA 2.5 license

“The coronavirus pandemic is a world-changing event, like 9/11. There was a world before Covid-19. And there will be a world after Covid-19. But it won’t be the same.” Oliver Markus Malloy, What Fox News Doesn’t Want You To Know



They’re heroes, you know, real heroes
Not the ones in capes and caps, No!
The ones in scrubs, masks, nursing clogs
Daily on extended shifts, exhausted
As fate would have it, often succumbing
And when not, still the concerns for
Possible transmission to family, to friends
To strangers along their commute, and
“I worry for my parents,” says one
On his steadfast mission, another
Fears for her unborn child, six months
pregnant, with rounded tummy she works
For her patients, for colleagues, for the
Greater good, while a president sets
A precedent for lies, misinformation,
Stupidity, cruelty, self-absorption in the
Face of a nation in need of solidarity,
A peoples at risk, a worldwide community
In want of coordination and collaboration
They put him to shame, the heroes of
The pandemic, honoring their trust,
Donning their scrubs, masks, nursing clogs
Daily on extended shifts, committed
Compassionate, self-sacrificing, latter-day
Heroes of the human condition, heroes of
A world that will never be the same

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

Dedicated to all medical workers but especially to my own critical care and palliative care teams. 

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

This week, let us honor the heroes of the pandemic catastrophe. I have chosen to write a poem in gratitude for healthcare workers, but there are other heroes: the garbage collectors, the postal workers, the store clerks, the police and firefighters and first responders, the Meals-on-Wheels teams, and all the people who are sheltering in place. Which latter-day heroes do you want to honor? All are worthy. Let us know in your poem/s and . . .

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

PLEASE NOTE:

Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!

Deadline:  Monday, March 30 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


Jamie Dedes:

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

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

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

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

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

Photo courtesy of Mila Young

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

The Sun Is In Love With Me

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

© Jamie Dedes



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

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

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


sábado de manhã*

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

*Saturday Morning

© 2020, mm brazefield

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


Morning Turn

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

Listen to hum of preservers.
Two must be cleansed.

Tears sucked out,
waste removed.

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

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

A new order of the day.

From Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2019)

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Our Empty Shelves

This Saturday morning in the shop.

there is a glut of emptiness.

Labels advertise what is missing
Like headstones.

We wait on the delivery.
It is late today.

No Sugar, pasta, flour.

We apologise to customers,

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

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

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

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Her Fur Elise

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

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

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

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

© 2020, Paul Brookes

I Fry Me Chips

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

From As Folk Over Yonder (Afterworld Books, 2019)

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Rubato

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

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

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

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

© 2020, Paul Brookes

Paul’s site is The Wombwell Rainbow
Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
Paul’s Amazon Page U.K.
HERE

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


Such Were Some Saturdays

Saturday mornings
omelette jam tea breakfast
rest with peaceful sleep

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

much awaited day
to complete pending projects
watch classic movies.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

After Jamie Dedes

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:

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


Saturday

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

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.the day off work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


My Saturday Morning

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

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


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

© 2020, Miroslava Panayotova

Miroslava’s site is OKMSP


This Saturday Morning is Silent as a Dark Night

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

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

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

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

© 2020, Bishnu Charan Parida

Bishnu’s site is: Bishnu’s Universe


At Liberty to Loaf

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

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


Jamie Dedes:

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

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

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

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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