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

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



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

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

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

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


need’ll

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

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

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

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

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


Hashish

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

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

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

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

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

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

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes


Unreal Wombwell,

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

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

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


To Let the Sunshine In

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

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


My Husband’s Affair with Ms. C

I know he doesn’t mean it

When he goes to you instead

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

Will you know him ‘til he’s dead?

I smell your perfume in his shirt

At the end of every day

I know he spends more time with you

Yet there is nothing I can say

Wordlessly I watch and wait

While his lungs turn goopy and burn

My love for him isn’t strong enough

He chose you and I lose my turn

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

c Irma Do

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

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

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

© 2018, Irma Do


Relapse

Again I hear

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

Again I hear

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

Again I hear

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

Again I hear

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

Again I hear

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

Again I hear

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

Again I hear

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

Again I hear

Accept the things I cannot change
And yet

I have again.

Relapse.

© 2018, Deb y Felio

Basic Education

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

cereal dredged
from box bottoms
cracker crumbs
breakfast to go

darkened room
fuzzy cartoons
clothes in piles
and under chairs

stepping over
bottles and butts
spoons and powder
and stepping out

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

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

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

“Makir, you’re late, again.”

© 2018, Deb y Felio


..fine lines..

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

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

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

for many times will you be tested.

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

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

#valium

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

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


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

c Anjum Wasim Dar

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

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

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

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

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

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

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

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

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


ABOUT

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

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

“Transformation” … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina



A thought provoking response – and rather wide-ranging in terms of focus and perspective – to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Our Evolving, August 15.  Enjoy! this collection courtesy of newcomer (Brava! and Welcome!) Susan St.Pierre and of Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Irma, Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Carol Mikoda

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

Read on and be with us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.



Knots of Time

Believe.
Evolution insists upon changes
Physically rearranges
All but our memories,
Experience.
Random threads of finite days
Weave one single maze
A sui generis emerges,

UnBreAkaBle.

© 2018, Susan St.Pierre (Silly Frog Susan)

Susan St.Pierre

“I’m a ‘nearly’ retired family day care provider. I have invited (often 6) children into my home 5 days a week for approximately 10 hours a day since 1975. It’s been the most enlightening, humbling, and messy experience!

“Meanwhile, my husband and I raised two children and have gained two granddaughters. I have two blogs, which I’ve neglected for a few years, but this Fall will open up my day for much more “me” time. Hopefully, that will include writing time. Besides finding the company of kids and pets inspiring, I also enjoy Nature, painting, drawing and reading. I don’t know how well I’ll do in moments of quiet, though. My best work has always been accomplished among clutter and chaos!”


Evolving Door

In goes a lungfish
And out comes an outcome.
Pop go the measles
And wipe out a tribe.

Lenny heard Zug Nicht
And wandered about some.
Thundering Diesels
Suggest we imbibe.

In goes a notion
And out comes an essay.
Guidelines and labels
Give sojourning ease.

Spit in the ocean
And spite minks and sables.
Laissez-faire less, eh.
And conquer displease.

Tuppence for pleasantries;
Cheese-whizzed parcheesi
Challenges wellsprung
Make Autumn to mold.

If you’re uneasy,
Dear Reader, nor well hung,
Take ye some evolvement
Out doorways to freedom
And bed and break strictures
To push through the membrane;
Grow pairs not of testes
But peregrine wings.

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


From…

evercrash of waves put me
on the untouched shore

I crawl because i don’t know
how to walk this grain.
Now I would say tumbled waves

are fletched like an arrow constantly
turned to ensure its flight straight
and unencumbered by splinters.

Later I staunch blood, remember
the now of the sun then, too bright,
too warm in this comfort blanket.

Now I would say I was slippery
as bladderwrack or between thighs
of a woman heated by want,

and hungry but not for food.
I leave it to the ocean
behind me that flickers

with sounds some of which
i understand but the waters
less and less drag me back,

push me to drygrain land.
I must find leafshelter
in the arms of mothered soil,

in the limbs of the trees,
beneath the coddling leaves,
a fallen tree stump helps

me stand. I break a branch
test it does not break with my weight.
I stand free of the stump. Upright.

Now I would say my skin
lost its sheen, became sticky
as the green blood of plants
that trap food with their leaves.

from The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017)

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

To…

upright, you can see further,
and in the sand prints
of your own feet, and others,
smaller, differently shaped,

Now you would say these are scratches
on pages, distinct signs in a forest,
or plain, each holds itself a tell, a map,
of sense and season and root.

smooth your hand over gnarled
stick of then that supports your weight
when you stride forward to follow
the beckoning of others tracks,

inhale the freshness from the waves,
that tastes salty to your tongue,
the sweetness from the inland trees,
and smaller flimsy coloured leaves,

and a bitterness, a stink gets stronger,
as you trace the tracks other
than your own go inland, broken
leaves. How many feet does it have?

Now accused of techno anomie
because you refuse others access to your senses,
your avatar still in the forest, on the plain,
walks without aid beside the everwaves .

from The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017)

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


Evidence Against Evolution

women dragged by the hair into the dank rock caverns of the cavemen

women uncounted in records of attendance when miracles performed

women operated on to remove bits of brain believed
to create trouble for men

women unacceptable as witnesses in man’s court

women condemned to death by superstitious men

But now
with more education, enlightenment, progress

women drugged, raped, silenced
– without ever being victims of hate crimes

women questioned and doubted in courts and media
– dismissed by sound bite hash tags and tweets

women humiliated for combining emotional expression
and intelligent thought

– the 1% used as proof glass ceiling is gone, when it is
only windexed

women condemned to death by superstitious men
– for shedding their own blood rather than another’s

Evolution?

Just finer tuned delusion.

© 2018 deb y felio

I Can Do It Myself

said the 2 year old to his mommy
and tripped on the untied shoelaces
falling to the ground and waited
for his mommy to pick him up,
dust him off, and set him right
so he could once again insist,
“I can do it myself!”

© 2018, Deb y Felio


Opposable Thumbs

It sets us apart from other animals

The ability to grasp objects and concepts

To finely manipulate tools and other people

With this simple communication

We can catch a ride or point the way back

We can say Winner or Loser

With a twist of the wrist

For complexity

We now use them like beaks

Pecking letters that make or break relationships

The more it gets used

The faster it gets

Bypassing the higher brain

Thinking only of the print it wants to leave behind

Mayhap, flattened against the button

Signaling the start of the end

Of evolution.

 

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


ON THE CUSP

A yacht sails in summer, northwards to the Pole.
A slush of gelatinous grey greets its bow
as it makes its ambivalent journey.
On Admiralty charts a woman replaces islands,
sketches new sandbars, reefs marked with buoys,
while their people are moving into legend.

Lines of footprints cover deserts; jackals, bones,
eyeballs. Driven from shelter to shelter, children
ailing and confused, half-filled ditches,
refuse tips: where will the unborn live as
their families take flight?

A gig
was once a party, an impromptu concert
in a corner pub, a mingle of music, sweat
and beers.A world of miasma now,
of beck and call for paupers’ pay, waiting
to be plucked like a lobster from a tank.

Yes, yes, the richest should have more,
more tax-breaks crammed into their maw
until they vomit gold, excrete jewels and mansions,
super yachts and private jets, smearing
earth and airwaves
with their self-obsessed banalities.
In shadowed lobbies, their hired hands work
on dispossession, the cutting of common bonds,
democracy just one more acquisition.

Anthropocene.
Swallowing the future
Is the corporate plan.

We know enough
To stop and turn and heal
Our poisoned planet.
Are we enough
To gather now together?

© 2018, Frank McMahon

FALSE LIGHT

The moon scatters the light it has stolen
out of vanity, cycling round us in
its futile effulgence. Earthworms harvest
the autumn’s leaves, enriching the crust, thin
below the dwindling branches where we sit
and watch the axes hew the trunk and slash.

© 2018, Frank McMahon


.head above water, a swimmers perspective.

Metaphorically, i have spent much of my life, keeping my head above water.

Dealing with life facts and disappointments, not forgetting the quiet times to help the work along

I lived on the coast, played by the sea

As a child, I floated gently until all became spongey. Now I swim head above water, up and down obsessively counting, hoping all will come clear..

Friends in water talk more, baring much, reflecting their clothing

I am drawn to water, my work reflective. Writing, swimming, painting, drawing.

I collect cuttings of people in water.

“a diary, a personal relationship with the landscape.

“Shoreline would be more an exploration of the concept….shorelines more related to actual examples…..how about that?

Shoreline…..an ever-changing interface……between 2 media…..2
worlds…..can be crossed in both directions, but only temporarily?……but
aren’t we only here because something had the courage to cross
permanently…..something emerging from the sea is such a powerful
image….turtles, ursula andress in dr. no, monsters from the deep…..and
why do we find it such an attractive place to be
xx salty”

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the query.

.winding wool is mindless

she said, well maybe madam,

yet look at the lovely machine,

all red and cream plastic, that

winds in a way we cannot do

by hand.

look at my work which evolves

while working this and thinking.

i folded her goods tidily, packed in a

nice paper bag, said nothing

except mere politeness and niceties.

then got on with winding.

mindfully.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. day six .

your eyes last night were wide, your body

smaller without the sleep, all that

worry and distress.

it will not end , just change and evolve.

sometimes it takes years, and then it is

never the same.

any more.

maybe you must go back to sleep

a while.

i will keep reading, tell you all

when you wake

#bear.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

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


Transformation

Systems call out for evolution,
for complexity, development, transformation,
a whole new suit
of cells, mutation of molecules
and microbes replacing themselves
at rapid rates, a constant reminder
that so much of myself
is not myself, but a cocktail party
of bacteria and viruses, which
sounds bad, very noisy gut,
but so efficient; they communicate,
even between different sorts.
Their differences do not
paralyze them. This human
language I am so proud of,
is clunky next to what happens,
the communication of organisms
and systems, inside me.
So many misunderstandings out here
among humans, while inside us,
networks are constantly lit up,
exchanging essential info, proteins
and amino acids, adjusting
and altering, individual evolutions,
on a daily basis, sometimes hourly.
I should listen more, learn something.
But mostly that’s just not how I roll.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda (At the Yellow Table, We are stardust: Change is What It’s All About)

ABOUT

Testimonials

Disclosure

Facebook

Twitter

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

“I Am Not My Dad” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot



Here are the oh-so-relatable poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, who are you, July 4, 2018.  Thank you to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Debbie Felio, Kakali Das Ghosh, bogan (Bodhizar Pangelov), Sonja Benskin Mesher and to newcomer Rob Bowes, who steps out of the closet as a poet soul and debutes here today.  Well done all. 

Contributor websites/blogs are added so that you may visit and get to know one another. I hope you do. Some don’t have sites but you can probably catch up with them on Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do join us tomorrow for the next The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: novice, emerging and pro. 


The Creation

The radiant Sun rises,
Former black, empty shadows,
Reformed. Full. Colourful.
Exploding, popping, intriguing –
Spellbinding to Everyone.
Myself, mystified, bewildered, bemused…As it
Transformed, singular to plural, a whole
Intertwining of emotions,
Heart to heart throbbing, pulsing, pounding
Throughout our minds, bodies and souls.

The portrait of perfection before me;
An artist (unique) skilled to create a
Masterpiece.
By the Hand of God you breathe
The sweet succulent scent of hope and desire,
Humble (curious) as the spring bee I am drawn
Naturally my starving eyes feast.

Feeling of uncertainty and disbelief evaporate as
Real fireworks of emotion form and take over –
Controlling and honing the skies of senses to One;
With which the Moon rises to
Shadows now revealed, open and completely aware.
Alongside the vast peace and utter calm

I stand, wholly joined with

Love, hand in hand, heart to heart with

You.

© 2018, rjbowes (The Bowes Blog, Thinking out loud. Be creative)

Rob & Laura Bowes

ROB BOWES tells us, “I am a farmer and agronomist. I manage farmers crops for them and work in the North East of England, UK. My Grandfather was a published author and lived for writing, travelling and taking photographs, all of which have inspired me to do the exact same. My notepad and camera come with me on all of my travels. My only downside is I never do anything with my photographs or writing so this is the first step in being more open and showing everyone what I’ve got. Hope you like my poem I’ve popped on your comments section, thank you.”


whodunit

i at six
questioned the baskin-robbins ice cream pricing.
they wanted ten cents
for a cone with one scoop,
twenty for a cone with two scoops,
thirty for one with three.
why would anyone buy the three-scooper
when they could get three ones at the same price
and get two extra sugar cones?

i at seventeen
kissed the most splendid creature in the universe.
that was most of my life ago.
only two times since
have i been that happy.
i at twenty-one
crossed the finish line
at the 1984 San Francisco marathon.
my friend waiting there
asked me how i felt.
with my first breath i said,
truthfully,
“i feel terrible!!”
with my second breath i said,
truthfully,
“i feel great!!!”

at thirty-five i saw
the top of my newborn’s head
bookended by my poor then wife’s skull-tightened flesh.

today at sixty-three
I feel accursed by congestion of the nose
and blessed by what the day
promises.

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


I Am Not My Dad

“I can’t cope with babies.”
says my Dad.

“Now you’re nine I can talk to you.”
He wants me to play board

or card games, or build
Airfix Golden Hind,

I’d rather read or draw.
He does not know

how to step into my shoes.
My two year old granddaughter

on my knee we sing nursery rhymes.
She makes me a cup of tea

with her wooden cups, saucers,
and teapot. I drink the tea,

munch on her wooden pizza,
toast and tomatoes.

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

Our Identity

is unnecessary. Don’t
haul around the weight
Of what you are.

I am not defined by my roles,
Husband, grandfather, son, brother.

I am not defined by my choices
Whether to help others or not.

I not classified, regulated, defined
In law, financial position or clump

of negative biases. I am not programmed
from birth to contribute.

I am not what I say I am not.

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

Trace back
through father’s asbestos boiler lungs
a glaziers eye,
a solicitors assistant’s discretion
a linen merchants fingers
a hotelier’s welcome
a linen merchants touch
a coal merchants aroma
a farmer’s tread

he walk towards me
short coated in sky blue
a waterman of the River Wytham

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


Self Search

I am not

myself

or the you

you were looking for.

parents with unfinished dreams

pour into new life

their old ones

friends looking for a place

to belong / to rest

seek you in their

desires

lovers needing love

to restore / affirm

embrace a possibility

without attaching

reality

I myself

only have myself

for moments

before transmuting

to another self

contained within

an aging, forgetting

mind and body

forgetting what it knew

where muscle

was held tight

and who

I was

supposed

to be

© 2018, Debbie Felio 


#Rejoinder Of The Mirror #

” Who am I? ”
Sprouting from my mother’s womb
I’m here to you ,
I belong to my parents like you ;
Is it enough for my identity ?

Then why I’m an escaped from hustle of all sounds ?
Then why I’m traversing a lonesome peak
Where the first ray of sun lights my heart ?

Then comes my child -part of my corpus ,
Entangling my all .

Time rotates -he finds out his own world ,
Then that query chases me asking-
“Who are you ?”

Approaching to a mirror my query goes ,
” Who am I ? ”
The mirror replies laughingly –
“you are the one with your own view-own judgement -own love -own passion and own perseverance .
You are not just a body evolving from genetic materials ,
Rather a heart -a spirit laid in the cluster of atoms
Of your own physique ;
Your footsteps on this earth
will fade with you ,
Just colors of your composition would subsist for ages . ” ;
But still I think ,
“Who am I ?”

© 2018, Kakali Das Ghosh


‘Head Above Water: A Swimmer’s Perspective’.

Metaphorically, i have spent much of my life, keeping my head above water.

Dealing with life facts and disappointments, not forgetting the quiet times to help the work along

I lived on the coast, played by the sea

As a child, I floated gently until all became spongey. Now I swim head above water, up and down obsessively counting, hoping all will come clear..

Friends in water talk more, baring much, reflecting their clothing

I am drawn to water, my work reflective. Writing, swimming, painting, drawing.

I collect cuttings of people in water.

“a diary, a personal relationship with the landscape.

“Shoreline would be more an exploration of the concept….shorelines more related to actual examples…..how about that?

Shoreline…..an ever-changing interface……between 2 media…..2
worlds…..can be crossed in both directions, but only temporarily?……but
aren’t we only here because something had the courage to cross
permanently…..something emerging from the sea is such a powerful
image….turtles, ursula andress in dr. no, monsters from the deep…..and
why do we find it such an attractive place to be
xx salty”

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. i am the pin .

:: a book of pins :: handwritten, copied in a day.

the drawing, the written page.

i am paint and cotton

i am pins and details

codes and reasons

calm and seasons.

i am boxes, charcoal,

fires and birds.

i am hand writing.

i am the old house,

all things considered.

i am the joker, the radio,

the music.

i am four dots.

i am the folded page,

the falling face.

i am the picture, the painting,

i am the mouse, the little bird,

a monstrous woman.

i am a word document, a picture file.

i am the pin.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


The Light Toy-Railway

The light toy-railway is traveling,
with the kids who aren’t anymore.

To Paris, to Brussels is traveling,
to the Black Africa too.
The light toy-railway is grieving,
for the fawn’s steps under Christmas tree,
for the luster in the eyes and
ah, for the toys.
For the Blue Bird, for the white photos,
for the hand that is putting the little star.
For the dream that’s coming true.

The light toy-railway is traveling.
Traveling.

© 2018, Bozhidar Pangelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


ABOUT

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

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

“After Reading How Poets Often Die …” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

 

c Jamie Dedes

 “Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”  Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook



Here are the diverse, thought-provoking and engaging responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, the transformation of things, June 27, 2018. As Debbie Felio said in comment to the post, “… sometimes transformation is not a beautiful process, but hard won” … and sometimes transformation doesn’t quite happen.

Thank you to Paul Brookes, Renee Espiru, Debbie Felio, Sheila Jacob, Carol Mikoda, Anne G. Myles, Marta Pombo Sallés, Sonja Benskin Mesher and to newcomers DeWitt Clinton (whose new collection will be out soon), Vageesh Dwivedi (a novice showing much promise), and Taman Tracy Moncur (an activist poet and Brooklyn girl like me, I suspect). The work of these poets certainly enriches the day for all of us.

Contributor websites/blogs are added so that you may visit and get to know one another. I hope you do. Some don’t have sites but you can probably catch up with them on Facebook.

Enjoy! … and do join us tomorrow for the next The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: novice, emerging and pro. 


After Reading How Poets Often Die, I Do Hesitate to Read
Ou Yang Hsiu’s “Reading the Poems of an Absent Friend”

Some old poet friends are not dead
Yet. One even lives exiled in far
Away Japan. Perhaps I’ll disappear
As I’m too old to be discovered
By any up and coming new
Lit clique. What part of friends
Stays in the sublime end of my
Old mind? Sometimes when I read
They’ve died I’d just as soon
Close the blinds and stay reclined.
Most all stayed up all night
Just to finish their new lines.
Now they’ve got their good books.
I do hate reading what they’ve
Spent their whole lives on
And I hate it that they’re gone.
Sometimes I have not written all
Year and when I do I know it’s
Nothing more than old oatmeal.
It’s incredible how long I’ve
Been drawn to this poetry life
And how often I can’t even
Find a word or two to make
Anew, and wonder, who turned
My brain into yummy worms?
Once I found an old Pole’s
Book of lines, left the day
For nothing else except to turn
More pages all the way to night.
I never am too keen to
Reread some old medieval
Gore but I could pick out
Any poem and think it’s
Something quite new. I wish
I knew what poets do.
Most men wouldn’t be caught
Dead writing with short lines
Would rather count the scores
Of grown men running plays.
I told my wife the other day
How long I’ve been devoted
To this quiet task of digging
Through what I already knew.
So if I could I’d just sit
Right here in our red room
And gaze outside to find
What brings such joy inside.
In fact I’d take my old dead
poet friends, and a few lines
made last night, catch the next
starry ride right out of here.

© 2018, DeWitt Clinton

DeWitt tells us, “This poem is one of 114 I’ve adapted from Kenneth Rexroth’s One Hundred Poems from the Chinese and the entire collection is forthcoming from Michael Dickel’s is a rose press.

DeWitt Clinton

DeWITT CLINTON is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, USA.   Recent poems of his have appeared in the Santa Fe Literary Review, Verse-Virtual, Peacock Journal, Ekphrastic Review, Diaphanous Press, Meta/Phor(e)Play, and The Arabesques Review.  He has a new collection forthcoming from Kelsay Books. He lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin.​


Again

With bewitching beauty you walked again,
And the years of temperance, was all in vain.

The whisper’s melody was still the same,
And the longing ears ,were in heaven to acclaim.

Neither tequila nor the weed,
Your addictive eyes quenched the need.

Pattern of your long braided hair was well acquainted,
As if the steps were learned yesterday,that my fingers repeated.

It felt like the time stood still,
Unpacking each and every dimensions of my will.

And then came into play, My futile fate,
Rushing wildly through my window, as if it was in haste.

The breeze was soothing ,but brought the pain,
And my only lifeline was disconnected again,
Still didn’t open my eyes, struggling to connect again…

© 2018, Vageesh Dwivedi (dwivedivageesh)

Vageesh Dwivedi

Vageesh writes, “Currently I’m doing B.tech from mechanical engineering. I like to write and express. I’m from Uttarpradesh, India.”


The Ultimate Transformation

Seniors captured by time
now prisoners in a body
no longer in sync with the mind…
A body transformed
through ages and stages
forming the persona that resides within…
That persona forever in search of new dominions
living out dreams and schemes
reaching heights of happiness
encompassed by depths of despair…

The body grows weary
eyesight becomes dim and bleary
days flee as hearing fades…
The bones no longer dancing
to the rhythm of the heart…
The bones captivated by a falling star
shoot through the galaxy
with a proclamation
announcing a new soul ready
for the ultimate transformation…

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur (Mercer Street Blues)

Tamam Tracy Moncur

TAMAM TRACY MONCUR says, “I enjoy writing. I write for the sheer pleasure of writing. Writing helps me organize my world and express what matters to me at any given moment in time. I’ve been a Civil Rights activist, taught elementary school for twenty-five years, worked with my husband, Grachan Moncur III arranging musical compositions and performing. In 2008 I self-published a book entitled Diary of an Inner City Teacher, a project that was very close to my heart. I am now a retired teacher, a community activist, and a seasoned senior who still loves to write.”


The Gift

A small dark shape on kitchen tile
Stared at by our cat,

Move closer, it is a sparrow bairn,
Chest balloons out as my sigh releases.

Scooped up, as I take it out to the garden
It stands on the scoop.

Over the fence our neighbour stands hunched
in dark tears “My mam won’t be coming out of hospital”

My breath caught.
The sparrow flies away.

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

a became a river

One day atta work,
a goes for a skinny dip
in a quiet stream
a knows

Unbeknownst to me stream
were a lad called Whitey or Gain
and he falls for us.

A flits naked from his wattas
an he changes into a fella
an chases atta us.

I ran until am cryin’
an shartin fo help

r boss covers me in a cloud,

but Whitey, waits watches
where ma wet footprints
disappear.

Am so afraid break art
in a cold sweat pouring
off of me a becomes a river.

Whitey changes to watta
an mingles wi us.

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

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

Lass Is Stone

Spunk sees Cruel lass from afar
gobsmacked by her looks
he gets smitten hard
and determines she’ll be hooked

Asks her mates for her mobile number,
and all her social media pages,
scours internet for details,
winds himself up in rages.

Gets his message through once
or twice but she mocks him
” Fancy me. You do right. I’m gorgeous”
and promptly blocks him.

Finds her home and knocks
and her Dad answers and says
“She don’t want to know, son.
Thinks your a stalker. Away!”

Writes his first letter and posts
it personally through her door,
it tells her she’s won and he’ll be gone
she can celebrate and more

she can see him lose his life
which is all he has left for her.
Cruel scoffs at this but goes along
for the crack and laughter.

She sees him throw a rope
already knotted around a beam
put his neck in the noose
and let out a scarifying scream.

Then she feels herself harden
stone thoughts
stone mouth
stone neck
stone chest
stone limbs
stone heart

calcified flesh and bone
a statue.

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

Biddy To A Young God

You have planted fresh
delight in these eyes
that sprout visions again
as when I was a young girl.

You have breathed
through my cold embers
and stroked warmth
into this thin skin.

My face has plumpness
and reddens
as your hands find flesh
for my angled skull.

My limbs no longer bare
begin to dress themselves
with buds and colour
for your lustful eyes.

Perhaps these changes
are only in your eyes,
and this puddle reflection
may be false, a false Spring.

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


The Usher

The wind bears no animosity
nor is it fickle
inherently

as appearances
are always in flux

though transformative it will be
ushering in both life
and death

for the Anemoi brings forth
all seasons
in turn

where one day the breadth of it
blows clear the darkest clouds

emanating life giving sun
sweet scented
flowers
erupting

the next morn could bring
a stillness of breath
pollution a miasma
of death

yet still always ushering in
tempests and squalls
a familiar to rain

leaving a swath of destruction
to change yet again
with the softest
of breezes

that seem to settle within
touching, reflecting
life’s gentle
rhythm

Anemoi the gods of wind
are the ushers of change
a transformative
jinn

© 2018, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight and Inspiration, Imagination & Creativity with Wings, Haibun, AR, Haiku & Haiga)


Once Upon a Time

Working with children is what I said I would do
Eight years of higher education said I was ready
Children from poverty, neglect, abuse
I’d create safety to help calm the unsteady

of their worlds where parents weren’t there –
out searching for something to calm their addictions
leaving the young ones abandoned and scared
easy to make that outcome prediction

I’ll work with the children and not the abusers –
the parents, their friends, whoever committed
these horrible acts – I am the accuser
and judge and jury – against them I’m pitted

’til I heard their stories of their own horror
and I realized abused children grow up
without anyone being their restorer
to sanity and filling their self worth cup

imitating was all they could know
trying to be different had no guide
resulting in return to the old ways, though
reassured them of something to hold on inside

so I’ll work with the children and just their families
but I can’t get involved in all the systems
that confuse and contribute their own brutalities
often retraumatizing rather than helping the victims

But who am I kidding when I say I will not
it’s all so related – system, child, family
there’s no way to separate it all out
that is what I’ve come to see

So whoever you are, whatever’s been done
I know there’s much to your history
No one has to go it alone
who can judge your journey – certainly not me.

© 2018, deb y felio


Fern

How would it feel
to be you, green
and generous fern,
spores wind-lifted
last winter, rehomed
in my garden’s earth?

In July’s humid heat
I hanker to slip
from my carapace,
shrink beside ribbons
of grass, mingle with
star-trails of ivy.

Would I sense
my uncoiling,
my spearing upward,
fanning outwards,
filling spaces
of air and light?

Would I hold
race-memory
in my spores, dream
ancient forests where
ferns swayed billions
of years ago,

grew tall, wide,
helped shape
the landscape?
Patterns repeating.
Images imprinting.
Fossils in rock.

Fern, you’ll outlive
my flesh and bone.
I high-five
your nearest frond.
Sun warms
your silent nod.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob

The Shell

Yours was the first corpse I’d seen
though I wince at the word: harsh,

impersonal, which in a way it was
when I stood in the Viewing Room

that midwinter morning, half-afraid
to kiss you, say a final goodbye.

I recognized you at once, pleased
they hadn’t lacquered drifts of white

hair, replaced pink pyjamas and cardi.
But your arctic face chilled my lip

and I knew if I knelt close, pressed
the curl of my ear against your breast

I’d hear no crash of waves trawling
the coral and driftwood of ninety years,

no echoes of a gushing, hushing ocean
scooping your sacred breath in its tide,

turning at the moon’s far rim where
your soul left its shell and took flight.

Published two years ago in Ben Barnyard’s webzine Clear Poetry

© 2016, Sheila Jacob


( transformation )

changes one.

transform metransform me too.jpg

transform me three

transform me four

transform me five

 

transformed

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. preparing the way .

 

check the task, ready the mind.

let thoughts mellow and compute

nicely.  we will be all ready on the day.

we have a plan, whilst gratitude guides

us. nothing is necessary, except

collars and socks.

some will understand,

while others will not.

it was a hay loft, converted

now, the upper room.

listen.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Constant Change

Everything you are made of begins
in a gigantic transition
as universe explodes into being
stardust becomes everything
transformation begets you,
your sister, your cat, the bees,
the tree, stones, water,
so: stop. Cease all striving.
Stop all struggle. Breathe: in, out,
like a butterfly coming and going,
to this flower, that flower.
Rest. Stay in this tender space. Before
you know it, without aid of will or anxiety,
you arrive in a new place
the right place, just the right
place. No harm will come to you
as your divine self
slides gently into that personalized
pocket on the overalls
of The Universe of Now.

Because what can we do but laugh?
Because what can we do but laugh?
Because what can we do?
Because what?
Because?
Be.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda (At the Yellow Table)


The Other World

At eighteen, I stepped into the other world,
the one that sounds fantastical but is not.
Drainage pond at the bottom of a hill on campus,
behind it a small straggle of winter woods,
beyond that, a path towards the sports fields.
Grass still green in the mild mid-Atlantic,
twiggy dried milkweed standing and fallen.
Plain as plain, just hidden, just waste.
An ordinary afternoon, and I felt surfeited with reading;
walking down the hill, I cast away my mind.
At the water’s edge I looked at the surface;
the water looked back at me. The world had eyes:
perceived me as I perceived it, all the same.
The bare treetops in the distance moved in my arms.
I felt the cawing of the crows that rose inside my chest.
But no crows there, no chest here, only that cawing,
that burning and empty annunciation
of how we too are the shine in the tufts of the cracked pods,
falling and lifted in the wind through everything.
All of this I could see, while I rubbed my eyes,
as if to dislodge a film that was not there.
This happened. I was a freshman, with no one to tell.
Why do we seek imagined worlds? We know nothing
of what is real, how wondrous and complete.

© 2018, Anne G. Myles (How public — like a Blog —)


I Danced the Night Ferociously

I danced the night ferociously
before I couldn’t learn to walk.
I heard all winds wanting to talk
but ignored them atrociously.

I cut them all with fearful sword
and showed my ridiculous mask
which was for me an easy task
blind as I was dancing aboard

a ship of horror to instill
my ugly laugh on anyone
who thought my doings were ill-done.
I laughed with my most perverse will

unaware of the coming change
that would lead to a transformation
to be expressed with great devotion
displaying a wonderful range

of what I could never suspect
but just love showing its beauty
colors dancing with their duty
to the rhythm of new effect

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

And so was the dance:

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

Afloat

Upon the highest cliff something awakes

Below is the turquoise-blue ocean glare

While the sun reflects on its silent waves

A butterfly rises up in thin air

My wings felt the warmth of a cloudless sky

I breathed the air and found pleasure, yet

My heart was afraid of flying too high

A sudden descent and I became wet

I saw myself sinking relentlessly

Into the depths of the darkest ocean

Radiant sun and blue faded callously

As I sank with vertiginous motion

A butterfly turned into a falling rock

Could I possibly change my destiny

Could I ever recover from this shock

Or stay in the dark, its immensity

Direful sinking, the dark blue around

Yet looking up, the sight of turquoise-blue

And sunrays despite a fall, that profound

Spoke of the anchors I could hold on to

My arms and legs started to swim upward

A rapid ascent as its previous fall

Reached the surface of the sea so awkward

And saw myself at peace as I recall

Across the ocean so confidently

I swam and could have even sailed a boat

Looked at the world with some complacency

The butterfly can fly, I am afloat

© 2016, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)



VALUE ADDED

Unlife, a voiced video from Paul Brookes’collection A World Where (2017, Nixes Mate Press).  Painting by Jenn Zed.

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


ABOUT

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

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

My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”