Prizes celebrating poets published in “The Poetry Review” and “Poetry News”; Mary Jean Chan on A Tapestry of Narratives: Conversations Through Poetry

“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel



The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize Winner: Mary Jean Chan

Mary Jean Chan (b. 1990) was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is the author of A Hurry of English (ignition, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and Flèche (Faber, 2019 – forthcoming), her debut full-length collection, which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She won second prize in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and has been shortlisted in the Forward Prize Best Single Poem category twice. A Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University, she lives in London.

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this thoughtful presentation, A Tapestry of Nrratives: Conversations Through Poetry, by Mary Jean Chan.

The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize Judge: Paul Farley

Paul Farley is a British poet, writer and broadcaster. He is the author of four collections of poetry. His fifth, The Mizzy, is published by Picador this autumn.

Hamish Canham Prize Winner: Carole Bromley

Carole Bromley’s pamphlets (Unscheduled Halt and Skylight) and her three books (A Guided Tour of the Ice House, The Stonegate Devil and Blast Off!) are published by Smith / Doorstop. She is currently working on a second children’s book and a pamphlet about her recent experience of brain surgery. She lives in York.

The Hamish Canham Prize

The annual prize for the best members’ poem in Poetry News was established in 2004 by Sheena and Hugh Canham, in memory of their son, Hamish Canham (1962-2003), who was a gifted child psychotherapist with a passionate interest in, and love of, poetry. Former winners include Ian Humphreys, Duncan Chambers, Robin Houghton, Suzanna Fitzpatrick, Martin Figura and Denise Bennett.

Poetry News

Poetry News, published quarterly, is the members’ newspaper of The Poetry Society. In each issue, a professional poet sets a theme of his or her choice to which Poetry Society members respond. The judge selects six poems for publication in Poetry News. These poets are then eligible to be considered for the Hamish Canham Prize, which is awarded annually and presented by the Poetry Society on behalf of the Canham family.

The Poetry Society

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote a “more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”. Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, the Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages. It publishes the magazine The Poetry Review, runs the National Poetry Competition, the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

This post is courtesy of The Poetry Society, The Poetry News, and TED.


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

Five U.S. Teens Selected to Serve as National Student Poets

Five high school students from across the country have been chosen from among thousands of award-winning poets to serve for a year as National Student Poets, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work.


The National Student Poets Program (NSPP) is a partnership of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which presents the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nearly century-old program known for its recognition and celebration of the country’s most creative teens.

Representing five geographical regions of the nation, the 2019 National Student Poets are:

  1. Christian Butterfield (Southeast), a junior at Bowling Green High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky
  2. Julie Dawkins (Southwest), a junior at Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Oklahoma
  3. Taylor Fang (West), a junior at Logan High School in Logan, Utah
  4. Salma Mohammad (Midwest), a junior at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Indiana
  5. Alondra Uribe (Northeast), a junior at Theatre Arts Production Company School in The Bronx, New York

The National Student Poets were selected from students in grades 10-11 who submitted more than 20,000 works in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and received top honors in poetry. From this pool of National Medal recipients, 35 semi-finalists are identified as the most gifted young poets in their regions, based on their originality, technical skills, and personal voice, and were invited to submit additional poetry and performance videos to distinguished jurors for the final selection of the five National Student Poets.

The Student Poets will be appointed by the Director of IMLS, Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, on July 17, 2019 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will feature remarks by critically-acclaimed poet Joy Harjo, as well as a performance by nearly two dozen young NSPP alumni. A livestream and recording of the ceremony will be available on the IMLS website.

Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew said, “IMLS congratulates these five talented students, whose works meld the arts, sciences, and humanities and highlight the many narratives and questions that help shape our lives. During their upcoming year of service as poetry ambassadors they will reach communities within shared spaces such as museums, local libraries, and schools.”

Throughout the year, the Poets will serve as literary ambassadors and will share their passion for poetry, literacy, and the literary arts with their communities and at libraries and museums throughout their regions. This will be done through service projects, workshops, and public readings. In addition, each poet will receive a $5,000 academic award.

All student submissions in consideration for the National Student Poets Program are judged by literary luminaries and leaders in education and the arts based on exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise.

Regarding the Class of 2019, Christopher Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers commented, “The Alliance is proud to celebrate these remarkable young poets and to amplify their voices at museums, libraries and schools throughout the coming year. It has always been our mission to support the creative expression of students and provide opportunities for young artists to build on their crafts and share their talents with their communities. We are confident in these five exceptional poets’ ability to elevate the medium and engage others through poetry, and are excited to see all that they accomplish.”

The National Student Poets Program has showcased the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success for audiences across the country since its inception in 2011. The 35 National Student Poets have participated in community service projects, visiting more than one hundred cities, performing at more than eighty national poetry events, and mentoring hundreds of future poets. The Poets have traveled to libraries, museums, youth centers, reservations, and hospitals, and worked with military-connected youth, rural youth, and special-needs children. They have performed their work numerous times at Lincoln Center and the White House.

“Being able to learn from my fellow National Student Poets has given me some of the most powerful moments of my life,” said alumni Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, Class of 2018 National Student Poet. “Poetry teaches connection, and NSPP connects you with the world.”

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

This post is courtesy of the following organizations:

The National Student Poets Program—a collaboration of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers—strives to inspire other young people to achieve excellence in their own creative endeavors and promote the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success. The program links the National Student Poets with audiences and neighborhood resources such as museums and libraries, and other community-anchor institutions and builds upon the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers’ long-standing work with educators and creative teens through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. More information on the NSPP can be found at .

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Its vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious initiative of its kind, having fostered the creativity and development of millions of young people through opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. During the past six years alone, students have submitted well over a million works of art and writing, and the program has provided more than $30 million in scholarships and awards for top participants.


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



“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)

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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.”