“The poet that was my father” and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Well, here we are: Tuesday! This brings us to this week’s poetic responses to last week’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, Philosopher’s Stone, September 20. The poems that follow give us an intimate and intense view of our regularly participating poets, either from the perspective of family connection, educational inspiration, or perspectives on art and philosophy.  Enjoy! 

… and do come out and exercise your poetic imagination tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome no matter where in the world you live, no matter your style or your status as a poet: amateur or professional, beginning, emerging or established. These prompts are theme based, not form based.  All works shared on theme will be posted in next Tuesday’s collection. You may share your poems – or even prose – or a link to your theme-based work in the comments section below.

.the bull box.

i read Glyn Hughes, some times.

sometimes, i look at the photograph,

and wonder how it was that last year;

think of

how you wrote to me, sent

me your book

with a private inscription.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

.norway square.

you said nothing is ever perfect, and

i remember this and why.

reciting, shouting, jumping on walls


you sent a book, along

with the money due.


© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)


how you live in my mind!
genius teacher of boys other than myself
(never in your class) so often floating past me
in your ungainly manner
during those severely wounded years
shortly after the period of reciprocal destruction
known peremptorily as World War Two

you had been caught (I have always imagined)
in a random machine gun volley
down some dark & horrible defile
stinking of blood & death
all in the same old idiot cause
returning after great suffering being pieced together
to Kingston Grammar School to amble disjointedly
along its corridors nick-named perhaps brutally
by previous generations of unkind boys to indicate
that they could hardly understand
a single word of yours whether spoken in fluent
Latin Greek Russian French or German
your command of which survived the wounds
of neck & face as well as arms & legs
and who knows what else now grave secrets

but once I heard you solo speaking loud & clear
in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto playing now
on the gramophone – and it’s not Rostropovich
but Gobbo as it might have been weeping for joy
at his survival in spite of all the suffering
this darkening evening in late autumn

© 2017, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All and Everything)

Colin writes: ‘Gobbo’ haunted me from 1948 to 1954 although I never spoke to him nor did he teach me. He was clearly an artist and a role model! 

J. Berger

It must have been a repeat
Must have been.

As “Ways Of Seeing” was on
when I was nine.

I made a choice
to look and listen.

To reciprocate.
I’d never thought looking
had a history.

A artist makes
a list of choices.

What you looked at
had a history.

An artist makes
a testimony.

How you saw
had a history.

A witness out of true
with my world now.

Learnt to look
from different perspectives.

Find the story
in the out of true.

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

“Bartholomew Street” after “Tempest Avenue” by Ian McMillan

Harold half way down collects wood
for his fire, leave it out front.

Leave out anything metal Gypsies at top have sharp eyes,

Stan, two doors down
wants his radiator gone.

Dave next door holds ladder
while I look at roof tiles

and shares homemade ale after.
Our roofers knew man who murdered

a man
at bottom.

I thought someone murdered
at top but our lass swears

he was only badly beaten
Old gent Tommy three doors down

quiet when his wife died last Summer
Put thumbs up when I cleared

his path of Snow last Winter.
Pear tree in back garden bagged

up by them all when ripe
as too much for our lass and me.

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

# Palping his verses #

Making up his abode in a distant land
Discerning the blue sea
He pierced beside me
Watery moonbeam playing on his visage
Vehicled abruptly his fervid miraculous fingers
Attiring a necklace of words
A mystic film
A palace of jade
I glowered at him except twinkling of my eyes
Surmising his authentic essence

Of a man a spirit or a god
Relating me his volition
to foozle me in his sea beside his mushy windy casuarina arbors
He left
Hurling his words into the blue bay
But nothing finaled
Albeit I recounter ,counsel
and -grope his lustre
Palping eyes of his verses
Savoring his left pages …

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh

The poet that was my father

Dedicated to Grisa Gherghei

The poet was my father
He read his poems to our family friends
And all were mesmerized by them
How wise, how deep, how entangled but also bold
In a time of dictatorship
The poet was my hero
Till one day when the feeble man crawl from under his own built effigie
Sad day for me
I became deaf to his words
And started writing my own lines
Lines on my own coin
The poet left
Vaporised in some blond vagina
Only then I have found that was his pattern
Sliding slowly from one black hole to the next vortex
Blond haired and with witchy eyes
The poet and me lost track from one another then
I remained with the one instilled by him in the cells of my soul
Later, decades later
The poet have raised again from his pit
He stands besides his trees
The trees that in one of his poems were craving to see a naked woman for they never been in paradise

© 2017, Iulia Gherghei (Sky Under Construction)


“The Waters of Life” and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Wonderful responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, August 30, your wise owl eyes. I’m delighted with these works from Kakali, Sonja, Paul, Iulia and Mark and know you will be as well. Enjoy, like, comment and encourage these intrepid and imaginative poets. Visit their sites and get to know them better.

This week Mark Lanesbury has joined in with a profoundly lovely piece and as always with those new here, I’ve included a short bio by way of introduction.

Another prompt will post tomorrow and you are invited to come out and play.

The Waters of Life

Life and all its hardships, the rivers we do dare
Traveling dangerous waters, captaining its glare
The mastering of the winds, the swells of our pride
The holding of our tiller, for there is nowhere else to hide
But if I could but show, the beauty that dwells within
The reality in this path, built from where we’ve been
We see so much in our wake, but only through our fear
All the while on lookout, glancing to the rear
So grab that tiller firmer, know through this gale we go
That the sails of this journey, need this truth to blow
Find the hearts compass, point it as a guide
Hold it with gratitude, for in there you know you’ve tried
So seek out all your glory, venture to every port above
For within that travel far and wide, is a journey full of love

© 2017, Mark Lanesbury (Healing Your Heart, a manual of life from within)

MARK LANESBURY: My search for meaning in life. Going through the ups and downs in life trying to come to terms with that ongoing question that we all have…’is this it?’. And the process I took to finally understand that I’m a package and most of my life I had been playing with the wrapping, not realising that further in was this incredible present just waiting to be held, felt, listened to, understood and integrated into who I was to become. After recognising this part of myself, spirit asked that I put what I had learned somewhere that others may gain from it and help their journey just as I had also been helped to find that present within.

# Resurrected Quietude #

Scintilla of firewood I had kindled last year in your fireplace,
Celebrated its return last night to my destiny;
My fuzzy keekers,
My languid -feverish corpus,
My throbbing toes;
Were in most spectacular finds for thou,
In the dale of eclipse;
Unguarding my state
essence of my wise owl eyes,
Resurrected years after,
From the cinder of my mystical conjecture;
Like a phoenix;
The most spirited one -the Almighty resounded through my crinkled bosom;
Leaving abaft a lingering instant;
Immersing me beneath the rear of his wavy quietude.

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh

Once Them Lasses Start To Spin

with distaff and spindle whorl,
another year of sweat and effort
to break the stubborn sod
in the fields begins, so lads,
this day only, play the fool,
burn their flax and tow,
and lasses, while we laugh,
scurry round with water,
dousing our flames.

Virgin, mam, and crone, and present,
fate, and future, and spinner, alloter,
and unturnable are the stick
that holds flux of the flax,
delicate web of their clothes,
spin their unspun blood, breath,
bone and sinew and event
in a thread from underground.

Their spindle is a wooden rounded rod,
that tapers toward each end,
twists into thread, story,
fibres it pulls from
the distaff, the imagination.

The whorl is a stone weight,
fitted onto the spindle
to increase and maintain
the speed of the spin,
pace of the story,
twist of the imagination.

Spindle and whorl
spinner controls
suspended from the thread
that is being spun.

Worlds and stars spin,
use force and gravity,
to “turn” one thing,
into another.

Spindle and whorl
create through movement,
spinner at the centre
of be and become.

Once the lasses start to spin
with distaff and spindle whorl,
another year of sweat and effort
to break the stubborn sod,
while the threads twist.

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

The Sky Is Food

The sky is food.

Above iridescent coral canopy of trees
let us throw nets of birds
to catch the fish of clouds
the spider balloons

aphids in the currents and eddies
cross the atmospheric bridges of gusts,
dead cells in clouds and ice
morsels for migrants in the swim
through rivers and waterfalls of air

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


I wish to say that I do not mind the grey,

dark over lakes, morning mists, my hills,

my window shows graves, the quiet ones


the colour comes later, in the studio.

the land reclaimed, is bolder now,

energy splashes in orange.

colour comes, from friends in conversation,

music and sounds, and i eat them

with hunger.

© 2017, Sofia Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)


is a short word in varying degrees.

a slight one, can be alleviated with
unecessary treats, parfum , curling
round in soft places.

lift the spirits with little things, be
glad it is not a more serious form
of the word.

i drove the road yesterday, it
is such a pretty place.

© 2017, Sofia Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

:: the pool of tears ::

from where comes the love,

comes the pool of fear,

the fright of interrogation,


i hear.

from where comes the mourning,

late afternoon,

and evening,

comes the spirit,

and singing,

dancing, ringing.

i hear the bells,

the crows,

the chaffinch,

and it shows,

my hearing.

from where comes the whistling,

comes the pool of tears,

the laughter we hear.


© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

The dual nature of clouds

A sponge to filter light and wash the pavement
A hammer to bang my head
And rise my blood into my ears
So I could see thunders and lighting shows before my eyes
A preview of the storm to come

The dual nature of the clouds
The dual nature of the light
The multiple nature of the human beings
An artist work of art
A dual nature artist
Both God and Flesh
Just a matter of perspective
A free will down to the subatomic level
And up to the clouds

© 2017, Iulia Gherghei (Sky Under Construction)


eve, wild in the night – a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

angel300-c12182011she’s present
returned to bite through the umbilical of tradition,
to flick her tongue
and cut loose the animus-god of our parents,
like a panther she roams the earth, she is eve wild in the night,
freeing minds from hard shells
and hearts from the confines of their cages,
she’s entwined in the woodlands of our psyches
and offers her silken locks to the sacred forests of our souls ~
naked but for her righteousness,
she stands in primal light,
in the untrammeled river of dreams
the yin to balance yang
the cup of peace to uncross the swords of war ~
through the eons she’s been waiting for her time
her quiet numinosity hiding in the phenomenal world,
in the cyclical renewal of mother earth,
whispering to us in the silver intuition of grandmother moon
watching us as the loving vigilance of a warming sun ~
she, omen of peace birthed out of the dark,
even as tradition tries to block her return,
her power leaps from the cleavage of time

Illustration ~ this lovely watercolor painting by Gretchen Del Rio with its girl-tree, panther and other spirit animals was the perfect inspiration for a poem on the spiritual return of the divine feminine. The real back-story on the painting is just as interesting. Gretchen says, “I painted this for a 14 year old Navaho girl. It is for her protection and her power. She sees auras and is very disturbed by this. She is just amazing. Beauty beyond any words. You can see into the soul of the universe when you look at her eyes. She has no idea. I loved her the moment I saw her. My blessings for her well being are woven into the art.” Such a delightful piece. I purposely posted it full-size so that everyone can enjoy the detail. Bravo, Gretchen, and thank you.

©2016, poem, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day), All rights reserved; illustration, Gretchen Del Rio, All rights reserved.


Write a poem, a fiction or a creative nonfiction piece telling us how you envision a feminine God or about the feminine side of God.  What might S/he be like?  Does/would such a view change the way you feel about yourself and the world? Would it change the world? How? You don’t need to believe in God or in a feminine aspect of God. This is an exercise in imagination not faith. Have fun with the exercise and if you feel comfortable, share the piece or the link to the piece below so that we might all enjoy.

2015, Kevin Young at Library of Congress National Book Festival September 5, 2015 Washington, DC, by fourandsixty, CC BY SA 2.0
2015, Kevin Young at Library of Congress National Book Festival September 5, 2015 Washington, DC, by fourandsixty, CC BY SA 2.0

The recommended read for this week is The Art of Losing by Kevin Young.  I find this to be an extraordinarily beautiful anthology about grief and recommend it for all those who work with living and dying, clergy of all faiths, hospice workers, physicians and nurses as well as those grieving a lost family member or friend. It was conceived and edited by Kevin Young, a poet in his own right and the editor of four poetry anthologies. His book Jelly Roll: A Blues was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It won the Paterson Poetry Prize.

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MIXTURE, a poem and art by Sonja Benskin Mesher

2013-02-26-11-31-55good mix, bit of this,
bit of that, healthy

bit of quiet, new friends,
old friends, young in years.

i tried that. it mostly works.

i usually stop, let others,
move around. risk no life.

it is a better road now.

© Sonja Benskin Mesher

SONJA BENSKIN MESHER, RCA UA submitted this poem and associated artwork in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Tears Into Light.

sonjabenskinmesher2011Sonja is a British artist and writer.  She says about her visual art that  “The work is my statement.  I have worked full time as a visual artist since 1999, and have spent those years exploring ways to communicate thoughts and concerns with my paintings and drawings. Its not all you see on the surface, it goes deeper than that. The work goes back touched and collected. My present surroundings, here in Wales, and that of Cornwall where I spend much of my time, inform the work, and inspire the subject matter. Then with the work I remember, and try to make sense of it all.”

Sonja also designed the covers for two poetry collections that were featured in Reuben Woolley Is Not A Silent Poet.

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Your may read more of Sonjia’s poetry and view her artwork – I love her dancing mouse – at this sites:

© 2017 poem, artwork and photograph, Sonja Benskin Mesher, All rights reserved

Also in response to last week’s prompt, Clare attached the link to her poem. She said, “It doesn’t exactly fit your prompt, Jamie, but I just wrote this wee poem this morning, and then read your post, and it kind of fits…”  It’s a lovely poem and her site, Nest of Mist,  is charming and thoughtful. Bravo, Clare!

51qqbcpwhul-_sx332_bo1204203200_The WordPlay shop offers a selection of books and tools especially selected for poets and writers.  Sales from the shop go to support the maintenance of this site.  Suggested reading this week – a read for these times – is the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber’s The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear

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