fred . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Ornamental cabbage with a splat of paint from outside – believe it or not – Old Navy.

“Put your mouthful of words away
and come with me to watch
the lilies open in such a field,
growing there like yachts,
slowly steering their petals
without nurses or clocks.”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems

These are all well-considered, well-formulated responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Mrs. Goldberg, June 12.  From Gary’s homage to Fred Astaire through Sonja’s .gargage., this is a stimulating read.

Thanks to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Shiela Jacob, and Sonja Benskin Mesher for sharing their work and ideas with us today.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate.


what ho daddy longlegs
buzzing down to rio
kinesthetic mastermind
champagne-frothing brio

doodling with a hatrack
swinging rita hayworth
tyranting ungingerly
twenty-hour-day’s worth

softshoe tap and ballroom
jazzy or balletic
conman charmer fashion plate
sculpting an aesthetic

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image and Text)

As some of you know, Gary is multi-talented, combing visual art with poetry or prose narrative.  He is also a potter. A sample of his work is pictured here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.

My Mam Is

nothing if, not thorough.
Victorian reminder on a wall
full of telling aphorisms:

What will the neighbours say?
Our home shows us how
we treat ourselves.
Buff away grey clouds,

bring out the blue, make every
wood bell, crocus, daffodil
open their flowers today,
place a spruced up nest

for every chaffinch, green
and goldfinch, blackbird, dove.
Open all windows to “freshen”.
Clean outside and in,

see yourself without smears.
Tidy the memory home.
If you can see a job needs doing,
then do it. Why leave till tomorrow,

something that needs doing today?
Empty every drawer,
cupboard, wardrobe, surface,
scrub them clean, let spiders scurry off.

Launder, dry on the line winter’s
sombre deep cottons and woollens,
neatly fold away, in freshly
lavendered drawers.

It shows you respect yourself.
Rinse every item
of crockery, cutlery,
some unused for years.

Return them to scoured drawers.
Burnish copper ornaments,
delicately brush capodimonte

figures, feather dust top of doors,
skirting boards, deweb high corners,
Shine gas fire with Brasso. Polish
tables and furniture with Rosewood

or Lavender Pledge, all furniture pushed
into centre of rooms, to vacuum.
A person is what they do,
not what they say they will do.

Decant bookshelves,
every book cover cleaned.
Roll up, sling over washing line,
slap and beat dust out of all

rugs and doormats. Strip beds,
turn mattresses, air sheets.
It’s a warm spring day.
A clean home is a clean soul.

Bleach bath, sinks.
Glister chrome taps. Blue toilet.
Fragrance bathroom with Lemon.
Defrost fridge, full milk

bottles in a sink of cold water.
Unload and brush out garage,
vacuum Datsun Estate outside and in.
Weed patio and border, cut

straggly grass for first time this year.
Black bag food beyond sell by dates,
or out of fashion.
Likewise, shine your shoes,

pick bits off clothes,
straighten your skirt, tie,
tighten your belt.
A smart person is a smart mind

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Borrowed Eyes

” Please can I borrow your eyes?”
Asks the blind nightingale
of the excellent eyed blindworm
” I’ve been invited to faerie wedding,
and don’t want to look foolish.”

After the nightingale sees bright
colours, red, green and gold
of the faerie occasion, he tells
blindworm, “I cannot return
these worlds of light, but will
sing to you, my friend, night and day.”

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A New Feather

The writer searches for the perfect quill
to make him an author of genius,
his work lauded,
taught in schools
only possession
of this object
will make
the work great.

The carpenter wants a fine pillow
Stuffed with the softest
Gentlest down
To complete
His fabulous carved bed
Made of the rarest wood.

The comedian wants the funniest
feather to tickle his audience
into laughter
that will last
long after
he dies.

The cat wants the meat under
The feather, warm
And tender,
In its jaws.

The dog wants his master
To have the bird
He retrieves,
For his master to be happy
And give him treats,
Maybe even a cooked morsel,
Once the bird is plucked
And cooked.

The bird waits for his new feathers
After his moult
To flatter a female,
Make him handsome,
Nudge her with his display
So she will bear
His children.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Paul’s website is HERE.

Paul Brookes, prolific Yorkshire poet

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

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

What She Never Really Wanted

She never really wanted to be
the best, but somehow stood out
among the rest,

In school in class,eagerly took
part in collecting notebooks,
polishing desks with wax and rags,
laughing joking,arms never tiring,
inking the large board black, no
whiteboards then,

meant hard work with joy as the
reward, being close to the teacher
noting the piano chord, humming
volleyball service hits swelled her
wrists,she still wears the support
band and smiles as memories flood
in, the final win and the final fall
was the most memorable of all-

A role on the stage in Shakespeare’s
plays, not a Mid Summer Night’s Dream
but real school life she took as high order
to en wrap and enfold learning time gold
capture every moment each story told-
ten years flashed full of wisdom and fun
peaceful it was all, no guard bullet or gun

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Life with a Perfectionist

Every night she would hear the blame
The kitchen floor is dirty it means one
who works here is the same,
better keep it clean,wash it every night
wipe it dry then you may think of rest or sleep’

soon such instructions felt like insults-
was she dirty lazy careless incapable one
or a free forsaken donated handed over,given
for good, home and house worker, cleaning woman-
why life’s meaning sank so low,was it just common?

soon these thoughts would slip from the mind
as a new day dawned, acceptance quickly sank in
‘ he has a mania for cleanliness’ ‘ hunger for food
crazy love for movies’ values of life die in a dust bin’
line between love care, and sharing is so thin’

more is revealed as cushions lineup on the sofa
spoons forks knives must be separate in the holder
no dust on any table chair desk shelf or cupboard
car, shoes polished, clothes ironed, crease less
bed covers, slippers joined,glasses placed with pens

wrist watch, now mobile phone,must be untouched
three dishes at meals three kinds of fruit at least
tea pink and salty is must, puffs from the Only Old
bakery in the old inner city narrow street shop
dinner time seven thirty, no tea at that hour allowed

for all, to be dressed spic and span hair cut and set
no extra talk or questions,driving speed at will by choice
other person to give way, no traffic police should this way
even look, all ways are my ways’,books for show, display
no row in disarray, set all with pain or be ready never to

see your book again- and so perfection came in way
of ‘good enough’ and peace’ -how to be artistic, who
could be original, perfection may be excellence ‘ but
would you rather have something, ‘okay’ than nothing’
that is all perfect’

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum’s sites are:

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

Lola’s Magic – A Gazel

When Lola arrives, it’s hard to deny there’s magic
The children happily sigh, “It’s magic!”
My tween can whisper secrets in her ear
Lola – my spy who can pry – hush magic!
My sweet girl’s dollies all need a cuddle
Lola’s arms wide like the sky – hug magic
Train engineer boy with curious spark
Lola answers all the why’s – smart magic
The toddler is whining, “No” is his word
Lola’s sweet talks – he complies – bribe magic!
Then quiet, they gather around her chair
Lola gives sweets on the sly – bad magic!
Homemade dinner, there’s so much to clean up
Lola’s sink is spotless, dry – clean magic
I’m exhausted, drained, this job is so hard
Lola’s shoulder, allows me to cry – mom magic

FYI – Lola means Grandmother is Filipino/Tagalog

© 2019, Irma Do


Distances are much shorter now,
Time flies on wings aloof
Tall isn’t tall anymore
What happened to my youth?

Young means twenty minutes is forever,
A mile is around the world and back
Tall is Dad at five foot eight
How did I miss the attack?

Something came and stole my youth
Time and distance is the proof
Maybe when my time runs out
I’ll know just what it’s all about.

© 2019, Jen Goldie 


It must be fun, to own a goat,
To buy a boat, to stay afloat,
To see a tree, walk on its knees!
But Oh! My golly! Oh!
To see a tree, walk on its knees?

It must be great to stay up late,
To watch a monkey roller skate,
To see a book, get up and look?
But Oh! My golly! Oh!
To see a book, get up and look?

It would be nice to have a castle
To own a tall giraffe named Basil
To see a deer playing bongos!
But Oh! My golly! Oh!
To see a deer, playing bongos?

It must be nice to have a car
To make the distances less far,
It would be fun to know tomorrow
From a crystal ball you borrow,

It’s just the images we create
To give us patience
To sit and wait……….

© 2019, Jen Goldie


Now, here you go
she’d smile with a wink,
as she handed out
apples she’d cleaned
In the sink,
A comforting hand
A heart warming hug
and gramma would smile
and glint with a shrug
A scrape on the knee?
oh dear, let me see
with the warmth in her eyes
and the love in her touch
the scrape that you got
didn’t hurt very much.
Run along she would say
It’s a great day to play,
but don’t go too far!
There’s buns in the oven
and cookies in jars, then,
with a warm loving hug
and comforting smile,
she’d send you outside
to play for awhile.

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Jen’s sites are:

With the Woman

There’s a chiming hel-looo
as she opens the front door,
drops her travel bag
and encircles us
in her warmth.

Our luscious, dazzling daughter
with strawberry-kissed smile,
double-cream cheeks
and honey-bee eyes
to match her lustrous hair.

She kicks off scarlet pumps
and curls, latte-limbed,
on the sofa; sips black tea
and texts a message home,
relays love to our grandchildren.

I admire old and new tattoos:
butterflies, stars, swallows
and, where a sleeve might fit,
a crimson heart emblazoned
fod yn ddewr.

Do her ladies ask what it means?
“Yes,” she laughs, “very often.”
I hold her hands in mine.
They’re small but strong:
first cradle for a baby’s

blood-stained head
when she wears regulation blue,
echoes the motto
on her arm and urges
“Be brave. One last push.”

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

.balfour beattie.

power and beauty
stone and steel.
rise above
mud and wood.
swarmed by
worker ants.
world without end.

wyn is a poet.

a visionary.
monkeys and tigers
stalk welsh hills
satanic mills
of his imagination.

he is the blake
of the a470.

did he once see
angels on peckham rye

i expect he did, i expect.

we will not know
unless i ask him.

he will tell.

yet not when
his colleagues
are listening.

he may be shy.

balfour beatty.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


we will not have blankets,

if there are none, take the old

rags, layer , stitch and stitch

by hand till fingers bleed.

work along the coast

with thread and diligence.

gather wools, layer carefully,

we shall have warmth this winter.

we will have quilts to share.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


i do not wait for the alarm,

just the red bar on my gauge.

it is a quiet village, a name

i can’t pronounce. so i stopped

for fuel.

how nice, an attendant, probably

owner/mechanic came, took my

keys and did it all for me.

whilst chatting about the day, how

the nights draw in, and i felt cosy.

a softer voice than some, his clothes

hard working.

i asked for twenty quid’s worth

to see me home, and a chomp

at 25p.

i shall stop there next time.


© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.

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

.sports day. – . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

[On writing:] “There’s a great quote by Julius Irving that went, ‘Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.'” in an  interview with Budd Mishkin; New York March 25, 2007.)” David Halberstam (Author, Glenn Stout (Editor), Everything They Had: Sports Writing

The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Bottom of the Ninth, May 29, 2019 was a call to “write a poem about any sport that engages you. What delights you about it?  Perhaps for you the topic lends itself to poetic memoir?  Maybe you’re a soccer mom or a baseball dad. Do you see your fave game as a metaphor for life? Or, as a poet and writer, do the idioms delight you?”

I’m charmed by the responses (and you will be too) from Paul’s moving I Watched Athletics With My Mam to Anjum Ji’s cultural introduction to cricket, it is once again a rich response to Wednesday Writing Prompt.  I never knew chess was considered a sport. I had to look that up. Thank you, Bozhidar.  Every writer will sympathize with deb y felio’s unexpected twist and Jen Goldie’s game effort, well done. You’ll be engaged by Sonja’s signature chiseled poems, Sheila’s poem, part triumph, part homage to her dad, and the sensual elements of running in Irma’s Quiet Run.

Readers will note links to sites if available are included that you might visit these treasured poets. The links for contributors are always connected to their blogs or websites NOT to specific poems. If the poet doesn’t have a website, it’s likely you can connect with him or her via Facebook.

Enjoy this Tuesday collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, whether you are a beginning poet, emerging or pro.  All are welcome – encouraged – to come out and play and to share your poems on theme.

I Watch Athletics With My Mam

I sit on her soft bed, rest an arm
on a spare pillow. Mum’s pillows
stack behind her as we watch a
tv placed where her dress mirror stood.

Chemotherapy means she does
not like reflective surfaces.
All house mirrors have been removed.

Once she cried as her hair fell out.
She cried as she gained each pound weight
because she takes the chemicals
to stop her dying, stop the spread.

Together we watch lithe bodies,
sharp muscle tone dash for the end.

Once she was ‘petite’, now Mum’s fat jowls, bingo wings slop on the bed.

Her home is spotless, a show home.
Every day we polish, scrub,
vacuum, she wants it welcoming.

She nods off half way through the
100 metres, I soft clap
the winner as she would have done.

I remember good times, and smile
at her laughter, gleam in her eyes
when she sees another winner
dash over the race finish line.

Next week she looks forward to Oakwell,
a new fan of Barnsley FC.

I never go as I don’t like
football, regret my selfishness
and time not enjoying her life.

She will sit in her hired wheelchair
yell and clap at their confidence,
vitality, their will to win.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

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

Quiet Run

Crash boom ba dum ba dum ba dum boom
Drum practice or brothers wrestling?
Vroom vroom whee-ooo whee-ooo waah!
It’s mine! I got it first!
Stop annoying me!
Sister slams door
I tie shoes
Bye Hun
Footsteps shushing
Faster to capture
The scent of mowed, mulched lawn
The feel of sunset’s soft breath
The taste of silent sanity
Glistening saltily on my cheek

This double nonet incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #189 – Quiet and also Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about any sport that engages me.

I have never been a “sporty” person – I was usually one of the last people picked for teams and I was definitely the last person to finish the mile run in high school (collapsing at the end just to prove how unsporty I was!). I didn’t even know my high school had a football team until I started dating one of the players. And I only learned about the rules of the game when I started watching football in college.

My first foray into sports was running which I discovered in my early 30’s. I figured if I could walk, then I could run since putting one foot in front of the other didn’t seem to require that much coordination or other athletic ability. Yeah, right. Still, I was smitten by the race medals and the opportunity to have some “quiet me time” when I ran. As my family can attest – I am a much nicer person after a run!

© 2019, words and illustration, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too ...)

Novel Approach

first draft better in sports than writing
the bull pen has no ink but still
prepares for the pitch to come

contracts yield higher numbers
with travel paid to tour
with team members
effusing praise on one another

critics abound
from prepaid seats
hoping to catch
a big hit

Patrons fill bars
Pa’tron fills glasses
waiting for arrival
of that day’s stars

One for the books
when things go well
easy to know the beginning
and the end

A promise for unending
a multi-game deal
with signing bonuses

How do writers
learn to play
this kind of ball?

® 2019, deb y felio (Writers Journey)

Ghost Baseball

Why can I still smell the glove,
feel the smoothness of the leather.
Why does the sound of the crack of
the bat still linger, the joy I felt hitting
one for the team as a child.
Why does running so fast I might fall
just to catch a ball, excite memories.
Why are these things in my bones?
Why are these memories so strong?
Perhaps we build our confidence by way
of those things that give us strength.
The things that gave us self- esteem.
There’s no strength, as powerful as a team.
These are childhood memories,
joyful memories of comradeship,
friendships, bonds and trust.
Childhood memories I can still taste.
Visions that still linger in my mind as
a warm summers day, the sweet
odor of the grass and the laughter
rising from the delight of my friends.
I am not a professional, nor do I still
play Baseball, but I can still smell,
feel and forever linger in the joy of baseball.

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Jen Goldie and Starlight and Moonbeams … and the Occasional Cat )

A Means to an End

I chose to try using idioms.
Using sport idioms to work together
isn’t as easy as I thought.
Each has there own special meaning
and is designed to be an expression of
that particular sport.
I gave it a shot,
but I’m throwing in the towel.
So here’s what I’ve got.


It was par for the course,
he was in a sticky wicket,
Had to take it on the chin,
He wouldn’t take a dive
Or throw in the towel
Or even run interference,
He’d roll with the punches,
And be first past the post
No desperate Hail Mary passes
Could help him go the distance
He was down for the count,
Down and out, and sidelined,
Until someone in his corner
And in a ring side seat,
Threw his hat in to the ring,
Then the punch drunk
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Got off his padded couch,
And In his boxers and sport T,
Began to dance and sing,
Take Me Out To The Ballgame,
I’m the Slam Dunk King!


© Jen Goldie

As a child and teen, I did participate in Sports. Five-pin
Bowling gave me a start. My parents were avid bowlers
and bowled in league play. I went along. I was quickly
lured into the game and was coached by a wonderful
Woman named Doris Luke who ran a Young Peoples
League for the Youth Bowling Association. Starting at
3 years of age gave me an edge and I competed with
The seniors, still racking up the crests and trophies. When
I think back it was the comradery, not the competition.
It was my Dad taking me to tournaments and consoling
me when, as they say, I froze and didn’t give it my best
effort. It’s o.k. he’d say, next time. I still have most of those
crests but somehow the box of trophies disappeared.
I still have the bowling shirts and wonder, when I was so

© 2019, Jen Goldie (Jen Goldie and Starlight and Moonbeams … and the Occasional Cat )

Hockey Sticks And Oranges

It was the closest I came
to flying as I sped down
the right wing. Wind keened
across the playing field,
teased the flimsy flap
of my wrapover skirt
and whipped my hair
into a chestnut tail.

I made the school team,
used the new stick
Dad proudly bought me;
tapped, flicked or swung
the ball to the striker,
heard the clash of wood
against wood and cheered
when she scored a goal.

We paused for breath
at halftime, sucked segments
of orange and shivered,
our arms goose-pimpled.
We didn’t always win-
finished bottom of the league
one season. Bad luck,
Dad said, keep trying.

After he died I tried
harder; leaned forward,
stick poised, impatient
for the bully-off.
Then I ran with a sting
in my eyes, mud on my shins
and morning’s wind
in the small of my back.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

.sports day.

i do not wish to win the race nor even take part in it

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


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

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

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

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.hoping for a hero.

i search for champion, hoping for a hero. it gives me clothing.

the sort i will never wear. i do not do sport only walking

and swimming, nothing competitve. it is a shame

the pools are at a distance, needing time and effort. I feel younger in

water and see no reflection with out glasses. i understand

a health and nutrition app can be most helpful these days, and while

i type this i hear the gardener down the big house mowing lawns since

early morning.

now tis mid afternoon.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


I like the chess.
The figures are equal
and clear the rules
(with a little superiority
after all of the white).
And various gambits
the Queen’s and
the King’s ones
are the beauty.
And in the Sicilian
the dagger is hidden
but perks up
(it is only
the ancient game).
I am not interested in
the result
and all sorts of the ratings
but the pulsating Insight.,

Мate for the Queen!
Queen for the King!

Clarification – according to chess rules mate is given only to the king.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)

‘ Sports’~ Is it Cricket ?
کھیل موقع مقابلہ شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ

Match game chance, be it anywhere on any land

be it  sword, spear, bat ball, gun or lance,
forces have fought in thicket and on wicket
dauntless ,  fearless , songs sonorous have
been sung, arms raised , aimed and swung,

pride and steadfast hate, in arenas Greek

or green grounds, what mighty contest up rising
For no reason just or sound, no crime no blast
no war no treason, just another cricket season,
But this game is a combat on war like footing
padded gloved helmeted , ready for the shooting

thick as autumnal leaves head to head like sedge
police and crowd together will watch the match,
all around the fence, circled, from  edge to edge,
how many will hold, stare and breathe their last ,
as wickets fall, bails fly or hands miss a catch,

all eyes on London the final battle ground
a place eternal justice ordained and bound
no Trojan horse or Aegean sea, no ship or gift
or gun, just a velvet green, a white orb, three
to three, twenty two yards of hit and run,

to be weak on it, is unthinkably miserable
no contestant spared, no mistake forgivable,
who will the new possessor be, of a cup,
some say the blues, some say the greens,
yellows, reds, maroons, blacks, or carmine

result anxiously eagerly excitedly awaited
whatever it may be, millions are awake,
hearts beating, hands together in prayers,
the best will soon be , what odds are at stake
aim is، protect the wicket’ and make a high score

game of skill, strategy entertainment, a fight 
the rest is with  umpires two and the third
it should be honest  fair play, all skill no check 
no tampering trick it or else it would  be war
and ‘Not Cricket’،may the best team win،

to be’ the star’

© 2019, English and Urdu poems, Anjum Wasim Dar

کھیل  مقابلہ  موقع 

تلوار نیزہ  گیند بلا   تیر  ےا بندوک  خوب  چلے گا کھیل
بے باک بے خوف  نغمے  بہادری  کے گاتے  ھوےؑ بازو
گھماتے  ھوےؑ نشانہ  لگاتے  ھوےؑ  فخر سے اکھاڑے  میں
اترے جیسے یو نانی شمشیر زن ، سبز میدان میں جمے گا 

کسی زمیں پر شروع  ھویؑ  اک جنگ

مقابلہ زبردست، بے وجہ  ،نہ جرم نہ دھماکہ خونی
  اک کھیل کا موسم جاری،سماں ایسا،پہنے ٹوپی
عوام   پولیس  مانند  خزاں کی   پت جھڑ کے   ڈھیر
چارون  اطراف میداں کے کھڑے دعکھیں گے  میچ 

دستانے پیڈ ہلمٹ بھاری شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ 

کتنے آیں گے اور جایں گے دوڑیں گے بھاگیں گے
گریں گے گرایں گے وکٹیں  اور پکڑیں گے کیچ
سب نظریں دنیا کی لندن شہر انصاف کی جگہ ھے
نہ بحیرہ نہ بیڑہ نہ کاٹھ کا گھوڑا نہ تحفہ نہ دھوکہ

 چاندی کے کپ کہ لیے شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ

سبز مخملی گھاس پہ سفید گیند تین تین وکٹوں کے 
بیچ   لگایں   گے بایسؑ گز کی دوڑ ، مار اور بھاگ
کمزور کی جگہ نہیں یہ نا ہی ڈرپوک کی نہ غلتی کی
گنجا یشؑ نہ معافی  نہ زمانت ، کون جیتے گا یہ  رنگ

رنگیں لباس میں شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ

نیلا سبز  میرون پیلا  یا  کالا تیز  یا نرالہ  کس کی کٹے 
گی پتنگ  کون ھوگا بے رنگ  کون بچاےؑ گا وکٹین  اور
بناےؑ گا بڑا سکور  کون کرے گا سب کہ بور، جاگ رھے 
ھیں لاکھوں نتیجے کے انتظار میں  ھاتھ جوڑے دعاوؑں میں

سچا کھیل کرنا نہ فراڈ کویؑ نہ دینا دھوکہ نہ کویؑ چکر 
ورنہ کھیل نہ کہلاےؑ گا   یہ  کرکٹ نہیں  یارا جو محنت 

کرے بنے وہ چمکتا  ستارہ شروع ھویؑ اک جنگ  

A Preamble

Respected G Jamie Dedes Sports Prompt this week has coincided with the opening of ICC World Cup International Cricket Competition 2019 being held in England.
For me the prompt was like the drop of a silver stone in a clear water pond creating ripples of fond nostalgic memories of life in the early years when sports events were followed almost with near religious sanctity. Radio and newspapers were the main source of information. Listening skills were sharpened and newspapers helped in creating scrapbooks of key players of national and international teams. Collecting and compiling and organizing data was the best learning activity. Before I share my poem I would like to share a few pages from my memoirs with my readers. I am sure this would be an interesting  addition  to the growing variation of contributions to Respected Jamie Ji’s exciting thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable weekly prompts. Thank you Jamie Ji for creating these wonderful writing opportunities. 

Indoor or outdoor ‘Sports’ had a sacred place in daily activities as a favorite hobby and leisure time occupation at home in the early years of life in the new country.The 1950s and 1960s reflect high standards of national team performances in the games of field hockey,tennis, cricket, squash, and athletics.The whole family was deeply involved in each match tournament or international competitions.My interest in Sports was the result of the high enthusiasm at home specially manifested by my loving father. He himself was a good hockey and tennis player. Indoors the games played with family members were Bridge (a card game) Carom and Chess. In fact the truth was the ‘absence of digital technology and television which left ample spare time for healthy sport activities. An occasional classic movie like ‘The Cruel Sea’ ‘Gone With The Wind’, To Kill a Mocking Bird’, ‘The King and I’ and specially the comedy series of Laurel and Hardy were a treat enjoyed  at the local Cinema Houses.

© Anjum Wasim Dar

Here one can see father in his white sports shorts  black blazer and white socks and sports shoes , commonly called then, the ‘PT Shoes’. He is holding my younger sister, his third daughter. Almost every evening a couple of tennis games in the nearby GHQ Tennis Courts were part of the weekly routine. The weekends would be set aside for home affairs.
An ideal personality for many friends and family my Father’s smoking style would always be captured too. During the International Cricket matches of Pakistan with either England Australia or India (these were the top  teams in those years) after office hours listening to the running commentary of the match on the radio was not missed.

Field hockey was another favorite.I remember when Pakistan was playing the quarter final match with Germany in the Olympics in Rome in the 1960’s. When Germany scored the equalizer goal father was quite disturbed. Listening to the commentary he would remark, ‘Oh No, why give a back pass, there is no back pass in hockey, one needs to play forward , attack the opponents goal’ Pakistan won by 2-1 score and later also won the Gold medal  by defeating India in the final by a single goal.The historic goal was scored by Nasir Bunda. The excitement and anxiety of the match involved everyone at home. The game was fully enjoyed by all and we learnt much about sportsman’s spirit and how to accept defeat bravely. Other important lessons were following rules, sharing and making  efforts as a team. Over the years sports has undergone tremendous change, from white dress and a red ball to multi colored clothes and a white ball  and from the radio to live digital internet / telecasts.

I still believe old times had a special charm in  sports and to top it all Pakistan has a former cricket team captain and a world cup winner as its Prime Minister. The Political party symbol being none other than the ‘cricket bat’, obviously…

© 2019, essay, Anjum Wasim Dar

Behance  … artwork
Poetic Oceans poetry on WordPress
Poetic Oceans  poetry on Blogspot

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


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poems in I Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom in HerStry
* Three poems in Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.

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


“Fog” , “This Poem Must Be Taken Literally” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

“The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

“If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

The theme for Wednesday Writing Prompt, awakening on our rockey rebel road, June 6, 2018, was to share with us the poet in non-ordinary reality, the doorways that lead from the physical to the spiritual. This was perhaps not the easiest of prompts but these poets rose to the occasion with depth and panache. Lovely! 

Thank you Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pangelov and Anjum Wasim Dar. Bravo!

A warm welcome to poet, writer and educator, Michele Stepto, new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. I included a link below to her book, which looks fascinating.  It’s on my reading list.

Enjoy this fine collection with its profound delights and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. Links to each poet’s site are included below so that you can visit, read more of their work, and get to know them.


She received as a gift a carpet
with fog in it and moved
the furniture and rolled
the carpet out in the middle
of the room and found
that fog was rising out of it
in little wisps
and that when she stood
at the edge of it it
was just like standing at the edge of a cliff
high up over the ocean in the evening
when the fog is coming in

She moved the furniture back
and it did not
fall through the carpet
it did not disappear
she sat down in her old
armchair next to the lamp
and thought
she was floating in mid-air
on a foggy day
or flying a plane in the fog
everything feeling pleasantly
cold and damp as she closed her eyes

She sat there for a long while
dreaming about trees seen in fog
and things coming toward you
out of the fog small birds
who stayed put and didn’t fly in the fog
as she was staying put
now in her chair
their heads tucked
under their wings and dreaming
as she was of paradise
of their own Shambhala
high in the mountains
girdled in fog
or clouds
it hardly

© 2018, Michele Stepto 

Michele Stepto

MICHELE STEPTO: I have taught literature and writing at Yale University for many years, and recently at the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont. My work has appeared online at Verse-Virtual, What Rough Beast (at, Ekphrastic Review, NatureWriting, Mirror Dance, Lacuna Journal, and One Sentence Poems, which nominated “The Unfinished Poem” for a Pushcart Prize this year. Along with my son Gabriel, I translated from the original Spanish Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World.


„Убийството на Марат“, Бодри, (1868)

“Miss Corde was reading Plutarch by night the books then used to be taken seriously” Zbigniew Herbert

(Adam Lux – Meditations)

Miss (or already, why not, Missis)
is reading.
So did she before getting married. The revolution of 1960s All is Love is over.
She used to sleep in tents. Why not?
The freedom has to be defended.
Drums, fires, the screams:
“Down with! Who doesn’t jump is.”
Rumble behind the walls. Marat is. Alive? Death? Used to live?
The time is traveling. The crown’s refined hat.
The hair short. With all the colors.
“In a dress like a blue rock.”
Obelisk? Yes! of passing from
necessity to
necessity (for survival).
Mrs. Corde, is reading. The Game of …
She’s dreaming. “All is love”.
The day is the most usual.

She administrated justice.
The falling stars are glowing.

Democratic changes in Bulgaria started after the Berlin Wall in 1989 Jean Paul Marat, a prominent French Revolution. Charlotte Conde is his murderer.

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


Sleep deprivation
May lead to conversation
That you wake up inthemiddleof
Even though it is you who is talking.

The Goddess of Sleeplessness
In that other underworld
Has made you an emissary of her
And conferred on you
The demigod’s trick
Of creating monsters.
Become eyes…

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

A Smooth Skin

is ugly. Trace beauty
in bloody edges of scars.
Tattoo your face and hands
with raw wounds. Glow.
Bruises brighten your looks.
Pimples and spots mark sexiness.
Wrinkles entice awe.
The look is all in scabs.


do not contain. Vacuum
is packed with it all.

I wish you were more obtuse.
I can’t understand this clarity.

All is tightly enclosed in open space.
All is nebulous.

Please talk in riddles. Plain
Sentences confuse my head.

Exactitude is imprecise.
Clarity is obscurity.

Distance is not a measure.
I need you to be woolly with words.

Only The

incompetent do their jobs properly.
Ensure you are only partly trained.

Half skilled emergency services save lives.
It’s what you don’t know that counts.

Amateurs are the only professionals.
Fully trained and experienced cause accidents.

Complete competency leads to lack of trust.
Once experienced you are useless to society.

Successful people are always trainees.
They are oil in the cogs, ensure smooth running.

Mistakes ensure a job is done thoroughly.
They ensure society is rectified.

Be Promising

There are no promises.
Money does not exist.
Nothing to breach.
No agreements or vows.

One can never be broken.
You can never be on one.
No laws, no lines can’t be crossed.
You promise not to promise.

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

This Poem Must Be Taken Literally

My body is a rainbow
My blood is an explosion
My heart is a rusty cage
These are not metaphors

Please take this literally
That cloud is my opinion
That road is an orange
That wish is my house
That burnt toast is my belonging

These are not metaphors
This hand is a metal spade
This foot is a knife edge
This mouth is a dark valley
These words are made of light

This is not a poem
This is the ultimate answer.
This tells you how to live
This tells you the only truth

This Mop And Bucket

are poetry to me.
My pen is a mop

I stick in a bucket
of disinfectant floor cleaner

pull out mop sodden
with words and splash

them backwards and forwards
slop lines one after the other

Until the floor fair shines,
My mop is dry, needs another dip.

I squeeze out the gunk
back into the bucket.

More the floor shines,
dirtier the bucketful gets.

A good poem is a clean floor.

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

. reading for anna .


carrying the book, gently,
i find that jesus
is off the wall again.

breeze from the doors
blows him and cobwebbed minds
as i write the small book,
on black keys of words.

gentle here this morning,
sun dreams in,
quiet in all the rooms,
and arms held high,
i come into the morning,
with string and sealing wax.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.valley of the widow.

grey day, rain.
squeaky bath taps.
this is the valley
of the widow.

this is the day.
writing the wall,
trees stand tall.

yellow flags, the route,
to another place

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

There Is Someone

There is someone who talks to me
And keeps me waiting-
If only I could see The Spirit
Which I feel close by, yet so far

A bar on thoughts and actions,
I cannot think because my mind is quiet
And not moving or stirring
Lest the sweet words of The Spirit
May not find their way in-
And I may crush the tender layer thin

In between which keeps us bound,

I cannot let go the joy
I have found in my heart
at hearing the mellifluous melody
of the affectionate aura around,

which seeps into my soul to make peace
and washes smoothly away the tears
and the fears so deep,
I can now sleep with ease

For I cannot speak of the
Good Night Prayer
That descends in time so rare
my soul, to repair

And I cannot say that if I wake
Life may be like a snow flake
White and pure and sure, as
The Angels will come to Heaven, take.

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)



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

“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ”
― Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire

The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, May 16, Baruch, The Baker, was about genocide, unfortunately as prevalent in these modern times as any other in history. The count is 24 currently, including – and ironically – Gaza. Here are the sometimes intuitive, sometimes angry, always well-considered works of poets with a strong sense of social justice and injustice. A collection for serious thought.

Thanks to intrepid and talented poets: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Marta Pombo Sallés. Bravo! And thank you to Sonja and Marta for sharing their illustrative art.

Please join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged: beginner, emerging or pro. It’s about community, sharing, getting to know poets who may be new to you. Each poet’s site (if they have one) is linked below to facilitate visits.  If they don’t have a site, chances are you can connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

child rulebook

all conquerors
learned all they needed
from the child rulebook.
of course, it being
a CHILD’s rulebook,
some rules contradict others.
“i was here first”
will fall before
“my army can beat up your army.”
“i’m gonna tell on you”
derives from
“you will get it if mom finds out”
but is so often outmatched
by “now look what you made me do”
which is a corollary of
“it’s all your fault.”

the Standard Oil Company,
a conqueror from its inception,
“kick their ass/get their gas”
long before those words
we’re found on t-shirts.

in 1979
after a puppet government
set up by the US
was deposed,
and hostages were taken
at the American embassy,
Mickey Mouse
appeared on a T-shirt
flipping a bird and saying,
“Hey, Iran!”

now our roost is presided over
seemingly by a turgid towhead
with the impulse control
of an otter
and a sense of entitlement
derived from a lifetime
of always getting
all the toys
he wants.

dark forces pull his strings.

the human population
of Citizens United
is zero,
as is
its regard
for humanity.

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

Ethnic Cleanser

removes unsightly
grease and dirt of people
who spoil your landscape.

Cleans as it polishes, replaces
their awful smell with fresh fragrances.
their profane beliefs with fresh air.
their noisy children with heavenly quiet.
our history with revised pages.
Preserves our pure culture.

They are an infection to be eradicated.
Their unmarked graves forgotten.

Ethnic cleanser for a cleaner society.
Buy into this great product.
Popularly known as genocide.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow)

Inhumanity Is Good

Your inhumanity will prove
how human you are.

Neglect one another.
Abuse one another.

Seal each other in homes
until old and weak die.

Run pedestrians down.
Bomb hospitals.

Use the innocent as shields.
Use the knives you carry.

Kill babies, rape mothers.
Prove how human you are.

Defend your inhumanity.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow)


Find the glass window set in the cobbles
outside Humboldt’s University. You’ll
need to angle your view and wait until
the light reveals the whiteness of the empty
shelves,a void in Europe’s heart.
Judischen, entartate. This is where
they began the burning of the books,
flames and sparks, yellow like stars,lighting the way
to ghettos, wagons, lines of wire, ashes, bones.

Ghosts gather, tug at your sleeve politely,
plead that you read the Book of the Dead.
Its opening page lies at your feet. Descend
to lamentation’s rainbow.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


Shoes, pointing in all directions
as if they could not decide which
way to go. Ahead the river,
wide and fast, its shore empty of
boats.And people.The shoes, fissured,
soiled, heels broken; children’s clogs.As

they stood in their final sunlight:
prayers? Huddles of comfort? Piss and
shit leaking onto ancient leather.
Hurled backwards, no funeral flowers
save the smoke curling from the guns,
downwards, where the Duna receives
them, cold, reddening as it flows,
mere dross and cargo. A flask of
spirits opened, a cigarette
lit, safety catches on, the world
more Judenfrei.
Shoes, now again
pointing in all directions.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

.the star. b/w.

did i sit quietly thinking,

then place a few

things together. yes.



that was exhausting.

the star.

© 2018, (poem and artwork below) Sonja Benskin Mesher (; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings;; Sonjia’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.)



work on paper

installations & photographs- sonja benskin mesher

52.59.  3.

two voices, softly said,
“yes” they cannot
understand the numbers
nor find their families.

© 2018, (poem and artwork below, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings;; Sonjia’s daily blog (WordPress) is HERE.)


artwork, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Ode to Trumps Vanity et al

Spring anticipation in the air
Orange reddened sun
Gets ready to hide its rays
Behind the lowest of all mountains
Mirroring itself on the lake.
Vanity at its highest level.
Yet the picture turns out different
In a mixture of yellow and blue
Of greed and sadness a faithful clue.

“You’re so vain,
You probably think
This march is about
Reads the banner
At the Women’s March
January 21, 2017.

Millions came together
Across the globe
To raise their voices
Against your choices
Mr. Trump.
Your misogyny,
Your greed and your lies
Are most unwelcome
Because it is your vanity
That makes you lie.

Where’s the first media-built man
That promised jobs for the working-class
To make America First and great again
When all you bring is constant pain
Erasing truths and liberties from earth.

The second man’s now on the surface,
Two sides of the same coin,
And the reddened sun sets down
While Vanity School runs high
For Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders,
Frauke Petry, Beppe Grillo…
And the like.

Even Spain’s Rajoy’s a little Trump,
Profound ignorant and clown,
Who drains the fund backing pensions
With an air smell of corruption.

Won’t you grant us, Catalans,
Once for all that referendum
Any democratic state would offer
To a stateless people to decide:
The right to self-determination.

No, instead, you’re blurring powers
Just exactly as Donald Trump
Judicializing politics and sending
The very democrats to court
For organizing a participatory process
In Catalonia, November 9, 2014.

Vanity School expands its limits
And buys a handful Orwell’s 1984
While the sea has just began to weep:

Mare Nostrum, Mare Mortum,
In 2016 almost 5.000 people
Drowned and died
From 2000 till now 30.000 dead!

With Barcelona’s pro-refugee rally,
The largest in Europe and perhaps
In the entire world till now,
We will surely not have enough
To eradicate our human misery.

The red sun has just hidden
Behind the lowest mountain
And as darkness unfolds
The picture changes colors:
Grayish blues carrying their shadows
On a rippled lake obscured
Where birds and ducks move
Swiftly countercurrent.

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Nenufars copy

The Excess of Confidence

I was sitting on a meadow one day
A book in my hands, how long I can’t say.
Three hens came close to me and showed no fear
I was most surprised as they came so near.
Was it my presence, so benevolent,
What made them approach me so confident?
They just trusted me and I did the same,
Collective confidence was here the game.
Animals, humans, need it in our lives,
To trust others instead of carrying knives.

Another day, walking in the city
I sensed there was no aggressivity.
On a street, a gay couple holding hands
Perhaps Barcelona now understands.
One person was black and the other white,
They were no longer a most dreadful sight.
Collective confidence was there again
Let’s hope this new tolerance will remain.

In Germany the principle of trust
Seems to be essential, it is a must.
I walk along one of its widest streets
It’s a frequent place where everyone meets.
Then I see a bookcase on a corner
It is public and with books, I wonder.
Books placed in the middle of a street
How pleasant it is to read so sweet
No one thinks to set them on fire
People read for pure desire.
Books travel, they come and go
The shelves have something to show.
No shelf becomes ever empty
For books there are always plenty.
Again collective confidence
Makes possible such a tendence.

Yet confidence remains shadowed
Too much the Germans have swallowed.
As Martí Anglada (1) once said
Their excessive confidence led
To the horrors of the genocide
Did they all ignore what was inside?
Heidegger was controversial
Did he think it was so special?
The Nazi regime would be the best tool
To reform university, how fool!

Essen celebrated Love Parade
Look at all the mess some people made
Beer bottles rolling on the floor
Of that crowded train, I want no more.
On railtracks drunken people walking
The train driver gave us a warning.
Nothing happened, yet soon after
There was more than one disaster:
The Duisburg tunnel, the Germanwings flight
Excess of confidence, a loss of sight.

Then came the Volkswagen case, a new shame,
Where again just too much trust is to blame.
Which country in the world, never mind
Each place carries such cases behind.
If the excess of confidence is no good,
Will we ever learn to act the way we should?

Martí Anglada is a Catalan journalist and the author of the book La via alemanya (The German Way), Brau 2014.

© 2018, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)