… the story of my life . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

FromMother’s Day: Flowers and Native American soapstone bear

My Life Is Not Mine—
Give wanting what other people have.
That way you’re safe.
“Where, where can I be safe?” you ask.
This is not a day for asking questions,
Not a day on any calendar.
This day is conscious of itself.
This day is a lover, bread, and gentleness,
More manifest than saying can say.
Thoughts take form with words,
But this daylight is beyond and before
Thinking and imagining.

Excerpt from The Essential Rumi, Colman Barks

Well, it’s rather late Tuesday here, but still Tuesday, and apologies for the delay in publishing this post and for some of the confusions in correspondence with poets. The past week has been complicated by low oxygen saturation and if you understand oxygen hunger, you know it’s disorienting and exhausting. Thanks for understanding and patience.

We have a profoundly moving collection today with responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt. Silent Life, September 4, which asked poets to write about their lives.  This is another collection where you might want to keep a box of tissues handy. There are a few that will touch your heart. Some others will make you nod your head because they present experiences that you’ve had as well.

This fine collection is courtesy of  bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, and Pali Raj.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning.


and on that day of sun
the leaves of the chestnut
like arms are shielding
the gleeds
and I see through the dream
like through some mirrors
the garden with some boats
far steps of the see
and beauty
that is killing me

© 2019, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov)

bogpan’s site is bogpan – блог за авторска поезия  блог за авторска поезия


sometimes in the middle of the night
i take the train from one part of town
and then back to the other side
i can’t sleep so i face my curiosity
tipping into the cleavage of the city
and her girlfriend moon
outside of the rolling cab my eyes
they register that it’s dirty
i swear i can see the car exhaust
black sooty pungent belching vulgarity
in the lungs of LA
behold the automotive crack pipe
then my attention flutters to the men
velvet skin plastic smiles and silver tongues
selling me a piece of Jesus and His hotrod
Hollywood Boulevard how much to eat me tonight
i burrow my alien feelings into the tunnels
And the cocky rail rides me to the platform
where humanity scrambles at the truth
of how small we must be to the Bitchgoddess
of everything all poets in history
have lamented about
to chase and purr on the formidable
lies that we are fed
only to show who kindness i wonder
i’m too old and out of time
to place gender or definition on my pleasures
the time to gamble with the rules and regulations
is quickly ending
at dawn pink and gray
with the smell of the city and
her beautifully cruel courtesans
on my hands and lips
i stagger up 7th street
and bum a cigarette from the Meals on Wheels guy
chat up Bang Me Billy and ask about his truck
we stroll to the rich folk Starbucks
he waltzes me up to the lines
we both feel very alive again
and smile at the young savvy people
when they turn up their nose

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


It is a day of discovery,
a loft of belonging,
her mid sentences with
no beginning or end.

Empty cases and rucksacks,
hide paintings he did in the fifties,
a still life framed in dark brown wood
a delicate vase sprouts colour,
another Mold Memorial day.


No time to stop and stare
the memory house, its corners,
its edges must be made bare.

We have no time to contemplate
every memory we find, ancient letter,
we have our own homes to decorate

with memories of our own, employment
pays for us to accumulate
thoughts in physical enjoyment

for our sons and daughters to sort
once we can no longer recall
what recollection we bought.


We clear dads loft
walk over asbestos,
lift objects out of the fluff,
I say we ought to wear masks

as dad died of industrial disease,
could not walk, his thoughts
Asbestos clouds struggled
like loose strands out of his mouth.

© 2019, 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.

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

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

Life Yesterday-Life Today

My Life began in a state of war and fear, so I was told
I was too young to understand or remember the operation
after my birth, our life was threatened by the enemy,cold
and to safety was no way, but a journey of urgent migration

Life After Crossing the Barbed Wire Border

On awakening I found life full of family and love, picnics
in the hilly forest with fresh water springs,cherries apples
tinned fruit, Hollands condensed milk, England’s Lipton’s tea,
Marie Biscuits Danish Butter cookies, jujubes,n home made ice cream

I learned to ride a bicycle and how to drive a jeep
I loved the illustrated dictionary story books to peep
played hopscotch, enjoyed the swing, and loved school
school life was a treasure, in memories buried deep

Come September as college began, when war returned
sudden attacks by tanks and artillery blackouts all were in-
fear returned as Father left, to tend the wounded soldiers
no one really wins a war’ lives lost, all is over but the din

Oh dear life began anew with strangers all around, unknown
many a ground, five years ago life was full of reading books
so soon life takes a turn,as one is taken and given away to
a strange world of changing dresses and preparing looks’

Life was all in young motherhood, pain and pressure
care and concern, away from home life put me in a home
and I as a mother also became a cook and a cleaner
where did love go I wonder’ the world seemed a lot meaner

we changed cities, houses, bought a blue Volkswagen
bought a five band Sanyo transistor and a 20inch TV
life was kind to us as a family, books returned as school
began and I found real love in kids in nature as a rule.

Life never seemed silent for more than a few hours
color music laughter and fun, filled the atmosphere, then
separations gradually seeped in as one by one, death
started catching up, now and when, who next will lose breath?

War Returns

fear returned, life had books but no school fun, as day by day
terror warnings halted life, my day uncertain, will I be back home?
yes, I would but with numerous stoppings at armed barricades
am I back in enemy territory, or am I in a war story movie?

Life became a bit peaceful with a mini migration from city to city
all was quiet in a small town,simple people,seemingly content
sipping tea in their roadside shops, and I would see through the
window, simple life in a village is better and I silently joined the party

nature blessed me with family to care,spent the day in cooking and
knitting, a bit of teaching but a lot more of writing reading and poetry
life is a dichotomy of war and peace of love and hate, of good and
bad, my life today has more than before, I think I don’t need any more

Life Now

Now I am again on my own,each day with my pencils and books
I make my own breakfast mug of tea, toast with jam or honey
I wash my own clothes and cook too but dishes I leave for my
partner to do, he loves to clean so i am free to leave aside the broom.

there is no garden nearby where I could enjoy flowers or walk
my partner avoids conversation and ‘talk’ so that leaves me with
my unseen friends, to text talk share and chat’,till its summer the
sounds I hear are the perpetual whirring of ceiling fans or muezzins call

I am grateful to be alive to be able to understand the purpose of life
to be a giver’ a helper’ to spread love and kindness and be silent’
If one has a silent life one hears the love and kindness of the divine
I was given a life and time, I must give too for ‘nothing was nor is’ all mine

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

From the Redness of Dawn to the Golden Grandeur of Dusk

Who is it ? Ah, it wakes me again, in silence, with half opened eyes,
I half rise shaken from oblivion, turn again, sit up, sense the darkness,
The unseen power has put life back in me, I am fortunate but let me be
not proud, I could be asleep for long,to miss the obligation, and be a sinner’
but no, the power gives me time, ‘Away Away O Sloth, tempt me not in dreams
pleasurable,in sleep drugged,for my life has a purpose,to fulfill, I must achieve.

Express gratitude O ungrateful soul, you have wasted enough time,the sky is still
dark,a few stars show hope,I have hope I will always have hope, I have seen
the golden orb smile with changing colors, I will see it again,forget the mug of tea
the sweetness of mixed fruit jam, the faint burnt aroma of toast, stand straight,bow
and bow again,as rightly as you can, soon the birds will stat to chirp their prayer, are
they better in faith and manner? they are, and how regular and disciplined, alas’ but

I am not a bird, my nest is empty though, no giggles or laughter do I hear,no steps
no songs,loneliness hovers around-Ah light appears behind the curtains,dawn breaks
I have the gift of day, tea tastes good with honey,sip it slowly,eat a bit for just energy
two pills now, one for hypertension,the other a blood thinner,life depends on the tiny
red and white tablets, panic strikes when I misplace the medicine pouch, forgetful me
now where are the reading glasses, again? well, I guess its normal at the platinum edge

kitchen table displays the bowl of vegetables, cut and washed, awaiting my attention,
must I cook? wish we had not lost the ‘mann o salwa’ , it’s past eleven, half the day
slipped away,let me check the mailbox,perhaps someone remembers me there’ -nothing
elsewhere in the world, killing, more killing,innocent killing,quarreling,arguing,commenting
impatience,intolerance,the planet has gone crazy,am I contributing to all the chaos? Yes?
the muezzin calls, Come to Prayer Come to Success’ so I must turn’ I must be on the right

afternoon,a bit of lunch and again drowsiness takes over, what did I do ten years ago
I would smile at the flowers,hug the kids and trees,listen to songs and skip a little too
Oh I see my children coming in the room smiling Mama Mama ‘ but what’s this, no one around
a short vision, curtains aside show the hillside green, a small house, wonder who lives
there? alone or with family? light clouds cover the sky, its all grey now- cries I hear of
people in captivity,without food water and medicine ‘freedom we want freedom’ Oh my heart

trembles and I move away from the window’ what tyrants are still ruling and roaming on
this planet, dinosaurs long gone instinct, big though were less harmful, Oh mankind what
greed ails thee what hunger for power makes thee mad? evening draws near,thoughts filled
with fear,nothing concrete have I done today’ news of deaths has droned all day, where is
peace where is joy, then Oh a beep a tingle of joy’ a friend far away, a spirit which cares
remembers with all the suffering in her share’ Ah now my day is made I thank the Almighty

He is present He cares and sends comfort in His own special way’
Hoping for the darkness to be light,praying for another peaceful day’
Hoping to make it worthwhile while I can while,here my spirit stays.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Ji’s sites are:

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

Forty-four words is not enough…

In the nick of time
My motto, my nemesis
My days overfilled with
Kids needing
Husband wanting
Daughterly obligations
School “volunteering”
Catholic guilt
Running miles – Ha! No
Running behind – yes
Secretary, chef, driver
Driving myself crazy
Oh look something else to sign up for!

© 2019, Irma Do

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

Coming Up Roses And Daffodils

“So how are you guys?” our kids text
and we try not to bore or alarm them
with a litany of aches and pains
and murmurs of our mortality.
We’re fine, we reply, and so we are
when we itemise each blessing,
tell how we’ve painted the kitchen
in a colour called lemon sorbet,
ordered some new roller blinds
to co-ordinate and plan a shade
of powder blue for the bathroom.
Our roses have spread from a single,
stringy bush we bought years ago
into an ebullience of sugar pink
clustering that empty corner space
we thought nothing would fill.
We’re pulling up stubborn weeds
pruning deadwood, filling tubs
with fresh compost for winter pansies:
might buy more daffodil bulbs
though there’s a crowdful underground
slumbering until next spring.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase Sheila’s little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com

.the story of my life.

i could write the story of my life remembering all that was,
forgetting the things i forget. i could start at the beginning,
work through to the end when it comes. it could be that way.
may be, i have already written much of it in bits and scraps
here and there. such is the way of it. some things come random.
not as you expected. i was to tell my story, you said.
i cannot be
bothered. there is no interest.
if there is, it can be googled, gathered, stitched quilt like into some
i cannot remember my granpa fondly, for he was dead a while before.
you told me your tale, silked tongue, the things you wished me to know.
no need to impress. cat piss leaves on skin leave black marks. remember?
recall the…

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

My Silent Thoughts

Silent thoughts ride through a cloud of memories scattered freely into the bay of time that resides in the mind…alas a constant reminder of dreams and aspirations still to pursue and undone goals left to do in a future stretched out in a haze and a maze of aging and uncertainty.

Silent thoughts…private thoughts tiptoe tentatively along the path of restoration seeking new musical sounds to bring to fruition amid creation…singing abstract harmonies that dance in between the syncopated rhythms of eighth notes gliding into victory.

Silent thoughts perch on the branches of tree lined streets observing cars neatly parked along curbs of hospitality and in driveways of ownership waiting patiently for drivers to take possession and drive off into their respective realities and obsessions.

Silent thoughts cringe at a world obsessed with violence…violence in defense of ideologies piercing the fibers of sensitivity refusing to embrace diversity…violence in defense of the dollar sign raping the economies…raping the environment…raping the positive use of technology.

Silent thoughts search the heart for inspiration…for courage…for creativity to permeate the USA in these dark days of insanity to persuade minds to incorporate once again democracy and justice for all…to stand tall on the legacy upon which this country was built.

Silent thoughts seek to “reach out and touch” and captivate the minds of the angry, the lost, the weary…to replace hate with tolerance…to replace dope with hope…to replace anger with a peace of mind that comes from on high… that comes from “something bigger than you and I”.

Silent thoughts escape from under the weight of oppression into the setting sun colored by deepening orange hues blended with shades of pink coloring the sky with magnificence and brilliance inspiring a myriad of poetic words to send messages of love through out the universe.

© 2019, Tamam Tracy Moncur

Diary of an Inner City Teacher is a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line. Over two decades in the trenches, educator Tamam Tracy Moncurexposes through her personal journal the plights, the highlights, the sadness, and the joys she has experienced as a teacher. Come to understand why the United States Department of Education and the various state departments of education must realize the teaching of academics cannot be divorced from the social issues that confront the students. Let s be innovative together and design new millennium schools that address the educational needs of the inner city students before it s too late! Our children s very existence is at stake! Laugh, cry, and become informed as you embrace the accounts of an inner city teacher.

Calm down today, but how
Our house is bigger ….yeah,
Today, we loud ever
Allah-Hu-Akbar, or
Jai Shree Ram,

or make prayer?
Silent life, a poem wish to live

Live it wow
Live it up ….yeah,
What can live up to this amount of pressure?

Silent life, a poem wish to live.
Today, I wish to live.
Today, I wish to work.

© 2019, Pali Raj


Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

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

“bud and lieu”. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.”  Marcus Aurelius, The Emperor’s Handbook

These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, In Lieu of Flowers (re: legacy and/or eulogy), October 17, 2018 variously prove a sense of humor, a spiritual leaning, and/or a practical perspective on the inevitable for all of us. Kudos and thanks to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Tamam Tracy Moncur, Carol Mikoda, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Special thanks and welcome to Jen Goldie, joining us for the first time.  Well done, poets.

In addition to their words, 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.

Unknown to Us

She left a legacy.
A legacy of love.
That’s all it was,
Simple and pure of spirit.

She left a legacy,
A legacy of hope.
That’s all it was,
Simple and pure of heart.

She left a legacy.
A legacy of caring.
That’s all it was,
Simple and pure of mind.

She left a legacy.

© 2018, J.E.Goldie

Don’t Miss Me

Take our times together
and apart
as memories to savor
or not.

Don’t miss me
Take challenges for me,
Be my eyes,
Be my voice,
Be my heart,

And remember this.
We’ll never be apart

© 2018, J.E.Goldie

J.E. GOLDIE (Jen) tells us: The more I learn..the more I realize how little I know about myself….and others. I continue to learn.I’ve reached an age where knowledge exceeds impetuosity And where wisdom allows freedom, An age where unreasonable demands without question become irreconcileable. I give you this wisdom and take mine, as you go through the current demands of your life be sure this is your course, because if the course is not yours and is demanded of you, Be sure you want to accept the regret since You will change the lives and times of others. Are you ready? Unreasonable demands without question are irreconcileable. The atmosphere will be extremely stressfull for you if the course is not yours. .

What your head knows, your heart doesn’t always remember…..

An old/new friend showed this quote to me. It brought tears to my eyes.

“Never let success hide its emptiness from you, achievement its nothingness, toil its desolation. And so…keep alive the incentive to push on further, that pain in the soul which drives us beyond ourselves…Do not look back. And do not dream about the future, either. It will neither give you back the past, nor satisfy your other daydreams. Your duty, your reward—your destiny—are here and now.” Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961), Swedish statesman and diplomat, 1961.

bud and lieu

in lieu of flowers
have a beer
or soda water
sparkled clear
or pinetop freshness
golly gosh
or kiss enmeshness
(use mouth; wash)

for when i’ve died
and journey ends
i’ll be relaxing
with my friends
who went before
and saved a seat
or barstool where
we toast, complete;

so ixnay tears
omit that flower
and raise your glass:
it’s Happy Hour.

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


wears piles of shoes and bags
new white shirts never opened

charity irons
creases out of the forgotten

sometimes a relative

gives a story
in feel of used cloth

weighs time in threads
how a story continues

nothing is possessed
If you never heard

a previous owner

only shoes have tongues
fail to speak of their wearer

except in wear

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

O, Lady Of The Breath (Six Vacanas)

1. You Rise

from my forest and leave
out of the gob and earth falls.

It shivers renewed,

welcomes a similar you
into my gob.

You excite my spring buds,
allow the earth to rise, again.

2. Can’t Let

you stay long in the dark,
or the earth will rot.

I can’t let you out for long,
or the earth will rot.

Let’s follow this pattern.
I’ll briefly allow you into my dark wood,

But please don’t take woodsmoke, car fumes,
coal dust, iron filings, water in with you,

else I’ll hack you out. These companions
quicken the rot.

3. Help With The

tasting snake in my cave
form the words I need to say.

Take my words out into air
loud enough for others to hear.

Please don’t say you are weak
and can’t carry such a weight.

Please don’t say I failed to welcome
enough of you into the forest.

4. My Dad Let You

in with pungent watercolours on his back,
stink of Clwyd cowpats and fresh mountain air,

but when he scraped boilers you secretly
took into his forest asbestosis strands

that speed his rot and ruin. I can’t understand
your thought in all of this

5. My Sister Threw You

out over her steering wheel,
her forest crushed by molded plastic.

She tried to welcome you back
but the wood was gone,

so you gust over her grave
under an overseeing tree.

O, my lady of the breath.
I welcome your coming and going.

6. Your Cheyne Stokes

delay before my unconscious Nanna
let you in.

I waited a minute, a 10-20
second episode of
stopped breath

suddenly her welcome
let you in

deeper and again
deeper in and out.

then delay

then delay

then delay

her welcome of you
and delay I watched seven days

until she refused your entry for good.

Gave me a legacy of breath.

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

The Afterthoughts

When this brain Is medically dead . will I pray I locked the door?

or made presentable by morticians knife fret I left the Box plugged in;

then lowered so others cast first soil or flame-grilled to fine urn ash tell myself I left the oven on;

(From my first chapbook”The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”)

or gladly leave this legacy a real reminder how I used to be.

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


I leave to each and all of you

in equal and careful measure

my love everlasting, ever new

it is my only treasure

that and hearty laughter

shared in close and distant quarter

may you hear it long after

my ashes settle in the water

when in the best of times

with family and friends

hear me in your laughing

bringing hope that knows no end

and when the time for sadness

comes into your lonely days

may the mystery of love once planted

help you navigate the waves

nothing more have I to offer

life itself could only know

those times of love and laughter

and how it made a family grow.

© 2018, Deb y Felio

..side parting..

looking for a legacy

i find nothing / no words

no comfortable leavings

parting on the wrong side

can be painful

some hide secrets

i do not

we hope you will feel good

about pins

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..the book..

is discussed at length,
the book is bound for

nightmares. it starts
early evening. retiring
to the upper rooms

the rags are torn ready
to close, to bind his
book in definitely.

it is an inheritance.
he talked about wills,
put his head under the cover,

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

The Last Symphony

The melodious singing of the church choir intensifies emotions replacing tears with a melancholy joy. I am on the outside peering in the dimension I vacated a week ago. In walks the bass striding to the beat of distant drums. My reasonably long life has come to an end as I prepare to make my transition. Piano lines racing and spacing…fingers flying… harmonic overtones filling in what was. I can hear the accolades,in lieu of flowers, the resolutions that say when I took Jesus in my heart was the start of new beginnings for me. Trombone sounds announce a life supreme…the tambourine marks time. I become the wife…the mother…the grandmother I should be. I am the teacher that cares for her students working diligently to enable them to succeed. I give back to the community…working to ameliorate poverty. Blue tones…chords dissonant…syncopated rhythms inspire my march against hatred…enabling me to poetically protest ignorance…racism…fanaticism…sexism and economic discrimination in the world’s richest nation. Last message to My Country Tis of Thee…choose God not money…choose God not money…choose God not money. God is LOVE! The bass takes my hand…stepping high. A crescendo of symphonic tones fills the atmosphere for God is near. Jazz stands on the horizon beckoning. The coffin is now closed on my life.

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur 

Diary of an Inner City Teacher “is a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line. Over two decades in the trenches, educator Tamam Tracy Moncur exposes through her personal journal the plights, the highlights, the sadness, and the joys she has experienced as a teacher. Come to understand why the United States Department of Education and the various state departments of education must realize the teaching of academics cannot be divorced from the social issues that confront the students. Let s be innovative together and design new millennium schools that address the educational needs of the inner city students before it s too late! Our children s very existence is at stake! Laugh, cry, and become informed as you embrace the accounts of an inner city teacher.

Tamam Tracy Moncur

“Tamam Tracy Moncur was born in Oakland, California. She attended elementary school in Oakland, and attended middle and high school in Berkeley. She was a civil rights activist in San Francisco prior to relocating to the East Coast. She met her husband, renowned jazz musician Grachan Moncur III in New York City. They were burned out of their apartment in Harlem, and eventually her husband s grandmother was able to secure an apartment for them in Newark, New Jersey, in one of the high rise projects that existed at that time. Tamam in the past has worked with her husband arranging musical compositions and performing. In her spare time, she has self published several poetry booklets, co-produced a CD of music and poetry, and collaborated with her family to produce a play that her mother wrote. She also has written short stories and a novel, but this project, Diary of an Inner City Teacher, is very close to her heart. She invites you to walk with her on her personal journey so you can perceive the classroom experience from a different perspective and become an advocate for change in the development of innovative schools for the future.”

Tamam’s Diary of an Inner City Teacher is available HERE. I just got the Kindle version and look forward to reading it. / J.D.

Smile at Fear

for everything
to flow in this direction.
It’s not
a competition.
Wind and water may
want to rush past
but not when
I have created
a meandering path to draw them
around corners,
into nooks,
leaving traces of

In lieu of flowers,
please sing:
gather many
ensembles to set
the air
v i b r a t i n g.

Smile at Death
Remember me
in melody.

© 2018, Carol Mikoda

Leaving Love as a Precious Gage

(in Urdu and English)

کہتے ہیں چاہت اندھی  ہوتی ہے 
یہ دل اور روح  کا لطیف  رشتہ 
اس میں کیا پرکھنا کیا   عمر کا  تقاضا  کرنا  
  جب کوئی  خوشبو   چپکے  سے روح  میں  سما  جا نے
تو کسی  سے  کیا  شکوہ  یا  شکوہ یا شکایت  کرنا 
بس یہ کرنا کے  کہ کسی کو دکھی نہ کرنا 
احترم ن  آخری  بار  پکارا  پھول  آپکو 
اب  آداب  باغے شاہی  تو  سیکھ  لو  پہلے 
پھر کسی  گل  و  شہزادی  کو چاہنے  کی  جرات  کرنا 
دنیا سے چلے جاؤگے  انجم  
کچھ  اپنی  چمکتی  خوشبو 
یھاں  چھوڑ  دینا
پھر  آسمان  پر  جا کر 
سکوں  بھری  چاندنی 
نچھاور کرنا 
love is blind and so we say,it
 finds to the heart and soul –its way-
so why think about age 
why judge  the clayey cage
when  sweet fragrance engulfs
the spirit then lament not, nor
pity thyself nor cry, for 
love is a precious gage
so grieve no heart on Earth
nor make bleak a life
you will soon be away
from struggle trial and strife
before I cease to be I called you
 a flower  a tender rose petal
and now I must learn the laws
of the garden’, accept the nettle 
maybe in time I may find
 the  true bright light, till
then on the high night sky
will be to shine , and sigh
so I leave behind some love
some  effulgent fragrance with 
 perpetual  radiance ,remember,
peace is- only with complacence
© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)


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

“Tears of God” … and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“It’s ironic that poets use words to convey what lies beyond words, that poetry becomes most powerful where simple language fails, allowing one to bridge the conscious and unconscious.” – Diane Ackerman, poet and writer

These responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt on parenting and being parented (yes! I coined an ackward word), September 12 are likely to bring you to tears, to awaken forgotten memories or validate ones that are vivid in mind. Thanks to Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Renee Espriu, deb y fell (Debbie Felio), Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, and bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov) and a warm welcome to Jennifer Collins.  Brave, wise and wonderful poets all.

Read on and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt tomorrow.  All are encourage: novice, emerging and pro.

The long road home

The umbilical cord between us,
Invisible to the naked eye,
Has a life of its own.
No matter how hard I try,
To pull away, even at my age,
It has an elastic snap
And cuts me short, then bounces
Me back to you.

I wonder how long it spans,
Even as you get carted away,
Across highways,
Somewhere upstate,
I know I will feel the internal tug,

Pull and tug and pull,
Till the pain brings tears to my eyes
And I run to the kitchen to grab hold
Of the scissors to cut and cut and cut
Me away from you.

But no matter how hard I try,
The damn thing finds its way back
And re-attaches itself to my heart,
To my gut- to your beating belly center
From which it was born.

© 2018, Jennifer Collins

JENNIFER COLLINS: I’m a writer, yoga instructor, social worker, wife and mom. I live on long Island. Writing for me has always been an outlet and a way to navigate and understand the world and my experiences. It is my compass, guiding me through the rough and quiet waters of my life.


toughish love

dad had a note he would send
one of the three of us brothers
to the store with: “please sell my son
2 packs of pall malls”

i didn’t like to do it
i never liked to do it

one day i refused.
i had to not lie.
“dad. i’m not going to do this
any more.”
i looked at him
and made my eyes say You
Want Me To Help Kill You.

in his eyes
was a question.
Do I Let You Defy Me?

Then there was an answer:
Ah, Well,
It’s Because He Loves Me.

dad said, “okay,”
and i never bought him cigarettes again.

i was twelve,
he was thirty-three,
but i was the parent that day.

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

Tears Of


My sons eyes are cold.
I have seen this look before.
He lugs my dog Sheba by her mane,

hauls her along the floor
a piece of meat, slopping over gunnels
in an abattoir, blood down the drains.
Her paws scratch and scrape
he dumps her at my feet.

“Bite its ear!”
I shake my head.
“If it’s done wrong, and it has
bite its ear.” I shake my head

“Done nothing wrong.”

“Eh! Speak up woman!”

“It ‘aint done nothing wrong. Jack!”

Fine rain falls through grey skies
in the pub yard, and a yellow
fluid flows out from under the dog.

“Dirty bitch!”
He kicks Sheba in her side.
She whimpers, puts her head
pleadingly on the black shiny
surface of my court shoes.

“I’ll do it then!”
Snatches her up
by the scruff

“Getting a dog
and not bringing it up right.
Stupid cow!”

He snaps at the silk of her ear.
She yelps. I cry.

“Stupid sodding cow!”
He slaps me hard
across my face. I feel
his gold rings on my cheek.

“Stop whimpering!”
Pushes me up against
the wet wall. His cold eyes
up close make me shiver.

One hand on my throat,
the other points at her. I mumble.
“Not again Jack. Please!”
My legs have gone.

“Treat the bitch right
and it’ll treat you right.”
Sheba inches against the wall,
low and hung back like the grey clouds.

Jack lets me fall. The pub door slams
Sheba, up on her legs again,
licks my face, lays down by my side
puts her head on my black court shoes.

Her neck is warm. My back hurts.
They call the rain the “Tears of God”

Originally published in Degenerate Literature, Domestic Violence Edition, Weasel Press

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imaginationand now running The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews [of poets and writers] )


still wears a nappy at seven
doesn’t understand
why folk tell him off

climbs through an open
window with his six year old
sister whose dress tears

as they tumble on wet
grass in the garden
amongst the dogshit

and mucky diapers mam
has chucked out the kitchen
door, and they walk

on the broken glass
from beer bottles dad
has lobbed out onto

the asphalt path to the front
garden gate that has only
one hinge and they totter

down the street to the big
sign of the supermarket
where steal some sweets

and sit outside and somebody
shouts at him and tells him off
and he doesn’t know why.

originally published in Nixes Mate Magazine

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

“A fist in

the ear.”

he whispers to me

“What she needs.
She pushes me to it.
Harder than any squaddies.

And her children.
Her little bastards,
that’s what they need

I tell her,
a fist in the ear
and they don’t
lack discipline anymore.

They’ve got to tell me
she’s got to tell me,
where she goes,
what she does,
who she meets.

I’ll not worry then
will I?

What she needs,
If she’s off with some other
I’ll bring a shotgun to her.”

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

No More Fetch

you here,
Fetch you home.

Fetch my lips to thine.
Fetch my arse to this.

Fetch you dinner.
Fetch you a snog.

Fetch your groceries.
Fetch your washing and ironing.

Fetch your slippers
Fetch my social to your wallet.

Fetch my hand up to stop thy fist.
Fetch your belongings in a black bag.

Fetch your gob and its mouthful.
Fetch mesen to thy want.

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


I zero in

On the cracks in the walls

The spaces between the tile and grout

The layer of dust on the grand piano

The peeling Formica under 80’s sought after giveaway cups

The places where your innovative nature took precedence over getting the job done right.

I zero in

On the grays in your hair

And the spots on your hands

The slowness in your cane aided walk

Your mouth agape during your afternoon nap

The hand me up shirt you’ve been wearing for decades because it still fits

I zoom out

And see the humor and kindness in your eyes

The hands that lovingly prepare my favorite meal

The 20 year old bed that fits generations

The clock where time has stopped but happiness lives on

The struggle of remembering and honoring and forgetting and accepting.

I zoom out

And notice what you do without

What you’ve sacrificed

What you’ve preserved

What you’ve done with love

What you’ve done for love.

I zero in on that detail.

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

Oranges and Apples

A mother is what she needed
not a friend that played
jacks, marbles and jump rope

where she was left
to her own devices of
making mischief
with her brother

or watching a locomotive
barrel down steel tracks
to crush a penny
newly set
upon them

but her mother an only child
longed for siblings
for playmates
to fill
a yearning

so even as she needed
wanted a mother
oranges and apples
would not mix

yet her mother turned flour sacks
into underclothes and slips
for her sewn dresses
to lie upon

her mother cooked food
laden with the aromas
of love

pies trimmed in the lace
of gold brown crust
even when money
was a

she would surmise in life
that mothers do the best
with what life
gives them

© 2018 Renee Espriu (Angles, My Muse & Turtle Flight)

It’s No Big Deal

A minor slight —
sliver of glass
under the skin
every day

how bad could it be?

© 2018, deb y felio


How can we not
when it is in our

How can we not
when it is in our
histories & herstories

Broken love —
self seeking,

How can we not
when it is in our

How can we not
when it is in our
pasts and presents

How can we not
hurt/break others
when we start that way

enter broken —
what else can be given
but brokenness
passed generations
to generations
in disguised iterations

I will never be
her, him, them
but how can I not

Memory in words
action, emotion
overwhelm, repeat

How can we not
what else is there —
only practiced brokenness.

Father forgive them
Father forgive me
When I cannot.

© 2018, deb y felio

.mother love.

mother loves; son loves.

three. sons arrive. two.

father disappears a while,


while he is gone they grow.


mother loves; son loves.

a while.

middle one dies, elder blames

mother, abuses her daughter.

a while.

the younger blinks and stutters.

mother loves; son loves.

he has a different story.

mother loves; son loves.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Second response


lay dead . do not speak nor ask for fear.

lay quiet. do not write nor tell. there are

new shoes by the wardrobe. at an angle.

still. do not move nor participate in any


do not breathe, nor cry. there are new

shoes by the wardrobe, new shoes.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

The Shadows of Addiction

What’s the excuse?

Substances infuse the brain
No pain
Worries…anxieties flee
Mocking reality

Illusions of joy
Permeate the atmosphere
No fear
Confidence in abundance
Eradicates the twins
Insecurity and timidity

Crack cocaine dances with heroin
Down opioid lane
The life of the party has been born
Sworn in only to begin
The cycle over and over again

The belle of the ball
Begins to fall
Into the depths of despair
Where even love-starved children
Cannot pierce the fierce
Grasp of addiction

Brokenhearted families
Succumb to the numbness
Of a devastating madness
Found in pipes…pills…powders
In the streets…prescriptions
over the counters
living death destroying
the fabric of love…

What’s the excuse?

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)

Pain In Your Heart

“Art creates the dream of life”

Is that the season?
The leaves are hitting the silent windows
and some roots of trees are creaking,
but I am a dream.
I do not recognize the colors,
when the sun of that town
without time shelters me like Mum.
Which flowers shall I gift to you?
I am not a saint – I cannot revive you.
I cannot even grieve

To gift to you – a last flower.

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


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

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


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

“If life is not a celebration, why remember it ? If life — mine or that of my fellow man — is not an offering to the other, what are we doing on this earth?”  Open HeartElie Wiesel 

What a treasure of a collection, these serious thoughts this week in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Riding the Ebb-tides of Eternity, September 5. Touching. Stunning. Thoughtful.

Thanks and a warm welcome to Jim Wardell, new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt.  Thanks to Gary W. Bowers, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), Tamam Tracy Moncur, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Carol Mikoda and Susan St. Pierre. Special thanks to Susan and Bozhidar for sharing illustrations.

Read. Enjoy. Be inspired. And do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate: beginning, emerging, or pro poets.


On this dew soaked morning
gentle sunlight streams between
the dampened boughs of an awakened day.

I think of you and of me
and of the many misted mornings
we laughed and whispered
until we had to part for a time.

Afternoon and evening sped by
but morning always lingered.

We moved at the pace of sleep
slow and without effort
to prepare the day for ourselves
while hustle and bustle and rush and whim
scurried and fretted about us.

Hidden smiles and secret plots contrived in haste
deals brokered in the light of the rising sun
conspiracies bound in blood and love
carried us through the day apart
the time of our unknowing.

Always when evening came
separated paths joined once more
promises of morning were fulfilled
in the drifting dusk.

As this morning of our lives lingers
I sit share laugh cry
etch upon my heart this memory
of hidden smiles and secret plots.

We have not changed
You and I remain bound in blood and love
we have not changed.

Morning ends as it always does
you on your path and I on mine
frightened to be alone.

We now step into the time of our unknowing
confident that when evening falls
the other will await.

© James Wardell (A Day of Wind and Moon)

James Wardell

JAMES WARDELL, a native of Kentucky, is a musician and educator who has made his home in the mountains of southwest Virginia. He plays, writes, teaches and learns at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Some days he works.

Previous publications include Jimson Weed Journal, Tipton Poetry Review, Goliath, Snakeskin Magazine, Bitterzoet Magazine and Press, and Voices Literary Journal.


teapots and tempests
some crafted some not
tosspots and destinies
often are wrought
if you behold
you’re beholden eh wot
away rules
and then blossom some more
doorways to wayfaring ferret
chandelier faceting
billboardish asseting
heat-rubbled smoke
the rising signal
A hell it made
not merely of manglecrush forms
but of the simmering magma
of hatred

the bombs we make we
lob into crowds
and they unmake
and we know it is wrong
but it is again a signal
that we are lost

but some of us love
some see seedlings
and keep them for spring

and some beyond us
save all endeavor

a tempest is not endeavor
a teapot is endeavor
thought is endeavor
some thought is divine

and tsftpot
stands for
the society
for the preservation
of thought

oral tradition
was its larva
movable type its nymph
and eons hence
its adult form
will be the very texture
of reality

stars do not die
they become something else
as will you
as will i

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

Supernatural Senses

How do I look at my own demise?
It’s not a surprise because the one thing we all know
Is that one day we too shall die
We will pass from this plane into eternity.
At 73 many people close to me have made
This transition in creation to another place in space.
Twice in my dreams two of my loved ones have appeared
at different times in my life
To free me from fear and doubt
First my grandmother and then years later my son
Each came during a time of hurt
Each came during a time of spiritual pain
Each came during a time of emotional distress
My grandmother and my son
They made that journey from the world beyond
to give me a supernatural hug
A magical hug
A mystical hug
A hug that enveloped me in God’s love
A hug of reassurance strengthening my mind
And my endurance to always walk in faith
Until my ultimate release into peace comes.

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)



along the rivers Maritsa floats the cut head
of Orpheus
– „no,“ he had told the Maenad,
but they did not understand
in this land only in this land
„yes“ is for a return
the legend tells you that in the autumn you can hear
the tender sounds of the Lira, for everything is back –

only on the sounds and on the drops of blood
you can find me

© 2018, bogpan (a.k.a. Bozhidar Pangelov ) (bogpan); illustration,  “The Death of Orpheus (1494) by Durer,” public domain


To be remembered…
Leave footprints in the
Fresh sand of youthful wonder,
And seek wisdom found in
Questions you can’t answer .
Make memories on the
Pristine palette of a baby,
And explore forever with an
Eye on being present.
Eternity belongs to those
<Who stand out in a child’s life>
Etched in time and tradition,
You’ll be remembered.

© 2018, photo and poem, Susan St. Pierre (Silly Frog Susan)

‘smiley smiley’
monkeys smile

as can we, yet i guess
a duck can’t smile, ian.

can snails smile, i know
i smile a lot, learned it
at dance class, whatever
happens, keep it up.

continues now, at work,
they say it cheers you up,
makes your cheeks hurt,

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.my life.

sundays is three things.today may be one.

sometimes it comes easy,sometimes it


it is warm today, just look at all there is


as opposed to elsewhere.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Four Disagreements

The first postcard from hell said, “Don’t you get sick of being honest all the time? Everyone is always checking and making sure. Why not give them something to surprise them?” So I allowed jewels to fall from my mouth along with my impeccable word and flowers and once in a while bolts and washers with no nuts. Everyone was continually surprised.

The second postcard from hell told me I could relax, slough off my usual care and meaningful intention. “It’s so hard when you’re always trying to do your best, isn’t it? You deserve a break!” So I collected up a million of my favorite human beings and tooks us all to a resort where we relaxed in hammocks and beach chairs. All of our beverages included blossoms and little umbrellas. We napped.

The third postcard from hell was direct but a bit strained: “Some of these people? The ones with you at the resort? They look funny or smell funny or eat weird foods or speak funny languages! They don’t match you. Who knows who is lurking in there?” So I walked among those million people, talking, laughing, singing with them, sharing meals, until we all found something in common, like the color of our socks.

The million human beings had to go back to schools, jobs, homes, so I read the fourth postcard from hell all alone sitting in a broken beach chair. “Ha! They left you! Loser! They don’t like you! Go eat worms!” So I invented a machine to rearrange the grains of sand on the beach to send messages to the stars. The message I sent was:

© 2018, Carol Mikoda (At the Yellow Table / We Are Stardust: Change Is What It’s All About)


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

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