“Awakening! Sweet or Rude” . . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“I’d love to wake up to complete silence, white sheets, and the smell of crisp air and roses.” Maria Elena, Eternal Youth

And it being Tuesday, here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Awakening, August 7. Today our poets explore the ins, outs, pleasures and occasional weirdness of one of the most pivotal points of the day.

Brown-eared Bulbul shared under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

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

Today we also warmly welcome Urmila Mahajan in her first appearance on this site. Urmila mentions a bulbul bird in her poem.  I’d never heard of it. I had to look it up. The bulbul – pretty bird – doesn’t live in the Americas or in Europe.

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


I occupy a crevice
that night has burned and
day has not yet filled
where Earth is stilled until
the first bulbul chimes its
two-toned announcement
of another dawn

the ageing cat takes precedence
over frozen morning feet as I
hobble to touch a trembling purr
on bony flanks of fading flesh
to replenish a feeding bowl and
scrub flecks of meaty morsels
off the floor

to carefully strain a litter
by a single yellow lamp
and start the day with twosome
caring and a daydream
flickering in both minds of
many more such mornings
to come

we move on padded paws to keep
the brittle hush from snapping
and squinting without spectacles
I see the glowing crucialness
of beginnings

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

Urmila Mahajan

URMILA MAHAJAN worked for over two decades as an English teacher in various schools. Passionate about drama she now works as a drama consultant for schools.

Her poetry has won several online prizes. She published her poetry book, Drops of Dew, with a foreword by Ruskin Bond, in 2005. Her more recent poems can currently be found at on her blog HERE.

Her full-length children’s novel, My Brother TooToo, was published in 2010. Around the same time, her articles on using English correctly were a regular feature in a youth magazine.

She lives in Hyderabad, India. Her hobbies include birdwatching, growing organic vegetables and of course, looking after her cat.


to fall asleep
a book
with your reading glasses
(on a lamp)
the dawn is

© 2019, bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov)

bogpan’s site is:  (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия  блог за авторска поезия)


there she is
bright bold with golden arms
the lady who comes to purify my blood
just 2 hours and 34 minutes in the past
did the moon with his mariachi suit
cry with me because he is a gentleman
we had clinked tequila glasses
while he kissed my hands
but with each step Zorya takes toward my window
i’ve come to prefer the strong espresso roast
dark heavy smoldering like your heart
you prefer to sleep
after quaking and quivering through my mounds
and when your eyes come open wide your armor
will cover you again
as i remain the faithful wench
in the china cup where to gold has chipped off
filled with mud and some manipulative tears
my cigarette will drown in sorrow
so i walk into the bathroom
to wash your sheep’s odor
off my she wolf fur

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


as i hack
through the unliving
with my broadsword
there suddenly comes
into my dream
tinkling cloying music
worse than zombies
for it snatches
me from glory
and its purpose
into the mundane
drab and dismal
day to day

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay)

Gary’s site is: 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.

The Hyperbolic Poet Awakes

My eyelids open
are two worlds unfettered by cloud.

I splash the seven oceans
On the continents of my skin.

Rake the tombstones inside my mouth.
Tumble downstairs is scree down a mountain.

Open the wooden doors of delight,
Recover the pottery of ages,

Pour an avalanche of muesli
Farmed on sunny hillsides,

Crushed by the quern.
Grab the milk hosed out

By gargantuan herbivores,
Refined in their udders of heaven.

Wash and restacked pottery,
I stride over the open threshold
A veritable colossus.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Rain Is Awake

when it falls
hits the snuggled earth
with wet caresses

Conscious movement
rippled determination
to move forward
once a route is found,

knows it must find rest
a place to sleep
but other droplets insist
on movement forward

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Her Fur Elise

I awake to Beethoven as Mam taps the upright
piano downstairs in the through lounge

where morning light highlights dark brown dining table
and varnished coffee table both polished

with Pledge until you see yourself. Later
chemo will make her petite fingers fat,

Fur Elise break into fragments as disease progresses
and piano sold as her hands come to rest.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Tom Tit

Suddenly awake I hear
milk float electric whirr, his
bottles rattle in their baskets
the clink as milkman delivers.

“Fetch milk in”, mam sharts.
I open our snowed door to find
Blue Tom Tit has been at it
again, claws stood on the lip,
beak strips the silver foil top
for a sup and winter sip.
I am not a milksop
“Tit’s been at it again, mam!

© 2019, Paul Brookes

our god sleeps

with his gob open.
When he opens his gob
It could be dawn, noon or midday.
whenever we must awake
to work in the mountains.
The mountains of god’s tongue.

They shake and gust blows.
We must find
our balance.
Hunt for food
on the undulations.

Never know
when god will close his mouth
for night to fall, again.

Sometimes night is short.

Folk say there is life
over the mountains
in god’s teeth.

None have returned.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

The Owl Guide

As you lie on that hospital bed unconscious
in a maybe
What more can you do,
What more should you have done

As a young girl, excited and unaccustomed to city-ways, gallop your dads milk horse
away from your white home,
through downtown Sunderland streets
where this morning it trotted
Dads milkcart rattle on a milkround.

Folk scatter, run scared.
A bobby captures your reins.
Arrested and thrown in prison
with the rapists, killers and paedophiles.

sob yourself to sleep.
Shortly after midnight awake
to flap, flap flap near the door,

stood wide open. You softly
step out, closed the door behind you.

See an owl,
perched on a wooden fence,

who awaits your escape.
The owl flies in front of you,
guides you past bobbies,

through dark streets, till you came
to a saddled horse and a bundle of fresh clothes.

You mount, the owl pulls the horses head
Towards the white dairy farm

then leaves, as it must as the owl
In a maybe
Is your future daughter who dies before you do.
What more can you do?
What more should you have done?

From Paul’s collection Port of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes


For a time I do bother
to polish the surfaces,
hoover, wash and iron.

If only for myself,
but then myself is not enough.
Dust piles, crumpled clothes dirty.

I fall asleep among dirty sheets,
empty crisp packets,
half eaten cold pizzas,
stink of mice piss.

Awake to freshly laundered sheets,
clean carpets, clothes washed, ironed.
Surfaces polished smell of Lavender.
How could this happen?

Again I fall asleep while tv on,
amongst discarded chocolate papers,
left over cake on plates,
half drunk cans of lager.

Awake to tv off, rubbish binned,
plates washed, dried put away,
Citrus not stale beer and rotting smell.
I’m intrigued. Curious.

It takes no effort to be a slob, again.
Spill crisps down sides of chairs,
dribble tea into carpet, crumbs.
Energy drinks ready I stay awake.

Energy sup is the biz. Make
Me hyper so I see these two tiny
Folk, man and woman, like regular
Nanites sorting my crap.

Like my old man never were
this one hoovers up crumbs,
packs his black bin bag with cans,
busies, polishes, scrubs to his bones.

His old woman like mam, I guess,
dusts, scours a whirlwind devil.
Part of me says they do as they must,
the other sees what they lack.

Next night I leave them a gift
of nothing to tidy, to put away.
They seem contented as I watch
surrogate mam and dad leave for good.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

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

Awakening! Sweet or Rude

In Lethe we stay
dipped drugged forgetful of life
seasons pass in time

childhood is a dream
fettered forced youth,innocent crime,
silver streaks,await

the promise in vain,
bent weak constantly in pain,
hope to rise again?

right guidance will come
love light peace freedom will shine,
to awaken me.

® 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

On Being Awakened

The joy of morning
Crowded out by small elbows
In my lower back

© 2019, Irma Do

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

Like The First Morning

Break, morning, and fly to me,
be my golden songbird.
Lift me from huddled sleep,
tuck me between your wing
and sun-dappled breast
and carry me over the rooftops.

Break, in all your new colours.
Wrap me in scarlet flame,
ease my bones and warm my heart
against your own as you soar
above mountains and pine trees
spooled with silver mist.

Break, morning, as though
you were the first to unveil
creation’s radiant face;
teach me your glory-unto-him
psalm of sunlit waking:
and breaking, from night’s heft.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

Replacing The Empties

Woken by summer’s early light
I heard the chug of a milk- float
down the road. It rattled to a stop
outside our house, the milkman
unlatched our wooden gate
and bounded up the path.

A chime of glass and he’d replaced
the empties, left two full bottles
on the front step. Pasteurised
for my porridge or custard,
sterilised(long-lasting and thin)
for Mum and Dad’s tea.

The door opened and closed.
Mum had brought the milk inside-
time for me to yawn, stretch,
go back to sleep for another hour.
Downstairs, Mum brewed a pot
of tea for Dad’s work- flask.

She made sandwiches, wrapped
two slices of cakes in greaseproof
and packed them in his rucksack.
After he’d left, she topped up the pot
with fresh water, opened the stera.
and sipped the best cup of the day

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase this 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

.upper rooms.

some mornings while drifting

i see the writing in my head

come patterned, neat lines balancing

dancing with the rain

at the window

on waking

yesterday we remembered blancmange

and jelly, ideal milk and water

pineapple that split cream

food that touched

yesterday we remembered our granmas

our mothers

bundles of cotton with colours

required for mending always

yesterday she explained to sew

the four holes in synchronicity


on linen

yesterday the words came easily with labels

and names

today on brightening


© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.touch the surface.

i slept a darker paint,

a place of nowhere,

no marks, no texture,


waking, touch the surface.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. the theory .

that feeling, that . arrives unexpected from darkness, some winters’ mornings, opening the door to the sound of one black bran bird calling. track four repeated. that comes on waking finding peace and comfort bound.

it is a fine line we walk, gently avoiding peptides, only just a theory, yet used independently, alongside honest work

reading how the body works, you will have a better understanding, yet they do not teach of this

at school. they teach of clever yoghurt in adverts, i did not know microbes fancy food, move our choices.

the play continues, some of the old cast, new actors oblige, ideas on lack of addictive ways. simple days without receptors. singing under breath, numbers.

have you been to the counting?

lines ruled to stop

vertigo setting in.







it is a fine line we walk, gently avoiding peptides, only just a theory, yet used independently, alongside honest work.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:

Angels Singing Hallelujah

Angels singing hallelujah pull the sun up from behind the horizon splashing the colors of dawn across the sky calling for the spirit of life to arise in God’s radiance.

Sleeping flowers perk up preparing to unfold in their resilience and in their brilliance.

The rolling green hills in the distance framed by cumulus clouds stand firm in their resolve to praise God.

The birds twitter and tweet good morning to the universe then take wing and sing to the inhabitants of earth.

Gentle sounds emitting from a cell phone alarm roam through the air at that moment penetrating the dark silence of a deep sleep in another world…in another place…in another space.

Scripture settles a sleepy soul sweeping away cobwebs of confusion and illusions lighting the way to the manifestation of a new day.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ….

Conscious mind awakes collecting bits and pieces of memory fragmented by the divide between reverie and reality then places them back into the puzzle of existence…the new day begins.

© 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.

Can a love, you don’t name
Can be love
On awakening, a poem ask
Answer me, if you have to die
How can I quit eating
‘over salted pie’

I feel happy, and dead
(On awakening) I visit your profile when

Go, look at your profile views ….yeah
I find myself on a porn 😭 when
I tap on link to know more 🤔
Answer me
Can a love, you don’t name
Can be love

I feel happy, and dead
(On awakening) I visit your profile when

I am an effeminate ….yeah
At night late *so what*
I visit your profile
You are a vamp …..yeah
I find myself on a porn 😭 when
I tap on link to know more 🤔

I feel happy, and dead
(On awakening) I visit your profile when

Can a love, you don’t name
Can be love
Look at my photo then
Answer me, if you have to die
How can I quit eating
‘over salted pie’

© 2019, Pali Raj

On Awakening

Don’t like to sleep
But actually slept
For a few hours
No hypnagogic images
No dreams
Just … nothing
Two dogs snuggled in
Trying to take over
My pillow
My place on the mattress
I leap from the bed
(Well, an aging woman’s leap)
Dash into the kitchen
Grind the coffee
Swallow the BP meds
And this Morning Aries
Tugs open the sliding glass door,
Joining the joyful dogs
Noses to the ground
Following the scent of
The wascally wabbit
Impossible possum
Wrecking my palm tree
While the early birds
Peck at the feeder
Too lazy to find the worm
While the feral cat
Safe from the dogs
On the other side of the fence
Yowls to be fed
And I say
Thank you to the Cosmos
For giving me another day…

© 2019, Clarissa Simmens 

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.


Recent in digital publications: 
* Five by Jamie Dedes, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 11, 2019) / This short story is dedicated to the world’s refugees, one in every 113 people.

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group / Beguines, pushers of The BeZine of which I am managing editor. Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or commissions.

“The Price of Peanut Butter” and other works in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth.
You are also as strong as your strongest link.
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean
by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Rich, Me, Dan

Thank you to all who sent messages and notes wishing us a happy family reunion. It was wonderful. We chatted and laughed as though we’d only seen one another yesterday, as though forty years hadn’t passed.  Thanks also to those who knew I went into the hospital right after our reunion and who wished me well and kept me in your prayers. I admit to slowing down, but I’m still here kicking thanks to loving family and friends, good doctors, and the grace of God.

I know it’s already Wednesday where some of you live, but it’s still Tuesday here in Northern California. My apologies though for the lateness of the post. So much catching up – good catching up – to do after the activities of the past few weeks.

It certainly looks like we hit a responsive nerve with the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, It’s Not the ’60s Anymore, asking for work that gives us a strong sense of time and place and how the writer and/or the times have changed. This collection is delightful featuring such a diversity of time, place, and ages and marked by depth, caring, and consciousness. I’m proud to be able to present this collection to you here today.

Thanks to our newcomer mm brazfield for her participation and a warm welcome.  Thanks to all for coming out to play: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Sonia Benskin Mesher, Taman Tracy Moncur, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan), Marta Pombo Sallés, Julie Standig, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

Links are connected to poet/writer websites where available – NOT to specific poems – to encourage readers to visit them and get to know their work.  If no website is available, it’s likely you can find the poet/writer on Facebook, where some folks also publish their work.

Read! Enjoy! And join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are encourage to share their work on theme, beginning, emerging or pro.

The Price of Peanut Butter

of course i remember the old Safeway, Hank. in closing my eyes i can see the Mahatma Rice Genie on the little rice bags and Jiffy cost less than a dollar. i was not taller than a yard stick, yet i knew my lime green pastel knit dresses were an infamy. Hank, i recall the prime parties on Berendo street, the last of the beehive hairdo elegant women in turquoise bell-bottoms, i a barefooted brat. and on alternate Saturdays the biker parties in the Silver Lake Hills. the Harleys looked like stallions. in the middle of the week, i can’t remember where i’d sleep, but AC/DC dueled with Tom Jones in my dreams. now, Hank, we have non-GMO juice stands and designer coffee drinks. i’m about a yard stick and a quarter tall now and i dress in black. i still enjoy Tom and Brian, but Nirvana and Cornell own my heart. i finally read the Torah too. but the fears, doubts, agonies and uncertainties are still within my universe. Safeway is now Vons. House of Pies is still there too, i feed on their Western Spaghetti. i’m going at it in a round-about way. Volkswagons’ and Mustangs aren’t what they used to be, but they’ve cut down on bad emissions. Hank, you wouldn’t believe, there’s almond, cashew, sunflower, pistachio and Brazil Nut butter. i don’t talk much, i type on the phone, even on dates, sitting right across the table from them all. i suppose i’ll never see a good bra burning anymore, i giggled at it as a child. but, they have apps for that now. i never really fit in any particular time in LA. from 8 tracks to Alexa and frozen peas to organic produce delivery. i don’t know, Hank. peanut butter today is quite expensive.

© 2019,  mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)

mm brazfield

MM BRAZFIELD was born and raised in urban Los Angeles and is a Gen X’er who chronicles and scrawls about the art form of living in the Angelino metropolitan environment. These offerings were inspired by the mental health crisis in the city. mb personally battles depression and anxiety, but utilizes writing and art to self-regulate. mb works in social services in the hopes of supporting others who endure the same.

fashion show 69

california: kitchen. future
Uncle Sonny (né Enoch) grins
in fire-engine red turtleneck
and atop it & his chest
a medallion like a
half-scale hubcap
dreaming of being
a mandala. the legs
of his hiphugging bellbottoms
looked like bras for metal detectors.

my aunt Diane
surfer girl of tawny hip
had painted-on capris
of brushed denim
and a variant of a peasant blouse
in loose chiffon
and midriff exposure.

i at 14
still in noisy corduroy
longed for a Nehru jacket
but revealed in my Mr. Muscle
in a burgundy
that lasted about
five washings
and imparted a blush tint
to my once-dazzling undies.

on the tv a girl sang,
“You’re my kind of guy,
I love you so,
Baby, everything about you
Is go, go, go!
And with Aqua Velva Lotion
Our romance began,
Because there’s Something About
An Aqua Velva Man!
Ah, ah, ah, ah…
Aha AAH, ah,ah,ah,ah…”

do you think
i would be gullible enough
to then desire to be
An Aqua Velva Man?

you bet i was.
so I weep,
do not answer,
for those pathetic nowadays boys
who think there is such a thing
as “the Axe effect.”

and i long
for fifty years ago.

© 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 below. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business care. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.ter. A sample of his work is pictured below. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.

A Full Moon Christmas Day,1977

I, ignorant, molly coddled,
aged fourteen , outsider to pierced,
bright red mohicanned,
black bin bag dressed peers
on the bus, Christmas Eve.

Sexy ultraviolet lasses
in black tights and dockers,
kohl eyed intelligence
scares my Burton’s suit.

Fascinated by safety pinned
noses, brazen forward face
of defiance, I wince
into a corner, my mam’s

“Acceptable behaviour”,
“When you have your own
house you can dress how you like.”
And my step dad’s knuckle
marks pulse on my jaw.

Hard to rebel when cossetted,
pot pourried, warm duveted,
hugged and soggily kissed
by grandparents, all Sunday Bested
under this long cold full mooned
Christmas Day.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Candlelit Seventies Without

a thought switch flicked,
and if glass globe works light
and I recall candlelit Seventies
evening in Winter’s discontent.

How important during that Winter
electric light, few hours TV,
the extra jumpers and ignorant
thrill of days extraordinary nights.

Those nights I recalled stood
underground in Eighties, caplight off
a darkness lively with ghosts
as imagination lit by stories.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

On Trend

In Bus Station, now renamed, Transport Interchange
crazies herd, or stud on Friday night,

past disguised as fresh and new.
Filly’s Seventies platform throwback

high heels whipcrack and totter
past and shoutback,

“Can’t get enough!”, to the stallions.
Hormones on an after school

high josh one another into minor
crimes their pot bellies

will chuckle at when they’re pastured.
Big yellow hi viz “club bouncer”

jackets tap their ear phones
and watch the younger

good spirits rise, ready to corral a stampede.
A thin bright yellow hi viz jacket

pushes a blue plastic hygiene cart
whose white wheels clop on tiles

recall wooden clogs on sodden cobbles.
A crazy talks to himself

as he trots by, his eyes elsewhere
and then I see the leads

from the buds in his ears.
Young stud tucks his blue boxers

into his jeans waist below
his haunches, a US prison trend,

and old fashion now.
Yoga panted fillies giggle

at his shorts, as they, too
will blush at fashions sworn by

in their galloped youth.
And older some afford pasture,

others to the knacker’s yard,
and clothes no longer second hand,

or charity but sold as “vintage”.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Kept Himself

to himself. Quiet man always in sharp
waistcoat and tie.

Shoes keen like mirrors.
Afraid he will be found out.

His daughter and her family
forever tainted by his past,

his feeble mindedness, his shame.

His urgent nine year old grandson
full of The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare

Asks “What did you do in the war, Grandad?
Did you fight the Nazzies?”

He does not want disappointment
on this young face so invents:

“A German Tiger was coming towards me.
So I digs a hole so it goes over the top.”

“And what happened next, Grandad?
“Ask your Nanna. I need to do the Pools.”


Nanna says he came to see her
when she worked in the Birmingham factories.

In midst of air raids, falling houses and fire.
“Your Grandad worked on the railways.”

So his grandson works it out.
Grandad never fought abroad.

“You know don’t you?” says his enfeebled Nanna
to her grandson, “Grandad’s dad?”

“One of his widowed mother’s lodgers?”
“Yes,” she says “Grandad was born out of wedlock.”

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

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

In the market, I’m

Hearing songs sublime

First dance

Takes me back in time

First date jitters – mine

No chance

First kiss fail – not prime

Now improved with time


The Lai is a poetry form introduced by Grace for d’Verse’s Poetry Form Challenge. The brevity and constraints of this form makes it quite challenging however, I am enamored by it’s ability to capture so much in so few syllables. This is my first attempt to any feedback is welcome!

The topic of this Lai comes courtesy of Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem with a strong sense of time and place and how you and/or the times have changed. I wasn’t sure what to write for this prompt until I went grocery shopping this weekend. The song “Always” by Atlantic Starr started to play and I was instantly taken back to my first date with Elvio who took me to first dance and gave me my first kiss. I truly believed we would end up like that song until he told me that he was going to take Sally to the next dance because she was a better kisser. (Sigh.)

Have things improved dating wise for me? Well, yes!! Considering I don’t have to date anymore – saved from those trials and tribulations by my Honey. But the hope and innocence I felt in the 1980’s is also gone…(sigh)….

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

New and Not So Improved

Now listen people
wherever you are
trav’lin’ in trucks and
SUV cars
Your footprint is huge
and so is your track
the fossils you’re burnin’
we’ll never get back
so ease off the pedal
and give us some slack
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

All nature around us
calls out our name
Pollution abounds
and we are to blame
Ozone layers
welcome us in
what we’re leavin’ our children
is really a sin
so if you give a damn
then you better begin
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Big pharmaceuticals
expand the pollute
not just in the body
but waters to boot
what did you think
you flushed down the loo
those poisoning meds
along with your poo
so quit looking around
before the whole thing is moot
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Organic farms where good
used to grow
are being replaced
with big g-m-o
now salmonella and
e-co-li, too
wrapped in the plastic
then sold to you
don’t think you’re immune
your money’s for show
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Mother nature is having
her turn
Disasters are teaching
what we need to learn
drought and flooding
and fires set to burn
we waited too late
it’s all now in ruin
no longer we mask it
we’re in hell’s handbasket

‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

© 2019, Deb y Felio (The Journey Begins)

..28 every woman..

it is always there

in the bathroom,

ignored, as was the photo.

yesterday it came to light again,

every woman’s toilet,


edited by mrs robert noble,

not dated, yet dated.

are artificial aids justifiable,

how to have a dimpled wrist

with excercise,

means, and massage,

a moderate diet essential.

we do not wish a muddy complexion?

no. nor to wear the years

away in sad ness and regret.

we just need an excellent lotion,

for tired eyes,

and carry on, rejoicing.

all that there is.

plus the photograph.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..188 jane austen again…

to live the life
of pomade and petticoats.

no ajustable waist.

one imagines there will
be no worry, yet the
adjectives will prove difficult
for me,renowned for
few words.

daily checking hips
in slanting mirrors,

reading of heaven over,
which is life on earth
randomly .

gods throwing dice,
rules changing constantly.

i find sadly,
i am not jane austen.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..straw hats & sunshades..

those of you that read austen,
and maybe little women,
know that on summer days,
with heat, the ladies
wear their straws, protecting
gentle necks and complexion.

sipping drinks . i think that sucking
may be frowned upon. therefore
it is not seemly to show
that drinking aid here.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Let Your Light Shine

Young love blossomed on the horizon immersed in “the days of wine and roses”. Afros and dashikis danced in the streets to jazz improvisations weaving in and out of the intricate beats of the drum declaring support in the fight for civil rights. The blues sang of heartache and tragedy while spirituals announced resilience of faith and survival in a changing world global in concern.

I remember the sixties well, coming of age in a nation where the stage was set with demonstrations, picket lines, marches against racism, prejudice, and hatred…empathy standing tall with dignity not afraid to die for belief in true democracy “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all” regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation,

Jim Crow was on the defensive murdering, lynching, bombing, burning…turning the south into fields of blood sprouting weeds of hostility and fear. Beautiful caring people united against the atrocities, linking arms, singing to the heavens “We Shall Overcome Someday” believing in their hearts that this was a new start in the United States of America.

Tragedy and triumph were marked by a cyclical progression over the next generations. War and peace remained combatants in the world arena…ideologies exploded into shards of hatred, greed, and lust killing innocence attempting to eradicate the concept of brotherly love while in the USA came the day a black president served for eight years. Sweet victory became a reality!

Then the divisiveness of hate, rooted in this country from its inception, once again sent it spiraling into the depths of degradation. The offspring of racism were unleashed when egomania moved into the oval office bringing his family with him..xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, and bigotry all claiming to want to make America great again.

Yet once more this country standing on the shore of time shall rise as the people lift up their eyes peering into the sky knowing the Creator is near and that hope is beyond the horizon ready to take wing and fly throughout the land raining perseverance and strength on those who want to make a positive difference as their collective voices are heard on high in a symphony of unity.

© 2019, Taman Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)

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.

For us, the people who lived behind the Iron Curtain, the 60s, began after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Protest (retrospective)
“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.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan)


The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793) / Public Domain photograph

“Jean-Paul Marat (French: [ʒɑ̃pɔl maʁa]; 24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793) was a French political theorist, physician, and scientist. He was a journalist and politician during the French Revolution.

He was a vigorous defender of the sans-culottes and seen as a radical voice. He published his views in pamphlets, placards and newspapers. His periodical L’Ami du peuple (Friend of the People) made him an unofficial link with the radical republican Jacobin group that came to power after June 1793.

Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer, while taking a medicinal bath for his debilitating skin condition. Corday was executed four days later for his assassination, on 17 July 1793.” [Wikipedia]

Girl, my little pearl

Girl, my little pearl
you swirl in golden waters
when you wear the highest heels
when you show your slim body
when you put on that lovely dress
when you wear that perfect make-up
when you exhibit those expensive earrings
when your fingers and toe nails are so carefully painted
when you completely remove all your hairs
(except those on your head)
when your hair is dyed accordingly
(never forget to dye it when you grow older,
you should always look younger)

Girl, my little pearl
you still want to swirl in goldern waters
when you exhibit those piercings and tattoos
though they are not still enough,
so you will want to have some more, perhaps
some botox and breast size operations too.

And girl little pearl says:

I do not want to wear high heels,
they’ll ruin my feet and back forever.
I was not born with a slim body so
why should I want to have it?

I do not want to wear that lovely dress,
it’s terribly uncomfortable, unpractical,
has no pockets and it’s too cold now,
so why should I wear it?

I do not want that make-up made of chemicals affecting my health.

They always want to sell
and so they never tell.

The same with nail polish. I do not want it
unless I buy these things at the organic shop
just in case I changed my mind.
I do not have earholes for earrings.

Why does almost every girl have them
to mark their gender as soon as they’re born?

My mum has those earholes and wore once
some unexpensive pair of earrings, bad metal,
and ended up with red skin, red spots and allergy.

No, I do not want earholes to mark my gender differentiation.
I want to choose if I want them or not when I grow up.
As for my hair and its natural color,
I am perfectly satisfied, well, perhaps
some streaks to highlight a bit of color
together with shades of greys and whites.
I want to look my age, why younger?
I am getting older and have grey hairs.
So what? Will I be less of a woman
if I don’t dye my hair anymore?

I refuse irreversible things
like piercings and tattoos.
Some other women and men
may like them very much.
Perhaps they’ve been the luckiest ones
who had no health problems so far
after piercings and tattoos
marked their bodies

I do not want this on my body
I do not want to be obsessed by esthetics
I do not want to do something just because
it’s fashion, everyone does it.
I do not want to be who I am not
I want to be myself
I want to be appreciated for who I am.
And if somebody wants to love me
I’ll say, please, look first at my inside
and then you’ll be able to decide.

I am no girl, little pearl
to swirl in golden waters
I am simply who I want to be
now you just take me or leave.

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

When Tomorrow Comes

Optimists say we are not afraid
but I am.
And people usually say I am an optimist.
What’s wrong with me now?
Why do I feel so much
Fear, Sadness and Uncertainty?
Why can’t I get a sufficient dose of
Calmness, Serenity and Confidence?
Yet this fear of mine
does not keep me paralyzed
for I know we must move on.
This is a human rights issue,
a fight for social justice,
just one more in our world.
And while some say Dialogue, Dialogue
some others say what dialogue
if one of the parts always refuses it?
We need international mediation.
But that part does not want it.
So what is left to do
for the Spanish-Catalan eternal conflict?
Where’s the lesser evil
after the October First events?
What do you tell the 1066 injured people?
What do you tell the man who lost his eyesight
because of a rubber bullet from the police?
How do you comfort all those
who made the vote possible?
who made everything peacefully and democratically?
Tomorrow Catalonia’s president will most probably
declare independence from Spain.

It will be like you’re in a room
with some people trying to chase you,
loaded with guns.
But you’re peaceful
and do not have guns
and see an open window.
So you need to jump down
before they arrest you,
before they kill the rights
you’ve been long fighting for.
The lesser evil is throwing yourself
out of that window.
Is it a desperate suicide?
Or is there someone below
who will come to rescue,
who will get you in their arms
before you crash into the ground
when tomorrow comes?

© 2017, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Link to the blog with the poem and a BBC video showing the brutality of the Spanish police forces against the peaceful voters in Catalonia.

I never heard my grandfather’s voice

Nathan lost everything in the Great
Depression. Funny, they called it that.

Did they mean the economy or was it
their state of mind? Well, Nathan lost

it all: his wife left him. Took their two
daughters and went to wealthy parents

in California. I’m not sure Nat ever left
Brooklyn. Moved in with his brother,

kept a photo on his nightstand:
two young girls dressed in hand-

me-down plaids, four scraggly arms
surrounding a Sycamore tree. He missed

the bobby socked, saddle shoed feet
dangling off the fire escape, as they knit

scarves for soldiers. He even missed
their complaints about Gregg shorthand

and boorish boys that taunted them
at Tilden High. He missed taking them

for a Nedicks orange drink, or Shatzkin
knishes, Lundy’s for steamers and chowder.

Laughter in bumper cars, bellyaches from
too many hotdogs and fast rides

on the Wonderwheel. His girls were gone.
The tumor took his mind. The depression

devoured the rest. And then his wife
took the kids.

Cruelty lasts a lifetime. No one recovered.

© 2019, Julie Standig

Time – I Am No Exception


Under the roof of peace in quiet meditation
Time seemed still, time was pure
time for prayer and forgiveness
asking for salvation

say nothing to time ‘
it is something else, colors show change
brown to red, living to dead, all are in range’
no accusation

Time tells me many stories
born in war I hear more wars
bloodshed bloodshed bloodshed
out of sight and dim are the stars

By the blue green sea ,
curling in rolling in and rolling back

Like tiny serpents creeping up
with stings poised,making one

more story –

Pulled back to unseen depths
Golden myriads glistened

as in sunlight life lay
Bathing basking relaxing-

There is enough time !
Delicately exposed yearning for the tan

Tender petal like still,  unaware lying
Ready bait for the brutal mind

It is My Time !

And from the  shade , came not the coolness
But hot fire,blistering bodies in the sand

Not shielding from the sun- Life so stilled  as
Hot bullets rained, sprayed from the gun

Then, there was no time’
Then, there was no time’.

Time now is Time uncertain
energy decreased  vision weak,
rampant obreption, subreption
time is now endless deception

Do I have time? Do I have time?

I must do good, I am no exception
I must forgive I am no exception’
I must make peace I am no exception’
© 2019, illustration and poem in English and Urdu, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

امن کے ساے تلے

امن کے ساے تلے  کیا کویؑ  مقدس  مقام نہیں
خاموش عبادت میں
ٹھرے ھوےؑ وقت مہں

مغفرت کی طلب میں
نجات و بخشش کی دعاوؑں  میں
زمانے کی   بات نھیں 

یہ کچھ  اور  بات،ھے
رنگ بدلتی  دنیا میں ،سب زد میں
ھر زات اور ھے

 امن کے ساےؑ تلے اب کویؑ الزام نہیں

یہ میرا وقت ھے
وقت کی داستاں گویؑ
جنگ کی پیشیں گویؑ
خونریزی  کرے کوی
ستارے نظر آتے نہیں
کیا میرے پاس وقت  ھے ؟ 
کیا میرے پاس  وقت ھے؟
مجھے اچھے کام   کرنے چاھےؑ
میں  سب   سے علیحدہ  نہیں 
مجھے سب کو معاف کردینا چاھے
میں سب سے  علیحدہ  نہیں
مجھے  دنیا  میں امن  پھیلانا چاھےؑ
میں سب سے علیحدہ  نہیں
Find Anjum here:
https://anjumwasimdar.wordpress.com/    Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose  writing
knitting projects/stories
https://helpingenglishteachinginpakistan.wordpress.com/  ELT   Work experience/educational service for the country


“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


Yon Dream Ont Cross. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

The Japanese Tea Garden, San Mateo, California

Grow high. The devil can’t find you.
Grow deep. Buddha can’t find you.
Build a house and live there.
Gourd creepers will climb over it,
their flowers dazzling at midnight.
Ko Un, What?: 108 Zen Poems, forward by Thich Nhat Hanh

I’ve been trying to lighten things up a bit with the last few prompts and this collection is in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, The Contours of Joy, March 20. I would say today, that these poems make me smile, even when they report sadness or anger or questioning. It’s a wonderful thing – a healing and hope-filled thing – to read these poems. They’re not consistently full of joys, but always full of life, of cognizance. The latter is the hallmark of good poets and old souls.. Living in a world gone mad is serious business. With all the spheres of joy here today, there’s also an awareness of suffering, past, present and to come. Well done by poets: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Jen E. Goldie, Sheila Jacob, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Taman Tracy Moncur and Anjum Wasim Dar. Thank you! and special thanks to Irma and Anjum for their illustrations.

Readers will note links to sites are included that you might visit these stellar poets.

Enjoy this collection. It just might inspire some more of your own poetry; and, do join us tomorrow for the another Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are invited to come out to play, beginning, emerging or pro poet.

moon and eye

“Well, I must go–pardon–I cannot stay:
My moonbeam comes to carry me away…”
The dying Cyrano in Edmond Rostand’s CYRANO DE BERGERAC, translated by Brian Hooker)

and eye
in an act

and sigh,

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

Let Go Of

weight that writhes
in your hands returns life

to your bones.
Water supped when parched thrills.

Air tastes lighter with more colour,

Can’t get my breath breathes.
When you think you are alone
surprise of a familiar warm hand in yours
in cold caves colour leaps out

a fish released.

From Paul’s forthcoming collaboration with Iranian artist, Hiva Moazed, called Fish Strawberries to be published by Alien Buddha Press

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

The Tricycle

It isn’t the wonder of the wheels turn
As my feet press the plastic pedals,
But the big curved metal boot at the back
Where there is room to store my wonders:

Elastic bands, cotton reels, a shiny sixpence,
Grandad’s hat badge from when he went to war,
A bus ticket saved from my first trip last week
On two busses to Nanna’s new home. Must have been

Thousands of miles away but Mam says
It’s only three miles. I bet I could bike
to Nannas but Dad says its too far
And I’d get tired with all the hills to go up,

But I can wheely down them dad, I told him.
He nods and goes back to his pencil scribbles
On bits of paper in Mam and Dads bedroom.
I take my brilliant bike down our drive.

It sparkles like our gold fish did we won at fair
On The Stray when mam brought it back
And put it in a glass bowl where it swims round
In circles and I told mam it would get dizzy

So I try to ride round in circles but Dad
Says I must go on the road or onto the other
Road out of our sack I think dad said but
We don’t live in a sack, we live in a house

I tell my daft Dad, I can only ride half way round,
Turn and ride half way round again,
Then I hears it. Ice cream van dinging and singing

It must be close so I run to Mam and shout,
Can I have a Ninety-Nine, Mam. Can I? Can I?
And Mam rummages in her bag and pulls out

Her purse and am telling mesen come on,
Mam cos I can hear the dinging singing
Outside and know he only stays a bit
Less he’s got a queue. Come on Mam.

She puts coins in me hand and I almost
Don’t close it when I run like the clappers
And see there’s a queue and look up
At all the bright colours of what you can get

On side of his van and lads and lasses walk
Past with ice-cream dribble down their fingers
As they try to catch the sweet melt.
Then I see my bike in the road

With a lass I don’t know on it. Stolen
It. And I’m in the queue and just at end
I run to get my bike back cos its mine
Not hers, and she cries when I push her off

Onto the road. “My dad says not to ride in
The road I tell her., and she sobs and I see
The ice-cream van go out the sack,
And I almost cry but I’ve got my bike back,

And I check my boot to see its all there
My elastic bands, bus ticket, shiny sixpence,
And hear mam calling me in to tea
When she’ll ask Where’s me ice-cream.

From Paul’s forthcoming collaboration with Iranian artist, Hiva Moazed, called Fish Strawberries, to be published by Alien Buddha Press

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

We Shouldn’t Wonder

What so special about stars?
Attention seeking baubles
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about spring?
Gaudy flowers showing off
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about children?
Eyes hugging the breath from you
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about you?
Flaunting yourself in next to nowt
we shouldn’t wonder.

What’s so special about wonder?
Makes you better off than you should be
we shouldn’t wonder.

First published on Medium

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

Yon Dream Ont Cross

Al tell thee best dream av ad
in any midneet while folk were fast on
a sees a reet cross tree,
a ghoast in plated gold
ringed by shiny moon fascinator,
jewels like worth summat glow worms
rahnd base, five more ont cross beam.
Throngs o’ God’s angels tacked on it. This were no scam artists cross but every heaven spirit and earth folk had peepers on it: a see universe agog

And me, aware of wrong doing,
that native wood-beetle, eyed it too
felt a shiver of glory
from that cross barkskin beaten gold
wi jewels suited a cross a Jesus
and tha knows through all that gold barkskin
rattled folks bloodless yammering
how bleeding as stained crosses rightside.
Harrard an horrored
a that sullied wi leaked blood.

a lay there yonks
in agog sorrow fort Saviourcross
till me lug oyles heard glimmering cross pipe up:
“Ages since, I fetch back I were hacked
dahn at holt-edge, lugged off, hauled
shoulder heaved, squared top on a hill
adsed to a cross to carry wrong doers.
Then I see Christ, his balls ready fort hoisting. For us there’s no flitting, no shirking on God’s mind to: I might a fell on these folks. Then
God himsen, med himsen naked, to naked balls,
laid on us afore throngs of eyes
when saving on folks flitted in his bonce.
A shuddered at his touch, afeard splintering,
A had hold, I were raised as a cross,
hold heaven king high, afeard cracking. They tapped dark iron in us: scars tha still can see,
A cannot bear ’em stroked. They jeered at both on us. A felt his blood seep from his side
as he sighed himsen upards.

Av seen pain on this hill
saw Christ as on vicious rack
then roilin’ storm clouds, death to sunblaze,
covered o’er that blaze on God: a glowering gloom creation’s sorta: Christ on cross tree.
A see folk come forard, a felt splintered
as if added, but gev ne sen.
I were in their dannies, gore-wet, nail gashed.
They laid him art, a dead-weight atter ordeal,
final knackeredness. Then afore
murderers peepers, those folk med
a stone oyle and set Christ inside it.
Then late int day flitted knackered : left
Christ by himsen.

Long atter soldier’s lottery natter and cold rigor on Christ’s limbs,
us kept our places, drahned wi blood.
Then they sets to
felling us,
bury us in delved grahned, but disciples, friends fahned us…
put on us barkskin o’ gold an silver.

so nar tha knows, how sorra warped
me flesh, how malice worked with spintering iron. Now it’s time for earth foak and whole marvel on creation to cow eye this sign.
God-son were racked on us, so now ma glimmerin’ haunts heavens, can heal
all who afeard for us. Am honoured
by Christ above all forest trees as God favoured Mary above all women folk.’

Then by mesen, thrilled, me spirit high, let mesen rave that I can seek what a av seen,
saviour-cross: a peace with mesen that yearns a help on earth. Few mates still livin’ nar : most are int manor on heaven, av fetched upards. Now, daily, I listen art
fort cross-tree in my earthly nappin’,
to lead us from this flitting life
into great manor of heaven
where God has set a right feast.

May God-Son and Ghost be mates,
who were nailed to death for folk ages since :
a saviour as gin us life,
that we may put wood int oyle in heaven.

A Yorkshire dialect version of the Anglo Saxon poem The Dream Of The Rood, which appears in Paul’s collection The Headpoke And Firewedding, Alien Buddha Press, 2017

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

The Hyperbolic Poet Awakes

My eyelids open
are two worlds unfettered by cloud.

I splash the seven oceans
On the continents of my skin.

Rake the tombstones inside my mouth.
Tumble downstairs is scree down a mountain.

Open the wooden doors of delight,
Recover the pottery of ages,

Pour an avalanche of muesli
Farmed on sunny hillsides,

Crushed by the quern.
Grab the milk hosed out

By gargantuan herbivores,
Refined in their udders of heaven.

Wash and restacked pottery,
I stride over the open threshold
A veritable colossus

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

Fish Strawberries

A fish eye is my belly button.
Inside my stomach flaps, flops,

flips when I see her. My tongue
tastes her rich perfume.

Spice entices a sky full of Cod,
Haddock, Halibut, Salmon and Pike.

Sky is her aquarium. Fish
and chips and two forks

are the heat of heaven.
Warm ourselves huddled on a kerbside.

I can taste the salt she threw on her portion,
the wash of vinegar and strawberry lipstick nibbles

on her lips, inside her mouth where our tongues
talk in tastes as we stand at her front door.

Wings out I am a fish in flight.
Splash between bright pools home.

Title poem from a forthcoming ekphrastic collaboration between Iranian artist Hiva Moazed and Paul to be published by Alien Buddha Press, 2019

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

The Divorce of Heaven And Hell

The excess of roads leads to the wisdom of palaces.
The wrath of tigers are wiser than the instruction of horses.

Multi gendered I hang wet washing
on the horse nebula. Iron 3d to 2d.

I have domestics with myself.
Air turns blue and galaxy neighbours
hear my gusty rant and rain rave

Bang on thin wall between
dimensions. Our star children

weep beneath my screams. Remind
myself never to drink and argue again.

Tell my other half it needs to pull
its weight. I can’t be aware of all

that happens or needs doing.
Neighbours are different sides to me.

Our star children turn from
wild blue things to yellow average kids
to red in the face before their fire dies.

I must stop falling out with myself,
as it is always me deals with the fallout.

I multi task a weather of constellations. I cope.
I’m multi versed. Too many different sides.

© 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

Lamenting Joy 

Don’t you dare turn those unicorn eyes toward me
And keep your sparkly sparkles to yourself
That field was truly not meant for running or singing or dancing or jumping for joy.

Just stop with the rainbows and the technicolor sunsets
No need for close ups of baby chubby thighs
Or even your thighs sunning on white sand beaches.

Enough of the Sunday mornings watching your lover breathe
And definitely no more spontaneous water fights with the kids
Even those first moments that bring tears of joy are not the moments for me

No, not for me, wondering, how you can enjoy when
…..Children are kept in cages, sold to the highest bidder
…..Women are forced into dangerous back alleys, not owning their bodies
…..Veterans sleep on cardboard boxes, crazy instead of courageous
…..People still being judged by the back of their hand or the hand they’re holding

Unicorns and rainbows, white sand beaches and Sunday mornings
…..If you’re privileged to know Joy, don’t give her my number.

(Photo credit: Mine taken from the St James Social Justice Network póster created by Jeannette L.)

Jamie Dedes at The Poet by Day probably thought issuing a challenge to write about Joy would be an easy one to fulfill. She asks: Are we frail humans able to embrace the light, forgo the mundane for the miraculous? Maybe? Maybe not? Maybe sometimes?  Maybe we try and fail. Tell us about it in your own poem/s.

I started several poems about experiences, people, even things that bring me joy but I couldn’t finish them. The poems weren’t bringing me joy! And then I realized that I was actually not in a joyful mood thinking of the state of our current world. I failed to write about joy. I could not embrace the light. I could not forgo the mundane. The frailty of my human condition is on full display this week. Enjoy!

© 2019, Irma Do (I do Run, And I do a few other things too …)

Past and Futures

Let’s not dwell in pasts and futures,

but rise to the occasion,

as the Morning Glory does.

Blossoming to

the splendor of the day,

which used to be future,

adding joy

to the lives of others,

and ending the day,

with a subtle retreat,

harkening the  present repose,

of a past.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams and the occasional cat)

March Miracles🌹

March miracles are afoot, new
beginnings are catching our breath
from every corner, as nature spreads
her wings sprouting new life, there
is a renewed lightness of spirit.
Yet in this month of miracles we
hear of tragedy and the dichotomy
of this duality, reminds us of, our
responsibility. Our mother, earth,
is taking a beating from her children.
Her children are killing each other.
In this month of miracles may we find
a renewed lightness of spirit and hope
that love will universally prevail,
taking joy in the love we create in
this season of rebirth
and new awakenings.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams and the occasional cat)

Spring Awakening

Springtime thoughts, drifting

their subtle way into memory,

reviving us with their beauty,

deep purples, yellows, pinks, blues

and greens all gathered so it seems

to delight and awaken our eyes,

to remind us of the simple Joys

we take for granted in our daily

life, enriched by the people who

nurture, our spirits selflessly.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Starlight and Moonbeams and the occasional cat)

Small Miracles Of The Moment

I’m sitting in a blue armchair
in a Ward called Acute Assessment.
A folded blanket covers my legs
and potassium chloride
is dripping into my veins.

I’m waiting in my own rootless place
between fear and the absence
of fear; between pain and the absence
of pain. I close my eyes
and see a narrow gravel path
crawling to the edge of the world.

This will pass, he whispers,
locking his fingers into mine.
This won’t last forever.

He’s going home to fetch my nighties,
toothpaste, toothbrush, towels, soap.
He’ll break the journey
into signposted miles, turn car wheels
towards the warm dark of dusk
and a capella of birdsong.

I think of morning’s hospital window-
an oblong of light
that showed a young tree
catching pin-drops of rain
on early pink blossom.
The rain grew heavier, hurried
through the tree’s torn umbrella
of branches and leaves
and grass shone like polished glass.

I cling to the memory of spring rain
anointing the dry earth.
I breathe the good air around my chair
and drip-stand and purse of healing salt.
I taste the moment and let it melt
on my tongue: this moment
now. The present. The gift.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

.Jiang Yizi.

so naturally we think of heaven.

realise it is the pattern that makes us,

the familiar and ordinary. other prophets

come false.

in agreement we lose to the music, hell as

entity retreats.

there is a book at the university. i have

read it twice.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

the lime kilns are empty now,

yet the mass remains, the wonder

at the shape. spring came.

each road a picture, slowly staring,

came painting, visual

overload resulting.

then to explain birds, that need none,

drawing lines, weaving dreams

for peace of mind.

we walked together,

she told me stories.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

these are the shorter days, darker days, wood smoke, apple wood, colours of joy. believe in the world, that you can spell first time. be proud as you point out where you live…..

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Joy is…
Joy is the hue of a sunrise triumphantly spreading shades of blue pink purple orange across the galaxy declaring goodbye to yesterday’s sorrow, heartache, and misery.

Joy is swimming through the river of time butter-flying through waves of oppression dolphin kicking out of gloom and darkness into exhilaration…into a new day of expectation.

Joy is a baby’s wide eyed smile radiating innocence gurgling short outburst of “wat dat” in anticipation of exploring the newness of existence.

Joy is a four-year old’s discovery of a candy galore store with dinosaurs and many more gizmos and gadgets along with rows of amazing displays of sugary sweets…any child’s fantasy.

Joy is jazz piano tones cascading from fingers moving at an allegro pace filling the emptiness of space with messages of hope.

Joy is riding the harmonic emotional high church choir singing connecting with celestial sounds evoking the Holy Spirit to fill all hearts and minds with a love and peace that will never cease.

© 2019, Taman Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)

Taman’s article In Search of Peace is featured on The BeZine blog this week. 

Taman’s Amazon page is HERE.

Anjum Wasim Dar

At a time when the world is in shock and grief, mourning in black and burying in white, this week’s prompt turns the heart and mind towards the profound joy prevalent in nature.Sympathy comfort and support leads to a state of serenity, and acceptance of the harsh realities. Just as the endless sky meets the ocean line, grief slowly drowns deep, and wave after wave touches the shore to confirm eternal love and hope of more coming joy.
As the striking poem moves on the reader finds it replete with vivid imagery from the contours of the berries to the universal curves of celestial creation and can surely visualize the countless constellations beyond the moon and the solar system. The imaginative mind will leave the mundane, perhaps may not rest, but taking joy along will fly high to seek the ultimate bliss. Sharing some lines

O Joy’ I find thee rising from the merging colors of the horizon
In holy silence, encircled by the Kunlun Mountains of mystical Shangri-la
where beauty holds the breath, and poetry fills the spirit with ecstasy.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

A Thing of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

after John Keats                                                                                                   


Beauty is joyful
Is Joy only in nature ?
flowers reflect love,

Love makes us joyous
True love is rare, never found
Beauty? Ever present

If you look around
Truth makes the world happier
Then hate is drowned.


Why time stops still
the killer finds the kill
so suddenly coming?

why sharp is the strike
cutting like a knife
leaving us  bleeding?

why common places
are becoming Senlac?
why life is  a racetrack?

who is fighting for what
and for what winning?
this was not said by

Our Lord so Loving

why we dig but graves to fill?
On top of the High Hill, do you
see Proud Lucifer smiling ?

My heart with fear trembling
cannot for a moment be calm and still
hearing shattered glass and bullets shrill

Another blast another attack-
screams cries blood spilling
why death is brutal and erlking

© 2019, poem and illustration, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

“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

“Let There Be Peace”. . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” Fred Rogers 

MIster Rogers (photograph in the public domain)

Fred McFeely Rogers (1928 – 2003) was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was known as the creator, music composer, and host of the educational preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968–2001). The show featured Rogers’ kind, neighborly, avuncular persona, which nurtured his connection to the audience. [Wikipedia]

The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, from the wind wipped edges of the earth, July 18, was probably the most serious and perhaps the most difficult, angering and painful in the history of this effort. Brave, angry, despairing, hopeful responses from newcomer Debasis Mukhopadhyay and from old friends,  Paul Brookes, Debbie Felio (Deb y Felio), Taman Tracy Moncur, and Marta Pombo Sallés. Feed your soul on these this afternoon and be with us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

I hope you’ll visit and get to know these poets. It’s important for us to support and encourage one another in our art and in our solidarity for peace, sustainability and social justice.  I’ve linked in blogs for your convenience. If the poet doesn’t have a site, chances are you can catch up with them on Facebook.

butcher them carefully

i hate how these metal benches are now sighing for the the stall of dawn / how impossible to have again between his eyes & mine evening stars becalmed by a darkness in which we can cry only in dream

the toll-free number destined for detained parents weave rehearsal for life like the dance of corn fields too far to see by / that is that / what better road to the door of dawn could kid draw on the ribs of my cage with his broken piece of chalk

fuck dawn

the warm vapor of morning ablaze in ICE detention center becomes elegies for his dragged off cries / being told that the best chance i have of seeing my son is to plead guilty i am now peace with memory games

© 2018, Debasis Mukhopadhyay

DEBASIS MUKHOPADHYAY is the author of the chapbook kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context (Finishing Line Press, 2017). His poems have appeared in The Curly Mind, Posit, Words Dance, Yellow Chair Review, I am not a silent poet, New Verse News, Anapest Journal, Thirteen Myna Birds, Of/With, Scarlet Leaf Review, With Painted Words, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. Debasis lives & writes in Montreal, Canada.  Follow him at debasis mukhopadhyay, between ink & inkblot or @dbasis_m on Twitter.

Hopelessness Is Life

Only the hopeless live.
Only hopelessness makes you smile.

When all hopelessness is gone
then you will grieve at the loss.

There are three streets we can go down,
Faithlessness, Hopelessness and Selfishness

Without one of these the others cannot exist.
There must always be hopelessness

in the best of times. It reminds us of an edge
to life. Surrender to hopelessness

and all will be well. It is the force that drives
all that is worthwhile and good.

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

Hope In Small Spaces

since September the public have been invited to name storms that blow hard enough. Today’s storm is called Barney. Last week it was Abigail.

while black patches of damp splatter on the white bathroom, plaster crackles off, dark marks around the double glazing and aroma of decay, the morning shower is good

you travel to hospital to have the active cancer removed from your womb, while the grandkids, your mam and I distract ourselves with a meal in The Horseshoe

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

our unbattle (Apologies to re cummings)

in unwars, highly untrained unsoldiers
unskilled in unkilling, unhelp

unrefugees unhomeless untrek
thousands of unkilometres

to an unwelcome in unpeaceful uncountries,
with untightened unborder uncontrols.

unghosts unhaunt their and our undreams
with unscreams where every unnoise

is the undead unwounded, unfathered,
unmothered children unstare with uneyes.

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

To Avoid Absolutes.

Advice given to me
as a novice know it all writer

when I used words “hope,
love, hate, beauty, ugly.”

Keep it concrete description.
Answer five questions: Why,
how, when, where, what.

What did they know? I
would write what I wanted.

Why? Because I could.
How? Simple, read this.

When? Just this minute.
Where? In my hand.

What? Look there. On
the page. What’s the frown for?

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

Let There be Peace

we look for peace as an outcome
of war with other nations
we look for peace as product
of selfish accumulation

we look for peace in pridefulness
mistaking bullying for might
we look for peace in hiddenness
keeping deception out of sight

we look for peace in armies
enlisting those who may be lost
we look for peace in destruction
never counting all the costs

we look for peace within the walls
that keep the others out
we look for peace in laborious laws
without knowing what they’re about

we look for peace in blame and shame
to quiet all the voices
we look for peace in entitlement
thinking we just need more choices

we look for peace in fulfillment
pretending it’s only about just me
we look for peace in breaking rules
re-labeling it as free

we look for peace in marches
in protests, walk outs and such
we look for peace in demands of others
without shifting ourselves too much

we look for peace in a million ways
repeated as if each one is new
but until we know it within ourselves
there’s little we can do.

Let it begin with me.

© 2018, Deb y Felio

Planting Peace

the peace rose doesn’t grow
in desert and hostile ground

the peace rose doesn’t grow
when pulled up from its planting

the peace rose doesn’t grow
when left unattended

the peace rose doesn’t grow
when damaged and rejected

the peace rose doesn’t grow
in famine and in drought

the peace rose doesn’t grow
when sheared from all sides

the peace rose doesn’t grow
in poverty and war

the peace rose doesn’t grow
when left unplanted as a seed

the peace rose can only grow
when nurtured from beginning.

© 2018, deb y felio

Peace is
The heart of mankind beating the drum of unity
Seeking the pulse of a people
Whose voices are lifted in harmony
Singing the song of difference…

© 2018, Tamam Tracy Moncur

Lights park at night.png


We are…
mad, glad, sad.
Sometimes they call us mad
for revolutionary ideas.
Others we are glad
when things go fine.

But now we are…
so sad, sad, sad…
for the lack of justice
for the increasing oppression
for starting a new period of life
where things will be much harder.
For so many years
a privileged life.
Or was it just a mirage
on a surface apparently peaceful
though underneath dwelt
the threat of violence
in case you wanted too much freedom?

Yet mad, glad, sad
must always mean hope
a way to carry on
through the dark tunnel.

Mad, glad, sad
please tell me there is light
in our peaceful legitimate fight.

© 2017, photograph and poem, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)


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.