TWO POEMS BY AND AN INTERVIEW WITH ANJUM WASIM DAR, PAKISTANI WRITER, ARTIST AND EDUCATOR

the poet by day, makes me a poet by night
how sweet is the sensation, how smooth the flight
in  holy silence, words flow on, with delight
as the hours pass by, dawn breaks into light 
Anjum Wasim Dar


Over my life
I have drifted,
along, with the flow-

I came to know
I have to go, be slow
To move step by step
shed tears drop by drop,

Over my heart I found,
nothing was my own
It all had to be gifted,
to known and unknown,

Over my heart I saw,
as inside I bled
outside all was black ,

as the invisible was red,
love’s return, hard to find,
to complete a good age

we ourselves must be
loving caring and kind.

Spirit of Two Spheres

O My Spirit
someone has seen you
In sound and silence,
felt you in celestial
sphere,
O spirit where dost thy wander<
Free when I fall asleep…
Tell me who is the silent one
Who thinks of me<
With hand on the cheek
a smile in thoughts, deep
O spirit tell me, how is she?
and tell her please she is very<
Dear n near to me, I know  not<
When or how many times our
paths crossed on the page…
My pen said write and I wrote
My poem missed the boat once
twice, made me sad, not for the poem
but for not reaching her in time…
Quietly I moved across the screen
searching for her, in vain, she seems to
be away, perhaps resting after the day
I wonder how much work she has to do<
Or needs to go out too, but then my heart
missed many beats as I saw in silent sound<
That ‘I am mostly home bound’
Spirit you do not know my heart
painfully bled inside, I felt love n concern
deeply strangely beside.
O spirit pray pray pray….


JAMIE: How did you come to poetry?

ANJUM:  I believe I came to this world with poetry inherited in my blood. Becoming aware of life I found myself in a Renaissance atmosphere, an environment replete with books magazines newspapers radio programs and home screen movies.

My early school lessons had poems rhymes and songs that I thoroughly enjoyed. I fell in love with the Silver Bells Poetry books and would read and recite the poems again and again. While at home spoken-word a parlor games were popular: ‘Bait Baazi is played by composing verses of Urdu poems. It is very common among Urdu speakers in Pakistan and India. It is similar to Antakshari, the Sistanian Baas-o-Beyt, the Malayalam Aksharaslokam and, more generally, the British Crambo. It was the most popular game with uncles and aunts all living together after arriving safely in Pakistan, the newly created state by Partition in the Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

My Grandfather   Mohammed Hasan ( B.Sc  B.T. Kashmir), was a Professor at King George Royal Military College, Jhelum City, Pakistan after migration from Kashmir in the 1950s. He wrote poems in Urdu, mostly on request. He never published his writings. I learned the Arabic poetry meter system from him. He told me Urdu used the Arabic poetry meter system because it was quite simple to understand. Grandfather had learned English, Persian, and Urdu. He knew Shakespeare’s numerous lines by heart and had translated Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of Baskervilles into Urdu.

I wrote my first poem in Urdu at the age of 12 while sitting silently during blackouts of the two wars that were fought with India (in 1965 and 1971). During this time, I also listened to patriotic songs on the radio, which had a deep impact on my writing. I realized how nations were inspired to compose words and record acts of heroism and then I understood the works of our Great National Poet, Allama Mohammed Iqbal, who expressed  the  qualities of a true Muslim and the  characteristics of the Muslims  as a separate nation  through his poetry. Iqbal awakened the Muslims as a nation, highlighted their rights and duties…I was 16 at the time.

Studying for the  master’s  degree in English Literature  I captured the true essence of poetry and the hidden poet in me emerged. I was by then a mother of three college going kids – the year 2000 and I  was recognized internationally as the Poet of Merit by Poetry.com USA and the ISP International Society of Poets


JAMIE: Why is poetry so important to the global community?

ANJUM: The global community has expanded profoundly in recent years, grown in number but shrunk in distance, It has established links from one end of the planet to the other – the Age of Digital Connectivity, which ensures the constant availability of all kinds of information.

Poetry has been the earliest form of language ever since people learnt to make meaningful sounds. I believe human beings understood each other better with fewer syllables and there and then poetry took the first form. Still the understanding of concepts, ideas and precepts came in short forms like ‘formulas.’

Poetry can reach the masses in its various ‘short forms ‘ and convey guidance, pleasure, motivation, love and a warning’ faster than any other means. In its indirect mode it would not offend, abuse or disrespect anyone, though the key here is the knowledge and ability to read and understand.

I believe poetry has the power to change the fate of nations. It reveals the truth of life and leaves strong meaningful lessons for those who turn towards it. Some may deliberately use poetry for their own goals and objectives, which may again beneficial.

The global community needs conscious help in many form. Poetry has the potential to play a major role in educating broadly. Listening to poetry involves patience, so a better usage of time, for example through verses and lyrics of songs, we can think differently and stay away from violence, feel hopeful. Here  we have seen a change in the style of political activity when every public gathering and following speeches were interspersed with songs called ‘Promoting Party Songs’ and it kept the public involved, joyful and inspired.  The current trends are Poetry and Peace in the World, such as Poets Against War and 100,000 Poets for Change are moving together in many countries around the globe.

Poetry readings bring people closer. The individual cultural aspects and traditions are shared, this leads to more knowledge and better understanding among different communities and thus to peaceful living life style in an improved environment.


JAMIE: What poet do you find most inspiring and comforting and why?

ANJUM: In the early years the poems were Mother Goose Rhymes, then poems of nature where William Wordsworth and Robert Frost stand out, but with only one poem each, Daffodils and Stopping by the Woods. I am sure many are familiar, as these poems are part of the school/college syllabus.

At this stage a poem that touched my soul and spirit was Ozymandias of Egypt by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I had just started college when war with India was declared and ‘Death’ came to the forefront. Father and an elder brother were actively involved at the borders. I came to know Urdu poets and writers like Masroor Anwer, Soofi Tabassum, Jameeluddin Aali and Himayat Ali Shaer. The concept of bravery, sacrifice and patriotism was highlighted in the poems for the soldiers and kept the nation motivated and in high spirits…and I felt the support in the absence of father at home.
 
Among the writers of English Literature, though I enjoyed reading Shakespeare and found him close to nature and humanity, John Milton and T.S.Eliot  inspired me the most. John Milton’s style of expression, themes  and choice of words brought a change in my writing style. I began to see life differently, on a higher level of reality and grandeur. Milton’s grand style improved my proficiency in English (a foreign language for me), in sentence structure and the use of adjectives,  similes and imagery. It moved me to write better and writing poetry became a part of me…I would keep reading lines from Milton’s epic Paradise Lost. The phrases “to be weak is miserable’’  and “all is not lost’ though coming from Satan in the poem gave much hope to thoughtful believers…Side by side Keat’s Odes brought color, movement and the density of vocabulary to embroider the little that I could write. My literature teacher guided  me to adopt the style of such great writers. I must mention Mathew Arnold and Sir Philip Sydney whose essays also enlightened my mind towards understanding literature.  Poetry remained on top of the list. T.S.Eliot’s Wastland and the essays Tradition and Talent and What is a Classic opened more avenues for understanding human nature and ‘to justify the ways of God to men’ as Milton wrote. T.S.Eliot inspired me to write about the great event, the ‘Partition ‘of India, which changed the lives of millions of people of the Indo-Pak Subcontinent.
 
Ghalib

When you ask me about a comforting poet then without any doubt or hesitation I would say that it is none other than Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797-1869). I have his complete works in my personal library including audio cassette recordings of his essays and letters etc read by Mr Zia Mohyiuddin. Every time my thoughts emotions feelings need comfort I turn towards his poems and ghazals. Ghalib understood human feelings. When one reads his verses one finds soothing answers. “… life is like that.” He has the saintly prophetic style of expression..he speaks the truth…in this world of hate, envy, and revenge I find him a great support…’acceptance is the key to happiness’ and he assures that  awareness of one’s skill is the most satisfying thing in the world..’ ‘ and writes for himself..that he could have been a ‘wali’ a friend of the Almighty if he had not been an alcoholic.

 
ھیں اور بھی دنیا میں  سخن ور بہت ا چھے
  
کہتے ھیں  کہ غالب  کا  ھے  انداظے بیاں  اور    
 
Iqbal

The other influence on my writing came from Dr Allama Iqbal (1877-1938) whose poetry was regularly read aloud at home. From the primary level to college and later at family gatherings, Allam Iqbal’s poems were remembered and recited. Dr Iqbal inspired me towards religion, developing the strength of my faith belief and trust in Allah. Other than his poems for children, the Prayer DUA…

لب  پہ آتی ھے دعا  بن کہ  تمنا  میری  
زندگی شمع  کی صورت  ھو خدایا  میری
“I say a prayer, which is my wish that my life be like a lamp.”
 
He provides  a complete guideline for the purpose of life and how to live it. Quranic study with meaning and understanding came much later in my life. Many verses are inspiring but two which I always recite and quote ..
کبھی  اے ھقیقت منتظر   نظر آ    لباس  مجاز  میں 
کہ ھزاروں  سجدے تڑپ رھے  ھیں میری  جبین نیاز  میں 
 
“O Great Truth appear in the worldly light, am dying to prostrate myself, thousands of times.”
 
کھول  آنکھ    زمیں  دیکھ فلک  دیکھ  فظا  دیکھ 
مشرق  سے ابھرتے  ھوےؑ  سورج    کو زرا   دیکھ
 
“Open your eyes see the Earth, the sky, the scene, see the sun rising in the East, have a vision,be enlightened. “
 
For Dr Iqbal one needs intensive and consistent study. His philosophy of ‘Self’ rising above personal desires, gaining knowledge and being positive and steadfast in faith lead to a fine development of character.

JAMIE: Pakistan has declared Urdu the national language and you have been working to translate your work into Urdu.  What has that adventure been like for you?  What are the challenges?

.
ANJUM:Yes, Urdu is our national language. It is also compulsory for all to study in school. For me Urdu was not difficult. A 10-lesson reader and a small book of grammar was all we had in the course. Two options were offered, either one could take the Advanced Course or the Easy one. I took the advanced and found it rather easy. 
.
When I started teaching,  I found that students and teachers both had a low proficiency level in the subject. A Certification of Teaching of Urdu was not required, only a master’s degree was enough for a job. Many precious years have gone by without any regular or professional training courses in the subject for teachers of Urdu. My love of poetry kept me glued to Urdu. I had read Mir Taqqi Mir, Mir Dard, Daagh, Bahadur Shah Zafar Ghalib Allama Iqbal  a couple of poems by Nazeer Akbarabadi. As a family all loved the Urdu(Indian ) songs and Urdu movies ..Pakistani Urdu songs came later. This way I got to listen, speak, and read a little ( an Urdu newspaper with my Grandmother) and keep my Urdu language alive. My parents  spoke Punjabi. In fact my Grandfather, uncles, aunts and other relatives all, spoke Punjabi…we kids spoke Urdu and later quite fluently. .it was English.
.
I found translating  English poetry to Urdu quite challenging. I had translated paragraphs but not poems, the last translation task that I had to do was a letter (from Urdu to English ) while working as Creative Writer (English –with Channel 7 Adv. Company Islamabad).
..
Poetry in Urdu reflects the thoughts  ideas and emotions more effectively than English as the Poetess of India who uses the pen name  “Haya” writes : 
.
کیا بھلا چاند  ستاروں  کی زباں  سمجھیں گے
برگ پھولوں کا  پرندوں کا بیاں  سمجھیں گے 
کتنے بد بخت  ھیں واۡقف  نہیں  جو اردو  سے
وو حیا  علم و محبت   کو  کہاں   سمجھیں  گے
.
“who can understand the language of the moon and stars
 of flowers leaves and  of the  birds and what they say
 how unfortunate are those who don’t know Urdu
 they will never understand, language of love and knowledge.”
.
I must appreciate and thank you for setting me off on a wonderful amazing exciting adventure into the mythical mysterious world of Language. I feel  like King Odysseus on a great Viking ship, my companions are few but powerful, the Internet, the laptop computer, and the camera….I miss the Urdu Thesaurus, I believe it is available in book form and will try to get a copy. In the meantime the Internet helps… 
.
The challenges I face when translating are not tenses nor Urdu grammar but Urdu vocabulary. I need to increase the repertoire. The Urdu script /Urdu Fonts (how to write a word correctly) the problem…generally one finds an English word written with the Urdu alphabet, in the Urdu script, when the word is read,  it sounds as in English….  Office…آفس English… انگلش Game گیم       Show    شو         
.
I had to learn and perfect my Urdu typing ability.
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With regard to transferring the correct  poetic idea to a different language there are constraints that I have noticed: There are no Urdu language programs for outside classroom audiences, like a poetry recital stage show or a forum or gathering of writers and poets called MushairaCommon language exchange outside the classroom have developed into a mixture of Urdu and English. Many English words have come to stay in Urdu vocabulary lists as …’family, bed, chair. office, cushion, curtain , butter, finish, film, game, milk, racquet, ball, house, number, shop, wife, darling. “Hello” is the most common word used to attract the attention, in place of “hey listen” or “are you listening?’?”
.
The best part of the adventure is that I am using Urdu, writing in Urdu, looking up the Urdu Dictionary, sharing the language adventure with my family and friends and dearly loving all the activities of my dear national language. It is a beautiful language, quite misunderstood, misused too sometimes but it is pure, soft, sweet and full of respect and love. I wish I had started this adventure earlier
.
My regret is that Urdu is not getting the attention it should. The Academy of Letters is working somewhere. Urdu magazines for children are few and one fails to find good authentic speakers of Urdu language. Only a deliberate effort can create that environment and that too would be rare. 
© 2019, words and personal photographs, Anjum Wasim Dar;  “Ozymandias” clipping by Glirastes in The Examiner, London, Sunday, January 11, 1818, No. 524, page 24 / public domain; the only surviving photograph of Mirza Ghalib (circa 1860-1869) / public domain; Iqbal as a Barrister-at-Law / public domain.

ANJUM WASIM DAR (Poetic Oceans) was born in Srinagar (Indian occupied Kashmir) in 1949.
 ,
Her family opted for and migrated to Pakistan after the Partition of India and she was educated in St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi where she passed the Matriculation Examination in 1964. Anjum ji was a Graduate with Distinction in English in 1968 from the Punjab University, which ended the four years of College with many academic prizes and the All Round Best Student Cup, but she found she had to make extra efforts for the Masters Degree in English Literature/American Studies from the Punjab University of Pakistan since she was at the time also a back-to-college mom with three school-age children.
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Her work required further studies, hence a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad and a CPE, a proficiency certificate, from Cambridge University UK (LSE – Local Syndicate Examination – British Council) were added to  her professional qualifications.
 .
Anjum ji says she has always enjoyed writing poems, articles, and anecdotes and her written work found space in local magazines and newspapers. A real breakthrough came with the Internet when a poem submitted online was selected for the Bronze Medal Award and I was nominated as Poet of Merit 2000 USA. She accepted the Challenge of NANOWRIMO 2014 and Freedom is Not a Gift, A Dialogue of Memoirs, a novel form was the result. She was a winner, completing her 50,000 word draft in one month.
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Although a Teacher and a Teacher Trainer by Profession, she is a colored-pencil artist and also enjoys knitting and is currently trying to learn Tunisian Crochet
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Memoir writing is her favorite form of creative expression. 
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“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


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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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

I’M NOT DONE YET … AND OTHER RESPONSES TO THE LAST WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

“When I was young and miserable and pretty
And poor, I’d wish
What all girls wish: to have a husband,
A house and children. Now that I’m old, my wish
Is womanish:
That the boy putting groceries in my car

See me. ”
Randall Jarrell, Selected Poems



What a generous and engaging response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, I Am Beautiful Now, February 6, 2019. I guess we all have something to say about aging: poignant, wry, wise, well considered. You’ll find a lot to munch on here today.

Thanks to Julie Standig (and a warm welcome), Paul Brookes, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Marta Pombo Sallés (welcome back), Mike Stone, and Anjum Wasim Dar.  Well done, poets, and thank you!

Enjoy this stellar collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


I’m Not Done Yet

I lost my ovaries a week ago:
no, they were not misplaced,
like my keys, cell phone and eye
glasses. They were unruly
so, like that bad student years ago,
they were removed. Don’t miss ‘em.
Don’t need ‘em.

Heads no longer turn when I walk
down the street,and when I meet
my daughter on Columbus, the waiter
barely takes my order, but quickly
knows to hand me the cheque.
I expect it.

I’m the oldest woman at work.
My earrings don’t hang as long,
my heels are not too high,
and my hair is quite short.
I wear pants, and if they’re tight
is more around the waist.

But I love nights filled with music,
wine and friends. Amber necklaces
and oversized rings that still slide
over my knuckles.
Words are comrades, still, and so far
they have not deserted me.

The lines around my mouth and
creases at my eyes, I wear like medals.
Not for bravery, or a war that was won.
I can’t win this war and I know it.
I have lost, I miss, yet I have no regrets.
Beware.
I’m not done yet.

© 2019, Julie Standig

JULIE STANDIG was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Queens, lived on Long Island. She now splits time between New York City and Doylestown.PA. She has studied at the Unterberg Poetry Center,participated in Writer’s Voice and is an active member of a private workshop in NYC.  Published in Alehouse Press, Arsenic Lobster and Covenant of the Generations, Then and Now Issue of Sadie Girl Press, as well as the online journal, Rats Ass Review. Her first chapbook, Memsahib Memoir  has just been released by Plan B Press and is currently working on her next project.

Poetry is her voice and it has taken a long time to find it. She works her way through loss and dementia and her love of life. She writes on trains, in cars, Central Park walks, late at night and always somewhere between New York City and Doylestown.


Old Are Young

My wrinkles disappear,
No more crow’s feet.

Knees lack pain when I get up,
or walk stairs. Mind so pin sharp

it hurts. Touch my toes,
cartwheel, run marathons.

I’ve had to throw away my false teeth,
As I’ve grown new ones.

Age means less struggle.
Life should be struggle.

Age means less pain .
Everything should hurt.

I tell my wrinkled grandkids.
Never grow old. Wish it on no one.

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

My Decrepit Is Good

Bring on grey hairs turn to silver.
Bring on sharp pain in the knees
as I hobble downstairs, deafness
is my body’s editor.

Bring on memory loss
as I know no different.
Bring me my stick,
my arrow of desire.

Bring it all on, fuzzy brain,
misty sight, zimmer frame,
adult nappy’s, oxygen through
plastic tubes, a knowing.

Bring on wrinkles, laugh lines,
tang of autumn, radical spice
of spring, footskate winter,
wild summer, all natural process.

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

Biddy To A Young God

Have you some anti aging cream
in your warm skin young god
for as you caress these ancient hands
this bent body wintered
the wrinkles smooth out?

You have planted fresh
delight in these eyes
that sprout visions again
as when I was a young girl.

You have breathed
through my cold embers
and stroked warmth
into this thin skin.

My face has plumpness
and reddens
as your hands find flesh
for my angled skull.

My limbs no longer bare
begin to dress themselves
with buds and colour
for your lustful eyes.

Perhaps these changes
are only in your eyes,
and this puddle reflection
may be false, a false Spring.

From forthcoming book “Stubborn Sod”, Alien Buddha Press, 2019

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

Bairns Are Old Codgers

Before I get taken to play at my soft playcentre,
my one year granddaughter toddles with her zimmer frame.
Later we will take her to the memory cafe
where she’ll remember her past lives.
“Hard”, of before dawn and midnight hours:
A welder in the Clyde shipyard, 1942.
“Stinks that,” she says of the steel shavings, and Swarfega.
“Heavy”, of the hammer…
A kitchen servant in a big house.
“Hurts”, of calloused pestle and mortared deferment…
I’m all giddy at tumble down
slides, scramble nets and ballpools.

From “A World Where”, Nixes Mate Press, 2017

© 2019, Paul Brookes (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


Chive On – A Limerick

There once was woman, aged forty five

Who felt her life was somewhat contrived

Despite her face being full of lines

She still wrote some pretty good rhymes

So she just stayed calm and continued to chive.

If you haven’t heard the phrase, “Keep calm and Chive on,” there is a link in the limerick explaining this saying. The last line was originally going to say “So she said “F#%& that” and continued to thrive” but I thought the modern reference was a “cooler” ending.

I’m turning a significant age this year (five years until half a century!), and like Jamie, I too feel quite comfortable at this age. Maybe it’s because despite my advanced age (thank you for that phrase, medical community!), I actually don’t feel “old”. I feel more secure in myself, more confident, more daring – all characteristics that are related to gaining experience and self knowledge, which can only come with age.

So this fun poem reflects the fun that I’m having now – being a mom, a runner, a partner, a friend, a writer – despite of or probably, because of, my advanced age!

© 2019, poem and photo, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I Do a Few Other Things Too)

Fighting Age

Combing through darkness

Five stand, admitting defeat

Plucked out – victory!

I’ve written a lot of poetry lately, but I’ve also done a fair share of running this past week. Thursday’s short 4 mile run was so hot that I couldn’t even even run the last two miles of it. My head was pounding and I was starting to feel dizzy. I felt defeated and annoyed at my inability to do these minimal miles.

Saturday, I ran 11 miles in cool weather with a slight drizzle and I felt great! I felt like I could have finished another 2 miles for an impromptu half marathon (I didn’t though, as coffee and a bagel was calling my name). I felt elated and victorious, ready to conquer the rest of the day.

Poetry and running keep my soul from getting old and stagnant. I never know what to expect but the range of feelings I experience before, during and after every run is similar to my writing experience. What a blessing to have both in my life and to also have a community of wonderful people to share it with!

© 2019, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I Do a Few Other Things Too)

Details

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.

© 2019, Irma Do (I Do Run … And I Do a Few Other Things Too)


Come,
see me now.

I am, the wind in your sails
when storms cause you fear,
I am, the love on your skin
when complexion gives in,
I am strength in your bones
as your bones become thin,
You will know me by sight
when your sight isn’t clear,
When darkness is near,
You will deny any fear.
I am the warmth
of your Sun.
and the light
of your Moon.
I am everything
you know,
I am everything
you knew
Who am I?

I am you.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)

Scorched Bones

Gathering thoughts
of remembrance
Time stood still.

My kind eyes
Muddied by a world
Full of hate,
We see everyday.

This is not
Where I want to be
This is not
What I want to see.

My gentle, trusting
Nature being worn
Away by the news
The confusion I see.

This is not
Where I want to be
This is not
What I want to see.

Beauty dying In front
of me not naturally
But gradually, and
strategically on course.

This is not
Where I want to be
This is not
What I want to see.

I and my friends
losing Grace, misplaced
Days dwindling by
Shortening time.

This is not where
I want to be
This is not what
I want to see.

Gone is the wonder
Gone is the trace of
Smiles erupting
on this aging face.

This is not where
I want to be
This is not what
I want to see.

God give me grace.
When the loving warmth
Of the final fire
scorches my bones.

This is not where
I want to be
This is not what
I want to see.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)

The Tallest Tree

Graying hairs, and
Weakened bones
Could snap as the fragile
Aging branches
Of the tallest tree.
I am now as tall
As I’ll ever be.
Time is mine to keep.
My eyes have opened
Though I can hardly see,
my limbs have
taken me the distance
and no longer carry me.
I am wind and I am sea,
The heavens tenderly
Beckon me,
My arms are open.
Please
look
at
me.

© 2019, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie, Poetry and Short Stories)


.the rain came suddenly.

sun, was done and dusted.

by the slate they talked, shining.
faces older now, friendship retained.

learned a little more on life, the small
things, wisdom rings
the generations.

i did not need all the mange tout.

how beautiful

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.angel.

sit with me, talk to me
about yourself and things
surrounding.

i am older now, look
like this, and will harm,
no living thing.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.these days these days.

are longer now, i feel younger now,

i am older. we do so many things.

we are no longer afraid.

make the best of summer days,

winter follows.

he remarked that it was

good enough

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


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
forever.

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)


A Dying Light

Raanana, July 14, 2017

Once when your light was at its zenith
We could see the possibilities of poetry
And now, and now,
Your light is swollen and bloodred
As it sinks below the crags of the far horizon
We would not venture to explore,
But even in the dying of your light
And the cold night that it portends,
You show us the way we all must tread
Through dreaded mindscape
That leads us lemminglike to fall free
Through the nothingness of nonexistence.
Though you would bid me follow you
Showing me the beauty here
Or the danger there,
You can only point at them
For words have deserted you,
Adjectives no longer describe
Nouns no longer are
Verbs no longer act,
And time itself was ever only deceit.

© 2017, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Retirement

Raanana, April 30, 2017

We sat at the kitchen table
The two of us as we did most evenings
Her eyes tear-brimmed.
I reached over and touched her arm
Why? I asked although I knew.
She had retired just a few months back
But I had kept on working
Til now.
We’ll turn into a couple of old people
It’s the last chapter of our lives, she said.
Both of us turned around and looked at Daisy
Snoring softly from her mattress
As she does most days now.
Neither of us could imagine life without her
But I sensed my wife’s sadness
Spilling and spreading out towards me
And I promised her
Wherever we’d go
We’d go together hand in hand
Til time’s far-flung end.

© 2017, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Wisdom

Raanana, April 4, 2017

And in the end
They’re right, you know,
The Hindus and the Buddhists:
All life is illusion
Cut adrift from the shores of reality
With a logic of its own
Like the shells on the beach
That my mother remembering
When she was a little girl
Picked up and put to her ear
And heard the sea in them.
This was the wisdom they talked about
Sitting around the fires
Toothless grins under a full moon,
A wisdom that is not a wisdom,
At all.

© 2017, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Trembling Hands

Raanana, October 8, 2016

My hands,
I look at them now
Trembling
As they are wont to do
And I wonder why
They do,
My hands.
My father’s hands trembled too,
More toward the end,
How I loved them,
His hands.
I think maybe they know something I don’t know,
My hands,
That starlight trembles in the night
From distance and the coldness of it,
That strings on violins tremble
From Sheherazade’s beauty,
Or remind me how my vulnerability
Lets me listen to your heartbeat.
O captain, my captain,
Perhaps your hand upon the wheel
Trembled before the port that was your destination.

© 2016, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Little Things

Raanana, January 3, 2019

The desert hills behind me
The white-flecked sea in front of me
Clouds roiling on the horizon
A chill wind shivers old bones.
That’s when the clementines are best
And a steaming cup of mud-black coffee.
The sky is golden just before dusk,
What more could one ask for?
My hands age while I watch,
I suppose, like everything else here.
Slowly,
It’s hard to tell,
If you don’t pay much mind,
Little things
Get subtracted from your life
Until there’s not much left
But I guess it’s simpler
To keep track of
What’s important
And what’s dying.

© 2019, Mike Stone (Uncollected Works)

Mike Stone’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Age Is An Unknown Thing

img_20190210_162610.jpg                                                      Photo Credit  CER  ©  2019

age is an unknown thing
in silence  passes by
begins and ends with a cry
has honey and ‘a  sting’

Age is but a shadow dark-
why shadows are always
dark ? as night and day
– it’s all time, at play-

age is but a phase
called child,adult, old,
beauty grace wrinkled
body, bent slow and cold

age is but wisdom, 
in metallic sounds, a
a syzygy of time and life
a digital pattern

age is but a state of
mind, manner and matter
‘as old as one thinks’
a gauge of strength’

age is but ‘no age for love’
immune to all seasons
mobility gifted, a graceful cage 
 of  moments measured.

IMG_20190210_162504
Photo Credit  CER  ©  2019

Age is but beauty even in  
withered state, often ‘over
or under’ or right grade,yet 
praised or un praised,

all must fade…

© 2019, poem (English and Urdu) and illustrations, Anjum Wasim Dar  (Poetic Oceans)

 ءمر کیا ھے

اک انجان  ھقیقت  
اک خاموش راہ گزر 
اک آنسو اک مٹھاس
اک تیز چبھن اک ڈنگ       

،اک سایہ گہرا ،سایہ
 گہرا کیوں ھوتا ھے؟
جیسے رات اور دن
جیسے وقت کا کھیل

ءمر اک دور ھے 
بچپن جوانی بڑھاپا
خوبصورت جھریاں 
قمر  جھکی ھویؑ

عمر عقل کا نام ھے
عمر اک سوچ ھے
عمر اک وقت  ھے
عمر اک زندگی ھے 

اک  زہن  کا  تصور
اک  طاقت کا  اندازہ
عمر بس پیار کی عمر
اک وقت مقررہ عمر 

 عمر سب خوبصورت
عمر   سب  کی کہانی
عمر   بڑی  یا  چھوٹی
عمر     سب  کی   فانی

“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


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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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