“Rainy Day Comfort”. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Promp

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Madeleine L’Engle … perhaps one can even say this applies to poetry.

Tuesdays are among the most popular days for people to visit the The Poet by Day and that’s because of the quality of work our poetry community produces and the fascination I believe we all have with the variety of reactions to a prompt. Such delight.  So here today are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, April 18, The Taste of Baklava. 

Thanks to these talented, often visionary, and intrepid poets for coming out to play: Irene Aaron (a.k.a. Irene Emanuel), Paul Brooks, Sheila Jacob, Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Pleasant Street. The artful Sonja has shared her illustrations as well.  

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome – encouraged – to participate no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  Meanwhile, read on, enjoy, and be inspired.


Afternoon rain,
steam on tar;
liquid leaves litter rain-sparkled grass.
School-shoe leather
splashing sweet-water puddles,
spraying the grey air with promise.
Homeward bound
after school, comfort food
beckons with tempting smells.

Batter on griddle,
sizzling pancakes
drowned in farm butter and maple syrup.
Olfactory senses
unlock fragrances of
security and warmth,
a taste of childhood days.

© 2018, Irene Emanuel

*A special welcome today to Irene Aaron, new to Wednesday Writing Prompt. Irene’s pen name is the lovely Irene Emanuel. Irene didn’t have a chance to email her bio and photo. When she does, I’ll add it to this post as is tradition with writers new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt.

My Mam’s Spice

Our home were spiced up,
when she were well.
Mam put wooden pots
of her favourite fragrances
on the tiled hearth,
strung garlands
on the hallway walls.

Allspice, cedar wood shavings
cinnamon bark and cassia bark
cloves, cypress wood shavings
fennel seed, incense-cedar
wood shavings, jasmine flowers
and oil, jujube blooms,
juniper wood shavings.

I thought it magic,
‘ cause it didn’t rot,
lavender leaves,
lemon balm leaves,
lemon peel, marjoram leaves,
mignonette leaves, mint leaves,
mugwort, orange peel,

sweet citrus infused all rooms,

pelargonium leaves, pinyon pine
shavings and cones, rose flowers,
hips, rosemary leaves,

even on the gusty winter day mam died,
and the sharp tangs were stench
and the pots were emptied,
garlands binned, odours dissipated
from rooms but not memory.

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Dad Never Only Considers Most

relevant part of a map.
When he gets lost, he stops,
at the entrance to the busiest junction,
sometimes, before a roundabout,
and unfolds a view of the world
to its fullest extent to find his way.

Perhaps, at work when he changes
one tiny part of the system he traces
its effect on a detailed draughted whole diagram
of council offices, hospitals
or nuclear subs where he has installed
new heating waste management services.

And I at work or home cursed with the same
need for thorough deliberation,
find bosses, wives and workmates sigh
at my slow, detailed examination
of an issue, that had I rushed,
as when angry, only find confusion.

My dad and I bring the whole going on
to a brief stop as others
who wish to get on, hoot, cringe,
whistle and toot their dismay.
We ignore them all to, quietly,
stubbornly, slowly map our way.

Original publication in “Verse Virtual.”

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Blowing bubbles

We lean into a breeze skittering
off the hills, send bubbles
soaring through plastic rings.
Our grandsons cheer-
their turn next and we caution
mind you don’t trip
don’t run into the road
but they’re sure-footed, stay
close, race one way then another
across an ellipse of lawn.

* * * * *
I recall dandelion-clocks
in a long ago garden.

puff-breath count the seeds
watch them fly tell the time
one o’clock two o’clock
tick-tock mind the nettles
rub a dock leaf on stings
hold a buttercup under your chin
loop a daisy-chain over your wrist

* * * * *
I feel a child’s arms around
my waist, kiss his blond head.
His brother runs to me:taller,
raven-haired, I hug them both,
wipe soap-sticky hands
and the four of us chase
fresh bubbles, catch some
on our palms, pop the highest
with our fingertips, let others melt
into trodden tufts of grass.

© 2018, Shiela Jacob


I choose a pebble from the beach

and  lick a fleck of salt

from  the red/brown round. Pebble

to cherish through this journey. Grit


and strength and wit must all combine

to carry out this pledge.  Northwards.

Find the first hill. Grief lies

beyond evasion and found  me in moments


of repose between fell and crag,

peat bog and flooding stream. Two

hundred miles, one sea left behind,

the other found. Sunlight then spindrift,


one last steep hill falling between the red-tiled

homes to the flat,grey sea.  A membrane bursts,

spilling everything distilled:

sorrow  and ache and pride. Jolted,


I gasp and clutch a rail, salt burns

my cheek. Walk, walk. I place the pebble

on my boot. A wave inspects

and takes its tribute. I turn and climb, talking

again in silence to one unseen.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


. a vision request .

early while driving.                     omen repeating


sometimes the sun comes lower after the crest


one moment


imagine them marching,           slow & white.


will you name them?


in the wake all things come clear.


slow & white.


later below the peaks i tell him. he said it is

the dark crystal.


© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher



. a moment .

when the world runs cold,

water freezing, eyes held

from the words.


moments with the old story,

knowing it will be understood.


each day a moment to be

shared out here.


the poetry circle is closed.




do not believe all you read.


© 2018, poem and illustration (below), Sonja Benskin Mesher




Falling Star, 1989

I didn’t belong there and I knew it
how you were not mine yet
and she did not know you were there
with me
letting something grow
that was for keeps
in time
keeping time, and
holding on tightly
so that no one could sever our bond
looking upwards
that fierce green streak
putting a stamp on it
on us
and for once
I believed in signs

© 2018, Pleasant Street


“Seasons of Becoming” and other poems in response to last Wednesday’s writing prompt

Last Wednesday’s writing prompt, May 31, 2017: Tell us in prose or poem and in terms of the seasons where you used to be in life and where you are now.

Thanks to those intrepid poets who came out to play. Enjoy the seasons everyone … Read on …

Static Cycles

Summer is my favorite
I can’t wait for Fall
Something ’bout Winter magic
Spring is best of all

Summer is my favorite
I can’t wait for Fall
Something ’bout Winter magic
Spring is best of all

Summer is my favorite
I can’t wait for Fall
Something ’bout Winter m

© 2017, Christopher Troy

(c) Christopher Troy

This is Christopher’s debut with us, so … introducing CHRISTOPHER TROY: Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1978 to a middle class family in an immigrant neighborhood on the city’s north side, Christopher Troy left for Paris in 1996 to study philosophy and political science at the Sorbonne. He spent the next nine years living there, where he was introduced to the arts and Paris’ infamous nightlife. He returned to America after his studies and began a successful decade-long career in politics, until deciding to walk away from it and become a writer. “I’d rather have people applaud me for my lies than be appalled by them,” he said to a friend on the day he left Washington, D.C. He is currently living in Greece and working on his first novel. Examples of his prose and poetry can be found at Christopher Troy Stories.

Four Haiku


anguish of sunlight
when the people you wait for
don’t turn up on time


the train stops nowhere
under clear blue morning skies
in total silence


yesterdays’ bonfire
drifts into my dreams
– woodpigeon dawn


plane leaf & puddle
at the grey end of the year
puddle & plane leaf

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

Born Old

coddled in wool blanket drifts
Sun sears baby eyes through bright windows,
hospital paths cleared tall walls
of snow either side. I howled

a gust down shop aisles, on street
to the dentists. Crowds frowned.
Summer bike rides in country lanes
Spring divorced winter.

Summer was another dialect. Coarser,
to play was to laik, sweets were spice.
Wide games in a silver wood, ventured
into cold huts. Fun with sausages and custard.

Hull hunkered in Christian winter, relieved by Summer gamelan and hope for a vocation
to last manual work and taking the pillock.
It didn’t. Winter of closing pits.

Bristol summered in performance
Classes on interview technique, teach
Teenagers how to think into a job.
beyond unemployment benefit office screens

Spout words over dripped lager louts,
Back in summered day buzz of words clapped,
then winter cancered into debt
and prodigal return. No fatted calf

only steroid fatted bald mam and chores
in garden until I met my future wife
for a bet in breaks between admin.
Summered teach adults write and history.

A winter that lasted twelve years headset
yoked ears bent to abuse from wronged
Customers and peddled official lines.
Summer came with an unwanted death,

A years enjoyment of travel and delight.
Summer comes in to autumn with cash gone.
Life a priority. Bills must be paid. Work
only part time, buzz when I help customers.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

The Season of Becoming

Is this the Winter of her discontent as with
Shakespeare the world around might seem one
that is indifferent to her sadness that age
has besieged her but no it is not so harsh
as the icy cold winds and snow harboring
a breath that will not seek to warm her skin
for it has become like the Season of Summer
where the warming rays of the sun stretches wide
to cover the new growth from Spring that offers
new bright green leaves that will be transformed
into variations of darker greens providing shade
to all of nature’s life beneath boughs of trees
who watch as life is born from tiny tadpoles
becoming frogs to the larvae of dragonflies to
a multitude of birds peering from the safety of eggs
to all beginning a journey of grand proportions
where Fall will see a quiet settling in to harvest
and rest amidst the beauty of all that has become
for stepping into the Winter of her life she now sees
her discontent not as a sadness but as one of observing
all that has come before, all that has become who she is
for it is another beginning and one of transformations
that will show her all the brilliance of her colors
enabling doors to naught hidden as opening to reveal

© 2017 Renee Espriu (reneejustturtleflight)

. for seasons .

frozen, the code will not work, nor will the counting with interruptions, all things moved about. there is a discount, on top the discount, so a discussion ensued on buttons.

now there is an understanding. the season of it all fits, the picture is made the pieces are in place. left on the tray, photographed for all to see.

talked in numbers and rhythms. a train passed, gulls flew the heat haze. on return, no one spoke.

i have written of them before, now in sign and symbol, i regard, that ‘again’ brings a sense of permanence, that familiarity does not always mean contempt , yet continuity.

spring comes round, and we keep the little things, again.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher RCA

Jamie’s THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

BREATHLESS BETWEEN LANGUAGE & MYTH, a poem … and therein is your Wednesday writing prompt


Here I am, suspended breathless
between language and myth.
Strands of undomesticated words
weave ladders to freedom, and

a dove in the stripy-barked birch
recites the works of Homer.
I found the rules of grammar
written on my tongue by the wind

and the alphabet strung like
seed-pearls around my willing neck.
Each day I take to the quarries,
hard mining for the sweetly lyrical,

blistered from digging in hot sands
and hard stone for parables.
The very walls that bound my heart
are fairly breached by the

gentle solace of poems spun
on a vision quest, on toiling
though the hill country of
my youthful and once indomitable

dreams: like dandelion fluff,
I blow them into history.
I write as though poetry is
the only real nourishment –
. . . . . .  .perhaps it is.

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved,  Photo ~ courtesy of morgueFile


Last month’s theme for The BeZine was: Rituals for Peace, Healing and Unity. Fittingly, Terri Stewart, our resident canoness, took the lead.

For some of us, our writing – whatever it may be – poetry, fiction, nonfiction, journaling – is our daily spiritual practice, a ritual of sorts, a way to heal and to connect with the best part of ourselves.

The inspiration for today’s writing prompt comes from my colleagues at the Zine:

Poet, essayist and vocalist, John Anstie, wrote “This poem represents the sentiment and spirit that is at the core of our mission here, Jamie, the Bardo/Beguine mission. ‘… as if poetry is the only real nourishment. Perhaps it is.’ Perhaps, at the same time, a call to the pen, rather than the sword, is also a source of nourishment that will yield, eventually, a harvest [of peace] for the world.”

Corina Ravenscraft, artist, poet, writer and activist, said “… poetry truly can be spiritual…”

Associate Pastor of Riverton United Methodist Church (Seattle, Washington), Rev. Terri Stewart, writer and founder of our sister site Beguine Again, wrote: “Digging for parables really echoes with what my experience is!”

How do you experience the practice of poetry or other art? Maybe you feel as our colleague – shamanic practitioner, psychotherapist, educator, and visual and theater artist – Michael Watson  does, that the “arts are the only real solace.”

In poem, story or creative nonfiction tell us about your personal creative rites and/or why you find consolation in them. Share your piece through Mister Linky … just click on the icon below and paste in the link to your piece so that I and other readers here might enjoy it.

Note: A link from one of my unrelated pieces might show up as the first post. It’s just left from another effort on a different site.  Tech challenged: I couldn’t remove it. Sigh! 😦