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Hello, Nazim . . . Hello, a poem . . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Victor Rodvang, Unsplash

Let’s Give the World To the Children

Let’s give the world to the children just for one day
like a balloon in bright and striking colours to play with
let them play singing among the stars
let’s give the world to the children
like a huge apple like a warm loaf of bread
at least for one day let them have enough
let’s give the world to the children
at least for one day let the world learn friendship
children will get the world from our hands
they’ll plant immortal trees

– Nazim Hikmet



After Nazim Hikmet

What happiness that today
I can be “open and confident”
Though normally I would hide
in the safety of feigned ignorance,
feign joy, pretend
that I can see my clear sky
in spite of his clouds

Respectfully, I provide the detail requested …

The year is 2016
The month, January
This the first Wednesday
The hour is 6 a.m.

now that i am getting to know you,
now that i am chest-high in your poesy
it’s your time that interests me
……….1902 ~

You were birthday twins, Nazim,
You and my mysterious father,
born the same year, into the same culture,
spent your youth in that turmoil

If I study you, Nazim, will I find him, my diffident father,
in the dissident roots of your Turkish sensibility ~
they said he left with a price on his head
only to be caught, chained, imprisoned
in America, between a lover and a wife,
……….strong women . . .
………………..well, at least stronger than he

Hello Nazim!
I say “Hello!” gleefully
……….without a wink
I think we could have been perfect friends
that we might have understood each other
……….Hello! to you and your poetry
……………….Hello Nazim, Hello!

© 2016, Jamie Dedes

Note: My father and Nazim Hikmet would have come of age just as WW I (1914-1918) was ending and the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923) was beginning. Hikmet (1902-1963) was a renown poet, playwright and novelist, a communist and a revolutionary who spent his life in and out of jail. He won the International Peace Prize in 1950. My father (1902-1977) was a furrier. I didn’t know him well and saw him only two or three times a year, always at his office, never his home. This poem is after Hikmet’s Hello Everybody from Things I Didn’t Know I Loved. I appreciate his poetry for many reasons, but not the least as one way to get to know the world of my father’s childhood and youth..

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

June 21 is Father’s Day in the U.S., where I live. In honor of fathers everywhere, please share poem/s about your father or about something that reminds you of your father or makes you feel connected to him and ..

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

PLEASE NOTE:

Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!

Deadline:  Monday, June 15 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know and befriend other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

The First Rain . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Luca Bravo, Unsplash

“We need the tonic of wildness .  .  . At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods



And this being Tuesday, it’s time to share the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt,The Last Blue-green Spring, May 27, which invited poets to share a singular seasonal (any season) moment that for some reason (any reason) continues to pulse with life in  memory. What made it so vivid an experience? What were the colors, scents, shape, encounters with nature that made such a deep impression?  Thanks to Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah, Anjum Wasim Dar, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Nancy Ndeke, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone for this inspired collection. Enjoy! . . .

. . . and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets. This is a safe place to exercise your poetic muscle, to introduce yourself to our community, and to meet other poets who may be new to you.


Nature in its outmost form
The dryness of the sunny days
Eratic in moments of seasonal outbursts,
Zealous flares of flowery blossoms
Honey from the beecomb
Witheld sounds of colors in yellow whistles; faded fallen dried leaves
Picturestic of the weather
Nature has its own turns
With photosynthesis in play
The blue green Genesis of unknown hours.

© 2020, Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah

You can find more of Benedicta’s poetry using the search feature on this site.


Moon Over Makhadd in Northern Pakistan

In a flash like on angel’s wings,
smooth on the road the wheels
did spin,
moving on through avenues
bordered by elegant trees
we flew,
to the grandeur of Makhad,
mountains brown as pegs
head to head, conical sloping
supporting valleys
protecting with stony strength
bordering fields of mustard
yellow, making peace in spirit and
in heart,mellow-
there is The Quiet The Presence
in the mountains is the secret essence
till the Last Day,
there is no sudd of the Nile
mountains shield the land
the lifeblood of Makhad

and so we stood, protected
we felt in the valley of the North
as evening shadows lengthened
and the moon manifested itself
in glowing white, never so peaceful
a place I had seen nor been to,
when Nature raw and loving
spread its grace and held the place
a holy tapestry woven.

© 2020, 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


Family Gathering

This is where we’ve met,
where landscape offers space.

“ Quick, quick, you can’t catch me!”
Oh yes I can, with cunning.
I know where the flower beds narrow.
You’ll never escape me there.
Unless I pretend.
I’ll pretend.

“ Play hide and seek? Count to ten then,
no fifteen!” They’ll find me by water,
gazing on pondweed, deadly green like Sunday
afternoons when clocks dragged their feet,
ticking the echoes of the morning’s sermon.
Wildly we emitted raw blasts of turbulence, braced
to pay the consequential price
for breaking Sunday’s peace.

Aspens whisper, braid the breeze
between their leaves, rumour rain.
Elderberries beaded with drops
of late summer’s dew. A squall of rooks
crashes from the clustered woods.

“ Sorry, I was.” Somewhere between,
somewhere between.“ Here, let me show
you this sunflower, yellow-headed diva,
admitting with grace the butterflies
to hover and partake.”

Tree house is clattering with chatter,
explosive ululations. Who is really listening
and does it really matter as
long as they can have these moments
of unguarded light?

Wren’s ostinato fades to quiet
in the stillness of the birch.
Scrolls of pure white bark, nicks, music-
-box notes, ships plotted on radar,
heading where?

Futures,
mid-life, pondered in currents
of easy conversation. And ours?
as we drift our hands through
lavender and rosemary.
Passion and remembrance jostle,
loss and history, the past imperfect. Old
questions niggle still, leading where?
Simpler to pick apart a teasel
piece by piece.

Hungry calls distract. “Wait, look how
they sway and bow, these reeds, courtiers
before the kingcups. Yellow is
the colour of homage today, do you wear
yellow? No but you are pardoned. Eat!”

Follow the shafts of light: scarlet
rosehips, crimson plums , dusted blue
by night moths’ wings, first blush on apples
skimped by drought.

House wall, solid but evidence
of slip and restitution,
infill and making do.

Present and future,
intertwined, pulsing together.
Let them run on and on,
this day, these days.

Except from At the Storm’s Edge (Palewell Press, 2020)

© 2020, Frank McMahon

At the Storm’s Edge is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.


.liking all seasons.

yet i like the summer fabrics,
crisp cotton with flower
spots, reminiscent of other
days. when all clean, pressed,
we wore the best dress
to town, the museum, aviary,
then down to the beach

to bathe.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.one winter day.

no snow here as yet
though we did have that
flurry late autumn, the day
we went to the cinema

it was very localised

the mountain was rough
with it, a sliding accident
at the top of the pass
that day

yet elsewhere all came clear
and the film was raw

warm here again
logs stacked yesterday

pleased to say the manic
energy returned & much is
achieved

preparing for weather
which may not occur

i heard the crows
a distance away
as i worked

dark lonely sounds

i feel enough has died
yet it seems that power
deems that death can
answer some issues

these days
though it
is wrong

and not for survival

discuss

as i could now argue
another way and become
rattled

qed
that which is to be demonstrated

maybe another way
to resolve things

i suggested chocolate money

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


November Dawn in Northwood

Nature’s fan turns
Fingers sing
Where winter has dramatised the trees.
Beside the drive
Dropped leaves are cupped with frost.

In six o’clock light
Dawn comes.
Thin songs are jerky, interrupted
By chattering
Of birds’ beaks amid ruffled sleepy feathers.

The milkman’s step.
Gravel crunches up the drive.
The house
Suspended above is quiet.
The holly is still as the wind drops.

The bang of glass bottles
Against the step.
The faint sigh as the float slips into life.
Rattles
And disappears …

© 2020, Ben Naga

Ben’s site is Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-for loud recanter ma brake histories.”


Half Way the Mountain.

Africa is summer land, rare for degrees to dip below zero,
Unless atop the mighty Kirinyaga.
A child of the Arabica coffee terrain,
A kilometer from the forest line,
Many a man and woman from distant land and lingo,
Would hop atop the villages loaned landrovers,
Transport to the base of the mountain,
Tales of Jumbo’s and moor’s large,
Lakes with dazzling whiteness to blind,
Tricky terrain and freezing cold,
Silence to spare energy to climb,
Tales I carried in my growth,
As I, enjoyed the spectacle that the mountain was,
From the ridge where my father’s coffee crop swayed,
Teenage led a leg to schools far,
College danced the cities new flavor,
Marriage and children tending,
Career swing and switch,
Till, a visit did a rhyme,
On a soul at peace with itself,
And suddenly, my feet ached to do the climb,
And what a trek!
First was the forest unpretentious,
Mahogany and teak,
Then bamboo in all its clustered glory,
Amid careful skirting to keep wild owners at peace,
First night at camp,
Rolled onto a sleeping bag,
A fire merrily singing it’s warmth,
Cold was real, but pleasure too was,
And before sunrise, with eggs and bacons tucked,
Second leg began in earnest,
Sunrise that blinded one to the way,
Was the mood treck to great,
Expanse of whites amidst blues and purples,
God’s own mountain Eden,
The freshness of nature so real, music formed itself,
A hunter of something or other we did meet,
Keep your eyes down, the leader said,
By mid-day, a quiet did settle,
As guts got fuelled,
Then rain like ice fell in sheets,
Pushing us into a cave,
Where stones arranged like an old empires dinning room,
Afternoon merged with night as tales of the mountain rose and fell,
Sleep and aches came fast,
And soon morning popped, another wonder of nature’s splendor,
East on a fire brilliant beyond believe,
Roast rabit and smoked Salmon waiting,
Why pretend to be Ninja when muscles spoke in firely tongues,
A porter led a much needed hand,
Handing me two spikes to score the climb,
Air was getting thinner, walk was slower,
And tales subsided to grunts and the occasional curse from tripping,
A light lunch and a quick match,
Lake Nicholson we must make for the night,
Pitching tents and lighting evening fires,
Time for catch up with days events,
But up to this point, I had to reign my wits,
Yes, I loved the excussion and would love to trudge on,
But the vagaries of age were telling a different tale,
From a life of easy and untested car rides,
To go any further was a noise most unwelcome,
Watching the dark sky with it’s millions of stars,
The coward of the village took a bow ,
And the next morning,
While every one else hefted their bags up for day three up,
I, and my paid hand, took to the lower grounds with our rations,
Heaven is real, heaven is sweet to smell and spectacular to watch,
And it’s in the very nature that so far we haven’t “Tamed”
A testimony of a mountain climber who climbed a quarter way.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy Ndeke’s Amazon Page is HERE.


Snapshot of an Autumn Afternoon

As the tenth month instead of the eighth-
despite its moniker-
October is pregnant with pranks,
so vivacious shades of leaves
merely mask their imminent demise,
some already crackling to arid dust under the
sneakers of backpack-burdened kids
finishing their first quarter before sniffles and flus
and Remembrance Day poppies
start to pop up.
The supermarket down the street
hawks the honeyed nuances of candy corn,
as polarizing as the pleas of political candidates-
the consummate jokers-
just weeks before
the polls open.
Mass-produced slick plastic costumes
rival the versions crafted by parents cursing over
the hum of sewing machines and the snip of
scissors while glitter scatters in a diaspora, only
to be spotted in dust-bunnies around Easter.
Jack-o’-lanterns get stabbed next door
not by Jason or Michael, but
by hands moist with mushy gourd guts
and seeds reserved for roasting and snacking
during thriller marathons thrusting screams
and sinister soundtracks out of rooms as dark
as the cats and bats plastered on pendulous paper decorations,
and, through my window, the weather wavers
between the hangover of
sweaty torpor and the promise of polar chills
that will predominate when
apples for bobbing
become apples for pies.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker

You can read more of Adrian’s poetry by using the search feature for this site and for The BeZine.


Primary Colors

Raanana, June 5, 2009

Between the palm and weeping willow
It’s the sudden confrontation with beauty
That kills you every time.
The palettes from which the skies are painted
And the grasses and the seas
Must once have belonged to children.
In my country
Even the primary colors
Are mixtures of
Birds flowers and sadness.
The edges of shadows under the trees
Are sharp like a knife against your throat.
The sky is so bright it’s like
Looking into the face of God.
And the silence,
It’s the silence
That finally betrays you.

Except from The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone

© 2009, Mike Stone 

Winter Rains

Raanana, December 6, 2018

Winter rains rat-a-tat-tat
On the cold tin roofs of cars.
Cats crowd under any car
With engine warm, watching
Daisy and me with suspicious eyes.
Daisy, oblivious to my umbrella
Or the rain, looks back at them
With calculations of inbred hatred
And limits of leash length.
Back in our apartment,
Cats forgotten, if not forgiven,
Dripping Daisy unfurls her wetness
With a shivering wave.
I dry the remaining dampness from her fur
And we appreciate the lightning and thunder
Approaching our window,
As rain becomes thought
Which becomes rain again.

Excerpt from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2018, Mike Stone 

The First Drops of Winter

Raanana, September 8, 2018

This morning
The first drops of winter
After a long drought,
A farmer raises eyes heavenward
Even the sandy soil,
The nibbled petals,
And the green-brown leaves
Raise themselves in silent toast –
To life, God,
To life.

Except from Call of the Whippoorwill

© 2018, Mike Stone

Wintry Sabbath

Early morning
The nonbelievers dreaming still
Under thick comforters,
Old men walking to the synagogue
Against the blustery rain
Without umbrellas
And a dog-walker with umbrella
Taking small slow steps
In sync with an old dog
When love is not enough
To keep her dry and warm.
I look over at the old men
Walking their God on an invisible leash
Or is He walking them?

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

The First Rain

The first rain of the new year
The drops are more like soft pinpricks
Pointillistic with a taste of dust
When you open your mouth to say something
To Daisy, but she tastes the dust too
And sniffs the warm air with wet nose.
It’s the encroaching desert
Playing with our emotions,
Not enough yet to warrant an umbrella
Or to cool the body with its wetness.

Except from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry. It and other books of poetry and of science fiction by Mike are available from Amazon all over the world. Mike’s U.S. Amazon Page is HERE.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

 

The Last Blue-green Spring, a poem . . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Henryhartley under CC BY 3.0.

“…time can be slowed if you live deliberately. If you stop and watch sunsets. If you spend time sitting on porches listening to the woods. If you give in to the reality of the seasons.” Thomas Christopher Greene, I’ll Never Be Long Gone



I was reminded of that spring
Before the homebound life, when

A dragonfly, irredescent sapphire,
Accidentally pitched itself into the

Jaws of my ancient Pontiac, ragged
Edged and rusty and ready for the

The wrecking yard, but quickly I
Pulled off the road and popped the

Hood, out it flew, that peppered
Pod with compound eyes, unharmed

Still quite able, propelling itself on
crystal wings etched like Art Deco

It fluttered, headed one way and
I another to Año Nuevo State Park

A vast multiplication of blues and
Greens, of sky and ocean, and Oh!
Fin-footed elephant seals sunbathing

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Share with us this week a singular seasonal (any season) moment that for some reason (any reason) continues to pulse with life in your memory. What makes it so vivid an experience? What were the colors, scents, shape, encounters with nature that made such a deep impression on you? Share this episode in your life in your own poem/s and …

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

PLEASE NOTE:

Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!

Deadline:  Monday, June 8 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

One Night on Cradle Mountain . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Photograph courtesy of Lukasz Szmigiel, Unsplash

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring
……pines and the hemlocks,
“Bearded with moss, and in garments green,
…….indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and
…….prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on
…….their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced
…….neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the
…….wail of the forest . . . “
Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



And this being Tuesday, it’s time to share the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, remembrance, May 27, which invited poets to share works about places that inspire a sense of connection with primeval roots. The result is an engaging collection that takes us around the world:  Australia, England, the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Kashmir, Pakistan, Africa, and Israel. Thanks to Pat Bailey, Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irene Emanuel, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone.

Enjoy! …

… and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets. This is a safe place to exercise your poetic muscle, to introduce yourself to our community, and to meet other poets who may be new to you.


From the end of a dock…

One early morning of a trillion others.
A child’s body lying tummy down on a wooden dock
gazing into the shallow, clear water of a small lake,
sun warming arms and legs from cooling breezes.

The sun centered in a universe beyond the grasp of a young mind;
this universe a part of a system beyond the grasp of brilliant scientists.

She gazes into the shallows,
with her fingers exploring the wonders of water,
making ripples that expand to places beyond.

water flowing through rock, aquafers, streams, rivers, oceans;
water in billowing clouds floating overhead.

As she lies quiet,
she giggles at minnows exploring her fingers,
a new object in a minnow’s unfathomable universe.

© 2020, Pat Bailey

Pat’s site is: A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully, Photography and Thoughts About Life and Aging


The Fall of Remembrance

flashbacks
retrospective of classical moments
history beckons in pulses;
the canyons of memories
heralded in footsteps
Tiptoes in the days of youthful exuberance
Patterns of hope & transformation
An outer cry of the good old days
Iron sharpens Iron
Flirtatious flames in footfalls
Falls from a mountainous view
Picking up the pieces of remembrance.

© 2020, Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah

You can find more of Benedicta’s poetry using the search feature on this site.


Reminiscing the Home Town

Drenched in anamnesis, grieving a lost home
my sister and I, childhood migrants, looked at
each other, as the plane rose, gained height
revealing below a green sea of pine trees, and a
mighty rugged range of snow capped Himalayas
as far a the eye could see. In the depths of this
divine valley along the powerful Gilgit River
lay the hometown, the spirit longed for.

Eager anticipation of a reunion with native soil
left us speechless, mirth mixed with Covid funerals,
dirges in lock down,some holding a weak supposal
of duty,with state of work out of frame,that we in our
wisest sorrow set on this journey,with memory
of our lost Kashmir ,still green in the folds of the heart.
Small patches of terraced fields,cordoned by stone walls
golden apricot trees saluting guards of honor.

Roads jeepable,often trafficked by trotting donkeys,
bordered by fresh water streams called “cools”.A
sharp turn,a steep climb ended in front of a wooden
cottage,air dense with peach fragrance cool breeze
cut the warm August temperature,the mountain
range smiled to welcome as peace entered the soul.

Trayful of double cherries, abundant sweet,natures opulence
within reach,in the distance the pipe played with the rhythmic
drumbeat, the bugle soon blew the retreat,such moments stay
In mind as if it all was just yesterday

© 2020, 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


One Night on Cradle Mountain

Tasmania

Never before, nor ever again
will there be such a special night;
the night a possum stopped at my feet
and allowed my touch without fright.
Glancing round the purple-black,
I saw a wondrous sight;
sparkle-threads of countless stars
roped round the Milky Way;
back-dropped moon-beams
filigreed in shining silver ray.
Thrilled beyond coherent thought,
I blended with this dream
and optically imprinted
that empyreal starry scene.
Cradle Mountain calls to me,
with haunting “Siren” powers;
“come back and stay,
you’ll be entranced,
your life forever ours.”

© 2020, Irene Emanuel

You will find more of Irene’s poetry by typing her name into the search feature on this site.


.away.

the museum man

says it is the medieval place,

that causes the feeling

of calm and acceptance,

and smiled at our excitement

on the glass , the remembrance

and hallmarks.

he works there.

he said he never

noticed the thistles,

just handed me the bag.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Along the Banks of Mara River

Sitting by the banks of this mighty river, mothering my mother’s baby,
As she rent the river a rhyme all her own,
Slap,slap of dads hard jeans on a rock,
The roar of the river as it mourned with logs from up the mountain,
I watch beetle’s ferry their load of dung,
As baby relieves her load of banana mash on the old shawl,
Across the other bank, two more mother’s answer the slap, slap rhyme,
Up the high eucalyptus tree, fish eagle’s babies drop their drops on the fast river,
A mutuja fruit tree still carrying it’s unripe babies rushes down the river un-afraid,
It’s time for baby break to clean it’s bum and feed,
I watch, I envy the slappy gush of bustling milk from the exposed breast,
No shame here at the bank of the Mara river,
Not even when a strange man passed by and held a conversation,
I strayed up stream to fetch menyua and matomoko,
I shared my harvest with the home nurturer,
Soon, it’s my turn to undress for a midday scrub,
No eyes roved over my brown body with nothing to show but scrawny legs,
From down the lower side of the river came a whistling of kijia,
Only to be answered by another from way up stream,
But as we did the long haul upstream,baby strapped on my clean back,
The kijias did meet only they were not birds,
They were future Mr and Mrs Bundi as Christmas was to witness,
Down the banks of Mara river was a street and a lawn ,
Where known and unknown were exchanged,
Most talks flew past my understanding,
When code was encoded to cheat young ears,
And innocence did rule the days,
As trust exchanged handshake,
A little fun, a little break,
Adventure for the village and it’s folks,
The Mara river has long dwindled to a sickly old stubborn stream,
It’s banks the same but different, it’s roar now a whispered whimper,
But deep in memories held for five decades and counting,
It’s a paradise lost and a loss to the age of innocence,
To the brutality of development and perpetual entanglement with cash crops,
Which drinks more of the river, leaving it malnourished.
At the banks of the Mara river, I first saw Eden raw.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke


The Stones Remember

Far within these cold, stone walls,
lies the spirit of the Keep.
Mortar mixed with blood and sweat,
the foundations buried deep.

The stones remember battles fought
and won, and kings on noble steeds.
They also recall Dark Ages past,
filled with both great and awful deeds.

Wild grass grows now between the ruins–
the crumbled, tumbled rocks.
Guarded by ghosts and memories,
there is no need for locks.

The once mighty walls have fallen low,
relenting to the hand of Time.
The wind mourns through the jagged
cracks, that only the insects find.

A sense of ancient ways surrounds
the ramparts, tall and steep.
The codes and credos still reside
with the spirit of the Keep.

It still has strength of purpose,
though now, it is only a shell.
The craftsmen who built this ode
to defense, made sure they built it well!

Though crumbling from years of disuse and age,
though empty, forgotten, it stands,
the stones remember all
who have passed this way,
felt the strength wrought from human hands.

When worn to dust this place will be,
when the sun is only an ember,
when shadows abound on empty ground,
the stones will still remember…

Inspired by Ruin Dornach, Scotland 

© 2003, Corina Ravenscraft

Corina’s site is: Dragon’s Dreams


Observations in a Roomette

On its first June run,
the VIA Rail train from Vancouver
veered into the formidable biome
of Boreal Forest in northern Ontario,
the antipode in demeanor
of our destination in a
downtown station in sweaty,
attention-hogging Toronto. .
With a teletype rhythm
we rocked and chugged,
hugging the jaggedness of the
Canadian Shield-
shielding against what?-
in the lake-lapped, cryptic
darkness past midnight
more manitou than human,
more dreamlike than
mundane but somehow also more
authentic than the thicket
of tech and turmoil
that had tricked me.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker

You will find more of Adrian’s poetry using the search feature on this site and on The BeZine.


Jerusalem

Raanana, August 2010

Jerusalem. It sits in your mind,
It rolls gently off your tongue,
It lingers languidly on your palate.
Jerusalem – four syllogistic solipsistic syllables.
Yerushalayim – five phonemes,
Last a little longer in my mouth.
Ir HaShalom, city of peace.
Al Quds, the holy.
Just saying its name is almost a poem.
Younger than the spring,
Older than the mountains girding her dry loins,
Like an old woman who has buried far, far too many children.
Her stones, cubit by cubit by cubit, glitter in the sunlight
And weigh heavily on the rubble of our bones,
Too heavy to carry, too dear to shrug off.
The clang and gong of her iron bells,
The nasal atonalities of her myriad muezzins,
The chaotic murmurs of gossip and prayer
Rumble and soar skyward from her breast.
The night flows in through open windows
And shushes her children to sleep,
But there’s no room for even one more dream,
One more hope,
One more ghost.
Then almost an after-thought,
A bomb bursts into jagged thudding light as
Thousands of ululating shrapnel sing through buttery flesh
And pock the burning stone.
Jerusalem will always have a place in her heart for
One more ghost.

From The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone

© 2010, Mike Stone

Canaan

Raanana, August 1, 2009

Turquoise the water laps the pristine shore
Sand grains glitter needles of warm light
Around the edges of palm and eucalyptus shade.
Low lying hills in the distance
Hide their dry envy of the cool sea
Behind a haze of dust and trembling heatwaves.
For as far as the eye can see in any direction
No men or women
No sound other than the slow lapping
No sign or artifact
No footprint
Nothing but the tenuous insistence of quiet.
From the distant northeast come the dusty ghosts
Of Abraham, his long-dead wives and sons,
His slaves and goats,
And his belief in God;
Enough to populate the night skies
With stars beyond number.
And from the far north through cedar forests
Come the Hittites on their chariots pulled
By powerfully galloping horses
Their arrows quivering to be let fly
Into any heart that will accept them,
Scarcely aware of Canaan on their way to Egypt.
And west from the sea come the longboats of wood and iron
Of Greek Philistine giants
With their goddess of Ashtar
Their columns and temples
And the clang and thud of their swords
To silence Hebrew prayers.

from The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone

© 2009, Mike Stone 

A Tale of Two Cities

Raanana, October 9, 2015

It was the blessed of cities
It was the cursed of cities,
A city located halfway between heaven and earth
And a city halfway between earth and hell,
A city where stones are cool and soft
From evening breezes and countless feet
A city where stones are hot with blood
And sharp with crashing down on heads,
A city purchased with the blood of David
From Jebusites for more than it was worth,
A city worth more today than the blood of all our children,
One city’s Mount Moriah where Isaac was bound for sacrifice
Another’s Al-Masjid al-Aqsa where Mohammed ascended,
A city protected by youthful soldiers
And a city defiled by youthful soldiers,
Jerusalem the capital of Israel
And al-Quds the capital of Palestine
But in truth the capital of no earthly nation,
A city twice destroyed
A city indestructible,
A city about which everything said is true
And one about which nothing said is true.

from Yet another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

By the River Jordan

Raanana, August 5, 2015

Once upon a time forgotten,
Or so they say,
God walked alongside Abraham
On goat paths crisscrossing mountains
When they were still new and green,
When Moriah was not yet named.
But sometime later God took his angels
And his box of miracles to his bosom
Leaving us to our own devices,
Existentialism and science.
Perhaps because our faith was not enough,
Because we understood the letter
And not the spirit,
Because His creation could not create
But only destroy itself,
He left us to ourselves.
We fought our enemies oh so bravely
But, when the enemy was ourselves, capitulated.
Now we live in a moral flatland,
Two-dimensional creatures on a yellowing page
Without height or depth.
We kill because we can,
We hate and hatred makes a home of death.
By the River Jordan,
By the caves of Qumran,
By the hills of Jerusalem,
We lay down and wept for thee, Zion.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry. It and other books of poetry and of science fiction by Mike are available from Amazon all over the world. Mike’s U.S. Amazon Page is HERE.


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