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Sea Fever Again … and other poems to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of Cindy Tang, Unsplash

“How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!” Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four



Today is Super Tuesday here in the United States. It’s the day that the largest number of states hold their primaries to determine who will be the nominee for the next presidential election. What a relief to come back to the sanity of poetry and to let go the news, which I listened to on-again off-again as care givers were in and out today.

What a bracing collection of poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, walk sedately through the forest, February 26, which encouraged poets to write about nature as witness. These poems are more about observing or being in nature than being observed by nature. Close enough for our purpose, which is to provide a place to share creative work, to inspire, to exercise the poetic muscle, to connect with other poets, and to encourage.

This week we warmly welcome Kate Copeland and Adrian Slonaker to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt and welcome back Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Erick Nicholson, Clarissa Simmens, Leela Soma, and Mike Stone.

Join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro.



Envelope

little flakes of cloudy breaths
from the top all the way down
Winter beauty and bear
a cold pale and pain for
grey eating and drinking
So strategically dressed
she sticks to sitting outside
where the patio heater
Cannot read, concentrate
filling days with endless
songs and numberless walks
Watercold still no matter
there’ll be birdsong without fall
Wrapped up in a thousand shawls
as jewelry has different looks
On the back of an envelope
she scrawls her fears for the
November monsters in dreams now
the ginger-haired guy from her
adolescence nightmares is back
Summer makes her someone else
entirely no dark on the doorstep
no bogeyguys on an envelope
later when it turns light
no shadow days blue nights
to stare at and do nothing

© 2020, Kate Copeland

All the water in the world
a grey afternoon and just now
it starts to rain, big drops
in small pools on her terrace
looking outside – another
glass in her hand
the house gets dark
last light through the living
a house already silent since
he is gone, big drops
on the roof beating a drum
beating her dead heart
she sits down, suddenly
dead-tired but too afraid to
lie on their bed, big drops
against those windowpanes
a year of loss
has started
a lifetime of love
has ended
the man has cut her landline
and she cannot believe
there will ever be a
rising of another sun a
blowing out the clouds
another good morning beautiful
another – looking outside
all the water in the world will
not free the lights in the lake
this is how she will remember
losing, forever

© 2020, Kate Copeland

Upstate

Through the kitchen window to where the
lake ends and the trees touch her
lustrous sides, a rippleless motion
in the reeds waving at all the colours –
at me –

and the pines’ crowns simply
add a powdery green to where
the water starts a black-blue dark
leaving such velvety shine –
to me

Then dive in
because the leaves
they rustle turn a light
wind, stroking the season
still warm enough
to dive in unripple
this brightness the calmth

a happiness
polished by so much beauty
trees surrounding the lake
circles lost in this
dialogue of sounds and colours
how many identifiers are

there to believe?
crickets are laughing, a prey bird
sleuths the satiness

a happiness
so unworldly
a gratefulness
so unearthly

that I just dive in
bring me down back
to lights ways to wish
of colours and crowns

© 2020, Kate Copeland

Star System

A sultry summer night in August.
Crickets trill and the blue pool
water calms down. The hills smell
of oleander and she lies there.
Her bikini inviting, a vermouth
with no ice. Tempting lifetime in
California. I need help, she says.

Try to get to where
I am, he relucts, not a lot
better but at least you try.
And drifts off. About time
to get your act together
not ask more questions or
invite, so she sleeps soundly.

And winds up her dreams,
forgets the rain, his love
once. What matters not a lot
more than no ice than
to look outside where
hills, wealth, water
A sultry blue night in August.

© 2020, Kate Copeland


The Forest Beings Reply

We grow as Nature ordains
never complain and bear the pains
from black to grey, green to brown
one by one we fall to the ground
Our duty done with full obedience
spreading freshness and fragrance
with peaceful quietude we surrender
making space for others in elegance.
This is The Truth This is The Call
This is The Providence of The Fall
Be it Oak, Pine Fir or Kowhai
Sown ‘n Grown, This is The Final Cry’

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

A Walk in the Green Forest

Green leaves trembling
With the tremors
Shivering with laughter
What do they see?
That makes them murmur
Sweet rustlings
Tender whisperings
Like the twittering
And the fluttering,
Manifesting Nature
In the green sea;

Waving leaves
Like the waves
Moving the living
And the dead
Spread for miles yet
With limits bound
Trunk so firm
in the ground
But the green
So serene
Silently brave
Taking life’s chance
Continues with the dance
Happy to be, to us unseen
With what, they see around.

© 2020, Anum Wasim Dar

These two poems are from Anjum Ji’s unpublished novel The Pencileeze Hall Forest Mystery, Winner NANOWRIMO 2012

Connect with Anjum here:


Biking to the Beach” – A Cascade Poem

The shoreline changes
My breath holds steady
Memories of salt, my beacon

The sea air shifts the sand
While waves grab the wet grains
The shoreline changes

Yet directions are not needed
The old bicycle just needs legs to pedal
My breath holds steady

Despite the sting in my eyes
Quickly there and then gone
Memories of salt, my beacon

© 2020, Irma Do

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


.private land.

yet there are paths,

walked, not just

by one or two.

or rabbits.

have young feet run here,

or solitary folk, thinking,

watching light hit water,

where monks crossed.

the abbey is swathed in snowdrops,

this time of year.

look for twigs.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Connect with Sonja here:


Sea Fever Again
[Apologies to John Masefield]

I must go down to the sea again, to the dirty sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a Greenpeace ship and a cause to sail her by;
And the oil slick and the dead fish and the oiled gulls drowning;
And a green scum on the sea’s face and a poisonous dawn breaking.

I must go down to the sea again to rescue the beached whales;
Most are covered in oily sludge so our futile rescue fails;
And all I ask is a clean-up plan and a white surf flying,
And a pure spray and dolphins leaping and bright gannets diving.

I must go down to the sea again and offer up a prayer
For the dolphins caught in plastic nets and seals gasping for air.
And all I ask is a global vow to honour life on earth;
To work together for a green vision and a glorious new birth.

© 2020, Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. Eric’s site is: https://erikleo.wordpress.com


Invasion

The feet flexed
in vegan Earth Shoes,
but the thudding of size-eleven soles
mutilated the
woods’ wind-laced silence
that had snaked through
bare birch branches and along
boulevards of elms and maples and oaks-
sharing names with samey sterile streets
in the suburb I’d escaped
to seek an illusion of
pristine paths upon which I
encroached as inappropriately as a
cockroach at the Ritz.
My thirsty eyes sipped a pair of
blinking gray owls above a toad
darting around a puddle
polluted by a packet
tossed by another trekker
who’d snacked on granola
marketed by a
multinational conglomerate
as 100% natural.

© 2020, Adrian Slonaker


Sedately Sauntering

Brambling buckets of blackberries
Hands torn by thorns
Moving from bushy density
To towering treeful forest
Lightning-struck structures
Of burned bark becoming
Horizontal forest barriers
Keeping some out
Some in
But either way we can win
Crackling clumps of leafy deciduosity
Red-orange-green
Self-composted bridges breaking
Bubbled muddy carpetry
Winding through lean, mean lanes
And I hear my name
Sung through dappled sunshine
Leading me mysteriously
As I walk erect and brave
Passing hidden graves of
Unknown feathered poets
Who serenaded their ribbon
Of life’s silken road
Composing high-strung music
Of unrecognized joy and tears…’

© 2020, Clarissa Simmens

Clarisa’s site is: Poeturja


Vermillion

Leaves fall down, blown away in the autumnal blitz
Gold strewn paths crunch and crackle underfoot
A single vermillion leaf like a tear drop stands proud
Defiant, blood red, life courses through its veins.

The widow looks askance; the blood red leaf sends a shiver
The memory of her wedding day, a bride adorned with jewels
The red sindoor* in the parting of her hair, beginning a new life
Of wedded love, happiness, babies, the start of a journey.

The sudden death of her spouse, the ritual of her widowhood
An awakening of the day as the sindoor on her forehead is wiped away
The bindi, the dot, the point at which creation begins, negated forever
The jangle of broken glass as bangles are crushed and ornaments discarded.

The white sari envelopes her shroud-like, a colourless palette
A life of the walking dead bereft of feelings, love or emotion.
Vermillion turned to ash, grey, unassuming as the leaden skies.
The blood red leaf is trodden under the walker’s brisk steps.

A lifeless mess of veins traces its lineage etched on the path
Lies submerged in the brown heap of dead leaves.

* Sindoor: Is a red dot applied to the bride on her wedding day and removed on widowhood.

© 2020, Leela Soma


Walking in the Forest

Walking in the forest
With God at my side
The two of us just talking
I took Him at His word
Because
of
the
sparkling
thing
Going on around Him
Me pushing the branches
Away from my face
And swatting at the gnats
And Him just walking
With nothing in His creation
Daring to touch Him.
Do
you
have
a
moment
to
see
something
beautiful?
He asked me of a sudden
And I said sure why not
So He walked up this tree
As though He were walking on a fallen log
Easy
as
could
be
While I had to shinny up
The tree bark
To get to that little branch so high up
But when I reached it
He showed me a little bird
Just loving to be so little
And love being little birds’ love
It seemed so natural.
I climbed back down carefully
While God just walked back down
As
easy
as
you
please.
We walked on in silence
Me and my gnats
And God and his Teflon demeanor
Til He stops and asks me a question.
Why
do
you
worship
Me?
What’s not to worship? I say.
Do
you
understand
Me?
He asks.
You move in mysterious ways, I say.
Do
you
think
I’m
moral?
I don’t know, I say
Not like we should be.
So
why
do
you
worship
something
immoral
you
don’t
understand?
That was the last I saw of Him
We cleared the forest a few years back
The missus and I
Have a clear view
From our back porch
Of
the
end
of
our
world.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Waiting for a Poem

You sit down on a bench
Facing the tree
In a small garden
Made quiet by the wrought iron
Fence and gate around it
Across the street from the bookstore.
You wonder will it ever find you again
So long ago and far away
From where you held on to each other
For dear life
Yes life was dear then
And then you wonder how you’ll recognize it
When it finally does arrive
It might be that ant making its way
Laboriously over a blade of grass
Toward that small range of pyramids
It calls home
Or a huge heffalump
Trumpeting in the Hundred Acre woods.
You notice a folded newspaper
On the edge of the bench
And reach over to pick it up.
Unfolding it you see her handwriting
Along a margin on the front page
“Aught have many
Many ought have one than naught”
And you think to yourself
That nothing in this godforsaken world
Is faster than the speed of night.

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Hunting for a Poem 

You wake up before the sky over the hills lightens
When the dew is still wet and corpulent
Or you don’t go to sleep at all
Instead, you hunt in the blind night
Careful, slow and silent, intent
Like a child on what you want
While the hunted sleep trustfully but fitfully
In the forest awake with dangers
Or perhaps the city
House to house, door to door
Window by window, it may be watching you
Behind the curtains
It might be very small or very large
You won’t know until it’s too late
It may be in front of you
Or behind you
Ready to lunge at you
Or to fly off in a loud flapping of wings
How will you know
When you don’t even know the shape of it
Or the smell of it
Or the taste
Until you are locked in its deadly embrace?

from Yet Another Book of Poetry

© 2015, Mike Stone

Walking the Fog 

First of all, fog is more practical than clouds;
I don’t have to tell you how down to earth it is.
Then there’s the fact that some fogs are friendly
While others are decidedly not.
I was walking home through the forest one evening
On the path I always follow
And saw it creeping silently toward me
Between the trees and over fallen logs and grasses
Licking my cheeks with its cold tongue.
Except for the nebulous grey-white
I couldn’t see beyond my poor shoes.
I turned around abruptly and picked up a naked branch
To use as a blind man’s tapping cane
And turned back toward the fog
That had swallowed me so thoroughly
Within its leviathan belly, that I had no clue
What was forward and what was back.
I remembered that the path was slightly less overgrown
With grasses than the sides, one of which climbed upward
While the other overlooked a rocky promontory.
The fog thickened and thinned in small swirls
As though taunting me to go this way or that
But behind the thinness was always
An impenetrable thickness.
That was when I saw the ghostly outline
Fading in and out of the fog,
Her sleeve and hood visible then invisible,
Visible and invisible,
Like a memory you try to reach
But can’t.

from The Hoopoe’s Call

© 2020, Mike Stone

On Liking Maps Too Much

Personally, I like maps.
The precision of the black line boundaries,
The colors of the bounded entities,
And the proof that only four are needed
To separate each entity, whether town or country.
Like I said, I like maps, but not too much.
Whether two-dimensional or globular,
I’ve never come across a bound’ry line so well-defined
Or patch of ground colored just like on the map
On any of my nature walks.
Besides, I don’t much care for towns or countries,
But forests, lakes, the seas, and mountains,
Clouds and animals, and kind-hearted people,
Those are the beacons for my soul.
I’d like a map to show me where
The people are friendly and where they’re not,
Where the place is good for raising kids,
Where animals are treated well,
And where the earth is well-respected.
I don’t care if the boundary lines meander
Like creeks and clouds are wont to do.
This would be a map worth having –
I’d tuck it in my travel pouch.

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 contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did.  Recommended. / J.D


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

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

walk sedately through the forest, a poem … and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of David Everett Strickler, Unsplash

“The sequoias belong to the silences of the milleniums. Many of them have seen a hundred human generations rise, give off their little clamors and perish. They seem indeed to be forms of immortality standing here among the transitory shapes of time.”  American poet Edwin Markham (1852-1940)



move sedately through the forest, ignore any storms and praise
these grave dignified giants, these meditative trees, such bliss
to walk their deep rich earth where sun stands sentry by day
and by night the moon, the stars gift their brightest smiles here
if not their warmth, sequoiadendron giganteum grow wise and vigilant
on their circles of history, the primeval years, the years of conflict
the matristic tribes, the patriarchal colonizers, the activists today

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Nature is always watching, always baring witness to the human compulsion. Perhaps at times it reflects us back to ourselves.  What do you think?  Tell us in your poem/s  …

  • 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 through email or Facebook will not be published.

Deadline:  Monday, March 2 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

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

“Price Check”. . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of Tiago Felipe Ferreira, Unsplash

“We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.”  Hunter S. Thompson



And here we are with another week spent and back at Tuesday for the responses to guest host Mbizo Chirasha’s Wednesday Writing, Presidential Griot, February 19, which suggested poems that address corruption in government.  Hence, this stellar collection gifted to us by Anjum Wasim Dar, Sonia Benskin Mesher, Miroslava Pananyotova, and Corina Ravenscraft.  Miroslava is new to our community and warmly welcome.

Enjoy this collection and do join in tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro.


Cerastes

In innocent days of innocent joys, we played
in the sand, on the new land, feeling safe, with plenty
in peace- nor wailing sirens nor piercing screams,
but flowers blooming, amid ever green trees,

clear water streams accessible, giving shade and fruit,
in freedom solved all oncoming problems, offered gratitude
for blessings affordable, friendly neighbors, open roads-
open houses, environments clean and safe-

but silent troubles surf, time turns pages, changes the scenes,
begin new chapters, peace fades into parades, clippoty clop turns
into metallic squeaks marching boots sound in the streets-
soldiers all over, stand guard blocked are the roads ,

no free pass, stopped by wires, barbed-‘country is saved ‘the radio says,
‘ the enemy disgraced- but why do the people feel enslaved?
aedes have attacked ,Hyades hides in the milky way, martial law in place
‘noble plow land bears no grains’ ‘all is grief, all is pain’

how can any character be tested? in a sensitive situation
or by the power in him, vested?’ But where have all the good
people gone? Killed? murdered jailed, arrested ? Was peace in or out?
Long time passing, when will they ever learn? Will they ever learn?

‘I am a free man’, he said.’ In power to command and control
in ruling over all. If you want peace, stay peaceful’.
Fear tension came to stay, fetters applied, bullets sprayed
tear gas shells burst every week, thus began the traitors greed

Never can anyone be fully aware of preexisting ethical tendencies-
now our afflictions have no end, power shifts from same hand to hand
rich getting richer, poor poorer, greedy greedier, rented killers are beasts
falsehood is truth, favored is the law, so grab the land , enjoy the feasts.

There is more than meets the eye on paper , Anjum, millions are bitten,
suffer the disease, Dengue is here as malaria malingers, cursed is the
marching anopheles,cannot kill Cyclops of prices, caught is the nation
in the corrupted fleece, Beware Beware Cerastes has arrived,

Arise !
Arise Awaken ‘ Prepare to Defend or be forever bitten.’

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum-ji’s sites are:


:: the politician ::

memory is thought to be gone,
remnants remain, hiding.
working faster with out all

those words,
those images .

ideals

bare bones of the fact replaced,
restarted, corrupted items place gently
in the box, tied.
turn with dust.

crosses.

© 2020, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


BIGMAN VIRUS.

This one, defies prayers and herbs,
Cooked in the dark of day at five star dinners,
Gentility curves life turkey’s before they are hatched,
The farmer, his back bent, stews in his dark sweat,
While down the bowels of Earth, men known as boys smoke coals,
Spitting life out in bloodied plegms,
So cronyism and patronage saints at state joints can light up their dreams,
Exhortation exhausts those who dare get pregnant,
Nepotistic partriacs regale the nation with catchy tunes,
Of dependence disguised as independence,
Politics of economics and economics of politics,
Lording it on the already marginalized by virtue of their location,
Welcome to nowhere in the state of nothing led by something akin to a leech,
A leech fat and sleek from draining the collective coffers
In cohorts with like minded ogres who jam church isles on Sundays,
Paying their tithes to fellow brothers in lootery,
Direction remains fixed,
Loud trumpets announce the loyalty pledge to a Nation on it’s knees,
Beggary is a career and preoccupation of the masses,
When not oddly cheering the fat cats on the stadiums,
They are dying of curable diseases and hunger in peace,
The fate of many a Nation State,
Whose leadership is a radarless fighter be jet,
That is crushing on it’s own side ,
Making merry on the skeletal frames of an impoverished people,
For corruption and cancer have one thing in common if truth be told,
It fells the sick, and infects the sorroudings,
It takes down the sick and drains the caregiver,
It Rob’s the family of joy and peace,
A malady that no one should get comfortable with,
For it never knows not to take,
Till, collectively, the entire falls into a heap of lostness,
Corruption is the devil’s dance that so attracts the sly eyed,
Tragedy is often in the final moments before enough is echoed,
It crushes on itself, eating the eater and the remains of the eaten,
Stuff of the most unnecessary revolutions and counter revolutions,
Blood baths and massacres,
Shocking results of long term abuse by morally decadent chiefs long turned thieves,
Those who steal till the owners notice,
And in harsh attempts to preserve their rotten systems,
Gag all who dare to raise a voice.
The way of corruption is the way of conflict,
The only solution is truth, justice and accountability,
Minus that, civil wars and militia business is here to stay.
Let poetry not be accused of being silent when corruption stages it’s false drama.

© 2020, Nancy Ndeke

Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.


the country is plundered
well said
and where were we
when they robbed it
it was like a whirlwind
the pickpockets are even slower
billions stolen and exported
invested in silicone and boats

and now where
we are talking
We’re just talking
We’re just talking

© 2020, Miroslava Pananyotova

You can catch up with Miroslava on Facebook


~ The Last Horseman Is The One Who Counts ~

There is no profit in peace, you know.
White Horse or Red, the blood must flow.
Human constructs, like Conquest or War,
Benefit the rich and bury the poor.
I think the Draft should be reinstated;
So that ALL might witness the horror created.

Send the war-mongers’ sons first,
To hold the Front Line’s Hell.
Watch them die, or even worse,
Return home, as a shell.
If politician’s kids are killed or maimed,
Will war then taste as good as they claimed?

Tell me:

What’s the magic, almighty dollar amount?
To make endless war worth the body count?
If Corporations are people, now, too,
Let’s send them to war, and see if it’s true.
Will those corporations scream in pain as they bleed?
Will they writhe in agony for a rich man’s greed?
Will they lose their limbs, and maybe their minds?
Does the Machine care about the bones, the bodies it grinds?

In the end:

There is no prophet of peace, you know.
The love of money is Greed:  War’s C.E.O.
The wars will continue,  the innocents will still fall.
And the Pale Horse’s rider will someday claim all.

~ C.L.R. ~ ©2013

~ Price Check ~

They convinced us we needed more heroes,
our innocence stolen by enemy acts.
Hypothetical lives multiplied
by infinite zeroes,
politicians crafted their blood-bathed pacts.

They claimed that it was American pride,
that demanded our instant retaliation.
Eleven years in, with one win for our side,
the incessant meat-grinder churns
for our nation.

No lessons from history considered or needed,
the bodies of young soldiers
not their own.
The “War on Terror” will never be ceded,
the truth to the public will never be shown.

War-mongering, insidious
tails wagging dogs,
main-stream media feeding sheep pablum;
Celebrity red herrings, athletic, sexed fogs,
forget the grist issues,
or those who have them.

They sold us out for a long-dead dream,
used our men and womens’ blood for oil
to grease the wheels of the war machine,
killed our youth, spilled the truth,
on enemy soil.

Our lions being led by greedy, hate-spewing lambs:
Puppet-masters, desiccated and dead inside.
Keep mangling brave children of Uncle Sam’s,
all in vain, in the name of American pride…

~ C.L.R. ~ © 2012

Corina Ravenscraft’s site is Dragon’s Dreams


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

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Presidential Griot, a poem by Mbizo Chirasha and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

Courtesy of Kevin Nice, Unsplash

“Human rights don’t trickle down.” Heather Marsh, Binding Chaos: Mass collaboration on a global scale



Sometimes memories smell like a dictator’s fart
We once jived to our own shadows under the silver moon and our shadows
danced along with us, we rhymed to the nightmares of hyenas and
hallucinations of black owls. Our desires sailed along with gowns of
fog back and forth at village dawns. Wood smoke smelt like fresh baked
bread. Time bewitched us, we ate William Shakespeare and John Donne.
We drank lemon jugs of Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou.
Soyinka’s lyrical whisky wrecked our tender nerves.
We bedded politics with boyish demeanor and dreamt of the black
cockerels and black Hitler’s
Sometimes time is stubborn like a sitting tyrant
Last night, commissars chanted a slogan and you baked a dictator’s
poetry sanguage. Zealots sang Castro and Stalin and you brewed a
socialist crank, the president is a stinking capitalist. I never said
he is Satanist. Back to village nights, hyenas are laughing still,
black owls gossiping, silver moon dancing still over rain beaten paths
of our country dawns.
Sometimes time stinks like a dictator’s fart
Your lyrical satire sneaked imbeciles through back doors. Your praise
sonnets recycled suicidal devils and polished revolutionary rejects
Back then, smells of fresh dung and scent of fresh udder milk were our
morning brew and under the twilight the moon once disappeared into the
earthly womb, Judas, the sun then took over and every dictator is an
Iscariot.
I never said we are now vagabonds
Sometimes time smells like a dying autocrat
Mwedzi wagara ndira uyo tigo tigo ndira – the moon was once sour milk
silver white and fresh from the Gods’ mouth and sat on its
presidential throne on the zenith of bald headed hills and later with
time the moon was ripe to go mwedzi waora ndira tigo tigo ndira
Sometimes wind gusts whistled their tenor through elephant grass
pastures, we sang along the obedient flora Chamupupuri icho…oo
chamupupuri chaenda chamupupuri chadzoka
Chamupupuri icho…oo!
Our poverty marinated , yellow maize teeth grinned to sudden glows of
lightening, the earth gyrated under the grip of thunder, then Gods
wept and we drank teardrops with a song mvura ngainaye tidye makavu ,
mvura ngainaye tidye makavu .. Pumpkins bred like rabbits, veldts
strutted in Christmas gowns. Wild bees and green bombers sang protest
and praise. I never said we are children of drought relief.
Sometimes time grows old like a sitting tyrant,
Tonight the echo of your praise poetry irk the anopheles stranded in
tired city gutters to swig the bitter blood of ghetto dwellers, gutter
citizens eking hard survival from hard earth of a hard country , their
rough hands marked with scars of the August Armageddon , their sandy
hearts are rigged ballot boxes stuffed with corruption ,they waited
and sang for so long .
Chamupupuri icho…oo chamupupuri chaenda
chamupupuri icho…oo chamupupuri chadzoka
Chamupupuri icho..oo

© 2020, Mbizo Chirasha

Thanks to Zimbabwean poet in exile, Mbizo Chirasha, for hosting this week’s prompt.  Just a reminder to readers: Mbizo is still in search of safe harbor and we continue to seek a host in Germany or other viable state. If you can help or have leads, please email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Mbizo invites us to write a poem or poems that are anti-corruption in government.

  • 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 through email or Facebook will not be published.

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, February 24 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.


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