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“Explaining a Peace Sign to a Toddler” …. responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

THE LAST WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT June 21: Times and places of peace leave no scars to jog our memories and stoke the fires of our hope. Remember peace or imagine it: What would a world at peace look like?

My own poem that accompanied the prompt was about re-imagining a war torn place – Syria – into peace. Some have taken the prompt and pointed it at inner peace or the personal experience of a peaceful moment, both of which would be the everyday norms of a peaceful world. S.E. Ingram writes about explaining peace to a child … and it is peace to that child when he and his brother stop hitting one another. And so it is with the world at large.

Thanks to all who came out to play.


It never occurred to me how impossible
it might be to describe a concept to a child
An innocent whose frame of reference
doesn’t yet extend to encompass such
atrocities as war
So how to explain the need for peace

I give him a teddy-bear that is tie-dyed,
a souvenir from a trip to New Orleans;
I don’t notice until he’s holding it that
the bear is sporting a peace sign on its
miniature T-shirt, and naturally the 2 year
old wants to know what it “says”

He understands the hexagonal red road
signs mean “stop”, and the inverted yellow
triangles mean “wait” (yield actually, but
it’s a word still beyond him)
But peace? I try to explain about fighting
and then no fighting
He nods wisely, asks me if it’s like when he
and his brother “hit” and then get into
Is it “peace” when they both stop hitting
In a way, I tell him, in a way…

© 2017, S. E. Ingram

on a hill

above a bay containing a quiet sea
not quite knowing
so many years ago
the drift of my soul
or the even more alien drift of the soul
of that other now just
a sometimes voice on the telephone—
this single event
comes back to me now
when I could very well do without it:
it was a moment before going back for hotel teatime
on a hill complete with sensation of slipping down & off
above a bay containing such a quiet sea

such a long remorseful soul-drift
between then & now

and that is all you’ll know of it
except that you’ll compare it
with that small event that drifts
in & out of your own recollection
particle & wave depending on your angle
(both together when you look away
from what’s held in place
by time & space maybe something like
a hill… a bay… a sea quietly moving there
stuck like a tune on an old record)

my self the zero coordinate
(emergent uprising)
held in place momentarily by
the elements that constitute
a State of Being:

walker & path walked;
dreamer & dream-journey;
thinker & web of thought


This was a moment of peace that may seem like some kind of scar but my own quiet state now is a ‘zero coordinate’, unifying all, which is a rather larger moment of peace still warmly linked to that hill above a bay… I feel myself there right now nearly sixty years ago!

The poem comes from my The Recovery of Wonder (Hub Editions, 2013)

© 2013, Colin Blundell (Colin Blundell, All & Everything)

The Star Second to the Right

In a time primordial when first life began
unimaginative of the harsh realities of wars
when sunrises and sunsets were ethereal
she can only imagine stepping into dreams
of discovering an unblemished world of those
dreams made of translucent skies so that
much like Peter all she has to do is to go
to the star second to the right and straight
on till morning or perhaps like Alice she
should eat but a small bit of cake to become
just the right size to enter the garden
there upon discovering a different world
for in seeing forever is the powerful force
where oceans teeming with life are no longer
a graveyard of war ships but only coral reefs
a delightful dance of colors and creatures
and where gardens floral are wondrous delights
for children playing for hate is not a word
so cannot invade her dreams that will always
be pristine as newly fallen snow in Winter
with skies so clear she can revel to see them all
from anywhere to blissfully fly to the star second
to the right and straight on till morning

© 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


it is an older mirror,
speckled with time.

liquid memories,

we make a place of safety
with our thoughts and habits.

our work. our souls
are in our chests.

look here, she said.
please, do not touch
the ladies bed,
with lavender and velvet pillow.

the way is barred now,
the time is past.

things have become misshapen.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, R.C.A.)

that feeling, that .

arrives unexpected from darkness, some winters’ mornings,

opening the door to the sound of one black bran bird calling.

track four repeated. that

comes on waking finding peace and comfort bound in clean

arises with perfume, an uncertain memory.

it may be chemicals, peptides in the brain as love, what
ever the germ or warfare

I find no word to describe, no random feather nor dust on
my plate. pass a finger.

that feeling of trimmed nails upon the keys pounding
words and silences.

while music plays. that feeling. that.

syrup stings my tongue.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, R.C.A.)

We Stop Decay

devote lives to prevent decay
of wood, breath, bone, brick,
gardens of our minds,
faculties of our hearts

Each day we weed, we resow,
rework, rebuild
the wood, breath, bone, brick,
gardens of our hearts,
faculties of our minds.

Laugh to heal the stench
of rot, worm eaten
brick, bone, breath, wood
landscape of flesh
fresh produce of light.

Born to decay in decay
heal the ever opening wound
brick, bone, breath, wood
flesh of landscape
light produce of flesh.


© 2017 Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Rob Time

of it’s place.

Early morning await vintage diesel train
to Great Yarmouth.

One off First Class Pullman name on backs of armchairs, table light, upturned China tea cups and side plates for

complementary tea and coffee and Chelsea bun.

Pass Manvers Industrial Estate where I used to work and Rotherham where she used to work.

Green and golden fields.

We brought a pack up. Dining Experience too expensive. Pringles and Pound Shop Special Toffee.

Sun shining. Expecting rain at the coast.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Inhale Dappled , A Perfumed Air,

step through cast
illuminated windows
of tree crowns,

birdsong lilts blossom fall.
Key all senses keener.
See claw hunt feather.

Feathered mams rescue bairns
from hungry talons. Bigger birds
snatch fluffy kids from nests

to feed their young. Beetles battle
over territory. All fend, forage
in this vision of quiet.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rain)


the hawk has flown, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

black and white
“Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.”
― George Carlin

a ghostly memory
of damask roses
night-booming jasmine
olive trees, heavy with fruit

reimagined into white and
gone the fear of bombs
gone the crumbled buildings and crushed hearts
the abandoned cities, the empty streets
now the children play, they study
the houses stand and the gardens grow
hope towers, a moral high-ground
the ghost is the dove
and the hawk has flown

© 2016, poem and Illustration, Jamie Dedes; All rights reserved; the Bleeding Heart Dove photo below is courtesy of morgueFile.


Times and places of peace leave no scars to jog our memories and stoke the fires of our hope. Remember peace or imagine it: What would a world at peace look like?

If you feel comfortable, leave your poetry or prose or a link to it in the comments section below.  All work shared in response to this prompt will be published in a post here next Tuesday.

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


the way love works, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

maybe a thing about particles and waves
or wave-particles and the way light works
and moves, the way soulmates’ eyes ignite
from moon dust, the way some ancient god
smiled and blinked, flicked an able wrist
to strew some billion stars across a
darkly barren sky, then asked his goddess
to suspend the amber moon …
its caress so softly lighted, it stirred
the hearts of night-blooming lovers

but surely …

surely the years run like the cheetah and
soon-or-late some hearts quake asunder,
just as surely as moon dust and starlight and
the way a true love fills in the fault lines

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved‘ Photo courtesy of morgueFile


What are you’re thoughts on soulmates? Tells us in prose or poem. If you feel comfortable, leave your work or a link to it in the comments below.  All shared work will be featured on this site next Tuesday.

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

“the wild rumpus will now begin” … reader-poets respond to last Wednesday’s writing prompt

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT, June 7, 2017 Remember “Let the wild rumpus start!” in Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are? Such a wonderful book and that exclamation has stayed with me – probably you as well – and I always wanted to do something with it. This poem is what came from that inspiration. So, my challenge to you this week, is to use “wild rumpus” in a poem.

Thanks to Paul Brookes, Gary Bowers, Sonja Bensken Mesher and Renee Espriu for coming out to play.  Poem on…

He Was Pandemonium

He caused such a noise, such outcry, such a racket
from the time he crawled, had words & was walking
& with every sibling that arrived within our midst
there was discord between them and between us
from a knock on the door with unfortunate news
of the fact that a boy was perched upon the roof
to his sisters upset as they walked into a bedroom
to see the scurry of a frog causing a commotion
to the neighbor stating your son is in the alley
ought not to be experimenting with matches ought he
to the surprise knock of the police at the door
with a number of hood ornaments in his possession
to the night of upheaval he came home quite sodden
that as I thought in dismay of all the pandemonium
of the day he was born with strawberry blond hair
never I thought ‘the wild rumpus will now begin’ and it did

© June 2017, Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)

‘the shelter’

I will
quite like a wild rumpus here some time,
a make shift band, a straggled procession
down the lane, chanting, scaring the neighbours.

it is often quiet here, though Kenny’s voice

there will be four of us, costumes and laughing,
happy knowing who we are, comfort in skin.

we used to push you in the toy pram, your legs
spilling out, our selves the show.

it is often quiet here now, you have grown, this
is not your area.

we walk the district quietly.
wait in the shelter.

I will
quite like a wild rumpus here some time.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher (Sonjia Benskin Mesher, RCA)


my child a sump is
the coming of plumbing
and mycroft a plump whiz
and speeches undumbing.

but times lately jump us
we show unpreparedness
and fate may then trump us
unto our assbaredness,

so let us don jumpers
to join the wild rumpus
our rumps warm as dumpsters
our bumpers full bumptious.

© 2017, Gary Bowers (One With Clay)

This Psychonaturalist Notes

reedflare flamereed flickerflicker emberkernels lap air, conflagration without heat

in the lap of the grain as it breaks against gust
wild rumpus
amongst reedsway, cootcall, waveruffle, barkgangsign, trunksundials

amongst Geese and Seagull echoes perfect reflections under a halfmoon and quiet blue

evensong of last bell before eyeshorizon darkens and thought
sinks into eyes well to fetch waters reverie into light.

winter colours layered weather bittercoldflares inside skin, cloudsputter sharpcinder ice crackles faces.

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)