“I Cannot See My Face”. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“All of a sudden I didn’t fit in anywhere. Not at school, not at home…and every time I turned around, another person I’d known forever felt like a stranger to me. Even I felt like a stranger to me.”  Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped



There probably isn’t anyone on earth who hasn’t felt like an outsider. Sometimes the feeling is from day one and chronic. Sometimes it’s an isolated moment. This all too common experience is well captured today by poets mm brazfield, Paul Brooks, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Jen Goldie, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pangelov, and Mike Stone as well as Elaina Lacy and Pali Raj, new to our community and warmly welcome. Here are their responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Sojourner and Stranger, June 26.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


Once

Once, as a girl, I met grass and sky on my way.
Since then, with each year, I’m longing to come closer
To their fresh smell and enveloping vastness.
There’s a thin border of questions between us
About undercurrents and the wind,
About the things I only feel
They come to me in strangest shapes
How can I recognize them.
Will they recognize me?

© 2019, Elena Lacy

Elena Lacy

ELENA LACY My journey started in Estonia, continued in Russia, then Israel and, so far, I live in Kansas, USA. My interests are largely shaped by the people I meet on my way. The interest in poetry was mostly evoked by Michael Dickel (Dekel) whom I met a decade ago in Jerusalem and since then we are keeping a connection.  I’ve worked as a university professor, a tour guide, an interpreter. Currently, I am a neurodiagnostic technologist at one of the hospitals in Kansas City. Who knows what is coming next? But I am looking forward to that. 🙂  You can catch  up with her on Facebook.


Infiltrate

Much he tried. He kept his eyes, “May be that time is coming soon”
Brown grass. Dry lips.
She knew what he meant when
he said *refugee*
I watched a smile.
Sojourner and stranger, a poem make to next trip.
INFILTRATE
Much he tried. He kept his eyes:
Border wall ….yeah
One thing, that (he) would never hurt.

© 2019, Pali Raj

I have been to summer before
I can think of winter special
but when someone says
Come spring, a poem make to silence me.
Flaming red, Emerald green
Sort of things
I have been to summer before
I can think of winter special
but when someone says
Come spring, a poem make to silence me ….yeah
How do you know about me?
A SUDDEN CHILL BLANKETING MY SKIN
How do you know about me?

© 2019, Pali Raj

PALI RAJ lives in Patna, India and has a passion for the arts. You can catch up with him on Facebook


Aaron

when our palms met
that balmy Chinatown night
a little lost canary
from the corner pet shop
sang a melancholic cord
switching his little face
from right to left
he looked at me
and flew away
i had fallen in love
the kind of love
that makes you scrutinize
your breath your weight and even your thoughts
the kind where
you leave your beloved
friends pets and dishes
behind just to think about him
the kind of love
that makes you check your phone
fifty times at two in the morning
you know the kind you lose
your soul to in the encasing darkness
and nothing feels the same
distilled death and i churn my spirit
but you danced with me
for a few years
you are no longer Aaron
i am no longer me
i don’t recognize my smile
its erased forever in your cusp
my heart has melted away in your hypocrisy
my common sense buried under your peach tree
and Aaron he no longer lives here
and i don’t recognize
the song of the canary anymore

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Beside Yourself

If you could be beside yourself,
grab the ectoplasmic umbilical
and emerge as a space cadet
on the seat beside you,
appear as a stranger who sits
down, invades your space,

for whom you politely make space,
smile quickly and absorb
yourself in your phone,
a book, a tablet,
and pray the unknown

doesn’t speak to you,
then the realisation,
that all your hesitancy
movement, smile, absorption
has been sharply mirrored

by them and you ask yourself,
are they taking the piss,
are they the one who stabbed
your wife, raped your children,
set fire to your home and sat
on the wall outside to see it burn?

And see a cord between both of you,
and wonder if you touch it,
would it get their unwanted attention.
How could you cut it and have done
with this uncalled-for connection?
And wish you still had the knife.

From Paul’s chapbook The Spermbot Blues (OpPress, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Our Massacre

Always portray the killer as deranged,
abnormal, an aberration of society.

Their actions are not those of us
ordinary decent folk, though we arm

ourselves to the teeth with the same
firepower we are reasonable.

Their geography is not ours. We must
distance ourselves. This person

is not an old friend, a neighbour.
They are a stranger who acts

strangely. We must stress, though often
this behaviour is rare, an anomaly.

We do not know this person
who kills our friends and neighbours.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Strangers And Pilgrims On The

earth. My first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim. I’ll not relent,

each breath a step, an oar in watery graves
pushes against the unremembered waves

“How can you go abroad fighting for strangers?”
I am a thankful passenger.
I see the bright and hollow sky
I ride the how, what, where and why

to reach the final breath, final shore,
Nothing new here, stolen words restore

ancient thought and image, rearrange
the mundane to confront raw rage,

at the lights lit on the headland brighter
with each exhalation my body lighter

as the last place we embarked
gets darker and darker and darker.

From Paul“s Port Of Souls collection (Alien Buddha Press, 2018)

© 2018, Paul Brookes

Insecurity Is Life

Taught how to spam, phish and hack at school.
Make sure your private details are sold on

to companies you’ve never heard of. Take money
from strangers accounts as they take cash from yours.

Privacy is a crime. Troll other’s social media
as they troll yours. Locking doors and windows

is forbidden. Transparency is paramount.
Let strangers use your home, car and food

as you use theirs. This is a life of trust,
but accidents happen and your life maybe broken.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

How Much

time has it been?
Has it been
so much time?

I have left me.
No, he has left me.
No, they have left me.

I’m single, aren’t I?
I feel I’m single.
Are you here
for a date?

Are we staying long?
Do I have a room?
This is my house.
Is this my house?

I recognise that furniture.
It’s mine. Have we just
moved in ? Why do you
make me confused?

Forty two years
and now he’s left me.
Twenty six years
we’ve lived here.

I thought we’d just
moved in. I don’t
want strangers
in my house.

Eyeing up my furniture.
Carers are strangers.
I don’t know who
everyone is.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

A Fact Losing

mission.

Somebody sent me out
to collect something somehow
somewhere.

over a rainbow. I stand
in a street I knew once
I am sure. It is familiar.
I can’t understand why.

A list of things is on a piece of paper.
It certainly is my piece of paper.
No one else is holding it.

The hand writing is unfamiliar.
Somebody wrote this.
I want to ask passers by,
but I do not know them.

They are strangers, even more
than the writing on the paper.

I want to cry.
I don’t feel safe.
Where is safe?

© 2019, Paul Brookes

My Strangers

are friends who haven’t been estranged yet.

All my mates are strangers.
I keep them at a distance.

Chat to them in third person.
Internet on my mobile tells me

when I’ve to give them best wishes
for a special occasion like anniversaries.

They inspire closeness and loyalty.
I can trust them.

They know me.
What I eat, sup.

laugh at.
Strangers are more intimate than friends.

From Paul’s chapbook A World Where (Nixes Mate Press, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play


Once Again…

once again a cold mist surrounds ,
once again quietude deafens the
senses, how soon the wheel comes
full circle, how soon music is silenced-

where have all the musicians gone?

so many walked the garden paths,smiled
at colored fragrances, but once, wheeled
past the rows of pansies,frail they looked
but happy, placed in the soil, enriched,

where have all the gardeners gone?

with all alike, the daffodils and carnations
all green stemmed, all in a row,all trees
brown and green all a dense shady forest
all grass a velvet blanket ,spread for rest

where have all the green forests gone?

all clouds grey dark thick soft and white,
all carry water,drop raindrops, shade,change
shapes,all birds fly and nest,all nightingales
sing, all distances vanish with friendship and love

where have all the happy birds gone ?

migrations immigrations borders barriers
bayonets bullets boundaries blasts
protests partitions partings patrols pellets
separated segregated sold sunk swept

where have all the good promises gone?

once again I a stranger, in time, in silence
no bell rings, no more will it, so I need not
wait nor hope nor smile,distances do return
they are ever present,only the sojourn ends-

where have all the peace makers gone?

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

The World Is a Foreign State

All the world is a foreign state
hate growing at a faster rate
reasons unknown, unshared
unexplained or is it just fate

I, a stranger to myself, more
today, passing a routine sojourn
in moonlight while it stays, am
not surprised nor feel betrayed,

unseen unknown stranger still
are relationships, travelers are
companions momentary, smile
go, each to his own destination

what respect is shown what love
expressed in soul and spirit stays
invisible, unfelt, vanishes in a void
silently as it reaches, soul’s inlays

Foreign is the birthplace unknown
enemy occupied, singled out in a
class of younger age, in a college
of a different faith,segregated

alienated in culture caste and
creed, better it is to be romantic,
turn to nature in a forest, be the
ever green tree, gifting fruit in

return for stones, shades cool
protect weak bones comfort
hug sing and cover, listen
assure never to desert or fool

All the world is a foreign land
All people living like strangers
All here for a purpose, a duty
All life a brief stay,a short sojourn

© 2019, 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


I Cannot See My Face

Whenever I enter a place
My insides search to belong
I cannot see my face

Can I take up this space?
There’s times that I’ve been wrong
And need to leave a place

Those times I’ve felt displaced
An unwanted tagalong
I paste a smile on my face

I try to handle it with grace
So the discomfort won’t prolong
When I need to stay at a place

But why can’t you embrace
The me inside that’s strong
Can you look beyond my face?

I will not be erased
I’m not one of the throng
I cannot leave this place
I cannot change my face

© 2019, Irma Do

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


You brought me in hard
distancing me from the
start a cold memory

You brought me in hard
A child left alone
Crying for its mother,

You brought me in hard
I was yellow, black haired
You turned me away

You brought me in hard
No loving touches, no soft
murmuring moments.

You brought me in hard
I forever seek comfort
warily afraid.

Soon there were only cries
at night unanswered
disguised by a starlight
serenade from a radio
Rhapsody soothing my blues
Bethoven’s 5th
Op.67:1. Allegro con brio
Ravel: Pavanne for an infant
Defunte
absorbing the lesson
unintentionally taught
engraved in memory

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Jen’s sites are:


::other fridays::

are good here, while some are not.

not here or other places. we

listen to the news and wonder

at all the things that happen.

we wonder why, and why, and why

repeated.

yet no one answers with a comment

or a hash tag.

reacting seems to be a new thing

now.

the bear sleeps, while we do

not.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

#rr

it is with difficulty i write this.

the bear was correct, yet he

is not the only one in the village.

i met another yesterday.

it is with difficulty as the keyboards

stick, while others have no empathy

how deep it goes.

many have drowned, drowned

dead.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: another country::

we came from another country,

have another accent.

we spent quite a lot

of money, the card

worked.

we all wear socks.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


The Sixth Hour

Matthew 27:45-50 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

He opened the door and walked in
in the familiar room.
Stranger.
Talking to him is meaningless.
He has no words.
There are only eyes.

Or flights.

You will not understand it.

The sixth hour has come.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelov

© Bozhidar Pengelov (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


The Service Revolver

Raanana, May 22, 2009

Sixty-six pounds of snarling anger
In the only path to safety
For six pounds of cold fear.
A chain squeezes suddenly around the honey-colored throat
And the anger moves on,
At first reluctantly, and then
Loping along at a goodly pace
Wet nostrils flared and quivering,
Ready to sift and scoop up
Anything of taste or interest
Along the dark and lamp-lit way.
Walking my dog Daisy
Whose name belies her vigor and strength
Barely controlled by a pact initialed
But never formally ratified,
She leads me through the valley of my loneliness
Which I measure in the scrape and echo
Of footsteps having no place to go.
Walking under an archway of sparse leaved bracken
And thick limbs of eucalyptus
Thoughts swarm around us
In no particular rhyme or meter,
Like the personal black hole
Pulling me towards an eventual horizon
In gossamer strands of infinity,
And another: at what point in our lives
Does it become reasonable
To contemplate suicide,
To feel the coolness and weight of one’s service revolver
Against the weight of continuing to be?

© 2009, Mike Stone

Bookstore

Raanana, May 30, 2015

So this book walks into a store.
It’s dark inside after the bright sunlight of outdoors.
There are shelves upon shelves of books,
Their backs facing him impermeably.
He spots The Great Gatsby chatting up
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
In a particularly umbrous corner
And moves on into the darkness.
A thin volume sitting by herself
Catches his attention.
He sits down next to her unobtrusively,
Trying to be a fait accompli
Before the fait has been accompli.
He looks at her more than just a glance.
Haven’t I read you before, he ventures.
I wouldn’t think so, she closes his book on him.
Why wouldn’t you think so?
Because books don’t read other books, she says.
Only humans do.
Have you been read by humans? he asks.
Yes, actually, by quite a few, she answers smugly.
I’m sorry for not recognizing you,
He says softly after a while.
May I ask your name?
I’m the unabridged journals of sylvia plath, she says,
But you may call me unabridged.
I’d prefer to call you Sylvia if you don’t mind.
Haven’t you heard of me?
Almost everyone who’s anyone has.
Well, no.
Books can’t read, remember?
So you don’t know my story? she asks.
It ended in a scrumptious but silly suicide.
Don’t feel bad, she consoles him.
I guess I only know my own story, he says sadly.
They both are quiet,
Absorbing the ambiance of the musty old bookstore
For a long time.
So what’s your name, she asks brightly.
I’m The Uncollected Works of Mike Stone,
But you can call me Mike, he says.
I’d rather call you uncollected,
She says with a deficit of attention.
There is another long silence
That roars rather deafeningly.
After a while he suggests
It is getting terribly stuffy here.
Why don’t we go out into the sunlight?
She says you go ahead,
I’ll join you in just a moment.
He gets up and walks to the door,
Opens it and steps out
Into the fresh air.
He looks around him
At the shiver of tree leaves
In the thin breeze
Hopefully
Somewhat.
Time passes
As it is wont to do
But no Sylvia.
He opens the door,
Walks once more into the darkness,
And finds the thin volume of her,
Another volume beside her now,
The Great Gatsby, he thinks.
He walks outside
Once more into the sunlight
Crosses the street
Into the small garden
Made quiet by the wrought iron
Fence and gate bounding it.
He sits down on a bench
Facing the tree he had noticed
Just outside the bookstore
For the longest time
Until a young girl
Freckle-faced, he thinks,
Sits down beside him
And picks him up,
Amazed at her good luck.

© 2015, Mike Stone

Memories of Strangers

Raanana, October 19, 2013

Autumn crisp as crackling leaves
Slakes the thirst of summer with its rains.
Clouds portentous in their dreaming
And the tangy sweetness of green-skinned clementines.

The streets and sidewalks beside the coffee houses
Are washed and the posters on the kiosks are cleansed
The bitter coffee in the smudged glass
Slows scalding the fingers and the lips.

You sit two tables away from me
Reading a dog-eared book of poetry.
You look up, I look away,
And are unaware you are in my poem.

You will remember the first day of autumn
And I’ll remember you.

© 2013, Mike Stone

The Ticket

Raanana, November 19, 2017

Do you know what kills me,
What really kills me?
All that beauty in this world,
That shocking totally unexpected beauty
One right after the other
Everywhere you look
Even when you’re not looking
Morning afternoon and night
Right next to you and far as you can see,
You just want to stand near it
Feel its warmth, hear its loveliness
Touch it just barely, hold it hard and long
Smell its sweet pungence, taste its tang,
But you can’t because you don’t speak its language
And you don’t have the coin to buy a ticket
To pass through that gate.

© 2017, Mike Stone

Captive Audience

Raanana, December 21, 2016

I watch you through the cage bars,
Stupid creatures pointing, throwing popcorn,
Pulling faces and taunting
From distances you think are safe,
If you think at all.
We are a captive audience,
I am the captive
And you are the audience,
But sometimes I imagine
I am also the audience.
At night after the Parc Zoologique de Paris is closed,
My imagination slips through the bars,
Floods over the iron entrance gate,
Walks through the empty Avenue Daumesnil
To the Rue de Seine and looks through
The windows of the Alcazar
Where you sit daintily cutting a slice of meat
With your little finger poised heavenward
Your teeth too dull and weak to tear the flesh apart.
No wonder you’re afraid of me –
You know my spirit can’t be caged.
Only one of you imagines me
Walking in your empty streets at night
And he sits alone at a small table
By the smudged glass window
With a pen and dog-eared notebook,
Only he imagines me uncaged.
Toward dawn I tire of you and your empty streets.
I slip back over the iron gates
Through the bars and close myself
In the dreamless sleep of tigers burning bright.

© 2016, Mike Stone

Every Man Is an Island

Raanana, May 28, 2016

Alas the words of Donne
No man is an island
His words are done.
No longer breathed or thought
For every man is an island
Universe whose stars spiral
Slowly without purpose
Nobody served by them
With a gravity that keeps meaning
The knell of our tolling bell
From crossing its horizons.

© 2016, Mike Stone

A Delicate Balance

Raanana, April 18, 2019

I open the window beside my desk
To let in the breeze and children’s noise.
I take a sip of bitter coffee, cold already.
The dog comes in, as always,
And rubs black jowls against the bedspread.
There is a certain music loneliness makes
That gives rise to the thought that
Being alone is a delicate balance
Between solitude and loneliness,
The one, a turning inward,
To let the soul guide one’s hand,
To hear the Muse’s whispered words;
The other, an inability to turn outward,
To touch or be touched,
A hell we call forlorn,
A death in life
That beckons Death’s enfolding.

© 2019, Mike Stone

Mike’s website is HERE.

Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, just out last month I believe. 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.

MIKE STONE’S AMAZON PAGE IS HERE.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poemsLevure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)
* The Damask Rose Garden, In a Woman’s Voice

A mostly bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove,I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a vitual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor.


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

Sojourner and Stranger, a poem . . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

rain-1340354630BEa“And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, ‘I have been a stranger in a strange land.'” King James Bible, Exodus 2:22



something foreign, today’s rain
rat-tat-tating the roof and windows,
ping-ponging the sidewalk below
in rhythms oddly dissonant

the trees seem foreign too in their
huddles against the wind and damp,
abandoned by birds and squirrels
and even by the children at play

in a moment dark will fall with its
ghostly and pockmarked moon,
i’ll see its face without a smile and
sad, yet i won’t frown in this rain,
in this alien and hollow place,
though sojurner and stranger am i

© 2019, poem, Jamie Dedes; Photo credit ~ George Hogan, Public Domain Pictures.net

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

I think everyone has had those moments when they feel like “a stranger in a strange land.” The triggers for that perseption are probably varied. Maybe weird weather, a new landscape, a relocation, or a new house or apartment. I have a friend who says he thinks that after his birth he was sent home from the hospital with the wrong parents, so out-of-place does he feel in the context of family. Has that happened to you, that sense of being a sojurner in an alien environment?  What precipitated the experience?  How did it feel?  Was it a passing thing or does the sensation remain with you still?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in your own poetry on this theme, stranger in a strange land.



NEW RULES

  • 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


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, July 1 by 8 pm Pacific Daylight Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, checkThe 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.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)

A mostly bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a vitual literary community and publisher of The BeZineof which I am the founding and managing editor.


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



 

“Father Timebomb” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“I read differently now, more painstakingly, knowing I am probably revisiting the books I love for the last time.” Nicole Krauss, Great House


These are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Come Spring, June 19. Aging – pending, observed, or deep into – is not the easiest thing to face, but I think all our poets have done it with a mix of affection, yearning, courage and a soupçon of humor.

Thanks to mm brazfield, Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Deb Felio (Deb y Felio), Jen Goldie, Shiela Jacob, Sonja Benskin Mesher, and Clarissa Simmens for the pleasure of their poetry shared here today.

Enjoy! this collection and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are encouraged to participate, beginning, emerging or pro poet.


father timebomb

she shouts from the bathroom
that she doesn’t know what to do.

her son shouts back, CLEAN YOURSELF UP. BE GENTLE.

OK. a flush. NOW WHAT?

WASH YOUR HANDS IF YOU CAN. IF YOU CAN’T, THERE ARE WIPES OUT HERE.

there is the merciful sound of water in the sink. five minutes go by.

YOU ALL RIGHT IN THERE?

NO. but she sounds curious, not distressed. then, as yesterday, THERE’S SOMEONE ELSE IN HERE.

THAT’S YOU, MOM. THAT’S YOUR REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR.

OH. And in a minute she eases herself past the hallway doorjamb, that hesitant smile on her face.

her son hears the ticking
of his own Father Timebomb,
and wonders who he will be
in twenty years.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: One With Clay, Image and Text

As some of you know, Gary is multi-talented, combing visual art with poetry or prose narrative.  He is also a potter. A sample of his work is pictured here. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


where did Opa go

accordions were not of import to me
until you were no longer there
the caramel and gray plaid La-Z-Boy chair
sat gaping at the ceiling wondering as i was
where did Opa go
we didn’t really talk no one taught me how
instinctively you knew though
that i loved your oversized navy blue trousers
and your red suspenders
except for the lederhosen not my style
regret burns hotter at night
while i sit silently on the kitchen counter
alone in the dark sometimes with pained wrists
and old cracked ribs dislocated in my youth
sit along beside me good times
where did Opa go
time rippled down your face
porcelined and freckled
both by illness and by cure
you would stare at mom’s cat
as the din of Lawrence Welk
seemed to echo from the corners of the room
where did Opa go
remember when i was 13
my socks were old and dingy
five sizes too big
and as you shook your head
you took out $50 from your wallet
and motioned me to get new socks
i just shrugged and smiled
turning my back on you
Mutta’s fancy mirror
stabbed me with
your puzzled dewey face
at my ignorant rejection
why did i let go
Opa

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken


Time Triolet

Grey hairs fall in tides on foreshores
Wrinkles contour into round earth.
Time’s tooth too long in the wild wars.
Grey hairs fall in tides on foreshores.
Earth’s skin gets thinner with the sores.
Ordnance survey lines huddle steep.
Wrinkles contour into round earth.
Grey hairs fall in tides on foreshores.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

My Decrepit Is Good

Bring on grey hairs turn to silver.
Bring on sharp pain in the knees
as I hobble downstairs.

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

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

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

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Paul’s site is: The Wombwell Rainbow

Paul Brookes, prolific Yorkshire poet

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play


She aged more …

She aged more,
noticed the wrinkles by the eyes,
that dropped the last tears, blurring the sight
soon smoky clouds blocked the cool moonlight,
in the window where she sat alone, unconscious of
unknown seventy years, a time called ‘age’
she ignored the sagging skin, the broader forehead
but looked for the divine mark, in vain
in a few hours, she had aged more, waiting-
waiting for just one special valued birthday wish=

© 2019, 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


Details

A Poem for my Parents

I zero in
On the cracks in the walls
The spaces between tile and grout
The layer of dust on the grand piano
The peeling Formica under 80’s sought after giveaway cups
The places where your innovative nature took precedence over getting the job done right.

I zero in
On the grays in your hair
And the spots on your hands
The slowness in your cane aided walk
Your mouth agape during your afternoon nap
The hand me up shirt you’ve been wearing for decades because it still fits

I zoom out
And see the humor and kindness in your eyes
The hands that lovingly prepare my favorite meal
The 20 year old bed that fits generations
The clock where time has stopped but happiness lives on
The struggle of remembering and honoring and forgetting and accepting.

I zoom out
And notice what you do without
What you’ve sacrificed
What you’ve preserved
What you’ve done with love
What you’ve done for love.

I zero in on that detail.

© 2019, Irma Do

Fighting Age

A Haiku

Combing through darkness
Five stand, admitting defeat
Plucked out – victory!

© 2019, Irma Do 

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


Mind the Gap

For seventy minutes a one man play
by a man in his fifties who memorized
multiple characters on their way
to heaven or hell, each would decide.

He changed characters’ minds and voices
debating reasons, they pleaded and cried
lured by tempting leave or stay choices
to inflate their positions and their pride.

How to break the chains and be set free
to discover our own truth deep inside
separating delusion from reality
hope is alive, it never died.

His memory used to recite the lines
continues to find new roles to ride.
Proving old folks still can shine,
I wait in the wings to make my stride

A thought within me – it might be my time
to step into the light sublime
but my body and memory long past due
on stage all I recited was an aging haiku.

© 2019, Deb y Felio

Deb’s site is: Writer’s Journey


The years drift away
Capturing glimpses of time
Lost in memories

© 2019, Jen Goldie

Jen’s sites are:


Never Too Late to Learn

Teeth were small, milk-white bones
that fell painlessly out of my mouth
and meant sixpence under my pillow.

Hair was a length of chestnut strands
my mother brushed, combed, twisted
into plaits and tied with bright ribbon.

Who will leave fifty pence for teeth
that decay despite silver amalgam,
Oral-B paste and regular check-ups?

Who will help me style white-grey hair
that escapes across the bedroom
like blown seeds of a dandelion clock?

Who will tell me birthdays aren’t burdens
but lemon drizzle cakes topped with icing,
candles and rice-paper primroses?

My response to the old age prompt. A bit wistful!

© 2019, Sheila Jacob


.the rain came suddenly.

sun, was done and dusted.

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

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

i did not need all the mange tout.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.the critic.

i have the urban dictionary,
on line, and the standard
in the book case, thesaurus
in the cellar, where spiders
and cowebs abound.

typing goes wild if
i get hiccups, whilst
the flow depends on
radio plays.

i was born in england, south coast,
now live in wales. we speak a different
language.

difference should make no
difference.

i am older now.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


The World

The World is so much more
Than Earth and the visible
Night sky
Telescopes and space cameras
Transport us to galaxies unknown
Where tarot cards were first shown
Although there were always a few souls
Who knew what was out there in the vastness
Of space

THE WORLD is the archaeology of our past
Moving us through the present
And showing us the future
Symbols on cards mimic
Symbols of everyday life
Like the day I found an engraved coin
With my name and home address
Of a place I lived before age seven
Lying in the mud near a shed of broken crates
My past zoomed in and saw myself
Winning tickets for Skee Ball
To use on the mechanical engraver
In an Atlantic City arcade
Before casinos wrecked the ambience
Of ocean and sand and fries in a paper cone
Of cinnamon donuts and black coffee at midnight
From Mammy’s with my Gran

I rediscovered the coin
After finding a feather
That pointed the way
Very small feather
From a Florida Black Vulture
Stripping the flesh
From a corpse so fresh
And so here is my future
I thought
Death

To live in the now
Would be best
So I hauled out my tenor guitar
Music,the most beautiful part of
Anyone’s present
Although old songs transport us back
To the past
The words are seared in memory
Never to go
Always with us in the current phase

This trio reminds me
Of a wedding superstition:
Something old (coin)
Something new (guitar)
Something borrowed (feather)
Uh, oh, I’m blue
Because I
Always have
Always do
Always will
Need to find images of life
And force them into
Patterns
Patterns that ease the chaos
Of my world

And like the moon
We go through the stages
Circularly
As past, present, and future
Twirls like the Earth
Orbits the sun of our existence
And tilts with the seasons
The World
The tiny world that is ours
Our personal world of elation and sadness
Of terrible regrets but moments of gladness
We dream of space and vastness
But we are the microcosm
Like symbols imitating life
We mimic the macrocosm
Because the World is us…

© 2019, Clarissa Simmens

Find Clarissa on her Amazon’s Author Page, on her blog, and on Facebook HERE; Clarissa’s books include: Chording the Cards & Other Poems, Plastic Lawn Flamingos & Other Poems, and Blogetressa, Shambolic Poetry.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review
From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)

A mostly bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a vitual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor.


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



Come Spring, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them.” Friedrich Nietzsche



She is older now – no! – not elderly yet,
but getting there, enough so the face
staring at her from the hall mirror
is her mother’s or her grandmother’s
The plump little sparrow of a body
she’s living in, slow, matronly, aching
Well, certainly it’s not hers . . .

The place where she lives is a bit alien,
balmy weather, more-or-less one season
The street is not unappealing having
trees, birch and magnolia positioned
among aging oak and reliable evergreen
At daybreak, birds nesting there make
harsh and urgent conversation, pitching
their morning news against the endless
rumble and whoosh of a nearby freeway

Dressed in her mother’s face looking down
at her mother’s hands, she sits and listens,
no longer a juicy green story unfolding, just
a crisp brown sidebar to other lives, she’s
set in a place with rare moments of quiet
They drop like the cool spun-silver of dusk
after the unrelenting heat of a summer day
The hush, sudden and infrequent, shocks
her mind into musing, memory, nostalgia

She wonders what it would be like to
lie awake listening to the quiet of a place
where snowflakes sometimes drift to
earth, powdering the landscape with
tranquility, or what it would feel like to
walk outside and press her naked face
to a winter sky, to feel icy crystals against
warm skin, to see their shapes reflected by
the stars, to know eveyone she loves is
dreaming under the same alabaster moon

She wonders what it would be like to walk
along 93rd Street in new Easter shoes,
to make her way to Mass past spring flowers
dancing above the last of the snow-pack,
to buy a colorfully-mixed bouquet after church,
to make the requisite call to her distant father,
to hear her name on his lips just once more,
to ask him the questions she never dared ask,
to roast lamb scented with garlic and rosemary,
serving an overflowing household at a table set
with roses and damask and best tableware

She wonders how it would feel to live
once more in a land with distinct seasons,
to dance with her high school sweetheart
and to retrieve all the loved and lost souls,
to welcome back the nights pillowed in silence,
to awaken on crisp cosseting Regina Pacis morns,
to say good-bye to the numbing consistency
of endless balmy days and highway drone and
strolling strange streets in soft stoic solitude
seeking new rituals, new traditions, new friends
to replace the irreplaceable, knowing those
spring days are gone and gone, never to live again

© 2019, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Part of the process of growing older is loss. That’s not to say there aren’t compensations and rewards, but that would be a theme for another day.  Aging is rich in learning the spiritual lesson of nonattachment, especially as physical abilities wane and funerals are more frequent than weddings and birth celebrations.  In my circle, we’re no longer living in the houses in which we raised our childen. We’ve all downsized to studio apartments or small cottages or homes. These lessons of loss, acceptance (not to imply resignation), and reinventing life, are part of the human condition. Please share your thoughts and experiences in your own poetry.



NEW RULES

  • 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


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, June 24 by 8 pm Pacific Daylight 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.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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