My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones, Dai Fry and myself. April 28th

28 Twitter

Rendering Ourselves Relevant

There’s not a single one of us
Who hasn’t seen, nor heard,
Nor tasted
The fear
Mankind ingested

At the Tree of Knowledge.
Sure, we gained the world.
But we lost
The visionary existence
Assuredness proffers–

One of unicorns, and
World peace, the flavor
Of sunbeams,
And creation made new each day,
Unbridled by impossibility.

Instead, ours has become
The collective burden
Of rendering ourselves relevant,
Rather than
Extinct.

-st

Our Spired Unicorn

is a place of worship.
A moveable feast beast.

Offer it fruits and flowers
at harvest, Easter and Christmas.

Baptise bairns, get married,
celebrate the dead in its presence.

Pray before its hooves and flanks,
comb its hair, feed it oats.

Don’t try to ride it, or steal its horn.
It is sacred and full of light.

Go where it goes, a disciple.
Some may say you believe in a myth.

Your faith keeps it alive. You
know it as a companion, a friend.

Though it has a life of its own.
Is nothing but itself.

Behind our eyes we are all
mythical beasts to others.

-Paul Brookes

In your Dreams

When you have pushed out
Into sleep, and dreams mingle
Behind your eyes, try to remember
Your name. You can always trust
The shining silver unicorn, who waits
Where waves kiss the shoreline
Back into something else.
You can always ride and never fall,
Just hold tight to the gleaming mane,
And whisper your desires in her ear.
She will take you where you need to be
Though it may not be what you hoped for.

-Ali Jones

Rhinoceros

From Mesopotamia
where I was carved,
to Indus-Ganga Plain.

Mystic go your dreams.

White body purple head
and eyes of pierced blue.

My skin was white
my brother’s black.
My horn was red
its tip as black
as star-night can
hold it to.

And if you can catch me
under a silver moon
try/dare to kill me,
then drink from my horn.

In health and potent vigour
rue the day that you
murdered your dreams
and mine.

©️ Dai Fry 27th April 2020

The Whole Sky in Your Eyes

She is a soft rain falling like petals from the sun. Stars on the water that never burn too brightly. She is the horizon you can always reach. A soft stone that warms your hands. She is a pool of light that heals your wounds. Clouds that never ache or turn to shadows. She is the whole sky in your eyes. An ocean that keeps you afloat and never tries to swallow you. She is the earth feeding the roots of your heart. The flower that blooms from your throat. She is the perfect word on the tip of your tongue. The ink that falls effortlessly from your pen. She is a gentle hand that rocks you to sleep. A dream you never want to wake from.

-Susan Richardson

Fatigue

I walk in at 3 a.m. and drive out at 7 a.m.
Every second of rest is golden.
I kiss the foreheads of my sleeping
kids and rush towards the hospital.
Luckily, my car has enough fuel.
As I wear my PPE kit and get ready
to tackle another Covid 19 patient,
I pray for a miracle — some medicine,
some vaccine, some antibody.
Prayer has become a desperation.
I refocus — check the batteries
of Temperature Gun. A white horse
with a horn on its head has swum
millions of kilometres across Pacific.
I can actually see it. Yesterday,
Gandhi visited me during lunchtime.

-Jay Gandhi

Bios and links

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

-Susan Richardson

is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, coming from Potter’s Grove Press in 2020, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube, and read more of her work on her website.

Here is my updated 2018 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-susan-richardson/

-Ali Jones

is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature, and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom.

Here is my 2019 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/12/28/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-ali-jones/

-Jay Gandhi

is a Software Engineer by qualification, an accountant by profession, a budding Guitarist & a Yoga Sadhak at heart and a poet by his soul. Poetry intrigues him because it’s an art in which a simple yet profound skill of placing words next to each other can create something so touching and literally sweep him of the floor. He is 32-year-old Indian and stays in Mumbai. His works have appeared in the following places:
An ebook named “Pav-bhaji @ Achija” available in the Kindle format at Amazon.in The poem “Salsa; a self discovery” published in an anthology motivated by Late Sir APJ Abdul Kalam. The poem “High Caloried love” selected for an upcoming book “Once upon a meal” The poem “Strawberry Lip Balm” selected in the anthology “Talking to the poets” Four poems published in a bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea” Vol.1 Two poems published in the anthology “Poets on the Run” compiled by RC James.

His poems have made it to the PoeTree blog and front pages of PoetryCircle.com & OpenArtsForum.com. In free time, he likes to walk for long distances.

Here is my 2018 interview with him: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/09/23/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-jay-Gandhi/

-Samantha Terrell

is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on smashwords.com and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)

Website: poetrybysamantha.weebly.com
Twitter: @honestypoetry

Here is my 2020 interview of her:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-samantha-terrell/

-Dai-Fry

is an x social worker and a present poet. Image is all but flow is good too. So many interesting things… Published in Black bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore, The Pangolin Review. He will not stop.

Twitter                  @thnargg

Web.                       seekingthedarklight.co.uk

Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
#TopTweetTuesday

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.

 

My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones, Dai Fry and myself. April 27th

27 Twitter size

Trusting the Musician

Sometimes I wish I were
More than a solitary note
Played intermittently
By whatever musician or animal
Happens by.

Wouldn’t it be nice
To be able to hear the
Whole melodic symphony
Of nature, ourselves included.
But thus, I tempt eternity.

This must be faith,
To know there is
More than we can know,
To trust the music we collectively make
Will continue to grow.

-st

Play it Again

There’s a busker on the corner
Of the main shopping street,
Saxophone held shining forth,
Empty case at her feet.

She plays each day, whatever weather
It’s voice is old deep south,
So animated, living the music,
With the reed held to her mouth.

I do not know her name, or where,
She goes home to every day,
But the sun’s glint on the saxophone,
And her skills always make me stay.

-Ali Jones

🎵 Frank Says 🎵

Jazz, it’s fly/so high.
Languid slow, cool blow.
Hep cats
seek:
familiar faces,
guitar phrases,
smoked out places.

Discordance melds,
rhythm flows,
drums staccato,
receptive souls,
cool cats say go-go.

Grab the heat.
Buddy beat
in hot jazz suite.
Up hard, so
tight against it.

Bruise that tune
till tender sweet.
Notes stack up, as
sharps sit flat.

Booze fuelled
schmoozers grind
dig the groove…
It’s smokin’.

Hear them lick
their blue note way
Stanley fingers, hazy
zingers… bass blurs.

Fights for heat
in solo space.
Imbibing tattered applause.

Inside you
sound builds
thumps your chest,
bass hard.
So go figure, as
piano tonk Chick
hits those keys.

You gotta move.

Trumpet picks its
Miles high
sharp notes
spit
wet spray.
These
droplets spark,
a spotlight’s path.

Jazzing tales
heads burn,
float neural highways,
horizon’s byways.
Time to split?

No this cat stays.

– ©️ Dai Fry revised 24th April 2020.

A Caged Bride

A caged white cold Bride
night bright Barnsley
writes on windows and walls.
Her peace graffitied
under an ebony moon
down narrow
Dow passage.

A saxophone practices
a hint of hashish
and
three lit blood torches in your eyes.

-Paul Brookes

Soundtrack

The movie business has shut down,
aspiring starlets and boys
with chiseled chins
are holed up in box car apartments,
faces pressed against the glass,
wondering when it will be safe
to breathe again.

The streets of Hollywood,
usually filled with dreamers,
wide eyed and desperate to be seen,
have dropped into death watch quiet.
The sidewalks are patrolled
by men in towels,
armed with sticks and plastic cups,
losing their minds
under the rolling eye of the virus
and an unexpected heatwave.

I walk the dogs,
but never leave my block,
smile at the rare person
who passes
on the other side of the street,
now a million miles away,
forget they can’t see beneath my mask.

Just across the road,
a saxophone player practices
on a rooftop deck,
her smooth and mournful notes
a soundtrack to this new life,
a connection through
the social distance.

-Susan Richardson

The lady on the Saxophone

Before getting onto the stage
she rubs her palms with vigour
and places them onto her eyes—
there is energy.

After playing her last tune,
she joins her palms, does
a Namaste and hums the
Urdu prayer in her mind.

Driving back home, she
contemplates over the
mistakes she made today.

Yellow Submarine is the
first song in her playlist.

-Jay Gandhi

Bios and links

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

-Susan Richardson

is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, coming from Potter’s Grove Press in 2020, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube, and read more of her work on her website.

Here is my updated 2018 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-susan-richardson/

-Ali Jones

is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature, and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom.

Here is my 2019 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/12/28/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-ali-jones/

-Jay Gandhi

is a Software Engineer by qualification, an accountant by profession, a budding Guitarist & a Yoga Sadhak at heart and a poet by his soul. Poetry intrigues him because it’s an art in which a simple yet profound skill of placing words next to each other can create something so touching and literally sweep him of the floor. He is 32-year-old Indian and stays in Mumbai. His works have appeared in the following places:
An ebook named “Pav-bhaji @ Achija” available in the Kindle format at Amazon.in The poem “Salsa; a self discovery” published in an anthology motivated by Late Sir APJ Abdul Kalam. The poem “High Caloried love” selected for an upcoming book “Once upon a meal” The poem “Strawberry Lip Balm” selected in the anthology “Talking to the poets” Four poems published in a bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea” Vol.1 Two poems published in the anthology “Poets on the Run” compiled by RC James.

His poems have made it to the PoeTree blog and front pages of PoetryCircle.com & OpenArtsForum.com. In free time, he likes to walk for long distances.

Here is my 2018 interview with him: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/09/23/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-jay-Gandhi/

-Samantha Terrell

is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on smashwords.com and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)

Website: poetrybysamantha.weebly.com
Twitter: @honestypoetry

Here is my 2020 interview of her:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-samantha-terrell/

-Dai-Fry

is an x social worker and a present poet. Image is all but flow is good too. So many interesting things… Published in Black bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore, The Pangolin Review. He will not stop.

Twitter                  @thnargg

Web.                       seekingthedarklight.co.uk

Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
#TopTweetTuesday

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.

.day 45.

sonja benskin mesher

..day 45..

only on the slate outside or up the path here

the lane is steep downwards and i may slip

or see people
which is worse?

that is a question you can tell by the mark

wooden ones

i go by the back path as it is common ground
a right of way
for access

see no one
which is mighty
fine especially
these days

that is steep too
worn almost into
steps in parts

we talked about other devices
yet it came too stressful so i

looked at bikes and noted those
electric things at such a price yet
i hope you get one

really

seems i prefer walking up hill these days
to flat

2012-05-26-19-11-19

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Mbizo Chirasha Interviews Thomas Block, Founder of International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF); IHRAF Call for Entries, Creators of Justice Literary Awards

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

The International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF) is an iconic art for human rights platform,  A haven of freedom voices. This global Human Rights and Arts Culture Activism brand is endowed with creative excellence, artistic diversity, versatility, and organizational prowess.  On the 23 April 2020, before this beloved Earth got dressed in night gowns and before owls began to announce their deathly anthems, I sat with Artistic Curator and Producer Thomas Block of IHRAF beside the digital bonfire, somewhere near the fontanel of the internet jungle. Thomas Block brought with him ripe IHRAF berries, a jug of fermented literary gin and an artistic lantern. Mbizo Chirasha wielded a pen, a green-leaf writing pad and of course a poetry waxed  voice box. It is encouraging to discuss and archive excellence. Thank you, Thomas Block and the IHRAF Team for the good work and for affording us this great opportunity to enjoy the…

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My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones, Dai Fry and myself. April 26th

25 brand new

Progeny

I was not meant for motherhood,
not with these sharp edges
and a predilection for sadness.
I am a cog in a genetic footprint
that left a web of darkness
behind my eyes,
planted seeds of cancer in the
delicate bodies of my mother
and my brother.
I am the progeny of rage,
of battles with the bottle and carbohydrates.
There is a cruel streak
that runs through the caverns of my veins,
racing against the frenzied connections
that dictate the rhythm of my heart.
I was not meant for motherhood.
My touch is not one that nurtures,
my voice not one that soothes.

-Susan Richardson

Bridge Of Sighs

I am heart fire,
the blue flame.
Hold my mirror
in your other hand.
See reflections,
look for shadows.
There are no others here.

I please my buddha soul,
always now, forever.
I squeeze my other finger
I feel no pain.

And when I form,
it will be
to open my eyes,
world wide and bright.

I see all my lives now,
stretching back far
as a shuffled deck.

An ancient game.
There are no others.
Only me, only now.

I am a clean soul,
not yet writ.
Pink, no trace
of any original sin.

I seek a passing time
to hold against my brow.
To age my wounds
against the wounds of others.

Only too soon
will I be human again.

– ©️ Dai Fry April 25th 2020.

Childhood Amnesia

She paints emotion on the skin of the tender,
And its elder.
Tucked between pale folds,
Where life dwells

In touch and scent,
And calmness.
All newborns know this.
Why must we forget?

-st

Dyad

Nobody told me it would be ok,
All I’d heard were horror stories,
Of selves subsumed beneath
Mountains on laundry and mess.

Nobody told me it would be ok
To want to hold you all the time,
That your cries would not jangle
Nerves, that I would ask, what

Is it that you are trying to say?
Nobody told me how much I’d
Miss the small bundled body
As you stretch a decade, onwards.

-Ali Jones

Fingerprint

Zen garden raked
curved plough crests
ceiling design

Tiny lamb’s hooves gain purchase
in grooves, gust worn cracks
on a high rocky mountainside,

little fingers like stones caught
in the raked valleys of a Zen garden,

a tiny baby grasps Mam’s finger edge.

Soft skin, hard mountains drip milk
when pressed by lips.

-Paul Brookes

Platinum

All the clean waters join
Ganges — clear & pristine.
People worship the river
for its pureness. Only
other thing untainted
is a child suckling—
milk full with nutrients,
antibodies, reverence
and unconditional love.

-Jay Gandhi

Bios and links

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

-Susan Richardson

is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, coming from Potter’s Grove Press in 2020, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube, and read more of her work on her website.

Here is my updated 2018 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-susan-richardson/

-Ali Jones

is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature, and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom.

Here is my 2019 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/12/28/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-ali-jones/

-Jay Gandhi

is a Software Engineer by qualification, an accountant by profession, a budding Guitarist & a Yoga Sadhak at heart and a poet by his soul. Poetry intrigues him because it’s an art in which a simple yet profound skill of placing words next to each other can create something so touching and literally sweep him of the floor. He is 32-year-old Indian and stays in Mumbai. His works have appeared in the following places:
An ebook named “Pav-bhaji @ Achija” available in the Kindle format at Amazon.in The poem “Salsa; a self discovery” published in an anthology motivated by Late Sir APJ Abdul Kalam. The poem “High Caloried love” selected for an upcoming book “Once upon a meal” The poem “Strawberry Lip Balm” selected in the anthology “Talking to the poets” Four poems published in a bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea” Vol.1 Two poems published in the anthology “Poets on the Run” compiled by RC James.

His poems have made it to the PoeTree blog and front pages of PoetryCircle.com & OpenArtsForum.com. In free time, he likes to walk for long distances.

Here is my 2018 interview with him: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/09/23/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-jay-Gandhi/

-Samantha Terrell

is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on smashwords.com and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)

Website: poetrybysamantha.weebly.com
Twitter: @honestypoetry

Here is my 2020 interview of her:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-samantha-terrell/

-Dai-Fry

is an x social worker and a present poet. Image is all but flow is good too. So many interesting things… Published in Black bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore, The Pangolin Review. He will not stop.

Twitter                  @thnargg

Web.                       seekingthedarklight.co.uk

Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
#TopTweetTuesday

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.

.day 44.

sonja benskin mesher

.day 44.

maybe she is breathing out

it has changed maybe it
is the extra time though
we have the same time
we always had now we

use it differently

shall i write to tell him
that things are tidier
neater that
colour creeps in
yet most of my paints
are unavailable

shall i write to ask
if all is well
or leave it all to chance?

last evening i looked at the price of wooden stilts
then ladies light bicycles
would you believe?

how things take us in this time of quiet with this
longer sentence
in all respects

i have at least another six weeks yet with recent
findings it may come longer

sunday

 

11

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Poetry Foundation (U.S.) on COVID-19 Relief; “Zoom” in on Angora Poets World Caffé, All Languages Welcome

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Illustration courtesy of Trust “Tru” Katsande, Unsplash

“some moments are nice, some are
nicer, some are even worth
writing
about.”
Charles Bukowski, War All the Time



Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry, announced this week that its core mission, in direct support of poets, is to remain committed to its programs that serve as an important source of financial support for poets, writers, and artists through contributor fees, honoraria, award prizes, and commissions.

“The poetry and publishing communities are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, and while we are uniquely positioned, we are still no exception. The economic downturn is causing a significant immediate impact and unknown long-term impact to the value of our endowment, our primary source of revenue to support publishing Poetry magazine and the organization’s mission and programs into perpetuity.

“Despite the financial pressures, we are maintaining our programs, staff, and doing what we are able, which…

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Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: s r jakobi

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers three options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger, or an interview about their latest book, or a combination of these.

The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

Antiques and Curios S Jakobi

s r jakobi

Ex-lecturer, in his late 60s. Initial degree in Business and MFL (French & German); MA in history; post graduate teaching qualification. Began writing poetry in August 2019, a spur of the moment decision. He was never particularly enamoured of poetry but has delved into 20th century poetry and found he enjoys reading it.

He has written one collection of poems, published by River Dixon’s Potter’s Grove Press, Antiques & Curios: Fragments of a Love Affair (2020) and has four poems (see under SJ Reizlein) in an anthology edited by Tara Caribou of Raw Earth Ink, titled The Poets Symphony (2020).

Currently, he is working on two projects: a follow up to Antiques & Curios and a collection of poems, illustrated with his own photographs, on travel. Both will be completed in 2020.

The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

Purely a need to express the loss of a friendship that obviously meant more to me than to her.

That was the catalyst to write.  Cathartic reasons. Now I have the bug.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

No-one.  It found me.  Although I did enjoy French poetry at A Level – the teacher was young and rather lovely, and she was enthusiastic about the subject.  That was 50 years ago.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

Studying the Metaphysical Poets nearly finished off my poetry interests in English Lit.  Again that was 50 years ago.  I still have a philistine attitude (an antipathy) to much pre-20th century poetry.   I do however quite enjoy some Victorian/ Edwardians like AE Housman and WB Yeats.  Housman was a local lad so he’s OK.

I write poetry how I write it – there is some style to it on the wonderful occasions when it happens.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I am proud to say I do not have one. Not an inspirational answer, but honest.

5. What motivates you to write?

Just a desire to do it.  It isn’t for the money –I have not managed to tap into the zeitgeist like Rupi Kaur and never will.  There is pleasure in seeing your own words, thoughts, in a book, or a dissertation.  It takes time and mental effort to get that far, so to see it in a physical format, especially, is gratifying.  Many of my poems are very personal, as attested to in Antiques & Curios,
(henceforth A & C)

6. What is your work ethic?

Pretty much in the style of my cats – zero work ethic.  I leave all work ethic concerns to Protestants (see Weber).

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

Their influence was important to me inasmuch as I was introduced to new words, ideas, places, histories etc.  An important question is how one defines ‘young’.  I remember collecting Dean’s Classics (UK), so there were books such as Treasure Island, The Coral Island, The Black Arrow, The Three Musketeers, historical fiction mainly – up to the age of 12 – all adventure stories.

I was also an avid reader of history books – books were a crucial part of my life in my formative years.  I did find reading for testing purposes more of a chore but got through it.  I found Thomas Hardy and poetry more appealing after the exams.  As far as literature was concerned I enjoyed it more at undergraduate and post graduate levels – although it was a minor part of my studies.  Maturity lent greater appreciation and empathy in my case.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

Novelists

I have enjoyed Donna Tartt’s novels – as there are only 3 of them it is reasonably easy to have a complete collection – although they are quite lengthy – The Secret History is the one to read first because it is an easier read, in my opinion, or should I say more to my taste – ancient history, murder mystery and a college milieu – suits me fine. Saw her at Cheltenham Lit Fest – erudite, lovely in every way, writer and academic.

Yesterday’s writers – those who are now no longer alive:

John Updike – I visited Ipswich MA in 2018 just to get a feel for the town on which he based the imagined Tarbox of Couples and other stories.  Lucky enough to meet him once – see A & C poem.

Phil Roth – should have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Live and kicking as of today – great favourites –  Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and Martin Amis – another author I’ve met- only briefly.  Money is still his masterpiece.

Poets – a shout out for Potter’s Grove Press writers. The Two Erics, Eric Keegan and Eric Daniel Clarke; M Ennenbach and River Dixon – of course.  Without River’s encouragement I doubt I would have bothered to get anything published.

And at Raw Earth Ink – Tara Caribou, a poet of true talent; editor who deposited some of my poems in the superb collection: Poets Symphony.

Wheeling out some big guns: Carol Ann Duffy – always so readable, Ferlinghetti’s got a great voice and Sylvia Plath –some poems are utterly sad/fab -I did enjoy her novel The Bell Jar more

I have a great fondness for Jo Bell’s collection Kith.

Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan – two great poets and musicians – both get a poem from me in Poets Symphony

9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

I am retired from the drudgery of the workplace.  I have time to do quite a few things – they just do not have a monetary reward attached.  Anything other than writing is a money pit – i.e. travel, books, hi-fi etc.

Writing takes up more time than I think it really should.  It’s all the re-working, editing, new ideas pop up, so it seems a never ending endeavour.  I remember doing multiple changes to poems before the publishing deadline for A & C – River Dixon was super-supportive – I felt sorry for him because I made so many last minute revisions –many were miniscule.   He was very patient with me.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

You become a writer by writing – sounds a trite answer, but it’s the main factor.  It is important to read widely too- well for me it is.  Read out what you have written to people who you trust will not give you the bum’s rush and will be, at least, mildly supportive.

11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

Current projects:

A collection of poems following on from Antiques & Curios. Its title, at present, Excess Baggage: A Romance of Sorts

Examples

Poem #5

It is carried everywhere, every day,
and wears out bone, sinew and muscle,
terminates grey-blue cells, our mind-numb
episodes, our all too frequent raw blame-war.

Now take your choice of deadening ice to
cool off heated humours, anger, petty
jealousies, excess baggage,
a romance of sorts we act out, just
let go of inhibitions, play freely in

woods, deserts and mountains, throw
away the acculturation that traps us,
walk in pleasure through tall grasses,
look carefully, for once, see what is above,
lightning and stars, old kindling fires

discover all the ways of how we can love,
with whom we can be, and when and why,
learn how to live with and without each other,
to make sacrifices and yet not lose friendship

Poem #14

Freddie is Dead

Freddie is dead,
so it must be just after the
twenty-fourth of November,
cold and wet late autumn,
the petrol tank now full,
off into our discreet place
some time together at last,
though it is not
an auspicious day,
quiet, the death-knell stillness,
then you say your mother liked Freddie,
though to me she appears old,
but not much more
ancient than me, and she is
awkward and fusty,
from what you tell me, now
running out of words,
my chill breath floats,
my body flakes into
a slack breadcrumb bag,
food for ducks,
deflated, defeated,
I fall into a still deeper silence.

 

Another collection of poems: working title: Of Places, People and Time.  This is a travelogue, with mainly quirky things about my journeys; personal recollections of places that are, I have found, of interest. It will include black and white photos.

Example:

Palm Springs Marilyn
(California, 2013)

across the arid land and into
ice-mist sprayed Palm Springs,
mountains frame the place,
a golfer’s slow-baked resort,
and we find her today,
giant Marilyn,
26 feet tall,
there she stands
with her billowy attire,
a blown-up
freeze-frame, buff legs,
that sexy stancewhite high heels and knickers,
she displays a rounded backside, now
step inside, between her slim legs,
and for a while, you can be smoking Joe,
myopic Arthur or boss-eyed Jack, c’mon
take a while to caress her curvy calves,
crane your neck, look up at her ivory crotch,
and in time-honoured tourist fashion you can
take some snaps, she doesn’t move, but
do it before she is shipped off to show it all
again in a northern lake-city whose mighty
gusts can throw a dress up and right over
your goddam head

The three poems are works in progress – may be subject to some revisions. I know it is not great poetry, but I find pleasure in and fulfilment from writing it.  And that is why I write.

My annual National Poetry Month ekphrastic challenge has become a collaboration between Jane Cornwell (artist), and poets Susan Richardson, Samantha, Jay Gandhi, Ali Jones, Dai Fry and myself. April 25th.

26 for Twitter size

Expecting

She has read, read and read—
exhausted all the resources.

After 9 months of prenatal
Yoga and eating bland food
all she hopes for are enough
strong contractions.

Don’t lift heavy things
Don’t eat spicy foods
No late nights. Sleep
on time. No alcohol

there are days when she feels
that all this drama should just come
to a standstill — all at once.

Just get it over & done.

-Jay Gandhi

The Dance

When I met my niece,
she was the smallest
baby I had ever seen.
Her tiny hands, bunched into fists,
punched the air
in protest of an ache in her belly
that wouldn’t let up.
I remember taking her in my arms,
smoothing her delicate fingers
singing softly into her ear,
but still she cried.
I stroked her head
and walked quietly
to the laundry room,
turned the dryer on full blast.
It was the middle of July,
a heatwave
seeping through the windows.
For hours I paced,
rocking back and forth,
a slow dance
to the rumbling hum
of my father’s old dryer,
as the heat and the sound
soothed away her tears.
Long after her cries
had quieted
and she had fallen asleep,
body folded in relief
against my heart,
I continued our dance,
my breath keeping time with hers.

 

-Susan Richardson

Possibilities

Enrapture me
With your sweet,
Tender power,
Empathizing with my exhaustion.
Respect my fear of ineptitude.
Draw me outside myself,
That we may know
Our mutual innocence.

-st

Loved and Lost

Oh little one, I wish you’d stayed,
But they told me, it wasn’t your time.
I hold you, so small and delicate,
Swathed in white, and all I can see
Are the sunsets and moonrises
Your eyes will never take in.
Before you go, I make tiny prints
Of your feet, that will never tread
On any path. They are a reminder
That not all journeys are easy.

-Ali Jones

Synaesthesia

Dizzy these summer airs,
I flew where ever I would.
Sun-rays, rain’s drop
the sharp breezing edge.

I was monarch, king sought
seeker of milkweed.
Last of ten generations,
long lived for your gestation.

And when I died
we had flown a thousand leagues
gathering dream-song,
canticles of praise.

So enjoy the warmth
of love’s milky days.
Gather your wings
mica rich, waxy bright.
For this chrysalis will fly.

-© Dai Fry 24th April 2020.

Found.

Simplest difference between
ripple, wave, swell,

word, sentence, poem,
tongue, lip, thigh,

love, sex, work,
blemish, wound, sore,

siblings, children, death
is the time between each crest.

There are times when there are
ripples on waves on swell.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and links

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

-Susan Richardson

is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, coming from Potter’s Grove Press in 2020, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube, and read more of her work on her website.

Here is my updated 2018 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-susan-richardson/

-Ali Jones

is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature, and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom.

Here is my 2019 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/12/28/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-ali-jones/

-Jay Gandhi

is a Software Engineer by qualification, an accountant by profession, a budding Guitarist & a Yoga Sadhak at heart and a poet by his soul. Poetry intrigues him because it’s an art in which a simple yet profound skill of placing words next to each other can create something so touching and literally sweep him of the floor. He is 32-year-old Indian and stays in Mumbai. His works have appeared in the following places:
An ebook named “Pav-bhaji @ Achija” available in the Kindle format at Amazon.in The poem “Salsa; a self discovery” published in an anthology motivated by Late Sir APJ Abdul Kalam. The poem “High Caloried love” selected for an upcoming book “Once upon a meal” The poem “Strawberry Lip Balm” selected in the anthology “Talking to the poets” Four poems published in a bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea” Vol.1 Two poems published in the anthology “Poets on the Run” compiled by RC James.

His poems have made it to the PoeTree blog and front pages of PoetryCircle.com & OpenArtsForum.com. In free time, he likes to walk for long distances.

Here is my 2018 interview with him: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/09/23/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-jay-Gandhi/

-Samantha Terrell

is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on smashwords.com and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)

Website: poetrybysamantha.weebly.com
Twitter: @honestypoetry

Here is my 2020 interview of her:

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/04/08/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-samantha-terrell/

-Dai-Fry

is an x social worker and a present poet. Image is all but flow is good too. So many interesting things… Published in Black bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore, The Pangolin Review. He will not stop.

Twitter                  @thnargg

Web.                       seekingthedarklight.co.uk

Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
#TopTweetTuesday

-Paul Brookes

is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.

..day 43..

sonja benskin mesher

..day 43..

each day, each day the suns shines
and we stay at home

we plant the pots up, decide to order
more

wonder why we had a gardener now
we concentrate

that is such a thing with the hand steady
the birds singing we draw the line in one

sweep
draw the semi
circle

the halo appears
so joan will be
revered

if the pencil slips
she will remain
ignored

all around they live in groups
do you hear them chatting
laughing

here it comes quiet
concentrated

flowers and drawings
the story of joan, james

i think of those blue flowers
other than the red i draw
corona

i too have gasped
over colour unexpected

he looked older
i prefer when
the edges are slightly worn

i think it may be the weekend

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