Friday, April 20, 2018

I Wish I'd Written This

Mother Farm 

The farm is our mother in her birthday suit.
Our father drives a tractor across her hips
and sows children in her bones.

The totem animals run through her veins
and the winds press the grasslands to her lips.
Every contour of her fertility is a waterhole
and beneath her belly is the aquifer of our living allowance.

The sun beats her by day
and the moon pities her by night.
and when the rains come she puts on a new dress
and shakes the flowers from her daughters.

She runs the seasons through her hair
and her sons come home to harvest.
The grain spills out so much the birds can't leave the ground.
The cattle fatten themselves to death
and the mice plague her sleep.

Then father burns her summer dress
and turns her skin to fallow.
Her sons follow the dollar downriver
and she has make up sex with the sun.

As much as she gives we'll take
and take some more.
And as much as she gives
she'll give
and give some more.
That's how it is for the farm
that is our mother.

Benjamin W Wild © 2018

I met Ben Wild at the same poetry reading where Robbie Wesley read the poem I featured last week.This – obviously – was another of the poems on offer that night which really appealed to me. 

You may recall, the theme of the evening was "Love Poems for the Earth". I do see the Earth as our mother, and I like the personification this poem gives her. This mother is a long-suffering one, as many human mothers are – only even more so. The last verse says it all, unequivocally. A harsh poem, you might well think, yet born out of great tenderness for the Earth our Mother. When he posted the poem on his facebook page on International Women's Day, he said he wrote it "when thinking about my two Mums – both biological and environmental – and how they both tolerate and create in equal measure."

"But we need our farms!" you might protest. Yes ... but some of our farming practices are not good for the planet. In a way, the poem seems to say that the whole Earth is a great farm; and in a way that is true. At least, before there was farming as we know it, tribal peoples lived off the land. They didn't necessarily have to cultivate crops at all. Well, I suppose that, for most of us, there is no going back to a nomadic lifestyle, but we might still find farming practices which nurture rather than harm the planet – and we'd better, if we ourselves hope to survive.

The photo comes from Ben's website, as does the following biographical information.

Benjamin W Wild was born in 1979 and grew up on a property between Quambone and Warren in Central New South Wales.
He has studied, worked, lived, dreamt and travelled, and continues to live himself to death in a manner of ways- be they old, boring, exciting, different or new.
He talks in the third person when filling out the kind of social documentation that compels people to think that it gives them an air of seriousness and professionalism, but not as much as he talks to himself.
No I don’t.
Yes we do.

He has self-published three books of Selected Poetry:
‘Aluc(i)na’ in 2009.
‘SMUT’ (collaboration) in 2010.
and ‘Kaleidoscope’ in 2014.
Contact Benjamin at:  to purchase.

He has been published in various other publications, has often been a featured reader at poetry events around Australia, has been placed in several awards, and in 2016 won The ‘Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word’.

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Invention

Hedy Lamarr:  Movie star,  inventor  of  WiFi

“I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention . . . arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.” 
― Agatha ChristieAn Autobiography

The great creators — the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors — stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.” 
― Ayn RandThe Fountainhead

“Mark the spirit of invention everywhere, thy rapid patents, Thy continual workshops, foundries, risen or rising, See, from their chimneys how the tall flame-fires stream.” 
― Walt Whitman

Why It Took So Long to Invent the Wheel  b

Midweek Motif ~ Invention

"An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process," says Wikipedia.   "Inventions often extend the boundaries of human knowledge, experience or capability."
What is your favorite invention of all time?
Have you ever invented anything?  
Have you ever wanted to?  

Your challange: In your NEW poem, write the story of an invention, real or imagined.

Image result for invention
Free on-line Invention Class

“Faith” is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!

The jay streaks through the lilacs
                        in color clash.
I note down: Invent
            outdoor birdswing
                                                            so birds drunk
on berries fall off in plaid
            in front of my window.
                                                                        I file it.  After all,
the pussy willow’s barely tufted—
                                                                        I have time.
            At the drain, lifting its feet,
                        a Modigliani bird—another invention?
The brook agrees
                        so brookishly, gulping at runoff
                                    like a bear in spring,
            like my husband. He didn’t trust my patents:
                        the squirrel-free gutter chain
                                    the collapsing arthritic’s cane
                        a lever for pulling old stumps
                                                in heavy rain.
But every act harbors a corresponding gadget.
                                    It is that way with God:
adjusting the acorn, locking the tree.
              With the womb, He was clearly Italianate,
the bulbous lines, the excess.
            I often think of Him
                        humming Beatles songs like me, over
                                    six Mason jars of pickling—
. . . . 
(Read the rest of this amazing poem HERE.)
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

                (Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Summer)

Monday, April 16, 2018


This week, my friends, we are flying Across the Pond to England, to visit one of Poets United's earliest members, Paul Andrew Russell, who writes at his blog of the same name. Paul joined our site when Robert Lloyd first opened its doors in 2010, along with some of the rest of us. We are always happy when our early members pop up in the Linky, and recently Paul's happy smile caught our eye, so we thought we'd catch up with him. Pour a spot of tea, and draw your chairs in close. There will be a castle!

Sherry: Paul, our last update (which I can't believe was back in 2014),  explained your having spent some years in Canada and moving back home across the pond, to England. I imagine you are very happy to be back among your family. How is everyone doing? Any news? (Any grandkids? smiles)

Paul: Hi Sherry. It's been an eventful few years since I returned from Canada. I came back the same year my daughter got married, and then my son got married not long after. And I now have three lovely grandchildren in my life. My son has two boys and my daughter a little girl. Life is good.

Sherry: That accounts for your proud and happy smile. That little girl is radiant!  And I love the photo of you with your grandson. Grandparenthood looks very good on you, my friend. 

Do you still have a job where you travel a lot? And do you still have your sporty orange car? Smiles.

Paul: I do still have the orange car! I have a new job now, Sherry, working as an inspector for Rolls-Royce Aerospace, in the most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world; exciting times. 

I sometimes miss the travel aspect of my previous occupation but it's nice to no longer be on the road, or in the air, for days on end; although I was lucky to have travelled as extensively as I did. I'm thankful for the opportunities the job afforded me. I loved meeting new people and experiencing different cultures.

Sherry: I am fascinated that as a child you played in and around Bolsover Castle. Let’s re-visit that for our  newer members. Would you like to tell us again about playing there as a boy? Have you been back there since you returned home to England?

Paul: I loved playing in the castle as a child, although I never realised how lucky I was to live in such a lovely place. Now the mines have closed, and the chemical refinery has long gone, the surrounding countryside has reverted back to what it once was.

I have indeed visited the castle a few times since my return. It is a lovely place to unwind, wander unhindered, and take photographs. I love the place. It will always be special to me.
Sherry: It is an amazing piece of history - a medieval fortress dating back to 1612.

When did you begin writing, Paul? I know you write both poetry and prose. Which is your favourite? And what do you love about poetry?

Paul: I remember having a poem put up on the classroom wall by one of my teachers when I was a child at school. That is my first memory of enjoying writing. However, I didn't do much writing when I was young. Coming from a working class, mining and industrial area wasn't particulary conducive to artful expression. So I basically kept my thoughts to myself until I was a lot older. I was probably in my thirties before I accepted the 'creative' aspect of my personality and began to embrace it.

I love the emotion I feel when reading and writing poetry. It will always be my first love. I find prose to be very hard work but I love writing poetry. The way it can just start with one word, one phrase, one idea; it still thrills me. I have nowhere near the same affection for prose. To me, and this is entirely subjective, prose is just a delivery system, a way to get information over. Whereas poetry is emotion made concrete, like tears, like laughter, like making love; emotion given form. Yes, poetry delivers emotion. Does that sound flaky? Ask a poet a question and you may well regret having done so.
Sherry: I love the idea of "emotion made concrete." Great description. Do you have a favourite poet?

Paul: William Wordsworth will always be my favourite for a variety of reasons. Daffodils was one of the first poems I ever read, and if I had to choose a lifelong favourite poem that would be the one.

Sherry: Are there three poems you would like to share with us? 

He carefully selects
an apple,
one orange,
a small carton of milk,
places them in
his basket;
grabs a 'family size’ lasagne.
The 'meals for one’
yield little comfort
on lonely nights.

give me freedom
give me peace
give me the joy of sweet release
from all bonds of reality
from all the things I clearly see
give me eternity to sleep
give me the liberty I seek
give me the love
give me the time
give me one day of full sunshine
far from the dark that seeks my soul
far from the deep and gaping hole
that wants to swallow all my joy
that scares the man who’s still a boy
give me freedom
give me peace
give me the joy of sweet release

Sherry: Beautifully done. Paul allowed me to choose a third poem, so I selected one that will tell you who this man is - he truly has a heart of gold. 

I don’t watch football
Or tinker with cars
I don’t play a sport
Or hang around in bars
I don’t fight or
Have anything to prove
And if I get in someone’s way
I’ll more often than not move
I know I’m not brash nor
Do I play to the crowd
And I don’t flash the cash
Or have to be loud
I do however
Treat people with respect
And truly believe that what you
Give is what you get
I like being ‘nice’ and
I try to be kind
And I believe in being positive
in action and in mind
Not your typical ‘man’
I have often been told
Definitely not macho and
Often not bold
But promises I keep
And confidences too
And to my friends
I’ll always be true
And if I love you
It will be forever
No matter the hardships
For worse and for better
I can cook
I can sew
I can look after myself
I’m secure in my masculinity
My experiences, a storehouse of wealth
Yes I’m quiet
And introverted at times
I feel no need to constantly reveal
Whatever’s on my mind
I have endured bad times
I have enjoyed good times
I have faced many fears
And on occasion been reduced to tears
If I truly love you
I will give my all
And when life tries to bend me
I will always stand tall
Yes, I’m a man
But I’ve nothing to prove
No need for swagger
No alpha status to lose
Look beneath the surface
See what’s inside
You’ll certainly get
One hell of a ride
And if you reject me
For a generic plaster cast mould
You’ll never discover that inside is cast
a heart of pure gold

Paul:  I like my 'alone time' but like many single people I would love to share my life with someone special again.

Sherry: Paul, any woman would be fortunate to be with you. 

You have three books out so far. Do you have any writing projects on the go these days? Any writing goals for 2018?

Paul: I'm still trying to finish my novel/s but find myself getting nowhere at the moment. I have been writing poetry in private but it's very personal and I'm not quite ready to put it out there yet, if ever.

Sherry: When you aren’t writing or traveling, what do you like to do?

Paul: I still love reading, watching movies, spending time with my family and friends. Just the normal stuff of life that is really the extraordinary stuff we sometimes fail to appreciate. And of course I still like driving around in my 'mid-life crisis' boy racer. ;-)

Sherry: Thank you, Paul. Visits with you are always wonderful. We wish you all the best in the years ahead and hope you keep stopping by Poets United.

Isn't he lovely, my friends? Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!