Celebrate Paul Brookes :poet, writer, and much more from Wombwell Rainbow

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/ a massive site that should be followed and read time and time again.

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3 Poems by Paul Brookes in Fevers of the Mind:   Her Fiftieth, Her Fur Elise, A Black Bead 

Imagist by Paul Brookes 

our god sleeps by Paul Brookes – poetry  

Arachnida Sonnets by Paul Brookes (an occasional series)  

The Insect Sonnets by Paul Brookes  

About Bats: The Chiroptera Sonnets by Paul Brookes
The Unresolveables (An Heroic Crown Sonnet Sequence) by Paul Brookes at (sonnets 1-15)

3 Poems by Paul Brookes in Fevers of the Mind: Her Fiftieth, Her Fur Elise, A Black Bead


You would have been

fifty this mayday, sis

five in the car, you drive.

nail in the tyre, too much

wine last night you celebrate

a workmate’s birthday

drive down the motorway

to pick up your son from school

a bottle of wine a night

amasses fat in your face

a business built from zilch

debts you hide from view

grieving for a mother

dead three years

bumps in the road

nails in your tire

car leaps over reservation

somersaults onto bank

and back again

the other four crawl out

sit on the bank

watch firemen cut you out

your excess weight

squashed against steering column

the only one to die

only thirty five

finally, with mum

I celebrate your fiftieth

my dear, dear love.

Her Fur Elise

I awake to Beethoven as Mam taps the upright

Piano downstairs in the through lounge

where morning light highlights dark brown dining table

And varnished coffee table both polished

with Pledge until you see yourself. Later

chemo will make her petite fingers fat,

Fur Elise break into fragments as disease progresses

and piano sold as her hands come to rest.

A Black Bead

I was given in Fifties by an Indian guru

in Madras with advice “Keep this

and you’ll be alright.” Correctly guessed

I had two girlfriends.

Eighty one now with asbestosis

a cough that hacks​

at his body more each time we meet.

-You’re so thin dad?

-He said I’d be dead at eighty two.

-Where is it?

-I can’t find it.

-I’d best start preparing now.

-It’s a joke,

he says and spits

into his half full spitbag.

I find the blue paper

he wrote the prophecy on

dated 1962

the year I was conceived,

and take a photo of it with my mobile.

I give it to him

in the hope he’ll notice

it says he’ll die at 84.

He died at 83.

BIO: Paul Brookes is a shop asst. 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)

Forthcoming Stubborn Sod, (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He edits The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

greyscale photo of grand piano

The Unresolveables (An Heroic Crown Sonnet Sequence) by Paul Brookes at (sonnets 1-15)

Anthology Post: Finding a Wonderland in Alice by Paul Brookes (poetry)

Wolfpack Contributor: Paul Brookes

Imagist by Paul Brookes

Worms Of

light bury through wooden clouds.
Insubstantial trees disappear, or are reshaped
by sunlight and gust. They bucket down leaves,
make the earth sodden with them. Rain making,
thunder making anvil shaped trees make rainbows.
You can see the grain in the clouds.

Depending upon how and where 
gust and light saw through wooden clouds, 
defines their grain, curly,straight or flat 
in relation to their growth rings.

I splish and splash paving slabs
sending concrete waves and ripples
to either side. Dive into the pavement,
backstroke through crazy paving.

Have You

seen the face of flowers?
A furrowed brow of lavender.
The skin folds of a rosebloom.
Gustblown fascinator of a Daisy.

A lily with its yellow tongue out.
A field full of closed mouth Tulips.
Climb a mantelpiece of mountains.
Pass the ornaments added to
by every visitor. Step carefully round
the opened envelopes of scree.

An affectionate crown of thorns
The gentle stigmata of a caress.
The spiked maiden of your hug.
Thumbscrews of our hand holding.

Look out of the windows of the moon
Let in a fresh air of stars. Street furniture
of an ancient wood. A sofa of raised roots.
Trees become lampstands ready
for the moonlight bulbs to be switched on
in their crowns, meanwhile sunlight bulbs move
from crown to crown. A shared lighting display.

What wallpaper did you choose for your face
before you went out? Large red open flowers
with a brown background? Anaglypta?
The red brick wall, or geometric lines?
Watch out for those with cat faces
who may use your face as a scratching post.

Skirting board round the hem of a room.
Are we under the dress of this lounge?
Or are we outside admiring the folds
of paint or wallpaper the room has chosen
from her wardrobe? Colour matching
the carpet and three piece suite
under or outside the skirt.

Walk carefully over the floorboards
of cirrus and nimbus. Especially,
at night when you don't want
them to creak and wake up
the house. Watch yourself
on the cumulonimbus,
one false move could see a downpour.
Your socks polish these clouds.
They sparkle, after mop and bucket work. 

Bone Colours

This morning sky is a blue bone,
winter tree branches untouched
by gust. Sky breathes easy
amongst the silhouettes.

Sometimes there are holes in the sky
and you can hear a bone flute
Naked branches become Aeolian harps,
plucked by gust, sky's breath.

The White bone walks
across itself using its body
as music. Hear the voice
of itself. The voice goes ahead

The body follows the sound
from bright light to bright light
from cirrus to nimbus
from gust to gale

The white bones is talking.
It walks across the sky.
A sunlight and moonlight path.
At night it is a black bone.

As if the sky is ash. A cremation
of the blue and white into grey.
Night is the burial time.
Day is the resurrection time.

The sky is a white bone
made of clouds.
Thunder is percussion
of lightning against bone.

A Knifeblock

Winter's knife block
is the key to unlock
sharp and keen edges
slice tracery and pages

of thin skin let flow
blood juice, let know
a thin line between
the bone and the dream.

Every Bone is

a word
We grow into, one
that may learn to stand,
Uncertainly before the first step.

Others may crash their words
against us, to show
how their strong
meaning and confidence,

might replace
our word with another.
Our words hold our frame up,
a scaffold to others.

Every word is a bone
coming out of your mouth,
wishbones, charmbones,
angerbones, lustbones.

Smallbones stick in your throat,
largebones make your mouth 
bulge as they muscle out
between your incisors,

bang against your molars,
restrict your tongue, breath
blocked, wordbones hard 
to utter through spit and mucus.

My Mop Bucket(Apologies to William Blake)

I create moods with mop and bucket.
My chiascuro is very expressive.
My brush is very free. I learn
from the Old Masters.

My floors are landscapes.
Spillages become portraits.
Accidents are worked in
In my head there is colour

on my mop that describes
dashes and dots. I'm a mophead
full of bright colours I dip into
and out of my bucket. No two

floors are the same.
I'm a buckethead.
Washing away the muck,
remaking it I imagine outside.

Different temperatures,
gusts, light. Bring them all 
into my bucket.

To see the world in a mop
And Heaven in a bucket.
Infinity in a dustpan,
And Eternity in a brush.

A One Eye

The sky is a skull.
One eye is the moon.
One eye is the sun,
The sky only uses one eye.
The one eye of the moon
waxes and wanes, sometimes
a crescent eye, sometimes full,
the blood eye, harvest eye,
wolf eye, hare eye, storm eye,
chaste eye, Blue eye, seed eye,
corn eye, snow eye, mead eye.
Ocean eye works the tides.
Draw down the eye lit
by light borrowed 
from the other
eye of the skull.

Wolfpack Contributor: Paul Brookes

Sonnet Series: “Wombwell Cemetery” by Paul Brookes

Arachnida Sonnets by Paul Brookes (an occasional series)

our god sleeps by Paul Brookes – poetry

Folktober Sonnets by Paul Brookes

Bio: Shop Assistant. Writer and performer. Books include  Please Take Change,  A World Where, As Folk Over Yonder. Latest: Wonderland in Alice...
Twitter @PaulDragonwolf
https://t.co/FM3fFo6T8z  for the Wombwell Rainbow Blog. 

our god sleeps by Paul Brookes – poetry

Israel, Galilee, Kin, Kineret, Kinneret, Tiberias

photo from Pixabay

First published in Rhythm N Bones Lit

our god sleeps

with his gob open.
When he opens his gob
It could be dawn, noon, or midday.
whenever we must awake
to work in the mountains.
The mountains of god's tongue.

They shake and gust blows.
We must find
our balance.
Hunt for food
on the undulations.

Never know
when god will close his mouth
for night to fall, again.

Sometimes night is short.

Folk say there is life
over the mountains
in god's teeth

None have returned.

Wolfpack Contributor: Paul Brookes

Sonnet Series: “Wombwell Cemetery” by Paul Brookes

About Bats: The Chiroptera Sonnets by Paul Brookes

Folktober Sonnets by Paul Brookes

3 Poems by Paul Brookes in Fevers of the Mind:   Her Fiftieth, Her Fur Elise, A Black Bead

Arachnida Sonnets by Paul Brookes (an occasional series)

The Insect Sonnets by Paul Brookes

Anthology Post: Finding a Wonderland in Alice by Paul Brookes (poetry)

Poetry Showcase from Gayle J. Greenlea

photos_frompasttofuture on unsplash


There are ghosts here. They breathe
in unseen spaces behind walls,
under floorboards, in shafts of light
filtered through dust motes. At night
they drift into fields where once they
put shoulders to the plow and tended
cotton. Their shape, if you could see
them, is amorphous as cotton fruit,
diaphanous as gossamer with glints
of light like fireflies. They are more lonely
than scary, tethered to the windowless
homestead with wind-sanded fieldstone
and peeling paint. They wait for souls
long gone, beloveds who worked the land
side by side, peeled potatoes for supper,
sighed as they tucked children into bed
to cicada lullabies, rubbed salves
and embrocations into cuts from cotton
bracts and aching muscles, smiled
through wavering firelight before making
love under a diamond sky. Now fields
overgrown with weeds hide once furrowed
earth, sculpted by generations through life,
death and birth; a claim on humanity,
still longed for. Memory anchors them.

The Old Homestead by Mj Saucer

originally posted in Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge in The Wombwell Rainbow

The Night Tree

The night tree with grizzled bark,
roots milked dry by suckling humans;
starved of dignity, the arc of history
bends toward justice, dimmed. Scars
limned in moonlight, memorialize
strange fruit, harvested from branches
weary from farewelling souls
of dark-skinned men, more worthy
than murderous landowners.

Cities and rain forests burn, oceans
rise. Will no one turn the toxic tides
of extremism? Roll back the currency
of white privilege to diminish and destroy
wealth that belongs equally to all?
Ignorance is a pall spread over creation,
blocking sun, forswearing Earth’s
creatures. The Night Tree foretells our
fate. These branches are connected.

Night Tree by Terry Chipp

originally posted in Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge in The Wombwell Rainbow

Moveable Feast

My privilege is not wealth, social
standing or gender. My currency
is the color of my skin, the “lily
white” of southern women,
Nordic and Celtic genes overtaking Native
American. Whiteness has opened
doors closed to others, opportunities
denied sisters burnished by sun
and melanin. I took the heaping
servings I was offered from the table,
but they did not satisfy my hunger.
So I set places for the missing
and stepped back. I cannot atone
for my color, my straightness,
my ease of passage in the world;
but I can open my hands,
my ears,
my heart.
My voice is not my own, alone.
I am a side dish on a plate,
enhancing a meal called Justice.


We collide in a tender fugue,
reeds with slender necks
jostled by wind
and circumstance.

Fragile beings,
we rush through time
as if it were of no consequence.
Bumps and bruises crush

red stains into our skin;
panes where air is thin
and the soul breathes
more visibly,

purpura witnessing
where words
will not. How we suffer
from small wounds

inflicted unconsciously,
intentional tramplings
in the fields. We wield
power carelessly

or not at all, watch silently
as another brother
goes down; a sister falls
in the moonlight.

Oh, the terrible ways we fail
each other, refusing to speak,
allowing wind to carry our pain
over the horizon in soundless

ripples until the ones with scythes
come to cut our necks
and leave us rootless
from the land.

Fragile was originally posted in Headline Poetry & Press

Reality Fascist

No one believed the dystopia you described
as you launched your inaugural obsession with crowd
size, though one distinguished guest called your spiel
“some weird shit”.

Who could know you hid avenging wings beneath
your coat? That your gloating brimstone utterances
were match-strike that would set the world
alight? Now, in these Days of the Dead, wisdom

arrives late. The ashes of innocence choke
breath from the lungs. Arms are drawn brother against
brother, mother against son; our daughters a broken
Eucharist on the altar of your ego. Your apparatchiks

screech over fields of warriors, Valkyrie come
not to save souls, but to desecrate heroes. Justice
seekers march as you part their waves with flash-bangs,
tear-gas children, train weapons of war on the peace-

full, their blood your red carpet. You, Reality Fascist,
riled by fearlessness, enraged by women who will
not bend, those who take pride in the color of their skin,
the old who’ve seen your kind before.

You’ve made believers of us all. The emperor stripped
bare, walls himself in the palace of the people. Benevolence
escapes him. He sells the furnishings to foreign kings,
betrays his allies, crushes the weak, tweets while Rome

burns. We are spurned, turned out of our own houses
while you pour gasoline on our wounds, rob us blind,
put a “for sale” sign on our honor. Narcissus with a sharpie
throwing tantrums, courting porn stars, stacking courts:

art of the steal. We see through your veil of lies the rifts
you sowed. Once you told the truth — the day we
sheathed you in power — you said you would destroy us.
Trickster in a cheap suit, you are no match for Lady

Liberty or our own rebellious bones. Unworthy apprentice,
today the people rise, armed with more than a hundred million
ballots. How’s that for crowd size? We are coming for you.
You’re fired.


Hunger is a maddening mistress,
fatal attraction, grave tease, more
palatable than the gnawing loneliness
of isolation. Who would believe
a rival, small, invisible could rob
so many of health and dignity? I leave
my home one final time, one suitcase
with a change of clothes. My wife
pushes the stroller with our baby
and a box of kittens. The oligarchs
quarantine in castles, calculating profits
over cognac, while the rest of us count
costs, build tent cities, swarm streets
with protests. Revolution is coming.
History proves power belongs to the
people. Heads will roll.

Er gaan koppen rollen (Heads will Roll), by Marcel Herms

originally posted in Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge in The Wombwell Rainbow

New poems from Gayle J. Greenlea : “Grey” & “Mapping the Long Haul”(revised)

Wolfpack Contributor: Gayle J Greenlea

Poem “Asking the Wind” by Gayle J Greenlea : influenced by Bob Dylan series