POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS, a site established in May 2011 and which reunites Marie Elena Good and Walter J Wojtanik to help nurture and inspire the poetic spirit.

PROMPT #222 – WORDS OF THANKSGIVING

This week, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the States.

We’ve already written a poem about the things for which we are thankful. Now we turn from words of thanksgiving to thanksgiving words. Today, I offer this word cloud for your consideration. Use at least ten (10) of the words in your poem. If you fit all of the words into your poem, you get the drumstick and a nice nap! It doesn’t have to be a Thanksgiving poem. Any subject is fair game, just use the prescribed words!

 

FEATURED WORDS

cranberries, feast, eat, grateful, fall, Pilgrims, yams, Plymouth, stuffing, gravy, food, ham, gobble, pumpkin pie, blessings, turkey, family, thankful, natives, friends, leaves, tradition, football, parades, holiday, nap

MARIE’S SMORGASBORD:

HOLIDAY BLESSINGS ON PARADE

Oh the feasts that we would eat  –
Grandma’s stuffing can’t be beat!
Turkey carved and on display,
Guesses on “what does it weigh?”

Yams and hams and pumpkin pies,
And (to figures’ great demise}
Aunt Peg’s “Goop,” and Mom’s cheesecake.
Hopeful leftovers to take!

TV playing  football games,
Watched by mostly men named James.
Conversations, hugs, and laughs.
Later-treasured photographs.

 © Marie Elena Good, 2018

 

WALT’S UNMOVABLE FEAST:

THE WORDS OF THANKS

Friends gathered in celebration
a family in tradition, a condition
in which grateful hearts honor blessings
given. Thankful for a holiday
that can play up this function
of our human nature. Grand in stature,
a feast shared, prepared in love
to fete the historic past as the leaves
drift downward, parades move forward
and we eat ourselves into a long nap.

 © Walter J Wojtanik, 2018

 

 

INFORM POET – DOUBLE ETHEREE

Let’s get a bit adventurous today, and explore the Double Etheree. The Etheree was created about twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong. It is a titled form, consisting of ten lines of non-metered and non-rhymed verse, of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with the total syllable count being fifty-five.

The Double Etheree starts with the ten line Etheree and then reverses the order for another ten lines.  A Double Etheree has a syllable count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

And if you really want to lose your mind, you could try a Reverse Double Etheree: 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

But in keeping with our guidelines of “just write something” a regular ten line Etheree will serve our purpose. Oh, and you can break some rules and rhyme, if you have it in you. Just go on, poem with your bad self!

WALT’S DOUBLE TROUBLE:

FOREVER CHRISTMAS, by Walter J Wojtanik
(A Reverse Double Etheree)

Why can’t every day be just like Christmas?
Why should it come only once a year?
The joy and peace that comes with it
fills this jolly heart with cheer.
Smiles on children’s faces,
music in the stores,
love in your hearts
each year starts
with one
wish.
Love.
The first
gift to all
goodwill abounds
in the cheerful sounds
that Christmas carols bring.
Everyone is glad to sing,
or hum if they don’t know the words.
Not absurd if you know the reason.
I am Santa Claus. I love this season.

 

THE POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM – POEM #15

Through history we’ve feted the accomplishments of men, thinking they were suited to be great leaders. But we have come to realize that there are equally qualified (some even more so) women who could, and have assumed the mantle of accomplishing much. These women, as highlighted in this poem by Maya Angelou, are phenomenal. The secret being told, we all came from phenomenal women (and some of you are phenomenal themselves). In the reading room today we read the   poem of this compilation.

Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

PROMPT # 221 – “AND I QUOTE” INSTALLMENT #3

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

We are all about words. Happy, sad, funny or absurd, every word is used with aplomb. 

But, JFK spoke of words by which to live. Is there a phrase or comment that you might consider words to live by? They do not need to be by anyone famous. Something a parent, teacher, a friend or even a stranger you overhear that had said something so profound that it made you think they could change your very life. We are looking for direction beyond the ends of our noses. Do you suppose you can write this thought? Maybe you will be the one to influence another. Give it your best effort, and we’ll try to live by it.

MARIE’S CHOICE:

“Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”
 (From Robert Robertson’s hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

MY WANDERING HEART

Lord, I need Thee every instant;
Need to feel my hand in Yours.
When I feel my heart grow distant,
Call me back to heaven’s shores.

Lord, I long for angel voices
Harmonizing all day through,
Triggering my soul’s rejoicing!
Set my heart to praising You!

Lord, that I won’t wander far,
Faint in faith, and unfulfilled,
Lift my eyes to Christ Child’s Star
Where my heart is awed, and stilled.

Lord, I need Thee every hour.
Give ear to my earnest plea:
Hug me in Your staying power.
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

 

WALT’S GUIDING THOUGHT:

YOU LIVE AND LEARN

I stand within the garden gate with hat in hand
as contrite as I can be, or so I’m told.
As I await my next (or last) command,
I hope it comes before I’m much too old.
For in this life we live, we’ll take a stand
and make our choices, be they brash or bold.
We live within the dictates of our hearts,
and reap the benefits that life imparts.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

INFORM POETS – IMAGISM

Imagism is the name we give to a movement in poetry aimed at clarity of expression through the use of precise visual images. The early period was written as a French form, named Imagisme. We’ll use the language of common speech, but employ exact words, not the nearly exact, nor the merely decorative word.

An example:

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY?, by Walter J Wojtanik

The rain falls in big sloppy drops
saturating the soil and foiling
plans for a most pleasant day.
On display is the lightning flashing
and the loud thunder crashing to sack
your solitude. It becomes quite rude
to intrude on this mid-autumn day.
They say the skies will clear from here
on out, but I doubt they’ll be right
since they called for sunny skies last night.
##

Try your hand at connecting with the Imagism spirit. Be descriptive and paint the visual picture. Good luck.

THE POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM – POEM #14

Here we have another rather lengthy poem chosen at random. So for expediency, another excerpt is in order. Here is the third part of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”, number 3 on the chart!

HOWL (Excerpt Part III)

by Allen Ginsberg

III

Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland
where you’re madder than I am
I’m with you in Rockland
where you must feel very strange
I’m with you in Rockland
where you imitate the shade of my mother
I’m with you in Rockland
where you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries
I’m with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I’m with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I’m with you in Rockland
where your condition has become serious and
is reported on the radio
I’m with you in Rockland
where the faculties of the skull no longer admit
the worms of the senses
I’m with you in Rockland
where you drink the tea of the breasts of the
spinsters of Utica
I’m with you in Rockland
where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the
harpies of the Bronx
I’m with you in Rockland
where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re
losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
I’m with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul
is innocent and immortal it should never die
ungodly in an armed madhouse
I’m with you in Rockland
where fifty more shocks will never return your
soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a
cross in the void
I’m with you in Rockland
where you accuse your doctors of insanity and
plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the
fascist national Golgotha
I’m with you in Rockland
where you will split the heavens of Long Island
and resurrect your living human Jesus from the
superhuman tomb
I’m with you in Rockland
where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com-
rades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
I’m with you in Rockland
where we hug and kiss the United States under
our bedsheets the United States that coughs all
night and won’t let us sleep
I’m with you in Rockland
where we wake up electrified out of the coma
by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the
roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the
hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls col-
lapse O skinny legions run outside O starry
spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is
here O victory forget your underwear we’re free
I’m with you in Rockland
in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-
journey on the highway across America in tears
to the door of my cottage in the Western night

 

To read “Howl” in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

PROMPT #220 – RUSHING THE SEASONS

As we near the holidays, a lot of people seem to be in a hurry – rushing here, rushing there, rushing the holidays, the hustle and bustle is a major tussle and they complain when the seasons zip by. Well, let’s put a stop to all that. We will enjoy family and friends and be thankful before we go headlong into Christmas.

It seems year after year, manufacturers and advertising companies bypass this most important day in November. And believe me, we have more than plenty for which to be thankful. Think of an aspect of the day that brings you joy. The gathering of friends and family is top of the list. Maybe the televised parades, or the multitude of football games. The food always takes center stage, so that may be your inspiration. Even if you wax on the post-turkey nap, it’s all good. (But I will thumb my nose at Thursday evening “Black Friday” excursions!) After it’s all over, we can turn our sites to the next big thing (Christmas music will start playing the day after in some locations.) You may think it’s a little early to offer the Thanksgiving prompt, but I think it’s about time it got equal time!

 

MARIE GIVES THANKS:

Lucky, lucky me
Log cabin nestled in pines
My name on his lips

 

WALTER’S APPRECIATION: 

GIVING THANKS FOR ALL I HAVE

For all I have I give thanks.
I have amassed some material things,
some necessary, some out of want.
But I can’t be thankful for all these,
as pleasing as they might seem.
And along with that, I’ve gotten things
of which I had dreamed for a while
for all that I have I give thanks.

A family that started with two and grew
with the addition of two more.
A roof and a floor, and what’s more,
daughters who have learned the values
into which they were instilled.
Strong willed and not taking crap
and still be soft and caring and daring
and for all that I give thanks.

Two men who have been added to that
who are exactly what I had hoped for my girls.
Respectful and loving, passionate about life
and compassionate to others. Brothers
than neither of my girls ever need
but accept as such and so much more;
the core of two more that started with two,
and for all that I give thanks.

Speaking of two, We’ve been through a lot,
and we’ve got more coming down the pike.
But that has only caused a spike in the love
that we have shared as we care for each other
through afflictions and sections of rough road.
It served to goad us into being better people
to each other and our gathered children.
For all that I am thankful.

And the best blessing has been announced
for a June arrival and the survival of
familiar love is assured. And my word,
this grandpa to be can see great things
in this kid’s future. Love and nurturing,
learning the skills needed to make a life,
to be respectful and loving and passionate.
For all that I give thanks.

For this poetic life and the ‘family’
who have accepted me with my weirdness,
and treat me with respect and reverence,
(although I don’t know why.)
And I mentioned life, in spite its strife
and speed bumps, taking my lumps
when deserved, take my word,
for all that and more,I give thanks!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

 

INFORM POETS – RISPETTO

As we remember, a Rispetto is an Italian form of poetry, (Italian: “respect,” – plural rispetti, a Tuscan folk verse form) and is a complete poem of two rhyme quatrains. The meter is usually iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of abab ccdd. A Heroic Rispetto is written in Iambic pentameter,  featuring the same rhyme scheme.

A variation of the RISPETTO is a poem (or song) comprised of 8 hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) lines–usually in one stanza.

 

WALT’S RISPETTO:

THEN AND NOW

Could it be you did not see me;
out of sight and out of your mind?
It wasn’t easy to be me,
let alone be drawn to your kind.

But years later, you’ve found my words
and think not one of them absurd,
they soothe your mind and warm your heart.
I guess that was the place to start.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik

THE POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM – POEM #13

As tonight is Halloween, it is quite fortuitous that this poem was randomly selected for the Reading Room. Christina Georgina Rossetti was one of the most important women poets writing in nineteenth-century England in the Victorian Age. Quite attractive in her youthful days, she suffered greatly at the end of her life. This appears as the 21st poem of our listing.

GOBLIN MARKET (An Excerpt)

by Christina Rossetti

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpecked cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
In summer weather,—
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”…

…Life out of death.
That night long Lizzie watched by her,
Counted her pulse’s flagging stir,
Felt for her breath,
Held water to her lips, and cooled her face
With tears and fanning leaves:
But when the first birds chirped about their eaves,
And early reapers plodded to the place
Of golden sheaves,
And dew-wet grass
Bowed in the morning winds so brisk to pass,
And new buds with new day
Opened of cup-like lilies on the stream,
Laura awoke as from a dream,
Laughed in the innocent old way,
Hugged Lizzie but not twice or thrice;
Her gleaming locks showed not one thread of grey,
Her breath was sweet as May
And light danced in her eyes.
Days, weeks, months, years
Afterwards, when both were wives
With children of their own;
Their mother-hearts beset with fears,
Their lives bound up in tender lives;
Laura would call the little ones
And tell them other early prime,
Those pleasant days long gone
Of not-returning time:
Would talk about the haunted glen,
The wicked, quaint fruit-merchant men,
Their fruits like honey to the throat
But poison in the blood;
(Men sell not such in any town:)
Would tell them how her sister stood
In deadly peril to do her good,
And win the fiery antidote:
Then joining hands to little hands
Would bid them cling together,
“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands.”

 

For a full reading of Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”, click HERE.

PROMPT #219 – THE RISE (AND FALL) OF POETRY

We’ve all heard of the rise and fall of empires and sports “dynasties.” We know what goes up, must come down. In “Fiddler on the Roof,” they sang “Sunrise, Sunset.” 

But, by now you may be getting a little tired of fall. So, today I’m looking to get a rise out of you. Let’s write a “RISE” poem. Be it getting up in the morning,or going up or expanding like bread dough, tell us of your rise in poetry. Or even write of your rise to poetry. Look up and see where poetry takes you!

MARIE’S REASON TO RISE:

Spirit bestows it –
Worship swells from the Wellspring.
Oh my soul, take part!

Would that this poet
rise up and sing like the king
after God’s own heart!

© Marie Elena Good

 

WALT’S EXPANDING UNIVERSE:

THE JOY OF POETRY

poetry becomes my joy 

it takes me to exotic places

quixotic spaces and

lifts my heart bringing smiles to faces

as I struggle with an amusing muse

it is something I’ve gotten used to

I refuse to be down when poetry is around,

writing or reading, I’m not needing 

anything more to lift me off the floor. 

Poetry has been my joy.

 

(c) Walter J Wojtanik -2018

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