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.

INFORM POET – FOUND POETRY

FOUND poetry is all about taking words that were not meant to be a poem in their original form, and turning them in to a poem. These words/phrases/sentences come from newspaper articles, snippets of overheard conversations, recipes, interactions, letters… basically any materials can offer “inspiration”.

The wording is not changed but your use of line breaks and cuts or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The resulting poem can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original.

Pay attention to the world around you. Inspiration can be found wherever you look for it.

WALT’S “LOOK WHAT I FOUND”:

PICK-UP IN AISLE 13, by Walter J Wojtanik

Take a few extra moments, be good to yourself.
Your satisfaction is always guaranteed.
There, near the produce introducing
her light aromatic blend. Just don’t breathe
in the spray. We stand behind your fresh taste;
we never waste paper (from responsible sources)
and of course, it makes ordinary meals extraordinary.
No Preservatives.
No MSG.
No artificial colors; flavoring.
Savoring it with every last bite.
What are you hungry for tonight?
No doubt about it, we love our midnight snack;
she’s more of a “morning person”.
Shake well. Satisfy your ravenous craving.
Massage pouch until desired consistency,
bring your meat to room temperature.
Put into a 350° pre-heated oven,
it’s easy to get off. Feel it working;
know you’re protected.
Serve hot; refrigerate after opening. 

 

Poetry FOUND on the packages in a grocery store.

POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM #49

This American poet, writer, and editor won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Carl August Sandburg had been regarded as a major player in modern literature. His appeal as a poet was unmatched in his day, perhaps because the scope of his experiences connected him with so many sectors of Americana. On his death in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson observed that Carl Sandburg was America. He was more than the sum of the voice of America, and poet of who possessed strength and genius. Today’s poem is Mr. Sandburg’s, “Who Am I?”

 

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WHO AM I?

by Carl Sandburg

My head knocks against the stars.
My feet are on the hilltops.
My finger-tips are in the valleys and shores of
universal life.
Down in the sounding foam of primal things I
reach my hands and play with pebbles of
destiny.
I have been to hell and back many times.
I know all about heaven, for I have talked with God.
I dabble in the blood and guts of the terrible.
I know the passionate seizure of beauty
And the marvelous rebellion of man at all signs
reading “Keep Off.”

My name is Truth and I am the most elusive captive
in the universe.

***

Next Wednesday will mark the 50th entry into the reading room. At that point we will take a brief respite from the Reading Room for some other feature (undecided as of yet).

Also I will be posting the instructions for the next phase of the July P.E.O.D Challenge next week.

PROMPT #256 – SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE

Many of us are inspired by music. A catchy lyric that stirs our souls, or a melody that haunts or lingers seems to transfix thoughts that become our poetry. We’ve written based on a line or a title of a song to great effect.

Image result for fred and ginger

But, we neglect the dance. Until today. We ask you to write a “dance” poem. It could be about a specific type of dance, or just the art of dancing itself. And whether we’re dancing on eggshells, or dancing around an issue, our chance to dance can be inspiring in itself. So put your best foot (and poem) forward, and show us your moves.

MARIE’S STEPS:

As we put up corn,
we listen to jazz, and dance
hug and hold and sway.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

WALT’S TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS:

LOVE WILL DANCE

Find romance
looking for love in places
those traces of love will dance

Take a chance
those two hearts can beat as one,
ours beat bolder to enhance

completely.
What the world needs now is love.
It will fill your lives sweetly.

Romance lives
in almost hidden spaces.
But, believe the joy it gives.

Look within
to find all that your lives lack,
love gives it back once again.

Love will dance.
It possesses the power
to heal hearts . Find romance.
Love will dance.

 

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

INFORM POET – OCTAMETER

Octameter, is a poem made up of 16 lines (stanzas of 8 lines each). Each line has a syllable count of 5. The set rhyme scheme is: a/b/c/d/e/d/f/d  g/h/c/g/i/g/d/d. This seems an extremely convoluted rhyme scheme, so your poetic license will not be revoked if you use your judgement on choosing a different pattern, or forgoing the scheme all together, I’ll have no problem with it. We’re about writing poems here, so get to it!

An alternate rhyme scheme: a,b,c,d,e,a,b,a  a,b,c,d,e,c,d,c

 

WALT’S MOSTLY TRADITIONAL OCTAMETER:

A GENTLE MAN, by Walter J Wojtanik

Gnarled and twisted hands
calloused and sore, more
used to hard work than
to life’s sheer kindness;
blood, sweat and tears, mere
offerings. Blindness
to those who shirk work,
their thinking, mindless.

A gentle man, he
gives of his worn heart,
more used to love than
life’s absurdity.
His mangled hands touch
her soft purity.
Her love is timeless;
fills him with fineness.

***

The alternate take:

WALTER CAME TO CALL, by Walter J Wojtanik

Walter came to call,
and all would come out
all about the place.
What he had to say
didn’t phase the folks.
No one took the fall,
and they all had doubts
when Walt came to call.

Walter had a plan
and every man knew
all that Walter said.
They hid it quite well
and acted quite dumb.
So when he was through
Walter went to bed.
It’s what you would do.

 

POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM #48

This week’s poet is regarded as one of the greatest British poets, and his influence remains in his widely read works. Byron’s magnum opus, Don Juan, ranks with John Milton’s Paradise Lost as two of the most important poems by England’s honored poets. The masterpiece was an epic of its time, and had roots deep in literary tradition. Even though it was shocking to early Victorians, it  concerns itself with its own contemporary world — social, political, literary and ideological. We present one of the best romantic poetry verses by this great author. This is Lord George Gordon Byron’s “THY DAYS ARE DONE”.

 

Lord Byron

THY DAYS ARE DONE

by Lord (George Gordon) Byron

Thy days are done, thy fame begun;
Thy country’s strains record
The triumphs of her chosen Son,
The slaughter of his sword!
The deeds he did, the fields he won,
The freedom he restored!

Though thou art fall’n, while we are free
Thou shalt not taste of death!
The generous blood that flow’d from thee
Disdain’d to sink beneath:
Within our veins its currents be,
Thy spirit on our breath!

Thy name, our charging hosts along,
Shall be the battle-word!
Thy fall, the theme of choral song
From virgin voices pour’d!
To weep would do thy glory wrong:
Thou shalt not be deplored.

PROMPT #255 – CALLIOPE MUSIC

As we sprint through the year, it is clear we are inspired to complete the race with little trace of wear and tear on our muse (or our bodies). We’ve stepped into August as Summer rolls along and the air is strong with carnivals and county and state fairs.  (Our County Fair is in full swing at this writing). They have their own appeal. Games and food, attractions and displays, crowds and music abound. And speaking of music, you can hear live bands, and some recordings. You’ll even hear calliope music. And it is fitting for this prompt since Calliope in Greek mythology is the Muse who presides over eloquence and epic poetry.

So, here is the prompt: write a memory of one of those events (carnival, County or State fair) or of any aspect of one of those. Was there a certain ride you enjoyed/hated? A game you played or an exhibit you looked forward to seeing? A food you savored? Or did you just enjoy being out with the crowd to people watch. There is so much there from which to choose. Revive the fun and have a great time in rhyme. Meet us at the fair! We’ll see you there.

 

MARIE’S FAIR TO GOOD:

Summer Fair

“Let’s rhyme,” he says, and so I do
of summer fairs and barbeque,
with marching-band parades uptown,
and small-town smiles all around.
The carny folk that drew you in
with big stuffed prizes you could win,
but off you’d go with some cheap toy
you’d carry home, but not enjoy.
Yet nonetheless, you’ll reminisce,
and I will guarantee you this:
That you will wish you were still there:
that child at the summer fair.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

WALT’S FAIR DAZE:

FAIR GAME

Walking the tract over miles of midway,
the day starts early, ends late.
It is a great day for the Fair.
Aromas waft from the food trail,
and odors prevail near the animal barns.
Rows and rows of chickens and cows,
goats and colts and fillies.
Silly displays and a day’s worth of fun,
sore and tired feet when the day’s done.
Arts and crafts and artifacts,
historical reproductions and representations,
stations to buy and sell, hucksters from hell
and carnies fill the bill. And the games?
Bingo-like “I-Got-It” and a lot of chances
to romance her with large stuffed dust collectors.
But now of days, my chance taking comes to this,
do I want Louie’s Pizza, or a barbecue chicken dish?
Both come with a suggestion of indigestion!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

INFORM POET – LANNET

The “Lannet” is a form of sonnet, consisting of 14 lines.

There is a strict syllable count of 10 per line.

It has NO END-LINE RHYMING SCHEME.

Only internal rhyme is allowed.

There is no requirement of meter for a Lannet.

 

WALT’S LANNET:

 

HEARTS AT SEA

Two hearts afloat upon love’s endless sea,
bobbing free in currents of emotion.
There is no lake or ocean can compare
to the freedom there. Two hearts float in love.

Above is an endless sky full of stars.
Hearts navigate by their chart position,
a condition driven by the love shared.
They are spared rough tides; they ride the current.

The rough torrent cannot put them under,
it’s a wonder love keeps their heads above
water. They ought to thank their lucky stars,
they are adrift uplifting each other.

Hearts at sea are free to be. Their journey
can lead them to distant shores and much more!

 

POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM #47

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning-author Toni Morrison has passed away at age 88. Her contributions to the literary world covered over six decades and her honorariums included the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The world took comfort from Morrison’s wisdom both within the pages of her work and her inspired speeches. Here in the POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM, we honor her by featuring some of Morrison’s most stirring and powerful thoughts on various subjects including writing, art, death and love.

Toni Morrison

On Love:

You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.” —Song of Solomon, 1977

On Writing:

Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” —During her Nobel Prize speech in 1993

On Art:

Your life is already artful—waiting, just waiting, for you to make it art.” —During her Wellesley College Commencement address in 2004

On Freedom:

“If you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” —Song of Solomon, 1977

On history:

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.” —Beloved, 1987

On death:

We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” —During her Nobel Prize speech in 1993

PROMPT #254 – SECOND WIND

We’ve made it through our exercise in utility, our July P.E.O.D Memoir Chapbook Challenge. Congratulate all who stuck it out to the end and were able to pen at least one poem every other day. And a hearty “nice try” to those who gave it at least a fighting chance of completing it. I’ll post instructions for the next phase of the project soon. In the meantime, polish and revise if needed and be ready for it. Now we get back to our business as usual. Take a deep breath and get your second wind.

Everything takes an effort. Big or small, we do our best to complete the task at hand. And even if we stumble along the way, we find we can pick ourselves up and go on. We begin again, get our second wind.

So, to restart the POETIC BLOOMINGS foray into poetry, you are asked to write a “second wind” poem. What did you refuse to get the best of you? What required that little extra for you to get things done? Breathe some fresh air into your words!

MARIE’S IS NOT A BREEZE:

RUNNER’S SECOND WIND

If ever I’m coerced
to run (yet unrehearsed)
there’d be no second,
‘cause I reckon
first wind must come first.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

 

WALTS BAG O’ WIND:

THE PLEA FOR POETRY

People think I write quite prolifically,
generating poems terrifically,
but that kind of effort specifically
is taxing and takes a bit more.
And you can be sure
it takes a toll at times
and some of my rhymes 
get tired and repetitive.
And yet, poetry is my sedative,
pleasing and not competitive,
and I’ll keep writing poems as long as I live.
When poetry begs me to write,
I can keep on going all night!
(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

EXERCISE IN POETIC THOUGHT # 4

…and he keeps twisting the parameters. From your sentences from Part #1, choose one word from each sentence (that’ll give you ten words.) Use at least eight of those words in a new poem!

LINK TO EXERCISE IN POETIC THOUGHT #1

 

The words I had chosen from my sentences are: desire, touched, dangled, divide, race, tomorrow, lilting, heart, mourned, apology

 

WALT’S ENTRY:

 

TOMORROW TOUCHED

 
I offered every apology,
for I have mourned your heart
far too long. The desire was strong,
and hung dangled before my eyes.
My pulse would race,
in the memory of your face.
And my soul remains divided,
reaching to touch tomorrow,
or follow your lilting dirge.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

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