EYE OF THE BEHOLDER – PROMPT #5

Inspiration can be found wherever you look. Here is a case in point.

This provocative shot is one of many ground compositions Marie Elena’s daughter, Deanna Marie, has photographed.  None of Deanna’s photos are “staged.” She simply frames what she sees on the ground, and takes the photograph. 

What does this photo say to you?  What memory does it stir? What mood does it illicit? Is there music in its composition? Or, is there a thought it provokes?  Survey what the eye sees, and write where it carries you.

Marie Elena’s attempt:

HAIKU

apprehensively
she walks the path assigned her
softly detaching

Walt’s effort :

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Decay in increments; comes alive.
When seen through a poet’s eyes
something lies beneath the surface.
Crusted flakes of paint appear
as the fragrant petals of rebirth
when written in metered verse.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 4

We’ve come full cycle to reap the benefit of our hard work. We have amassed a good group of poets who are extremely expressive and soulful. The “Garden” is a great place to see the beauty on display. We thank all for planting your words here to grow and flourish. Now for Week #4’s “Beautiful Blooms”:

Marie Elena’s “Beautiful Bloom”:

Generally, I am most captivated by few words that say much. Kimiko Martinez’s “BLOSSOMING” is a smart example. This three-line piece sets an outdoor morning scene in my mind. The choice of “tending” terms speaks to me of care and attention, and I envision a well-manicured garden. The next line jars my location, as well as my impression. I am no longer in an outdoor garden. I am face-to-face with myself. I have become both nurturer and object. Much has stimulated my senses in only two lines. Yet, Kimiko unsettles my footing yet again with her final line, “… that does not reflect the truth.” Oh, how many meanings can be gleaned from this statement? What began for me as a physical, hands-on garden, and literal interpretation of the prompt, now has me contemplating a cosmic matter. Brilliant, Kimiko.

“Blossoming” by Kimiko Martinez

Every morning I prune and preen
in front of a mirror
that does not reflect the truth

Walt’s “Beautiful Bloom”:

We’ve all been there at one time or another. The words seem to dry up and abandon our muse. The best way to battle through is one word at a time.

This “process” is described very well in Shannon Lockard’s “Writing My (Unpublished and Maybe Unpublishable) Novel”. The comparison of writer’s block to car troubles depicts the frustration and angst inherent within. I can relate to this as well as I’m sure other poets can. Thanks Shannon.

“Writing My (Unpublished and Maybe Unpublishable) Novel” 
by Shannon Lockard

It was easy in the beginning.
The words magically appeared
in my head and ran through my
fingers to the keyboard and
jumped onto the screen.

But in the middle the words stalled,
a broken down car in the middle
of the intersection.
I looked both ways
and began to push.

Slow and steady,
pushing with all my might.
A few words beating out with each step.
Each shove building momentum
until that car really began to move
and I was running to keep up.

Each character began making
her own decisions and
I was merely recording their
lives as they unfurled.

Typing the last word felt like
winning the lottery until
I realized I was only just beginning.
Draft and draft after draft,
asking myself, “Does this make
sense? Do I need this part? Should
I change this word?”

Each decision painful.
Each drastic cut like severing a limb.
I wasn’t just the author
I lived through each character.
The story was me.

The story is me.

WEB WEDNESDAY – De Miller Jackson – Part I

The first selection for Web Wednesday is De Miller Jackson’s “Whimsygizmo.” Her voice is quite familiar here at Poetic Bloomings, as well as at Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer.
De has a great blog and a fine body of work to present there. Marie Elena conducted this interview with De to get an insight into her poetry.

***

MARIE: De, I make no apologies and no secret of the fact that I want your brain. Your ability to manipulate simple words to form captivating poetry entertains and intrigues me to no end. The piece below is one of the first that caught my eye and charmed my senses:

spin cycle

found
a dirty note
in your clean laundry
in your handwriting
addressed to not me.

(Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer, 2009 April P.A.D.)

You begin with the inspired, more-than-one-meaning title. “Found,” which is the crux of the subject matter, sits skillfully alone on the first line. You move to describe the “dirty note” in “clean laundry.” Again, use of the double meaning “dirty,” and “laundry” is so very clever. You could simply end with, “addressed to her.” Or, “not addressed to me.” But your “addressed to not me” ends this little piece of brilliance, and makes it captivatingly “De.”

1. Your word-play style (as exemplified in “spin cycle”) is unlike any other with which I am personally familiar. Is there a poet who inspires you?

First off, I wanted to say thank you to both of you for this opportunity, and your encouragement. I’m loving this bloomin’ site, and feel so privileged to be here.
Okay, poets who inspire me. Oh, so many. I’ve loved E.E. Cummings since high school. I recently picked up a tattered copy of Theodore Roethke’s “Words for the Wind” (he had me at the title), and now I’m addicted to his penchant for lush descriptions and blatant disregard for convention of phrase. I adore Sharon Creech, who writes novels, with poetry at the center of each. And maybe my absolute modern favorite is the work of pithy poet/whimsical artist Brian Andreas. He rocks. Google his name or “Story People” immediately.

2. You often write of the pain of an ended marriage. Unfortunately, you write heartache very well. Do you find pouring heart to page therapeutic?

I think a more accurate word might be necessary. I hate to think of myself as an angst poet, but the truth is simply that tears and ink tend to flow at the same time. That particular heartache was 21 years ago, but I can remember scribbling my anger onto napkins, hotel brochure margins, anything I could get my hands on. As the Goo-Goo Dolls say, “scars are souvenirs you never lose,” so it’s easy even now, in the peaceful hollow of this second-chance life of mine, to channel that pain back to the page. I definitely write best when I’m…tumbled. And I breathe best when I’m writing.

3. Do you consider yourself to be a “poet?”

Ha. That’s a tough question. Sometimes. I do like that you can be unpublished and call yourself a poet, while you’re supposedly not an “author” until you’ve sold something. I’ve always considered myself a writer, and I’ve tried my hand at poetry since I could pick up a pen…but I think the title itself comes tough sometimes. And then there are days when I’d much rather be a zookeeper, or a pirate. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but sometimes it’s infinitely harder to pick up. But I would say I’ve definitely embraced Psalm 61:8 as my chosen job description: “I’ll be the poet who sings your glory, and live what I sing every day.”

4. Your faith shines in a good deal of your writing. How much are you inspired by the praise and worship music lyrics of today? What else inspires you?

Relevant, personal praise lyrics inspire me so much. We’ve got an amazing team at our church, and they share the newest songs as well as their own original works. Actually, poetic song lyrics of any kind get my muse fired up. I love that music makes poetry digestible for the masses. Even people who say they don’t “get” poetry know a great line when they hear one. A sharp movie or TV script makes me itch to write, too. We’re currently re-watching the series Pushing Daisies, and it’s truly one of the most brilliantly written shows ever. I’m also inspired daily when I’m able to keep up with the extraordinary work that’s being shared on sites like Poetic Asides, and now this growing place.

5. Is there a specific poetic form that tickles your “whimsy”?

I was introduced to both the Fibonacci and the Shadorma through Robert’s Poetic Asides site, and I love both. I like pieces that pack a punch, in just a few words. I’m most fond of short and straight to the heart (or gut) prose. The more formal forms tend to intimidate me – just the word “sestina” makes me break out into a cold sweat. Mostly I get enamored of a turn of phrase, a spill of words rubbed together in a certain way, a way I never would have imagined.

(Continued)

WEB WEDNESDAY – De Miller Jackson – Part II

6. You have expressed desire to write for children. Do you write children’s poetry? If so, may we see a sample?

I’ve devoured Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky and others my whole life, and now share them with my kids. I have written a couple of (wildly rejected) rhyming children’s books, which are too long to share here. Even the titles are a mouthful: Wilhelmina Wendelworth and the Worrywarts, Molly Melancholy and the Mirror, and Princess Penelope and the Procrastinators. But just for fun, here’s a shorter piece:

Hippo Hoopla

The hippos are having a party,
Some merriment in the mud
Their faces are all full of mischief,
Just grinning and chewing their cud.
No one says they hippo-poto-musn’t,
And so they stay dirty all day
As they wallow and they wander,
In their hip-hip-hippo-ray way.
And when the day is over,
They take a little rest…
After making a wonderfully,
Toppy to bottomy, flip-flopopotomy
Hippo-poto-MESS!

7. We “met” in 2009 through the Writer’s Digest /Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge. How did you hear about this challenge? Was it your first “public” venue?

A good friend and fellow poetic soul, Tonya Root (now Schulte), invited me to that April’s challenge through Facebook, and it was indeed my first far-flung phrase in a long time. I shared some writing in college, and have been in a writing group for the past 15 years, but I was kind of in hiding for a while there. I’m profoundly thankful to have landed in the midst of such an incredible community of poets.

8. The name of your blog, Whimsygizmo, makes me grin. Tell us about it.

My daughter, who is as whimsical as they come, has loved the word whimsy since she could talk. A little over a year ago when I got my laptop, I knew I would name it Whimsy. The Gizmo just sort of happened, and she became Whimsy Gizmo MacIntosh the First. The blog was born soon after (thanks to my techie hubbie; I’m a hopeless technophobe). The name seemed to fit there, too.

9. Do you have plans for a book of poetry? (If so, is there a particular publisher you have in mind? Or would you consider self-publication?)

No immediate plans. The administrative side of writing both flummoxes and frustrates me. I just want to sit around and play with the pretty words. But I have recently surrounded myself with Poetic Asides inspiration (literally, right here on my desk): RJ Clarken’s “Mugging for the Camera,” Jacqueline Hallenbeck’s “Poem-atic,” Patricia Hawkenson’s “Magnetic Repulsion,” Bruce Niedt’s “breathing out,” and of course Nancy Posey’s stunning 2009 November Chapbook Challenge winner “Let the Lady Speak.” Robert’s first book “Enter” is headed my way, too. There’s just something intoxicating about the feel and smell of paper…I wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to begin, but the prospect of my own little poem book does excite me. I’m just waiting for a healthy kick of audacity, I suppose.

10. Finally, would you consider sharing your brain with me (Marie)?

It would only be fair, since you’ve shared your incredible heart so generously with me. But fair warning: it comes with quite a bit of “most mad and moonly” much of the time. Seriously, though, your encouragement means so much to me. I wouldn’t even sometimes call myself a poet if it wasn’t for the support of everyone at Poetic Asides. Poeming can be such a solo gig. We really do need each other. It’s now on my bucket list to one day share a cup of coffee with each and every one of you.

De Shares Some of Her Poetry:

Canvas
 
Paint me indigo
turquoise
cobalt
aquamarine
colors of sky and sea,
sprinkle sand at my bare feet.

Trace ink
tears
ocean
lake
along my veins,
brush eyes with sunlight.

Shade heart
with oils
of scarlet
ebony
purest white
and crimson scars still healing.

Sketch face
in colored pencil
erasable
changeable
long thin lines
waiting to be filled in.

Color me
blend-in earth tones
backdrop silhouette
with a splash of flash
pink, perhaps or periwinkle
because I like the way it tastes on my tongue.

Paint me incomplete
untitled
hues unknown
bold lines
willing heart
and then pause, unfinished, hungry brush still in hand.

*
surface tension

she is tired
of pasting on the faces
tightening the laces
of proverbial social corset,
the mumblings of
carefully weighed words
heavy in weary mouth.

she longs to
flee barefoot through roses
strike scandalous poses
of provocative social force, yet
the rumblings of
quiet quaking anger
steady her shaking hand.

she wishes
to file all masks on the shelf
just be her raw self
a profoundly flawed source, set
for tumblings of
bare phrase, true words
rare heart, real love.
 

*
stones
(a shadorma)

her own glass
house long shattered, she
piles them high
stacks her odds
nods at untruths now known, then
leaves them there unthrown.

FRUITS OF OUR LABORS – Prompt #4

The seeds that were planted are now seeing their blossoming beauty shine. The accompanying photo shows my tulips. What has your planting brought forth? What is your bloom? Write about what has flourished from your nurturing and attention. If it is an actual plant or flower, use the name as your title and write your poem. If it reaches beyond botany, write about what your work has accomplished. All our labors are worth expressing.
Marie Elena’s submission:
NURTURING SOPHIE (A Kimo)
 
She looks into my eyes, her smile blossoms,
and it becomes crystal clear
she’s flourishing with love.

Walt’s Entry:
TWO LIPS
A gentle kiss
planted, pressed flesh
in a fresh breath.
Nurturing and
caressing, expressing
the early growth of love
through the colorful flowering
of hearts in full bloom.
Two lips tasting love’s nectar
a savory sip.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 3


The poems posted for the Week #3 prompt, “From Our Fertile Muses” have continued to impress. We’re just about ready to see the fruits of our efforts as our beautiful words begin to flourish. Now, for this week’s “Blooms”:


Marie Elena’s selection – Katie Dixon’s Untitled draft:

Katie’s draft is dense with imagery, and speaks both physically and metaphorically.  “We paraded down the rows, looking only side-to-side with our wide-brimmed hats and simple pails of water” is pleasingly unpretentious in its imagery, yet hints at possible trouble on the path ahead, actually and figuratively.  I think this would be a great opening for Katie’s poem.

I am gripped by the number of lines in this short piece that stand alone as quotable words of wisdom.

 –  “Water and sun we had and we smiled, while creeping roots stole silently beneath.”

–  “But salty tears do not grow beauty from shallow soil.”

–  “Lessons hard-learned have rescued beauty from ignorance.”

This is a wonderful poem that is potentially fabulous, in my opinion.

Untitled by Katie Dixon


At first we did not notice as they wound
around our ankles, shedding them like shoes.
We paraded proudly down the rows looking only side
To side with our wide-brimmed hats and simple pails of water.

Everything we learned said everything
We’d need was water and sunshine to grow.
Water and sun we had and we smiled,
While creeping roots stole silently beneath.

And then our walks got harder.
Calves straining at the tangled vines and our backs
wondered from where they’d come as we bent
fighting to free our legs from their wicked fingers.

Turning to our flowering friends, our innocent,
wincing eyes wept, straining to find hidden faces.
But salty tears do not grow beauty from shallow soil
And good and bad swirl together in their reflective pools.

“These weeds have turned to trees!” I shout.
Grasping, tearing with rough worn hands
“We’ll never get them down.” But we let the
Never carry over into our night-long toil.

The day soon rises on straining shoulders;
Our Weathered faces speak the sun.
Pails are cast aside for buckets
And our callused feet sigh in cool, soaked soil.

Our now muscled forms tread lightly on tender,
tended earth. Knowing eyes keep careful watch
over fledglings finally free. Lessons hard-learned
have rescued beauty from ignorance.


Walt’s choice is Andrew Kreider’s “Salt”:

Andrew captured the essence of salt quite well. It adds flavor to life, but can be caustic and harmful if not taken in the right balance. The moderation he prescribes finds the right proportion.

“Life and death in each farmer’s hands” and “Helping wheat and weeds grow up together” are two lines that express this concept well. We control how much of ourselves to reveal to nurture or destroy our relationships. It brings us to a common understanding, despite our obvious differences, allowing us to grow and exist together. Freedom shared.

SALT by Andrew Kreider


It’s time to mow the grass for the first time
This spring – the tousled dandelion heads
Bobbing above great ragged waves of green.
Next to the street, the lawn is struggling,
Burned under mounds of salt thrown down by plows
Last winter. Nothing can live with that much salt.

My father told me once how they used salt
In the ancient world, as fertilizer,
Spreading it on the fields to make crops grow.
Too much salt in one place damaged the soil,
Scorched beyond use. But when spread thin it was
Golden! Life and death in each farmer’s hands.

The good book says: you are salt for the earth.
And I think of how we all get piled up
In great toxic mounds of long-lost goodness.
We poison our own back yards, when we could
Be scooped up and scattered to the fresh winds
Helping wheat and weeds grow up together.

IN-FORM POET: The Alouette


The Alouette was created by Jan Turner.

It consists of two or more stanzas of 6 lines each, with the following set rules:

Meter: 5, 5, 7, 5, 5, 7
Rhyme Scheme: a, a, b, c, c, b

“Alouette” is a French word, which means ‘skylark’, and this form is reminiscent of the lark’s song-like expression as presented here. The word ‘alouette’ can also mean “a children’s song” (usually sung in a group). This poetry form is not necessarily for children’s poetry (although can be applied that way), as it works through that style with short lines.

***

Marie Elena’s Alouette for “wee little kidlins” 
 
PETTING ZOO

Timberly tumble
Jimberly jumble
Let’s go to the petting zoo.
Wigglety wiggle
Gigglety giggle
Loads of fun things we can do!

Timberly tumble
Jimberly jumble
Feel the fluffy bunny fur.
Wigglety wiggle
Gigglety giggle
Listen to the tiger purr.

Timberly tumble
Jimberly jumble
Bottle-feed a baby goat.
Wigglety wiggle
Gigglety giggle
Screech Owl sings a high-pitched note.

Timberly tumble
Jimberly jumble
Milk a mama dairy cow.
Wigglety wiggle
Gigglety giggle
Mama says, “Be careful, now!”

Timberly tumble
Jimberly jumble
Crackers for a pretty doe.
Mumbley mumble
Grumbley grumble
Mama said it’s time to go.

Copyright © 2011 Marie Elena Good
 

Walt’s Alouette:
 
ANGEL VOICES AT DAWNING

I hear it gently,
and I mentally
take note of the lilting song.
Angel voices sing
the soundtrack of Spring.
Their chorus is loud and strong.

Morning brings their sound,
and it is around
dawn’s first light that I hear it.
A poet’s heart sees
the living beauty
within euphonic spirit.

I begin each day
the exact same way.
I am thankful for this gift.
My whispered prayer
rises through the air;
as their harmonies uplift.

 

Copyright © 2011 Walt Wojtanik


***
Try an Alouette if the muse strikes you.

WEB WEDNESDAY AND IN-FORM POET

Marie and Walt have recently announced the inclusion of Web Wednesday and In -Form Poet to augment the Weekly Sunday Prompt. These features will be posted on alternate Wednesdays. This week (May 18) will be the initial In-Form Poet, with Web Wednesday to follow on (May 25). This will allow us to gather the necessary  material of the featured poet. And don’t worry if you do not currently have a blog or URL. We will still highlight your works here.


So remember to watch for the poetic form this week on Wednesday! Show us how you people poem!

FROM OUR FERTILE MUSES – Prompt #3

We have planted our garden and have watered the seeds. The next step would be to “fertilize” the soil – from all that fertilizer can be, beauty is nurtured through its application. Think in terms of “Out of something bad, something good” or making the best of a bad situation. Write a poem that expresses how something not deemed to be the best, works out in the end better than you could have desired.
Marie Elena’s example:
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.

Sustenance (A Kyrielle)

A seed lay wilting deep within;
Its shallow roots were frail and thin.
The Gardener spoke; its soul was stirred
to feast upon God’s sovereign Word.

Its thirsty roots took hold and fed,
reached deeper down, increased, and spread.
A miracle of life was spurred
by feasting on God’s sovereign Word.

Exquisite blooms released sweet scent,
dispersing precious seeds, once spent.
Please, tender sprouts; don’t be deterred
from feasting on God’s sovereign Word.

Walt’s effort:
I HAVE A COUPON
Clip and sort;
shards of paper left to fall.
Ten cents off;
buy one; get one.
Expiration dates not heeded
until after needed.
A lot of time wasted
before the feast is tasted.
Your total savings today
is seven seventy three.
Such is our shopping spree
and me, left holding your coupons.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 2

Again, the decision process was made that much more difficult by the extreme quality of the poems posted for the Week #2 prompt, “Rhythm of the Falling Rain”. We’ve stretched the boundaries and explored new territory. “Great work!” to all of our “Gardeners. Now, for our “Blooms”:


Marie Elena’s selection – Barbara Yates Young’s   “Rough as a Cob  “:



Two Poetic Bloomings picks in as many weeks, Barbara Yates Young gets my pick for this week. “Rough as a Cob” has gusto! Barbara’s pacing whipped me right through, breathless to see what out-of-my-realm creative images the next phrase would bring. From “swearing cigarette butts and spitting out sidewalks” to “its sippy cup was surf loam” to “it ripped the roof off an old Monte Carlo, and drove that convertible into Tuscaloosa like a bat out of hell,” Barbara blows me away with this one.

ROUGH AS A COB by Barbara Yates Young

the twister rolled on;
it was old and mean, salty,
swearing cigarette butts and spitting out sidewalks.
it grew up hurricane-wild, on twice distilled gulf mist
and the evaporations of a thousand rural meth labs.
early on, its sippy cup was surf foam,
the chaff of wild oats, sea gull down; but it graduated
to slurping: tidal pools, fish, crabs,
fishermen dozing over their red and white bobbers,
pirogues, skidoos, pontoon party boats complete
with box wine coolers and kegs of coors,
barnacle-embroidered tugs
and the barges they were pushing.
when it decided to head north,
it ripped the roof off an old Monte Carlo,
and drove that convertible into Tuscaloosa like a bat out of hell,
tossing back beef jerky and dr peppers,
and littering the highway with burger king sacks,
fried peach pies, family albums, and bad checks,
leaving house parts in rows like seaweed at low tide.
as it finally petered out, its steam superseded by
cool condensation, it released three giant water slides, and
the intact brick chimney from a tiny riverbank fish camp.
a snowbird from Ontario it picked up at a peanut shack
breathes deeply, and says thank you for the ride,
but the sky is clearing blue and the twister, gone.




Walt’s choice is MiskMask’s “A Farewell to Dust”:


I love the story that this poem  tells. Goodbyes are always the hardest, and the “visual” aspect of this tale is both heart rending, yet hopeful. The rain of his past, becomes the gift that his passing brings. A rebirth in the baptism of the falling precipitation.



A FAREWELL TO DUST by Misk Mask

She thought him as ancient as marble
but that’s where comparisons end
His face weathered and rough
with whiskers that scuff when
he rubbed his cheek up against hers
 

She touched a long lingering line
carved from his nose to his chin
deep as the cracks in the field
where years ago corn used to grow
as high as the top of her head

Now dust swirls collecting in your ears
driving its way up your nose and eating
a meal means chewing on grit as it
races its way through the night
pricking and prodding at dreams

He talks to her of times long ago
stories that seem like tall-tales
of the scent of pure green
of a colour called pink
of roses and clover and rain

I remember, he’d say, the sound of rain
a sound she’d never heard for herself
He said it was a sound like that clown’s
flat-soled, over-sized shoes, the one that
chased her as she ran from its reach

I remember, he’d say, the sound of rain
pounding the top of my head cooling my skin
after a long hard day’s work. It pounded
like a hammer on soap, he’d say, and it’d make you
bend over and hide from its weight

But now only dust and wind filled the air
the clouds emptied of everything but dust
There was no rest for him here, so God called him
back home, a dark day when the sound of rain falling
was once again heard as they all cried their final farewells.