POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

PLAYING FAVORITES – PROMPT #7

Take your favorite line, from your favorite poem, by your favorite poet. Make that line the inspiration and title of your poem. Shine a fresh new light and write.

Marie Elena’s effort:

What sort of poet has a difficult time choosing between Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky … and King David? I finally chose King David, who truly is the ultimate praise poet. I have so many favorite lines from his psalms, but must say that I am partial to De Jackson’s life-motto: From Psalm 61, a psalm of David: “And I’ll be the poet who sings your glory – and live what I sing every day.” This has become my own personal daily prayer as well. Several of the psalmist’s expressed feelings found their way into my sonnet, below.

AN IMPERFECT POET

My Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.
In Him, I live and breathe, and take delight.
Yet, even though I’m awed and stand amazed,
My hollow words do not reflect His might.

How regal is Your name in all the earth!
Lord, who am I, that You would care for me?
Creator of my heart before my birth,
I long for it to be a light for Thee.

Now, “may the meditation of my mind,
And words upon my lips,” as David urged,
“Be pleasing in Your sight,” and may You find
Offensive ways concealed in me, now purged.

Imperfect poet, bound in mercy’s frame,
I seek to daily lift Your sacred name.

Walt’s Week # 7 Poem:

My favorite poem from one of my favorite poets is “A Man In His Life” by Yehuda Amichai. In it there is this line:

“A man doesn’t have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.”

WHEN HE LOVES HE BEGINS TO FORGET

Her face retains some semblance
of familiarity, a rarity these days.
He says he can recall a time when
she was his sunshine on a cloud filled sky,
but he cannot remember her name.
The smile is soft and comforting,
yet he doesn’t know why she smiles.
“Have you seen my wife?” he asks,
confused by her tears. “She was just here.”
Her head lowers to the bed in sobs.
A hand reaches to comfort and caress.
“Dear, don’t cry. I love you,” he states
“but, what is your name?”

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38 thoughts on “PLAYING FAVORITES – PROMPT #7

  1. Oops. Apparently, I didn't follow our rules very well. My title doesn't fit the prompt instructions. BAD host. Tsk, tsk, tsk.(Since I'm out here, I just gotta say that I'm in love with Walt's poem. Wow.)

  2. I like almost all of Charles Bukowski's work.This one is called "Are You Drinking?"'Something iswalking across thefloortowards me.Oh,it's justmy catthis time.'Last timeit was myexwho hadbeen livingunder my deskfortwo yearsunbeknownto meRose Black

  3. Marie…what sort of poet? MY sort of poet! All my faves, as well! Loooove your poem. (Yours too, Walt.) Off to try to pen my own…

  4. You do well this morning, Marie and Walt, to bring me to tears so early in the day. I'll be back later, I promise.And Happy Sunday to you, sweet Marie.

  5. Live Like ChildrenAge saw two quiet childrenGo loving by at twilight*Holding hands and skippingTwas quite a lovely sightWithout a care or worryOver looming senescenceThey hit the ground a'rollingIn earth’s field of innocenceUntil they set their eyes aboveReveled in the moment’s handMade wishes on stars fallingReveled in God’s mighty land*Carpe Diem by Robert Frost “Age saw two quiet children Go loving by at twilight,”

  6. Marie, you inspired me to go a less traditional route… If I could group hymnwriters as my favorite "poets" and old-time hymns as my favorite "poems," then one I like especially is "Be Still, My Soul" by Ka­tha­ri­na A. von Schle­gel.This poem is inspired by the fourth line of the second stanza: "All now mysterious shall be bright at last."BRIGHT AT LASTSomedaywe shall flee this clouded world,throw off our dingy cloaks of sorrow likepenniless strangers no longer destitute,dissolve the filth of our tears in perfection.And we,who now walk homeless on this earth,shall keep mansions in cities of gold, alluncommonly crafted, and we shall liveeternally at home with the eternal Life,In whoseradiance will flee shadowed imperfection,drab fragments made whole, dimmed soulsenlightened by sun-surpassing glory, andall now mysterious shall be bright at last.

  7. The last line there should be in quotes, as it's taken directly from the original hymn.

  8. Here is one from a favorite poet of mine, Cesar Vallejo.To My Brother Miguel In MemoriamBrother, today I sit on the brick bench of the house,where you make a bottomless emptiness.I remember we used to play at this hour, and mamacaressed us: "But, sons…"Now I go hideas before, from all eveninglectures, and I trust you not to give me away.Through the parlor, the vestibule, the corridors.Later, you hide, and I do not give you away.I remember we made ourselves cry,brother, from so much laughing.Miguel, you went into hidingone night in August, toward dawn,but, instead of chuckling, you were sad.And the twin heart of those dead eveningsgrew annoyed at not finding you. And nowa shadow falls on my soul.Listen, brother, don't be latecoming out. All right? Mama might worry.

  9. Oh my. I'm awed by your works so far. If these first few are any indication, choosing only one to highlight is going to be nearly impossible. Elizabeth, I believe this is your best so far, and I've seen excellent work come from your "pen" at P.A. Hugs to you, Clauds. =)De, your 3 favorites as well? No surprise there!

  10. "Are you – Nobody – too?"In a house full of children the answer is always the same.Nobody did it, saw it, or heard itand this drives their parents insane."Are you – Nobody – too?" is a line from Emily Dickinson's wonderful poem "I'm Nobody! Who are You?"Trying to Read the Face of My FatherA man of few words, I began reading my father's face when I teetered just knee-high.Gauging the safety of the environment by themovements of his deep brown eyes.One of my favorite novels written in poems is The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith. The book is for middle grades. The line "trying to read the face of my father" is from the poem "Photo Op" found in this moving book.

  11. Let him be rich and weary, that at least,/ If goodness lead him not, yet weariness/ May toss him to my breast. George Herbert—The PulleyRich and WearyLife is a mixed bag, a weaving, a tossed salad of good and bad.So many blessings!Miraculous bodies,Beautiful creation to explore,Friends and family,Technological wonders!And yet, life can be so miserable, full of pain and trouble. In the good times, let’s run to Himand give Him praise and thanksgiving,so when it’s time to seek Him for His help, peace and comfort,we will know the wayand be familiar with His voice.

  12. Elizabeth- Absolutely breath-taking!Shannon- 'Nobody' hangs around my house, too.I added to mine. Here's the link to my poetry blog if you're interested.http://lkharris-kolp.blogspot.com/2011/06/live-like-children.html

  13. Well, poetry lovers, school is out and I am back. Love this site, have kept up on my reading, but just not able to write and post very often.One of my favorite poems is by Billy Collins called "Introduction to Poetry." I love it because he describes how a poem should or should not be read, implying that teachers kill poetry by trying to get students to get the meaning out of words, rather than just enjoying the beauty of the poem.Here's the line:"But all they want to dois tie the poem to a chair with ropeand torture a confession out of it."Poetry ReadingThe lines he wrote were scratched in ink, some smearsalong the margins. Folded words he pennedto her with loops of L’s and O’s in Biche borrowed. Rhyming words with silly pleasto never leave him, figures sketched besidehis poem drawn to make her smile. That notehe wrote in English class when Mr. Hugheswas teaching sonnets, verse and metered feetwhile tapping beats, “da, Dum, da, Dum da, Dum.”He slipped the page across the aisle to Joewho passed it––Hughes then grabbed the note and readthe poem. Mouths agape, they stared at both who blushed and shook while Hughes kept reading allto twenty kids who did not move or heara single word. The fate of couplets, verseand trochees lost in fear and horror shared.The lesson learned, the note returned, the classthen left the room. His poem shared, he bowedhis head and dropped the note into the trash.She pulled it out and pressed his fragile words into her breast. She hid that note insideher book. The poem fresh, she breathed his verse.Kim King

  14. Wow, some amazing poems already… Laurie & Marie, thanks SO much for your encouragement!Marie, love the final couplet of yours.Walt, your poem brought tears to my eyes- and that doesn't happen easily!Laurie, enjoyed your response, especially the revision on your blog.Connie, a favorite poet of mine as well, and enjoyed the truth in your take on his words.

  15. Here's Jane Shlensky's poem for today:Heart Leaps The storm swept in that sunny afternoonfat drops joined by hail stoneswashing down the parking lotto overflowing gutters.Then lightning crackingand something strange thatwe had never seen—rolling fireamong the hail stones.My students rushed to see,calling to me over their shoulders,quick or you’ll miss it,but it lasted too long foreven the most carefree among us,balls of lightning rollingamong the cars, fear tighteningthe muscles in my chest,my heart pounding. And then, like a switch thrown,the rain stopped but for latent mist,and sun beamed brighter than before,a challenge to other weather elements.I headed home searching the skiesfor rainbows, so keen my needthat I very nearly ran head-on intoanother lane of traffic.No one would have known or caredthat I needed a rainbowthat I dearly hoped my heart eased,to leap with joy, with beautyto behold, to smilethat this familiar prism of naturemight yet win the day.Shaken by my near miss, remindedof the speed with which life can changeforever, I drove on weightedwith a new understanding of time andmortality, when there it was,shimmering with color,arched above the river,perfect as a domed gateway to grace,my entry into “natural piety.” From Wordsworth’s “My Heart Leaps Up”, 1807“My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky:So was it when my life began;So is it now I am a man;So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die!The Child is father of the Man;And I could wish my days to beBound each to each by natural piety.”

  16. The line (and subsequent title of my poem) "To be or not to be, what's the big diff?" is from Dean Young's poem, "Enter Fortinbras." It is a wonderful poem from a wonderful poet. There are even videos of him reading this particular poem (along with other poems) on YouTube. Anyway, that is the inspiration. Here is the poem:"To be or not to be, what's the big diff?"How strange it is to arrive somewherewearing the same body but feeling as if you had new armoror were looking out from behind the eyes of an unrecognizable salamander,our lives cursed and blessed with momentsof self awareness and self realization.It took 25 years to learn to difference between be and will be,between living and living. For some it takes even longeror never occurs at all. Who wouldn't want to be a hummingbird humming and birding near the feeder on the back deck,or any one of the 16 Eastern Goldfinches eyeing the ceramic monkeyunconcerned about their financial securityor how they would go about their sobriety today?We're all alone and not alone. The storm was so small you could see both ends of it in the backyard,its roar bigger than its puppy nip,but hey, someone has to bring the thunder. You don't need a clueor don't need to look for thembecause you are not entrusted with the mystery. The darkened clouds come and gobut they do not darken the world.

  17. Henry Reed's "Naming of Parts" is sad and funny and sly and sexy. I keep coming back to it.Nathan Gatewelder Longs for Spring"which in our case we have not got"Nathan Gatewelder put away childish thingsbecame a member in good standing, an adultwith sensible shirts and foolish ones, and a dog,white with brown splotches, who came whenever called.But, in the summerNathan longed for springHe moved from an apartment to a brick housewith an attached garage, a green lawn mower,a small maple tree with fringed plum copper leaves,and an attic filled with someone else's past.And in the winter Nathan longed for springNathan built a deck with a stone-lined fire pit,a chiminea, and a big propane grill.He invited friends from work to parties,and married a woman with two small children.Yet, still, in the fallNathan longed for springwhen life is restlessand carbonatedand a man may beexcused for wantingto stand in the windholding a red kite.

  18. (Hey! Cool, no verification code)kiss, kiss

  19. “When I pray for you, I also pray for myself.”                                     —Mirabaithis kid pierces me thoughturns my body to flash firea feral look beyond rageand i can’t be sure what specieswe belong tothe bear or the beetlesomething that eats its young or destroys its sirein that accusationis the crucible of yearsthe deadly kung fu of unappeasable caterwauland the reason after reasons fleeimpulse before libraries of wisdomsurrender of shedding live skinsure as any animal is chemicaladrenaline will not let me sleep i need a new lairi need a medicinal berryor for the moon to setand in the morningthis kid runs balm through me a beatific smile beyond cosmicand i’m still not sure what specieswe belong tothe bear or the beetlesomething that carries its young to the only safe corner of the oceanor something whose only programis to nourish its queenwith morning honeyDAPS: Marie and Walt, thanks hugely for the prompt. It opened the cork for me today. I'm feeling a lot of fondness, respect and friendship for you both.

  20. ‘Twixt Those That LoveThat most perplexing of math, in the beginning,charmed us, as we two became one flesh.And sure enough, we clung to each other’s heartlike second skin, flesh to flesh by night,staying within sight once we reached homeafter days that passed in their usual humdrum way.Can we account for spaces in our togethernessthen, surely more than the Prophet prescribed?We might retrace our steps, flip back pagesyear by year, to learn when our walkwayfirst began to resemble eggshells, when talkhedged on uncertainty or fell dully silent.No bitter seed has grown there; of that I am sure.What I fear almost more is that hollow spaceneither you, nor me, nor us, bridging the distancegrowing where it ought not, ‘twixt those that love.an excerpt from a favorite:"My words are nearly always an offense.I don't know how to speak of anythingSo as to please you. But I might be taught,I should suppose. I can't say I see how.A man must partly give up being a manWith womenfolk. We could have some arrangementBy which I'd bind myself to keep hands offAnything special you're a-mind to name.Though I don't like such things 'twixt those that love.Two that don't love can't live together without them.But two that do can't live together with them."–from “Home Burial” by Robert Frost

  21. Oh, my, such marvelous verse here already. I feel positively overwhelmed by the expertise shown by everyone.I will post mine piece anyway. I hope all enjoy it.This is a favorite of mine from Maya Angelou’s poem “Touched by An Angel”"We Are Weaned From Our Timidity""We are weaned from our timidity"When encouragement flowsFrom those who would see us blossom,Ever displaying petals of bright colors,Petals of meaning which catch the eyeAnd touch the heart with a palette from love.For when our lives become open for othersTo appreciate, to honor, to share without fear,"We are weaned from our timitdity."

  22. Taking my cue from Marge Piercy’s poem title: “To have without holding”To have and to holdTo have and to hold, from this day forward,For better, for worse… Glowing words utteredHaltingly, like lines from a high school play,Learned by heart, yet still alien. TodayIs a necessary burden, offeredTo assuage the desires of well-manneredSociety. A photo-op preparedWith eight-by-tens for all to take away To have and to holdForever. But in truth, what just occurredIn this place, the flowers, lace, high-collaredDress, unity flame, champagne toast, DJ,First dance, are but the entrance toll they payFor life to which they have not yet matured To have and to hold.

  23. This week, you have all added to my reading list. Not only do I want to be sure to read what everyone is writing, but now I want to go back and read the works that inspired each poem.Kim K., it's funny that you see "Introduction to Poetry" as what teachers want to do to poetry. As the instructor, it's my students who want me just to tell them what the poem means and what they need to know for the test. I love the potential ambiguity of poetry, the way it speaks to us all in such a variety of voices.

  24. Nancy, that is not a bad idea. I intend to do the same and get (re)acquainted with these pieces and their authors. Loving the work here recently more than I have said. Thanks to all for making this an enjoyable and enlightening endeavor. Walt.

  25. Abou spoke more low, But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then, Write me as one who loves his fellow men."Abou Ben Adhem loved his fellow menbut they didn't have internet forums then.For if they had I'm certain of thishe'd have been on a number of lists,and on them all he would have been firstbut alphabetically not as best or worst.

  26. “What would you say to me, if you could talk to me. You could ask anything, I wouldn’t mind. But you’re okay with this damaging awkwardness. So, I’ll just play it safe and keep it inside. Boys don’t cry. I used to hold your hand so tight there was no question, but now even when your near, I’ve never felt so alone.“ We made plans. Plans that stated we would beat the odds we were given. We were to never become like our parents. To maintain our childhood innocence and never give up. Marry with a family not to be broken up by divorce or an unloving marriage. When did drugs, smoking and drinking become yet another answer? You walk around missing the point of your walk. You walk so tall and fearless on the outside, but I see you. I see how scared you are. We were always going to be there for each other. I need you. Do you need me? Am I worth your change? When will you admit to yourself your lose and accept your imperfections? Your imperfect as am I, but we still need to strive for the perfection given inside. We were made out to be mistakes. we weren’t given a fair start in this world. So, yes it is a little harder, and we have to strive, and work harder. But why won’t you? I know it is easier to say I give up and walk away. I hold my hand out to you. I pray for you day in, day out, just awaiting your arrival back to our Father. I love you with the heart I have, but I need you back, I need you to wake up. I don’t know how much longer I can get hurt. How much longer I can sit on the sidelines waiting and watching our plan just crumble, fade into what you call your life. Today I make my own plan. I will beat the crappy odds given to me, with flying colors. I will use you as an example. An example of the choices you have made and decide to do the opposite. I won’t drink, I won’t smoke. My life will be what we wanted, because I owe it to me, I owe it to God, and I owed it to you. You want to protect me. But all your doing is hurting me. I will always be there for you, but now it’s time I protect myself, I will build a wall between you and I. My fear is you won’t notice the wall I’ll build, you’ll forget our plans and won’t come back. I wish it meant as much to you as me. Until it does I’m left to just pray that you will once again return. “Friend, I don’t know where you are and I don’t know where you‘ve been. Maybe you’re fighting for your life or just about to throw the towel in, but if you’re crying out for mercy, if there’s no hope left at all. If you’ve given everything you’ve got and you’re still about to fall. Well hold on!” Citation First quote: Boy's don't cry-Plumb Second quote: Always- Building 429

  27. So much talent out here, and such a variety of styles and personalities. Daniel Ari, thanks so much for the kind comment. It pleases me greatly to have your talent included at our humble site. "Dreamer," it is WONDERFUL to have you join us! Everyone, she is one of the many sweethearts from our church youthgroup. Good stuff, hon. Keep 'em coming. 😉

  28. Michael Grove said:The Lord is My ShepherdI shall want not nothing moreand shed earthly pain.The Lord is my shepherdHe has healed me again.I lay down in green pastures.By still waters I rest.The Lord is my shepherd.I am at my best.He leadeth me rightlyin His names sake.The Lord is my shepherd.He will not forsake.Though I walk thru the valleyI have no more fears.The Lord is my shepherd.Rod and staff comfort tears.He prepares me a table,oil anoints my head.The Lord is my shepherd.Praise each word of Psalms read.Good and mercy shall follow.My cup runneth over.I shall dwell in His houseforever and ever.By Michael GroveCopyright 6/15/2011~and~ King David – 10th century BC

  29. Michael Grove said:Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day?Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?I see the parallels in every way.Your eyes are brighter than the burning sun.You gaze thru my windows here with each one.Your smile is a warm breeze out of the West.Filling my heart up with vigor and zest.Your lips are for kissing like warm raindrops.When our lips meet my heart truthfully stops.There’s nothing more grand than tip of your nose.I melt in heat as I glance at your toes.I live for thee Summers’ vision with grace.The solstice in you lights up my dim face.When in your absence. My personal plight.I wait in darkness. A cold moonless night.By Michael Grove

  30. I agree with "What kind of poet?" LOL. Silverstein and King David. Now that's my kind of poetry.

  31. As Marie, I am most inspired by the Psalmists. Psalm 1 may have been written by David or his son Solomon. I lean toward the latter, as it reads so much like the Proverbs he penned.Psalm 1Blessed is the manwho does not walk in the counsel of the wickedor stand in the way of sinnersor sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD,and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water,which yields its fruit in seasonand whose leaf does not wither.Whatever he does prospers. A Tree Planted by Streams of Water(a poem to my husband)Every being is created to flourish, despite the end result.Surroundings, nourishment and choices contributeto the strength, stamina and sustainability of the subject.You have chosen the right path, the right counsel, the right Leader to follow. You are a flourishing treeplanted by streams of water, yielding much fruit.All who venture near your shadow find comfort, refuge, Godly counsel. A shelter for your children, a strong tower for your mate. No withering leaves, prospering for eternity!~Kellyhttp://livingfourreal.blogspot.com/

  32. One of my favorites: “may my heart always be open to littlebirds who are the secrets of livingwhatever they sing is better than to knowand if men should not hear them men are old” — E.E.CummingsThis Is My WishMay my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living; may I never not see the amazing acrobatic antics of chickadees and hummingbirds, the happyflap-glide flight pattern of finches;may I noway not glory in the graceful swerve and swoop of swallows, nor ever fail to be bemused by co-mingling of formal raiment and nasal horn of nuthatches, nowise omit to marvel over multi-lingual mockingbirds, or disremember to delight in sweet dawn song of robins, and innocent, incessant beg & badger of peckish fledglings; this is my wish: may I always be young enough that my eyes and my ears and my heart are ever openand so, too, may you PSC

  33. I suppose it's better late than never. Here is my poem, which I also used for the "in-form" post (among others! …click here if you want to read the process notes: Catching Up).Plans and dreams unmet, our future slipping through my fingers.A brick wall, when viewed differently, could really be the next step.I welcome God’s words: “For I know the plans I have for you…”~Paula

  34. Choose a favourite poet?Impossible, there are so many.Marie and Walt come close.

  35. Aww shucks … thanks, Viv!

  36. Kelly, yours made me tear up. I love you guys so much.

  37. Ooops! Looks like I can't follow directions. :-O Guess my title should be something like: "May My Heart Always Be Open". I'll try to read the instructions better next time! Sorry! ;-)PSC

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