I have thoroughly enjoyed this peek at the favorite of your favorites. A wide range of inspiration and thought provocation. The quality level continues to rise making this task both enjoyable and taxing. But we have made our decisions. So without further delay:

Marie’s choice:

This week, I chose Kim King’s “Poetry Reading,” inspired by a line from Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry”:

“But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.”

Don’t you just love it? What a line!
Kim’s “Poetry Reading” is well planned. It tells a story, complete with relatable characters. She raised my level of discomfort, and made me squirm in my seat as though I was back in junior high. In the first two couplets, Kim manages to introduce us to the personality of the author of the love letter. These lines are absolutely dense with tell-tale description: “scratched in ink, some smears along the margins,” “folded words,” “loops of L’s and O’s in Bic he borrowed,” (that is my favorite!) “Rhyming words with silly pleas,” and “figures sketched to make her smile” … all help us get inside his head, and endear him to us. Using only a handful of couplets, Kim weaves her love story, while showing us what poetry is all about.
Kim, you should feel very special, being chosen among such splendid work this week !

Poetry Reading

By Kim King

The lines he wrote were scratched in ink, some smears
along the margins. Folded words he penned

to her with loops of L’s and O’s in Bic
he borrowed. Rhyming words with silly pleas

to never leave him, figures sketched beside
his poem drawn to make her smile. That note

he wrote in English class when Mr. Hughes
was teaching sonnets, verse and metered feet

while tapping beats, “da, Dum, da, Dum da, Dum.”
He slipped the page across the aisle to Joe

who passed it––Hughes then grabbed the note and read
the poem. Mouths agape, they stared at both

who blushed and shook while Hughes kept reading all
to twenty kids who did not move or hear

a single word. The fate of couplets, verse
and trochees lost in fear and horror shared.

The lesson learned, the note returned, the class
then left the room. His poem shared, he bowed

his head and dropped the note into the trash.
She pulled it out and pressed his fragile words

into her breast. She hid that note inside
her book. The poem fresh, she breathed his verse.


Walt’s honoree:

Well, it had to happen sooner of later. I had scrutinized the wonderful works this week, and while waiting for Marie’s selection had made my decision. SO in fairness, I will congratulate my first choice, Kim King for wowing Marie and me with Poetry Reading.
But I will choose another of these equally impressive works.
In this piece, the imagery is abstract but hauntingly familial. Our daily struggle to find who we are and from whence we came plays itself out in this work by one of my favorite poets in his own right, Daniel Ari.


Playing Favorites offering by Daniel Ari

“When I pray for you, I also pray for myself.”

this kid pierces me though
turns my body to flash fire
a feral look beyond rage
and i can’t be sure what species
we belong to
the bear or the beetle
something that eats its young
or destroys its sire

in that accusation
is the crucible of years
the deadly kung fu
of unappeasable caterwaul
and the reason after reasons flee
impulse before libraries of wisdom
surrender of shedding live skin

sure as any animal is chemical
adrenaline will not let me sleep
i need a new lair
i need a medicinal berry
or for the moon to set

and in the morning
this kid runs balm through me
a beatific smile beyond cosmic
and i’m still not sure what species
we belong to
the bear or the beetle
something that carries its young
to the only safe corner of the ocean
or something whose only program
is to nourish its queen
with morning honey


Congratulations Kim and Daniel for your Week #7 Beautiful Blooms.