All of life falls vaguely under one of these categories. Write your poem with one of these aspects as your inspiration. Be as literal as you wish, or take them to extremes.

It could be a person, pet, a wild beast, Sasquatch…
It might be asparagus, a fern, bread mold…
Possibly something from the periodic table, table salt, or **BLING**

If it grows, breathes or carries its weight, make it rhyme.

Marie’s Sweet Children’s Poem:

NONNA’S CHERRY TREE (A poem for children)

A limb that’s low enough for me,
Lifts me up so I can see
Nonna, picking sugar peas,
Apron blowing in the breeze.

A comfy spot to read my book
Overlooks a lively brook,
Where the water froths and foams,
Tadpoles scurry to their homes.

In a hollowed knot, I spy
Rotting wood, and ants that fly.
Up above, I spot a nest.
Momma bird fights off a pest.

Cherries, juicy-ripe and sweet,
Some for baking; some to eat
Just-picked with my own two hands,
Dropping into metal pans.

Oops! I find a worm in one
That’s when I decide I’m done.
So, I climb down from my spot;
Dump my cache from pans to pot.

Nonna helps me carry them,
Then I help her pit and stem.
Next, I help my Nonna bake
Cherry pie; black forest cake.

Nonna lets me spend the night,
Tucks me in, and says, “Sleep tight!”
Then I dream I’m flying free,
Smiling down on Nonna’s tree.

(Note from Marie Elena: Though this poem is make-believe, it was inspired by my own Nonna’s cherry tree, which was quite special to all of us grandchildren.)

Walt’s Elegy:


Your place marking time,

I trace your name with a finger

and linger long in thoughts of you all.

I miss you and ache greatly for it.

But it is the way life transpires.

I never tire from coming to spend

a moment with you; a minute, an hour…

I water the flowers we had planted here,

as you had always done for your parents

who lay next to you. And you two together,

a forever shared in the embrace of Him who made

us all. He had called you all home. Leaving me

to roam between these stones of marble and granite

marking this time; my words marking this place

until we are all face-to-face in the renewed Light of Love above.

My heroes all in one spot and a lot of love still remains.

(Waltz Notes: I have finally gotten my chapbook, WOOD, into the hands of all my siblings and they were astonished by its honesty, weight and heart – their words, not mine. I visited the cemetery this afternoon and spent time reading it aloud to the people who mattered the most. A nerdy thing to do, I know, but something I needed to do. WOOD lives on, as do my parents and grandparents in these heartfelt words.)

43 thoughts on “ANIMAL, VEGETABLE OR MINERAL? – Prompt #12

  1. An exceptional piece even for you, Walt. And not "nerdy" at all, but an entirely lovely and heartwarming moment in time. I have to wonder how you made it through your reading. Bless your heart.

  2. MatterI have touched mist. I know that freedom is only as limited as your perception of freedom. I too have been told secrets by seashells. I have been the body inside the coffinat a viking burial,the one burned with alcoholand the one inside the car right before the explosion. Goodbye again. It's not the disappearingbut the reappearing that hurts. Your wrist now clicks.Up close everything is chaos. You haven't called the lagoon in years.It has much less to do with the waterfallthan with how you arrive at the waterfall.If you concentrate you can taste it.Some never get there,some never leave.I think that's what Carver was trying to saybefore he died. Can you see where we're going?

  3. I chose "animal." Here is my poem:ANIMALSPEEKtoday i loosened my tongueto animalspeektalked in the lingoof the winged and the pawedcooed and barkedmeowed with kittensbasking in the shadeof a tree birded with sparrowstoday i let myself gointo animalspeekwhere thoughts camesparking in a filamented highway of neuronsvoweled and consonantedfar from human lines we tow in our talkbut send animals into hidingtoday i said "No words today"only animalspeekthe growls the cawsthe chirps the whistlesthe engine feline purrings the panting canine tonguesi will string no letters into wordsno words into human-life sentences no people voicetoday in the yard dogs and cats and birdsand i gatheredto animalspeekthe time of daynot to gossip or complainnor curse a way of lifeinstead in animalspeekwe rooted for the caterpillarcrawling up the stem to the cup of an opened daisy #

  4. Love the song in your cherry tree, M; W: you can think it nerdy, but I call it a grand idea, and envy you a depth of connection that excludes time.AnimalI, a concept,hear you, another.And I have heard music, and anger, tenderness, gaity;smelled victory, and trouble;tasted freedomfelt shame and hate, absence, joy;seen progress, ugliness, grandeur;possessed and lived in both house and home,and also lived in sin and poverty.I have wasted time and opportunity, childhood; lost innocence; known friendship and love.

  5. just getting warmed up with a little silliness. I hope to write another, taking time to polish it. Perhaps a vegetable poem.OkapiYou're like no other, yet try your hand at being a few.The coloring of your back in a reddish-brown hueReminds me of a squirrel or fox or mink.Is that what you want me to think?Yet, those black and white striped legs you possessResemble a zebra going to the ball in a reddish-brown dress.I must laugh at that silly thought and wonder if youConsidering yourself the animal comedian of the zoo.Now, if we overlooked the color and just consider the furPerhaps you want us all to falsely concurThat you are some sort of thin, confused polar bearSince your oily coat repels water from each and every hairAnd your tongue is blue like a polar's or chow chowbut much, much longer—and my, oh, my, how!That sucker is 35 cm long and pointy, too,Like a chameleon who sharpened his to spear fly stew.However, the male of your species give you away.With the ossicones they so proudly displayIt's apparent the giraffe is in your family tree.All your pretending just can't fool me.Though maybe it is not me who is the fool.Maybe you really think you are a bear-zebra-mule.Perhaps the mix and match body parts involvedGive you an identify crisis waiting to be resolved.

  6. Like gargantuan gray yams,tapered to a paddle-shaped tailtwo flippers in front,snout that looks like it ran into a brick walleyes like two deep holesa mouth formed in frown,as if they were once princes and princessescursed to drift about underwater as Manatees.

  7. I Could Never Own a PigSmoky bacon frying in its own delicious fat.Crisping to perfection isthe most important step.Once the fatty goodness is rendered down quite well,it's time to create a fabulousand oh so scrumptious meal.Crumble it on salador add to Brussels sprouts.It will make any veggie tastier,on this I have no doubt.Pile it high on sliced bread and add a tomato or two,or wrap it around some scallops,your taste buds will be thankful for you.Eat it plain with breakfastor dip in maple syrup.Sprinkle on top of donutsand your kids will surely adore it.Dice it, wrap it, eat it alonethe variations never end.So, I'll never keep a pig for a pet,I could never eat one of my friends.

  8. Do You Hear the Distant Cry?Emerald is the illusion set before mine eyesin a field of growing life that swaysto the rhythm of slapping wind.From this balcony flap is the world’sclosed mind. I observe a game of pantomimewhere leaves of willow trees are arms that waveas celestial spirits preach divine understandingin this growing void of human disregardwhile ominous fertile grounds rejoicein meditative peace, hope, and love.Yet pollution jostles the air I breatheas Mother Earth’s choir sings praise on highburning incense is the smoke that fills the airwith bones dissolved through war’s endless cry:why can’t we be this field of green?

  9. The Teacher’s Cat-The Teacher’s Cat is an adjective game I play with students based on the old Scottish parlour game “The Minister’s CatThe teacher’s cat is an adorable cat,the teacher’s cat is a beautiful cat,the teacher’s cat is a Charlie cat.Charlie sat and looked and looked and looked,all day every day Charlie looked at the outside world,where he used to live.He purred round the teacher’s legs as he worked,he snuggled and slept on the teacher’s bed as the teacher slept,he ate and played with his friend when it suited,but mostly he looked out the windowand deep down inside the teacher knew.The teacher’s cat is a delightful cat,the teacher’s cat is an elegant cat,the teacher’s cat is a furry cat,the teacher’s cat is a garden cat.A simple error with a door and Charlie was house bound no more,he went back to the garden where he was young,he called back now and again but never did enter in,his wild side had won through,there was nothing for the teacher to do.The teacher’s cat is a hopeless cat,the teacher’s cat is an independent cat,the teacher’s cat is a jumping cat,the teacher’s cat is a kindly cat,the teacher’s cat is a lonely cat,the teacher’s cat is a magnificent cat.For many long months he lived alone,fed each day by a friend in need,a friend indeedand plans were made for future times,twice he was brought home,only to leave again.The teacher’s cat is a naughty cat,the teacher’s cat is an outside cat.Hope rises as a home is found,charitable friends of the feline form,will take the homeless wanderer away,to foreign climes where he will have a door that opens,a garden to play in, to laze in and a bed to sleep and dream in:the teacher’s cat is passported cat.The teacher’s cat is a quiet cat,the teacher’s cat is a runaway cat,the teacher’s cat is a sneaky cat,the teacher’s cat is a travelling cat.He boards the van, caged again,not knowing his fate,not content in his confinement,not hoping for freedom,the teacher’s cat is an unhappy cat.The teacher’s cat is a vagabond cat,the teacher’s cat is a wild cat,the teacher’s cat is xenophobic cat,the teacher’s cat is a yowling cat,the teacher’s cat is a Zydeco cat – danse-toi!And so a new life begins on German soil with doors wide openand the food bowl fulland a warm bed when he wants it and a garden when he doesn’t,the teacher’s cat is an absent cat,but absence makes the heart grow fonderand still he is missedand still he is thought of,but his happiness is paramountand tears are wiped away with a smile, even thoughthe teacher’s cat is not a teacher’s cat.Iain

  10. Midnight PumpkinsOctober in a coffee cup,spicy sweet scent of cinnamon,dash of nutmeg, swirl of cream,taste of cozy fireplaces, colored leaves,warming taste-buds, infusing hearts,late night laughter with friends.November swirled on flaky pastrycrumbling on the lips, savory smooth,buttery and sweet on the tongue,bite-size morsels of a harvest moon,full-bodied cornucopia of flavors,comfort of family seasoned with love.

  11. DIET MASTER, ALPHA DOGMy hands filled with beans and berries,I march across the mirrored stageof middle life, obsessed with myhairless animality. I even projectmy vanity on the family dog. Downthe stairs I bolt, convinced that I heara plate of eggs scraping acrossthe kitchen floor.- David W

  12. This poem is from Jane Shlensky. Great work, Jane!MANGROVEWe can notlive without the Salt of the earth,but waterfresh and clear dilutes the tidesof blood’s oceans.Sea-born butland-fed, our bodiesdon’t forget the need to live in both fresh and brinydepths of confluence.What happymangrove miraclethat this treesends its longspeared seeds to sprout in salineswamp, to purge water.Perhaps, likemangroves, we must learnthe way to purify what would kill us, renderingall elements good.

  13. Water d r  i   p    s and flowsand fills         t         u         b         e         s            flowwhich over/        then           d            r             i              pand flowand fill flasks,then bulbsas the rhythm of timemoved forward,relentlessly forwarduntil it is full.Then it drainsand begins to fillitself again.* The water clock in this piece is at the Indianapolis Children's Museum, which we visited last week. If you'd like to see a photo of the clock, I'll post one, along with this poem, at my blog (

  14. I wrote this for the Sunday Whirl wordle prompt, and Paula suggested I post it here since it fit this prompt as well:HummingbirdEmeraldwings flapin divine rhythm,tiny bones propellingjeweltone body intothe celestial voidabove bouganvillea’d balcony,wing wind jostling blossoms,tiny flier observingneverending pantomime illusionof overcoming ominousextinction.© 2011 Traci BonneyJuly 17, 2011

  15. You got me rhyming about cat gut…The red priest goes on the tilesAs Paganini stumbledThrough the ancient stable doorHis haughty countenance crumbledBefore the congregation on that floor.A dozen stallions strong and fleetWere breathing on his noseWhile all around his trembling feetStood arching rows…Of cats! Their green eyes blinkingWith a look so fierce and brightThat Paganini started thinkingThey were spoiling for a fight.The atmosphere grew bolderAs a Siamese stalked nearAnd jumped up on his shoulderTo whisper in his ear,“It’s come to our august attentionThat your musical careerHas caused too much pain to mentionTo the members gathered here.The bow you boast is magicalFor spinning music without failIs only fully functionalAt the cost of a flowing tailWhile the singing strings you love to strokeTo drive the ladies nutsCan only really be baroqueThanks to someone’s mother’s guts!”A noisy chorus raised the roofOf that bucolic divePresenting him the awful proofHe’d not escape aliveThe violinist trembledAnd sank down to his kneesBefore all those assembledCrying pitifully, “Please!…”But the angry crowd came forth in packsWith cries of “hiss!” and “neigh!”And on a hundred hairy backsThey carried him awayTen miles before they cut him looseWith a note clear and nefarious“Leave off your animal abuse,Or we’ll bust your Stradivarius!”Next morning he awakenedIn an empty country laneHis night had left him shakenHe swore he’d never drink againBut just as a matter of careful courseAfter this nocturnal spatHe lavished sugar on his horseAnd was nice to every cat.

  16. Beautiful work all! Sal I especially connected with yours. I've been living that one lately it seems. Thank you and smiles all @!

  17. A TRI-COUPLED SESTETBuy the StoreA student, green and gold galore.She shouldn’t want to buy the store.No money tree to grow another dime.He wouldn’t see her anymore.Yet couldn’t close the open door.Her dog was there for her and for all time.By Michael GroveCopyright 7/19/2011

  18. This week is no less than those of the past. There is such a range of perspective and talent here. I've had such fun reading all the poems so far. Good job, everyone.Here's my first offering of the week.MusicaTiny chimes spread tinkling notes,Flirting with hairs inside their canal,Sneaking through with pleasured guileTo saddle up, riding pathways dark,Their light a chemical spark.Life riding air lasts a bareInstant, fairy memory.

  19. This is done in not quite reverse pyramid form. It uses a 12-9-13-9… measure.Elysia choroticaA leaf of green fluttering in dainty allure,Seeking nourishment on salt-marsh floorDebunks man's understanding of God's handiwork.Baby Elysia eats algaeTo build her chlorophyll manufacturing plant.Mature, sunlight will fuel her life, andScientists can't explain how animal joins with plantTo form this delicate creature.

  20. My Cardinal The deep crimson cardinal appears in time of need to remind me I’m not alone I have a friend, indeed. This bird is my correspondent sent down from up above, to show God is listening with eternal love.

  21. I wrote this for the PA Wednesday prompt, but I thought it somewhat fit this prompt, so I am posting it here as well. I hope that is okay. It is about many physical things, everything that grows, breathes, carries weight or blings. I hope you like it and don't hate me too much for double posting. :)Surface Tension.Some milk will always stay behind with the glass,two almost lovers settling for one another.Empty is my mind when you need it most.Trying to clear your head only clouds it further.Where do all forgotten ideas go?When it was decided that the old god was too meanthey adopted a new one, one who was all forgivingand drank red wine,a real social kitty catnapping in the boat with a storm in the distance.Ya dig?Concentrate on what is here.The philosophy of a leaf. The sound of the lilac plant.What the rain brings and notwhat is washes away. Empty is a philosophy very different from that of a leaf,from that of a chipmunk, whose world is filled with present stimulants and can't comprehend empty in any language, even chipmunk.

  22. HAIKU(3) on Animal, Vegetable, Mineral and EmptyingThe kitty once purred.Someone petted her too hard.Kitty hisses now.The rose bush blossomed.Intense heat withered the buds.Only thorns grow there.Find the money tree.Invest in precious metals.Pure gold is melting.By Michael Grove

  23. Please cut & paste link to view "Deer One" on my blog. It's a bit long, and I don't want anyone to get carpal tunnel on my account! Thanks for being here, Marie and Walt, it's my first time posting. Peace, Amy

  24. Taking a Petrol Toll250 kilomtres from home,enjoyimg the countrysideand the Summer breezealong this much travelled road.The auto cruises until itloses the fuel to motor.I ought to have gone earlier.Next petrol 27km.The countryside is overrated.

  25. Hi there! Yeah….I know I've been MIA for a while, but that's because I was living in the land the prose world for a while – and poetry (for me) mostly went into hibernation. It's been a bumpy but totally fascinating ride, except for the lack of sleep: hence the following tritina, which is my first entry for Poetic Bloomings – inspired by a small creature (probably a cat) who ran from my deck when I turned on the light in the middle of the night.Where is the Cat?…so it was three o’clock in the morningand as per usual, I was awakeso I wished that I were a feral cat.No matter the consequence, it’s the catwho chases stars in the night, ‘til morningcomes. Then she packs away her games, awakeno more. I want to leave stars in my wake;stars that come on little cat feet…a catwho finds peaceful slumbers in the morning.Morning comes and I am still awake…but I wonder…where is the cat?

  26. Another TRI-COUPLED SESTETBecause I’m FreeBecause I’m free to roll and rock,I am the key to my own lock.I’ll never let myself fall down again.Yes I will be mostly ad hoc.No I won’t see the ticking clock.I’ll still go fishing every now and then.Because I’m free to take a chance,to what degree I make a stance,determines how the deck of cards will fall.Sing let it be. My feet will dance,A figgy tree may bring romance.I’ll be happy in the wake of it all.By Michael Grove

  27. Elephant Observation Giant rolls of thick grey skinparched by the blazing sunrefuse to budge. She remains there,sitting next to a smaller one,her baby, who remains still as stone,its rounded body, trunk and earsreduced to a lifeless 250 pound clump.The sight brings me to tears.We watched the same scene yesterday,and the day before–nudging its back,pacing slowly around it, waiting,protecting it from risk of attack–and, yet, we think she knows. Shemourns her loss, as would you or I,but she must do it all alone. Alone.I stray from the group, continue to cry.

  28. Oh, you people make it so hard to choose one piece to highlight. I'm amused at how many are about cats. I'm not a cat person (not a cat hater, just far more of a dog person), but the cat poems are quite entertaining and well done!Those rhyming pieces with story lines blow me away. I know how difficult it is to write a full story in rhyme, and do it well.Linda, your elephant piece makes me want to cry. Clauds, you are on a roll! There are more new names, and we welcome each one of you. RJ, so good to see you!! Very best wishes on your book!Okay … gotta choose … oh my …

  29. Connie, I enjoyed reading yours this week. Nice wording.Don't worry, Marie Elena. De will be back. But, yes, her presence is missed.

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