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


Sorry for the late start crew, but had some family matters to clear up today.
Our Saturday excursion into the beautiful words that live within us has brought Marie and me to another wonderful dilemma. The poetry here is outstanding and we can only choose one apiece. So…

Here is Marie’s Beautiful Bloom for this week. This was the hardest week yet to choose.


So many exceptionally well-done poems this week made it even harder than usual to choose only one. I finally decided I simply MUST choose Iain D. Kemp’s “The Teacher’s Cat.” As he explains, “The Teacher’s Cat is an adjective game I play with students based on the old Scottish parlour game ‘The Minister’s Cat.’” This teaching tool is entirely too fun and contagious. Mr. Kemp offers this well-thought-out, smartly written, clever, rhythmic, story-telling, bittersweet-ending, TOTALLY FUN read. Standing ovation, Iain!


The 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 window
and 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 indeed
and 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 open
and the food bowl full
and 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 fonder
and still he is missed
and still he is thought of,
but his happiness is paramount
and tears are wiped away with a smile, even though
the teacher’s cat is not a teacher’s cat.

Walt’s choice:

I love the heart wrenching love that is exhibited in this poem. It extends from the subject right to the viewer/poet and directly to every reader. Isn’t that the essence of our craft? I enjoy this poet’s work immensely and am honored to present Linda Evans Hofke a Beautiful Bloom for her, “Elephant Observation”


Giant rolls of thick grey skin
parched by the blazing sun
refuse to budge. She remains there,
sitting next to a smaller one,

her baby, who remains still as stone,
its rounded body, trunk and ears
reduced 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. She
mourns her loss, as would you or I,
but she must do it all alone. Alone.
I stray from the group, continue to cry.

Congrats to Iain and Linda and all the Poetic Gardeners for your fantastic work!

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13 thoughts on “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #12

  1. Congrats Iain and Linda! Go BD!

  2. Job well done Iain and Linda. I am amused for I have a cousin named Iain Douglas, although he couldn't rhyme to save the Queen.Marie Elena, I am in need of some intervention. I have noticed that with the changes over at the Poetic Asides site (which earn my negative feedback)I am unable to sign into my register confirmed account. Can you suggest Mr. Brewer or someone to look into the problem. I was finding my voice there and have been silenced for now. Thank you for whatever help you can provide.

  3. Iain and Linda…beautifully done, both. I'm so glad to be a part of this garden with you.~Paula

  4. Thank you both 🙂 I'm chuffed to bits – I'd being trying to come up with a poem to say farewell to Charlie for over a week and finally got ther with this. Big congrats to my fellow "Baker's Dozen" writing buddy Linda!!!Iain

  5. WOW! What a wonderful surprise I had this morning. Thank you so much. The honor is double the pleasure when I get to share it with Iain. I must add, my daughter gave me the inspiration for that poem. Thanks, kiddo!

  6. Good morning, all! That's so cool that Iain and Linda are "Baker's Dozen" buddies! Isn't Nancy part of that group as well? Obviously a group of extraordinary talent! :)Dyson, I know Robert is currently on vacation. Bad timing. He indicated on the PA site that this change in formatting was sprung on him as well. WD gave him a heads-up, but apparently didn't let him know the whens-hows-and-what-fors. 😦 Also, I'm not sure if I gave you some sort of impression that I have any "pull" or authority of any kind at Poetic Asides. I simply contribute as a poet, just like you. I sure do hope things get back to normal quickly out there, and that you hang in and wait patiently for resolution. I, for one, would be sad to lose your voice at PA.Now, back to our celebration of Beautiful Blooms! 🙂

  7. Congrats to my BD friends! You both are so deserving of this!

  8. Not given that impression at all Marie Elena. Yours is the most familiar name I see there because of the Blooming site. I can't get through. I'll keep watch and persist.

  9. Iain, alphabetically brilliant! And Linda, so beautiful. Both of you, bravo!

  10. Well done to your both. Linda, yours really touched me. So sweet; so sad; so real.

  11. What lovely choices for this week's bloomings – each poem tells a story, and clearly, without sacrificing poeticism. Bravo, poets and pickers!

  12. Thank you for youe kindness poets, and yes Nancy P is in the BDBestIain

  13. wonderful selections, made even more wonderful because M.E.'s suggestion to use Firefox really worked

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