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


So, as we have seen, color is found in every tint, hue, shade and saturation throughout our lives. Even the blacks, grays, and whites provide the counterpoint to more vivid and vibrant colors. The spectrum of work presented this week has painted many wonderful masterpieces to hang in our garden gallery. These presented are only two of these amazing pieces.

Marie Elena’s Selection

Even though the field was once again ripe with luscious blooms, I have chosen to return to the same poetic vine as last week:  Jane Shlensky.  “Gouache” seems to epitomize a color prompt, in my view.  We begin by “driving along the coastal highway, Nova Scotia.”  This immediately sets a colorful, scenic view in the mind’s eye.  Nature’s palette gives way to “village houses painted in screamingly vibrant hues.”  The descriptive language throughout is colorful in its own right, and pleasurable to read.  The gallery scene intrigues me, as Jane so artfully paints both synthetic and natural; setting and sentiment.  She ends with a brilliant reference to American soil, and a “steady diet of red, white, and blue.”  Thank you, Jane, for sharing your gift with us, week after week.

Gouache, by Jane Shlensky

Driving along the coastal highway,
Nova Scotia bore no resemblance
to American crowded beaches littered
with the refuse of entertainment.
This pristine stretch reminded me
of Greek islands of my youth, back
when we both believed in getting
away to lands far off, where we could
see our own country more clearly.
Getting away had always spiced our food
and added color and texture to our palette.

Village houses painted in screamingly
vibrant hues were set along that seascape,
all shades of shy and muscular blues,
flecked with whites of cloud, sea foam,
and sand, the road itself trailing lazily
through trees like a black ribbon dropped
by a careless goddess dressing for a party.

There in that small gallery—remember?—
we saw paintings that so reflected the colors outside
that we stood for hours shifting from one foot
to the other, looking first out the window and
then back at the framed work on easels and walls,
the best water-coloring ever was really gouache,
a media I almost wanted to eat just to get it
firmly within me where it could satisfy
a color deficiency, a craving I hadn’t known
I felt until I saw what would relieve it.

That drive should have told us that our lives
had fallen upon a gray patch, a July dry grass
and muddy pond patch, our bodies themselves
yearning for the vitality of a blooming spring—
Kelly green, coral, lilac, saffron, magenta,
indigo, sun flower, scarlet, and umber,
wanting to take that festival of brightness
home with us, so we would not waste away
on a steady diet of red, white, and blue.

Walt’s pick:

My BEAUTIFUL BLOOM this week is presented to a poem that expresses a scene we have all witnessed in our own living. The focus  is solely on the process of a melting candle. Simplistic in concept, the complexity takes a new life as the candle morphs into its different properties. The color purple plays as a back drop to Mike Grove’s chosen poem.

Purple Candle by Michael Grove

A purple candle was lit
and it brightened the room.
At first a dim flicker on the tip
of the wick appeared that intensely
grew into a glowing flame.
The wax began to melt
and drip down the sides
of the burning taper.

Browns turned to green and tiny
buds appeared as evidence
of the new beginning.
A brisk breeze passed quickly
through the room and extinguished
the flame for a moment.
A single burning ember on
the wick sparked the flame
to bring back the light
and it grew even brighter.
The wax continued to flow down
the sides of the ever
diminishing purple candle.

Large green leaves grew from the
buds and provided a cool shade.
Early in the second season a strong
wind gusted and tried to extinguish
the purple candle once again. It was
not to be and the flame flickered
even brighter than ever.

The purple taper was briefly moved
into a darker room and illuminated
the faces all who would bear witness.

The large leaves would turn to
brilliant hues of red, yellow,
orange and gold. A cooler shade
would prevail as the wax of the purple
candle would melt away while the wick
was quickly being consumed.

The shade would disappear
as quickly as the gold would drop. A
blanket of white began to cover the
wilderness. Intense moisture smothered
the yellow and blue flame and black
and gray smoke swirled above
the stub of the dark purple taper.

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18 thoughts on “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #39

  1. Thanks for the pick Walt and thanks to Poetic Bloomings for the great poetry blog. This has become my favorite place for poeming.

  2. I love both poems. Thank you, and congratulations to the Beautiful Blooms!

  3. Congrats Jane and Mike, wonderful poems!

  4. Jane, a beautiful sense – vibrant and filling my own color definicey this week. Congratulations for such a scenic trip.

    Mke, a lingering arises from the sense of change and possibility offered thoughout this one. Congratulations to you.


    I have painted my life
    On a tiny canvas.
    It has been brightly coloured
    With pretty little patterns
    All over it.
    And a few
    Black smudges.
    But it hasn’t amounted to much.
    No-one ever wanted to frame it!
    No-one ever asked me to give
    An Exhibition.
    No-one ever ‘wrote me up’
    In the local press.
    No-one ever discussed
    My picture.
    No-one ever analysed
    The emotions and technique
    That lay behind my work.
    I wanted to use broad strokes
    And create a masterpiece.
    But I never found the right canvas
    And I lost the brush.
    After a while
    The paints dried up.
    I’ll throw them away.
    My life is displayed
    On a Post-It note.
    With a sticky back.
    So that it can be removed
    And tossed away,
    With ease.
    Post-It notes
    Don’t survive for long.
    Maybe I am less than a Post-It note.
    Maybe I am just a pixel.
    Maybe most of us are pixels.
    It is only when pixels are seen en masse
    That they amount to anything.
    But one missing pixel
    Isn’t missed.

    I particularly enjoyed the first poem. It reminded me so very strongly of my first holidays, as a sun-starved Brit, in an exotic France. All the colours seemed doubly strong and I’ve never forgotten them.

  6. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Congratulations also, Jane; I have always been curious about Nova Scotia and really enjoyed the drive…

  7. Oh, my goodness! Thank you so much for the beautiful bloom, Marie, even with a misspelled word still in there. Gouache is much to vibrant a medium for me to use or spell, apparently ;). I so appreciate the encouragement.

  8. Dang! I can’t spell “too” either!

  9. Thanks to each of you for the lovely comments and compliments.

  10. Excellent choices as usual. Both unique and well deserved.

  11. (Blushing) Thanks for fixing me, Marie. And thanks to all of you for your kind comments. Love y’all.

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