POETIC BLOOMINGS

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

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #50

Making a comeback isn’t always an easy thing (as my late return signifies). But a full return to stature is well worth the effort put into it. The hardest part is facing the truth and making the attempt. And so we return to another Saturday and new BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS to consider:

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM:

Though there were many truly excellent poems this week, for me there was one clear standout:  Sharon Ingraham’s Mother to Mother, inspired by Michelangelo’s Pieta.

Oh, the tears! As a mother, I can’t express it any better than Hen, “…my heart just broke into a million pieces.”

Written by a “non-religious” soul, this piece stirred my own believer’s heart as though written by The Psalmist himself.   Sara McNulty said, “I am not a religious person at all, but this transcends any simple beliefs.”  What a feat, Sharon.  You’ve shown us the power of words.

For me, Mother to Mother is not just a standout for this week, but one of the most amazing poems I have ever read.

MOTHER TO MOTHER (by S.E. Ingraham)

Mother to mother I understand
Your need to hold your son
To cradle him, hush his pain
Sing sweet psalms
of lullabies to him
When the wind soughs gently
from the east
I swear I hear your soft melodies.

And as cold as that cave was
Wherein they laid him down
It was no match
for the bone-deep chill
Death set upon his brow,
Echoed by the sculptor
When he chose
to immortalize you both
It surprises me not you would
feel a need
to warm him.

Mother to mother, I have
many times tried
to envisage
the pain you must
have endured
the day your son
was put to death
I cannot
Nor can I wrap
my mind
around the horror,
the devastating sadness
you must have felt
when you went
to the cave
To fetch him,
gather him
unto yourself

Oh – but that version
doesn’t fit with any
of the Biblical accounts
I’m told …
Oh really? I can’t help
but reply
to whomever
the doubting
Thomas or whoever it is
questioning me …
Were you there then?
Did you see what transpired
between mother and son?
Did you?

Did you hear the sobbing
as she begged
them to spare her son?
Ragged sobs that changed
to wails that eventually
rose to keening
His mother, and his aunt
who were joined
by other women –
all keening
throughout the night
A sound so eerie,
so heart-breaking it caused
grown men to weep
And wolves in the hills
to howl incessantly
As he hung there
on the hill, on the cross
dying slowly

Mother to mother I feel
your pain
And my heart aches
for you
and your loss
It disturbs me
that your complete story
is not recorded
In Biblical references,
However the apostle, John
did mention,
after all was said and done
and your boy was risen
there were many more signs
of his resurrection
so many
that all the books
in all the world
could not
contain them therein;
Perhaps your story is in these.

Mother to mother – one last thing
before I take my leave
You might not know this
but the artist who created
this magnificent sculpture
became very famous
People travel here
from the world over
to view La Pieta, the name
given this piece
And the artist, Michelangelo,
signed this work of art
This master artist
who captured you—
The mother of God
in all your youthful glory
With you son laying crucified
across your lap—
Your replication
was the only thing
he ever signed
Maybe he realized how
important it was …
to tell the rest of your story

S.E.Ingraham©

WALT’S  LATE BLOOMER:

I appreciate Marie’s selection of Sharon’s wonderful poem. And that probably tips my hand as to which way I was leaning.

But my selection is of a work that shows the uncertainty of any kind of return, especially a short lived one. The keepsake of dried flowers hold a mystique all its own and has through the ages. And the inclusion of the fragrant sachet illicit other memories here in our garden. Richard King Perkins II this is your bloom:

AN EXPRESSION OF DRIED FLOWERS by Richard King Perkins II

After a year, the separation ended so she had a yard sale
and sold all the trappings of her brief independence.
She gave up her lover
and her tiny apartment
and went back to the stately pillared home
her husband had built for them.
It was for the good of the child, they both agreed.
Months later, the returned wife realized
her memory box had disappeared
somewhere in the shuffle,
like a grey tooth beneath her pillow.
Gone were the dried flowers, drawings and stories,
and little glass bottles
she’d kept since she was twelve.
The recent love letters,
she had destroyed on her own.
If she suspected her husband, she never said.
The wife merely forced herself to smile
and enjoy all the trappings of comfortable servitude,
simpering like his time-worn basset hound
crouched in front of the fireplace.
Months earlier, as he tossed her memory box
into a construction lot dumpster,
the husband hadn’t recognized
that most of the dried flowers
were ones he’d given her
and this was why she had left him in the first place.

Congratulations to S.E. Ingraham and Richard King Perkins II.

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15 thoughts on “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #50

  1. This is a beautiful poem, Sharon. Probably nothing can surpass the suffering of a parent who’s experienced a loss of a child. The biblical story is really very personal in its essence, and you bring it to that personal intimate level in your poem.
    Congratulations!

  2. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Oh, Meg, you felt it too….!!! Here I go… tears all over again— this piece is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Congratulations, dear Sharon! Love, Hen

  3. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Walt, your friends are worried about you; please let us support you in whatever you may be going through… Hen

  4. Poetic Bloomings on said:

    You guys are so sweet. Just to let you know, we were in touch earlier today. I suspect he just got overwhelmingly busy caring for those at home.

    That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it. 😉

    Marie Elena

  5. Poetic Bloomings on said:

    …and there he is!

    … and there he goes …

    (Great choice, Walt!)

  6. Oh yes, I certainly remember the dried flowers poem. It’s so sad, and happens way too often in life.
    Congratulations to the poet!

  7. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Congratulations, Richard; a very sad, profound piece.
    Walt, it is good to know that you are here. Hen

  8. Janet on said:

    Two very different and very moving poems were chosen. Marie, I agree with your thoughts on Sharon’s poem! Sharon, it is moving…beyond words!
    Walt, I’m glad you chose this one.It reads like a sad movie… Richard and Sharon, Congratulations! You deserve the bloom!:)

  9. Congratulations to Richard and Sharon.
    Sharon I already told you all but did I tell you this? I read it five times now.

  10. Again, thanks so much Marie Elena and to all the rest for your kind words … Andrea, you honour me …
    Congrats again Richard, in case you didn’t get my earlier message – a nice choice Walt, as per usual.

  11. Sharon’s amazing writing is always a pleasure, but this Pieta narrative is unlike any of the recent Easter-themed poems I’ve read. Truly, the feel is that of the song, “Mary, Did You Know?” as the mother relates the story of Michelangelo… and I didn’t know it was the only work he signed. Amazing from the historical, Christian, and aesthetic perspecitives. Brava!

    Richard King Perkins II, my first reading of your work and WOW! Talk about knowing relationships, especially what makes women tick – and cease to tick. Truly marvelous, both. Marie and Walt, yours were lovely, too. Sorry I didn’t make it to this prompt… Amy

    • Amy – thank you – as always, you comment is so insightful – “Mary, Did You Know?” was in the back of my mind when I wrote this poem … how very perceptive you are … I love that carol but can never hear it without weeping and wondering if she had any idea … thanks again for stopping by; I know how busy you get …

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