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


It made sense to delve into all we see, hear, taste, smell and feel as fodder for this week’s poems. Also any sense of being became fair game. All poems presented by our fabulous group of poets rate as incredible blooms in their own right! Even those new to the group jumped right in to touch us with their work. All add a sense of community that is hard to find in such an inclusive and supportive way. So now, it also makes sense to announce:


My Bloom for this week is offered to one who presented us with an old, smelly poem.  Yes, it was previously written, but it suits the prompt splendidly. (One advantage to being a host is that I get to make executive decisions. 😉 ).  Vivienne Blake’s “A Smelly Poem” vividly arouses and sears my senses, both physically and nostalgically.  Vivienne, I’ve also heard that our sense of smell is the most vivid memory sense.   I believe it wholeheartedly, and admire your use of it here to evoke memories that encompass vastly different snapshots of life.  BRAVO.  And feel better.

A SMELLY POEM (by Vivienne Blake)

A whiff of Charlie says Mum to me,
while 4711 brings Grandma back.
Chypre brings thoughts of a rival,
encountered via my man.

Cabbage and sweat and the outside loo
take me to my first wartime school;
polish and piety, to the convent.
Intense incense and I’m on my knees
fasting, struggling not to faint.

Roasting lamb is my in-laws’ house,
mixed in my mind
with the odour of dust
and disapproval.

Plenty of smells around babies
make me wish for those days again
when adorable powdered skin
demanded to be kissed,
or the pong of poo cried
“change me now”.

A tropical interlude taught me
aromas I’d never known –
frangipane and stinking fish,
fresh sea breeze and rotting seaweed .

Memories push and shove to bring back
the mixture of perfumes and stinks
that have been my life.


Every poem about the senses makes plenty of sense. All are expressive and touch us all in their way. One such poem danced around many sensory images in a very concise and powerful piece. This work by Sara McNulty presents the stimulus for it being my choice:

SENSE AND NONSENSE (a double nonet) by Sara McNulty

I am not imbued with a sixth sense
or I might have felt marriage one
was doomed, cloud cast a gloomy
filter behind which hid
common sense, napping.
feel no true
sense of
I woke,
my eyes clear
for the first time,
I smelled the rank stench
of foul jealousy, not
flattering, nor was ripping
phones out of walls, face distorted,
remotely related to true love.



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11 thoughts on “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #51

  1. Sensible (and fabulous) choices, both. Congrats ViV and Sara! ❤

  2. Perfect choices. Well done, Viv and Sara! 🙂

  3. Both evoke a “Wow!” from me. Excellent choices, Walt & Marie! (Oops — no rhyme intended.) :-)) Congrats, Vivienne & Sara! 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for your lovely words about my poem. Viv, yours is a sense-sational poem! Walt and Marie, you guys make writing a pleasure.

  5. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Oh, right on!! Both great examples! Congratulations Viv and Sara!

  6. What a fantastic surprise. Thank you so much Marie. And Sara, your poem is so powerful – it made me gasp. Great choice, Walt.

    • Yes, I agree with you about, Sara’s! Super powerful drew me right in and your’s too, Viv in a whole new way…that was magic how you could conjur all of these scents in words, truly. Great job!!

  7. claudsy on said:

    Marvelous choices, Marie and Walt. Viv and Sara, you both deserve a hearty round of applause for delivering such incredible poems. Brava!

  8. Congrats Viv and Sara – and Sara, I didn’t know about that form, only I see that you really get it. Great!

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