Water possesses great power to soothe or destroy. That was very evident in the sight I had the great fortune to witness last night as I caught the mist in the air and the inspiration of a man following his dream. A great amount of water played into it and the power of  Niagara Fall provided the backdrop to history. Nik Wallenda, an incredible spirit and man of  great faith doing what he was meant to do. As are we poets. And so our rewards are great. Thus, we choose our BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS for the week that was water!


“Water” opens a floodgate of possibilities, doesn’t it? 😉 Many of your responses spoke to my heart, or filled my head with fabulous imagery. Yet, one little 8-word,  easy-to miss piece overflowed with truth and sentiment. My Beautiful Bloom goes to Michelle Hed’s little gem.

one tear drop
can cause ripples
miles away


Apparently Marie and I have made our choices which could be considered the “long and short” of it.  Taking on that seemingly insurmountable challenge (mentioned above) brought me to choose Mary Mansfield‘s ambitious Sestina, “Shadows on the Water” – very apropos for the event that has shaken me in a profound way. Mary, here’s your bloom!

SHADOWS ON THE WATER by Mary Mansfield

I ventured through the mud and stones
Until I reached that special place
Where the lingering shadows
Of willows trembled in the dying light,
Cooler of cold Corona in hand
And memories of you in my heart.

Seeking salvation for an aching heart
Is much easier here than in a field of stones
Shaped and engraved by a mournful hand,
Finding comfort in a familiar place
Where we watched divine light
In its endless dance with the shadows.

I truly understand those shadows;
They now occupy my heart,
Their darkness choking away your light,
Brushing across the stones
And desecrating this place,
Dusky phantoms melting in my hand.

I cup water in my hand
To wash away the shadows
Yet they remain in place,
The stubborn stains of a wounded heart,
One martyred by Death’s stones
But still seeking the redemption of the light.

As night approaches, the light
Crawls across the bluffs, God’s hand
Stroking color across the stones
But not banishing the shadows
That now haunt my heart
Every moment in every place.

I’m merely a vessel floating in place,
Unable to move into forward toward the light,
The loss of you a nail through my heart.
I take another bottle in hand
And make a toast to you, to shadows,
To lost heroes in a sea of stones.

Here in this place I feel you close at hand,
Your spirit now a part of that dance of light and shadows,
Bringing just a bit of peace to a heart battered by stones.

Congratulations to the “M&M” girls, Michelle and Mary for their work this week. Thanks to all our poets, who inspire in their own exemplary way!

13 thoughts on “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #59

  1. Two perfect choices. The first for its wisdom and brevity, and the second for its expressive beauty, all the more remarkable because it is a Wordle poem!

  2. Beautiful choices. Congratulations Michelle and Mary and thanks again Walt and Marie Elena for all of your work and devotion. I would never be able to choose between all of the wonderful work submitted each week.

  3. Absolutely the right choices … how could you ever resist a sestina Walt? Especially one as well-written as Mary’s? Congrats Michelle and Mary – as awed as I am by the sestina, I am equally in awe of someone who can pull off a jewel of brevity like yours Michelle … unable to ever do this myself … lol. Very nice pick. Marie Elena … Cheers to all for a great summer if I’m out of touch for a bit … this time next week, I’ll be in Venice!

    • … and speaking of envious. 😉 Have a WONDERFUL time in Venice, Sharon!!! Hoping for some picture posted on Facebook!

      Marie Elena

  4. First of all, congratulations to Michelle…so much wisdom in your beautiful little poem! Very well done 🙂

    Thanks so much to everyone for all their kind words. I’m quite honored to be picked this week from so many wonderful poems written for this prompt, and the encouragement means more to me that I could ever express.

    And ok, ok, maybe I’ll give the sestina another whirl…as soon as I recover fully from this one!

  5. Congratulations, Michelle and Mary!
    I love one-sentence poems, beautiful. And I was mesmerized by sestina. The two poems complement each other so well, both in in form and content.

  6. Thank you Marie! I’m so glad my few words spoke to you. 🙂 It is always an honor to be a picked bloom. Thank you. Thank you for all your lovely comments, I appreciate all your kind words very much.

    Congratulations Mary! Mary, ‘Shadows on the Water’ is one of the most beautiful sestinas I have ever read – it flows so naturally. Well done. If this is based on fact – I am so sorry for your loss.

  7. I’m back from a long, family fun filled day. I couldn’t wait to get back this evening to comment. I normally try to avoid commenting on many of the poems presented here. I’m often biting my tongue (er, fingers?) in an effort to just let all of you do what you do so beautifully. But Mary, I was in complete and total awe of your Sestina from the time it posted. From the title through the end, it is so lovely and, and Michelle says, flows so naturally. I’m completely envious of anyone with this ability. I must say that your need to recover from this one before attempting another makes me smile. Oh, how I can relate! Congratulations on your Bloom, Mary. Well deserved, indeed!

    Walt, that photo is amazing, and I wish I could have been there with you to witness it. WOW
    Marie Elena

  8. Thank You, Walt for sharing the photo – what an amazing thing to have witnesses and then to be ablte to claim a personal addition of your ‘own’ photo.

    Congratulaions to both Bloomers of the week.
    Mary, I was repeated drawn to your poem this past week. Both for the form which you handled so well and to the ‘beauty’ with which you related the story. Thank you for sharing.

    Michelle, You say so much with so few words and draw other to grow from them. Thanky you for sharing.

  9. Wow. Incredible offerings, Michelle and Mary. Just stunning, both. Mary, just the word Sestina makes me crave a siesta instead. Yours is absolutely flawless. And Michelle, there is so much in those few words. Wonderful.

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