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


One of the guarantees of life become the fact the we all eventually will die. We’ve had our exposures to the process of dying, sometimes having brushes ourselves. You have all written such touching and heart rendering poems. Hopefully they have given you a bit of comfort to share these with our poetic friends. I know it did for me. Here are the BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS for this week’s prompt:


This was perhaps the hardest it has ever been for me to choose only one poem to honor with a Bloom.  Your stories and the renderings thereof draw me in, yet are so painful to absorb.  But this … the exquisite wording and significance of this spoke to my heart, and will continue to speak:

No, merely a transition,
one last summer sipped breath.
Aware of autumn…
Sure of the fall…
Certain that life cycles…
Positive she’ll see her winged reflection
again in the crisp cool collective pool of life.

Sweet Hannah, I’m thankful your friend’s unhealthy body was set free on the day of this prompt.  As Claudette said, “… it does seem appropriate that you free your poem of her as she frees herself for that ultimate journey.”  I offer you my Bloom for the poignantly exquisite celebration of your friend’s life and death.

Positive. (by Hannah Gosselin)

Investing my breath
in the beauty of passing,
summer’s bursting breast:
asters, snap-dragons and clover,
thistle, goldenrod and ragweed.
The smell of newly decaying leaves
buzz of bees in their last pollen gathering efforts
the dipping, dodging of dragonflies feeding
while slipping like autumn’s early orange leaf
a monarch butterfly floats on the breeze
and all of this
all of this while she waits
each beat closer to the close
every pulse nearing an end result
but really, nearly a new beginning;
merely a transition.
I pray…
she has the strength
to let go,
let her spirit be lifted,
escape this painful waiting.
Take flight with the majestic monarch
her passage is pre-planned;
she is hopeful,
holds faith in her destination.
And eerily,
goodbye this time…
It really was a farewell
and a fondness in knowing…
that my last words to her were true.
“I love you…
I will see you in heaven, my friend.”
She nodded slightly and peered into my eyes,
the brightness residing there…still permeated with life
while her body battled an inevitable end.
No, merely a transition,
one last summer sipped breath.
Aware of autumn…
Sure of the fall…
Certain that life cycles…
Positive she’ll see her winged reflection
again in the crisp cool collective pool of life.

© Hannah Gosselin 9/16/12


Growing up, I knew people died and were gone forever. But always someone else’s friend, or parent, or relation. I graduated from High School in June of ’74 and my Grandfather passed in September. I was glad for the time I had with this wonderful man, and equally glad I was a bit older before death came knocking.

Some folks weren’t as lucky to have that cushion of age to understand. The poem I chose makes death in the eyes of a child more real to me; what my daughters might have felt when my parents had died. Their exposure to death could have been what SARA McNULTY had written. Thanks for sharing this Sara. For her BLOOM:


Aunt Ida gave life, life.
Her aura of lustrous red, brushed
her lips and ours. My mother’s
older sister swept through doorways,
lifted laughter from dark places,
and died at fifty-nine. She suffered
a heart attack on an icy December
afternoon while holiday gift shopping.

I did not see her in death,
as Jewish law required
next day burial, closed coffin.
My sense of devastation was
felt vicariously through the form
of my mother, screaming and crying
for days on the sofa, relatives filling
the house with food, sweets,
and endless conversations.
My sister and I spent a large
portion of that time across the hall
in a neighbor’s apartment, safe
from death.

Later, stung by the bee of reality–
Aunt Ida would not take me to
the village with its cool bistros,
or ice skating in Flushing Meadow
Park, or sweep through the door
in clouds of perfume–I knew
death’s meaning.

Congratulations Hannah and Sara for your honors. Thank you to our poets for your wonderful words. They were indeed compassionate and empathetic.

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25 thoughts on “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #73

  1. Congrats! ! Both stories are very touching.

  2. Wow. Both blooms so well deserved–beautiful touching words. Wonderful poems Hannah and Sara!!

  3. Walt, a very pleasant surprise on a day when I really needed it. Thanks so much, and congrats to Hannah, whose poems always radiate.

  4. So well done by both! Congratulations on blooms well deserved.

  5. Beautiful examples of how death touched two lives … wonderfully told both of them. Congratulations Hannah and Sara on your well-deserved blooms! Nice going Marie Elena and Walt, as always.

  6. Fantastic Bloom choices! And I agree that all poets this week outdid themselves with this very personal and difficult prompt.

  7. claudsy on said:

    Excellent choices, Marie and Walt.

    Hannah, the life with which you invest death could lift the spirit of the most resigned individual. A well-deserved bloom, indeed.

    And Sara, I would love to have known your aunt, to have learned her trick of dancing with life. You painted such a gloriously vivid picture that known could fail but to admire this lady. That you did not get to say goodbye seems the price many have had to pay for loving and losing. The price is never being able to replace one set of expectations with another. Through your sharing, Aunt Ida will live for many of us. I keep picturing Auntie Mame here, for some reason–could it be your first stanza?

  8. Marjory M Thompson (MMT) on said:

    Yes, Congradulation to both of you, Sara and Hannah. You each did a wonderful job of sharing.

    Hannah, your experience brings to mind a request made by my uncle.
    He knows that when he leaves this body behind, he will be with his Lord.
    —-“Do not wear black at my memorial for it is a
    celebration. Wear the colors of the rainbow in
    honor to His creation. Fill the rooms with
    laughter…, songs … and memories…….”

  9. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    YAY!!! Both wonderful!!! Congratulations, Hannah and Sara!!! 🙂 !

  10. Two touching blooms here: Hannah’s is so brave and I felt the regret present in the stanza:
    “My sister and I spent a large
    portion of that time across the hall
    in a neighbor’s apartment, safe
    from death.” of Sara’s

  11. andranegroiu on said:

    Two very touching poems. Congratulations, Hannah and Sara! 🙂

  12. Marie!!! I didn’t expect this….wow I’m honored and so touched by your thoughtful words and those of our poetic friends. I feel so blessed. Thank you so much for making my night-week-month with this bloom and much gratitude to everyone for your kind sentiments in this emotional time. Warm smiles to each of you. 🙂

  13. Congrats to Hannah n’ Sara!
    Both poems are so touching and beautiful! xo

  14. OH! Both beautiful, beautiful pieces! Sorry I have fallen so far behind and missed a lot of lovely writings! Congrats to you both for these blooms — well earned!

  15. Congratulations Hannah and Sara! Both beautiful poems!
    I could not bring myself to write about this one. My first exposure to death was very painful for me. My own brother. I write about him once, but I can’t write about his death. It’s still too painful, even though it was more than four years ago.
    Congratulations again to both of you.

    • Yes, I can’t even imagine how painful that was. Some write of pain seemingly quite easily, and find it therapeutic. Others (like me) have a difficult time penning pain.

      Bless you, Erin. And hope you’re feeling better today. 🙂

      Marie Elena

  16. Thank you Marie. I am feeling much better. The flu thing only lasted for one day, of which I am extremely glad!

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