We’ve come out of hiding and exposed our favorite hang-out spots. And the places are as varied as are our poets. Another week of extraordinary works. We’re chugging along to our ultimate goal – to tell our stories in verse. It could be worse. We could tell our stories in Esperanto! But, the BLOOMS…


When Walt gave me this prompt, there were a few “places” I believed would make their way here:  dreams and books being two of them.  They made their way alright – and brilliantly.  My personal favorite is Jane Shlensky’s Imaginable Friends.  How many of us can relate to the feeling of knowing the characters in our favorite books, and being absorbed in their world.  Jane’s skillful style draws me in, and holds me just as spellbound as the books she describes – right to her brilliant ending.  Jane, I offer you my BEAUTIFUL BLOOM.

Imaginable Friends by Jane Shlensky

With our nearest neighbor woods away
and my school chums, siblings, and pets
at best unpredictable fun,
I found some perfect friends to hang with
that even my mother recommended,
friends who had escaped parents
on rafts or were ship-wrecked on islands,
friends who wrote great stories or stood
and quoted long poems, budding teachers.

I rode dark horses and solved crimes,
survived wars, diseases, failures,
suffered but became a fully realized self
worried about girls intent on marriage
to wealthy men and the ones damned
if they’d sell themselves for a country estate.

My buddies were often poor but smart,
abused but kind-hearted, loving, brave,
amusing with basically good morals,
and darned good company, as we climbed
Into the big maple with the outstretched arm
or stretched atop sunny rocks by the creek.

Since I was shy, I let them do all the talking,
all the time traveling, all the seeking and finding
after long travail, exercising both our imaginations.
Every night was a pajama party, tucked in
with Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre, the March girls—
Huck, Jim, Oliver, Robinson,
and the boys camped out by the pond.

Growing up on a farm myself, I worked that red clay
and imagined stowing away, changing my identity,
seeing the world and becoming…something fine,
weeping for my friends’ losses
and triumphing In their small victories,
both of us giving the other life,
clear that happy is
for endings.


The place depicted in this poem seems what a good hide should be – idyllic. Expressed simply, it brings us to that secret place and give us access to something rather special. Michelle Hed offers her vision in The Hill, which has me offering my BEAUTIFUL BLOOM:

The Hill by Michelle Hed

Behind the house,
pass bittersweet
and sandy mounds,
milkweed pods
and trampled grounds.

Up to the crest
and a little beyond
where the birch groves stand
and sumac rest –
I could be found.

I’d bring a book
or just sit and think
caressed by the sun
which made my eyelids blink –
I would snuggle down.

Late in the day
the deer would come
or the fox would play
and I would watch –
now I wish for that day.

In the trees
letters were carved
tears were shed
but time moved on
the years have fled.

The hill remains
and in my memory glows
the warmth and love
of time shared with the land
on the hill above.