I HEREBY RESOLVE… PROMPT #88

Two days away from 2013 — something the Mayans, and Nostradamus and many other seers of their age never expected to happen. So now we need to think about our lives and how we can improve on them.

It is cliche, this whole New Year’s Resolution, but..

…your poem expresses your promise to yourself to make you a better version – a Poet 2.0 or more. Today we make our poetic resolutions. Let’s hope they last longer than the third week of January! 😉

MARIE ELENA’S RESOLUTION:

The View From Here

Quality writing takes time and heart.
Submitting takes time, heart, research, and resolve.
Heart, I have …
 
© Copyright – Marie Elena Good – 2012
 

WALT’S RESOLUTION:

HEALTHY, WEALTHY AND WISE

2012 was a bad year
and to hear me tell it,
you’d swear it was
a vivid imagination
that fuels my frustration.
But I want to steer clear
of malignancies and maladies
that seem to have gone back
to sleep. I’ll keep my wits about me
and see to it that I make the most
of this gift so given as long
as I’m living. I resolve this for me.

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #87

“Visions of sugarplums” is just a nice way of bringing your muse out to play, on Christmas Eve or the crest of a new fallen snow. Our poets offered worded wonder of a wistful nature to express just that!

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM

These sugar plum offerings were a joy to read!  Couldn’t we repeat this prompt week-after-week-after-week?   I would like nothing more than to offer each and every one of you my single Beautiful Bloom this week, but I must behave.  😉  Claudette Young, I offer my Bloom to you for “Small Things.”  Your words capture the spirit of joyful giving, and humble expectations.  What sweeter dreams could befall us?  Your last stanza says it all.  Beautifully lived; beautifully penned.

Small Things (by Claudette Young)

We all gathered,
Diverse women in hall,
Sewing chatting defining
Ourselves by hand and
Purpose for that season.

Scraps of fabric we cut
In boot style, big enough
For goodies and trimmed
With spare lace or ribbon,
And jingles bells on cuffs.

Amid laughter and learning
We placed our care into
Myriad small person futures
To carry their hopes forward,
To know someone else cared.

When those bright stockings
Overflowed with pencils and
Prizes, alongside fruits and nuts.
They traveled horseback to
Hillsides, caves, and home sites

Where children of sparse fortune
Celebrated with less expectation,
Knowing life gave them small
Things to appreciate and
Possibilities for surprising cheer.

WALT’S BLOOM:

A wispy midnight vision wrapped in a flannel and giving inspiration to the muse of these works of sheer art. Our “sugarplums” dance on the out reaches of our thoughts and none more ethereal than this piece by JANET MARTIN.  There is lilting quality to this poem and the rhyme ties it all together!

A SUGAR PLUM… by Janet Ruth Martin

Silent night
A froth of white
Sifts from the lower cloud
It wraps the earth
In sparkling mirth
Redemption’s spotless shroud

Heavenly peace
Mankind’s release
From worldly weariness
Where all is calm
Held in the Palm
Of Perfect Love’s caress

Whisper of prayer
Wings through the air
Past midnight’s star-kissed seas
Where God imparts
To love-worn hearts
Life’s tender memories

© Janet Martin

CONGRATULATIONS CLAUDETTE AND JANET!

IN-FORM POET – YEAR IN REVIEW

We have explored many great poetic forms over this past year. Some were challenging. Some were familiar and fun. So for today, pick one of the forms that we have covered (IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY) and write in that style. We’ve had a great year of poeming and with the release of our book, POETIC BLOOMINGS: the first year, things look even more promising for 2013.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

MARIE ELENA’S FORM

Seize the Joy (A Carpe Diem)

As we leave the season behind

may we find no reason to discard the joy

the baby boy beneath the star

brought to our lives –

belief survives.

© Copyright – Marie Elena Good – 2012

 

WALT’S PANTOUM:

I HOLD YOU NEAR

I am never at a loss for reminders
for within them, I hold you near.
The warmth of your smile still lingers,
the warmth of your smile keeps you here.

For within it, I hold you near.
You are emblazoned on my heart.
The warmth of your smile keeps you here,
deeply where we made our start.

You are emblazoned on my heart,
a love tattoo that looks like you.
Deeply where we made our start,
the origin of love so true.

A love tattoo that looks like you,
and through its power I hold you near.
The origin of love so true
that within this heart I hold so dear.

And through its power I hold you near,
the warmth of your smile still lingers,
within this heart I hold so dear.
I am never at a loss for reminders.

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik 2012

VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS – PROMPT # 87

As we stand on the threshold of Christmas, we want you to nestle all snug in your bed and write a sugarplum. A sugarplum can be something that puts a smile on your face, a warmth in your heart or a thought in your head. A trigger to bigger things. A memory spark tied to the Holiday season, no matter which you celebrate!

But also, you can write about sleep. My history with every sleep disorder in the book plays into this as well. Give your vision some life.

MARIE ELENA’S SWEET DREAM:

what sweeter dream
at end of day
than Babe of peace
in manger’s hay
 
© Copyright – Marie Elena Good 2012

WALT’S VISION:

IN HEAVENLY PEACE

The night is silent and still.
The children nestle and dream
sweet thoughts for a restful slumber.
And despite the turmoil that stirs,
mankind yearns for goodwill
toward brothers and sisters
not known, a love shown for a day
blessed and pure, all calm and bright;
a Silent Night. A Holy Night
in Heavenly peace!

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik 2012

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 86

Say it with music. This week we explored music as our muse, finding a “Sound of the Season,” and using that inspiration to pen our poems. The varying results are astounding. The choices are as always, difficult. But we carry on. Here are this week’s BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS.

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM:

To my own discredit, there are times (probably far too many) when I do not take the time to slowly draw in and savor the work of the extraordinary poets easily accessible to me.   All I can say is that I’m thankful I took the time this morning to slowly breathe in and relish Jane Shlensky’sAdoration.”  The poetic beauty and multiple layers of this piece are simply remarkable.  Oh, to pen such eloquence …

ADORATION by Jane Shlensky

We shook our heads when she returned
from walking woods, as often she did,
each time carrying some treasure of burl
or mistletoe, Indian Pipe or sassafras root.

This time she dragged a young maple
dry and stripped of leaves, killed
in its spring, torn from the ground,
its slender trunk splintered like bone.

She stood it in the greenhouse, a skeleton
surrounded by greening seedlings, its bark
slowly curling away in ribbons from white
smoothness beneath. At advent, she built

for it a stand and hung from its naked limbs
fluffs of Spanish moss. Each spray of twigs
stretching like fingers of an empty hand
outstretched, she filled with a bird’s nest,

song birds of wood and clay perched
among the branches, a single dove lighting
on the highest limb, its wings lifted as if
it carried in its claws the hope of the world.

The holy family assembled at the foot of the tree
around an empty manger, poised to adore the newborn,
kneeling, bearing gifts, nudging the animals aside
for a glimpse of his light. But where was he?

The child, already in flight, nested aloft, hardly
bigger than the blue eggs that surrounded him.
He was risen among wild things that offered him
the gift of themselves, their ode to joy a chorus

of birdsong cradling his dreams. Each year
we dreamed of receiving, of fir trees smelling
of evergreen, our visions flightless. She saw
the broken and dead and dreamed of resurrection.

Her tree, no more than a memory now, returns to me
each Christmas, each Easter, each walk through woods,
each flutter and tweet of birds at my feeder, and
I am brought to my knees in humility, in adoration.

WALT’S SELECTION:

In the past week there has been much talk of “Angels” – a common description of the innocent souls who were taken from us so young. And it seemed to be a shared inspiration for our poets this week. I chose this poem from all the great entries because it is a wonderful expression of the season, and well… because it was the first one to present angels as a theme. At that, I present this BEAUTIFUL BLOOM to Salvatore Buttaci. Congratulations Salvatore, and Merry Christmas!

ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY by Salvatore Buttaci

Those who remained behind
Gathered about the throne of God
Glorifying His gift
to the world of humanity
While angels sang praises
On Earth to the newborn infant,
His Son, the Word made flesh
To dwell among us for a time

Angels from the realms of glory,
All the saints who had died
Loving and living God’s commands,
Watched from heavenly heights
A child wrapped in swaddling clothes,
His mother sweet Mary,
His foster father good Joseph,
The donkeys braying.

A promise God had vowed
Long before time and space began
He kept at Bethlehem
In a stable, beneath a star
He sent twinkling above
The shepherds, the wise men, the world
That was changed forever
When the Infant drew his first breath

A CAUSE TO CELEBRATE!!!

A banner week for our incredible group of talented poets!

First, De Miller Jackson is selected as co-Poet Laureate at Poetic Asides (with Brian Slusher).

Now I am informed that five of our contributors and poetic friends have placed poems in the “Burning the Midnight Oils” Contest.

http://www.thewritehelper.com/id28.html

Congratulations to Andrea Heiberg for her First Place Winning Entry, as well as Linda Evans Hofke, Sara McNulty(purplepeninportland), and Sharon Ingraham for their inclusion in the Top 10.

Honorable Mention goes to Mariya Koleva. All in all, a day to celebrate.

Congratulations Ladies!

IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – HAIKU / RENGA

This week we will look into the Haiku (and on a larger scale – the Renga).

HAIKU –

  • In Japanese the haiku is composed of 17 sound units divided into three parts – one with 5 syllables, one with 7 syllables and another with 5 syllables. Since sound units are much shorter than English syllables, it has been found that following the Japanese example results in a much longer poem. The Japanese write their haiku in one line. The Japanese, because of their longer history of reading haiku, understand that there are two parts to the poem.
  • In English, however, each part is given a line in order to clearly divide the parts of the haiku. This allows the reader time to form an image in the mind before the eyes go back to the left margin for more words. The line breaks also act as a type of punctuation. In English these are called the phrase and fragment. One line is the fragment and the other two lines combine grammatically to become the phrase. Without this combining the two lines together the haiku will sound “choppy” as the tone of voice drops at the end of each line.
  • To create a renga, one poet writes the first stanza, which is three lines long with a total of seventeen syllables. The next poet adds the second stanza, a couplet with seven syllables per line. The third stanza repeats the structure of the first and the fourth repeats the second, alternating in this pattern until the poem’s end.

wikiHow:  http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Haiku-Poem

We’re concerned with the structure here, so the collaborative nature of the renga will not be strictly adhered to.

MARIE ELENA’S HAIKU

The extravagance
of the season, embodied
God wrapped in infant
 
(I penned this back in 2010)
 
 

WALT’S RENGA

Awaiting the snow,
as autumn fades in our minds
we cover for warmth

Lost in the change of seasons
we find our reasons to live.

In the passing years
we learn the lessons of life
growing strong with love.

The blossoms of love take root,
growing to touch many hearts.

The harvest we reap
brings an abundance of food
for a wanting soul.

The taste of passion fills us,
and it leaves us wanting more.

We cover for warmth,
in the winter of our years
we are comforted.

Life is the hearth of our love,
as long as we live, it burns…

CELEBRATIONS IN SONG – PROMPT # 86

The Memoir Project has moved into the editing stage and we will be revisiting your compilations through the course of 2013. If you wish to complete the challenge, we encourage you to do so. The prompts will be accessible throughout. Thank you to all who have participated and shared their thoughts. Thank you also to those who for whatever reason refrained from the project all together. We respect your honesty and commitment as well.

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But now, we celebrate. ‘Tis the season for all such things and with a song (or song title, or lyric) in our hearts we will exclaim all that there is to celebrate. Be it Christmas, or Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus (the holiday for the rest of us!), celebrate! Heck, even if you just want to celebrate your new “gig kit,” we will join in your elation by way of celebration! We ask that you take a piece of one of the songs of the season to inspire your muse. Use the title or line from the song as your title and craft a new poem. We wish you a merry muse and refuse to let the joy languish!

MARIE ELENA’S MELODY:

SILENT NIGHT

As cattle low and donkeys bray,
A worried man begins to pray.
“She’s weary, Lord, and birth pains loom,
We need an Inn, but none have room.”
A stable with a bed of hay
Affords them with a place to stay.
 
She lies amongst the bleating sheep –
Where there she finds no peace for sleep.
The hour of our Savior’s birth
Sweet angel voices sing His worth,
While Satan howls – himself, enraged
In knowing that a war’s been waged
A war the Babe Himself will win –
To free us from our senseless sin.
 
Beneath the sacred star-lit night,
How silent was that holy night?
 

WALT’S WORDS:

CHRISTMAS IS FOR CHILDREN

We are all someone’s child.
But young children are a special breed.
Their needs and wants are simple.
They need to learn and have fun.
They want to grow in a world
where they are loved and cared for.
They want and need their families around them
and they wish the same for their friends.
They shouldn’t be huddled in a locked closet
amidst gunfire and chaos only wanting one thing.
“I just want Christmas. That’s all. I want Christmas!”

** A heart-wrenching revelation about a young boy in the middle of the senseless massacre of his classmates. His one wish was making it to Christmas. Hug your children often.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #85

Last words. The final say. A very prophetic prompt in light of yesterday’s events. We have a chance to express these “last words.” You have continued to outshine yourselves, each week. You all hold a special place in Marie’s and my hearts. And in all ways we hold all of our children closer still and the new angels forever in our hearts.

Marie Elena’s Pick

You who know me at all know that I naturally lean toward poetry that packs a punch in few words.  There were several this week that fit the bill, and that I enjoyed and appreciated immensely.  However, this week my choice goes to Marian Veverka for her untitled epic poem based on the proverb, “For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven.”   We know Marian for her ability to capture time and emotion in her words.  This week, her poem encapsulates history in visual, sensual imagery.  Marian’s words deliver realism, emotion, and life lessons in an engaging manner that she seems to effortlessly achieve.  Thank you, Marian.  It is my pleasure to honor you with my Beautiful Bloom.

UNTITLED (Marian Veverka)

“For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven.”

I have given birth and I have made the acquaintance of death.
I was born into a smaller, tighter, world, a world where I and my
Friends and family knew where we fitted and we were content.
The decade I was born into was a time of violence and despair,
It was also a time of helping friends, being united with family,
Helping where needed and sharing whatever we could spare,

It was a time when people believed in their God. When
People attended and belonged to churches. Churches were in
Every neighborhood, in walking distance, or a streetcar or
Bus ride away . There were also large central churches -the
Synagogue at University Circle, the cathedral of St. John
In downtown Cleveland where Masses were said all day
And all night And all the mighty Protestant churches, the main
Denominations with their Greek revival splendor and the small –
Almost hidden in a lovely suburb – the famous little
Church in the Wildwood

Singing in choirs was popular and popular songs were often
Sung as people did their chores or walked down the street.
The national anthem was sung before any sporting event
And often a prayer was also said. Newscasts were important,
My father followed Lowell Thomas, the Sohio Reporter and
Gabriel Heatter. We also listened to broadcasts of all the
Cleveland Indians games.

My girl friends and I all learned to sew and we made most
Of our school dresses. We traded patterns and spent hours
Sitting at the counters of fabric shops, leafing through their
Giant catalogues of fashion. We dreamed of wardrobes, a
Different dress for every day of the week. We were also the
Ones who first wore blue jeans, buying them in the men’s
Department., then carrying them over to the Women’s
Department to try them on in their fitting rooms.

Several years later, the women’s departments of the national
Chains began to carry blue jeans for women. During the war
They had carried slacks for women who worked in defense plants.
The general assumption was that at the end of the war, women
Would happily abandon pants & all things masculine. No more
Factory work! No more women mechanics, plumbers, gas pump
Jockeys! What the leaders of public opinion thought was wrong.
Women would not give up their newly gained freedom of occupational
Choice. The door had been opened. The goal now was not only
To never close it again, but to open it ever wider.

In church basements in the north-east and mid-west, another fire
Had been ignited. I sat with my friends in the basement of St. Aloysius
Church while a young priest who had been a chaplain with the troops in
Europe gave a speech. He was so good looking! And had a sharp sense
Of humor. But what he told us was hardly humorous. At a train stop in the
South, they had entered a diner to get some lunch. There were some
Colored soldiers with the white guys, but the waitress refused to serve
Them. The white soldiers demanded to see the owner of the diner. He also
Refused to serve the colored soldiers. In a booth towards the end of the diner,
Some former German POW’s were seated and eating lunch. The soldiers
furious. Former enemies could eat here, but not uniformed American soldiers?
They left the diner in disgust (and still hungry) Another struggle was
Beginning. Were we with it? Everyone in St. Al’s basement gave
A resounding YES!!

WALT’S CHOICE:

While re-reading the entries to make my selection, the news of the day had over-whelmed me as I’m sure everyone here on this page. Trying to make sense of something so illogically senseless, one thing stuck in my head. What was this deranged person thinking? Did he know himself? And if not, how are we supposed to “know” him? With thoughts of these precious angels and their adult counter-parts, this poem stood out in my thoughts. My BLOOM is dedicated to these lost voices and beautiful blooms with the hope that others searching for clarity be full. Hannah Gosselin, your BEAUTIFUL BLOOM.

Check-in with True Self…Often by Hannah Gosselin

In a world of such great influence…hold on to your beliefs.
Placed amid hopeless struggles…faithfully move forward.
With sudden wealth or increased status…don’t let it define you.
When grouped in with over-bearing personalities…be yourself still.
We’re each born with a highly individualized seed of self-
a kernel of genuine-being that blooms when watered.
Never lose your authenticity to the seasons of change.
Keep the wonder and awe of child-like eyes alive.
Sow the honesty that is yours to offer-
you’ll reap the harvest of an honored spirit;
a field flowering richly of the truth within you.
For there is only one you on this planet,
your gift to us all and to yourself is just this…
BE YOU TO FULL….always.

Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2012

Congratulations Marian and Hannah!

Please remember the lost souls in your thoughts and prayers!

POET INTERVIEW – Special Holiday Guest

Walt and I wracked our brain (and yes, singular brain – we share) to figure out how to follow last month’s Thanksgiving-time special interview with Robert Lee Brewer.  That’s a hard act to follow, so we knew we had to make this month special somehow.  Then the light went on.  We knew it was a long shot, but we actually managed to secure an interview with none other than —  well, dash away all to our Special Holiday Interview page to see for yourself.  Just follow the link:  http://poeticbloomings.com/special-holiday-interview/

 

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