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.


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.


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!


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