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




One of the cheesiest “ice breakers” ever, centered around people’s then obsession with astrology. People really didn’t care what your “sign” was, but it seemed a universal interest; a common ground to explore.

So, what IS your sign? If you’re uncertain, use the chart above. That becomes your “prompt” upon which to base your writings.

Say you’re an Aquarius (as I am), you can write about water, the Age of Aquarius, the Summer of Love… anything that you can tie to the sign is fair game. Cancer is the crab, so seafood, miserable people, the disease could all be topics. Pisces can lap over into the water aspects, or fish,… Gemini (the twins) could be literal, or about two diametrically opposed people or things, a good/bad, yin/yang… you get the idea.

Get your head out of the stars and write your poems.

Anything will be a good sign!


Uh-oh, Scorpio!

Scorpio’s my sign,
And I don’t mean to whine,
But I found just one trait
To which I can relate.
Observant? This is laughable.
Detached? No, I’m quite affable.
Front-runner?  Thanks, but that’s not me.
Ambitious? Little energy.
Power, strength, strong will, and passion?
Most of these in minor ration.
Secretive?  Mysterious?
Oh please – you can’t be serious.
But then they mentioned “loyalty,”
The only trait depicting me.
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013



When push comes to shove

you’re a cut above the rest.

The best man for the job,

you carry the water for the

rest of us slobs. You may talk

of gin and beer, but it is very clear,

the verdict is in. By the God that made you,

you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik 2013


Monday will feature another installment of our MEMOIR CHAPBOOK PROJECT. The featured title will be: “I Hope I Have Learned Something” by Linda Swenski

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207 thoughts on “SO HEY… WHAT’S YOUR PROMPT? – PROMPT #94

  1. Good job, guys! You have written terrific poems on what (IMHO) appears to be a difficult subject! Why does my sign have to look like the Toyota emblem? That’s all I can think of now…

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Ha, ha, ha…

    • Walt, I had to laugh at the lines from Gunga Din, because I got sent to the principal’s office in third grade over it. Teacher asked us for a poem read aloud, and my dad was a huge Kipling fan. Never got very far into it (and I did a good Brit accent)… really wanted to recite, “So I’ll meet him later on/ In the place where he has gone/ Where there’s always double drill and no canteen,” etc. A swig in Hell, hee hee hee. Boy, was she mad!

      Marie Elena, y’all are right about the horoscope being a cheesy pickup line, but back in the 70s, it was all the rage. But back then, if you were a hippie, you also had to know your moon, etc. Thanks for a laugh! Amy

  2. Taurus (a Renga)

    The bull is peaceful,
    Quietly munching away,
    Contented, happy.

    Until suddenly, something
    (Or someone) irritates it;

    No more the happy,
    Restful creature; everything’s
    Not as it was planned!

    And so it puts its horns down,
    Charging the poor offender,

    Anger in its eyes,
    Without second thought,
    Ooh what a temper!

    I’m so akin to this bull,
    It’s really embarrassing.

    I want what I want
    When I want it, things have
    To go as I planned,

    Or else my quick temper flares,
    And woe to that offender!

    It’s hard for me to
    Forgive, or even
    Repent, really hard;

    That’s why I have friends, I guess,
    That’s why I need loyal friends.

  3. Phew! Those were all interesting. This will take a little thought – may be back later.

  4. LIBRA

    The scales of justice weigh on my mind.
    I can’t see the fairness I so hoped to find.
    I’m bursting with anger
    I cry with despair
    when faced with injustice I see everywhere.

    The courts and the politics drive me insane.
    I feel the rage building inside my brain.
    I know no one’s perfect,
    I see it’s not fair,
    But certain improvements could help us get there.

    Because of the fighting, the balance is lost.
    Good people suffer to cover the cost.
    Don’t others see it?
    Don’t people care?
    The weight of injustice is too much to bear.

    I wish someone told me a long time ago
    that the rules I grew up with were only for show.
    Commandments aren’t honored,
    laws and rules made of air.
    Its just unacceptable. Life isn’t fair.

    I wish I was Gemini, Leo, or Aries,
    Cancer, or Virgo with all that it carries.
    But I am a Libra
    so the scales I wear
    insure that I’ll campaign to make things more fair.

  5. Scorpio! Me?

    O, October, beautiful October
    with sunshine
    and silky clouds
    in a pale blue sky.

    And the colors!
    The oranges, golds,
    exhilarating the soul.

    The earthy air
    The cool breeze
    The full moon at night
    The crisp mornings

    O, October, how did you ever
    get associated with a scorpion,
    one of God’s ugliest,
    most frightening creatures?

    Scorpions, they say,
    would rather kill themselves
    than be killed (like Hitler?)
    And want life on their own terms (like cats?)

    Passionate, determined and powerful!
    Or is that moody, stubborn and manipulative?
    Let me be rather associated with a deer
    Big brown eyes, gentle, graceful.

  6. Cusp

    She is
    caught between fire
    and earth,
    arched beast and
    sea goat. Warrior
    wallflower on
    cloven-hooved feet,
    she sings,
    slings one last arrow
    into her own


  7. Pingback: Cusp | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  8. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Oh boy… 🙂 !!

  9. Artistic Aquarian

    I create
    words with a message
    and paintings with a vision
    and photographs with a memory.

    I share
    what I create in hopes
    of inspiring thoughts,
    laughter, and feelings.

    I love
    what I do,
    who I have become
    and being surround by family and friends.

    I need
    nature in all her glory,
    quiet time with just me
    and my lingering memories

    I want
    to love and be loved
    to leave a better world for my children
    and chocolate cake.

    I am
    an Aquarian.

  10. janeshlensky on said:


    When I was young those scales suggested
    justice, fairness manifested,
    my mind opposing bullying hogs
    in defense of the underdogs.

    As I middle-aged into crazy busy,
    balance beckoned me, not tizzy
    of work and family and play,
    and grabbing at counter-weights held rest at bay.

    Those scales connote strict weights and measures
    on one side woes, on t’other pleasures,
    but lately when I try to balance weight
    I’m too aware of what I ate

    and how long it will take to shed it,
    pay all my debts, dispense with credit.
    And though some traits of Libra-born
    in my case are forever shorn,

    I still have dear fellows who hope I’ll defend them
    against all aggressors whose aims are to end them
    and though I am weary and long to relax
    I still feel compelled to lift weights from their backs.

    I like to think that I am helpful and fair,
    creative and easy, low-key and aware,
    a true friend, a learner, a fun-loving zebra,
    my black and white balanced, a tropical Libra.

  11. Age of Aquarius

    When one thinks of Aquarius,
    that charming water bearer sign,
    one knows we’re quite hard to define:
    ‘though like a Stradivarius,

    we’re elegant. Precarious.
    Mercurial. We’re like fine wine.
    That charming water bearer sign!
    When one thinks of Aquarius:

    just two more adjectives. Combine
    with wit and wonder. Bottom line?
    Our list goes on: it’s various
    when one thinks of Aquarius.


  12. Sagittarius

    By David De Jong
    February 10, 2013

    Astrology, just what it entails
    My brain can’t capture, it simply fails
    To place my stock in planets and stars
    Tis no different, than say “I’m from Mars”
    Even my dog optimistic, kind at least
    Times its odd, who’s more the beast
    As that beast, called man’s best friend
    Pray find me positive, loyal to the end

    Adventure allures and faith ensures
    Equestrian strength wholly endures
    To have the horse within my grasp
    Is finer than gold within my clasp
    Purpose from life a main bequest
    Captured within a heart beaten chest
    Arrows to the heavens a lofty goal
    In His deliverance retrieve my soul

  13. The Sign of the Rug (Taurus)

    Stubborn and sensitive
    easily hurt
    letting people walk all over me
    time after time
    after time

    Loyal and loving
    easily hurt
    watching people let me down
    time after time
    after time

    Remembering and resenting
    never forgiving
    being disappointed by friend and foe
    time after time
    after time

    Simmering and steaming
    deep down inside
    until the pressure valve blows
    time after time
    after time

    Starting and quitting
    intentions of gold
    melting into regrets of cold stone
    time after time
    after time

    Hoping and dreaming
    new dawns awake
    burgeoning with glistening promise
    time after time
    after time

    Stubborn and steadfast
    stuck in my ways
    the sleeping bull best left in peace
    time after time
    after time

    (Mixing a Taurus into a red-headed Celt is a dangerous recipe)


  14. A Virgo in Action

    Perfectionist? Me? Surely not.
    Never satisfied? Moi? Why, that’s rot.
    Wait—shouldn’t there be
    One more syllable? Gee.
    (Too picky? I do that a lot… )

  15. Walt and Marie, yours are both delights. Marie, yeah, I do not see you as a Scorpio, all in all… and, Walt–Gunga Din the Aquarian! Ha!

  16. Trying again to post:


    I was weighed
    in the balances
    and found wanting—

    wanting books
    and more books

    little wonder
    my rites of passage
    not with
    a driver’s license
    but with
    a library card

    turned loose
    on Saturday afternoons,
    left alone
    to prowl the stacks,

    I agonized over
    the right

    checking them out
    then walking
    down the marble steps
    out front,
    books balanced
    in my arms

    knowing what lay
    in my stars—
    other people’s stories
    becoming my own

  17. and alabamatarheel is me: Nancy P.

  18. claudsy on said:

    I finally made it here and with a poem. I’ll have to come back to do comments. Here you go.

    On the Cusp

    Birthed of Earth, no longer virgin,
    Upon green and golden savannas,
    Came King Leo, wrapped in his mantle
    Of black and tan tresses to survey
    His realm of vast undulating plains,
    With chattel counted in the thousands,
    Stalked and hunted as servile prey
    By his queen, who flaunted her prowess
    To her king, to provide his preferred meals
    Placed before him beneath a shady acacia
    In a cooler spot for his dining pleasure.
    While the king dines in luxury and fame,
    Earth provides his realm, his life, and his
    Sustenance through a queen who can bring
    Home whatever bacon runs past his throne.

  19. Teo Leo

    He likes Suzanne Vega rhyming and Cedar Walton timing, he drinks coffee in the morn, Café Moto, just now born; he grows hair upon his face, with a lion’s manely grace, and talks with hands upon his hips, discussing foreign trips; tips generously, he does, loves all nurses just because; sometimes happy, sometimes sad, all injustice makes him mad, goes on hikes just for the thrill, through the valley, up the hill; he eats cupcakes for the taste, thinks most diets are a waste, lives to paint and poem, now calls San Diego home; just an ordinary guy, not too boastful, seldom shy, he makes casseroles for dinner, not much caring about thinner; he’s the leader of his groups, the okra in the soups, foreign films get a look, he enjoys a good book; loves tall trees, names his birds, sings the oldies, have you heard? He likes Bob Dylan rhyming and Katy Perry miming, doesn’t care to be well-dressed, but he knows that he is blessed; that’s him, the real deal, our good friend, Teo Leo.

  20. Pingback: Dive Right In « Sharp Little Pencil – Amy Barlow Liberatore

  21. The link for my blog: http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/02/10/dive-right-in/

    Poem in full, but commenting at my blog is fine too. Thanks!

    DIVE RIGHT IN (from the mini-series, “Amy: The Lost Years)

    I know it’s a dive but
    I dive right in anyway
    Thigh-high boots first and
    black silk bustiered boobs
    not far behind

    A drink; I start to shine; a
    dim bulb sidles over, his
    best pick-up line the
    cobwebby question
    of the truly unhip:

    “What sign are you?”
    After all these years,
    you’d think it would
    no longer be laughable
    to answer, “Virgo”

    But sorry-ass dudes
    who think they can
    get you with a ‘lude*
    also seem to think it’s
    hilarious to say “virgin”

    Now he’s making fun
    of my birth sign
    “Hold on, Jack,” I snark,
    “who’s the one with the
    fake tan and a wink

    that tells me you watch
    WAY too much old
    Magnum, PIs? Let me
    illuminate you, buddy
    I may have been born Virgo,

    but I’ve a Gemini eye:
    I can see Taurus rising
    in your attitude, cuz
    you’re way past horny
    and full of B.S.”

    © 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

    *Back in the day, a “lude” was a Quaalude. It not only put you into a dreamlike state, it also cured constipation and shyness.

    For Poetic Bloomings, Marie Elena and Walt wanted poems about our astrological signs. Since a whole poem about the anal retentive, positively OCD nature (OK, some people call me “meticulous,” but that’s because they’re trying to avoid my hypercritical, snarky attitude) seemed like a bore, so I put it within a salacious story. I mean, how much can I say about arranging your bookshelves by age of the volumes, then rearranging by subject, then again by author…

    Also, Sunday Scribblings wanted a poem using the word “illuminate,” and I dare say this guy may have achieved some enlightenment. Man, I was caustic back then! Peace, Amy

  22. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Sagittarius on a Summer Day

    NatGeo Travel magazine, Map of the World, The Road Atlas… Driving in a jeep (with Great music) having Fun adventures with warmth and laughter… savoring each moment…. ~ ❤ ~ …

  23. DebiSwim on said:

    Cancer the Crab

    Moon to rule, moon to rule,
    And calms all commotion.
    Water cools, water cools
    The tides of emotion

    Ebb and flow, ebb and flow,
    Life is ever changing.
    High and low, high and low
    My moods are far ranging.

    Safely home, safely home,
    I retreat from the throng.
    Never roam, never roam
    But that for home I long

    Family first, family first
    Its worth will not abate
    Love’s a thirst, love’s a thirst
    No other thing can sate.

  24. GEMINI

    They say that I’m mercurial,
    My moods swing to and fro.
    Like Janus did I wear two masks.
    I’m one who’s hard to know.

    I read once in a horoscope
    Geminis are flighty.
    We play love like a game.
    We take life oh too lightly.

    Well, let me take a stand on this:
    Astrology’s a fake.
    Though born June 12 I’m off the wheel.
    Oh, Geminis, awake!


  25. LEO

    “The lion sleeps tonight”

    Let him rest. Our ears still ache
    from the vibrations of his mighty roar
    King of the jungle and we who dwell
    in this kingdom will learn our lessons well.
    Walk carefully while the powerful one sleeps
    for this is the only chance we have to keep
    our bodies and souls together, gather food
    store up enough for his awakening, rude
    his majesty proclaims his solitary reign
    and woe to any who would dare complain…

    To any Leo of power, I would advise
    Turn not your back and do not close your eyes!

  26. Chasing Copernicus

    He charts a course through my stars,
    Seeking to find a glimmer of me
    In tandem transit with the sun in Taurus,
    Dancing with Venus through my eighth house,
    Lingering traces as Leo rises above my horizon.
    Gravity keeps me in his orbit
    With only the occasional period of retrograde…
    At least until the day he discovers
    That the center of my universe
    Looks nothing like him.

  27. No Ram, I

    I am not a ram
    though anger
    quickly. Words
    flow, seldom searched beforehand.
    Challenges, leader-

    ship? Not I, who tend
    to remain
    in my head
    of dreams, imagination,

  28. Gemini

    like a moth
    to the libran flame
    you ignite it
    with one face
    douse it in torrents
    with the other

  29. This is a great prompt! I’m playing around with Sagittarius…


    The Secretarybird skates open skies
    as a hundred bows on horseback
    rake the Persian soil
    their feathered steel now crimson
    in the morning glare

    We, too, are archers here,
    of soul, of passion, of desire unbridled
    scavengers of hope bent low
    upon the hard-baked ground,
    patient for death and unafraid.

  30. The Lion

    Sufficiently endowed
    with brains, heart
    and plenty of pride
    (on occasion),
    still sorely lacking
    the courage
    to brave
    but a single
    along that
    golden path,
    minus the
    of his most loyal
    (and courageous)

    Hmmm… On my own blog site, I attempted to format this poem as a winding path… with some limited success. :-]

  31. Born Under the Sign of the Fishes

    Not too surprisingly, they are in conflict
    One fish is forever trying to swim up
    Towards the surface, to where Sol reigns
    The other, swirls around hard tugging
    Downwards to the depths, to the darkness
    Where no sunlight ever reaches …
    And these fish are equally strong so they
    Are usually balanced and hold each other
    Level in an embrace that keeps either
    From tipping – except, except – for those
    Times when the planets become misaligned
    The stars fall out of form, then unholy hell
    Breaks loose and those born beneath
    This sign are as doomed as death.

    • Ouch. Very powerful. Well written, Sharon.

      Marie Elena

    • claudsy on said:

      Living with a Pisces out of balance isn’t easy, Sharon, I know. It’s a bit like trying to survive a tsunami sometimes. This is powerful, telling as it does how things work and don’t work for this sign.

      • Thanks Marie Elena, Erin and Claudsy – I have a love-hate relationship with my fish … they are also representative of an amazing amount of creativity and some other positive traits so I try to remember that … plus the love of my life is a Leo and we raised two Virgos (none of whom are supposed to be able to get along with my finny self but we seem to have managed for the most part – maybe coupled with our Chinese astrological signs, it all works – who knows?)

        • claudsy on said:

          LOL, I understand, Sharon. Our family was Aries (2), Cusp baby (me) of Leo/Virgo, and one Gemini. You could say we hat lots of opportunity for clashes, but generally kept the peace.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Gorgeous insight!!! My wishes to you to keep that creative focus, especially when the waters start swirling (I have Mars in Pisces)!!

  32. Iris D on said:

    Aries Goes First
    Tough, creative, energetic,
    I play as hard as I work.
    My ram stubbornness
    Can make me a real jerk.
    People are drawn to me
    For a project that needs begun
    But before it is finished
    You will find me on the run
    To the next idea that needs a jump start
    I give and give, and am full of heart.
    The sign to which I really adhere
    Is the star the magi saw appear
    The Bright and Morning Star is my guide
    With His hands He fashioned me
    I am a result of His creation you see.


    Prudish. Pah.
    That’s mistaken.

    Discriminating is more apt.
    Focused but too focused
    for some perhaps.

    Seeing clear what’s
    useful and what’s not,
    what’s needed
    and what’s not,

    discriminating, as I said,
    separating good from bad.
    oh yes.

    Perfection’s never perfect enough.
    Organised to distraction.
    A place for this,

    a place for that, a place
    to put her
    feet on elemental earth.

    Grounded, focused,
    thoughtful, quick,
    precise and choosy –

    I might be organised,
    but a maelstrom of a mess
    is hidden
    under my bed.

  34. Pingback: Aries | Metaphors and Smiles

  35. Pingback: Who, Me? | echoes from the silence

  36. WHO, ME?


    P. Wanken

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