We find our inspiration in anyplace we encounter or look. Reading a newspaper or a magazine can offer ideas. Even the back of a cereal box can spark your muse. Thankfully, there were no poems written about Riboflavin! But in all this magnificence, we need to select the BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS:


Marilyn Braendeholm’s “China Children” broke my heart in its sincere and moving depiction of the unthinkable:  children “unwanted at birth, and left in colder but steadier hands.”  The analogy drawn to the “fragile potted plants waiting for spring – sitting there still and unattended on bare benches, naked blank faces staring into candlelight” is almost more than I can bare.  There were many outstanding pieces this week, but this one grabbed my heart and did not let go.

CHINA CHILDREN (by Marilyn Braendeholm)

They remind me of fragile potted plants
waiting for spring – sitting there still
and unattended on bare benches, naked
blank faces staring into candlelight.
Their backs straight, feet rooted to the floor
under a long wooden table. A sturdy timber

cut on a bright green summer day, sliced
from a forgotten branch of antiquity, felled
and now held together by the press
of coughing chests against its old oaken
planks. This long table holds centre place
for these little ones, unwanted

at birth, and left in colder
but steadier hands.
These frail potted plants – pressing stares
of imaginary cakes on plates, want
for lack of sustenance that they need.
And as they gnaw on dried meat, all eyes

observe the door opening on the creak
of sore hinges, opened chills rushing
in scurries of flurried snow across the floor.
They know there’s no hiding from storms
that rage like mortal sin
beyond their cloistered walls.

Title from article about China’s social care and orphanages. The Telegraph newspaper.

(c) Misky 16/2/13



In reading the poems this week, I had narrowed them down to four that really caught my eye. More scrutiny brought me to two. And this choice was even more of a challenge. Then in reading further I knew why I could not separate the selections. Sometimes, we turn to another to learn nuances of a job or craft that when studied closely, they resemble that of the “teacher.”  So, my choice was to NOT separate them, but honor them together. The “student” found it within her to express herself in poetic terms as a recent epiphany. The “teacher” is reflected in her work. These two are indeed a “teacher – student” combination.

The student, Debi Swim, wrote:

Trust (by Debi Swim)

Some seeds need coaxing.
They learned not to trust
Fickle tempered fits
Of irrational
Unseasonable blitz –
now hot, now cold.

Some souls need coaxing.
They learned not to trust
easy smiles, blank eyes
broken promises
and smooth, oily lies –
I love only you.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph- Local Newspaper


The teacher is and remains, Salvatore Buttaci who offered:

A NEW LEASE ON A COWBOY’S LIFE (by Salvatore Buttaci)

At a time in my life when a fella should pause
From his labors and plan what’s the best
To enjoy his retir’ment, my sister, a wider named Tess,
All a sudden she passed. Lookin’ back, I was blessed.
But the story ain’t over; it’s comin’ the morn
An’ my nephew I reckon will move in for good.
Now what t’make of this turn of events?
I was walkin’ around like a man made o’ wood.

Did I mention my nephew’s a handful to raise?
“You’re my uncle,” he tells me, “no way you’re my dad.”
“Well, then, par’n me! Z’actly what makes you so mad?”
But he keeps hisself quiet, not tellin’ he’s scared
An’ I tell ‘im t’ give an ear, listen t’ me.
“All I want is t’ make you, boy, happy again.
And your mama in heaven, what would she say
If I failed in my mission? What would I do then?

Been some years since my sister Tess’s gone an’ her boy
Well, he worked out jus’ fine. Him an’ me in this place
We been cowboys ever since: seems I never could face
Not be working an’ take an old man’s retirement place
On the porch on a summer day jus’ watchin’ grass grow.
Me an’ Tommy, ya know we both keep ar’selves busy a tad.
We been raisin’ the finest o’ horses in Oklahoma
And that feller, Tess’s boy? Can ya b’lieve it? he calls me Dad!


We come to find that Salvatore has been “tutoring” Debi in form and poetic structure. Thanks to Sal for providing the lead, and to Debi for having the good sense to follow. Congratulations to both who share my BEAUTIFUL BLOOM this week!  And to Misk for her equally well-deserved Bloom from Marie!