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


Rain comes in many forms. Rain drops or tears or a stretch of time (reign) that touches all when they fall. The Chinese say “May you live in interesting times!” there is no doubt we do, if the events of this past week have taught us anything. So we celebrate life with the words of all of our expressive and interesting poets. Marie and I love the lot of you, not just from your words, but as people: friends and “family,” a part of the fabric of our lives! Now the BLOOMS:


The poetry barometer was off the charts for this prompt.  You folks are going to think I am “all talk” when I say these things, but choosing only one poem to highlight was nearly impossible for me this week.  I finally settled in on one that is so simple and pure that it could nearly be overlooked:  Death Then Life, by Paula Wanken.  To borrow Damon Dean’s words, Paula, “you’ve nailed the truth again by framing this image for us in your words.”  That’s just your way.  And as Walt said, “this was as expressive as all get out.”  Indeed!  Paula, it is my pleasure to offer you my Bloom.

DEATH THEN LIFE by Paula Wanken

Dormant earth;
wrapped in a pall of
death; few signs
of life, and
even fewer reasons to
hope…til fresh rain falls.

The seeds that
died to self, take on
new purpose.
Hope is found
after the storm, in the new
life that emerges.

Perhaps the best living
comes after dying.


This poem is very impressive when the back story is revealed. And after the REIGN of terror that our brothers and sisters in Massachusetts have experienced this past week, it carries more gravity. The fact that they’ve “made it through the rain” is a testament and tribute to those who have lost life and limb. The scars will run deep for a while. But we will persevere. Amy Barlow Liberatore’s Half a Rainstorm is Better Than None (Bermuda, 1987) earns the recognition for her heart and compassion to all of us and our extended family: the human race. Thank you, Amy!

Half a Rainstorm is Better Than None (Bermuda, 1987) –
(by Amy Barlow Liberatore)

Favorite haunt in Hamilton.
A day-off treat, strong coffee
dense shortbread, and
small talk with a friend.

Sky darkens, pavement is
wet across the way.
We emerge, fully
expecting immersion.

Yet we’re on the “sunny side of the street.”
Rain spatters cobblestones in
a literal line drawn down the lane.
A meteorological DMZ.

Island storms are that specific.
I pass my hand into the storm and
pull it out again; palm to fingers, drenched.
It dries in the sun as we ponder miracles.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Congratulations Paula and Amy! Congratulations to every poet in our garden. And congratulations to the lives we live.

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17 thoughts on “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #103

  1. Kudos to Paula and Amy!

  2. Congrats to Paula and Amy – awesome poetry, ladies!

  3. Awesome poems Paula and Amy. So vivid, both. Wonderful blooms!

  4. DebiSwim on said:

    Marie and Walt, glad you guys are tasked with this job. I would find it impossible but you always rise to the top. Great choices.
    Paula, I’m always impressed with you poems. Amy – beautiful. Congrats all.

  5. Lovely, lovely choices… congrats to Paula and Amy!

  6. Congratulations both of you!! What lovely poems! And congrats to Walt and Marie for a fantastic job in choosing our blooms…once again! 😉

  7. claudsy on said:

    Each of these was a small blessing in our lives but for no small reason. Congratulations, Paula and Amy, for your well deserved accolades.

  8. Eminently deserved, both! Congratualtions to Paula & Amy

  9. Awesome!!! So nice to see these two beautiful poets picked and blooming together!! ♥

  10. Thank you, Marie and Walt, both…your kind words and your bloom, Marie, mean so very much to me. I’m honored and humbled.

    And…congrats to my fellow bloomer, Amy. Well deserved…and I’m honored to share the week with you.

    Finally…thank you, all who have commented here, on the week’s posting, or on my blog. Your kindnesses keep my fingers on the keyboard week after week.

    ❤ Paula

  11. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Oh! Perfect selections!! Congratulations, Paula and Amy!!

  12. Great picks!
    Congrats to Paula and Amy!

  13. Oh — lovely work, Paula &Amy! Kudos to you both! 🙂 And nice picks, as always, by the master gardeners! 😉

  14. Congrats, Paula and Amy! Great writing!

  15. I agree with Debi …don’t know how you do it every week…but you’ve done it again and done it well…great choices for blooms, really wonderful…congrats to both Paula and Amy for such poignant, touching poems on a week when that’s exactly what we needed.

  16. Marie and Walt, excellent choices! Paula, and Amy, Excellent poems!! Beautiful, actually–I read them on their blogs and was very impressed:-)

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