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


Can you believe it?  With today’s prompt we celebrate the completion of our second full year at POETIC BLOOMINGS. We have explored many ideas and forms, and we published our first collection – POETIC BLOOMINGS – The First Year. The gears are in motion for our second installment. We have completed an ambitious twenty-week MEMOIR CHAPBOOK PROJECT with amazing results.We have supported and nurtured one another, celebrated and mourned, and we stand as strong as ever going into our third year.

Marie and I hope you continue to plant your poetic seeds in our garden and share in the bouquet of beauty that grows here each week.


Now our prompt: Time flies when you’re having fun! We’ve heard that throughout our lives. In the movies, time passing is depicted as a clock or sundial in time-lapse photography in rapid motion. We see hair gray up and other parts sag down. So for this poem, we want you to write a poem that shows the passing of time. The first part will center upon something you enjoyed or did as a child. The second part will focus on your perspective on that activity and how age has changed/enhanced your vision.

We thank you so much for your participation and continued support. WE ARE ALL POETIC BLOOMINGS! Grow beautifully!


“The pourer is considered the guardian of the teapot, which implies sterling social graces and profound trust.”  ~  Mike Lininger (Editor, Etiquette Scholar)


My cousin Tom and me

Growing up together

Play clothes and bare feet
Giggles galore
Teensy Dixie bathroom cups
Grandma’s garden hose
Sipping “tea”
Distended tummies
              Little ones
             Bathroom runs
 Decades flee
Family gatherings
Memories revisited
(Teasing notwithstanding)
We’ll never live it down
              Giggles galore
              You pour
 © Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
Tom and me again

early twenties

Tom and me with Sophie

early fifties

Love ya, Cuz!



Along the railroad tracks
behind my grandfather’s garden,
Smokes Creek winds a serpentine
path rushing to feed Erie’s ravenous
hunger. A sloping bank beneath the trellis;
a bamboo pole and can of worms,
tranquility comes in nary a nibble.
The act becomes the pact made
between me and the Maker.
A good escape for a fish faker.

I have not found such serenity
since youth had offered its kind hand,
it’s every man for himself and a shelf full
of life that happens at the speed of sound.
If I wasn’t grounded I would have found
a replacement, a place meant to give me peace.
But memory is a strong bridge, reaching back
to grab lost moments in mind. I can return
with my eyes closed, knowing my seat
on the sloping bank awaits. Worms optional.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013


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  1. M M Thompson on said:

    Yes, memories are great. Wonderful job of sharing yours Marie and Walt.

    When I was just a little girl,
    I dreamed of wealth untold,
    but I found a wealth in love
    before I grew too old.

    I dreamed of when I would be Great,
    and have enormouse fame,
    instead, I found a joy unknown
    when a child called my name.

    I dreamed of traveling far and wide
    to see the world afar.
    Then one night I found the world
    in a flying star.

  2. Wonderful poems, both of you!!!!

    I’m leaving this morning for a two week vacation in Maui, HI. I really hope I will be able to keep up with the prompts, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to. So here’s my attempt at this one, very early, but here goes. 🙂 Oh, and since I haven’t really grown up yet, and still am a child, I couldn’t exactly write about something I enjoyed during my childhood. I kind of stretched the rules a little, but this should still tie in.

    The Hedge and Me

    When I was five
    We planted a hedge
    Of little green trees;
    I watched it grow
    In sunshine,
    In rain,
    I smiled with it
    While it smiled at the sun;
    I grew with it,
    Both nurtured
    By the same yellow sun,
    And both fed
    By the same green earth.

    Now I’m fifteen,
    The trees are much taller
    Than me:
    Elegant spires
    Of darkest green,
    Surrounded by ivy
    And greenest grass;
    We quickly grew,
    The hedge and me,
    Watched over by the sun,
    Under a blue roof,
    We quickly grew,
    Oh how time flew!

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  3. M M Thompson on said:

    May you never completely outgrow the child in you which holds, gives and loves so much. Wonderful poem – have a great trip.

  4. Grampy Earl

    Fond memories of childhood
    My mentor and hero at center
    He was my grandfather
    No greater man in my eyes
    He raised me
    He loved me
    He taught me what it meant
    To be a man
    He set the bar high
    For himself
    And he lived up to every

    Now a grandfather myself
    His lessons I’ve taken
    His high bar is my goal
    And all I want to do is
    Live up to his expectations
    I just wish he were here
    To see the fruit of his efforts

  5. ME and Walt, you are the experts at giving us perfect examples of your prompts. Follow them- can I? I doubt it.

  6. Pingback: Gaining Rings Within | Metaphors and Smiles

    • Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Poetic Bloomings, Happy Birthday to YOU!!!!!!!!! ♥

      Gaining Rings Within

      Small statures see the sapling,
      the beauty of them fills their eyes;
      the enormity of its entirety is a mystery
      unveiled with years of growing together.
      We’ve gained height alongside each other,
      I’ve assumed the wonder and wisdom within cycles;
      worldly with age-rings encircle my core, too.
      I perceive the tree in all its awe-striking sensation;
      every wrinkle of root that crawls steadily
      forms a foundation beneath my feet.
      Each rumple of roughhewn bark-
      her shawl covering comforts,
      I sense sap of soft bleeding heart,
      I feel breath fresh in my lungs,
      oxygen exuded from every vein and pore,
      leaves extended in a praiseful canopy;
      crisp life-giving kisses offered to the sky.
      And I pattern myself after her,
      arms echo her motion;
      raised and ready to give,
      living to learn more.

      Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013


    Little girl dreams
    of flowers and hearts
    have gone by the wayside.

    Little girl dreams
    of satin, lace and I do’s
    have gone unfulfilled.

    Little girl dreams
    of pigtails, pancakes, and pitter patter feet
    have faded with each passing year.

    Will they always be, only
    little girl dreams?

    / / /

    This is not a new poem–it’s one of the first poems I wrote, over two years ago. But after reading the prompt, it’s what keeps coming into my head right now…if I can clear it and write something new, I will. 🙂

    • Wow, Paula. Appropriate indeed for this prompt. Dreams never die. Some change with age and some never should. ❤

    • claudsy on said:

      Paula, this is perfect for the prompt. How forward thinking of you. Are you sure you’re not psychic? 🙂 It fit so beautifully. Great.

    • Perfect poem for this prompt! Lovely, Paula.

    • DebiSwim on said:

      Perfect for the prompt – If you are that little girl I hope all your dreams come true.

    • Paula, this made my eyes misty. And it most certainly IS perfect for this prompt.

      Marie Elena

    • Thank you, all…it seems another of my poems fits this prompt, as well, and has been coming to mind as I think about what to write. It is the poem I used in my interview with Marie Elena nearly two years ago. It was written in January 2011 and was within the first 10-15 poems I had ever written…and still says so much about the passage of time for me, and where I am today. Again…if I can get these images and words out of my head, I’ll come back with a new offering. In the meantime, if you haven’t already read it, here’s my poem “A Loss of Knowing”…


      she rides
      with cards in the spokes
      and colorful strips of plastic fluttering from the handlebars
      tangles of long, brown hair flying freely and wildly behind her
      for the moment
      all is right with the world

      she reads
      sitting carefree in the pasture
      resting comfortably against Dotty, the spotted pig
      lost in a world of Ma & Pa on the prairie
      for the moment
      all is right with the world

      she writes
      in the corner of the classroom
      using her best handwriting to tell the story
      even drawing pictures to match
      for the moment
      all is right with the world

      she hides
      in silence she protects herself from being known
      feelings are pushed aside
      passions have died
      for too long
      all is not right with the world

      when did it occur?
      this loss of play
      this loss of passion
      this loss of knowing
      when did she forget who God made her to be?

      she writes
      in the quiet apartment
      her cats curled up, sleeping soundly next to her
      she listens to the heart of God
      while tapping out her words on her computer she remembers
      and once again, for the moment,
      all is right with the world

      P. Wanken

  8. My House

    My house is big.
    Stretched across a hilltop.
    Many windows.
    Inside, speeding on my tricycle
    up and down the hallway.
    Tiptoeing way back to the last room
    with my sister, afraid of the dark.

    My house is small.
    Parents passed.
    Sisters return for reunion.
    Some get hotels.
    First bedroom turned dining room.
    How did seven of us
    live in such a tiny place?

    My house is gone.
    Renters wreaked havoc.
    Youngest sister, now owner,
    shuddered at the desecration.
    Made the decision.
    Bulldozed. Grass grows.
    Neighbors see an empty spot.

    • This is heartbreakingly true, Connie. I think every one of us has trouble giving up that childhood home, regardless of how it happens. You captured it beautifully as always.

    • claudsy on said:

      So sorry such destruction was necessary, Connie, after renters. I can understand the confusion of a house’s size from child to grown up. We always seem to see the size of things as they relate to our body size.

      The was a true progression poem showing an entire cycle. I like that and appreciated it more because of that and the emotion involved. Great poem.

    • ejparsons on said:

      I used to think the house I was raised in was soooooo big. After being away for a couple of decades, I visited it once again and found it to have shrunk considerably. Now it’s gone, and another was built on the same foundation. Such is the life of a house.

    • That’s sad, Connie. 😦 too bad it had to be destroyed…

    • Oh, Connie … this grabbed my heart. In so few words, you’ve managed to capture the life of a home, and how our view (physically and emotionally) changes as we age. Very much one of my all-time favorites of yours. WELL DONE.

      Marie Elena

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      😦 !!

    • Very awesome, Connie, I’d just say what others have said!

      • M M Thompson on said:

        The house is gone – but not the home and the memories that are still a part of it, and you. Well written. 🙂


    when I was young I dreamed a mountain
    one day would be named for me
    a mountain scraping heaven to carry my memory
    a thousand years ahead of my allotted time
    a mountain peaked with snow
    to challenge flag-bearers climbing summits
    I had tried but failed to reach

    when I grew older I dreamed a street
    would be named in my honor
    a street that would bear the weight
    of travelers years to come
    a street lined with elms
    to shade macadam walkers
    on leisurely hikes I would no longer take

    now I admit what little purpose
    self-named monuments
    would serve my immortality
    all things are lost when time lines dead-end
    even the majestic mountains
    even one day the skies they scrape against
    will reach oblivion

    instead in my old age I pray this soul of mine
    one timeless day will find me a respected place
    free of finite glory fueled by pompous pride
    an eternal place where I will praise God
    in the company of my loved ones
    beyond powdered mountain dust
    beyond the memory of azure sky



    From my earliest memory
    I wanted to be a teacher.
    Not because it seemed
    glamorous or respected,
    but because it felt important.
    My Father was a teacher,
    and so were the most
    influential people in my life.

    I did become a teacher
    and have enjoyed it greatly.
    But as I grew I soon realized
    that I have a more important role.
    I am a lifelong learner.
    If not for this secondary role
    I could never be a teacher,
    for what would their be to teach?

  11. DebiSwim on said:

    Luther Herman Tilley

    Luther Sherman Tilley you were born
    but liked Herman better so changed it,
    still everyone called you Luther
    ‘Cept me, you were grandpa to me.
    You talked with a wuffle
    Cause you had no teeth
    Though your lips didn’t cave in as
    Toothless ones do.

    Your Irish red hair dulled to sand
    topped a face weathered by time and fights
    from your hot tempered youth .
    A broken nose, blinded right eye, missing fingers,
    relics of work accidents in the mine and mill,
    could have looked harsh and unkind
    but softened under your
    leprechaun grin.

    You carried a small knife in your pocket
    A multi-purpose affair of handiness
    That cut off corns,
    Sliced apples into bite sized nubs
    You mushed with strong gums,
    Daubed Vick’s down the back of your throat
    To sooth a cough,
    And plucked tiny splinters from tiny fingers.

    You wore plaid shirts and striped pants
    To Mom and Grandma’s annoyance,
    You smelled like Aqua Velva in the morning
    and hard work at night.
    You watched Matt Dillon and Ben Cartwright religiously
    And read your Bible, cover to cover, worshipfully
    And that is the picture I carry in my head.
    Oh, how I wish, just once more, I could sit on your knee.

    • Awesome tribute to your grandpa – got my eyes wet on that one.

    • claudsy on said:

      There was so much of down home in this for me, Debi. There were many such men in my family, each with a different name, a different address, but the same background. As I read I was in my grandparent’s house and I was watching grandpa talking to my dad.

      Thank you for the trip home, Debi. I enjoyed it more than you’ll ever know.

      • DebiSwim on said:

        Oh, claudsy, the older I get the more I feel the pull of happy childhood memories. So many times I wish I could go back home and realize what I was going to miss in the years to come so I could memorize every word and precious hug from Grandma and Grandpa.

    • Aww, what a sweet recollection!! Grandpa’s are such amazing people, arent they? I have very vivid recollections of my dad’s dad, who died in 2008; the same year as my brother.

    • Debi, you have mentioned that you are learning much from Sal. This poem shows it the most of any I’ve read so far from you. There is so much detail here – not for the sake of detail, but for the sake of capturing your grandpa, and capturing a time in life that is no longer in existence. I feel like I KNOW this man of whom you speak. This is an absolutely amazing piece.

      Have you thought of writing a book? It appears you would do well in drawing your readers in, and making them know and care about your characters.


      Marie Elena

      • DebiSwim on said:

        Oh, thank you so much Marie. I have concentrated mostly on poetry but Sal does have me writing some flash fiction (55 words or less) and I am liking it a lot!

    • Your closing line, for me, makes this personal…so many carry that memory…I do. Thank you, Debi!

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Oh, this is so very tenderly sweet… !!

  12. One-Room Schoolhouse

    It wasn’t red
    But it was little
    That one-room schoolhouse
    Back in the woods
    Four grades of children
    Sixteen in all
    Taught by one teacher
    Mrs. Bradley was her name
    She loved us all
    Just like her own
    And we loved her
    And that little schoolhouse
    Back in the woods
    In times long past

    Drove by the site
    Where the schoolhouse stood
    In times long past
    But nothing remained
    Except the memories
    So many great memories

    • claudsy on said:

      Ah, Earl. I missed going to a one-room schoolhouse by one year, but my cousin attended one and I knew where all of them were in our neighborhood. We had three in our small township.

      This took me back a far piece. Thank you for picking up where Debi left off. Love it.

      • ejparsons on said:

        I went to a one-room schoolhouse for the first two grades. I learned a lot more in that one room listening to the teacher work with the upper grades than I would have in individual classrooms. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

    • Lovely! Glad you still have the memories, Earl.

    • DebiSwim on said:

      Nice memories. Isn’t it horrific that Alzheimer takes away memories. I found that terrifying when my aunt was in its grip. I hope at the end I still can remember all the wonderful times.

      • So true. Speaking of Alzheimer, this is something I wrote a decade ago when I had an office at the local assisted living facility:

        Where Do They Go?

        Where do they go when their minds wander away,
        On the days when they leave everyone behind?
        What do they do while they’re drifting here and there?
        Are these old or new adventures that they find?
        Are their thoughts running ’round?
        Or do they just shut down?
        Or have they very simply lost their minds?

        Do you think, by some chance, they’re walking with God?
        Maybe He’s showing them their reward that awaits.
        Perhaps they’re with old friends who have passed on before
        And already gone through those pearly gates.
        But no matter where they are
        We hope they don’t drift off too far,
        Did we love them enough, or is our love too late?

        I hope that I don’t end up like them someday.
        I always want to know what’s going on.
        But if I do, I hope someone will care for me,
        And keep me from all danger while I’m gone.
        And while my mind is on the town,
        I hope no one shuts me down.
        And I hope I’m not a burden for too long.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Wonderful memories!

  13. ejparsons on said:

    Days Long Past

    Life was so simple
    Fathers lead the family
    Mothers ran the home
    Children obeyed
    Families prospered
    Communities united
    The churches were filled
    And God was the Center
    Of our existence

    Are those days old fashioned
    Gone forever
    Or do we need to return to them

  14. The Squirrel

    I will never forget the day
    Gramp and I went out to play
    In the field next to our house
    In Northern Maine

    With my granddad playing toss
    A pastime I loved most
    When Grandma brought us drinks
    We took a break

    My grandpa stood up tall
    As he downed that iced tea all
    Something moving in the grass
    Caught my eye

    A squirrel suddenly appeared
    Then up Gramp’s pants disappeared
    In the inside of his pant leg
    What a sight

    With this squirrel inside his pants
    First time ever I saw Gramp dance
    As the squirrel made his way down
    The other side

    Grandma couldn’t believe her eyes
    Tears of laughter made us cry
    It’s something I’ll never forget
    Oh, what a sight

    It’s fun memories like these
    Keeps my Grandpa here with me
    Makes me look forward to the day
    We meet again

    We can sit and reminisce
    Of the good times I now miss
    Memories that make me want to relive
    What has been

    • claudsy on said:

      Love the cadence, Earl. It reminds me of a songwriter back in the day who always used it, spoke all of his songs, and each was funny with a small sting at the end. Trouble is, I can’t for the life of me remember the guy’s name.

      Anyway, I enjoyed this ride into my past, while watching your short movie in my mind. As you can see by what I write, I’m afraid I’ll be all night, getting this pacing out of my head.

      Love it, my friend.

      • ejparsons on said:

        I think you’re thinking about Jim Stafford.

        And, thanks.

        • claudsy on said:

          Thanks, Earl. I figured you’d know. That could well be. I’ll have to check it out. Haven’t thought of that songwriter in years. And you’re welcome.

          • ejparsons on said:

            Of course, you may be thinking about Ray Stevens and his song about the squirrel that got loose at a church.

            • claudsy on said:

              I thought about him, too, Earl, but that’s not the voice I hear in my head when I think about it. I think Stafford if the one. I really do. I have to find one of his recordings and see if it is. Otherwise, it’s going to drive me nuts. 🙂

    • A grand, fun memory! Smiled all the way through. 🙂

      Marie Elena

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:


  15. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Meg, delightful… Walt, I smiled!! 🙂 !!

  16. claudsy on said:

    First off, I really like this prompt. It would have worked very well for the memoir chapbook prompts, too. (hint, hint) I have only one today, but it’s sort of thick, so I don’t think you’ll mind that it’s alone.

    High Aspirations

    “Stubborn” described me then,
    Worn like honor’s badge all day
    Riding my little pink bike,
    No training wheels; falling off,
    Getting up and starting again;
    But high-wire work was mine,
    Ankle hanging from swing-set’s
    Top bar, doing pirouettes on high
    While adults watched in horror.

    All that training waiting for use
    Toward something more important;
    A life needful of high aspirations,
    Needful of always gaining ground on
    Challenges some saw as insurmountable;
    Fears would come and do battle for life
    Lived in joyous freedom from unwanted
    Expectations, vanquished by stubbornness,
    To allow adult pirouettes on life’s top bar.

  17. Through the Looking Glass

    “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” ~Madeleine L’Engle

    In the mirror, I’d make faces,
    and the girl who looked back at me
    did the same, with giggles and glee.
    Bedroom mirror, of all places

    still retains the ancient traces
    of the schoolgirl I used to be,
    and that girl still looks back at me.
    In the mirror, I’d make faces.

    A laugh line is what replaces
    monster-fangy, wry or wince-y
    pouts and smiles, ‘cause ever since the
    mirror-me said, “Let’s trade places,”
    in the mirror, I’d make faces.


  18. Nothing Like Before

    By David De Jong

    We were young, imagination was free,
    Surveyed our kingdoms, by climbing a tree.
    We scaled our mountains by hiking a roof.
    Cavalry scout, upon galloping hoof.

    One grand adventure after another,
    No one to answer to, except mother.
    She seemed to understand, without a doubt,
    Creeks to explore, pastures to roam about.

    Now, we scale our mountains on bended knee.
    My limbs refuse, to take me up a tree.
    Find myself shaking, standing on a roof,
    But still like the sound, of a gallant hoof.

    Mother still lives, but nothing like before,
    She wants to go home, she imagines more.

  19. Congrats, Walt and Marie and all my sweet poetic friends. Two years of fun and counting!

    Dogwood Dreams

    A dogwood fan hid me from prying view
    of mother, father, brother, sisters, pets.
    I sat on moss where wondrous daydreams grew,
    alone and happy as a shy child gets.

    Imagination held me in its arms
    and bore me into realms I could not go,
    where I was fabulous, my many charms
    just budding, from which miracles would grow.

    I loved that dogwood’s shelter as I dreamed,
    for sometimes I am still a wandering child.
    Adulthood is much harder than it seemed
    when I longed to be grown-up, free, and wild.

    I still imagine things as they might be,
    for in my mind, there grows a dogwood tree.

  20. janeshlensky on said:

    Cat Pants

    Our play suits were identical, for rough play—
    a halter top and bloomers full and wide,
    elastic in the waist and in the legs
    and useful to put many things inside.

    The mouser in the barn bore eight kittens,
    and we could think of nothing else to do.
    Although we had been warned to leave them be,
    we soon devised a plan to hide from view

    a brace of little fur balls, two per leg
    and sit down quietly in morning sun.
    No one would be the wiser—darling girls—
    with cats inside our pants, meowing and fun.

    Of course, our mother caught us right away,
    suspecting where our kittens might just be.
    We stood before her lying, brazen, bold
    until we saw a twitching tail set free.

    We learned a few great lessons that have served
    us well into adulthood from that day:
    don’t dare your mother to spank you, don’t lie,
    especially since tiny claws can flay.

    We know now that we’re grown-ups, old and wise
    to mind our pants and what we let inside.
    We value clothes that stretch and hide our flaws,
    adopting skirts and trousers soft and wide.

    We have respect for animals (think cats),
    for motherhood and longings of a child,
    but we still love connections warm and sweet
    and truth above all lies, no scratch of guile.

  21. Hearty congratulations to Marie Elena & Walt and indeed, to all the poets that make this a wonderful blooming garden of words. ❤

    The Little Black Dots
    It’s Gene Krupa’s Fault!

    When I was the young, I loved the dots,
    the little black dots on thin black lines,
    or underneath, maybe above.
    Some were solid and some hollow,
    some had tails, some joined others.
    I looked and read and saw and knew.
    I played and played and never hesitated
    and after three or four times around a sheet,
    I could close my eyes and they were still there.
    I loved those little black dots.
    I hated classical guitar!

    He said I had potential, a natural flair.
    He reeked of tobacco and talked with a rasp,
    but he knew more about the dots than I
    and so I persisted though he wouldn’t
    teach me chords.
    I couldn’t play the music I loved
    and I grew to hate the music I played
    and detest the little black dots.

    It was late one night, in Gleneagles Hotel,
    a biopic moved me, shook me to the core,
    the greatest, the finest (next to Buddy Rich).
    I watched the story of Krupa and knew then,
    I had to drum.
    I loved the drums.
    I loved the beat.
    I played the music I loved, but played by ear
    and slowly, surely, sadly forgot all about
    the little black dots.

    And now I need them, I crave them,
    they must be in there somewhere;
    my French is, so why not them,
    but no, it’s futile, all In vain.
    They are gone forever
    and I serve as wordsmith to another:
    poetry that craves a tune, a melody
    that craves the addition of chords
    and the little black dots.

    I look at my guitar and ponder.
    I don’t even know what the strings between the Es are
    and the last time I put them on wrong!
    I just want a few basics,
    a grounding, a starting point.
    Let me say: well I haven’t got it all, but it starts like this
    and make a note of
    some little black dots.

    My projects never end; I have so much to do.
    But can it be too late?
    Is it possible? If they aren’t there, deep inside,
    can I learn them again and feel the joy,
    feel the exhilaration of humming a tune,
    just by seeing a few
    little black dots?

    Time will tell, the effort would be great
    but if I can learn new languages,
    then surely can re-learn the greatest of them all.
    Not English, not that of love, oh no!
    The language of music
    the little black dots.


  22. claudsy on said:

    Oh, wonderful, Iain. Those little black dots can do a person in, can’t they? Loved this piece. I saw the movie you described. I heard the frustration and the hesitancy in relaying the fact that you’d come back to those little black dots with chagrin in your heart and a plea on your lips.

    Terrific job!

  23. WOW! There is a lot of reading here! I just can’t make it to this garden on most Sunday’s. Hopefully tonight I can return to read!….and offer something a little more ‘true’ to the prompt. This poem is true about the ‘fun’ of growing up then being the grown-up:)

    For My Daughter Mel

    Once I was a girl
    Young, carefree, like you
    Constrained by parents
    With a straight, narrow view

    Now I am the parent
    And I love you
    In spite of your scoffing
    At my straight, narrow view

    Someday I pray
    You will have girls too
    Loved and constrained
    By your straight, narrow view

    © Janet Martin

    I read this prompt after a long and somewhat heated ‘debate’ with my teen-age daughter. We ended on amicable but not total agreement.

  24. Pingback: Time for Napowrimo Day 22 | Vivinfrance's Blog

  25. Mine is here, as it is also linked to another prompt. I hope it is coherent!

  26. Dirty Hands Again

    Fingers in the dirt – the soil
    Is the color of rich chocolate
    Cultivated to a texture as fine as
    Sifted flour. Its smell is of the
    Earth, earth and sun. My father
    Shows me how to take my finger
    And draw a long line across the
    ground we are working in. This
    is a row and he lets me place the
    monkey-faced Swiss chard seeds
    Into their bed of earth – very carefully.
    We brush the dirt back over the
    Seeds and pat it down with our hands.
    This is our Victory Garden, but it is
    Something we do every year – we
    Plant a garden and I have continued
    This pleasure almost every year of
    My life. Big gardens when our family
    Was filled with growing children,
    Smaller for just my husband and me,
    Smaller yet for myself, but I plant extra
    To give to family when they stop by.

    It is spring now, but the weather has
    Been unusually cool and my son has
    Waited to spade my little garden patch.
    All winter long, my windowsills have
    Bloomed with house plants. Soon I
    Will move them outside, to the porch.
    Like most gardeners, I cannot give up
    The practice. It is always a pleasure
    To look forward to, even as the years
    Take their toll on the back and the legs,
    The fingers nervously wait for dirt.

  27. Thanks, Marie and Walt, for giving us a loving venue in which to poem.

    Ice Skating

    Ice skating with Uncle Bill,
    our eyes gleaming, clear as ice.
    Blue metal case clutched, bearing
    white skates. Fit them on, tighten
    laces. Tentative on blades, I hold
    on to sides of rink until Uncle Bill takes
    my hand in his, lengthening my stride,
    twirling and whirling me. As I gain
    confidence, he skates off easily
    as a gliding swan, keeping eyes
    on his red-cheeked, eager pupil.
    We stop for hot chocolate.

    Joyfully, I watch skaters carve
    the ice at Rockefeller Center,
    Christmas tree lights twinkling.
    I recall cold anticipation, thrill
    of skating around a rink. But time
    passes quickly, and soon this
    memory is distant. I can no
    longer imagine balancing on ice.

  28. Pingback: The Simple Life | echoes from the silence

    • Finally…something new, hot off the pressed fingers-to-the-keyboard… 🙂


      It seemed so simple then,
      the days of early youth.
      Nothing more to worry about than
      making sure my toys were put away.
      Of course there were endless
      chores on the farm, but it was a part of life.

      Life changed, though,
      when our family fractured.
      While I was really still a kid, the simple
      became much more complex.
      Responsibilities shifted, my age
      became greater than my years;

      independence became my life ring and
      self-sufficiency, my anchor. Later,
      anonymity of city-life, my sustenance;
      the business of busyness, my companion.
      Decades of responsibility brought
      another shift, to a different kind of focus.

      It’s simple: life doesn’t have to be
      as complicated as I’ve made it.
      The stuff that surrounds me is not
      what is important—the people are; and
      making time to play and doing your chores
      is as complex as it needs to be.

      P. Wanken

  29. Pingback: The Hourglass (NaPoWriMo #22, Poetic Bloomings) | Sharp Little Pencil - Amy Barlow Liberatore

  30. This page is awfully long, so please visit my page and comment there? Hope this is OK. Lovely prompt, guys. Amy

  31. Mr. Dilettante on said:

    Blooming Miracles

    So here we are, laughing,
    The sun upon our face at midnight.
    And I see a strand of hair go dancing across your face
    Wide open in dimple-showing-joy,
    Oh, joy…

    There’s a light that has been chasing us these past few days,
    It beyond bewilderment; you would call it “a haze”
    For wasn’t there darkness here before?
    Locking us behind closed doors? Honestly?
    Weren’t we miserable?

    I think maybe you’re different.
    Maybe you and me.
    For this house is the same one that we grew up in,
    So I know it’s not the house.
    And our bachelor neighbor still has cats forty-two.
    And though he is getting older…

    I don’t think he’s the cause of you,
    The spring in your eyes.
    The life in your cheeks.
    Even your blouse, it’s new.

    Maybe soon we thought we’d be grown up,
    On our own, all moved out and worldly-tough
    And able to say in lofty tones:
    “Keep the change.”
    But change occurs like child’s play,
    And as I tick off another day,
    We’ve never been so happy or dependent.
    My ideas of manhood are down at the altar, repenting…

    Yes, I know this moment cannot last,
    But now I know my Father.
    All too soon this day will pass.
    But tomorrow brings another.

  32. “The Road”

    The direction
    was always away,
    on that re-gifted Schwinn.
    Though the roads
    never went far enough
    to escape
    the smell of stale beer
    and cigarettes
    and the voice
    that told me–
    in some hearts
    alcohol takes first place
    (just ride the bike,
    he’s not coming
    home from the bar)
    the wind would sing
    and tell me tales of a time
    the road would open up
    and take me home.

    Light years have passed
    and the roads still call
    and on a long ride
    I can tell that boy
    the lessons learned
    from skinny tires on pavement
    were learned
    He knows where his heart is
    and these roads
    never leave home.

  33. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    (Naani form)

    Fun and laughter traced, pitching
    in our backyard field
    Days now gone, laughter still
    The Giants have replaced. :D!

  34. Friend and Foe

    I love the feel of the wind
    In my hair,
    On my cheeks;
    But what used to be mere pleasure,
    And playfulness,
    And teasing,
    Now seems to haunt my very soul
    With memories,
    And sad recollections;
    And still I love, and hate, the wind:
    My dearest friend,
    My bitterest foe.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    P. S. It is only rarely that I feel this way. But only three days ago marked the fifth anniversary of my brother’s death, and even here in Paradise, I feel very mournful just now.

  35. Hey all,
    it’s been too long. So bummed I missed the memoir project. Still plodding away at it though … slowly!

    Anyhow, thought I’d jump back in this week. Here’s my attempt.


    The sprinklers were cool in
    the summer heat,
    spraying slivers of rainbows like
    holograms hovering above
    the thirsty summer grass.

    We frolicked through the fountains
    bathing suits sticking
    to our slick skin, tanned
    by our afternoon
    forays in the yard.

    We peeled the wet fabric
    over plump bellies
    filled with laughter and lunch,
    shimmying and tugging
    our bare-threaded bikinis

    tossing them into the bathtub,
    relishing our nakedness
    ready for the next adventure.

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