THE POETIC BLOOMINGS “LIFE IS A BEACH!” GAUNTLET

(This is a slightly revised re-posting of an announcement originally made June 28.)

I’m on a much needed (aren’t they always) vacation next this week  😀  and I’m sure some beach time is in order. After all, “Life is a Beach!”

So here’s the deal. We will all be going on sort of a vacation next month in the form of the first POETIC BLOOMINGS “LIFE IS A BEACH” POETRY GAUNTLET. What’s this mean, Walt?

First of all, for the month of July, the weekly Sunday prompt will be suspended. WHAT, NO POETRY PROMPTS? Au contraire!

A beach/vacation-related inspiration will be posted daily. “Daily?” you ask, “How is that a vacation?” It’s a break from routine, so  spin your wheels, stretch your muse.Use this idea to write your poetry. Long, short, rhymed, it doesn’t matter. Just write. Everyday. That’s the gauntlet. And since everyone is doing “challenges” nowadays, we’re making hay while the sun shines.

Wednesday will continue as IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY with a twist. It will be joined with the prompt to pen your beach finery to that specific form. We may (will) repeat forms we have previously highlighted.

Marie’s monthly interview will also continue, so watch for it toward the end of the month.  (Catch Marian Veverka’s June interview herehttp://poeticbloomings.com/2013/06/20/poet-interview-marian-j-veverka/).

The BEAUTIFUL BLOOM feature on Saturday will also take a hiatus for the month (hey, Marie and I have earned the rest). However, anyone wishing to “award” a particular poem they’ve read with a Starfish, please feel free to do so. Poems will be selected from the month’s submissions for a special chapter in Book 3 (yes, there will be a book three! 😀 ).

BUT… we’re not done. As with the 20 week Memoir Project, you will be asked to compile another e-chapbook of the “Beach” poetry to be highlighted through the rest of the year. (Anyone wishing to still complete and submit a Memoir, you are welcomed to do so!)

So, pour yourself a cold drink, kick back (don’t forget the SPF), write more poetry and enjoy a different July here at POETIC BLOOMINGS.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #113

Not as easy as I thought it would be. Fitting a random word here and there is one thing. Shoving a whole line in is  another. But our poets did admirably with the charge. We are reaching some fantastic heights with our work and we are all better for it. So for our blooms…

(reminder: The Bloom and Sunday prompts will be suspended for the month of July)

MARIE ELENA’S PICK

Prose poetry?  Flash fiction?  Call it what you will, but “Alleyways and Passages / Despair and Redemption” by Iain Douglas Kemp is an engaging read.  Iain, perhaps you should think about writing a novel.  With a slight curtsy, I offer my Bloom.

Alleyways and Passages/Despair and Redemption (by Iain Douglas Kemp)

Our hero (or villain, you must judge for yourselves) sat in the all night diner across the street from the alleyway. He’d been down that alleyway more than once in both despair and desperation – visiting the tenants of the dark, dank tenement block that lay at its furthest end.

Maria (that was the name she gave and the one he had used, though he doubted its authenticity) gave a smile, a wink and a nod to the sign that hung on the wall in the doorway where she stood which stated “please, don’t squeeze the merchandise”,
there was a cartoon of a voluptuous, young (very young, it seemed from her face), Latino girl, “unless you intend to buy”.

Behind Maria, a dimly lit passage way led to a stairwell. The stairs went upwards but surely guided the passenger down to the eternal fires of damnation by way of the series of rooms opening off each landing that were in turn as much purgatory as any described by the Southern Baptist preacher who regularly stood outside the diner condemning the sins of the flesh.

His conscious had got the better of him this time, he had got a taste of these forbidden fruits too often for his own comfort and now he had got a taste of regret which stuck in his craw and turned his stomach, turned his face away from the mirror behind the counter to glance uneasily around the room. A life size poster of “The King” was emblazoned with the slogan “Elvis Presley is NOT dead!” He had not felt so dead inside since the day Elvis had died (in spite of the proclamation on the opposite wall).

Our protagonist (let’s leave it at that and let the preacher and his maker sit in judgment), gulped down his burnt, stale coffee and rose to his feet. He said “goodbye” to the counter-girl who responded with a “see ya later, Mac”. “No!” he retorted, “goodbye!” He stepped out into the hot, still, summer night air and in a blur of self-doubt he crossed the street and made a single pace into the alley. He stopped, frozen, mesmerised by the faint light behind the unmistakable form of Maria. He spat, cursed and turned on his heel, striding quickly away.

At the corner of the thoroughfare he hailed a cab and bid its driver take him home (if that is what you might call it – a place to sleep and keep his other suit was about all it amounted to).
He halted the taxi’s progress uptown and went instead of “home” into a swish hotel lobby, took a room, took a drink at the bar and took the elevator to the roof.
The morning paper stated that Jessie, a waitress at an all night diner and a working-girl who gave her name as Maria, identified the man as a frequent customer of both their “establishments” but were unable to offer a name to go with the now battered but peaceful face. The hotel lobby bartender recalled that he drank bourbon on the rocks and said his name was Elvis.

WALT’S CHOICE:

I have chosen this poem for the sheer power and expression of it. It speaks for itself. Suffice it to say, I was blown away by this piece. Sharon Ingraham, you have earned this BLOOM in spades!

AUGUST’S HAUNTING by Sharon Ingraham

Every night it’s the same:
The phone’s strident ring
splits the dark like an axe
Her hand reaches, flutters
ghost-like, mirrors her heart
hammering so fast,
it’s a blur of self-doubt
And always, that oh-so-recognizable
voice in her ear pronounces,
“Elvis Presley is NOT dead!”

From the doorway
where she stood
her Mama—eyes wide,
moves to her side,
grabs her hand so tight,
“Mama, please don’t squeeze
the life outta my hand—
I’m okay—really—”

They stare at each other…
Neither one wants
to say it
But eventually she gives in,
her voice as wistful
as always,
“Do you think if he had
gotten a taste of regret,
he’d still be in the building?”
The dark closes over them
like water, like curtains
being drawn.

IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – DESCENT

This sadistic little adventure into “form” from Walt’s mind, the DESCENT takes us on a diminishing line count by combining five (5) separate short forms to express your muse. All relate to the subject of your poem, and go in a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown. You will include a Limerick, a Quatrain, a Haiku or Senryū, a Rhyming Couplet and a Monoku. That’s fifteen (15) lines. You must stay true to the form dictates for each form (described below). Give your poem a title. Begin with:

Limerick – a short, humorous, often lewd or nonsense poem in five-lines of anapestic or amphibrachic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA), which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent.

Quatrain – a stanza with four lines and a rhyme scheme. For purpose of this string of poems, we will use either an ABAB or AABB scheme.

Haiku or Senryū – Japanese Haiku are poems that use sensory language to capture a feeling or image. They are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty or a poignant experience. They traditionally consist of 17 “on,” or sounds, divided into three phrases (lines): 5 sounds, 7 sounds, and 5 sounds. English poets interpreted on as syllables. A Senryū poem has the haiku structure and is often confused with it. The poem’s topic centers on human nature, particularly the dark side. Cynicism or dark humor can underlie the images.

Rhyming couplet – Two lines that rhyme and have the same meter.

Monoku – Senryu or Haiku written in a single horizontal line. 17 syllables or fewer.

MARIE ELENA’S DESCENT:

UNCLE

I think I’ll cry uncle this time.
I’m not in the mood to make rhyme.
My feet are disjointed,
Iamb disappointed.
My meter’s demanding a dime.
 
My quatrain’s off track
What would it entail
To get it pulled back
So it won’t derail?
 
I’m a poor poet
I can’t afford the syntax –
All my verse is free
 
I’m just in the mood
To sit here and brood.
 
An unassuming voice eerily orbits the tranquil moon: “Uncle.”
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
 

WALT’S DESCENT:

ONE DOWN, ONE TO HOLD

There once was a girl named Melissa,
and ev’ryone ‘round her would kiss her.
On hand or on cheek
maybe once, twice a week,
and when they weren’t near her, they’d miss her.

Melissa grew up to meet the love of her life,
and now she is living her life as his wife.
Not losing a daughter, but gaining a son,
and glad she’s sure that he was the one.

Her empty room sits,
memories of her youth rise,
tears filling our eyes.

Happiness is what provides them,
making no attempt to hide them.

My age advances, now Andrea grows so fast, full of love for life.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

HOOK, LINE AND SINKER – PROMPT #113

We’ve played with words from the day we’ve assembled in this garden. One of the most challenging romps is to be given a list of words to be included in your poem (Brenda Warren at THE SUNDAY WHIRL has had great success with the weekly Wordles). What we propose is similar, only instead of words we are providing you with random phrases that must be incorporated into your poem. You pick the poetic form (or none), any (or all) of the five offered phrases,  and the subject matter. You took the hook, we’ll feed you the lines, and it’s sink or swim as far as poetry goes.

Your lines:

“in the doorway where she stood”

“he had gotten a taste of regret”

“please, don’t squeeze the ________” (Fill the Blank)

“a blur of self-doubt”

“Elvis Presley is NOT dead!”

MARIE ELENA TAKES THE BAIT

SOLO

He lingered a good long while in the doorway where she stood, looking confused and forlorn those last moments they had spent together. A blur of self-doubt, she begged an explanation.  He had none.  He didn’t mean to hurt her.  Simply, he had gotten a taste of regret.  A taste – an insignificant sip – was all it took to leave remnants of love tossed to the wind to scatter like thistledown?  And now, a new and permanent supply of regret seized and overwhelmed him. 
 
He stepped clear, closed the door, and locked it behind him.
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
 

WALT’S HOOK:

ELVIS PRESLEY IS NOT DEAD!

In a blur of self-doubt, William Stanton
waited for the emcee’s introduction.
He had his instructions to begin
when the music reached an ear-splitting din.
Stanton’s impersonation was spot on!
He knew of its import, he was a good sport
but he had gotten a taste of regret.
The silhouette in the doorway where she stood,
was no longer hers. Rhinestones glimmering,
slick hair shimmering in the spotlight –
the time was right. This was his night.
The ladies screamed and dreamed
of his curled lip; he was so hip!
“Please don’t squeeze the Hunk of Burnin’ Love!”
It’s like he’s back in the building.
Long live the King!

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #112

We’re all famous, even if only amongst our poetic comrades. Our “best selling” poetic collections are all the rage and to know a bit more about the authors, we flip to the liner notes on the back cover…

This was the premise of our prompt. What we envision is splayed out in the comments for this week’s poems. The poems/poets chosen for our BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS are:

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM:

This week, I  just couldn’t NOT offer my Bloom to Andrew Kreider for “When the running stopped.”   That quirky tell-tale humor baits and elates, while he craftily spills who he is.  But it’s the understated wisdom of it all that I find completely beguiling.

Thank you, Andrew.  This piece will stick with me.

When the running stopped (by Andrew Kreider)

Just before his final race, Andrew Kreider
made two calls, one to his lawyer,
the other to his spiritual advisor.

Whatever was discussed can surely explain
only in part the bizarre circumstances
of his subsequent disappearance

the anonymous gift of one thousand copies
of Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” to the
Elkhart High School English department

the establishment of a state-of-the-art
penguin hatchery at the heart of
the Potawatomi Zoo

and the sudden appearance of
Garrison Keillor’s face carved into
the side of the Swiss Valley Ski Resort.

His garage was populated with
medium duty power tools
(not the really dangerous kind)

and a wall of guitar amplifiers
loud enough to make even
Pete Townshend soil his drawers.

Some say Kreider never took life
seriously enough. In truth, he probably
cared more than he could bear.

This collection must be read with a smile,
for as Kreider knew all too well, in the end
we are united not by our triumphs but by our flaws.

WALT’S BLOOM:

Although this poem reads like a foreword/dedication it is an expressive tribute which put our poet on a good path toward any successes she may envision. The vision is clear and success is what we believe we can achieve (even if we haven’t gotten there yet). Nessa Jay receives my BLOOM.

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS OF THANKS
TO MY GRANDMOTHER (by Nessajay)

First, I would like to thank her for growing the cherry tree
that gave me so many afternoons of finding heaven
through sunlight shining through green leaves
climbing to hunt red jewels staining my lips with
the same sweet that made the birds come back
year after year and trill out their gladness for life.

I would like to thank her for teaching me to play jacks
speak sign language make tamales mix salsa dance salsa
dance samba play samba reggae on old buckets and
love the world how I find it.

I would like to thank her for driving me to the beach and
to the desert in her souped-up El Camino with turquoise rims
that she converted herself to run on vegetable oil, so it poofs out
the carnival scent of frying dough everywhere we go
and when my grandma hits the hydraulics, everyone points
and says look at that old broad and her broad smile sparkles with
the sunlight bouncing off the hood and she always stops for
hitchhikers because she has Shaolin training and can
disarm any foe so why be afraid?

I would like to thank my grandma for listening to me like a lake
deep and unruffled for always having a bed made for me and
my sisters and all my cousins and for giving us a little money
every time we come around and unwrapping the right story
from her life at the right time to help us place our own
vignettes within the mosaic of our family history
world history universal mystery.

I would like to thank my grandma for raising goats
but not eating them and never forgetting
to bring something small for each grandchild
from her trips to Cuba, Brazil, Nigeria, Morocco, Prague,
Mexico and for dedicating her best last book
of poetry to me and for putting my 8th grade Winter Formal
picture on the jacket of her underground smash hit album
of Smokey Robinson covers.

I would like to thank my grandma for sitting with me
silently on the porch swing just nibbling on the subtle shifts
of sunlight’s colors and angles for waiting
til she turned 80 to start smoking a tobacco pipe
and waiting til her great-great-granddaughter was born
to leave this planet
and I want to thank her for
leaving us a little sign behind
when she left
that everything would be alright
because she crossed over smiling
and humming an unknown song

POET INTERVIEW – MARIAN J. VEVERKA

MARIAN VEVERKA

MARIAN J. VEVERKA

What’s this I hear?  I believe it is the collective “It’s about time!” from our Poetic Bloomings poets who popped in to see who is showcased this month in our Poet Interviews feature.  Yes, we finally got around to interviewing our eldest Bloomer, the remarkably talented Marian J. Veverka.

MARIE ELENA:  Welcome, Marian!  We’ve looked forward to this interview for a long time.  Let’s begin with the origination of your interest in poetry.

MARIAN:  My Mother would read me Mother Goose Nursery rhymes, and the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson.   I could say many of the shorter poems by heart.  I had a little cardboard-backed book of poems I carried everywhere.

MARIE ELENA: Mother Goose and Robert Louis Stevenson – such variety your mother introduced you to at a young age.  And I love that you carried a little book of poems everywhere.  Your love of poetry began early and held fast!  Do you have a sample poem from your childhood that you would not mind sharing with us?

MARIAN:  This is a poem I wrote when I was in High school.  I always liked it because it said exactly what I was thinking about at the time.  It was also one of those poems that seemed to flow just naturally, all by itself.

Days of Plenty (by Marian J. Veverka)

Green rows of corn marching
Into the haze of the horizon.
The sky, bowl taut,
Stretches down to meet them.
Night whispers sounds
Of young corn growing.
Thunder mutters rain,
Leaves uncurl to touch it.
Morning sun
Blasts open the sky.
Shimmering heat
Treads lightly over summer’s
Yellowing wheat.

MARIE ELENA:  Thank you, Marian!  Such a lovely visual, and sense of gratitude.  Beautifully done.

Your talent is obviously in-born.  You actually managed to win a Cleveland Press contest for adults when you were only ten years old.  Yet you didn’t let your natural talent go it alone forever.  I see you received a BFA in Creative Writing at Bowling Green State University, which is only about fifteen minutes from where I live.  Congratulations on graduating cum laude, and receiving the Ann Bachelder Poetry award!  How has your BFA benefited you?  Is it something you would recommend for those of us who enjoy writing?

MARIAN:   If one had the time and the money to spend, it is certainly worthwhile.  When I was at Bowling Green, I was introduced to various styles of poetry and poets; things I wouldn’t have found on my own.  Also interacting with the other students and their work is valuable.

MARIE ELENA:  I also see you have written novels.  Are you taking steps toward publishing them?  I, for one, would be very interested in reading anything from your pen.

MARIAN: Not any more.  The novels I finished and tried to publish are dated now.  Much better novels have been written.

MARIE ELENA: I wish you would reconsider.  I bet your novels are smart and creative.  You say they are “dated,” but perhaps that would be a good thing – set in a long-passed era, and written during that time.  I bet they are wholly authentic.

Have you considered self publication?

MARIAN:  What I have seen of self-publishing is that it is a lot of work and you need to know what you are doing.  It is not for me, but I know people who have done great with it.

MARIE ELENA:  Speaking of books, would I be correct in stating that you were once a librarian?

MARIAN: I worked in libraries part-time while I was in high school and during the summers.  I love being around books.  Later, after my children were older, I worked part time in our town’s library.

Marian working at the library

Marian at her beloved library

MARIE ELENA:  It’s easy to picture you in that role, photo aside.  😉  It seems to suit you.

A great deal has changed in your lifetime, Marian.  If you could “undo” one change (major or minor), what would it be?

MARIAN:  The loss of public transportation.  When we were in high school, we could ride to our friend’s home, or stop and do a little “window” shopping, or back to school for a basketball game, etc.

MARIE ELENA:  In the reverse, what historical change are you most thankful for?

MARIAN: The civil rights movement that grew to include all minority peoples and also the women’s rights, and all the movements for equality in our society.

MARIE ELENA: Nice response.  It makes me wonder about the first time you had the privilege of voting.  Who was running for president?  Do you remember what thought went into your decision, and how you felt?

MARIAN:  When I voted, Adlai Stevenson, from Illinois, Democrat, was running against Dwight D. Eisenhower, the General and Republican.  We are a working class family and I voted the straight ticket, which you could do in those days.  I voted straight Democrat, though I admired General Eisenhower, everyone said he was going to win anyway. I didn’t believe my vote made that much difference. Later, as I grew older, I realized the error of this kind of thinking.

MARIE ELENA:  How would you feel about having a woman as President of the USA?

MARIAN:  A woman would make a good president.  The German president, Angela Merkel is respected worldwide.  More countries are electing women and the U.S. should examine our women leaders.

MARIE ELENA:  In addition to the civil rights movement, you have lived through a number of important historical events.  What event do you feel had the most impact on your life?

MARIAN: The assassination of President Kennedy.  He gave us all so much to hope for.  And in October 1963, he started to order our troops to withdraw from Vietnam.  He, together with the Russian president, came to an agreement in the Cuban missile crisis that saved the world from a nuclear conflict.

MARIE ELENA:  President Kennedy’s assassination is my earliest memory of “news” awareness, and the direct personal impact of events outside our home.  I remember my mother’s reaction very well.  She collapsed into a chair as though knocked down by the very words themselves.

Another enormous loss for you was the passing of your husband back in 2006.  I’m so sorry, Marian.  With your permission, I would like to share one of my favorite writings of yours:  “Worth Dying For.”  This eye-opening tribute to him was published in Verse Wisconsin.

Worth Dying For (by Marian J. Veverka)

 I
John V. turned 18 in 1943. The letter he had
Been waiting for arrived the next day.  He
Grabbed the mail before his parents realized
What had arrived.  The letter was addressed
To him and began with the word “Greetings.”
Everybody talked about the war.  Two of
His brothers were in the service.  He prayed
He would pass his physical.  He wanted – what?
To be in on the action!  To be part of history!
To impress everyone when they saw him in his
Uniform!  Men (and that is what he called himself
Now)  were not afraid to fight for their country.
It never occurred to him to ask Is it “Worth Dying For?”  
 
II
He is at Fort Bragg, NC.  He can’t feel his hair.  His
Uniform sags on him because he is a bit underweight.
Everywhere he looks, he sees men just like himself.
At night, in the barracks, he hears men crying in their
Sleep.  Maybe they miss sleeping with their wives.  No
One says anything about this.   The sergeants all yell.
No one talks in a normal voice.  He learns to lift his
Feet.  Right face, about face. He is given a rifle.  He
Takes it apart and puts it back together again.  He goes
Home on a furlough.  It is what he has always dreamed.
Everyone treats him like a hero.   Then they go to a camp
In New Jersey.  Camp Kilmer.  It is named for a poet who
Was killed in the first war.  They ship out on a ship called
The “Aquatainia”. They land in England, but they are not
Allowed to say where.
 
 III
Soon after their arrival, the Allies invade Normandy.  Some
Of the men are mad and disappointed that they were not part
Of the invasion.  The officers tell them that soon they can kill
All the Germans they want.   No one says much about being
Killed.  No one asks “Is it worth dying for.”  Soon he feels the
Cold waters of the Channel seeping thru his combat boots.   He
Can run easily through the water because he grew up on Lake
Erie.  After everyone has debarked, they march to Chereburg.
They see their first dead.  Civilians, Germans and animals.
 
 IV
They are in a long line along a dusty road.  Some of the men
Mutter about the smell.  This is where he will fire his rifle
At a human target.  The human target will also be firing his
Rifle at him.  At the time. he does not think about this.   He
Does not think about anything except staying out of the enemy’s
Fire.  He looks for the enemy.  An order comes to close, to get
Closer together,  That is when he realizes he has been hearing
Bullets.  He looks to see where they are coming from and fires
In that direction.   The men kneel in the brush and fire.  The
Brush is called “Hedgerows.”  This is what they do.  They clear
The enemy from the hedgerows of Normandy.  He sees men shot
And killed.  Maybe he has killed someone.  He has tried,  This
Is not a time for questions.  It is a time for staying alive.
 
 V
The war has been over for almost ten years.  John V is married
He has two children.  His wife is expecting a third.  He has a
Job on the Railroad and he and his brothers have built them a
House in the country.  The first two children are girls.  This is
Good, he thinks.  But he might have a boy.  He has joined the VFW.
They stay late at the bar, drink and talk.  This is where the war
Stories come out.  There has already been another war in Korea.
He has said to his buddies that he would not send a son to Korea
To fight.  His buddies, some of whom are the fathers of sons, nod
And understand.  The question has been a seed, growing inside them
No, he says.  Some things are not worth dying for.  Then he adds
“But how the hell do you know the difference?”
 
Marian and her husband at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for their daughter's Army graduation.

Marian and her husband John at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for their daughter’s Army graduation.

MARIE ELENA:  Thank you for letting me share this amazing and thought-provoking tribute,  as well as the lovely photo of the two of you.

When I discovered you had six children, but only five were living, my heart sank deeply for you.

MARIAN:   All our children lived to be adults.  Our 2nd daughter, Betsy, was an RN, living in Seattle when she passed.  We had her brought back to Marblehead, and she is in our church cemetery.

MARIE ELENA: I simply cannot imagine losing a child; even a grown one.  Did you write any poetry about it at the time?  If so, was it at all therapeutic?

MARIAN:  The book “Beyond the Dark Room,” which many members of “Poetic Bloomings” contributed to, has several poems I had written about losing Betsy.  I wrote a lot of stuff which I threw away because it was not poetry, just my feelings and emotions at the time.  I believe that writing out is good therapy, but not poetry.

MARIE ELENA:  I’m glad your poems are being shared with others. That takes a certain level of courage, Marian.  Hopefully they will benefit someone in a similar difficult situation.

You often write of Cleveland.  To me, Cleveland seems like a city that has gotten a “bad rap.” If you could give us a tour, where would you take us?

MARIAN:    Cleveland has changed so much since I left in the 1950’s.  Euclid Beach Park, which was a short street-car ride from where we lived, is gone.  I wish we all could visit it once again.  Along with the beach, it had all these traditional amusement park rides, plus a ball room where big name bands used to play.   The West Side Market is still there with its amazing variety of all kinds of ethnic foods.

MARIE ELENA:  Your Euclid Beach Park sounds very much like Walt’s Crystal Beach, and my Idora Park – favorite amusement parks from our childhood.

Now let’s travel from Cleveland to Marblehead.  If you could give us a tour, where would you take us?

MARIAN:  The small village of fishermen and quarry workers has disappeared beneath an avalanche of “vacation homes” and “McMansions.” It is too touristy to be interesting.

MARIE ELENA:  How disappointing.  I’m with you, Marian:  A small fisherman’s village is far more interesting to me than yet another cookie cutter community.   Still, your photos are beautiful and charming, and give us a sense of where you belong.  Thank you for sharing them with us.

Lake Erie, with view of Kelley's Island.  World-known amusement park Cedar Point would be to the right.

Lake Erie, with view of Kelleys Island. World-known amusement park Cedar Point would be to the right.

Marian at the quarry pond behind her home

Marian,  gracing the quarry pond behind her home

MARIE ELENA:  Finally, Marian, if you could share only one thing about yourself with us, what would you choose to say?

MARIAN:   Probably that I have always been a lover of books and reading.  Poets and writers are among the people I admire most.

~~~~~~~~~~

A special note of thanks to Marian’s daughter Kathy for selecting and providing the photos.  I must also add sincere gratitude for her service in the United States Army.

For more of Marian’s poetry, visit her blog at http://marianv.blog.co.uk/.

IN-FORM POETS WEDNESDAY – DIALOGUE DIZAIN

Walt has developed a “new” verse form with which to experiment. It follows the basic format of the Dizain, (ten lines rhymed: a b a b b  c c d c d). The body of the poem is a dialogue between two people on the subject of the poem.

MARIE ELENA’S DIALOGUE DIZAIN:

LISTEN

It’s me again, and things look bleak.
I just can’t cope.  I’m deeply stressed.
 
My child, can you hear me speak?
 
I’m sad, alone, and so depressed.
Can You not hear my grave request?
 
My precious one, I’m always near.
I’ve got your back – release your fear.
 
Can You not hear me when I pray?
My prayers are urgent and sincere!
 
You’re mine.  I cherish what you say.
 
          “Be still, and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
 

WALT’S DIALOGUE DIZAIN:

SAN JOSE

“Do you know the way to San Jose?”
“That is a good question that you ask!”
“I’ve been driving all night, but I’ve lost my way!”
“It surely seems a daunting task.”
“Thank God, I brought a full hip flask.

“Maybe I could ride with you?”
“The company might be good, that’s true!”
“I could talk while you would drive”
“And I’d stay awake the whole way through!”
“A darn good way to stay alive!”

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

********************

 

A MUST-READ POET – PROMPT #112

Your life is an open book; a best seller. Your poem is the blurb from the back cover. It doesn’t need to be strictly on the level. Let your imagination and ambition color your background. What have you done; what do you dream of doing? Consider it accomplished and write your blurb.

MARIE ELENA’S RUN-ON DREAM:

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams, awake.”   ~ Henry David Thoreau

If success…
 
is measured by pleasure
that graces wee faces;
the glee you see as they adorn the knee
of the one who will read and quench their need
for story in rhyme, and take the time
to let small fingers linger and point
and think it a treat to repeat and repeat
the giggley, squiggely words for the wiggley
who can’t get enough of her picture book stuff,
then yes, she’s been blessed with the grandest success.
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
 

WALT”S BLURB:

WORDS OF WALT

Years of struggling have paid off,
others scoff at Walt’s success, but the rest
of the world knew what he went through
to reach his dream. His ninth poetry
collection has taken perfection and
although turning it down a notch,
raised the bar to secure future success.
His best is yet to come,and some
find that hard to believe. Looks deceive
but his words tell it like it is.
Entitled “Bullcrap Sells,” this may well be.

© Copyright Walter Wojtanik – 2013

We’d also like to wish all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day.  It’s one of the toughest jobs on the planet, and hopefully one of the most rewarding. 

Walt, we’d love to see a photo out here of you with your gorgeous daughters.  *hint, hint*  Happy Father’s Day, Pard!

WojFamPlus1

The “Official” family wedding portrait (I’m flanked by my daughters)

IMG_0145

Andrea and Melissa

 

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #111

We supplied the clues. You provided the pieces, and a poem was born.  Now the puzzle remains, who will be awarded a BEAUTIFUL BLOOM for this week? Let’s find out:

MARIE ELENA’S CHOICE:

 

For me, this was a very difficult prompt. Many of you made it look quite easy, including Marilyn Braendeholm (aka Misky). Misk, you could not write a bad poem if you tried. But this? This is absolute brilliance. Nothing I can say would add anything of worth, so I simply present you with my “Bloom.”

Aleph’s Name (by Marilyn Braendeholm)

There’s a photograph on the wall, framed
in scrolled silver-plate, and the photo always
falls askew, slips and tucks into the bottom
white matt like the sinking of the Mary Rose.
She refuses to sit, be still, be centred.
 
She is my mother: Aleph.
 
Her name is ancient, a glyph on walls, a mark
by scribes on the stone lions of Babylon, inscribed
on the eight towers of Ravenna. You’ll find
her name where truth sprouts from sands,
across deserts silently running as time races
blind through Syria’s ruins, and you’ll find
her name on temple columns that drink
from the Blue Nile. Her name speaks of bridled
oxen in Samarian, an ox’s head in Arabic.
 
She is my mother, Aleph.
 
Stubborn as the ox, refusing to be positioned
within confines of silver. Aleph, in Hebrew –
words spoken in truth, she – the silent one,
she – who is sometimes first but never last.
 
She is my mother, Aleph.
 
Aleph, King of Breath. Aleph, air of the universe,
and the lungs of one’s soul. Aleph, your name
speaks of Oneness with God. My mother, Aleph,
who’s off centre and slipping to the bottom of silver,
a name that calls to her from beginning to end.
 
She is my mother, Aleph.

1. Aleph 2. Lions and oxen 3. Ancient Babylon 4. Photography 5. Running 6. Sprouts 7. Eight 8. Blue 9. Sand Name End 10. Sinking of the Mary Rose 11. Mary 12. Ravenna Blvd.

 

WALT’S CHOICE:

The vignette portrayed here is a piece that as Amy Barlow Liberatore labeled a “day in the life” poem. And Amy has a good point there. It tells a story. A wonderful walk to fetch the morning news and begin the day’s labors. A homey and welcoming poem, as one would imagine from an Alabama Tarheel! Nancy Posey, you’ve earned this BEAUTIFUL BLOOM.

Barbara Early (by Nancy Posey)

Never one to sleep in, she slipped out of bed,
walked out to the end of the driveway
for the paper thrown from the window
of a car with a noisy muffler,
not a small boy on a bicycle
as she remembered years ago
collecting twenty-seven cents
every Saturday morning.

She sat reading at the kitchen table
while the coffee brewed, hardly seeing
the red sun rise over her shoulder,
never even noticed the coyotes
howling far beyond the fence line,
lost in thoughts that over formed
themselves into prayers of thanks,
not for dreams that came true,
but for blessings she never dreamed
of asking before they arrived
unbidden, the sorrows averted.

These rare quiet moments alone
were enough. She knew soon
her phone would ring, her oldest,
Elaine, calling to say good morning.
A car in the drive or a knock
on the backdoor would signal
a visit, pleasant, though unexpected,
a chance to share the blessings.

IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – APPRECIATE

In highlighting the creative minds of our poets, there is one aspect on which we have only brushed the surface, that being in the matter of newly created form. We’ve used many forms in this segment of POETIC BLOOMINGS that have been developed by people outside of our realm of influence. But….

This week we tap Earl Parsons in a form the he’s been working the kinks out of, and I’ve decided to help Earl present it here in his “own” words:

We’ve all heard the cheer, “2, 4, 6, 8, Who do we appreciate!!” Well, here’s a poetic form based on that cheer. It’s simple:

A poem of one 5 line stanza with syllable counts of, hold it now, just a minute, I think you guessed it….. 2, 4, 6 and 8 with the fifth line being 7 syllables, just as the line “Who do we appreciate.” There is no rhyming pattern to follow, however, the subject of the poem must be something that is appreciated (I guess that will eliminate politics, war, or socially polarizing issues). Simple, no?

Let’s give it a go with two examples from Earl:

Love

True love
So pure of heart
Can never be taken
Even though one may pass away
True love will always live on

Or this:

Cat Licked

Cold nose
Sniffing my face
Whiskers tickling my cheek
Is it love or is it hunger
Quick before I get cat licked

~ Earl Parsons

 

AND NOW OUR EXAMPLES:

 

MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT:

SPAMMER

 Sincere
Indebtedness
And appreciation
For how pertinent my viewpoint
Is to you in this moment.

© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013

 (I hope sarcasm is acceptable, Earl.  But I mean, seriously … how gullible do these spammers think we are?  HA!)

WALT’S APPRECIATE:

IN HER THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

She prays.
Keeping those near
amongst her intentions.
No mention of her own distress.
It is best we pray for her.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013
 
(Hope you had a nice walk, Marie!)
 
Walt, you are so very kind.  Thank you!  And yes,  I love my morning walks.  ~Marie