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


Today, you are given random nudges, the replies to which will become the pieces to your poetic puzzle.

1. Your mother’s first name.
2. A wild  animal.
3. A city you’ve never visited, but would like to.
4. A hobby.
5. A mode of transportation.
6. Your least favorite vegetable.
7. A “lucky” number.
8. Your favorite color.
9. Three random words.
10. Historical event.
11. A childhood friend.
12. The street on which you grew up.

You can write in any form, meter and rhyme scheme.

Your title will be the answer to #1 + the second random word in #9.


Patricia’s Summer (a haibun)

Though it was November and quite chilly for the locals, its touch and texture was summer to Patricia as she walked the early morning beaches of Naples.   She strolled leisurely, taking mental note of individual grains of sand as they caressed her toes.  She considered the beached sea kale, noticing minute nuances of emerald tones.  She bent to pick up a particularly lovely shade, when she spotted a baby seahorse — no longer alive, but perfectly formed.  Patricia coddled her in her palm, contemplating whether or not to return her to the gulf of her birth.  Instead, she wrapped her in sea kale, and placed her in her pocket with coquina and golden olive.   She smiled as she recalled lessons learned on Belmont as a child – lessons of the Calusa “Shell Indians.”  Her childhood friend, Summer, loved to learn and speak of early Indian tribes.  She was the one who had introduced Patricia to this little-known tribe.  Now here she was on their beaches, far from her northern roots — farther still in distant time and culture.  Stroking the smooth shells in her pocket, she pondered these resourceful shell seekers, and mourned their extinction
Returning home, Patricia re-opened a letter from Summer, to which she had not taken time to respond.  She reached for the ornate treasure box Summer had made for her years ago.  In it, she placed her letter, the shells, kale, and seahorse, a dozen grains of beach sand, and her obituary.  She placed the box on a sun-dappled shelf, and marked it “Forever Summer.”      
Branch beyond your roots
Be mindful in the present
Gather memories
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013



Roller skates without a key
were useless as anyone can see,
And Irene truly knew the score
(though she’s never been to Baltimore)

She planted butt upon the couch
but sat upon her tiger (ouch)
which gave the large cat cause to cry,
and a piece of Irene’s rhubarb pie.

Her friend Susie lived on Wood Street,
her house was Navy Blue
with fourteen pickets in her fence
(you could see right through).

Susie had a veggie garden
that she dug with a spoon,
to make a dish to go with fish,
to eat walking on the moon.

Irene and Susie were in tune,
in fact, they were connecting,
but were caught raiding mail boxes,
(they called it, stamp collecting!)

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

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205 thoughts on “PUZZLE PIECES – PROMPT #111

  1. I couldn’t decide what form to use, so this is just a little bit sloppy. 😉

    Shannon’s Spell

    She lay still in the soft, green grass,
    Eyes wide open, DREAMILY absent;
    And she imagined herself passing
    Through the streets of DUBLIN,
    At length finding herself standing
    On the banks of the River SHANNON;
    She’d often LONGED that she could be there;
    She was in love with all things Irish.
    Perhaps it was the interesting fact
    That her name meant Ireland,
    Or that her mother’s name was the same
    As a river that ran its course through Ireland.
    Or perhaps the mention of the place
    Had cast a strange SPELL on her,
    Maybe that explained it.
    She wanted to soar like a BIRD,
    FLYING over the AQUAMARINE of the Atlantic Ocean,
    Landing peacefully next to the beautiful river,
    Away from all hustle and bustle,
    Far, far away from the familiar surroundings
    Of WALLER ROAD, and her studies of
    The interesting, but disappointing VIETNAM WAR;
    And she would take AMY with her;
    They’d fly together…

    She blinked slowly seven times,
    And woke up;
    Green beans and CAULIFLOWER scented the air –
    She was lying near the garden;
    She was back to reality,
    But she smiled as she remembered her daydream,
    And picked up her camera to SNAP SOME PHOTOS…

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  2. Greta’s Brush

    Such attention given to Snowball
    Aptly named, a seven year old fur ball
    A lion at heart
    She’d tear you apart
    Like the day the Third Reich did fall

    Some say she came from Miami
    Stowed away in an airplane belly
    She made it somehow
    Lives on Silver Street now
    Knitting carpets with claws is her hobby

    Greta gave Snowball a nice home
    Keeps her clean with a brush and a comb
    Snowball has a bed
    Bright tomato red
    Her friend Gina bought it in Rome

    (C) 2013 Earl Parsons

  3. William Preston on said:


    Elizabeth, from Roxborough Road,
    was frightened by a horny toad
    upon a street in Tallahassee.
    The toad was green and somewhat sassy;
    round as eggplant, it boasted seven
    brown-basted spots and warts, eleven.
    So frightened was Liz, she called on Shirley
    thinking that certainly Shirley surely
    would leave her painting, hop on her bike,
    and use her brains on the toady tyke.
    Well, Shirley came, a great brouhaha
    ensued, it could be heard in Baja;
    the toad was bested, it lost the battle
    and ribbeted out its last death rattle.
    so Liz and Shirley’s personal Midway
    was won on a Tallahassee skidway.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  4. William Preston on said:

    Marie, I did not want to go through that minefield again and attempt a haibun within the specifications of the prompt, but the form is intriguing. Apparently, it’s supposed to be a combination of a prose poem and a haiku. Can it also combine straight prose with haiku and/or senryu? I ask for two reasons: I have no idea what a “prose poem” is, and the latter part of your example looks more like senryu than haiku, as I understand (or, more likely, don’t understand) it.

  5. ejparsons on said:

    Greta’s Restaurant

    As children, Greta and Jill would often dream
    Dream of what they’d like to do in the future
    Future plans were made of a restaurant in red
    Red doors and walls and thirteen white tables
    Tables all arranged like the streets of a city
    City scenes on the walls in life-like murals
    Murals of Sydney, Shanghai, and Mexico City
    City after city, all with a little history
    History like Revolutions, Independence and more
    More on each wall, all painted by Greta
    Greta’s paintings and food would bring in the customers
    Customers hungry like wolves at a feast
    Feast your eyes on the magnificent veggie bar
    Bar those black olives from my salad plate
    Plate those meals at the Silver Street Diner
    Diners drive there from hither and yon

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  6. Elaine’s Earworm

    “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” On the evening of February 9, 1964,
    the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan.
    We lived on Tyrone Road back then
    and Kathy lived next door.

    If I could take the Tardis for a spin
    I’d like to time travel back to London in the late 1800s
    (or maybe just revisit Tyrone Road in 1964.)
    I might even eat some broccoli if I could do this.

    But I can’t time travel,
    so I won’t eat broccoli
    even ‘though my mom must have asked me to do so
    at least a bazillion times.

    “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” On the evening of February 9, 2013,
    I sat and stared at my cell phone
    whose phone case is in midnight blue
    with a Nittany Lion logo stamped on the back. But I digress…

    I thought about the phone conversation Mom and I just had.
    Mom mentioned that she had spoken recently with Kathy’s mom
    who told her that Kathy was still living in Berlin (or was it Brussels now?)
    In any event, it was a long way from Tyrone Road.

    But the thing is, years ago, I lost touch with Kathy
    (and yes, I still won’t eat broccoli.)
    Then, I put down my phone and picked up a pencil
    and doodled a picture of two little girls who once were friends.


  7. Laurie Kolp on said:

    Kathleen’s Hiccup

    Kathleen and Gabriela sipped
    Mimosas on the plane, a girl’s only
    trip to Savannah their weekend plans.
    To their left, a man was knitting
    while a baby slept in its mother’s lap
    holding tight a stuffed cheetah.
    One sip too many and a rank odor
    filled the air, like Brussel Sprouts
    or cabbage cooked too long, a smell
    strong enough to sink the Titanic.
    Kathleen squeezed Gabriela’s yellow
    sleeve, a rush of bile in her throat,
    her urge to vomit stronger than a hiccup,
    faster than a grab of bag release.

  8. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Fun prompt!

  9. Amazing piece Marie! Walt, yours drew a hearty, much needed smile!

    I rebel the form this week in honor of my Mother, who went home yesterday. Will return later to read everyone’s masterpieces. Following link shares some of what came to mind in the middle of the night as we watched her make the journey home. Also wrote/posted a piece for Mother’s day “Mom” which describes Mom to a T on the same Blog if you wish to see it, just scroll back.


  10. Pingback: Puzzle Pieces | Gene's Musings

    • Hazel Train

      My best friend, ran so hard from here
      as boys from artichokes.
      He left as if a dog to steak
      you’d never have to coax.

      ‘twas Market street he barreled down,
      ‘cause he saw it coming.
      Like an army bound for Moscow
      strongly was forthcoming.

      It charged as if through fields of green,
      an orient express,
      Past lakes of blue and mountains tall,
      while causing some distress.

      A crazed hyena driving it,
      conductor for the day.
      In 50 blocks or just one more,
      she’d surely find her prey.

      Once you’re pinned beneath the wheel,
      prepare to acquiesce.
      There won’t be pain, though now you’ll hear
      the Gettysburg Address.

      Those lectures always packed a punch
      like words that formed a bomb.
      Next time skip the running down
      and listen to your mom!

  11. (Mother’s first name, wild animal, city, hobby, mode of transport, ugly vegetable, lucky number, fav color, 3 random words, historical event,
    friend, street where you grew up, Your title will be the answer to #1 + the second random word in #9.)

    “Olga Origami”

    OLGA was the name her mother gave her;
    at birth she made a sound like caterwaul.
    Wild and distant as the Bengal TIGER.
    To MOZAMBIQUE; that place where’s she’s enthralled.

    She flies by BROOM and carries in her purse
    a coin mark`ed THIRTEEN; colored GOLD.
    Her ORIGAMI hobby is a curse;
    so, folded on the plate her OKRA cold.

    At KITTY HAWK, she watches Orville fly
    and screeching with the ugliest of glee
    she motions with her POWERS fond goodbye
    as trav`ling to her home she will now flee.

    This tiger in the TANGLED-WOOD of night
    is off to fold her paper into fright.

  12. Fran’s Woven Glass

    There is a tapestry of life
    with distorted dreams
    and chaotic threads
    that pull one day
    into the next.

    First one, then two,
    then a blurring of a thousand
    oil stained slats
    that form a fallen ladder
    holding up the train
    as it fills the blue sky
    with blackened soot.

    And all the rubbing inside
    can’t clear the outside
    nor bullet stop the frantic love
    that drove Bonnie and Clyde
    to lay upon the dust
    of a desolate road
    deep in the piney woods.

    So little Polly and I
    couldn’t know our path
    as we made hollyhock dolls
    and set them floating
    in a kitchen platter dance
    on Curry Street.

    • Sorry, I posted an earlier draft instead of the final version.
      It should read:

      Fran’s Woven Glass

      There is a tapestry of life
      with distorted dreams
      and chaotic threads
      that pull one day
      into the next.

      First one, then two,
      then a blurring of a thousand
      oil stained slats
      that form a fallen ladder
      holding up the train
      as it fills the blue sky
      with cheetah blackened soot.

      And all the rubbing inside
      can’t clear the outside
      nor bullets stop the frantic love
      that drove Bonnie and Clyde
      to lie upon the dust
      of a desolate road
      deep in the piney woods.

      So little Polly and I
      couldn’t know our paths
      as we made hollyhock dolls
      and set them floating
      first one, then two,
      in a rutabaga platter dance
      blurring a thousand dreams
      of ours on Curry Street.

      Fran, cheetah, woods, glass, train, rutabaga, two, blue, chaotic, distorted, woven, Bonnie and Clyde, Polly, Curry Street.

  13. Mine’s a little sloppy, too.


    If you only charged into each day as if it were the Lewis and Clark expedition, you’d find all the adventure you could ever dream.

    That was Marijean’s belief anyway.
    So, one day Pat and I gave it go.

    We bared our toes, packed a lunch of lima beans and cod,
    hopped on our bikes and rode around London pretending we were we were our own corp of discovery–cougars on the prowl for a new horizon.

    For seven months we dug up those trails chasing imaginary adventures, chasing away the monotony of clocks, chasing predators and prey and then one hot day we chased each other into a calligraphy shoppe on Vail Ave where we inked our names in indigo requesting the pleasure of your company at the expedition our nuptial knot.

    Words: Marijean cougar London calligraphy bicycle lima beans 7 indigo charge belief toes Lewis and Clark expedition Pat Vail Ave.

  14. connielpeters on said:

    People in this poem are fictional but not the floods.

    Helen’s Boast

    HELEN sits at her desk
    DRAWING ink landscapes.
    Her eyes a PURE PERIWINKLE blue
    sparkle as we beg her
    to tell us the story.

    Helen always began
    with a LAUGH and this BOAST,
    “The hail was big as BRUSSEL SPROUTS
    as I pedaled my BICYCLE down SHANNON CREEK ROAD
    about SEVEN on a summer evening in 1977.

    “I knew the gray clouds,
    dark, mean and low,
    could bring a storm as bad
    as any of the ones which caused
    the other two JOHNSTOWN FLOODS.

    “My muscles moved strong
    and rhythmic like a PANTHER,
    racing against the storm.
    The ice balls pummeled me,
    then came the hammering rain.

    “My friends JENNIFER and SYDNEY
    built their cabin unwittingly
    in the lowlands by the river.
    Halfway there I had to abandon my bike
    and run along the flooded road.

    “I made it to the cabin as the water
    reached their porch step.
    I banged on the door.
    They came out wondering
    if I had gone mad.

    “We fled in their Chevy.
    Eighty-six lives were lost that night.
    But not eighty-eight.
    Your grandparents made it.”
    “Thanks!” we say and run off to play.

  15. sheryl kay oder on said:

    This poem took more time than it was worth, but it was the best way I knew how to write it.

    My idea came from the second word I had chosen: junk. The only thing I could think of was the fact that Mother has many items in her bedroom, simply because there is little other space for her things in our house. I pictured her as having a disagreement with an unknown person who was appalled at what they considered her junk. Not every picture in the poem is sitting in her room, but they are old pictures we have somewhere in the house.

    I started with prose and then whittled words as much as I could. It seemed so prosaic, so I decided to rhyme two lines in each stanza. Some of it is a bit forced, but I did finish it. Hooray!

    Mildred’s Junk?

    PARDON me? These items are not JUNK.
    Books may collect dust, but it’s bunk
    not to appreciate the written word.

    The LEOPARD-spotted robe on my bed
    stays. And as I have often said,
    put those SCISSORS down.

    You will not cut pictures to bring
    your concept of order here. And that ring
    is a favorite of mine.

    See the picture of CHERYL over there?
    She stands on BROOK STREET where
    we lived when she and Sheryl Kay were young.

    Mike is wearing his uniform in that shot.
    It was during WORLD WAR II, and the spot
    where we met I’ll never forget.

    You might wonder why Michael looks so small
    next to that bridge. People are not all
    that is important in PHOTOGRAPHY.

    You want JUNK? You are welcome to eat
    those BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Take my seat
    at this table. Too bad they are a pretty GREEN.

    Now take your TRAIN back home.
    Then why don’t you simply roam
    around VENICE for a SEVEN-month tour.

    Just don’t bring home any souvenir JUNK.

  16. sheryl kay oder on said:

    Walt, I love your poem, especially the last two lines.

  17. Love this prompt!

    Here’s my words: Eleanor, San Francisco, shark, braiding, U-boat, celery, seven, blue, Pearl Harbor, Katie, 8th Street, peach, Everest, hurricane lamp

    Eleanor’s Everest

    Even before war broke out, one could
    see it in her eyes. those early photographs,
    defiant in her boarding school blues,
    a runaway in the shadow of Everest.

    Pearl Harbor brought tragedy, displacement,
    seven months home, zigzagging troubled seas,
    while German U-boats lurked like sharks.
    There was danger in the depths, she learned that well.

    Unsettled, she became an alien on Eighth Street,
    braiding her hair in henna-flecked lines while curry
    cooked in the kitchen. The horizon was flat here,
    the people plain as celery. She ran from school again.

    Seventy years later, she is still running, matching every
    Midwestern storm with a hurricane lamp on the
    basement stairs, tracing the rows of peaches,
    the map of the world, the picture of Katie and me.

    All the mountains she has yet to climb.

  18. Pingback: Jill’s Reservoir | Metaphors and Smiles

  19. I really enjoyed this!! I also REALLY enjoyed both of your examples, Walt and Marie…the humor in yours Walt and Marie…WOW…this is such rich writing!! I really love your prose style…your details and the tale itself are a fresh breath. Thank you both!
    Jill’s Reservoir
    Eleven green lima beans.
    She saved them from the day,
    the hour of the assassination of Abe.
    She stuffed them in her pocket,
    hopped on her bicycle and rode.
    She pedaled till she was ragged,
    sliding from the seat
    she rushed to the pebble speckled bank-
    named herself Christina,
    became a spotted leopard;
    camouflaged from the world,
    she was hidden from the planet
    that would allow such a tragedy.
    She devised a plan.
    She’d become an avid spelunker,
    mine Jade in the moonlight,
    (for lack of gold).
    She drew maps in the sand,
    counted copper pennies-
    placed them in a line,
    (heads up for good luck),
    tallied the days till she’d leave for Denver;
    she plotted deep dotted streaks
    these, for her Rocky ridge expedition.
    She was bound by blood,
    it would be her Robin-hood road days,
    she’d be a hero
    packing poignant words,
    those of her favored president:
    “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”
    She’d give them each a stone
    from her careful quarrying.
    She’d gift a gem to each of her enemies
    hoping to extinguish the flame of hatred,
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013
    These are my puzzle pieces:
    1. Jill
    2. Leopard
    3. Denver
    4. Spelunking
    5. Bicycle
    6. Lima Beans
    7. Eleven
    8. Green
    9. Appalachian reservoir jade
    10. Assassination of Abe
    11. Christina
    12. Robinhood Road
    Plus I used this quote: “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” – Abraham Lincoln

    I’ll be back my friends…it’s late here for me. Warm smiles 🙂

  20. Okay: I got most of them in:
    1. Barbara
    2. coyote
    3. Austin
    4. pottery
    5. Bicycle
    6. Yam
    7. 27
    8. red
    9. dawn’s early light
    10. D Day
    11. Elaine
    12. Patsy Drive
    You can write in any form, meter and rhyme scheme.
    Your title will be the answer to #1 + the second random word in #9.

    Barbara Early

    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, thought unexpected,
    a chance to share the blessings.

  21. Pingback: Moody Charlotte (true story, almost) | Sharp Little Pencil - Amy Barlow Liberatore

  22. Walt, this was a GENIUS prompt. Had me thinking about my wacky mom and her doings… It’s too long to post here, so please visit my blog:

    Thanks, y’all. I even enjoyed reading the posted responses without a poem attached, but I went whole hog on this one!! Amy

  23. Don’t even inquire as to where this came from, cause I don’t know. 😉

    Shannon’s Daring

    A frightful OCCUPATION,
    Much harder than CROCHET;
    Her friend HANNAH always said so,
    And she was an expert with her hook;
    Shannon kept eleven lions,
    Each as big as a bus;
    She fed them kale and GREEN BEANS,
    And tried to turn them VEGAN;
    Her plan almost worked too,
    Carried her lions off,
    And Shannon moved to Washington,
    Miserable, with all her DARING quite destroyed.
    She lived on WALLER ROAD,
    Her house was painted a CORAL color,
    And she never ate green beans again.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    1. Your mother’s name – Shannon
    2. A wild animal – lion
    3. A city you’ve never visited… – San Francisco
    4. A hobby – crochet
    5. A mode of transportation – bus
    6. Your least favorite vegetable – green beans (I have two)
    7. A “lucky” number – eleven
    8. Your favorite color – coral (I have two)
    9. Three random words – occupation, vegan, daring
    10. Historical event – San Francisco Earthquake
    11. A childhood friend – Hannah
    12. The street on which you grew up – Waller Road

    • Accidental Marion

      Moving house was a hobby for Mum,
      like horse riding, hot air ballooning or tiger shooting.
      The chance to live in Worcester Park or Sunnymeads,
      Old Park Ridings instead of Prague –
      haphazard choice of fate –
      led to numerous friends loved and left behind:
      Chris, the friend who’s a boy but not a boyfriend,
      or Pat, a bully until year six when we became best mates,
      or turnip-head Mike who made all the girls blue
      with his haughty ways and handsome face.

      The accidental geography of my life continued apace
      as marriage took me here and there –
      maybe it’s in my genes –
      until the revolution that brought us to France
      where we’ve stayed for twenty-plus years.
      Come to think of it, the moving doesn’t stop –
      we’ve lived in four different houses here,
      now preparing to move to a fifth.
      Rolling stones gathering no moss,
      we won’t die rich. I wonder where we’ll go.

  24. DebiSwim on said:

    Oh, my goodness – I wasn’t even gonna try but I’m not a quitter (usually).

    Elizabeth (the) Queen

    Bear in mind, please, that cars used to be big
    submarines of the dry lands and mama
    drove an old ’59 De Sota like a queen.
    Elizabeth wore a filmy teal scarf on her head
    had long, rounded, fiery red fingernails
    that tapped a beat on the steering wheel
    while sipping Seven-up and smoking Virginia Slims
    “You’ve Come a long way baby’.

    My brother and sister and I would
    sit in the backseat driving her crazy
    on long trips with our civil war.
    We’d fuss and fight, cry and howl
    like Scottish warriors of the highlands,
    till mama reached in the backseat
    and started smacking willy-nilly.

    When I got older, I got the front seat –
    that’s written in stone – shot gun! –
    and read. I read so much mama said
    I was gonna turn into a mushroom.
    My friend, Carol, and I went to the movies
    every Saturday. We dreamed of Paris
    and of looking like Catherine Deneuve.

    Oh, the good old days!

    1. Your mother’s first name. Elizabeth
    2. A wild animal. bear
    3. A city you’ve never visited, but would like to. Paris
    4. A hobby. reading
    5. A mode of transportation. De Sota
    6. Your least favorite vegetable. mushrooms
    7. A “lucky” number. seven
    8. Your favorite color. teal
    9. Three random words. crazy, queen, movies
    10. Historical event. Civil war
    11. A childhood friend. Carol
    12. The street on which you grew up. Highland

  25. Greta’s Liberty

    Mama was so young and GREEN
    Back when she was NINE
    She turned out just fine

    LIFE would not bring mama down
    She had lots of dreams
    She’d ride a MOTORCYCLE round
    Down HIGHWAY 1 she’d scream

    To SYDNEY she would go one day
    Eat OCRA from a jar
    With KANGAROOS and dingoes play
    And drive a left lane car

    When she returned she’d call HERB up
    To show him PHOTOGRAPHS
    Such HAPPINESS would fill her cup
    With endless smiles and laughs

    1. Your mother’s first name. Greta
    2. A wild animal. Kangaroo
    3. A city you’ve never visited, but would like to. Sydney
    4. A hobby. Photography
    5. A mode of transportation. Motorcycle
    6. Your least favorite vegetable. Okra
    7. A “lucky” number. 9
    8. Your favorite color. Green
    9. Three random words. Life, liberty, happiness
    10. Historical event. Pearl Harbor
    11. A childhood friend. Herb
    12. The street on which you grew up. Highway 1 (Rural Northern Maine)

    You can write in any form, meter and rhyme scheme. 7/5 Trochee

    Your title will be the answer to #1 + the second random word in #9.

  26. Mine would not copy with color, underline or bold.

    Ruth Ages

    Turned seven on Rockaway Parkway,
    where the ‘L’ train ran. A few years
    later, I made a good friend named
    Ilene. Mom always let up help
    with baking, and I still enjoy
    the process. Mom is old now,
    and I wonder if she remembers
    how we all cheered when Nixon
    resigned, the time New York
    Magazine’s cover shot was of
    a purple eggplant that looked
    exactly like Nixon’s face,
    and how I always rooted out
    lima beans from my vegetable
    soup. Does she think back
    to the time I bought her
    a stuffed lion, her favorite
    animal, and she named him,
    Dreyfuss. Someday, If I get
    to visit Austin, where I have
    family I barely get to see,
    we will gather our memories
    of Mom together, and perhaps
    we will learn something.

  27. Aleph’s Name

    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.

  28. Pingback: Aleph’s Name | The Chalk Hills Journal

  29. Couldn’t resist this prompt! Couldn’t highlight and on my tablet so you’ll have to guess–apparently Walt and I share a fondness for tigers 🙂

    Jackie Sea

    From Sandhurst
    Jackie flies to Venice
    With a tiger, Erin
    Buckled beside her
    They stare out
    At a turquoise sea
    Where the sun paints
    Figure eights just to
    Please them
    No Berlin Wall exists
    Between her and
    Joy when she spies
    Hominy hues of
    The Venetian village


    Dirt road dreams
    of faraway places
    happy days,
    and cuddling
    polar bear faces.

    Blue sky wishes
    of walking on the moon,
    flying off to Paris,
    and writing
    poetry to make hearts swoon.

    Green grass reality
    isn’t quite that life;
    raising four kids,
    hating celery,
    but I love being Tommy’s wife.

    P. Wanken

    *Bonnie, polar bear, Paris, writing poetry, flying, celery, four, blue, dreams, heart, happy, walking on the moon, Tommy, dirt road

  31. Pingback: Bonnie’s Heart | echoes from the silence

  32. A piece of prose.

    Marjorie Marsh

    gifted her boyfriend, STEPHEN BRADLEY
    (he of the flowing red locks)
    a pound and a half of fresh BROAD BEANS
    delivered by BLUE BALLOON,
    across the hedge that divided their abodes
    and with a note attached urging her beloved
    (for so he was, despite his failings of which Marjorie kept a list).
    The aforementioned missive was replete
    with advice on how he might, should he still desire her heart,
    mend his ways and thus earn her respect and undying devotion.
    Amongst the many errors of his comportment that young Marjorie
    considered most heinous was his habit of dressing like Zorro
    at the FENCING club and calling himself “The RED PANDA”
    and not least his overly HIRSUTE back, which proper young ladies
    found unsightly, to say the very least.
    She admonished him further reminding her love, (kindly but firmly she thought)
    of how the Portuguese sinners were punished by G-d (she was careful like that!)
    on Easter Sunday in the LISBON EARTHQUAKE OF 1755.
    Marjorie waited and waited and waited for an earnest reply and finally
    with her considerable (she was certain) patience under too great a strain,
    she rang his doorbell with a finger that was already in a pointing and wagging frame of mind.
    Surprised when the door opened, to be greeted by a lady of whom she had no recall
    and astounded to be told that Steve (she did not approve of name shortening!)
    had moved to Canada with a hippy-chick called Tina in a 1964 VW bus that her (Tina’s) parents had been to Woodstock in.
    At first dismayed and angry, our heroine’s spirits soon rose when presented to the youngest
    member of this new household, to wit , Master Timothy, aged 7, who, it seemed to Marjorie Marsh, was overflowing with faults that would be deserving of her never-ending attention,
    not least the way he failed to sweep his overly long blonde fringe away from his eyes and the fact that one of his shoe laces was (it would soon become apparent) always undone.
    Marjorie sighed and went home to rest, she had a great deal to consider before instructing her wayward mother on the correct positioning of food groups on a young ladies luncheon plate.
    Next door Tim (that would have to stop and soon!) was running around with a stick for no truly fathomable reason, blissfully unaware that his for-no-fathomable-reason-days were very soon to end.


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