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


July 11thThe two things you need to make a great beach is the sand and the water. Give the latter its due for this prompt. Write a lake, or ocean, (or river, creek or stream… any waterway) poem.



July 10 – Seagulls (Triolet)

July 9 – Boats

July 8 – Seaweed/Kelp

July 7 – Sandcastles

July 6 – Lifeguard

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    Shiver me Mateys, the tide’s setting sail,
    batten yer hatches and tremble.
    Her timbers be creaking
    as if they was speaking
    a warning to those who would keep her assembled.

    “Yo-Ho! Yo-Ho!” the storm’s kicking in,
    me sea legs, they rattle and shake!
    If this rig starts to failin’
    there’ll be no more sailin’
    heading into this hellfire would be a mistake!

    Davy Jones’ locker is missing a hitch,
    Moby Dick’s mother’s a cold-blooded bitch,
    Come hell and high water
    Each sea-farer’s daughter
    had better prepare for the worse.
    The ocean is callin’,
    The waves keep a-fallin’
    and the Wicked Seas Witch is casting her curse.
    Dead men who sail never live to tell tales.

    Aye, keep me feet firm as I’m standing a-stern,
    Tethered to mast and to spar,
    If we capsize indeed!
    We’ll be octopus feed,
    Leagues below water will be where we are!

    Poseidon is hiding with lightning in tow,
    Neptune in tune with his trident aglow,
    Come hell and high water
    Each sea-farer’s daughter
    had better steer clear of the shore.
    The ocean is callin’,
    the waves keep a-fallin’,
    don’t let the seas make you their whore.
    Dead men who sail never live to tell tales.

    © Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

  2. William Preston on said:


    Where the river flows
    through the frozen snows
    and the air is crystal blue,
    and the chickadee
    is displeased to flee
    from a feeder strong and true,

    it is in that place
    that the heart of grace
    will be found, despite the cold,
    for the stillness there
    in the azure air
    proffers presence pure as gold.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  3. Thoughts Of Rain

    The smallest drop of clearest rain can make
    A tiny pool, which sparkles as it grows;
    It catches other tiny drops and flows,
    A river now, to meet a sea or lake;
    Just so, the smallest thought or sound awakes
    The banks of time, and in my mind there grows
    A tiny pool that catches thoughts, then flows
    To meet the sea, of constant thought partake;
    But while that thought is still its own and free
    Of all surrounding it on either side,
    The tiny drop of crystal rain is lost
    Amid the roaring waves that form the sea;
    And one day it will come in with the tide,
    A single part of that enormous host.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  4. No time to write a new one, but I thought this old one fitted the bill:


    Curvaceous mighty lower Thames
    winds past London’s sordid glory.
    Maps show alcoves of once upon a time
    idle docks transformed to a warp of luxury living –
    from penthouse suites,
    to ivory towers of bankers,
    and invisible media moguls
    with their eternal spinning.

    Further West the river narrows,
    tidal flood forgotten ,
    through the placid water meadows
    graced by languid cows,
    entwined lovers, sweating oarsmen,
    sedate punters, strolling walkers.
    Happy dogs splash
    chasing sticks, emerging
    to shake and spray their owners.

    Ever Westward the river meanders
    through a froth of Queen Anne’s Lace,
    dwindles quietly to boggy beginning
    and disappears.

  5. DebiSwim on said:


    This poem written earlier could be about a lot of rivers but is about the New River which “runs Northwest from NC to meet the Gauley River and become the Kanawha River in south-central West Virginia. The Kanawha then flows to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Much of the river’s course is lined with steep cliffs and rock outcrops, particularly in its gorge in West Virginia.”


    Running smooth and lazy
    Round the bend it forks in
    Respect to the island
    Reposing there mid-stream,
    Re-gathers itself to
    Rage over boulders and
    Rocks in riotous bliss.

    • William Preston on said:

      I have a lot of respect for this poem: the form is hard for me, requiring the same beginning letter and the same number of syllables for each line. This is well done.

      Although I’ve never been in North Carolina save to pass through, I feel like I know the New River; seems like I heard New River Train an awful lot on the Andy Griffith Show over the years.

      • DebiSwim on said:

        Thank you, William, this is the one and only Pleiades I’ve done. I like the form and need to think about trying more. Our part of the New River boasts the New River Gorge and is famous for it’s bridge and white water rafting.

    • I love the background info of the rivers and am excited to see a new form…I haven’t tried this one yet, (that I can recall…), wonderfully done, Debi!

    • I like this a lot, Debi! It’s very pretty and simple.

    • Marjory MT on said:

      Reporting a wonderful river scene.

  6. Here are two. One is slightly off prompt but that’s what muses do sometimes.

    A Walk with Waves on Salty Stones

    Sing in my ears,
    whistle clouds and shroud
    the day with your deep rhythm.
    I wish to be lost forever
    in your wash,
    and bathed
    in your blue constance.


    The End of Filling Puddles (or It’s Time to Dry Up) *

    This is a letter to tears.
    Beggin’, you see, to dry your
    pondered puddles to dust, cease
    crying over them.

    An end to dead stares, eyes sear
    and spill tragedy. Your flood
    is no great leveller, you
    are lonely as rain.

    An end to tears salting lakes,
    you distil and drown sorrow’s
    senses. We are soggy wet,
    slopped from marsh to shore.

    So you see, tears, we are done
    with mopping up after you.
    Fulfil yourself elsewhere; there’re
    no puddles here today.

    (*not-quite-to-form Dodoitsu poem)

    • William Preston on said:

      Your first piece is a little tour de force, in my opinion; “whistle clouds and shroud” is a gorgeous line, especially. The second poem is so evocative, notably, for me, the line, “Your flood
      is no great leveller, you are lonely as rain.” Two great works.

    • DebiSwim on said:

      I love them both. I agree with William on “whistle clouds and shroud” but also love “your blue constance”

      The ending “there’re no puddles here today” – great!

    • I, too, love your “blue constance!” Great poems, Misky!

    • Two beautiful poems! I especially love the last one. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Two Poems for Water | The Chalk Hills Journal

  8. This is an older one I wrote about Lake Erie:


    Erie’s impulsive persona is sure
    To quicken the pulse, to tempt and to lure.
    Don’t let her shallowness put you at ease;
    She has a deep yearning to taunt and to tease.
    Waving invitingly — warmly, it seems,
    Changing at once to tempestuous screams.
    Eerily haunting, she’s hard to resist.
    She rules the Great Lakes with a placid clenched fist.

    © Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2010

    Will return later to read! 🙂

    • William Preston on said:

      I live near Lake Ontario, which is much deeper than Lake Erie. Given that the Niagara’s falls are wearing down gradually, and that Erie is so shallow, I’ve often thought of the latter as a broad river connecting Lakes Huron and Ontario. Your poem, with its allusions to “impulsive” and “pulse,” tends to reinforce that idea, for me anyway.

      I also like this for its sounds, notably the rhyming couplets and the internal rhymes, and the lines beginning with “Erie” and “eerily.”

    • DebiSwim on said:

      impulsive/pulse – Erie/eerily – to taunt and to tease – tempestuous screams/Eerily haunting… just jumped out at me – great choices of words.

    • Exquisite word choices my friend!! What a joy to read and I just love your title…so profound!

    • Thanks much, guys! 🙂

      Marie Elena

    • Love this, Marie! It has such a playful rhythm.

    • Marjory MT on said:

      Simple said – A Great Job of Writing

  9. William Preston on said:


    Today I walked the towpath;
    the original one,
    so the sign said.

    Hereabouts, my ancestors
    dug the channel and built the locks;
    hereabouts, my American blood
    was born and flowed;
    hereabouts, shanty, black and potato Irish
    were needed
    and did apply.

    Here, many years ago,
    hayburners pulled the packets;
    hoggees rode the hayburners;
    low bridges toppled top hats;
    cobblestones were gathered into homes.
    Here, many years ago,
    a state began to grow.

    They built an Empire State
    by digging a ditch.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  10. William Preston on said:


    The river and the sea are mingling here.
    The estuary outflow roils around
    within the waters of the waiting sound,
    while overhead the seabirds wheel and jeer
    at schools of fish that gather off the pier,
    their chorused screaming running prey aground
    on spurs of castellated rocks that bound
    the scene. When first I saw this mighty weir,
    this place where wind and rain and tide engage
    to meld the power of the sea and sky
    with other forms of life and sense,
    I dared not understand its throttled rage;
    I feared to question why a place to cry
    would stand astride the axis of events.

    ‘copyright 2013, William Preston

  11. connielpeters on said:

    Not quite a waterway poem but it will have to do. I’m headed back over the mountain to home today. I’ve been visiting my sister a couple of days.

    Just Add Water

    W hen you get right down to it
    A ll dreams, ambitions, positions,
    T oys, trips, cars, houses, stuff,
    E ndless goals and to-do lists don’t
    R eally matter without water.

  12. Green Lake Reflection

    Sunrise from behind highlights
    The dormant volcano’s peak
    Snow capped frigid white in spring
    This mount most recognized

    Morning fog holds light and low
    Over glass calm green waters
    Cherry trees peer through the haze
    Dark bark behind blooms beauty

    Sun’s rise spreads morning rays
    Fog burns away to expose
    A rare sight beheld by so few
    Forever chiseled in the mind’s eye

    As I gaze I gasp for air
    Green lake spread out before me
    White cherry blossoms grandeur
    Like a frame around the lake

    Still waters perfectly reflect
    The wonder of the mountain
    Dormant now four hundred years
    Sacred, worshiped and revered

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  13. janeshlensky on said:

    This ran away from me and became more about NC than I’d planned. But here goes… a blank verse.

    Esse Quam Videri
    (to be, rather than to seem)

    Each summer, we would pray for ample rain
    avoiding lugging irrigation pipes
    across tobacco fields and garden sites
    and setting up the sprinklers to make rain.
    We seemed to conjure rainbows from the sky
    pumped from the pond so our crops wouldn’t die.

    When real rains came, the pond would swell and spill
    its excess that would drain into a creek
    that threaded currents through neighboring farms,
    just one more tributary to rivers
    that once I saw reach out and touch the sea,
    pretending to be more than it could be.

    More often we saw streams and rivers flow
    into dark swampy spots nearer the coast,
    down where the trees gave way to sable sand
    and inland waterways and narrow strands
    that only smaller boats can navigate,
    so treacherous that big ships run aground
    between the inner and the outer banks.

    How many vessels lie under the waves
    because some foolish pilot trusted sight?
    Only the pirates seemed to understand
    the benefits of sandbars, shifting ground
    beneath the waves, and used their treachery,
    their seeming calm, to garner passing wealth:
    geography as cautionary tale
    in luring spoils ashore to Blackbeard’s lap.
    The pirate’s name itself might seem a reach,
    as lessons were served up by Edward Teach.

    Even beyond the outer banks, the sea
    was not always what it might seem to be.
    How righteous of the state to coin a phrase
    to serve as motto, circular as rain
    flowing from ponds on journeys to the sea.
    its first colony stranded, starved, and lost,
    its early ships upturned and tempest tossed,
    its mountain streams bound east to waterways,
    its citizenry called to something true,
    its motto hope: Esse quam videri.

  14. ejparsons on said:

    One day on a lake
    I spied a snake slither by
    No more lake for me

  15. Marjory MT on said:

    There is a place for two
    beside the nearby slough
    where clumps of tall beach grass
    conceal us from who might pass.

    A place to sail forth our dreams
    and float them down the streams
    to where they can sail away
    far beyond our little bay.

    As out to sea they’ll go,
    destination, we cannot know.
    May’hap someday when they return
    of their adventures we will learn.

    ‘Til then, we’ll wait beside the slough,
    Wait together, me and you.

    • William Preston on said:

      What an utterly charming little sonnet. The lines have three beats instead of five, but they fit the scenes you paint. I love this.

      • William Preston on said:

        Well, some lines have more than three beats, but I digress….

        • Marjory MT on said:


          There is a place for two
          beside a nearby slough
          where clumps of tall beach grass
          conceal us from who pass.

          A place to sail forth dreams
          and float them down the streams
          to where they sail away
          far from our little bay.

          Once to sea they’ve gone,
          journey’s end not known,
          may’hap someday return,
          adventures we will learn.

          ‘Til then, beside the slough,
          we will wait, me and you.

          • William Preston on said:

            Yes, all three beats to the wind here. I hope you didn’t think I was complaining about your earlier effort, which I loved just as much. Just an observation.

          • Marjory MT on said:

            No, complaint – just wanted to take the time to do it a bit better. The first was simple ‘off the cuff’ 🙂

    • This is so sweet…I just picture two children floating paper boats out to sea!! Wonderful image, Marjory!

    • Delightful read, M. Very sweet. 🙂

  16. William Preston on said:

    In the wet grass,
    glittering and slithering:
    a rivulet.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  17. Waterfront, Lake View

    One thing about lake property, the realtor quipped,
    They’re not making any more of it.

    And so we climbed out of her car, trudging
    through blackberry thickets to the shore,

    an audience of three this summer Saturday
    as eternal youth rides by on jet skis.

    After humoring her, laying on the line
    the limit of our credit, accessible funds

    we are content with this cottage—her words—
    within sight, within earshot of the lake.

    The view is ours, the sound of lapping waves,
    the summer blues, the winter’s cloudy greys

    No deed, no contract necessary beyond
    four walls, one half-acre lot. All we see

    and hear and smell is ours, not to keep,
    mind you, but the gather up in memories

    the snapshots we never take, burned instead
    in memory, retrievable in drought and desert.

  18. DebiSwim on said:

    Sea Bound

    The sea reaches out with foamy fingers
    the sandy shore to grip,
    then retreats and repeats, o’er and o’er.
    She well knows her bounds
    set forth by God at His command
    and illustrated by King Canute.

  19. William Preston on said:


    I gaze at the meadow
    on the cusp of the morn
    where, over the streamlet,
    vapors are borne.

    The swallows are waiting
    for prey flies to fly;
    the sun will be rising
    by and by

    and when its beams gleam
    I will feel some sorrow:
    this scene, so serene,
    must wait for the morrow.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  20. Pingback: Skyline Reflections | echoes from the silence


    This is a great lake.
    And the water is calm and clear,
    here where it stretches from shore
    to horizon, sunrise is all done and set
    to call it a day. It is hard to say
    where the lake ends and the sky transcends,
    bending light waves in illusion.
    My confusion stems from setting sail
    searching for a fitting end to this tale.
    Floating in aimless undulation, this
    fascination with waves and watery graves,
    has me saving the best for last and casting my line
    to a fine and restful time. The days grow short
    and the sun sets quicker as they pass.
    Sailing into its glow, I will know
    when the fire goes cold and darkness envelops me.
    We’ll see what develops, see?
    This is a great lake.

  22. William Preston on said:

    This is a great poem, too.

  23. Water

    I’ve seen the north Atlantic
    from both sides of the pond
    and while they have a dark and wild beauty
    I can’t claim to be overly fond.

    The pacific was my home
    and I enjoyed her sunny shore,
    her tidal pools and sea life
    was never a bore.

    I traveled down to frolic in the Gulf of Mexico
    and while fun, that spot for me, was a definite no.

    The most beautiful ocean spot I’ve ever seen
    was the vivid turquoise seas
    surrounding Bermuda’s tiny scene.
    I would go back ten hundred times
    but never call it home,

    for home lies in the lakes
    ten thousand to precise,
    with the gentle laps against the shore
    and the loon’s haunting call…
    here I am at peace
    not longing at all.

  24. DebiSwim on said:


    rise, build,
    crest, spill, yield
    to gravity…

  25. “The Waterfall”

    Voluptuous, her rapture gives me pause
    as flowing from some other-worldly source
    this water’s touch has pow’r to heal my flaws.
    Curvaceous, she continues on her course.

    Full and over-flowing now, she beckons.
    Her arms of water care-filled as she flows.
    Dropping gentle rain, anew, from heaven
    she lifts my soul from sources as she goes.

    She spills into a lake and enters all
    who feed upon her giving nature. Bled
    as from some holy source; this liquid falls
    and rushes, giving all she has to shed.

    And now this quiet pond holds marriage band;
    as reaching out, I cup her in my hands.

    (An experiment with personification, I did not want this to become a ludicrous, ‘mixed metaphor’ thingee. Someone tell me if I have done that in your opinion. I take criticism_not easily_ but I take it, lol)

  26. Pingback: In Love | Metaphors and Smiles

    • Oh, dear the water’s been flowing rapidly all morning here!! I don’t know where to begin…*sigh* so much excellence!

      The next ten days will probably be a bit different for me participation wise…I’m baby-sitting my sister’s dog while she’s in Hawaii starting a little later today…

      I hope to figure out a routine that works but it will be busy with the dog and kids…

      All good and fun but I just wanted to fold this little paper note into a boat and float it on the amazing stream that’s flowing through this garden.

      Enough right?!! Lol 😉

      Happy writing friends!

  27. In Love
    All of these tributaries…
    streams trickling,
    rivers raging swiftly,
    cool pools,
    peaceful ponds,
    small and large lakes
    and the ocean-
    oh, the powerful ocean…
    Mother Earth’s life-blood,
    a sea flows deep within
    beneath the surface of the soil
    invisibly breathing-
    retreating and running;
    an aquatic harmony,
    all water is connected
    in more ways than we can visibly see.
    This living source is acting as one
    with a sole purpose-to be a bringer-
    harbinger of purity;
    its message is heralded on the bow of rain,
    extended across the hopeful horizon.
    Every awe filled color whispers
    a dew-dream of wholesomeness
    exhaled into existence,
    a prayer-
    for enough potable drink for all alive
    whose home is this blue-green creature.
    A plea-
    that we’ll nourish our Mother
    and reside responsibly
    forever in love with the giver…
    can you feel her silent sigh of contentment?
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  28. “Happy Days”

    The most popular kids in our High School lived
    On the streets that had a private beach. Oh, those
    Words “Private Beach!” Has Lake Erie ever been
    More popular than in those summers in the late
    1940’s when the war was over and the beaches
    were returned to the teen-agers.

    What we needed to spend a life in the sun was
    A bathing suit, a blanket, a beach towel, and a
    Portable radio. And a sunny, sandy beach along
    Lake Erie’s southern shore that belonged to the
    Near-by home-owners (our friend’s parents)
    Whose name we could quote when the neighborhood
    Life guard asked if we were “guests.” The rules
    Were simple, no glass containers allowed, every
    One had to clean up after themselves.

  29. Song From the Creek

    By David De Jong

    I can hear the water singing in the creek
    As I take the path with my walking stick
    Rolling water over the rocks and dam
    Built by a beaver, I’ll just call him Sam
    His teeth have gnawed sev’ral trees near and far
    Many still standing half hewn with a scar

    Two ducks swiftly paddle and make their way
    Down stream, past an enormous field of hay
    Fresh hay in a windrow maze, left to dry
    Its pleasant aroma, lifts to the sky
    The ducks disappear in their secret slough
    Building their nest out of everyone’s view

    Pheasant tracks from picking up sand and rocks
    Small pad prints in the mud left from the fox
    One stalks the other following their prey
    Some think it too cruel, but it’s nature’s way
    The fox has young to feed as do the rest
    Which one survives is the ultimate test

    All along this walk the water still sings
    Symphonic melodies in mesmeric rings
    Pools of quiet mirrors, lullaby clouds
    Spilling over the edge, tympani loud
    All come to gather in their concert hall
    All beckon an ear to their joyous call

    Each serves their purpose in this life on earth
    Creating this orchestra grand in worth
    Each plays its piece in its part of the score
    Requiring return to listen more
    Pleasing to the Conductor keeping time
    This song from the creek, its tempo sublime

  30. Mother Nature can be quite the Queen B. when you take her for granted.

    Ride the Waves, Respect the Ocean
    riding waves,
    standing or lying
    on a board
    can give one
    a false sense of mastery
    over the ocean

    of how well you surf
    the ocean,
    respect her,
    or you’ll be tumbled, humbled,
    served up a SANDwich

  31. Lake in Upstate New York

    Upstate New York, my father and I swam
    in a lake of cool, rippling water, easy
    to float on, easy to row on. We paddled
    across, oars moving quickly, knifing the water
    on his end. Cannot say I kept up my own,
    but he never complained. Once, buzzing
    insects circled overhead, causing me to scream
    and stand up in the boat. We nearly overturned,
    deep in center of the lake. My father, nonplussed,
    told me to sit down, which steadied us, and shooed
    the buzzers to new victims of easy access.

  32. Henrietta Choplin on said:


    Misty morning
    over a placid
    Morning murmurs.

  33. The Lake

    There’s a joy that few can know,
    To move upon the lake,
    To cast off your landlocked cares
    And leave them in your wake.

    The nights,
    The sounds,
    The smells,
    The sights.

    Now there’s a freedom that you’re wieldin’
    And you can enjoy the calming glow
    That the lake is yieldin’.

  34. Pingback: Blue Spill | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  35. Blue Spill

             I’ve shed my salt.

           I’ve fed my fill
                  of foam to this moon
               goddess and her quiet,
                      aching shells. I’ve held
                  each of these grains
                             in trembled hands,
             laked my tears
                        and watched
                             my own traces
                           on deserted strands
                                                             of silence.

         And when this liquid
                          trail has ended
              and there’s no river left
                     to roam,
                             when I’ve forgotten my own
            ocean song, I hope I’ll still
                       have the good sense to follow
                                                          these inky veins home.


  36. Waving Goodbye

    I’ve shed my share of salt
    While watching the sea recede
    It always seems to take a piece of me
    And then return it gladly
    It’s that give and take
    That comes to it so

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