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


July 17thThis form takes the visual and puts it into words. Write an Ekphrasis* based on this photo prompt:

Photo Credit: Walt Wojtanik

Photo Credit: Walt Wojtanik


* NOTE: The Poetry Foundation defines it as such, “An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the ‘action’ of a painting, photo or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.” The Academy of American Poets offers some fine-tuning that syncs nicely with my own work, saying “[M]odern ekphrastic poems have generally shrugged off antiquity’s obsession with elaborate description, and instead have tried to interpret, inhabit, confront, and speak to their subjects.”



July 16 – Amusement Park

July 15 – Tides

July 14 – Picnic

July 13 – Lighthouse

July 12 – Starry, Starry Night

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  1. SHE

    At twilight’s edge
    Detached from his presence
    As she combs the beach they once shared
    As one

  2. Marjory MT on said:

    bend down
    touch the sand
    to find a deep peace
    as the rush of the world receds.

  3. William Preston on said:

    Love that phrase, “…rush of the world…”

  4. Washed Up On The Shore

    A single tear rolled slowly down her cheek,
    She tasted it, like salt sea spray upon
    Her mouth – it made her want to scream and shriek
    Her sorrow to the coming peaceful dawn;

    Oh, how she hated this great, spreading sea!
    It took her love away from her, and stole
    All happiness that once had filled her being –
    Her heart was pierced: a gaping, painful hole;

    She slipped the ring from off her hand, and let
    It drop; the tide would carry it away,
    And she’d in time, she hoped, learn to forget,
    The aching pain that filled her heart today;

    But how was she to know it would be found,
    Washed up upon the shore, quite safe and sound?

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    Okay, this doesn’t exactly follow the rules…maybe I’ll be back later. 🙂

  5. William Preston on said:


    The little crabs are hiding now:
    so far below, I cannot see one,
    But still I wish that, anyhow,
    this empty beach would offer me one.

    I’ve knelt so long on this wet ground,
    my joints are creaking, sharp and shrill:
    my every move gives up a sound.
    Oh, to have a whimbrel’s bill!

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  6. William Preston on said:

    By the way, Walt, I love your photo. It’s nicely composed and shows thoughtful use of color.

  7. William Preston on said:


    The waves roll in throughout the day;
    she draws her finger through the sand
    to watch impressions fade away.
    The waves roll in throughout the day
    and little changes in the way
    she holds her head and moves her hand.
    The waves roll in. Throughout the day
    she draws her finger through the sand.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  8. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    I don’t want to leave this beach today… 🙂 !!


    Contemplative in nature, reflective
    with a purpose. Finding answers
    when questions go out with the tide,
    not able to hide the conflict.
    Coming to the shore for more
    than an afternoon to bask in the sun,
    and simmer under starlight’s shadow.
    Alone this beauty mutes the lake’s expanse,
    grace and gentility are her civility.
    Reaching to draw hearts in the sand,
    only to watch the waves erase
    what it took years to perfect.
    In silence she ponders the wonders
    life has laid at her feet. A sweet discovery
    left to languish in memory.

    © Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

  10. And of course, Mar 7, 2010 offered this poem originally inspired by the same photo (from a series of photos) and posted at Across the Lake, Eerily:


    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      Love them all!!

    • William Preston on said:

      I just looked at that poem and the three photos. All three pictures are lovely, and the latter two have a poignancy about them that eclipses words. But your words work with them and, I think, exceed them.

  11. DebiSwim on said:


    So much to see
    but we often choose
    to focus on the minute…
    telescopic vision
    on a grain of sand
    when we should expand
    our horizons.

  12. Secrets in the Sand

    Beneath the moon
    The sea harbors secrets
    She discreetly disperses for

    (Marie Elena)

  13. DebiSwim on said:

    I forgot my title “Small Minded”

  14. DebiSwim on said:

    Sorry that posted in the wrong spot

  15. Truth and history
    lie in every grain of sand
    and spaces between

    © Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013


    She flashed a life briefly
    chiefly to reassure
    that her ability to rebound
    from profound sadness
    would quell the madness
    of his intense expression.
    Each session of their tryst
    would make her eyes mist over,
    and before she was covered
    in clover, she would know
    where their hearts were buried.
    She remains to be carried
    in the hollow of his chest,
    the best place she could be.
    She possessed it; caressed it,
    claimed it, marking the spot.

    © Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

  17. connielpeters on said:

    Wind and waves
    Water-soaked tennies
    Faded jeans
    Eyes to see
    Age and ocean-polished stones
    Life consists of small

  18. Agates

    Where the sand is wet
    is where the color pops!
    Finding pearly shells
    and colorful rocks
    but oh! those agates…
    their lines smoothed by time, sand and wave.
    Rubbing my thumb
    over and over
    those smooth lines,
    like my eyes
    over the lines
    of an poem…
    the lines smoothed by time, eyes and the delete key.
    Hoping for an agate
    of my own

  19. Pingback: Seaside Discoveries | echoes from the silence

  20. A Shell Collecting

    She walks the beach collecting shells
    devoid of the life they once held.
    Trudging daily through ebbs and swells,
    she walks the beach collecting shells-
    catharsis for the pain that dwells
    within her heart, who’s fire’s been quelled.
    She walks the beach collecting shells,
    devoid of the life she once held.

  21. Walt and Marie – Thank you for this months “Life’s a Beach” challenge! I’ve been amazed at the depth of prompts you have provided each day. At the beginning of the challenge I selected beach related photos that I had taken over the years and put them into a separate folder on my computer but your prompts have surprised me and I have found myself going back looking for more pictures! (This is a pleasant surprise!) In fact this challenge was so inspiring I updated and changed my entire blog to reflect the beach theme! So thanks for the push and the fresh start! I very much appreciate it and the both of you! 🙂

  22. Life is a Beach: Ekphrastic. The Shell Collector

    I see the child; she bends; she’s found a shell:
    her fingers fetching all before the surf
    will rush and wash that jewel with its swell
    of waving water surging from her turf.

    I see the child; she bends; she’s older now
    but, still with nature’s touch, loves dreamy art.
    “Oh, look at that one! such a shape to wow
    them when I make it into necklace smart!”

    Her walk along this shore is so much more
    than sun and sparkles christening the sand
    for in her heart remembered is a door
    that opened to her seaside wonderland.

    A gift for stringing shells; such fond embrace.
    So, gently takes them, one-by-one, with grace.

  23. At the Edge of the Sea

    She stoops and bends
    Draws her hand along the still-wet sand
    The tide is turning away and the sand
    For the moment is newly-born, virgin
    She cannot resist
    The call of the pale gleaming
    So new, so innocent, she is careful
    As she slips her hand beneath the
    Tiny shells so perfect in their forms.
    Common yes, but also so familiar,
    This blue-sky day, this solemn sea
    The sea-gulls cry, the murmur of
    The waves –
    She holds it all within her hands
    Her particle of forever.

  24. janeshlensky on said:

    Smooth Stones

    We used to pick up
    perfect shells
    the waves had tossed
    before the dawn,
    some even housing
    crabs inside.
    And we found constellations
    of beached starfish once,
    the day’s first rays catching
    the last of ocean light.

    Now most of those shells
    are gone, hunted or crushed
    by stormy waves, and
    we resort to surf-smoothed stones,
    pushed into pooling piles,
    small nuggets, sand-smoothed,
    oval as your eyes. I pick up
    only black ones. You pick up
    only white, but sometimes
    there’s a harmony stone,
    blending the two in bands
    shot through with gray.

  25. William Preston on said:


    Stones so smooth
    tumble often.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  26. Pingback: A Poem for Beach Combers | The Chalk Hills Journal

  27. Unravelled

    between pebbles
    in the hollows of rocks,
    between waves
    in the shallows of broken
    thoughts she found
    and her mind

  28. Shells
    By: Stacy Lynn Mar

    She plucks the shells gingerly
    From the bed of sand they have laid upon,
    Languishing in the sun
    The way the young girls nearby,
    Un-scarred in their giggles and skin,
    Cabana-fresh in their Banana Boat lotion
    and rainbow-row of umbrellas.
    One by one, she pulls out
    The eyes of the ocean,
    The shack of the crab,
    The call of jelly fish to bare feet,
    Noticing how each one
    Resembles a vacant cave,
    The empty space of a spent bullet,
    The moon vacant of his one-man show.

    Her lover has gone,
    No ring of the hotel telephone,
    No chipper voice to accommodate
    The over-decoration
    Of a green-tree tourists’ room
    She will not return to until
    the birds withdraw their white feathers
    and this solitaire world
    of the roiling sea turns violet
    beneath the gray-cloud sky.
    For now she becomes the atmosphere,
    Void of life, immobile of memory,
    A character plucking sea shells
    In a strangers photograph.

    my blog can be found here: http://warningthestars.blogspot.com/

  29. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Chance Encounter

    I want to
    you, little shell
    What is your age,
    I cannot tell?
    Are you weary
    from the sea?
    Would you like
    to rest with me?

  30. Pretty Find

    Perfect shell lies
    Nestled among the kelp
    And stones; she quickly stoops to snatch
    It up.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  31. Ellen Knight on said:


    Squatted at the ocean’s edge,
    it was unclear whether
    her gray mood mirrored
    the water, or whether her
    sadness, poured out like
    a force of nature, was slowly
    spreading out toward the
    horizon, to where the blue sky
    still held the power to
    speak to the sea.

    Gone now were the
    crashing waves
    of anger and hatred
    driven upon the rocks
    with an energy nurtured
    by raw emotion.

    All that remained were
    pebbles, where boulders
    had once boasted of their
    dominion over all and destroyed
    themselves in the process.
    And the waves? With no audience
    to fill the Colosseum for
    their grand spectacles, they
    were dispersed as so many
    droplets, collected by the tide.

    As for her, even though
    the calm was a relief,
    her sorrow was not for
    the lack of danger,
    but rather the loss
    of the excitement
    that had ridden it
    like a wild bull at a rodeo.

    Ellen Knight 7.17.13
    put the photo into words

  32. Pingback: Squatter’s Rights | Metaphors and Smiles

    • SO behind. :/ I had hoped to read yesterday’s offerings and now here it’s getting to be late and just posting and haven’t read today!! Ugh. I have a wonderful excuse though…entertaining my son’s lil girl cousin who’s his age and visiting from Florida…showing her all our favorite nature places this next couple of weeks!

      Smiles to all that dwell in this oceanic garden today!

  33. Squatter’s Rights
    For her
    nothing was amiss
    when the kiss of tide
    was close,
    sea foam gathering at her toes.
    For her
    this square-rectangular-
    diamond speckled strip
    and all that was in it
    was her all,
    it was all hers.
    It would pull her
    through drawn long
    it’d be enough sun and wind
    and adequate amounts of taste,
    flavor of the briny beach
    on her tongue
    and in her lungs
    to tow her soul through.
    In anticipation
    of the cold solo
    the nature missing months ahead
    she’d breathe
    totally committed
    to this breath,
    filling her hollow chest entirely
    till full to the brim-
    filled to bursting complete.
    She’d hesitate on the exhale,
    soaking in much ocean,
    all that she could;
    she’d embody the essence of deep.
    and now
    on this plot of forgotten shore
    she’d boldly claim it,
    give it a proper title
    spelling its byname in soft
    wave-worn pebbles
    lined up side by side,
    curls of countless stones
    would create a sea-script.
    she’d examine-
    smile silently-
    whisper the words,
    the sea’s seemly calling,
    “This is no man’s land.”
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  34. Pingback: water’s edge | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  35. Searching Sand

    Wave washed away words
    around which
    shells were placed.
    Kneeling, she tried to find
    missing words, whole shells.

  36. Great photo Walt!!

    Still Searching

    A brown sandy beach
    Wind blowing back
    Muddled waves
    Still invited her
    To roll up jeans
    Slip out of shoes
    And seek a treasure or two

    (I know she didn’t take off her shoes, but I would have…) 🙂

  37. ejparsons on said:


    It glistened in the sun
    Attracting her eye
    She lost it in the tide
    The tide receded
    She moved closer to the water’s edge
    Straining to find it once more
    Then it appeared
    She couldn’t believe it
    She thought it was lost forever
    As she bent to pick it up
    The tide returned
    And it disappeared once more
    Never more to return
    And she cried

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

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