PROMPT #114 – Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!

“Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!”

― Clint Eastwood, Heartbreak Ridge

Fixing it on the fly. We find the pieces that fit perfectly if we can, but sometimes finding the part of the puzzle that works for right now and changing the way we do things, is all we can ask for. It’s getting over that hump that allows us to overcome. Improvise, adapt and overcome.

Every one of us needs to apply these tenets from time to time whether out of necessity or to change things up. Sometimes challenges become so daunting that we need to step away and reassess our priorities. I find myself at that crossroads. And thus the need to improvise, adapt and overcome.

Those of you who have kept watch over me on Facebook know I have closed my account (maybe temporarily, maybe permanently – that remains to be seen).  I’m told everyone gets to that point and steps back (or feels the urge to) to return sometime in the future. My choice is not due to frustrations with the network (although they are there).

I, and another member of my family are dealing with some issues that have become life altering. I am having health concerns and treatments will take me away from my environs and require me to improvise and adapt the ways I’ve done things.

Thus the reason for closing my  Facebook account. But, the saddest part of all this is, I will not be able to continue on here at POETIC BLOOMINGS for the foreseeable future. I must recuse myself from these responsibilities. Marie and I are working out details of a new hierarchy at PB with some possible minor involvement by me when I can, if I can. My priorities have shifted greatly and time is a precious commodity that must be used frugally; needs to be spent in other areas, mainly with my wife and daughters (and son-in-law and grand dog, Guinness).

But, so as the last four years of poetry haven’t been for naught (four years that if I had back, would have been utilized differently), I will work at getting my prior works organized with an eye towards possible publication. I still have irons in the fire, and they need resolution of some sort. Hopefully, this ‘hiatus’ will help in that matter. My blogs, Through the Eyes of a Poet’s Heart and Across the Lake, Eerily (where Marie and I have rejoined forces to continue) will be the places to find any new works of mine. Until I can return to a much more hectic work load, this will have to suffice!

If you wish, you can request my e-mail at Or you could just contact me there. I will try to keep you updated with my progress. (Please know I am actually a very private person, so sharing these facts with my chosen family are as far as I need them to go. My immediate family has been informed, and now so have you. Everyone who needs to know, does.)

Continue to bloom brightly here while this old gardener hoes the road he’s currently on. And in an attempt to improvise, adapt and overcome, my final prompt for now will concern these three actions. Write an adapt or adaptation poem. Write about changing something for the better. Write an adaptation of a prior work, yours or someone else’s. Write about overcoming an obstacle. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome! We’ll all be better for it.

Be well and stay productive.



Note from Marie Elena:  Walt and I became poetically attached at the hip back in 2009, and have walked in stride ever since.  Opening the Poetic Bloomings garden gate seemed a natural fit for the two of us.  While I understand and deeply respect his need to step away from his full duties here, I realize the necessity of a fellow gardener.  I’ll be placing a call for someone to fill this role.  Details will be posted early in the week.  In the meantime, Walt and I will not be breaking stride … simply adjusting steps.  (Warm smiles, partner.)




Fear of height
Kept clouds at arms’ length
But so too sun’s warmth;
Moon’s romance.
Grounded and star-struck,
She grew wings
Snipped cords
Took flight.
© Copyright Marie Elena Good, 2013


Footing unsure
stepping out
of your comfort zone.
Life seems scary
when nary a soul cares.
You have to dare to
connect to protect the way
this scene plays out.
You can rage and shout
or get out the tissues.
I choose to issue
this statement, loud and clear:
“My footsteps will
bring me back here.
The walk of life is sweet
with friends like all of you
to help complete the journey.
The first problem is
admitting you have a step!
© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik, 2013
No goodbyes. I’ll see you all later. Thank you for the love.

126 thoughts on “PROMPT #114 – Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!

  1. Walt, take good care of yourself. Pay attention to your priorities, but please keep connected to people. May the Lord watch over you and keep you in His care.

  2. On Losing You And Finding Me… (Sedoka)

    Bitterness bites cold
    And relentless, like snow-filled
    Winter winds that nip your cheeks;

    It’s hard to come through,
    And I never could, or would, have
    If it wasn’t for His love.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013


    Most things of Earth are short and fleeting:
    like chance encounters, but a meeting

    of light and shadow, warp and weave
    to quickly grasp and swiftly grieve.

    They pass so fast, like springtime flowers
    or sunshine in the golden hours

    of early morning, just before
    the hawks begin to launch and soar.

    But yet, among the things of Earth
    are some of bright, eternal worth

    like love; and care; a will to fight
    the horrors of a closing night;

    a yen to teach, at least to some,
    what one has learned, for what might come.

    Such things will live, like anything
    that nests in memory’s sheltered ring

    and nurtures soul and ear and eye;
    that is the reason, that is why

    from age to age till twelfth of never,
    the human spirit endures forever.

    copyright 20131, William Preston


    When a loved one is lost
    by death
    by distance
    by choice
    he stays in our hearts
    and in our minds
    instead of in our days.

    When you lose yourself
    through illness
    through confusion
    through neglect
    you are still in our hearts
    and in our minds
    instead of in our days.

    We will keep a piece of you
    until you want it back.

  5. Walt – Prayers for you and your family.

    Another old one (and long, sorry). We may never know why we are placed on some of the trails we must walk in life, but I believe there is a purpose for good, for blessings, somewhere at the end, or during that trail.

    Paint the Way
    David De Jong

    Relax, sit back, close your eyes, and humor me,
    Let these few words, come to life, and set you free.

    Imagine, imagine with me if you will,
    A pair of horses, walking up a hill.

    An old cowpoke sitting in the saddle aslant,
    His paint taking lead, just a slow steady gant.

    His hat weathered felt, stained from sweat and torn,
    The saddle he rides; polished leather, soft and worn.

    His face strained from a lifetime outdoors, browned in the sun;
    A hearty laugh from deep in his soul; he was loving it, having fun.

    Trailing behind, is a young green-horn rider gent,
    There just to earn a living; spending every cent.

    Where the old man and the paint where leading, he didn’t know,
    All that crossed his mind was – the clouds, sure looked like snow.

    They took a trail the younger never seen or rode before,
    They meandered down a draw, then along the river’s shore.

    The air was cold and quiet; the wind – just dead still,
    Quiet before the storm? It made the younger ill.

    A soft stomp, or clop of the hoof and an occasional leap,
    Two horses continued; the climb, never too steep.

    Nary a word was uttered by either rider,
    Each alone; yet knowing, they rode together.

    The younger – restless, and loosing all sense of patience,
    Started festering – questioning the old man’s intelligence.

    “Why – Why on earth are we taking this trail – this trail today?”
    “Even I, green as I may be, can tell, snow is definitely on the way!”

    The old cow-hand just kept riding, kept to himself but shed a smile,
    He knew in his heart – this ride wasn’t easy but would last quite awhile.

    They had long left the river bank far below,
    The air turning crisp – each breath would show.

    The horse’s mane and winter hair; thick and long,
    Muscles flexing in their legs; lean but strong.

    They were just as pleased to be in the cool mountain air,
    Stride by stride, they made a most graceful pair.

    Winter sure been visiting this side of the crest,
    The days growing shorter, the sun slipping west.

    Soon, they’d make camp, rest for the night,
    The old man knew exactly where – just out of sight.

    They held up just inside the timber line,
    The air now frosty and turning fine.

    They hobbled their horses, fed them some grain, built a small fire,
    Both riders stepping awkward – they were stiff as wire.

    Warmed by the glowing coals and a belly full of grub,
    The older gent, still quiet – just aggravated the young chub.

    He began to regret this time – this old-man’s trail,
    He moaned and groaned and cursed to no avail.

    The old timer just picked up his bedroll and found his spot,
    Bedded down over buried rocks and coals – plenty warm – not too hot.

    A quiet verse and a prayer of thanks, he soon fell asleep – content with the day,
    Meanwhile, the younger still fretted and fussed – there was snow on the way!

    As they slept, the earth was refreshed, pure and white,
    First winter’s snow fell sleepily, all through the night.

    The young lad awoke, with a temper already in his voice,
    “Of all the trails I’ve rode – this is the worst by my choice.”

    He kicked the snow, dusted his saddle, and cursed the old man,
    He was certain he knew better and it was about to hit the fan.

    The old rider – coffee – long spent,
    Just ignored the ranting flint.

    “Saddle up” – he said, at once to the lad,
    He knew – this could be good or just go bad.

    The old cowpoke and his gentle paint again took the lead,
    Past the timberline now, nothing grew, not even a weed.

    Just over the crest he reverently stepped down, reining the paint,
    Turned his head sideways to listen – he could hear it – ever so faint.

    Slowly the volume gathered as it came up the pass,
    Strings and voices reverberating off the lake of glass.

    Far, deep, down the valley below where the snow softly still fell,
    Smoke lifted up from a scant white church, nestled in the high chaparral.

    As the cinders climbed up through the air,
    Voices, angelic, rose up the mountain stair.

    It was early Sunday morn and the choir practice had begun,
    Unknowing their message’s reach, they sang just for fun.

    With ice covering the lake and snow blanketing the ground,
    There was no end to the beautiful chorus – a stirring sound.

    The young cowpoke, still in the saddle, just sat in disbelief,
    His anger now regrets, he had let it take him, just like a thief.

    Never could he have dreamed, never would he have known;
    This blessing, this gift, indescribable, unless he was gently shown.

    The trail had been long, winding, and trying a might,
    What it brought him to, was pure – heavenly delight.

    Just the view of the valley, the peace, the choir, the snow,
    He could feel his heart, beat for beat relit, reclaimed with glow.

    The old man finally broke his silence, these gentle words he spoke with love,
    This day and each you awake to is a gift – a gift from God above.

    No matter the trail, the ride, or the loss,
    Take heart my son, keep your eye on that cross.

    Never forsake the time you have been given, to live for yourself,
    Share your heart with those you love, keep your Bible off the shelf.

    Give to your neighbor, when he needs a hand,
    Someday he’ll return the favor, and with you stand.

    When the trail gets long, lonely and you feel in need,
    Hold fast in faith to the Lord and follow His lead.

    In His care, rest assured, you will stay,
    Surrender to Him and He will Paint the Way.

    The younger started to thank the old man for leading him on this ride,
    When he turned to look, the old cowboy had left from his side.

    He looked up and down the slope, left then right,
    The old man and his paint completely vanished from his sight.

    How? – Who? – Could this be?
    The old man, had set him free.

    He now understood the old man’s words, took off his hat and bowed to pray;
    “Lord, thank you – for your blessings, your gifts today,”

    “Now and forever, I will follow what you say,”
    “Just take the lead and paint the way.”

  6. The Journey Continues

    Sometimes we’re bent on a certain path.
    Until life intervenes, altering our course without express permission.
    Forcing us down a different route long and hard.
    Where the valleys plunge deep. Crooked terrains unforgiving. Although the way out is steep; rugged without respect, it remains to be overtaken and traversed step by step.
    Our course may be altered for the better or for the worse. Testing our pliability, dexterity on every turn. But our destination never changes.
    The path may change temporarily for a while as we sojourn but it never changes our ultimate goal.

    Let the journey continue…

  7. Walt, be well, my friend. Your voice will be missed, but as one to whom the 3-dimensional world often calls, I understand the need for acoustic retreat. I pray whatever’s going on medically is easily resolved. And that the words you are still able to spill on your own go far, and wide, and do their healing work both in you, and in the world. You’re loved, lifted up, and deeply respected for this important choice.

  8. Pingback: Yes… | Metaphors and Smiles

  9. Yes…
    I’m sure willing,
    I’m certainly ready,
    charged with changing;
    perched on the edge of one’s next breath…steady.
    I’m certainly ready.
    I recognize this sentiment
    perched on the edge of one’s next breath…steady,
    balancing is a personal testament.
    I recognize this sentiment,
    the need for an individual evolution;
    balancing is a personal testament,
    a call for simple solution.
    The need for an individual evolution,
    fruition’s found in pruning excess limbs.
    A call for simple solution-
    one must pare down to the Source stem.
    Fruition’s found in pruning excess limbs.
    Life will find a way to continue-
    one must pare down to the Source stem;
    gain entrance to that fleeting window.
    Life will find a way to continue,
    pull to center of self for a while.
    Gain entrance to that fleeting window,
    learn again from silence and smile.
    Charged with changing,
    pull to center of self for a while…
    learn again from silence and smile.
    I’m sure willing.
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

    Life has found me in a perpetual balancing act and I, too, have need of clipping some excess vines that have stretched out into the world…both 3-D and Web-wise…Change is good.

    I wish you all the best Walt and am humbled and honored to have had this fruitful season in the garden growing under your care. Thank you.

    Marie, I’m grateful to you as well for all that you’ve done and continue to do.

    Warm smiles to all who grow and glow in the garden.

  10. Blessings to you, Walt! Thanks for all you’ve done. Marie, I’m willing to help in whatever way I can. I’m glad you’re going to continue with Poetic Bloomings.

    Tending Roots

    thrives on starting over again—
    frequent moves,
    new friends, goals and plans,

    The difficulty
    lies in staying put,
    plodding, plugging away—
    same people, places,
    to-do lists.

    Creativity breeds newness
    like colorful bark
    on a rainbow eucalyptus tree—
    always rooted, always changing
    always beautiful.

  11. GPS for Life

    I live my life day by day
    but when it throws me a curve,
    Siri’s voice in my head says

  12. Walt, you’re tucked away in my heart where I can find you when I want you. What you and Marie have accomplished here and on your other blogs is astonishing and, no doubt, tiring too. Thank you for all the work you’ve done for others. Poet, heal thyself, now as best you can, knowing we’re praying for your health and joy and for your family too. You’re loved here, man.

  13. Healing Heart

    The way he tinkers makes him smile
    and makes me watch him for a while.
    I wonder what great mystery
    he’s unwrapped for the world to see.

    Or if he daydreams while his hands
    move on their own, while his mind plans
    some unrelated worthwhile thing,
    some task to make his spirit sing.

    Maybe a phrase comes to him clear
    as whispers words into his ear,
    and pretty soon a poem’s birth
    pulls at his heart and leaves its worth.

    Maybe a memory’s returned,
    bearing such gifts as he has earned,
    or using what he sees nearby
    reveals a truth that makes him sigh.

    I only know he loses time
    caught up in what he loves, that rhyme
    and reason merge and shift and change,
    even if we don’t rearrange

    ourselves to suit great nature’s laws.
    Life’s built to make us ponder, pause,
    to make us overcome the worst
    with grit and gumption interspersed.

    I have lost time myself, you know,
    engaged in living’s liquid flow—
    chasing a word, a note, a thought
    I love, adapting what he’s taught.

    And if he tinkers more or less
    these days, I know he’s earned a rest
    to color clouds, fiddle with seas
    immersed in healing mysteries.

    • Jane, to use a line from one of my favorite old songs, Aura Lea, this is sunshine through the heart, a healing mystery in its own right.

      • Thanks, Bill. “Aura Lea” is reputed to be the song that cost the Confederacy the war. Southerners singing it around a campfire only longed for home and their loved ones, having no desire to make war. I don’t know the truth of it, though I trust Ken Burns’ account. It’s one of my favorites too (and Elvis’s).

    • I will simply steal William’s words — this is sunshine through the heart, a healing mystery in its own right.

      Oh, Jane … you just keep getting better and better.

      Marie Elena

  14. Pingback: Daring Darwin | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  15. Daring Darwin

    Did we grow wings?
    Or are these finer things –
    fragile fingers feathered
    with stardust and dreams?

    Did we stand tall
    from stooped and staggered
    stages? Hold out stilted pages
    to a rising sun?

    Have we begun
    to flee
    these ancient chains,
    subtle changes loosed
    by rain;
    curved and cleansed
    to see
    all we were
    to be.

  16. Life Shifted

    Lord, I feel sifted, my life shifted.
    I feel tested and by life bested.

    Please refine me and find me
    clinging to you. Lord, meet me;

    don’t let woe beat me or
    defeat me. I am your own.

  17. Walt your voice will be missed. My wish for you is strength, healing, love and hope whenever you need it most. Remember you and yours are lifted up on the hands and words of your poetic community. We will be here when and if you need us. Take care!

  18. Beyond The Blue

    When friends disappoint,
    you feel hurt,
    lost in blue
    funk. Think of something you like
    to do and revel in it.
    When thoughts of your friend
    return in a rush, threaten
    to pull you
    out to sea,
    breathe, smile, let it go.

  19. Best wises to all, and especially to you , Walt.


    Before you even start, you might as well
    accept the fact that this will be a mess
    of quite biblical proportions. Just dress
    in the clothes you care least about, and tell
    the kids to stay indoors until the swell
    of lilac foam has passed. While cleanliness
    is preferred to godliness, we do stress
    civility – no yelling “Bloody hell!”

    For best results, have a partner ready
    with a hose before the procedure. Rest
    on your heels, put bacon bits on a log
    then call innocently: “Here boy!” When he
    approaches, clutch him firmly to your chest
    then cry havoc and let not slip the dog.

  20. This was written long ago and far away–at least four lifetimes in the 25yr+ journey.

    Walt, remember. Laughter gives wings to every prayer.

    Something From Nothing

    From the start I am small,
    really nothing at all
    But am also unique,
    one-of-a kind, so to speak.
    For without me (I am told)
    the little space that I hold
    would simply just fold
    up to nothing.

    There are people who find
    that I’m not of their kind
    And that I’ll “have to pay”
    if I continue this way
    And for those who don’t know,
    there is no way I can show
    them anything.

    I have joy deep inside
    I don’t purposely hide,
    and for those who can see,
    know it’s a big part of me.
    But there are others who look
    at the outside of the book
    and don’t know that the pages
    hold something.

    Night and day do I yearn
    that from all I should learn.
    And the course of events
    builds up lots of suspense.
    And the more that I grow,
    the less that I know.
    For you see, I am small,
    really nothing at all.
    And that’s everything.

    Ellen Knight 8.5.13

  21. Walt, I can’t imagine this Garden without you. Be good to yourself my brother.


    It’s not who you know
    It’s not what you know
    It’s how you put
    The goods on show
    It’s not the content
    It’s more the style
    It’s how to make
    The people smile
    A pinch of this
    And a dash of that
    Keep it lean and mean
    And trim the fat
    It’s how I cook
    It’s how I teach
    It’s how I roll
    It’s how I reach
    The hearts and minds
    The very soul
    It’s a slow plaintive blues
    It’s rock ‘n’ roll
    It’s not by the book
    It’s not by the rules
    It’s sneering at the cognoscenti
    And spitting in the eyes of fools
    It’s a touch of class
    It’s a polished act
    It’s to the point
    It’s matter-of-fact
    It’s down to business
    It’s time to play
    It’s doing your thing
    In your own special way
    It’s writing to from
    With eloquent ease
    It’s a comic rhyme
    Aimed to please
    It’s a rambling free verse
    It’s eclectic prose
    It’s a stream of consciousness
    (Don’t know where it goes)
    It’s trying to split
    The wheat from the chaff
    It’s getting it wrong
    And having a laugh
    It’s toss it all in the pan
    And see what happens
    It’s randomly changing
    Rhyming patterns
    It’s doing the best with
    Whatever you’ve got
    It’s being content
    With your lot
    It’s evening’s peace
    And rest at last
    It’s a single skillet
    Hunter’s repast
    It’s morning glory
    And sweet birdsong
    It’s making it up
    As you go along


  22. Pingback: Improvisation | Iain Douglas Kemp Writes – Without Anaesthetic

  23. Pingback: A Lifetime Of Improv | echoes from the silence

  24. What’s a Bunny to do if left behind? Why simply ‘overcome’ the problem and go on an adventure….

    The day had been busy and long,
    Bud watched the family pack to go
    folding towels, umbrella, a chair
    Bud was missing, they did not know.

    Jimmy had left him by a log
    where no one could hear his soft peep.
    They did not think to look for him,
    and young Jimmy was fast asleep.

    The cove was quiet after they left,
    the only sounds from nature came,
    bird calls, a crab crossing the rocks,
    Bud wondered, are they wild or tame?

    The tide where children played
    was slowly coming into reach,
    wood scraps were lifted one by one
    then floated off the sandy beach.

    He saw the cold tide water searching
    for his log, and safe in his boat,
    snug in his yellow vest, he watched
    a wave surges, puts he’s afloat.

    Behind and on each side of him
    Tall, dark hills stand guarding the cove,
    Moon reflects off a jumping fish,
    Starlight winks as a seagull dove.

    Ahead is the sky and the sea
    into which the day’s sun had set.
    He wonders, if the boat should tip,
    How would it feel, his green fur wet?

    His floppy ears, black button nose,
    eyes rolling with each sea movement,
    in what far-off place will he land,
    a strange adventure he’s been sent.

    In the roll of the gentle sea,
    eyes grow weary and so Bud sleeps
    When morning comes there are no hills,
    Only sea, not the land he seeks.

    Plane overhead, small fishing boats,
    a tall ship cresting the waves,
    Regally moving with billowing sails.
    Bud lost count the number of days.

    Birds and fish came to watch or nudge,
    but otherwise he is alone.
    Then he sees a night light flashing,
    he hopes he’s finally come back home.

    The light sweeps, dies, then sweeps again
    Night ended, a beach, a strange tree,
    Children playing, and men fishing.
    Lifting Bud, a child yells, “Come See.”

    “I found a fuzzy green bunny
    who’s boated from across the sea.
    He’ll be my bright eyes special friend.
    Oh, the stories he’ll have for me.”

  25. Pingback: Life At Forty | echoes from the silence

  26. With a sad heart I am just now seeing that Walt has transitioned away from Poetic Bloomings .

    For Walt – a voice I have know all my life- I applaud WimsyGizmo words-
    “Your voice will be missed, but as one to whom the 3-dimensional world often calls, I understand the need for acoustic retreat. I pray whatever’s going on medically is easily resolved. And that the words you are still able to spill on your own go far, and wide, and do their healing work both in you, and in the world. You’re loved, lifted up, and deeply respected for this important choice.”

    We move forward toward places that need our attention-

    Seeing You in the Distance
    By Teri H Hoover ©

    Aging vehicle
    pressing north.
    I-79 flattens the hills into swells.
    Careening into the haze of late summer,
    and then abruptly east
    onto the I-90.

    Just there on the horizon, unafraid.
    Deep blue rising
    above the edge of the earth.
    Poised for spilling itself in all directions.
    But it doesn’t.

    A poem for poet Walt Wojtanik . Walt has just recently stepped down from his post at the blog PoeticBloomings and I was compelled to mark this transition with a poem.

    When I first read his poems his “voice” sounded familiar to me. When I realized he was from Western NY, (near Lake Erie, where I grew up) it just seemed to fit. When I drive back to Buffalo from Virginia, one of the first sights that says I am almost there is the sight of Lake Erie resting on the horizon.

      • Thank you Marie Elana- we continue to send those blessings round and round. It is in this movement of blessings we find our hearts connected. Grace set free a and grace received. Prayer in its purest form.

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