What is it about music that calls out to us, and speaks so sincerely to our hearts?  One thing is certain: music inspires a poetic muse to sing.  This week has been an absolute symphony of poetry.


So how does one choose a solo to highlight from among the melodious voices?  It has been no easy task!  After much deliberation, I’ve chosen to hand the microphone to Debi Swim, for her Peaceful Dreams.  In a mere four paragraphs, Debi has managed to make me feel right at home in the mountains of her youth.  I especially admire the way in which she introduces us to her grandmother, via her apron.  Bravo, Debi!  And congratulations on your Bloom!

(Inspired by Country Roads, John Denver :

Peaceful Dreams (by Debi Swim)

Sweet Idyllic, home of my youth
Iron Mountains,
the Doe and the Forge.
Life was good there,
innocent and free,
summers running wild
fun that never ends.

Peaceful dreams, take me back
to my sweet childhood home
Rainbow Holler, end of the road
take me back, peaceful dreams.

I remember, deep within me
grandma’s apron, all the ways she used it
wiped off smudges, fanned away the flies,
carried eggs tenderly, dried tears from our eyes.


I see her there, her blue-veined hands ever busy
the radio is playing bluegrass gospel music
and waking from my dream, I have a longing
but I know well it’s, just a dream, just a dream.



Selecting a “bloom” from all the song-inspired pieces was torture, but of a nice sort. So many were so good. I selected Sara McNulty’s poem, however, because she melded two art forms as inspiration, then added the personal ponderings of the narrator and came up with a touching, pensive poem. The paintings “found the bud which bloomed;” the song “touched a spot in her heart;” and, feeling misunderstood, she understood Vincent.  I thought this was a superb piece of work, blending so much into so few words.


(Referencing Starry, Starry Night, by Don McLean:

She was starting to sort out
artists, developing love
of manic swirls, giant
sunflowers, and blue
irises. Stern Dutch faces,
and the lonely landscape
of Arles, painted with passion,
found the bud which bloomed
in her. Van Gogh raged, hurt,
loved. She was feeling mis-
understood. Soft melody
of the song touched a spot
in her heart. Yes, she thought,
at the close, Vincent, “the world
was never meant for someone
as beautiful as you.”



In the spirit of giving our poets the recognition they deserve, we have added a new Beautiful Bloom facet to our feature:  RJ Clarken will be awarding a Bloom for her weekly In-Form Poet Wednesday prompts!  Debi Swim is our first official recipient!  Congratulations, Debi!  How does it feel to be the recipient of a double bloom this week? 🙂


I am in awe of Debi Swim’s Nighttime Blues because of the imagery and the emotion that her poem evokes. Her use of language in this ‘playful’ poetic form is nothing short of astonishing.  It wholly resonates. And that is saying much from a writer/poet who tends to do the upbeat and funny stuff primarily. While her poem is dark, it is also uplifting.

Nighttime Blues (by Debi Swim)

What is it about the night that deepens fright, blurs black and white into shades of gloomy grey?
Why in the dark does each recalled remark, loom and spark a tinderbox of dismay?
I toss and turn, troubles churn, gnawing cares burn and confidence whittled away.
Until light of morn puts troubles to scorn, brings peace to adorn, as I fall to my knees and pray.

Congratulations, Debi and Sara!


  1. I have wondered why blooms were awarded for the Sunday feature but not the Wednesday one. I’m glad to see this addition. Congratulations to Debi, whose use of the rhupunt form opened up possibilities I hadn’t thought of, and Sara, whose poem moved me on several levels.

  2. Debi, I am so proud of you! Your winning poems, like all of your poems, are a pleasure to read. Believe me when I say that you are a poet in the truest sense of the word. You have also become one of my favorite modern-day poets!

    Congrats also to Sara.

  3. Great choices. Debi and Sara have done a wonderful job. And I love that there is a Beautiful Bloom for the in-form poem which is often harder than the weekly prompt. Poetic Bloomings is truly the best garden for verse. Thanks so much for all of you who have stepped up to help out in the garden.

  4. Yay! So awesome to see Debi double-dippin’! LOVING your work, ma’am. Your dream piece had such an ethereal quality to it, just wonderful. And “spark a tinderbox of dismay” is fantastic.

    And OH, Sara! Just an amazing piece. You had me at that title…and have captured the artist heart perfectly, as well as those who choose to love them.

  5. Wonderful!! All three were great poems and it is so good to have William and RJ gathering flowers for us. Great job guys!!!

    • Thank you. I’d like to comment, though, on the universal use of “guys” for women and men. It reminds me of an old vaudeville joke, wherein two comedians would be accompanied by a young woman who usually was scantily dressed. One comedian would look at the woman and say something like, “Oh, boy!”, after which the other comedian would say, “Boy? You must need glasses. That’s a girl!”

      Anyway, if RJ’s a guy, I’m a Jabberwock.

      I hasten to add that this is not meant to be a repudiation; just a comment, which probably says more about my age than anything else.

      • You all is just fine for this Southern-born gal, but as a female I do not like you guys, or as they used to say in Philadelphia. Youse guys.

        • I still remember an audio clip from my English class in 8th grade: We were learning about dialects at the time, and our teacher played an audio clip of a little boy saying, “You talk funny! You say y’all instead of yuze guys!” 😉

  6. Hooray! You are adding a bloom for the form. To me creating a decent poem in a form is a great accomplishment. Congratulations Debi (wow, two!) and Sara. Those were excellent poems.

    Now Walt’s stealth beautiful blooms of all of the Cento poems will not stand alone. My only hope is that if there IS the third year book there will be room for a few non-bloom poems for those who meet the 10% qualification.

  7. Ummmm…well, first of all, William – you are not a Jabberwocky (I’m a girl!).

    Second, congrats to Debi (double) and Sara! You ‘guys’ rock. 😃

    Third, this was a fun week which was full of some amazing poems (and talents.). You all did not make the job of choosing blooms easy (although it was wonderful readind everyone’s work!)

    Sorry I didn’t comment sooner – I’m at a restaurant now, but my family and I spent the day at the NY Renaissance Faire. Finally got a chance now. 😎

    And last. I cannot wait to see what you all do this week! Poem on!

  8. Congratulations Debi (double!…impressive and well-deserved indeed) and Sara, a long-time favourite of mine and again, so well-deserved! Marie Elena, William and RJ – the triumvirate is already working like a well-oiled gardening tool, with compassion and wisdom thrown in as well. You have chosen well Marie Elena…Walt will be able to rest easy as long as he needs to I believe.

    • You’re so kind and sweet, Sharon. Thank you so much for the encouragement. Yes, RJ and William are doing an outstanding job of stepping up to the plate. The fact that it takes two such talented and dedicated individuals to fill Walt’s role speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

  9. Congratulations to Sarah, Debi (double congrats!) and to RJ, William and Marie for their excellent taste 🙂 Beautiful words everyone!

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