Knowing the hard work I put into writing even a relatively simple poem, the very thought of the collective body of work here at Poetic Bloomings just this week boggles my mind. You truly are an amazing representation of poetic voices, and I’m humbled by your presence here. Now, if I could choose several poems to highlight this week, it would make my job much less taxing. I know William and RJ agree.
MARIE ELENA’S PICK
After literally two hours of reading, re-reading, and much contemplation, I decided to offer my Bloom to Meena Rose for The Prism. Meena captures the exhaustion of covering all the bases, and covering them fully. Phrasing, imagery, and line breaks are used effectively, drawing us into the weary workings of the responsible mind. Especially effective (for me) are: “never once turning her back to the small voice seeking attention,” “a smile that never makes it all the way up,” “She herds the chaos and restrains it to a night’s slumber,” and the entire final stanza. Also a creative and highly effective use of a line break:
“She retreats to her sanctuary and pulls
Open her briefcase.”
In short, this is brilliantly penned. Meena, it is good to have you with us again. I happily offer you my Bloom.
The Prism by Meena Rose
Looking through the glass
I see her hustle and bustle
About in a kitchen preparing
Dinner – never once turning her
Back to the small voice seeking
Dinner is set and everyone’s at the
Table smiling and chattering as she
Gazes upon him and the weariness in
Eyes he works hard at shielding with
A smile that never makes it all the
The meal is done. It’s blessing spreads
Warmth from within – his tension finally
Easing as he relaxes into the couch nodding
Off to sleep in the midst of American Idol
Blaring and cellphones ringing and the little
She herds the chaos and restrains it to a
Night’s slumber and then she tenderly
Approaches her man covering him with an
Afghan – a light kiss upon his brow;
She retreats to her sanctuary and pulls
Open her briefcase.
The proposal is reviewed – she is certain
That is what the company needs as she tosses
In more diligence refining it to a glimmering
Gem – her mind finally at ease, she heads
Towards her nightly date with the bath
He rouses her out of the now cold bath and
Wraps her in a towel lending his body heat
To her cold form – two wan smiles exchanged
As they head towards their bed. Her sigh,
His naughty grin is all they could manage
Before surrendering to sleep.
I am new to this business of selecting blooms, and, as was the case the first three times, I started to write about how difficult it all was to select one from so many good offerings. Then I realized: it’s always going to be like this. There are simply too many people with too much talent to ever make selecting a bloom an easy task. So in the future I will forego pleas for sympathy over how tough it is to select one poem. (But is IS tough!)
For the “working, working” prompt I selected Hannah Gosselin’s poem, primarily owing to its sheer emotional power. The entire poem proffers pictures of what is happening to this person, and the phrase, “fallen flower decomposes,” encapsulates the pain of “one still alive but actively absent.” Those last two words, combined with “chose” earlier in the poem, complete the pain, or, one may say, the horror. On this site it very often happens that I read poems so good that commenting on them in mere words seems inadequate. Hannah’s is, in my mind, one of those.
FISTS by Hannah Gosselin
First there were her hands,
peach and porous-
Soft yet firm
stern and adamant,
supple and cupping
strong and yielding
scouring and nourishing;
her petals of palm
were a hollow for holding.
Tiny infant body
through stages of life
till suddenly she chose…
rose of motherhood wilted.
A flower fallen decomposes
becomes one with the ground
where I grieve too early
for one still alive
but actively absent.
peach and porous,
first there were her hands.
RJ’S ODDQUAIN BLOOM
It was really hard (once again) to pick a winner. Erin Kay’s work just gets stronger and stronger; Hannah penned a stunner; Michelle Hed wrote an Oddquain that totally resonated and – gosh – there were so many other poems I loved too.
But…I had to choose one, and despite the serious difficulty with that task, here it is:
Jacqueline Casey’s untitled ‘Fear’. It was obviously topical and to be honest, she nailed the most salient and important sentiments regarding this most current of events. Her poem was like looking into the photo-journalistic collection of a war correspondent’s work – and finding that one picture which continues to haunt (like the National Geographic portrait of Sharbat Gula, the young Afghan girl.) It was a brilliant use of the form, in my humble opinion.
UNTITLED by Jacqueline Casey
in the eyes
of Syrian child
affronted by nonchalant
Congratulations, Meena, Hannah, and Jacqueline!