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


Who could imagine the variety and wonder that could come from a “list” prompt?!  In the spirit of this week’s prompt, I would like to list 1,000 of the 30,000 reasons it is impossible to choose just one “Bloom” each week.

N0?  Okay then, here are this week’s Blooms:


Nancy Posey consistently speaks in ways that are both elegant and down-to-earth.  Because you never ask to read her poems is certainly both.  In simple language, she expresses feelings that I can only imagine every poet feels on some level.  We all want the one(s) we love most to see the worth in our words.  Yet, as Jane pointed out, not everyone speaks poetry.  Each of Nancy’s stanzas speak observation and emotion in a non-judgmental manner, and each builds on the previous.  Her use of lower case makes a statement in itself … a humbleness, so as not to come across as reprimanding from some lofty position.  Or at least that is how it comes across to me.  Her final three (full) stanzas especially touch my heart.

Nancy, you have a gift.  Thank you for sharing it here with us, and it is wonderful to have you back.

Because you never ask to read her poems (by Nancy Posey)

you’ll never know
how much your presence
shapes her thoughts,
leaving her breathless
at times
and hopeless
at others.

you’ll never know
why someone without
an ounce of superstition
reads her horoscope
and yours
picks four-leaf clovers
pressing them between
the pages of books
and yours.

you’ll never know the little
worries she picks
like a hangnail
and practices
telling you, standing
before the bathroom mirror

you’ll never hear the words
locked so tight
they can’t escape her lips
but committed daily
to the page,
mere pencil wisps.

you’ll never receive the gift
not of mere words
but of trust, truest words
unfettered by fear.

you’ll never share the magic
she has woven for strangers
in coffee shops,
spoken aloud,
printed in journals.

You’d be surprised to know
that others have shared
her poems as Valentines,
love letters meant for you
written in other hands,
given away as love tokens.

and all you’d have to do
is ask.


I selected Janice Sheridan‘s When a Friend Goes Missing because, in my opinion, it successfully transfers stream-of-consciousness emotions into words and sets them down on paper (or what passes for paper these days). It is full of raw emotions about the passing of a dear friend, and uses startling words and phrases to let us know how very dear that friend was: “Rough and Rowdy ride with a hint of pride”; “Hippy happy gauze and French vanilla”; “nothing is linear not even a race to heaven”; “the one who loves better wins the prize first”; “forgot to buckle up and buckle in”; “arrows flung in defense of her heart”; “I’ll never eat black-eyed peas again and feel Lucky.” I felt like a kid sitting open-mouthed and listening to a master storyteller whose words were like a brush on canvas. Indeed, the whole poem paints vivid pictures to make this person—and this poem—memorable, and one of the tasks of poetry, in my view, is to use words in such a way that they are remembered. I think Janice (JLynn) succeeded admirably in that central task.


She bought a loud Mustang at 65
A Rough and Rowdy ride with a hint
of pride. Her own hide was a mix of
Hippy happy gauze and French vanilla.

She gave me a heart attack with her
wondering ways that eventually led
to a chapel and a hymn but Lord,
she told it like it was when she was
found lost and lost she was until John 3:16
made sense but nothing is linear not
even a race to heaven.

Yesterday, she beat me to that blessing
and I can only think of the joke we might
create out of that. Something about her sins,
which are many, are forgiven—
for she loved much. But she who
is forgiven little, loves little So the
one who loves better wins the prize
first. I guess I have more learning
about love to do. She’d be the first
to point that out that malfunction in me.
Unafraid of the truth.

She lived loud and fast like a roller
coaster and often forgot to buckle up
and buckle in And sometimes she
forgot to slow down Until after she’d
been around around the ride a few
too many times. Then down she went
The phone would ring We’d share a
terse tear then she’d be silent for weeks
licking her wounds with my arrows
flung in defense of her heart.

Sometimes she rubbed salt in my
sores but always rinsed them in love
With a laugh that shattered the
window panes. She saved that laugh
for me, then thanked me for giving it to
her but truth was it was the other way around.

We hated once for awhile It was because
we knew we were safe hating each other
but it wasn’t real hate It was just growing
up and old with a side dish of cranky.

Loyal, She was always Loyal to the end
to the ones who loved her full and fast
in the static present and lingering past.

On New Year’s day, I’ll never eat black-eyed
peas again and feel Lucky. Though we
never said it, We knew we weren’t lucky.

Just held.
Whether we felt we needed it or not.
We were held.



Hi Marie! Wow! We really did get a fabulous response to this form! I am so in awe! And you were right – choosing just one is more than difficult. For so many different reasons, I have choices which resonated: Erin Kay’s Autumn Wind, for its vivid contrasts which depict the season; Marjory’s Newness, which is gorgeous, crisp, hopeful – and another autumn day; Michelle Hed’s Unknown Roads, because I loved the quote and the pairing of the intense emotion behind the words; Michael’s 1st Stanza in Early Warning, because it was just so well written; Sal Buttaci’s Mountain Hike, for it’s beautiful storytelling and it was a love story; Henrietta Choplin’s As Summer Ends, because it has balloons…and so on.

But, I know I can only pick one. Heavy sigh! Okay…okay…

I think my Bloom this week has to be Hannah Gosselin‘s May I Have This Dance. It’s evocative, metaphoric, atmospheric, and I love the visuals she casts with her words. Her use of mirroring the form was creative and it worked perfectly for her poem. Finally, her poem was, to me, musical, but musical in the way a tune from the past plays softly in the background – but it haunts and you cannot get it out of your mind. Nor do you want to.

May I Have This Dance? (by Sweet Hannah Gosselin)
These days spill milk-weed filament,
amber-lit fluff floats commitment;
it’s autumn’s promise.
A brilliant temptress
in white dress,
she is sent-
carried miles
on the wind.
Tattered skirts won’t mend-
torn by thorn she’ll blend,
become one, in blackberry style;
soon seed will drop and wait awhile.

Well, there ya have it. ‘Til next week…

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  1. Congrats to the winners with their excellent poems!

  2. Nancy, Jane and Hannah- congrats on your win and congrats to us who got to read them.

  3. Nancy and Janice…goodness….the talent you two hold IS such a gift!!! What a treat reading these this morning. Wonderful writing….congratulations on your well-earned beautiful blooms!!

    RJ!! Thank you, I SO appreciate this…I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it so much and how you described my poem….sigh….you know how to make a poet smile in contentment…such love thank you for making my month!!

    Smiles to all the poetical peeps in the garden…it’s such a joy to be here each week. 🙂

  4. Pingback: May I Have This Dance? | Metaphors and Smiles

  5. Beautiful writing, Nancy. Hannah, I don’t think you write anything that isn’t beautiful. ANd William, I thank you. Your words are deeply touching . . . the funeral is in a few hours and you have lifted my spirits and given me courage.

  6. Congratulations to Nancy, JL, and Hannah on their extraordinary poems !! These three gems were very deserving of a Beautiful Bloom !!!

  7. Marjory MT on said:

    Fantastic selection of poems worth reading and re-reading over and over. Congratulations to each of you ladies.

  8. elishevasmom on said:

    First of all, warm congrats and hugs to Nancy,Janice and Hannah.! It is exciting to see who gets chosen and why. I have come, in the past year, to feel a strong sense of family in our community here. So when someone wins, you are proud for them, and of them, just as if they were you daughter, brother, mother…
    And RJ, you did a masterful job of giving special kudos to the runners up. Very clever.

  9. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Ohh… I just loved them all!! Congratulations, Nancy, JLynn, and Hannah!!

  10. Wonderful choices, all three! I love every one of them.

    Hugs to you, Janice. ❤

  11. I loved these. Great choices! Congrats to Nancy, JLynn, and Hannah.

  12. Congratulations to Nancy, Janice and Hannah for your well-deserved Blooms!!!!

  13. Congratulations Nancy, Janice and Hannah–so much heart in these poems, almost felt mine breaking–beautiful, absolutely beautiful 🙂

  14. Lovely choices! Congrats on your blooms. RJ – Thanks for the nod. 🙂

  15. Marie, William, and RJ, congratulations on wonderful choices. Nancy, Janice, and Hannah, you are well deserving of the “bloom.”

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