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


William, your “personalizing” prompt produced some excellent results.  But I must say, it pains me to choose Blooms this week.  I’m afraid the other poems’ feelings will be hurt.  *ahem*

MARIE ELENA’S CHOICE:  London Bridge is Tired, by Marian Veverka

There were five poems submitted that took my breath away.  When I saw William had chosen one of my five, I removed it from my list.  Choosing one from the remaining four was so difficult for me, I nearly decided to give up and offer my Bloom to all four.  Then I thought better of it.  Marian Veverka simply did an outstanding job of personalizing her subject.  She seemed to get inside the head and heart of an inanimate object and breathe emotion and daily existence into it.  And she managed it with a bit of history.

Marian, you made me believe.  I humbly offer you my Bloom.

London Bridge is Tired (by Marian Veverka)

All I wanted was to get away from the fog
The cold, the damp, My trusses will never
Be the same, but yes, this hot air has helped
I never thought I would be homesick for mist.
Yes, mist and the smell of the sea and the little
Shops along my edges and the people hurrying ,
and sometimes lovers making out in a hurry
but always the tides in the Thames, yes, I do
miss that stupid river, all we did was argue,
but I’ll tell you something. If anyone wants
to find out what the atmosphere of Hell is like
they can come right down here to the (ugh)
Arizona desert.

Yes, the biggest mistake of my life! Retiring
Into a warm, sunny climate was not for me!
These tourists don’t even know that London
Is still there! They think the whole city
Disappeared into the sea of something and
Arizona gallantly offered to give me a home!
Some home! All right, I will admit to a bit
Of grousing about the rain and the damp and
That dreadful fog. Now, I hear, some measures
Have been taken (what, I have no idea) and the
Fog is not the heavy smoke-filled burden it
Used to be. NOW they tell me! Now, that I
Have been shipped halfway across the world
To this desert hell-hole with not even a
Puddle in sight and what is a bridge to do?

WILLIAM’S CHOICE:  Birch Defects, by S.E. Ingraham

I must confess that what first drew my eye to this poem was the pun in the title. It quickly became obvious, however, that the pun was not in fun, even within the title alone. What transpired was a heart-wrenching tale told by a violated tree as it is being cut down; it is difficult not to think it is being murdered. As if that were not sufficiently unbearable, the final stanza humanizes both the tree and its situation by linking the tree’s tears to the woman’s, and the reader does hope that the woman’s tears are indeed for the tree, which, after all, is a “weeping” birch. All in all, this poem is impressive, in my opinion; it certainly moved me deeply, hence this bloom.

BIRCH DEFECTS (by S. E. Ingraham)

Birches are tough, hard-woods to be sure
and I, a weeping birch, no different
But dying, feel my mortality to the marrow
of my rings, and fear the thwack of the axe
attacking my trunk this cool Fall morning

Two deep vee-cuts enter my one side
before my henchman—accomplished, he
knows what he’s about, I can tell that—
starts in at equal height on my other side

With blade gleaming, whetted sharply,
he swings from shoulder height full-force,
makes a guttural sound from deep within;
a sound so loud it drowns out my groan

As the axe slices clear through
to the cuts begun opposite, I know
I am coming down; I see pieces
of my snow-white bark curling;
tree tears tumbling to the ground
around my roots…

I feel myself falling as if in slow motion
and catch sight of a woman in the window
of the house near me
The sun is shining full on her face and I
see that she is weeping; I wonder does
she cry for me…

RJ’s IN-FORM PICK(S):  Centipede by Andra Negroiu and The Song of Stradivari by Michelle Hed

Well, I know this week sent a lot of people into paroxysms, but that’s what I’m s’posed to do, right?

Anyway, this week was especially hard in terms of making a Blooms choice – and to be honest, although I did manage to whittle it down a bit (don’t ask me how!) I still cannot choose between two poems.

I simply adored Andra Negroiu’s ‘Centipede’ for its exuberance and joy. Her poem was fun, funny and cute. It made me laugh and also, it made me think of some of the kids’ books I used to read to my own two kidlets.

However, I also went symphonically crazy on Michelle Hed’s ‘The Song of a Stradivari.’ It was nothing short of brilliant – and it sang to me in ways I could never have expected. It was literally (and yes, I am using the word correctly here) fantastic.

So…for this one week, can I have two? Pretty please, with sugar on top?

And HOW am I supposed to say no when you put sugar on top? ~ Marie 😉 

Centipede (by Andra-Teodora Negroiu)

If I were a centipede
straded on a bike’s backseat,
my excitement guaranteed
and my breath a bit offbeat,
I would try to be discrete.
So, my friends, don’t intercede
and reveal my small deceit –
the world’s fastest centipede!

The Song of a Stradivari (by Michelle Hed)

Mountains were not ambitious
for her to think of scaling;
Challenges were propitious
omens from which she’s sailing.

She made her own commotion
as she fought her way higher,
her strength was her devotion,
an excellence, high flyer.

Life had become amusing
while throwing coins in fountains,
wishes were worth perusing –
no, never enough mountains.

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  1. Brilliant work poets and excellent choices hosts!! Thank you for doing what you do, (everyone)!!

    :)’s and a happy weekend to all!

  2. Winners, my hat is off to you!

  3. Somehow, I missed reading “London Bridge is Tired” and “Birch Defects” – They are simply gorgeous and because I am drawn to trees, esp., the second. Well, done you two.

    RJ, I think you are completely right is choosing these two- I loved the playfulness of Andra’s and the WOW of Michelle’s.

  4. RJ, excellent choices. I missed both of them. I must now take a centipede on a ride, Andra. Michelle, I heard the freeing music of abandoning the ordinary there.
    William’s choice was a heart rendering piece. I did read it and wept as well.
    I somehow missed London Bridge…wow how wrenching the emotions of iron and steel can be. Marian, i could hear the immovable groans of sadness from that bridge.

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      7, I was just thinking the same thing about riding my bike with a little centipede…. so sweet, especially with colorful sneakers… 🙂 !! Congratulations, Andra and Michelle! Marian, I could feel the heat of Arizona… and Sharon… your poem broke my heart…!! Congratulations to you both!!

  5. What a pleasant surprise this morning! Thank you so much for making my poem one of your blooms RJ! Lovely blooms this week. I enjoyed reading them this morning with my tea. Thank you everyone for your comments. 🙂

  6. Thank you for selecting “London Bridge is Tired.” A number of years ago, My daughterr & I drove from OH to CA & passed a bunch of signs that said “See the Original London Bridge!!” My first thoght was “That poor bridge – how on earth did it end up in Arizona?” No, we did not stop and see it, but the thought lingered in my mind.

  7. Congratulations to all of the Beautiful Bloom poets! Outstanding work by each and every one of you!!

  8. 5 perfect blooms. Congratulations to all.

    I grieve constantly for murdered trees, but there’s a special spot in my heart for old London Bridge – the Thames has been a thread throughout my life until we were transplanted to France, and even now, my son lives less than a stone’s throw from that wonderful river.

  9. Thank you so much for this bloom William (and by extrapolation Marie Elena)…I’m glad it touched so many; I have a real affinity for trees (as if you couldn’t tell) and birches (all kinds) are amongst my favourites. I confess, I have written of this particular tree many times (the first two poems I had published “The Trees Stand Watch” and “When Trees Weep” were inspired by it) but this one died a natural death (we think)…and is still serving us in our wood-burning fireplace. Nevertheless, I did weep the day it came down…

    Congratulations Marian, Michelle, Andra…excellent poems all, and well-deserved blooms; I am honoured to be in your company.

  10. RJ, thank you so much for choosing my poem! You definitely made my evening far more beautiful 🙂 I am truly honoured!

  11. Mmmm. You guys had a tough tough time–these are fantastic (I’m using that word correctly, right, RJ?) Congratulations to everyone, beautiful, wonderful poems, all.

  12. Congrats to Maria, Sharon, and Andra – well deserved.

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