Before we present our Beautiful Bloom picks, I’d like to thank each and every one of you.  You enrich my life with your daily presence.  I know I speak for Walt in this regard as well.  We feel abundantly blessed in our little “garden.”

Now, for our Blooms…

MARIE ELENA’S PICKChange at St. Paul’s by Jane Shlensky

Never have I read a more beautifully expressed summary of my own beliefs – my own earnest pleas.  I’ll say no more, lest I reduce the perfection of this vision.

Change at St. Paul’s by Jane Shlensky

I sat there at a lowest point
letting the choral voices soar
up to high arches, echo there,
then drop like blessings
on my head. Around me
tourists, homeless, all
came from the streets
to bend a knee, to listen
to sweet harmony, to pray
for change, a sign, a call,
a hope that life might better be.

Sometimes I don’t know
what to say, what words
can mend a broken life.
And so I just said,
Thank you, Lord,
forgive me, help me,
take what’s yours.

I listened as the chorus sang;
those notes so lightly
took to air, and felt
my own song’s stir
and flight, and
in my journal
I wrote there,
Let my whole life
a prayer.


This heartfelt offering gets my “bloom” this week for its simplicity and directness and yes, its tongue-in-cheek characterization of the “artsy fartsy world of words.” It is a paean to a relationship that personifies love in its nitty-gritty, “cracked scarred” reality; the day-to-day things one does for wife, husband, and all in the family. These include not only “harrowing tales” and shed blood but also the little things like “Sunday drives and coffee.” In my opinion, JLynn’s poem captures love as it really is, and thus, thanks as they really are: the kind that are “not enough” but nonetheless are all one can offer.

NOT ENOUGH by JLynn Sheridan

For the harrowing tales he tells
of scaling superman heights in
rain and sleet and heat. For the
blood he sheds while laboring

under sheet rock, shingles and
salz-alls that wail far into the
night. For his cracked scarred
hands and grease packed nails.

For the grace he shows while
I skitter my time curled into
the artsy fartsy world of words.
For Sunday drives and coffee

and Autumn bonfires. For this
home. For our Family. For his
sacrifice, my tender thanks

is not enough.

 RJ’S BLOOM PICK:  Sound Advice for Perverbial Idiots by Jane Shlensky

Sorry I haven’t commented or anything much but between school & Thanksgiving & Chanukkah, I’ve been crazed. (And haven’t even started Christmas yet!)

Anyway, with this crazy grouping of forms, it was especially hard to choose just one pick aside yours and William’s work!) but I finally decided on a bloom:

Jane Shlensky’s ‘Sound Advice for Perverbial Idiots.’ It was hilarious and she made perfect use of skewered adages. I really laughed reading Jane’s work, so she’s the Oulipo Queen, as the crow flies!

Sound Advice for Perverbial Idiots by Jane Shlensky

Fool me once/ three’s a crowd
Fool me twice/the harder they fall
If at first/ live and let live
Don’t count your chickens/ play ball

Better to be safe than/ get up with fleas
Never swap horses/ with water that is past.
An apple a day/ falls far from the tree.
When all is said and done/ nice guys finish last.

Give a man a fish/ and pass the ammunition
A rolling stone/ go with the flow
Absence makes the heart/ march on its stomach
Better be safe/than the devil you don’t know.

Congratulations to Janice and Jane.  Jane, a Double Bloom is a rare treat in our garden! 


  1. Perfect blooms among so many unfolded thanksgivings (I am certain, though with our busy week with family I haven’t visited the garden enough to make comments or read them all).
    Our lives are best the best of gifts indeed when offered as prayers, infused with the work of love, and wrapped in laughter.
    Thanks Janice and Jane for saying so.

  2. This group is so very gracious, demonstrating thankful hearts through poetry and kind encouragement. MEG and Walt and William and RJ, thank you for your dedication to the art and craft of poetry. The talent and heart of the poets on this site leaves me breathless at times.

  3. Congratulations Jane and Janice!
    Both of your pieces struck a chord. I’ve read them several times and I still find myself wiping my eyes when I’m done – Beautiful.

  4. Jane and Jan, fantastic! I’ve been been playing catch upfor the past few weeks, but you both should carry your blooms with pride. You certainly earned them.!

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