The words above are from one of the verses to America, the Beautiful: O beautiful for heroes proved / in liberating strife, / who more than self their country loved, / and mercy more than life! The song is an anthem of sorts in the United States; some think it should be the national anthem. However that may be, the words apply to heroes everywhere, for heroism often is manifested in ordinary persons who are tested (proved) in some sort of extreme situation. Write a poem about a hero, or heroism. The hero may be real, legendary, or imaginary. It may be a person, or not. Or, perhaps, you might want to write about heroism in an abstract way.


Interesting to note
A true hero’s response is
“just doing my job.”

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good



In World War Two, in Hungary,
he moved amongst the quick and dead,
seeking a few whom he could free.

Why did he work in that vale of dread?
His answer was pure simplicity:
to spare some lives, or, as he said,

his mission was “to save the Jewish nation.”

© copyright 2013, William Preston



My country, oh storied land,
’tis of thee my heart beats strong.
Sweet land of liberty, how I long to wave your banner for
Of thee I sing; the song of freedom’s fight.
Land where my father died, a patriot and sentry
Land of the pilgrims’ pride, a man of faith and gentry,
From ev’ry mountainside I will shout my father’s name
Let freedom ring! It’s peal loud and long!

© copyright 2013, Walter J. Wojtanik


LJGOWI (Let’s just get on with it…)


While expressing herself, our Meena Rose seldom (if ever) deviates from elegance or eloquence.    “Doing It Cellphone Style” fairly defines her as a communicator. This piece speaks directly to my heart and senses, and begged to be chosen to receive my Beautiful Bloom this week.  Meena, you are just precious.  🙂

 Doing It Cellphone Style  (by Meena Rose)

I ❤ u, bay-b
hey luv, ❤ u2

4ever nd ever?
longer dan ever :*

wanna no bout Lyf?
tell mii

Lyf iz gud wid u
cu@8 GTG boss iz here

I read these messages and weep
For a language and a discipline
Which calls for taking one’s time
To form a complete thought and
Convey it with class and elegance.

I read these messages and weep
For a medium which has cheapened
Love and made a travesty of it.
Once upon a time, “I Love You” were the
Hardest words for anyone to say.

I read these messages and weep
For a culture spinning so fast
That now patience has become the
Lost of art of the Ancients and thoughtfulness
Is nothing but a collection of snagged moments.


I decided to award Earl Parsons my bloom for this prompt because he topped me. I think he topped all of us, really, with his military lingo, which reminds me that there indeed is nothing new under the sun when it comes to acronyms, especially if one has been in the military. When I think of unreadable English, I tend to think of Navyspeak, with their CINCLANTs and CINCPACs and even CINCUSes, but Earl’s examples appear to be related to the Air Force, or maybe Army. I don’t know whether it’s a compliment or not, to say that the Air Force skewers the language as much as the Navy does, but in any case Earl gives us an excellent example of it. Computer geeks, tweeter folk, and textees have nothing on him. LOL, indeed!

MAJCOM (by Earl Parsons)

Welcome to MAJCOM
Are you the newbie?
Is this your first PCS?
Processed through CBPO?
Done with your OJT?
Well, I’m the HMIC
And I’m on call 24/7
Here’s your SOP
And your PFE
If you wanna’ be an NCO
You gotta study them books
And take your SKT
Now here’s your assignment
Get’r’done ASAP
By COB today
Oh, by the way
If you have a POV
Park it in the HQ lot
Next to AAFES
Have a good day


RJ’s In-form BLOOM

Hi there! Yep – time to choose my In-form Poet Bloom of the Week. It was really tough (as usual) because there were so many gorgeous poems. I think, for this week, I’m choosing Henrietta Choplin‘s ‘Splashing Clouds.’ I loved the images it conjured with simple but heartfelt language. In any event, she soothed my soul with her words – and that is why I had to go with Henrietta’s ‘blue, misty’ poem.

Splashing Clouds (by Henrietta Choplin)

The waves in sky, a rolling sea
Sea thunders ’round and covers the
Blue depths upon our gaze, a clue
Clue to the heart of that most blue
Yet heals the soul, if we’ll just let
Let splashes mist our faces yet.


Mirror Sestet picture

Because the Byron’s Sonnet brought up a little discussion of sestets and octaves, I thought it might be interesting – and challenging – to try another form of the six-line sestet.  The description and rules of the Mirror Sestet are shown below, but the explanation and further examples can be found at Shadow Poetry .

What is kind of cool is that this form can be rhymed, or not – whichever you prefer.  And, as no metrics were mentioned, you can use whatever sort of metrics that please you.

The Mirror Sestet, created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a poem that can be written in one or more stanzas of 6 lines each. The specific guidelines for this form are as follows:

The first word of line 1 rhymes with the last word of line 1.
The first word of line 2 is the last word of line 1
and the last word of line 2 is the 1st word of line 1.

The first word of line 3 rhymes with the last word of line 3.
The first word of line 4 is the last word of line 3
and the last word of line 4 is the 1st word of line 3.

The first word of line 5 rhymes with the last word of line 5.
The first word of line 6 is the last word of line 5
and the last word of line 6 is the 1st word of line 5.

The Mirror Sestet can also be written in non-rhyme.  All rules must be followed except there is no 1st and last word rhyming.

All right?  Write, all!

And on that note, here’s my mirror(ish) attempt:


“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” ~George Bernard Shaw

O glass which shows my face, you know…
…know that you’re my reflection. O
glass, o mirror, there’s impasse…
…impasse because you are just glass
and not a work of art, first hand…
…hand that paints a masterpiece, and

I long to see my soul.  My eye…
…eye is only human, so I
attempt beyond, but I’m exempt…
…exempt from that which I’d attempt.
Still, I can gaze.  It’s what I will…
…will I find me?  I’m searching still.



Online Dating Service

You got a call from God-knows-who
Who may be playing tricks on you.
He said he’d meet you here at three.
Three came and went without a he.
There may be cause for pause. Beware.
Beware! There are some creeps out there.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (; 19th Century)


Vote for your favorite poem among those listed in the poll below.  You may view poems at the official contest page, here:

Once you have voted, the system will lock you out so you can’t vote again (dang cookies!)    We’re including the capability of filling in an “other” selection. This is only to provide a poem I may have (heaven forbid!) missed. You are on scouts honor to add only poems included in the official contest page, posted on or before midnight EST, October 31.

This poll is scheduled to close in one week.  The free polling site does not allow me to choose an exact date and time, so I’m guessing it will be open through midnight on November 11th.  Make sure you get your vote in by then.

Feel free to request votes from friends and family.     The winner will receive an autographed copy of Robert Lee Brewer’s Solving the World’s Problems!


English is a dynamic language; it changes all the time. Sometimes the changes occur slowly, sometimes they occur rapidly, but they do occur continually. The advent of cell phones and texting and services that demand a premium on collecting meaning into a limited number of characters have produced a plethora of acronyms, so numerous that whole Internet sites are devoted to interpreting them. One of those acronyms, LOL, seems to be a favorite of many who comment on this blog. Write a poem about LOL, or RAD, or any words or phrases you hear that are not “standard” English. Don’t feel restricted to “new” coinage; these days, even the King’s (James’s) English sounds strange to some.


The Fax of the Matter

A stay-at-home mom, now single,
I needed to enter the workforce.
It had been more than a decade
Since I’d graduated from high school.
No college for me.

We were not of the privileged few
With home computers.
In fact, I had no computer experience
And was not tech-savvy
In the least.
So I entered a local college on a –
Ready for this? –
“Displaced housewife” grant.
I chose a secretarial course.

After just a few months in,
I was offered a decent job
At The University of Toledo.
I quit college and snatched it up.
That, after all, was why I was in school
At age thirty.

My first week on the job,
I received a call from the U.T. librarian.

“Miss, will you please tell Dr. Burnham
He has a facts.”

I thought for a moment.
Did I hear her correctly?
I responded.

“Pardon me. Did you say Dr. Burnham has
A facts?”

“Yes ma’am. He can pick it up at the front desk.”

Completely baffled, I repeated again…

“I’m sorry. Are you saying Dr. Burnham has
A facts? As in singular ‘a,’ and ‘facts’?”

Now she seemed a bit impatient.

“Yes. A facts. He has a facts. We’ll hold it for him.”

Well, I wasn’t going to question her any further, so
I wrote down the message for Dr. Burnham.
But seriously, I don’t know how some folks land a job,
Much less at a university.

(Embarrassingly, a true story. 😉 )

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good



When I look up the LOLs and the RADs and the JAFs,
I think I am at a convention of gaffes.
Computers and phones have produced a new lingo:
a modified English: alphabet bingo.

This strikes me as silly and somewhat dismaying;
it screws up all meaning. Ya know what I’m saying?
Now reading, like having a cup with no saucer,
takes far too much work, like the English of Chaucer.

© copyright 2013, William Preston


Among the poets who grace this site are those who can poetically tap into and express a depth of emotion and vision to which I can only aspire.  This week, the works of Barbara Young, Salvatore Buttaci, Iain Douglas Kemp, Jerry Walraven, and Andra Negroiu leave me breathless with envy.  A blatant confession — but there you have it.

As for this week’s Bloom, it is William’s and my honor to call attention to the same poem:  SANCTUARY, by Andra Negroiu.

For me, the beauty and flow of the words make this poem sing as a composition of music.  The marriage of imagery and message leaves me shaking my head in wonder.

William says, “The first phrase that drew me to this poem was “shy churches hiding.” That led me to read it again, and again and again. It always seemed to have a new discovery waiting for me. Andra reminds us of the little things in big (and small) cities: the shy churches and the ragged alleyways and the dying light. And amidst all that, she invites the reader to be a sanctuary, which is what a church is supposed to be, for the wandering bird, or perhaps the people and other creatures that frequent the ragged alleyways. This struck me as sensitive yet powerful writing, and I’m going to read it again and again.”

Thank you for sharing this magnificent piece with us, Andra.  Do let us know if this finds its way into a book we can hold in our hands, and take in with our hearts.

SANCTUARY (by Andra Negroiu)

Girls, when you find yourselves
alone at night,
making the acquaintance
of a city of lineage
and dazzling shopping streets,
spare a thought for the ragged alleyways and
for the shy churches hiding
behind the dying light and the pouring rain
and put out your hand
and wait
for the flute-born Ave of a wanderer
to alight on your palm, rest its wings and
declare you its sanctuary.



Holy Moly! Lord Byron (and I) don’t even know where to begin to choose for In-form Poet Bloom of the Week. There were so many brilliant, amazing poems – and each was a gem in and of itself. Just when I would think, ‘Yes, that is the one,” I would read another and say, “Hmmmmmm…what do I do now?”


(Another pause.)

All right. Although there were many that made me say, “Gosh, I wish I’d written that!” my choice is Erin Kay’s ‘In the Orchard.’ Her line, “… heady scent of pears carried on the breeze…” just resonated with me, and I loved the way she set the blush scene of first love.

In The Orchard (by Erin Kay Hope)

Long grass swaying lazily in the breeze,
Leaves rustling, covering the hard ground
With a blanket of gold warmth all around
You and I: in the orchard at our ease;
Heady scent of pears carried by the breeze,
Sweetening breath, hanging thick in the air
As the fruit lies here, there, and everywhere,
And we share one big one beneath the trees.

You smile, and the whole world gets brighter,
I blush, and you steal a quick kiss from me,
You wink and my heart palpitates faster,
I smile timidly, you’ve captured me;
We linger here as the sky gets darker,
In the orchard together, you and me.

 Congratulations to Andra and Erin Kay!

P.S.  Thanks to all who participated in our National Poetry Day contest!  I’ll need a bit of time to get the voting page prepared.  I’ll post when ready, and then give you all a few days to vote for your favorite.  Should be fun!