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


H A P P Y   N E W   Y E A R ! ! !

Back in May 2011 Marie Elena and I embarked on establishing a venue for our poetic friends  to fill the gap between Poetic Asides April PAD and the November Chapbook challenge. Little did we know, our garden would grow  exponentially. Today closing in on our third year anniversary, we are finding everything old is new again. As of this posting I will be returning to POETIC BLOOMINGS full-time. I thank William Preston and  Randi “RJ” Clarken for their devotion and help during my convalescence. The site will undergo a few major changes as we progress into the new year.

The biggest announcement is most regrettable but unavoidable. Marie Elena is leaving POETIC BLOOMINGS. In her words:

Dear awesome poetic souls,

There is no easy way for me to say this, so I will just blurt it out:  I have made the decision to step away from POETIC BLOOMINGS, and from online poetry in general.  There is far too much calling to me from the “real world” to allow my time and focus to be centered on “me” and my passion.  I love writing, and I don’t plan to completely give it up.  However, I do need to rein it in. The reading, commenting, researching, writing … it has all come close to swallowing me whole.  Well, I wouldn’t go THAT far, but you get the picture. 😉

This has been an amazing experience for me.  The idea that talented folks from literally around the globe have made this spot a regular place to showcase their own gifts and encourage and uplift others is humbling, to say the least.

Thank you.  ALL of you.   Just … thank you.

Marie Elena


Marie’s announcement caught me a bit off guard as it did you. But I can imagine now how she felt when I needed to step away. She had given literally her heart and soul to poetry and her writing, and to this site we have established for all of you to set roots and grow in every poetic sense.  She owes no one a thing. We  all (and I in particularl) owe her a great deal. Marie had kept my heart afloat and kept my head focused on what mattered. Now it is her turn to focus on what matters.

The next announcement concerns the IN-FORM POET feature. Due to her hectic schedule and extensive studies, RJ has determined that the time she had devoted to POETIC BLOOMINGS was a time she could no longer justify. We congratulate Randi on her success and thank her again for her help.

The third shoe to drop. The other soldier who had stepped in admirably as I was away, William Preston, will be leaving that post when the prompts he had scheduled, run their course. As I understand he will continue to contribute his wonderful work at the site as a contributing poet, and I’m happy he will continue in that regard.

So, the changes that will take place over the course of the next month will reflect all this and hopefully we can streamline the POETIC BLOOMINGS site.


It is January 1st, a new year upon us. And logic says if “old is new” then “new is old”. Since I am returning and taking POETIC BLOOMINGS “old school”, the form for today’s IN-FORM POET will be the very first form we had presented, the ALOUETTE.

The Alouette was created by Jan Turner.

It consists of two or more stanzas of 6 lines each, with the following set rules:

Meter: 5, 5, 7, 5, 5, 7
Rhyme Scheme: a, a, b, c, c, b

“Alouette” is a French word, which means ‘skylark’, and this form is reminiscent of the lark’s song-like expression as presented here. The word ‘alouette’ can also mean “a children’s song” (usually sung in a group). This poetry form is not necessarily for children’s poetry (although can be applied that way), as it works through that style with short lines.

For the original prompt and examples from 2011, click here ALOUETTE .



Time to stop and think,
standing on the brink;
a crossroad I have come to.
Life, a gift given
expressed by livin’
to the fullest, this is true.

Death comes unannounced,
live with every ounce
of your heart. You’ll be seeing
fruits of your toil.
Stay above soil,
your sole purpose for being.

(C) 2014 – Walter J Wojtanik

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  1. Wow, sorry to hear about our departing friends and glad for our returning one. Poetic Bloomings has been a wonderful resource for me and for so many others. Love and happy New Year to you all.

  2. Crying as I read this. You three will be so missed! Thank you for all you’ve done for us, Marie. And thank you, RJ and William. Happy New Year to you all. ❤

  3. Marjory MT on said:

    Heading for fourteen,
    recall through thirteen
    the garden has bloomed and grown.
    With change in the air
    new things we can bear
    through the courage you have shown.

    Rolling out the year
    Our memories held dear,
    Of how faithful gardeners led.
    Winter, spring we know
    that more blooms will grow.
    “Thank you” is too little said.

  4. Marie

    Gently working, she
    Tends her little plot of land:
    Now pulling a weed,
    Now planting a seed,
    With a loving hand;

    Her seeds start to grow,
    And oh! what a show
    They put on for her delight,
    Varied and changing,
    Colors and shading,
    All reflecting her sweet light;

    And as time goes by,
    She heaves a small sigh;
    They know that she’s still caring
    But now she can rest,
    Cause she’s done her best:
    Her whole garden is blooming.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    For you, Marie. I love you and will miss you. Thank you a million times over!

  5. Marjory MT on said:

    “Thank You” is too little said.

    If I could type it a 100 times (without miss-spelling it), it would not be enough said.
    I deeply respect you all for planting the garden, tending it and helping so many others bloom.
    Each of us have different jobs at different times on our paths. Same times we need to travel a side road.
    Good wishes as you each journey forward.
    A BIG THANK YOU for all you have encouraged me in, and helped me to better understand and use poetry. ❤

  6. First of all, it is impossible to express my thanks to you three without going completely over the top. I think it is fair to say that you have added another dimension to the online poetry world, one that educates, entertains and delights all who come in contact with the Garden. Marie and RJ, I hope you will pop in now and again to see what Walt and the rest of us are up to. Walt, you have taken on a heavy burden: I hope we can lighten the load for you.
    Love to all the gardeners, and everything you wish yourselves for 2014.

  7. Nature Notes

    The red damselfly
    though I don’t know why
    has two sizes, large and small;
    is known to be red
    with very large head
    lives up to six weeks, that’s all.

    The blue damselfly –
    not blue by the by,
    in fact it is almost white –
    like its red cousins
    appears in dozens
    in May, in flickering flight

  8. Wm Preston on said:


    Another year’s come:
    a burden to some,
    a swamp to be muddling through;
    for others, a time
    for something sublime;
    but for all, chance to renew.

    Many doors have closed
    on dreams I supposed
    would make life worth striving for;
    I fain would look back
    on my winding track,
    but yonder stands a new door.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  9. Wm Preston on said:


    The wind is blowing;
    the snow is flowing;
    the cold has come to the fore:
    it sends down shivers
    and stops up rivers
    and hints that more is in store.

    But chickadees fly
    and dance in the sky
    and make of the winter day
    a scene of great glee
    that bids all fear flee.
    Content, I go on my way.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  10. connielpeters on said:

    Glad to have you back, Walt. Sorry to see the other three stepping down, but perfectly understandable. Thank you for all you’ve done. Marie keep writing, the world need your words!

  11. Oh, my. I am in shock and don’t know what to say other than best wishes to all of you. Sad to see you go. 😦

  12. Many thanks to Marie Elena, RJ, and William for all of their hard work and dedication to this wonderful blog. I will look forward to seeing the changes. And a huge WELCOME BACK to Walt!


  13. connielpeters on said:


    Two thousand fourteen
    We come, sight unseen
    For we know not what’s in store
    The last year was kind
    Please, have the same mind
    As we all step through this door

    Let great dreams come true
    And trouble be few
    Be gentle with the weather
    May we walk in peace
    May our joys increase
    And hearts be knit together

  14. Marie, I feel the sweet, fragrant rose has been taken out of the garden. I will miss your encouragement and wonderful poetry. RJ and William, you stepped up and did a fantastic job. Walt, I’m looking forward to your leadership and already love the new landscaping.

  15. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Happy New Year to all of our loving friends here… Meg, RJ, William, thank you, ever so much, for all of the good work that you have done here! Walt, you have given yourself quite a challenge, but, as always, you will have tender support…

  16. What a bittersweet start to the new year. Marie, you have given so much of yourself to this group and will be greatly missed. RJ and William, your enthusiasm is contagious. Many thanks to all three of you for your generous support. Walt, it’s good to see you back in your garden and I’m looking forward to seeing where you take us. Blessings to all of you today and everyday.

  17. What sad news to start off a new year! Marie, you will always remain for me a major force in encouraging me to write more poetry. Keep in touch with us. God bless you and what you have done for all of us here at PB.

  18. elishevasmom on said:

    Marie and Will, I owe you both, in particular, so much. Never having my poetry ‘chosen’ and recognized the way you have done has made me such a better poet. RJ, I’ve never had the chance to get to know you as well. I do hope we continue to see the three of you. I think the whole garden will be wilting a little without your guidance! 😦

  19. elishevasmom on said:

    I’ll be back later with my poem. 😉

  20. This is so sad..unexpected. Marie, RJ, William – thank you.
    Health and happiness to you and yours in 2014 and always.
    Happy New Year to all who gather here, in the garden.

  21. elishevasmom on said:

    Welcome Home Walt

    Now that the new year
    is already here
    we’re lost without our giants.
    Blossoms are wilting.
    every-thing’s tilting.
    We’ll still be needing guidance.

    Yet from yesterday
    fresh out of the fray
    resuming work that he loves,
    the garden agrees
    we’re grateful that he’s
    picked up the gardener’s gloves.

    Ellen Evans 1.1.14
    an “Alouette” for PB

  22. You all leave me utterly speechless with your kind words and sentiments. I love you all. I truly do.

    Marie Elena

  23. ahiggins2013 on said:

    Happy New Year, Walter! I stumbled upon your blog just yesterday, and am so glad I did.
    Sorry for your loss of Marie, RJ, and William to this site.

    Here’s my Alouette. New form for me:

    New Year Poem
    Oak as stiff as pride
    Bark so sharp it cried
    Nuthatch holds those creases tight
    So the year lets go
    Splashing into snow,
    So the day gives way to night.

    Skylark stays year round
    Lifts the air with sound
    Sparrow brown in English towns
    Heard before it’s seen
    Yearns for open green
    Populations losing ground.

    Anne Higgins… my own poetry blog: http://annesbirdpoems.blogspot.com

    • Marie Elena on said:

      What a great start to what I hope is a long tenure here in “the garden,” Anne.

    • Wm Preston on said:

      What a wonderful alouette and a wonderful blog. Birds are an obvious love in both. Something (not the skylark drat the luck) seems familiar about your blog, I thought I was looking at the Seton shrine or basilica in one of your pictures. Do you live in Emmitsburg?

  24. Marie–your passion overfloweth. I KNOW you won’t disappear completely. RJ and William– wonderful job stepping in. I know it’s a lot of work. Walt–keep the fires burning! (Except at night when all blooms need their rest.)

    • Wm Preston on said:

      I think you lit on the right word: passion. The big thing I noticed about Marie is that she cares. That may be a big reason she needs to back off: it takes a lot of love and energy to care that much.

  25. Wm Preston on said:


    Look! Santa is back,
    and look at his sack:
    there still are treasures within.
    He’s hanging around
    and tilling the ground
    where poets and posts have been.

    Like a fourth at whist,
    he surely was missed
    while he had to take a pause,
    but now the garden
    has its great pardon:
    welcome home, Santa Claus.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  26. Walt, a belated welcome back and thank you, lots of health and best of luck with all your creative projects.

  27. Marie Elena on said:

    Please, all, forgive me for not responding to each kind comment individually. I’m so overwhelmed by the comments here, in my e-mail, and on facebook .. I can’t possibly express enough love and thanks for all of you without sounding disingenuous. You are all so very loving and generous. I’m overwhelmed.

  28. Marie, I love you, girl, and I wish you only the greatest rest and peace taking care of life beyond the garden. Bill and RJ, you two were more fun than monkeys in a barrel, so generous and smart. Thank you for all you did to allow Walt a rest, so he can come back now and lead the way. Walt, let us know how we can help, so you don’t burn out. It’s the darnedest thing here and at PA. I know only one poet personally and yet you have all peopled my life in such wonderful and touching ways, I feel as if you’re family. I pray that each one of you has the most delightful, meaningful, and peaceful year of your lives. Bill, RJ, and Marie, slip back in and surprise us with your poems whenever you can. My alouette says more of what I’m feeling. Much love.

    Virtual Auld Lang Syne
    “We’ll take a cup of kindness yet…”

    A virtual friend,
    like flowers we tend,
    is rooted and fills our hearts.
    We cherish the bloom
    for we have made room
    for all love imparts.

    What life displaces
    we learn were graces
    given us for months or years.
    We breathe a deep sigh
    while wondering why
    we feel so blessed, yet shed tears.

    All gardeners know
    that love’s beauties grow
    from soil born of thoughts and pens,
    and folks we cherish
    so often nourish
    our efforts, like our best friends.

    Like birds in the sky,
    they nest and they fly,
    helping us stretch our wing span.
    But when they migrate,
    we wonder at fate
    and wait to see them again.

  29. Yet another year,
    Shed a lonely tear
    For the things that are no more.
    Changes in the air,
    Let us not despair,
    Many more a smile in store.

    Let’s join hands and sing,
    In the New Year ring,
    Let’s submit to nature’s spell –
    To the joys and woes,
    To the sweet hellos,
    To the bitter-sweet farewell.

  30. Thanks for all the encouragement and well wishes. The loss of such talent at the helm will be noticed, I’m sure, but I have a few ideas to truly make POETIC BLOOMINGS YOUR site in a more palpable way. More on that in a few days. Losing Marie as a cohort and Partner is a bigger whole to fill. But she knows how far we have come and she care rest easier knowing she helped establish a solid root. We can only grow from here. With your help we will grow together. ~Walt.


    We find it quite fair,
    the breeze through our hair,
    top down on warm summer drives
    zipping around curves
    a few little swerves;
    those carefree days of our lives.

    Too soon winter comes
    the rain and sleet drums
    on the windshield while we yearn
    for warm sunny hues
    to chase away blues;
    that change is constant, we learn.

  32. Pingback: Poem: The Only Constant | Wanna Get Published, Write!

  33. Welcome back Walt. Marie, RJ & William; gonna’ really miss all of you.

    By the way, the pink is disturbing.

  34. William and RJ thank you both so very much for all of the hard work that you’ve put into the garden!! Your efforts and presences are deeply appreciated.

    It’s great to see you back, Walt…thank you for all you’ve done and thank you in advance for all you will do! 🙂

    Just in case I don’t work out an offering this time I will bid you adieu and see you all on Sunday!


    Winter comes calling.
    Snow begins falling.
    Temps are increasingly raw.
    Bracing for blizzards,
    poor frozen innards
    beg for an early spring thaw.

    Others may laud it.
    I won’t applaud it.
    Give me a tropical clime.
    Warm, sunny beaches,
    sand in my breeches,
    drinks with tequila and lime.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  36. William Preston on said:


    My friend is dying
    and I am crying
    but she smiles on, as ever;
    her life is ending
    while she’s befriending
    the grieving. Death can’t sever

    the glow of new grace
    from her aged face
    that lights the world about her.
    A new beginning
    in her ninth inning?
    I’ve little cause to doubt her.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  37. Pingback: Deep Freeze | Words With Sooze

  38. RJ Clarken on said:


    “The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination.” ~Terri Guillemets

    …and a quotation
    gives consolation.
    Despite the seasonal grays,
    in my mind’s wet eye,
    I understand why
    colors, like time, are a phase.

    has shade, gradation.
    Can warmth have an icy glaze?
    My pen is not shy;
    my brush paints a sky…
    I’ve found what that word portrays.


    Thank you all for your kind words! It’s been an honor and a privilege to have been given the opportunity to play a part in encouraging blooms to grow here! Please know that I will try to pop in as much as possible, but because this term is going to be extremely hard and rather time consuming, I cannot do the In-form Poet-meister job justice (at least until the summertime, anyway.) But I know Walt will rock things here (he always does) and finally, I just want to say that I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been able to work alongside Marie Elena and William. And all you amazing poets, too. ♥

  39. sheryl kay oder on said:

    I fully understand. Real life has called me, too, more recently. Marie, thank you for your encouragement to me and everyone else.

  40. When Starry Eyes Fade

    At the grandest ball
    in middle of Fall
    she enticed him to her side.
    He was smitten, hooked,
    entranced by her look–
    body curvaceous, mouth wide.

    He proposed marriage
    in horse-drawn carriage.
    She said, yes, with lowered eyes.
    Fifteen years later
    He thought he’d trade her
    in for a girl with thin thighs.

    In bliss for one year
    he began to fear
    his new love had roving eyes.
    He knew she cheated;
    he was defeated.
    She left him for muscled thighs.

  41. Marie, my heart felt broken at your announcement. You have been inspiring and supportive. I will miss you a great deal.
    RJ, Your wit and writing are always a great source of joy for me. I hope you keep a hand in.
    William, I will miss your prompts, but am happy I will still get to read your excellent writing in this, my favorite site.

  42. (Please sing this poem with a Southern drawl)
    “Marie Elena”

    Marie Elena
    a saintly playa
    among the daffodils knows
    she shames the roses
    with her rare poses
    that in our garden still glows.

    Marie Elena’s
    sublime endeava
    so all our garden covets!
    Her heart sings a tune
    (she’s ova the moon)
    so all our bloomers love it !

    (Oh, my! I appreciate the rest of you, but it is Marie I will miss the most!)

    • William Preston on said:

      Don’t blame you a bit! Love that “Southern” piece. I don’t think they talk that way in Marie’s part of Ohio, but down by the Ohio River, hey!

  43. Marie Elena on said:

    The poems … the kind comments … I’m “ova the moon.” You are all so special to me!

  44. New Year

    Another new year
    Is so quickly here
    Time to move, ready or not
    Just what will you find
    Will this year be kind
    Or will it all go to pot

    We are in control
    Ahead is the goal
    Focus your eyes on the prize
    So enjoy the ride
    With God as your guide
    You may not believe your eyes

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  45. Wow, so many changes! All the best to Marie, RJ, and William. Marie, I completely understand. Thank you so much for all your time, it has been a huge undertaking and it has always amazed me that you and Walt have been able to keep up all the comments and the prompts. Hugs and much gratitude to all of you 🙂

  46. Now that’s funny. I wrote a funny about the pink overhaul, and when I came to post it, it’s blue. hahahahahahahahahahaha. I’m gonna’ post it anyway.


    So pink and so bright
    My eyes are affright
    I feel like my brain’s possessed
    No longer can I
    Create on the fly
    Pink quivers have me distressed

    I’ll just minimize
    To relieve my eyes
    And write in Microsoft blue
    Then copy and paste
    With determined haste
    And bid this pink fright adieu

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  47. ejparsons on said:

    Blue I can live with. But, as I told Marie, I thought the previous design was inspiring and calming. But, that’s just me.

  48. I liked the pink but the blue is just fine, too.

  49. A few thoughts. Today is the 12th. I just got back into poetry mode and came by. I discovered the changes. I will miss Marie Elena terribly. She was a ray of sunshine for any day, but especially on those days when lyricism was the furthest thing from my mind.

    William, I haven’t been here during your tenure, and I can see how much I’ve lost out on. You’re a wonderful poet and I will learn much reading back through your contributions.

    Randi, what can I say. I’ve read your poetry for years from PA to PB and never tired of it. You’re terrific as a teacher, an inspiration, and a prompter of success. You will be missed at your station.

    Walt, it’s terrific to have you back and to know that you feel better. This new situation will be a major change for you and a challenge. I’m still getting used to the new look of the site. Definitely a man’s site now, a stalwart image of strength and continuation. Good for you.

    My thoughts and positive energy flows toward each of you at this time. Happy poeming, my friends.

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