To open, I’d like to thank PAULA WANKEN for serving as our first co-host this week. It truly was a pleasure working with her and it had helped to lighten the load here at CREATIVE BLOOMINGS. This will be a great addition to our site, giving our poets a look at what goes behind the success of this poetic garden. Paula had surely made it her own this week, and I look forward to sharing that experience with each of you.

We all find ourselves getting comfortable in writing the beauty in life and posting it as a poem. More times than not, we will divert our thoughts from the darker things in life. Bad to the Bone folks get what they deserve in our prompt responses. And as always, our poets did a masterful job writing these pieces. These are the works that earned our BRILLIANT BLOOMS:


Sometimes, the greatest punishment is being left to struggle with the thoughts in our heads. Do we reconcile these ideas or anguish over the truth of our actions. The poem is short and sweet, and captures how a man’s dreams can come to haunt him. Benjamin Thomas does quite well in conveying that thought! Here’s your BLOOM, Benjamin!

ILL-FATED MERCHANT by Benjamin Thomas (poetryshack)

Crime paid him well
But robbed his soul of wealth
Committing all to the game
But in the end the game played him
Like a fool he craved a name for himself
Toiling in pain reaping only the vanity of dust
He thought he made his bed in stout paradise
Yet arising in thorns his dream was a curse


Thank you for the opportunity to Guest Host with you Walt — you came up with a great prompt for us this week which resulted in some bad-to-the-bone consequences.

As I read through the poems and pondered the punishments we used for titles, per our instructions for the prompt, one really stuck with me. Yet as I read the poem, it was clear to me that one cannot judge a poem (or a bad-to-the-bone consequence) by the title. What I started out thinking was the punishment for the crime, actually ended up being the crime itself.

OK — so I’ve done my bit of gardening and picked a bloom: Linda Hofke’s “A Black Mark Against Her”. Linda, you did a masterful job with a colorful depiction of a very dark subject. Congratulations!


A new one the shape of Lake Superior surfaced,
swimming across the front of her left leg,
a raw red stain that will soon change
to a patch of purple body paint,
gradually turn to a mix of green and yellow,
eventually fade to a smaller brown fleck.
These bruises come again and again,
linger on her skin the way you sometimes,
without warning, sweep into her memories.

She remembers the day the two of you
argued, how you cursed her like she were
the epitome of evil for speaking with your sister.
She didn’t know how to explain or how things
even came to that point, just that all the colors
of the rainbow kept falling from the sky
and swirling together in one big pool of black.
You thought this was her true color.

Until then she’d always looked upon you
with giant rose-colored glasses, likened you
to heavenly love, but the memories are now
tinged with a broader spectrum of colors–
golden sunshine moments,
pretty pink fields of heather flowers blossoming
then turning bitter burnt sienna, their dried petals
sprinkled across white sands of time like a bunch
of tiny bruises right before they heal.

Each time a new bruise shows up on her body,
she’s reminded that some things never heal.
Burns can leave permanent scars. Broken
friendships remain lodged somewhere deep
within the chambers of one’s heart, and
terminally ill women one day die, whether
old lost friends are looking or not.

BLOOM for the INFORM POETS prompt:

In looking to find the complimentary poet to complete a collaboration as was the case with these RENGA, our poets volleyed back and forth to find continuity of theme and expression. The pairing of Hannah Gosselin and William Preston brought all that to the table in their titled piece, “Finding Bearing…” It surely seemed that they didn’t have to search far or long to find their bearings to earn this BLOOM.

FINDING BEARINGS… by William Preston and Hannah Gosselin

After the snowstorm
the moon silvers the whiteness
as it peeks through clouds;

a still and quiet witness-
birch slivers on pale parchment.

Cold communicates
across bounds of space and time
with warmth it whispers…

Spring’s subtle call is rising
stirring in bud-node and seed,

even in moonlight;
life, in its brooding powers,
proffers heat to night.

This consuming distant glow,
it’s merely sun’s memory

living forever
as life cycles on and on,
seeding even snow.

Source is nearly audible;
it’s rhythmic in its giving,

music ever flows
from one seed to another,
through eternity.

After storm – still moon moments,
breath and direction are found.

Copyright © William Preston and Hannah Gosselin 2014

We thank Paula and congratulate BENJAMIN, LINDA, WILLIAM and HANNAH for their BRILLIANT BLOOMS. and we remain awed at the talent present here at CREATIVE BLOOMINGS!