POETIC BLOOMINGS

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

BRILLIANT BLOOMS – PROMPT #140 AND RENGA

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:

WALT’S CHOICE BLOOM:

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

PAULA’S BLOOM SELECTION:

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 BLACK MARK AGAINST HER by Linda Hofke

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!

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14 thoughts on “BRILLIANT BLOOMS – PROMPT #140 AND RENGA

  1. Congratulations to all the winners!

  2. elishevasmom on said:

    Nice job, everyone — the choosers and the chosen!

  3. William Preston on said:

    Congratulations to Linda and Benjamin, and thanks, Hannah, for the collaboration.

  4. Lovely choices. The garden is blooming well.

  5. Hannah and William – beautiful collaboration. Linda, I love the way you used the colors to tell an all too familiar story. Great job writers and pickers.

  6. OMG, I am so surprised! I thought Sal’s “They Fly out the Mouth” would surely win.

    THANK YOU so much and congrats to Benjamin, William, and Hannah.

  7. Such wondrous winners today. May their blooms color our garden forever. Congrats Linda, Benjamin, William and Hannah. Worthy poems all.

    It was a great little challenge, the renga, and I think everyone brought much to the poetry table with their efforts.

    Thank you, too, Paula, for your week with us as co-anchor and hostess. You did good, girl. 🙂

  8. Congrats to Benjamin, Linda, William and Hannah for blooming good poems.
    Thank you, Paula.

  9. Grand choices all…especially enjoyed the renga, William and Hannah (couldn’t get it together enough to collaborate, so am impressed that you did and so admirably)…congrats to all!

  10. Wow what a surprise! Thanks all. Congrats to Linda, William and Hannah. It truly was a fun prompt. I’m sad I missed out on the Renga had a hectic week. Bloom on!

  11. Thank you everyone for the congratulatory remarks and to the picker who plucked us, I’m honored to have had the opportunity to collaborate with William.

    Congratulations to Ben and Linda as well…wonderful work poets all!!!

    Thank you, Paula for bringing us inspiration this week.

    Warm :)’s to all in the garden!

  12. So much depth in the garden! Knocked out by all three poems–in the wordplay, in the palpable ache and imagery. Congratulations to everyone–Hannah and William, the flow of words exchanged was absolutely perfect. Someone could read that to me as a lullaby 🙂

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