This week, I have the honor of presenting one of the more truly gifted poets around. Her work has been an inspiration to me since 2009, so that says something. And I find it fitting that in my “tribute” to Gordon Lightfoot last week, I wrote “If I could, I would have been Alberta Bound”. In a way, I have done just that, tapping Edmonton, Alberta for the work of one of the Great White North’s wonderful wordsmiths. I give you Sharon (S.E.) Ingraham.




S.E.Ingraham, a long-time frequenter of many of the web’s poetic watering holes – Poetic Asides, the Sunday Whirl, dVerse Bar, Poets United, and of course Creative Bloomings (formerly Poetic Bloomings) to name a few…She admits to being a less faithful member of each than she would like, but comes as often as time and health permits. Even being a retired mental health consumer doesn’t mean she’s entirely out of the woods when it comes to either depression or, in the odd instance, mania, and she’s aware of this, and tries to be careful when it comes to getting enough sleep or down time (emphasis on the “tries to be”).

Since Ingraham began taking her writing seriously in 2008, all she’s really wanted is to have her work read and heard. Due to the encouragement of places like Poetic Bloomings where Walt and Marie Elena have been tireless cheerleaders, plus a generous dollop or two of luck, she now has poems in a number of publications, both print and on-line, amongst them: Pyrokinection, Red Fez, Shot Glass, Otis Nebula, Poised in Flight, Of Sun and Sand, In Gilded Frame…She also just learned that her work has been selected by (another very supportive venue incidentally) for the second year in a row to be in their “best of the year anthology” Storm Cycle…

Of other poetry related things over the past year, Ingraham had the privilege of taking part in the Pulitzer Remix Project, writing a poem a day based on “Arrowsmith”, Sinclair Lewis’s award winning novel from 1929. This led to a semi-regular gig reading for the Found Poetry Review, plus ongoing relationships with many of the 80+ international poets involved in the project and its conceptualizer, Jenni B Baker. In additional, a fall online course on Modern and Post-Modern American Poetry taken through Coursera (one of the up and coming MOOC’s) was so good (and gratis) she’s already signed on for next year.

In her life outside of poetry, S.E. (Sharon) is married to the love of her life, Terry – 44 years this month – and they have two grown daughters, Julie and Katy. All of them live on the 53rd parallel in Edmonton, Alberta where it’s, as you might well guess, extremely cold! As of March 4th, there will also be three grandsons in the family as the third is scheduled to be born that day…As well as an extremely loyal but too-quickly-aging border-collie/wolf cross, family mean everything to her.

Ingraham’s work may be found on any one of her blogs:

The Poet Tree House        –         S.E. Ingraham Says        –         The Way Eye See It        –         In My Next Life


PROMPT #142 – “TAKE ONE PLEASE” – Choose from one of the titles below and write your poem based on that thought. Your title must come from this list. It will be interesting to compare your thoughts on the exact same themes.


Culture Shock
True Blue
Where Hope Finds Me
A Waltz of Words
Love Never Ceases



Lost boys never quit dreaming,
scheming of ways to stand their ground
with a new found respect for their abilities.
the agility of a Pan, and the nervous sense
of self not withstanding. Demanding much
from what hope they can muster, they may
get flustered from time to time, but are never
out of the game; never the same, they become
stronger the longer in the tooth they find themselves.
Old gents hold those glowing embers well into their
Decembers. They remain members of life’s fraternity.
Battles waged and lost, and hard-fought victories
over hook handed bandits lands us firmly on our feet,
ready if we chose to roam. But the hope of lost boys will
eventually bring them home when villains are vanquished.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014




I knew him and he goes on haunting me.
                                                                     ~Pablo Neruda

In war, odd alliances are forged
We fell together with a common need
trying to hide from death,
from those who would take us both

Language was a barrier yes, but eyes,
eyes speak many translations and together
we formed a bond and trust without
ever exchanging a word…

The morning I awoke and he was gone,
did it seem extra-quiet?…Did I suspect
at once what he had done for me…
I can’t think I did…

The day seemed like any other in our
situation, that is…difficult to explain
or describe
The days were unlike anything we
might have imagined before the tanks
lumbered up our streets
And friends stopped speaking to friends

Hours, or maybe as long as a day later
when I knew he was not returning
I ran through the woods during
the day…I couldn’t think what else to do
Finally I emerged in the dark to find
him hung in the square

I knew then.

(c) Copyright S. E. Ingraham – 2014

I couldn’t resist posting this second wonderful poem of Sharon’s that has touched me dearly with its tenderness and loyalty.
Consider it a Bonus. I love this piece! Walt. 

for Farley, my wolf

You amble now so slow
and I can see you grow old ‘fore
my eyes, wolf I adore
Moving carefully, you’re on ice
snow’s bad but still quite nice,
soft should a sacrifice be that
last step which lays you flat
Frail, a misstep, a fall splat down
break a bone, oh dear hound
I fear to see your mound, your grave
I fear I know I won’t be brave…

(C) Copyright S. E. Ingraham – 2014


  1. I’ve been pretty busy, what with starting driver’s ed and getting ready for a school performance, and so haven’t been able to contribute lately. I’m finally getting back on track, though. 🙂 Great prompt and examples, Sharon and Walt!

    True Blue

    The painting drew her from the start-
    She couldn’t tear her eyes away,
    Or explain the tug at her heart,
    And how her pulse began to race;

    It seemed to be all done in blues:
    Ultramarine, cobalt, midnight,
    Cerulean and azure hues,
    Shimmering in the changing light,

    Color that filled the mind with peace,
    The color God chose for His sky
    Painted the deep depths of the sea,
    Enhanced and caught in human eyes:

    Something she couldn’t quite explain,
    But knew all along its true name.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2014

  2. True Blue

    They called her Melancholy Molly.
    She was shy to a fault, a bit sad
    and assured that her malaise
    would last for days and days.
    Happy was a state she never visited,
    she never left her apartment. That’s no lie!
    She was truly melancholy!

  3. Love Never Ceases

    By David De Jong

    Love never ceases
    There may be creases
    Or maybe wrinkles
    And even some folds

    Yet love still pleases
    It maybe teases
    All the while, eases
    From youngest to old

    Love never ceases
    Yet I’ve seen it change
    Even re-arrange
    Broken to pieces

    Then engulf the same
    Single spark to flame
    Stronger than one heart
    Truer than the start

    Love never ceases
    Even in pieces
    If you can keep, some
    Pieces in your heart


    When vowels and consonants mix and combine,
    the alphabet laughs while the words fall in line;
    then, sooner or later, some sentences dance
    till I, quite entranced, fix them fast in my mind.

    The words conjure mystery, facts, and romance
    and take me from home to Peru or to France.
    My books can unlock sundry worlds undefined,
    and words are my keyhole, awaiting my glance.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston


    When bluebirds fly on winter days,
    the patch of blue surprises white.
    Although the cold pursues its ways,
    when bluebirds fly on winter days
    they startle snowflakes out of phase;
    freedom is loosed to soaring flight
    when bluebirds fly on winter days.
    The patch of blue surprises white.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

  6. Here’s mine. I’ll read the others later – we have to go out now.

    A Waltz of Words

    The sparkly pair swoop around the ice
    with lifts and twirls,
    crunching stops
    crossovers and swirls
    of flecks of light

    In a remote glass box
    commentators are enmeshed
    in a waltz of worthless words :
    vision says it all.

  7. True Blue

    By David De Jong

    Long before the rail and the smoke of trains,
    Gained in trade from his brother on the plains.
    The chief’s appaloosa, his prized, True Blue,
    Quiet afoot with speed to follow through.
    They chased the buffalo, white tail, and griz,
    Fished the creeks and rivers and called them his.
    True Blue was faster than any he knew,
    His striped feet glancing the earth, as they flew.
    His mane was braided, with shells and feathers,
    From eagle’s wings and albino tethers.
    The sky shimmered off his coat, aqua blue,
    With shadows and spots in magical hue.
    When the chief called his name he’d run beside,
    And nuzzle his shoulder begging to ride.
    They road the ridges the crests and canyons,
    Danced on the beaches, of seas and oceans.
    They hunted; winter, spring, summer, and fall,
    Found the start and the ending to them all.
    Fastened each color to arrow by hue,
    Placed them in a quiver to keep them true.
    Each day the sun rises and comes to view,
    He pulls back the bow and releases blue.

  8. Love Never Ceases

    Wrinkles are inevitable in the best of raiment. Some crease under heat and pressure. White diamonds house minute imperfections. Though It’s blemishes are cloaked by beauty. The Earth never misses a ray of sunshine. And the Sun never fails to give. In time splendid flowers release their persona. In time there is a failing bloom. In time the fallen shall rise in triumph, it’s beauty far from deadly tomb. The storm shall not withhold its thunder. Ever faithful to it’s pounding peals. Nor the rain ever cease to plunder. For Spring cannot be stopped nor sealed.

    Benjamin Thomas

  9. A Waltz of Words

    one two three wake
    one two three work
    one two three one two three one two three

    one two three spin
    one two three shirk
    one two three one two three one two three

    one two three can’t
    one two three can
    one two three can-can
    one two three dance

    one two three one two three one two three
    one two three one two three one two three

  10. A Waltz of Words

    From the time I get up, yes, I waltz with my words.
    And at times, they are shy, oh, I know it’s absurd.
    On occasion, they flirt like a southern belle.
    With wide smiles, words invite and still others repel.

    But their dance is so lovely I keep coming back.
    Though I step on their toes, I develop a knack.
    Like a lover with hand on a slim, dainty waist,
    I can guide in a whirl either slow or in haste.

    And our laughter’s contagious, soon others around
    Begin clapping in glee with their rhythm and sound.
    In the evening, exhausted, we bid all adieu,
    Till the morning sun rises and we waltz anew.

  11. Culture Shock

    By David De Jong

    Where hope finds me still
    Is in the palm of Your hands;
    Where your Perfect Love, reigns true blue
    Proving Your Grace, is more than a waltz of words
    While Your amazing love, never ceases


    Oftentimes beneath the tap that drips
    The mantra of water like zen prayers
    Inside the candled darkness of myself
    Or in the wind
    Consenting to the push and pull of Nature
    Hobnobbing with eagles and hawks
    Who cast wary eyes but let me fly

    Sometimes in February snow skies
    Portending heavy falls from heavens
    Rich with gifts that comfort-cover
    The absence of sun-filled hope
    Or in the wounds
    The heart carries inadvertently
    When past lovers donned convincing masks

    Oftentimes in the silence of noonday prayer
    When I try with all my heart and soul
    To link myself with the God Who loves me
    Or in the softness of His grace
    Open-palmed like a mendicant
    I Accept alms to feed a hope-starved man

    Oftentimes near the woman I love
    The one God sent to reward my patience
    Her hand in mine
    Or lying still upon our night pillows
    Content we found each other
    Where hope and love converge
    where heart and soul meld forever


    • “Or in the wounds/ the heart carries inadvertently” – I am glad this fell in the verse of “Sometimes” and not one of the “Oftentimes” verses, but I love the image all the same. I love the whole poem actually Sal. If “hope is the thing with feathers” you have shown many places it might fly to hide from, or be found by, you. Lovely.

  13. A Waltz of Words

    Hear their music, string sounds
    that sing from falling stars,
    whisper oohs on waltzing wind,
    and traced thin angled shapes
    on pages circled rain. Play song
    uncurled and hooked by tails,
    waltzing letters dropping
    floating words, solid, sturdy,
    stones splashing sounds,
    as they dance on slipper
    shoes round and round. Arms
    clasped, they’re chanting vowels,
    this waltz of enchanted words.

  14. Culture Shock

    I think I suffer from a phrase
    or term or idiom which notes
    that I am old or out of touch.

    I will admit that in some ways
    it’s culture shock á ‘totes magotes.’
    Oh well, I get it (not so much.)

    You see, it’s weird, this ‘cray-cray’ craze.
    But hey – whatever floats one’s boats
    of ‘feels’ – oh dear. That’s ‘sick’ (or such.)

    I’m sorry if my eyes do glaze
    when ‘ere the current slang…or quotes…
    are used like verbal Double Dutch

    which, probably is not so ‘fly.’
    O obsolescence – I’ma die.


  15. Pingback: A Waltz of Words | The Chalk Hills Journal

  16. Sharon, your Culture Shock left my jaw agape in awe. And Love Never Ceases is indeed tender, as Walt said. And speaking of Walt, I especially loved the line: “Old gents hold those glowing embers well ito their Decembers”.
    Sharon, what a thought provoking prompt! Thank you.

    Love Never Ceases

    Love never ceases
    to amaze me,
    graze me
    with its unexpected ricochets.
    Often entrances
    me concealed
    in side-long glances.
    Where hope finds me
    waiting in a
    waltz of words,
    finds me with
    two left tongues.
    And if the love turns
    out to be
    true blue,
    leaves me swirling
    in the
    culture shock
    of no longer
    being alone.

    (c) Copyright Ellen Evans – 2014
    for PB 2.16.14 use one of the following as title:
    Culture Shock, True Blue, Where Hope Finds Me, Waltz of Words, Love Never Ceases

    • Excellent work, Ellen. Love that you could use the titles to weave the verse, too. The lines so smoothly flow from one to the next that at the end I was quite breathless.

    • Ellen – what a wonderful poem…I love this phrase, “graze me with its unexpected ricochets” amongst others…Thank you for your kind words about my poems. I’d love to take credit for the prompts, but they’re Walt’s inspirations, not surprisingly — he has a very fertile mind. Great that you could weave the titles throughout your poem…impressive.

      • Thanks Ellen and Sharon. For the first time, I have prompts and forms scheduled for the rest of the year. A little time away gave great inspiration. I hope to have every one serve a week as co-host here. I would appreciate if our newer contributors could send an e-mail ( so I can have your address on file.

  17. True Blue

    When she embraces in blue
    all her other hues – glinting
    gold, glory orange, blazing
    yellow, radiant red – dim
    and pale to black & white.

    Wholly luminous silver frost
    will wash out, losing light; but
    even in her frozen form
    blue is warm: a hug, a kiss;
    blue is home is love is bliss.


    tone-deaf too many years
    a wallflower-spectator
    at weekly high school dances
    I was an A-1 nerd who danced
    with words assembled like puzzles
    jigged with rhyming nouns
    jagged with sharp verbs

    my sister Anna could name the instruments
    clap her hands to the beat
    but I kept myself busy
    tossing wood on the fires
    of a stampeding imagination
    pretending I could tap my feet
    gliding and sliding to the rhythm of words

    that floated around the cauldron
    of my mind but I couldn’t leave the wall
    couldn’t ask a girl to dance
    couldn’t confidently put on airs
    or whirl her in neat Lindy circles
    where I would hold my breath and pray
    I wouldn’t step on her feet

    and when I’d go home
    my Remington typewriter out of its case
    almost calling to me, not insulting words,
    but word come-ons, flashes of poetic lines,
    “Sit down, Mr. Shy Guy. Write some verse.
    Things could be worse.”
    And I’d waltz like Fred Astaire
    shuffling my feet in iambic wonderment


  19. Culture Shock

    The add-mixture of older years and
    older ears with the music and
    rhythms of a more modern
    time, the pulsating beats
    and sounds can create
    such confusion.
    The sum is

    (c) Copyright Ellen Evans – 2014
    for PB 2.16.14 use one of the following as title:
    Culture Shock, True Blue, Where Hope Finds Me, Waltz of Words, Love Never Ceases

  20. Hello, all. Sharon, it’s so good to see you as co-host. Your verse never disappoints. I really like what you’ve done here today. And I like the prompt. It’s one that lets the mind soar.

    A Waltz of Words

    Babble roamed ‘round
    Dark space encasing me;

    Through murmuring sound
    None heard my whispered plea

    For clarity profound,
    Or silence’s gentle sea,

    Where I’ve never drowned
    But sought to be free.

    Patience created a playground
    Of letters fprming intricate filigree,

    For climbing among words bound
    In a sing-song waltz to be me.

    • Oh, this is lovely Claudsy. Truly. I especially like “Patience created a playground” … what a wonderful image, and I love the idea that the waltz’s words are all conspiring to help you be you…unique and precious.

      • Thank you so much, Sharon. I must confess something here about this first poem. When I was writing it, it was to be about allowing words to play with themselves and others in a dance around people’s minds, but somewhere along the way, I realized that what I was really writing about was how it must be for an unborn child, hearing so much murmured babbled from inside the womb.

        Heavy, huh? But I couldn’t get the image out of my mind, so that’s what it means to me. A baby struggling to be born, using those murmured words as a guide.

        Go figger. The mind is a scary place sometimes. 🙂

        • I came back to re-read this Claudsy and it makes even more sense now that I know the back-story…I love learning the process behind a poem so thank you so much…I agree, the mind is a scary place sometimes (as well as an enigmatic, wonderful, and cool place sometimes).

          • That it is, Sharon, that it is. I’m glad that it worked even better once you knew the reasoning. Perhaps I should add a wee couplet to it for explanation. Thank you.

  21. Love Never Ceases

    of mental
    torment and even
    physical pain due to the loss
    of someone close, someone who touched you so deeply that
    you feel overwhelmed by the anguish and its rushing in to fill the void,
    remember that like an invisible womb, you are
    surrounded by the presence of
    love, ready for you
    to lean on—

    (c) Copyright Ellen Evans – 2014
    for PB 2.16.14 use one of the following as title:
    Culture Shock, True Blue, Where Hope Finds Me, Waltz of Words, Love Never Ceases

  22. Hoops, Was thinking Tri-fall,
    only I got my 6 and 8 reversed.
    (Should be 6-3-8-6-3-8, ABCabc)


    Love never ceases we are assured.
    War will come,
    hardships will still abound,
    We wonder why sickness accures
    (more to some)
    when live seems to be sound.

    We seek beauty in a sunset,
    and find storms;
    Clouds, cold, darkness and pain.
    We remember some past regret,
    (out of norm)
    Why in mind does it reign?

    So much negative is around,
    we answer with a cure.
    Hold to what is promised, is sound.
    assured, … love will endure.


    Whitman and Wojtanik,
    men of a manic mind
    finding wisdom in the
    wealth of words. One
    famous and dead;
    one infamous and not quite yet.
    I can never get my fill
    of his words. He had never
    heard of me or mine.
    That’s fine. He is Whitman,
    I am a man of wit!
    Close enough!
    I can live with that!

    (C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

    POET’S NOTE: (My apologies to Mister Whitman for presuming to place my name anywhere near his great legacy. I just thought it was a joyful play of words.)

  24. Where Hope Finds Me

    Within a child’s laughter
    Springs hope of continuance,
    Of joy’s moments unending.

    Within summer’s birdsong
    Floats acceptance of immediacy
    In a world of constant change.

    Within autumn’s shedding leaves
    Comes Nature’s cycle folding
    Inward to rejuvenate itself.

    Within winter’s hibernation,
    Renewal begins its resurgence
    Of life’s expected spring leap.

    To each a season, a lesson
    Taught in a round-robin world;
    Hope waits for recognition.


    Sharon, nothing personal, but I couldn’t help but poem about “True Blue” after seeing your “True Blue” eyes!

    (a shadorma)

    Right at home,
    In the iris sky
    Of blue eye.

    I pass through,
    Those fair pupils to witness
    A colorful you.

  26. (Walt and Sharon: Excellent examples!)

    Where Hope Finds Me, Love Never Ceases

    Where hope finds me
    under a tree on an early
    day of summer, gazing
    lazily at a softening sky,
    I sigh. In that moment
    I can imagine as truth,
    that love never ceases.


    Hopes arise
    when music flies
    across the span of space
    and bids me know my ancient dream
    is not so dead as it may seem
    and I will yet know grace.
    I cup my ear
    to hear it here:
    the melody’s embrace.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

  28. Where Hope Finds Me

    Dredging in the doldrums of sorrow and pain
    The past but a parade of badly made choices
    Bad choices that got me exactly where I stood
    At the lowest point in the valley of desperation
    Drowning in the impossibility of resurrection
    From my self-made prison of hopelessness

    Then through the flood of self-pitied tears
    As I stared down for fear of glimpsing doom
    I saw a shadow stretching from behind me
    But there was no sun for to cast this silhouette
    Quickly I turned that I might see for myself
    And I saw; and I fell to my knees in utter fear

    For the shadow grew larger as it came for me
    Close now, its red glowing eyes shone bright
    Black and cold it pointed a bony finger my way
    My frozen soul ached at the pull of pure evil
    Through thought that this evil could be my relief
    My escape from the despair of hopeless misery

    My life flashed before me, the good and the bad
    Then all thoughts stopped at one exact moment
    The day I rejected the One they called Jesus
    I’d pushed Him away and paved my own path
    A path fraught with bad choices, pain and strife
    Bad choices that got me exactly where I stood

    That moment would not depart from my brain
    Would this be the torture I’d carry for eternity
    Reliving the instant I rejected His mercy
    Just so I could do things the way I decided
    Decisions that have turned my life upside down
    Decisions that got me exactly where I stood

    I didn’t need Him then, but I need Him so now
    But, alas, I fear it must be too late to save me
    I’m unworthy, filthy, corrupted and immoral
    A heart of wickedness; an unsalvageable soul
    Not a decent bone in this wasted walking corpse
    I’m not even worthy of an eternity in Hell

    I crumpled to the ground as regret flooded in
    Why had I pushed away the hope of all mankind
    If only I had one last chance to accept His grace
    One chance to set my feet on the righteous path
    Forgive me, Lord, for turning my back on You
    That moment will be my torture forevermore

    Then I felt a gentle hand, softly on my shoulder
    I heard a voice so calming whisper in my ear
    I looked up and I saw Jesus smiling down at me
    He called me son as He took my hand in love
    Tears of joy filled my eyes as He lifted me up
    Hope had found me in the depths of my despair

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  29. Love Never Ceases

    Love never ceases
    It daily increases
    The more time I spend
    With my love

    Love is forever
    Its end will be never
    For my love is sent
    From above

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

    A Waltz of Words

    The rhythm
    The rhyme
    The arrangement of time
    The words form a beat
    Each one on each line
    The whole piece is alive
    As if it were a song
    But it’s all in your head
    As the words waltz along

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

    True Blue

    If there’s a true blue
    Then is there an untrue blue
    I must ponder this

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

    Culture Shock

    If the culture that we’re living in
    Is not a shock
    Then you must have your eyes closed

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  30. True Words Never Shock Me

    A conversation between lovers
    Is but a waltz of words
    Between true blue hearts
    From which love never ceases

    True love, however
    In today’s vernacular
    Can come across to the young
    As a counter-culture shock

    But, true love, my friend
    Is where hope finds me waiting
    Patiently for the next encounter
    A conversation between lovers
    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  31. Pingback: True Blue | echoes from the silence

  32. Where Hope finds Me

    Hope found me after dusk, when all ray was gone and shadow lusted quick nightfall.

    Hope found me bare to the bone in a woeful tomb, where warmth retracted it’s affection.

    Hope found me wounded under contemptible rock, where every worm mocked my arrival.

    Hope sought me out where the Sun didn’t shine, where cold was the warmest thought.

    Hope found me destitute, barren, and starved for the basics of self-esteem.

    Hope found me in the nightmare of my life, and pulled me into it’s very own dream.

    Hope found me helpless when my heart derailed, and couldn’t find my way back.

    Hope found me stranded, when all others set sail and put me on it’s faithful back.

    Hope found me when life was bitter blue, saved me, and imparted another hue.

    Hope found me, slapped me in the face and said, are you blind? Don’t you see his grace?

    Hope bore me when I could not walk.
    Made me buoyant where I couldn’t swim. Dried me when I was wet with tears. Supplied me in the time of need. Freed me when a slave in chains. Strengthened me in a time of grief. Awakened my eyes in a time of slumber. And consoled me on the battlefield.

    Hope found me where I could not found.

    Hope, will always find you.

  33. A Waltz of Words

    light, lilting, lifting,
    fluting breeze, twirl, skip, dip, and sway –
    join me friend
    and dance, heady effervescent
    spring song of Terpsichore

  34. Where Hope Finds Me

    My parents bartered choices for a girl.
    Should she be Bonnie Blue to Scarlett born?
    Or should she sing and dance with Mickey Mouse,
    A Billie Jean, Annette—no, wait. Darlene
    My name reveals my age with no more clues.
    For middle name, eternal values loomed
    Perhaps choose Faith, for mountains rise to climb
    Long-suff’ring Charity presides o’er all
    Make Hope her name, where faith and love cross roads,
    Her map to surety written in her name.

    • It’s true, you don’t here Darlene very often, do you? Do you get a nickname? And Hope seems to be in fashion again…both are lovely, as is your tiny narrative of a poem.

      • Seingraham, I don’t have a nickname. Should I have one? Or does someone suggest one for me? Yes, I’m new. I spent a week writing poetry to take a break from writing novels (my career) and caught the bug. 🙂

          • Why, thanks, William. I never get over the appreciation for praise. A bad habit for a writer. Poetry allows me to play with the sounds of language and images–skills that come back into play in my book writing, but without the write-or-loose-contract worry. I appreciate Connie introducing me here,

      • Actually I don’t know if my mother chose “Darlene” from the Mickey Mouse Club or not, but it makes sense. I did have fun with it.

  35. Hi- my first time posting here– I am relatively new at the writing game- please bear with me
    True blue
    Blooms royal in feathers, and crystals of lapis
    In the velvet of shadows, and lips that are placid
    It opens in skies, but can dampen some views
    It deepens in waves,and can pull through and through

    An Egyptian favorite, it squeezes near green
    It feels in the iris, and the magic of dreams
    It glazes our breath, with a friendly persistence
    It flows in our blood, and the truth of existence—

  36. Priti, I’ve only been here for two weeks, but talented poets and great encouragers. I love your literal descriptions flowing into meaning of the color.


    She scans the whole town over;
    she searches everywhere;
    but when she looks in the doghouse
    she’s sure to find me there.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

    NB: I’m thinking of Hudie Ledbetter’s sing, Goodnight Irene, as I write this.

    • Now I have that song in my mind…Irene goodnight, goodnight…is it not a waltz actually? And what, pray tell, did you do to land yourself in the doghouse? Or are you merely the pet in this poem?

      • Actually, I was thinking of a gal named Hope, searching for the singer on a Saturday night. The song is a waltz, and, as done by the Weavers and Gordon Jenkins long ago, a supremely beautiful one, probably much different than when Leadbelly (Ledbetter) first performed it.

  38. Culture Shock

    Kids brought up
    today are in for a
    very rude awakening.
    When they finally see
    the befuddlement
    of their cock-a-hoop…
    And actually realize
    they are not the center.

  39. Waltz of Words

    Its a waltz folks
    And that with friends
    A tango
    With words
    A flapping of winds

    Its a waltz folks
    And that with grins
    A polka
    With verse
    In triplets and twins

    Its a waltz folks
    And that with spins
    A ballet
    With prose
    And sleight of pens

  40. Love never ceases where hope finds me

    •Culture shock, in a pool of great poets.

    •True solid blue talent wets your whistle with muse.

    •Vertigo, in a world of waltzing words.

    •Love never ceases in the garden; or on the other side of the pen, where hope finds me.

  41. True Blue (3)

    (I literally, cannot stop poeming…gotta go to sleep. Take a trip to mystic blue. Good night! …or morning.)

    The forecast drawn:

    Lavish blue
    Pluvial pearls
    Swirled, snaked, styled
    Her world.

    She was not—
    Ashamed of the cloud,
    That gave her rain.
    Until she became
    A mystic blue.

  42. Where hope finds me (2)

    (Last one promise…)

    (a shardorma)

    Hope finds me,
    When I close my eyes.
    Fled from world

    Severed ties.
    Enwombed in darkness misting
    Quick…hey, I like this trick.

  43. “Where Hope Finds Me”

    I imagine hope
    to be like other sub-atomic particles,
    charmed and strange,
    as it ricochets its way
    through the human atmosphere,
    looking to bond
    with a host
    who stands on frozen earth,
    under azure skies,
    arms upturned
    and shivering slightly
    at the thought
    that today
    is really


    Abandoning dreams, fearing rejection,
    I was well-acquainted with crying.
    Wallowing in my lack of perfection
    made trusting in love not worth trying.

    I was chained to pillars of raw despair,
    but your candle would to stop burning.
    You entered my space with a love so rare,
    it released an unrestrained yearning

    to end my sadness. By loosening ties,
    hope now finds me alive in your eyes.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  45. Pingback: Where Hope Finds Me | Words With Sooze

  46. I haven’t so much as looked at a poem for months – mainly due to a visual issue, which thankfully is now behind me. Anyway, MA workload permitting, I hope to get back in the swing of things, at least a little!

    Culture Shock
    On the transportation of Phil Ochs to the modern world

    Call it “Peace” or call it “Treason,”
    Call it “Love” or call it “Reason,”
    But I ain’t marchin’ any more, – Phil Ochs

    The Man, the hero, (well my hero anyway)
    Stepped out of the time machine
    He looked around
    He looked up and down
    He marvelled at the new
    He harked back to the old
    He whispered, he screamed, he cried:
    But what about the songs we sang?
    What about the marches we marched?
    Where did it all go wrong?
    Why have so many innocents died?

    He wondered at technology,
    He longed for simpler times
    He was undone by the misery
    And all the endless crimes
    But he stood tall and sure and stated once again
    We are only as strong as the weakest of men
    We are only as free as a padlocked prison door
    But why oh why did they not listen?
    Why did they not learn?
    Why does brother still kill brother?
    Why are the poor still trodden down?

    And I looked the great man, the voice of reason, in his eye
    And I told him I didn’t know
    I told him I was ashamed that I hadn’t done more
    I said that in the end I had given up
    I ain’t marching anymore
    And he laid his hand upon me
    And he spoke so soft and sweet and raised me from my knees
    To stand upon my feet
    He said I too, I think would have given up
    No more to fight the good fight, I fear
    Please, won’t you take me home now?
    He whispered through his tears.

    And in the darkness, in the long cold night
    I hope, I dream, I cry for wisdom and fortitude
    For courage and great strength
    But when history is my witness
    And I see that all I did was ‘ere in vain
    Then I too will leave here to be free of the sting,
    The agony, the shame.

    We did not listen to our poets nor hark our minstrels words
    And on and on we spiral down
    With each advance
    With each new toy
    We make out world a little worse
    But much worse by far is the truth
    For we do not listen still.


    • Oh Mr.Kemp – how good to see you back, and penning poems! Buy what a piece…I remember Phil Ochs all too clearly, and it’s as if you brought him here and resurrected him through your words. I think you and I probably share some of the same sentiments (have marched enough, feel disenchanted by what has, and has not happened) but your poem tears at the heart…makes one reconsider one’s stance…It’s excellent Iain. Welcome back.

  47. Where Hope Finds Me

    Sometimes it counts to ten to let me hide;
    sometimes it seems to blossom from inside;
    sometimes it waits until I give it up
    and think of how I’ll reach fill my cup.

    It’s often barefoot, silent as a cat,
    or comes disguised with mustache, cape, or hat
    to make me squint to recognize and smile,
    “Hello, old friend. I’ve missed you. Stay a while.”

    For even when I put dreams on a shelf
    and, ever practical, I heal myself;
    and even when, afraid to wish or hope,
    I take my life in hand, steady my scope,

    there’s part of me that listens for footfalls
    of hope trying to find me behind walls,
    to gently take my hand and help me rise
    so hope can see the world using my eyes.

  48. Love Never Ceases

    to prickle the pessimist in me—
    love, buddied up with negativity,
    so the eternal conversation plays
    of who or what’s worth loving,
    when love’s often abused,
    subordinated loves—if, when,
    as long as, limits and proofs
    laid on to help us justify
    our choices when love leads us
    to wade pain and doubt.

    And still I know—despite
    all reticence—to love,
    simple as that, because I can,
    because it’s free and endless
    as our faith in all that’s lovely,
    good, and kind, because love
    is not wasteful or useless, not ever.
    I know the problems of this world
    share the absence of love. I know
    love solves and heals; promises and
    laughs and shows us how hurts
    in the name of love make beautiful
    scars embossed on our Selves.

    My inner pessimist sees love holding hands
    with misery and waits for the first slap,
    knowing misery needs loving more than
    anything else in the world. It’s mine to do,
    yours too, to love without ceasing, so
    love never ceases.

    I enjoyed reading more about Sharon. Good prompts.

  49. Ah, good work William, I was trying to think what Jane’s poem reminded me of and that’s it…the verses you hear read at weddings sometimes, St.Paul’s love treatise from Corinthians, but you’re spot on about the difference, and why Jane has out-done him…Nicely done Jane.

  50. A Waltz of Words

    My words sometimes stumble,
    tripping over my tongue
    as I rub my eyes and grumble,
    blushing in embarrassment
    as my words rumble.

    I find my words sometimes dance
    as they flow from pen to paper,
    from my brain a joy filled prance
    or perhaps a stalagmite filled cave
    where words jab and stab like a lance.

    Sometimes my words arm wrestle
    in front of friend and foe alike,
    as we belly up to the trestle
    to break our bread and drink
    the wine that flows from the vessel.

    Once in a while my words waltz.
    They float across the expanse
    oozing with musical schmaltz,
    with wit and grace and
    nary any faults.

    But mostly my words stumble.

  51. “But mostly my words stumble” – boy, I can certainly relate to that sentiment…this is a neat poem, nicely turned out with great word use and turns of phrase…I like how you used the dance metaphor and other physical movements to mimic how it is to write…very nice.

  52. True Blue – (Sitting Lotus)

    You’ll find me buried,
    at the bottom
    of the deepest ocean.
    You’ll discover where I’ve
    caged myself
    within an ivory prison,
    I pursue the fault lines,
    cracked calcified ribs
    bones that once were home-
    abode for the largest of souls.
    You see,
    I seek proof of the start
    the very breath of corrupt purpose,
    the evidence and heartbeat
    of determined ill-intention-
    utter abandon of respect
    for our ultimate Mother.
    I search
    for the schism
    truth behind all this is-ness
    showing precisely,
    and why…

    I see she’s spear splintered
    and the Light sifts through
    such brokenness.
    I sit in her silted heart center,
    within the remains-
    that of the last
    of the great blue.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    Arthur C. Clarke, in his 1962 book Profiles of the Future, was the first prominent intellectual to call attention to the plight of the blue whale. He mentioned its large brain and said, “we do not know the true nature of the entity we are destroying.”

    Thank you Walt and to you, Sharon for bringing inspiration to the garden.

  53. Oh Hannah, this broke my heart…I just finished watching a documentary — I think it was called “Blackfish” about the catastrophic results of keeping orcas in captivity (former Sea-World trainers were the impetus behind this film being made and distributed, because of the number of human deaths that have happened, many of them unreported, in these types of aquariums). One of the things that was shown and discussed in detail during the film was the MRI’s done of whale brains and how it’s been discovered that there’s a section that is larger than in a human’s that indicates ability to feel and emote. The descriptions of mothers and calves being separated and the mothers grieving for days…ah…it defies imagining. I think we (as humans) need to step back and think before we do any more damage, especially in the seas. Your poem captures so nicely, these sentient, misunderstood gentle giants. Very well done

  54. A Waltz of Words

    Two poets, one small space,
    begin their poem in a waltz
    of words, each smooth line
    a sweet lilt like flowing water,
    till they reach rocks hidden in rapids.

    Here the poem turns, notes discordant
    his words no longer rhyme, their meter
    lost in a tangled jig of Irish charm as
    shallow as the water touching shore.

    Carol A. Stephen
    Feb. 21, 2014

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