It has been another extreme pleasure to have William Preston return to the masthead at least for this week to help steer this vessel onward. His support and insight are unparalleled, and his work is exceptional.

We all seem to find reasons why we think no one would be interested in our life stories. That became our charge this week. Take one of those reasons and make it the title of your poem. Our “non-stories” can be more telling than any factual expose.  And so we choose the creme de la creme of this week’s work.


Two reasons that tend to prevail against the exposing of one’s story are the basis’ for my selections for the “Auto-Biography” prompt. First, why would I write a story when I have no idea how it will end? Nancy Posey brought this to light in her wonderful admission, NOT FINISHED YET. In the second choice, Erin Kay Hope presented her angst at exposing things she felt were best kept secret. There’s a story there, but that uncertainty wages a valiant battle. Read SECRET’S NOT SECRET for Erin’s Bloom winning struggle.


Any story of my life I might
write now would fall short
of the full story, leaving out
everything that comes next.

I need time to view the past
from a comfortable distance,
aligning all the versions of me
into one single protagonist.

No careful study I might make
of the dramatic arc allows me
a dispassionate vantage point
to just my place—rising action,

climax, or rolling faster toward
my resolution, denouement.
Leave my tales and their telling
to someone else, who’ll cry,
not die at The End.

(C) Copyright Nancy Posey – 2014


Secret’s Not Secret by Erin Kay Hope

There’s too much I don’t want the world to know,
The inner thoughts and longings of my heart,
What makes it beat, what makes the workings go;

I don’t know how I’d write without my heart,
Without telling everything about me,
And I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to start,

Cause then the world would really, truly see
The side of me I’d like kept to myself,
The deepest things reserved for God and me:

Secrets wouldn’t be secret anymore,
The latch would be broken on this dark door…

© Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2014



The beauty of this form lives in the repetition and the stand-alone couplets that lead you to its heart. There were a few ghazal that surely could have earned this Bloom. But as usually happens with me is an poem rings familiar, as if written about my own like experiences. One sure poem stands to bring me face-to-face with my ghost. Sara McNulty, you take this one for IN THE GLOW.


IN THE GLOW by Sara McNulty

His stomach sank, he felt so low
on this beach where their love once glowed.

She was wrenched from him, he was shown
death’s quick grip, where their love once glowed.

On the sand, he drew with his toe
a broken heart, where love once glowed.

Waves rolled in as he felt his woe
tug at him, here, where love once glowed.

He recalled her strength, knew he’d go
on with life, lucky, love once glowed.

(C) Copyright Sara McNulty – 2014



Selection for prompt #159

It’s been months since I had to select one poem from the many fine ones posted by the talented folks who frequent this blog. I expected trouble in doing so, and I got it. I tried to “weed some out” as I went along, but that didn’t work; so many poems kept coming back like songs, their words and images fairly swimming before me. But the rules are the rules, so I finally selected one piece.

That piece is by Nurit Israeli. Several poems arising from this prompt dealt with the central idea that it’s too early to write auto-biographies of any kind, either to recall that which one would want others to know, or that which is best left unsaid. Dr. Israeli’s is in that vein, but it adds some delicious twists. It starts out with a Goldwynism, one of several that the legendary producer, Sam Goldwyn, may or may not have said (Goldwyn, like Yogi Berra, often was credited with things he never uttered). It then follows by liking life to a play, consistent again with Goldwyn but also recalling Shakespeare’s “all the world’s a stage.” In the midst of the poem the reader finds

I don’t know how many acts
are in the play that is my life.
Whether it is long or short.
Whether it ends slowly
or abruptly in the middle,

which has the faint whiff of a Goldwynism, whether intended or not.

In the main, however, I thought that this progressive poem emphasizes the idea that life is essentially an improvisation, a process, and that any idea of “final” is superfluous. The process involves much backing and filling, as the final line suggests, or so it seems to me. All in all, Dr. Israeli’s poem is a thought-provoking piece, and I am glad to award it my bloom for this prompt.

Dr. Israeli’s complete poem follows:

“I don’t think anyone should write their autobiography until after they’re dead.”
Samuel Goldwyn

INCOMPLETE… by Nurit Israeli

In the play that is my life
there is no script and
there are no rehearsals.
I am making things up
as I go along.

In the play that is my life
there is no director
to lead and oversee and
no prompter to cue me
when I forget my lines.

There is still no title
to the play that is my life.
I know most of the story,
but I cannot choose a name
until I make sense of the ending.

I don’t know how many acts
are in the play that is my life.
Whether it is long or short.
Whether it ends slowly
or abruptly in the middle.

And when the curtain
comes down, I don’t know
how long or how short it will take
for the play that is my life
to be forgotten.

So I improvise and I play
in the play that is my life:
There’s allure to the scenes
that cannot be foreseen,
my real and imagined −
a yang and a yin.

(C) Copyright Nurit Israeli – 2014



I found this a difficult but challenging form, well worth the effort to realize. Several other poets apparently felt the same way, and the results were a series of pieces that made selecting just one a soul-wrenching process—again. I was sorely tempted to toss the rules and select more than one but, recalling my father’s old comment that “God hates a coward,” I finally chose one poem.

J.lynn Sheridan’s “Her son. Her son.” is the poem I chose. The language she uses is elevated, almost Victorian in tone, or so it seems to me: phrases such as “sable curls,” “treble song,” and “sweet dreamer” recall Stephen Foster for me, accentuated by the recurring “song of moonlight.” The effect of the whole is to create not just a vision but a mood that is somber but not depressing; indeed, the final line connotes something akin to reassurance, or at least acceptance. When I first read this poem I noted that “comments are almost superfluous in the face of majestic and moving phrases such as these,” and I still feel that way. It is fine work, and I’m happy to offer my bloom.
“HER SON. HER SON.” by J.lynn Sheridan

She waits like a quiet snow captured in the moonlight.
Her sable curls haloed in the treble song of moonlight.

Life loves somber prose—a thorn prick to probe our hearts,
burrowing scarlet roses inside the song of moonlight.

Rest, sweet dreamer. A wanderer grieves for love’s breath,
Savoring each note of the redeemer’s song of moonlight.

Bless the poet. Bless the winter of a hero’s flight in the night.
Verse after verse caress his flight in the song of moonlight.

Sing, sweet dreamer, the soft prayer of a warrior’s mother.
From the womb comes a cry sweeter than the song of moonlight.

Long in the land of his enemy is a fountain of cold memories.
I will fold your hands in mine and sing his song of moonlight.

(C) Copyright J. Lynn Sheridan – 2014