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


July 5th – There are many sounds associated with Summer and camping, good and bad. Find one that stirs your muse and share your joy or quell your fears with your poetic words. 






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  1. Pingback: Sleeping Out | Vivinfrance's Blog

  2. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/sleeping-out/ with picture

    Sleeping Out

    Head to toe on veranda hammock
    under phoney bearskin rug
    sisters chatter loudly long into the night.
    Little by little spreads the silence of sleep

    or does it?

    Ripples from river slurp softly on the bank
    crow of wayward cockerel
    causes murmurs from sleepers
    rustles in the flower bed
    as hedgehog creeps along
    beat of wings from hunting owl
    summer crickets’ creaky song
    but little by little spreads the silence of sleep

  3. the cricket beats
    it jumps at exquisite moments
    i lay awake in my tent and its twittering takes the black out of my soul
    it cries and it keeps on ticking
    i feel the ladybug moving along my hand
    she flies away into gentle skies
    and her eyes awaken my essence
    perplexed by what goes bump in the night
    i perspire and i stand still waiting
    trans(form) nation
    expelled wind explains
    what on Earth disdains
    but a notion of stranded remains
    an angel ready to lift me up
    to hold me by the fire
    and to sing into the gracious night lare

  4. connielpeters on said:

    Forest Alarm Clock

    Laying in my tent,
    I woke up in the early morning
    hearing a strange sound—
    something like shaking a can of spray paint,
    when the metal ball rattles around inside.
    Who would be painting anything just past dawn
    amongst tall timber by a mountain lake?

    Carefully I undid the ties
    and looked out the screen window.
    Two gray squirrels chased each other in the trees.
    They seemed to be enjoying themselves,
    as much as I enjoyed watching them scampering about,
    their claws on the bark making the noise.
    Who would have thought it sounded like that?

  5. Voices still rise from girls’ cabin

    I saw them!

    :You did not!”

    Counselor flashing her ring
    Waves it in air as she talks

    “Local sheriff if anything goes wrong.!”

    Girls watching ring. Too cheap.
    Prize from carnival game?

    “No one leaves cabin without an escort!”

    Girls rattle off names of dream escorts.

    Counselor making plans to sneak out by latrines.
    All phones have been confiscated.

    He will think of something, she thinks, but she hasn’t heard a

    One word pervades the little cabin. “Out!: Got to get out of here!”

  6. William Preston on said:


    In wintertime I am content
    to hear my old cat purring,
    but summer causes me to vent
    because the frogs are whirring.

    It is the most annoying sound,
    one that I can’t abide;
    if it keeps up I think I’m bound
    to commit frogicide.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    The cricket’s synchronized symphony,
    is natures nocturnal orchestra.
    A sensational winged performance for all to see.

    Simplistic winds shoulders song of the wooing male. In the sound of their music, a courting love shimmers, happily sets sail.

    The flight of orchestral attraction flies blind, unto the wilderness, to woo a bounding female.

    Benjamin Thomas


    I love the sounds of night:
    the wind that sets the branch against my pane,
    a gentle tapping –– gnarled and bony –– right
    before I sleep, or rain,

    a pitter-patter song
    to lull a weary body needing rest
    from labors lasting hours much too long,
    to sleep as if one blessed.

    I love the sounds out there:
    the crickets’ symphony gives night a voice
    so sweet and solemn it could pass for prayer.
    No wonder I rejoice!

    An alley cat screeches,
    a trash can falls to the concrete sidewalk,
    more sounds from night’s creatures.
    Some irate neighbors squawk.

    I love the sounds that sweep
    aside the hectic rush and race of day,
    not a heavy silence but a segue
    To lead me into sleep.



    An announcement loud and clear,
    it says “we are here” whatever
    we are. Far along the horizon
    eyes have been watching
    catching glimpses of this scene.
    Footsteps, rustling branches…
    chances are it’s coming toward you.
    Can you afford to just stand there?
    Hear it? Over there? Or there?
    Or… from where the hell is that coming.
    A growl. A crunching. A distinct thump.
    In the darkness, things surely go bump.

    (C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

  10. Shell Shocked

    The distant boom of thunder
    grumbles across the summer sky
    pellets of rain ping on the awning
    as the sheers billow and fly
    at the windows on currents high.

    After the scorching heat this relief
    is welcomed soothing frayed nerves
    cooling the torpid air
    though it is brief it shores up reserves
    and I can face the day with verve.

    Then my calm is shattered
    this egg shell veneer battered
    by a irritating insect whine
    sending sparks along my spine
    that increase exponentially,
    quite unacceptably
    into an ear numbing roar
    I abhor…

    crotch rockets –
    riders in a zigzag pattern
    bikes leaning dangerously
    streaking past my place
    on their deadly chase
    of thrills.

    They feel exhilarated
    I feel obliterated.

  11. Battle of the Bands

    The couple in the townhouse, just retired
    and moved down South, play “God Bless America”
    and “Stars and Stripes Forever”
    through their new outdoor patio speakers

    while their neighbors whose daughter
    just graduated eighth grade host a pool party
    with hip-hop pumping the bass,
    punctuated by splashes and squeals.
    With a patio full of boys and girls at thirteen,
    they know to fear silence more than rap.

    Down on the dock, the boomers
    are cranking up James Taylor, the Beatles,
    Jimi’s “Star Spangled Banner,” to the rhythm
    of choppers’ whop whop whop, nostalgic
    for all those other summer parties.

    Their grown kids, home for the weekend,
    their own children slathered with sunscreen
    and strapped into life jackets, their earbuds
    in place, streaming music through smartphones
    while they check their messages, barely present.

    No one admits to making the calls to the cops—
    Make ‘em turn that racket down—
    who ride by, turn down the offers of beer,
    but accept a plate of burgers, fries, cobbler,
    before heading to the next complaint—
    fireworks too loud, teenagers roaming loose.

    The mash-up of music creates an odd harmony,
    not discord, not Babel. Each circle of friends
    has tuned in to theme music, a soundtrack,
    SurroundSound of summer celebration.

    • WPreston on said:

      This poem must be highly effective: I have a headache now. The descriptions are spot on.

    • Oh, the modern cacophony of ” summer SurroundSound” just like at the beach. Seems no one is comfortable with quiet. Spot on as William says.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Love this, Nancy. Cacophony is not phony. 😉

    • Nancy, you’ve nailed the American Fourth of July experience during the day. Now for the nighttime cascade of booms, whistles and screamers. I know you can add another couple of stanzas to bring in those sounds too.

      Wonderful job here, Nancy.

  12. Pingback: A Simple Smidgen of Salted Sound | Metaphors and Smiles

  13. A Simple Smidgen of Salted Sound

    Sincere secret of sapphire
    stirs inside sun stunned surf,
    salty shallows surge in
    as soft sips, swift on sand.
    They slip succinctly to sea
    in satisfying swallows,
    satiating sounds sink in
    safely secured in soul.

    Shore shushes
    a simple serenade…

    Shadows sneaking in?
    Searching for stillness?
    Save this single secret
    this sacred-serenity,
    submerge into soothing –
    sound of sapphire-sweet,
    store it’s smooth surface
    and silently swirl to sea.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  14. Camp Sounds

    The Klaxtons come to life
    O-six-hundred is O-so-early
    The sound of the record needle
    Lands loudly on the record groove
    Snap, crackle, pop, and the band plays
    One verse of “The Star Spangled Banner”
    As Old Glory is raised up the pole
    Another day starts at summer camp

    Feet shuffle and drag to the mess hall
    Dishes and silverware stir the eardrums
    The chatter of waking voices fills the room
    Until the counselor’s whistle blows twice
    Snapping us out of our breakfast doldrums
    Chairs and benches chatter the floor in unison
    And we all shuffle to our pre-assigned classes
    Time to yawn and blink through Bible study

    And on the sounds of summer camp march
    Whistles to begin and end classes and events
    Announcements and music over the Klaxtons
    The voices of others in the mess hall and cabins
    At the lake, and singing around the campfire
    The sounds march on throughout the day
    Into the evening, and until lights out

    Finally, when taps are played to end the day
    And the idle chatter subsides in the cabin
    Silence makes its way back into my ears
    And I roll over for a restful night’s sleep
    That is, until the snoring starts

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  15. ejparsons on said:

    Within we will stay
    Safely inside the cabin
    Until the bear leaves

  16. Darlene Franklin on said:

    This is a special but private memory for me. . .so I trust you with my heart (again)


    Camping rookie when I was ten
    Sleeping on bunks and not in tents
    Four girls synchronized brushing teeth
    Recited God’s Word, swords unsheathed
    Campfire ceremony, lives spilled, sit knee-to-knee
    Oft returned but never so new, camping rookie

    How will they hear without preachers?
    Paul’s words in Romans my heart stirs
    I will go, my answer, but where
    Silent voice speaks to me—there
    Vaya con Dios a México, mi hija
    Daughter, go to Mexico, else how will they hear?

  17. The Sound of Stupid in the Night

    If common sense remains aloof,
    You learn to heed park rangers’ words:
    Tie food in trees, bury garbage,
    Don’t give wild things any excuse.

    But Rick gets munchy after dark
    And runs to camp stores as they close.
    He grabs two pints of ice cream, spoons,
    And runs back whooping like a loon.

    “Butter pecan was all they had,”
    He chuckles, crawling in the tent.
    It is his favorite; though small,
    we cannot seem to eat it all.

    “I’ll bury it when I go out
    To brush my teeth and mark a tree,”
    He says, well sated, craving naps.
    We drowse until we hear loud snaps.

    At first, we think it’s in our dreams,
    And then, alarmed, inside the tent,
    But flashlights show a raccoon pair,
    Their masks intact, are thieving there.

    Such well-marked animals, so cute,
    But have you seen their ripping claws?
    They hiss and dare us interfere,
    Popping pecans, no sign of fear…

    Until they hear rumble and puff
    Of snuffing bear lumbering near.
    They grab their cartons, run from sight,
    saving our stupid necks that night.

    The bear follows them, takes their loot,
    Eviscerating evidence.
    We rise quite early, pack and close
    Our campsite in the Poconos.

  18. janeshlensky on said:

    After Dark

    The horses whinny giving rides
    to children who hang on for life.
    The horse shoes clank, the players roar
    each time a ringer lifts a score.

    We eat what everybody brings
    and favor shots and beers and wines,
    a neighborhood at liberty
    to celebrate and wait for signs

    of darkness bringing down its shade
    when Donnie stands and calls his son.
    “Come on,” he says, “it’s almost time
    to blow thangs up. Fireworks is fun!”

    You have to worry for the wild
    who wonder what in hell is wrought
    when sparks burst loud and drizzle down
    the darkness like a melted crown.

    We sing our patriotic songs,
    thinking each minute it will end,
    but Donnie’s saved his favorites
    for last, whenever that might be.

    Slowly, the crowd meanders home
    to calm their pets and watch TV.
    The silence has a static sound
    white noise made possible by Donnie.

    • Hi Jane, my favorite line was, “of darkness bringing down its shade”.

    • “Come on,” he says, “it’s almost time
      to blow thangs up. Fireworks is fun!”

      I know this Donny of whom you speak… great fun and true life here, Jane.

    • WmPreston on said:

      An acoustic kaleidoscope. I enjoyed this very much.

    • Oh, my, your Donnie seems determined to light up the world, doesn’t he? This is fun, Jane–a look into neighborhoods everywhere this week, I have no doubt. 😀

    • WmPreston on said:

      This is another poem that I love for the sounds and images it proffers. Even if the rest of it were garbage, though, I’d love it for this line: “….sparks burst loud and drizzle down / the darkness like a melted crown.” Wonderful.

  19. Campcide Tales, Day 5: Jabbercide

    Rocks talk, you know.
    Not in so many words,
    But if you’re trying to sleep,
    And there’s one near your ear,

    Or your chin, or your hip,
    Or your knee,
    It will keep you awake all night.

    It’s a yammery-silent treatment,
    And you can turn and squirm,
    And try to hide, but that rock
    Will jabber you awake till dawn.

    It’s jabbercide.

    It’s yammercide.

    Talking rockacide.

    And yes, I truly hate camping.


    I loathe the whizzing buzz
    of mosquitoes stammering about….


    Like miniature vampires with wings,
    and hypodermic weaponry protuding
    from it’s face (those bloodsucking bastards).

    They’re probably ecstatic as they slurp down multiple super-sized blood smoothies with their pals over the summer.

    Benjamin Thomas

    • Ben, you really don’t like the little beasties, do you? Well, you aren’t alone in that. Good rant here, too. I was with you throughout this one. 😀 Enjoyed it immensely.

    • I loathe them, too. The whiny buzz right in the ear, the itchy welts, there’s nothing redeeming about the dratted things.

    • WmPreston on said:

      For me, “whizzing buzz” is a delicious way to describe the sound these insects make close to the ear. “Blood smoothies” is a fascinating way to humanize them, too. Well done.

  21. Back later to do comments. Hope everyone had a good holiday. This is what came to mind when reading today’s prompt; from last year’s final camping days in Glacier Park.


    Summer’s end and camping’s too,
    Culminating in a last few days.
    Pre-dawn wakens with slow,
    Deliberate breaths that invigorate,
    For that moment of silence,
    Broken by tell-tale signs
    Of life’s movements beyond
    The tent’s flimsy flap.

    A loon’s chirling call across
    Still water meets in seconds
    Wolf’s answering reminder
    Of a pack’s traveling ways,
    And bull elk begins his
    Mating ritual with his bugle,
    informing the forest of his
    striking supremacy and strength.

    Nature signals a closing of
    Wandering days of woodsy
    Ways and brings one back to
    Prepare for a time of snow white.

    • Oh, Claudsy, you used the “s” word in the middle of summer, otherwise this is lovely : )

      • Ah, you mean that fluffy white stuff. Well, Debi, it’s been less than a month since the last time we had it falling here. Let’s see. It was the week of June 15th. And they just got Going to the Sun road open. They’ve been plowing that road since May 1. 🙂 You see, we never doubt the possibility, even in July.

        • We were there two years ago. Beautiful country. We spent one night at a lovely old lodge at Glacier Lake. You have some inspiring views to compensate for the hard winters.

          • Oh, yeah. Magnificent, sometimes treacherous, and always inspiring. Maybe that’s why our creative community is so large. You can’t swing a cat around here without hitting a writer, artist, or musician. 🙂

    • WmPreston on said:

      I love this, partly for the descriptions signalling the end of summer (which I look forward to) but mainly for the images it evokes.

      • Bless you, William. I’m glad you could see and feel some of what it’s like at some of our lakes and parks. It’s a special experience to lie in your sleeping bag and listen to the calls across the water; ones not expected, but richly enjoyed.

    • This is beautiful, Claudsy! Your images are descriptive and alive.

  22. Those Dratted Things That Go Bump in the Night

    You’re in your tent
    all snug in bed
    and suddenly you hear
    a snuffling beside your head.

    You scrunch down
    and hold your breath
    as your eyes dart
    the length and width.

    You listen closely
    as he scratches,
    snuffles and snorts –
    you’re clutching…matches?

    For goodness sake
    get a grip!
    The noises wander off,
    just a distant blip.

    You relax your grip
    and shut your eyes
    but you’re alert
    as the sun wakes the skies.

    • BTW – If you are interested you can click on my name and it will take you to my blog where I often put my words with a picture. 🙂 Today there is a picture.

    • Oh yeah, I can relate. Years ago I was camping in Yellowstone with a group of students. I woke at dawn to the sound of snuffling and steps, When I unzipped the flap enough to put out my head, I saw the reason I woken. A herd of elk had decided to take breakfast in the spaces between our tents in the dim light of early morn. Fortunately, none of us were silly enough to stampede the herd.

      Nicely done, Michelle.

    • … and that is why I hate camping.

    • WmPreston on said:

      The short lines recall the short breathes likely at such times. I enjoyed this, and the photo too.

  23. Priti on said:

    Storms from deep within
    Captured in the melody
    Of cricket ink chimes

  24. (Poem w/image: http://lettheballoonssailmeaway.wordpress.com)


    Whip-poor-will music
    Mesmerizing, magical
    Moving me in dreams.

  25. I haven’t heard a whip-poor-will since I was a kid. They were mesmerizing and magical – like your poem.

  26. Uh Oh!

    Uh oh! Didn’t you read
    that sign – the one that says,
    Beware Poison Ivy?

    Scratch, scratch, scratch
    Shake up that bottle
    of calamine lotion.

    Sizzle, crack, sizzle
    Just a bit more, I love
    when the whole marshmallow
    is black and crispy!

    Rustle, clank, rustle
    What is that sound?
    Did you remember
    to bring all the food in?


    A nylon tent
    can keep out
    skunks and bears

    can keep in
    the warmth of
    two intermingled bodies

    let in the
    smell of wet
    pine and trap

    the smell of
    damp socks and
    musty sleeping bags

    but our flimsy
    fabric walls cannot
    keep out the

    surrounding symphony of
    crickets and creeks
    that ring in

    our ears as
    we fall asleep
    to at night

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