POETIC BLOOMINGS

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

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – AT YOUR SERVICE

July 25 – It is our annual service day at camp. This is where we do something wonderful for someone else. There’s a camp for children with disabilities down the stream from us; a church camp up the road. On the northern end of the property there is an Assisted Living facility; the southern quadrant is a nature preserve. A mile up the road there is a mission which serves homeless veterans. Pick a group to serve and write a bit of your altruism into your poem.

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 24 – IT’S RAINING AGAIN (OUTSIDE)

July 23 – YOUR AREA ADVENTURES

July 22 – CAMP DANCE; SUMMER ROMANCE

July 21 – SCAVENGER HUNT

July 20 – RENAISSANCE CAMP

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56 thoughts on “GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – AT YOUR SERVICE

  1. IT FEELS GOOD DOING GOOD

    Papa used to tell us never forget
    to look back once in awhile
    and realize just exactly how blessed
    we were to be healthy, able
    to take care of ourselves. “Be thankful!”

    What did we kids know about gratitude!
    Papa baked bread on the third shift,
    then worked part-time at another job
    so we could eat three meals a day,
    keep the rain off our heads –– want for nothing.

    At the camp I spent a hot July day
    with disabled kids, the ones Papa
    said stood way behind us on life’s line.
    Most sat in wheelchairs, some couldn’t speak,
    but they all seem so happy to be at camp.

    Papa was right. Wasn’t he always?
    “Learn to appreciate what you have.
    Never turn your back on those in need.
    Always thank God for the graces he gives.
    Don’t you live life all for yourself.”

    So I spent the day making those kids
    laugh with my impersonations
    of John Wayne, Jimmy Cagney, Jack Benny.
    It felt good. I was taking Papa’s advice.
    I even ate my lunch without complaining.

    #

  2. William Preston on said:

    AN OLD FRIENDS’ AGREEMENT

    We would rather be over the hill
    than to moulder far under the ground;
    we would rather live here in the now
    than to think on a used-to-be when;
    we would rather look up to the stars
    than look down and around for the sound
    of the voices calling us back
    to the youths that we’d rather we’d been,

    and so, when we see the young kids
    drifting aimlessly, wandering about,
    we think, not about what we did,
    but on giving them reasons to shout
    for the joy of just being alive
    and the hope for a new, better day,
    and for now, while the summer rolls on,
    give them places to grow and to play.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  3. William Preston on said:

    AT THE HUMANE SOCIETY

    She sees
    in these cages
    the fruits of carelessness;
    she comes to sweep and clean and feed
    and care.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

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

    Nectar

    Gather seedlings dry and fresh
    Spread them ’round the ground’s warm nest
    Sprinkle lightly where they rest
    Wait politely, God’s behest.

  5. Mine is really naff!

    Litter bugs beware
    If you go down to the woods today
    be sure to pick up your litter
    and it’s fair to say
    if you pick up some more
    the woods will look much better.
    Birds and beasts appreciate
    no plastic rubbish, deprecate
    beer cans, the rings from which can kill.
    So take a sack,
    and bend your back:
    get down to it with a will.

  6. Stir Your Soul

    Pick a pot,
    (any size will do)
    add your gifts,
    (time, money, food, help, etc.)
    add a secret ingredient
    (wishes born of stars)
    and stir.

    When your soul overflows,
    (think rainbows pouring)
    your soup is done.

  7. SEE YOU NEXT SEASON

    “See you next season!” she would call,
    excitedly boarding the bus for home.
    It was a joy to envision that warm smile
    through cold winter nights, counting the days
    to when Summer replays her refrain. The anticipation
    made the Winters seem so cold and long.

    Camp Good Days made a special time for sick children who long
    for the adventures that their conditions would not allow. Call
    it a service. Think labor of love! Young folk in this station
    battling Hodgkins Lymphoma, living with cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome,
    find a Summer home here. And for one so dear, Leukemia filled her days.
    And yet she was never fully dressed without her beaming smile.

    As I said, a labor of love, but never a chore – service with a smile,
    you can’t call it work if it’s something you love. It wasn’t too long
    ago that Kathleen was a “camper”. Becoming a counselor, she spent Summer days
    giving back the love she had long received. I believe it kept her whole. Call
    her a good soul; a saint. An angel when the message came from her home.
    Katie had taken a turn. In her mother’s voice…consternation.

    For all she had anticipated,
    I could find no elation; no celebration for the new year. No smile
    to brighten sour days. No way to remove the shackles of home
    for the escape the camp afforded. No boarding for the long
    bus ride – songs and secrets, conversations silenced. The call
    of roll without a familiar ring. A different Camp Good Days,

    without the friend made and nurtured through Summer days.
    In many ways, it feels strangely isolated,
    yet knowing Kathleen answered the life’s Last Call
    with her usual grace and humility, made me smile
    at least briefly. She was chiefly responsible for my long
    tenure as a counselor at a camp that gave these kids a home

    away from home. And it felt like home.
    There is a labor of love to perform as I remember the days
    when Katie made her illness disappear a little, even though not for long.
    We had a song that the kids sang that celebrated
    the life they embraced. Each word will be laced with her smile.
    Right up until Kathleen’s “See you next season!” call!

    Children need a place that they can call sanctuary; a home.
    An brief escape from their realities to fill their days with smiles.
    For Camp Good Days, a moment long anticipated.

    ,

  8. connielpeters on said:

    Special Needs, Special People

    You rarely see them on billboards,
    television, or magazine covers.
    People stare as they go by.
    Children are often frightened.

    They stick out with their award gaits,
    guttural noises, drool,
    inappropriate comments or touching,
    deformities.

    In many ways they’re the same as the general public,
    with their need to feel loved, useful, and respected.
    In many ways they surpass the rest of us
    with their smiles, hugs, unique way of looking at things.

    In the camp of folks with developmental disabilities,
    are some of the sweetest, most admirable, people I know.

  9. This poem is much longer than I originally planned. I became so involved in the story, I couldn’t stop.

    LEARNING A POWERFUL LESSON

    I fought our leader tooth and nail
    at trying to force me to learn
    for a silly badge I would earn.
    This wasn’t a camp, more like jail.
    My pleas ignored, I met defeat.
    We left for the run-down city
    where what we saw wasn’t pretty
    in this humid, sweltering heat.

    Vacation means you shouldn’t work,
    It’s a rule in summer season.
    They were homeless for a reason,
    or so thought this uninformed jerk.
    Given a plate with dreadful food,
    I went to an elderly gent
    with matted hair and fingers bent
    and strangely detached attitude.

    He dined in his bed on the floor
    and didn’t take time to speak.
    When he did talk, my knees felt weak.
    “I was young when I went to war.
    I had never been off of the farm
    and I’d never fired a gun.
    One night, around quarter to one
    our Captain sent out an alarm.

    “The enemy snuck on our site
    and began an ugly rampage.
    Both sides would be forced to engage
    in a bloody and deadly fight.
    At its end, so many were dead.
    I was wounded but felt no pain.
    The image was etched on my brain
    and today still haunts me in bed.”

    He sat up and struggled for breath.
    It would start off strong and then flee.
    His last words were said to thank me
    before he departed in death.
    I sadly made it back to camp
    and waited for daylight to die.
    That night, a selfish brat would cry
    in a tent with a turned off lamp.

    Those who gave much with no reward
    are those we frequently forget.
    No day goes by I don’t regret
    how heroes are often ignored.
    As I look back on what I learned
    that summer when I was a child,
    I recall how this soldier smiled.
    It was more than a badge I earned.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  10. Pingback: Learning a Powerful Lesson | Words With Sooze

  11. DEEP GREEN

    How many shades of green
    can we find in the woods today?:
    All the wildflowers of early spring
    Have folded their petals and told
    us “See you next year,”

    There has been more rain than usual
    which brings out the green and big leaves.,
    lots of seedling trees and also weeds
    which are sometimes attractive, but
    spread too fast.

    I found a clump of Indian Pipes, or “Ghost
    Plants” because their leavs and stems
    and even flowers are all white. When you
    pick them they turn black and mushy in
    your hand.

    I tell this to the kids, but they are eager to
    hold & touch everything so we have a bundle
    of rotten smelling blooms to take back and
    show to everybody.

    Some of the people from the Senior Center
    remember those ghost flowers from their
    childhood when there was a lot of woods
    around here and they are pleasantly surprised
    to see them again.

  12. Priti on said:

    I learnt to see
    without my eyes
    when I showed others
    who had no sight

  13. Darlene Franklin on said:

    This poem demanded that I write it. . .

    FROM THE CHILDREN

    Don’t go, our counselors’ advice
    The children will pull back, afraid
    The nature place is much more nice
    Preserve the beauty of the glade
    They need us, Pastor Bob’s word swayed
    Two lines from cabins one to four
    Marched northward to the rest home’s door

    One step inside our fears confirmed
    The smell! The noise! The wheelchair bound
    We hid behind the kids and squirmed
    The mobile patients gathered round
    The childish voices siren’s sound
    A pat, a hug, a kiss or two
    The young and old together grew

    Their hearts saw past the li-ned flesh
    Into a person, same as them
    The games of childhood both thought best
    Their laughs and smiles, no one condemned
    Examples we should craft as gems
    Our heads hung, the blow our shame
    A lesson learned, our fears so lame

  14. Pingback: – – Wild Indigo Gems – – | Metaphors and Smiles

  15. Wild Indigo Gems

    Behind mind’s eye I see them
    there’re hundreds upon the hillside
    veiled in sweet-fern and stone.
    Sapphire spheres speckle the floor
    forest gives birth to a superhero among berries,
    burgeoning of blue they’re strewn abundantly.
    It’s a fruitful day and Nature thanks me,
    I’ve filled my hands, belly and containers,
    they’re overflowing and I’ve made room –
    new growth will be more easily nourished
    now that the ripe have been gathered.
    I’ve gleefully served Gaia and she rewards me
    I receive her precious indigo gift gratefully,
    I bow – in deep gratitude for her bounty.
    After an intense session of collecting
    fingers are stained navy,
    skin is satisfied with freshness
    and I’m drowsy with a day well lived.
    When sleepy lids of night close
    I see them by the hundreds…
    beautiful blueberries color my dreams.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    • Wm Preston on said:

      This vivid rendition of blue calls to my mind two separate feasts of blue: the chicory along the local roadsides in summer and autumn, and wild Canterbury Bells in the Mojave in spring. I just love how you make nature so personable and near.

  16. Cooking for Vets

    On the fringes of camp,
    we notice a different sort
    of camper. They will not be
    going home when the summer ends.
    They have no home, even after
    serving their country.

    We complain about food at camp,
    then imagine what it must be like
    to have none–to go hungry,
    which none of us has ever done.

    We carry off a grill, some burgers,
    hot dogs, rolls, beans, and potatoes.
    We invite these homeless, ignored
    heroes to join us. The day is spent
    cooking for them, and listening
    to their stories. It was the best
    day we ever spent at camp.

  17. Pingback: GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – THREE-LEGGED RACE | CREATIVE BLOOMINGS

  18. Every day we learn
    How to better serve the Lord
    While at Bible Camp

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  19. Pingback: GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – BARREL OF MONKEYS | CREATIVE BLOOMINGS

  20. janeshlensky on said:

    One by One

    I see the way she bites her lip
    reckoning her good fortune, by watching
    others around her, willing it to be true.

    “You don’t have to look far,”
    she says, “to see those worse off
    than you are.” She’s grateful, she says.

    I’m upright, all her stuff in my backpack,
    setting up her wheel chair beside the car
    so she can swing into the seat. She’s heavy.

    I leash her helping dog, hand her the chord,
    and stretch a little before we start.
    Some paths in the park are rough going

    but she will hear none of my whining.
    “Push!” she’ll snap at me, as if I’m dawdling.
    “You push!” I snap back and we laugh.

    Then she looks at Cruz the dog
    and we yell “Pull, Cruz!” but he’s more
    sensible than we and lounges by the path.

    She’s missing one leg and one arm is useless,
    only a twitch in her fingers, but she wants that arm.
    Her son is autistic and her husband works seven

    days each week to keep them afloat
    but she sees others worse off than she is,
    those with no limbs, with fatal illnesses,

    those without dogs or friends or sons,
    who fancy hope is unrealistic given their chances.
    She sucks up pain and calls it dignity.

    I think of the children of Holocaust victims.
    God love them, how can they ever complain
    of hurts given what their parents have known

    of cruelty and pain? How can we ever undo damages,
    unhurt, unhate, unabuse? So much misery surrounds us
    we feel weary even contemplating the load to carry.

    Still, we don’t have to look far to see someone
    who needs a little push through a park, who needs
    to pat a big golden dog, who needs an eye that sees

    a person, rather than a disease. Everyone longs
    to be seen beneath the skin, where character lives.
    Who wants to be recognized for what is missing?

    “I’m complete!” she says, “but my body is, unfortunately
    missing a few things.” I hand her the binoculars
    and we listen for bird song back in the trees.

    “Don’t you ever get sick and tired of being amazing?”
    I ask her. She grins that crooked grin and says,
    “Girl, you have no idea how sick and tired.”

    It’s a good day for birding on smooth trails.
    I’m at her service today, her bitchy whiney friend
    who doesn’t have to keep a thanksgiving face, thank God.

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