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



Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in “The Bucket List”

A few years back there was an emotional movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called “The Bucket List”. We all desire to enjoy some of life’s finer things, but reality and time limitations may dictate otherwise. Make an ersatz “Bucket List”. Think of the things you always wanted to do, but know you probably never will. Choose one item and make it the basis of your poem. Give it a favorable outcome, you deserve it!



A banquet hall
all decked out. A gathering
of poets far and near.
Here we assemble,
humble persons of words
to meet and greet.
Embraces of the faces
we have come to know.
A show of community;
a bond of unity.
Poets; aside and bloomed
fill our room to not talk rhyme
but to have the time
to know the others
who have become our sisters and brothers.
We gather together for the cause of words.
And the words are good!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

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73 thoughts on “PROMPT #165 – “A DROP IN THE BUCKET”

  1. William Preston on said:


    I saw a world at peace
    and over all of Earth
    a wonderland of worth
    lived on, without surcease;
    and laughter was the grease
    that loosed a flow of mirth

    from every tongue and heart;
    and no one made a fuss
    and thus forbade to cuss.
    No peoples were apart
    and kindness was an art:
    there was no “them,” no “us.”

    What brought this to the fore?
    Religion was no more.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  2. Yes, we should all gather to meet 🙂 !!

  3. Love the build up and final line Walt.

  4. Pingback: Walking with my Eldest Son | Metaphors and Smiles

  5. Walking with my Eldest Son

    I push a weightless hip-height container
    it’s a light-gray metal cart on wheels
    packed with beautiful silk skeins.
    I sense rippling of color – maybe blue
    perhaps peacock purple undulating –
    wind in relationship with length of material,
    it flows silently behind and beside us.
    We progress effortlessly
    up an expansive arching outer-spiral,
    passage terracotta swoops broadly
    kissing periphery of tropical garden –
    glow that grows from center of this structure;
    in this ascending walk-way
    there’re semi-circle windows parallel with my waist
    and soft-colored orange columns separate them,
    they make periodic shadows as we move.
    We talk little but when we do it’s imbued
    with ease and meaning – we smile perpetually,
    simple and truthful, effortless smiles
    and you skip ahead of me as we proceed
    bringing me a sense of your youth and joy.
    I find it salient – this underwater sense of quiet,
    slow-motion of graceful movement
    and striking is the expression on my face,
    I carry a countenance of true peace.
    I don’t know where we’re going
    but I know we belong.
    You accompany me in a work that’s meaningful
    we journey in unison with a purpose,
    I’m not certain what our task is but it’s meant to be –
    I can feel it in my core that all is as it should be.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    Note: My response is a dream that I had a few years ago – it has been with me, I carry it in a special place in my psyche – it feels true, like it may be a distant future…there’s something deep and striking about it that fills me with a sense of longing and all at once fulfillment. So, this is my bucket list moment – I hope to realize this moment in my life and experience the peace and ease that I witnessed in this dream.


    I suppose my bucket has a hole in it.
    No way now to satisfy my greatest wish:
    To travel to Sicily with the love of my life.
    It’s a dream that will remain so, I’m afraid.
    These legs of mine that once climbed Mount Camarata,
    That raced up and down steep cobblestone streets,
    Now ache with each step and wobble when I walk.
    I can do no more than delight in all that I remember.

    I have saved my favorite Sicilian memories
    Collected over time in my Sicilian cart
    Tethered loosely to a wooden post in my mind.
    I visit there often. Leaving my weary workday,
    I count the cobble stones to where the donkey stands
    Uncharacteristically patient and quite still
    Outside Grandpa’s white stone house on Via Crispi.
    When I arrive, I can hear the donkey braying.

    In the seat of the cart, tied in neat packages,
    My long-gone Sicilian days and nights await me.
    “Bring us to the light,” they beg. “Live us one more time!”
    And I unfurl each gold leaf upon which lost time
    Is stamped. These mental fingers trace the high relief,
    And, in the touching, resurrect those past events,
    Those village people who again walk to market,
    Even the timber of their laughter, their greetings.

    I have collected them all here to keep them safe.
    Why deepen the sorrow of physical death
    By conceding they have vanished forever?
    Here in my colorful Sicilian cart they live
    In my memory, far from the cemetery
    Where sad mourners still visit with flowers and prayers.
    Here today I bring to life Ziu Turiddu,
    cane in hand, limping down Via Emanuele.

    I will feed the good donkey a cube of sugar
    When I visit Zia Serafina tomorrow.
    Then at the home of Peppi Gaddu drink café
    Or an apertif, review the days that made us glad.
    If time allows, I will walk the shallow waters
    Of the Platani River where once Greek ships sailed
    Or I’ll trek uphill to my nonno’s summer place.
    On the way I’ll wave to the sons of Don Carlu.


  7. Darlene Franklin on said:


    I want love
    My list screams my need
    Mix together one, five and six
    Add two, three and nine
    To be loved and to love others
    Family and strangers

    I might not make it

    The doctor said ten years,
    Fifteen if I’m lucky
    Five if I’m not
    I want more
    I dream of outliving them all
    Blow past seventy-eight to eighty

    Whether my tombstone reads 2019 or 2034
    Love fills the dash between life and death

    (my number one drop was to fall hopelessly in love with a wonderful man)

  8. Written as my ten-year old self knowing I never could actually become someone else but really really really wanted to. 🙂 (that’s three really’s but could have typed 1,804 really’s if there was space.)

    “Where I join the Corps of Discovery”

    I ribbon my braids in rubber bands and flee into the woods,
    barefoot, soles blackened, rough as volcanic rock, absorbed
    in my imagination—

    I’ve been kidnapped, traded, sold, and forgotten, at thirteen
    gambled to a man in an accent hired to join a troupe to the Pacific.

    I am Sacagawea, trailing behind Lewis and Clark and men
    of brawn in canoes with satchels of tools and maps.

    I am the face of the party, the peace symbol, the interpreter,
    guiding only when familiar trails loom in the gaps of forest.

    For months we see no one, only wildlife and sun until we are
    numb to beauty, only desiring the sustenance of human bonds,

    We cross the Rockies on foot and horse,baby Pompy strapped
    to my chest, screaming to suckle, we are wrapped in otter skins,
    nibbling on candles, leaving behind bloody footprints, crossing
    prairies, rivers and deserts, traversing the continental divide.

    Traveling mile after mile, thousands of miles, thousands of silent
    footsteps, with cunning and strain, in illness and thirst to the salty
    waters of a strange world of warmth and sea birds.

    I am naive to the focus and need of these men, to the gift I have
    shared with them. I am naive to the birth of a people. I am naive
    to the laurels of my name, and the trails I leave behind.

  9. missing chapter
    by millet israeli

    I painted your walls yellow,
    like the sunflowers whose
    heads hang heavy in the autumn.

    In the back of the closet, I tucked
    the suede shoes, pink and flowered,
    and the socks with the lacy trim.

    I brushed your hair, and
    tied ribbons onto your braids
    just like I had at your age.

    We read books together, I’d
    bring a stack at a time, but you
    always asked for my favorite.

    I taught you to love the sea, and
    poetry, and how to fill yourself
    by showing kindness to others.

    You’d learn from watching me
    so I made thoughtful choices,
    but I was brave and bold.

    One day you began to fade away,
    you weren’t in my story, it
    became harder to imagine.

    I slowly let go of the little girl
    I’d never have, and reluctantly
    tossed out those pink suede shoes.


    The arena is packed, standing room only
    There is a distinct aroma in the air
    and the atmosphere is thick with it
    Heady with the amount of smoke swirling,
    I wonder if the strong police presence
    checked any of the bags coming in at all.

    No matter, I think, I am strapped to my drum-kit
    and even as it rises from below the stage,
    goes up above the crowd and begins to spin
    I know there’s no way I’ll fall; I tested this baby
    myself –

    I scream into the mic – one, and one two three four
    The guitars start to whine, I begin hammering
    out the rhythm…Mike starts to growl and we’re
    into the show…harmonizing as the strobes
    stroke the crowd, the band, the ceiling…

    No matter how many times we do this,
    it never gets old – sold-out shows, frenzied
    fans, all of them singing our songs, knowing
    all the words…most of them wearing
    our gear…and through it all, I play the drums,
    set the beat that is the tempo in our lives.

  11. connielpeters on said:

    Maybe Someday

    My husband and I travel in the summers
    (and enjoy it)
    in our brand new motor home
    (remember this is a dream).
    We go to churches across the nation,
    (stay a week or so)
    paint murals in Sunday School rooms,
    sing at services and write stories
    of God’s workings in individual members
    (Miracles Among Us).
    We use our millions we make
    (don’t laugh)
    to help ministries help others.

  12. connielpeters on said:

    Walt that’s on my bucket list, too. Of course my bucket list is 8 pages long, so chances are, it would be on it.

  13. Together

    People dear to me will move,
    out to the pacific northwest,
    right into my neighborhood.
    We will form our own community
    of family and friends, share
    our laughter, love, and losses.

    There will be no bosses, only
    equals. All individuals
    are free to do whatever they love
    most, and excel at it. Peace
    will reign, and the stains
    of terror, war, and hunger
    will be archives of another time.

  14. All Things Old and Glorious

    While I am healthy
    I think I’d like to see,
    the wonders of the world
    which have always amazed me.

    The Taj Mahal,
    the Pyramids of Giza,
    the Sistine Chapel,
    and the leaning tower of Pisa.

    I want to walk in the footsteps
    of great artists and voices,
    who came before me
    and so inspired my choices.

    Then I’d like to travel home
    and sit beneath the oak,
    listening to the birds
    as my soul disappears like smoke.

  15. Walt – lovely, lovely poem. I would love to hear everyone’s good words in person.


    Of everything I’ve sadly missed,
    the biggest on my bucket list
    is searching for my Holy Grail:
    to hike the Appalachian Trail.

    I seldom ever mention it
    for fear that someone’s caustic wit
    would cite my age, call it insane
    to hike from Georgia up to Maine.

    Yet still I linger in that dream,
    the wish a sadly fading gleam.
    To try would be a foolish fling.
    I know my chicken’s not in spring.

    But, oh, the sights these eyes would see
    were I to chase that destiny
    while clinging to a mountain ridge
    or scrambling o’er a rocky bridge.

    On footpaths filled with scents of pine,
    the birds sing hymns. This forest shrine
    plays host to ev’ry living thing
    and guides each one by gentle wing.

    With tattered map to mark my routes
    and feet in mud encrusted boots,
    the trail would yield the best reward:
    myself and nature well-explored.

    Each passing year, the plan grows dim
    as such a feat seems like a whim.
    But never does my dream go stale
    to hike the Appalachian Trail.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  17. Pingback: The Path Not Taken | Words With Sooze

  18. So wistfully and wonderfully expressed Susan…you make me want to do this with you!

  19. Pingback: Dusk | echoes from the silence

  20. DUSK
    (a shadorma)

    The sun sets
    on my bucket list.
    Plans unmet;
    wishes, kissed
    goodbye. Dreams of motherhood
    passed by with a sigh.

    P. Wanken

    I know…I didn’t follow the prompt…no happy endings.

  21. Nurit Israeli on said:

    Dream with Me

    By: Nurit Israeli

    Dream with me, and I
    will take you to my
    beautiful home by the sea.

    Come in. I will show you.
    It is everything
    I dreamt it up to be –

    nestled on a beach, with
    seagulls and ever-changing
    clouds hovering over the water.

    Dream with me. Embrace
    the morning sun as it breaks
    through the bay window.

    Stay. Rejoice in the
    setting of the sun on
    the wraparound deck.

    Stay. Wait for the moon
    to float low and flood
    each room with divine light.

    Stay. Drift off to the gently
    lapping waves. You’ll see,
    even time falls asleep here.

    Dream with me. For
    nothing is as beautiful as
    my home by the sea.

    Close your eyes.
    Stay open. Dream beauty,
    when the lights are off.

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