The idea of a “bucket list”, a wish list of the things we’d like to accomplish in our lifetimes, brings our mortality into focus. But where as in the movie “The Bucket List”, the accomplishments read like a checklist, we asked you to pick one item to highlight. And even though I offered you a chance to spin it in a positive light, you had the option to be realistic about your ambition. Two such poems have garnered the designation for Brilliant Blooms. The emotion and subject matter of both poems mirrors each other. Millet Israeli and Paula Wanken, thank you for sharing these painfully beautiful poems.

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.

(C) Millet Israeli, 2014


DUSK by Paula Wanken
(a shadorma)

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

P. Wanken

The form, Rondel, followed script as most French forms do, with the repeating lines and rhyme formats. But the twists presented made these pieces a bit more challenging. The poems have a lyrical quality to them, and in that tailor made for a troubadour. William Preston fills that role admirably to take this bloom.

TROUBADOUR by William Preston

I sing a song of ancient days,
when knights were bright and love was pure;
I sing of one whose sole allure
was beauty, manifest in ways

more numerous than sun-shone rays
that grace a vale as if on tour.
I sing a song of ancient days,
when knights were bright and love was pure

and lovers, lost in life’s great plays,
were wont to revel, swift and sure,
to confound primogeniture.
And so, with might that might amaze,
I sing a song of ancient days.

copyright 2014, William Preston

We honor Millet, Paula and William on their selections, and thank the rest of our fine poets for their great work.


  1. Congratulations to Millet and Paula for such heartfelt and heartrending poems, and thank you, Walt, for the honor.

  2. An unexpected gift for my cloudy Saturday morning! Thank you… I applaud Paula and William on their work – an honor to be in such good company.

  3. Congratulations, William, Paula, and Millet. Seeing my daughter get a bloom warms my heart. Memories of her first poems when she was just a little girl − exploring big questions with newly found words. Just yesterday…

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