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


The re-launch of POETIC BLOOMINGS has rekindled our poetic pyres and has me highly enthused. It comes down to what Marie Elena and I had known all along. We had amassed an incredible array of poetic talent to inspire and by which we could be inspired. That’s a familiar feeling. As we had written last week, it is comfortable. Part of that sensation is having things that we are accustomed to having. A habit, a routine, a favorite…

One of the first prompts here at POETIC BLOOMINGS was something we called “PLAYING FAVORITES”. So, Sara and I want to resurrect this theme and ask you to join us for the fourth installment of this exercise.

Take a favorite line, from a favorite poem, by a favorite poet. Make that line the inspiration, a line or title of your poem. It could be a famous poet’s work… it could even be a poem from one of our own “famous” poets here at PB. We are not looking for a new interpretation of your chosen poem/poet. Make it a jumping off point,  shine a fresh new light on it and write your poem to one of our most popular (and favorite) prompts. And as always, credit the poet and poem that had inspired you.




Every time we drove to the city I’d
see it there, white as a white
shark in the shark-rich Bay, the bars like
milk-white ribs. No escapees. I’d imagine
what kind of depraved criminals were housed
behind all those steel doors and locks.
That is where bad little girls go, ones who
do not obey their parents, they would tell
me, laughing. I would shake, feel my pale
skin pop with goosebumps. It was hard
to determine which behaviors they considered
jail-worthy. It was hard to never feel safe,
sort of like little boxes lined up on a table,
and I would need to be able not to pick

the ‘bad’ box. Somehow I stayed out
of Alcatraz, but it still loomed like a shark
with razor teeth, ready to tear me
to pieces. I grew up. I married, yet
even now I cannot look at that forbidding
building, alone on an island.

***(This first line is taken from San Francisco, by Sharon Olds.
If you have never perused her work, you might want
to do so. She is an incredible poet, expressing honesty
that is sometimes painful to read.)




A man loves from the depths of his soul
for he knows that is the right thing to bring.
He guides and protects those in his charge,
he always looms large in their eyes.
A man will comfort cries and illicit sighs
through his tender and heartfelt compassion
and fashion a life meant to be copied; emulated.
A man will do his very best
and fill his chest with the treasures
his family and friends will offer;
making for very full coffers.
A man that is loved is a man that rarely fails.
A man such as he forever prevails.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


*** The tradition here has been that my example takes a line from a poem written by my co-host,
so from Sara McNulty’s poem, “MOST MEMORABLE”, the line is “A man such as he forever prevails.”

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100 thoughts on “PROMPT #183 – STILL PLAYING FAVORITES

  1. Not new – a shortened glosa based on PK Page’s poem which in turn is a glosa based on a poem by Neruda:


  2. Sara, and Walt, very nice.
    This is always a fun exercise. I will return later after choosing from OH, so many favorites, a line…

  3. flashpoetguy on said:


    They know how empty are the threats of crows,
    how their frantic fluttering black wings conceal
    the sun, their cawing streak around their heads
    in search of button eyes to poke away.
    Alone in the alfalfa fields, they stand
    unmoving. Only their flannel shirts,
    their coveralls, hats too made of straw
    are nudged by playful winds that scurry
    through the labyrinth of trembling leaves.

    Just exactly what do they know, these straw
    sentries? What do they care? What can they feel?
    Farmer Gray mutters his profanities;
    he shakes a calloused fist at the dark-bird sky.
    But the straw man stands on neither side
    of profit and gain, in the black, in the red.
    Those stuffed with straw know the gift of sunshine
    in which, without worry or distraction,
    they bask in the comfort of its rays.

    On the Edge of Wind

    Somewhere out of the wind,
    that’s where we’ll go,
    where noise doesn’t itch.
    To be lost in a willing
    calm, a sense of satin.
    And we’ll be like the night;
    as quiet as cotton, I say.
    And he holds his chest
    as if
    pledging a mission,
    says his heart is too loud,
    that it’s bursting out all over.
    It’s just like a bell — lurching
    and ringing and spilling all red
    like pomegranates, he says.
    So we follow a long white
    centre line down the road –
    must pay due attention
    to those solid double ones,
    because the highway
    has rules,
    and the Rules say that we must.
    No stopping on double solids.
    No standing.
    Must walk, he says.
    Rules are rules.
    Rules for rules.
    And then the sky springs open on us;
    tracks us with its gloss of rain.
    Somewhere, I tell him, we’ll find
    somewhere out of the wind.



    i. I’ll write another one that doesn’t share prompts today. It’s just that this one fits the bill, and I’m rather fond of it at the moment. I’d like to share it.

    ii. The first line is from “The Georgics,“ Bees by Virgil and translated by A. S. Kline, and introduced by Miz Quickly. I find that I am mesmerised by Virgil’s prose. It also includes 12 words from this week’s Sunday Whirl.

    Lost in Paradise

    Like a parched traveler who
    comes out of the deep dust —
    you laughed like bells ringing,
    despite this bloody journey.
    And I am an infernal silence.
    Jaw. Set. Steel.
    “Let’s go this way,” you say,
    “an adventure at every corner.”
    But there is just ever more
    and ever more distance.
    No rest. No streams that flow.
    No clean mountain’s breath.
    Lost. There is no more sport
    in this leafy green.


    Note: Line 1 and 2 are from “The Georgics“ — book IV: 67-102 “Bees – The Fighting Swam”, by Virgil and translated from Latin into English by A. S. Kline.

  6. connielpeters on said:

    From Janet Martin’s “The Oh-Zone,” line 22—“Oh, the bliss of grit and grace”

    The Bliss of Grit and Grace

    When man’s faith and God’s power entwines
    All things are possible, the good ones at least
    His answers break through like the glorious sun
    Reaches down and slays the loathsome beast

    Determinations and perseverance, a plus
    United with Holy God’s desire to love
    Sets off an explosion of divine power
    And blessings flood the earth from above

    A person, weak and frail, yet brave
    Walks hand in hand with the mighty One
    Exploring vast possibilities
    Until his temporal life is done


    Two decades passed
    Since liquor last passed my lips.
    Past pain eclipsed my gain;
    The ache of wounded heart
    Returned again to tear apart
    My fragile strength.

    Now what lengths will I go
    To hide the flow of the drink;
    Make everyone think I am well?
    Well, I’m not. I’m fraught
    With what brought me here.
    I can’t disappear. Couldn’t then
    When men, cavalier, had their way –
    Reduced me to prey.

    Two decades erased
    With a taste.
    My wholeness now broken,
    “Just take me,” unspoken,
    While hades trades truth for a snake –
    With each sip I take,
    I break.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2016

    “With each sip I take, I break” is a partial line from Peaceful Easy Feeling by Walter Wojtanik.

    (Not to worry about me, friends. This is fiction, though sadly based on the plight of someone dear to me.)

  8. Found the following verse on the cover of a daily devotional – and it sat well.

    For pictures feel free to visit: https://rustymidnightramblins.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/majesty/


    I Chronicles 16:27-29

    Splendor and majesty are before him;
    Strength and joy are in his dwelling place. (vs. 27)
    Forests of beauty, with vibrance and whim;
    Reflect but austere glimpse of His face.

    The unbridled know him and fear his name;
    Chasing clouds of thunder against the rain.
    Grandest peeks of granite hide in His frame;
    Bowing to his heart to become His fane.

    Clouds gain and lose form, from His whispered breath;
    Billowing storms and silent lambs of wool.
    Contained in His palm, the sky’s length and breadth;
    In His grasp, His hands more empty than full.

    Rivers and streams race to quench His thirst;
    Teaming with life from mountain to sea.
    Rivers of sand where the land seems accursed;
    Still bring forth His glory, as it should be.

    He that has done this, Holy be His name.
    It humbles me greatly that He knows my heart,
    Calls me beloved though I scorn His shame,
    Forgives my ways, though I fail my part.

    Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations,
    Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength (vs. 28)
    Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name. (vs. 29a)

  9. flashpoetguy on said:

    Inspired by Cesar Vallejo (1892-1938), Peruvian poet’s poem “Miguel.”


    All those years Mama worried
    late into the early hours,
    her rosary entangled
    in her praying hands,
    the crucifix swaying down
    the side of her sleepless night.

    Mama worried about you,
    Frankie, lost brother of mine.
    She prayed it would be God’s Will
    you’d find the strength to fight the demon
    of your addiction, say no once and for all.

    The day you died you took away
    The joy your living meant to her
    but through her grief she kept
    safe footing from despair.
    Mama trusted God Who lent you
    To her, then took him back again.

    I know in Heaven her joy’s complete.
    You pluck praises on your guitar,
    Sing his Holy Name, shine in his Light.
    No need now to fear or wonder
    About her youngest child.
    Frankie, bead to bead you climbed Heaven.

    Pretend I Penned This

    My lover asks me:
    “What is the difference between me and the sky?”
    The difference, my love,
    is that when you laugh,
    I forget about the sky.”*

    I sigh.
    Forever I’ll yearn to compose,
    In verse or prose, for you
    My love, and affirmation thereof.
    ‘til then, let’s kiss
    And pretend I penned this.

    © Marie Elena Good

    * “My Lover Asks Me” By Nizar Qabbani

  11. I am so happy to be in the company of such incredibly talented poets.

  12. (first line from “Think as I Think” by Stephen Crane)

    Croak Worthy

    I said, “I will, then, be a toad,”
    as if I had a choice.
    The force of rampant politics
    had drowned my croaking voice.

    I doubt he even heard me,
    while demanding me to think
    just as he thought, just as he sought
    to win me with a wink.

    But still my throat will ribbet,
    and my croak will utter forth.
    My voice may not be heard aloud,
    But I will know its worth.

    © Damon Dean 2016


    Oh, soul-enchanting poesy
    Like laugh-lines on the face of Time
    How barren were life without rhyme
    Nothing can take thy youth from thee

    The poet with lost thought must roam
    To bridle from the teeming air
    Color and sound, passion and prayer
    To fashion them into a poem

    Though ill may spill its cup of woe
    And stir the burr of want in me
    Oh, soul-enchanting poesy
    You soothe the chill when ill winds blow

    How fine the favor of thy gift
    You free love’s longing like a bird
    Yet bind her close with naught but word
    You set a fleet of sighs adrift

    …and capture in verse, fantasy
    A picture painted with blue ink
    Though dusk swaddles the earth in pink
    And white caps ride the turquoise sea

    Immune art thou to creed or greed
    But with a ministerial touch
    You breathe away gray days and such
    And succor rich or poor man’s need

    Oh, soul-enchanting poesy
    You uphold joy, a faithful friend
    And wave the banner of thought penned
    Into hallmarks of poetry

    © Janet Martin

    (first line from John Clare’s poem The Progress of Rhyme


    If my mother had lived,
    she’d be 95 today,
    and who could know how
    she’d see the world..
    If my mother had lived,
    would she be in awe,
    or, like the most of us,
    take what we have for granted?
    If my mother had lived,
    she’d have seen so many
    wondrous things, like
    trips to the moon and
    a vaccine for polio, like
    electric cars and
    a black man as president, like
    Dick Tracy fantasies become
    Steve Jobs realities, like
    Valium and artificial hearts,
    both of which might have
    helped her live.
    But my mother did not live,
    and she missed so many
    other things, like
    her son in Marine dress blues, and
    her son beneath a college mortar board , and
    her son so beautifully married, and
    her son at peace in a lovely life.
    Of course, she also missed
    too many needless wars, and
    too many hungry souls, and
    too much thoughtless avarice, and
    too much not being done about it all.
    I am sorry that she missed it all,
    even the bad, even the worst.
    I am sorry, Dr. Seuss, but
    I can’t smile because it happened.
    It did not happen long enough.

    (from “The Courage That My Mother Had”, by Edna St. Vincent Millay)

  15. Pingback: de Luna | echoes from the silence

  16. Here’s a link to my poem, with photo: https://whenwordsescape.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/de-luna/

    Here’s my poem:

    de Luna

    Laughing moon
    watches over me
    as I sleep.
    She lights me
    with her smile, comforting me
    on the nights I weep.

    • Whoops — forgot to give credit to Damon Dean for the line “laughing moon”, which he used in his boketta posted here at Poetic Bloomings. (Thank you, Damon, for such a fun 3-syllable line to start of my shadorma!)

  17. Pingback: For You… | Metaphors and Smiles

  18. Planting and running. I’m hoping to have a little more time tomorrow. Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

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