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


I have been dealing with loss lately. So we’ll purge that from my system once and for all, and the best we can with this prompt. Write about something or someone you’ve lost. Or write the converse, something you’ve found or gained or won. Don’t lose sleep over writing a winning poem!



My sister and I are unhappy
each time Father’s Day rolls around.  We have recently
added Mother’s Day.  We imagine
what our parents would say,
today, about the upcoming election
and general chaos.  Both were
politically involved.
Today in Manhattan, we celebrated
my Aunt Sylvia’s ninety-seventh birthday.
My cousin and I found each other
again after years.  Nothing like a reunion
with Italian food and chocolate
blackout cake.  We remember
with tears, those we have loved
and lost, but we smile and feel lucky
about those we still have.




The phoenix rising,
back from the dead.
Lazarus called,
he wants his life back.
Lost in the depths
of a broken spirit,
left in the lurch
with much more to say.
You stand in silence,
wishing for the return
of your sanity, and
your security, and
everything else you’ve lost
or leaves you feeling empty;
dead from the floor up.
The randomness of words
tossed together with ease
and flair, brings your voice
from deep within you and
gives cause to express
every heartfelt pang,
poem and passion,
delivering your work
to an appreciative audience,
offering peace and
confidence to your lifeless
rhyme. Infusing your heart
and soul with the breath
of a million soft sighs,
for the poet has found
his promise and drive.
Once again alive.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

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66 thoughts on “PROMPT #187 – WINNING AND LOSING

  1. Both poems are gorgeous. Walt: I’m glad you have your words back!

  2. Sara: So glad you were reunited with your cousin. What better than Italian food! Chocolate blackout? I’ve never heard of it, but oh the very sound of it. 🙂

    Both of you lost parents too soon in life. I’m so sorry … and for this most recent loss of yours, Walt. I pray for you, your wife, and your gorgeous girls.

    Walt: your poetry always strikes a chord. And that’s what it’s all about. ❤


    I used to think in the photo
    sometimes your eyes
    would blink, your lips
    tremble slightly.
    I would stare hard and long,
    Waiting for miracles,
    for you to wave
    your hand at me.

    In dusky light, in morning sun,
    I stared away,
    pretending life
    had never changed,
    that death had failed to conquer you,
    that you had found
    a place to hide
    far from Death’s wrath.

    I told myself to keep the faith.
    You would return,
    absent yourself
    from the spring scene
    of that photo, leave behind trees
    and your sidewalk,
    and suddenly
    come back to who

    you were to me,
    father and friend,
    not a snapshot anymore, not
    old memories
    poured into this broken heart,
    not a shadow
    but flesh and bone.


  4. William Preston on said:


    In Warsaw, a lass was accosted
    by a lecher whose locks were all frosted.
    He enticed with biscotti;
    she knew her karate,
    so she gave him a zloty and lost it.

  5. William Preston on said:

    Walt, for me your poem moves poetry beyond practice and discipline to be a living thing.

  6. William Preston on said:

    Sara, for me your poem crerates a vision of a dinner by candlelight. In my case it’s a seder I used to see through the dining-room window but the ambience is the same. Wonderful.

    Loss can be peculiar
    Sometimes trading nothing
    For something

  8. William Preston on said:


    Some cheeses
    grow better with age
    but this cheese
    does not please;
    as it ages, it rages
    and the stomach turns.

    Take Backs

    I long for the time when we were small
    when sisters biggest fights involved a ball,
    who got the front seat or the red popsicle,
    who had to dry the dishes or set the table.
    I wish “no take backs” still involved a toy trade
    instead of the words that can now forever keep us apart.

    Losing It

    I am the Queen of Crazy!
    My throne is my recliner
    my scepter is a computer mouse.
    I demand complete nonsense in my kingdom.
    I rule with jokes and laughter.
    No Laws or militia allowed.
    I have to admit though,
    chaos reigns.

    Lost My Mind

    It has to be here somewhere!
    I had it just before.
    Don’t try to help me find it:
    I’ll lose it even more.

    I’ll get it back together,
    I’ve done it in the past.
    I’ll be quite sane tomorrow,
    but it will never last.

    Of all the things I’ve searched for
    this one eludes me most,
    mental instability
    haunts me like a ghost.

    Oh look! I think I found it,
    a spark of sanity;
    Though I’m more fun without it,
    I think you will agree.

  12. Truly lovely poems from you both, Sara and Walt.

  13. This was also inspired by Miz Quickly’s “Changes” prompt, so I’ve wiggled two into one here.


    Pressed Between Estop and Ethiopia

    I’ve never heard a cuckoo sing.
    I lost that moment of spring
    to the big city, to its noise,
    and roar and smoke and feet,
    which might explain why I press
    flowers and leaves between
    unabridged dictionary pages,
    (usually between estop and Ethiopia)
    in weighty books and scrapped paper,
    and waxed sheets for swollen stems.
    And those autumn leaves, just fallen,
    gaunt and red and turned copper,
    lined, prodded and straightened
    like a story retold for bedtime,
    suitable pages of heavy darkness,
    hidden like illicit love letters.
    And then years later, by accident,
    you stumble across that pressed moment,
    there between estop and Ethiopia,
    and its phantom wings are thrown
    open into a long and found embrace.
    Such a fragile beauty it’s become,
    an emaciated memory so near dust.
    A faint twitch of sleep that dreams.
    Like an acorn — lost by stealth.

  14. Two for one always works for me! I love where this took me! And I certainly must get over to MQ to check in!

    My God and my Bod Both Love a Little Humor

    I’m getting around
    in a used body now,
    recently found
    it’s when, not how,
    that matters.
    We’re just passing through,
    a few times like new,
    usually in tatters.
    All things ephemeral,
    they come and they go,
    it’s a good thing, in general,
    to think this, to know
    that if we would be happy,
    to prosper, to thrive,
    it’s best to be joyful
    about being simply alive.
    We all want to live
    as long as we might,
    to keep keeping on,
    to fight the good fight,
    and continue with chances
    to come up to bat,
    but we don’t like what happens
    to a body which does that.
    It’s all over too soon,
    in a flash, in a blink,
    and none of us has
    as much time as we think.
    As for me, I think,
    before my last bow,
    I’ll aim to be present
    In the here and the now,
    And what will I think
    as I lay down to rest?
    I hope when I’m gone,
    I’ll be less of a pest.

  16. connielpeters on said:

    Missing Something Missing

    I lost something small,
    hardly noticeable at all,
    except to me.

    Now that it’s gone
    it practically ruins my day
    I’ve lost my way.

    I’m aware that it’s missing
    every moment
    and I’m wishing

    as the week passes
    to replace the stem
    for my glasses.

  17. Yes, the optical irritant! I hate when that happens! 😀 A warm chuckle here!

  18. Pingback: Winning At Life | echoes from the silence

  19. With a crazy “turned upside down” week, I have found myself returning often to a place of seeking peace.

    If you want to see a picture accompanying this poem, go here: https://whenwordsescape.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/winning-at-life/

    I will be posting this for this week’s Inform Poets prompt, as well.


    Morning glory
    leaves me feeling
    hopeful; kneeling,
    I ask for grace.

    Full of love He
    turns to my face…
    here, in this place
    you seek, I give

    grace and mercy.
    You’ve learned to live
    My heart, your sieve–
    and peace remains.

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