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


Village In Late Summer – Poem by Carl Sandburg

Lips half-willing in a doorway.
Lips half-singing at a window.
Eyes half-dreaming in the walls.
Feet half-dancing in a kitchen.
Even the clocks half-yawn the hours
And the farmers make half-answers.
Carl Sandburg’s poem has us gathering in the village square in late summer. There is a sense of community in a place where people gather, much like the Poetic Bloomings garden. Make the title of your poem VILLAGE ________ and write the poem about your community . Village Square, Village Idiot, Village Life… (of course you can substitute Town, City, Community, Island for Village as well. It’s about your dwelling place more than anything.


Half bleary-eyed when I wrote this one, and I’m not really pleased with it. So, I’m throwing up a Wild-Card! Staying with location, every big state, big city or even small town has a motto or slogan. Illinois is the “Land of Lincoln”, New York is the “Empire State”, NYC is the “Big Apple”. Around my neck of the woods there is the “Steel City”, “City of Good Neighbors”, the “Queen City” and “Cataract City”. If you live in an area with such a moniker, write that as your inspiration.

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  1. William Preston on said:

    I’ve been playing with this piece for 25 years…..


    It sits astride a river, flowing north,
    that feeds the small Great Lake. Years ago,
    its falls gave birth to miles of mills, and so,
    the founding fathers called it, “Flour City.”

    But time went by and migrants travelled forth
    to populate the West. The mills were slow,
    but when some scattered seeds began to grow,
    the fathers’ sons re-named it, “Flower City.”

    Such originality! Such a pity:
    today, its downtown gone, it’s getting pretty gritty;
    you’d think some poet would compose a better ditty,
    but nooooo. The Flower City flowers by committee.

    Music City

    There are moments. But most of the time–no.
    It’s just buildings going up. Way too many,
    way too fast. And the kids all glitz

    or tattoos. Who would have imagined
    a bluegrass upright bass bowing girl
    with illustrated arms

    could be so good.


    A merry land is OZ.
    The promise of new tomorrows,
    where sorrows are forgotten,
    if you can get past the rotten stench
    of wicked ambition, a condition
    full of hot air. Sailing in on a Gale
    and dropping in is a bitch
    if you land on a witch.
    Little ones come out of the woodwork…
    and flowering bushes and the rushes.
    All roads of gold lead to green,
    Scenery opulent and absurd,
    blackbirds are undeterred
    by straw headed men,
    rusted hunks are left for junk
    and the meek of the jungle
    tremble and bungle through life.
    Sunlight in the land of good and evil,
    a fight to retrieve head and heart
    and “braverism”. Home is merely
    a click away. Or two. Or three.
    There’s no place like it.
    It doesn’t take a wizard to figure that out!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik

    * With a tip of the hat to Seattle!

  4. It doesn’t take a wizard, but you are indeed one with a pen


    It takes a village holding hands
    in a giant circle unbroken
    to appreciate Heaven’s gifts.
    It takes so many eyes gazing
    up at the rolling clouded floor
    where angels and saints soft-step
    to music we’ve not heard on Earth.

    It takes a village sharing love
    in a ring of linking hands,
    of stalwart hearts beating as one.
    It shakes the many lies to dust
    spoken without the kind regard
    of those whom sorrow has touched
    to tears that wash away all hope.

    It takes a village praising God
    in hymns of adoration.
    It wakes the many souls asleep,
    hungry for a feast of grace,
    dreaming of eternal summer
    where sun and moon and stars fall short
    of God’s all-embracing Light.


    Village of Okauchee

    They still do fish fry
    in every corner tap
    on Friday nights,
    and all the restaurants
    dim the lights,
    have an overpriced
    family style, la-di-dah flap.
    It’s not all fried, but it’s
    mostly frozen cod,
    and there’s too many potato choices
    and, yes, my god,
    they even serve salads
    instead of creamy cole slaw,
    if you ask,
    which, honestly, should be
    against the law. Really.
    Growing up in a country village,
    there were only a few choices,
    Magowan’s and Roundy’s
    and my family’s favorite,
    by a chorus of voices,
    Stitch & Mary’s on the lake,
    with all the joy
    anyone could take.
    Friday was fish,
    always perch, always fried,
    and fries and cole slaw and little rye rounds.
    Saturday was chicken,
    always fried, to put on the pounds,
    and mashed potatoes and overcooked squash.
    The men all smoked, the woman danced,
    we kids played pinball, easily entranced,
    and drank some deliciously sweet lemon drink
    that led to type two diabetes, I think.
    No wine that I remember,
    but lots of beer for the older ones,
    and usually an Old Fashioned,
    just to top off the fun.
    Sunday was church and a picnic,
    But not in the winter,
    and sometimes not the church part either.
    I’m pretty sure
    none of this was healthy,
    but living where
    we do now,
    with lots of specialties
    but no traditions, no wow,
    the memories are savory,
    the recollections sweet,
    and somehow we’re still standing
    on dream-filled feet.

    You’re OK

    Great Rodgers and Hammerstein musical
    To the tips of the panhandle,
    Peanuts, cotton, corn, cattle
    Wheat, sweet potatoes, peppers,
    Windmill, oil wells, ranchers, preppers,
    Heart research, meteorologist experts,
    High school football, little league baseball,
    Legends like Will Rogers, Johnny Bench,
    College football ignorance is an offense
    Plethora of wildlife: wild hog, turkey, deer,
    And on Mt Scott, elk and buffalo appear
    Milky way and planets illuminate night sky
    And when we say, Yip, eh yippie I ou yah
    We’re only saying you’re doing fine
    Oklahoma, O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A—-OK!!


    Weather: sunny and warm
    Flora: black-eyed susans newly formed
    Architecture: Many styles,
    Customs: start with warming smiles.
    Mammal /fish: We love dogs; we raise fish,
    Childhood dream: Fran-Ceil’s soft-serve in a dish.
    Found on the Street: seventeen dollars
    Graffiti: A tag that reads “Holla, holla”
    Conspiracy: the Al-queda six
    Dress: Comfy and casual is our pick
    Hometown memory: Smokes Creek Floods
    Outside your window, you find: fine trimmed yards
    Today’s news headline: What ever spin the media wants to say,
    Scrap from a letter: “I’m sorry it has to be this way!”
    Animal from a myth: Sasquatch’s Baby Brother
    Story read to children at night: “Are You My Mother?”
    You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: some money
    You walk to the border and hear: “Got a looney?”
    What you fear: Losing my “voice”
    Picture on your city’s postcard: Any old building of your choice!
    Lackawanna where I was raised, honored on this twenty-eighth day!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

    Eau Claire and the Power of ‘AND’

    The river both divides
    and connects
    as it collects
    the sediments
    of all that flows by.

    As do

  10. Earl Parsons on said:

    Japan Summers

    Summers in the Land of the Rising Sun
    Summers are a time of celebration
    The cherry blossoms have fallen
    School uniforms are hung in waiting
    Families are on the move together
    Disney Tokyo is full to the max and
    The cares of existence are forgotten
    Summers in the Land of the Rising Sun
    Are like no other summers in the world

    © Earl Parsons

  11. Earl Parsons on said:

    Florida Summers
    Living them since ninety-five
    Loved every minute

  12. West Virginia

    Wild and wonderful
    almost heaven
    devastated by regulations
    miner’s hearts
    ripped apart
    like the mountains
    that once sustained them.
    Young people leaving
    the state
    leaving a culture
    a dialect
    a heritage,
    West Virginia
    what’s to become
    of you?

  13. Village Mayor

    Village Mayor

    Our village
    is really one street;
    not much more
    than a block
    that dead-ends with a walk-thru
    to a walking trail.

    The Mayor,
    an original
    of the street,
    knows everyone, young and old;
    shares the history

    and the news
    and the scuttlebutt
    about buying
    and selling,
    the living and the dying,
    arranges flowers,

    helps walk dogs,
    unblocks city drains,
    and warns you
    to secure
    your potential projectiles
    when a storm’s coming.

    An artist,
    she watercolors
    local scenes
    and wildlife,
    turns them into Christmas Cards
    she gives out each year

    in exchange
    for nothing other
    than living
    on her street,
    for living in her village,
    her being neighbors.

  14. Pingback: Poem: Village Mayor – Wanna Get Published, Write!

  15. connielpeters on said:

    New Florence, PA

    I grew up in a tree-filled valley
    and New Florence, “down street,”
    was about a mile down Shannon Creek Road
    and over Town Hill. Population 1,000.
    Most of the houses were white
    with “New Florence green” porches.
    There were a few basic churches
    and two gas stations.

    The Dairy Nook where
    we kids sat in the booth and left spoons
    balanced on the edges of hot chocolate cups.
    Or we’d go to the drugstore where
    we liked to sit at the only booth
    and order ice cream for fifteen cents.
    The table underside was dotted with gum.

    Deranaldo’s where you could actually buy clothes.
    The bank with the drinking fountain in front
    where the do-nothings hung out.
    A small grocery store called “Peck’s”
    where old guys and some young
    played pinball and drank coffee.

    Across the street, Trimble’s,
    another grocery store with a wooden floor.
    The post office had a bulletin board
    to post the town going-ons
    It was usually empty. The Laundrymatt.
    Kavinaughs, a little hardware store,
    where they also sold vegetables out front.

    Down past the “subway”
    which was really an underpass
    for the train tracks on top,
    a feed mill sat so long
    it looked like the wind would blow it over.
    Stuart’s Funeral Home and the library.

    Two brick schools–an old red one where my Dad had attended
    before my Grandpa sent him out to the country school
    because the town teacher had it out
    for the rascally red-haired boy.
    The newer yellow one where I went.

    New Florence doesn’t look like that anymore.
    They say they even have an Arby’s and a Dollar Store.
    The fountain still works but no one stands there.
    The Drugstore, Daranaldo’s, Dairy Nook,
    Peck’s, Trimble’s, the gas stations, they’re all gone.
    Most of the houses are still white
    with New Florence green porches.

    Keep Portland Weird

    Embedded in Rip City, Bridge City,
    and Rose City, are Oregon’s
    critter teams, Ducks, Beavers,
    and Timbers–a nod to logging
    days. Signs, shirts, and posters
    abound with “Keep Portland Weird.”
    No fears there. License plates
    not stamped with fir trees,
    proclaim Oregon Wine Country.
    Vineyards are plentiful, as are local
    brewers and distillers.
    What could be bad?
    You will never go thirsty
    while admiring roses
    from a bridge.

  17. Hey, did you notice when Hillary entered the garden? She must have seen today’s prompt….she was talking about it taking a village

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