Our guest today is “Rhymes with Bug,” so time to grab your coffee mug (or tea, or what you most prefer), and join me in my time with her whose real name’s Candace Kubinec, which I can’t rhyme.  So what the heck, let’s jump into this interview to learn some things we never knew about this poet in our midst who writes the poems we can’t resist!

While intro’s rhymin’, Candy’s chimin’ in with verse, as we converse.  So gather ‘round to join the fun! You’re not too late.  We’ve just begun. 🙂


MARIE ELENA:  Hi Candy! Thank you for sitting down with me to chat a bit.  Walt and I love being able to get to know more about the people we rub poems with here in our garden.

And speaking of gardens, your blog name (“rhymeswithbug”) fascinates me.  It’s just the cutest thing!  You actually say bugs are your little muses.  That made me smile, and want to know more.

CANDY:  I’ve always been an “outsider” –  I mean an outside girl. 😉  There is an amazing tiny world out there that most people just pass by. I’ve been a garden-for-fun person for most of my life. I remember having my very own flower garden in elementary school, even though neither of my parents were gardeners. About seven years ago I became a Penn State Master Gardener and that was when I really started paying attention to the world of insects. I took pictures of every critter I came across – it is amazing what you find when you begin turning over leaves. Seasons, weather, birds, animals, and of course, bugs – all muses for my poetry.

Simply Me

 I am blue ink
and garden dirt
with subtle notes of lavender

I write with my heart
and dig with my muse
to the depths of my very soul

solitude is my friend
my inspiration is silence
mixed with the soft music of nature


MARIE ELENA:  That’s just so endearing, Candy.   And a Penn State Master Gardener?  That’s awesome!  How did that come about?

CANDY: I found out about it from a friend at work. The purpose of the program is to serve as a resource for science-based gardening information to the public. The steps to becoming certified begin with an application. Then there is an interview, about 90 hours of college-level education, and a test. This is a volunteer organization, with education as our main function. To maintain our certification, we must meet volunteer hours and continuing education requirements yearly.

MARIE ELENA:  How fun.  Impressive, actually, and sounds like a lot of work.  I can tell it is a passion of yours, along with your poetry.

Will you please share one of your favorite poems (one of your own) with us?

CANDY:  I have to tell you, I had so much fun reading through what I’ve written over the past three or four years. It was like reading old diary entries.

This, I think, is one of my favorites. It was written in response to a prompt at d’Verse Poets Pub in February of last year. It’s an Ekphrastic poem inspired by a painting by Catrin Welz-Stein of an elephant and a tiny cat together in a small boat. It speaks to letting go of prejudices and preconceived notions and getting to know each other better, one person at a time. I think that is the path to peace.

The Journey

Come be my friend
Just for a while
Set sail with me
Just for a mile

Let’s see the world
Through different eyes
Discover truths
We thought were lies

Let’s trust our hearts
To know the way
To find the words
With which to pray

For fellowship
And peace and love
An olive branch
A snow white dove

Come be my friend
Just for awhile
Set sail with me
Just for a mile


MARIE ELENA:  That is just lovely and insightful.  The peace is palpable.  Thank you for sharing it with us.

So how did you get into writing poetry?

CANDY:  I think it may be the other way around – poetry got into me. It probably started with nursery rhymes. Unfortunately, I don’t remember learning or memorizing poetry at school. My mother did keep a poem I wrote when I was thirteen – I found it among her things after she died. I also have a notebook of things I wrote in high school. Mostly typical high school girl stuff, but proof that I was writing.

MARIE ELENA:  It makes me smile that your mom kept a poem you wrote as a teen. Do you write anything else?  Novels?  Perhaps short stories?

CANDY:  I have written some short stories (mostly flash fiction) and have had some published in a local literary journal, The Loyalhanna Review, and I’ve had a number of 50 word stories featured on fiftywordstories.com. I get bogged down in the middle of short stories, so I don’t see me writing a novel, although, I’ve had ideas.

MARIE ELENA:  Congratulations on your publications! What are your goals in writing?

CANDY: I write for the pure enjoyment of creating. I especially like to write poetry for friends – to make them laugh, or smile in that I-hear-you sort of way.

Haphazard Words

I’m just gonna
plop some words
on a page and hope

that they will arrange
themselves into a poem
or a novel or at least
some sage advice

that they might dance
romance, entrance
an unsuspecting reader

that they survive,
arrive in time to patch
a broken heart, or two

produce, seduce, let
loose a laugh or even
a guffaw, a cackle
or a silly snort

I’ll set them free
no guarantee or
warranty attached


MARIE ELENA:  What (if anything) gets in the way of writing, for you?

CANDY:  Well. I’m retired, so if anything gets in the way of my writing it would be me. Or, maybe some other project I’m working on – painting, sewing, gardening – so many ways to express myself. Also, I read, a lot. I’m a chain reader – ready to “light up” the next book before I’ve finished the one I’m reading.

MARIE ELENA: “Light up the next book.”  That gave me a good chuckle!

What do you most enjoy about writing?

CANDY:  What I’ve learned about myself is that I need to be creating – something. And what I make, I like to give away. Poetry fills that need in many ways.

MARIE ELENA: How lovely and generous, Candy.

Is there anything that bothers you about the process of writing?

CANDY: At this point in my life there is not much that bothers me. Since I’m not looking for a career, money, or fame, there’s no pressure. If the words don’t come, I let it go for a while. Most likely I pick up a book.

MARIE ELENA:  What a great attitude.  That’s good advice for all of us to heed.

As with the majority of us here at Poetic Bloomings, we met online at The Writer’s Digest’s Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer.  How long have you been sharing your poems online?

CANDY: I think it was sometime in 2013 that I found Poetic Asides. I started doing the Wednesday Poetry Prompts (still do). My first Poem-A-Day challenge (PAD) was in 2014. I wasn’t sure I could actually write a poem every day, but I managed to post something each day. It was May of 2015 that I started my blog because of a suggestion that De Jackson (whimsygizmo) made.

MARIE ELENA:  Leave it to De!  I’m glad she encouraged you to get that blog created.

Have you ever shared your poems in a public space, like a poetry slam?

CANDY:  For the past five or six years, I’ve attended the Publication Party for The Loyalhanna Review and I usually read one of my poems or part of a short story that is included in the latest issue. I have always loved to read out loud and my job, as Corporate Activity Director in a retirement community, had me speaking in front of groups on a regular basis. I did poetry groups with residents too, and presented a session on writing poetry with residents at a conference once. I’ve come a long way from the shy little girl I once was.

MARIE ELENA:  Corporate Activity Director in a retirement community?  Apparently the hats you’ve worn in your lifetime have been many and diverse.  My parents lived in a very nice assisted living community.  They had a woman there for a while who had a similar title as yours.  She was such a lovely soul, who genuinely loved the residents.  We were sorry to see her leave. She made a difference in their lives.  I’m sure you do, too.

CANDY:  Working in activities is so rewarding. You get the opportunity to make someone smile, laugh, feel useful, sing, remember …

MARIE ELENA: *sigh*  Yes.  You’ve got it, Candy.  Just, yes.

Now, back to writing for a moment.  What can you tell me about your writing space?

CANDY: I do not sit at a desk. I have a favorite soft chair with an ottoman. It is in a room we call the library, only because it has three tall bookshelves. So, I do my best writing when I am alone, sitting in my favorite chair, with my feet up. I used to write in journals, but now I use my iPad. I would change nothing about my space.


I have no office
just a comfy chair
and shelves with books
where I can close my eyes
and dream of letters dancing
across a stage, twirling in the
spotlight, doing the tango
together until at last,
exhausted, they fall in a
heap of tangled words
i pick them up and
set them free
I have no office
just a comfy chair
where I can dream


MARIE ELENA:   We are alike in that manner.  Sounds perfect, to me.  So now we can picture you writing in your comfy chair in your home in Pennsylvania.  Is that where you grew up?

CANDY: I grew up in Greensburg, PA., a mid-sized town about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh.

MARIE ELENA:  How did growing up there help form who you are now?

CANDY:  It was a pretty typical childhood for that time period (50s and 60s). My home life was peaceful and I was taught to respect everyone. There was always music and books in our home. So, I guess that describes me – a no drama, music loving, book reader. And it probably explains why peace shows up so often in my poetry

MARIE ELENA:  Again, that sounds pretty perfect to me.

Is there a Mr. Kubinec?  Children?  Pets?  Besides your muse bugs, wink wink. 😉

CANDY: I have one husband, two sons (both married, and each one has a daughter), and two white cats – Lenny and Squiggy. (I did raise and release some Monarch butterflies a few years ago.)


MARIE ELENA:  Two granddaughters?  Another thing we have in common, Candy.  Can’t beat it, eh?   It sounds like you have lived a relatively simple life, and appreciate all you have.  If you could change one thing though, what would it be?

CANDY: Well, nothing. Here’s why – If I changed one thing, many other things would also have to change. I have the two best sons in the world, the two most adorable and intelligent granddaughters in the world, the dearest friends any one could ever need, and a husband who loves me. Why would I want to change? I have, of course, played that “what if” mind game. But my answer is always the same.

MARIE ELENA:  That is just fabulous.  I feel the contentment just sitting here “chatting” with you.  Let me ask you this:  In spite of (or in addition to?) your obvious sense of contentment, do you have a bucket list?

CANDY: No ticking off items on a list.  Instead, I’ll start with an empty bucket and enjoy filling it with all the wonderful surprises life throws at me.

Unbucket List

I will not make a buck-
et list
all things I’d like to do

then tick them off
one by one
until my bucket’s
empty and I am left

instead I will drop some-
thing into my bucket
each day
a kind deed, an adventure

with a four year-old,
a trip, a concert, an un-
expected email,
lunch with a friend

oh, I’m sure there will be big
surprises in my bucket too
and when I reach the end
of this life

I will spill out all the
wonders my bucket
holds, smiling in
gratitude for my full bucket


MARIE ELENA:  “I’ll start with an empty bucket and enjoy filling it with all the wonderful surprises life throws at me.”  Love it.  And that poem is up toward the top of my list of “favorites” of yours. Worth the price of admission, right there.

Candy, it has been an absolute joy getting to know you better.  It seems that over the years, your poems have been a reflection of who you are at your core.  Thank you for allowing me to delve a little deeper.  Plus, it was so much fun having some of your responses accompanied by appropriate poems!  Brilliant!

And now, as always, I’ll close the interview with this:  If there was only one thing we could know about you, what would you want it to be, and why?

CANDY:  I have two favorite mugs (I’m sure you are probably wondering why I want you to know that about me). One has a row of different colored Peeps (the marshmallow candy chicks) and it says, “Inside we are all the same.” The other has a quote from Michelangelo (maybe), “I am still learning.”

Remember Me

a book
a cat
a cup of tea

a smiling heart
an open hand
some garden dirt
beneath my nails

a flowered pen
a simple poem


Now, this next poet has been a favorite for quite some time. And the selected poem fits her persona extremely well. She, of the purple pen (formerly of the Great Northwest) and back home in her East Coast digs, Sara McNulty has always been equated with “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (in my mind’s eye, anyway), as you would see on her blog’s background wallpaper. But beyond that, her experiences well documented through her poetry, have made her an inspired poet to say the least.  Sara had held fort as the Co-Host of POETIC BLOOMINGS when life had forced its will on Marie Elena, and quite a partner she had been. She honors our pages with her works to this day, always supportive and gracious. Here in true form, Sara channels Lewis Carroll in her poem, “Into A Tale.”


I stepped inside the pages inked
in vibrant shades that seemed to wink.
A caterpillar sat and smoked;
he blew out words, but did not choke.
The March Hare asked me to decide,
did I want tea? I stepped inside.

Such strange creatures I ran into,
a cat that vanished right on cue.
A rabbit who was always late,
a queen whom you could not debate.
Back at home, I told my teacher
of those I’d met, such strange creatures.

(C) Copyright Sara McNulty

This poem was presented for the INFORM POET – WRAPPED REFRAIN


Sara McNulty’s works reside at her blog,


Read Marie Elena’s interview with Sara McNulty at



Smile through trouble and grow though constant effort!

Through our lives we learn what we do best. And we also come to know what drags us down: our strengths and weaknesses. We can choose to breeze through the good times; we might struggle through the not-so-good times. But we find it is always better to deal from a position of strength. Give it your best shot, with your best shot. Be it physical, spiritual or mental, use your strength as motivation and pen your poem!


“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him —  my father’s God, and I will exalt him!”  (Exodus 15:2)

My Strength and My Song

When weakness takes me to my knees,
My Father’s arms will lift me.
When terror causes me to freeze,
His truths set all my fears free.

My Father’s Son became my Lord
When I was just a child.
To Trinity’s melodious chord,
My soul was reconciled.

I feel His might.  I hear His voice –
Astounding grace extended
From One whose love compelled His choice:
From Heav’n above, descended.

He is my strength.  He is my song.
I hear His vict’ry ringing!
He’s held my heart my whole life long –
How can I keep from singing?

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

Cadence and final line are both from the Christian hymn “My Life Flows On,” often attributed to Robert Lowry (1826-1899)



Meeting adversity well is the source of your strength.
for the person on the top of the mountain did not fall there.
People do not fail… they give up trying.
Trust that your skill will accomplish what the force of many cannot.
One who climbs a ladder must begin at the first step.
You see, the race is not always to the swift,
but to those who keep on running.
Every today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday
So, do not worry. You will have great peace. Remember,
when fire and water go to war, water always wins.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2019



A Villonnet is a hybrid of the Villanelle and the Sonnet.   It has the Iambic Pentameter of both, but holds the four-stanza/line structure of the sonnet, while utilizing the two-line rhyme nature of the villanelle. The final stanza replaces the sonnet couplet with a typical villanelle tercet.

The Villonnet was created by D. Allen Jenkins.

An example Sonnet:


Love is the tender trap that snares the heart,
from eyes’ first glance the ember’s passions start.
And so to bless two souls in search of love,
who in each other’s heartbeats they do move.

The snare so baited lures her to his arms
where he becomes enraptured by her charms.
A gentle hold upon him she does reign,
to touch his very life and soul again.

He, once the hunter now becomes the prey,
the tender trap is set to save his way,
a sanctuary there within each chest;
a safety sure, procured in nurture’s nest.

Evasive hearts surrender, for ’tis true,
there is a tender trap set just for you!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

A sample Villanelle: 


Time and tide waits not for any man,
both will come of their own will, not yours.
So, pick your spots and stick to the plan.

Take on challenges the best you can,
and waste not your minutes and hours.
Time and tide waits not for any man.

As seeds that are planted in the sand,
we will wither and die like flowers.
So, pick your spots and stick to the plan.

The time that we borrow comes from His hand
doled out through Celestial powers,
Time and tide waits not for any man,

live your lives and make no demands,
this gift washes down in Loving showers,
So, pick your spots and stick to the plan.

Our fates are held within His hands,
go boldly forward; do not cower,
time and tide waits not for any man,
so, pick your spots and stick to the plan.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012



Another verse that’s written from my heart,
a true emotion searching for repose.
Just a room in which it can take comfort,
a soul museum to display my art.

A biting poem piercing like a dart,
a loving poem like a lover’s kiss.
The saddest poem anyone could read,
to let a foolish poet play his part.

For in his heart is where his poems start,
expressions written from the poet’s soul.
They all come home to live inside his words,
a world in which all reason will depart.

Another verse that’s written from the heart,
these poems live and breathe in every rhyme.
A soul museum to display my art.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2019



In today’s installment of the POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM, we open the book on one of our longest standing participants here in the garden. His story is a fascinating read when splayed out in his poems and prose, and who knows what else that describes him. He loves his family and his country, and that big eared mouse down Florida (and California) way. Proud of his military background (as are we) and could be considered a patriot. His faith  has been his saving grace and shows itself in almost everything he presents. And his heart is on display clearly in the works of poetry he has offered here at POETIC BLOOMINGS and other sites with which you are familiar. He has traveled a very diverse road and we’re happy he has chosen to share his heart here. In the 25th edition of the PBRR, it is appropriate that I give you Earl Parson’s “The Road”, from Prompt #190 – Going For The Gold”.


No medal
No trophy
No gold at race’s end
No winners
Or losers
More road around the bend
Through summer
And winter
The road goes on and on
No heat waves
No snow days
A champion must stay strong
A challenge we will meet
Life’s road will not defeat

© Earl Parsons

Earl Parsons’ work can also be seen at his blogs:

The Outspoken Patriot

Walk ‘n’ Talk’n’ Christian

Marie Elena’s interview with Earl Parsons can be viewed here:



A new destination can provide great opportunity!

On a recent trip to visit my daughter up Ottawa way, I was reminded more times over that the motto of the province of Ontario is “YOURS TO DISCOVER.” How does a discovery motivate you? What discoveries have you made, or would like to make? It doesn’t have to be an earth shattering revelation. It could be as simple as finding out that you truly can stick a square peg in a round hole (if you hit it with a big enough hammer!). Take us on your exploration, and together we’ll discover what you uncover. Poetry is your Ontario. It is yours to discover.



I discovered the simple life I lead
does not lend itself to major discoveries. 

Or so I thought.

Then I discovered something major
in leading a simple life: 


Not as in settling.  As in
being settled.
No big dreams, met or unmet.

Then I discovered contentment
does not breed motivation.

Or so I thought.

But lo and behold,
contentment inspires thankfulness.
Then thankfulness – praise,
and praise – a relationship with my God,
and relationship with my God – contentment,
and contentment – thankfulness …

And I am content
with this



inspiring discovery. 

© Marie Elena Good, 2019




Listen. My own natural voice speaks.
It was discovered quite by accident.
Far and wide have I searched
grateful for these unexpected blessings.
The moments could never be forgotten;
the search will be over and
it took only a lifetime of reaching to realize it.

Ponder the vision beheld and decipher the message.
A poet’s heart believes in all things,
the divine beloved had been waiting inside me all along.
I write to discover new worlds, to unearth buried emotions.
This is nothing new, no surprise;
I want to uncover, slowly discover
slicing through silence with clean, cold precision.

These moments of discovery are revealed at a slower pace
rife with love, they become a new reality,
a million tiny pearls; golden treasures.
I have learned buried treasures await to be found,
if only I could see the secret majesty
hidden among the azaleas with their purple blooms.
There are times that I’ve missed all that is around me.

Now without a moment’s hesitation,
I will long to find the far end of every rainbow,
peaceful natural beauty unfolding in a peaceful and natural way.
Loving freely, shared with new found friends.
The earth is filled with such glory.


The 7/5 Trochee was created by Andrea Dietrich, and it consists of 2 or more quatrain stanzas with the following set rules:

Syllable pattern: 7/5/7/5
Rhyme Scheme: a/b/c/b  or  a/b/a/b
Meter:  Trochee

“Trochee” means alternating stressed and unstressed beats in each line.  In the 7/5 Trochee, each line begins and ends with a stressed syllable. So each quatrain (4-line stanza) sounds like this:

DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM
DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM

This is a simple lyrical little poem, so rhymes will be basic —  nothing fancy. The poem itself should give a description of something of interest to the poet. There is not a set number of quatrains, but a typical 7/5 Trochee would consist of two quatrains, with the second serving to tie up the idea presented in the first stanza.



Christmas Day had come so quick,
sure it had to come.
Now the snow grows nice and thick,
it’s a pain for some.

I’ve retired from my big ride,
I have earned my rest,
from the missus I must hide,
as you might have guessed!

Reindeer sound asleep on hay,
workshop neatly cleaned,
ready for next Christmas Day,
it’s a restful scene.

Every day should be the same,
as all Christmases,
sure as Santa is my name,
that’s how Christmas is!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019


This next segment of the Reading Room will feature past poems (selected randomly) from our contributing poets at Poetic Bloomings and all of its subsidiary sites. In true garden style, we had started with a seed to spur our growth as poets. Back in May of 2011 Marie Elena and I embarked on this journey to provide a place for poets to propagate their poems. We’ve come far in nearly eight years of service. In that span, we had ventured into different re-incarnations of this site, going from POETIC BLOOMINGS, to CREATIVE BLOOMING. From PHOENIX RISING POETRY GUILD to POEMS OF GARDEN GNOMES. But Marie and I have proven, you can go home again. We had come to agree that it was time to kick start the original site in (most of) its glory.

So for this piece to ponder in the Reading Room, I offer Marie Elena’s first attempt for our very first Sunday prompt at POETIC BLOOMINGS – “It Starts With a Seed – Prompt #1”. Her poem is entitled: OF DANDELIONS AND MANICURES


One edges, tidies, snips, and trims,
Who knows nothing of dreams and whims.

One scatters dandelion seeds,
Who understands a daydream’s needs.



Again, I ask all contributors to confirm our permission to re-post your poem. A simple “yes” or “no” response in the comments here will suffice. As always, you retain all rights to your works. We only serve to help promote it. A link to your current blog/website would also be appreciated. Thanks, Walt.



We talk of muse. As poets, it can be our best friend. Muse is a kind of motivation. It gets us writing. So let’s get motivated. For the next thirteen Sunday prompts we’ll be inspired by various nudges of motivation. It can be the featured concept, or you may be inspired by the accompanying quote about the subject. Or come up with a quote of your own and expound on that motivation.

As long as we’re on the subject, what motivates you? Write a poem about what moves you to write. Then we’ll delve into the different concepts of motivation.



“So you write your novels, if that’s what you do,
Or scholarly texts, or cerebral world view,
While I write my lighthearted, fun-to-write rhyme,
Then do it again for the ten millionth time.”  ~ Marie Elena Good, 2009

Now sometimes I write some political stuff –
Some downers and bummers, and, oddly enough,
It isn’t dependent on what’s in the news,
Nor spotting and schmoozing with some obscure muse.

What moved me back then and still moves me today
Is the awe of my God – and to this end I pray:
That whatever I write, be it witty or grim,
It will honor my God, and point others to Him.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019




I share my words.
They have become my passion.
I would fashion my thoughts into poems.
But I would never show them to anyone.
No one would ever know my heart
and I would start to doubt the power
that lived in my linguistic pursuits.
I felt smothered under the weight
of their gravity. I felt this need
to dispatch my words into the cosmos.
I would feed my poetic beast,
a feast of the rhymes I would prepare.
And it is there I get my fire.
I have this desire to share my words,
no longer one of my fears,
it brings me to joyful tears.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019


The Shadorma is a Spanish poetic form made up of a stanza of six lines (sestet) with no set rhyme scheme. It is a syllabic poem with a meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5. It can have many stanzas, as long as each follows the meter.



He stood tall
beside one so true.
It was him.
It was you.
He carried your torch longer.
It made him stronger.