When Rogers would dance with Astaire
    she was quite the delight of the pair;
    although Fred, so superb,
    danced from ceiling to curb,
    I kept following her derriere.

  2. Dear friends, Sorry I have been absent for this wonderful challenge. Walking with my brother through the Valley of Death took all my energy and then some. Now that he has passed through the veil, I can take some time to regroup. May be adding poems when I get a second or two free. Miss you all. Looking forward to feeding my soul on your amazing words. Blessings, Linda

    • We’ve missed your voice and followed you on your journey with your brother, Linda. We mourn your loss with you and are here to help you regain your footing. Take the time you need to get back to the garden. The challenge will remain accessible if you wish to complete it. Know the love and strength that is around you.

      • My humble amen. And love. It has been a lovely thing, seeing the love of family out on FB, Linda. God bless you all, and help you through this loss.

  3. PRAYERS FOR THE FALLEN, by Walter J Wojtanik

    Prayers for the fallen soldiers,
    (They), the men and women who had dared.
    (They) who had dreamed and bled.
    (They) were left for dead.
    (They) Faced the fire of hell
    in every battle and storm.
    (They) Carved their fingernails into stone
    and opened the doors of freedom,
    many bodies returning in brown boxes.
    (They) Sadly, rarely made the papers.
    God give rest and bless the fallen heroes.

  4. MOM

    I. You told me of the love in my eyes for you
    when you first held me in your arms
    the day I was born.
    Is it any wonder.
    I knew you, and had already experienced
    the gentle warmth that was you.

    II. All my friends thought me the luckiest girl
    to be able to call you mom,
    even though you didn’t tolerate misbehavior
    or disrespect. They saw the love right through
    the discipline. I tried to emulate you,
    but it seems that isn’t the same as
    it being a part of who you are.

    III. I saw how the mention of you
    brought warm smiles.
    Your gentle demeanor,
    laughter, and love
    were contagious.

    IV. I understand being an introvert,
    and I ponder with amazement
    how you dealt with that part of you.
    You could have written a “how to,”
    I believe. I understand more and more
    the sacrifices you made.
    The way you encouraged others,
    and always had a kind word to offer.
    The way you treated everyone
    with the same level of respect.
    Fiercely loyal to those you were closest to,
    in ways that had to have been draining.
    But we didn’t see that you were drained.
    You would simply go “rest [your] back
    for a few minutes,” or “rest [your] eyes.”

    V. You were my moral compass,
    and still are. I feel your nudges.
    I hear your gentle voice. I pray
    I inherited more of you
    than I see in myself.
    From womb to death,
    and now beyond,
    I thank God for the blessing
    of you.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2019

  5. I’m thinking about calling this collection Grandma’s Braided Rug. So this is the poem I had to write:

    Memories imprinted on my heart
    emerged over this past month,
    beginning with a braided rug
    and soaking my soul as glmpses of
    wool woven with whispered memories.
    Clothes too worn to be repaired were
    scissored into strips to repurpose as a rag.
    Leftover sewing scraps, and when necessary,
    a sack bought at the store bought for a sawbuck.
    If I looked closely I saw my favorite flannel granny gown,
    and my mother’s old wool coat.
    A long, broad needle injected magical memories into the braids,
    holding them together,
    making sense of such disparate scraps.
    A bit like Grandma’s life, perhaps:
    a line of piano keys
    a cuddle of kittens
    a bakery of cookies and chocolate mayonnaise cakes
    a pair being baptized, learning together.
    Piece them together and you have a
    collage of family, love and belonging,
    Grandma’s glue and me.

  6. I Rise….

    I rise in tribute
    To the many in my life
    Both past, present and future
    That made me who I am

    I rise in tribute
    Giving thanks for all who gave
    Of their wisdom, love and time
    All the bricks that built this man

    I rise in tribute
    With a hope that I might be
    To my children an example
    Of what a real man ought to be

    I rise in tribute
    To the One and Only God
    My Protector and Salvation
    Who for life has guided me

  7. This is one I wrote to honor a very very dear and close friend of mine who struggle severely with addiction. It seems appropriate to share it here, even though it wasn’t written specifically for this prompt.


    I suppose when cravings for poison
    introduced in past moments of pain
    threaten to pull you to ocean’s floor
    and you remember the relief of
    oxygen to your lungs,
    you might find it irresistible, this temptation to
    breathe –

    even if it is one breath.
    Even if it threatens
    to fill your lungs with death.

    But she –
    she would rather not breathe

    than return to the venom her body craves.
    She would rather hold her breath,
    while waiting for her Redeemer
    to meet her in the depths.
    To lift her face.
    To breathe life to her very soul.

    She calls herself an addict.

    I call her a child of the God who Saves.
    I call her brave.
    I call her inspiring.

    I call her friend.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2019

  8. Encouragement

    You can do it, he said,
    when I was 41 and working
    in the circus rings
    of Wall Street. Cheaters
    to the left of me, racists
    to the right. My friend
    had read some of my writing,
    and urged me to take a class.

    Terrified, I signed up for
    an evening writing class
    at NYU. Elizabeth was an inspiring
    teacher. She helped me learn,
    and suggested books to read
    on writing. Meeting other writers,
    listening to each other read–
    in quavering voices–marked
    a huge change in my life. Now,
    cannot imagine not writing.

    I am only sad that I could not
    share this with my friend. His
    life ended on September 11th.

  9. Betty Slade

    My first twenty years writing,
    I avoided poetry like poison ivy.
    Most poems I read, I had no idea
    what the poet was writing about.
    I wanted my writing to be understood,
    not some mysterious code. But sometimes
    unsolicited poems popped out.
    I shoved them in an envelope marked,
    Poems: finished and unfinished.
    One day at an artists and writers retreat,
    the director, Betty Slade, asked me to read.
    Working on a novel at the time,
    I read a couple of my poems,
    since they were short. The attendees’
    enthusiastic response surprised me.
    Betty told me I should put my poems in a book.
    So I took out the big old envelope
    and finished and revised them.
    From that experience, I learned
    how to write poetry without waiting
    for them to materialize from strong emotion.
    Betty lit the match causing a poetic explosion.

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