PROMPT #338 – “HEY, THAT’S MY LINE” #5

It has been a while since we brought out one of our favorite exercises. One I use often when my muse refuses to get out of bed. You remember the spiel:

Take that “I wish I had written that” line from one of the poems posted at Poetic Bloomings, or of a poem you love, and for the moment, make it your own …  as the title of a totally new poem. But, be sure to credit the poet and poem from which it came.  Have fun!

MARIE’S PICK:

I’d Heal the World with Marigolds

The Marigold’s the flower of my birth,
Used often to adorn a sunny space.
She’s understated, sweet, and down-to-earth.
The meaning of her name is ‘winning grace.’

I think that there are lessons we could glean
From sun-spilled blooms of cheerfulness and charm.
The smile-inducing, humble, and serene
All seem to hold the power to disarm.


© Marie Elena Good, 2021


Title from “If I Could,” by Benjamin Thomas

WALT’S SELECTION:

MIDNIGHT ENCOUNTERS

He agrees to meet her at midnight,
always his favorite encounter. 
He loves the way she moves, 
her breathless sighs that emanate from
deep within her. Her skin is soft, 
it gives his heart a nudge. 
And her smile serves to melt him, to
 Help him breathe her in, for being
With her is a gift from heaven. It is hard
To not be enraptured by her with lips pressed
Together in a loving kiss, and
In the morning mist, find himself breathless. 

 © Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

**A Golden Shovel poem taken from “KINDLING” by Paula Riggs

midnight
encounter
moves from soft nudge to being
hard pressed and breathless.

153 thoughts on “PROMPT #338 – “HEY, THAT’S MY LINE” #5

  1. Marie, I love your poem…because I love marigolds… I have planted them around my veggie garden, and their little bright flowers always make me smile… I planted them there for a purpose… they help to keep the bugs away…so far they have succeeded…

  2. Walt the woman you love is truly blessed…The poems you write are simply beyond lovely…

  3. Walt, Marie, I will have to keep the lines I love in the future…Right now all I can think of is one poem I posted that I am totally envious of but written centuries ago, and one my father wrote…I have the quote of his written on a shelf of my pantry and I can see it when I am in my office…from his poem Today, “It is with Grace we live each day.”
    I will when I get back from church go hunt down the lines that I loved and am envious of…

    It was not the best of his work… his story poems were the best..but in the midst of this poem is one line… that stood out to me… I had it put on my parents’ tombstone…. the fact that my father dropped out of high school and taught himself to be a civil engineer, and a botanist and a poet… is a marvel to me… but here is the poem because it speaks of life… all his poetry rhymes…He said I was a better poet…But I never could recite my poems from memory and he had about 20 that he could… so here is the poem…

    Today by Joseph Archer Todd, SR.(better known to me as Da)
    Today
    In an instant, birth from thy mother’s womb
    In an instant, death and eternal tomb
    Between the two, a period of life
    Full of pleasure, full of strife.
    No man knows what lies ahead-
    A short time to live, a long time dead.
    It is thru grace we live each day.
    Whether at work or whether at play.
    It matters not what we say or do,
    Or where I footsteps lead us to
    It matters not what we see or find,
    Happiness is a state of mind.
    Live thy days one by one.
    Don’t fear tomorrow; it may not come.
    Don’t keep the burdens of the past,
    For time is ever fleeting fast.
    You cannot cheat time in any way,
    For all you have is in today.

    Joseph Archer Todd, SR
    1915-1987

  4. THERE IS ROOM TO BREATHE NOW
    (Inspired by Erin Kay Hope’s “Conflicting Thanks”)

    Out here
    the atmosphere
    renders everything clear
    and bids doubt, cautiousness, and fear
    vamoose.

  5. Haven’t thought of marigolds in a long time, Marie. Won’t forget them now, thanks to your wonderful poem.

  6. Thanking Unseen Peepers for Evening Frogsong

    How many times,
    racing barefoot past the goose pond,
    did I hear those tiny frogs singing their songs
    for all they were worth?

    It was a sound of my childhood.
    A delightful song
    Steady and constant
    A sound I was thankful for.

    It wasn’t until I was an adult
    I heard the full story.
    To my surprise those peepfrogs
    hadn’t always been there.

    When my aunt and uncle
    were about to be married
    they bought that bit of land
    from my grandfather.

    My uncle noted there were no peepfrogs
    like he used to hear where he grew up.
    So the young lovers
    sloshed in a muddy pond by his home.

    They laughed together while catching
    enough peepfrogs
    to begin the peepfrog population
    on their land.

    The story taught me
    to appreciate
    the efforts of the people
    who have gone before me.

    (Title is line from Pat Anthony’s “The Well” June 7, 2020)

  7. Good morning dear poets. Thanks for sharing this prompt. On a day that I needed it most your words matter. Beautiful poem, Marie. Thanks for the shout out! Excellent poem Walt. That form is impressive. Always love a good word of romance!

    • Hi Benjamin. I’m finally getting back here, Monday evening. I chomp at the bit every week for time to come peruse the poems here. I’m not sure what was going on yesterday for you, but I’m glad a little poetry was helpful. And thank you for your great thought regarding marigolds. When Walt set the prompt, I knew right where I was going with it.

      Hoping/praying all is well for you.

  8. Marigold – another word for Marie Elena! Wow…beautiful poem by beautiful poet! I’m so, so glad I have marigolds planted in the baskets on either side of our gate! 🙂

  9. Walt! Imagine the surprise when I saw your selected line…thank you for taking my few words and expanding them so beautifully!

  10. I STAND BENEATH ETERNAL STARRY SKIES

    I stand beneath the starry skies,
    contemplating why the aged starlight
    travels afar to reach my eyes.

    I hope to find the heavenly comfort;
    a sense of healing for dissilient thought—
    on imminent verge of violent rupture.

    I stand beneath the starry structure,
    sedated; accepting cosmic sutures—
    surgical care, and a sense of future
    comfort for ravelment of mind.

    The title and line from – How Comfort Happens by William Preston.

    Benjamin Thomas

  11. I can only access last week’s prompt so the first one is a line that is dealing with my sleepless nights…

    Another sleepless night isn’t much of a surprise…

    Getting my mind to shut down…
    Is no easy feat…
    It is why I fall asleep to the television
    Engaging my mind
    While my body shuts down…
    And sometimes it is a movie…
    With good music…
    That gently memorizes my brain
    Until it is asleep…

    The reasons I can’t sleep are many…
    I am planning the next day;
    I am working out a plot line;
    I carry on a one-sided conversation
    With a friend (not here) but the answers are all my own
    (I figure I will deal with this for until I find the right answer,)
    And sometimes I hear a bump in the night,
    Knowing sometimes I did, but
    Most of the time it was one of my cats
    Partying the night away.

    Last night even my brain was tired,
    And then there was an accident
    Not a bad one, but enough of one
    To keep me awake for an extra hour
    And I thought…
    I am not surprised…
    It has become the norm…
    I am sleepless in Starr,
    And here’s hoping to a night of sleep
    With no bumps, interruptions, accidents,
    Or otherwise….

    I can hear my father say to my mother
    For she was a night owl like me,
    “Louise if you were living right,
    You could fall asleep.”
    As for me, I blame it
    On that night owl gene
    I inherited from my mother,
    And maybe a little of what Da said to her.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 13, 2021
    “The Barren Land of Boredom” by Benjamin Thomas…

  12. Here Shall My Heart Find its Haven of Calm

    Dear Friend,

    I don’t always expect nuance from myself,
    yet once in a while, it just pops out,
    most often in a poem,
    frequently inspired by another person,
    their writing or speaking.
    Someone like you.

    Sometimes, when there is a strong breeze,
    it blows right through the hole in me
    that was formed by my own
    unmet dreams and expectations.
    Not so when I think of you.

    As busy as I know you to be,
    I’ll only take a minute,
    just to tell you to a certainty
    that the world I know is
    better because you’re in it.

    (Title taken from a line in “June Sunset”, by Sarojini Naidu)

  13. Here Shall My Heart Find its Haven of Calm

    Dear Friend,

    I don’t always expect nuance from myself,
    yet once in a while, it just pops out,
    most often in a poem,
    frequently inspired by another person,
    their writing or speaking.
    Someone like you.

    Sometimes, when there is a strong breeze,
    it blows right through the hole in me
    that was formed by my own
    unmet dreams and expectations.
    Not so when I think of you.

    As busy as I know you to be,
    I’ll only take a minute,
    just to tell you to a certainty
    that the world I know is
    better because you’re in it.

    (Title taken from a line in “June Sunset”, by Sarojini Naidu)

  14. I know this is not exactly right but I have long wanted to write a poem on that line I loved of my father’s poem today that I posted earlier..

    It is with Grace, We Live Each Day…

    Each morning
    I am briefly surprised
    That I have made it through the night…
    Each morning I am giving another start
    In the day ahead…

    Sometimes,
    I forget when I look back
    Or reach forward
    That I am missing the moment
    I am living…
    The moment I can give love…
    For it is in those moments
    Where we are present
    That love is given…
    Not to those we failed to give love
    On days we will not live again
    Or to those out there for us to meet.

    It is how God loves us…
    In the moment we are in…
    He has this whole timeline,
    And we are a blip on that line,
    But He gives us grace in now…
    It is how I get through the day…
    Moment by moment
    Filled with grace notes of love
    Played out in a symphony of the divine.

    I saw a squash flower this morning,
    By noon it had done its task,
    And the flower died
    For the fruit to be born…

    Who I was when I started this journey
    Has changed… I was the flower
    Now I am the fruit…
    It was grace that brought me to here…
    It is grace that gets me through each day.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 13, 2021

    “Today” By Joseph Archer Todd, Sr. sometime in the 1970s

  15. Making Certain it Goes On
    I want to take it all in the way Hugo wrote it
    transform Seattle and the Pacific Northwest
    waters into an inland sea here in Kansas

    make people sit up and take notice
    of hundred pound catfish groveling
    but happy on the bottom of the Kaw

    and gazing into murky water see
    past the old whips of peeling willow
    to the larger metaphor for anchoring

    to the land and know it’s the reality
    of your world and not gravity that keeps
    your feet damp with afternoon rain.

    [Richard Hugo poem and collection
    by the same name]

  16. An Old Song Plays In My Mind

    Unspooling like
    an old reel of film,
    my mind unravels
    the words of Maggie May
    by Rod Stewart. Husky
    and rasping his voice
    takes me back
    to a time in my
    twenties, when lover
    was all I ever wanted
    to be. I listened
    to a lot of Rod Stewart.
    Most people I know
    associate music
    they love with events
    in their lives. I am
    awaiting the next
    tune to unwind.

    (Line taken from Mike Bayles
    for the prompt of hard and soft)

  17. Hot Days

    Summer in the south…
    Is filled with
    Muggy,
    Sweaty,
    Sultry,
    Steamy,
    Sweltering,
    Scorching,
    Sticky,
    Stifling,
    Airless,
    Baking,
    Roasting,
    Boiling,
    Humid,
    Oppressive
    Days,
    And in the south
    We are united
    In one-way the rest
    Fail fully to understand.
    We have survived summer days
    Melting like ice on broiling asphalt
    While trying to breathe the beastly steamy
    Air-craving that our bodies had gills to breathe.
    From the cradle to the grave they say, we have survived
    Those endless summer days, when clothes seem are a hopeless
    Obstruction making them stick against our heated bodies while knowing-
    There is a hush-hush hole drilled in the ceiling of Hades letting the heat escape-
    Steam into the atmosphere-water in a boiling pot rising scalding the skin of your face.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 14, 2021
    From Will Preston’s poem from “When July comes in June”

  18. Mike Bayles

    Day of Roadwork

    ticking of the universe
    only so much time
    from sunrise
    to build a universe
    or road through the land

    what is taken is
    given back in measures
    fresh asphalt shimmers dreams

    landscape changes
    life’s passage
    in a solitary moment heard
    ticking of the universe

    Ticking of the universe
    From Working Order
    By Dora Malech

  19. Inspired by Walt’s Under the Moon of Whispered Desires. “This could lead to something more.”

    THE PRICE OF PEACE

    A treasure chest was found of untold wealth.
    This could lead to something more.

    The seeds were sown although the soil was poor.
    This could lead to something more.

    The way of peace is an untrodden path.
    This could lead to something more.

    Consider the cost and do the math.
    For this could lead to something more.

    Benjamin Thomas

  20. There is one poem that I am envious of the poet who lived in the late 1880s. I know I am breaking the rules here, but that is me… I will post the poem below and there is so much in this poem I love…I just hope I do it justice…

    As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;

    The day is at an end, and I stand in my garden,
    Tilling the soil, before I water my plants growing
    From day to day the progress of life
    From birth from the earth, until their time is done,
    And the harvest is finished….

    The sun casts light dancing down the hill
    To catch like a fisherman to reel us into his light…
    I see the common grass glow and shimmer-
    In light divinely formed in centuries before I breathed
    And I know like those plants that I am growing-
    The harvest will be soon finished…

    But it is not yet finished, and I have things-
    That I must do before I go,
    And as I pondered upon these lofty thoughts,
    I saw a bird fly into the beams of sunlight,
    And the feathers upon its back glowed
    As the embers in a fire… yet…
    Not the color of fire of this earth…
    For a moment in which it took
    This common bird to fly from one tree
    To another… it feathers flashed
    The glow of heaven…

    In these sunny beams of fire,
    The dragonfly which comes often
    To visit with me… big bulging eyes,
    And laced black wings… a creature
    So odd yet filled with creative beauty…
    Each line of those gossamer wings
    Shine a black that is not black
    Because black does not glow,
    And in the sunlight the wings glow
    As if they caught fire, and
    It sits down on a leaf of my tomato,
    I see its wings are stain glass work
    As the leaf like a church window
    Glows as light travels through it…

    I have seen once those colors
    That have no name on this earth,
    As I walked through a cloud
    They gleamed all around me,
    But others called me back,
    And I am left with a memory
    Of those colors, and have hungered
    To see them again,
    And on this hillside garden,
    As the sun was setting,
    I glimpsed them again,
    As earth turned from the sun
    Into the twilight…
    I felt the peace
    I needed to feel…

    The dragonfly flitted away
    And I smiled as I left my garden…
    Blessed by the sunlight blazing
    Over me while at the task of tilling.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 15, 2021

  21. As Kingfishers Catch Fire
    BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
    As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
    Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
    Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
    Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
    Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
    Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

    I say móre: the just man justices;
    Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
    Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
    Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
    Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
    To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

    I cannot even begin to explain why this poem moves me so deeply…but it does… I was watching on PBS Lewis, a mystery show, and one of the main characters was reading the last three lines of this poem to his aging father…I had to read the rest… and then I found this poem…I posted it on FB last week saying if I was envious of any poem not written by me … it is this poem. As I have been working in my garden, I have been visited often by a black dragonfly…

      • He saw things deeper than most… when I read the lines about the rocks in this poem… I hear that verse that says…the rocks will praise him…

  22. Inspired by

    Under the Moon of Dreams Come True
    by Sara (PurplepeninPortand)

    LOVE IN THE WILD

    Howling,
    in the strength
    of the full moon—

    Still salivating,
    He hungered
    for her words

    Like a wild
    animal seeking
    to satisfy

    Its most
    basic need
    for survival.

    She stood waiting;
    like a lily,
    in the midst

    Of the lush green
    valley thirsting for
    torrential rains—

    That she would obtain,
    her in the time
    of need.

    Benjamin Thomas

  23. SECOND CHANCES

    The blazing iris of the sun
    ushers in a new day.
    Yesterday, gone and done,
    the blazing iris of the sun
    misses no one.
    Whoever’s gone astray, whatever’s fallen to decay,
    the blazing iris of the sun
    ushers in a new day.

    //
    The blazing iris of the sun
    borrowed from The Hard Truth
    by Benjamin Thomas.

  24. Inspired by Erin Kay

    Success Measured in Breaths
    “working through some inner conflict”


    SEIZING DESTINY

    My days are spent,
    working through some inner conflict;
    wrestling against demons of self,
    ill-will emotion-typhoons with sustained winds.

    Not sure if I rise again,
    walk again, speak again;
    with this determined super-sized gorilla
    growing on my back.

    He’s always on the attack,
    waiting to see me crumble
    under the weight of the beast;
    observe the vertebrae in my spine crack,
    while he’s cracking up—mocking.

    My days are spent,
    working through some inner conflict;
    praying to stop a runaway freight train,
    barreling down the tracks with the air brakes
    snapped.

    The soles of my shoes
    on fire—having long faded away,
    due to the relentless frictional force
    it takes to slow an angry eighteen thousand tons
    at high speed.

    But this my need,
    and I pledge my fealty to the king,
    who brings me grace to wrestle defiant demons,
    and to sing—a commanding calm to fiery oceans.

    Placing all whirling emotions,
    in check—while he’s on the deck of the boat
    re-navigating, voyaging, setting sail amidst clear blue skies,
    to a destiny that was previously disguised.

    He doesn’t remove
    the oversized gorilla from my back,
    but rather super-sizes puny legs with strength;
    gives my back an extended length, to rise again,
    run again, speak again.

    He doesn’t remove
    the angry runaway freight train from the track,
    but rather picks up the slack, trains me to be the conductor
    and operator of my own destiny.

    Benjamin Thomas

  25. Inspired by Paula Wanken’s Kindling
    
“hard pressed and breathless.”

    AUTUMN’S FIRSTBORN CHILD

    I am a lost leaf blown astray in cantankerous winds,
    hard pressed and breathless.

    I skirt about the earth to and fro, again,
    stricken in sun-star’s faithful simmering heat.

    I am the offspring and autumns firstborn child,
    a reckless withering, spawn of nature’s glee.

    I am a maundering leaf newly released—I am free,
    but now deceased, wandering and devoid of beauty.

    I skirt about the ground, up and down again,
    skipping, flirting, twirling within aimless breezes.

    I am a lost leaf grieving about in whimsical winds,
    tossed therein, mourning memories as it teases.

    Benjamin Thomas

  26. Inspired by William Preston

    UNDER THE MOON OF MANAKOORA
    
“to spend the balance of my days”

    PERILOUS WEIGHT

    I cannot sleep,
    I am drunk on the pain
    called life.

    Intoxicated from the need
    of relief for wounds
    inflicted.

    The perilous weight
    of living bears down
    on an arthritic state of mind.

    I feel the daily grind
    of bone on bone,
    the hopeless terror of immobility.

    I crave the endogenous
    opiates of happiness, and joy,
    but suffering from a constant
    bout of withdrawal.

    I hope not to spend
    the balance of my days
    in want and need—
    of the agility of freedom.

    Benjamin Thomas

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