PROMPT #423 – HOW TO __________

We’ve all seen or heard of the series of instructional books “For Dummies.” They even seek to provide a “Complete Idiot’s Guide” to nearly every endeavor known to humankind. They all seek to show “How To” do something. Admit it, we’ve all attempted to search You Tube for instructions about something or other.

So this week we look to you to provide poetic information on how to do something. How to use a left handed ganglion wrench. How to boil water. How to write a “How To” poem. Tell us what to do, or more importantly, how to do it. I assure you we will be better served for it!

MARIE’S GUIDANCE:

How to Recognize Yourself

In somewhat of a hurry, she quickens her steps. Her eyes shift right as her side vision catches a glimpse of scurried movement in a store window.  In what seems like a nanosecond, her eyes are looking ahead of her again.  Just like that, her pace slows drastically, as her eyes again shift right in a nearly imperceivable attempt to pull themselves together.  “No,” they try to convince themselves, “that is not her.  That is not us.”  She allows herself to come to a full stop.  She turns to face the window, to stare into those eyes that betray her.  The woman staring back at her has sparse brows, and even sparser lips.  Her shoulders droop, negating the fact that she feels erect.  Her upper arms sag.  She wears sensible shoes.  She doesn’t know what the big hurry was.

Eyes search for signs of
former beauty.  Christ reminds  
us, we are His bride.

© Marie Elena Good, 2023
 

WALT’S TUTTILAGE:

HOW TO FORGET A TRUE LOVE

Forgetting a true love?
The formula is simple.
For the one who held your heart
has been equally held in return.
You yearn for it to keep you filled,
keep you fulfilled, but it doesn’t all ways.

So, you weed through your feelings,
dealing with the pain and heartache
(and it may even break you).
But you choose to linger
as you trace your finger around your heart.

And so you start.
You discard every picture in your mind’s eye,
but it isn’t possible. Each and every memory lives
and breathes within you. Every twinkle of the eye,
each smile that warmed your heart takes you back
and you realize you can’t forget.

You find the cards and notes that you wished you
could have just discarded, but you have 312 reasons why
you couldn’t bring yourself to do it. 
Each word of affection gave direction to your heart
and you start to think of her again in that way.
Every X and O to end the session was a message that 
rooted deeply, filling you completely and bringing you
closerthanthisclose once again. 

And then you realize
how much you ache for that look, that smile, that kiss
that could bridge a gap 1600 miles wide if need be.

And there’s this catalog of poems you had written
to show you were smitten by her very being,
Looking at her as if you were seeing her for the first time,
for the thousandth time. 

The sound of her voice had soothed you
as if it had chosen only your ears to placate and sate with whispered
nothings that sweetly thrilled you. 

It kills you now that true love had sailed away,
It failed you in a way that saddens you to this day. So you vow to forget,
to let bygones be and you see it isn’t easy. Your stomach is queasy.
And you determine there is one and only one way to forget a true love. 
You don’t. You just carry the baggage, the guilt, the pain and all the loving memories
with you for the rest of your life. You should forget your old phone number.
That would be so much easier.

© Walter J Wojtanik - 2023

#422 – THAT SAID …

Words said to children may be healing, or harmful. Inspiring or spirit-squelching. Today, we have three options to inspire our poems:

1. A memory of something said to you when you were a child
2. Something you’ve overheard said to a child
3. Words you’ve said to a child

Choose one or more, and share your words with us. We look forward to being inspired by you, as always.


Marie’s Poem


Eleven

Mature well beyond her years and big for her age, she is not a girly girl.  She looks very much young adult, and is sometimes mistaken as such.  Those her age can’t relate to her, nor she to them. Yet in the midst, her kindness for all, shines. Her laughter comes easily.  She faces young adult assumptions, expectations, misperceptions, and uncertainties.  She seeks clothing and hair styles in an effort to make her more comfortable in her own skin.  Today, we are at her Christmas-gift hair appointment. Appointment complete, her stylist says, “Pretty.  What do you think?”

Eyes in mirror smile
while unexpected soft voice
slips, “I am pretty.”

© Marie Elena Good 2023



Walt’s Message

Our youngest daughter came home from Ottawa to visit. The whole family got together for dinner, including my three years old granddaughter Brooklyn. What I will relate to you is not a poem, but a story she relayed to me. She climbed up on my knee and very seriously she said:

“Poppi? (Me)
My Papa died. (Her other grandfather)
He fell down and hurt his head.
He was in the hospital
and he’s an angel now.
He watches me.
That makes me happy and sad.
I miss him.
I sit in his chair because he doesn’t sit there any more.”

She paused and looked up at me.
“Poppi…?
Don’t die.
You can watch me from your chair.”

The tables were turned.
She provided the words of wisdom.
From the mouths of babes…

I promised myself to live for her until the day I do die.
So far, so good.

***

Her grandfather Michael was a casualty of the Blizzard of 2022. What she understands amazes me.

#421 – WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

To piggyback on Sleepless in Buffalo’s sleep prompt last week, let’s let our dreams inspire our poems this week. Dreams may come as we sleep, or as daydreams. They may be life-long goals. Dr. King had a dream and we honor him for his vision. What are your dreams?

Here’s to sweet dreams.


Marie’s Visitation

Visit with Grandpa

Walking up my street,
I see a man walking toward me.
Aww.  Looks like Grandpa, I think,
knowing it couldn’t be.
As we get closer, there is no mistaking.
Yes, it is Grandpa. 
I don’t want to wake up, and miss out.
He approaches me.
“Grandpa!”
He gives me a hug.
As is nearly always the case when I dream
of the dead, all senses are engaged. 

“Grandpa, what are you doing here?”
He says he came to tell me not to worry about
circumstances that were consuming me. 
Everything would be just fine.

Then he says, “You know I can’t stay.” 
Yes, of course.
I just don’t want to lose him again
so quickly. 

“But I will come back,” he assures. 
He hugs me again, and,
just that quick,
he’s gone.

My long, detailed dream continues.
It seems to last a good portion of the night.

Suddenly, there he is again. 
This time, he doesn’t speak. 
His silence stills me,
while it declares a grand reassurance.

I wake from the dream,
recognizing it hadn’t been merely a dream.

And I smile.
When he said he would return,
I hadn’t realized he meant
that quickly.
That night.
That dream. 

© Marie Elena Good 2023



Walt’s Vision

PERCHANCE TO DREAM…

Night falls clumsily,
tripping over every wink, and blink, and nod.
A nocturnal clod, cohort of the sandman,
deliverer of sleep and nightly nocturnal visions.

My mattress beckons,
soft and trance inducing,
seducing me with thoughts of slumber.
And if I should such sleep require,

do I venture yet to dream?
For my nights used to provide
essential rest for my survival,
but most times I feel deprived of repose

for reasons not so clear
when nightly noises reverberate in my ear.
At times I find myself nodding
off to a place midway between

hibernations and dawning,
third star to the right,
and straight on ‘til morning.
These short catnaps are wonderful things

until my internal timepiece
loses moments to a snoring snooze.
But, fall asleep I do!
This creative soul tosses and turns

in Technicolor dreams, disrupted
by disorders of the night.
A narcoleptic siege pulls my eyelids shut.
Anytime, every time, anywhere, everywhere.

Disruptive sleep apnea
slaps them right open into
a sleepless stare.
CPAP be damned

if insomnia pays a call
and curse the midnight hour
should I take a somnambulistic fall.
Were I to approach a drowse tainted state,

my RLS will shake me, wake me kicking and flailing.
And then I remember the REM
and I slip into dream stage
as rapidly as my eyes can move.

One evening, I can fly.
No wings, no plane, just a soar
into the wild blue yonder…

There’s a loving reunion.
Sandy beach, roaring surf
and you back at my side…

A chase ensues, thrilling
and suspenseful, dangerous
and life threatening…

I’m riding on a bullet train,
the red-eye to morning,
strafe with innuendo…

Erotic arousals
in exotic locales,
every night…

Free-falling from the pinnacle
of an endless precipice
jolted awake by the treacherous landing…

Caught in a sensuous embrace
with a ravenous vixen.
We inch close to that passionate kiss…

…and my damn alarm
gives me a rude awakening.
Sleepus Interruptus!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik

PROMPT #420 – TO SLEEP, PERCHANCE

I’ve been having a recurrence of my sleep issues … it’s all that’s on my mind of late. So to exorcize those demons, I’m asking for sleep poems. Poems about sleep, not to put me to sleep. Getting the words out of my system may have great effect.

MARIE AWAKENS:

Not to Mention the Smell of Wet Wool

Thought by now I’d be asleep,
but I’m not, because these sheep
will not let me close my eyes,
will not sing me lullabies,
gripe and whine and bleat and cry,
in from rain, they then drip-dry
on my pillow and bedspread,
on my PJs and my head,
arguing amongst themselves,
busting up my bedroom shelves,
dancing with their noisy hooves,
(must admit they’ve got the moves)…
I could just go on and on.
Woe to me, here comes the dawn.
Counting sheep must be unwise.
Next time, I’ll just close my eyes.

© Marie Elena Good, 2023
WALT DRIFTS:
THE SLEEP NAZI
(No sleep for you!)

Tossing,
turning,
yearning for the rest
I crave. Save me
from this tossing,
turning.
Burning the midnight oil,
toiling,
spoiling
my need for sleep.
Keeping,
weeping for relief
my belief is
tossing,
turning,
is churning in my head.
Stuck in this bed
without a clue
what to do,
how do you keep
asleep while I’m
tossing,
turning,
discerning my plight
I’ve been up all night
learning,
returning
to my
tossing,
turning.
Sandman fighting,
Bed bugs biting,
I’m begging on my knees,
please, oh pleazzzzzzzzzzzz.
WHAT WAS THAT?
Tossing,
turning.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik 

PROMPT #419 – NEW


Happy New Year!

For this week’s prompt, let’s simply explore the word “new.” Some thoughts: a new year’s resolution, a different poetry form to try out, a new baby in the family, a change in career, or even news that has captured your attention.

Big hugs to you all in 2023!

MARIE’S POEM

New Word for 2023

Each year, I choose a word.
Grace, joy, giving, hospitality, empathy, prayer …
You know, words that improve my focus
and my life.
Not one for resolutions,
the idea of a word of the year appeals to me.
It is simple.  Embraceable.
I nearly chose prayer again,
but after much thought and, well, prayer,
I decided on open
Open heart.
Open door.
Open to grace, joy, giving, hospitality, empathy, prayer …
Open.
And I’ll open 2023 in prayer
that my Lord will more fully open my heart
to His open arms. 

©  Marie Elena Good, 2022



WALT’S POEM

BEGINNING ANEW

Starting from here;
going on from now.
A fresh start is at the heart
of all that is to come.
A brand new year
came to call, and all
that transpires grows
from the seeds planted
in those twelve month prior.
That fire in your belly
spurs you on, a prodding
giving the nod to better things.
A fresh start is at the heart
of perfecting your art.
It’s all up to you
to begin anew.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

PROMPT #418- UNCOMMON LOVE

Today, as much of the world celebrates Christmas Day, let’s turn our hearts to love. Not just the way we Americans use the word (I love my coat; I love your hair; I love this song), but love in the truest and purest sense of the word.

And in the spirit of the season: God bless us, everyone!


Marie’s Love Poem

“Let earth receive her King.” 

King of Uncommon Love

Where are the humble kings?
Those who do nothing
     but what their father tells them to do?
Where are those who set aside power
who leave glory
who serve
who wash the feet
     of friend and foe
who wear sandals
who cook fish on the shore
who feed multitudes
     with a few fish and rolls
who change water to wine
    for wedding guests
who walk with, feed, and touch
    those deemed unclean
who spend time
    with those others shun
who come not to judge,
     but to save
who give their lives for their people.
Where is a King of uncommon love?
Look to a manger.
Look to a cross.
Then come.
Come,
     let us adore Him.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022



Walt’s Love Poem

PEACE, JOY AND LOVE

Peace.
In the quiet night I bring
a sense serene to make hearts sing.
For here on earth the season offers
tranquility to fill your coffers.
It is peace that I deliver
in the cold night as I shiver.

Joy.
And in that night I may bring a toy
to satisfy a girl or boy.
For on this earth this season brings
along with oh, so many things,
a sense of pure joy I give
for as long as I will live!

Love.
But above all else, my heart is full
and what I bring each boy and girl,
woman and man, is all the love that I can.
And if it gives them peace and joy,
I hope they all enjoy this pause.
I am forever Santa Claus.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2022

PROMPT #417 – GIFT

As we enter Hanukkah and Christmas week, many are scrambling to find just the right gifts for their special loved ones. Maybe you celebrate another of the many holidays that come this time of year. As we all try to not lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle, let’s take a moment or two to settle our minds and let our words flow as gifts to one another.

We at Poetic Bloomings are thankful for the generosity of all who share their hearts here. God bless you all!


Marie’s Gift


GIFT

What is the best gift but food for one who is hungry, and drink for one who thirsts? For those who feel most unlovable, love feels most crucial, yet most inaccessible. For those who’ve done wrong, the most meaningful gift is forgiveness in full.  For this, God set His power aside to be born of a virgin as a helpless newborn boy, reliant on a woman’s breast for nourishment, heart for love, and her tutelage and care for survival and growth.  For this, Christ Jesus came: to feed, to love, to quench, and to fully forgive.  
 
The extravagance
of the season, embodied:
God wrapped in infant.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

(Full disclosure:  This is not a brand new poem, as I wrote the final 17 syllables years ago.)




Walt’s Presents


THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

The basis for every Christmas gift so given,
has been the same for as long as I’ve been livin’.
It was the first gift on that first Christmas Day,
and that’s the way it should be today.
The one gift that should always be returned,
a lesson we should all have learned.
A gift that came from up above.
You know that gift is of purest love.
When you give from love, you get love back,
and for that gift you’ll never lack.
So, on this Christmas take a pause
and accept my love. I am Santa Claus.

© Walter J Wojtanik 

PROMPT #416 – CATERWAUL

Last week, William used the word “caterwauling” in his poem. Daniel pointed out that this would make a good future prompt. Thank you, gentlemen, for making our job easy this week. Let’s get caterwauling!

MARIE’S SQUEAL

DECK THE HOWLS

Deck the howls with notes of jolly
Fa la la la la la la la la
There’s no time for melancholy
Fa la la la la la la la la
Swap the moans with ho ho hos, and
Fa la la la la la la la la
Raise your voice in verse and prose, and
Fa la la la la la la la la!

© Marie Elena Good, 2022




AND THIS, FROM CATERWALT

EMERGENT SEA

A lone sailor; stargazer 
and navigator, set adrift 
in a calm and tranquil waterway. 
The day is overcast,
and above the mast his banner flies.
Gentle ripples coaxed by
the lake’s nautical breath.
The call of the gulls is garish,
nearly nightmarish in their persistence.
An insistence that they be taken
seriously. Deliriously, he tacks,
feeling the wind, aroused and rancorous,
a cantankerous caterwaul at the fall of day.
Waves awash; a wild wake churning,
a yearning to manipulate the canvas
that spurs his vessel on. He is tossed,
a lost soul in a sea of doubt. Shouts 
for assistance go unheard; not a word.
He signals a frantic S.O.S.; a message
for salvation. For the duration of the torrent,
the Ol’ Salt is battered and splattered against
the ebony night. Despite the norm, 
this perfect storm is destructive,
counter-productive to the life
of a cast-away stargazer; navigator.
A lone sailor, gone.

(c) Walter J Wojtanik

PROMPT #415 – TEMPEST FUGET

IT’S ABOUT TIME. It’s always about time. Dinnertime, Wintertime, Somewhere in Time, making up for lost time. As the year begins its runoff to January, we’re writing about some kind of time that we celebrate. Give us your time and we’ll do the rest!

MARIE’S TIME:

“The world waits for a miracle. The heart longs for a little bit of hope.”  ~ Light of the World, Lauren Daigle

Now, We Wait.

His feet left Paradise to touch earth’s soil 
as we, embroiled in distress,
tried to access His heart.
Some walked with Him, 
and He unlocked their closed souls - 
leaving their lack exposed
and showing them His plenty
in the face of His poverty.  
They learned Him.  They loved Him. 
But the moment He upturned death,
they truly knew Him.
And now, we wait for His return.
We yearn for the Prince of Peace to increase, 
and our anguish, decrease.
Light of the World, right us.
Lift us.  Gift us hearing ears,
seeing eyes, 
and hope, 
realized.  

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

WALT’S MINUTES:

A TIMELESS CHRISTMAS

Christmas is eternal.
It comes independent of time.
As far as we can remember,
December has been a magical month,
for as long as the calendar records it,
every bit of the Christmas spirit lingers
in the span of ages, the stage is set.
You can bet there isn’t a better reason
to celebrate the season.

Christmas is ageless.
It is seemingly unaffected by time.
We grow in chronological years, but our fear
is that we will outgrow Christmas.
But it is the joy of the season
that keeps us young beyond reason.
We should never stop believing.
I believe in you, so you should never eschew me,
the man who takes pause as Santa Claus.

Christmas is timeless,
and my guess is that it will always be.
You see, it has been with me for as long as I’ve lived.
I carry the spirit of Christmas in my heart
as my father did, and his father before him.
I come from a long line of Claus men
who honor and defend the Yuletide.
You cannot hide the pride I feel.
It’s a big deal. Everyday should be Christmas.

© Walter J Wojtanik - 2022

PROMPT #414 – COLOR ME POETIC!

Below is a link to Wikipedia’s list of Crayola crayon color names, both current and retired. Choose one (or several) to add a splash of color to your pretty words. Can’t wait to see the colorful variety that will grace our site this week!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Crayola_crayon_colors

MARIE’S TINT:

Sky Blue (born in 1958, the year of my birth)

Who came to decide
the precise color of sky –
which blue hue, and why?

For the ocean’s sky
on a sunny day, may be
pegged as Robin’s Egg,

while she that adorns
a brisk Erie autumn morn
is a deep, cold blue –

the loveliest hue.
And I’ve clamed her and named her
my October Sky.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022




WALT’S HUE:

THE ATOMIC TANGERINE

Children of  the sixties, 
Ensconced in memorabilia,
Just some spaced out hippies
Hooked on psychedelia.
When Rock and Roll takes control
they really make the scene.
Here to touch your musical soul,
The Atomic Tangerine!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik -2022