After numerous inquiries about the POETIC BLOOMINGS poetry blog, which had been a popular place to play poet, I have decided to resurrect the original site as it had been intended. Born out of the collaboration between Marie Elena Good and me in an effort to remain connected with our poetic friends and continue the poetic process much in the vein of Poetic Asides (albeit on a much smaller scale), POETIC BLOOMINGS had developed a strong following. We believe it can flourish again. Returning to our “Word Garden” theme, we hope to accomplish that.

So, what can you do? For one thing, please consider returning to contribute to a great body of poetic works. Due to “Life” considerations, Marie Elena will remain as an “Administrator Emeritus” – holding honored status for first proposing the concept of PB, but allowing her to join us as she has time or sees fit to contribute.

So with that in mind I’ll announce that POETIC BLOOMINGS is looking for “a few good men and women” to help out in this cause. Here’s what I have in mind:

I’d like to add two administrators to help with the overall maintenance of the POETIC BLOOMINGS site. You would hold in essence “the keys to the kingdom”. It will give me a little more time to work on my own poetic pursuits, lighten the load and add fresh perspective and ideas to the execution of PB.

Also, I’m looking to add a person to handle each aspect of the original blog:

The “INFORM POETS” feature on Wednesday will be expanded to include a “MY FAVORITE FORM” variation where one of our contributors can suggest and highlight a form with which they’ve had success.

Marie Elena had developed a wonderful style and rapport through her POET INTERVIEWS. I would like to continue this as well with our newer contributors, as well as a “what’s new” update on past interviewees. A person would be required for this as well. You can develop your own style it you think assignment this fits your personality.

Another idea is to have someone compile a weekly list of prompts and activities from other poetic blogs/sites, to keep us all up-to-date on the goings on outside of our little plot of poetic paradise. 

Lastly, the idea of a “Guest Host” went over big when we resorted to it. Those wishing to serve in this capacity please submit your name via a comment or email at .

Please consider one of these ideas and return to “smell the flowers”. Invite your poetic friends to join us as well. And we’ll see what will bloom from that!




July 31 – And so we return to our daily lives, refreshed and ready to resume where June had left us. What is the first thing you will do now that camp is over? Do you need a vacation from your vacation? What actually is normal? What is your normal? Write it.

We will be going back to our normal routine at Creative Bloomings as well. The Sunday Seed will be planted on August 2nd. The Inform Poets Wednesday feature will resume on August 6th. The Blooms will be chosen on Saturday. If anyone has not served as Guest Host and would like to take their turn (if you gratefully declined because you had plans when you were asked, please let me know) Otherwise, I’ll be flying solo from here on out until I figure the course to follow.




July 28 – IT’S A DAY





Evening Primrose 33


An interesting week and the triumphant return by Marie Elena Good has been notable. And as we prepare for our Summer P.A.D. project, I thought it fitting that the Grand Gardener of Creative Bloomings oversee the last prompt/form and the corresponding blooms until August. We never needed reminding what we were missing here, but it fortifies why she has been the “best friend I’ve never met” from the first (third) day our paths had crossed. As our Emily Dickenson quote attests, “Beauty crowds me till I die.” I’m glad it’s been her stepping on my toes. Our Bloom selections:


The prompt takes the beauty of the Dickinson quote and asks us to rend the beauty of our interpretation as presented in verse. I’ve spent most of the afternoon reading (and re-reading) these extraordinary pieces and I was truly at a loss to choose one poem. The poetic perfection amassed here this week has been inspiring and truly beautiful. It has crowded my thoughts. I have not died. But I will highlight this poem as one that has moved me greatly. Benjamin Thomas, you’ve earned this Bloom.

LET HER FOLLOW ME by Benjamin Thomas

“Beauty crowds me til I die”
Emily Dickinson

There is a crowning beauty that crowds me; conceals in ambulant glory. It shields me on a day of rain,
and from the uprising countenance of Sun.

It presses vigorously upon old wounds; impressing it’s new name, causing me to wield new joys, and liberates ten loads of shame.

There is an excelling beauty that crowds me; that leaves me breathless, yet fills with a buoyant hope, until every cloud covets the ascent to freedom.

Let her beauty crowd me until I die;
Resisting the slow dissipation, reject her every wish to flee, and object every temptation.

Let her follow me when I rise again,
then crowd me in resurrection, with exemplary beauty in that day, basking in myriads of satisfaction.

© Copyright 2014
Benjamin Thomas



My choice here again touches a cord within and the snippet of story is a tender portrayal. Another fine piece in a collection of poetic finery. I’ll just let Jane Shlensky‘s words speak for themselves in Harmony.


HARMONY by Jane Shlensky

He’s getting more stooped
these days, his back bowed
like a comma from
years of tending plants.
He’s gentle with them,
talks to them in chants,
sing-song, daily news,
common happenstance.

Sometimes he whistles
handling foliage,
‘til warbling birds come
and share epistles
about seeds and flight,
tweeting on thistles,
these garden bacchantes,
of granting a chance.

(C) Jane Shlensky, 2014



Thank you for this week, Walt! It’s been absolutely lovely spending time with all of you again. The poetry, the encouragement, the camaraderie … feels like home.
Interesting how the prompt was “Beauty crowds me ‘til I die,” as that is how I feel in this garden. What could be more splendid than being elbow-to-elbow with tender souls sharing magnificent poetry? The talent displayed here continues to awe and humble me … as the daunting task of choosing one poem is once again staring me in the eye mockingly.

*sigh* I chose four, and then a later entry came in that I HAD to add. Then I read these five over and over, finally narrowing them to two. These two are quite opposite in style, form, and mood. Ultimately, Jane Shlensky’s Catch ‘em While They’re Young won out. How could it not? As I (and others) have expressed, we are running out of complimentary words with which to describe Jane’s work. The entire poem, as Linda states, totally rocks. (Yes, we have been reduced to using kidspeak.) And I am with Sara in that I kept reading and re-reading the fourth stanza. Jane, you leave me completely in awe. I humbly offer you my Bloom for this flawlessly brilliant piece.

Catch ‘em While They’re Young by Jane Shlensky

‘Beauty crowds me til I die’
says Emily, alone, depressed,
but ugliness can’t satisfy
our human need for gorgeousness.

Don’t paint the kindergarten red
or orange, brightest purple, green,
lest children, dazzled, are misled
to bounce off walls, collide, careen.

Don’t overstimulate their eyes
and hope their minds will stay serene.
Rainbows fade into distant skies,
a measured dose of lovely scene.

Steep kids in squalor’s muddy grays
and color them inside the lines
until they think in murky ways
and never question wonder’s signs.

Imagination takes to light—
a flower’s scent, a helping hand,
an apple pie, bright birds in flight
are beauties children understand.

We seem to fear from babyhood
that too much beauty overawes;
we crowd out joy and smother good
and grow up keen on finding flaws.

And Emily in love with all
her garden and her heart can bear
knows love expands us though we fall,
and beauty saves us from despair.

(C) Jane Shlensky, 2014

I know you want to know which poem was my “runner up” – the one I said is so different in style, form, and mood. I’m betting you’ve already guessed that it is Damon Dean’s witty write Skin Deep. Right up my alley, Damon!  ***Walt’s Note: Damon, Marie mentioned your name, you share the Bloom! My rule, and I am in agreement. You made my short list as well!


If beauty crowds me till I die,
I hope the worms enjoy it,
a feast of rotting handsomeness
with fresh green mold upon it.

I’m sure they’ll mind their p’s and q’s
from toes to hips to head
at such a fine good looking meal,
a beauty-laden spread.

I know what you are thinking.
This likely will not be.
The chance that I die beautiful?

The beauty all around me?
Yes, there is much of that,
but it can’t penetrate the skin
where ugly hangs it’s hat.

© 2014, Damon Dean


I found the Octameter to be a challenging form. Many of you agreed, yet posted wonderful examples. For me, the best models of form are those which show off the poem – not the form. A remarkable example is J.lynn (Janice) Sheridan’s Night sways. She begins with, “The sounds of midnight gather beneath my scars and written prayers.” I find this sentiment and wording so intriguing and exquisite, I’d be satisfied to read no further. Well, no. I take that back. It’s so intriguing and exquisite that I must read further. There, I “bow to the moon’s charmed sway.” Janice, I’m so thankful you grace us with your words here. I offer you a well-deserved Bloom.

“Night sways” by J.lynn Sheridan

The sounds of midnight
gather beneath my
scars and written prayers.
I could not breathe a
moment if not for
you. Nor will a day
endure a dawn if
our frail love betrays

the gift of veiled vows.
All morning I read
the poets’ despair
of lone hearts aroused
in storms. Time beats on,
dear, and as you bow
to the moon’s charmed sway
our love fades away.

(C) J.lynn Sheridan, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS to Benjamin, Jane (2x), Damon and Janice.


There will be no prompt posted tomorrow with our July P.A.D. beginning on Tuesday. But if you wish, join our discussion on “What do you deem necessary for a successful writing session. Do you have a routine? A superstition?  Do you need something nearby? A nice cup of something to stir your muse? Give us a glimpse at your quirks and what makes them work for you.


Today I welcome back a returning poetic “hero”. He came forward and stood tall when I had run up hard against life last year. And he had served admirably. Aside from that he is an accomplished poet in his own right, a fellow Poet Laureate at Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer. Welcome “home” William Preston.




William Preston has been writing poems for nearly thirty years. His main inspiration was song lyrics; owing to a severe hearing loss, which prevented him from understanding songs as sung, he would look up the words. He thus grew to know lyricists such as Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein II, Lorenz Hart, Johnny Mercer, Gus Kahn, and others of the golden era of Tin Pan Alley. He wanted to write like they did, and also like poets such as Robert Frost, Adelaide Crapsey, and Ogden Nash. (He likes to be eclectic and prefers to write in forms.) He has published little, however, and views blogs such as Robert Brewer’s Poetic Asides and this one as his primary means of sharing the joy of writing verses.

PROMPT #159 – “AUTO-BIOGRAPHY” – There are times we would like people to know us in a little better way. Sometimes we offer up TMI. Today we tell a little about ourselves by our reasoning NOT to do exactly that! Think of some reasons why your WOULDN’T write your auto-biography. Use one reason as your title and write that poem.



An ordinary guy in ordinary times,
living an ordinary life
in a very ordinary way. A simple man,
in a simple place among remarkable people.
My family would read me or they won’t.
My friends could read me, but they don’t see
any different me than they already know.
I have known my arrogance to get the best of me,
the rest of me hides in the shadows revisited
by the trepidation in which I grew. I knew
I should “release the beast within”. And in that,
I grin. Much to say, yet no way to know it.
So, I just became a poet.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014





The trees are swimming upwind, and the sky
glows green in silent harmony with blue;
a vireo is calling out a new
sweet dirge as sunlight whispers. By and by,
the colors merge to grey, a subtle lie
that mocks the moonlight as it shimmers through
a cataract that stands where flowers grew,
and all of this enthralls my mind and eye.
I think I am awake. The paneled room
appears the same as when I went to sleep,
but even so, I cannot rise from bed.
This strange kaleidoscope, so bright with gloom,
has come once more, as though from some great deep,
and now, again, I taste the hue of dread.

(C) Copyright – William Preston, 2014


The Puente, a poem for created by James Rasmusson, and is somewhat similar to the Diamante. Like the Diamante, you start with one aspect of a topic or issue and then, line by line, work toward another aspect. In the center is a line that bridges the two aspects together. The Spanish word for bridge is “puente”.

The form has three stanzas with the first and third having an equal number of lines and the middle stanza having only one line which acts as a bridge (puente) between the first and third stanza. The first and third stanzas convey a related but different element or feeling, as though they were two adjacent territories.
The number of lines in the first and third stanza is the writer’s choice as is the choice of whether to write it in free verse or rhyme.

The center line is delineated by a tilde (~) and has ‘double duty’. It functions as the ending for the last line of the first stanza AND as the beginning for the first line of the third stanza. It shares ownership with these two lines and consequently bridges the first and third stanzas.



A muse is a terrible thing,
to waste it would bring a pang
as if someone sang a dirge
so sad and consuming. You’d be presuming
you would find the words to express

~you never used to stress about such trivial things!

To find your core meaning
is to find the thing that does amuse
you. Sounding lyrical and lilting
it’s a miracle that words return.
You’ve always yearned to find your voice.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik




“Read these,” she asks.
Three story books of wintertime and snow.
“Why these?” I want to know. “It’s summer, dear!”
She rolls her eyes, then plants her hands on tilted hips.
“Poppi,” she says and throws her arms up shocked at my dull wit, “we need a break!”
I sigh, then see a tear, and quivering lip

~and though dull-witted I relent~

and with her in my lap I read aloud
of snow and ice,
freed, for a time, from time,
freed from relentless summer’s vice of sultry heat.
The boundaries of seasons are dissolved.
I read to hold her tight.

© 2014, Damon Dean


This is a Spanish form of five eight syllable (Iambic Tetrameter) lines. The rhyming scheme can vary in presentation ie a.a.b.b.a, a.b.b.a.a. etc but only two consecutive lines may have the same rhyme scheme.




I come to stand upon the shore
the way I’ve done some times before.
At night I’ll sit upon the sand,
and write my verse with pen in hand
beneath the moon and stars galore.

And in the misted sky I take
a glimpse at glints upon the lake,
these stolen moments that we dare
upon this blanket where we share
the passion of the love we make.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014






You go about collecting clues,
assuming one plus one makes two,
but sometimes they add up to four
and since you neglect to explore
this possibility you do
not ever learn the truth. Instead,
you just believe what’s in your head,
because you say the pieces fit.
I can no longer look at it
that way because my heart has bled
from that line of thinking. Recall
long ago days when as a small
child you carefully attached
two puzzle pieces you thought matched.
The two fit snug and all in all
looked good but, in the end, weren’t right.
Remember those times and you might
be more careful what you believe.
It is easy to misconceive;
thing are not always black and white.
(C) Copyright Linda Hofke – 2014




This week we venture back across the big pond and are helped by a woman who contributes her poetry from Germany. I am pleased to say it’s Linda Hofke’s turn to share the spot light! Welcome Linda!




Linda Hofke, a native Pennsylvanian, lives in Germany where she writes, takes photographs and puts her lead foot to use on the Autobahn. You can find her work at Curio Poetry, Mirow, Bolts of Silk, Jellyfish Whispers, The Fib Review, The Poetic Pinup Revue, and other online and print journals. She’s a lazy blogger who posts sporadically at and She is currently busy working on writing a very silly picture book.


PROMPT #156 – “BOLD FACE LIE” – Think of some reasons we wouldn’t be totally truthful to someone. Choose one and write a poem debunking one of that reason.



just a
little fib.
it was to save you
from getting hurt in the process.
protect me? my behind! i find
you are covering
your own ass.
no class!

© Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014



Though I don’t do it, women tend to lie about their age more than men. Some lie with words. Others lie through the use of skillfully-applied make-up, retouching photos, or even plastic surgery. However, age catches up with everyone eventually and none of these methods work anymore. I wrote a few lines on this, scratched and erased, added and deleted, and never achieved the right wording I wanted. Then I decided to let the child in me come out and have a bit of fun with this. I know it’s not journal quality writing but I hope you don’t mind. In keeping with the theme of aging, I’ve read that laughter helps keep us youthful and happy.  So this one is for your health.


I can lie about my age
but age will give me away—
streaks of grey framing my face
and wrinkles on display.
My chin and breasts recite together
the law of gravity
while racing against the other
to reach my abdominal cavity.
My knees? They’re old and fussy,
with every step they crack
and they’ll probably crumble from
the eventual chin-and-boob attack.
If it all stretches down to my feet
I guess I’ll tuck it between toes
and roll myself into a ball,
chin to toes and feet to nose.
You might think I’m exaggerating
but you simply have no clue.
You could only understand  if you
were also one hundred-eighty two.

© Copyright Linda Evans Hofke – 2014


One of my favorite poets on these sites we frequent hails from the great state of Connecticut, a small state that holds the big vision of my Guest Host – Pamela Smyk Cleary (PSC in CT).


POET PSC in CT (Pamela Smyk Cleary)

(Pamela Smyk Cleary)

Pamela Smyk Cleary was born & raised in the small, but beautiful, state of CT (U.S.A.) where she currently resides with her husband – a handsome & talented actor/retired Math teacher.  A faithful “practitioner of poetry” throughout grade school, high school and college, Pamela (you may know her as ‘PSC in CT’ – or simply PSC – which is quicker & easier to type) eventually graduated, got a real job, and fell into an extended period of ‘poetic hibernation’. 

After almost 25 years as an Information Technology professional, she was given the opportunity to step away from that career – a step she took happily (& with great enthusiasm) to take up yoga, and spend time hiking, biking & bird watching.   Shortly thereafter, thanks to Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenges, she re-awakened her narcoleptic muse and connected with a number of talented ‘poetry peeps’ – many of whom are also “Creative Bloomers”.  Despite her low profile, some of her poetry has managed to find its way into print (or bits & bytes) in such places as Poetic Bloomings the first year, A Blackbird Sings (a book of short poems), Beyond the Dark Room, Sprout, Enhance, Every Day Poets, Long River Run, and Umbrella Online Poetry Journal.  Additionally, she has recited several of her poems (albeit reluctantly) before a live audience at Hi5netTV’s “First Thursday” performances in Woodbury, CT. 

At the present time, PSC’s favorite pastime is traipsing a nearby walking trail that meanders along a local river and reservoir.  Her current ‘occupation’ (a labor of love) is best described as “keeper of the trail”, as she long ago adopted the habit of picking up litter on her rambling walks.  (It’s not uncommon for her to collect up several bags of trash during a single jaunt, and local residents consider her both an inspiration and/or a nutcase – depending on who you ask.)  Currently, she is ‘supervising spring’ (see:, although the job is a year round position and offers numerous benefits.  Many of the poems and photographs that are gathered along these walks – or while kayaking the waterway – eventually find their way onto her blog.

Feel free (if you are so inclined) to drop by her site “Wander, Ponder, Poems & Pics” @ to saunter with her for a while.  She’d love the company!


PROMPT #154 – “IT COULD BE WORSE”Somethings go without saying. And sometimes there isn’t a right time to say the obvious. Think of  about seven (7) of the worst things you could say to someone who was just dumped. Make three of them the first lines on a three (3) stanza poem on the subject!



She doesn’t deserve you.
You’ve got a good heart,
but you start to obsess
and I guess you can be a little much sometimes.

You’re better off without her.
She’s got a good heart, and
her propensity for intensity
gives the impression she’ll never get enough loving!

On second thought, you don’t deserve her.
You can be a jerk sometimes
and I’m on the prowl to make a play.
So I guess she’ll be free this Saturday?

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014




At least he waited ‘til after your birthday.”
“And you’re too good for him anyway.”
“In my honest opinion the man’s too lazy” and
“His whole family? Totally crazy!”

“Think of my future grand-kids”, she said.
“His children are sure to be slender and tall.
In family photos beside all their cousins –
your sister’s kids will seem chubby and small.”

I knew if her “nurturing chatter” persisted
my sister & I would forever be scarred;
but it didn’t feel right to just haul off and hit her,
so I didn’t hit Mom (very hard).

(C) Copyright PSC/2014


Ocean swells, casts its spell.The next person up to bat as Guest Host, is another outstanding poet and wordsmith, and was also a Poet Laureate at Poetic Asides. It’s always an honor to share the stage with De Jackson.


De Jackson hails from the desert of Southern Nevada in Henderson, near Las Vegas, where she lives with her gorgeous groom of nearly 16 years, two crazy kids, a beloved neurotic terrier, an aloof cat, a bearded dragon, and various members of the insect and arachnid world. She breathes best with inky fingers and salty, sea-soaked toes, but she’s also blessed to bloom online alongside some incredibly talented creative souls (you all know who you are.) De’s words have somehow made their way onto the pages of such journals as Curio, Garbanzo, Burning Word, Shot Glass Journal, Sprout, Tuck and others, and she was honored as a Poetic Asides 2012 Poet Laureate. De’s a full-time mama and a paid published poet (if you count journal copies, garbanzo beans, and one time, a whole dollar). She occasionally writes ad copy for money, but scribbles poems in the margins of life daily. You can pay her a visit at



Think of 10-12 good reasons to do something. The “something” is the subject of your poem. Write a list poem including as many of your reasons in the body of your work.



I’m my father’s son!
(I’m my mother’s prodigy!)
I’m having a good day!
(Any day alive is a good day)
I’m turning a year older.
(39 never gets old)
My job promotion came through.
(Then I wake up and go to work)
My muse refuses to slow down.
(And that’s a good day)
My cholesterol numbers are better.
(Making the right changes for a change)
Just because.
(Reasons? I don’t need no stinking reasons.)
It’s my favorite season.
(Steeped in tradition, I am)
The Bills haven’t lost in 2014.
(They haven’t played in 2014)
I’m celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss today!
(Happy 29th Anniversary, Janice!) 🙂

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014




Find yourself alone, let the record show:

Because the sound of your own breathing is a heartbeat rhythm spent.
For the sake of all things buried deep, steeped in salt and silence.

Because words flow best in whispers, wrapped soft in breeze.
For the taking of stars, shattered pieces of sea glass; pocketed scars.

Because hope is a feathered thing, too easily startled.
For the attention span of sky, moon at full attention, spotlight shone.

Because knowing your own syllables requires a more quiet song.
For the ache of growing, groaning, grounding lightning to jars.

Because the world is loud and proud and lousy with shouting.
For the persistent casting of pearls from stones.

Because you don’t need a reason
for finding yourself. Alone.

(C) Copyright De Jackson – 2014




This week we travel back to Texas to tap our next Guest Host. As you will read, she is an accomplished and well published poet and photo artist. I am happy to help her announce that her first full poetry collection,  Upon the Blue Couch, was released just yesterday. See the link below and learn about Laurie Kolp’s accomplishments. And as always, thank you Laurie for your help this week!


Laurie Kolp lives in Southeast Texas with her husband of 15 years, three kids and two dogs. Although she was born with Irish and German blood, her native tongue is poetry. She writes in a 3 by 5 corner, one wall an outlook visited quite often by cardinals, mourning doves, grackles and blue jays. The other side open to eyes behind her head always watching the goings on of her family. This type of lifestyle has led Laurie to believe at times she must have developed attention deficit disorder (ADD). One second she’s nitpicking a poem, the next kicking Nerf balls with her boys… or off to shop with her daughter for those last-minute things teenagers need… interrupted by chores that lead her on tangents. But she always ends back in her little nook fingering keys and reading books of poetry. By the way, Laurie’s first full-length poetry collection, Upon the Blue Couch, comes out this month. Learn more at her website


Discover more about Laurie at  her blogs:

Laurie Kolp Poetry
Bird’s-Eye Gemini.



PROMPT #151 – “IMAGES AND IDEAS”: Take a word image (“cloudless sky”, “rainless thunder”, “twilight’s last gleaming”…) . List some of the ideas your choice elicits and write them into your poem.



Clarity is a rarity,

patches of blue shine through

vaporous mists, floating suspended,

a never-ending journey never touching down.

Thoughts muddled in mind and heart

find a way to start, an expression

to soar, confused no more.

© Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014



a sprint from home to track
when news too much to bear
chases her, a wasted thief
kneels in grassless field
and waits for steady breathing,
sweat nourishment for desert floor
so close the dirt a glove
for fingers sinking down
her asylum, one with earth
a fortune doomed childless
as barren as this paddock- –
she looks into the sky and screams
© Copyright Laurie Kolp – 2014