POETIC BLOOMINGS, a site established in May 2011 and which reunites Marie Elena Good and Walter J Wojtanik to help nurture and inspire the poetic spirit.

Archive for the category “Poetic Bloomings Reading Room”


I would say that the majority of us have heard the last few lines of this chosen poem sometime in our lives. And another portion of those didn’t know what they came from. William Ernest Henley was a poet, critic and editor during the Victorian age. His name loomed large in literary circles. Henley, who had a leg amputated in his youth due to bone tuberculosis, was the inspiration for Stevenson’s Long John Silver in Treasure Island in 1883. This is William Ernest Henley’s poem, INVICTUS.

William Ernest Henley


by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


This week we tab William Barnes to be featured in the POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM. Barnes was an English poet and writer who was renowned for his Dorset dialect poems. Barnes’s poems are well honed with a singular sweetness, tenderness and feeling. He offered deep insight into the humility of country life and of simple character, and an excellent feeling for local scenery and customs. Here in one of his aforementioned Dorset dialect poems is William Barnes’ poem, “The Broken Heart”.


William Barnes


by William Barnes

News o’ grief had overteaken
Dark-eyed Fanny, now vorseaken;
There she zot, wi’ breast a-heaven,
While vrom zide to zide, wi’ grieven,
Vell her head, wi’ tears a-creepen
Down her cheaks, in bitter weepen.
There wer still the ribbon-bow
She tied avore her hour ov woe,
An’ there wer still the hans that tied it
Hangen white,
Or wringen tight,
In ceare that drowned all ceare bezide it.

When a man, wi’ heartless slighten,
Mid become a maiden’s blighten,
He mid cearelessly vorseake her,
But must answer to her Meaker;
He mid slight, wi’ selfish blindness,
All her deeds o’ loven-kindness,
God wull waigh ’em wi’ the slighten
That mid be her love’s requiten;
He do look on each deceiver,
He do know
What weight o’ woe
Do break the heart ov ev’ry griever.


Long considered the master of the macabre, today we study Edgar Allan Poe. The poems that come to mind easily regarding Poe are “The Raven”, “Annabel Lee”, “Alone”, to name a few. Yet, he even laced his love poems with a pall of darkness lurking in the shadows. Along with his short stories, Poe had amassed a strong portfolio in his writing life. Here in his veiled attempt a love is “Romance” by Edgar Allan Poe.


by Edgar Allan Poe

Romance, who loves to nod and sing
With drowsy head and folded wing
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been—most familiar bird—
Taught me my alphabet to say,
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky;
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings,
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away—forbidden things—
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.


First, I need to apologize to this week’s poet. I had her pegged for posting her poem before the tribute last week, but I had put a date on the draft that took her off the grid. But, knowing her spirit and spirituality, I believe she understands. Believe! That is certainly a word that applies to this poet who is incredibly strong in her faith, and humility, which she includes in her poetry to great effect. Darlene Franklin is a published author who chose to “dabble” in poetry here at Poetic Bloomings. As stated, her words inspire and provoke thought and a desire to take “a closer walk.” In this sample of her work, False Bottoms, you can surely see what I mean.

FALSE BOTTOMS, by Darlene Franklin

I’ve made a career of excavation
If only I could dig through my problems—
And many have passed my way—
And my weaknesses—
Which increase in number as I grow older—
I would find solid ground
I could begin to truly live

Until I reexamined my architect’s design
Why did I want myself as my foundation?
The Lord is my rock
I have survived—
Even thrived—
Inside His fortress

What I see as weakness
Arms me with iron man strength
Unshakeable faith in a
Never changing
Always loving
God who ever was and is and shall be
Absolutes I swear to
Me, who never gives anything
A score of ten

With God as my Ten
And me as His instrument
I bring new binoculars
To my excavation
What discoveries await


Not Darlene’s blog, but her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Poetry-Just-For-You-by-Darlene-Franklin-731269013871753/



Before we head out to explore more great well-known poets and their works, I would be remiss in not honoring the extraordinary works of poetic contributors who have left this mortal coil, but whose poetry remains as an influence and source of solace and comfort. Given their value that they displayed here, they continue to be missed and much loved. I offer selected works that they had allowed us to display here at POETIC BLOOMINGS. They will live in perpetuity and remain in our hearts.

In their interview conversation (see link below), Marie Elena made this wonderful observation:

“Writers on the whole are (in my opinion) a brave lot.  It takes a measure of courage to put words on display for viewing and assessment of the general public.  I can only imagine it takes a heightened sense of commitment and courage for one such as our own Andrea Heiberg, who chooses to write in a foreign language:  English.”

Andrea was instrumental in teaching me a lesson that I have come to embrace and to which I have tried to adhere. I have found a bit of humility in my poetic endeavors. Her ambition to express herself in a language that was not her own was, by her own admission, a struggle. But, that she persevered in that regard says much about her. We (she and I) had a rough beginning, but had come to be friends as Andrea sought my opinion on her works and sought my help in correcting the English language that she had adopted for her expression. But my lasting memories of her come in the online chats we had as she fought her dreadful affliction. Those I certainly miss the most, as I will her. Here confirming her commitment to her Anglicized writings is Andrea’s poem, ENGLISH.

ENGLISH, by Andrea Heiberg

Though I love the sound of my mother’s voice,
her words,
her lullabies,
the stories are stories
and the facts are facts
and when told in English,
there’re just as much stories and facts than any Dane could tell them
in any language
and just as much English.

So, please Mom, up in Heaven,
that English bears the signs of worldwide cultures
we added
up here
from the north,
up in Denmark.

 And how I love that someone added

 Mom, I tell you this in English
though tears drop
down my cheeks
and whether they drop in Danish or in English,
I don’t know.
I just miss you.


Marie’s interview with Andrea Heiberg.


This person whom we had first met at Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer, had been one of our most loyal and consistent contributors.  She often offered such encouraging comments, but wasn’t adverse to be frank in her comments when warranted.  Vivienne Blake frequented many of the well known poetry sites with equal aplomb and earned the respect of many poets far and wide. As with all of our poets, it was difficult to choose just one poem from her portfolio. Another friend and poet gone too soon! She expresses the beauty of her soul in this piece entitled, THE LINDEN.

THE LINDEN, by Vivienne Blake

My skeleton is
bared in purest form,
in slumber for a time through winter’s chill.
Equinoctial gales send my branches wantonly waving,
’til comes the rain, replenishing my strength for summer’s work.
I stir again. My nascent leaves begin to bud and burst out green.
Birds arrive in feathered phalanx. Calm, all is still.
I preen my regal form in fecund glory.
Summer’s heavy cloak bears down on me,
flower pennants brown to seed. My leaves are liquid gold,
now winter nears.
Inexorable cycle
as my robe
rain, through
frost and snow,
in solitary splendour, I reign


Marie’s interview with Vivienne Blake.




Salvatore Buttaci was a friend and mentor to all whose lives he had graced. A man of a strong faith and one who embraced his Sicilian heritage with great pride and respect. He had been a teacher/professor and had continued to “teach” us all through his poetry and flash fiction, two of the strong suits of his writing life. You were honored to get encouragement from Sal, always considered high praise from one of such a giving and loving heart. I am forever grateful for that. Here we celebrate his life through his poetic words, SHADOWS IN MY MEMORY.

SHADOWS IN MY MEMORY, by Salvatore Buttaci

Over time and distance
I contemplate the love we knew,
Replay those happy days
Now shadows in my memory.

It’s so hard believing
Love lies buried beneath the years
We walked the world as one,
Certain love would last forever.

You are somewhere out there.
I am adrift on lonely seas.
Evening is a shroud…
Do you likewise mourn for our love?

The promises we made,
Meant to be shared, not divided,
Have all been tossed away,
Ashes in the barrel of time.

These nights I go to sleep
Where we always laugh and dream
And once more renew vows
We one day swore before God.


Marie’s interview with Salvatore Buttaci


A poet that took a circuitous course in his short incarnation here at POETIC BLOOMINGS, he was another poet we discovered at Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer. Adding to our international appeal on our humble patch of sod, Dyson McIllwain wrote of his Scottish background and travels, in his inimitable style laced with his self-deprecating humor.  He surely seemed to march to a different drum, to a different cadence, which happens to be the poem selected.


TO A DIFFERENT CADENCE, by Dyson Douglas McIllwain

We march to our own beat,
the sweet syncopation that drives
every step; adept at keeping your feet
when others about you are losing their heads.
The pipes blare and wail; a tale told in the hold
of a Celtic clutch and in as much, deeply.
The snap of snare is crisp and a wisp of generations
lives within it. You didn’t begin it, but carry
the torch of your clan and your kin.
Your pace is halting but sure,
and you’re raising your banner high,
a sky full of past and an earth full of futures
converge in the present to give the gift
that life possesses. A different drum;
a heart in living rhythm.


Marie’s interview with Dyson McIllwain.


We miss all of these honored voices and their contributions to this site. I’d like to close with an excerpt from poet McIllwain’s final poem, IF MY WORDS SHOULD DIE:

“They will live as they had lived in me,
much life to give within their breath,
and I am sure I will be remembered
well then after death.”

These poets will indeed be remembered. Rest well, good and gentle poets!


They say with age comes wisdom, and reading the works of this poet is certainly to learn from his observations. Now, that’s not to say I consider him old, but wise even well beyond his chronological age. To call him sage, comes close. Having the heart and wit that puts him in a great poetic place, and “enough” to earn him Poet Laureate honors TWICE at Poetic Asides. Our hope is he stays true to his screen name to Press On in his poetic endeavors. We are happy to have this man in our stable of energetic and accomplished poets. In today’s POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM we feature William Preston’s heart felt poem, “SITTING WITH AN OLD SETTER.”



The old dog’s muzzle now is gleaming white
where formerly it was a copper red;
she still consents to let me rub her head
but nowadays I keep my stroking light.

We’ve been together since she was a pup;
she loved to play throughout the livelong day;
it didn’t take me long to name her Gay
because her silky ears were always up.

But time has done its work, and now we two
are hoary as the January snow;
the time is coming fast for us to go
but till it comes, these quiet days will do.

The old dog’s muzzle now is gleaming white.
I see her still as young and hale instead,
but nowadays I keep my stroking light.


Marie Elena’s interview with William:  https://poeticbloomings2.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/poet-interview-william-preston/


April 1st starts “National Poetry Month” and presents the multiple site challenges to write a poem a day. In the past, we here at POETIC BLOOMINGS backed off on our usual regimen to give our poets free reign to undertake this adventure. This year will not be the case. We will proceed with our Sunday Seed prompt, our POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM and our Friday Form/Exercise. Maybe these will provide a bit more inspiration in your endeavors to combine prompts write a diverse poem from both. Good luck in wherever you choose to contribute.

Further more if you would like us to offer a prompt for our own Poem-A-Day in April, let me know in the comments. Give William his just acknowledgement and mention your selection . W.


To say this space did not grow in status and beauty with the addition of Linda Rhinehart Neas, would be a gross understatement. She had come to add so much to the conversation of poetry here at POETIC BLOOMINGS. Usually one of the first respondents to the prompt, Linda makes quick work to get her point across. She is solid in her beliefs and her convictions, and they come through in extraordinary fashion in her verse.  Today I’ll offer two of Linda’s poems for your consideration, “The Gathering” and “Less Traveled.”


My Photo

THE GATHERING, by Linda Rhinehart Neas

The sun plays shadow games on apples newly picked.
Glowing garnet with flashes of gold and emerald –
jewels of the orchard – ripe with treasure.
Like benevolent pirates – Robin Hoods of farmland –
we harvest the best of the horde.
But what are jewels without settings – simply so many rocks –
so, we clean and polish, fitting our abundance
into bowls and baskets – offerings to those who thirst
for the crisp, bittersweet snap of apples newly picked.

POETIC BLOOMINGS – Day 10 – Autumnal P.A.D. – Harvest


LESS TRAVELED, by Linda Rhinehart Neas

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

Security can be a drug, an opioid of contentment.
Once addicted, life becomes predictable and commonplace.
Not one for blending in, I find joy in going where others don’t.
Disney World? No way!
I stand on the beach and watch wild dolphins play!
Manicured lawns? Not here!
My land is wild with shrubs, trees and flowers others call weeds!
Dress my age? What age might that be?
I am timeless, so dress accordingly –
why follow trends, when the palette of fashion
is rich with colors, textures and design!
Me, follow the flock? Heaven forbid!
I find joy traveling the dirt roads,
forgotten byways and highways, instead.

POETIC BLOOMINGS Prompt #221 – “And I Quote” #3

Rev. Linda’s blogs is Words From the Heart


Today we fete self-acclaimed plain folk, David De Jong. Although his self-view is worn on his sleeve, we’ve come to know him and appreciate David as an exceptional poet and story teller, a far cry from plain. Still another man of strong moral fiber and character, a man of faith – you have no doubts who this man is. I envision a gritty cowboy, fresh from the trail who would regale us with his adventures as we surround the flicker of a camp fire. Within the body of Marie Elena’s interview, David shares “Cowpoke Poet” which embodies all of the above. I’m happy to present David, the poet – rider of the rhyme range with his poem, “Words of Thanksgiving” from Prompt #222 also labeled “Words of Thanksgiving”.



Photo by Lindsey DeJong


The day always began with a trip to church for the Thanksgiving service,
where we sang traditional hymns from the red or blue hymnal in the pew racks.
Pages dog-eared and tattered from countless years of use and licked fingers
from farmers, factory workers, mostly common folk, families, young and old.
Grandpa (Pake) was the janitor and always sat in the back, corner pew so he could
get up to operate the lights and monitor the doors during the services. We
generally sat in the same pew where Grandma (Beppe) would be sitting with her magnifying
glass ready, so she could read/sing along during the service. It was also normal for her
to have her Friesian Bible sitting beside her and another hymnal tucked behind her
lower back because she was in so much pain. Later in life we would get first hand
education on cataracts, osteoporosis and cancer.

The folks, two oldest brothers, grandpa and grandma were all natives
of the Netherlands, true pilgrims in a new land, we now all call home.
They came from world wars, the holocaust, rations, hiding, smuggling
Jews, or whatever else was needed. All their belongings were packed
into a wood crate and a steamer trunk that crossed the ocean on the Queen
Elizabeth. They arrived in America at Ellis Island where they received more
common names. Thanksgiving was much more than a tradition to them. It was
a celebration of life, an honor of freedom, almost sacred, a God given privilege.

Usually the leaves were already raked, burned and gone by the holiday
or just covered from early snow or the latest Midwest blizzard.
I can remember Thanksgiving mornings walking fence-lines, knee deep
in snow, trying to kick up a lone rooster and squeeze in a single shot before
it vanished into the storm. The fence and its gate would be the only guide
back home for the feast. You couldn’t see, due to the cold north wind
and blowing snow. Dad didn’t much like turkey meat, so we would eat
fresh game; pheasants, rabbits, an occasionally ham from the freezer,
or a fat broiler from the chickens harvested out of the coop earlier.
It was always a family affair, brothers and sister, modern pilgrims,
bundled up for the cold, happily walking the neighboring fields, grateful.
Back home, Mom was already busy with the everyone’s favorite pies; pumpkin,
apple, and cherry. When we got back, fresh baked bread, slice of cheese, and
some hot coffee or her special Dutch hot-cocoa topped with real whipped-cream
warmed us up. I think we were weaned on hot tea and coffee, both dark and strong,
always in a cup and saucer, with a spoon on the side, along with
sugar and cream or whipped cream on special occasions and Sundays.

Stuffing and cranberries were not on the menu, but we were definitely
stuffed from gobbling all mom’s wonderful food. It would be many years
before I ever heard of particular things, like yams or sweet potatoes
even though potatoes and gravy were a staple at our table. I can still hear
the steam whistling, escaping mom’s old one handled pot, clicking and
clattering atop the stove, boiling fresh peeled potatoes dug from the rich
black dirt of the garden during the last days of summer.

We were a little envious of friends that had color TV, ours was black and white.
colors were imagined, watching the parades, football, etc. on one of three channels.
Mom and Dad would take naps while us kids sat around the table playing cards;
rummy, spades, canasta and other games. Sometimes the whole family
would go back outside to shoot tin cans and bottles back behind the old Plymouth
in the grove. When we were done, Mom always had more pie and treats
to eat with hot tea or cocoa to warm us up again. Such a rich memory
growing up, that at the time, we just took for granted.
I am so thankful, we were blessed and loved so much.


David’s blog is named Rusty Midnight Ramblins

Interview of David De Jong by Marie Elena Good


A short while back, Marie Elena properly introduced us to a voice we’ve loved for years. It’s funny how putting a face to the words of a favored poet raises them to even more esteem by their sheer presence. We’ve known her as Candy. But I have always bristled at nicknames, thinking that one so talented should flaunt their accomplishments in their own name. (Yes Marie, there are times I’m not one to practice what I preach.) Candace Kubinec graces many of the more popular poetry sites, but today her words are ours to share with you in this edition of the POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM. Our selection is entitled: “Falling In Love All Over Again” by Candace Kubinec.




It’s happening again
My love affair with summer
Is beginning to wane and
My heart is being slyly stolen

By cool nights made for reading
And warm apple cider
The trees are hinting at the
Changes coming – reds and
Vibrant yellows and mellow oranges
A show of true colors that
Make my soul pause in adoration
It’s happening again

To this devotee of the sun’s
Brilliance – this lover of nights
Perfumed with honeysuckle
I am seduced by this changeling

and I’m falling in love all over again


Submitted for Prompt # 217: Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen


Candace’s blog Rhymes with Bug Is where you can find more of her work.

And of course, Candace’s interview with our Marie Elena Good is linked here.


I consider this next featured poet, a poet’s poet. Along with Earl Parsons and the late Salvatore Buttaci, he is also truly one who lets his heart fill the page, driven by his love of life and his unwavering faith. He fits in well with the dynamic we’ve created at POETIC BLOOMINGS. Daniel Paicopulos has earned much respect through his work and the story of his life journey is rather intriguing and worth paying attention to (see link to his interview with Marie Elena below). He gives us a glimpse at his view of this poetic life in his piece entitled, “Source Material”. It is a heartfelt testimony to the gathering of like-minded souls here in our “Garden”. Daniel is a beautiful bloom!


SOURCE MATERIAL, by Daniel Paicopulos

Some writers
find their words,
buried in the compost of bitterness,
in a field of anger and resentment,
sown by sorrow, raked with regret,
fertilized by vengeance for abandoned love,
ironically giving birth
to beautiful blooms

Other writers
find beauty in everything,
in their children, of course,
and family, friends, and lovers,
but also in the catalog of daily living,
in the exotic rose,
the mundane marigold,
the common fern,
predictably giving birth
to beautiful blooms.

Most writers
have a sadness muse,
prompting great works
of love and loss,
replete in their integrity,
they open their veins,
water their seedlings with blood,
painfully giving birth
to beautiful blooms.

All writers
know, regardless the source,
no matter the topic,
the truth will come out,
honesty triumphs,
love trumps cuteness,
every time,
each wonder-filled heart
generously giving birth
to beautiful blooms.


Written for Prompt #53 – Returning to the Soil


Find Daniel’s work at his blog Daniel, Living Poet

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