PROMPT # 142 – “TAKE ONE PLEASE” : GUEST HOST – SHARON (S.E.) INGRAHAM

This week, I have the honor of presenting one of the more truly gifted poets around. Her work has been an inspiration to me since 2009, so that says something. And I find it fitting that in my “tribute” to Gordon Lightfoot last week, I wrote “If I could, I would have been Alberta Bound”. In a way, I have done just that, tapping Edmonton, Alberta for the work of one of the Great White North’s wonderful wordsmiths. I give you Sharon (S.E.) Ingraham.

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SHARON (S.E.) INGRAHAM

SHARON (S.E.) INGRAHAM

S.E.Ingraham, a long-time frequenter of many of the web’s poetic watering holes – Poetic Asides, the Sunday Whirl, dVerse Bar, Poets United, and of course Creative Bloomings (formerly Poetic Bloomings) to name a few…She admits to being a less faithful member of each than she would like, but comes as often as time and health permits. Even being a retired mental health consumer doesn’t mean she’s entirely out of the woods when it comes to either depression or, in the odd instance, mania, and she’s aware of this, and tries to be careful when it comes to getting enough sleep or down time (emphasis on the “tries to be”).

Since Ingraham began taking her writing seriously in 2008, all she’s really wanted is to have her work read and heard. Due to the encouragement of places like Poetic Bloomings where Walt and Marie Elena have been tireless cheerleaders, plus a generous dollop or two of luck, she now has poems in a number of publications, both print and on-line, amongst them: Pyrokinection, Red Fez, Shot Glass, Otis Nebula, Poised in Flight, Of Sun and Sand, In Gilded Frame…She also just learned that her work has been selected by kindofahurricanpress.com (another very supportive venue incidentally) for the second year in a row to be in their “best of the year anthology” Storm Cycle…

Of other poetry related things over the past year, Ingraham had the privilege of taking part in the Pulitzer Remix Project, writing a poem a day based on “Arrowsmith”, Sinclair Lewis’s award winning novel from 1929. This led to a semi-regular gig reading for the Found Poetry Review, plus ongoing relationships with many of the 80+ international poets involved in the project and its conceptualizer, Jenni B Baker. In additional, a fall online course on Modern and Post-Modern American Poetry taken through Coursera (one of the up and coming MOOC’s) was so good (and gratis) she’s already signed on for next year.

In her life outside of poetry, S.E. (Sharon) is married to the love of her life, Terry – 44 years this month – and they have two grown daughters, Julie and Katy. All of them live on the 53rd parallel in Edmonton, Alberta where it’s, as you might well guess, extremely cold! As of March 4th, there will also be three grandsons in the family as the third is scheduled to be born that day…As well as an extremely loyal but too-quickly-aging border-collie/wolf cross, family mean everything to her.

Ingraham’s work may be found on any one of her blogs:

The Poet Tree House        –         S.E. Ingraham Says        –         The Way Eye See It        –         In My Next Life

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PROMPT #142 – “TAKE ONE PLEASE” – Choose from one of the titles below and write your poem based on that thought. Your title must come from this list. It will be interesting to compare your thoughts on the exact same themes.

TITLES:

Culture Shock
True Blue
Where Hope Finds Me
A Waltz of Words
Love Never Ceases

WALT TAKES ONE:

WHERE HOPE FINDS ME

Lost boys never quit dreaming,
scheming of ways to stand their ground
with a new found respect for their abilities.
the agility of a Pan, and the nervous sense
of self not withstanding. Demanding much
from what hope they can muster, they may
get flustered from time to time, but are never
out of the game; never the same, they become
stronger the longer in the tooth they find themselves.
Old gents hold those glowing embers well into their
Decembers. They remain members of life’s fraternity.
Battles waged and lost, and hard-fought victories
over hook handed bandits lands us firmly on our feet,
ready if we chose to roam. But the hope of lost boys will
eventually bring them home when villains are vanquished.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

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SHARON’S PICK:

 
CULTURE SHOCK

I knew him and he goes on haunting me.
                                                                     ~Pablo Neruda

In war, odd alliances are forged
We fell together with a common need
trying to hide from death,
from those who would take us both

Language was a barrier yes, but eyes,
eyes speak many translations and together
we formed a bond and trust without
ever exchanging a word…

The morning I awoke and he was gone,
did it seem extra-quiet?…Did I suspect
at once what he had done for me…
I can’t think I did…

The day seemed like any other in our
situation, that is…difficult to explain
or describe
The days were unlike anything we
might have imagined before the tanks
lumbered up our streets
And friends stopped speaking to friends

Hours, or maybe as long as a day later
when I knew he was not returning
I ran through the woods during
the day…I couldn’t think what else to do
Finally I emerged in the dark to find
him hung in the square

I knew then.

(c) Copyright S. E. Ingraham – 2014

I couldn’t resist posting this second wonderful poem of Sharon’s that has touched me dearly with its tenderness and loyalty.
Consider it a Bonus. I love this piece! Walt. 

LOVE NEVER CEASES
for Farley, my wolf

You amble now so slow
and I can see you grow old ‘fore
my eyes, wolf I adore
Moving carefully, you’re on ice
snow’s bad but still quite nice,
soft should a sacrifice be that
last step which lays you flat
Frail, a misstep, a fall splat down
break a bone, oh dear hound
I fear to see your mound, your grave
I fear I know I won’t be brave…

(C) Copyright S. E. Ingraham – 2014
 

IT’S OFFICIAL! ANNOUNCING… CREATIVE BLOOMINGS

The numbers had been trending all weekend and it was clear the first thought had become the best thought. And so I take pride in announcing the new title for our growing garden is… CREATIVE BLOOMINGS. As Marie Elena had observed, the “S” on the end of BLOOMINGS makes this a very distinctive “non”-word. In all searches connecting the words BLOOMINGS and POETRY provides one response, POETIC (now CREATIVE) BLOOMINGS.

CreativeBloomingsBox

The second most popular choice was the original name POETIC BLOOMINGS. This will be retained as the title of the poetry arm of our site. POETIC BLOOMINGS will continue with the SUNDAY SEED (our weekly Sunday prompt), INFORM POETS (our journey into poetic forms), BRILLIANT BLOOMS (a change from BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS, our “award” to the selected favorites for the week). All features here (DAISY CHAIN, BOOK SHELF, RECOLLECTION pages) will be retained. And there are at Marie’s estimation two more POET INTERVIEW features to be executed from our original group. After these, we will be branching out on occasion to tap other voices in the poetic world. These will be proposed for the third Thursday of the month when we have one lined up.

Under the CREATIVE BLOOMINGS banner, we will feature a “page”  for art work (your paintings, sketches, drawings and cartoons) you wish to display here. These will be in GARDEN GALLERY. PHOTO PHOCUS will be where your collections of photographs will find a home. Send us your artwork or an album with a title for your group of pictures and a brief artist bio. A link to your blog will be helpful! These can be sent to the e-mail account ( poeticbloomings@yahoo.com ) at anytime. We will post these when they are presented. Your submission will be considered your consent to post them on our pages and use them in possible future Photo Prompts.

Information about the trustees and guest poets will follow later this week. These are scheduled to begin when February arrives. Please be mindful, this is a major undertaking and work in progress. There will be glitches and bugs along the way as we expand. But, we’re in this for the long haul. Our success or failure will hinge on our continued support of our chosen crafts.

We have announced that the flash fiction site, FLASHY FICTION has joined under our new banner to become FLASHY FICTION FRIDAYS. See the announcement.

The changes a coming quickly, so visit often to keep pace!

RE-BOOT OR NOT RE-BOOT?

We’re easing into changes here at POETIC BLOOMINGS and that includes everyone who contributes or has a hand in poetic pursuits throughout the poetic world. (A whole lot of “poetics” going on here).

During my hiatus from this site a while back, we had considered ceasing operation here “in the garden”. But the main consideration (the only one, as far as I was concerned) was the stable of incredible poets who week-in and week-out contributed their muse and support and constructive suggestions to making POETIC BLOOMINGS the place they wanted to be. So we did not allow the “soil” to become fallow. Marie carried on valiantly, with the help of RJ CLarken and WIlliam Preston.

As originally offered, POETIC BLOOMINGS was a site for poets to claim as their own… a place they could consider a home for their work. That hasn’t changed. But in an effort to make this blog more about you and to give you a hand in its new direction, we will feature a “Guest Host” every week to offer your examples for the prompt and IN-FORM POET, to highlight your personal blog (a little self-promotion never hurts) and to select a BEAUTIFUL BLOOM for the week.

The IN-FORM POET will resume next week.

I am toying with the idea of audio clips of your poems where we can have you (or someone else, if you’re too shy) read your piece and have this be a regular feature. The details on that will be forthcoming.

Another idea is one that comes from my background. We are a creative lot; talented in many facets. Along with poetry, many of us write flash fiction. We write music. Some of us are artists where our medium (paints and charcoal and ink and pencil) is more traditional than the words we proffer weekly. There are those with discerning eyes who can capture the most incredible moments through a lenses of a camera. Did I say we were a creative lot?

Serious thought is being given to allowing these skills to find a place here. And thus, a name change is being considered. We will remain mainly a poetic blog and the focus will continue in that regard. But, I suggest we branch out to all forms of creative pursuits. My preference retains the aspect of the “garden” and the continued “blooming of our souls”. CREATIVE BLOOMINGS is an idea. I will post a poll with suggestions for you to consider. After all, it is really you who drive this vehicle. This will be an on-going process to inject new breath into what it is we do here. We have the chance to make a great site even better. With your help, we can accomplish this.

With much respect, Walt.

CALL FOR PHOTOS

They say a picture speaks a thousand words.  From time-to-time, a good photo prompts the muse to speak.  In the interest of promoting our poets and poetic picture prompts ( 😉 ), we invite you to send us photos for use for future Poetic Bloomings ekphrastic poetry prompts.  Here are the guidelines:

WHAT TO SEND:

  • Please send only photos that you have taken yourself, or that you have permission to share with us.  Sending us a photo will be interpreted as permission for use as a Poetic Bloomings  prompt, and also for use in any future Poetic Bloomings books.
  • Provide your name as you wish it to appear to credit your work.  You may also provide a link to any public display of your photography.
  • Photos must be a minimum of 300 dpi, for quality printing.  Since we will not be printing larger than 3 x 5 photos, we’ll say a minimum of 900 x 1500 pixels.
  • Photos must be family-friendly.
  • Please provide only photos that will work well in black-and-white print.
  • Please attach only one photo to your e-mail, and send no more than two photos total in 2013.  We will contact you if we would like to see more of your work.

WHERE TO SEND:

  • E-mail photos to poeticbloomings@yahoo.com
  • Please include “photo prompt” in the subject line, so we may catch it easily if it swims into our spam filter.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

We will determine which photos we feel best “fit” with who we are at Poetic Bloomings.  We seldom use photo prompts, and therefore cannot guarantee that all photos will be used.  We CAN guarantee, however, that we will never use or share your photos anywhere else or for any other purpose than stated above.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section, or e-mail us at poeticbloomings@yahoo.com.

POETIC BLOOMINGS AND APRIL NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

First, we are in the middle of Prompt #48 – IN THE SHADOWS. If you haven’t posted your work for this touching photo prompt as of yet, we encourage you to do so. Find it here: http://poeticbloomings.com/2012/03/25/in-the-shadows-prompt-48/

In another week we will be entering April and be inundated with the challenge of many challenges to celebrate National Poetry Month. Here at POETIC BLOOMINGS, we will continue with business as usual during the month of April. There is enough going on around the poetic blogosphere and we feel that adding another “challenge” would just muddy the poetic waters.

We would love to feature some of your poems written for the various challenges, so Marie and I will offer this page for such endeavors. Please post your work, but be sure to include the site/challenge for which it was written and the nature of the prompt, if there is one. Put your best work forward, and let us help. A little extra exposure for your poems wouldn’t hurt!

POETIC RECOLLECTIONS AND STUFF

Just taking care of business:

If you haven’t already, go and read Marie Elena’s interview with Sharon (S.E.) Ingraham. Insightful is an understatement; these ladies have both shown why they are so good at what they do. Click HERE for the link.

We’ve had a tremendous response to the prompt for this week. WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD – PROMPT #44 has us writing about our travels. We’ll hold the bus for you until Sunday when we change our tune and the prompt! Click HERE for that link.

The POETIC RECOLLECTION PAGES are being established and poems are being posted by the poets.If you do not see your name in the menu and you wish to have a page, send and e-mail to poeticbloomings@yahoo.com – subject: Recollections page. Please only post poems submitted for POETIC BLOOMINGS prompts or IN-FORM POET segments on these pages and make a note as to which prompt/form it applies. Also, if you need to supply photo/bio, you can do so there as well. They are being updated almost daily. These pages are for regular contributors to POETIC BLOOMINGS. Newer poets will be added as we see fit.

DAISY CHAIN is the “bulletin board” to advertise and link to our poet’s personal blog pages. Again, if you do not see, or would like your links added to the chain, e-mail to poeticbloomings@yahoo.com – subject: Daisy Chain. Please check to make sure your link is correct, and if your URL changes please inform us.

The BOOK SHELF is the place for us to post your accomplishments in publishing. E-mail a link to your book and we’ll add it to the shelf. Subject: Book Shelf.

POETRY AND SO MUCH MORE… Re-introducing FLASHY FICTION

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR PROMPT FOR THIS WEEK – WRITE A “COLORFUL” POEM. The response after two days has been tremendous! Add your colors to our growing spectrum!

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The name of our blog is POETIC BLOOMINGS, so the emphasis will always be on your poetic musings.                         

Worded teases and photo prompts.

But our mission here is to promote the creative endeavor. For those whose inclination to longer worded fits of prose or short (flash) fiction, may we recommend FLASHY FICTION. This blog features photo prompts and worded teases to inspire and provoke thought. Our “resident” form master and poetic compatriot, RJ Clarken, is one of seven ladies providing the kick start we all require from time to time. In an effort to keep their site viable and breathe new life into their process, please consider trying your hand at something a little different, FLASHY FICTION. You’d be amazed at where your muse will take you.