POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

Archive for the category “prompt”

Perpetual Prompt to Prosper Peace through Poems

To the dear and tender poets who grace this site:

It saddens me that neither Walt nor I are able to consistently tend this exquisite poetic garden. But rather than lock the gate, I made the decision (and I hope this pleases our Master Gardener) to offer this one last “prompt.”  This will be a perpetual, final prompt.

And “finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8) 

And may I suggest: Write about such things. Right here, write here.  Come and go as you please.  Know you are precious to us, and your presence is always welcome.

Marie Elena

PROMPT #208 – THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS: PART FOUR

A TASTE OF CHRISTMAS

christmas-cookies

Among the great memories associated with Christmas, we cannot neglect the wonderful tastes of Christmas. Be it a favorite Christmas cookie, or a superbly cooked roast or casserole, it can trigger a specific thought of Christmas. Maybe it was the gathering of family around grandmother’s table, or a “feast” served  to less fortunate folk in a church hall or cafeteria, it could evoke a sense of Christmas spirit. What is that taste? What was that meal? What was that feeling that came along with your goodwill toward your fellow man? They all reside in that taste of Christmas. Write it!

WALT’S SAVOR:

I’M KOOKY FOR COOKIES

I have a confession
about my obsession,
I’m a connoisseur you see.
For throughout my travels
I just have to marvel
at the cookies left out for me.

Anzac Biscuits, Speculaas,
Spitzbuben, Palmeras;
with a glass of skim milk are heavenly!
Danske Smakager, Pfeffernüsse,
keep me round and quite obüsse,
filling my parka, perfectly.

Torta Fregolotti and Biscotti,
Kolaczki and Krusczyki;
I eat them all because they’re free.
Nanaimo Bars, Kipferl,
Piparkakut all taste swell
and smell delicious, Golly Gee!But,

I love two cookies both the same,
for me, these two just sing my name.
say them aloud and you’d agree,
Kringlas and Fatt(ig)mann are named after me.
I can’t wait to take my Cookie Pause,
(I can because I am Santa Claus).

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

SARA’S FEAST

An Italian Christmas Eve

 
In years past, we celebrated
Christmas Eve with our friends
and their family. Big night.
Traditional fish dishes–clams,
shrimp, calamari–and Kathy’s
pasta with braciole, and lemon
chicken. Her sister Roz brought
scrumptious stuffed artichokes.
Grandma Rae cured her own
olives, and I baked pies. One
year, my husband made
minestrone soup. Rave reviews
even from Grandma Rae. Salad
was served last, followed by fruit,
followed by espresso, pie,
and an assortment of pastries
and cookies. If you haven’t tasted
piñoli cookies, you haven’t lived.
Nick played guitar, and the house
was filled with aunts, uncles,
and cousins. What I remember
best is the warmth and laughter.

PROMPT #206 – THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS: PART TWO

We’ve touched on the giving aspect of Christmas and the special kind of joy that is associated with that process. This week we’ll reverse the act. They say it is better to give than to receive. But we still find favor in accepting a gift that was given from the heart and in turn gave us joy. So I ask, what was the best Christmas gift you remember receiving? It could have been last year; it could have been from your childhood. Give your poem for us to receive the joy of which you’ve written.

***

We have run through many different poetic forms over the years which we’ve offered on Wednesdays. We have returned to some forms several times. But for the sake of redundancy, I will be suspending the Inform Poets feature. Thanks to all who have made it an enjoyable labor.

SARA’S SILVER SLIVER:

Silver Slivers

Small, local silver shop opened
near my husband’s place of employment.
Hanukkah (me) and Christmas (he)
were just up ahead. Knowing
my fondness for silver earrings,
my husband had the jeweler design
a pair of dangling silver earrings
that tapered to a leaf-like point.
Centered in each was an opal.
I love them as much now as I did
thirty plus years ago. I believe
I have tarnished faster than they have.

##

WALT’S GIFT:

LAST PACKAGE

It is just about finished,
the day for which I work all year,
and the end is near.
Tired and sore,
and what’s more, I have one
last package to deliver.
I shiver at the thought,
and I probably ought to have
given it sooner. My eyes burn
and I yearn to give them rest.
But, the best sight for these sore eyes,
is the surprise on her face
when I place this final package
in her hands. It only stands to reason,
every year during this season,
she waits; the patience of a saint
is hers. This gift is always the last one given.
As long as I’m living, she’ll be giving it.
She wraps her arms around me
and she see the smile it brings.
And my heart sings when Mrs. “C”
gives her gift to me. I am Santa Claus.
My journey is complete. “Honey, Rub my feet?”

##

PROMPT #205 – THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS: PART ONE

THE JOY OF GIVING

From the time we are children we’ve associated the Christmas season with  a joyful time. And that certainly does outweigh the alternative. Yet we know, (some of us by personal experience) sadness can touch lives at Christmas time. Avoiding all sadness and trying to shape our magic moment, is a futile endeavor. What is meant to happen, will happen. It is a broken world in which we live, and broken hearts need to heal along with it at this time. The true Christmas spirit goes far to promote this healing, through the  gift of Life that we celebrate on that day. It is through the giving that we truly are living.

As children, we researched and compiled extensive Christmas wish lists with the help of the Sears® or Montgomery Ward® catalogs, et al. But as we grew in wisdom and age, we realized that Christmas was more about other things: our family, our faith and our giving to others.

What kind of gifts brought you joy then? What gives you joy now? Today we celebrate the idea of giving and the joy that it brings to others (and ourselves in the process!) Give it your best effort, and give us a gift to ponder for this season.

 

SARA’S GIFT:

GIFTS THEN AND NOW

My first bike was royal blue
With training wheels gone, I flew.
My roller skates with metal clamps
had key for tightening, riding down ramps.

Aunt Ida and Uncle Bill
took me with them to Forest Hills
where I learned how to ice skate;
never did a figure eight.

As an adult, other gifts matter
more, like a table laden with platters
of food, and laughter to be shared
with family and friends for whom I care.

Cards I have created from scratch,
adding personal tidbits to match
person on the receiving end
fill me with joy, and impatience to send.

© Sara McNulty – 2016

 

WALT’S GIFT:

EBENEZER

“Ebenezer,” she asks,
“If I give you my hand,
will you give me your heart?”
It would have been a smart deal
to feel something warm
where stone cold resides.
For his insides were as rotten
as an undigested bit of beef.
Had he given his heart
it would have been good as gold.
But it made him bitter and old,
a lonely lump in Cratchit’s sorry scuttle.
Emotions shuttle between sharing his love
and caring for just himself.
His past and present will dictate
the uncertain future ahead.
It is said the only true giving is in
living for the sake of humanity.
Greed and vanity will surely kill a man.
“Ebenezer,” she asks, “If I give you my hand,
will you give me your heart
.
© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

PROMPT #204 – TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING

If you pay any attention to the world, it is apparent that times are changing. A lot is changing. This week we enter into a thankful time on Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, with a quick transition (thanks or not to Black Friday) into the Christmas Season. The stores are already in full regalia and the radio stations have begun to intone Holiday music in earnest. The weather here has changed in a day from 71 degree sunshine yesterday, to 39 degree snow storm with extreme winds today. Changes, changes, changes!

So I suppose it would fall into place if we write about changes, something or someone  transitioning to something else. Write of change before I change my mind.

***

I’ve seen that our friend Earl Parsons is progressing and is thankful for the blessings and good wishes of all those who hold him in their thoughts and prayers. It seems he will be released from the hospital today. His recovery is still a long way to go and we hope you feel better soon, Earl! We miss you!

WALT’S CHANGE:

SEASONS CHANGE

The air is chilled.
Clouds in a hue of blue
that feels frigid, making
exposed digits ache and stiffen.
Autumn entered through
Summer’s closing door
and it’s true that fall could be hours old,
but the cold will have you believing
that looks are deceiving. Summer has departed;
can a disheartening Winter be far behind?
I find that this respite is a diversion,
an excursion through the year of seasons.
No reason can suffice to quell
crimson leaves and ice .

© Walter J. Wojtanik -2016

PROMPT #203 – SOMETHING’S MISSING

Sometimes things end up looking like a gap-toothed smile because something is missing. It could be a vital something or just a thing that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. Write that something. You could be missing home, or a person. Maybe something you lost? Conversely, you could write about finding something. Just put it into words and we’ll fill in the gaps.

INFORM POETS – BURNS STANZA (or HABBIE STANZA)

Burns Stanza is a stanzaic sestet with lines of two lengths and two rhymes.

Lines 1, 2, 3, and 5 are four feet long with the “a” rhyme.

Lines 4 and 6 are two feet long with the “b” rhyme.

Schematic: Rhyme: aaabab
Meter (Iambic):

x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x b
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x b

WALT’S STANZA:

RAPID DESCENT OF A MADMAN

A madman in a quick decline
was clearly daft; out of his mind
but other that that he was just fine,
a bit unscrewed.
But underneath I’m sure you’d find
a righteous dude!

He’d lost his bearings long ago,
and found them once a year or so.
But when you’ve got to go, you go.
It will be sad,
but when your crazy starts to show,
you’ve gone quite mad.

You find there really is no cure,
(you thought there was, but you’re not sure.)
You laugh hysterically in stir,
a crazy loon.
And when you’re saner than you were
you’ll get out soon!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

PROMPT #202 – PREPARATION TO CELEBRATION

The last two months of the year seem ripe for celebration. And of course, you cannot have a great celebration without good preparation. So, what are some of the thing we will be celebrating?

November Celebrations:

Nov. 1 – All Saint’s Day

Nov. 2 – All Soul’s Day

Nov. 11 – Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day

Nov. 17 – Homemade Bread Day

Nov. 24 – Thanksgiving Day

Nov. 30 – Stay at Home Because You Are Well Day

 

December Celebrations:

Dec. 6 – St. Nicholas Day

Dec. 12 – Day of the Virgin Guadalupe

Dec. 16 – Chocolate Covered Anything Day

Dec. 23 – Festivus

Dec. 25 – Christmas Day

Dec. 25 – Hanukkah

Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve

Dec. 31 – Make Up Your Mind Day

Also celebrated is Kwanzaa

 

Obviously some are legitimate days of cultural and traditional celebration. And some are just plain silly!

What we need from you is to not write about the day so much, but about any preparation needed to pull them off! Have fun and enjoy your “day”!

 

WALT’S PREP:

FOR ONE MOMENT MORE

I miss you.
You always made special days,
days of love and nurturing.
And this future without you
keeps me wishing I had
just one moment more.
A moment to thank you for those times
and tell you did fine teaching
that nurturing and love
was harder than you made it look.
I miss you. I wish you were here.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

 

Written to honor my mom as we prepare to “celebrate” the thirtieth year since her passing on Christmas Eve 1986.

Dad will also be gone ten years on December 20th.

 

PROMPT #201 – ALL HALLOWS, SAINTS AND SOULS

First and of most importance, continue to offer thoughts and prayers for our brother Earl Parsons. Conflicting reports have him in precarious straits. He’s always been in God’s hands, but now more than ever! Pray he will be able to join us again and  soon.

***

We’ve reached the end of October and find ourselves at the junction of Halloween, and All Saints Day and All Souls Day (in some religious circles). Your charge is simple. Write a Halloween (and anything that entails) poem, or a saint or soul poem. There are different thoughts for what a saint can be. And we all know certain souls who inspire our muse if they choose (again, thoughts for Earl) Use these terms to whatever they spark in you, and write your poem.

Also thoughts for Sara who is dealing with health issues this week as well.

Finally, please take care of yourselves and stay well!

SARA’S POEM:

Ghost Brings Rotten Teeth

Enters, head hangs under arm, green feet
scrape shrill as whistles. Woman wakes shrieks.
Bad dream? Ghost rattles head and points
to three black teeth placed on bed.
Sins, Sins, he moans. Repent.
First tooth–those you’ve hurt,
second–lies told.
Third tooth stands,
she cries
out
NO!
Tooth climbs
onto neck,
sinks into vein.
Ghost bleats like mad sheep,
you will simply not do.
Not do for what? says she, eyes
closed slits; she still hopes to waken.
Says ghost, alas, no remorse shown here.
Had blood spewed black, you’d be Vampire Queen!

(C) Sara McNulty – 2016

WALT’S POEM:

MY SOUL SHALL BE LIFTED

Lost in this maze of doubt and uncertainty,
you emerge from the shadow of long ago
to take a hold of my precious words and cling
to them as if they were the most important thing,
most cherished in your mind.
How did you find me here?
Why do you raise me up?
How did you bridge this chasm between
thought and word; between heart and mind.
I had become a poet lost in the mire of a dwindling pyre,
left to smolder in the ash heap of emotion.
And yet, you read my words; you devour them,
filling your soul with their beauty, and lifting mine
with your support and encouragement.
My poetic soul has found nourishment in your devotion.
My muse has taken flight as it soars;
to the clouds my soul shall be lifted.
 
(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

PROMPT #199 – TAKE ME BACK

My wife and I have found ourselves reminiscing a lot lately. Different situations between us and our daughters; of younger versions of us and our siblings/parents. Memories of home come pouring our. Today, we ask you to go back into your old room from your youth. How special was it? What memories do you have (if you have any at all)? Take us back with you and bring it all back to life in your poem.

As a wild card, if the first suggestion is a bit…painful, write about something you liked to do or a club/organization that was influential in your development! Either way, we’re taking you back

SARA’S RETURN:

YOURS AND MINE

My room was ours.
My sister and I shared,
sleeping on iron
framed beds. One slid
under the other, until they were
detached to form an “L” shape.
We fought over boundaries
with imaginary lines. Times she wanted
her friends in, I wanted mine.

Mostly we were glad to have
company–giggling at night,
pleading with Mom not to turn
off the light. Neither of us outgrew
that little phobia.

When we were ill,
we would stay in our beds,
dreading sound of doctor’s
footsteps. We did not suffer
needles well, but loved
having tray tables set up,
knowing we would have
tomato soup and Ritz for lunch
I know now how lucky we were.

WALTER’S WAY BACK MACHINE:

LIFE WITH GRANDFATHER

My grandfather, a naturalized citizen through proper channels, occupied the two back rooms of our house. Technically we occupied the front part of his house! But at this stage two rooms was all her needed. With four of us boys (and two sister siblings) we were strapped for space. To alleviate the congestion, a suggestion was made for one of us to “live” with “Dziadziu” (pronounced Ja-Ju – Polish for grandfather). I had gladly pulled that straw. A man of the world and many situations, both good and bad, had come to be a mentor and my moral compass. I had spent much of my free time in his company watching Hitchcock and Sullivan, talking about life and family, me in my naivety and he in his broken english. We shared two rooms and that had given me a life!

Wisdom sequestered
within eight walls of two rooms
lessons taught and learned

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

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