POETIC BLOOMINGS

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

MARY MANSFIELD

 

I grew up the typical brainy kid: excellent grades, reading anything I could get my hands on.  It was a creative writing class during my junior year of high school truly sparked the writing bug in me (Thank you, Mr. Lancaster, wherever you are!)
I only have one publishing credit, in a local weekly paper that promptly went out of business the week after my poem appeared (which I hope is a total coincidence.)  No major awards yet, unless you count the “World’s Most Awesome Mom” certificate hanging on my refrigerator.  My graduating class did vote me “Most Likely to Be Elected President,” but I’m not entirely sure that was a compliment.
When I’m not writing, I can usually be found spending time with the family, watching NASCAR, or rocking my best diva attitude during karaoke.
I chose a dandelion as my flower because they are bright, persistent, and can bloom absolutely anywhere!
My blog Write Wing Conspiracy can be found at marybmansfield.blogspot.com.

© All postings and intellectual materials on this page are property of Mary Mansfield.

11 thoughts on “MARY MANSFIELD

  1. Written for prompt #44 – Where the Rubber Meets the Road

    Seeking an Answer
    Her search for an answer
    Took her beyond the edges of the map,
    Down roads paved with more questions.
    Grief is her companion on this trip,
    A cumbersome stray dog
    That never quite sheds its feral nature.
    The murmur of reluctant voices
    Pelt her senses,
    Silent taunts that only cement her resolve.
    The dense smoke of days gone by
    Waft around her,
    Seeping through her cracks,
    Obscuring the view rushing by her window,
    Masking her constant pain.
    Grief invites her
    To drink of his sorrows,
    To lose herself in despair.
    She refuses the distraction,
    Continuing her search for an answer,
    Still questioning how
    The man who so easily entranced her
    Could slip so easily from her life.

  2. Written for prompt #43 – Where Have All the Flowers Gone

    Swinging for the Stars
    I wish I could go back
    To the time when all that mattered
    Was who could swing the highest.
    In that magical seat of dreams
    I would kick as hard as I could,
    Swinging for the stars.
    Today those seats hang empty
    As I play at being an adult,
    But I still kick as hard as I can,
    Still swinging for the stars

  3. Written for prompt #41 – Old Relatives

    Tears of an Old Patriot
    A patriot cries on heaven’s highest hill
    And wonders if America remembers him still.
    His nation, it seems, has lost its way,
    A shining city plagued with urban decay.
    Our people discouraged, the outlook looks bleak.
    Our enemies see us as timid and weak.
    The country is falling apart at the seams
    As we witness the death of American dreams.
    The government now is irreparably broken,
    Ignoring the words that the people have spoken.
    Our freedoms are fading, and some we have lost
    For the sake of security, ignoring the cost.
    He’s comforted knowing a new generation
    Finds in his conservative stance, inspiration
    To stand and continue to struggle, to fight
    To protect precious liberty with all of their might.
    He knows in his heart that our country’s best years
    Are still yet to come, and he fights back his tears.
    Let’s all come together and defend the Constitution.
    The time is now here for a ballot-box revolution

  4. Written for prompt #40 – And I Quote…Me!

    Unvarnished Advice
    “Don’t ask me a question if you’re not willing to listen to the answer.”
    Sassy. Opinionated. Blunt.
    You know how I am,
    Yet you act so surprised
    At my direct responses
    To the latest crisis in your life.
    Tact and subtlety
    Are foreign tongues to me,
    My stubborn adherence to integrity
    A matter of pride, a part of my identity.
    Truth is a stubborn thing,
    And I will not dance around
    In your veil of delusions merely
    For the sake of your comfort.
    I have no cruel intentions,
    No malice toward you.
    Honesty will prove
    Much less cruel in the long run,
    And my conscience remains
    Untainted by a willing deceit.
    Sassy. Opinionated. Blunt.
    Perhaps the initials
    Should have given you a clue.

  5. Written for In Form Poet – Quatern

    The Next Step
    I strip the trials and pain away,
    Tomorrow starts a brand new day
    Of searching for a way to start
    To mend my aching, shattered heart.
    To keep my spirit from decay,
    I strip the trials and pain away.
    I’ve tried but just can’t be consoled.
    How many tears can one heart hold?
    How can I be brave, be strong?
    I’m tired of singing that sad song.
    I strip the trials and pain away,
    Abandoning the old cliché.
    If I can make it through this night,
    I may just find the will to fight.
    For strength to carry on, I pray.
    I strip the trials and pain away.

  6. Written for prompt #39 – Color My World

    The Grays and Browns
    I’ve wandered this barren land too long,
    The landscape drenched in
    The grays and browns of death.
    Nothing grows here anymore,
    Lost in endless winter,
    No warmth in sight.
    All things need nourishment,
    But there is no sustenance,
    Nothing vital and alive,
    All is decayed, putrefied, emaciated.
    If I remain, the same will happen to me.
    The time has come for escape,
    To cross the border to a new land
    Where my heart can once again flourish
    Rather than join the withered remnants,
    Lost forever to the grays and browns.

  7. Also written for prompt #39 – Color My World

    Sweet Temptation (A Gift for Snow White)
    Do not be afraid,
    My dear,
    I mean you no harm.
    I am merely
    A poor grandmother,
    Stopped to rest
    On my way home
    From a magical orchard.
    You see,
    My child,
    Inside the gleaming
    Crimson skin
    Of this apple
    Lies a secret:
    Magic lives
    In its juicy flesh.
    I can tell,
    Sweet girl,
    From your graceful carriage
    And genteel manner,
    That you were not born
    To toil in servitude
    In a dark cottage
    Such as this.
    Do you really believe
    That is all there is for you?
    I thought not.
    Your dreams,
    The wishes your heart makes,
    Can all come true,
    If you only
    Take a bite…

  8. Written for prompt #38 – Hey That’s My Line

    Urgent Clocks
    Our insistent alarms
    And the first rays of sunlight
    Send us scatterings like cockroaches,
    Chasing the who
    the where
    the when,
    Propelling us forward
    In our agitated race for survival.
    We forget our need to
    S l o w D o w n,
    Breathe,
    Enjoy the now.

  9. Also written for prompt #38 – Hey That’s My Line

    The Ability to Dance on Water
    The first blush of love
    Can set aside our rational minds,
    Voiding the laws of physics.
    We float through the heavens
    And dance across the waters
    With no sense of consequences.

    However, when reality intrudes,
    It often brings gravity along as well,
    Sending us crashing back to earth,
    Leaving us drowning in heartache.

  10. Written for prompt #45 – Nothing to fear but fear itself.

    Broken Girls and Unheeded Warnings

    I ignored the well-meaning advice
    From friends and family.
    They didn’t understand.
    They didn’t know him the way I did.
    We were in love, and love conquers anything.
    In his arms this broken girl
    Found salvation in a dream come alive,
    A balm to ease the pain of a chaotic life,
    Unaware the path I had chosen
    Only led to more chaos.
    Seductive words from his forked tongue
    Slowly weaned me away
    From those friends and family,
    Leaving me wandering
    Coatless through the wilderness
    With only him to save me.
    His sweet words soured over time,
    Turning derisive and cruel,
    Stripping away my sense of self
    Until all that remained was
    A drained vessel to be filled
    With more woolly logic,
    More twisted illusions,
    His viselike grip on me
    Suffocating in every sense of the word.
    The dream deteriorated into an nightmare,
    Days carefully calculated to avoid his wrath,
    Nights waiting to see what torture
    Lie in store should his temper rise again,
    Perhaps another verbal assault
    Spiraling into something more physical,
    Unwanted invasions of my deepest self,
    Lying awake wondering
    If this was the night when the
    Cold metal of a kitchen knife
    Would slide between my ribs
    Turning white sheets to crimson.
    By the time enough fragments of myself
    Had returned to identify the danger,
    I was nearly incapable of escaping.
    I almost didn’t.

    I’ve watched her grow from
    Chubby toddler into gawky adolescent
    Into a young woman who could be my daughter,
    A beautiful but broken girl
    Whose steps mirror my own path.
    I know his embrace eases that broken feeling,
    Brings a fullness to her life she’s never known.
    Today I am a much wiser woman
    And can see the warning signs,
    She thinks no one understands;
    I understand far more than she,
    Knowledge forged in an abuser‘s shadow.
    She shapes her life as he prefers,
    Days carefully calculated to avoid his wrath.
    She is already slipping away
    From the friends and family
    Offering advice I know will be ignored.
    I find I cannot admonish her.
    I can only pray she learns
    Before repeating all my mistakes
    And walks away from him
    While she’s still capable of escaping.

  11. Written for prompt #48 – In the Shadows

    Joy and the Magic Man

    Over the years, Joy’s name
    Seemed to fit her less and less,
    Her spirit eroded by
    A river of responsibilities,
    Once supple skin scarred
    By the acid touch of time,
    Myopia pushing aside
    The artistic visions of her youth.
    She almost did not recognize him,
    Black hair lightened into gray,
    His slower steps assisted
    By a cane that mirrored her own,
    Nothing to gauge that he even saw her,
    Much less remembered
    The time when she was “his Joy,”
    Back before she had developed
    Any acumen at the craft of love.

    He had been her Magic Man,
    An alchemist whose tender touch
    Turned her tears to drops of gold.
    He sprinkled her life with wonder,
    A belief that life was larger
    Than she ever dreamed possible.
    He taught her how to embrace freedom
    In a sensuous dance of hearts
    Uninterrupted by the outside world,
    Two artists in love feeding
    On the creative juices of the other,
    Stoking a fire that overtook them,
    Consuming and eventually leaving
    Only smoldering embers discarded
    In search of the next inspiration.

    She set aside her brush
    And oil paints long ago,
    Arthritic hands and withered dreams
    Unable to give shape to her visions,
    But as she sweeps past him
    On that cold January sidewalk
    In her sensible shoes and sturdy coat,
    Shadows of Joy and the Magic Man
    Float in the fog of yesterday.

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