BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #112

We’re all famous, even if only amongst our poetic comrades. Our “best selling” poetic collections are all the rage and to know a bit more about the authors, we flip to the liner notes on the back cover…

This was the premise of our prompt. What we envision is splayed out in the comments for this week’s poems. The poems/poets chosen for our BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS are:

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM:

This week, I  just couldn’t NOT offer my Bloom to Andrew Kreider for “When the running stopped.”   That quirky tell-tale humor baits and elates, while he craftily spills who he is.  But it’s the understated wisdom of it all that I find completely beguiling.

Thank you, Andrew.  This piece will stick with me.

When the running stopped (by Andrew Kreider)

Just before his final race, Andrew Kreider
made two calls, one to his lawyer,
the other to his spiritual advisor.

Whatever was discussed can surely explain
only in part the bizarre circumstances
of his subsequent disappearance

the anonymous gift of one thousand copies
of Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” to the
Elkhart High School English department

the establishment of a state-of-the-art
penguin hatchery at the heart of
the Potawatomi Zoo

and the sudden appearance of
Garrison Keillor’s face carved into
the side of the Swiss Valley Ski Resort.

His garage was populated with
medium duty power tools
(not the really dangerous kind)

and a wall of guitar amplifiers
loud enough to make even
Pete Townshend soil his drawers.

Some say Kreider never took life
seriously enough. In truth, he probably
cared more than he could bear.

This collection must be read with a smile,
for as Kreider knew all too well, in the end
we are united not by our triumphs but by our flaws.

WALT’S BLOOM:

Although this poem reads like a foreword/dedication it is an expressive tribute which put our poet on a good path toward any successes she may envision. The vision is clear and success is what we believe we can achieve (even if we haven’t gotten there yet). Nessa Jay receives my BLOOM.

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS OF THANKS
TO MY GRANDMOTHER (by Nessajay)

First, I would like to thank her for growing the cherry tree
that gave me so many afternoons of finding heaven
through sunlight shining through green leaves
climbing to hunt red jewels staining my lips with
the same sweet that made the birds come back
year after year and trill out their gladness for life.

I would like to thank her for teaching me to play jacks
speak sign language make tamales mix salsa dance salsa
dance samba play samba reggae on old buckets and
love the world how I find it.

I would like to thank her for driving me to the beach and
to the desert in her souped-up El Camino with turquoise rims
that she converted herself to run on vegetable oil, so it poofs out
the carnival scent of frying dough everywhere we go
and when my grandma hits the hydraulics, everyone points
and says look at that old broad and her broad smile sparkles with
the sunlight bouncing off the hood and she always stops for
hitchhikers because she has Shaolin training and can
disarm any foe so why be afraid?

I would like to thank my grandma for listening to me like a lake
deep and unruffled for always having a bed made for me and
my sisters and all my cousins and for giving us a little money
every time we come around and unwrapping the right story
from her life at the right time to help us place our own
vignettes within the mosaic of our family history
world history universal mystery.

I would like to thank my grandma for raising goats
but not eating them and never forgetting
to bring something small for each grandchild
from her trips to Cuba, Brazil, Nigeria, Morocco, Prague,
Mexico and for dedicating her best last book
of poetry to me and for putting my 8th grade Winter Formal
picture on the jacket of her underground smash hit album
of Smokey Robinson covers.

I would like to thank my grandma for sitting with me
silently on the porch swing just nibbling on the subtle shifts
of sunlight’s colors and angles for waiting
til she turned 80 to start smoking a tobacco pipe
and waiting til her great-great-granddaughter was born
to leave this planet
and I want to thank her for
leaving us a little sign behind
when she left
that everything would be alright
because she crossed over smiling
and humming an unknown song

A MUST-READ POET – PROMPT #112

Your life is an open book; a best seller. Your poem is the blurb from the back cover. It doesn’t need to be strictly on the level. Let your imagination and ambition color your background. What have you done; what do you dream of doing? Consider it accomplished and write your blurb.

MARIE ELENA’S RUN-ON DREAM:

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams, awake.”   ~ Henry David Thoreau

If success…
 
is measured by pleasure
that graces wee faces;
the glee you see as they adorn the knee
of the one who will read and quench their need
for story in rhyme, and take the time
to let small fingers linger and point
and think it a treat to repeat and repeat
the giggley, squiggely words for the wiggley
who can’t get enough of her picture book stuff,
then yes, she’s been blessed with the grandest success.
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
 

WALT”S BLURB:

WORDS OF WALT

Years of struggling have paid off,
others scoff at Walt’s success, but the rest
of the world knew what he went through
to reach his dream. His ninth poetry
collection has taken perfection and
although turning it down a notch,
raised the bar to secure future success.
His best is yet to come,and some
find that hard to believe. Looks deceive
but his words tell it like it is.
Entitled “Bullcrap Sells,” this may well be.

© Copyright Walter Wojtanik – 2013

We’d also like to wish all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day.  It’s one of the toughest jobs on the planet, and hopefully one of the most rewarding. 

Walt, we’d love to see a photo out here of you with your gorgeous daughters.  *hint, hint*  Happy Father’s Day, Pard!

WojFamPlus1

The “Official” family wedding portrait (I’m flanked by my daughters)

IMG_0145

Andrea and Melissa

 

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #110

We are who we are  partly because of the people we’ve been around and the places that have marked our time. This week was an exploration of these places. More specifically, the monuments and landmarks that pock the landscape. Some having national import, others of local interest. Still others have personal connections that are strong. The BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS for the week:

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM:

First, it feels great to be back!  Thank you, Walt, for so easily and seamlessly stretching your legs to plant one in Buffalo and one in Maumee. You’re the best!

I very much enjoyed reading all these landmark poems, and learning a bit about where you all are from.  Probably because I have a difficult time with this myself, I especially admire those of you who put a creative spin on the prompt.  De Miller Jackson (aka “whimzygizmo”) is brilliant at flipping a prompt and making the right side of her reader’s brain light with De-light.  “Sin City’s Strip” played “right” into De’s brain, and her heart of grace-gratitude.  Marvelous, De!  This Bloom is for you.

 Stripped (by De Miller Jackson)

 of all de
-corum, dignity,
un
-ease;
yet in our need
we find our
knees.
 
down to next to nothing,
we rise above. A light on a
hill unbusheled but some
-times pecked to death. In
one breath we both sigh
and sing, grateful
(so)
for one lone thing:
where sin abounds. Grace
abounds
also.

WALT’S BLOOMS:

I took the liberty to choose two poems/poets as BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS this week. These tributes stood out amongst the wonderful works presented. Both are memories finely honed and presented. The first by Marian Veverka told of a two hundred year old tower that has stood as a beacon and guide. The “Marblehead Lighthouse” has earned her this BLOOM.

Secondly, I presented a BLOOM to Vivienne Blake’s “A Reminder” for a simple nod to a historic moment and place. With the commemoration of the 69th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion of World Wars II (D-Day) this past week, Vivienne’s poem was both timely and a gentle reminder of the broad scope of a world event that touches us all. These types of tributes are dear to my heart and I wished to express my appreciation of such. Congratulations Marian and Vivienne.

Marblehead Lighthouse (by Marian Veverka)

It rises from its sturdy base, its walls
Gleaming white in the sunlight.
Tourist climb the narrow stairs
Admire the great beam, quiet now
In the daytime, ready to guide all
Mariners as it has done for almost
200 years through fog and darkness.

We grew up to the deep bass call
Of the foghorn, fell asleep to the
Giant beam of light as it circled
Through the darkness, guiding all
Sailors away from the peninsula’s
Rocky shore.

This is what we have left, here on the
Peninsula. The land too rocky for a
Good crop, the Whitefish gone, the
Walleye & perch clinging to survival
And the great limestone quarry which
Once brought hundreds of workers from
Eastern Europe to Ohio, now on its last
Layers of stone, the steel mills closed
Automotive industry down-sized
The construction industry –the last hope –
Now also not what it used to be.

So we welcome the tourists that come
To admire our lighthouse, built in 1822, the
Oldest continually operating on the great lakes.
We hope that they will dine in our restaurants,
Buy gifts and souvenirs in our small shops,
Perhaps party a bit in the local taverns before
Boarding the ferry to the islands where summer
Is still a continuing party. The fishing is good,
The water-parks are open, the lake is, as always
Beautiful.

A Reminder (by Vivienne Blake)

At the bottom of our lane is a crossroads.
Stop at the Eastern arm of the X
and reflect on the bravery of the airmen
who were downed on D Day 1944.
Five flags point the way –
British, French, Australian and US of A
and the fifth, the roundel of the RAF –
to five polished granite stones.
Each bears the name of a member of the crew.
On the sixth of June each year,
we meet to remember them
with music, stories and flowers.
Later, across the little country road,
a multinational mixture toasts their memory in wine

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #109

With Marie still M.I.A. I am trying something a little different. When she informed me of her absence, my first thought was to recruit one of you fine artists to fill in for Marie in offering the BLOOM. The mechanics of that would have been more than I had time for, sorry to say.

So here is my solution: There will indeed be two BLOOMS/poems chosen for the honor this week. One based on our regular Sunday seed, and the other will come from Wednesday’s IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – YOU PICK IT.

WALT’S FAVORITE FORM:

The predominant form this week appears to be the Cento, and some exceptional examples were displayed this week. We all find favorite or memorable lines in the works of others. Putting them together to have great minds convey one thought is an achievement all its own. Every poet who presented a Cento will be awarded a BEAUTIFUL BLOOM:

RJ CLARKEN – Circular Cento and Elephant Cento

RANDY BELL – I Will Leave Less That This Behind Me

WILLIAM PRESTON – A Cento For Songwriters

SHERYL KAY ODER – We Real?

Please return to the IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – YOU PICK IT prompt and re-read these and other great poems and forms!

THE WALT COMBO (#2 on your menu):

The joining of two objects or ideas that are dissimilar to create a thought or union that can thrive and flourish was the assignment this week. It made as much sense as this confluence of poets who contribute here week in, week out. From the handful of seeds that began this POETIC BLOOMINGS journey, to the Botanical Garden of poetic thought it has become, the collection that has assembled here never ceases to amaze Marie and me.

This poem is the one chosen to be highlighted this week for the BEAUTIFUL BLOOM:

A flower soft, its beauty and fragrance entice. Amber, solid, hard an encasement to preserve and record such beauty. Concrete beauty, transparent hardness – most dissimilar yet brought together wonderfully in:

The Real Thing… (by Hannah Gosselin)
~
True love is untouchable;
a prehistoric flower frozen,
weightless-eternal,
motionless
in a bit of golden-tinted amber.
Awe-striking
yes, and miraculously ordinary,
in a breath-coveted.
Double helix-
heart-strings,
pulled
placed in a petri
under close observation,
grace.
Replica of a replica
of a replica;
true love is untouchable.
Captured,
abiding in a sunlit bubble,
an idea once conceived-
utterly magical.
There it stays,
unmoving…
A concept to strive for,
a notion trapped
in a timeless tawny potion.
Once it’s exposed-
cracked free from its casing
and shown to the world
it begins its slow decay;
true love cannot be replicated,
drop of resin gripped between fingertips
light reveals-
irreplaceability.
~
Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #108

Bad, bad, bad. That’s what we headed out to write. But As we found, trying to write badly is not easy. Our poetic discipline kicks in and we still write a good poem. We learn that there is no “bad” poem.

The bad news is, I am flying solo today as Marie is away from her computer and internet connection this week. She will be back ASAP, but until then I’ll be holding the fort.

It’s not all bad news. The wedding of my daughter went off wonderfully and the reception was quite a celebration. She was glowing and my new son (in-law) is everything I would have imagined for my daughter. They’re off on the right foot.

But… we were writing “bad”. And you were all wonderfully “bad”. So my lone task is this: Pick a BEAUTIFUL BLOOM, and so…

WALT’S CHOICE:

This selection is a good “bad” poem rife with imagery and loaded with humor, That’s NOT what makes it bad, and that’s the problem with most of the poems submitted. David’s piece below just jumped out at me,  and receives my BLOOM.

COUNTRY LOVE : New Version ; by David De Jong

I love you bigger, than the back side of my horse.
I can’t wait to see you, so I hurry with the chores.
My love for you is so strong, let me show you how,
Stronger than my tractor, pulling that big old plow.

Holdin’ your hand comes normal, puts me at ease.
While you’re standin there; could you hand me that grease?
You’re just like the spare tire on my old truck,
You help me get goin’ whenever I get stuck.

Won’t never forget the first time you caught my eye,
There at the county fair, when it plopped in your pie.
You licked it; and slicked it; wiped it all clean,
You is the prettiest my eye ever seen.

No one can fix an old rooster the way you do,
How you kill an’ butcher em, fixin’ that fine stew.
They don’t know what hit em when you whack em dead,
Their legs runnin’, chassin’ crazy, lookin’ for their head.

I know how they feel, tryin’ to recollect their hinds,
Love for you drives me loco, the only thing on my mind.
I’ll be thinking on you, while I watch the cows graze,
Like green grass, I’ll be lovin’ you, rest of my days.

 

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #106

A funny thing happened on the way to our Prompt #107…

We stopped to present our Beautiful Blooms!

MARIE’S SELECTION:

What a fun time I had perusing these!  Even those of you who claim no funny bone came up with some fun reads.  Now, I must admit that Walt and I came thiiiiiiiiis close to choosing the same Bloom once again, as we have done only twice before.  However, my top two choices were completely hand-in-hand – each for different reasons – so I decided to offer this week’s Bloom to Connie Peters for her entertaining limerick.  This one has it all…

Rhyme: fun.

Humor: quirky.

Meter:  flawless.

Thanks for the chuckles, Connie!

 

Untitled Limerick by Connie Peters

There once was a man from Shanghai
Who married a witch on the fly.
When he wanted to munch,
he said, “Make me a lunch.”
Now he’s bologna on rye.

 

WALT’S CHOICE: 

The whole concept of using the punchline for inspiration was that my wife and I have started “speaking our own language,” using these truncated phrases as points of conversation. Quite simply, PUNCH LINE by Nancy Posey tells that exact story. We find our connections where we can and revel in the joy we communicate. Nancy earns my Bloom.

Punch Line (by Nancy Posey)

One benefit of long marriage:
our economy of words.
We’ve shared so many laughs
together that now
we need only speak
the punch lines
to explode into laughter:

That dog’ll bite you!
McGregor the wall builder. . .
Why do you ask, two dogs. . . ?
Ricky hold his own hand.
That your boots? Thatcher boots?

We speak in our own code,
consider ourselves hilarious.
The secret of long love lies
between the ears,
laughter as libido.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #105

Another case of a picture being worth a thousand words … or a couple thousand words. And if our perception is our reality, then our poets are as real as can be. We have been impressed once again and it never gets old. Applause and kudos to all writers of verse in this garden of love. BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS are presented to:

MARIE ELENA’S PICK:

Sometimes there is an abundant message and complete story spoken in few words, and their attending silence.  Of all the intriguing, charming, and poignant poems this week, none spoke more effectively than Paula Wanken’s tiny Picu, “Broken.”  Outstanding.

BROKEN  (by Paula Wanken)
(a piku)

All that’s left
is
an empty shell.

WALT’S CHOICE:

We thrive for the opportunity to break out of our shells and step into the world for which we have prepared. And any benefit we glean from our opportunity is all a matter of being at the right place; right time. No better expression of this than what has been proffered by the flashpoetguy (everyone’s mentor, Salvatore Buttaci).  And when the time is right, we’ll know it!

WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT  (by flashpoetguy)

when the egg is broken
determines what you will find
breakfast yolk or gold chick

all of life is in the timing
those distractedly deaf
to the opportune knock

cannot go back in time
and kindly request
a second hearing

in that moment
when you can show kindness
do so without hesitation

#

Congratulations to Paula and Sal, and thanks to Barbara Young for the photo that inspired all of us this week!

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #102

The BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS are in at POETIC BLOOMINGS!

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM

Marjory’s photo inspired many excellent poems in a variety of styles, topics, and moods.  Thank you for sharing your photo with us, Marjory!

For this week’s Bloom, I chose to highlight “Silent Screams,” by Hannah Gosselin.  Hannah has a golden talent for using imagery to simultaniously paint both a scene and a mood.  Silent Screams is a superb example of this gift she has.  This excerpt blows me away:

“Last year’s grass
yellowed –
crisp with remembering
cried out,
tried to remind him.”

Hannah, we are blessed to count you among our regular bloomers.  Thank you for sharing your outstanding talent with us.

Silent Screams (by Hannah Gosselin)

Silken-slinking and black,
it inks the pavement in secret;
it creeps in a slow sheet.
A street so familiar
becomes a stranger
while he sleeps.
He’s early rising
and in rush of morning
he forgets that winter
still kisses the earth,
he fails to recall
that frost still lingers.
A fast fling
from car to woods,
the sound of his body
as it hits the ground
resounds through nature.
Last year’s grass
yellowed –
crisp with remembering
cried out,
tried to remind him.
Slow down sojourner!
Take care early traveler!
Beware, the ice crawls here!

Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

WALT’S CHOICE:

Circumstance don’t allow me to write a big explanation today. But this poem by Marian Veverka struck my interest and gets my BLOOM.

THE CURVE (by Marian Veverka)

It was like the whole school
Students, teachers, janitors
Had to see for themselves
Though the wreckers had come early
And the cops made sure no souvenirs
Lingered for the morbidly inclined.

We came at dawn
When the traffic was slow
Before the flowers and the notes
The girls who suddenly discovered
He had been their secret heartthrob all along
The Junior. mechanics and engineers who explained
What he should have done and why it had happened.
Sure.

The wreckers had finished and some insects
Were chirping in the grass like they always did
Later rain would fall and slowly the blood
Would sink down into the ground and the
Grass, like they used to say about battlefields
Would grow a bit greener, fresher…
A new sign would appear – maybe it would
Say 25 – 20 for all the good it did.

When some dumb kid with a new set of wheels
Had to see what they would do and where was there
A better place to find out than “Dead Man’s Curve?”

Outstanding work poets! Congratulations to Hannah and Marian!

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #95

We find our inspiration in anyplace we encounter or look. Reading a newspaper or a magazine can offer ideas. Even the back of a cereal box can spark your muse. Thankfully, there were no poems written about Riboflavin! But in all this magnificence, we need to select the BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS:

MARIE ELENA’S CHOICE:

Marilyn Braendeholm’s “China Children” broke my heart in its sincere and moving depiction of the unthinkable:  children “unwanted at birth, and left in colder but steadier hands.”  The analogy drawn to the “fragile potted plants waiting for spring – sitting there still and unattended on bare benches, naked blank faces staring into candlelight” is almost more than I can bare.  There were many outstanding pieces this week, but this one grabbed my heart and did not let go.

CHINA CHILDREN (by Marilyn Braendeholm)

They remind me of fragile potted plants
waiting for spring – sitting there still
and unattended on bare benches, naked
blank faces staring into candlelight.
Their backs straight, feet rooted to the floor
under a long wooden table. A sturdy timber

cut on a bright green summer day, sliced
from a forgotten branch of antiquity, felled
and now held together by the press
of coughing chests against its old oaken
planks. This long table holds centre place
for these little ones, unwanted

at birth, and left in colder
but steadier hands.
These frail potted plants – pressing stares
of imaginary cakes on plates, want
for lack of sustenance that they need.
And as they gnaw on dried meat, all eyes

observe the door opening on the creak
of sore hinges, opened chills rushing
in scurries of flurried snow across the floor.
They know there’s no hiding from storms
that rage like mortal sin
beyond their cloistered walls.

Title from article about China’s social care and orphanages. The Telegraph newspaper.

(c) Misky 16/2/13

 

WALT’S SELECTION:

In reading the poems this week, I had narrowed them down to four that really caught my eye. More scrutiny brought me to two. And this choice was even more of a challenge. Then in reading further I knew why I could not separate the selections. Sometimes, we turn to another to learn nuances of a job or craft that when studied closely, they resemble that of the “teacher.”  So, my choice was to NOT separate them, but honor them together. The “student” found it within her to express herself in poetic terms as a recent epiphany. The “teacher” is reflected in her work. These two are indeed a “teacher – student” combination.

The student, Debi Swim, wrote:

Trust (by Debi Swim)

Some seeds need coaxing.
They learned not to trust
Fickle tempered fits
Of irrational
Unseasonable blitz –
now hot, now cold.

Some souls need coaxing.
They learned not to trust
easy smiles, blank eyes
broken promises
and smooth, oily lies –
I love only you.

http://bdtonline.com/lifestyles/x1633474269/Some-seeds-need-coaxing-to-sprout

Bluefield Daily Telegraph- Local Newspaper

***

The teacher is and remains, Salvatore Buttaci who offered:

A NEW LEASE ON A COWBOY’S LIFE (by Salvatore Buttaci)

At a time in my life when a fella should pause
From his labors and plan what’s the best
To enjoy his retir’ment, my sister, a wider named Tess,
All a sudden she passed. Lookin’ back, I was blessed.
But the story ain’t over; it’s comin’ the morn
An’ my nephew I reckon will move in for good.
Now what t’make of this turn of events?
I was walkin’ around like a man made o’ wood.

Did I mention my nephew’s a handful to raise?
“You’re my uncle,” he tells me, “no way you’re my dad.”
“Well, then, par’n me! Z’actly what makes you so mad?”
But he keeps hisself quiet, not tellin’ he’s scared
An’ I tell ‘im t’ give an ear, listen t’ me.
“All I want is t’ make you, boy, happy again.
And your mama in heaven, what would she say
If I failed in my mission? What would I do then?

Been some years since my sister Tess’s gone an’ her boy
Well, he worked out jus’ fine. Him an’ me in this place
We been cowboys ever since: seems I never could face
Not be working an’ take an old man’s retirement place
On the porch on a summer day jus’ watchin’ grass grow.
Me an’ Tommy, ya know we both keep ar’selves busy a tad.
We been raisin’ the finest o’ horses in Oklahoma
And that feller, Tess’s boy? Can ya b’lieve it? he calls me Dad!

————–

We come to find that Salvatore has been “tutoring” Debi in form and poetic structure. Thanks to Sal for providing the lead, and to Debi for having the good sense to follow. Congratulations to both who share my BEAUTIFUL BLOOM this week!  And to Misk for her equally well-deserved Bloom from Marie! 

————–