Kicking off the first Sunday prompt in 2013, we’re setting you up for some word play.

Here is a list of words:

challenge, common, mask, skill, origin,
love, night, drink, beauty, death

Now, here’s the twist:

Write your poems using these words. BUT, none of these words can appear in your poem. Get reacquainted with your old friend Roget and use your thesaurus to find an alternate word for each, and then use THOSE words to write your poem. You choose the right word for what it is you want to say.


Taste and see the Lord’s goodness –  
His grace will not pass away.
From the foundation of the world,
His devotion to mankind was unveiled.
Since He spoke light into the darkness,
It has exposed no ordinary cosmos.
Evidence of His magnificent handiwork
Defies creation’s denial.
Taste and see His goodness.
His grace will not pass away.



It was his major bone of contention,
that all familiar things seemed to conceal
his emotion. His proficiency with words,
though pleasing and alluring, never neared extinction.
From his conception until eternal darkness comes to shroud,
life remains his to imbibe, an intoxicant making him a drunkard
for this existence, never being quenched. The inebriation 
of every last breath lightens his thoughts and step. His mind
is free and so is he. Life is good!


Our work ethic is something that carries us through from adolescence to our adulthood. How we handle our obligations has been planted in us when we were old enough to learn that what was worth having, was worth working for.


Part 12: It’s a Chore – Did you have chores growing up? Did you have a favorite? Did you hate doing them? What is a chore for you now? How has it prepared you for handling things now? Write about it.



Why is it that everything Mom did
Looked like so much fun?
Washing dishes, stripping wallpaper,
Scrubbing floors, hosing down the house –
She made it all look delightful.

Take ironing.
I clearly recall the sound
Of Mom’s clothes sprinkler,
As she shook it like a salt shaker,
Sprinkling water on the clothes
Before pressing them.
What fun!

Oh, the excitement the day she entrusted me
With ironing Dad’s handkerchiefs.

Oh, the letdown when the novelty wore off,
And “fun” transitioned to “chore.”

Take ironing.

Copyright © Marie Elena Good – 2012



The kitchen was a ghost town
whenever suppertime came.
The calendar upon the wall
emblazoned with each name.
All the siblings had a chance
to lend a hand in kind.
To think that they would follow through,
was surely out of mind.
The first name was the set-up man,
to set the places right.
The second name was the “washer,”
(this one stayed out of sight).
The third would wipe and put away
the dishes from that night.
I made my bones by being home,
an enterprising lad, who traded on
their malcontent (I didn’t think it bad)
to offer to take someone’s turn,
of course there was a “fee,” but they
 were glad to give what they had
to lay their burden on me. I made
a fortune (for a kid), which to me was fine.
When Mom would ask, “Whose turn is it?”
I always answered, “MINE!”

Copyright © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012



PART 2 – LOOK WHAT I DID! – Prompt #67

We would like you to write about an accomplishment in your life that fills you with pride. An award, a discovery, a bit of heroics, a completion of a progam – anything we’d love to find out about and share in your pride.

Please note: We are all proud of our children/grandchildren as they fill us with pride and joy. So, they are off of the table. We’re looking for an award, an accomplishment, a commendation, a goal, quota…, being voted poet most likely to write a Sestina… something you can hang your hat on. Brag about it. If you feel it is worthy of your pride, we will hold your banner high. Swallow your modesty and express it! Every accomplishment is awarded here!


PRIDE (confession in sonnet)

The very word sends shivers to my spine
For pride, it’s said, arrives before the fall.
To write about my pride, I would decline:
A cowardly response, and not my call.

Since false humility is pride implied,
A path to cover tracks that lead to fact,
I recognize the need to swallow pride,
And keep some semblance of the truth intact.

With that, I look upon this very site –
Admit I’m proud of what we two have done.
So here’s my ego, splayed in black and white –
Along with hopes we’ve only just begun.

This said, my heart and pen make this demand:
“Don’t leave this page ungrateful for God’s hand.”

© Marie Elena Good – 2012


I struggled with which one to pursue, so I wrote two. The first, a great accomplishment, only made possible by the second:


Sacrificed on the altar of reason,
pages ignite; an incendiary conflagration
of words and rhyme – metered and meted.

Ashes strewn, wind blown; sown upon
the fertility of a mind left wanting to be heard.
Every word burning like midnight oil to ravage

all this savage heart has toiled to achieve.
Like decayed leaves these poems smolder.
Line by line, they feed the fire; burning.

Learning that poetic purity is akin to obscurity,
remnants of thought filling the air
like sparks off to incite the masses and high grasses

in smoky simile; nothing is left unsaid.
Laureate at the stake burning, take the time to learn.
There is rhyme enough to burn.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

* Note:  On being selected the 2010 Poet Laureate for the April PAD at Writer’s Asides with Robert Lee Brewer. I seemed in a hurry to get there, and humbly find I still have much to learn and accomplish.


Breath and heartbeat.
Every new day is an event.
Hell bent on staying the course
with this life-force surging,
and purging every last bit of
fear and confusion; these intrusions
on a battered mind.
The lessons finally learned:
What matters, matters –
all else pales in comparison
in this garrison of vitality.
The reality of seemingly endless days
finds ways to enliven; given
to make these gifts a cause
to rejoice; a loud voice
in the wilderness, thankful
for all that has transpired.
As tired as it feels,
a good deal of these days now
are spent in praise of Being.
Seeing the forest AND the trees,
with knees to ground to pray.
This magnificence in relation.
Every new day – an elation;
a life spent in celebration.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

*Note: After fifty-six years in fermentation, the wine is finally reaching its peak!

Walt has fashioned this “badge/banner” for our poets

and it is available on the P.B. Badge tab above (Html included).


Water possesses great power to soothe or destroy. That was very evident in the sight I had the great fortune to witness last night as I caught the mist in the air and the inspiration of a man following his dream. A great amount of water played into it and the power of  Niagara Fall provided the backdrop to history. Nik Wallenda, an incredible spirit and man of  great faith doing what he was meant to do. As are we poets. And so our rewards are great. Thus, we choose our BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS for the week that was water!


“Water” opens a floodgate of possibilities, doesn’t it? 😉 Many of your responses spoke to my heart, or filled my head with fabulous imagery. Yet, one little 8-word,  easy-to miss piece overflowed with truth and sentiment. My Beautiful Bloom goes to Michelle Hed’s little gem.

one tear drop
can cause ripples
miles away


Apparently Marie and I have made our choices which could be considered the “long and short” of it.  Taking on that seemingly insurmountable challenge (mentioned above) brought me to choose Mary Mansfield‘s ambitious Sestina, “Shadows on the Water” – very apropos for the event that has shaken me in a profound way. Mary, here’s your bloom!

SHADOWS ON THE WATER by Mary Mansfield

I ventured through the mud and stones
Until I reached that special place
Where the lingering shadows
Of willows trembled in the dying light,
Cooler of cold Corona in hand
And memories of you in my heart.

Seeking salvation for an aching heart
Is much easier here than in a field of stones
Shaped and engraved by a mournful hand,
Finding comfort in a familiar place
Where we watched divine light
In its endless dance with the shadows.

I truly understand those shadows;
They now occupy my heart,
Their darkness choking away your light,
Brushing across the stones
And desecrating this place,
Dusky phantoms melting in my hand.

I cup water in my hand
To wash away the shadows
Yet they remain in place,
The stubborn stains of a wounded heart,
One martyred by Death’s stones
But still seeking the redemption of the light.

As night approaches, the light
Crawls across the bluffs, God’s hand
Stroking color across the stones
But not banishing the shadows
That now haunt my heart
Every moment in every place.

I’m merely a vessel floating in place,
Unable to move into forward toward the light,
The loss of you a nail through my heart.
I take another bottle in hand
And make a toast to you, to shadows,
To lost heroes in a sea of stones.

Here in this place I feel you close at hand,
Your spirit now a part of that dance of light and shadows,
Bringing just a bit of peace to a heart battered by stones.

Congratulations to the “M&M” girls, Michelle and Mary for their work this week. Thanks to all our poets, who inspire in their own exemplary way!


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:

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!


In our efforts to put a face and personality to the fine poets we present, it is about time we offer for your perusal and enjoyment one of Walt’s favorite poets. She is a multi-faceted individual as you will read and very talented at that. We sometimes wonder when we stop learning; when the student becomes the teacher. This woman has found the balance of that quandry in her inimatable style. Both an educator and a student of the world around her, she shares her insights with our readers.

Here is Patricia A. Hawkenson.                                             

Poet Patricia A. Hawkenson


Welcome Patricia. I’ve been looking forward to profiling you and your work here at POETIC BLOOMINGS.

1. In following your many works, it has become apparent that as the saying goes, “You learn something new everyday.” As an educator, do you find yourself as a receptive “student” of the writing process and the craft as a whole?

I consider myself a ‘lifelong learner.’  Something new catches my attention every day, and it is an on-going challenge to sort through what I have time and energy to absorb, and what I have to set aside.  My firm belief in thinking there is no right way to do anything, struggles when my writing must conform to a form.

2. Also in that regard, do you find that you use your writing as a viable teaching aid for your students? Does it lend itself to getting them to express themselves more concisely?

My writing slips in to many of my classroom lessons.  I often write my students in as the characters of sentences, paragraphs, and short stories.  They are encouraged to write in a variety of styles, and I do hold them accountable for appropriate grammar and spelling.  Then we share their work with each other, in the hallways, and on line.

3. You have published a few collections of your works. The one I find most intriguing is MAGNETIC REPULSION (100 Poems From Desire to Disgust). Upon what was the concept based? Can you tell us a bit about your journey through that publishing process?

When I divorced, I had a lot of quiet evenings to fill when my young daughter was asleep in bed, and I was alone with my thoughts.  The poems share events that I experienced with my husband, a transitional relationship, and then the man I finally married.  The poems do not follow a chronological path, but I have collected all the “positive” poems in the beginning of the text. Then it moves through the “neutral” phase and then progresses to the “negative” aspects as all three relationships seem to run their course. Being a creative writer, I have included a few imagined poems, as well.  The magnet concept also connects to my classroom, as I coach a Technology Team of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  To earn money for needed technology equipment in our school, such as projectors or headsets, our team designs and sells locker magnets.  I am often seen in our building pushing the ‘magnet cart.’

4. Creativity seems to course through you. Along with your writing, you list your activities/hobbies/creative endeavors as: Poet (of course), Jewelry Designer/Maker, and maker of Handmade Handbags. In the summer you teach students to create videos with Movie Maker. You create stained glass works of art, specializing in 3D objects (kaleidoscopes, jewelry boxes, etc.). You draw. You paint. You enjoy camping. Do you ever find yourself spread a bit too thin for your own good? Touch on a few of these points of interest.

It is true that my artistic interests spill over into too many baskets.  There is just so much fun in trying it all.  My husband is in the process of building a 3 season room that will serve as my studio and allow me a space to continue my stained glass work.  I haven’t been able to work on that due to lack of proper ventilation.  Since I couldn’t work on glass projects, I began sewing handbags.  I kept telling myself I needed to have something in place as a back-up career when I retire from teaching.  It boils down to ‘idle hands.’  I just need my hands to be producing something.

5. As long as we’re pushing the envelope, you expressed a desire to participate in the NANOWRIMO as well. Which do you find as a more productive use of your writing acumen, poetry or novel writing? I’ll tell you, I attempted the NaNoWriMo, but found myself too tied to the poetic process and my other avenue of success, playwriting. How are you able to keep the processes separate? Do you attempt to accept both of the challenges: the NANO and the POETIC ASIDES NOVEMBER CHAPBOOK CHALLENGE?

Insanity does not run in my family.  I may be the first, but yes, I am attempting to complete BOTH this November.  Since June, I have had the impetus of a novel that is insisting it must be written.  Unfortunately, I have been suffering with back pain that has left that project simmering.  The novel will be historical fiction, but one of the characters will be a poet.  The entries to the chapbook challenge will be the character’s entries into their journal.  It will be interesting to see how I can incorporate the given prompt to fit what I need the character to feel or express.  Of course, I may not use all the poems in the book.

6.  I’ve reached back into the archive to present one of the first poems of yours that brought your work to my attention:


There is a lifelong
debilitating disease
that artists suffer
causing them to abruptly wake
from a sound sleep
as if from an electric shock
with their shifting eyes thinking
resting on nothing in the blackness
until they frantically
reach for the notepad
and pre-sharpened pencil
on the nightstand.

The ability to write
without seeing the line,
a compelling genetic defect,
is causing them to break
from the rest of night
to rise with their thoughts
before the dawn’s activity
can flood them away.

 Their lovers have come
to follow in their wake
turning off curling irons
and moving pots off the stove
where interruptions
have carried them away
drowned in thought.

That seems to play into the stereotype of one of the devices that writer’s use to stir their muse. Do you have other “tricks’ that you are conditioned to use to bolster your writing? Is writing ever the distraction that has to be set aside?

If you have a specific writing routine, can you divulge a bit of it?

Writing often has to be set aside, as during the school year, my students and their needs have to be the most important driving force of my day.  But when I am away from school, my best trick to be sure I write is to tell everyone that I am going to write.  Guilt and being held accountable are a good task masters.

7. Where do you find your inspiration? With all you do, have you ever felt uninspired? What actions brought (bring) you out of your expressive funk?

I find inspiration through many online poetry sites, such as Poetic Asides, Poetic Bloomings, Clever Fiction, and the need to add content to my own blog.

If I find it difficult to write, I will take some down time to watch tv. My favorite shows are challenge shows, such as Project Runway.  I enjoy imagining how I would meet the challenges. I have also been known to play a FB game of Bejeweled, or two.

8. You have a background in Smartboard Technology and Visual Artistry. Have you ever experimented with combining your poetry and your skill with the Movie Maker program to make your words come alive visually? If so, is there a link to something our poets may find inspiring to attempt the process? Do you see the advances in the technological realm affecting this poetic life?

Technology has been an interesting side step and it has definitely taken HOURS of my life.  Speech to text and text to speech programs are great for encouraging reluctant writers.  I think some poets may find audio recorders a great way to record ‘must be remembered’ thoughts while busy with other activities. is a fun place to start creating simple, yet professional videos. I have used Windows Movie Maker successfully with students. mixes cartoons, your writing, and movie camera angles. Great for teen writers – and adults with a sense of humor.

9. What advice do you give your students about following their interests/dreams? Do you practice what you preach? How happy are you of your success? What are you still looking to achieve?

I always tell students that they don’t have to wait until they are grown up to achieve their dreams.  The first step can be taken today.  I think I have become better at following that advice.  It took a while for me to be able to say, I am an artist and a writer, but I finally got there.  When my family gathers to say their final goodbyes to me, I hope they each bring a piece of my artwork or a poem I wrote to share.  Looking back, it might make quite a show.

10.  Another of your gems of wisdom:

Trying to Find Myself

My large kitchen spoon
bent too easily
as I tried to dig
to China.

The topsoil
was thin,
so thin,
barely covering
the rock below.

My mom
wasn’t impressed
by my efforts then.

 I just kept
on digging.

Sometimes, that is the only thing to do, isn’t it? To just keep digging? What has Patricia Hawkenson found out about herself by which others would be surprised? What has been your “A HA!” moment? If you had a motto, what would it say?

I am unable to separate myself from metaphors.  They pour through my writing and poetry.  My advice for students, and myself, is another metaphor posted on my desk: Calm Waters. The rock drops with a big splash, but given time, the waters calm. I try to teach and live by that motto.  When I find time to be calm, reflective, and write, I find I enjoy life more.

Thanks Patricia, for that glimpse into your “Expressive Domain”. We appreciate your candor and are happy you have allowed us to present you to our ever growing audience.


This week, to do our part in this poetic economy, we are providing a “two-fer” – two prompts for the price of one.  🙂

Prompt 1:  Rising to the occasion.

Prompt 2:  Falling short.

You may choose either Prompt 1 OR Prompt 2, but we’re hoping you don’t miss out on the opportunity to rise to the occasion by choosing both.  Heck, you can even combine the two if you wish.  We’re easy.

Marie Elena’s Attempts

Prompt 1.


My instructions were
idiot-proof. But they rose
to the occasion.

Prompt 2

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 3:23

Some do not respect the bible, but most respect Jesus himself.
Our historical Jesus hated sin, but loved sinners.
ALL sinners.

Who are sinners?

Even if I did not believe the bible is God’s word,
I could see the validity of that statement, for
Who has attained perfection?
Whose every thought is good, and clean, and holy?
Whose every move is guided by faith?
Whose every breath is exhaled in love?

In all, all I see is me.

Walt’s Late Arrival – Prompt #1


Nodding and dozing
in and out of sleep.
I can’t keep my eyes
from drifting into darkness.
So I sit in my recliner,
feet inclined and my mind
working on rhyme.
All’s right when I sleep,
but I can’t write in my sleep.
A tug and a yawn and
I’m almost gone to dreamland.
But the big hand is on the twelve,
and I delve into the gridiron
games, finally awake enough
to enjoy some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….
(Too good to be true)

Walt’s Second Shot – Prompt #2


Routine has been tweaked
(it had wreaked havoc on me).
But I see a light at the end
of a long tunnel, a journey
that had me on pace for a gurney.
But bedtime beckons,
and I reckon I can cop some “Z’s”.
Falling asleep was never a chore,
but the more I seek it, the more
I need to tweak it.
Falling short.


Tarnished and dented; a bauble from a bygone day.

You were given a box of artifacts once belonging to your Great-Grandfather who you’ve never known. Contained within the box is an old pocket watch, a key, some assorted personal papers and an old Brownie camera. You notice there’s still film in the camera. Take the film to get developed and write a poem about a photo you find. Or write about something found in the personal papers…or the key…or the pocket watch. You can use all of these items to include in your poem. Just see what develops.

Marie’s Take:

The photograph depicts a kindly gentleman. Though he is not smiling, his mischievous eyes are bordered by tell-tale smile lines. He is flanked by my grandmother and grandfather, and holds my then-infant father in his arms. I dig deeper into my great grandfather’s musty chest, discovering several more photos, each portraying the family man I never met.

A picture of Grandma Netta and Grandpa Al’s wedding day surfaces. And then another, and another. Great-grandpa is noticeably missing. Selflessly playing photographer? I smile, and keep searching.

I open what appears to be a photo album, yet it contains no photographs. Instead, the pages contain letters from Italy, written in Grandma Netta’s brother’s hand. There appears to be several month’s worth, at least. As I skim the pages, I see, “Netta and I were invited to perform at a private party last night. All eyes were on her. She looked great, Pop. Guys are flocking. Your plan might work. Give Ma hugs from both of us. We’re having the time of our lives, yet we can’t wait to get back home to the States. We miss you both.”

Confused, and intrigued, I read on. “Since last I wrote, Netta has received two proposals of marriage. She seems agitated. She wrote Al another letter today. She’s written him every day since we arrived. Pop, I think your plan may be backfiring on you. It seems absence is making the heart grow fonder.”

My pulse quickens. Further reading confirms my suspicion: Great-grandpa sent Grandma away to Italy for an extended time as a last-ditch effort to break up her pending marriage to Al. Her brother was sent as her escort, but also to spy and report.

Though I never learned his reasons for trying to block Netta and Al’s marriage, I saw with my own eyes that he did not hold a grudge forever, and neither did they. Perhaps photographs cannot always tell stories, but they are history-sated. I’m thankful for the outcome portrayed in the photos in Great-grandpa’s chest.

… and I’ve learned to be thankful for my very existence.

Walt’s vignette:


Tarnished and dented; a bauble of a bygone day.
In a wooden cigar box; keepsakes both, with
little more function than that. The stem fused
to the casing, the workings have retired. But,

it has inspired me to find the link. The contents
of the box play like a road map; clues to unravel
the mystery that is my history. The key, worn and
encrusted with years of dirt and oils from feeble fingers.

It lingers in my hand for a moment, its uncertainty secured.
Papers, folded and bound with a frail rubber band
line the bottom of the box. A visa document,
possibly a first issue wrapped in a tissue to protect

what it meant to an old Polish immigrant determined
to become all that America had to offer. Naturalization
documents, meant to pronounce his acceptance
of a lifestyle long sought, and their acceptance of him

as one of the free and brave. The camera buried amongst
the treasures, bellows cracked and torn, a forlorn
instrument with which a part of his life had been preserved.
It all deserved a better fate, but it is too late to shed

a single tear from your eyes for its demise. The puzzle
is splayed before you, the detective of your past.
A torn swatch of a fabric, hues faded but shades
of blue and red and white pressed between pages.

Finally, one last piece remains. A photograph.
a dark and handsome young man; heavy jacket and
a fedora pulled down across the brow. Intermingled
with other similar folk unconcerned for their purpose.

But the subject stands tall. Proud. Posed to save
this moment in memory, and upon this daguerreotype
for long after. In the background, Lady Liberty stands strong.
In his hand an American flag clutched to his chest.

A chain from buttonhole to vest pockets and a key as a fob,
a cinch to keep his pride from bursting. It insinuates
the only part missing was the watch that sat tucked
close to his left hand. A trinket; a remembrance

of the father he had left behind in Igolomia, Poland
to claim his dream. It remains strong in your own heart
as the box that holds your Great-Grandfather’s declaration secure.
You are sure the timepiece marked his life as well as your own.


This is the new and we hope, improved POETIC BLOOMINGS at The need to change coincided with the increase in membership and the apparent difficulties some of our “Gardeners” were having with their posts. We will try to stay true to the spirit of the original site which we have transferred over from the Blogspot header.


We will continue to offer the features with which you have become familiar:

SUNDAY – will be the day the seed (prompt) for your bloom (poem) will be planted.

WEDNESDAY – will alternate with both of our very popular offerings. IN-FORM POET will introduce you to a different poetic form. WEB WEDNESDAY we will explore the blog/website/work of one of our poets chosen by me and Marie to discuss their insight on the poetic process and an interview to get to know our poets a bit better.

SATURDAY – Marie and I will select what we call “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS,” our favorite poems of the week.

The DAISY CHAIN and BOOK SHELF pages are fully functional, so be sure you are included in these. Send an e-mail to  to update us on your achievements.

Please explore our new site and make yourself at home. Your garden awaits you!

The POETIC BLOOMINGS in the banner is the link back to the home page.


This is your new home for great poetry. The name remains the same.