PROMPT #114 – Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!

“Improvise, Adapt and Overcome!”

― Clint Eastwood, Heartbreak Ridge

Fixing it on the fly. We find the pieces that fit perfectly if we can, but sometimes finding the part of the puzzle that works for right now and changing the way we do things, is all we can ask for. It’s getting over that hump that allows us to overcome. Improvise, adapt and overcome.

Every one of us needs to apply these tenets from time to time whether out of necessity or to change things up. Sometimes challenges become so daunting that we need to step away and reassess our priorities. I find myself at that crossroads. And thus the need to improvise, adapt and overcome.

Those of you who have kept watch over me on Facebook know I have closed my account (maybe temporarily, maybe permanently – that remains to be seen).  I’m told everyone gets to that point and steps back (or feels the urge to) to return sometime in the future. My choice is not due to frustrations with the network (although they are there).

I, and another member of my family are dealing with some issues that have become life altering. I am having health concerns and treatments will take me away from my environs and require me to improvise and adapt the ways I’ve done things.

Thus the reason for closing my  Facebook account. But, the saddest part of all this is, I will not be able to continue on here at POETIC BLOOMINGS for the foreseeable future. I must recuse myself from these responsibilities. Marie and I are working out details of a new hierarchy at PB with some possible minor involvement by me when I can, if I can. My priorities have shifted greatly and time is a precious commodity that must be used frugally; needs to be spent in other areas, mainly with my wife and daughters (and son-in-law and grand dog, Guinness).

But, so as the last four years of poetry haven’t been for naught (four years that if I had back, would have been utilized differently), I will work at getting my prior works organized with an eye towards possible publication. I still have irons in the fire, and they need resolution of some sort. Hopefully, this ‘hiatus’ will help in that matter. My blogs, Through the Eyes of a Poet’s Heart and Across the Lake, Eerily (where Marie and I have rejoined forces to continue) will be the places to find any new works of mine. Until I can return to a much more hectic work load, this will have to suffice!

If you wish, you can request my e-mail at poeticbloomings@yahoo.com. Or you could just contact me there. I will try to keep you updated with my progress. (Please know I am actually a very private person, so sharing these facts with my chosen family are as far as I need them to go. My immediate family has been informed, and now so have you. Everyone who needs to know, does.)

Continue to bloom brightly here while this old gardener hoes the road he’s currently on. And in an attempt to improvise, adapt and overcome, my final prompt for now will concern these three actions. Write an adapt or adaptation poem. Write about changing something for the better. Write an adaptation of a prior work, yours or someone else’s. Write about overcoming an obstacle. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome! We’ll all be better for it.

Be well and stay productive.

Walt

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Note from Marie Elena:  Walt and I became poetically attached at the hip back in 2009, and have walked in stride ever since.  Opening the Poetic Bloomings garden gate seemed a natural fit for the two of us.  While I understand and deeply respect his need to step away from his full duties here, I realize the necessity of a fellow gardener.  I’ll be placing a call for someone to fill this role.  Details will be posted early in the week.  In the meantime, Walt and I will not be breaking stride … simply adjusting steps.  (Warm smiles, partner.)

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MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT

UNTETHERED

Fear of height
Kept clouds at arms’ length
But so too sun’s warmth;
Moon’s romance.
Grounded and star-struck,
She grew wings
Snipped cords
Took flight.
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good, 2013
 

 WALT’S ADAPTATION

TAKING THAT STEP
 
Footing unsure
stepping out
of your comfort zone.
Life seems scary
when nary a soul cares.
You have to dare to
connect to protect the way
this scene plays out.
You can rage and shout
or get out the tissues.
I choose to issue
this statement, loud and clear:
“My footsteps will
bring me back here.
The walk of life is sweet
with friends like all of you
to help complete the journey.
The first problem is
admitting you have a step!
 
 
© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik, 2013
 
No goodbyes. I’ll see you all later. Thank you for the love.

FRIENDS WITH WORDS – PROMPT # 89

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.

MARIE ELENA’S ALTERNATIVE ATTEMPT:

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.

WALT’S WORDPLAY:

LIFE IS GOOD!

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!

ANNOUNCING BIG AND EXCITING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!

Did he say BIG AND EXCITING? Yes, I believe he did!!!

INTERVIEW WITH IAIN DOUGLAS KEMP

Before I get into the details (and read through, because you’ll think it’s big too!) if you haven’t read Marie Elena’s amazing interview with the incredibly talented and multi-faceted man and poet, Iain Douglas Kemp, get there post haste. http://poeticbloomings.com/2012/06/06/web-wednesday-iain-douglas-kemp/

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING AT POETIC BLOOMINGS:

We had contributions from 125 poets during the past year. Marie Elena recently posted the International breakdown of our poetic community.

We’ve had 55,037 views during our first year, with 10,002 items (poems, comments and corrections) posted. Our most views in a day were 760 on 2/19/2012UPDATE:  Make that 776 on 6/7/12! Way to go, Bloomers!  😀

ANNOUNCING THE GREEN THUMB AWARDS – 2011/2012

Marie Elena and I would like to announce the establishment of the First Annual POETIC BLOOMINGS GREEN THUMB AWARD, which is given for contributing at least one poem to every prompt posted for our “Growing Season” (May 1 – April 30). The winners for the 2011-2012 “Growing Season” receive this special badge and a certificate denoting the honor.

The  POETIC BLOOMINGS GREEN THUMB AWARD recipients for the 2011-2012 season are: 

Connie L. Peters        Paula M. Wanken

WEB WEDNESDAY INTERVIEWS AND IN-FORM POET

Marie and I have decided to break up our Wednesday line up. Starting in July, Wednesday will continue with a weekly IN-FORM POET exercise. A new form will be highlighted each Wednesday.

Also beginning in July, the WEB POET INTERVIEW will move to Thursdays, to appear the second Thursday of each month.  As well as our contributing poets, Marie plans to present other poets and people who  promote poets and the poetic process.

 AND THE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BIG NEWS…

Marie Elena and I would like to finally announce that we are in the process of readying for publication,

POETIC BLOOMINGS  – FIRST BLOOMS

This is a collection of the BEAUTIFUL BLOOM poems from the first year of the Sunday prompts, along with my and Marie’s examples. We ask all who had been selected for a BLOOM during the year to revisit the awarded poem(s) and revise as necessary. We are relying on you to self-edit your work. Please email the corrected pieces back to us (poeticbloomings@yahoo.com) by  July 1st. If we do not receive an updated version of your poetry, we will assume it is to your liking as posted on our site. 

Here at POETIC BLOOMINGS, we have always taken pride in opening the gates of this “Garden” to poets of all ages and skill levels; to make ourselves all-inclusive. So in that light, we invite poets who replied to at least 10% of the prompts (the reason I searched for the poets who at the very least had a 10% commitment to POETIC BLOOMINGS) to contribute to this publication with poems written for the POETIC BLOOMINGS prompts. Eligible poets will be notified shortly. We ask that you update your contact information for correspondence, and request that poets who post under a blog screen name supply their full name with their info.

A brief biography (no more than 6 lines, including your url)  will be required for all featured poets in this book.

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We really appreciate your talents and hard work during our first year at POETIC BLOOMINGS, and hope for continued success for you and this community we have amassed.

MAKING A COMEBACK – Prompt #50

Today is Easter Sunday and Christians around the world are ensconced in thoughts of the Resurrection.

So, for the prompt today we ask you to make a comeback. Write a return or comeback poem. Bring something back to life, or breathe life into an old muse. Give us a reason to celebrate your return.

MARIE’S RETURN:

 
Returning Breath
She returned to Your gravesite, expecting death.
Her name on Your lips revealed Your identity,
Took her breath away.

I return to You, her story fresh in my mind.
My name on Your lips takes my own mortal breath away,
Replacing it with Yours, eternal.

Inspired by one of my favorite passages of scripture: John 20:15-16. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

WALT’S COMEBACK:

BACK IN THE FOLD

Uncertainty breeds contempt.
And when doubt rears its head
instead of trusting your abilities,
reality says you’re washed up.
But, never give up. Raise
yourself to the heights
to which you have been
accustomed. Come back to start.
Beginning over makes
for better endings.

DEVELOPING STORY – PROMPT #22

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:

TIMEPIECE

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.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – WEEK # 17

Change can come in many variances, Sometimes good. Sometimes hard to swallow. But every change (even just for the sake of change) offers a perspective we may not have noticed. Our poems this week spoke of change and our accepting/denial of same. In this game of life, the world changes. The question remains, can we keep pace. The Beautiful Blooms for this week:

Marie’s Pick:

My pick this week is Patricia A. Hawkenson’s “Stay Within the Lines.” She begins with a title that clearly has more than one meaning, but we don’t see that until we read through to the end. Her line breaks are used effectively, and add to the enjoyment of the poem, IMHO. Nature “growing” from the spilled crayons made me smile … quite a creative way to think of it. But the end? Oh the end … it made my heart sink.

Outstanding, Patricia. (Nothing new for you.)

Stay Within the Lines
By Patricia A. Hawkenson

The box spilled
its contents rolled
and grass and flowers grew
then trees with swings
and birds flew
beyond the buildings
to the clouds
till Mama said,
“You can use a different crayon.”
But I colored everything
a happy orange
until I knew
what black and blue meant
and put my colors
down.

 

 

Walt’s choice:

My selection is a hopeful poem. The embrace of oneself accepting our faults and learning to get by on our confidence and self-assurance. An although it escapes us more times than not, Our happiness lies within that adherence of “wisdom with age”. Michelle Hed, this “Bloom’s” for you!

ELUSIVE by Michelle Hed

They say wisdom comes with age –

She dyed her hair to hide the gray,
she bought new clothes for self-esteem,
she played games with words
whether cutting or witty,
positive being brutally honest
would be less hypocritical
then telling white lies.

Then she changed –

She embraced her hair with grace and wit,
she bought new clothes for fun,
she played with words on paper
and tried to only speak words
of kindness and love
and she found that sometimes
not telling the complete truth
was kinder to the recipient.

And she discovered –

She found more joy in her life,
loving herself and giving of herself
to others via time, word or deed
than in any other time in her life.
She took more joy from the small
things in life, she slowed down
the pace and smiled at the person
she was becoming, knowing she
was finally on the right path for her.
She is still changing.

 

 

IN-FORM POET: Sedoka

The Sedoka is an unrhymed poem made up of two three-line katauta with the following syllable counts: 5/7/7, 5/7/7. A Sedoka, pair of katauta ( an unrhymed three-line poem the following syllable counts: 5/7/7) as a single poem, may address the same subject from differing perspectives.

Marie’s View:

PERSPECTIVE

NASA photographs
depict placid cotton swirls,
unsullied iridescence.

Cell phone photographs
catch unimaginable,
chaotic demolition.

Copyright © 2011 Marie Elena Good

Walt’s  Sedoka:

WILLOWY AND WARM

By life, inspired.
Her ways conspire to offer,
all that your words can handle.

Alluring and sure,
her style and grace are welcomed,
lifting you to heights unknown.

Copyright © 2011 Walt Wojtanik

PROMPT #17 – CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

Changes are afoot! Autumn is rapidly approaching and whether you like change or do not like change, it is inevitable. And we have encountered some changes that are good and some that haven’t turned out so well. Write about change. Something changes, one thing becomes another, spare change in your pocket or change of attitude. Would you like to change something about yourself, or someone else? Write about it before you change your mind!

Marie Elena’s Change:

NOW WHAT?

Acclimatize, familiarize,
Revise, amend, and bend.
Rework, adjust
(you simply must),
Then modify and blend.

Find your footing,
(no off-putting)
Settle in, and then
Get a feel for this new deal, and
Learn from where you’ve been.

Walt’s Transition:

NO MORE

I can’t live like this anymore.
My battle waged in the war of words.
Mine: smooth, poetic, full of passion.
Yours: denigrating, non-supportive, full of shit.
It seems we’ve played this aria before,
it’s time the record changes.
Same old song; no more.