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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

LIFE IS A BEACH – CHILDREN

July 18thThere was no greater thrill than loading the lot of us into the station wagon and heading for the beach. Write a poem featuring children at the beach. Or write from the viewpoint of a child for this foray into poetics.

And don’t pass up the opportunity to “meet” an incredible young person and poet featured in Marie’s Poet Interview. Today, our featured poet is none other that Erin Kay Hope. Read her chat with Marie HERE and you’ll walk away feeling that there is hope for the world with young ones like Erin Kay in it!

***

KEEPING UP WITH THE WAVES

July 17 – Put Into Words (Ekphrasis)

July 16 – Amusement Park

July 15 – Tides

July 14 – Picnic

July 13 – Lighthouse

CELEBRATION OF THE CENTURY – PROMPT #100

Today is a big day here at POETIC BLOOMINGS! We celebrate the 100th Sunday prompt of this site. Congratulations to all the poets who have joined us each week to offer a taste of their tremendous talent. We have been blessed  to build such a community; a family of words.You are all responsible for our success. Marie and I thank you for your dedication and love.

Over the course of time, we have stretched the muses and minds of our extremely talented family of poets, with our prompts and forms, interviews and projects. So for this venture, Marie and I ask you to write a “Celebration” poem.   Celebrate your life, an anniversary, a birthday, an event… but do it in the form of a 10 X 10 poem (Ten lines times Ten words per line = 100 words – a century). Thus, we want you to write a Celebration in a Century (Celebration of the Century).

MARIE ELENA’S CAUSE TO REJOICE:

VOICES IN THE GARDEN

Come sit beside me in the shade of living canopy.
Close your eyes.  Soak in the rhythm, romance, and whimsy.
Wrap yourself in the serene embrace of graceful, fluid form.
Let the breeze of the lush and lyrical lift, and
Carry you above the stress of sweeping strife and discord,
For none can be heard in this garden of validation.
You will find no boundaries, no borders, and no barricades.
Come scatter your seeds, then watch them grow and thrive,
Mingling with the bold, the melodious, the witty, the sober.
Your voice is not only welcome, it is passionately celebrated.

© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013

WALT’S CELEBRATION:

IN PRAISE OF POEMS AND POETS

Another Sunday arrives, and poets assemble to celebrate with words.
A hundred calls to write rhyme; an anniversary of verse,
from far and wide they step inside this verbal garden,
rending hearts and minds to find all the right words.
True to form and true to themselves, giving up pieces
to all who require passion’s fervent fire. Emptying the vault,
poetic promises well kept are offered to placate timeworn souls,
giving control to emotions, every notion of fantasy takes flight;
the right time and place to face your inner feelings.
Dealing with like-minded people; a family comes together to celebrate.
 

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

CELEBRATING THE VOICES AND VISITORS OF OUR GARDEN! 

The last 30 days, we have welcomed 7, 378 visitors from these 37 different countries (a fact that thrills and humbles!):

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Cypress, Denmark, France, Germany, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Macao, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America
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Thirty Seven Countries in Thirty Days

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #83

Our earliest friends in life, lived in the room across the hall. In my case, the four boys shared a large bedroom with a bunk bed (two up, two down) and we couldn’t have been closer than that. These “friend/brothers/sisters” have stayed with us in some special way. Today, we fete that connection. To our siblings, we dedicate these BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS:

MARIE ELENA’S CHOICE

It pains me to leave out-of-mention poems that were obvious labors of love; several with amazing stories behind them. However, my “Bloom” this week is enthusiastically offered to Nancy Posy for her poem simply titled “Sisters.” Nancy begins with “Amy appears in my earliest memory…,” a phrase that introduces and precisely articulates the profound effect a sibling has on our own personal world. Another phrase that grabbed me in its eloquent simplicity is, “whenever we assemble, a full set.” Nancy, you mentioned that you wish you could include a photo. If you would like to send me one, I’d be more than happy to post it here with your well-earned “Beautiful Bloom.”

Nancy Posey and sisters

Nancy Posey and sisters

Sisters (by Nancy Posey)

Amy appears in my earliest memory—
at least the idea of her—as I sit,
in the car, just days past turning two,
waiting as my mother is rolled
down the ramp, Daddy walking
beside her, Amy swaddled in her lap.

Becky arrives in 1963, the same fall
the President is shot—both events
tied in my memory to the schoolyard
where I heard one bit of news
and shared the other.

By the time Jeannie arrives—
another girl—we know to be amused,
like Rosencrantz or Guildenstern
playing heads or tails and landing
on heads time after time.

Emily’s arrival prompts barbs
from well-meaning jokers,
certain they were “trying
for a boy,” a notion Daddy
denies–in writing saved until
she is old enough to ask.

Spread farther apart by miles
than years now, we celebrate
whenever we assemble, a full set,
posing for our sister picture,
lined up in order, always singing
“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,”
our silly tradition, even on the Fourth
of July, making our husbands groan.

WALT’S CHOICE:

My selection touched a chord in that I too had lived with the loss of a sibling. Joesph, who would have been my oldest sib, lived all of eight hours of life. I wonder about his influence had he lived. I visit the grave on occasion, knowing the void was being filled by my other five siblings. I feel your emotion,as much as I feel my own, so SHERYL KAY ODER, I offer my BLOOM as small recompense, and thank you for this work.

Michael David by Sheryl Kay Oder

Squirreled away in the documents file
are the statistics of your life. You were
born and died on the same day.

Even though my bold footprints were small
—2 7/8″ by 1½”, yours were barely visible
and smaller still—2″ by ¾”.

Once I stepped over where they buried you,
but there is no headstone. The cemetery
told us where they laid your remains.

Mother never saw you; they said it would
be better that way. Those who did told her
the two of us looked alike at birth.

It took my own son to create a hole in both
our hearts. As I see my children’s connection
I now know what I have missed.

Congratulations Nancy and Sheryl on your BEAUTIFUL BLOOM selection!

THE MOTHER LAND – PROMPT #75

Today we go back to the root of who we are and have become. Ancestry and genealogy are hot hobbies and people want to know about their heritage. In keeping with that mind-set, we want to know, “Where do you come from?”

“HOW DO YOU VIEW your life? – POETIC BLOOMINGS MEMOIR PROJECT

Part 10: The Mother Land – Our ancestors all came from somewhere else. Tell us what you know about your ancestral homeland. Delve into your heritage. Relate a story passed down in the family about it. Are there traditions that are still observed? Write a poem about it.

MARIE ELENA’S BACKGROUND:

MAKING EXPLOSIVES

I’m exactly half Italian, and half Irish.
One would assume this fusion
would increase the predilection toward explosive behavior.

I blew that theory all to pieces.

Copyright © Marie Elena Good – 2012

WALT’S ORIGINS:

WHERE THE FALCON FLIES

Polonia, where the falcon flies
above your land in your hallowed skies,
I long to walk where my ancestors lived.

You have given me a name and you
have given me a heritage, it is where
the root of this poet is grounded.

Founded in freedom, your borders
had changed with regularity though wars
and confiscation, oh blessed nation

where the falcon flies. My heart swells
with Polish pride and my eyes fill with
your wonder. I am under your spell.

From Oświęcim and Igolomia and Poznań
to America, the connections elicit sighs
for you Polonia, where the falcon flies!

Copyright © Walter J. Wojtanik 2012

DEATH, BE NOT PROUD… – PROMPT #73

And as we have discovered long ago, life is not all song and roses. There is a real, more permanent slice of life we have and will encounter in our time on earth. We will all pass on. What legacy we leave will be determined by others.

“HOW DO YOU VIEW your life? – POETIC BLOOMINGS MEMOIR PROJECT

Part 8: Death Be Not Proud – What was your first exposure to death? Was it a pet, neighbor, a close relative? Was there a long illness involved or was it sudden? Write it as honestly as possible. Say what you’ve always wanted to say. If that is too hard to tackle, write a poem about your view of death. (But, please remember this is a memoir project and we want your experiences. So if you can, please do!)

MARIE ELENA’S RECOLLECTION:

VISIONS OF HEALTH (a sonnet for Grandpa Dunn)

A “smoking man” before you were a man,
Reluctantly you quit in later years.
To sidestep cancer’s outbreak was your plan,
Which fell far short of halting cancer’s gears.

They said your health was very, very poor
And I knew there was nothing I could do.
No meals or hugs, nor simple visits, for
Twelve hundred miles distanced me from you.

The greater part of me must thank my God
For distancing me once you were beset
With toxic cells that ambushed, seized, and clawed –
No horrid recollections to forget.

I never saw you lying in repose,
Nor even in the midst of cancer’s throes.

© Marie Elena Good – 2012

WALT’S EXPERIENCE:

ALL IN PASSING

Gentle man, born in another land.
It was the land of your birth and
my rebirth through heritage.
You were a second father;
my grandfather. Your final days
stay with me long after you have gone.
You were my friend. You were my mentor.
You gave me more in my brief time with you
and it has blessed me a thousand-fold.
But you had gotten old. And arteries
were not meant to harden as you became frail.
And watching you sail off of the ladder
when you knew better than to  chance
the happenstance that befell you.
I can tell you, your death affected me greatly.
It is only lately that my mortality haunts me.
Your memory taunts me in a good way,
as they say, all in passing.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

WELCOME HOME – PROMPT #68

Okay, we’ll leave the self examination for the moment and look into our origins. Everybody comes from somewhere,  it’s true. But we’re focusing our microscope a bit more finitely. For this week’s prompt, we’re going home!

“HOW DO YOU VIEW your life? – POETIC BLOOMINGS MEMOIR PROJECT

Part3: Welcome Home Marie and I ask you to write your poem using your childhood home as inspiration. Be descriptive and paint your imagery as colorfully as you can. What color was your house? How was the neighborhood? Did you have a favorite room; hiding places? Wall paper or paint? – What memory of your home is the strongest for you? We will deal with the people in your home in later prompts. Right now, just give us a glimpse of where you lived. Include all you need to make us feel  at home.

MARIE ELENA’S ROOTS:

BELMONT AVENUE

She was a two-story, humble abode;
Up in years, but still
She wore white well.

I don’t recall the kitchen much
Before Dad’s home-made solid oak cabinets, and Mom’s
Fruit-dappled wallpaper with appealing colors
That showcased the oak.
I also can’t quite recall the walled staircase
Before Dad opened it up, and added an elegant
Curve.
Then there’s my bedroom, of which I have
No recollection, pre-
Flamboyantly pink flowered wallpaper
Of my five-year-old big-girl choosing, that
My parents tolerated, and my Grandpa
Patiently hung.

I’m quite certain her front porch
Had limited personality until
Our porch swing was hung
And summer nights meant staying up late,
Pajama-clad, swinging and singing
And chatting and waving
To neighbors that happened by.

While some things were lovingly changed,
Others were equally as lovingly allowed to just be.
There was the dining room wallpaper mural –
An elegant home
With winding creek and weeping willows,
Where I used to sit for hours,
Placing myself in such a charming and picturesque scene.

What I truly treasured about our home, though,
Was her setting –
Comfortably settled among the homes of
Loving aunts, uncles, and eleven cousins.

© – Marie Elena Good – 2012

WALT’S HOME BASE:

WHERE OUR HEARTS BELONGED

Home.
It is where the heart is.
We had left her years ago
but our hearts remained; an empty shell

where the essence of us resides.
They can cover her in vinyl,
but in the final determination
the combination of sunny yellow

and a mellow burnt umber trimming.
had her brimming with love.
A two-family dwelling with
full cellar. A fellow could find sanctuary

with nary a care; there was always family there.
A room paneled and trimmed
(all on the carpenter’s whim)
Bunks and captain’s beds,

where we were born and bred.
It remains in my heart and head,
where my memories come.
I’ll always her call home.

© – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

It amuses me that we both chose to personify our homes – females, both. 😉 ~Marie Elena

Why not, home was a loving and nurturing place. 😉 Walt

COMING HOME – PROMPT # 55

Marie discovered the geography of our contributing poet/gardeners revealing some interesting locales. So for this prompt, we are going home. We’d like to play up the international flavor we’ve developed here. Write a poem about or inspired by your home. It could be where you were born, your hometown, the country from which you originate. Teach us a bit about your origins, or customs and plant yourself firmly into the fertile poetic soil of our garden and ultimately root deeper into our hearts.

MARIE ELENA’S HOME:

Northwest Ohio

My Buckeye roots extended northeast
to the “Center of Steel Production,”
now known as the “Rust Belt.”
Following a short southern plunge into the Gulf
of Mexico, they rummaged northward again,
and have deeply rooted themselves
into Northwest Ohio’s flat terrain.

Not a hill to be found,
it clambers to give the eye something
on which to feast.

Myself, I relish the curve of the Maumee,
Eerie temperament of a storied great lake,
the stately Buckeye,
flowering Dogwood and Poplar,
scarlet Sumac, Redbud, and Sycamore.

A Spring palette of fair pastels
and equally fair temperatures
transforms to Summer’s
Petri-dish, and
brightly flamboyant panorama,
followed by a plunge in temperature, and
Autumn’s rich jeweled hues.

Soon, bare branches are laden
with dazzling white snow, that
glitters on moonlit evenings,
flaunting the crimson Cardinal.

Yet, the best is this:
Each time we pull into the drive
of our humble brick one-story,
I hear my voice say,
“I just love my home.”

WALT RETURNS TO WOOD:

LACKAWANNA

Oh, steel town why did you steal my heart?
Our family had flourished as you imparted
your gritty resolve upon us all. Generations
of ancestors learned the lessons burned
into their minds and souls. The home made of
and built upon Wood was a good place to grow.
Aunts and uncles and cousins, scores of
neighbors watching and looking out; caring
for the common ground we shared, no fences
commenced to spring. The unity of this close-knit
community was all the security we needed.
Greed and avarice did not exist where the
Dutch-Elm ravaged and desecrated, leaving us
wood-less. But, I guess for the time and age
it was the perfect stage upon which to perform.
Courtesy and respect was the norm, aid and comfort
flowed as a fountain of goodwill and love.
But Wolfe’s treatise rings true. The place has changed.
It is starkly deranged from my memories,
and it’s a sin. You can’t go home again.
Gladly, I carry as much of it with me;
I leave the rest to fester and decay.

TRADITIONS! – Prompt # 32

With the advent of December 1st, we are in a four week run up to the Holiday.
Since the Holidays are about traditions, we will write about these time honored habits. It could be a family tradition, maybe a cultural or ethnic tradition, or something you do that follows you from year to year.

 

 

Marie’s Tradition:

Love and Legend (a shadorma)

Whatever
changes may occur
(whoever
is absent)
preserve family customs –
keep loved ones alive.

 

Walt’s Tradition:

ONE BEFORE MIDNIGHT

When it started,
I don’t remember. But
Every December 24th,
Before the day’s completed,
Every year it gets repeated.
“You can open one tonight”
The box with the Christmas
pajamas seems right. Old habits
die hard, But traditions live on!

“…of Heart and Hearth” – PROMPT # 30

This week we “Officially” enter the Holiday season, with Thanksgiving on Thursday, and the advent of Christmas, and Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. When this season comes around we are apt to surround ourselves with traditions that involve two aspects of human existence. Love and family. Last week, we asked you to write about love. And the response as expected, was incredible.

For today’s prompt, we ask you to write a “family” poem. But, we’re going to tug at your heartstrings a bit.

The family member from whom we want you to draw your inspiration is someone who would be missing from your celebration. Be it distance in miles or distance in lifetimes, we want you to delve deeply to bring that person back into the fold of heart and hearth.

And yes, if the task becomes too overwhelming, a “family” based poem will do. Bring the family together for the Holidays.


From Marie’s Heart:

“Freedom from Want”

Mr. Rockwell
Captured the ultimate
Family Thanksgiving.
Our family.

With you.

One year ago today
My cell rang.
I held my breath,
Fearing yours had ceased.

It had.

No longer free from want,
We achingly yearn
For your smile,
Your laugh,

Your presence.

Thanksgiving Day
Your beautiful daughters
Will light your funeral candle.
Our centerpiece,

Your light.

(For my cousin, sorely missed.)

From Walt’s Hearth:

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.

In loving memory of my Mom, Irene Marion Wojtanik who had left us 25 years ago.