TRUE SILENCE – PROMPT #97

“True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”  –  William Penn

What soothes you? What is it that puts you in a state of comfort? When all else seems to be crashing down around you, what offers you hope?

Take us to your happy place and let’s see if it works for us!

MARIE ELENA’S COMFORT:

Hot tea
roaring fire
soft robe, warm from dryer
smooth jazz
hot bath
hand-in-hand, strolling path
good read
white wine
heavy snow on soft pine
porch swing
easy chair
deep pillow
earnest prayer 

© Copyright Marie Elena Good -2013

 

WALT’S SANCTUARY:

MUSIC HATH CHARMS

The savage breast is soothed in arms
of music’s hidden devil charms,
a lilting soft melodic touch
that keeps a soul quite safe from harm.

A respite from life’s stress and woes,
all meant to ease where e’er it flows.
a tune of beauty to start this bloom;
the seed, its rhythm sows.

I seek this music in my life,
symphonic sounds to lessen strife.
Placate my spirit – lift my heart,
enhance this dance of life!

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik -2013

“HEY… THAT’S MY LINE, TWO!” – PROMPT #64

One of our most popular prompts was presented during week #38, and we are reprising it for our ever-expanding poet base. The concept was this simple: Take that “I wish I had written that” line from one of the poems posted at Poetic Bloomings, and for the moment, make it your own …  as the title of a totally new poem. But, be sure to credit the poet and poem from which it came.  Have fun!

MARIE ELENA’S BORROWED LINE:

COMMAS DON’T SCARE ME

No hooked little mark
Will catch me off guard.
No comma faux pas
Will, leave my poem marred.

© Marie Elena Good – 2012

From Nancy Posey’s Uncertainty poem Within and Beyond my Grasp

WALT’S SECOND CHANCE:

SAVED FOR SOMETIME DREAMS

A vacation in the South of France,
a chance to dance unencumbered
on the Champs-Élysées on a day
so blue we can’t help but be happy.

A day to be illness free; no trick knee,
no blocked artery, just a day…
where dark spots go away from x-rays,
a chance to verbalize emotions that are assumed.

A ticket with every number needed
to exceed my earnings in this lifetime
all in one inspired evening, leaving
everything behind to find my peace of mind.

A home to house this ever-expanding
empty nest, the best place to have raised daughters,
but we ought to lose the excess
and express ourselves more simply.

Success for those daughters to achieve
all which they aspire to and to view
the world through less cynical eyes;
this prize of life so garnished. Untarnished.

The end of conflicts where friends and enemies
stick out a hand and come to understand
what seems too good to be true; to eschew
the terrors of wars; to abhor them.

The opportunity to view these things in a life well lived
and to be forgiven for indiscretions and errors
in judgement, putting priorities in proper perspective,
rejecting all attempts to temp my loving temperament.

A night full of nothing but sleep to foster these dreams,
without the anemic schemes of a torn
and twisted psyche. It might be the greatest wish
on this dish of savory favors saved for sometime.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

Line culled from Marie Elena Good’s Uncertainty poem – DEMENTIA

PLAYING FAVORITES…AGAIN – PROMPT # 54

We drag this prompt out of the trunk every so often. We’ve asked for a line from your favorite poem, a lyric from a song… today, we ask you to take the title of a favorite movie or television program you enjoy and use that for the title of your poem. Then write the poem. We are not asking for a synopsis of the movie/show, but something to take us completely by surprise. Even if you don’t watch a lot of TV or go to many movies now, there must be something that has touched you on the level. Write it and as always, next Saturday Marie and I will honor two poems from our growing list of favorite poet/gardeners.

MARIE’S FAVORITE:

MOONSTRUCK
(To the tune of That’s Amore)

If you hit-a my eye
With a big-a pizza pie,
That’s a law suit.

Though the moon makes me swoon
Poke-a my eye out, you lune,
That’s a law suit.

‘scusa me, but you see,
If you mess with Marie
That’s a law suit!

(Just kiddin’!)

WALT’S FAVE:

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES

A well pitched woo
and me and you across
ways from one another.
There is no other that draws
my attention like you
and, it’s true we used to
do this more often,
but friend this unexpected
tryst is just what the doctor ordered.
It borders on shmaltz,
but this is Walt’s time to shine.
“Would you like some more wine?”
It’s about time we’ve stopped
and smelled the roses.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 35

This week, we’ve asked our poets to write a short poem that could fit on a gift tag. As we head into the new year, Marie and I thank all our contributing poets for their hard work and dedication. And we present our Beautiful Blooms.

Marie’s Bloom:

On this, the eve of a new year, I delight in Mary Mansfield’s Gift of Perspective. A tender gift. Thank you, Mary, for teaching and receiving these “softer eyes.” Simply beautiful.

A Gift of Perspective
(By Mary Mansfield)

A lesson
taught mother to child:
A world view
through softer
eyes, to see the poetry
where others cannot.

Walt’s Bloom:

In an admittance that I find difficult to believe, this poem presents the prompt well with a definite rhythm and some semblance of form. Until now, an observer and ardent booster, Henrietta Kate Choplin steps up with her Christmas Gift. For this she earns my Bloom for Week # 35

Christmas Gift by Henrietta Katie Choplin

A silent night in
a mystical, magical air
of depth and darkness,
Where,
A star twinkled in
a mystical, magical air
of warmth and brightness,
And,
I felt him there in
a mystical, magical air
of Love and lightness

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 34

The last minute rush which blends into the hustle and bustle we seem to get involved in gets the spotlight this week in our march toward Dec. 25th. Tradition to preparation to the rush, we’re finally here. And so are our Blooms:

Marie Elena’s Bloom:

Janet Martin’s untitled piece receives my second Beautiful Bloom in as many weeks. Tender and touching; thoughtfully crafted … a “wish I’d written this” and offered as a gift to all of you.

Untitled
It’s difficult sometimes to spell in words
The heart of all those thoughts we deeply feel
But I must try, for you have kindly stirred
My soul with honesty and thoughts surreal
Once I assumed a friend is one we meet
Then learn to cherish, love and trust with time
But I have known a friendship, rich and sweet
Nurtured by the magic of a rhyme

A poet’s heart is more than flesh and blood
It sees beyond perimeters of sight
It races at the mention of a word
Defining it within the dead of night
I’ve held you close to me within a pen
Yet felt you tear the longing from my chest
By words that you have woven in a poem
To strike the chord of grief and tenderness

You, my friend, have taught me how to fly
To scoff at fear wielding its scornful threat
You, my friend, have taught me how to cry
And how to dance and twirl and pirouette
Anticipation wakes with me at dawn
It trembles in each moment’s soft embrace
For who can know the poem your whispers spawn
Beneath the touch of lips in cyber-space

It’s difficult sometimes, to spell in words
Thoughts too profound for letters formed in ink
But in night’s deepest quiet I have heard
A tiny glimpse of what you feel and think
So in this Christmas season I extend
A prayer to you for happiness and cheer
Merry Christmas, my dear poet-friends
God bless you now and through the coming year

Walt’s Choice:

They say Christmas is for children. But I just think it has a fun aspect to it that appeals to young and old alike. That mirth is infused into this piece by Mary Mansfield. The rhyme is playful and the pace is akin to the urgency that the Christmas rush espouses. And don’t tell me all houses aren’t as hectic on this last day before Christmas…

The Christmas Rush by Mary Mansfield

Wrap the presents. Trim the tree.
Run to the store for batteries.
Time to hang the stockings up.
Pour fresh eggnog in my cup.
Bake the cookies, it’s getting late.
Try to save one for Santa’s plate.
Out of coffee, need some more,
Go back to that blasted store
To pick up everything I missed.
Now where did I put that stupid list?
Check the broken Christmas lights.
Wish I could have a Silent Night.
Learned my lesson, next year I’ll begin it
Before the absolute very last minute.

Congratulations to Janet and Mary for their selections and to all our poets for the wonderful gift of your poetry. All given from the heart and accepted in loving embrace in return.

WEB WEDNESDAY – PATRICIA A. HAWKENSON

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:

Flatlined

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.  http://animoto.com/ is a fun place to start creating simple, yet professional videos. I have used Windows Movie Maker successfully with students.  http://www.xtranormal.com/ 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.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 22

Walt’s “Developing Story” prompt brought out the storytellers, didn’t it? As usual, I’ve been sitting here a great deal of time (it is now ~1:15 a.m., and I’ve spent the better part of the last hour-1/2) reading and rereading your fabulous works, trying to pick only one to highlight. Why do you all have to be so difficult? I finally chose Jerry Walraven’s “But Stopped Watches…” as my Beautiful Bloom. Jerry (“Chev”) wrote in his usual “say much in few words” style. This haunting piece makes smart use of words that caught my attention, intriguing phrases (“tantalizing hints still on film”) that drew me in, and an ending that is clearly not the end. Chev, your work always grabs my attention. I feel privileged to have you as a regular here in our “garden.”

“But Stopped Watches . . .”
By Jerry Walraven

Light leaks through walls,
seemingly solid.
The heat of years
takes its toll,
leaving tantalizing hints
still on film.
A face in clear focus,
looking in at eyes
which match,
detail for detail
but the thoughts
and dreams
are faded
into rusty trinkets.

 

Walt’s Choice:

I had that special bond with my Grand- Father, basically growing up living with him in the back rooms of our house. The scenario presented was of actual artifacts I have of this gentle and mysterious man. The poem I’ve chosen tells my story just as well as if I had written it. Isn’t that the best thing? Being able to put yourself into someone else’s vision? With that in mind, Michelle Hed’s CONNECTIONS gets my nod for a BLOOM.

 

CONNECTIONS by Michelle Hed

I always wanted to meet my Great-Grandfather,
we share a birthday you know,
a special connection –

I have his pocket watch,
It doesn’t work anymore
But when I hold it,
I feel warmth,
A memory,
And time stops. . .

And I see a boy running through
the fields of his grandparents’ plantation
and the bagpipes are playing in the background
and every story I was ever told about my Great-Grandfather
comes to life.

I set the watch down
and pick up the old key and
turn it around and around in my fingers,
imagining the door,
in the house,
that it might have belonged to
but now it is just a key
with no home.

WEB WEDNESDAY – RJ CLARKEN

Robert Lee Brewer (Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides) recently interviewed poet Terri Kirby Erickson, in which she said, “If I can make it funny, I can stand it.”  My head nodded in agreement, as I thought of the most consistently comical poet in our humble midst: today’s Web Wednesday guest, RJ Clarken.  RJ is another poet whose work Walt and I have had the good fortune to enjoy on a regular basis at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides since 2009. 

Welcome, RJ! 

The title of your website is Lightverse – Just for Fun.  Fun lightverse is what absolutely DEFINES you as a poet.  Is your sense of humor cultivated, or natural?  Does it play a large role in your family life?

 Wow!  This is really cool!  Thanks, Marie – and Walt!  You guys are such talents and such nice folks!  I’m really lucky to have ‘met’ you at Poetic Asides!

 Okay…Now let’s see…yeah – I think my sense of humor is something that comes naturally.  Growing up in my house, humor was IT.  We were always joking around and goofing off on one another.  (It’s probably the main way we deal with the bumpy things in life.)

 But more than that, we all just love a good laugh.  My husband is a funny guy – and he says he married me because I laugh at his jokes.  I met him at a hiking event – and he really did make me laugh all day that day.  My kids are really funny too.  You can imagine dinner at our house.

 And after all, life’s too short to spend too much of it looking at the downside.  You need to find the humor.

Dinners at your place sound like great fun!  Just let us know what works for you, and we’ll show up fork-in-hand. 

 

 

 Your comic mind shines brilliantly in your book, “Mugging for the Camera” (VBW Publishing).  I have it. I love it. It gives me the giggles. 

 

 

 

 Here is a piece to wet the appetite:

 A Toast to Toast

 A whiff of sourdough perfume

aroused me from my reverie.

I bee-lined for the dining room

which seems to happen every

time I long to thus consume

what ovens brown so cleverly.

Here’s to my crusty buttered toast …

It’s all I need to live.  Almost.

 Having a book under your belt (hooboy … I shouldn’t give you and Walt that much fodder), perhaps you could share with us a bit about the process.  How did you go about choosing which poems to include, and organizing them for your book?

 Most of the poems in Mugging for the Camera were already published elsewhere, in other journals and such, so very little in the way of editing needed to be done.  I had the concept for the book in mind already, and so choosing poems was kind of easy.

 Originally, I thought I would submit the book to a few places to see if there was interest.  Interestingly, there was some interest, but unfortunately, as one publisher put it, it was funny, but she didn’t know how to market the book

 Apparently, when most publishers say they are looking for humor, they really mean some sort of irony that is really subtle.  My stuff is more like bull in a china shop, although one well-known poet (after hearing some of my work at a reading) did tell me I was far more literary than I gave myself credit for.

 So…I thought about it for a bit, and decided to self-publish it.  I had the graphics and photography background, and this way, I maintained all the controls, which was kinda fun. 

 How did you choose your publishing company? If you don’t mind answering this question, have you been happy with the sale of your book? What do you do to boost sales?

 I chose the publishing company I ended up using by doing my due diligence.  I did a lot of research online (consumer reports, talking to people who used different companies, looking at books, etc.) and weighed the pros and cons of establishing myself as the publisher and using Lightning Source and other printer options.  I thought about Create Space and Lulu too – since some of my writer friends had gone that route, but in the end, I decided this was the best option for me.  As it turned out, I was pleased with my dealings with Virtualbookworm.

 As for the sales, I’ve done reasonably well for a poetry book.  I do readings at local venues and talk about it on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, etc.  I’ve also done school and library visits where we do workshops about writing humorous poetry.

 It isn’t often one sees a humorous sonnet, yet you managed to pull it off brilliantly in the following:

 Sonnet CI – Lurking is the New Normal

 O truant Muse what shall be thy amends

For thy neglect of truth just ain’t normal!

Both truth and beauty on my love depends;

But I need your help to write poems formal.

Make answer Muse: can we not then return…

‘Truth needs no colour, and beauty’s not fixed;

Else, who could write Ode to a Grecian Urn;

But best is best, if never intermixed?

Because…what is normal and what is not?

Anymore, I can’t say with certainty.

Sounds to me like a ‘word’ Gordian knot,

which leaves me frustrated, I guarantee.

So, c’mon, Muse; let’s both get back to work:

In the background, kindly cease to just lurk.

 I have to say that it is hard for me to believe your muse would ever “just lurk.”  Do you occasionally deal with writer’s block?  How do you lasso your muse?

Funny you should say that, but my muse is a real show-off, so writers’ block has never really been the problem.  It’s editing and scaling back that is!

 I think I just heard Walt mumble something about kidnapping your muse.  Not if I beat him to it.  *sinister laugh*  Moving on …

 In addition to your wit, I appreciate your curiously cosmic vocabulary, and ability to rhyme uncommon words.   Is this part of your M.O.?  Or do you just naturally/unintentionally gravitate that direction?

 I love words and wordplay.  I do try to find unusual words so that I can force the rhyme.  Haha!  Really though, when I was a kid, my youngest sister and I were a bit competitive in the word department.  We would do this thing called ‘Word of the Week.’  How that worked is that we would each find a word that we didn’t know.  We’d look it up and then use it every chance we got for a solid week.  By the time the week was out, the word was fully ingrained as a part of our lexicon.

  You are also an expert in the use of poetic form.  Not surprisingly, you have caught the eye of Robert Lee Brewer, where you have made his Poetic Asides “Top 10” list in each of the following forms:  Rondeau, Monotetra, and Lune.  Do you have a favorite?  Is there a sestina form you shun? 😉

 No form should ever be shunned.  The trick is to learn the rules.  Then, if you know the rules – you can break ‘em!

 There is more to RJ Clarken than light verse.  You are also a photographer, graphic artist, and writer of middle grade and young adult fiction. 

Let’s *ahem* “focus” on photography a moment. Please tell us how interested you are, and how serious.  Do you ever pair your photos with your poetry?  

 I’m a very visual person.  I love taking photographs.  And yes, I do pair work.  My blog has some stuff on it, but often, I find usable images elsewhere and borrow them with credit.  I love having a camera in my hand.  It’s kind of an extension of myself.

 Do you have formal graphic arts training/education? 

 Actually, I do.  I have a graduate certificate from NYU in web graphic arts.  Plus lots of coursework in writing, graphics, photography and other stuff that has interested me along the way. 

 Mugging for the Camera was a project made completely by me.  I did the page layout, the graphics, photography, etc.  VBW just did the printing for me.  It was a labor of love.

  Do you get more enjoyment from penning poetry, or writing middle grade/Y.A. stories?

 You know, it’s funny (not the haha kind, but still…) I like to write both genres.  Most of my poetry is of the quirky, humorous kind, but I have written more serious pieces too on occasion.  On the other hand, my mg/ya stories may have some humor in them, but the point there is to try and tell an interesting story (if I can.)  I like to incorporate historical elements in them and sometimes fantasy/sci fi elements too. 

For the prose, I am a research fanatic.  I’ll start digging about some aspect of my story (in the pursuit of accuracy and NO anachronisms!) and it often leads me into areas where I never would have expected to find myself.  It’s fascinating.  And I often get to meet some very interesting people along the way.  It’s astonishing how nice people are and how helpful too.  You just ask them questions – and before you know it, you’ve learned some amazing things.  And made new friends, in the process.  But doing both kinds of writing (and the occasional non-fiction piece) give me the balance I really need.

 I also credit my writing group.  They’re a brilliant group of women who tell it to me straight and keep me from being too wordy.

 In fact, that’s why I write in poetic form – or rather, how I started.  It was an exercise to keep myself concise.  After all, if you’re writing a 5/7/5 haiku/senryu, you only have 17 syllables to say exactly what you need to say.

 Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?  Please tell us what you remember about the experience.  Did you immediately know writing would take a prominent seat in your life?

 I cannot remember the first poem I ever wrote, but I do remember some of my early writings, way back in 1st grade.

 Here’s an example:

 Once, my teacher asked me about what my father did for a living.  He was an accountant at the time, which I heard had something to do with bookkeeping.  I’m not sure why.  I didn’t know what a bookkeeper was, however, but it didn’t stop me from creating my illustrated story.

 I drew a picture of a man standing on top of a pile of money and wrote:  My dad makes books – he writes numbers.

 My teacher had to call my mom to make sure my dad wasn’t really a bookie.

 Somehow, those kinds of things have followed me throughout my life!

 Anyway, thanks for the kind words and for highlighting me at Poetic Bloomings!  You guys rock!

 Thank YOU, RJ.  If it is true that laughter is the best medicine, you are immeasurably good for our health!

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – Week #21

Speaking of surprises this week, there is no surprise that our poets came up with their consistently great work. Marie and I appreciate the comfort you have all found in this special place, and hope we can continue this association and grow further in our poetic prowess. So without further blah, blah, blah…our BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS for this week.

MARIE’S MOST AMAZING MUSE:

Shannon Lockard’s “The Best Surprise” stole my heart this week. What other surprise in life is as momentous as the discovery that a new little life is developing inside you?

Shannon, I can’t read your fourth stanza without choking up. Thank you for this enriching piece.

The Best Surprise
By Shannon Lockard

It wasn’t a surprise
by the time I mustered
up enough courage
to wander through the
store and purchase not one,
but two tests to confirm
you were growing
inside me.

It wasn’t a surprise
when your dad and I
looked at each other
in shock, we were
too young to react in any
other way.

It wasn’t a surprise
when I saw your image
for the first time,
that the mesmerizing
gray and black fuzzy
screen filled my belly
with warmth,
my eyes with joyful
tears.

It isn’t a surprise
that each moment
we spend together
causes my heart
to quadruple in size
because you are
you, after all.

It isn’t a surprise
that each year of
your life is my favorite
because life with
you has been one
incredible,
surprise.

 

WALT’S BLOOMING SURPRISE:

As a chronic “snorer” I can appreciate Connie Peters’ “Don’t Be Surprised”. My youngest daughter was always afraid of the “lion” that slept in my room at night. I love the frivolity in this piece; a great one for the kids. Connie has captured all the wonder inherent in this sleep affliction. Nice one, Connie!

Don’t Be Surprised by Connie Peters

Don’t be surprised to hear a monster roar
Sounding like it’s coming through the door
Growling, snarling like a grizzly bear
Catching you completely unaware
Or maybe more like a wild boar

An earthquake shaking you to the core
Or a rumbling train rattling roof to floor
Or a dragon coming from its lair
Don’t be surprised

Curtailing fear may be a chore
With a sound so great, you can’t ignore
I tell you this because I care
This is something I must share
It’s only Pops having his nightly snore
Don’t be surprised

BEAUTIFUL BLOOM – PROMPT #20

A photograph of a young couple sitting lakeside wishfully looking to an uncertain future. Life is splayed out before them. What faces them? Where will it take them? Our amazing poets have offered their visions of what dreams may come. These are the “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS” for week #20.

Marie’s Favorite:

So many wonderful poems from which to choose, and I ended up choosing one of my favorite forms: the haiku. Paula Wanken nailed it. Beginning with “on the shore of dreams” sets the tone beautifully and romantically. Every young-and-in-love couple who has ever embraced on a shore with waves lapping in front of them dreams of what may come. Paula’s 7-syllable “Anticipating ripples” is the perfect prelude to “their lives will create.” Fabulous!

HAIKU by Paula Wanken

on the shore of dreams
anticipating ripples
their lives will create

Walt’s Selection:

The photograph was indeed from my daughter’s Senior Prom. The tentative innocence portrayed in this poem had a very familiar feel to it. These two young adults have held onto their friendship for quite some time and these lines tell their tale as closely to reality. A conversation such as this is within these two, and it touched me greatly. From that Delaware Park scene to Madison, Wisconsin, my Bloom goes to Amy Barlow Liberatore.

LAKESIDE CONVERSATION by Amy Barlow Liberatore

An autumn breeze caressed my cheek.
A moment with no words to speak
aloud, but softly, with great care:
“The end of this; we know it’s there.”

The carefree days, each careful kiss;
I know that life holds more than this
for me,” I sighed, and waited for
response from him. Then, this he swore:

“I’ll like you ‘til my dying day.
Please be my friend, although we’ll lay
apart, and in the arms of others.”
This is love time never smothers:

The gift of letting passion go
because true friendship deems it so.