THE POETIC BLOOMINGS “LIFE IS A BEACH!” GAUNTLET

(This is a slightly revised re-posting of an announcement originally made June 28.)

I’m on a much needed (aren’t they always) vacation next this week  😀  and I’m sure some beach time is in order. After all, “Life is a Beach!”

So here’s the deal. We will all be going on sort of a vacation next month in the form of the first POETIC BLOOMINGS “LIFE IS A BEACH” POETRY GAUNTLET. What’s this mean, Walt?

First of all, for the month of July, the weekly Sunday prompt will be suspended. WHAT, NO POETRY PROMPTS? Au contraire!

A beach/vacation-related inspiration will be posted daily. “Daily?” you ask, “How is that a vacation?” It’s a break from routine, so  spin your wheels, stretch your muse.Use this idea to write your poetry. Long, short, rhymed, it doesn’t matter. Just write. Everyday. That’s the gauntlet. And since everyone is doing “challenges” nowadays, we’re making hay while the sun shines.

Wednesday will continue as IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY with a twist. It will be joined with the prompt to pen your beach finery to that specific form. We may (will) repeat forms we have previously highlighted.

Marie’s monthly interview will also continue, so watch for it toward the end of the month.  (Catch Marian Veverka’s June interview herehttp://poeticbloomings.com/2013/06/20/poet-interview-marian-j-veverka/).

The BEAUTIFUL BLOOM feature on Saturday will also take a hiatus for the month (hey, Marie and I have earned the rest). However, anyone wishing to “award” a particular poem they’ve read with a Starfish, please feel free to do so. Poems will be selected from the month’s submissions for a special chapter in Book 3 (yes, there will be a book three! 😀 ).

BUT… we’re not done. As with the 20 week Memoir Project, you will be asked to compile another e-chapbook of the “Beach” poetry to be highlighted through the rest of the year. (Anyone wishing to still complete and submit a Memoir, you are welcomed to do so!)

So, pour yourself a cold drink, kick back (don’t forget the SPF), write more poetry and enjoy a different July here at POETIC BLOOMINGS.

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.

POETIC RECOLLECTIONS AND STUFF

Just taking care of business:

If you haven’t already, go and read Marie Elena’s interview with Sharon (S.E.) Ingraham. Insightful is an understatement; these ladies have both shown why they are so good at what they do. Click HERE for the link.

We’ve had a tremendous response to the prompt for this week. WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD – PROMPT #44 has us writing about our travels. We’ll hold the bus for you until Sunday when we change our tune and the prompt! Click HERE for that link.

The POETIC RECOLLECTION PAGES are being established and poems are being posted by the poets.If you do not see your name in the menu and you wish to have a page, send and e-mail to poeticbloomings@yahoo.com – subject: Recollections page. Please only post poems submitted for POETIC BLOOMINGS prompts or IN-FORM POET segments on these pages and make a note as to which prompt/form it applies. Also, if you need to supply photo/bio, you can do so there as well. They are being updated almost daily. These pages are for regular contributors to POETIC BLOOMINGS. Newer poets will be added as we see fit.

DAISY CHAIN is the “bulletin board” to advertise and link to our poet’s personal blog pages. Again, if you do not see, or would like your links added to the chain, e-mail to poeticbloomings@yahoo.com – subject: Daisy Chain. Please check to make sure your link is correct, and if your URL changes please inform us.

The BOOK SHELF is the place for us to post your accomplishments in publishing. E-mail a link to your book and we’ll add it to the shelf. Subject: Book Shelf.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #37

Prompt #37 was a photo of three disturbances in an otherwise tranquil amber lake. Like the ripples that resulted from those splashes, our poets took their poems in many different directions, touching all that came into their paths. It is intriguing to see what various poets see in the same captured moment. Each and every poem posted was truly golden and worthy of recognition. HOWEVER … Marie and I choose only one each per week. So in keeping with our routine:

Walt’s Bloom:

One would have to be bananas to look at a photo of three splashes on Golden Pond and equate it with eternally resting in Valhalla. But, once the case was made… well, it made for a very visual and expressive poem. And Michele Breton was the only one Banana enough to pull that off. The imagery in her piece shows pure vision and imagination and has earned Michele my “Bloom” for week # 37. Well done, Michele!

Marie’s Bloom:

It was bound to happen sooner or later. For the first time in our 37 weeks, Walt and I chose the same poem. “Viking Funeral” is so different a take, so unique and well constructed, how could it not be chosen? Bravo, Banana the Poet!

Viking Funeral. by Michele Brenton

Lay him down
dress him fine,
weave flowers in his beard;
for he is loved,
he is mine,
paid for with my tears.

Battles over,
Warrior King
respected by his peers;
hold his image
sing his songs
to echo through the years.

Upon the waters
send him well,
let the flames begin;
Valhalla waits
while my heart breaks
and yearns to burn with him.

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 #28

Thanks once again to all of you who take the time to read, encourage, and create here at Poetic Bloomings.

Marie’s Feature

This week, I had a hard time deciding between a complex piece, and one that is simple, yet spoke to me immediately.  I decided to feature Mike Maher’s “Sometimes in Distant Parts.”  This is a fabulous example of a highly intricate, layered script that is filled with analogy and perception. I had to read it several times to appreciate it, quite honestly.  But that is part of the intrigue. When we dig to find a piece is dense with jewels, it is well worth the dig. Bravo, Mike!

Sometimes in Distant Parts
(Mike Maher)

I’d like to contact the previous renter of this apartment
not to complain about the paint splatters
left in the kitchen sink or on the closet doors,
but to ask for more
and to ask where she found the time
and if she left any of it behind.
It’s not yet 11:00 and by the time
I’m done looking for time
it’s December
and the greyness is already thick.
I keep forgetting to stop and remember
that I am not the Conqueror Worm.
How did we get this far into the years
without understanding more about the human brain,
only able to estimate its amount of neurons within 15 billion neurons
and that starfish do not have them?
One article begins with
“It is located in the head, usually”
and although my brain knows very little
about other brains, surely we should have gotten further by now.
To the man pushing the cart,
why won’t you help Icarus?
I didn’t realize the Walrus was a villain
says Lennon,
but by then it was too late.

Walt’s DEcision:

A poets (all poets) find a time where muse doesn’t matter anymore. Or has just stagnated to indifference. Sometimes we need a break to step away and re-evaluate the situation, sometimes we look elsewhere for a solution. My choice for Beautiful Bloom this week expresses that simply but pointedly. De Jackson takes stock in that regard with her poem, AUDIT.

AUDIT by De Miller Jackson

Don’t wanna be a poet no more.
Don’t wanna be a writer no more.
Don’t wanna do this drama no more.
Don’t wanna be a mamma no more.

Don’t wanna run in circles no more.
Don’t wanna pen for pittance no more.
Don’t wanna pay my dues no more.
Don’t wanna sing these blues no more.

No more.
No more.
No more taxation
…without proper libation.

Congratulations to Mike Maher and De Miller Jackson

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #27

As many of us scramble to write a poem every day through November, while trying to find time to comment and encourage others who are doing the same, Walt and I want to express our appreciation for those who have managed to write and post here as well. You are all amazing, and we are humbled.

From the usual well of excellence, my Prompt #27 Beautiful Bloom goes to Jane Penland Hoover for “Another.” Jane, it does my heart a world of good to see your work here at Poetic Bloomings. I am a long-time admirer of yours, and “Another” is a fine example of why. Your unpretentious style, easily envisioned images, liquid flow, well-chosen title that leads right into the opening phrase, and mood that you set all come together flawlessly in this charming piece. Congratulations on your first “Beautiful Bloom” honor.

Another

Week of routines followed
Simple pleasures taken in

Walks around the pond
Slowing through the meadow

To listen for the cardinals
Spy the well-perched hawk

Week of breakfast, lunch, and
Dinner, time enough

For us, rising before each dawn
Turning down plush comforter
As darkness hushes birds

Seven days our simple measure
Marking still our dual breath

By Jane Penland Hoover

 

Walt’s choice for this week :

The main theme: look forward, the week that was, was and nothing changes it. Optimistic attitudes and positivity no matter the provocation. Well expressed, Benjamin. Accept this Bloom and honor.

The Week That Was by Benjamin Thomas

The week that was, well..

Was another week under the gun
Pressure, blood, bullets, fun

Highs, Lows, Horrifying news
Red, scarlet, greys and blues

Yet it was another week under the sun
Warmth of rays, a new birth to some

And even though another is begun
Applause, cheers, that one is done

Forget the week that now is past
Live today while the day still lasts

In sinking sands while the day still stands
taking grace in prayer to meet its demands

Complaints, cries, whines and rants
Changing diapers, poopy pants

Days, weeks, months and years
Encompassing our joys, crowns and fears

But no matter how good or bad it felt
There’s another week under our belt

So all you singles, moms and dads
Young men and men, well dressed, well clad

Don’t look behind, don’t turn your head
To the week that was, look straight ahead

 

Congratulations, Jane and Benjamin for work extremely well written and satisfying. And to all our poets, Write on, in the face of all these challenges. We’re glad you join us weekly.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #26

Good morning, all!  Enjoying the weirdness this week!  As always, the various “takes” on the prompt are totally intriguing. The skill and ingenuity with which they were penned is impressive … no surprise, there.

Personally, I (Marie Elena) had decided my vote would go to what I saw as the most original take on the prompt.  I must say that I was most amused by Hannah Gosselin’s slant.  Yes, one cannot argue the bizarre-yet-superior complexities of the world of microorganisms.  Oh, the weird-and-wonderful things around, on, and IN us!

Hannah’s stimulating ( 😉 ) “KINESIS” gets my Beautiful Blooms pick for the week.  Well done, Sweet Hannah!

KINESIS
By Hannah Gosselin

Engulfing amoeba;
swarming, splitting
moving about hungrily.
Life feeding life
feeding life.
Microscopically,
paradoxically;
sophisticated
provision.

Our beloved Walt will be along with his own choice.  Stay tuned …

Walt’s Choice (as predicted!):

My bit of weirdness comes from the cornfields of Iowa, by way of Chicago and Texas. I am relating somewhat to the up and down of this piece. At times such as these, we hang on and ride it out, knowing the cycle will keep us busy (and constantly moving). So Paula Wanken, I celebrate your CONTRARY MIND with this BEAUTIFUL BLOOM.

CONTRARY MIND

by Paula Wanken

spinning
spiraling
down, down, down
into the depths of darkness
my mind tells me
I am beyond hope
nothing can help
I should be able to manage
on my own
I do not need that little pill

at the bottom
I resign

spinning
spiraling
onward and upward
into another blue sky day
my mind tells me
I am just fine
I don’t need any help
I can manage
on my own
I don’t need that little pill

at the top
I resist

spinning
spiraling
down
down
down

again

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.

IN-FORM POET – Clerihew

WE DARE YOU TO CLERIHEW! 🙂

A Clerihew is a comic verse consisting of two couplets and a specific rhyming scheme (aabb),  invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) at the age of 16. The poem is about/deals with a person/character within the first rhyme. In most cases, the first line names a person, and the second line ends with something that rhymes with the name of the person.

One of the most remembered Clerihew from Bentley’s collection is:

Sir Humphrey Davy
abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
of having discovered sodium.

Walt’s Clerihew:

So sleep deprived was Walter,
who without slumber would falter.
Rip Van Winkle, he was not;
just thankful for the sleep he got!

Marie Elena’s Clerihew

What Happens in Rock Vegas, STAYS in Rock Vegas
Barney Rubble
Got in Trouble
With a foxy
Gal named Roxy.