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Saturday, July 16, 2011


All of life falls vaguely under one of these categories. Write your poem with one of these aspects as your inspiration. Be as literal as you wish, or take them to extremes.

It could be a person, pet, a wild beast, Sasquatch...
It might be asparagus, a fern, bread mold...
Possibly something from the periodic table, table salt, or **BLING**

If it grows, breathes or carries its weight, make it rhyme.

Marie’s Sweet Children’s Poem:

NONNA'S CHERRY TREE (A poem for children)

A limb that’s low enough for me,
Lifts me up so I can see
Nonna, picking sugar peas,
Apron blowing in the breeze.

A comfy spot to read my book
Overlooks a lively brook,
Where the water froths and foams,
Tadpoles scurry to their homes.

In a hollowed knot, I spy
Rotting wood, and ants that fly.
Up above, I spot a nest.
Momma bird fights off a pest.

Cherries, juicy-ripe and sweet,
Some for baking; some to eat
Just-picked with my own two hands,
Dropping into metal pans.

Oops! I find a worm in one
That’s when I decide I’m done.
So, I climb down from my spot;
Dump my cache from pans to pot.

Nonna helps me carry them,
Then I help her pit and stem.
Next, I help my Nonna bake
Cherry pie; black forest cake.

Nonna lets me spend the night,
Tucks me in, and says, “Sleep tight!”
Then I dream I’m flying free,
Smiling down on Nonna’s tree.

(Note from Marie Elena: Though this poem is make-believe, it was inspired by my own Nonna's cherry tree, which was quite special to all of us grandchildren.)

Walt’s Elegy:


Your place marking time,

I trace your name with a finger

and linger long in thoughts of you all.

I miss you and ache greatly for it.

But it is the way life transpires.

I never tire from coming to spend

a moment with you; a minute, an hour…

I water the flowers we had planted here,

as you had always done for your parents

who lay next to you. And you two together,

a forever shared in the embrace of Him who made

us all. He had called you all home. Leaving me

to roam between these stones of marble and granite

marking this time; my words marking this place

until we are all face-to-face in the renewed Light of Love above.

My heroes all in one spot and a lot of love still remains.

(Waltz Notes: I have finally gotten my chapbook, WOOD, into the hands of all my siblings and they were astonished by its honesty, weight and heart – their words, not mine. I visited the cemetery this afternoon and spent time reading it aloud to the people who mattered the most. A nerdy thing to do, I know, but something I needed to do. WOOD lives on, as do my parents and grandparents in these heartfelt words.)


  1. An exceptional piece even for you, Walt. And not "nerdy" at all, but an entirely lovely and heartwarming moment in time. I have to wonder how you made it through your reading. Bless your heart.

  2. Matter

    I have touched mist.
    I know that freedom is only as limited
    as your perception of freedom.
    I too have been told secrets by seashells.
    I have been the body inside the coffin
    at a viking burial,
    the one burned with alcohol
    and the one inside the car right before the explosion.

    Goodbye again.
    It's not the disappearing
    but the reappearing that hurts.
    Your wrist now clicks.
    Up close everything is chaos.

    You haven't called the lagoon in years.
    It has much less to do with the waterfall
    than with how you arrive at the waterfall.
    If you concentrate you can taste it.
    Some never get there,
    some never leave.
    I think that's what Carver was trying to say
    before he died.
    Can you see where we're going?

  3. I chose "animal." Here is my poem:


    today i loosened my tongue
    to animalspeek
    talked in the lingo
    of the winged and the pawed
    cooed and barked
    meowed with kittens
    basking in the shade
    of a tree birded with sparrows

    today i let myself go
    into animalspeek
    where thoughts came
    sparking in a filamented
    highway of neurons
    voweled and consonanted
    far from human lines we tow in our talk
    but send animals into hiding

    today i said "No words today"
    only animalspeek
    the growls the caws
    the chirps the whistles
    the engine feline purrings
    the panting canine tongues
    i will string no letters into words
    no words into human-life sentences
    no people voice

    today in the yard
    dogs and cats and birds
    and i gathered
    to animalspeek
    the time of day
    not to gossip or complain
    nor curse a way of life
    instead in animalspeek
    we rooted for the caterpillar
    crawling up the stem
    to the cup of an opened daisy


  4. Love the song in your cherry tree, M;
    W: you can think it nerdy, but I call it a grand idea, and envy you a depth of connection that excludes time.


    I, a concept,
    hear you, another.
    And I have heard music, and anger, tenderness, gaity;
    smelled victory, and trouble;
    tasted freedom
    felt shame and hate, absence, joy;
    seen progress, ugliness, grandeur;
    possessed and lived in both house and home,
    and also lived in sin and poverty.
    I have wasted time and opportunity, childhood; lost innocence; known friendship and love.

  5. just getting warmed up with a little silliness. I hope to write another, taking time to polish it. Perhaps a vegetable poem.


    You're like no other, yet try your hand at being a few.
    The coloring of your back in a reddish-brown hue
    Reminds me of a squirrel or fox or mink.
    Is that what you want me to think?

    Yet, those black and white striped legs you possess
    Resemble a zebra going to the ball in a reddish-brown dress.
    I must laugh at that silly thought and wonder if you
    Considering yourself the animal comedian of the zoo.

    Now, if we overlooked the color and just consider the fur
    Perhaps you want us all to falsely concur
    That you are some sort of thin, confused polar bear
    Since your oily coat repels water from each and every hair

    And your tongue is blue like a polar's or chow chow
    but much, much longer—and my, oh, my, how!
    That sucker is 35 cm long and pointy, too,
    Like a chameleon who sharpened his to spear fly stew.

    However, the male of your species give you away.
    With the ossicones they so proudly display
    It's apparent the giraffe is in your family tree.
    All your pretending just can't fool me.

    Though maybe it is not me who is the fool.
    Maybe you really think you are a bear-zebra-mule.
    Perhaps the mix and match body parts involved
    Give you an identify crisis waiting to be resolved.

  6. Like gargantuan gray yams,
    tapered to a paddle-shaped tail
    two flippers in front,
    snout that looks like it ran into a brick wall
    eyes like two deep holes
    a mouth formed in frown,
    as if they were once princes and princesses
    cursed to drift about underwater
    as Manatees.

  7. I Could Never Own a Pig

    Smoky bacon frying in
    its own delicious fat.
    Crisping to perfection is
    the most important step.
    Once the fatty goodness is
    rendered down quite well,
    it's time to create a fabulous
    and oh so scrumptious meal.
    Crumble it on salad
    or add to Brussels sprouts.
    It will make any veggie tastier,
    on this I have no doubt.
    Pile it high on sliced bread and
    add a tomato or two,
    or wrap it around some scallops,
    your taste buds will be thankful for you.
    Eat it plain with breakfast
    or dip in maple syrup.
    Sprinkle on top of donuts
    and your kids will surely adore it.
    Dice it, wrap it, eat it alone
    the variations never end.
    So, I'll never keep a pig for a pet,
    I could never eat one of my friends.

  8. Do You Hear the Distant Cry?

    Emerald is the illusion set before mine eyes
    in a field of growing life that sways
    to the rhythm of slapping wind.
    From this balcony flap is the world’s
    closed mind. I observe a game of pantomime
    where leaves of willow trees are arms that wave
    as celestial spirits preach divine understanding
    in this growing void of human disregard
    while ominous fertile grounds rejoice
    in meditative peace, hope, and love.
    Yet pollution jostles the air I breathe
    as Mother Earth’s choir sings praise on high
    burning incense is the smoke that fills the air
    with bones dissolved through war’s endless cry:
    why can’t we be this field of green?

  9. The Teacher’s Cat

    -The Teacher’s Cat is an adjective game I play with students based on the old Scottish parlour game “The Minister’s Cat

    The teacher’s cat is an adorable cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a beautiful cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a Charlie cat.

    Charlie sat and looked and looked and looked,
    all day every day Charlie looked at the outside world,
    where he used to live.
    He purred round the teacher’s legs as he worked,
    he snuggled and slept on the teacher’s bed as the teacher slept,
    he ate and played with his friend when it suited,
    but mostly he looked out the window
    and deep down inside the teacher knew.

    The teacher’s cat is a delightful cat,
    the teacher’s cat is an elegant cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a furry cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a garden cat.

    A simple error with a door
    and Charlie was house bound no more,
    he went back to the garden where he was young,
    he called back now and again but never did enter in,
    his wild side had won through,
    there was nothing for the teacher to do.

    The teacher’s cat is a hopeless cat,
    the teacher’s cat is an independent cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a jumping cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a kindly cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a lonely cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a magnificent cat.

    For many long months he lived alone,
    fed each day by a friend in need,
    a friend indeed
    and plans were made for future times,
    twice he was brought home,
    only to leave again.
    The teacher’s cat is a naughty cat,
    the teacher’s cat is an outside cat.

    Hope rises as a home is found,
    charitable friends of the feline form,
    will take the homeless wanderer away,
    to foreign climes where he will have a door that opens,
    a garden to play in, to laze in and a bed to sleep and dream in:
    the teacher’s cat is passported cat.

    The teacher’s cat is a quiet cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a runaway cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a sneaky cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a travelling cat.

    He boards the van, caged again,
    not knowing his fate,
    not content in his confinement,
    not hoping for freedom,
    the teacher’s cat is an unhappy cat.

    The teacher’s cat is a vagabond cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a wild cat,
    the teacher’s cat is xenophobic cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a yowling cat,
    the teacher’s cat is a Zydeco cat – danse-toi!

    And so a new life begins on German soil with doors wide open
    and the food bowl full
    and a warm bed when he wants it and a garden when he doesn’t,
    the teacher’s cat is an absent cat,
    but absence makes the heart grow fonder
    and still he is missed
    and still he is thought of,
    but his happiness is paramount
    and tears are wiped away with a smile, even though
    the teacher’s cat is not a teacher’s cat.


  10. Midnight Pumpkins

    October in a coffee cup,
    spicy sweet scent of cinnamon,
    dash of nutmeg, swirl of cream,
    taste of cozy fireplaces, colored leaves,
    warming taste-buds, infusing hearts,
    late night laughter with friends.

    November swirled on flaky pastry
    crumbling on the lips, savory smooth,
    buttery and sweet on the tongue,
    bite-size morsels of a harvest moon,
    full-bodied cornucopia of flavors,
    comfort of family seasoned with love.

  11. Thorny Roses

    How can this pastel sweetness,
    fragrant as an angel's hair,
    tear flesh to shreds and bleed
    its admirer of its affections


    My hands filled with beans and berries,
    I march across the mirrored stage
    of middle life, obsessed with my
    hairless animality. I even project
    my vanity on the family dog. Down

    the stairs I bolt, convinced that I hear
    a plate of eggs scraping across
    the kitchen floor.

    - David W

  13. This poem is from Jane Shlensky. Great work, Jane!


    We can not
    live without the Salt
    of the earth,
    but water
    fresh and clear dilutes the tides
    of blood’s oceans.

    Sea-born but
    land-fed, our bodies
    don’t forget
    the need to
    live in both fresh and briny
    depths of confluence.

    What happy
    mangrove miracle
    that this tree
    sends its long
    speared seeds to sprout in saline
    swamp, to purge water.

    Perhaps, like
    mangroves, we must learn
    the way to
    what would kill us, rendering
    all elements good.

  14. He Like Rocks

    Three feet from the ground
    is a perfect vantage point
    for spotting, speckled treasures
    laying plainly in the dirt.

  15. Thanks, Linda... I love yours... great rhyming!

  16. Water
    and flows
    and fills
    which over/
    and flow
    and fill flasks,
    then bulbs
    as the rhythm of time
    moved forward,
    relentlessly forward
    until it is full.
    Then it drains
    and begins to fill
    itself again.

    * The water clock in this piece is at the Indianapolis Children's Museum, which we visited last week. If you'd like to see a photo of the clock, I'll post one, along with this poem, at my blog (http://gerald-walraven.blogspot.com/2011/07/water-clock.html).

  17. I wrote this for the Sunday Whirl wordle prompt, and Paula suggested I post it here since it fit this prompt as well:


    wings flap
    in divine rhythm,
    tiny bones propelling
    jeweltone body into
    the celestial void
    above bouganvillea’d balcony,
    wing wind jostling blossoms,
    tiny flier observing
    neverending pantomime illusion
    of overcoming ominous

    © 2011 Traci Bonney
    July 17, 2011

  18. mini marshmallows
    atop baked sweet potatoes
    made me smile today

    : )


  19. Excellent poems all, and such a diversity of responses to the prompt. Bravo and brava!

  20. You got me rhyming about cat gut...

    The red priest goes on the tiles

    As Paganini stumbled
    Through the ancient stable door
    His haughty countenance crumbled
    Before the congregation on that floor.

    A dozen stallions strong and fleet
    Were breathing on his nose
    While all around his trembling feet
    Stood arching rows…

    Of cats! Their green eyes blinking
    With a look so fierce and bright
    That Paganini started thinking
    They were spoiling for a fight.

    The atmosphere grew bolder
    As a Siamese stalked near
    And jumped up on his shoulder
    To whisper in his ear,

    “It’s come to our august attention
    That your musical career
    Has caused too much pain to mention
    To the members gathered here.

    The bow you boast is magical
    For spinning music without fail
    Is only fully functional
    At the cost of a flowing tail

    While the singing strings you love to stroke
    To drive the ladies nuts
    Can only really be baroque
    Thanks to someone’s mother’s guts!”

    A noisy chorus raised the roof
    Of that bucolic dive
    Presenting him the awful proof
    He’d not escape alive

    The violinist trembled
    And sank down to his knees
    Before all those assembled
    Crying pitifully, “Please!...”

    But the angry crowd came forth in packs
    With cries of “hiss!” and “neigh!”
    And on a hundred hairy backs
    They carried him away

    Ten miles before they cut him loose
    With a note clear and nefarious
    “Leave off your animal abuse,
    Or we’ll bust your Stradivarius!”

    Next morning he awakened
    In an empty country lane
    His night had left him shaken
    He swore he’d never drink again

    But just as a matter of careful course
    After this nocturnal spat
    He lavished sugar on his horse
    And was nice to every cat.

  21. Rabbit
    Statues hiding
    in the street:
    I see you.

  22. Beautiful work all! Sal I especially connected with yours. I've been living that one lately it seems. Thank you and smiles all @!

  23. BLTs

    Fresh garden
    red tomatoes


    sometimes pets
    up as bacon;


    the golden
    of farm living.

    P. Wanken

    Happy blooming, everyone. :)


    Buy the Store

    A student, green and gold galore.
    She shouldn’t want to buy the store.
    No money tree to grow another dime.
    He wouldn’t see her anymore.
    Yet couldn’t close the open door.
    Her dog was there for her and for all time.

    By Michael Grove
    Copyright 7/19/2011

  25. Jerry, I enjoyed the rhythm and flow of your piece.

  26. Loving the interaction out here. Makes me smile!

    Marie Elena

  27. This week is no less than those of the past. There is such a range of perspective and talent here. I've had such fun reading all the poems so far. Good job, everyone.

    Here's my first offering of the week.


    Tiny chimes spread tinkling notes,
    Flirting with hairs inside their canal,
    Sneaking through with pleasured guile
    To saddle up, riding pathways dark,
    Their light a chemical spark.

    Life riding air lasts a bare
    Instant, fairy memory.

  28. This is done in not quite reverse pyramid form. It uses a 12-9-13-9... measure.

    Elysia chorotica

    A leaf of green fluttering in dainty allure,
    Seeking nourishment on salt-marsh floor
    Debunks man's understanding of God's handiwork.
    Baby Elysia eats algae
    To build her chlorophyll manufacturing plant.
    Mature, sunlight will fuel her life, and
    Scientists can't explain how animal joins with plant
    To form this delicate creature.

  29. My Cardinal

    The deep crimson cardinal
    appears in time of need
    to remind me I’m not alone
    I have a friend, indeed.

    This bird is my correspondent
    sent down from up above,
    to show God is listening
    with eternal love.

  30. I wrote this for the PA Wednesday prompt, but I thought it somewhat fit this prompt, so I am posting it here as well. I hope that is okay. It is about many physical things, everything that grows, breathes, carries weight or blings. I hope you like it and don't hate me too much for double posting. :)

    Surface Tension.

    Some milk will always stay behind with the glass,
    two almost lovers settling for one another.
    Empty is my mind when you need it most.
    Trying to clear your head only clouds it further.
    Where do all forgotten ideas go?
    When it was decided that the old god was too mean
    they adopted a new one,
    one who was all forgiving
    and drank red wine,
    a real social kitty cat
    napping in the boat with a storm in the distance.
    Ya dig?
    Concentrate on what is here.
    The philosophy of a leaf. The sound of the lilac plant.
    What the rain brings and not
    what is washes away.
    Empty is a philosophy very different from that of a leaf,
    from that of a chipmunk, whose world is filled
    with present stimulants
    and can't comprehend empty in any language,
    even chipmunk.

  31. HAIKU(3) on Animal, Vegetable, Mineral and Emptying

    The kitty once purred.
    Someone petted her too hard.
    Kitty hisses now.

    The rose bush blossomed.
    Intense heat withered the buds.
    Only thorns grow there.

    Find the money tree.
    Invest in precious metals.
    Pure gold is melting.

    By Michael Grove

  32. Please cut & paste link to view "Deer One" on my blog. It's a bit long, and I don't want anyone to get carpal tunnel on my account! Thanks for being here, Marie and Walt, it's my first time posting. Peace, Amy

  33. Taking a Petrol Toll

    250 kilomtres from home,
    enjoyimg the countryside
    and the Summer breeze
    along this much travelled road.
    The auto cruises until it
    loses the fuel to motor.
    I ought to have gone earlier.
    Next petrol 27km.
    The countryside is overrated.

  34. Hi there!
    Yeah....I know I've been MIA for a while, but that's because I was living in the land the prose world for a while - and poetry (for me) mostly went into hibernation.

    It's been a bumpy but totally fascinating ride, except for the lack of sleep: hence the following tritina, which is my first entry for Poetic Bloomings - inspired by a small creature (probably a cat) who ran from my deck when I turned on the light in the middle of the night.

    Where is the Cat?

    …so it was three o’clock in the morning
    and as per usual, I was awake
    so I wished that I were a feral cat.

    No matter the consequence, it’s the cat
    who chases stars in the night, ‘til morning
    comes. Then she packs away her games, awake

    no more. I want to leave stars in my wake;
    stars that come on little cat feet…a cat
    who finds peaceful slumbers in the morning.

    Morning comes and I am still awake…but I wonder…where is the cat?


    Because I’m Free

    Because I’m free to roll and rock,
    I am the key to my own lock.
    I’ll never let myself fall down again.
    Yes I will be mostly ad hoc.
    No I won’t see the ticking clock.
    I’ll still go fishing every now and then.

    Because I’m free to take a chance,
    to what degree I make a stance,
    determines how the deck of cards will fall.
    Sing let it be. My feet will dance,
    A figgy tree may bring romance.
    I’ll be happy in the wake of it all.

    By Michael Grove

  36. Elephant Observation

    Giant rolls of thick grey skin
    parched by the blazing sun
    refuse to budge. She remains there,
    sitting next to a smaller one,

    her baby, who remains still as stone,
    its rounded body, trunk and ears
    reduced to a lifeless 250 pound clump.
    The sight brings me to tears.

    We watched the same scene yesterday,
    and the day before--nudging its back,
    pacing slowly around it, waiting,
    protecting it from risk of attack--

    and, yet, we think she knows. She
    mourns her loss, as would you or I,
    but she must do it all alone. Alone.
    I stray from the group, continue to cry.

  37. Oh, you people make it so hard to choose one piece to highlight.

    I'm amused at how many are about cats. I'm not a cat person (not a cat hater, just far more of a dog person), but the cat poems are quite entertaining and well done!

    Those rhyming pieces with story lines blow me away. I know how difficult it is to write a full story in rhyme, and do it well.

    Linda, your elephant piece makes me want to cry.

    Clauds, you are on a roll!

    There are more new names, and we welcome each one of you.

    RJ, so good to see you!! Very best wishes on your book!

    Okay ... gotta choose ... oh my ...

  38. Also, missing De terribly. Goodnight, De! Fall asleep to the call of the waves, the light of the moon, and the scent of salt air. =)

  39. Connie, I enjoyed reading yours this week. Nice wording.

    Don't worry, Marie Elena. De will be back. But, yes, her presence is missed.