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Saturday, July 23, 2011

GO FOR THE GOLD – Prompt #13

The recent events surrounding the U.S. Women’s Soccer team has opened us up to a very direct pursuit with much of our lives, including our poetry. The first big story of the tournament was the amazing goal scored to put the team into contention for the cup. The second story was the rise of the Japan Women’s team to defeat the U.S. squad, causing them to fall short of their goal. What goals do you set for yourself? How often do you achieve them? Is it the effort that stands out for you, or is it all about the glory? What’s your story?

The prompt for week #13 is to write a goal-oriented poem. It could be your crowning achievement to date, or the never say die spirit that keeps you in the game. Go for poetic gold.

Marie Elena’s goal poem:

Introspective Perspective

my prospective objective
and selective directive,
though defective, were effective.

Walt’s Shot at the target:


Hand steady,
you scope straight and true.
You pull your string taut,
your arrow quivers with the
tension your hand provides.
There is no such thing
as aiming too high.
Glad for the opportunity
to give it your best shot,
whether you hit it or not,
the prize lies in having
a goal in the first place.
Never meant to be a race,
just a leisure walk from birth
until the end of the day.


  1. Marie, this is a beautiful goal. It speaks to calm, to peace, to acceptance. We work with what God gives us, and do our best to leave good things in our wake. Loved it. Amy

    Will work on one to submit, but you got us off to a great start!

  2. Planning

    I've seen scaffolding.
    And mannequins. Long,
    detailed outlines, too.
    I. II. A. B. 1. 2. a. b. c.
    promises stability, and order.
    and those plastic women,
    made to wear clothing,
    know just what it takes.
    But my blueprint is still
    rolled--tight and blank.

  3. I aspire to lofty heights
    and devote much time to doing it right
    and along the way having some fun,
    but greater by far is getting things done.

  4. If you don't mind, I have another

    How She Got to Where She Is...Pt. 1

    Someone, her Sunday School teacher,

    or the second cousin with teeth-marked pencils,
    or the little man with silver glasses,
    who restocked the comic books,

    someone well-meaning,
    said:  the journey of a thousand miles
    begins where you are now.

    Although her mother was impatient,
    and jerked her arm, for a while
    she tried walking sideways.

    Mountain ranges rose sharply and 
    tipped her onto her back. She backstroked, 
    closing her eyes to the clear sky,

    and sagging into the floating hammock
    of waiting tables and answering:  Hello
    customer service this is Poppy how may I help?

    If she had asked "can I?" she would have recognized
    how shallow the water was before
    she came aground in a bar called Norma's.

    Someone, the bartender, or the guy
    with his own pearl inlay pool cue,
    or the girl with lipstick-red cowboy boots

    and pink knees, someone with somewhere to go,
    said:  closing in fifteen.  Drink up.
    And she looked at her, doubting, before

    she slid off the black vinyl barstool.
    In the blinking neon, her tennis shoes
    vacillated between pink and dusty purple.

    The shoes carried her out to her old Toyota,
    staggering only a little, in the loose gravel,
    but she locked the doors securely,

    and began to walk home.

  5. looked at her watch, doubting,

  6. Always Better

    Striving to improve
    every photograph taken,
    striving to improve
    every word written,
    striving to improve
    every stroke of the brush,
    striving to improve
    every social interaction,
    striving to improve
    my personal best
    and always satisfied
    I gave it my all.

  7. Yes! I finally posted! I've been keeping a journal of your prompts to do when I need inspiration, because for some reason I never seem to get them posted in time! And you would think a week would be plenty of time! Ha ha ha! I know my problem, if I don't do it the day it's posted it begins to drift in that land of "I have time" and it's still drifting... :)

    So thanks for your efforts Marie Elena and Walt! I've been lurking! :)

  8. The Hole of Self-Doubt

    "You can run as fast as the wind,"
    words of encouragement from a dear old friend
    who believed in me when I started the race
    who with a kind nudge and a similing face
    pushed me forward, helped me reach my goal
    I thank you friend for filling that hole.

  9. We have a plan

    Please ignore the shopping cart leaving Sears
    Weaving with purpose across the asphalt
    Towards Target. That’s Benny, he’s new here,
    And he got the signal wrong. That’s our bad.

    The truth is, no one is supposed to know.
    We pursue our exercises at night,
    Secretly, when the mall is closed, rolling
    In closed ranks around the darkened hallways.

    Those of us with sticky wheels, who pull left
    Or right consistently, are put to work
    Holding doors and squealing encouragement.
    Yes, even our oldest have a purpose.

    We co-opted the Asteroids machines
    To help us, along with the dinosaurs.
    They keep watch on the doors and monitor
    The strange activities of your children.

    When the mother ship appears in the sky
    We will ride forth, streaming out to gather
    In mystic circles gracing parking lots
    Across the country. You will be amazed.

    Then in a heartbeat, we will all be gone.
    You’ll be left holding the bag, so to speak,
    Which will be sweet. But don’t worry, we’re sure
    You’ll soon find someone else to push around.

  10. This is posted on my blog as "post of the day:"

    I've included it below, but don't think the formatting came through! Thank you all. Amy

    The Greatest Aim of Humankind (an acrostic)

    Pursue the beating of swords into ploughshares
    Etch onto windowpanes, “The time has come”
    Aiming to embrace all peoples as one family
    Chanting, not dogma, but “Love,” in many tongues
    Everyone will cry out, “Enough of war, time to live!”

    © Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

  11. Aspiration

    finding my center:

    [and yet] remote…

    in this house
    finding anything
    is a challenge.

    (The form is called 'Cherita', which is based loosely on haiku and other short-form poetry forms. Cherita is the Malay word for a story or tale. A Cherita consists of a single line stanza, followed by a two line stanza, followed by a final stanza of three lines. My goal was actually to find a new form and use it today.)

  12. I was asked about my professional goals several times last week, so this prompt was very timely for me. However, I'm not sure what my goals are professionally...

    Directionless Fool

    My goal ran away
    and married another.
    Left me with only
    my questions and wonder.
    What should I do?
    Where should I go?
    Without my dear goal
    I'm a directionless fool.

    No Goal

    No goal in sight.
    What a fright!
    I just might
    relish in the delight
    of doing absolutely nothing tonight.

  13. Baby Steps

    Baby steps
    up the mountainside,
    single steps
    crossing streams,
    rock-strewn paths, pressing upward
    to that distant peak.

    Baby steps
    through the hemlock woods,
    pace marked by
    passing trees,
    hiking forward with purpose
    to that distant end.

    Baby steps
    along life’s pathway,
    plodding on,
    step by step,
    until that dream is realized,
    that trail completed.

    Just as a note of explanation, I used to be quite active and a somewhat-avid hiker before I was diagnosed with Wegener's Granulomatosis. Since then, just walking around the block has been difficult at times... but I am finally finding the strength and capability to start hiking once again. I was able to do a 3-mile roundtrip moderately strenuous trail in the Smokies this past week, and it felt AMAZING. But I don't want to stop there. It's a dream of mine to improve to the point of hiking a few days on the Appalachian Trail or hiking through the Grand Canyon. Someday, hopefully!

  14. @Amy - Glad you posted that. It fits here well, and so do you.

    @RJ - love the form. Maybe a highlight on In-Form Poet one of these days.

    @EJ - Great piece. You can accomplish everything you put your mind to. Look out Grand Canyon!

    @Michelle - Now that you've broken the ice, there's no reason to lurk. Keep them coming.

    @Barbara - As I used to say a while back, "Write all you want, we'll read more!"

    @Andrew, Laurie, Connie - Impressive contributions all.

  15. I was just asked to submit a poem to a project dealing with reconciliation on Hiroshima Day and plan to submit the piece above. Hope it's accepted - I'll let you know. Thanks for the compliment, Marie! Amy

  16. You're welcome Amy! Good luck with the submission. You're still a "hometown" girl in my eyes. Walt.

  17. My first attempt at one of the seedprompts:

    balancing wants and needs
    with our distant goals and
    the inner fire burns bright
    bringing needed rebirth
    distilling perspective

    Posted on my blog for this and a few other prompts from today.

  18. "The Distance Between"

    Trying to forget about time.
    That seconds
    bleed into minutes,
    into hours.
    That somewhere, on a line,
    there is a point
    waiting for me.
    This moment should exist,
    pure and unencumbered
    by mounds of ticks
    or blankets of tocks.
    Yet my ability to exist,
    here and now
    fails me,
    as does the sun
    as it rises higher,
    robbing me of
    my moment in amber.
    So I curse,
    brew coffee
    and start the day,
    lest it start without me.

  19. Some great goal posts planted here. Now, away to find my own!

  20. Ditto to all Walt said above.

    Welcome, Blossom! What a positively PERFECT name for posting at Poetic Bloomings! ;)

  21. Fifteen years ago
    my only goal was to survive
    first heart attack,
    and then survive again.
    Smaller goals
    first time outside
    but just for the ride home
    then walking, fifty yards,
    a hundred, a kilometre -
    it was extremely hard, but I won.

    Little by little,
    my strength regained,
    other goals intervened
    and were achieved.
    Quilts were planned
    cut and stitched, quilted and bound
    Each stage a tiny target -
    hung on the wall, exhibited,
    laid on a bed, or sent to friends.

    Eight years ago
    my hardest goal -
    adventure into academe
    on-line study, degree my aim.
    The friends I made,
    virtual and in the flesh,
    new habits formed -
    research, draft, edit, refresh -
    all were part of my achievement

    One year ago
    at seventy-two,
    my goal was reached -
    what now should I do,
    what new goalposts put in place?
    To stay as fit as possible,
    to struggle up the hill.
    To write at least one poem every day,
    to publish, to be read,
    so that when I’m gone,
    there will be something left
    to show that I was here.

    I've tried to publish this on my blog,with some process notes, but the "publish" button has disappeared. I'm working on it, but at least you have the poem - a first draft, certainly in need of a polish!

  22. Good Walt z

    Let’s dance so naked and so free.
    Shall we pick an apple from the tree?
    So Good the taste we’ve come to know.
    We Walt z in time as these seeds grow.

    From buds these blooms bring brilliant flowers
    with aid of sun and peaceful showers.
    The growth continues by the hours,
    while grace and beauty show their powers.

    by Michael Grove

  23. This isn't exactly full of goals, but references a once-upon-a-time goal...


    In my head I paint a picture
    Of life’s goals as taught to me:
    Love, marriage and kids,
    A happy home and family.

    Instead, the canvas of life
    Has rendered naught, for me.

    In my head I paint a picture
    Of the way things ought to be:
    Freedom and justice,
    peace and harmony.

    Instead, the canvas of life
    Has seen wars fought, to free.

    In my head I paint a picture
    So different than reality.

    P. Wanken


  24. "Perfection within Imperfection"

    Look for the good in those we love.
    I know too well this is not an easy charge.
    As we look for the traits of charm, it may seem like a task of farce. Shoot to strike past those tough traits, faults, gaps and cracks in your loved ones. While you seek for what is left, glimpse for the pure. Use the good you find … as the start. Then … care and lift the heart and soul of this loved one. Soon the hard-to love traits will wane. Is this not what we want for us? I do!


    I hope this fits the theme for this week and your inspirational site. I have enjoyed my first visit to Poetic Bloomings! :-)
    ~ becca

  25. Peace and Love

    Open minds and open hearts
    let’s live to find the way,
    to end all of the conflicts
    that bring a cloudy day.

    Sunshine on the mountain top,
    warm rains in the lake,
    rainbows over valleys,
    forgive and not forsake.

    Reading in between the lines
    finding middle ground
    seeing with anothers’ eyes,
    peace and love abound.

    Seeking truth and justice.
    No judgments of all others.
    Living here as one.
    All are sisters, all are brothers.

    Open up your heart today.
    Do it for the world.
    With faith and hope and charity
    your flag of peace unfurled.

    Empathy abounds within
    each and every soul.
    Caring deeply, sharing truths,
    Love will make you whole.

    The greatest gifts we shall receive
    are sent from up above.
    Accept them blindly in the grace
    of peace on earth and love.

    By Michael Grove


    Your goals, my son,
    His father said,
    Mussing the hair on his head,
    When you've grown big
    And tall, a man,
    Like me, well son,
    What of your goals, young man.

    Oh, yes - and more, he said, watching the clouds race by.
    He wanted to grow up big, and be a man!

    Your goals, my son,
    His father said,
    On the day he wedded a wife.
    You're grown, a man,
    Like me. Your goals,
    A home, two kids, a car.
    What of your goals, young man.

    Oh, yes, he said, watching the clouds race by.
    He wanted all that and more!

    Your goals, my son,
    His father said,
    seeing out his final days.
    You're grown, a man,
    Like me. Your goals,
    A home. A car. A job
    And cash for a rainy day.
    What of your goals, young man

    To stay here with you
    'til you choose to leave, he said.
    Father and son, both knowing
    It's the only goal worth making.
    And they both chose on that day
    to forever stop chasing after clouds.

  27. Coffee Table Chic

    Discussed at the finest dinner parties
    by the finest of the fine minds.
    Taught with enthusiasm and awe,
    regarded with esteem by the cognoscenti.
    Authors and lovers of the art
    give pride of place on crowded bookshelves
    and whilst the Poet Laureate sips tea and chats
    their guest admires the tome on the coffee table:
    my book


  28. Hi friends. It's been weeks since I've written so this one was a struggle, turning out more abstract than I intended. It starts with the statue of Nike, the winged goddess of victory, but ends somewhere in the neighborhood Ezekiel 36:26.

    Turning Stone

    I am turning stone
    Heat hardened into clasts
    Of sedimentary freeze

    Standing among statues
    Relegated memorials that exist
    But do not breathe

    Days run into days
    As echoes of life reverberate
    With tremors of discontent

    Fearing your chisel
    Hammered pain gouged
    Into my deepest chest

    I see my heart of stone
    Turning in your hands
    Into something warm

  29. Plays (Well) with Others

    No more playing alone for me.
    Certainly I’ll still practice,
    chasing up and down the scales,
    arpeggios, finding chords all up
    and down the neck of my mandolin,
    but from now on, I’m with the band.
    I’d rather play rhythm, chopping
    in the back, than play a solo,
    finding the melody alone in my room.

    A social creature, I long to meld
    into the music, that perfect blend
    of harmony, tuning my ear to find
    the notes, to play along, perhaps
    a little improvisation along the way,
    picking up the melody now and then.
    Listening is no longer enough for me.
    I long to return to the time when all
    were expected to sing or play
    or dance along, one body, many parts.

  30. Peace Shall Be With You

    Dire turmoil brings a bitter taste
    that fills your heart with grief,
    and grabs at all your happiness
    to steal it like a thief.

    Let restlessness now drift away,
    for it comes, therefore it goes.
    Don’t try to understand it all.
    It’s only God who knows.

    Be mindful there’s a master plan
    in everything you do,
    and by the Grace of God this day,
    peace shall be with you.

    By Michael Grove

  31. The Knife-Thrower

    Magicians pluck rabbits from hats
    Somewhere, bunnies snatch hats
    From magicians

    Crowd eats it up
    Knife-thrower eats a hotdog

    Flaming hoops lick leaping
    Tiger bodies
    Tiger tongues wet singed paws

    Trapeze artists cut through air
    As knives

    Knife-thrower tends his nicks
    His gold medal a
    Green dollar

    Clowns squeeze into a car
    Intentionally double parking

    Woman balances on a ball
    Ball precariously on a

    Knife-thrower stares at her blind eye
    Near a scar everyone sees

    Her brass ring, this three-ring event
    His, an abandoned engagement ring
    Engraved with an elephant

  32. Welcome, Becca! Wonderful to have new voices here!

    Terrific goal posts (as Viv so aptly put it), poets! Walt will be posting our Beautiful Blooms choice(s). The talent here certainly makes choosing only one each nearly impossible each week.

    Mike, I got a kick out of "Good Walt z!" Thanks for that!