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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Phoenix Rising – Prompt #11

We're picking ourselves off of the ash heap and restoring ourselves to prominence. Choose a moment you've experienced that had put you in a dour place, and write the poem as the first stanza. Then, take your last line and use that as your first line in the next stanza that holds your positive resolution. Use any style or form, but mirror the bad image with a good reflection. We're seeking balance here; the yin/yang of our poetic chi.

Marie’s Week 11 poem:


All that remained was
a torn life and shattered dreams.
And then he entered.

And then he entered,
bonding fragments together,
stronger than before.

Stronger than before,
and ready to trust again,
confidence returned.

Confidence returned,
life was regained, and his love
was all that remained.

Walt’s resurgence:


Spotted and flecked,

a torso as canvas for

an artisan affliction.

A family’s predilection

hangs in haunting shadows.

Pre-cautionary; but scary all the same.

a lame excuse of invasive intrusion.

Pre-cancerous determination

charting a course to remove

as much as possible.

Remove as much as possible,

for the thoughts that preoccupy lie

by the wayside; you hide your fear

and adhere to life as usual.

The abuse is manageable

as long as there is a table

on which to operate. It is

never to late to pray;

“Hey Lord, don’t forget me!”

as sunbeams play across

your worry-wrinkled face.

They say you are never forgotten.

Be assured, you’ve gotten all

you’ll need to survive.

Just be glad you’re alive


  1. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/new-life/
    last last week, first this week - more like yang and yin.

  2. Marie Elena, I love your Haiku string.
    Walt, The positive flip and prayer aspect of your poem is very inspiring. Good work both of you

  3. Neat idea. Must go flip my flop

  4. Heartaches and Mudslides"

    A sprinkling of rain wets the earth, bare
    soil eroded by wind, leaving fertile plants
    ripped and ruined. Dirt turns to mud
    as the rain thickens forcing a mudslide,
    washing away the rotting debris.

    Washing away the rotting debris,
    the rain subsides. Sunshine peaks
    out from behind gray clouds
    illuminating fresh soil. A chance for
    fresh crops and new beginnings.

    "Kissing Rock Bottom"

    It was never my target, nor
    my intend goal. I did not mean
    to follow that colorless brick road.
    Winding upon itself, upon myself
    until I was too entwined and disoriented
    to find my way. Lost, I stumbled.
    I crept along until my pursed lips
    gently met the one place I dared not go.
    I kissed rock bottom.

    I kissed rock bottom
    and I did not cry out in ecstasy.
    I did not yearn for its rigid peck. Rock
    bottom did not send tingles through
    every limb, making me beg for
    another kiss. So I broke up with
    rock bottom after just one

    "What Was Done"

    I couldn't stop my tears from flowing,
    I couldn't stop my sorrow from growing,
    I couldn't stop my mind from knowing,
    for what was done, there was no undoing.

    For what was done, there was no undoing, but
    I could stop my pain from flowing,
    I could stop my anger from growing,
    I could open my mind to knowing,
    for what was done, there was repairing.

    For what was done, there was repairing.
    we could keep communication flowing,
    we could keep forgiveness forever growing,
    we could change from knowing to understanding,
    for what was done, there was overcoming.

  5. In a world of twisted logic, I thought
    perhaps my words might make a difference
    for should we not help others going through
    the same things? The poem spoke to me, told
    me to share my past difficulties through buzz
    words; the depression, the skewed perception,
    the self-hatred perpetuated with drowning
    dependence on food, drink, men. To get that
    low and rise above; why resist my instinct?

    To get that low and rise above; why resist
    my instinct? It’s not a crazy whim or hiccup,
    it’s the hope-filled promise that others too
    can make it through the strong river currents
    of life. At times I cry; peeling away those
    thick layers of onion can be emotional. I once
    fluttered through tough times with a smile,
    but I carried a clutch under my belt. Now I
    can walk through the pain, meet my Higher
    Power galloping through peaceful silence and
    telling me to write down in words who I am.


    to overindulge
    in cloying perfumes
    will not hotwire
    stalled romances.

    stalled romances
    are impervious
    to even splendid scents
    no matter how enticing.

    no matter how enticing
    life is out there
    splintered hearts
    care little of joviality.

    care little of jovialty.
    ignore the facade
    of scent and physical allure.
    let his adamant no remain so.

    let his adamant no remain so.
    you don’t need to beg for love.
    grieve and then move on.
    a truer love will find you.

    a truer love will find you
    the answer to his nightly prayers.
    he will need no perfumes
    to reach you at the right moment.

    to reach you at the right moment…
    true love is like that.
    it comes to sudden light
    once your heart is whole again.

    once your heart is whole again
    purer love in the whiffing glass
    reflects a sweet honesty:
    two lovers mutually merciful.



    twisted logic,
    and galloping off
    into the world I flee,
    unable to resist, thoughts filled with lies; until:
    “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”
    fluttered into my memory, as if by instinct.
    My mind begins to buzz
    and a river
    of love

    P. Wanken

    While I believe the theme of the poem fits the "phoenix rising" prompt, I didn’t follow your direction to have the last line of the first stanza be the first line of the next stanza. This poem wanted to be a Fibonacci. And a Fibonacci wouldn’t have two lines with the same number of words. Instead, the longest line is a bit of a bridge between the “dour place” and the “resolution.”


  8. Best Friend

    Everybody needs to have a good best friend.
    Someone who’s gonna be there ‘till the end.
    Someone who’ll always take your call.
    The one who truly knows it all.

    The one who truly knows it all.
    Will pick you up if you should fall.
    Won’t ever break when if you should bend.
    Your one and only true best friend.

    By Michael Grove

  9. You Wandered

    You wandered down the dusty dirty road.
    And you wound up on the wrong end of a gun.
    Those knives were pulled and thrust into your belly just until,
    the day you turned and headed toward the Sun.

    The day you turned and headed toward the Sun.
    The world got so much brighter then, it seams.
    The heavens opened up again and love was all around.
    now you’re living all your passions and your dreams.

    By Michael Grove

  10. 2 small corrections, In "Best Friend"
    the 3rd line in the 2nd stanza should read:
    Won’t ever break even if you should bend.

    In "You Wandered" the last word in the 2nd line, 2nd Stanza should be seems.

    I need to slow down for just about a minute... sorry for the errors.

  11. Oops, did I break the rules, posting a link to mine? I see that everyone's put their poems here.

    Rejection by a long-term lover
    devastating when it comes
    paves the way for freedom,

    a freedom which in time discovers
    in me a taste for solitude
    and being master of my fate,

    a fate which starts to blossom
    with new-found skills and interests,
    paves the way to reject old lovers.

    Rather than repeating lines, I chose to use just the key words, and adapt them, to keep the flow in the resolution.

  12. As Is

    I felt widowed,
    alone and abandoned.
    You were alive, but
    I didn’t know you.

    I didn’t know you.
    But God did.
    He loved us both as is.
    And brought you back.

  13. the protective shell
    and that left the nut meat

    the nut, left
    meets the world

  14. So Much Is Gone, So Much Is New

    It was easy to see the end
    from where we were standing in the snow.
    After the explosion collapsed the garage,
    the rest of the house was in flames
    before another heavily borrowed breath from January.
    I asked for the house to be empty,
    thought briefly about Canada.
    How could this happen?
    A plowed blacktop leading
    to an untouched ice rink
    sitting understudy for the absent cross street.
    I put my knees in the snow
    and sat on my ankles,
    paralyzed with fear,
    mesmerized by flames dancing a home to death
    What had been a dim night
    was now an ablaze sobering experience.

    An ablaze sobering experience
    which has now carried into summer.
    So much is gone
    but so much has been built in its place.
    New foundations are already down,
    solid ones,
    ones with strong legs, sturdy convictions.
    Gone is the snow, even the snow not melted by the fire.
    Gone is the numbness
    but also gone is the desire for the numbness.
    New is appreciation,
    new is faith in whatever kept everyone safe that night,
    new is gratitude.
    New is the invisibility of the end,
    the earth between your toes.

  15. Two years

    It came unannounced,
    This temporary madness,
    Whipped down out of dark green skies.
    How long the vast tempest raged
    I could not begin to say.

    I could not begin to say,
    Any more, what turned the wind.
    But just as quickly
    When I had given up hope
    The great stillness fell.

  16. Red Wines

    Many are rather fond of Shiraz,
    although a good Pinot Noir
    is precious at times.
    Merlot will always do.
    There are those who prefer Malbec
    or Cabernet Sauvignon
    although in the minority.

    Although in the minority,
    one still has to wonder what
    the world would be like
    if all red wines were
    at the winery
    and knowingly consumed.

    By Michael Grove

  17. A gracious invitation from Marie Elena and two-night mull brought me here. My response to the prompt takes aim at an old Scottish staple (never a favorite of mine). As a reply to Robert Burns' "Address to Haggis" I have written "Change of Address" to my site:


  18. Up On A Pedestal

    A hungry tiger without a meal.
    The messenger missed the call.
    A vision lost was once so real.
    He places her up on a pedestal.

    He places her up on a pedestal.
    Her head now has his heart to steal.
    The purple curtain shall tear and fall.
    An ivory platform to cold to feel.

    An ivory platform to cold to feel.
    The juggler drops his bowling pin.
    A peasant’s begging for a meal.
    A joyful song can now begin.

    A joyful song can now begin.
    The mystic breaks her crystal ball.
    The bird of paradise flies in.
    He places her up on a pedestal.

    By Michael Grove

  19. Viv, no rules broken here. You may post either here, or to your site. Either is acceptable, and certainly welcome!

    Welcome, Dyson! Good having you join us!

  20. Healed
    (A Fibonacci)

    much conflict.
    still by his hearts greatest desire.
    He faced the fear with honesty and humility.

    He faced the fear with honesty and humility.
    So he was able to move on.
    Freed from his own bond.
    he was

    By Michael Grove

  21. Crazy Owl

    Feathers singed
    Burnt by hot coals
    Intoxicated by smoke
    Just in time
    She soars like a phoenix
    From the ashes

    She soars like a phoenix
    From the ashes
    spreading her wings
    Looks down on the flames
    and is overcome with a tide
    of grief
    She had become attached
    to the burning embers
    She wanted to return

  22. Michael: your red wine poem cracked me up - I read the last bit as one continuous sentence:
    "if all red wines were
    at the winery
    and knowingly consumed
    by Michael Grove

  23. Viv, that last comment of yours is a hoot!

  24. Ah, Marie and Walt--

    I know this is late and that can't be helped, but I did want to share it anyway. I finished it a few minutes ago. It began on Thurs. evening while I sat in the Eye doctor's office. Hope you enjoy it.

    The Darkness Is But the Light Unsparked

    It came as future’s thief
    To shatter plans well laid
    With sight fractured and dimmed
    All shelters’ walls closed in.

    All shelters’ walls closed in
    To hold safe or smother,
    To cradle while sleep heals
    The life bursting forth new.

    The life bursting forth new
    Came with strength to allow
    Adventures reign supreme
    New sight prevailed in sounds.

    Ew sight prevailed in sounds,
    Made loud with time’s presence
    To mate with Earth’s own scents,
    Forming visions, blinding.

    Forming visions, blinding
    With memory details
    To bridge fractures’ wide gaps
    And paint world scenes with life.

  25. Sorry about the typo. I've been on the computer too long today. Taking a rest now.

    Have a great weekend and I'm waiting for your next prompt.


  26. Clauds, I'm always, always, ALWAYS pleased to hear your voice -- timely or tardy. But, there is no "tardy" at PBs. If a rose blooms in December, we would not consider it tardy. We would consider it a blessing. Your inspired "Darkness is but the light unsparked" blessed me.