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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.)


This week’s reversal of fortune presented many varied views and poems. And again we are reaching new contributors to our fine corral of poets. You are all stars that make this a glowing place to bloom. Speaking of “Blooms”, it is time once again for our Beautiful Blooms selections.

Here is Marie’s "pick" for this week:

I want to begin by saying how thrilled Walt and I are with the new talent on display here! One VERY fine example is Dyson McIllwain, whose piece I picked for this week’s Beautiful Bloom. Yes, I invited Dyson to please check out our site and consider contributing his poetry. And now you know why.

I also must admit that I had to look up “neeps and tatties,” “dram,” and “haggis!” Learned something new. What fun!

I chose Dyson’s poem for the flawless flow, rhyme, humor, and innovation. Thank you for joining in the fun, Dyson! I hope to hear more from you here, as well as Poetic Asides.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS (with apologies to Burns) By Dyson McIllwain

Neeps and tatties, neeps and tatties,
a dram, and a dram, and a dram.
The foulest tasting haggis
’tis too much for any man. I have had
my fill and lost the thrill;
’tis certainly a waste, there is not
enough whiskey to kill this haggis taste.

To kill this haggis taste, one surely must be tested,
To not partake is no mistake, your taste buds will be bested.
As for this man, forgive me clan, my solution’s not absurd,
the golden archway beckons me, over 30 billion served.

Walt’s Bloom:

I know the pros and cons of putting her on a pedestal. The adulation is fine for a while, but has a way of stealing her smile. I found that partners are better when side-by-side and eye-to-eye. Michael Grove’s poem, Up on a Pedestal, invoked memories of two such instances and the different result of each. For that, I place Michael on the lofty perch reserved for this week’s Beautiful Bloom.

UP ON A PEDESTAL by Michael Grove

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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

IN-FORM POET: Dodoitsu

This week our featured form is the Dodoitsu.

The Dodoitsu is a fixed folk song form of Japanese origin and is often about love or humor. It has 26 syllables made of four lines of 7, 7, 7, 5 syllables respectively. It is unrhymed and non-metrical.

Marie’s Dodiotsu:

We speak of falling in love
and falling again from there,
while seldom coming to rest
on dedication.

Walt’s example:


I’ve waited for your return,
which surely will not occur.
Cruel-hearted orb turns slowly
leaving me alone.

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