“Destination: Poetry”

We come to this magical place by design, not  by accident. Poetry is more than what we do. It is a “place” we go to express ourselves; it is a quiet alcove of words and rhythm. Poetry is a wild party; is is a source of solace and remembrance. We all have set our course for poetry.

As with any vacation spot we are curious about the landscape and people. We inquire about the weather and the activities that are available to us. We want to know all we can before we head off to our idyllic escape.

Here in the land of poetry, we have similar  thoughts. As we begin the month of June we will explore more of what makes poetry special to us. Our focus for the month will be the basic concepts of the poetic process. Inspiration comes from people we’ve come to know. The settings and locations with which we have become familiar. There is a certain “plot” or story we tell in our poetic ramblings. We convey a sense of mood, tone and theme in our poems. And so this leg of our journey begins.


Who are these characters that inspire us? They are the people who are referenced or addressed in the poem. They feel, act,choose and reflect in the poem. A vital person in a poem is  the speaker (real or imaginary) who exposes their heart and mind in the words we read. It could be the poet or not. For the sake of argument we will say it is not.

The speaker might express in first person, telling of personal experiences, thoughts, and insights, using the word “I”, or in third person (them, her, him). Other times they talk in second person, referencing “you”. Poets write in second person more than prose writers. 

“Reader’s Digest” has a series they explore called “My Most Memorable Character”. We all know someone who has influenced us, done something selfless for someone or had been a pillar to the community. A relative who was quick witted, or had a special skill of which people were aware and by which they were influenced. Maybe your children/grandchildren have done something remarkable in their young lives. 

As opposed to last week where we wrote a memorial to someone, we are writing of this “Memorable Character”. Tell us all about this person in our land of poetry!




  1. William Preston


    So many die
    when soldiers storm defended beaches.
    So many die
    and all of them because of my
    decision here. My soul beseeches,
    God spare them, but history teaches
    so many die.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Though I have not participated much, I peek in and enjoy every voice here. And oh-my-Walt (oh, my Walt!), your creative energy and poetic mind never ceases to amaze.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] – PHOENIX RISING – DESTINATION: POETRY – CHARACTERS – First person character poem – voice of someone other than self – someone who has influenced […]


  4. Pretty Betty’s Passing Thoughts

    So many beautiful days lived here on earth
    foraging forests for herbs and mushrooms.
    So many hours spent walking this gorgeous globe
    watching grandchildren play in salty ocean waves
    and to think they’re here because I was here, too.
    God bless them and keep them as I let go –
    so many loving times I’ve felt here on this planet.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2015

    My Poem is about a friend who is in the process of or has already passed into the next realm – she was diagnosed a month ago with liver cancer. She’s a beautiful person with a heart for community and helping those in need – especially in creating a program that helps the homeless.

    I used to dance with her (and a group of others), once a week for a few years…I nicknamed her pretty Betty one day when she came in clad in brilliant colors – she glowed with the radiance of a beautiful summer day being lived fully!

    This is a poem that I wrote about Betty a couple of years ago…April 17th 2013

    She carries a poem,
    she ponders a poem
    in her pocket protected;
    peace is held hopeful…

    This was the day that you brought a poem to share in the front breast pocket, (above your heart), of a purple wide corduroy shirt…

    Your poem was about the beach and watching the generations….you likened the experience to heaven in the closing lines.

    So beautiful…thank you, Betty.


    • This is so moving, especially given the context. I’m glad my poem helped with structure, albeit I think you transcended that. For what it’s worth, the form I used is a rondelet (if I did it right), a French form that, like the triolet, calls for economy. Your piece followed that maxim well. in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, very much William. I didn’t realize what form you’d used but having your poignant piece next to me helped open where I had been previously stuck. I’ll have to look up this form now…I enjoy that type of form.


  5. William Preston


    Old Walter Johnson was the best,
    he was the fastest, too:
    his fast balls all approached your chest
    the way a typhoon blew.

    His arms were long, like windmill vanes;
    that’s why he was so fast.
    His pitches hurtled like big trains
    and they hissed as they passed.

    NB: Johnson was called “The Big Train.”


  6. connielpeters

    Fifth Grade Teacher

    You had a loud voice
    and you thought my reading
    was a wonderful thing.
    Even when you weren’t my teacher,
    when you saw me a with a book,
    you would announce to all around,
    “There she is reading another book!”
    I wonder if you suspected
    I’d be writing them someday.


    • For me, there are several layers here: the teacher, the learner, the books, the writer, and, by implication, the teacher again, in the person of the writer. Wonderful.


  7. I was not aware of this new site. I never got any e-mails. I would be happy to submit.

    Liked by 1 person


    Lost in the caves of my own ignorance,
    preferring darkness to the light,
    I stumbled through the labyrinth,
    a self-deluded spelunker
    convinced I knew the way to find myself.
    Each step led to more confusion.

    To the cave walls I cried out, “Who am I?”
    But only echoes of my fear
    resounded back to me and then I heard
    a voice call out my name and say,
    “You are a child of the Great I Am.”
    Then suddenly somewhere beyond

    where I stood, a beatific light shone
    around a shepherd’s thorn-crowned head.
    “I died on that cross to save the lost sheep
    who in sin had strayed from the fold.”
    He reached out his hand and I was lifted
    from darkness into the Light of grace.


    Liked by 1 person


    Strange. Some say
    Deranged. That look
    in her one good eye
    read you like a book.
    Laughed too loud,
    stood tall, never cowed
    to anyone, and told us kids
    more than once
    to love life, catch falling stars
    and snowflakes on our tongues,
    wish less, do more, work hard,
    thank God for great and small,
    She walked with cane,
    never blamed a soul,
    took a nasty fall,
    took to bed.
    Her last words said:
    “I think these are angels
    come to lift me up,”
    then died a smile wider
    than the door between
    here and there.
    We miss her most
    in quiet rooms.



    A gentleman, up in years,
    a solitary figure sipping.
    His coffee swirls, cooling;
    a vacant stare out to
    the rainy parking lot.

    Tired and worn; lacking
    the companion of many years,
    and compatriots of many years ago.
    You wouldn’t know it to look,
    but he has memories stored into
    every nook and cranny of his
    often failing mind.

    Always a kind smile at the ready,
    and a steady list of reminders
    of the places he’s seen,
    and the people he’s been.

    A ball cap perched, cocked back
    to show his furrowed brow.
    Emblazoned across the crown,
    “DD-704 USS Borie”. A navy man,
    your father’s age; a page from your past.

    You come by, a fresh coffee in tow.
    You know he will sit there all day,
    but you’ve come up to offer the new brew
    and a few minutes of company.

    He smiles a lonely smile; accepting,
    A hand extending and you pretend a coolness,
    a gesture you’ve feigned a hundred times
    you offer your gratitude. “Thank you for your service.”

    You owe much more, but he is thankful
    and is heartened by your appreciation.
    A retired veteran, finding a usefulness
    in a fleeting handshake.

    A tribute to honor and service.



    A man in service to his God,
    in service to his community.
    The unity of souls gathered
    by this gentle soul.
    Friend, minister, confessor,
    professor of the faith; a model
    example of the grace in ample supply.

    Just a guy. Quick with a joke
    and a poke at himself,
    deprecating in a personal sense,
    an immense influence
    to those searching for some truth
    without the trappings of ego
    or avarice; a nice guy.

    A member of the family
    of no relation but with a sense
    of elation in this station of life,
    Another “father” figure in a sea
    of father figures. Another Walter
    in a sea of rushing Walters.
    Blessing from the altar;
    serving belief and relief.

    Sunday dinners and evenings
    enjoying the company of this guy,
    this friend confessor. A priest
    who left his collar in the case
    with his accordion as my father
    drummed. Mom hummed the
    melodies they played.

    My father, Wally on drums.
    Father “Wally” on squeeze box,
    and a very young Wally (me) on organ.
    None of us taking ourselves too seriously.
    Deliriously happy to be counted
    among the lot; adding another Walter to the pot!

    ***Our old parish priest is a very humble man. He taught me long ago the value of family and faith, forgiveness and frivolity. Always a wit and quick with the quips, he was what I was taught a priest was supposed to be. (And not the bastardized version of late!) Fifty years passed and we have been reunited, former altar boy and former pastor in his late eighties, rejoined as friends. A good man, a “member of the family”, remembering in joy.


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