It’s been quite the summer, as we finally get released from its steamy grip up in Western New York for cooler temperatures andumbrellarain quantities of rain. Believe me, we could use it!

There is a beauty in a rainstorm, the sounds are near symphonic, a euphonic tintinnabulation for the ears. The sights are picturesque as it appears that everything looks better when wet. The air seems fresher as everything is awash with rain. So this week we are “write as rain”. From a soft spring shower to a torrential downpour, write a rain poem. I’m not so naive to not recall the power and devastation of too much of a good rain. Whatever your opinion of rain, good or bad, lay down your deluge of words in honor of one of nature’s necessities! And as the title says, let poetry rain (er, reign) supreme!



Do you remember going back to school and having your first assignment be an essay entitled, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”? Using that thought as inspiration, write about something you’ve done this summer. It doesn’t have to be a vacation  per se, it could be something you did or happened on one solitary afternoon in your back yard, or a visit to someplace that allowed you to escape for a few hours. Any mental getaway will do to refresh your muse. Whatever it is, use it and be inspired by it! What DID you do on your summer “vacation?”


In an added prompt, with this being Labor Day weekend, you can also write a work/labor related poems as well. And yes, even THAT labor qualifies if you are so inclined! Think parades, cookouts, jobs, but get to work!


RamboToday, we go to war. Pit two objects against each other and let them fight it out. You’ve heard of STAR WARS, COLA WARS, WAR OF THE ROSES, ROBOT WARS… Write your verbal battle with the title, ____________ WARS. Be creative and nobody will get hurt!



As August comes to a close, students are currently returning or are preparing to return to their studies. Summer is winding down and we’re two-thirds the way to 2016. Sometimes it is imperative to get away, but then, something are worth going back to. The sparrows return to Capistrano, Elvis sang “Return to Sender” and Dean Martin sang “Come Back to Sorrento”. Each April we file our tax returns and we expect a return on an investment! We go back and watch a favorite movie. Some books have us riveted and we go back to them as well. Bottles and cans go back for deposit. What do you always return/come back to experience? Write a “return” poem.


Yesterday (Aug.21, 2015) my guest post “THE SCIENCE OF POETRY” appeared on the POETIC ASIDES blog page. The correlation between science and poetry was the main topic and in it I had revealed a pet project of mine, introducing the PERIODIC TABLE OF POETIC ELEMENTS. This re-incarnation highlights 118 poetic forms and devices upon which poets use and rely upon.





The Table may be enlarged and printed for your reference. A companion to this chart is a file of poetic forms that are included. It is a three-hundred plus paged “book”. The red numbers on the chart are the page number in the file where they appear. Each page contains the poetic symbol and its position on the chart. Below are the links to the file. We will be making use of this chart and file in a future exercise here at PHOENIX RISING.




August seems to be the month around here that is brimming with things to celebrate. Six birthdays fill my calendar including my wife’s which fall on… today!

So I’ll ask you, what is your favorite thing to celebrate? Personal (birthday, anniversary…), National (Independence Day, Labor Day…), Global (Christmas, New Year’s Day…) Or maybe you can tell us how you celebrate! Any rituals or traditions attached? Give us a reason to raise our glass and join your festivities!


The Human Seasons


Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
     There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
     Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
     Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
     Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
     He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
     Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
     Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

This is one of my favorite Keats poems. It compares the life of a person with the seasons of the year. It was the basis for my second stage play, “CHANGING WITH THE SEASONS”. The tagline was, “If we don’t change we don’t grow, always growing with the seasons.”

We all change!

Seasons change!

The Summer months are quickly waning and it seems they wait for no one. Soon we will dip into the Autumn season which will lead into… You know the routine. So this week we will write about seasons. There are the four seasons of the year (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). There’s Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Baseball Season, Football season. Any sports season. Holiday season. There are also seasonings that add spice to our foods and sometimes things that happen to spice our lives.

LIFE IS TO BE SAVORED! So whatever flavor you give to your poems, we will all welcome a taste of your worded brilliance.