MIA–Monday Meanderings

Yes, in case you noticed, I’ve been more or less missing in action and will need to continue to be so for a while due to a convergence of events. I do plan on hosting The Bardo Group‘s Writer’s Fourth Wednesday on September 24th and dVerse Poets’ Pub Meeting the Bar on October 2nd, as scheduled.

I hope to return to a normal posting routine by mid-October. In the meantime, something may pop-up now and again if my schedule and my elbow cooperate. Ah, the joys of aging.


The Dark Night–dVerse Poetics

Photo: jjhiii24.wordpress.com

Photo: jjhiii24.wordpress.com

When night is bathed in ebony
and even stars are wont to pierce
through veils of clouds,
you stumble forward,
grasping crumbled walls
that close you in.

Bleak thoughts now pummel you
like angry fists that rage against
injustice. You breathe oppressive air,
musty, stagnant, born of rank suspicion
that your need shall never know
relief, that hunger rests un-sated.

Today there is no morrow—
only haunting memories of days
unfolded without joy, Your faith
betrayed, you open wide your hand
and watch hope slip out between your
fingers, free of empty promises.

Tonight you stand alone,
shrouded by the chill of winter,
without clear vision. Death stretches
out his hand; you reach to take it,
but not before the nightingale sings.

Anthony’s prompt for dVerse Poetics is to write to darkness, but bring in a bit a light. This is based on “The Dark Night of the Soul” by John of the Cross. The doors to the Poetry Pub will open Tuesday, 3:00 PM EDT. We would love to have you stop by.

Armchair Adventure–Monday Meanderings and Weekly Photo Challenge

This week at WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge, the challenge is to take an Adventure–literal or metaphoric. I’m going with the latter and adding a poem. This will do double duty as my post for Monday Meanderings in an uncommonly busy time for us.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto


On Reading


These days I spend my evenings in Ethiopia.

Torrential rains flood the shores of the Blue Nile.


I cut for stone in Operating Theater 3,

outside I hear the blaze of a failed coup d’etat.


Dear Africa, I’ve trod the single file paths of

leafy jungles, ‘neath trees of Poisonwood,


through forests that devour, that feed on lives

of those misled in service of God’s holy name.


With Little Bee I, too, would flee to distant shores,

escape atrocities (only to be hurled once again upon your mercy.)


From Haiti also I’ve sought refuge. The slave of Valmorain set free but

lost to love forever and to my land, the island far beneath the sea.


As well would I take leave from Oklahoma’s dust

only to be lost to greater desperation in the land of wrathful vines.


A silent (though not passive) observation,  I stand by, witness

the demise of hope, the emptiness of Gatsby and Buchanan


or see a tree spring forth from wretched poverty in Brooklyn’s

tenements where branches spread if roots grow strong and deep.


For those who read there is no place forbidden,

no mountain that cannot be scaled, no culture


left forgotten, no life condemned to end in an obscure whimper.

No era will I leave untouched if I but open up a book and read.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto


Monday Meanderings–

Confession time–I’m in a blogging slump this week and no doubt this next week ahead, as well. Life has been, well, life.

At The Bardo Group, we are observing a week-long celebration of Wilderness Protection Week. Here’s a summary of what’s behind it, borrowed from the introduction of Pricilla‘s post:

Celebrating 50 Years of Wilderness Protection
August 31, 2014
“It’s a time for celebration! 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, the landmark conservation bill that created a way for Americans to protect their most pristine wildlands for future generations. The 1964 Wilderness Act…created the National Wilderness Preservation System, which protects nearly 110 million acres of wilderness areas from coast to coast. This anniversary is a wonderful chance to celebrate all that’s been achieved for wilderness in the past 50 years and remind Americans of all that we can achieve in the next 50.” (from The Wilderness Society website, http://www.wilderness.org)

You are invited to join in the celebration by linking poetry, photos, essays–your own thoughts and experience with the wilderness.

Photo: oregonlive.com

Photo: oregonlive.com


On a personal note, I have created a “store” on Etsy which offers homemade jewelry. I’m just beginning to add items. Jewelry-making is a hobby for me. I’m of the generation and up-bringing that just can’t sit still so that while I’m with the hubby who enjoys sports on TV, I make jewelry and watch a bit myself. It’s an addiction so I thought I’d better do something with the results and, at least, cover the cost of my habit in order to buy more beads. In the process, I decided I want to do something to help others so I’ve decided to price my items at 30% over cost and donate that amount to an animal rescue organization. This quarter, the proceeds will go to The SPCA of Northern Nevada. I will vary the recipients every three months.

I hope you will check it out HERE. I have many more items to list and they are all quite affordable. At the present time, I’m only shipping within the United States until I can figure out better what I’m doing.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

Have a happy week.

Old Lady–dVerse Open Link Night


in the corner of the dark
room spider spins her web,
traps a fly.

you are prone, sipping
from a straw. your smile
flickers then you wait.

why do fireflies compete
with lightning when summer
becomes indefensible?

you are prone, tugging
at fringe on your prayer
shawl. deep breath. sigh.

tomorrow they say
will be the same as today
or the day before yesterday.

you are prone. glasses
smudged with grease and
sweat. how will you see tomorrow?

today the rent was due
they picked up garbage and
the mailman delivered more junk.

you are prone, fingering
rosary beads. eyes closed.
and still we wait.

Linked to dVerse Poets’ Open Link Night.  Born, I suppose, of the many years I worked with the elderly and as a hospice nurse.


Dialogue–Interacting Photos?

Today’s prompt for The Daily Post’s Weekly Photography Challenge: Dialogue 


“Dialogue is an engaging conversational exchange. When it comes to photography, dialogue can be perceived as a consensual interaction between two images. Placed next to each other, each photograph opens up to meanings that weren’t there when viewed alone. Each composition reveals the photographer’s specific sensitivity to certain content or visual elements.”

It’s your turn now: for this week’s challenge, bring together two of your photos into dialogue. What do they say to each other?


“For where your treasure is, there also is your heart.”  Mt. 6:21


Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

Predators–Writer’s Fourth Wednesday–Wilderness

Photo: wildlifehotline.com

Photo: wildlifehotline.com

They trapped two bears nearby today—
tattooed and tagged and then released,
but trained to stay where they belong
by dogs and rubber bullets.

Watch out for snakes, and train your dogs;
avoid high grass—just back away.
The neighbor killed a long King snake
that snuck into his yard.

Build fences, or the deer will eat
your flowers, veggies and your trees.
As we expand into their hills
they have no food.

They said a hawk swooped in last year
and snatched a terrier puppy dog.
Coyotes prowl a block away
down by the river.

Surrounded by so many threats
we live in fear and danger,
but the true predators, we know,
have invaded their land.

I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Little by little developments have expanded so that frequently wildlife comes down into our neighborhoods looking for food…especially now, during the drought. These are true scenarios.

Posted for The Bardo Group’s Writer’s Fourth Wednesday as a prelude into our celebration of Wilderness Week. We would love to have you join us!

By the way, this morning when I was golfing a large coyote sauntered across the course!