is there not a correlation between the fragile and the beautiful?

Photo: Family Memory Book--V. Slotto

Photo: Family Memory Book–V. Slotto

when i hear the sound of pouring tea
i remember her—
the beauty of a love well-lived
cached ‘neath cascades of wrinkle lines
and scars.

i think of loss and hope
held close within the pages
of a musty mem’ry book,

of yellowed linen
edged with lace
that smells of lavender

of all that might have been
if not for war.

Posted for dVerse Poetics where we are asked to write of beauty beyond the physical.


Awakening Spring–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Today for dVerse Meeting the Bar I’ve asked that we write poems that focus on verbs. To do this I searched my archives for a spring poem–this one written in 2010 and have revised it to clean it up a bit with an emphasis on active verbs. The first poem is the revision.

Awakening Spring

Do you remember clouds
like white dogs bounding
across empty skies?

Or coupling dragonflies,
their wings shaved slivers–

Nearby, leaves moldered.
Their smell mingled with
scents of sweat and love.

A chorus of crickets undulated
in an outdoor theater,
unabashed by our nakedness.

Grass scratching, breeze licking
aroused bliss,
foreshadowed tomorrow’s spring .

Photo: zenfolio

Photo: zenfolio

This is the original–not too bad as far as verbs, but a little wordy.


Do you remember the cloud
that looked like a white dog bounding
across the empty gray sky?

Or the coupling dragonflies,
their wings shaved slivers of
shimmering moonstone or fire opal?

Nearby, something moldered in dank earth.
Its smell mingled with
the scent of our sweat and sex.

A chorus of crickets undulated
in an outdoor theater,
unabashed by our nakedness.

You told me to get on top because
the grass beneath our blanket scratched me.
A breeze licked my body.

Do you think that it was love?
Or maybe because tomorrow would be spring.

I invite you to join us at dVerse since this is my last time hosting…at least in the foreseeable future. I’ve assumed the role of caregiver for a while. And that’s what enduring love means for the long haul.


has the proliferation of social media engendered terror?


Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

a cloud-shroud encircles the mountains
but sun breaks through
diffusing soft light on the lake
that dances in the breeze.
why am i not at peace?

in another desert,
a human torch is lit.
the world looks on in horror,
a world rift with –isms.
why is there so much anger?

thoughts of brutality
overpower these moments.
even the finches and sparrows
wage war
at the feeder outside my window.
why are we so selfish?

a goose forages by the lake—
left behind by his flock,
not accepted by the mallards
because he is different.
why do we exclude?

yesterday, i drove too slowly
for the man in the red SUV.
he tailgated, flipped me the bird,
then cut me off.
why are we in such a hurry?

it’s useless to try to change
another’s point of view.
i keep silence
unless my own rights are threatened,
but do i have the courage to die
for my beliefs?
why do i even have to ask?

black and white thinking
does not work.
why do we hate those many shades of gray?

the clouds move in across the valley.
gentle rain clears the air
as sun slips behind the mountain
casting peach and gold and mauve
upon our earth.

but elsewhere
peace is shattered.

A very rough draft linked to Abhra’s prompt for dVerse Poetics.

February Desert




Even in the desert, February
winds harass the trees,
whipping fronds from their palms.

Hummingbirds seek shelter
in clumps of orange Lantana,
appear surprised by winter’s onslaught.

Mother joined us for a Valentine’s
Day visit. Alone for too many years,
she still cannot befriend the loneliness.

That night the desperate clamor of frogs
promised us an early spring
Wind howled its objection.

This poem is from 2010–this past February was not like this until yesterday when significant winds did batter us–and today, March 1st, we have a much-needed steady rain.

Today (March 1) and tomorrow, my most recent novel, “The Sin of His Father,” is available (for free) on as a Kindle giveaway. If you do upload and read it, I would be so grateful for a review on or Goodreads. Thank you.

artichoke wisdom

Image: Danny Gregory Used with permission Thank you!

Image: Danny Gregory
Used with permission
Thank you!


people are like artichokes


sometimes prickly

but if one is willing

to take the time

to make the effort

the best part is deep inside


take it one succulent leaf at a time

use it to transport flavor into your life

then throw away the dross


take your time

to get to the core

or you may miss something

on the way


artichokes have color



like people

or poetry


each artichoke is unique

but in a field

it can get lost in the crowd

if you don’t take time

to look carefully


an artichoke can seem strange

if you didn’t grow up with them

like i did


if you have a bad experience

with an artichoke

you may want to avoid them

i found a fly once

and didn’t eat another for years

i regret it

don’t judge all artichokes

based on one bad one


when you get to the heart

of an artichoke

take time to savor


Linked to Gabriella’s prompt at dVerse Poetics, based on the art of Danny Gregory. Thank you, Danny for allowing us to use your work.

The pub opens Tuesday at 3:00 EST.






This Is Just How It Is in Deserts




This Is Just How It Is in Deserts

When rain comes
to thirsty deserts
it only teases our hopes,
playing hide and seek with furtive sun.
If rain comes.

This is my response to Tony’s prompt for Thursday’s MTB–but since I couldn’t make it on time, I’m adding it to Open Link Night.  

An expanded Cinquain, it calls for adding a syllable to the American Cinquain, resulting in 3-5-7-9-3 syllable-stanzas. Enjoy a variety of subjects and forms today at dVerse OLN. We hope to see something from you, as well.


A Villanelle

How would you feel if you knew you would lose all your hair?
She asked me to take her to shop for a wig, if I could.
What would you do if your head were completely bare?

A turban will keep the head warm, protect from cold air.
She told me they told her, her chances were very good.
See, chemo kills cancer but makes you lose all of your hair.

We went to a shop where they showed that they really cared.
I hurried to tell her the fun she could have if she would.
(In a matter of weeks her head will be totally bare.)

“Choose blonde or brunette or even take red, if you dare.
Go ahead—buy a few. Not the gray! ‘Cause you should
live it up when you lose all your hair.”

Every now and again I thought that I saw a tear
brim up in her eyes, mine too—we’re not made of wood.
What would I do if my head were entirely bare?

She decided to wait until she’d be bald to wear
the frosted short one and for nighttime she bought a hood.
By then she’ll know how it feels to lose all her hair
and accept that her head (for a while) will be completely bare.

This is a really old poem I wrote (2008) back when I was helping a friend through Chemo. Sorry to dip into the archives but Tuesday is a busy day for me and the prompt over at dVerse Poets’ Pub is really hair-y.