dVerse Quadrille–Alternative Poetry

Photo: V. Slotto
English Peas

Alternative Poetry

Our garden is my poem
and my prayer.
I wander through bright colors,
aroma-filled joy.
For now, my pen, abandoned,
lies in wait.
I hurry to the one
needing my care,
and leave behind lavender-
scented air.
Love blooms this moment,
here or there.

Photo: V. Slotto

Today I am guest-hosting for dVerse Quadrille. The word for this prompt is GARDEN, reflecting one of the joys of summer. In August, the harvest begins to reach its peak. Farmers and backyard growers rejoice in the fruits (and veggies and flowers) of their labor. I hope to see many of you at the pub, sipping and sharing your word-gardens. Victoria

dVerse Poetics–Independence

Photo: V. Slotto

 

Independence–a Haibun

Last year I gawked for hours as mother robin sat in the messy nest she and her mate constructed with care in the tree outside my office window. After a while, three hungry beaks appeared above the rim of their security—scrawny maws gapping, twittering, waiting to be sated. The biggest one bullied, grasped in greed for tender morsels and twitching insects. He fledged first and quickly left for good. A few days later, always watching, I saw the smaller ones, carefully coached, dare tentative leaps into the ether of their tiny cosmos. And finally they flew, abandoning the known for our back yard.

summer sings freedom
quaking aspen sheltering
life’s risky moments

The second day, broken hearted, I scooped up a tiny body. I couldn’t really scold my Jack Russell as she only followed her instincts. I wept inside, considering the cost of being free.

Joining my friends at dVerse Poets Pub Poetics where we are asked to write about what we see or have seen out the window. 

Spotlight–Becky’s Square/Light Challenge #10

On December 27th we went to a “Straight No Chaser” concert. They are an acapella group with a brilliant range of voices. I was as caught up in the lighting and stage production as in the wonderful music. I will post more of that evening, linking to Becky’s #JanuaryLight Photo Challenge.

Photo: D. Slotto

The End–dVerse Prosery

The End

She glanced out the window and saw the sun easing behind the horizon. An exhausting day left her feeling emotionally bereft, empty. The glorious colors of autumn had begun to fade and leaves hopped off the trees into oblivion, much as he had as he slammed the doors behind himself, leaving her in utter darkness. She crumpled the paper and laid it in the fireplace that he had stacked with dry wood as he told her of his plans to divorce her.

Then she went to the garage and grabbed the can of gasoline they kept on hand for the snow-blower and lawn-mower. She spilled it throughout the house they had shared together. If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant, she thought. She wondered if she should stay or leave before tossing the lighted match into the fireplace.

Flicker–labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Written and posted for my prompt at dVerse Poets’ Prosery, using a line from the poetry of Jane Kenyon (in italics). Please join in. It is open all week.

Innocence, Lost–Crispina’s Creative Challenge #48

This is the first time I’ve been able to link to Crispina’s Creative Challenge. I’ve penned a bit of Flash Fiction–a wee bit dark:

Innocence, LostFlash Fiction—67 Words

They found the body halfway in the tunnel, halfway out.

He was afraid to return to the scene until the investigators had finished their thing. At night, under the new moon, he stood by the bank and tossed in a few rose petals that were quickly covered with slime. So symbolic of his no-longer innocent childhood.

Bye, Dad, he whispered, before moving on to a new life. After all, no one even knew he existed.

 

Warhol–Pop Art in Words

Wikipedia Commons
Labeled for Non-commercial reuse

Warhol

Maybe Andy was on
to something.
One-after-another
screen-printed cans—
Campbell’s soup:
red and white,
silver and gray,
navy blue with a gold seal.
An icon of comfort in
the midst of so much dismay.
Tomato, Chicken Noodle,
Split Pea,
Bean with Bacon, Pepper Pot.
Mother’s Milk, Mother’s Comfort.
Bring it on.

Did you ever stop?
Really look at art?
I mean art in a grocery store?
“Wake up!”
Andy would say.
“Look.
Listen closely.”

I pick up a navel orange.
Its dimpled skin
leaves a scent-mark
on my fingers.

“If you want to know me,
look at my art,”
“I’m a deeply superficial person.”

So I stare at him,
but he doesn’t glance back.
Eyes drifting to some
far-away place where
wholeness waits,
or to a party where
touching never held room
for emptiness.
The pull of gravity so great
the Mass collapses in
on itself,
Black Hole. Black Whole.

All that sparkles is
not diamond dust.
Even that wouldn’t adhere.
Your world
became glittered in so
much plastic.

Redemption plays in
pink and yellow
electric chairs.

Curl up,
snuggle in its lap
and die alone
while the nurse who
was there for you,
wasn’t.

Oh my God,
I am heartily sorry,
hardly,
heartily.
So much pain.
I repeat, I repeat.
Marilyn in
black and gray
and brown,
blue and pink.
We are heartily sorry
who we aren’t,
what we are
and what they made us.

The woman handed
the boy
a piece of dense bread.
“It’s dry,” he said.
“Dunk it in your soup,”
she answered.

I wrote this poem way back in 2010, around the time the Nevada Museum of Art hosted a Warhol exhibit. Many, perhaps unknown details underlie this writing. Here are a few of them.

  • As a child, Andy was sick a lot. His mother sustained him on Campbells soup.
  • He surrounded himself with celebrities, but never found self confidence or the ability to fill that empty space within himself.
  • He pursued adding diamond dust to his work, but had problems with making it stick.
  • He painted a rather grim series of electric chairs.
  • He died at a young age of complications from gallbladder surgery. The private nurse who was supposed to be with him had left the room.

Wikipedia Commons
Labeled for Non-commercial reuse

I would love to have you join us for dVerse MTB where I’m hosting. The theme is Pop Art.

 

dVerse OLN–a Whale of a Time

Image: BBC

Today, I’m linking a previously posted poem, one that I wrote using homonyms in the Sestina prompt, for dVerse OLN. It was the last, end-hour poem to go up. I am giving it a quick facelift. Coincidently, it is about whales. Thank you, Lillian, for sharing Provincetown with us–reminding me of my favorite, now-deceased poet, Mary Oliver.

A Mother Mourns
A Sestina

I saw her in the early hours’ mist,
just before sun broke through, heralding morn.
I heard a sound—perhaps a cry, a wail—
featuring pain that could not be missed.
An empty call of someone who must mourn,
a loss as deep as human, a grieving whale.

Who would expect such distress from a whale,
echoing slowly as though held back by the mist?
She shared her sorrow with me and I, too, began to mourn
the babe she held aloft in this quiet morn.
I thought of death—the one I loved and missed.
In silence I stood and listened to her wail.

Once again, I heard her, another wail—
the splendor of this creature, of this whale—
a mother’s angst that could not be missed,
so haunting in this atmospheric mist.
I’d awaited this day, a glorious morn,
but even breaking waves sprayed tears, as if to mourn.

She writhed in billowing whitecaps, her body seemed to mourn.
Above, a seagull cawed, squawked its own wail,
its flight toward the sun, toward dawning morn.
Below, a stillness shrouded mother whale,
in blue green seas, in dispersing mist.
Again a deep cry that I could not have missed.

I, too, have lost a child whose love I’ve missed.
Oh how I keen, and still I mourn
as I watch myself disappear into the mist
leaving behind my memories in an agonizing wail.
I think we are one—my spirit and the whale
as we both weep tears in this early morn.

As day moves on and leaves behind the morn,
we can’t stay fixed on what we have missed.
I bid goodbye to my mother whale
to face the present, so as not to mourn.
Then in a distance, I hear her–another wail
I carry it with me beyond the mist.

I’ll not forget mother whale who I met this morn.
Another day, in morning mist, I’ll think of all we both missed,
and learn how to mourn in a soundless wail.