The First Time–dVerse Poetic


The First Time

Photo: Wikipedia Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

Photo: Wikipedia
Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

The first time that I witnessed birth,
saw the crowning of the head,
that shock of thick black hair,
heard the melded cries of mother
and her son, the pain and ecstasy
in resounding dissonance,
the joy and fear and victory
of shattered boundaries—
that first time I beheld the
mystery of newborn life
I shuddered in the face of Awe.

The first time that I prayed in silence
without words or thoughts and stood
like Moses by the burning bush
that would not be destroyed and
offered (to the One who is and was
and will be) all that I have been and
am and shall become without limit
that first time I embraced
the mystery of the divine
I shuddered in the face of God.

The first time that I tasted love,
sought urgently to touch and hold,
looked into eyes that knew
my secret sacred spaces,
longed to please before receiving
pleasure, lost track of time, luxuriated
in the scent of passion,
that first time I received the mystery
of you, of all we could become,
I shuddered in the face of Bliss.

The first time I attended death
and held an old man’s icy hand and
looked into his eyes that saw beyond
me, wiped a brow expressing
nuances of sorrow and of joy,
the scope of everything we can imagine,
that first time I received a dying breath
and closed those eyes
I shuddered in the face of the Unknown.

I apologize for re-posting a poem that has been around before, written originally in 2010, but it fits Kelly’s prompt for dVerse Poetics, right down to the title, and I confess it is one of my favorites, because of its significance in my own life. Those of you who’ve been around, please don’t feel compelled to comment–but there are so many newbies at dVerse, I wanted to offer it again.

the color of longing–dVerse quadrille

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

the color of longing
a quadrille

early winter doldrums
sky heavy with payne’s gray clouds
birds silent, gone

flowers sag
leaves weep while chill
seeps into old bones

but then a vibrant flash
an incongruous spark-
ing of a flame

shedding warmth
on this cold scene
(so like your touch)

Today, for our wonderful quadrille prompt at dVerse Poets, we are invited to submit a poem of exactly 44 words, no more, no less, that uses the work SPARK in any of its forms. Please join us for this prompt. The link is open all week.

This rose opened this last week, smack dab in the middle of our flower garden, defying the withering of everything else. I’ve cut back all the other rose bushes so this is truly “the last rose of summer.”

I will also add this to Cee’s Daily Flower (photography) prompt.

October–dVerse OLN

Photo: jcookfisher via Flickr Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Photo: jcookfisher via Flickr
Labeled for non-commercial reuse


Recently, a red tail hawk sat on our fence, watching an assortment of jays, robins, quail and doves fattening themselves on the seeds in our garden. Spent cosmos and coreopsis shrugged, let nature have her way.

Hawk, the Messenger,
seeks tomorrow’s sustenance,
dove feasts, unaware.

All the work of putting the garden to bed for the winter has claimed our attention, turning it from creative pursuits. The tasks of autumn bring to mind those chores that face us later in life—clearing away the debris of spent dreams, wasted efforts—preparing the soil for what is yet to come.

Autumn smells pungent—
leaves moldering in crannies,
poems forgotten.

A few brilliant roses still persist in their efforts to boast their beauty, proving that nature is not as fussy as we are when it comes to choosing the colors she will wear, or what’s deemed appropriate as defined by the expectations of others. Bright pink and orange: how freeing!

Late blooming roses
struggle in October frost,
clash with changing leaves.

The Truckee river, a block from our home, is feeling the effect of this summer’s lack of rain. It is fed by beautiful Lake Tahoe, flows east through Reno and ends up in Pyramid Lake, home of the Paiute Indians. Snow fell this week, just above our elevation, in the Sierra Nevada and we will see more soon, hopefully. Reno is high desert, receiving only 7” of rain annually. We depend on the snowfall in the mountains and at the Lake.

Truckee, languid now,
flows gently through our city,
hopes for winter snow.

Linking to dVerse OLN where you can post any one poem, any topic, any form. Please join us.

Of the Onset of Cold Weather–dVerse Poetics: Homophones



Of the Onset of Cold Weather
A Snowbird’s Lament in Homophones

If I’m allowed, I’ll rant aloud
of autumn’s need to dye, to die
or so it seems, to knit
the season’s seams together
through leaves it threw to ground.

The endless summer’s sear
has left the land so sere.
The trees, in springtime fair
did not, this year, fare well,
the ash has not survived.

As winter’s morn draws near
I’ll mourn the loss of warmth.
We’ll travel south to find
the sun and pause to play
some golf and walk the dogs
where paws don’t freeze.

And, as for golf, I drive my
ball, yell “fore” and hope that
(unlike last year’s very first drive)
I will not break a window.
(Said story’s sad, but true.)

For dVerse Poetics, Lillian invites us to write some poetry using homophones, that is, words that sound alike. There are tons of them, just Google “homophone lists” and have fun with them.

If it’s Haibun Monday you want, that poem is here.

Driving Toward Town at 7:30 AM on Sunday Morning–dVerse Haibun Monday

Driving Toward Town at 7:30 AM on Sunday Morning
a Haibun

I ease through my neighborhood—streets soaked after a night of rain, awash in a blur of watercolor pastels. Turning east onto a main thoroughfare, the streets are deserted and sunshine backlights black clouds with bursts of silver. Trees bow beneath the weight of rains but shed tears, not the glory of their autumn wardrobe.

Further on, I turn onto West Fourth Street where trailers, weekly motels and liter replace beauty. The photographer has switched from color to a monochromatic vista of black, white and varying shades of gray. Here on the outskirts of Reno, images of drugs deals and prostitution are easy to imagine. I see a black jacket, soaked with rain, hanging over the guard rail that protects me from the gully and train tracks below. I consider pulling over, half-expecting to see its owner splayed in the ravine below. Fear restrains me.

autumn rains can’t cleanse
remnants of despair, poverty
song birds disappear
where trees can no longer thrive
where hope is bathed in darkness

This is a true story that happened yesterday morning. Bjorn invites us to write a contemporary haibun, focused on a cityscape, for dVerse Haibun Monday. Today we are given the option of tweaking the haiku portion of the poem. The pub opens soon, at 3:00 PM EDT. I hope you will join us.

This old photo is the actual portion of West Fourth Street I was driving. It used to be the main thoroughfare between Sacramento and Reno, through the Sierra Nevada, over Donner Pass. I was driving the opposite direction of the car in the photo, toward the city. You can see the ravine, the train tracks. On the opposite side of the street, it is as described in the haibun.


Remember Rain–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Pexels Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Remember Rain

Some people feel the rain; others just get wet.
Bob Dylan Quote

What makes you different?

Can you taste sunshine and
touch the texture of darkness?
Have you licked a rock
or smelled leaves? Rolled in mud
or run naked in the falling snow?
Do you linger in night’s stillness,
listening for crickets or falling leaves?
Have you closed your eyes and savored
chocolate melting on your tongue?
or walked barefoot on unmown grass?
Do you know the feel of purple
or drink in the scent of autumn?
Have you heard the sound of emptiness,
tasted loss and longed for something more?
Do you remember the touch of rain?

Of course you do;
you are a poet.

Today we learned that the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Bob Dylan…how wonderful to see the selection committee thinking outside the box and casting its sights on pop music. For dVerse Meeting the Bar, Bjorn invites us to write a poem inspire by this musician/poet and there is much to draw from. I found this quote of Dylan’s to spur me on. Please join us.

Miscarriage–dVerse Quadrille



a quadrille

sun shining through these changing leaves
back lights a cloud of downy feathers
lining a never-used nest

a lonely ray slips through my shutters
reminds me of another empty nest

i couldn’t dry her tears
tear down the blazing memories
her hope still unfulfilled.

A second poem for dVerse Quadrille # 18–using the word Cloud.