Listen to Drought Who Comes to Teach




Listen as our planet’s worries seep
onto dry land, the cracks of aging Earth.
No longer able to support her growth,
she’s faced, instead, with slow, incipient death.
Drought silences pure hope of her rebirth.
How, wonders she, shall she support new life.

Look closely, see the subtle signs of life.
Allow your hope to flow, at least to seep
into our land, so longing for rebirth.
Creation casts its lot upon the Earth
to stop the onslaught of impending death.
We wait, in vain, for rain to nourish growth.

Observe the baby duckling’s daily growth,
the blooming of our Jasmine’s fragrant life—
aware, the while, of nature’s dance with death
as life-force takes its leave and slowly seeps
away to make a place upon the earth.
Wake up in awe as springtime brings rebirth.

Now, hold your breath before the lands’ rebirth
and watch for blooms unfolding as new growth,
but pray for rain to fall once more on Earth,
to give the West the promise of new life.
Don’t let despair allow our world to seep
in entropy to reign, succumb to death.

Remember there’s a meaning to each death.
The seed that’s fallen offers us rebirth.
The song of birds into this morning seeps
to speak of joy to come and foretell growth.
Let not that joy deceive our quest for life
as drought casts doubt upon our fragile Earth.

We share responsibility for Earth,
the consequence of choices that bring death.
The future looks to us to care for life.
(Our children’s children are our own rebirth).
On us depends our world’s on-going growth
that truth we share in each of us may seep.

Bring life to Earth and tend to her rebirth
and bow to death who brings to us new growth.
Care for each life lest sweet Earth’s wounds shall seep.

Here in the West we face a terrible drought that has brought increased awareness to our need to conserve water.

When I face “word-drought” I like to turn to form poetry to find the discipline needed to write again. This is a Sestina in Iambic Pentameter. It is a first draft. The word “seep” was supposed to be “seed.” I couldn’t read my own writing. Seep is not an easy word for ending a sentence.

Written for and Linked to dVerse Poets’ Open Link Night. I hope you will join us to read and to bring a poem of your own.


A Petition to a Not-So-Long-Lost-Friend

As I sat and pondered the prompt for this week’s dVerse Poetics, absolutely nothing came to me. My care-giving responsibilities seem to have alienated my muse who I have neglected for want of time. And so, without her help, I crafted this rather pathetic poetic request:



A Petition to a Not-So-Long-Lost Friend

I didn’t notice when you left.
You stole away one night.
My spirit, now is so bereft
without your gentle light.

I’ve sought within, without, above,
below—just all around.
No words you left for me, my love—
no feelings, thoughts or sounds.

My days are full. Yes, blessed are they.
But still I miss you, too.
If you’ll return to me, and stay,
I’ll make more time for you.

My fickle muse, come back to me.
Inspire my words once more.
I’ll listen closely, you will see—
write poetry galore.

The doors to the Pub open at 3:00 PM EDT–please join in with your own poem and enjoy the work of others. The prompt is to write a poetic letter to whomever, whatever you choose.

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.