the death of innocence–dVerse Quadrille

Photo: Wikipedia Commons–Labeled for Non-Commercial reuse.

the death of innocence
a quadrille

she would fly away
she said
fly far away into the blue
blue sky to flee
unwanted touches

such a child
abused by trusted hands
has disappeared beyond
horizon’s view
within the sheltering basket
of a red and gold balloon

a child no more

De offers the word BALLOON for today’s Quadrille at dVerse—a poem of exactly 44 words. The word connotes joy, childhood, adventure in my mind but after reading an investigative report about an appalling cover-up by a local school district, I couldn’t go there.

The district ignored 34 years of student complaints about a teacher who was systematically sexually abusing them by issuing written warnings and transferring him from school to school. What were they thinking?

Chef David–Haibun Monday at dVerse

Photo and Pie by Chef David Slotto–Thanksgiving

Chef David

Have you ever wondered if the one you love, loves you in return? With the same intensity? With the same care?

I watch him stir, measure, taste, chop, add, stir again. I watch him labor over a pot of lactose-free milk slowly simmering, evaporating so that I can enjoy the same Thanksgiving pumpkin pie as everyone else in spite of my finicky digestive system. I watch him unload groceries carefully chosen after meticulous examination of labels to rule out dairy. Do you know how many cheeses are made of the easier-to-digest goats’ milk?

It’s that measure of attention, that extra spice that flavors every meal he prepares with that delicious spice of love.

on a green hillside
ewes drop spring lambs one-by-one
cheese in the offing

Note: Once when making a silent retreat in Pennsylvania in April, I stood and witnessed the birth of a couple of dozen lambs, all within a few hours of each other. Truly amazing.

Today for Haibun Monday, Kanzen Sakura asks us to remember one of our favorite meals–a hard task for me since I have enjoyed so many thanks to my husband who does all the cooking. I chose Thanksgiving. 

Photo: David Slotto–herbs from the chef’s garden

Photo: David Sl

 

 

The Artisan Paints Morn

Photo: Victoria Slotto

The Artisan Paints Dawn

Ensconced upon my chair,
blanket-cocooned from cold,
I wait for Artist to appear.

In the East, first ray of light
peaks over hills,
dabs brushes heavy with pastel hues
upon my water-washed world.

Gold blurs into rose, blurs
into violet, periwinkle, blue
as night blurs into day
and I to wakefulness.

Then, in the distance,
a flash of white
flares ‘cross the lightening sky
and egret alights upon the bank
in prayerful waiting pose.

And I, to life, arise.

Oh, I hope you take a few minutes to visit dVerse Meeting the Bar where Bjorn treats us to an artistic prompt on Impressionism, a school of art that arose in the late 1800’s and endures to this day. He shares the best, most succinct explanation of the art form that I remember, and I used to be a museum docent.

Spring Eternal–dVerse Quadrille

Spring Eternal

She’d lost the spring in her step,
(it’s true.)
But the twinkle in her eye,
mischievous,
kept her young—
an icon of joy.

“It’s love,” she told me,
“only love,
that makes me who
who I am.
No winter in this heart
of mine.”

Photo: David Slotto
My mother at age 90-something.

Kim is hosting dVerse Quadrille today asking for a poem of exactly 44 words, excluding the title, using the word SPRING in any of its forms. I was a bit surprised where this one took me. We would love to see you join us for the prompt that is available to you all week.

Ocean Bathing

Coastline Ocean Cliff –Labeled for Free Usage

Ocean Bathing

It may be in the middle of massive chaos, but all I ask—a few moments alone, closed eyes and the ability to dip into my bucket of memories and ladle out the balm of serenity.

Today, I’m sitting on that hunk of driftwood, a mere half mile from my home in Half Moon Bay. The scent of ocean air and steady roar of breakers crashing in upon the beach beneath my cliff, compete with squawking seagulls.

In spirit, I toss the detritus of today’s rough schedule and testy interactions into the ebbing tide, figuratively sending negativity out to sea. Cleansing, soothing, healing. The years collapse and though it’s been a lifetime since I walked those shores each day, the purity of those moments is distilled into a purifying bath and I emerge refreshed.

many years have passed
healing waters purify
winter doldrums flee

Today for dVerse Haibun Monday, Toni invites us to forest bathe, to go into nature to find healing and peace. I find that I have an archive of memories that enable me to do just that wherever and whenever I choose. When I worked a very intense job, setting up a designated unit to care for AIDS patients in San Francisco in the late 80’s, early 90’s, I had the blessing of living near the ocean. Many, many days, after work, I walked to the beach to let go of the burden of the day. 

Anger–dVerse MTB

Art: Clyfford Still, on Pinterest

Art: Clyfford Still, on Pinterest

Depression is Anger Turned Inside-Out
A Narrative Poem

She hadn’t touched her paints for a while. In the other room an unfinished canvas lay propped on an easel. Orange and cerulean blue paint danced in cacophonous colors and screamed at her in taunting ecstasy. One evening she’d smeared a palette knife of black paint in a thick wavy line down the middle of the canvas—the result only heightened the drama. She abandoned her work for now—she couldn’t paint and wouldn’t write—not since he told her he wouldn’t see her anymore.

Today, dVerse Poets, hosted by Frank Hubney, invites us to submit a narrative poem–as I see it, a bit of prose that is written poetically. That implies incorporating poetic elements such as metaphor and sensory details, active verbs etc. This is a tiny piece that I adapted from my novel “The Sin of His Father.”

Desert Mosaic–dVerse Haibun Monday

Desert Mosaic

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

A sharp breeze from the southwest snaps flags—reminders of Presidents’ Day and the aftermath of recent rain showers. White clouds pool in mountain crevices—fluffy bowls of whipped cream or meringue. Sunshine breaks through, coaxing the dogs and I to cross the street in an attempt to offset desert chill. Black crows that circle overhead caw furiously. Sparky and Zoe bark back as though to protect me but I press onward, ignoring the chaos, and I consider how nature gives freely of her beauty.

rainy winter days
rare but pregnant with promise
carpets of color

In the years when we are blessed with abundant rain, the desert floor blooms forth, splashing color everywhere.

Written for and posted to dVerse Haibun Monday where Kanzen Sakura asks us to consider how the best things in life are free.