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.


feather art–dVerse Poetics

I’m hosting for Tuesday’s dVerse Poetics and am looking for poetry about feathers. Please join us with a poem of your own.

Photo: V. Ceretto

Photo: V. Ceretto


feather art

she would paint feathers, she told me,
would spend her days waiting
for feathers fluttering to earth
borne on gentle zephyrs
feathers fallen to the ground
those scattered by a bird of prey
the bodies of a sparrow or a wren

she chooses brushes carefully
(the finest sables) or a nib
she’d load with color or with ink
to focus on delicate detail
outlining veins and every plume
the clash of color line and shape

for feathers are what makes a bird a bird,
she says, and wonders why the jays glow blue
and orioles gold and how to capture iridescence
such glorious structures fractal-ly complex

her studio’s awash in brilliant quills
exotic colors luminous light
collected on the beach and desert floors
some in the mountain heights on trails
and in her garden bed beneath the trees

her work is like a prayer, she says,
a mystical mandala journey to within
she dips her pen into the very heart
of our creation’s source, and recreates
the energy that throbs beneath
the skin of every living being

Image: Public Domain

Image: Public Domain



Dis-Moi, Vincent–dVerse Haibun Monday

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Image: Wikipedia Commons

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it, Vincent? You view that church from across a field of golden waves, as though in getting too close you may be hurt yet again. As though that icon of faith would bring to mind the abysmal (apparent) failure you experienced in your ministry to miners. Am I correct?

So many years have passed now, and from my perspective, oh-so-much is more transparent. For you, it seemed failure dogged you your entire life—failure in love, failure in your passion for painting, failure to be accepted—even by your family. I know better. You never did.

Do you seek balance?
Blue that speaks of such sadness,
but yellow for joy.

(dis-moi is French for tell me, using the familiar form of the verb dire.)

Linked for dVerse Haibun Monday hosted this week by Bjorn. We hope you will join us! 

So Much Life Goes on Unnoticed

Photo: Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Twinges in the hinges mark the beginning of cold weather, reminding me that my life has entered its autumn as well. So much to do, so many things to see, touch, taste, feel, learn. But I can only enjoy this one precious moment, so I drink—no, gulp–life greedily.

I take my sketch pad and number two pencil, don a sweater, grab a folding chair and hurry toward the river, a block away. Golden aspens vie with crimson maples for my attention. I settle on the maple, mourning the loss of our autumn flame that, like the river, died this year. Have you ever sketched all those tiny veins in a leaf? Do it now, before your own precious life succumbs to the drought of limited days.

Life force flows freely
through leaves, trunk, into the roots
settles down to sleep.

A late link for the wonderful Haibun Monday prompt at dVerse Poets and I’m also linking to WordPress Weekly Photo Prompt, where they are looking for monochromatic photography!

Note: Autumn Flame is a one type of maple.

Intaglio–dVerse Open Link Night




The story of life unfolds—
not in lines
forged by a stylus on copper—
but in choices
we etch each day.

For more information on this printmaking art form, click on the poem title–and to learn about a free Kindle Give Away of my novel, “The Sin of His Father,” check my previous post or click here.


think twice before hitting Costco a few days before Burning Man



they descend like a swarm of sedate wasps,
heaping-high wobbly carts with desert-friendly nectar
cases of crystalline water and burnt umber ale,
sani-wipes and 50 spf sunscreen
(no counter-cultural affects apparent at this very moment)

i secretly envision bare-naked bodies and circus themed
clothes in bright primary colors, floaty-gauzy fabrics
bedecked with heavy jewels and sparkly tiaras
when the arid playa of the black rock desert transforms,
overnight, into the third largest city in nevada,
proudly boasting its 65,000 old-young citizens
riotously celebrating a plethora of arts
under the ever-watchful eye of the bureau of land management
and the pershing county sheriff’s department

an already-frazzled guy just in front of me (in the slithering line
snaking all the way back to the ladies clothing table
piled high with gloria vanderbilt jeans in early autumn hues)
pushes his cart loaded high with health bars
and sturdy flats of gatorade (orange, blue, yellow-green and blue),
sighs and advances, at last, a couple of feet toward the checkout stand.

ten days from now, they will emerge, caked in mud,
dump their thrift store clothes into the nearest dumpster
and queue up in another line at the car wash up the hill.
they will leave an empty playa in near-pristine condition,
will donate battered bikes to be cleaned, refurbished and,
perhaps, given to needy kids, if not reclaimed again next year.
these weary burners will return to the drudgery of day-jobs
leaving us all-the-richer for their presence
(and consumption.)

Written for dVerse Meeting the Bar. Bjorn asks us to use a generous amount of modifiers in our writing today–contrary to the best of writing rules. And since we in Northern Nevada are welcoming hoards to Burning Man where breaking the rules of culture is the norm (along with celebrating the arts) I just couldn’t resist–especially after my trip to Costco this morning. OyVey

Help Me Understand, Monsieur Vincent–dVerse Open Link Night

Help Me Understand, Monsieur
an Echo Poem

Monsieur Vincent, are those your boots?
My boots?
They speak of pain, hard work and tears.
And years,
of agony, darkness and loss.
The cross.

Or did they belong to some miner who died
To those you served in those early days?
I prayed.
Those days of darkness and loss and tears.
And fear.

Monsieur Vincent, why did you try?
To die?
You saw the world in orange and blue.
True blue.
A world of agony, darkness and pain.
No gain.

Did you wear those boots the day you died,
I tried
and failed to find the love you sought
For naught
You never knew fame, only darkness and pain,
In vain?

Last week, Mary introduced us to the Echo Poem. I wasn’t able to participate then, but chose an old poem that I had filed in my binder titled “Edit or Trash” to rewrite using this technique. The form lent itself to a sort of dialogue with Vincent Van Gogh–someone I really hope to meet in the (not) distant future. In his early years he chose to minister to miners who lived (and died) in the worst of circumstances. He failed, even in that ministry.

And so, here is the first draft of a revision–if that’s not an oxymoron–for dVerse Open Link Night. Please join us with a poem of your own and be a part of the conversation led by Bjorn about performance poetry.