The Seed–dVerse Poetics

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit.
John 12, 24



The Seed

Such joy we find, in spring, to plant a seed,

to tuck it deep within expectant earth
to wait, in hope, for summers verdant growth,
the offspring of apparent winter death,
a promise that we, too, shall know rebirth
when we, at last, have spent this fragile life.

You ask me why we long for lasting life?
Perhaps you’ve never sown a lowly seed
then seen that nature nurtures its rebirth
unnoticed, ‘neath the skin of Mother Earth.
So small this grain—defying endless death
while flaunting its capacity for growth.

Each seed, endowed with all required for growth
still needs attention to sustain its life,
thus lending meaning to apparent death.
They languish for both sun and rain, these seeds,
and nutrients—the gift of fertile earth,
then time is all that’s wanting for rebirth.

Does not your soul expect its own rebirth?
Does grace not foster spirit’s gentle growth?
And it is not our goal while here one earth
to search for meaning in these days of life?
Tend carefully the soil that bears the seed
and have no fear of your impending death.

The seed, itself, surrenders to its death
so that a flower or tree may know rebirth.
Such beauty shall be born of humble seed
embarking on a journey of new growth.
Thus is the cycle known to every life
that’s clothed in form while dwelling here on earth.

Too short the days we wander here on earth,
too soon we face inevitable death,
so each and every moment of this life
give cause to ponder our sublime rebirth,
to free ourselves for such abundant growth
that we fulfill the mission of the seed.

While here on earth prepare for this rebirth,
for it’s through death we shall achieve new growth.
In losing life you flourish, tiny seed.

Thanks to Shanyn who offer the prompt today for dVerse Poetics: the seed, potential, what can be! Stop by, read, and offer a poem of your own. The pub opens at 12:00 Noon EDT!

The Sestina:

A sestina is, for me, a fun, but challenging form to play with. It is a double tritina, using six, rather than three line-ending words. The secret is to choose words along a thematic line, then see where they take you. Should you want to give the form a whirl, this is the pattern: ABCDEF; FAEBDC; CFDABE; ECBFAD; DEACFB; BDFECA. A tercet concludes the rhyme scheme: ECA for ends of lines, BDF in the middle—thus, BE, DC, FA. Just for fun, try writing it using a meter, such as iambic pentameter.

Organic Gardening

My submission to Tony’s prompt for dVerse Poetics. He asks us to address the evolution of our own poetic lives. Think about it, write about it and meet us at the Poetry Pub! And a special THANK YOU to Brian and Claudia for keeping the doors of this wonderful poetry community wide open. The change of schedule is perfect!

Organic Gardening
better known as the circle of life.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

I watched a rose evolve—
bare root to bush to fullest bloom.
I watched it wilt before surrendering
its petal to the loam.

I watched a tree evolve—
a seed to sapling to full height.
I watched it offer fruit before
surrendering to the wind.

I watched a boy evolve—
a babe to child to full-grown man.
I watched him slowly ebb before
surrendering to the earth.

Photo: Ebon Heath

Photo: Ebon Heath

I’ve tasted much of death,
thus trust in the unknown.
It’s in this mystery
my poetry is born.

Circle of Life

Photo Credit: Fine Art America

Photo Credit: Fine Art America

I clear out dead leaves—skeletal remains,
unearth a pattern, lace-knit life forms.

Alone in dank earth, (rank, pungent) a seedling
gestates, waits to manifest the beauty of bloom.

Gentle rays of sun awaken bird song, too early perhaps,
for the old man writhing in sweat-stained insomnia.

Across the way, on a rolling hillside, a pregnant ewe
bleats in pain, births dabs of white on green.

You open to the moment, offer your nectar,
then withdraw, leaving me alone in darkness.

Soon I shall return to the mouldering earth,
in an array of colors, flowers painting the world in joy.

Photo Credit: yaymicro

Photo Credit: yaymicro

Linked to dVerse Poetics where we’re asked to write beauty, perhaps with a contrast element of the apparently-not-so-beautiful. But would we have the one without the other? Hope you will join us at the Poets’ Pub.

I invite you to Link any Father’s Day Poem you have written here. The Link will be open until Monday 5:00 PM PDT.

Jacaranda Rain

Jacaranda Rain

Sonnet, with Liberties Taken

I am the Sun that slips through blinds half-closed,
imprinting saffron stripes on textured walls.
I am a ball of fire that slashes clouds,
that singes trees on rugged mountain tops.

I am the spreading branch of Piñon Pine,
or Mullbr’y broad umbrella leaf of green.
I offer shade in sweltering summer time,
and home for mockingbirds, the songs they bring.

I am the dance of light upon the moon,
behind the palm tree fronds my passion plays
a tempting game—I kiss the darkest gloom
who yields to me at last, in hues of gray.

May I return in showers of purple blooms—
a Jacaranda rain on grassy dew?

Jacaranda trees in Montagu Ave, Salisbury, Rho...

Jacaranda trees in Montagu Ave, Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) in 1975 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jacaranda Rain

Free Verse

I am
the sun that slips
through blinds, half-closed.
Painting saffron strips
on adobe walls.

I am
a bolt of fire
lighting up the skies,
singeing trees on mountain tops,
splitting limbs.

I am
the sheltered branches of Mulberry tree.
Broad leaf umbrella
shading you at noontime.

I am
the dance of light upon the moon,
hiding my passion behind
swaying palms,
kissing night in unseen places.

I am
the empty flute
the flautist left behind.
I await the breath of God
to fill the void.

Though I must leave,
I’ll come to you again—
a shower of purple petals
upon dew-covered sod.

Progress Note: Yesterday during my walk I watched the petals of Jacaranda trees fall in the breeze like purple rain. The thought crossed my mind: If it’s true, as Buddhism suggests, that we shall return in nature, I’d like to be a part of this.

The first write of this was in free form, during the night. When I awakened, I saw a copy I’d made of instructions (from Luke Prater) on the stress sonnet form. I don’t have the courage yet to try that complex undertaking so I thought I’d better master the pure sonnet first and work up to it. Then when I read Gay Cannon’s challenge on dVerse Meeting the Bar, I knew I couldn’t eke out another near-sonnet today, so I thought I’d go ahead an share this at the pub. I encourage everyone to meet up there. Perhaps by the time OLN rolls around, I’ll have a Frame Sonnet poem to submit. Have fun everyone.

Centering–Response to Monday Morning Writing Prompt


Go to the Within
both end and new beginning
the circle of life

Image: V. Ceretto-Slotto 2011

Look now at nature
shapes of earth trees and flowers
spheres of creation

Photo: V. Ceretto-Slotto 2010

Life death and rebirth
embedded in mystery
shade of the divine.

My response to Monday Morning Writing Prompt’s challenge to write a circular poem: