Music at Lake Tahoe

Photo: Victoria Slotto Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Photo: Victoria Slotto
Lake Tahoe, Nevada

music at lake tahoe

wind soughs her songs through tops of pines
a lone songbird joins in, counterpoint, riffs in three-quarter time
my heart crashes like symbols, in time with lake-ripples

we share words, poetry, a cool glass of raspberry tea
three hours—too brief a time for all we want to share
so we speak allegro con dolce, pianissimo—and we listen

words sigh away, diminuendo, as i descend the mountain, alone

Musical Notations
allegro: quickly
con dolce: with gentleness
pianissimo: softly
diminuendo: fading away

De Jackson (whimsygismo) and I shared a lovely afternoon at Lake Tahoe last week. It was a joy to meet her face-to-face. I’ve written this for Day 2 of dVerse Poet Pub‘s 5th Anniversary Celebration where I’m hosting an interview with dVerse Co-Founder Claudia Schoenfeld and asking for a Sevenling written on the theme of music. I’ve included three paintings of Claudia’s which you may use for inspiration if you like. Please stop by and catch up with this talented poet/artist.


Photo: V. Slotto Lake Tahoe NV

Photo: De and Victoria Lake Tahoe, NV

Photo: De and Victoria
Lake Tahoe, NV





on the lethal effect of a heat wave on the love affair between a poet and his muse

Photo Credit: Roland Chadwick

Photo Credit: Roland Chadwick

oppressive heat has stifled your desire
such effort holds your soul within its sway
no shade nor breeze lends refuge though it may
fan flames that surge unyielding ever higher

you search for words to quench the smoldering fire
you scan the clouds—the pages of this day
your thoughts bleed down your brow and fade away
the muse you sought, sought darkness and expired

you dream, but love refuses your advance
this foe suppresses creativity
be still and wait for cooler days to come
a flash of light that slashes like a lance
to open up the skies to rain to see
a poem taking shape, now watch it grow

Petrarchan Sonnet: abbaabba cdecde

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

I wrote this a few weeks ago and forgot about it. It was a week of record-breaking weather, temperatures in the 100’s (F), and I found it difficult to write anything, so I turned to the discipline of form poetry to help me get started.

This would have worked well for Saturday’s Poetic’s Prompt offered by Claudia Schoenfeld, but I was deep into a writing project and learning how to self-publish on Kindle. So with a nod to last week, here it is for Open Link Night. The doors open 3:00 PM EDT. Please join us.

Our Stories

The night before I plan to take down the Christmas tree,
I crawl from beneath the covers, slip downstairs
and curl up on the couch to read stories of our life together.

The tree rotates, a swirl of colors, as ornaments recount
the years. 1991—“Our First Christmas,”
two critters snuggled in a hollow log.

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

The merry-go-round of the tree unfolds the years,
one-by-one. Cycles of remembrance unfurl—
the hard and happy times, the growth, the losses.

Upstairs you snore gently. Sometimes we sleep
and overlook those subtle changes—the waxing
and waning of our marriage, of our shared love.

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

At eleven o’clock (you set the timer) the tree goes dark.
I steal back to bed, hold tight our memories, hold on to you.

Photo D. SlottoChristmas 2012

Photo D. Slotto
Christmas 2012

Arriving late to the pub for Claudia’s prompt on change. I wish each of you much joy and good health as we wind up 2012 and plot our course for the coming year. I will be traveling this up-coming week but will do my best to keep in touch.

Each year “Santa” places a new ornament on our tree. The tree rotates and is set up on a timer. It’s all put away now.

Two Twenty-Six

Photo Credit: Google Images/

Two twenty-six
(a new moon night)
I stumble to the kitchen.

My flashlight plays
on unfamiliar surfaces,
creates images,

suggests invasion
by artifacts
unknown to me.

I fumble for the kettle.
Blue flames explode,
lick seductively.

Steeping chamomile
shares soothing
sleep-inducing scents

while I peek through
the blinds.
On the cul-de-sac

behind us
a street light spills
across the pavement.

Aside from that
the world lolls
in darkest stillness.

Alone, I sip my tea.
I sip solitude.

Thank you Claudia, at dVerse Meeting the Bar, for the prompt to write a poem in the manner of the Impressionistic Artists. Quick brush strokes, the play of light, and mood…move over Monet.  I hope you will join us at the Poetry Pub and bring along your own masterpiece.

Bipolar–dVerse Poetics


While this story is fictional, I have worked with patients and friends who have bipolar disorder. The prompt that our gifted Claudia Schoenfeld offers today at dVerse Poetics, challenges us to engage in conversation. We’ve all experienced self-talk, I’m sure. You’re invited in to eavesdrop.


“Look outside,” I tell you.
But you ignore both me
and the hawk posed upon
our redwood fence,

striated tail in tones
of golden brown and black.
“Hurry,” I say, “You’ll miss him.”
Your shoulders slump,

unblinking eyes fix upon the screen,
follow the red jack you drag
over to the queen of spades.

Was it just last Wednesday?
You dragged me to the mall,
paid in credit for a Persian rug,
paid with money we don’t have.

Golden brown and black
and orange and red—the colors
that you coveted,
and here you are.

Your silence screams, echos
down the hall. Dissipates
into the shadows.

You coax the final king
and plop him on his queen.
The monitor explodes in
bursts of color.

Slamming the laptop shut,
I hurry to my room,
ignoring crimson leaves
and gold.

My medication sits,
untouched for days,
beside my bed.

Sidle up to the bar with us at dVerse Poetics and listen in to some more conversation. Bring a poem of your own…