Late Summer–dVerse Quadrille

Photo: David Slotto
Northern Flicker

Summer begins to fade.
Trees share foliage with earth
Vegetable garden spills its seeds.

When he appears I hold my breath,
taken aback at beauty new to me.
Ruddy-headed, spotted Northern Flicker.

Summer begins to fade
but shares her gifts with us
even now.

Welcome back to the pub, everyone. I hope you all enjoyed your break. Today, for dVerse Quadrille Monday, Grace is asking us to use the word FLICKER in a poem of exactly 44 words, excluding title. I write of the appearance of this woodpecker that I’ve never seen before in our region–a Northern Flicker. He surprised us last summer. I grabbed our bird book and David, the camera, and we got several photos of him. His visit lasted only a few minutes but he had his fill.

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



love lost–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

love lost
a rondel

i touch the old tree’s scaly bark,
caress the roughness of its skin,
releasing mem’ries held within
when you would meet me in the dark.

i wait for songs of doves and larks—
those melodies of longing when
i touch the old tree’s scaly bark
caress the roughness of its skin.

that night i waited in this park
hugging its trunk, a love-struck teen,
i sensed i’d lost all that had been
in new-moon blackness, not a spark
touch the old tree’s scaly bark.

Today at dVerse Poetics Gayle is challenging us to write a Rondel. The bar will open at 3:00 EST and that’s where you will find the recipe for this fun-to-write form. Don’t be afraid to give it a try–I find that working with the discipline of a form stretches the poetic muse.

Silhouette–Weekly Photo Challenge

The Daily Post asks us to photograph objects in silhouette:

Photography is all about experimenting with light, and then positioning yourself (or your subject) in the right spot to achieve a certain effect. One such effect is a silhouette, in which an outline of someone or something appears dark against a lighter background. Silhouettes can be very dramatic and resemble black shapes without any details, but the effect varies from picture to picture.

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

This is an ash tree in our backyard.


Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

And I can’t resist this one, taken in Palm Desert, last winter.

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Another from Palm Desert. The credit for this one belongs to my husband, April 2013.

For the Birds–Monday Meanderings

I have a great appreciation for the beauty of birds. They teach us to depend on nature, to live in the present moment, to enjoy the freedom we are given, to fly in a manner of speaking. Today, I’ll simply share a few photos taken by my husband.

If you feed them, they will come.

(Copyright: David Slotto 2014. Kindly request permission to use them.)

Feeding Time A Twice Daily Event Palm Desert Photo: D. Slotto

Feeding Time
A Twice Daily Event
Palm Desert 2011
Photo: D. Slotto

2013  reno birds,blooms,garden 004b

Reno, NV
Photo: D. Slotto

Cedar Waxwing Reno 2011 Photo: D. Slotto

Cedar Waxwing
Photo: D. Slotto

Leucistic Hummingbird Palm Desert CA 2011 Photo: D. Slotto

Leucistic Hummingbird
Palm Desert CA
Photo: D. Slotto

Bullock Oriole Reno, NV 2012 Photo: D. Slotto

Bullock Oriole
Reno, NV
Photo: D. Slotto

On Sharing Life–Monday Meanderings




Today (Sunday, the 19th) is our 23rd Anniversary. We’ve chosen to celebrate quietly at home (football games) and it’s given me some extra time for reflection.

I’m in wonder at the fact that we’ve made it this far. A first marriage for both of us, in our 40’s, many (of my family, at least) didn’t think we would make it. Used to being on our own, both of us independent, stubborn even.

We’ve been through a lot together. David has truly been a companion in this journey of life. Oh, I’ve had moments when I’ve want to escape, as I’m sure he has. We’ve both had to make plenty of compromises.

We’ve had moments of self-centeredness but marriage is a tool that is meant to hew away some of those rough edges, to help us grow in all dimensions of living. If we’d chosen to remain single, we could have had everything our own way. We could have maintained control over each detail of our lives. We could do what we want, when we want and attain the heights of self-involvement…and the depths of loneliness.

Instead, here I am–a football fan, bemoaning my team’s loss, still clothed in a team jersey discussing the nuances of play calls (and what I considered to be lousy officiating). Trust me, I didn’t know anything about football when we married. Now I enjoy it (especially when we win.)

Here I am, often waiting for him to come home from golfing or grocery-shopping–aware of that inner GPS that homes in on him, that makes little adjustments to my schedule so I can wave to him when he passes by on the 12th tee outside the kitchen window.

Here I am, grateful to have someone to pick up after on the one hand while, on the other, having someone who puts up with my neurotic tendencies and absent-mindedness and who will wage war on anyone who may take advantage of or threaten me.

True, now and again that escape fantasy returns, but whatever is behind it is settled before bedtime and most often, by morning time, I can’t remember exactly what it was all about as we settle into another day of our life together–and today, celebrating our 23rd year. Oh, and by the way, he does the cooking.

Photo: Janice Black 2010

Photo: Janice Black 2010

Ah! Tomatoes

mere seeds in winter
planted with care and nurture
spouts emerge in early spring

Photo Credit:Victoria Slotto
David and Sparky

water sun and soil
engender succulent fruit
harvesting begins

Photo Credit: David Slotto

pure pleasure ensues
abundance shared with others
juicy crimson joy

Photo Credit: David Slotto

but what do I see?
anomaly of nature
Frankenstein returns

Photo Credit: David Slotto

This post is more about the poetry of my husband’s garden than the poetry of words. Each year in the first week of March, while we’re still in the desert, David starts heirloom tomato plants from seed. He uses a growing lamp set up in the shower of the guest bathroom. When they get to be a few inches high, he tranplants them into separate pots and after a while, begins to introduce them to the Californa sun. By the time we leave for Reno they’re usually a couple of feet tall and he transports them in the front seat of his car, back into cold country (we usually have more freezes and often, snow, when we get back home). Then he needs to begin again to re-acclimate them to the weather, placing them outside a few hours at a time, while he rototills his raised garden bed. Around the last week in May, he plants them (along with other veggies and herbs). Sometimes he uses “walls of water” to keep them warm; quite often he has to sneak out at bedtime and cover them in plastic or sheets. Let’s just say he’s the nurturing type. (He does ALL the cooking).

The last couple of weeks he’s begun harvesting.  Frankenstein is an heirloom called Elmer’s Old German. We couldn’t believe the perfect suture line down the middle, as though Nature sewed two tomatoes together. Frankenstein weight 2 lbs, 0.5 oz and at his width measures 6 inches.

Please join us at dVerse Poets’ Pub for Open Link Night. Natasha Head is our beautiful, talented hostess. I’m on my way with last year’s batch of Bloody Mary Mix, made from our 2011 crop! I look forward to sampling your work.

Special Post–Leucistic Hummingbird

D. Slotto 4/2011

D. Slotto 4/2011
D. Slotto 4/2011

We are receiving frequent visits from a pure white (Leucistic) hummingbird.

He is friendly when we approach him at the feeder and has even flown up to my husband who has been able to take a number of photos.

Leucistic hummingbirds are rare, but albino hummers are rarer. Leucistic hummers have dark eyes, while those of albinos are pink. These small birds are vulnerable to predators because of their light color.

In American Indian lore, hummingbirds represent joy. White is a symbol of purity and truth.


 My husband, David, took these photos. We do not have photoshopping capabilities here but when we return home he will work with them and many other photos he has captured.

This little fellow inspired the poem I submitted to Poetry Potluck:

For more information on this beautiful little creatures, visit: