of flying walruses, but not politicians–unfortunately

Photo: focusingonwildlife.com

Photo: focusingonwildlife.com

think outside the box is the new battle cry
think outside the box asks walruses to fly
think outside the box is a wonderful thing
think outside the box is like shadow boxing
think outside the box is like nobody else
think outside the box is drawing from the well
think outside the box is a work of art
think outside the box will set you apart
think outside the box is the key to success
think outside the box is how to impress

Think outside the box... it's where the best i...

Think outside the box… it’s where the best ideas live. (Photo credit: ArtJonak)

Over at dVerse Form for All, Sam Peralta is asking us to write Googlisms–something I’d never heard of prior to this. I reread the rules after I’d written my poem and, yes, I cheated a bit, or took a few poetic liberties, but was happy to find a phrase that offered enough choices that rhymed …with a minor adaptation or two wherein lies the cheating.  The meter could use some tweaking, but…  Check out this fun website: http://googlism.com  

Here are the rules–have at it:

It will be List Poetry, but specifically “Googlisms”

1. Think of a seed phrase (for example “The bird flies”)
2. Go to http://www.googlism.com
3. Type in your phrase and press “Googlism!”
4. Note the list of phrases (googlisms) that result
5. While you may keep the entire list exactly as your list poem, you should do some editing/sculpting of the poem
a. You may use as many or as few of the phrases in your list poem,
b. You may alter the order of the phrases 
c. You may add or subtract punctuation, or change letter case to upper/lower case
d. However, do not alter the actual word sequence in any specific phrase
6. If you would like more than one stanza, think of another seed phrase for the next stanza and repeat steps 2-5 until you are happy.

Gotta love that walrus!




Photo: fxcuisine

Photo: fxcuisine

Nature loves her riffs—
dandelions run crazy
up and down our world.

Photo: bostonphotos

Photo: bostonphotos

Linking to dVerse Form for All where Gay asks us to jazz things up a bit.  In case you’re wondering what a riff is:


 noun \ˈrif\

music : a short and usually repeated pattern of notes in a song

Here a short Smooth Jazz riff on the saxophone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC2ZW0LES9g 

The Title of This Poem is Up to You

Sam and Karin, hosting for dVerse Poets’ Pub invite us to present a riddle in poetic form. I searched my “Trash or Edit” file for a poem that needs a title that will give a clue to the subject matter. I invite you to submit a suggestion. And since this poem is closer to the trash spectrum than the edit, if you have an idea how to make it work, I welcome your input. I’m not sure this is what our hosts are looking for, but it’s what I’m bringing! I’ll let you know the working title I’d given it and the final title and edit in a future post.

Photo: Susan Stevenson

Photo: Susan Stevenson

Why do wild roses
splayed along the river
go unseen, then die?

How do swallows know
when to return? And salmon,
the place of their gestation?

What causes flashes
of crimson and Parrish blue
to flare behind closed eyes?

Is there pleasure without pain?
And when we try so hard,
how come we fail?

News Item: This weekend, September 7th and 8th, my poetry collection on Kindle, JACARANDA RAIN. COLLECTED POEMS, 2012, is available for free. If you are able to download it and would be able to review it on Amazon or Goodreads, I would be so grateful. Thank you. For those of you who do not have Kindle, I’m hoping to get a print edition on Create Space.

Cover Photo: David Slotto Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: David Slotto
Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Freedom–dVerse Form for All

Brian has us writing a story of 55 words, no more, no less. I did a severe edit to get this exact.


Photo: YAbeyond.com

Photo: YAbeyond.com

Such a brilliant sunrise—an odd day for them to find his parents’ brains spattered on the wall.

He stuffed clothes in a bag, clenched the address Grandma sent him when he was five, slipped it into the pocket of his flannel shirt.

No one could suspect him. Shit, they didn’t even know he existed.

News Flash!!!

I’m excited to announce the release on Kindle of my first collection of poetry: Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012, today, Thursday, August 22nd. You will find it for purchase on Amazon (Free for Kindle Prime members). Reviews on Amazon or Goodreads would be most welcome. Thank you.

Cover Photo: David Slotto Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: David Slotto
Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Jacaranda Rain–an Experiment in Line and Meter

Photo: David Slotto All Rights Reserved

Photo: David Slotto
All Rights Reserved

Jacaranda Rain–Free Verse

I am
the sun that slips
through blinds, half-closed.
Painting saffron stripes
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.

Jacaranda Rain–Sonnet, Iambic Pentameter

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, leafy green.
I offer shade in sweltering summer time,
and home for mockingbirds’ delight in spring.

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.

I am the flute the flautist left behind,
awaiting God’s own breath to fill the void.
I’m music whipped to life by restless wind
as nature’s sound, an echoing of joy.

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

Thanks to Gay at dVerse Form for All for a comprehensive explanation of meter. She suggests taking a free verse poem you’ve already written and putting it into one of a number of meters that she describes.

This poem is the title poem of my soon-to-be published collection of poetry on Kindle. I also hope to have it available through Create Space. I would love your feedback–do you prefer the Sonnet or the Free Verse? 

By the way, my article, “Beating the Odds–Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia,” is available for free on Kindle through August 9th–that’s tomorrow, or perhaps today for many of you.



Photo Credit: Kate Aubrey, Google Images

Photo Credit: Kate Aubrey, Google Images

last night, in a dream
i walked the shore with Bashō
wrote poetry of spring’s death


today wide awake
i breathe honeysuckle moons
waiting for summer’s sunrise

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Join us over at dVerse Poet’s Pub where Sam invites us to sip of a Japanese poetry form: Sedoka. The form consists of two unrhymed tercets,  each having 5-7-7 syllables. They express the same thought, but with a twist. It’s very fun. Thank you, Sam.


Fragile Beauty–A Glosa

Fragile Beauty

A Tribute to Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the darkening June evening
I draw a blossom near and drawing close
search it as a woman searches
a loved one’s face.

Jane Kenyon
“Peonies at Dark”

As night approaches
we sit in silence
sipping beauty in our garden.
Sparrows feed greedily
as hummingbirds circle our heads
before approaching the nectar, descending
to drink deeply in the waning light.
The heavy mood forgotten
we look to new beginnings
in the darkening June evening.

You turn to me.
I sigh and take your hand
and in the taking release fear.
You are there, and in the night
you remain my light.
The answer to my questions, no one knows.
So now we trust in new beginnings.
You lead me to a fading flower,
lift up its fragrance to my nose.
I draw a blossom near and drawing close

inhale its dying beauty
breath deeply of its tenuous life.
What lies ahead will surely hold our deaths,
another reminder of fragility,
nature’s stunning beauty.
Throughout our lives we live as learner,
probe the center of a flower as though
it holds truth’s secrets, and it does.
I pull the blossom close now and in the shadow of our birch
search it as a woman searches

to know the love she shares,
the lives she touches day-by-day.
I think of Jane, a poet who observed
the details of each moment, giving birth in words
as though a child to live its own life.
Too short her own, and harsh her earthly race
to happiness. Preoccupied with death, like her,
I turn to whom I love and cherish all I know
of gentleness, of care. And in the space
(I find) a loved one’s face.

Photo Credit: Denver Landscaping Network

Photo Credit: Denver Landscaping Network

Jane Kenyon, 1947-1995, grew up and lived her early life in Michigan, moving later to New England. Her poetry is simple and emotionally evocative. In the reading, one discovers a story of her too brief life, told in exquisite detail. Kenyon battled depression off and on, lived for her family, and died of leukemia. The theme of death weaves through her work. She was also a proficient translator of Russian poetess, Anna Akhmatova.

In this poem, I’m not always sure where Jane begins and I end. I’m linking this to Sam Peralta’s excellent prompt for dVerse Form for All, in which he explains the difficult, but rewarding form of the Glosa. I suggest you head on over and read all about it. You may be a bit late to write and post one of your own, but there’s always Open Link Night!

Sentinel–a Sijo

A Sijo

Two mockingbirds keep watch atop the tree outside our door.
One faces North, the other South. Are we protected?
Who knows? Though comfort comes in songs of cautious wonder.

Stop by dVerse and learn about this (new to many of us) Korean poetry form! This is a rough draft. I focused on syllable count rather than the wonderful nuances the form calls for. Thanks to Sam Peralta for the prompt.



It seemed to whisper,


Everything that had been a part of her.
Everything bound up
in her deepest roots.


Fear fell away, congealed.
Fear, frozen, oddly gentle,
like a baby rabbit in a trap.


The air, thick with feathers,
floated softly down.
Suddenly stilled.


Photo: V. Slotto

This is an erasure poem, written as a response to Anna Montgomery’s prompt over at dVerse Form for All. You’ll enjoy learning all about this form and reading what other poets have created. I chose Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind opened to a page at random. The scene in play is that which occurs when the Union invades and sets fire to Tara. I first read this classic as a teen and again about twenty years ago.

The pub opens a 1500 EST…come on over.

Thank you, Anna.

Of Summer Nights–A Tritina

I dream of emptiness, of cinnamon,
and summer nights infused with sweet aroma,
then wait in stillness for the rain to come.

In darkness, hoping for the light to come,
the air hangs heavy, scents of cinnamon
invade my room—seductive, sweet aroma.

Before the dawn, such sensuous aroma,
an open door, desiring you should come
and taste of bliss, of love and cinnamon.

Such cinnamon. Such aromatic Come.

Photo credit: amountainofcrushedice.com via Google Images

Over at dVerse Poet’s Pub, Sam Peralta introduces us to the Tritina–sort of a mini-Sestina–and invites us to try one of our own. Stop on over, learn about the form, write one of your own and join us at the pub for some good poetry. I’ve chosen a few of the words offered by Shawna in her word prompt at Flipside Records.