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

 

 

Desert Mosaic–dVerse Haibun Monday

Desert Mosaic

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

A sharp breeze from the southwest snaps flags—reminders of Presidents’ Day and the aftermath of recent rain showers. White clouds pool in mountain crevices—fluffy bowls of whipped cream or meringue. Sunshine breaks through, coaxing the dogs and I to cross the street in an attempt to offset desert chill. Black crows that circle overhead caw furiously. Sparky and Zoe bark back as though to protect me but I press onward, ignoring the chaos, and I consider how nature gives freely of her beauty.

rainy winter days
rare but pregnant with promise
carpets of color

In the years when we are blessed with abundant rain, the desert floor blooms forth, splashing color everywhere.

Written for and posted to dVerse Haibun Monday where Kanzen Sakura asks us to consider how the best things in life are free.

 

Waiting at the Side of the Pond–dVerse Haibun

Photo: donjd2 on Flickr Labeled for noncommercial reuse

Photo: donjd2 on Flickr
Labeled for noncommercial reuse

Waiting at the Side of the Pond

I watch as he waits for death–his white body crouched over, shoulders hunched, still as the death he is about to impose. Of a sudden, he springs from his crouch, snatches his prey and soars on high, a flash of silver squirming in his beak.

Not long ago, I also watched for death—not the kind I would inflict, but one that would afflict me. And so did a friend across the pond, the big one. And, now, one across the continent. Its coming is inevitable, whether anticipated with hope or dread. It is inevitable.

early morning watch
egret fleeing winter climes
feeds on silver hope

Today is Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets and the theme is waiting. Hope to see you there.

Summer Fading, 1948

 

 

 

Summer Fading, 1948

Photo: Randy Robertson Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Photo: Randy Robertson
Labeled for non-commercial reuse

The leaves of my pepper tree tickle me as the gnarly bark scrapes the back of my legs. I take a leave and crush it, inhaling the pungent fragrance evokes a sense comfort in me. Red berries, peppercorns, hang in clusters. What better place for a 5 year old to consider all those important things that occupy her life.

Moments later, Mama beckons to me from the back door. I scurry down the tree with conflicting feelings of regret and anticipation and slam the screen door behind me. “Take your sweater, Vicki, it will be cool when you come home.” I grab it off the dining room chair and sprint down the hill, across the dirt road to Stewie’s house where, on his 12” black and white TV, Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent has just joined his buddies.

setting summer sun
slips gently behind our hill
peace-filled memory

Happy to have Lady Nyo hosting this week for dVerse Haibun. Please join us. 

And to All a Blessed Night

Photo: Wikipedia Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Photo: Wikipedia
Labeled for non-commercial reuse

And to All a Blessed Night

“You’re not going to sleep in her room, are you?” Already my nieces had questioned my plan to spend the night alone in Mom’s house, just hours after her death. “Of course; why not?”

Night three, around four AM, a bright light awakens me from a sound sleep. I drag myself out of bed and creep to the doorway, peer to the right and left. The only lights were those I’d left on to give the impression that caregivers were still here, as they had been for several years.

I shrug, return to bed. An emergency radio/flashlight, previously unnoticed on the armoir, greets me with its intense rays, emanating a sense of peaceful energy and perhaps a bit of Mom’s most predictable sense of humor.

winter stars winking
illumine the new moon sky
most loving presence

Today at dVerse, Toni invites us to share a non-fiction account, in Haibun form, of a remembered good night, keeping in mind that phrase from Moore’s fun Christmas poem–and to all, a good night! True story, this.

 

November, Interrupted: dVerse Haibun Monday

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

November, Interrupted

Outside, I see the barren pewter skies of late November, consider how I was taught as a child that this is the time of year in which we are to reflect upon death. Nature seems to cry “emptiness,” though I know that, in reality, life surges beneath the surface of what appears to be.

Wind howls, inviting our outdoor chimes to sound a song of hope when, in a flash, color fills our naked fruit trees as a slew of winter birds fill their branches. Bright yellow and red accents of the cedar wax wings, the stunning burnt sienna of robins and breath-taking tones of blue of Stellar Jays. Even tiny monochromatic chickadees bestow joy as they nestle together in the maple, where scattered orange leaves cling stubbornly.

ornamental pear
stretches out her fruitful arms
fertile emptiness

Written and linked for dVerse, where today Kanzen Sakura invites us to post a haibun on any subject as long as it is a non-fictional account of something that happened to us, concluding with a traditional haiku. This happened just this morning! Please join us.

Chester and Vi–Haibun Monday, Romance

Today, for dVerse Haibun Monday, Toni (Kansen Sakura) asks us to write of romance. The prose aspect of a Haibun is a non-fiction account. This event occurred when I was nursing in Long Term Care, Toledo, Ohio in the mid-70’s.

boldsky

Image: boldsky.com

Chester and Vi
a Haibun

It’s early morning and the scene repeats itself. After bathing his wife, Vi, Chester trods down the neon-lit hallway to the unit’s kitchenette to blend an assortment of foods for her breakfast. He knows her likes and dislikes and takes care to please her. Though it’s been years since she has spoken, years since she has even shown signs of recognition, he speaks to her, telling her news of the day, of other patients and of his love for her. Chester once told me that he digs into his memories of those times before a massive stroke rendered Vi helpless, excavates moments when the love they shared was everything to him, as it remains. When he’s certain she is comfortable, he comes and finds me, helps me with other bed-bound patients, seeming to offer them the same care and gentleness he has given his beloved. Old, but healthy, Chester is my sagacious teacher. Without speaking a word, he gives me a glimpse into the true meaning of romance. The day goes on in its endless routine; his loving attention endures.

mourning dove still waits
scattered feathers mar spring joy
hawk feeds her young ones

Just to add a bit of humor, Vi did speak once when Chester was feeding her and I stood by, ready to suction her in case she choked, as she often did. He asked her how her dinner tasted. She responded, “Like shit!” True story.

Dedicated to a friend who is lovingly caring for her husband.