The Artisan Paints Morn

Photo: Victoria Slotto

The Artisan Paints Dawn

Ensconced upon my chair,
blanket-cocooned from cold,
I wait for Artist to appear.

In the East, first ray of light
peaks over hills,
dabs brushes heavy with pastel hues
upon my water-washed world.

Gold blurs into rose, blurs
into violet, periwinkle, blue
as night blurs into day
and I to wakefulness.

Then, in the distance,
a flash of white
flares ‘cross the lightening sky
and egret alights upon the bank
in prayerful waiting pose.

And I, to life, arise.

Oh, I hope you take a few minutes to visit dVerse Meeting the Bar where Bjorn treats us to an artistic prompt on Impressionism, a school of art that arose in the late 1800’s and endures to this day. He shares the best, most succinct explanation of the art form that I remember, and I used to be a museum docent.

Anger–dVerse MTB

Art: Clyfford Still, on Pinterest

Art: Clyfford Still, on Pinterest

Depression is Anger Turned Inside-Out
A Narrative Poem

She hadn’t touched her paints for a while. In the other room an unfinished canvas lay propped on an easel. Orange and cerulean blue paint danced in cacophonous colors and screamed at her in taunting ecstasy. One evening she’d smeared a palette knife of black paint in a thick wavy line down the middle of the canvas—the result only heightened the drama. She abandoned her work for now—she couldn’t paint and wouldn’t write—not since he told her he wouldn’t see her anymore.

Today, dVerse Poets, hosted by Frank Hubney, invites us to submit a narrative poem–as I see it, a bit of prose that is written poetically. That implies incorporating poetic elements such as metaphor and sensory details, active verbs etc. This is a tiny piece that I adapted from my novel “The Sin of His Father.”

calando–dVerse MTB Music


watching life slowly
slip away (calando)
as winter skies bear down
as winds disrupt the birds
as clouds hang low
and inch across the mountains

(down the hall the hiss
of oxygen
and ponderous moans)

I slam the door
and crash upon my bed
as elton’s funeral
for a friend
sounds grave

ly of lies
this is no friend
who robbed your child
of innocence

in the tree
outside my window
the branches
have been stripped
of leaves

I wrote this for my prompt at dVerse Meeting the Bar. I’m asking for the incorporation of musical concepts as they apply to poetry. This poem is inspired by stories I’ve read in the paper recently. I extrapolated, imagining the feeling of a mother who allowed a child to be abused by her husband or partner. That part is fiction. 



my garden in early autumn

my garden in early autumn

the feather of a dove
dances in brisk autumn winds
a gift from above

fat quail forage
gleaning seeds from
desiccated cosmos

a dragonfly shimmers
in broken sunlight
pauses to drink

clunk, clunk, clunk
the half-empty hummingbird feeder
knocks against the house
misses its companions

nests are empty
the birdhouse sways
in a naked tree branch
i remember a baby bird
with no feathers
dead in the grass below

today our ash tree
offers its first leaves
to the browning grass

the ornamental pear trees
wait seductively
tempting passing cedar wax wings

absent wrens and sparrows
blue jay scolds me instead
from a low-hanging branch

leaves on tomato plants droop
while exposed
green tomatoes blush

competition in the rose garden
heats up
which will be the most memorable
last rose of summer

the neighbor’s apple tree
extends her branches
into our yard
offers her fruit
a worm waves to me from
the one I slice open

the rake leans against the hut
it’s waited all year
for someone to notice

asparagus ferns
drape over the garden
like a pall

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

A second offering for Bjorn’s cubist prompt at dVerse Poets’ MTB–I had a hard time deciding what to write about until I spent a little time in the yard this windy autumn morning. This is such a great prompt. I hope you will give it a try.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Shoes

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Shoes

shoes carry the world’s burdens.
in our time
few decisions that affect us all
are made by barefoot people.

some people are like shoes.
you put them on
they fit
you smile.

other people, like shoes,
can press you
hurt you
make you whimper.

it’s not wise
to purchase shoes
on the Internet.
try them on first.
same with people.

some people
have many pairs of shoes.
others, only a few.
what’s important
is that they give you comfort.
friends are like that, too.

as people age
they look for comfort
in a pair of shoes
and in their mate.

when shoes wear out
on the inside
they are useless.
you should throw them away
even if, on the outside
they look fine.
when people wear out
on the outside
too often we throw them away
even though, on the inside,
they are beautiful.

old people
may not wear
sexy shoes.
that doesn’t mean
they are not
on the prowl.

people wear
different kinds of shoes
for different kinds of activities.
if you try to run
in 5” heels
you will fall.
if you try to tango
in steel-toed boots
you will step
on your partner.
resilience is a key indicator
of success.

shoes come in all colors
and sizes:
diversity offers more choices.
that’s a good thing.

if your shoes are too big
you may stumble.
if you are too big for your shoes
you will crash.

shoes have their own
stories to tell.
they protect us
on our journey through life.
choose them with care.

don’t be afraid
to go barefoot
from time-to-time.
your shoes won’t mind.
touch Earth Mother
honor her
with your gratitude.


Image: Vincent Van Gogh Wikipedia Commons Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Image: Vincent Van Gogh
Wikipedia Commons
Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Today, for dVerse Meeting the Bar, Bjorn has us pretending to be cubists, using words rather than art media. I went through a spell years ago in which I wrote a number of poems based on Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at Blackbirds. For the moment, I’m sharing one of these that had been originally posted in 2011…so it’s been a while. I hope to come up with something new later today. Mine do tend to lean toward philosophical reflections rather than pure imagism.

Try it–it’s fun.


Political Perfidy–dVerse MTB

Political Perfidy—dVerse MTB

The Clerihew

I’m not prone to expressing my viewpoint on hot-button issues and perhaps these don’t exactly meet the humor standard, but just writing the form was fun…a bit like the limerick. Gayle’s prompt over at dVerse is for the Clerihew, a humor poem, based on a well-known figure, written in a rhyme scheme of AAbb. 


Wikipedia Commons-Labeled for Non-commercial reuse

Wikipedia Commons Labeled for non-commercial reuse


Hitler was evil, no doubt
and a coward, perhaps, the lout!
He fell so in love with his power
that he used his regime to devour.




Image: DeviantArt Labeled for non- commercial reuse

Image: DeviantArt
Labeled for non- commercial reuse

My hero was once Kaepernick;
celebrity’s made him a prick.
Patriotic—that’s me—so I don’t like to see
disrespect in the land of the free.




Wikipedia Commons Labeled for Non-commercial reuse

Wikipedia Commons
Labeled for Non-commercial reuse

Clinton and Trump are at odds.
Please don’t listen to media nods.
If you will cast your vote,
of the ISSUES take note.


An Armful of Color–dVerse MTB

An Armful of Color

Were I to cull hope, a bud at a time,
would it help you cope, fill your arms
with a ray of sun to brighten your day,
lift the burden from your weary soul?

Tonight I watch stars, believe that good
can become ours if only we believe
that in darkness, dense though it be,
pain so intense will soon dissipate.

Accept these flowers and all they represent—
lavender joy is ours, and yellow, pink—
so much fragrance to ease your spirit
with which I embrace the depth of your pain.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

Linking to dVerse MTB where we are playing with different type of rhyme. I tried some things I’ve never done before. Thanks for a great prompt, Walt.