Winter-Spring Walk–dVerse OLN

Image by Lariko
Labeled for non-commercial reuse.
Scotch Broom Shrub

Winter-Spring Walk
a Dizain

In spring, scotch broom yields mille fois yellow blooms.
Breezes caress our trees, leaves swirl and dip.
A heady scent fills the air, sweet perfumes
tempt, beguile, offer memories: your lips
on mine. But you speak only of friendship.

The winds pick up. You shield your face from mine,
hold fast your hat and turn away—a sign
that love is fragile? Hawk flies in place, flails
against late winter storms. Clouds block sunshine.
(I long to yield my being to the gale.)

I was unable to participate in the earlier form challenges at dVerse, so tonight, for Open Link Night, I am attempting a Dizain…not an especially easy form. This is a first draft.

The Curl II–dVerse OLN

Photo: V. Slotto

Last week, Amaya, in her first prompt as a member of the dVerse team, challenged us to write a response poem. I have chosen Toni’s (Kanzen Sakura) poem, The Curl, which she wrote during the difficult time of her mother’s illness. Since then, her mother has passed. During the same time, I went through the same thing with my sweet mother. So this response is for both of us. 


The Curl
Toni Spencer

the days have knit themselves
into a pattern of sameness—
an afghan in shades of grey.
like the winter sky and trees.
the elderly woman settles down to sleep.
the younger woman brushes the curls off
her forehead and whispers,
Sleep mama, sleep.

Used with permission of the author
Previously published in Chiaroscuro, a dVerse Anthology

The Curl, II
Response Poem, Victoria Slotto

slowly, it seems, those days unravel
from gray to gold to azure blue—
a curl of color, dazzling.
days of life, of spring and hope.
wrapped now in joy we cannot know
her daughter fashions words of love
into a quilt of memories.
Dance, mama, dance.

Please join us for dVerse Open Link Night where you get to choose one poem, any form, any topic.

a spill of diamonds–dVerse Open Link Night

Photo: april-mo
labeled for non-commercial reuse

a spill of diamonds

in early morn before the world awakes
upon each blade of grass a treasure rests
for those who choose to see

such grace descends upon the earth
so catch the play of color and of light
the burst of life within each drop

a sparkle-dance that waits beneath
a fallen leaf or hid behind a rock
just begs for us to see it shine

What a special treat Bjorn offered us today for dVerse OLN. If you haven’t visited his very thought-provoking podcast on the site, don’t miss it. I especially loved his poem and his thoughts about space–space between words and inner space–thoughts that complement the beginning of dVerse’s Summer Break! Please stop by, post and read. And comment!

So sorry I didn’t make it by earlier. It’s been hectic this summer.

Agon–dVerse Open Link Night

Artist: Basquiat Non-commercial Reuse

Artist: Basquiat
Non-commercial Reuse


Agon (Classical Greek ἀγών) is an ancient Greek term for a struggle or contest.

Am I alone, here
on the edge of a great

Those along the San Andreas Fault
await the “big one”
said likely to propel California
into the Pacific.
This avowed by
I can see the faultline
from my home
in the desert.

If I stand
for my beliefs
(here on the yawning maw
of tomorrow)
will I be hurled into the
yesterday of the future?

A lone sparrow
at our suet feeder,
left behind by the others
consumes uncertainty.
Hawk watches

The arts,
a vehicle of conflictual
tell our stories—
present and past.
Authentic or chaotic,
they are our stories.

a spokesman of our times
spills anarchy onto
the pages of his work
in broad lines and
dark spaces.
My gut clenches
at the underlying angst
and I long for resolve
(or indifference.)

I struggle to find beauty
in the cawing of that
crow outside my window,
in the jeering of the blue
jay, scolding the wren,

all I hold precious.
Ibsen scandalized
his era with an overdose
of unspoken reality.

I long for the illusion
of simpler times.

And now I’ll feed
the dogs, just as I do
every day at this hour.

Linked to dVerse Open Link Night where we are invited to share a poem on any theme using any form.

poetry lurks outside my window–dVerse Open Link Night


poetry lurks outside my window

chickadees surprise
tree branches alive with dance
then only stillness

outside my window
leaves don foliage for death
so many unknowns

leaves—gold crimson bright
each one a work of beauty
too many ignored

cupped, catching the rain
curled leaf-maws hold pure water
life-source for our thirst

what seems like dying
leaves fallen to earth in heaps
promises rising

bare branches reach out
offer their fruit to wax wings
satin loveliness

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto Cedar Wax Wing

This is the day we get to play with poetry, any form, any topic, for dVerse Open Link Night, and I hope to see you there.

Autumn has crept in. This morning 37 degrees and windy and I had to cut short my walk, letting my North Dakota-born husband finish the route with the dogs. By the end of the week, it’s supposed to be up in the 80’s again. That’s how it is in Northern Nevada. 


Nature’s Nurturer

Photo: V. Slotto David's veggie garden last year

Photo: V. Slotto
David’s veggie garden last year

Nature’s Nurturer

It begins toward the middle of March, while we are still in snowbird-land. He drags out the bag of potting soil, his seed-starting paraphernalia and tiny heirloom seeds he’s ordered from catalogue. I cringe, knowing what I will face in the kitchen when the sowing is done.

That’s the shower in the guest room becomes a greenhouse, with the help of sunlight from the Solartube™ and a grow light. Several times a day, I find him there on hands and knees, watering, fertilizing and watching. It takes only few days till he beckons me to come and see tiny sprouts, emerging from the moist soil. In a few weeks, the first transplant occurs, giving them room for roots to emerge. Within a month, another transplant and then shorts spurts of outdoor acclimation and desert sunshine.

By the first week of May, our migration north sees the passenger seat of his car sporting plants that are already 2-4 feet tall. I follow him in my larger vehicle, the dogs sleeping in their crate in the back, waiting for him to be pulled over on suspicion of transporting pot. Upon arrival in Reno, sub-zero weather at nighttime prevails, so the routine of acclimatizing begins anew. As soon as the snow is “off of Peavine,” as Reno wisdom dictates, they are placed in their newly mulched and soil-amended raised flower bed. Going forward the day begins with watering and attentive care until at last

water, summer sun
engender fruit of labor
harvesting begins

Gayle is our hostess today for dVerse Open Link Night where we can post a poem of any topic and form.

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Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: V.Slotto

Photo: V.Slotto

Sweet World–dVerse OLN

Why should a tree be so sweet and live
in this world?
Mary Oliver
“Honey Locust”

Sweet World
a Quadrille

We walk below low-hanging branches,
variegated leaves hang heavy on her boughs
dabbed randomly with bright yellow green
splotches of wondrous watercolor whimsy.

On high, two woodpeckers play percussion.
Lacy tickle-leaves tease us with whisper touches.
We taste the sweetness of this blessed moment.

We have an abundance of these lovely trees in our neighborhood.

We have an abundance of these lovely trees in our neighborhood.

Today’s the day to hang around dVerse–it’s Open Link Night where you are invited to share any poetic form, any topic that pleases you. I love the discipline and surprises that the quadrille offers–a poem of exactly 44 words. Please join us at the pub.

Remembering Summer Nights

Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night.

Carl Sandburg, Back Yard

Remembering Summer Nights

I remember summer moons and steamy nights,
the sky, watercolor-washed in silver wings.

I remember light, flooding through gauzy curtains,
breezes, not enough to cool our youthful bodies.

I remember fireflies and cricket songs and frogs
calling for their mates from nearby ponds.

I remember honeysuckle sweet, the bitter
taste of cherries, culled too soon.

I remember early love, the sweaty palms
and kisses stolen on a neap tide shore

I remember yesterday, your craggy cheeks
and rheumy eyes that stare into the void.

It’s for you I write these things, digging deep
into the treasures of our past for you.

Can you remember now?

Photo: Wikipedia Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse

Photo: Wikipedia
Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse

For Tuesday Poetics, Walt invited us to use a summer quote from a well-know poet or writer as a starting point for a poem of our own. I’ve picked up the theme again for Open Link Night, hosted by Grace at dVerse Poets Pub. We would love to have you visit, contribute and read other poets with a poem of your own–any form, any topic.

The ending of  poem is fictional, inspired by my involvement in the care of elderly couples over the years–so often one is the caregiver for the other with dementia. The verses leading up to that are mine.


The Color Purple



Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

The Color Purple

I think, in my whole life
I have never missed the full moon

nor failed to hold my breath
at a glimpse of deep purple.

I savor kisses
of waves lapping at my ankles
the grit of sand between my toes

and sunshine,
always sunshine

reminding me of the warmth
of your touch.

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Yesterday, I stumbled  upon a wonderful photography prompt, Color Your World, hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells. (Thank you to fellow dVerse participant, Majka for introducing me to that site). My goal is to use Jennifer’s prompts to spur me to daily poetry in preparation for NaPoWriMo.

As today is also Open Link Night at dVerse, I am also linking this there, hoping that you will also join us at the Poets’ Pub. If I am late in reading and commenting, that is because tomorrow I will be having cataract surgery.

The first couplet of this poem is taken from Mary Oliver’s poem “When,” published in her most recent collection, “Felicity.”