of a gray september day

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

of a gray september day

this early morning
(pewter-skied day),
i long for shadow-slices
undulating among rocky crags,
swooping into tree trunk crevices,
unraveling ribbons
of golden sunshine–
light tickled by grass threads.

yesterday, they clung sensually
to a solitary rose,
her beauty now swept
beneath a leaden shroud.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

My favorite prompt, the Quadrille, a 44-word poem (exactly, exclusive of the title)! This week De is looking for the word SHADOW in the poem itself. Stop by dVersePoets Pub with your Quadrille and sip delight by reading the submissions of other poets, sharing comments, too. The prompt is open all week.


The Zen of Folding Laundry–dVerse Haibun Monday

Today at dVerse Poet’s Pub we are writing Haibun to the theme of an ordinary day–one paragraph and a Haiku that includes reference to nature and a season. I chose to write a little flash fiction in the prose part of this, though I do find this task quite Zen-like. And I wish I did have a folding table.

The Zen of Folding Laundry
A Haibun (Fiction)

When the dryer buzzed, Maria set about the task of folding laundry. Not that long ago it was a task she despised—resenting that fact that her man changed clothes way too often and never raised a finger to help her, preferring to criticize when things weren’t just so. That was before her teacher taught her to meditate. Today, she tunes in to the robin song outside her open window. Breathes deeply of the fragrant cool breeze and the floral scent of the dryer sheets. Her laundry table is now covered with a checkered fabric and she uses the squares to guide the folds, noting with satisfaction the beauty of the tee shirts in a variety of colors piled high to her left. All is well. Tony hardly ever beats her anymore.

sweet pea scents waft in
refresh the room and soul-soothe
peace in this moment


I’m “tending bar” today over at dVerse Poet’s Pub where the theme for the prompt is symbolism. I hope you’ll join us! My challenge to you is to share a symbolic poem of your own and leave a comment here, as well, letting me know what the painting and poem symbolizes to you. This is expressionistic art, which, by definition, seeks to express emotion or to elicit an emotional response. Thank you.

Credit: Image from Google, en.arthoffer.com-the Artist’s website and name was not available.


A stretch of white.
You scrape a knife
through black, then indigo,
layer darkness,
across the horizon.
Reach for a tube of
chestnut brown,
squeeze the contents
onto the lower half
and smear.
Payne’s grey sky.
A slash of crimson,
a miniscule orb
in orange.


light and dark
merge into one,
brighten the forest,
eclipse the dawning morn.
Do you understand these words?
I am a woman; you’re a man.
I am a Christian; you don’t believe
in anything you cannot see or touch
or comprehend in terms of science.
Together we are Everyman
who seeks to taste the meaning
of a life unfolding
in obscurity.
Come with me, then.
taste beauty,


Sun Drenched

Sun Drenched (Photo credit: Digimist)

Posted for Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets’ Pub where I have the pleasure of hosting today. The prompt is BALANCE. I’ve written this as an Etheree, a form in which line one has one syllable, line two has two and builds in like manner to ten syllables and then diminishes back to one. The pattern may be repeated as often as you want.

Hope to see you at the Pub! It’s open in just 42 minutes!



English: A common wood pigeon with nestling in...

English: A common wood pigeon with nestling in Cottingham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Meet us at the Pub today for a bit of stream-of-consciousness poetry. Here are my schizophrenic meanderings:


Look at the pigeon carrying those twigs,
building a nest beneath the eaves.
How she struts—her little head bobbling
like an Egyptian dancer.

So, down the street new neighbors, heh?
Better I hope than the last ones
whose toddler prowled the neighborhood
without her undies
while Mom imbibed.
They didn’t last long.

I only rented once.
That first apartment with the neighbors up above
each night ‘bout 3AM the bloody arguments and curses,
and then the banging headboard (to each his own.)
What fore?play!

We need to do some work this year.
Driveway’s cracked and windows
seeping cold in winter.
Not that we’re there for much of it.
That scent pervades the neighborhood.
Is it the broom or lilacs or a bit of both?

I better sweep the deck when I get home.
Will you dang critters hurry up and do your poops?
I hate when people don’t pick up after their dogs.
Look at that! A pile under the Mutt Mitt Station.

Our backyard smells like the chicken shit that
David roto-tilled into the veggie garden.
Can’t wait for those tomatoes.
Such 4 play.

January in the Desert

Photo: David Slotto


January in the Desert

I am
a wild strawberry
woven among
low-lying oleander branches,

I am
the fear that brushes
by your body in
the darkness of a dream.

I am
slipping over
mounded slopes

of snow-capped
Santa Rosa mountains
bringing rain
and night.

I slap
the rounded curves of
wind-stroked cheeks
turned skyward.

I am the hummingbird.
I wait outside
your window
with promises of joy.

I’m linking this to dVerse Open Link Night and Write2Day, which I will post on Wednesday afternoon (4 PM PST). Be sure to stop by the pub to enjoy good friends, superb poetry and an on-going celebration of the new year. I’d love to see you here on Wednesday, too.

I wrote this last year during our stay in Palm Desert. My husband photographed this pure white (Leucistic) hummingbird that loved to visit our feeder and truly did bring us joy.

Response to Fire and Ice

A Mongolian gazelle that has died of drought, ...

Image via Wikipedia

This is a response poem–an answer back to Robert Frost’s poem that I used as an example in Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets’ Pub. It’s a fun exercise you might want to try some time when nothing seems to be happening with your muse. Choose a poem and respond to the poet. That’s all there is to it.

Response to Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice
By Robert Frost

Some say the world
will end in fire.
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate
to say that for destruction ice
is also great
and would suffice.

What Do You Say, Robert?
By Victoria Ceretto-Slotto

I think the world will slowly expire,
no need for ice, nor even fire.
I fear Mother Earth will die of neglect,
with a whimper, a sigh
I suspect
she will quietly


The day wind felled a weary oak,
we donned work aprons, boots,
took pails and spades in hand
and ventured out into the brumey cold
to scoop red clay, harvesting Earth.

That night we sat around a fire.
Flickering flames of warmth dispelled
the cold that seeped through dense
gray stone—walls caching sacred
secrets of a century and more.

We worked the clay that night, extracting
grit and stones, Gaia’s grainy
cells that would, ignored, destroy
our own creative efforts. Each night
thereafter, tediously, we toiled for perfection.

And when the day arrived to mold
and fashion terra-cotta worlds,
figures formed of toil and imagination,
clods of mud clung to our hands
that we discarded as extraneous.

Yet now and then we’d find a pebble.
Another proof that life eludes
the quest for flawless execution.

In the early 70’s I lived in a monastic setting at the Motherhouse of Les Petites Soeurs des Pauvres in St. Pern, Brittany, France. The above story is true. I am submitting this poem to Gay Cannon’s prompt at dVerse Poet’s Pub, as a metaphorical twist on life. I’m also linking it to my own prompt for this week’s Write2Day. The muse actually crawled out from under the covers this morning!

Motherhouse of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Alone–dVerse Form For All

Egret Portrait

Image by ImageMD via Flickr

Lady Nyo invites us to imbibe in a Japanese form, Man’yoshu, over at dVerse Poets’ Pub. Read her inspiring and informative article and indulge yourself in reading and writing about love and longing.


Alone, on the shore
an egret waits for her mate
last seen in the spring.
Clouds roll into the valley,
bathe her in shadow.
Perhaps he will follow soon.
Perhaps you, too, will come home.

I can’t resist adding a process note on this one. I’m alone in Palm Desert for a couple of weeks for a writing retreat. For two days, on the large pond (read, water hazard) outside, I’ve noticed a lone egret. Last year there was a pair, along with their babies. This was, of course, the inspiration for the poem. I went outside to take a photo of her and as I was focusing, in flew her mate and they took off! I was afraid that he had fallen prey to the coyotes that still, from time-to-time, roam the golf course.

Sorry I missed posting a Wordsmith Wednesday this week. It took a couple of days to drive down and reestablish Internet service. Have a wonderful time at the pub!