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.

Have You Ever?–Poetic Blooming, Day 9  Labeled for Noncommercial reuse
Labeled for Noncommercial reuse

Have You Ever?

Have you ever
stretched out, belly down, on tickle-green grass
to commune with a lady bug?

Have you ever
climbed a tree to be closer to clouds scudding
across a cerulean sky?

Have you ever
tipped-toed through meadow grass, barefooted,
following the song of running water?

Have you ever
tried to count stars, looking for the one
that winks at you?

Have you ever
tasted a rock, a daisy or light, hoping
to become one with nature, with God?

I have.

Written for and linked to Poetic Bloomings Day 9, where the prompt was to write a poem about clouds.  As for walking barefoot in the meadow–don’t do it. We were scolded by a forest service employee because the place was full of rattlers! The follies of youth.


there are more words–Poetic Bloomings, PAD Day 5

Today (okay, yesterday) is day 5 of Poetic Bloomings PAD challenge and we are invited to grab a line of inspiration from Margaret Atwood’s stirring poem “You Begin.” This is my effort. 

Image: Book of Words by rakloray, Deviant Art Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Image: Book of Words by
rakloray, Deviant Art
Labeled for non-commercial reuse

there are more words than you could ever learn
Margaret Atwood
“You Begin”

at night, i snuggle up to words,
make love to them in dreams,
taste them if sweet
or filled with bitterness

i touch their texture with my hungry tongue,
roll sounds about
so starved am i, they fill me with delight

i hear them echoing through the open window

then, with summer sun, i rise in early morn
to watch them dawn
in streaks of orange and gold
across the eastern sky

it’s then i settle with my pen
and thoughts

After learning of the death of Vivienne Blake, a poet to whom I grew quite close due to our age and the fact that I lived near her home in Normandy quite a while back, and especially because she was an all around wonderful person, my creative energy just leaked out. I hope to have day 6 written for tomorrow. Va en paix, ma chere amie.

Loneliness–dVerse Poetics

Keith Brofsky

Photo: Keith Brofsky Labeled for noncommercial reuse.


Gnarly hands finger the fringes of her shawl,
finger the knots as she once she used to tell her beads,
touch the softness as they once caressed
her babies’ skin, their father’s just-shaved face.

She stops to swipe a tear that caravans
down the furrows of her weathered cheek,
betrays the smile she gives to me while sharing
stories of the life that makes her who she is today.

And when I stop to take her hand in mine
her strong grip closes tightly round my own
as though to circle hope and hold it near,
as though to stave off my departure.

Today, guest poet Mish, invites us to consider hands in writing and submitting our poems to dVerse Poetics. Please join us to read and submit a poem of your own.

overcast with a strong chance of pain



overcast with a strong chance of pain

before your love grew cold
before the chill of apathy
(the whimpering dying flame)
there were those days
of sizzle like moth wings

the trickster took his time
took hold of you
or was it I, eye couldn’t
wouldn’t see the color gray?
the color of a stone cold heart

Today, Mary Kling challenges us to grab a line from a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye: Burning the Old Year. This brilliant work offers many opportunities for inspiration. The dVerse doors open wide at 3:00 PM on Tuesday. The line in italics is from Nye’s poem.

My quadrille for Monday’s prompt is here. That fun prompt is open all week.

sometimes there are no rules

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

sometimes there are no rules

as when the call of doves defy the wintry morn
or roses flower on desert sand and
in the furrow of a craggy mountain.

sometimes there are no rules–
as when sweet love blossoms in wrinkled bodies
or when the heart knows ecstasy before the face of death.

sometimes there are no rules–
and thus i fly on silver wings
to touch these moonlit branches.

oh, can you hear the songs of stars?

Title taken from Mary Oliver’s Poem: “Three Things to Remember”

A slow start to writing this year, so I turned to Mary Oliver for a jump-start. It’s been a crazy few weeks.

back to the future

San Marino, California My home town

San Marino, California–Photo: Melvin Hale
My home town

Back to the Future

were I to tell you of those years,
a canvas washed in yellow joy, the only
years in my lifetime

that we knew peace

you would believe me
delusional, a liar, just-plain-nuts

those years when crisis
meant sharing mom’s 55 buick
“The War of the Keys”
with a sis-
ter older than I by
7 months

or how she
ran with the popular kids
while I read Flaubert and
Greek trage-
dies (irae)
with other eggheads.

we’d fill the tank on
dad’s credit line
at twenty-
five cents a gallon

have groceries delivered
from Tipton’s meat market
by a pimple-faced kid
(I had the crush but
he wanted her)

yellow summer uniforms
wool plaid in California
cold—saddle oxfords
or white bucks, socks rolled
down and duck tails.

the fire escape,
the fire drills
that birthed our fear of heights
the school (building now condemned)

walk to the Copa
after school for cherry
and boys
from San Marino High.

now gas is $3.73 a gallon
i’m still afraid of heights,
my hair is should be gray,
sun shines golden on the snow
and Cris is gone.

Ramona Convent Secondary School as it was back then.

Ramona Convent Secondary School
as it was back then.

My widowed mom married a widower with a daughter my age in 1952 when we were 7 years old. To say our relationship was challenged is putting it mildly since we were in the same grade in the same school throughout. Thankfully, as adults, the competition evaporated and we were friends. Sadly, I lost Cris in 2004, age 61, to pancreatic cancer.

This is in response to Amy’s guest prompt for dVerse meeting the bar where we are writing free verse, timing ourselves for 9 minutes only, about a period of time in our lives. I chose my teen years, late 50’s, very early 60’s.

I’m more comfortable with a bit of poetic structure, so this is a bit awkward. But it should be fun to read everyone’s mini-memoirs. Most will be, no doubt, a lot more exciting than mine. The 50’s were, well, pretty tame but we didn’t know any better.