Mud Pies–dVerse Poetics

Image: Pinterest

Mud Pies

When we were young, two little ones at play,
our families thought that we belonged together,
so sweet, like milk and honey.

Sticks were our bows and arrows, then
Look closely. See that scar you gave me,
reminders of a rough-house game of kick-the-can.

When we played house (you acquiesced),
“That’s not a game for boys,” you said,
so I said nothing when you fed mud pies .
to my beloved, fair-haired doll.

Now, in my garden, thoughts of you swirl in the loam
—the scents of clay, the grainy texture of dank earth.
No longer play, but poignant memories tinged
with just a hint of sadness, just a hint of wondering

what might have been, had you not died so young?

I’m tripping back sixty-some years to a time when, living in a rural area, my only neighbor was a boy, a year or two my senior. We played together in the wild outdoors. He made a tomboy of me and I tried to domesticate him. I would be writing an epic poem if I tried to recount all our exploits.

I recall so well, after we had moved away, one evening during dinner (we were eating chop suey) the phone rang and I learned that my dear playmate, at the time only about 13 years old, had been crushed to death when he and a buddy had climbed a fence and tried to ride an oil well.

Please join us at dVerse Poetics where Bjorn invites us to play with words and dirt.

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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

Surrendur–dVerse Haibun Monday

Photo: popsci.com Labeled for noncommercial reuse.

Photo: popsci.com Labeled for noncommercial reuse.

Surrender

“When he fixed the foundations of the earth,
then was I beside him as artisan;
I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while.”

Proverbs 8: 29-30

In 2008, we returned home from the Southern California desert with rattled nerves, having experienced a 7.3 earthquake centered not far from us. Our expectation of relief shattered immediately. Reno was experiencing swarms of temblors, upward of 100 daily. True, they were not that large on the Richter scale, but because they were caused, most likely, by excavation of the foothills for yet another residential development, they were quite shallow and the effect on our multi-level home was that of a truck slamming into its façade. Jumpy, tense, frightened, edgy—so many adjectives to describe our state of being.

It was to Mother Earth, to nature, that I fled—discovering solace in her damp spring soil. Touching timelessness in her body, listening to the songs of birds, the humming of bees, inhaling surrender in the loveliness of lilacs and roses. Nature trusted that all would be well because creation was in the care of its Creator. Today, when those smaller emotional or spiritual earthquakes disrupt my well-being, it’s in the garden or walking the dogs along the river that I find harmony, as well as the source of my own creative energy.

Mockingbird utters
songs of trust that have no words—
earth’s sweet harmony.

Please join us at dVerse for Haibun Monday where we are sharing those things that give us serenity.

july wonder–dVerse Poetics

july wonder

as gentle rain slacks the thirst
of our faltering ash tree,
so does your touch bring joy to my heart.

this morning I watch from the kitchen window
as you nurture your garden.
wind chimes laugh. life abounds.

Posted for dVerse Poetics where we are celebrating our 4th Anniversary. My words: gentle, tree, joy, nurture, laugh, life. Please join us! The doors open at 12:00 PM EDT.

Photo: V. Slotto The gardener with last years tomatoes and Sparky.

Photo: V. Slotto
The gardener with last years tomatoes and Sparky.

rumor has it that the honey bee population is in decline

rumor has it that the honey bee population is in decline

a palindrome

Photo: ars.usda.gov

Photo: ars.usda.gov

the bees and i share stories
as we flirt with pink primrose blooms.
we tease lavender—fragrant and seductive.
(gardening comes easy in the company of friends.)
today, the bees are abuzz.

today, the bees are abuzz.
(gardening comes easy in the company of friends.)
we tease lavender—fragrant and seductive
as we flirt with pink primrose blooms.
the bees and i share stories.

Thanks to Mary over at dVerse Meeting the Bar for sharing this fun form–a palindrome or mirror poem. You will notice that the second stanza is the reverse of the first. Try one of your own and join us at the pub!

the great wheel of growth

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

the great wheel of growth

on my knees, praying that great prayer of creation,
i turn dark, dank soil, inhale earth’s sweet-pungent scent,
pluck spent blooms to make way for new growth
and wrestle weeds.

around me, colors explode—buds unfurl.
a lady bug emerges from the depths of a peony
while bees delight, dance with lavender.

there it is (in the sacred sanctuary of my garden)
that peace enfolds me.

The title is a line in Mary Oliver’s Poem “Stanley Kunitz” published in “Dream Work,” 1986.

Shared today with dVerse Poetics. Today’s prompt is to write about our daily life. Since returning from the desert, I’ve been spending much time in my garden–hard, but fulfilling work.

Saturday Garden–dVerse Open Link Night

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

We work in the yard
morning to eve. Savoring,
touching, smelling spring.

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Earth, moist and ready
welcomes her lover’s caress,
encloses his seed.

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Vegetable seedlings,
started inside months ago,
finally at home.

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Colorful roses,
flagrantly fragrant perfume,
tantalizes, tempts.

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The Holiday’s past,
thoughts of young lives lost in war—
memories linger.

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Resting on the deck,
we enjoy a gentle breeze
and one another.

May this explain why I’m so late at showing up at the pub with my “photo-haiku montage” for Open Link Night, hosted by Mary. There’s still time. Stop by, read and add a poem of your own!