Chef David–Haibun Monday at dVerse

Photo and Pie by Chef David Slotto–Thanksgiving

Chef David

Have you ever wondered if the one you love, loves you in return? With the same intensity? With the same care?

I watch him stir, measure, taste, chop, add, stir again. I watch him labor over a pot of lactose-free milk slowly simmering, evaporating so that I can enjoy the same Thanksgiving pumpkin pie as everyone else in spite of my finicky digestive system. I watch him unload groceries carefully chosen after meticulous examination of labels to rule out dairy. Do you know how many cheeses are made of the easier-to-digest goats’ milk?

It’s that measure of attention, that extra spice that flavors every meal he prepares with that delicious spice of love.

on a green hillside
ewes drop spring lambs one-by-one
cheese in the offing

Note: Once when making a silent retreat in Pennsylvania in April, I stood and witnessed the birth of a couple of dozen lambs, all within a few hours of each other. Truly amazing.

Today for Haibun Monday, Kanzen Sakura asks us to remember one of our favorite meals–a hard task for me since I have enjoyed so many thanks to my husband who does all the cooking. I chose Thanksgiving. 

Photo: David Slotto–herbs from the chef’s garden

Photo: David Sl

 

 

October–dVerse OLN

Photo: jcookfisher via Flickr Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Photo: jcookfisher via Flickr
Labeled for non-commercial reuse

October
Haibun

Recently, a red tail hawk sat on our fence, watching an assortment of jays, robins, quail and doves fattening themselves on the seeds in our garden. Spent cosmos and coreopsis shrugged, let nature have her way.

Hawk, the Messenger,
seeks tomorrow’s sustenance,
dove feasts, unaware.

All the work of putting the garden to bed for the winter has claimed our attention, turning it from creative pursuits. The tasks of autumn bring to mind those chores that face us later in life—clearing away the debris of spent dreams, wasted efforts—preparing the soil for what is yet to come.

Autumn smells pungent—
leaves moldering in crannies,
poems forgotten.

A few brilliant roses still persist in their efforts to boast their beauty, proving that nature is not as fussy as we are when it comes to choosing the colors she will wear, or what’s deemed appropriate as defined by the expectations of others. Bright pink and orange: how freeing!

Late blooming roses
struggle in October frost,
clash with changing leaves.

The Truckee river, a block from our home, is feeling the effect of this summer’s lack of rain. It is fed by beautiful Lake Tahoe, flows east through Reno and ends up in Pyramid Lake, home of the Paiute Indians. Snow fell this week, just above our elevation, in the Sierra Nevada and we will see more soon, hopefully. Reno is high desert, receiving only 7” of rain annually. We depend on the snowfall in the mountains and at the Lake.

Truckee, languid now,
flows gently through our city,
hopes for winter snow.

Linking to dVerse OLN where you can post any one poem, any topic, any form. Please join us.

In Praise of Early Dawn–dVerse Poetics

Photo: Phil Mosby

Photo: Phil Mosby

In Praise of Early Dawn
a Haibun

Five-thirty AM. Most of Reno still asleep, I join only a few cars traveling South on West McCarran Boulevard, elevated above the city. In darkness, stark cardboard-cutouts of the mountains to the East hug the basin of crystal lights. Earth holds her breath, waiting for the new day to unfold.

Within the hour, I’m driving back up the hill. Behind me, the sun peeps over the horizon, cracks open the cloud cover and spews blood-red streaks across the sky. I celebrate a new beginning.

early autumn morn
sun breaks through mysteries
pray always, he says

Written for Walt’s prompt at dVerse Poetics where we are celebrating.

Listening Woman–dVerse Poetics

Listening Woman

Image: Wikipedia Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Image: Wikipedia
Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Thirteen of us sit in a circle around Darleen, our friend of Native American descent, our friend who shared a deep spiritual journey with us that was different from what we knew. Over the months she shared the beauty of the American Indian traditions—beauty that enriched our own understanding of the Great Spirit without taking anything from our own beliefs. Beauty that helped us to behold the wonders of creation with fresh insight.

Today, she introduces us to the talking stick. A large hawk feather wrapped around a stick with leather and beads. It is used in tribal councils, and for our purpose in group discussion. The stick is passed around the circle to the person who wants to share her views. Only the person holding the stick is allowed to speak. Everyone else listens.

eagle feather soar
words born of thoughtful silence
spirit wisdom speaks

Posting a 2nd poem, a haibun,  for my feather prompt at dVerse Poetics.

the blue of the sky falls over me like silk

the blue of the sky falls over me like silk
a Haibun

Flying above tattered rags of clouds, the plane banks over the Pacific as the sun slowly moves westward. We begin the descent over Catalina Island and memories of dude ranch summers flood my mind—riding bareback in the still waters off the east-facing shore of the island where the gentle roll of waves laps around our legs. Diving or fishing from the pier, flirting with the teenage ranch hands and dreading the return to school, much as I dread what will await me upon arrival. Back home, leaves have already begun to die.

autumn sun-song plays
poignant memories stir
dance on ocean waves

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The title of this Haibun is taken from a poem by Mary Oliver.

I’m joining in late for OLN at dVerse. I wrote this a while back and was confused as to the prompt, but I don’t want to “waste” it.

 

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

Her Majesty–Haibun Monday

Image: Wikipedia Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

Image: Wikipedia
Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

Her Majesty
a Haibun

Whoa, it is hot and dry here in the Truckee Meadows. The leaves on our tomato plants get droopy unless David takes care in watering them daily, or more often. But the fruit on the vine blushes, then reddens—kissed by the high desert sunshine. Sagging, dried out day lilies need constant deadheading and even the intrepid evening primrose drops its lovely pink blooms. I’ve missed the brilliant orange flashes of orioles, which have migrated to cooler climes. They came morning and evening to drink of the nectar we provide—bees and even a few wasps have moved in as their replacement.

Evening breeze offers relief and nighttime temperatures plummet. We sleep with open windows, disturbed only by the wail of passing trains on the other side of the Truckee. Up early to walk the dogs and do garden chores before the heat descends.

Last week I made my way up the winding road to the cool of the lake and made a new friend.

Tahoe waits on high.
Winding roads give way to blue.
She hides her secrets.

(Note: the average water temperature of Lake Tahoe about 68 degrees F at the surface, 39 degrees deeper. Too often people will be careless, not wear life jackets and quickly die of hypothermia. This happened last month when a UNR football player died in a jet ski incident. They searched for days but were unable to find his body.)

Written for Toni’s prompt for Monday Haibun—Heat—at dVerse Poet’s Pub. Please join us.