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.

My Life Revolves around Two Furry Critters–dVerse Haibun Monday (2)

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My Life Revolves around Two Furry Critters

I hear a whimper coming from the crate, underneath the brocaded cover I made to keep the dogs from awakening too early. They know I’m up and about. After opening blinds, I dish up a concave half cup of kibbles for each, mix in a teaspoon of baked sweet potato and add fresh water to their dish. I lift the front flap of their abode, and slide open the door and release two energetic bundles of fur. They make their way around the corner on two right legs, making me think of the time I got to drive a lap around the Indianapolis Race Track, though at a speed slower than the pros. The dogs dive bomb into their dishes while I fasten their collars around their necks—not a moment’s interruption until the crunch, crunch, crunch stops and they come to me for a good morning lick. I open the door to the deck and they fly out to do their duty as I watch, sipping hot coffee.

morning cool seeps in
swallow guards her nesting brood
spring awaits full sun

I couldn’t resist a second Haibun for Toni’s prompt at dVerse Haibun Monday. Please join us and read her wonderful intro. This one is not fiction.

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

The Comforting Scent of Roses–Sanaa’s Prompt Nights

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

The Comforting Scent of Roses

Before the record heat slips in, I go into the garden to tend to a few chores—dead-heading the spent irises, thanking them for the beauty the shared with us this spring after five years of drought. The climbing rose was next, but on the way, I stopped to check in on our resident sparrow family, newly hatched in the bird house we hung in the ash tree. There on the ground, he lay, a tiny bird—featherless, struggling to upright himself. Mama hovered overhead. With my gloved hand, I lifted him and placed him back inside his nesting place, hoping that he would be accepted.

A few hours later, I saw his little head peeking out the hole between tree branches that had not survived the lack of rain. Sunshine backlit the beauty of the scene. I turned my back to fetch those pruning shears for the roses still awaiting my attention. When I turned around, a flash of blue appeared and quickly snatched the baby from its abode. I watched as he devoured the helpless creature.

nature seems cruel
downcast, I turn to my chores
embraced by fragrance

Sorry to say, this is a true story, just happened and thoroughly bummed me out. I understand an appreciate the concept of the circle of life, and yet to see it happen so clearly is disarming.

I wrote this for Sanaa’s Prompt Nights where the theme this week is take time to smell the roses. I recently heard that this saying was originally spoken by PGA golfer Walter Hagen in the 1950’s. As someone who pretends to golf, I think he must of been speaking to the little importance of a game of golf compared to the many more important things in life. 

Orange Shoes

Photo: Nazeera Meedin (Pinterest)

Photo: Nazeera Meedin (Pinterest)

Orange Shoes
a Haibun

“Oh, I’ve made my share of mistakes,” Emily said. “How boring life would be without them.”

Sunlight stripped across the crevices on her 89-year-old face, creating hills and valleys in much the same way as her life had. But in her deep blue eyes, I saw the shimmer of stars, the reflection of the moon on water.

She took a sip of tea while I tried hard not to worry about the next patient on my list of hospice visits. She needed to talk and I wanted to listen. To really listen. “Do you want to talk about them,” I asked, hoping I wasn’t being intrusive.

“Oh, there was the man I loved who turned out to be pure evil. Because of him, I left a toxic relationship, so it cost me a few bucks. He conned me and broke my heart in the process. Without that lesson, I would never have been able to move on. In his own way, he gave me the gift of courage. And then, the job I took for money—it was pure soul-death, not suited to me at all. But that’s where I met someone who saved my life. I could go on and on; there are tons of lesser things.” And she did while I listened and learned.

Gently, when exhaustion emerged in her expression, she dismissed me. “In the end, I believe, the greatest mistake is not to forgive others or, especially ourselves. And not to forget that we are forgiven by the One who made us. I wear orange shoes with my purple dress.”

blue jay sings off-key
petals fall from the roses
imperfect beauty

Linked to dVerse Poetics where our lovely guest hostess invites us to reflect on mistake we’ve made. I wrote this as a fictional account, but, who knows, there may be some truth within.

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.

Spring Saunters In–dVerse Monday Haibun

Photo: V. Slotto a path, a block from us, that gives access to the river walk

Photo: V. Slotto
a path, a block from us, that gives access to the river walk

Spring Saunters In
a Haibun

Four days of gentle, much desired rain and today the clouds part, allowing sun and fresh air to decant the earth. Our world is swathed in green—the new leaves unfurling on the ash and maple trees, the grass, growing so quickly you can hear it if you’re quiet enough. Flowers open their buds to drink deeply of rain drops still nestling in folds of colors: pink, purple, yellow—especially yellow.

At last, we set out for a walk, two anxious dogs eager to catch up on the neighborhood smells. We don’t hurry, rather stop to survey our surroundings, chatting about our own plans for the garden. Annuals and veggies, started from seed, wait for planting in the raised bed, soon to be roto-tilled, or the flower garden, already burgeoning with perennials. Along the road, dandelions dot yards with splats of color.

The breeze pushes cotton-ball clouds to the East, though west of us a few dark clouds still hover on the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. At last, water courses through the Truckee River, where last year only a trickle flowed out of Tahoe. We return home to Stellar Jays vying for a place at our feeder.

oriole returns,
flaunts orange against cobalt sky
spring walks in, he soars

Bjorn hosts Haibun Monday today and the theme is Walking. We would love to have you join us. The doors to the Pub open at 1500 EST.

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

Desert Days Waning–dVerse OLN

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

Desert Days Waning
a Haibun

Winds batter our desert, stirring up water on the pond. Clouds hang over the mountain, try to decide whether to move on in and bless the valley with rain or to continue their teasing ways. The heady scents of warm-weather blooms fill the air as the sun begins his descent behind the Santa Rosa’s.

Six surviving baby ducklings grow rapidly, Mama scolding them for taking off on their own, without her protective oversite. Soon our finches, sparrows and hummingbirds will stop by and find that the feeders have been put away for a while, reminding them that they, too, need to think about migrating north.

I should be packing, but the allure of words drags me into outstretched arms and I succumb.

i am your poem
holding this moment in time
jasmine’s sweet fragrance

I hope you will stop by dVerse Poets’ Pub where I’m hosting Open Link Night. Bring a poem of your own–any topic, any form–and settle in to enjoy the work of our poetry community. And don’t forget–the prompt for Haibun Monday is open all week.