November, Interrupted: dVerse Haibun Monday

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

November, Interrupted

Outside, I see the barren pewter skies of late November, consider how I was taught as a child that this is the time of year in which we are to reflect upon death. Nature seems to cry “emptiness,” though I know that, in reality, life surges beneath the surface of what appears to be.

Wind howls, inviting our outdoor chimes to sound a song of hope when, in a flash, color fills our naked fruit trees as a slew of winter birds fill their branches. Bright yellow and red accents of the cedar wax wings, the stunning burnt sienna of robins and breath-taking tones of blue of Stellar Jays. Even tiny monochromatic chickadees bestow joy as they nestle together in the maple, where scattered orange leaves cling stubbornly.

ornamental pear
stretches out her fruitful arms
fertile emptiness

Written and linked for dVerse, where today Kanzen Sakura invites us to post a haibun on any subject as long as it is a non-fictional account of something that happened to us, concluding with a traditional haiku. This happened just this morning! Please join us.

(De)Composition–Haibun Monday

Oh, please visit dVerse for today’s exquisite Haibun prompt, offered by Toni (Kanzen Sakura). This will be your last chance to enjoy her hosting for a while as life invites her to take a break. Life does not let us escape CHANGE, does it! 

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto


At night the temperatures fall into the upper 30’s or lower 40’s. Here and there I spot a tree that’s gilded gold or swathed in vermillion glory. In my mirror, however, autumn cedes way to early winter. Youthful energy wanes. Skin bears etchings, scars that remind of the battles of life, survived. But spirit-youth prevails, fills the heart with joy, a heart that soars at the sight of her loved ones, rejoices in the presence of friends, tastes the Divine. As winter slowly invades, it brings change. Life, like the bare branches of trees, becomes simple. Above ground, much of the goings-on, the life-surges, may not be at all apparent to others. But growth flourishes, deep within. Wabi-sabi.

branches appear dead
root tendrils stretch out, nourish
into fertile soil

Your Shoes Will Make You Happy Today



Your Shoes Will Make You Happy, Today
                               Chinese Fortune Cookie

The stench lingers but still I dive in—that’s what starvation will do to human dignity. Outside Chinese restaurants, dumpster pickings abound. I remember the days when I. too, could eat inside. When I, too, could leave unstinting tips.

I can’t go back, can I? So here I am. Instead of climbing to the top of the corporate ladder, I grasp an opened doggie bag in my raggedy-gloved fingers and scale to the top of the heap, hefting myself over the side. I open the bag. There amidst crushed containers of Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice I find it—a fortune cookie, crushed inside its cellophane wrapper. I read the fortune and look down.

fortune cookie lies
breed sense of hopeless wishing
perhaps tomorrow

Linking to dVerse Poetics prompt on Chinese Fortune Cookies…this time using the correct prompt.


Photo: Kanzen Sakura All Rights Reserved Used with Permission

Photo: Kanzen Sakura
All Rights Reserved
Used with Permission

a Haibun

Marissa stared at the blank screen of her laptop. Thoughts of Rod overtook her, squeezed her heart. Loneliness had to be better than the pain of loss. She couldn’t dump remembrance of the last time she had risked surrendering to love.

Outside, a pewter sky, heavy, oppressive, filtered through her window, reflected her mood. She slammed the shutters, hiding from view softly falling snow, just beginning, that would soon cover her yard in billowy mounds of pure white, the promise of a fertile spring.

frozen hearts stifle
loving creativity
can beauty survive

Written for Kanzen Sakura’s photo prompt at dVerse Poets Haibun Monday. Please join us. Toni offers wonderful instruction on the art o Japanese Poetry. The prompt will be posted Monday at 3:00 PM EST.

believe in light–dVerse Poetics

Image: Lunar Corona Wikipedia Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

Image: Lunar Corona
Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

believe in light

when clouds roll in, obscure the face of light,
erase all trace of blue and blackest night,
cover the earth with crystal flakes of snow—
then i believe, though i can’t see or know.

when clouds roll in, obscure the sky above
and hide from sight the beauty of the stars,
i must hold true the faith that they still shine.

erase all trace of brightest blue and night.
trust that the things so hidden still exist
to guide our souls through darkness and through mist.

cover the earth with purest crystal snow.
when morning comes the sun breaks through the clouds
and faith’s rewarded with a daytime star.

then i believe in what i cannot know
so that the Star, behind the bank of clouds
shines still before the myst’ry of the night.

We’re seeing STARS over at dVerse Poetics Tuesday. Toni, Kansen Sakura, has us writing poetry on this subject–so symbolic at this time of the year when so many cultures celebrate light shining in the darkness. Because our skies here in the Sierra have been obscured by cloud cover that delivered a sweet layering of snow, my mind went to faith.

This is the last week before we take a winter break over at the Pub…one more prompt on Thursday, and then the doors will close for a couple of weeks so that we can spend the time with families and friends, each celebrating in our own way. We do hope to see you join us and, in the meantime, many good wishes, blessings for the holidays and for 2016.

The doors to the Pub swing open Tuesday 12:00 EST.

Just for the fun of it, I would like to share some photos of our Christmas lights–indoors and out:

Photo and Lights: David Slotto, 2015

Photo and Lights: David Slotto, 2015

Photo: David Slotto, 2016--detail of porch railing

Photo: David Slotto, 2016–detail of porch railing

Photo: David Slotto, 2014 Tree and Advent Wreath

Photo: David Slotto, 2014
Tree and Advent Wreath