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

 

 

Spring Eternal–dVerse Quadrille

Spring Eternal

She’d lost the spring in her step,
(it’s true.)
But the twinkle in her eye,
mischievous,
kept her young—
an icon of joy.

“It’s love,” she told me,
“only love,
that makes me who
who I am.
No winter in this heart
of mine.”

Photo: David Slotto
My mother at age 90-something.

Kim is hosting dVerse Quadrille today asking for a poem of exactly 44 words, excluding the title, using the word SPRING in any of its forms. I was a bit surprised where this one took me. We would love to see you join us for the prompt that is available to you all week.

The First Time–dVerse Poetic

 

The First Time

Photo: Wikipedia Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

Photo: Wikipedia
Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

The first time that I witnessed birth,
saw the crowning of the head,
that shock of thick black hair,
heard the melded cries of mother
and her son, the pain and ecstasy
in resounding dissonance,
the joy and fear and victory
of shattered boundaries—
that first time I beheld the
mystery of newborn life
I shuddered in the face of Awe.

The first time that I prayed in silence
without words or thoughts and stood
like Moses by the burning bush
that would not be destroyed and
offered (to the One who is and was
and will be) all that I have been and
am and shall become without limit
that first time I embraced
the mystery of the divine
I shuddered in the face of God.

The first time that I tasted love,
sought urgently to touch and hold,
looked into eyes that knew
my secret sacred spaces,
longed to please before receiving
pleasure, lost track of time, luxuriated
in the scent of passion,
that first time I received the mystery
of you, of all we could become,
I shuddered in the face of Bliss.

The first time I attended death
and held an old man’s icy hand and
looked into his eyes that saw beyond
me, wiped a brow expressing
nuances of sorrow and of joy,
the scope of everything we can imagine,
that first time I received a dying breath
and closed those eyes
I shuddered in the face of the Unknown.

I apologize for re-posting a poem that has been around before, written originally in 2010, but it fits Kelly’s prompt for dVerse Poetics, right down to the title, and I confess it is one of my favorites, because of its significance in my own life. Those of you who’ve been around, please don’t feel compelled to comment–but there are so many newbies at dVerse, I wanted to offer it again.

earthbound, today–dVerse Quadrille

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it would be to touch
the earth instead of
the emptiness of air and the endless
freshets of wind?

Mary Oliver
Song for Autumn

earthbound, today

like leaves
slumbering on earth’s sweet body
protected from buffets
of unrelenting winds

I find my center
in the warmth of your embrace
listen to the pounding
of your heart

you hold me close
in the freshness
of early autumn air
and I surrender

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Today, Dee invites us to consider the nearing approach of autumn by writing a Quadrille using the word LEAVES. A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, no more, no less, exclusive of the title. Should you like to join in, head on over to dVerse Poets

Blue Skies Tinged with Gray–dVerse Poetics

Blue Skies Tinged with Gray
a Sestina
Iambic Tetrameter

This morning I painted my world in blue,
dreamt of new days beneath brilliant clear azure skies
and floated in mem’ries of life borne on waves—
the summer we spent making love by the lake,
when our love sang so sweetly of hours in the sun
and clear water soothed pain that I saw in your eyes.

More often was hope gleaming in those deep eyes,
clear mirrors of mys’try—not silver, not blue,
reflecting the brilliance of summer’s lush sun
this faith that I found in those cloudless, pure skies.
We washed away fear in our bay at the lake,
floating hand within hand on her cool, gentle waves.

Sometimes we are crushed by the force of life’s waves
and excitement can wane, dull the spark in your eyes.
Then return to those days of our love by the lake
to renew what we knew when we dreamt dreams of blue,
streaked with hues of Payne’s Gray as we looked to the skies,
adding depth to those moments of light in the sun.

Summer’s end soon drew near and our time in the sun
gave way to the wind, to the chill in the waves.
Autumn clouds came too soon, hiding blue of the skies,
cast long shadows on joy, dimmed the glow in your eyes.
Succumbing to dark, nature cast off her blue.
Thus we tasted the close of our days at the lake.

Arid sands took you far from our love by the lake.
In Iraq you would know desert dry, scorching sun.
Did that world of brown erase recall of blue?
Did you dream of the days we had shared in the waves?
Or did you forget, horror blinding your eyes
to all of the plans that we held ‘neath blue skies?

For my part, I still hope for the day when the skies
shall return you to me, to our love by the lake.
When you rush to my arms will the tears in your eyes
still be there as they were on that day in the sun
when you told me they called to you over the waves
and you walked from my life for the red, white and blue?

I still look to the skies, shield my eyes from the sun,
wait for days at the lake, for the calming of waves,
lose myself in your eyes, wrapped in dreams painted blue.

Photo: thestir.cafemom.com

Photo: thestir.cafemom.com

This poem is in response to De’s prompt at dVerse Poetics where she invites us to reflect on Blue—however you wish to consider it. (De is coming down off a Lake Tahoe high).

I write this poem as a Sestina in iambic tetrameter (first draft.) It is a fictional narrative. I spent yesterday afternoon with a representative from a local veteran’s assistance program and, of course, that sneaked its way into my writing. Please join us today.

The Twist–a Quadrille

Image: hitfix.com

Image: hitfix.com

The Twist

You are responsible for your rose.
Antoine de St-Exupery
The Little Prince

True, no doubt.
Accepting love
we open arms to joy.

But here’s the twist:

There is no joy
without the care
that comes with pain.

Outside,
a mother duck plays lame.
Perhaps she sees the hawk.
Love asks for all
we have to give.

Linked to dVerse Quadrille–a poem of exactly 44 words, using the word twist. I was tempted to write of the time David and I succumbed to the call of that dance from our youth, of his subsequent back surgery and…well, I won’t go into it. Had this been the Haibun, perhaps I would have.

Oh, and if you’ve never read “The Little Prince,” you must. Read it in French if you are able.

 

Savor–dVerse Quadrille

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto, Personal Chef to the Poet!

Savor
a Quadrille

Alluring aroma
draws me in where
husband-chef stirs,
sauce simmer-shimmers,
and I succumb,
anticipate
an evening of delight
beyond a meal
shared in candlelight.

The challenges of life
boil down
to this: sauce—
spices and flavors
of give and take,
of you and I.

Here’s a second quadrille for my prompt at dVerse. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words. The word that I’ve asked for is shimmer. Last week when David was cooking and asked me to stir the sauce I had him take a photo. It was so pretty. I can’t help but wonder if, subconsciously, this led me to choose the word shimmer. Please check out some of the other shimmering poems this prompt has inspired. The prompt is open all week if you would like to join us.