Very Little Gravitas Indeed

Farkleberries--yes, there is such a thing!

Farkleberries–yes, there is such a thing!

Fiddlehead ferns and farkleberries,
frolicking fun in dictionaries.
Farcical foodie festivity,
flagrantly fragrant felicity.

Rutabagas, rotund, rakish,
rollicking words like razorfish,
ravishing romance, ranuculi—
learn what they mean, or how to lie.

Artichokes, albacore, aperitifs.
Anisette, aubergine, tomato aspic,
Apple pan dowdy, ambrosia divine,
chill out and enjoy with a glass of fine wine.

If you’re a word addict such as I
finding new words gives you a high.
Webster invites you to grab his book.
Find something new—don’t be a schnook!

Written to NaPoWriMo’sDay 4’s prompt. I ran across the word farkleberries in the dictionary a while back and knew that someday I had to use it in a poem.
I’m getting a head start on dVerse Open Link Night. The bar opens Tuesday, 3:00 PM EST. Come by for a shot of poetry.

Lauds–NaPoWriMo, Day 2

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

In the morning the blue heron is busy.
To all appearances still, beside deep water
he contemplates.

Appearances deceive.

A rush, a feathery flurry, flash of silver
dripping rainbows,
then they’re gone.

And such is life—

a moment’s pause before climactic endings,
while from a distant branch a mockingbird
sings praise.

The first line of this poem is taken from the work of Mary Oliver–NaPoWriMo’s Day 2 Prompt. While my goal is to write a poem daily during April, I may lag behind and most likely will not post all of them.

The previous post is my poem for dVerse Meeting the Bar on Irony.

Paschal Moon


Photo: D. Slotto-Palm Desert April, 2011

Paschal Moon

Last night the sky embraced the moon
enfolding her in a swath of indigo.
Warm desert air, heavy with the scent of jasmine
whispered songs of mystery.

Whimsical stars shimmered in the distance,
danced across the heavens until one
jumped from its orbit, dying not with a whisper
but in a fiery blaze, still unforgiven.

You set about the daunting task of giving comfort
while from your lips I tasted the sweetness of ambrosia.

My commitment to writing a poem a day during the month of April fell victim to the exigencies of life last week as I spent time with a loved one in need. This causes me to reflect on the fact that life itself is a poem, written in the choices we make, the care we give and our response to whatever the moment presents to us. That being said, this is a poem I wrote in response to the Wordle I gave in my Monday Morning Writing Prompt. It is my submission for NaPoWriMo Day 18 Thanks to Blaga whose poem served as the inspiration for the words I chose

Monday Morning Writing Prompt–Flash Fiction

The "QWERTY" layout of typewriter ke...

Image via Wikipedia

Since many of you are on poetry overload because of NaPoWriMo, I thought it might be a good idea to take a break and write a bit of flash fiction in 1000 words or less.

A lot of my fellow poet bloggers have indicated that they also write novels or short fiction. I see that many of you participate in various flash fiction or even novel-writing challenges. I believe that developing a poetic sense enriches narrative fiction and that fiction helps poets organize their thoughts and create a story arc in narrative poetry.

For today’s prompt, let’s start with a bit of dialogue. I find it fun to toss out an opening line and see what you come up with–so here it is:

“It’s not that I’m trying to keep it a secret. It’s not clandestine—not exactly.”

See where this takes you, if you will, and leave the link in comments. And if, somehow, this inspires a poem, go for it. It’s open-writing season all the time at liv2write2day!

Nighttime, Playtime

Anxious child at window

Image by IronRodArt - Royce Bair via Flickr

Nighttime, Playtime
A Nursery Rhyme

I do not want to go to bed;
it’s not yet dark outside.
Ideas dancing in my head
are begging to be tried.

I heard the moon say to the stars
It’s time to go and play.
I will be full, the night is ours.
Oh, Mama, can’t I stay?

I do not want to go to sleep
until the party’s over.
The heaven’s promises are deep;
they won’t wait till I’m older.

No. This isn’t a ballad, carol or lullaby. Well, maybe a bit like a lullaby. But circumstances are such today I’m compelled to repost a nursery rhyme for Gay Cannon’s wonderful prompt at dVerse Form for All. You’ll want to stop by…she’s serving up eggnog, poetry and wonderful information about forms you may not have tried. Hope to see you there.

And now my bit of self-serving promotion: my novel, “Winter is Past,” is finally available in various e-book formats and in PRINT! Check it out on my Website or follow the Link on my blog. It’s been a long process and I want to thank all of you for encouragement along the way.

Recall–NaPoWriMo Day 8

Dark Come Soon, Tegan and Sara

Image by Dia™ via Flickr


You just couldn’t let it alone, could you?
Always digging, digging, digging beneath
the surface, in the coffee-drinking lobe of
my Kiwi-mush brain. Unearthing the pungent
heat of memories better left buried jusqu’a le fin,
until the day you roll the dice and snake eyes
pierce the fabric of my fragmented soul. Miss May
told you I’d never amount to anything
and I didn’t disappoint, did I? Did I?

NaPoWriMo’s prompt for today suggested we incorporate seven disparate concepts into one poem. I have no idea where this one came from.

  • an example of synasthetic metaphor — one that describes one sensory perception using adjectives more naturally suited to a different sense
  • a fruit
  • the name (first or last) of someone you knew in school
  • a rhetorical question
  • a direct address to the poem’s audience
  • a word in a foreign language
  • a reference to a game of chance

War Letters–NaPoWriMo Day 5

The Letter

NaPoWriMo’s prompt for day 5 asked us to respond to a poem written by another NaPoWriMo participant. I’ve chose this one, written by Mike Patrick:

Elizabeth, I Love You
by Mike Patrick  2011

From his pack he drew his ink,
a lone parchment and a quill
and laid them out beside him
in the mud upon the hill.

Moments before, he’d felt it;
with a thud the bullet struck,
dropping him onto the ground
where he lay there in the muck.

The cannons roared about him,
and the Minié balls whizzed by,
as he penned his last letter,
for Elizabeth’s goodbye.

Elizabeth, I love you,
and this heart within me cries
for the sight of you again
and the light within your eyes.

So young we were when married,
yet you made the perfect wife.
We didn’t know the drums of war
would bring agony and strife.

You placed a candle, facing south,
from the highest window sill,
to guide me when I return,
if should that be our God’s will.

This war that kept me from you
now forever keeps me here.
The moments which are passing
are the last for me my dear.

I pray you’ll find another,
Your life cannot be as one.
Blow out the guiding candle;
remember me to our son.

Elizabeth’s Letter
by Victoria Ceretto-Slotto 2011

The letter that you sent to me
I gave our son today.
The years have fled, but you were close.
Now, he must go away.

I never thought my heart would mend
the day I read your words.
But, for his sake, I did survive.
The years passed in a blur.

Eventually, I found someone—
the heart has room for love.
Our child knew that his father
was caring from above.

To him you are a hero,
he wants to be like you.
You would be proud of how he’s grown
to value all that’s true.

I’ve known a love like yours, my dear,
and then to have another—
More blessed am I than many
as wife and friend and mother.

Like you, his dad, our son is strong
and cherishes liberty
for which you gave your life, your all
so that we may all be free.

Today our boy must go to war–
your letter in his pack.
Another candle’s burning now.
Please guide him, bring him back.

Check out NaPoWriMo where poets everywhere have accepted the challenge to write a poem a day during the month of April, National Poetry Month:

Connearthection–NaPoWriMo Day 4

Quercus pyrenaica seedling 20090813

Image via Wikipedia

Written for NaPoWriMo, Day 4:


care for our Mother
for to her we shall return
when our spirit’s freed

she tends to our needs
but often we ignore her
fragile caregiver

walk in mindfulness
listen to her whisperings
embrace her beauty

Here’s the prompt the NaPoWriMo gave, but my word inspired a bit of haiku to follow:

Because April is National Poetry Month, there are a lot of poetry-related things going on besides NaPoWriMo. One I thought people might be interested in is InterNaPwoWriMo, or International Pwoemrd Writing Month, a project sponsored by visual poet Geof Huth. What’s a pwoermd, you ask? It’s a one-word poem! Sometimes they are made by shoving two words together to form an interesting new word, but there are a lot of ways of going about it.

Today, if you’re looking for a challenge, why not try your hand at a pwoemrd? They might look easy, but it’s actually pretty hard to come up with an interesting one – something that works visually and also makes some kind of sense.

And I Will Die–NaPoWriMo #3

Sun & Clouds. Portland, Oregon.
Image via Wikipedia

On that morning
     birds will shatter stillness
     chant their purty, purty, purty
     languish in the heady scent of citrus blooms

On that morning
     light will slip through gauzy curtains while
     dust motes dance, abandoned to
     the whisperings of April’s breath

On that morning
     clouds will roll in like frothy waves
     stretch to lick the azure sky
     dissolve into fragments of remembrance

On that morning
     alone in the first kiss of dawn
     I will die
     and live again.

Written for the third day’s challenge at NaPoWriMo:

And they gave us this one: Here’s a third prompt for those of you who like to get ahead of the curve. This one is adapted from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, a book my parents gave me when I was 14 or so and they noticed I was constantly scribbling things down. So here goes: Cesar Vallejo wrote a pretty famous poem that begins with him saying that he will die in Paris, in the rain, on a Thursday (different translations from the Spanish make it hard to quote precisely in English). So go ahead and write a poem predicting your own death — at night in Omaha at the Shell Station, in an underwater Mexican grotto after a dry spell. It’s less morbid than you think!

Submitted to One Shot Wednesday:

Monday Morning Writing Prompt

Sugawara no Michizane is revered as the god of...

Image via Wikipedia

Many of us have accepted challenges (presented in response to National Poetry Month) to write a poem a day during the month of April. Instead of compounding your (dare I say) confusion I thought it would be fun to combine a bit of poetry and flash fiction by suggesting a HAIBUN. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation:

Haibun (Japanese: 俳文 haikai writings) is a literary composition that combines prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes, but is not limited to, the following forms of prose: autobiography, biography, diary, essay, historiography, prose poem, short story and travel literature.

For this week’s prompt, try this form, using whichever challenge you have chosen for your daily poem.

If you haven’t joined the fray, you can find poetry prompts on Big Tent Poetry, NaPoWriMo, or Poetic Asides. Links to these sites are in my blogroll. I will post mine soon.