Wishing–dVerse Quadrille

Photo: Flickr–labeled for non-commercial reuse. The oldest pepper tree in California


Stretch out with me,
beneath my peppertree.
Tickle, caress and coax
memories dormant within
to bring forth the scent of
peppertree-peace and youth-
full, joy-filled moments.
Our world craves love—
the love of a child who sees
beyond dross. Sunlight
dapples us with warmth.

A second poem for dVerse Quadrille where we use the word PEPPER in a poem of exactly 44 words, excluding title. I grew up in a home with a peppertree. As a child I used to hide in its wonderful branches.

canticle of waning light

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

canticle of waning light
a quadrille

whisper me now a lullaby
and hold me close in mystic
arms of memory

whisper me songs
of yesterday
when dreams throbbed
promises, danced
with love beneath the stars

whisper me peace
‘neath setting sun
and grace shall linger
in the gloom
of night.

Please join us at dVerse Poets’ Pub where we are enjoying Quadrille’s–poetry of exactly 44 words. This week’s word that must be included in the poem is WHISPER. The pub doors open Monday at 3:00 PM EST. De Jackson is our hostess and she pours a mean poem.

all the light we cannot see–dVerse OLN

Photo: campholidays.com

Photo: campholidays.com

all the light we cannot see

the blind french girl
her bedroom fills with pebbles, seaglass, shells,
and yet she misses gardens, books and pinecones.
her pockets lined with sand, her face aglow with wind,
she simply listens, hears and breaths.

the reluctant german soldier boy
he tries to lose himself in work,
stares into space and hears the distant
thrumming of a bird, a skylark
four hundred children crawl along the razors edge.

the blind french girl
her stockings now have runs in them,
her shoes too large but still she walks
a ballerina in satin slippers
her feet articulate as hands,
a little vessel, now, of grace

the reluctant german soldier boy
a shell now screams above the house
everything—transient, aching, tentative
i only want to sit with her, he thinks,
for hour upon hour.

so war continues to this day
with no return, without surcease
preventing lovers’ deepest want
indulging only endless greed
and misplaced ideology
why not accept the beauty of
our differences.

her bedroom fills with shells and whelks
and tears.

I’ve written this for dVerse Open Link Night with reference to the peace prompt from dVerse Poetics on Tuesday. This is an erasure poem with some paraphrasing. The book I used is Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See.” It is the story of a German Orphan boy, recruited into Hitler’s Army and a young French girl, displaced from Paris during the occupation…and how their lives converge. I cannot recommend it highly enough. At my age, I only read books I find really worthwhile, and only once…I want to get in as much reading as I can before I can’t! I read this twice, for its amazing plot and stunningly poetic writing. 5 Stars +++

Please join us for Open Link Night.


Welcome, Sister Death–dVerse Poetics

Image: St. Francis of Assisi Wikipedia--labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Image: St. Francis of Assisi
Wikipedia–labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Today, Bjorn is hosting dVerse Poetics and asks us to reflect on Peace. My mind went to death, perhaps because I’m currently reading Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking.” From there, I thought of death’s I’ve witnessed over the years, many peaceful, some only after a struggle…then I remembered St. Francis of Assisi, who used to address death in the manner as I indicate in the title of this post. Francis is known for his love of animals, and for his Peace Prayer–a prayer almost universally recognized and open to persons of whatever spiritual bend. So, from there my peace poem was born. 

Welcome, Sister Death

I welcome Sister Death in autumn rains
or should She choose to call as snowflakes fall,
in spring, as early rains caress the earth
or summer’s heat, ‘neath fertile field’s smile.

She gently knocks upon my windowpane,
with branches painted crimson, orange and gold.
Such peacefulness I sense as leaves let go
surrendering to earth, unquestioning.

In dark times, deepest quiet covers earth,
reflecting light bestowed by its full moon.
My Sister whispers softly, “Come with Me,
behold the marvels that await you now.

The beckoning call of birdsong is Her voice,
as colors burst through earth in silent joy,
and flowering trees look to the morning sun
knowing that hope will follow their demise.

Beneath the wild excitement—summer’s gift,
small streams flow calmly to a river bed.
However incongruent Death may seem
I welcome all the promise She holds forth.

We hope to see you today at dVerse, with your own reflections on peace–so needed in our world today.

SALVATION Army–Monday Meanderings

Photo Credit: Deviant Art

Photo Credit: Deviant Art

In the background,
he strips thyme and rosemary from their stems,
into a stainless steel bowl.
The scent of herbs, apple pie and ginger
pervades the family room

he watches war unfold on A&E.
An enemy’s blood splatters the screen.
I block out the noise of contradiction,
search for words of love and peace
to celebrate the season in verse.

Music sounds an ending.
I raise my head to witness
a good guy die.
No winners here.

A fire dances in the hearth,
then Mozart fills the room.

Will it be in music
that hope will enclose our battered world?
Will winter snow
cover scorched land, satisfy sere hearts?
Will love supplant bullets,
peace settle in the crevices of wounds?

Bells ring at the entrances of a local Walmart
beneath winter solstice sun.

Photo Credit: Sacramento Bee

Photo Credit: Sacramento Bee

Go in Peace

Photo: windagainstcurrent.com

Photo: windagainstcurrent.com

Autumn dropped by early last week,
flirted with the wind,
played hide-and-seek with the quail
sheltered in the spruce tree’s branches,
then finger painted the tips of maple’s leaves.
She jammed with the few remaining crickets
at their farewell concert then took
her leave again. But not before reminding
summer to make peace with dying.

Written for dVerse Poetics where Mary asks us to consider the subject of peace since today is International Peace Day. And linked as well to G-Man’s 55...it’s exactly 55 words.

Revelation–Poetry Potluck’s Theme of Art, Music and Poetry

D. Slotto 4/2011

Oleander and the Sky
Image by ozgurmulazimoglu via Flickr

D. Slotto 4/2011

Submitted to Poetry Potluck: http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/ and

Monday Morning Writing Prompt: https://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/monday-morning-writing-prompt-dream-symbolism/


Last night as I slept
the Artist came and dabbed Oleander’s
green with brilliant buds of pink
then feathered white across
a chosen hummingbird.

Last night as I slept
the Violinist played, sweeping
his bow across the fronds of palms.
Music hummed in branches of Crepe Myrtle,
sprinkling her blossoms all across the Earth.

Last night as I slept
the Poet tossed his words into the water,
ripples bore their beauty
all across the world so sere,
so desperate for salvation.

This morning I awoke
to colors of joy,
to sounds of grace,
to possibilities of peace.

This week the Oleanders blossomed overnight, the winds howled, and a striking albino hummingbird has graced us with his presence. Happy Easter to all.

Leonneyes Z to A Challenge—Z is for “Zayin”

Hebrew letter zayin

Image via Wikipedia

Leonneyes is hosting a 26 day poetry challenge: Z to A at http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/

In this challenge we are asked to choose a theme, based on the letters of the alphabet, in reverse order. Today’s letter is Z and the theme I have chosen is “Zayin“–one of the letters of the Hebrew Aleph Beit.

While I am a Christian, I have found the study of the Aleph Beit to be an enriching and prayerful experience. In Hebrew, the word for letter also means sign or wonder. The letters themselves are seen to embody power. Each letter is an archetype, expressing a specific creative energy. The letters lend themselves to prayer–for me, using them as a mantra is a helpful form of meditation. I apologise to my Jewish friends if I misrepresent Zayin.

An Acrostic

Zayin–sword, sabbath, time, seven–
Asks us to remember all that’s gone before.
Yield to the moment’s call to recreate ourselves.
Incisiveness, that clarity of vision safeguarding all that’s precious,
Needing to return to inner sabbath, to nourish peace.

Zayin, peaceful warrior.

Poem: Never Forget–An Acrostic

911 Memorial

Image by Sister72 via Flickr

9/11/11:  Although I am on a “blogging break” until 9/27/11, I feel the need to share my work from a year ago with those of you visiting dVerse Poetics today. My prayer is for peace within and among us all.

Two weeks ago, the Monday Morning Writing Prompt invited you to write a poem, essay or… your thoughts on the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Events of tremendous significance like this impact every one of us, no matter where we live or our religious beliefs (or non-beliefs.) 911 has changed the world. I often find a certain amount of release in being able to write about emotionally charged news items. For example, I couldn’t sleep until I wrote about the Virginia Tech Massacre, a few years ago. But so far, I’ve avoided the topic of 911, so today I decided to face up to it. Usually my writing prompts will elicit a response or two, but this one didn’t. So here is my attempt. I chose an acrostic and tried to employ some loose meter and rhyme…not usually my thing.

This year the amount of controversy that has charged the anniversary of 911 has made me reflect more on the need to open our hearts to forgiveness and to be aware of the danger of extremism. Let us pray for peace and understanding among all.


N’one alive back then can e’er forget
Images of hate, destruction, death.
Night descended early in the day,
Endings slowly fluttered to the earth.

Enter, grace, but where is God?
Lasting darkness filled the hearts of all.
Even as we cower, wrapt in pain
Vestiges of fear enshroud us like a pall.
Each man dies a bit when hatred wins,
No one trumps when hearts embrace revenge.

Never will our world again be whole
Evoking God’s name to achieve man’s will,
Victorious only when the foe is down,
Emptying his blood and life into the ground,
Rendering death unto his very soul.

Father, forgive–they know not what they do.
Our God stands by to touch our brokenness.
Remember words of healing and of peace,
Go back, reclaim the power that is yours.
Eagles’ wings will lift your fear above the fray,
To yours and mine and ours bequeath this day.