So Much Life Goes on Unnoticed

Photo: Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Twinges in the hinges mark the beginning of cold weather, reminding me that my life has entered its autumn as well. So much to do, so many things to see, touch, taste, feel, learn. But I can only enjoy this one precious moment, so I drink—no, gulp–life greedily.

I take my sketch pad and number two pencil, don a sweater, grab a folding chair and hurry toward the river, a block away. Golden aspens vie with crimson maples for my attention. I settle on the maple, mourning the loss of our autumn flame that, like the river, died this year. Have you ever sketched all those tiny veins in a leaf? Do it now, before your own precious life succumbs to the drought of limited days.

Life force flows freely
through leaves, trunk, into the roots
settles down to sleep.

A late link for the wonderful Haibun Monday prompt at dVerse Poets and I’m also linking to WordPress Weekly Photo Prompt, where they are looking for monochromatic photography!

Note: Autumn Flame is a one type of maple.

Silhouette–Weekly Photo Challenge

The Daily Post asks us to photograph objects in silhouette:

Photography is all about experimenting with light, and then positioning yourself (or your subject) in the right spot to achieve a certain effect. One such effect is a silhouette, in which an outline of someone or something appears dark against a lighter background. Silhouettes can be very dramatic and resemble black shapes without any details, but the effect varies from picture to picture.

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

This is an ash tree in our backyard.


Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

And I can’t resist this one, taken in Palm Desert, last winter.

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Another from Palm Desert. The credit for this one belongs to my husband, April 2013.

For the Birds–Monday Meanderings

I have a great appreciation for the beauty of birds. They teach us to depend on nature, to live in the present moment, to enjoy the freedom we are given, to fly in a manner of speaking. Today, I’ll simply share a few photos taken by my husband.

If you feed them, they will come.

(Copyright: David Slotto 2014. Kindly request permission to use them.)

Feeding Time A Twice Daily Event Palm Desert Photo: D. Slotto

Feeding Time
A Twice Daily Event
Palm Desert 2011
Photo: D. Slotto

2013  reno birds,blooms,garden 004b

Reno, NV
Photo: D. Slotto

Cedar Waxwing Reno 2011 Photo: D. Slotto

Cedar Waxwing
Photo: D. Slotto

Leucistic Hummingbird Palm Desert CA 2011 Photo: D. Slotto

Leucistic Hummingbird
Palm Desert CA
Photo: D. Slotto

Bullock Oriole Reno, NV 2012 Photo: D. Slotto

Bullock Oriole
Reno, NV
Photo: D. Slotto

Bliss, Briefly–dVerse Open Link Night

I’m happy to announce the release on Kindle of my first collection of poetry: Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012, scheduled for Thursday, August 22nd. Print copies will be forth-coming in the near future.

Cover Photo: David Slotto Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: David Slotto
Cover Art: Victoria Slotto

Now, my poem:

Photo Credit: David Slotto

Photo Credit: David Slotto

Bliss, Briefly

Sunshine, casting light,
discovered lily, fell in love—
brevity’s heartbreak.

I’m submitting this haiku to dVerse Open Link Night. The photo is of a blossoming plant that we’ve had in our bathroom for almost twelve years. I can’t recall it having bloomed before. David recently transplanted it to another larger container and it’s been so happy since then. It seems like it belongs to the lily family, but if anyone can tell me what it is, I’d be grateful. It’s leaves are large and floppy. Here’s another photo that shows more of the plant.

Photo Credit, David Slotto

Photo Credit, David Slotto

Monday Meanderings–The Flower Garden

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

After a busy weekend for many of us celebrating a holiday, I thought it would be good to start the new week with a moment’s reflection.

I took the photos of the Yucca and Smoke Bush at neighborhood homes the rest are from chez nous.

Here’s a Mr. Linky to this post in case you want to add a link to some photos of your garden. Or perhaps you’ll be inspired to write a poem based on a photo from your own garden or, if you like, use one of these. Take a few moments to enjoy the beauty of nature before charging back to whatever awaits you at work or wherever the day will take you.

An aside–a special thank you to Laurie Kolp who took the time to read and review my novel, “Winter is Past,” on

Oops. Had this scheduled for the wrong date!

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto–Clematis

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto–Rose

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto–Various Perennials

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto: Day Lilies and Coreopsis

As You Lie Dying

As you lie dying,
the shadow of a palm
outside your window
peeps in, enters,
slips across the comforter,
nestles in its folds,
covers your pain.

In the distance
a couple bats tennis balls
back and forth across the net.
No strain.
An easy volley,
back and forth again.
Like our ideas,
ricocheting back and forth.
Yours, then mine.
Divergent memories.

One fact we both hold true.
The night earth shook Tehachapi,
our lives were rent.
And nothing evermore
would be the same.

Outside the window now
a murder of crows descends to feed.

Submitted to dVerse Poetics  prompt based on the wonderful photography of Tracey Grumbach. Thank you, Tracey. 

Process note: The poem is adapted from an actual experience at my sister’s death bed. The reference to the Tehachapi Earthquake relates to the night of our parents marriage (July 20, 1952) when we were children. Both of our parents had lost their first spouses to death. This was our first night together as “siblings.”


A Matter of Perspective–Friday Poetically

Chuck Close Portrait

Image by Bklyn_Spencer via Flickr

One of my favorite living artists is Chuck Close. I was excited to see that Brian Miller’s prompt at Friday Poetically addresses his works.

A year or two ago I enjoyed touring students and the general public through an exhibit of Chuck’s art at Nevada Museum of Art. In addition to his well-know mosaic-like portraiture there was a collection of tapestries. Close used digitally manipulated photography to generate computer images that he sent to a tapestry weaving firm in Belgium  The museum displayed this work so that the visitors could carefully look behind the hangings to see all the threads that went into the finished work. It was an amazing experience. To view some of Close’s tapestries, you may enjoy visiting

A Matter of Perspective

Stand too close to life
and you will only see
little squares of colors.

Take a few steps back.
Look how the whole
becomes apparent.

If you view a tapestry
from the backside
confusion presides.

Step up, face it head-on
the precision of the image
will stun you.

Go ahead, manipulate reality.
The outcome surprises,
at times, clarifies.

Andante–One Stop Poetry

Photo: Walter Parada

I am linking this to One Stop Poetry for both One Shoot Sunday where the prompt is inspired by the photography of Walter Parada and One Stop Form. Today’s form is the high octain, created by Luke Prater.

high octain

adagio thoughts inhabit me
beside the mountains or the shore
i live for music, nothing more

alone and aimless though i be
i play the blues and drink my booze
then jazz it up to vivace

when morning comes, i toss the score
adagio thoughts return to me

adagio thoughts conquer me
gravissimo my spirit’s core
i leave my music at the door

though from myself i hope to flee
i find my muse in nature’s clues
a gift of music sets me free

once more allow melodic roar
as dolce thoughts come back to me.

Musical Notations:

gravissimo—most grave

thirteen ways of looking at a desert

Photo: Rosa Frei

Linked to One Stop Poetry:

thirteen ways of looking at a desert

sometimes something
we judge to be barren
throbs with life

wind scatters sand
like gossips spread destruction

if you go to the desert
you will see the stars
perhaps one of them
holds your life purpose
then you are no longer
afraid of the viper’s kiss

the power of thirst
consumes all other desires

shifting sands
are like people
who vacillate
you don’t know
where you stand

the desert is a canvas
open to splashes
of vibrant color

the desert is
a state of mind
are you alone
or lonely

the desert is
a place of temptation
there the devil tempted
nothing has changed

if you try
to leave your mark
upon the desert
nature will erase it
we don’t really matter

the hotter it gets
the fewer people hang around

many people
do not understand
the beauty of the desert
or of wrinkled faces

at some point
you will visit a desert
and discover
what it is to be arid

when the desert blooms
you will find grace

Based on a form of Wallace Stevens: “Ways of Looking at…”

Special Post–Leucistic Hummingbird

D. Slotto 4/2011

D. Slotto 4/2011
D. Slotto 4/2011

We are receiving frequent visits from a pure white (Leucistic) hummingbird.

He is friendly when we approach him at the feeder and has even flown up to my husband who has been able to take a number of photos.

Leucistic hummingbirds are rare, but albino hummers are rarer. Leucistic hummers have dark eyes, while those of albinos are pink. These small birds are vulnerable to predators because of their light color.

In American Indian lore, hummingbirds represent joy. White is a symbol of purity and truth.


 My husband, David, took these photos. We do not have photoshopping capabilities here but when we return home he will work with them and many other photos he has captured.

This little fellow inspired the poem I submitted to Poetry Potluck:

For more information on this beautiful little creatures, visit: