Stars and Midnight Blue

Cover of "A Christmas Story (Full Screen ...

Cover of A Christmas Story (Full Screen Edition)

Stars and Midnight Blue

In winter stillness
deep within the Earth Mother
tiny seeds gestate.

White rose in winter
miracles we don’t expect
our God comes to earth.

A long winter sleep
introspective mother bear
prepares for new life.

Christmas Eve arrives
children with eyes wide open
Stars and Midnight Blue.

Nature celebrates
light in the midst of darkness
a Christmas story.

Lobster and champagne
leaving the past behind us
ring in the New Year.

Harsh winds bitter cold
North Dakota immigrants
Giants in the Earth.

Escape winter cold
snowbirds get out of this place
fly to Palm Desert.

Palm Desert-Photo: D.Slotto

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of pine-trees crushed with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


Word: Stillness

Flower: Rose

Animal: Bear

Song: Stars and Midnight Blue by Enya

Movie: A Christmas Story

Food: Lobster

Book: Giants in the Earth

Town: Palm Desert, California


Photo: V.Ceretto-Slotto


Linked to Broken Sparkles’ Season’s Favorites Challenge:

Island Hopping-Poetry

Island Hopping

At night, the frogs
outside our door
croak in syncopated
Today, their
babies leap
from one lily pad
to another with no sense
of timing.

The prompt for this poem was to use Island in the title. Those of you who follow Robert Lee Brewer’s blog and poetry challenge know that I am behind in posting. That doesn’t mean I’m not writing! Robert presents a helpful blog and is source of encouragement for poets and would-be poets. I suggest you drop by and see what he has to offer. Connect through my blog or through the Writer’s Digest website, under blogs.

395 South of Reno to the Desert: A Poem

An Etheree

Pine sits
nestled in
McKinley’s breast,
waits for passersby
to linger in her shade.
Sierra Mountain flowers
boast of vivid hues amidst the
craggy heights and verdant valley green.
Just to the north the camp of Manzanar
speaks of troubled times and war-torn worlds.
We hesitate then drive on past,
stop for a break, admire the
snow-capped peaks, gas up then
leave before the sun
withdraws its light
and leaves us
in the

The challenge was to write a poem about a city. Well, Lone Pine probably would never fit the city category but it’s a town that calls forth poetry. I chose to write another “Etheree”–such a fun, disciplined form. Hope you enjoy.

(Etheree: 1 syllable, increase syllable each line to 10, then back to 1. Can repeat process to add more verses.)

Poetry Challenge–Villanelle

I don’t usually write form poetry, but every now and again I find it a good exercise to “stretch” my poetic muscles and imagination. I wrote “Chemo” several years ago and, quite honestly, that was my first and last attempt. I’d like to challenge you to post a villanelle on my blog–maybe I’ll even give it another try. A warning, though, if you’re prone to ear worms (catchy tunes that stick in your head), beware.

Here’s the recipe:

The lines are grouped into five tercets and a concluding quatrain to form 19 lines. Lines may be of any length.

The Villanelle has two rhymes. The rhyme scheme is aba, with the same end-rhyme for every first and last line of each tercet and the final two lines of the quatrain.

Two of the lines are repeated:

  • The first line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the second and the fourth stanzas, and as the second-to-last line in the concluding quatrain.
  • The third line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the third and the fifth stanzas, and as the last line in the concluding quatrain.
  • The pattern is:
Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 2 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 4 (a)
Line 5 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 7 (a)
Line 8 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 10 (a)
Line 11 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Line 13 (a)
Line 14 (b)
Refrain 2 (A2)
Line 16 (a)
Line 17 (b)
Refrain 1 (A1)
Refrain 2 (A2)

A Villanelle

How would you feel if you knew you would lose all your hair?
She asked me to take her to shop for a wig, if I could.
What would you do if your head were completely bare?

A turban will keep the head warm, protect from cold air.
She told me they told her, her chances were very good.
See, chemo kills cancer but makes you lose all of your hair.

We went to a shop where they showed that they really cared.
I hurried to tell her the fun she could have if she would.
(In a matter of weeks her head will be totally bare.)

“Choose blonde or brunette or even take red, if you dare.
Go ahead—buy a few. Not the gray! ‘Cause you should
live it up when you lose all your hair.”

Every now and again I thought that I saw a tear
brim up in her eyes, mine too—we’re not made of wood.
What would I do if my head were entirely bare?

She decided to wait until she’d be bald to wear
the frosted short one and for nighttime she bought a hood.
By then she’ll know how it feels to lose all her hair
and accept that her head (for a while) will be completely bare.

Good luck!