Photo: 10 Best--An Itinerary for viewing the San Andreas Fault

Photo: 10Best.com–An Itinerary for viewing the San Andreas Fault


Now and again
the earth desires rest.
Sap withdraws.
Roots reach slender fingers
into her deep soil,
drink slowly of her nourishment—
according to her plan.

But then, today she shivers,
sends waves of movement
through her old body,
surprises those of us
who seek assurance,

Written for Sanaa Rizvi’s Prompt Night where we are considering “Spontaneous or Not.”

I can look out the window and see the San Andreas Fault and last Wednesday we had an early morning 4.8 temblor. The earth has her plans but also her surprises. She is both predictable and unpredictable, like we are. The photo is of a sign for tourists wanting to view the fault line.


considering trees

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

sometimes i am stuck
in the mind-skin of the child i used to be
when i’d climb my pepper tree
to hide from all
that i was not,
would never be.

this morning i awoke,
sun glancing through full branches
of my pear tree,
reminding me that love
is quite enough

and that whatever this day brings,
whatever the years may hand me,
i shall always find a tree.

Written for Marina Sofia’s prompt for dVerse Poetics in response to the question: “Describe a morning when you awoke without fear.” I also had in mind an earlier  prompt of Shanyn’s that I was unable to write to. 

Shoes–dVerse Poetics

Photo: thinkoutsidethebin.com

Photo: thinkoutsidethebin.com


shoes carry the world’s burdens.
in our time
few decisions that affect us all
are made by barefoot people.

some people are like shoes.
you put them on
they fit
you smile.

other people, like shoes,
can press you
hurt you
make you whimper.

it’s not wise
to purchase shoes
on the Internet.
try them on first.
same with people.

some people
have many pairs of shoes.
others, only a few.
what’s important
is that they give you comfort.
friends are like that, too.

as people age
they look for comfort
in a pair of shoes
and in their mate.

when shoes wear out
on the inside
they are useless.
you should throw them away
even if, on the outside
they look fine.
when people wear out
on the outside
too often we throw them away
even though, on the inside,
they are beautiful.

old people
may not wear
sexy shoes.
that doesn’t mean
they are not
on the prowl.

people wear
different kinds of shoes
for different kinds of activities.
if you try to run
in 5” heels
you will fall.
if you try to tango
in steel-toed boots
you will step
on your partner.
resilience is a key indicator
of success.

shoes come in all colors
and sizes:
diversity offers more choices.
that’s a good thing.

if your shoes are too big
you may stumble.
if you are too big for your shoes
you will crash.

shoes have their own
stories to tell.
they protect us
on our journey through life.
choose them with care.

don’t be afraid
to go barefoot
from time-to-time.
your shoes won’t mind.
touch Earth Mother
honor her
with your gratitude.

This is a poem I wrote a while back, along the line of Wallace Stevens’ 13 Ways of Looking at Blackbirds. Today’s prompt at dVerse Poetics, offered by Shanyns, invites us to consider shoes so I couldn’t resist succumbing to my post-Thanksgiving stupor and sharing it today.


Photo Credit: Gary Bogue

Photo Credit: Gary Bogue


And how does the turtle feel as she covers her eggs
with the sweep of her feet,
then leaves them for the world to take care of?

Mary Oliver
Mysteries, Four of the Simple Ones
New and Selected Poems, Volume Two

Last spring, after her fledglings left the nest,
mama dove hung around for days, waiting.
She watched me through the kitchen window,
woeful eyes fixed on my hands, awash
in soapy bubbles bearing rainbows.

I didn’t see her babies again, nor did she, I suppose—
only the hawk circling in the distance.
Fretting, I struggled to trust nature’s caring
just like I do each time I send my words soaring,
out into the wide, wild world.

I’ve been mulling over Claudia‘s Letting Go prompt for Poetics last week…and her own experience. This is what came of it. Linking to OLN.  

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


Pre-Op Holding

Victor Dorantes in a hospital gown

Image via Wikipedia

NaPoWriMo Day 1 http://www.napowrimo.net/

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry: http://bigtentpoetry.org/  BTP offers 7 weekly prompts for the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month. This poem is written to the prompt of undressing in a place other than a bedroom or bathroom.

Pre-Op Holding
A Rondeau

Have others died naked in this place?
I strip my clothing in disgrace
as cold consumes my body head-to-toe.
What will come next? They haven’t let me know.
I wait, imprisoned in a fear I cannot face.

No loving arms to hold me, no embrace
to sooth my shattered nerves, to dread, erase.
Have others died naked in this place?

Penetrating chill invades my inner space.
Ah, here’s the doc who’ll force me to erase
the thoughts that make me, me. Panic grows.
A needle prick and now the world slows.
Have others died naked in this place?

This is my first attempt at writing a Rondeau–a French poetic form that focuses on a rhyming scheme and a refrain. The rondeau is comprised of three stanzas:


a/a/b/refrain (the first word or phrase of the poem becomes the refrain)


The title “Pre-Op Holding” refers to a location where patients are prepared for surgery. For those of you lucky enough never to have experienced an operation, this is where they take away your clothes, garb you in an attractive hospital gown, make sure everything is in order for your procedure, start IV’s. The surgeon and anesthesiologist stop by and go over everything with you, and you may receive the first doses of meds that help you to drift into la-la land. Unlike in my poem, in this country they do explain everything to you, your loved one is allowed to wait with and you are accorded privacy.

Poetry and Place

I’ve noticed that a lot of the poetry I write is reflective of PLACE. Both Reno and Palm Desert have a character that is distinctive, charged with beauty and sometimes frightening.

This morning I grabbed a camera to take along on our walk with the dogs. We prowl our neighborhood, nestled beside the Truckee River then turn off onto the river walk that snakes along her banks. David looked at me like I’d lost it when I slung the Nokia around my neck. “Are you sure you want to do that? Why?” Implied was the truth that this is something that we see every day. I told him, I want to find a prompt to help me write a poem, since I’m hoping to come up with thirty new ones by the end of September.”

As it happened, I only took one shot. Actually my formerly-professional-photographer husband pilfered the camera from me and he took the photo I asked for, showing me how to adjust for the lighting.

But something else happened that I didn’t expect. Just having the camera catalyzed my sense of awareness and I SAW so much more than I would have had I not had the intention.

I noticed that August is not the most verdant month in Reno but the sunflowers are flaunting their colors. I spotted pumpkins turning orange in our neighbor’s rock garden. I saw that the Truckee is enjoying the consequences of a wet winter in the Sierra Nevada as the flow is more vigorous that it was this time last year.And from underneath a vine, a tiny purple flower caught my attention. In her center, a brilliant yellow star presided, proving the creator’s use of complementary color is spot-on.

David just left for his weekly trek to a local farmer’s market. On the way out of the house, he grabbed my camera. “You’re taking that?” I asked. “Yeah, he answered. I might see something there to photograph.” So, I don’t have my picture prompt handy…the poem will wait and won’t be a part of this post. But that’s okay. Maybe I’ll have something else to work with in a couple of hours. In the meantime, here’s a picture from a meadow across the street from the entrance to our complex. Am I spoiled or what?

Photo Credit: David Slotto