Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

They trapped two bears nearby today—
tattooed and tagged and then released,
but trained to stay where they belong
by dogs and rubber bullets.

Watch out for snakes, and train your dogs;
avoid high grass—just back away.
The neighbor killed a long King snake
that snuck into his yard.

Build fences, or the deer will eat
your flowers, veggies and your trees.
As we expand into their hills
they have no food.

They said a hawk swooped in last year
and snatched a terrier puppy dog.
Coyotes prowl a block away
down by the river.

Surrounded by so many threats
we live in fear and danger,
but the true predators we know
invade their land.

Linked to dVerse OLN where poetry flows freely. Please stop by.

This is a big problem here in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The incident about the bear is recent and is happening more frequently as developers snatch up their habitat. They try to teach the young bears to stay out of the city using aversion therapy. All of the references have happened, except my neighbor killing the snake.

October Haibun

Hawk, the Messenger,
seeks tomorrow’s sustenance,
dove feasts, unaware.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Recently, a red tail hawk sat on our fence, watching an assortment of jays, robins, quail and doves fattening themselves on the seeds in our garden. Spent cosmos and coreopsis shrugged, let nature have her way.

Autumn smells pungent—
leaves moldering in crannies,
poems forgotten.

Photo Credit:

All the work of putting the garden to bed for the winter has claimed our attention, turning it from creative pursuits. The tasks of autumn bring to mind those chores that face us later in life—clearing away the debris of spent dreams, wasted efforts—preparing the soil for what is yet to come.

Late blooming roses
struggle in October frost,
clash with changing leaves.

Photo Credit: D. Slotto

A few brilliant roses still persist in their efforts to boast their beauty, proving that nature is not as fussy as we are when it comes to choosing the colors she will wear, or what’s deemed appropriate as defined by the expectations of others. Bright pink and orange: how freeing!

Truckee, languid now,
flows gently through our city,
hopes for winter snow.

Photo Credit: Mike Devon

The Truckee river, a block from our home, is feeling the effect of last winter’s drought. It is fed by beautiful Lake Tahoe, flows east through Reno and ends up in Pyramid Lake, home of the Paiute Indians. Snow fell today, just above our elevation, in the Sierra Nevada and it’s possible we may see some tomorrow. Reno is high desert, receiving only 7” of rain annually. We depend on the snowfall in the mountains and at the Lake.

Written for and linked to dVerse Poets’ Open Link Night, hosted by Claudia Schonfeld who I will have the joy of meeting soon! Her California trip coincides with my visit down South for my mother’s 92nd birthday.

I may be late in visiting. Tomorrow I have a minor procedure for which they’ll send me to la-la land. Doubt I’ll be rational enough to give you any valuable comments!

Poetry Potluck–Mountains

Herd of Tule Elk dwarfed by the Sierra Mountai...

Image by mlhradio via Flickr


 Mount Whitney, California

Poem submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Rally: 




I-395 South of Reno
to Lone Pine
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


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