Looney Moon-dVerse Haibun Monday, Fuyu No Tsuki, Winter Moon

Looney Moon
a Haibun

In the late 1960’s after several years of nursing, I went back to school for a Bachelor’s degree in nursing Education. Some of the classes I had to take, I had already been through as a student nurse. One of these was psychology.

The professor discussed ancient myths about human psychology. One point of discussion, dispelling a widely held belief, was the “reality” that the full moon has no influence on human behavior. The handful of nurses in the room looked at each other and we shook our heads. We had encountered a different perspective: labor and delivery rooms overflowing their capacity, emergency departments brimming with “crazies,” often accompanied by police officers, and inpatients with some degree of mental disturbance or dementia whose behavior decompensated even further.

Though the textbook and the “expert” saw things differently than we did and ignored our point-of-view, our experience seemed to us to be a more valid indicator.

Winter Moon won’t hide.
She highlights our nakedness,
bares our poor spirits.

  • Posted for my prompt at dVerse Haibun Monday: Fuyu No Tsuki–Winter Moon. I hope to see some of you there. I would enjoy hearing any experience you have had related to the effect of the full moon on human behavior. Nurses, Doctors and Law Enforcement have their own unique insights, I believe.

Patience is NOT My Virtue–a Rant on Internet Providers for Monday Meanderings

Photo: colourbox.com

Photo: colourbox.com

I’ve been living in Internet Limbo–or maybe it’s more like Hell. Yes, that’s it. Hell. Each e-mail or post takes so long to open that, while it’s opening, I have time to put in a load of laundry or vacuum a room–not an exaggeration.

The reason behind that, I suspect, is that currently, I have to go through one Internet provider (Time Warner) to access my main provider (Charter). Of course, each one will blame the other for the problems.

Charter won’t even allow me to backspace in the body of an e-mail if I want to correct a spelling error. I’ve had numerous contacts…by e-mail and phone, kind, pleading, angry, to no available.

This preamble is my excuse if you find me painfully slow to respond to your comments or e-mails. It’s my excuse for not posting to my blog as often as usual and certainly contributed to my leave of absence from dVerse until May.

My e-mail on my blog site is slow, too, but more direct than Charter…so I may try to switch to that although I dread having to transfer e-mail contents. (victoria@victoriacslotto.com).

So, Time Warner and Charter, listen up. Customer Service is where you will find success. Of course, Time Warner, your lack thereof is already paying back by way of purchase by Comcast hovers in your future.

Pardon my rantings, but I’m learning that holding in anger is so unhealthy. And if I seem to be MIA, please understand.

Image: stumbllinginflats.com

Image: stumbllinginflats.com

4622 Castle Crest Drive

Photo Credit: jeunited.comI found an actual photo of the house my grandfather built on Google! I lived there till age 7.

Photo Credit: jeunited.com
I found an actual photo of the house my grandfather built on Google! I lived there till age 7.

4622 Castle Crest Drive–dVerse Open Link Night and Meeting the Bar

She rules—pristine white, glorious
as a crown on the skull of the hill.
Alone, inviolate. The stuff of which
childhood myths are made.

And I wove those stories, weave them still,
envisioning dry days of California summer,
days steeped, like my first glass of iced tea,
in sunshine, scrub brush, and scents of citrus.

Geranium blooms, red and slightly pungent
grow wild among yuccas that, most years, burst
into white blossoms on March 19th, St. Joseph’s day.
Predictable as the swallows coming home.

Eucalyptus trees surround my fortress,
stanchions holding the house and our lives
erect, until the day the fires trundle up
the ridge, and they erupt in rapture.

The room where I wake—beneath the crest—
Is the home of an almost-stranger—a man
who wears a sheet each year on Halloween as
Grandpa takes me door-to-door in his neighborhood

that cradles the base of my princess-world.
It’s different now, sixty-some years later. They’re
dead, the ghost and my dreams of royalty.
And someone painted my castle black.

I’m linking this to both dVerse Open Link Night and the Meeting the Bar I will be hosting this Thursday, February 7th. While dealing with computer issues and upgrades, I’ve made the difficult decision to cut back on the number of posts I do each week, as my priority right now is to get my second novel and a book of poetry out to agents. I will continue to be hanging around the Pub, but will post any prompt I respond to on OLN.

Here’s a hint for Thursday…dig back into those childhood memories and savor the details.


This poem is a response to two previous prompts at dVerse: Anna Montgromery’s Meeting the Bar on experimental poetry and Claudia Schonfeld’s Poetics on food. I wrote it a while back, using a technique I turn to occasionally when in a writing drought. The idea is to take a dictionary and choose 10-20 words at random, words that appeal to you based on both sound and meaning, then use as many as you can, adding the fewest number of other words possible.

Image: Kamil Honisch via Google Images


Mangoes dance adagio
on slivers of dreams that float
in the periwinkle wilderness.

Flushed mussels nest
beside curling wisps of smoke
where tongues pluck nectar.

Writhing slices of apple pie
burn urgency.
Remember to wink,
mulling fantasies,
while you knit.

Linking today at dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Joe Hesch. Please join us for some amazing poetic talent. For a while, I’m having to limit my time at the computer because of some (inconvenient, not serious) health issues…so please understand if my comments are sparse. I will read as many as possible, however…always those who visit me. Thanks, fellow poets.

Perfect Family

Photo Credit: Benjamin Kinsland via Google Images

A Perfect Family lived next door—perfect mother and father—three perfect children—two boys and a girl.
They went to church every Sunday as we slept in—Bible Study on Thursday evenings while we drank beer and watched football.
They didn’t yell or curse like we did—like the couple on the other side of us—Their lawn was perfectly manicured.
The oldest son went off to college and was an honor student—my son went to work after high school at an auto repair shop.
The middle daughter was the star of the soccer team—she played the violin and practiced for hours in the evening and on Saturday.
The mother didn’t work because she cared for the toddler—and began home schooling when he was five years old.
On summer evenings the father would come home from work and change into his Ralph Lauren polo shirt and barbecue steaks or ribs.
The aroma invaded the neighborhood as the rest of us sat on our porches eating hot dogs with potato salad and baked beans.
One such evening my son was smoking a Marlboro and drinking a Bud—my daughter was pregnant and I wasn’t sure where my husband had gone.
Fireflies danced in the dusk before the shots rang out – five of them.
My dogs skittered into the house through the dog door as I grabbed the phone to call 911.
They called it a murder-suicide—the weight of perfection—too heavy to bear I guess. Everybody said so.

Today, over at dVerse Poets’ Pub, I have the honor of hosting Meeting the Bar. I’m discussing an important aspect of fiction/non-fiction writing with an eye to how it can be applied to poetry–that is, characterization.

In this poem, written years ago, I’m including snapshots of two families with the hope that the brief descriptions paint a picture of the tenor of both. Please bear in mind that I have the mind of a fiction writer and much of my poetry is fiction, as this one is. Sometimes people in my past (or present), newspaper articles and other snippets of news serve as a source of inspiration, so that something factual may be borrowed and embroidered.

I hope you will join us at the pub to read some incredible poetry and, hopefully, to offer up something of your own.  The doors open in forty-five minutes (1500 EDT). I look forward to reading your work.

Two Twenty-Six

Photo Credit: Google Images/www.last.fm

Two twenty-six
(a new moon night)
I stumble to the kitchen.

My flashlight plays
on unfamiliar surfaces,
creates images,

suggests invasion
by artifacts
unknown to me.

I fumble for the kettle.
Blue flames explode,
lick seductively.

Steeping chamomile
shares soothing
sleep-inducing scents

while I peek through
the blinds.
On the cul-de-sac

behind us
a street light spills
across the pavement.

Aside from that
the world lolls
in darkest stillness.

Alone, I sip my tea.
I sip solitude.

Thank you Claudia, at dVerse Meeting the Bar, for the prompt to write a poem in the manner of the Impressionistic Artists. Quick brush strokes, the play of light, and mood…move over Monet.  I hope you will join us at the Poetry Pub and bring along your own masterpiece.


sometimes you strain to garner magic
that supposed-to-be-moment
of days set aside to remind
us of this or that but snug
within your core of pretend-this-is-special
simmers a memory, an understanding
that this frou-frou feeling
inauthentic grasping of what-used-to-be
stands for something more.

down the street at the end of the cul-de-sac
an old woman lives alone
a mostly dark house with tight-closed
shutters and peeling paint
shielded from neighbors’ bright-light-christmas
oh-so-white reindeer on the lawn
rearranged by kids one block over

wrapping paper
neglected now in disarray

in the kitchen an argument ensues
it’s too early to put the turkey
in the oven remember last year
how dry it was

from the den loud snores
uncle jack drank too much again
same as always

in here
my thoughts prowl meaning
sun pours through the half-moon
window above the door
that later in the day
will welcome others
we haven’t seen or spoken to
in months

my dogs relax
cuddled at my side
backlit by rays
content and cared-for
knowing we are present

i get it then
that’s what today is all about

This is not meant to be a downer, but rather to look beyond the fluff of holiday celebrations and get to the meaning behind them. I’m linking this to dVerse Poetics and to my own prompt on Presents vs. Presence. Also to Gooseberry Gardens where the prompt is Holiday Traditions. .

Merry Christmas, all. I hope you do get to taste the magic of the holidays.

Write2Day–Presents versus Presence

Many of us are preparing to celebrate the holidays, each in his or her own way. Winter Solstice is the 22nd (0530 U.T.), reminding us of the play of light and darkness, this being the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The holiday I celebrate is Christmas, the birth of Christ, even though we have no evidence as to when Jesus was actually born. The early Church took the prevailing festival of Saturn and adopted December 25th, the date midpoint in the event, in an attempt to incorporate the cultural traditions in which it found itself into its liturgical calendar.

Our world view has evolved, in part, thanks to the interconnectedness created by our Internet communities. We have become so much more aware of other traditions and thus attempt to become more inclusive. For me, this underlines how much we are alike, rather than emphasizing differences. In my lifetime experience, Christmas has become more secularized/commercialized and, for many, has lost its spiritual significance. Yet common themes of light, love, and giving remain important.

This week I was struck by a poem written by fellow blogger, Charles Mashburn. Without going into the poem itself, (I hope you will check it out) the message that struck me was the idea of Presence vs. Presents. As my own faith has matured, I see Christmas as a celebration of God, however God shows up in our lives: Presence. At the same time, I enjoy the anticipation of a child as I eye the Presents waiting under the tree and as I try to choose things that will please those I love. It’s all about giving, and receiving Love.

So, for this week’s prompt, I invite you to share your point of view about the holidays. And don’t be surprised if we encounter one or more common denominators. 

To participate:

  • Write an essay, short story or poem and post it to your blog.
  • Copy the URL and your Name into the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.
  • Take a few moments to read other bloggers and comment on their work.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Diwali, Holidays!

Power of Love-A Haiku

candle flame

Image by ezioman via Flickr

Power of Love

Love is above all
energy kindling a fire
in the core of life.

I am posting this brief poem in gratitude for the nomination I received for the Perfect Poet’s Award, and to bring a bit of light into our celebrations of the season.

thirteen ways of looking at rain

thirteen ways of looking at rain

symbol of cleansing
dreamtime confession

the touch of rain
on a withered cheek
reminder of long-ago kisses

when rain and sun
make love
they spawn rainbows

rain puddles on asphalt or cobblestone
luminescent pools of color
moody reflections

rain puddles on dirt make mud
child’s delight
mother’s misery

when rain freezes
and winds blow
kisses sting
like a lover grown cold

some people are like rain
you reach out to touch them
they slip through your fingers
they are gone
but you remember
they were there

some people are like rain
you wait for them
but they don’t come
then they appear uninvited
and disrupt your life

mingle rain
with tears
purify your heart

rain’s caress
on a child’s cheek
an invitation to play

too much rain blinds
just like too much of anything
moderation, balance
give direction

dance in the rain
sing in the shower
be not afraid
enjoy freedom

when it rains
go walking
without an umbrella

This week at dVerse Poetics, the incomparable Brian Miller offers a prompt based on the amazing art work of Tera Zajack ( olive hue designs) and the Gooseberry Garden invites us to consider, among other things, December. Usually, this month is blessed with some form of precipitation. Where I live, it most often takes the form of snow. But this year, the only thing we’ve had is cold and wind. So this poem, inspired by a form given to us by Wallace Stevens, is more of a wish than a reality. I hope to see you at one or both of these wonderful poetry communities.

My browser would not allow me to upload the images that inspired this poem, so now you HAVE TO check out the Pub. Have a drink and share a poem while you’re there!