Friday, December 30, 2016

NYC Christmas

If you travel to New York City at Christmastime you will find a city lit up with glittering lights, majestic decorations, and milling crowds. This year was no exception but the crowds seemed to have increased and security was intensified.

Families were seen with cameras or phones in hand snapping photographs to savor the moments. I captured a few scenes and created a short video that can be viewed below.

While New York City was festive, Times Square and 5th Avenue by Rockefeller Center were so congested that it was disconcerting. Crowds were converging at corners, splitting to move here and there. Some people were pushing to pass through; shoving was common; peacefulness was not present in those spots. This may be due to the tourists wishing to see Trump Tower. 

The New York Times ran an article on December 22, 2016 that shows what I saw on Wednesday, December 28th. You can access it here.

During this past month, Mary Lee Hahn has been posting haikus at her site, Poetrepository, and invited others to join her at #haikuforhealing. I have been writing to soothe my soul. Below is my offering written after my family traveled to New York City for a lovely lunch at Becco's followed by a New York City walk-about.

For your information, the news is reporting that 2 million people will be present in Times Square tomorrow night for the dropping of the ball. I will be watching the event on television and hoping for a sense of decorum and civility returning to New York City's streets.

Please visit Party Poetry Friday hosted by fellow writer Donna Smith at her blog, Mainely Write for this week's round-up. Donna is presenting a "bold" haiku to start the festivities. Happy New Year to all.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Autumnventure Debuted

After many days of preparation for the holidays and sandwiching in writing to soothe the soul, I have unveiled Autumnventure Gallery as my seasonal holiday gift. Gratitude is extended to all my poetry friends who supported my love of poetry by offering wonderful nuggets of wisdom, vivid autumn scenes, and inspirational quotes. Original music, art, and videos were added to this gallery as a bonus. 

Here are my brief thoughts on the completion of the gallery in septercet form. (Thanks Michelle Barnes for introducing me to this poetic format.)

Winter entered; autumn left
but fond memories linger.
Fall's seasonal gift unveiled.

©CVarsalona, 2016

You can access Autumnventure Gallery here. I hope you enjoy the gallery walk, with soothing music, artwork, #digipoetry, digital inspirations, #imagepoems, and bursts of color. It was an inspiring journey. My one word this year that has guided me onward is believe and that I did as I designed the gallery.

Poetry Friday Friends Who Contributed to Autumnventure Gallery
Baie, LindaKogan, MichelleRattigan, Jama
Behnke, RamonaLewis, J. PatrickSalas, Laura Purdie
Flynn, CatherineMacCulloch, JoneShepard, Kiesha
Forrest, MattMagee, BridgetSilverman, Buffy
Hahn, Mary Lee Mayr, DianeSimon, Margaret
Harsham, BrendaMitchell, Linda Varsalona, Carol
Hodgson, KevinNesdoly, VioletWyman, Christie

Autumn asks that we prepare for the future—
that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. 
But it also asks that we learn to let go
to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness. 
-Bonaro W. Overstreet

Happy Holidays, friends. Enjoy your time with family, friends, and poetry. #Poetrylove sustains us when the pace of life is hectic. Now back to finding the elves to help me wrap all my presents before the family arrives tomorrow.

Buffy Silverman is hosting Poetry Friday-the Solstice Edition at her blog, Buffy's Blog. Please visit so you can read her Hound Haiku in story format. Also, please check out Buffy's offering, Life of a Leaf, at the Autumnventure Gallery.

Autumnventure Unveiled

Open  Your  Heart
to the glorious colors of the

2016 Autumn Gallery of Artistic Expression

where each digital inspiration embraces the wonderlust spirit
and captures the majesty of autumn, a season of transition.

as autumn unfolds in brilliant color and poetic thought. 
The journey begins with a collection of autumn scenes 
in New York State and a poem capturing autumn's last waltz.

As you browse through the collection, 
you most likely will agree with me that  

Please take a moment to listen to an original composition
Piano Notebook - When It's Overwritten by Philip Stephen Allen.
(Click here)

Now, join me in taking a gallery walk. 

Sit Back-Unwind-Peruse 
the digital inspirations created 
by Reflect With Me writers from around the globe. 

Autumn Sunrise

Autumn Sunsets
Slater National Park, Washington - Ramona Behnke

Alaska - @AlaskaTracy

Inspired by Nature, Writers Notice, Wonder, and Compose

Listen to an audio recording of this poem at

Watch here on #Periscope, the incredible beauty of autumn
at the Berskshire Mountains.
Photographed and narrated by Judy Arzt.

Autumn's Leaves Drift On By
Listen to the gentle music.

Examine a collection of autumn leaves from across the globe:
Colorado, New York, Estonia, and Illinois.

Pause to view the 30 second video, 
"Autumnventure Gallery: Travel Through Fall" 

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. 
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, 
and the storms their energy,
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
-John Muir 

Poets Color Their Words with Autumn's Palette

The invitation to "Find Fall" for the Autumnventure Gallery 
was delivered via social media in October 2016.

Colleagues responded by capturing fall in photographs. 
Some posted to the hashtag #Autumnventure.

New York City
Oswego, NY - @Math912Teacher
Farmer's Market, Tannersville, PA. - Spiri Howard
Maryland - Jon Harper
Virginia - Caitlin Daniels

Michigan - Lisa Orchard
Goldhill, Oregon - Kate Cleland-Sipfle
California - Lori A. King
Alaska Adventure Home - @AlaskaTracy
Lake Ontario, Canadian side - Sean Mitchell
Estonia - Terje Akke

Brazil - Stephan Hughes

Kindergarten students moved from non-digital to digital Platforms
to create original nature poetry.
Fall by Tre V (Kinder Poet from Wyman's Wonders)
Fall by Haley (Kinder Poet from Wyman's Wonders)

Class Poems by Wyman's Wonders 

Please view the video by Christie Wyman about Wyman's Wonders poetry journey here.

Autumn is Life's Change Agent

Autumn is the season of change! 
Taoist proverb

October is a symphony of permanence and change. 
-Bonaro W. Overstreet

Let's follow Autumn as she moves with seasonal beauty and grace.

Estonia's Apples  - Terje Akke

Autumn Debuts in Las Vegas - Carol Varsalona

Little Italy, New York City - Carol Varsalona

Seattle - Ramona Behnke

Alaska - @AlaskaTracy

Autumn writes her own poetry, we are merely observers.
~Terri Guillemets

In our travels, we found and showcased fall in its glory 
through poetry, 

nature photography, 

inspirational quotes, 


and music.

Pause to listen to another original compositionPiano Notebook - Nocturnewritten by Philip Stephen Allen. (Click here)

During leisure time, enjoy my Autumnventure Playlist on YouTube.

The autumn season inspires all to believe in possibilities 

and live life to its fullest.

Inspirational quote submitted by Jama Rattigan

The community of reflective writers has continued to grow since the first Reflect With Me Gallery of Artistic Expressions in March 2014. 

You can visit the following galleries that integrate the arts, technology, and poetry by clicking on the individual titles.

Reflect With Me: Bring a Community of Writers Together to Celebrate Life & Teaching
April Awakenings
Summer Serenity
Finding Fall
Winter Whisperings
Spring's Symphony
Summer Splashings
Autumn's Palette
Winter Wanderings
Spring's Seeds


Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile. 
William Cullen Bryan

Thank you for perusing the Autumnventure Gallery. It has been a pleasure to present the sights and sounds of autumn through an artistic lens. Please leave a comment or tweet a response so that the joy of this gallery and the work of all those who contributed can be spread throughout the world. -Carol

Until we meet again in 2017, I send warm wishes 
for the holidays and the season of winter. 
Let's spread #poetrylove throughout the world!