Friday, June 28, 2019

Reflection at Sunset

The timeworn idiom, "One man's trash, is another man's treasure," is one that has become a statement of truth for me. Last week, writing friend, Linda Mitchell, opened up her box of "clunkers" for Poetry Friday friends to choose and turn one into a poem, a keepsake treausre. My choice was flitting, fluttering, flying. I immediately was drawn to those three words because of the alliteration. The words flowed off my tongue in such a lyrical way that I knew they could work for me. While Linda may have turned it aside as a clunker, I brushed it off and repurposed it.

I hope Linda agrees that her passed on words paired with a stunning photo will become a treasure for my Abundant Autumn Gallery. In addition, the words fit nicely into the context of my week that had me flitting from place to place, fluttering in and out of professional development projects, and sending my voice flying. A gorgeous nature photo by #chazchaz from South Africa brought to me by one of my PLN friends, Al Dhalla, combined with Linda's words allowed me to play with language and find the inspiration to write. 

I now present Linda's clunker incorporated into my poem, Sunset Dreams

   Sunset Dreams

   Sunset ignites in indigo skies.
   Flitting, fluttering, flying
   words pop-up, wiggle, wind
   into a universe of ideation,
   cleansing and fortifying 
   the sanctity of thought.
   In the sweeping indigo sky,
   serenity settles in at sunset,
   laying thoughts to rest.
      ©CV, 2019

Photo by #chazchaz via Al Dhalla

Now I am off to Poetry Friday to post this offering. Our host this week, Buffy Silverman, has a wonderful review of Rick Lieder's book, Hello, I'm Here. This book is sure to delight children with its vivid photos of a newly-hatched baby crane chick who relates her story through a first-person poem. Buffy followed this review with an original poem, Advice to a Baby Chick, she wrote for Today's Little Ditty June Challenge.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Raining Again

early morning
gray day warning
quiet surrounds
heartbeat pounds
crackling sounds
start their rounds
©CV, 2019

Rainstorm, while crossing the Verrazano Bridge, 2017

Rain is not a unique sight here on Long Island this season. Since we missed April showers in abundance, June is bustin' out all over with rainstorms. But this morning, the interjection of loud, reverberating thunder claps startled everyone in the house and sent us racing for the windows. 

Please view the following nature photos that illustrate Mother Nature's changeable nature from a day of sunshine to the next day filled with rain. These photos and poems will be at the hashtag, #SpringSplendorGallery, on Twitter waiting for the design of the future gallery.

Rainstorm in Pittsburgh by Jessica Bigi

After the storm in Lexington, Kentucky by Ruth Hersey
Rainbow in Maine by Donna Smith
At the End of the Rainbow by Molly Hogan, Maine 

Rain is not just happening here in the USA. There is a hashtag, #rain, that shares photos from around the globe. 

To validate my thoughts about the rain, I quote my poet friend who experienced the rains during a recent stateside visit to her family in Kentucky. 

"This has been the Aprilest June ever."  -Ruth Hersey

There is tranquility in the house now that the rains have quieted down.
May Langston Hughes' poem and my digital artwork of Long Island fill your day with peace. 

I am joining Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesday where I found a digital inspiration that seems to fit in with my post. I was filled today with the shock of thunder but now my neighborhood is filled with the lulling chirps of the birds once again. 


Thursday, June 20, 2019

June Vibes

Summertime makes a grand entrance each year as children and parents move into a relaxed mode of living. There are family outings, mini-trips, vacations, and fresh air fun. Everyone feels summer vibes that bring smiles and uplifted spirits. Here is a feel-good song, "June is bustin' out all over," that holds the spirit of June in its lyrics.

Feeling the verve of summer busting out, I am joining Michelle H. Barnes' June Ditty Challenge created by Karen Boss, an editor from Charlesbridge Publishing who is Today's Little Ditty Spotlight guest for the month of June. Susan likes the idea of "putting good vibes for kids into the world" so her ditty challenge this month is to write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.

For my ditty challenge offering, I chose to discuss the gift of reading. It is a joyful one that never stops surprising the reader with journeys to near and far-off lands, inspiration, amusement, and beautiful language to develop communication skills. My ditty poem captures my love of reading and the blossoming love for books that has developed in my granddaughter's life. Because she delights in choosing her own books to read, one of my gifts for her second birthday was a picture book that speaks to the blossoming artist that she is. Sky Color, written by my friend, the creative artist/children's author, Peter Reynolds, is a great read aloud to spark the creative spirit in any child. 

Front Cover

I dedicate my poem to my little love, Sierra, who is full of life and celebrated her second birthday this past weekend.


Dear little grandchild of mine,
summer is for old-fashioned fun-
your time to notice, wonder, and combine
outdoor merriment under the sun
with picture books for everyone.
Find the story that sends you climbing
the one that's filled with rhyming.
There are many to make you smile,
others to spark your artistic style.
Perhaps, you'll come read with me
by my roaring Long Island sea
or under your old Virginia tree.
Wherever you go,
bring a treasured book
to fly you to an enchanted nook
where summer dreams wait for you 
as book love grows during year two.
©CV, 2019

Now, I am off to visit my friend, librarian/poet, Linda Mitchell at her blog site, A Word Edgewise. Linda is the gracious host of Poetry Friday this week.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Springtime Digital Delights

Each year, spring arrives of its own accord, renewing the world as it bursts forth with color and joy! But this season, spring played peek-a-boo on Long Island as it fluctuates from warmth to dampness and chill. The thermostat read 50 degrees this morning as the rains continued to soak the earth so there were many comments about the winter-in-spring weather phenomenon. 

To rekindle a love of spring warmth and vivid green hues, I present some dazzling digital inspirations for all to witness the splendor of spring. 

Travel with me for a short virtual gallery tour of springtime 
starting with a digipoem from Massachusetts.

On Long Island a lament was heard from early springtime to today:

A lovely flower from South Carolina was spotted at Robyn Hood Black's blog.

Elementary students from Louisiana uncovered springtime in verse. 

A colleague from the 50th state embraced the spirit of springtime and together we created a postcard from Hawaii.

Lastly here is a sighting that looks like a scene from the opening of the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. but it is from Estonia.

There are many more digital inspirations in different varieties that have been collected from colleagues across the globe for the Spring Splendor Gallery. If you have not sent in an offering yet, you may continue to do so until Sunday night, June 16, 2019. Poets, photographers, artists, composers, and students take the creative challenge plunge and think spring.  

I am off to visit poet Laura Shovan's blog site since she is the host of this week's PoetryFriday. You will be delighted to read poems from 3rd grade students during Laura's poet-in-residence annual visit.

I will be on a slow read of Poetry Friday posts since I will be celebrating my granddaughter's second birthday this weekend. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Recollection of Fall

I recall a glorious walk last fall on a clear day that radiated with the sunshine of spring and the warmth of autumn. Instead of a quick jaunt to the ocean, my husband and I traveled a short distance to Hempstead Lake Park, a beautiful place for a walk.


It was one of those rare days that spoke of the majesty of the earth. Walkers congregated at different bends of the trail to celebrate the beauty of the season. The nature path strewn with scattered leaves and fallen trunks was lush with the fruits of the season. Red-orange berry bushes, popping with color, lined the path. Scampering squirrels raced hurriedly across the wooded trail as dogs promenaded with their owners. A faint hint of horse hooves clomping on the adjacent trail was evident. Serenity surrounded the inner sanctum of the woods. Only the crunching of leaves underfoot broke the morning silence. Off the beaten trail lay an expansive glistening lake that sparkled with slight ripples from the slow gliding ducks. Massive trees stood regally as their multi-colored leaves showed signs of changing colors. Two couples stood nearby to soak in the abundance of nature's gifts that were showcased under the sun. 
of morning
reflected in leaves
©CV, 2019

What I attempted above is a prose poem called a haibun, followed not by the tradition haiku but a Hay(na)ku, a poetic form that I recently learned about. I added a digitized form of the nature photo I took last fall. This sequence of poetry and digital artwork will be featured in my upcoming Abundant Autumn Gallery of Artistic Expressions


Now, I am off to connect and collaborate with online friends at Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life Writing Challenge.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


"We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep."
-William James

While alone last night, I heard a thunderous sky bellowing, rains pounding but did not lament. I knew that the earth was being replenished. When I woke this morning, a glorious spring day filled my window with sunshine. I felt comforted that the rains accomplished their task and earth was replenished. By mid-afternoon, my roses were blooming in beautiful shades of pink while the last of plump peonies made their debut, replacing droopy ones. My garden was alive with different shades of green. I wanted to capture the glory of springtime in a digital form of muted hues and so I created an artistic representation of my garden filled with greenery. 

As I searched for poetic words to accompany the digital, I came across a 21st Century poetic form, Hay(na)ku, invented by Eileen R. Tabios, so I played around with ideas. Clearly, I need to work at this form but below is an early Hay(na)ku attempt.

It is with a spirit of conscious connectedness that I compose my thoughts tonight for the week was one of connecting and collaborating.  This afternoon after my garden tour,  I sat down to connect with my Spiritual Journey first Thursday group hosted by Ramona Behnke. Her topic, connections, was an easy fit for my week of conscious connections, and so I composed a follow-up to my SJ1stT post. 

Just what is a connection? Brene Brown defines it "as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, hear, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they drive sustenance and strength from the relationship."

I am one 
traveler on
a journey called life-
one tiny part of a universe
of thoughts and spoken words,
drawing strength from communities
filled with positive energy and caring spirits.
With gratitude, I respond by capturing nature's
beauty filled with the colors of earth's splendors. 
I connect with the earth, life, and wonder of all that lies within. 
©CV, 2019

I, like others, may lead separate lives but are "connected in the deep" when we become part of a collegial community. It is a privilege to be a member of the Poetry Friday family of friends. Tonight, my artist-poet friend, Michelle Kogan is hosting Poetry Friday here.

REMINDER: Deadline for #digitalinspirations of any artistic format for my upcoming #SpringSplendorGallery are due by June 13th. 

Conscious Connections

Upon reflection, I realize that I have spent a lifetime consciously connecting with nature and others. I remember strolling through my Nonnie's rose gardens during summer months. In school, there was a huge statue of St. Francis surrounded by nature. The nuns spent much time calling our attention to his connection to nature and living beings. When in college, I loved learning about photography and finding opportunities to capture the beauty of nature. I never thought about these pathways as leading me on a spiritual journey until recently.

This morning in yoga class the teacher asked us to be conscious of our movements. It was during meditation time that I connected with my spirit to be centered in thought. 

C onnect with life, finding
O pportunities,
N ew ways to reflect, to
N otice nature more,
E nergize my senses, and
C reate tributes
T o ponder.
 ©CV, 2019

This afternoon as I wandered in my backyard, I was in awe of the flowers, the green vegetation, and the beauty of the sky. I found a scripture verse to give credit for what I saw. 
The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19

One of my favorite hyums that gives tribute to the glory of God and the wonder and majesty of His creation is John Rutter's, For the Beauty of the Earth. You can listen to it below. 

I chose this version sung by the Morman Tabernacle Choir for a specific reason. The photos are beautiful, as are the voices, but in particular, it connects me to a family trip to the Washington, D.C. Morman Temple at Christmastime. It as lit up for public viewing and my grandbaby loved the brilliance of the lights. 

CVarsalona, 2017, Washington D.C. Morman Temple Festival of Lights
For spiritual growth as a caring citizen of the earth and those around me, I  must be filled with conscious connections to grow to a true understanding of myself. Without reflection, the journey becomes a series of destinations rather than an understanding of why I am being led on a certain path. Continuing the journey requires faith, trust, and hope in the Lord.

"Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self.
And only through working on the self can we begin 
to enhance our connectedness to others."
-Harriet Goldhor Lerner

I am now joining my friend and Spiritual Journey first Thursday host, Ramona Behnke from Washington.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Connecting and Collaborating

Connecting and collaborating is a practice that I have enjoyed this week, whether it was face-to-face, online, or in Twitter virtual conversations. How do these chance and scheduled meet-ups impact my life? Do they enhance my awareness of my 2019 "one word," embrace? I ponder these questions tonight. 
When I connect and collaborate with colleagues, I reap rewards. Virtually moving beyond my home on Long Island allows me to discover diverse perspectives in online corners of thought (Twitter chats, like #NYEDChat with @EmpaticoOrg last night). I network with positive people across the globe. I learn, share ideas, and find new inquiry paths. I embrace small steps through reflection and reflaction (reflection with action) that open channels for change. Most of all, I discard any small thoughts about inadequacy. Opening the mind to new pathways, allows creativity to be harnessed and writing sparked. 
I encourage everyone to: 

When I connect and collaborate,
I am inspired to create and let voice fly. 

Above you will find a new offering for my #SpringSplendorGallery.
Perhaps, you are interested in joining my creative challenge.
The invitation can be accessed here

Thank you to Fran Haley, one of my Tuesday Slice of Life friends, who connected with me about digital design this past weekend. Back and forth we chatted via messaging on topics related to digital design: types of digital tools I use, ideas for enhancing digital, credits. Here is one of Fran's digital creations that will be showcased at my Spring Splendor Gallery. This nature photo that Fran captured is so beautiful that it deserves a place of recognition in a gallery of artistic expression.

Now, I am off to connect and collaborate with some online friends tonight at