Friday, February 26, 2021

Moving On

Looking back on the hectic days of February has brought many days of worrying and executing my to-do list for the biggest move of my life. In order to bring some peace into the up-down emotions of packing and coordinating the move to my new home, I needed to etch out some time for writing.  

My thanks go out once again to Laura Shovan for creating a space for the 9th Annual February Poem Project of daily poetry writing.  Below are two of my latest fast write pieces.

Day 5 Prompt: Skin
Aging is a matter of mind even though our bodies slow us down. Our skin has weathered life through the decades. The following poem came to me as I looked at the brown spots on my husband's face.

Day 10 Prompt: Hair
Dedicated to all cancer survivors...

It is late now on Friday night and I spent all day unpacking, organizing my newly-constructed closets and my kitchen our Virginia home. It's been a long day so I apologize for dropping in late. 

packing, unpacking, chugging along 
like a train moving on
destination in sight
CV, 2021, draft

Today is Poetry Friday and Karen Edmisten is the host bringing some Billy Collins' humor into the opening of my day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Story Evolves

I have always been fascinated by the turn of the 20th Century living. When librarian-poet, Diane Mayr, posted her topic for Day 22 of Laura Shovan's 9th Annual February Poetry Project, I immediately started to research what medicine was like during past eras. As a collector of antique and vintage items, I was eager to find out more about Lydia  E. Pingham and her vegetable compound. While digging into more articles, I started reminiscing on  research-based projects on daily life in New York State that I offered students. The goal of one of the cross-curricular mini-units was to recreate an old-fashioned apothecary counter filled with antique medicine bottles for a county-wide celebration.  The elementary building I worked in became a living village featured as a stop on the county tour. 

Castor Oil

Spirit of Figs

Cod Liver Oil

Blood Purifier

Bottles weathered

By time

Lined the shelves

Each promising

A dose of health

For human ailments.

Strong medicinal smells

Led curious minds to uncover 

Quackery or modern miracles.

©CV, 2021


Today is Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers.

Join me as I gear up for Day 23's daily poetry prompt

and the March SOLSC #SOL21 Challenge.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Creative Mind is Restless

With my upcoming move, there is so much to do that my mind keeps racing. Sleep is interrupted and the to-do list keeps popping up at all hours. After reading Rebecca Brock, Day 17 prompt at Laura Shovan's 9th Annual February Poem Project, my brain kept churning. The floodgates of creativity opened and from beyond my comfort zone evolved the following poem. 


early morning
brain churns-
waking from slumber
thoughts interrupted-
brain freeze
creative impulses
 searching for words-
no constraints
open the curious mind
to a new day
of imaginative thought.
©CV, 2021

The creative mind is restless. - Rishi Kapoor

The video I created with Lumen 5 is published on YouTube a
Please visit to see the poem through a different lens.


Tonight, troubled by Winter Blast #3 and continued COVID broadcasts, I created an image poem for Day 18 of the 9th Annual February Poem Project. Stacey JoyEleven Johnson offered an interesting prompt with a couple of shadow photos and a skinny poem. the poem below  uses the Shadorma format and was created with the FotoJet platform. It was prompted by the third winter blast, COVID-19 broadcasts, and my final dose of the COVID vaccine, all amidst endless packing for my house move to Virginia. 


With an ample amount of snow covering our neighborhood once again, I toss my anxieties up in the air to enjoy some poetic goodness at Poetry Friday. This week, Ruth Hersey from Haiti, is our host. She is enjoying Carnival Week and creating a Facts of the World poem with facts offered from every Poetry Friday writer. Mine is about a surprising snowflake fact

I continue to collect winter photos with poems from across the world. Interested?
Send your offering to my hashtag , @cvarsalona, and #WintersEmbrace2021 Gallery on Twitter, Facebook, or my gmail.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Love Comes Calling

Sometimes, I am oblivious to small details. I can walk into a room and not notice something even when it is in front of me. Is it that I focus on one idea and not take in the big picture or am I really unaware? 

Well, my focusing on a single to-do purpose botched my husband's surprise once again. I woke on Valentine's Day hoping for a day of peace amidst all the stress of moving and joined my husband in the kitchen. Expecting to start breakfast, I moved to the refrigerator but missed a sweet surprise.  My husband kept giving me darting looks.  Wondered why, I kept thinking what was it that was on his mind. All of sudden, I gazed toward the window and realized what I missed.

There it was, a sweet surprise of my favorites, flowers and dark chocolate The balloon was an added treat. My stunned look brought a good laugh followed by a great breakfast. 

Backstory of Chocolates and Roses

In his haste to find the right valentine moment, a grand plans was devised. On Valentine's Eve, my husband hid a bouquet of roses and chocolates in the garage, thinking that would be the safest place for his sweet treasures. Early on Valentine's Day, he woke to gather the surprise before I came downstairs. Having to go outside, he took one step off the porch, and went flying. A loud scream was heard but I thought he was calling to my son to help shovel. After no one came to his rescue, he managed to get up from the icy ground without falling again and thankful for not breaking any bones or landing on his back. Later, he recounted his story and added a heart tattoo as a visible sign of discomfort. 

We were shocked that the bruised blotch on his arm amazingly appeared in the shape of a heart. To remember his loving act for posterity, I created a heart tattoo graphic with love. How about this scenario for a reality show segment on valentine love?

love comes calling
with heart throbs and body aches
©CV, 2021


I offer this short narrative for Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers
where writing fills the spaces of life.

March 1st starts the March 2021 Slice of Life Story Challenge.
Consider joining our community of writers for this event, SOLSC 2021.
I will be writing daily.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Winter Blast #2

Imagine waking to a quiet, cold morning of drifting snowdrops pirouetting in a bright sky. Nature's artistry in motion is visible. Intrigued by the sight, I watch the shifting winds, listen to the whooshing, guzzling noise, and then, see snowflakes, flitting through the air in a haphazard motion.

Winter Embraces Its Second Blast
in the calm quiet
after the first snowdropping
blankets welcomed
©CV, 2021, haiku 
cars crusted in snow wait for the unknown
pristine blankets camouflage
a shoveling nightmare 
©CV, 2021, Kimo 
winter art lines
neighborhood streets-
2021's living gallery
©CV, 2021, micropoem
-Judi Drucker, 2021, Long Island

those indoors watch
the incessant snow dance and plop
on a frozen throne
©CV, 202, haiku
more layers to come
so the meteorologists forecast...
Laura Shovan's 9th Annual February Poetry Project Continues with amazing writing prompts. Buffy Silverman offered this #naturephoto for participants to ponder.

-Buffy Silverman, 2021, Michigan

Winter Tree

Skin so rugged,

Aged with grace

Mapped with lines

Of winter's face.


Aging is nature


Faced with dignity

Life enduring.

©CV, 2021

Before leaving, I would like to share the Poetry Postcard I received from my poet-artist friend, Michelle Kogan.

Thank you Molly Hogan from Maine for hosting Poetry Friday this week. I'm waiting to see if the Northeast is receives a weekend blast as is predicted. Molly with her key eye for photography will be on the lookout for an interesting winter theme to photograph. In the meantime she offers, some early morning scenes at the beach and the draft of her artist's prayer.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Snow Baby

She takes baby steps along the trail, carefully gliding forward, one foot at a time. Without fear, she inhales winter's crispclean air and strives to keep her balance. That was then. Now , at 3 1/2- years-old, she finds her stride on pristine, snow white slopes, determined to cross each area with ease. Inhaling and exhaling, she explores the wonders of winter life with delight. 

She breathes in
Winter's crispclean air.
Awaiting a world of
©CV, 2021
I turn my Slice of Life thoughts over to Two Writing Teachers
in gratitude for the sacred space they have established
for a caring community of writers.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Helping Hands

A new term popped up in the news this week. Although it rang of truth, I was disheartened by its nomenclature, Long-Haul Pandemic. With this said, I am thankful for helping hands during these trying pandemic times. The following are thoughts and images on the need for thoughtful acts of kindness delivered by helping hands.

The golden shovel poems below are based on the strike line, "Since hands exist, you have had hope", from the poem, Hands by Hawre Khalid.

Helping Hands
Dedicated to All helping hands during pandemic times.

Life has changed since
COVID 19. Your gentle hands
Comfort those who exist
In closed quarters. You
Know pangs of sorrow that have
Evolved each day. Your hands had
Leaned into pain and despair on the wings of hope!
©CV, 2021
Hope crouched in corners since the beginning of the pandemic. Gentle hands continue to reach out to those who exist under a veil of sorrow. The collective you touch lives who have known the confines of a sterile PPE word and those who had few pathways to hope. 

Thank you, Laura Shovan, for offering space to write during 
your 9th Annual February Daily Poem Project.
Remembering Her Hands

Dedicated to my dear grandmother whose hands brought joy to my childhood world.

When Nonnie's hands held mine,
summer unfolded in simplicity.
Fragrant flowers bloomed.
Caterpillars tickled the path.
Clothing hung to dry.
Time stood still.

When Nonnie's hands held mine,
Books became my friends.
Curiosity awakened.
Nature's wonders explored
And childhood dreams celebrated
with a hopeful heart.

As summers passed
And hands grew still,
Rose-petaled memories
Carried me home
To when Nonnie's hands
Gently held mine.
©CV, 2021
I give thanks today to Jone Rush MacCulloch, host of Poetry Friday who also provided the Poetry Postcard Exchange for the start of the new year. At her blog, you will see her poetree she created to showcase each of the eleven poems in the exchange, one of which was mine. Her project brought joy to our small group of poets. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Take Heart - SJT

For three weeks I searched for available COVID vaccine appointments for my family. Frustration mounted with each new search. I looked, wished for a canceled spot, and persevered. The search left me drained and frustrated. Availability was an issue being faced by so many across Long Island. What am I looking for? A needle in a haystack could be found easier than an appointment.

With faith, I continued the search on Long Island, NYC, and Virginia where I will be moving. I did find two single openings not together for my husband and me. One was in NYC and the other at Jones Beach. These appointments seemed like an answer to prayer but the dates were near the time we should be closing on our house. 

Moving on, I changed direction and confirmed my upcoming doctor appointment. With that final task for the day completed, I opened my email to find a message in my patient portal-Complete your COVID 19 Screening Questionnaire. I rushed to do this and to my surprise, I received a text a short time later. It was a gift, an appointment for the first dose of the COVID vaccine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center near my home. Grateful, I paused to remember a scripture quote Karen Eastlund shared. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." (James 1:17). 

What a beautiful surprise, a good gift from above. Being in remission from lymphoma for the past 18 years has been a miracle gift and a testament that "the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." (James 1:3) 

Fran Haley, host of Spiritual Journey Thursday this month chose "Take Heart" as our theme. I take heart that I can begin my new life in Virginia without the worry of feeling safe during trying times. Knowing that I can endure snags along the way that test my faith, will lead me to steadfastly continue my journey of celebrating life. 

Finding a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. solidified an idea for me. The following digital inspiration provides the reflective action step for me to take during the month of February. 

*Begin is my one word 2021.


Thank you, Fran, for the theme for this month's Spiritual Journey Thursday here.
It gave me a spark of inspiration to finish this post and add a reflaction
(reflection with an action step) for this month.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Winter Snowblast 2021

Before the storm
Weather channels announced the "coming of a winter blast". Preparations were made, snowblowers in high demand. Most people snuggled indoors waiting for the event.

Storm brewing.
Winter wish:
Fill your day with cozycalm,
Mindful practice.
©CV, 2021

Then, the Storm Came.
Snuggled in blanket-warmth,
white powder masses paraded in.
Nighttime darkness
masked the entry.
©CV, 2021

Daylight Quietly Opened

Cameras Flash
In haste
snowscape captured
before the rush to
 dismember its stilled existence.
©CV, 2021


Why do we quickly tear down the beauty of winter snow
to enjoy the convenience of passing streets? 

When I was a child, it seemed that snowstorm pile-ups were left untouched for days. The sheer beauty of pristine snowscapes remains in my mind as a remembrance of winter peace.

Snow was falling
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.
-Mary Oliver

I turn my Slice of Life thoughts over to Two Writing Teachers
in gratitude for their community of writers.

Take a look at what Letha Henry from Graceland, Quebec sent me 
for my #WintersEmbrace2021 Gallery collection.