Friday, April 30, 2021

Springtime Word Weaving

It's Poetry Friday time to connect with the creative muse so I carve out a writing space amidst the boxes that still line my hallway and study. Next, I recall last weekend's springtime walk with my little granddaughters and start word weaving my thoughts into different types of poetic forms for National Poetry Month. I begin with a photo I took during the walk and then transformed it into a digital inspiration. Using the Prisma app and the fibonicci sequence of a six-line twenty syllables poem, I dedicate the following mathematical endeavor to my little granddaughter who is a nature-lover.  

To the wind.
Dandelion dance,
Springtime wonder for little hands.
©CV, 2021

Be lulled by Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind sung by Kina Grannis.

My roots take me back to childhood days when I blew dandy wishes to the wind with the dandelions I plucked. Back then, I also watched my Nonnie make dandelion greens for dinner. While I did not continue that tradition, I do love to drink tea made of dandelion roots or herbs but never explored the idea of growing a patch of dandelions in my herb garden. I wonder if they would take over the basil and parsley I intend to grow? I decide to use a different mathematical format to pen equation poems introduced to me by my poet friend Laura Purdie Salas to ponder my streaming thoughts.

dandelion root  x  wish weed puffs = springtime well-being

yellow weed flower + green stem + white feathers = wishes for happiness

About Poetic Forms

creativity + constrained poetic forms = conscious and concise word choice

Because my busy poet friend Matt Forrest is hosting Poetry Friday this week and invited all to try a tricube poem that consists of 3 stanzas, each of which have 3 ines, which each have 3 syllables, I thought I would challenge myself.  Here is my first tricube.

Spring sounds float
Through the woods 
By the creek.

Trees line paths.
Creek babbles.
Wish weeds pop.

Child picks one.
Holds it tight
and blows hard. 
©CV, 2021

Child giggles
as feathers
float through air.

Little fairies
blow away.

Spring's wish weeds
signal hope's
airborn flight.
©CV, 2021

What fun it is to have some time to myself to create digitals and word weave as a storm cuts across the patio. I hope you join me at Matt Forrest Esenwine's blog site, Radio, Rhythm, Rhyme. You will not only find more poetry but Matt's new success. Congratulations are in order!
Celebrate the close of a funfilled National Poetry Month

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Spring's Magic 9

It's time to word weave, one of my favorite ways to play with thoughts. A new-to-me poetic form was shared last week by fellow poetry writer/slicer, Rose Cappelli. It is called the Magic 9 and it was developed by accident. "This 9-line poem does not have any rules as far as meter or subject matter--just a rhyme scheme: abacadaba". You can read more about this poetic form here

I share my first attempt at a Magic 9 poem based on a walk with my little granddaughters by the creek in my new neighborhood. Almost four-year-old Sierra rides her bike noting what is along the path. She excitedly discovers some dandelions. "Look Grandma, there are dandylions."  

Dandylion Surprise
Dandelions here and there
Pose in spaces by creek's side,
Swishing soft feathers in the air,
Waiting to toss little pillows
Of springtime wishes everywhere.
We laugh and run to find some more
As baby rides in her stroller chair.
Then, listen for nature's sigh of pride
While one large bird soars with flair.
©CV, 2021

It's Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers. I join this community of writers to express my thoughts in both prose and poetry. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Color of Kindness

Each Monday the educational Twitter community brings inspiration in the form of the hashtag #CelebrateMonday thanks to the leadership of Alyssa H. @ABEducational and Sean Gaillard @smgaillard. I began this week with thoughts on kindness and developed this theme through a digital inspiration and poety for National Poetry Month. Below, you will find my Buncee creation for this week's celebration of Earth Day 2021 with its call to action, #RestoreOurEarth. Spreading the seeks of kindness is important more than ever as hate crimes are 

It's Poetry Friday with our host, Catherine Flynn at Reading to the CoreCatherine spotlights poet/children's author, Padma Venkatraman and shares her original poem based on Padma's challenge to write a "short poem dedicated to hope in defiance of hate". 

My micropoem in response to Padma's challenge:

Earth Day Message

This week, I also created another Buncee for Earth Day. You can find that here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Bunceeing a Thought on Earth Day

Each year, I look forward to Earth Day as a day of celebration. This year, I celebrate the bounty of the earth in a new location. What better way to enjoy nature than with flowers and blossoming trees lining highways and garden beds. Tucked away in Gainesville, Virginia, I am eager to plan my new garden. A cherry tree and azalea plants arrive from the landscape team for the front lawn and my new gardener is ready to dig backyard garden beds to spend time contemplating the blessings of my life move.

like flowers we bloom
with radiance in springtime-
mindful practice
©CV, 2021


Today is Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers. The artistic expressions: #haikuforhope and inspirational quote created with Buncee, are added to celebrate National Poetry Month 2021. Enjoy springtime and celebrate Earth Day this Thursday in your own way to give homage to Earth.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Kidlit Progressive Poem 2021-Day 19

It's the Annual Progressive Poem 2021 time of year. 

April has been a whiz of unpacking, organizing, and becoming familiar with my new house in Virginia so writing has been my special treat when the house is quiet at night. I sit at my new desk and swivel in my new chair pondering my choices for the Kidlit Progressive Poem. On April 1st, Kat Apel  launched this year's Progressive Poem with the theme of kindness. She passed on two potential lines to the next poet, following a practice initiated by Donna Smith last year. Each poet chooses one line offered by the previous poet and writes two options to pass on to the next person until the last poet concludes the poem. 

Below is the Progressive Poem 2021 with the line I chose from my Denver poet friend, Linda Baie:

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!

Easily contagious - sharing smiles is my plan.

I'll spread my joy both far and wide

As a force of nature, I'll be undenied. 

Words like, "how can I help? will bloom in the street.

A new girl along on the playground - let's meet, let's meet!

We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round. 

Over, under,  jump and wonder, touch the ground.

Friends can be found when you open a door.

Side by side, let's walk through, there's a world to explore.

We'll hike through a forest of towering trees.

Find a stream we can follow while we bask in the breeze.

Pull off our shoes and socks, dip our toes in the icy spring water.

When you're with friends, there's not have to our oughter.

What could we make with leaves and litter?

Let's find pine needles, turn into vine knitters.

We'll lie on our back and find shapes in the sky.

We giggle together: See the bird! Now we fly?

=>Thinking about a recent family nature walk I took, I imagined my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter and I walking by the creek listening to the sounds. Now, after repeated revisions, I send off my two choices for Robyn Hood Black to bring our characters further on their adventure. 

Inspired by nature, our imaginations soar.


We flitter with our wings of vine diving to touch ground.

Below is a list of Progressive Poem poets who composed their lines prior to mine, followed by the poets who will bring the poem toward a conclusion. I pass the writing pen on to my colleague, Robyn, who will spin her dewdrop magic. 

Thank you Irene Latham who started the idea of an annual progressive poem in 2012 and Margaret Simon who became the new roundup organizer last year. 

1      Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2     Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3     Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4    Donna Smith at Mainely Write
5     Irene Latham at Live Your Poem
6    Jan Godown Annino at Bookseed Studio
7    Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities   
8    Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9    Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche 
10  Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11    Buffy Silverman     
12   Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche 
13   Jone Rush MacCulloch
14  Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15   Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16   Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17   Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18   Linda Baie at TeacherDance
19    Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink
20  Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21   Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22  Ruth Hersey at There I No Such Thing as a God-fosaken Town 
23  Janice Scully at Salt City Verse 
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference  
25  Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26  Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27  Rebecca Newman
28  Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering 
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All  

Friday, April 16, 2021

April Showers

It is springtime in Virginia with flowing cherry and blossoming white pear trees lining highways to make a splashy debut. Nature is blooming with pride but sudden angry outbursts occur noting that April is full of surprises. 

Again the blackbirds sing;
the streams Wake,
laughing from their winter dreams
And tremble in the April showers.
The tassels of the maple flowers.
-John Greenleaf Whittier

Petunias after the rainstorm

I am in my new house among many unopened boxes and look out at this cold spring day. Springtime seems confused. Before Spring's official opening, the weather was springlike. Now, some days are warm, some are chilled by showers. The old saying, April showers bring May flowers, is appropriate for this season. Oddly enough, nurseries are filled with bright colors of springtime so with great delight, I add flowers to my patio. Will they last? Not sure. On Long Island the rule of thumb is, "Don't plant until Mother's Day".

Taking the strike line, "And tremble in the April showers," from John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, I would like to share a golden shovel poem describing some nights and afternoons. 

Spring in Virginia has a penchant for mischief and
Enjoys its own merrymaking, causing me to tremble:
Quick, thunderous, nighttime sounds shout out in
Unison with shocks of light. Without warning, the
Rainwater splashes across patio pavement as April
Laughs, watching flowers tousle about amongst its showers.

©CV, 2021, draft

Today is another cool, cloudy day starting at 56 degrees. It is chilled enough for me to flip a switch for the dual fireplace to warm the house and my hands. Then, a sweet surprise happens. The sun shines and the rainwater disappears. 

spring chill
fireplace roars
plants thrive
©CV, 2021

This week I also created an equation poem, an anchored tercet, and a personification poem.

Join me for today's Poetry Friday Roundup. It is hosted by the ever-gracious Jama Rattigan at her blog, Jama's Alphabet Soup. Jama shares a poem by the former UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. One line in her poem talking about the words of poems seems magical: 
They're sparklers
scrawling their silver loops and hoops
on the night...

On April 19th, I will join my poetry colleagues at the 2021 Progressive Poem where I will add my line choices to the poem that began on April 1st with Kat Apel. Check out the first day lines and a list of poets who are contributing this year at Kat's blog here.

Thanks to Irene Latham, I have another beautiful Live your poem postcard to display for National Poetry Month 2021 and a lovely welcome to my new home note.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Conversation Cafe

What fun it is during National Poetry Month than sharing poetry with friends. Margaret Simon, poet teacher from Louisiana, hosts This Photo Wants to be a Poem on Wednesdays. For this week's prompt, she captured a photo of children sitting on top of an old oak tree in New Orleans City Park then, used the Waterlogue app to digitize the photo. For the challenge, I created a  personification poem from the old tree.

Conversation Cafe

I am a gatherer of talk.
Come sit at my table.
I listen with intent,
Hugging every word
With overreaching arms.
Waving goodby, 
I welcome your return.
©CV, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Finding Calmness

In an attempt to find calmness amidst the continued turmoil of a life move, I sneak a few moments to recall a beautiful day with my family. Lately, it is not often that I have time just to write. I forgot the feeling of free-floating with thoughts, the gentle swish of word weaving, and the sound of fingers tapping on a keyboard. It is soothing to be alone with my thoughts so I drift off into the world of quiet writing.

What happens when I digitize one photo and begin the word weaving process? I slip into a zone that I have not been able to enter for several days. I find a spark to ignite my "return to nature" thoughts. The end product is an image poem with three different versions and three different poetic forms.

two ducks + one lake = placidity
ripples on the lake
swirl with lustrous movements
reflection in peace
©CVarsalona, 2021
One photo taken + same photo digitized + one equation poem + one haiku + one anchored tercet = five artistic expressions for National Poetry Month.
Springtime Tranquility

At word weaving's end,
sparks light the way
for peaceful rest!
©CV, 2021

It is a wonderful feeling to steal one hour of quiet time to turn one memorable afternoon walk with the family (especially my two little granddaughters) into a slice of life with the Two Writing Teachers' community.

Thank you, Laura Purdie Salas for the equation poem format, Robyn Hood Black for your absolutely wonderful online haiku workshop, and Northern Poetry Library for the anchored tercet form. 

Friday, April 9, 2021


Sometimes, nature takes an unexpected turn. We saw that many times this year. I decided to take two seasonal images and place them side by side to analyze the changes and write a comparison through poetry for National Poetry Month. Follow my thinking as I honor the whimsical nature of nature during March and April. 

I have seen the Lady April bringing the daffodils, bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain. -John Mansfield

surprise storm shock earth
dainty daffodils droop
perky ones pose
©CV, 2021

Photos by Barbara VanIderstine (PA)
& Carol Varsalona (VA)

This year, nature played an April Fool's joke? The photo to the left was taken on April Fool's Day while the one to the right was shot in March.  Winter switched places with spring but the daffodils draped in golden robes stood their ground. 

Then, my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils.
-William Wordsworth

In 1665, Robert Herrick wrote a poem, To Daffodils.
You can listen to it by clicking on the image.

This week, Tabatha Yeatts is the host of Poetry Friday. She shares her National Poetry Month project of a bilingual poem collection and invites all to join the Annual Summer Poem Swap.

For National Poetry Month, I am writing poetry as many days as I can while I am unpacking boxes and organizing my new home. I hope to unveil Winter's Embrace 2021 Gallery of Artistic Expressions also.