Friday, February 25, 2022

Love Never Fails

Another month is passing by. Wrapped in layers most of the time, I gingerly take down my Valentine decorations. One last piece remains, a sentiment of love that spans a decade.

Love is the essence of life. It is the glue that binds families together through happiness, challenges, and sorrow. "Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. (Song of Solomon 8:7) Love embraces life while withstanding shifting sands. Reminded of life's enduring love this morning, I collect a tapestry of thoughts to create a poem, Love Never Fails


I thank the following poets, Linda BaieMary Lee HahnMichelle KoganKay Jernigan McGriffHeidi Mordhorst, and Donnna Smith, who are unaware of my mystery poem. I lifted one line from each of their poems created for yesterday's challenge in Laura Shovan's 10th Annual February Poetry Project. The following penned poem is a designed for the Poetry Sisters' February Challenge, an Exquisite Corpse poem.
Linda: blew a kiss and whispered  -  Mary Lee: knowledge was  -   Michelle: Words will turn actions around  -  Kay: it is somewhere between  -  Heidi: thick and warm as woolen coats  -  Donna: And how it all begins again


Thank you, Poetry Sisters, for inviting the Poetry Friday community to play in your sandbox each month. I did take the opportunity to indulge in quite a bit of wiggle room when creating an Exquisite Corpse poem.  While I did not speak directly to the colleagues listed above, we do communicate daily when working on Laura Shovan's daily poetry writing challenge. I'm signing off with the hashtag, #PoetryPals that will be seen on social media.


It's time to join the Poetry Friday Roundup with Tricia Stohr-Hunt as hostess. Tricia shares more about an Exquisite Corpse poem and how she fashioned her poem from Poetry Sisters' lines and an online conversation. I look forward to reading all the other Poetry Sisters' poems (you can also see the links at Tricia's blog). It is amazing to read through all the poetic goodness posts offered this week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Fairydusted Moments

As you may know, my one word this year is appreciate. I try to find beauty in this world but always seem rushed for time to pause and "just be". At best, I should slow down. When I read a piece Margaret Simon recently wrote, I stopped to think. "Appreciate time for what it is." Time is fleeting but it does provide magical moments if we take the time to look. 

In yesterday's poetry prompt created by Susan Michelle Brisson for Laura Shovan's 10th Annual February Poetry Project, one word, wonderment, stood out. I fell in love with that word several years ago. It has a magical quality to it. I knew that I created a digital inspiration years ago for a business card so I pulled it out of my poetry vault and added an additional poem in a new graphic design for the challenge.

I think of myself as a wonderologist ever since the days of being a Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis. I am curious about life and continually honor the beauty of nature that often surprises and astonishes me. 

In this fast-paced world of medical and ecological concerns, it is easy to overlook the importance of slowing down and just being. Today, I shall remember the words by Suzy Kassem, "Never stop wandering into wonder." 

It's Tuesday Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers, a Meeting Place for Reflective Teachers.
May your day be filled with fairydusted moments and your night with starlight.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Wintering Time

It is the silence of the past
scattered in fragments
that lull wintry minds
to just be.

It is the hush of evening light
chased by chilled winds
that alter quiet paths
into sanctuaries of thought.

It is the magic of a fire
rising in reverent ways
that settles senses to rest
in winter's embrace.

Shall we find quiet in stilled shadows
where winter trees stand alone
or perhaps search for winter warmth
wrapped in time's blanket? 
©CV, 2022


After Thought

Drippings from My Winter Mind

I cannot steal time
to discover my desires,
only listen to my quiescent mind
to achieve tranquility at rest.
©CV, 2022

I wrote the above poem during Laura Shovan's Annual February Poetry Project. I liked certain stanzas but upon review, I felt revisions were needed. After a night of being awakened several times by the howling wind, I felt inspired to continue to find the words to express what I felt about the topic of quiet. My revised poem addresses stanzas that needed massaging. 


When Ruth Ayres sent an open invitation (no. 75: quiet) to share our stories, I took the opportunity to dive into the magic of winter's hush. Centering myself, I mulled over the Rumi quote sent by Ruth and vowed to listen to nature's pulsebeat. I am glad that I carved time this morning to listen to the howling wind to find beauty in its call.

"The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear." - Rumi


Below is my poetry postcard for the February Poetry Postcard exchange organized and scheduled by Jone Rush MacCulloch. I sent this card out to the ten members in my poetry postcard exchange I would like to offer this digital card to all who read my blog post today. 

Thank you for joining me in this experience of wrapping my heart in quiet.
May you find the blessings of quietude as winter transitions.


Thank you Ruth Ayres for the invitation
to SOS: Sharing Our Stories Magic in a Blog.


for hosting Poetry Friday this week and inviting everyone to your Online Book Launch Party for your new book, We Belong.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Sweet Valentine Wishes


Walk into my foyer and wrap yourself in sweet valentine wishes.

Postcards from the turn of the 20th Century adorn my flocked Valentine Tree.


Turn into the study for some digital inspirational graphics.  


Travel to my kitchen. Do you smell the aroma of cookies baking?

I honor the first  two generations of Italian bakers in my family and their valentine cookie cutters in the Note of Love poem below.

My 4-year-old granddaughter now makes the fifth generation of women bakers
who rolls the dough and carefully places cookies on a baking sheet for family delights.

Five Generation of Bakers Speak Out

our passion
take a bite
©CV, 2022

It's Tuesday Slice of Life, the day after Valentine's Day this week.
I join Two Writing Teachers, a Meeting Place for Reflective Teachers,
with Valentine greetings for all.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Inspiration for February

“Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart. 

Time steals minutes, hours, days away.
Fear enters interrupting life.
Look around.
Find possibilities.
into the abyss.
©CV, 2022

While I was intent on doing just that (casting uncertainty away), inspiration floated in when Margaret Simon's balancing stones photo (see below) for This Photo Wants To Be A Poem popped into my FaceBook feed. I immediately sent Margaret a comment, "Thank you for the brief moments of restful existence", and my small poem.

-tranquil moments of peaceful existence-
balancing stones
mindfully placed
nature hugs each
©CV, 2022
Photo by Margaret Simon, 2022


Letting dreams in my heart lead me, I offered prompts for Day 9 of Laura Shovan's Annual February Poetry Project. I was inspired by research to find two videos that provided a choice for the poet writers. Below my digital graphic invitation, you will find my poem.

Side Note:

When I open Laura's February Poetry Project each day, I am dazzled by every poem that passes by. Sometimes, a quick jolt of fear and/or uncertainty pangs charge through my mind. Despite this interruption, I continue to write in short spurts knowing that the practice is more important than the end product. 
In order to accept the challenge of my one word appreciate, I shall acknowledge the wisdom of the Japanese proverb, "Fear is only as deep as the mind allows."

Sweet Valentine Wishes to All!
I hope you enjoy my humorous Valentine image poem created from the photo prompt  below. Diane Mayr offered the snaky creature image
during Laura Shovan's 6th Annual February Daily Poem Project in 2018.
I transformed the image into a  humorous Valentine poem.


It's Poetry Friday so join me at TeacherDance, where Linda Baie,  the sweet host opens her blog to the Poetry Friday community and guests for a Valentine treat.

I send gratitude snaps to Linda for always bringing sunshine to the Poetry Friday community. I look forward to reading what Linda offers today. 

Special Note on the February Poetry Postcard Exchange created by Jone MacCulloch.

I have been fortunate to receive small image poems from the Exchange. Since the mail must be delayed, I will share my collection when I receive more postcards. For now, I thank Robyn Hood Black, Carol Labuzzetta, Linda Mitchell, Sarah Grace Tuttle, and Tabatha Yeatts, for their creative designs and poetry that have been delivered to my mailbox.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022


I knew that the pile-up of tasks, commitments, and appointments would backfire sooner or later. Instead of feeling relieved that some projects for the house are underway, I feel rushed and scattered. I frantically move from room to room trying to find items buried deep in what looks like mounds of snow inside my house. In fact, this is one reason for not slicing last week. The other reason is that I was Grandma sitting for the little grandgirls. All my attention had to be devoted to the little ones and nap time was not long enough. BUT the five-day experience was filled with happiness!


There is uncertainty in the way I am moving these days. Besides misplacing important papers, I hit a brick wall. It appears that my muse temporarily took a vacation. The sun is shining and the temperature is up to 48 degrees. In addition, the snow has melted. By the number of people out and about, it looks like spring fever has spread. Without my muse, I struggled with today's prompt challenge at Laura Shovan's 10th Annual February Poetry Project. 

Have you ever heard of the girl band, The Bangles? They took Simon and Garfunkel's 1966 song, A Hazy Shade of Winter, and turned it into a "harder-edged rock song" in the 1980's, titled Hazy Shade of Winter. I love the song and it has been playing over and over in my mind since last night when Matthew Winner asked the group of writers to create a poetic expression using the song. Since I love the winter season with its ambiance, I thought this would be fun. Well, fun turned into more research than expected. In addition, I investigated many formats, such as a blackout poem, rhyming/non-rhyming poems, and free verse. I kept the various versions but decided not to use them. So this morning, I scraped the formats and started with the thoughts. I submitted my last revision with uncertainty recently. Will it survive? Will comments help me revise one more time? As the song says, "Time, time, time. See what's become of me. While I looked around for possibilities."


Here is what I decided upon. (Hmm! Muse, where are you?)

Time Passes On 

Under a hazy shade of winter, hope rises like smoke from stoked fire pits. Over there, leaves of brown cling to a crystallized mound. Here, chimes tinkle on porches; lights twinkle on posts. Music floats out from stereo speakers. Snowdrops sprout. Springtime shouts; scenery changes. Spring bows gracefully to Winter’s soulful gaze as Time passes on.


it’s the springtimes of our lives

hang on to hopes

©CarolVarsalona, 2022, draft

Bangles, Hazy Shade of Winter YouTube


It's Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers.


Some Slicers have offered their artistic expressions for my Winter's Embrace Global Gallery. I invite you to showcase one work for the gallery.

The deadline is extended.


What does one of my online galleries look like? Click here.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Heart Sense

Valentine's Day, a day filled with love, is coming soon. My family celebrated early since the little grandgirls were with us for five days. There was a good deal of heartfelt love spread around during the grandparenting sitting time. 

The little grandgirls bubbled with happiness from the moment they entered. Love was in the air during conversations. Hugs and high fives were exchanged and imaginative play offered time to observe loving interactions. Even the girl's dollies got their share of love. Hearts were full. 

Using Joy Harjo's poem For Keeps as a mentor text, I pen a poem for the little girls. Soon, it will be tucked into their valentine cards and placed in the little mailbox we decorated for Valentine's Day. 

Morning sun opens a new day.
We listen for the birds.
None are heard. 
The house is warm and cozy,
This is where I want to be,
Close to you, sharing love.

At night's edge, we say goodnight.
Love surrounds us. 
Twinkling lights on the
little Charlie Brown tree glow.
I urge both of you
to stop talking,
listen to the night.
"Hush", I whisper
knowing that dreams will surface
and we will be one
for keeps.
©CV, 2022, draft


Thank you, Elisabeth Norton for hosting Poetry Friday and leaving a light on so I can sneak in and place my post among the others in the community.

Journey On With Heart - SJT

Feeling overwhelmed and somewhat unbalanced by a series of too many clustered events, the time is right to explore a burning question from Linda Mitchell, this month's Spiritual Journey Thursday host. Where is your heart on this spiritual journey we are all on? Pondering this question can unlock not straightforward, rather winding path that starts with my one word, appreciate

In order to unravel my thoughts, I backtrack to years ago when I let my Endless To-Do List drift into the abyss. It was too heavy a load to carry daily. In the aftermath, I decided to try to simplify my printed notepaper but life kept interrupting and the list became cumbersome once again. Now, clustered events climb on the backs of each other to make a rather messy-looking calendar. Sleep habits are disturbed and deadlines need to be extended. I question myself. How can I appreciate life if I don't have time to slow down? Ah Ha! Positivity rises!

So where is my heart on my spiritual journey? I need to balance my personal, family, and professional lives. Yes, this is true. I need to slow down-another truth. Then, there is the medical issue of cataract surgery. Obviously, I need to have cataracts removed. There still is a small window of time between now and the first operation in March. 

Journey on, I say without buts or negatives. So where do I start? Just because it is winter does not mean that I cannot cultivate a garden or appreciate the shifting landscapes.  

Several Ways to Energize the Heart:

  • Strengthen the physical aspects by continued exercise, eating healthy, relax before sleep time
  • Continue feeding my soul with inspiration (reading and writing poetry)
  • Believe in Psalm 37:4: take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart
  • Build a garden of love

Author of Quote Unknown

Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

My heart desires blessings for these little grandgirls so they can grow
with love, faith, and hope for a peaceful world and brighter future.


"To all of the grandmothers who make the world more gentle, more tolerant, and more safe for our children: Never doubt your importance.- Mary-Lou Rosengren
Ponder Linda's question: 
Where is your heart on this spiritual journey we are all on?

I have more thinking to do to make my spiritual walk a peaceful one this year
despite life's interruptions.

It's time to visit the Spiritual Journey Thursday community at Linda Mitchell's blog here.