Friday, April 29, 2022

Nearing the End of NPM22

I am completely amazed at how fast this month passed. While recovering from my first cataract surgery. I learned to have a deeper appreciation of my one word, appreciate, the combination of medicine and faith. Perseverance stepped in during the journey and my muse visited often as I wrote poetry and read others' work. The healing process was long; I often fell asleep while growing new ideas and/or visiting poetry friends' blog sites. Responses to comments left at my blog or on other blogs were in a very slow mode but I made it through the month with these personal projects and more poetry:

  • Proudly posted my Day 9 line in the Progressive Poem and passed the baton to my poet friend, Linda Baie.
  • Introduced my NPM22 project, the creation of a Poetryliscious Gallery and a padlet to house a variety of artistic expressions, image poems, photographs, and inspired writing. Thank you to Poetry Friday friends, Linda Baie, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Molly Hogan, Denise Krebs, and Carol Labezztta for offering their work. Others, are in contact but have not placed their work on the padlet. You can see their nature photos and/or image poems on my Poetryliscious Gallery padlet. 
  • Organized the artistic expressions offered for my Winter's Embrace Gallery that hopefully will be unveiled while winter still holds court in springtime.
  • Wrote my annual Earth Day blog post with poetry and a digital graphic as my focus. 
Thank you, Laura Robb for tweeting the above quote sent to me via Twitter.

This week in between naps, I wrote drafts of metaphor poems for Taylor Mali's Metaphor Dice Contest and anthology and the Poetry Sisters monthly challenge. I will share my samples, labeled #PoetryPals, as soon as I put the finishing touches on them. 

I, also, created an image poem for Margaret Simon's This Photo Wants To Be A Poem


Thank you Jone Rush MacCulloch for providing a "gathering place for poets and lovers of poetry" this week at the Poetry Friday Round Up. Join me at Jone's blog to read about her good news where she shares works she created.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

April Moments

Dear Readers,

It is time for April moments to hasten to their end. The month passed by quickly and I realize after reading the poem, April Moments, that the month is near its end. I pause in gratitude for the joy April brought, even with its "winterinspring" weather. Holy Week led to Easter Sunday and family gatherings. There were cherished moments to savor and poems to write during National Poetry Month but now April hastens to its end as Verne Bright wrote.

I decided to write a golden shovel poem to pause and be thankful for the month that passes on. Indulge me for a moment as I write.

April's Appreciated Moments

Why is it that life in spring seems glorious? Do the
Birds know their songs sound sweetest in April?
Shall we celebrate earth's quiet moments?
Stop our hurried steps! Savor springtime bliss? Let us hasten
To bask in the sunlight. Let warm breezes lead us to
Appreciate April moments, soon to approach their
Final, blissful hours of the month's end
©CVarsalona, 2022

In my Earth Day blog post, I share a beautiful video, Love Song to the Earth, and invite all to view the padlet containing Poetryliscious Poetry and image poems. I am anticipating more artistic expressions to be added this week. Perhaps, the padlet will entice more friends to add their blissful moments of springtime as a tribute to National Poetry Month. Thank you to slicers, Diane Anderson, Terje Akke, Bob Hamera, and Molly Hogan. If I have missed anyone else, please let me know. Thank you also to Poetry Friday friends, Linda Baie, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Carol Labuzzeta, and Jone Rush MacCulloch. 

Today is Slice of Life Tuesday so I am heading over to Two Writing Teachers
to celebrate another day of writing with a reflective community of writers.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Invest In Our Earth


Poster created by NASA. See the whole poster here.

Each year, Earth Day is celebrated around the globe. This year's theme is "Invest In Our Earth". As residents of the earth, we need to take on the role of steward and keep watch over the bountiful creation provided to us. 

"Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness."   - Eckhart Tolle 

This year, asks people across the world to "invest in technologies and practices that can benefit the earth".   

Recipe for Change

Observe our beautiful earth through nature's eyes, protective and calm.
Become a watchful steward; recycle waste properly.
Commit to a green future; next generations need your help now!
©CVarsalona, 2022, sijo

Listen to Love Song to the Earth.

Quote  to Inspire Poetry:
The earth is what we all have in common. - Wendell Berry

There is beauty in fragile flowers, the
turn of light upon the grass. The earth
wrapped in shades of vibrant hues is
resplendent in springtime, but what 
if we neglect our mighty land?  Will we
deplete earth of its riches or of all
it has bestowed on mankind. Have
we forgotten what is necessary in
our haste to have superfluous interests in common?
©Carol Varsalona, 2017

On April 26th, I will gather image poems and artistic expressions that are offered
for my 2022 National Poetry Month Poetryliscious Gallery

You can find my padlet repository for the Poetryliscious Gallery here.
The Twitter hashtag is #Poetryliscious.

Thank you to poet-author-teacher, Margaret Simon, who is the host of Poetry Friday this week. It is Margaret's turn to add line 21 to the Progressive Poem and she does so with grace. 
Join me at Margaret's blog post to read other posts filled with poetic goodness for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Childhood Thoughts (PoetryCUBED)

Coming from an Italian family, tomatoes were always a treat. My Nonnie would buy bushels of juicy, ripe tomatoes and make tasty pasta sauce, pizza, and salads. Every Sunday, I would stand on my tiptoes to dip my bread or meatball into the sauce. The hearty, lip-smacking taste always delighted me. 

I spent each summer with my Nonnie learning how to enjoy the ordinary routines of life. She taught me how to wash clothes with her old-fashioned wringer washer and dry our wash on a clothesline. When older, I learned the art of making tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes. I added salt, pepper, fresh garlic, and parsley while stirring the squishy mixture. To this day, I love the smell of tomatoes sauce on top of a plate of spaghetti. 

I cherish the time I spent with my Nonnie learning how to cook and bake. While there were no dogs in our family or neighborhood, my one precious little cat, Frankie Boy, was my 4-year-old friend until he jumped out of my hands and was hit by a car. It is amazing to me how photo prompts can bring back memories long forgotten?

There is one last memory, the question that I always remember. Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Do you know the answer? Do you remember the Encylopedia Brittanica? It was a favorite research tool in my K-8 elementary school. I always found the best information between the pages. You can find the answer to my probing question here.

licking good
tasty treat

heart love

taste, wink, smile-
childhood thoughts
in a jar
©CV, 2022, Tricube


Long-ago memories flowed from three photo prompts offered by poet-author Matt Forrest Esenwine in his National Poetry Month challenge,
PoetryCUBED Contest.

Check out the following rules Matt offers. 
Perhaps, you will be interested in offering your own poem.

  • Use the 3 images ("cubed") above as inspiration to write a poem.
  • The poem can be any form, any number of lines, rhyming or not. 
  • The only hitch is that you need to include a reference to all three images in the poem – either via concrete imagery or something more abstract.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for a meeting place on Slice of Life Tuesday to connect with a community of reflective writers.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Unpredictable Spring

April 15, 2022

Dear Readers,

Springtime made her appearance this season in a variety of headline news reports. First, winterinspring, aka "sprinter", stormed in and out. Then, the season of extremes brought summerinspring weather with spinning air or above-normal heat. Mother Nature whimsically played the match game, redirecting its seasonal pull, mixing, matching her moves like a serious chess game of winter and spring vying for attention. Somedays, rains blew in with damp weather and by afternoon sunshine brought much warmer temperatures. Even the delicate cherry blossoms lost their billowy buds sooner than expected. Meteorologists were kept very busy by Mother Nature. Between post-surgery visits to the eyes specialist, I peeked at my perennial and herb gardens. After weeks of checking in, I was surprised that the perennial garden with its previous withered look withstood all. Perennials pushed through the dark brown mulch and intuitively sprouted. Green mint plants and lavender topiaries arrived in time for a Holy Week blessing. Did Mother Nature anticipate the glorious resurrection on Easter and commanded sunshine to glisten through a painter's blue sky palette? Was this request spoken to take away the sting of Good Friday's passion? I'll wait to see Easter Sunday's weather report tomorrow. Will it be an April Fool's belated trick with heavy sweater weather following? 

brushstrokes of spring artistry
easter day awaits 
©CV, 2022

Eagerly waiting for the Easter Egg Hunt with either warm tones or cool blue weather. Only Mother Nature knows for sure. 


During NATIONAL POETRY MONTH this week, I am grateful to:

Irene Latham for sending me a beautiful postcard filled with inspiration. Thank you, Irene, for your tranquil nod to springtime, painted in a fine array of environmental bliss. I send a Happy Poetry Month thanks back to you. 

Thank you to Margaret Simon for her This Photo Wants To Be a Poem photo prompt that tickled my imagination. Because of spring's very windy days, I decided to try a bit of alliteration to spark my thinking about dandelions, better known as "dandylions" according to my soon-to-be-five granddaughter.

Jone Rush MacCulloch posted a beautiful nature photo on "Solace Sunday", an ongoing section of her blog. I was immediately intrigued by the tulip dipped in dewdrops and wrote the following poem.

Bob Hamera, aka "arjeha" on Two Writing Tuesdays graciously accepted my invitation to create an image poem. He not only created a poem but sent out news of my Poetryliscious Gallery of Artistic Expressions. You can read his slice of life announcement and view his image poem here

Inspirational Quote created to introduce my Poetryliscious padlet that is a repository for images poems being offered throughout April. 

Lastly, I commend my Kidlit poet-author friend, Matt Forrest Esenwine, for hosting Poetry Friday this week. I am ready to add my post to the Poetry Friday Roundup here. Due to this being the Easter Weekend and my healing eye, I am posting in the very last hours of the day. Join me at the Poetry Friday Roundup where Matt has a wonderful interview with children's poet-author, Leslie Bulion, who talks about her new poetry book, "Serengeti: Plains of Grass". He also is hosting a contest. I am contemplating what poetic format I should use for my response.

NOTE: I will read as many blogs as I can throughout the weekend and into next week since my surgery eye is still inflamed but healing. Reading is slow-going lately.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Blooming With Radiance #SOL22

like flowers we bloom
with radiance in springtime-
mindful practice
©CV, 2022

Thank you, Bob Hamera, (aka arjeha) for not only offering an image poem to my Poetryliscious Gallery of Artistic Expressions but for spreading the word at Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life Tuesday, April 12th.

I am inviting Slicer writers to join me in creating a blossom of springtime artistic expressions at my Poetryliscious Gallery for National Poetry Month. 
You can find the padlet repository here
and under the Twitter hashtag, #Poetryliscious.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for a meeting place on Slice of Life Tuesday to connect with a community of reflective writers.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Progressive Poem 2022 NPM Day 9

Welcome to Day 9 of the Progressive Poem 2022. The tradition of penning a progressive poem started in 2012 by Irene Latham. In 2020, Margaret Simon became the organizer. 30 different poets collaborate during National Poetry Month to pen a poem that is always an imaginative adventure of poetic goodness. The poem travels from blogpost to blogpost. I am excited to take part in this year's collaborative poetry writing experience. So far, the poem has evolved using borrowed lines or lifted thoughts from various sources. Two voices were introduced, a journey is commencing, and Rose Cappelli added a new aspect, singing. You can view the list of writers prior to me and the dates that each added their line to the Progressive Poem 2022.

1  April 1 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem 
2  Donna Smith at Mainely Write
3  Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4  Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading
5  Buffy Silverman at Buffy Silverman
6  Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise 
7  Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8  Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities 
9  Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link   
Evolution of the Progressive Poem 2022

Where they were going there were no maps. (Irene)
"Sorry! I don't want any adventures, thank you. Not today." (Donna)
Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! (Catherine)
"We have to go back. I forgot something." (Mary Lee)
It's spring, and the world is puddle-wonderful, we'll whistle and dance and set off on our way. (Buffy)
"Come with me, and you'll be in a land of pure imagination." (Linda M.)
Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams, and never forget - it is on our journeys that discoveries are made. (Kim)
And then it was time for singing. (Rose)

-It's time to reveal my line based on an adventure, two voices, and Disney songs, A Whole New World from Aladdin and Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas.-
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain, paint with all the colors of the wind, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky?
You can follow the Progressive Poem's journey by clicking on the links below.
10  Linda Baie at Teacher Dance Teacher Dance
Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

Friday, April 8, 2022

Poetry Love for NPM 2022

Since 2012 when Irene Latham introduced the Kidlit Progressive Poem, poets have been penning lines for a collaborative adventure. I am gearing up for my turn to add a poetic thought to the existing Progressive Poem on April 9th, only two days away. I have ideas for the poem but I need to wait for Rose Cappelli to compose her line that follows seven other poet friends. Tomorrow, after I read Rose's line, I will prepare for my turn. Wish me luck. 

In the meantime, I created a nonet poem from nine syllables to one per line and then back using one to nine syllables per line. My topic is the April Progressive Poem and its connection to springtime during National Poetry Month.

April progressive poem is pure bliss.
Each day, writers script a new line
with kidlit poetic flair.
Who knows where the poem goes?
Rollercoaster thoughts
swing with each line.
Voices rise.
air, flowing
with poetic
goodness that travels
across blogs exploding
with sheer creativity. 
Enjoy this year's traveling poem
inspired by joyful adventures.
©CV, 2022

Ekphrastic Dodoitsu
Each year when springtime buds burst,
gardens fill with greenery.
Lovers share quiet chatter
so nature eavesdrops.
©CV, 2022, Ekphrastic Dodoitsu

What Else Have I Created During the First Weeks of National Poetry Month?
  • An invitation to create an artistic, poetic expression for my NPM 2022 Poetryliscious Gallery
  • A public repository, Poetryliscious Padlet, for the gallery poems, digital art, and inspirational quotes collected
  • Bind Unto Myself Today poem for Spiritual Journey Thursday
  • Digital Art

My poet friend, Janice Scully from the Salt City, is the host of the Poetry Friday Roundup this week. Consider stopping by her blog, Salt City Verse, to read her interview with David Elliott, author of the new book, At the Pond, available on April 12th.

Thank you, Jama Rattigan, for your comprehensive 2022 National Poetry Month Kidlithosphere Events Roundup here. Jama plans on updating the calendar as new poet happenings are sent in. My list of events during NPM 2022 will be added to the calendar.

Dear Readers, 
I will try to read as many blogs as I can throughout the weekend since my surgery eye is swollen and still healing. Reading is slow-going lately but I plan on visiting everyone's NPM 2022 project this month.