Friday, September 30, 2022


Today marks the end of September, a transition time for summer as nature's winds mingle with crisp leaves to celebrate the brilliant new season of autumn. When the Poetry Sisters decided to use Heidi Mordhorst's new poetic format, the definito, as the September challenge, I felt autumn in the air. The weather changed today as the newest hurricane forced its way from Florida northward. Autumn whooshed through Northern Virginia with heavy rains and a chill in the air. It brought with it sweater weather and the longing to snuggle in a cozy, low-lit room heated by a fire. 

My thoughts led me to create a Heidi Mordhorst's definito poem of 8-12 lines aimed at readers 8-12 years old that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem. Here is my offering for the challenge that I will share under the hashtag #PoetryPals.


is not summer weather
dipped in steamy temps
nor nature tipping
its branches in sunlit glow
it is the way nature
mingles with weather-
a transitional pattern,
the feel of change
in the air-
end of September
©CV, September 2022

Rudeneja is weather for the soul to glow golden with... -Ella

The word, rudeneja, describes the way nature and/or the weather begin to feel like Autumn.

While it is late for a Poetry Friday entrance, I humbly offer my definition for the Poetry Sisters' September Challenge. Thank you, Tabatha Yeatts, host of the Poetry Friday Roundup this week, for adding my post to the Roundup. I look forward to reading other posts during the weekend and enjoyed Tabatha's pussy willow poem with a quick notice about her Winter Poetry Swap.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Autumn Arrives

There she was immersed in sunlight just waiting for the warm breeze to move her onward. Hiding in the brush, she was caught between the end of bright summer days and the first breaths of autumn. I spotted her among the bushes and thriving flora along the trail.

©CV, 2022, autumn digital art

Some wildflowers of soft yellow and bright purple stood tall in anticipation of Mother Nature's entrance. Sunset was not yet upon the scene, so the tiny visitor was easy to spot. Alongside the trail was her large counterpart, a unique token of autumn. 

Fresh and untouched, two leaves, different in structure and color found their home along the creek, pausing for a short stay in the afternoon warmth. I chose the larger one to create a bouquet for my front porch, a tribute to Mother Nature's changing of the guard when the sky darkens earlier. 

one single leaf, then
two caught between two seasons
paint a new canvas
©CV, 2022, haibun
©CV, 2022, autumn digital art

There comes a day each September when you wake up and know the summer is over and fall has arrived - Ann Rinaldi, writer

Soon the leaves will fall and drift by my window.

Autumn Arrives

Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips.
The sunset hangs on a cloud.
Now watch this Autumn that arrives in smells.
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Falling from the autumn tree.
Be close to the trees
As they whisper together.
The first winds of autumn,
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves
Sing a song of seasons!
©CV, 2022, Cento poem

Cento Lines Credited to the Following Poets:

Line 1: Alice Cary, Autumn 
Line 2:         Sarojini Naidu, Autumn Song
Line 3:         Elizabeth Jennings, Song at the Beginning of Autumn
Line 4-5:    Emily Dickinson, Fall, Leaves, Fall 
Line 6-7:     Katherine Towers, Whim Wood
Line 8:        Saigo, Winds of Autumn 
Line 9-10: Sarojini Naidu, Autumn Song
Line 11:        Robert Louis Stevenson, Autumn Fires


I pause to look back at my six Autumn Galleries of Artistic Expressions. Take a  journey with me to see the galleries filled with poetry, digital art, nature photography, and inspiration.

2014  -  Finding Fall

2015   -  Autumn's Palette

2016   -  Autumn Venture

2017   -  Autumn Ablaize 

2020 -  Abundant Autumn 

2021   -  Bedecked In Autumn(comprised of three previous sections: Unveiling of the Bedecked in Autumn Gallery, A Slice of Bedecked In Autumn Gallery, In Praise of Autumn)


So many poets, writers, artists, photographers, family, and friends added their talent to my galleries over the years. Perhaps, you would like to find your name and offering, or you might enjoy taking a brief look through the gallery on a fall afternoon.

Have a Happy Fall!


Since it is Poetry Friday, I'm adding my post to the Poetry Friday Roundup. My longtime professional friend and author, Rose Cappelli is the host of Poetry Friday this week. She is sharing her birthday poem to her 3-year-old granddaughter that starts a new, yearly tradition. Join me at her blog, Imagine the Possibilities, to read the poem and learn how the tradition had its roots with Jacqueline Kennedy.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Celebrating Poetic Writing

How often do poets and writers praise the writing of the masters and strive to use their voice and the magic of word play to bring verve to their own work? I am excited to share information about two poet friends who have exciting news.

Buffy Silverman's poetic book On a Gold-Blooming Day Finding Fall Treasures, made it's debut on September 6, 2020, National Read a Book Day. I recently found a special mailing from Lerner Publishing Group, a copy of Buffy's poetic book to publicize.

The hardbound book that will delight both children and adults is
a stunning one to display on a coffee table.

When reviewing Buffy's book, I fell in love with both the gorgeous nature photographs and the accompanying descriptive words, like a sun-dazzling day. Since I started decorating for the autumn season, I plan on leaving Buffy's book on display as a welcome-to-my-house treasure. When my little grandgirls come to visit, they will spot the book, take it in their hands, and be mesmerized by the beauty within each photographic page amidst a flow of poetic thought.

Hopefully, my grandgirls will lift their voices in celebration of Buffy's
pre-school to grade 3 book.

Another poet-teacher-publisher friend living in Switzerland, Bridget Magee is celebrating her one-year book anniversary of The 10*10 Poetry Anthology: Celebrating 10 in 10 Different Ways this October. Bridget single-handedly edited and compiled her first anthology of 87 poems. I am happy to say that I am one of the 10*10 writers celebrating alongside Bridget. 

Bridget writes that in the past year, her "humble wee words inaugural poetry anthology earned Five 5-star Amazon reviews and multiple bloggers have sung collective praises". I was particularly impressed by a wonderful review by Karla Wendlin of Poetry Studio.
Bridget Magee focuses on the number 10 through clever use of language, humor, and heartfelt sentiment. The 87 poems are dived into 10 sections, each with an introductory quote that sets up intention (nod to Bridget!) of the poems that follow (e.g., "The qualing of strength lined with tenderness is anunbeatable combination..." Maya Angelou).The 10 topics address vocabulary (tentative, tenacity, tension), common phrases (take ten, I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole), and more. The poems, written by established as well as debut poets, reflect a wide variety of poetic styles. Brief biographical sketches of the poets are appended. Keep a copy of this book handy, as students will want to reread selections and read aloud their favorites, and possibly use poems as models for their own writing. The entire book might be an inspiration for a class writing project, celebrating a different number, such as "one" (e.g., one-sided, one-up, one of a kind, we're number one, one-hit wonder, etc.
Stay tuned to the month of October when Briget will put the spotlight on the 10*10 writers. Don't miss Bridget's wee words for wee words blog and business Facebook page. 

Below you find my poem that was written with my 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter Aurora in mind. I like to sing the poem to her instead of just reading it out loud. We laugh when I sing because I use gestures and movements to make Aurora giggle. Thank you, Bridget, for all the work you put into this wonderful poetry anthology. 


Join me for the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by my Australian poet friend/kidlit author, Kat Apel. Before reading the array of poetic goodness linked to Kat's blog, pause to read her post. She is sharing her successes and summer poem swaps (with beautiful haikus and nature poetry), along with her new books and presentations .

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Farewell Summer 2022

Welcome to the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Join me as I pause for a  brief poetic tribute to Summer 2022.

Under a painted sky,
Ornamental grass sways in the breeze.
Summer enrobes in vivid florals
And night noises rise.
Nature celebrates halcyon days
In a tapestry of dewdrops and shifting sands.
Summer waits for its seasonal transition.
Farewell, Sweet Summer!
©CVarsalona, Summer 2022

For you listening pleasure:

Below is a cento (or collage poem) that is composed entirely of lines from other poems by other poets.

Summer has clothed the earth.
The still air stirred at touch of the faint breeze. 
I see it as it looked one afternoon.
Gently, I stir a white feather fan.
Shine on, O moon of summer.
Wanderer moon smiling (as)
The frail white stars moved slowly over the sky.
With day-break and the morning hills behind,
A summer sound repeated in summer without end
And I should like so much to play.
©CV, 2022, cento poem

Credit to the Following Poets:

Line 1: Paul Laurence Dunbar, In Summer
Line 2:     Paul McKay Summer, Morn in New Hampshire 
Line 3:     Emma Lazarus, Long Island Sound
Line 4:    Li Po, In the Mountains on a Summer Day
Line 5:     Carl Sandburg, Riverside
Line 6:    William Carlos Williams, Summer Song
Line 7:     Sara Teasdale, Summer Night, Riverside 
Line 8:     Siegfried Sassoon, Idyll
Line 9:     Wallace Stevens, The Idea of Order at Key West
Line 10:   Robert Louis Stevenson, Bed in Summer


Summer Digital Art

A Child Wonders As She Meets Pearl, the Mermaid

©CV, 2022, photo digitized using Graphite App
"The poetry of earth is never dead." -John Keats
Please feel free to add your artistic expressions and poems at the end of my brief blog post and also post your image poems to my Poetryliscious Gallery for the public to see. The link is here. 
Please read through the following Poetry Friday posts by writers who added their poetic goodness to this week's Roundup.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Going Beyond a Comfort Point

How many times, have I stated, that beyond comfort zones, possibilities lieEach time I said this, I truly believed that people need to conquer lingering fears and move forward in life. Believing is not as difficult as doing. This Labor Day weekend would prove if I could move beyond my fears.

It was a glorious day on the Chesapeake Bay. I watched people kayaking and paddle boarding in the calm waterThe sun shone brightly over fishing boats urging them to move from the marina toward open waters. I felt peaceful. The water was calm as it slid into shore. Everyone seemed to be relaxing and enjoying the halcyon days of summer.

The photo was taken by my husband as he sat on the shore.

A question broke the silence. Would you like to join the family while we kayak? 

Of course, I said, "I never kayaked before." 

The underlying thought was, I am afraid. I actually heard myself say that out loud. I looked at my little granddaughters and saw they were already suited in their life jackets just waiting for Grandma to join them. Reluctantly, I walked closer to the kayak trying to figure out how I would get into the boat without hurting my legs. I decided to swallow my fear and join the fun. I took a deep breath and moved my body closer. Then, the inevitable happened. In a split second, I went down into the water. Plop! Plunk! Water splashed all over me as I fell backward and sat in the muddy bay. The worst part was that I was wearing shorts, not a bathing suit bottom. Oh, well! I don't really remember what I thought at that instant but I was determined to get up and sit behind my daughter who had her 2 1/2-year-old sitting in front of her. 

"What do I do?" There was a slight sound of whimpering.
"Watch me. Place your paddle in the water starting on the right side."

I followed in total amazement that I was floating above the water. I kept paddling but secretly I thought what happens if the boat tipped over? We gently moved out farther but not past the jetty because I was too nervous on this first ride. As we steered the kayak near the jetty, I saw an amazing scene. There were at least 30 seagulls and other species of birds sitting on the rocks just watching as our kayak drew closer. They were guardians of the rocks but there was no camera to record that happening. Several birds took flight right above us. As they swooshed past us, there was a rush of awe. I was exploring nature with my family from a unique view point of view. 

I was inspired. My thoughts floated into the air as we paddled toward magnificent summer homes on the shore. At this point, I asked if we could return to shore. My thighs were burning and my arms were getting tired from paddling. I thought about all the exercise and yoga classes that promoted persistence. I was strong and determined to make it back to shore but reaching the shore was not the end of the journey. I watched how everyone departed the kayak and wondered if I could do the same without the big plop and plunk again! Since it did not happen, I left the kayak area smiling. I could not wait to share my feeling with my husband.  

beyond the comfort zone, possibilities exist-
 possibilities exist beyond the comfort zone.
©CV, 2022, skinny poem


Join me at Slice of Life Tuesday celebrated at Two Writing Teachers.
a meeting place for a world of reflective writers. 

Friday, September 2, 2022

Nature Photography Poetic Gifts

Yesterday, my son and I sat in rocking chairs overlooking the beautiful grounds of the Salamander Resort in Virginia while waiting for his birthday luncheon on the patio. Nature played its part in making the wait enjoyable in such a peaceful setting. Instead of simply sharing the original photograph, I added an artistic touch to the tranquil scene with Prisma, a digital app.

Recently, I received a package from my last summer poem swap mate, Patricia Franz. We share a love of nature, photography, poetry, and digital art. Patricia’s poem swap has elements of the above components. Her note states, "Visual & text imagery to envision "the layered history of forests all around us." There is a quote from Barbara Faurot, The Magic of Duff in the Wildlife Garden. Click on to read more about duff.
Leaves, bud scales, twigs, needles, fruits, and bark fragments all accumulate on the ground to form a layer of debris know as "duff." The duff layers, a few inches above the soil is one of the most vibrant and biodiverse part of the forest or garden...Duff is protection, and, in a way, the layered history of the forest around it.

Patricia shared her image poem on duff followed by a longer poem. Since I have never heard about duff, the content was interesting to me from an environmental point of view. 

Patricia also sent me a nature-inspired greeting card with an inspirational quote.
Imagine my surprise when I found the following quote written by Shakespeare: "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." 

Another poet friend, Marcie Atkins, is a nature photographer finding earth's beauty and shares it through her haiku project. Marcie sent me some of her haiku postcards during the same time period I received Patricia's swap. 

Marcie's card below provides me some wisdom to end my long day.

I pause and listen to the night sounds even though I cannot see into the dark woods across the street. When I lean into nature, I feel its nurturing ways. 

night sounds
squeak, call, hoot,
penetrate the woods
darkness hovers
I listen in peace

With pleasure, I share the nature photography poetic gifts sent to me and remind you to pause as I just did. 


I am looking forward to adding my post to the Poetry Friday Roundup so I will move over to my poet friend, Linda Baie, who is hosting this week. Her poem about students moving into a new threshold is accompanied by a delightful sketch.

Nature photo by Linda Baie, 2022