Friday, March 31, 2023

March Slices Create a Found Poem

Writing is a practice of the heart on a journey of self-discovery.
As William Wordsworth noted,
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” 

During this month of March, I have written alongside the Two Writing Teachers community of reflective writers, read a variety of slices of life, and responded to many slicers. I visited with friends from the past and chatted with new slicers during the 16th  Annual March SOLSC! #SOL23 Writing Challenge. 

Indexing the SOLSC23! Journey

I have a quirky habit:
Very late night writing
While enjoying springtime
But I do ❤ slicing an idea like
Grandpa's birthday,
  • Shangri-La: a state of mind, and
  • March winds
  • Going rogue
  • Into the spring fog.
  • You may ask, What's in vogue?
  • A museum of happiness,
  • Hetk, a moment in time  or
  • Perhaps, a springtime pile of good things
  • Where everybody counts.
Pack your bags and go
  • To a slicer meet-up or
  • Slicer party #SOL23.
Packing dilemma? Maybe, but
  • Here are good thoughts for a wonderful Saturday.
  • March slices create a found poem, and
  • Pennsylvania welcomes tourists.
There are words to fall back on, such as
Internet bloops are annoying and
What Slicers Know!
While reading, enjoy a sweet treat
At It's Another Cookie Day slice.
Stay tuned=>
Beautiful change is coming
with springtime weather
and another National Poetry Month project.
©CVarsalona, 2023

  • The above index poem catalogs my past month of almost daily slices for the Two Writing Teachers 2023 Annual March Slice of Life Story Challenge. You can read any of the above titles in italics March slices found at my website, Beyond LiteracyLink.
  • What's Up Next?
  • Since writing is a journey of the mind and heart, I will continue to write poetry throughout April, National Poetry Month. Each creation will focus on capturing the "humanity of the moment" as stated by photographer Robert Frank. My one word for 2023 is "BE" so join me in a poetic endeavor that combines poetry and photography.
    • Two Writing Teachers Day 31 
    • 16th Annual #SOLSC! #SOL23

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Beautiful Change

"Spring is a reminder of how beautiful change can truly be."
-unknown author

This Wednesday, Margaret Simon, posted a beautiful rainbow collage collection, Lake Fausse Pointe trail photo that she photographed (see below). You can also see Margaret's draft poem here. She asked those interested to write a small poem and post it on her blog, This Photo Wants to be a Photo.

I started writing #smallpoems to match Margaret's photo with the quick write below.

Photo by Margaret Simon

A Seasonal Unveiling

spring quietly flowered
rainbow colors adorned trails
winter stepped back
new arrivals made their way
©CV, 2023, quick write, small poem

Then, I decided to write etherees for this month's writing challenge from the Poetry Princesses. This ten-line form begins with a single syllable, and each line expands by one syllable until the tenth line has ten. The Poetry Princesses continued with their 2023 theme of transformation. You can find written etherees from the Poetry Sisters and others at Tanita Davis' blog site: fiction, instead of lies!}. They will also be on social media under the hashtag, #PoetrySisters.

gracing earth's
well-trodden path.
Winter sighed, stepped back, 
gently passed its baton, 
urging seasonal changes. 
Windsong breathed in freshness; exhaled
softly tossing nature's artifacts.
Spring smiled and prepared to awaken life.
©CV, 2023, etheree poem

I also wrote a modified etheree for last week's Poetry Friday & 16th Annual March #SOLSC! #SOL23 Day 23. You can access that here. I planned on refining it but I never found the time to do so.

Spring is a season of renewal and hope. May springtime 2023  open doors to new possibilities.

It's time to join Poetry Friday RoundupThank you author/poet/educator, Mary Lee Hahn, for hosting Poetry Friday this week. Click here.

Logo by Linda Mitchell

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for providing a meeting place for reflective writers around the globe. I am offering this slice for Day 30 of the 16th Annual SOLSC! #SOL23 March Writing Challenge.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

It's Another Cookie Day!

"There's no end to imagination in the kitchen."-Julia Child

Baking is my creative attempt to let my imagination run wild. These past afternoons instead of busying myself with the myriad of chores waiting for me, I decided to engage in procrastibaking, the art of baking when you should be doing anything else. It has been fun taste-testing new ideas for cookies based on old recipes. I must admit that the clean-up is rather messy and adds one more chore.

dozens of homemade confections

line my long counters
biscottis, chocolate chips, and coconut cookies

old recipes bring back 
 memories of past Easters
baked with love for loved ones
©CVarsalona, 2023

This Grandma never runs out of cookies and hugs!

C ounters with
O verstocked surprises
O ffer
K neaded delights
I ndulge in more than one 
E njoy the varieties presented
S atisfaction guaranteed 

Of course, there will be a few dozen cookies for Leigh Anne Eck's Slicer Party!

My Slice of Life
16th Annual March SOLSC! #SOL23

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

What Slicers Know!

As a community of writers, slicers know the meaning of gratitude. They are grateful for those they have met along the Slice of Life journey. I decided as we move toward the end of the 16th Annual March SOLSC23! #SOL23 to mention a group of wonderful slicers who have commented on my different slices during this March challenge. Please note that there are many more slicers in the mix. Perhaps, another slice will capture more. 

I am thankful for all slicers and the gift of writing they bring to life. Please enjoy the poem I designed from the twelve writers below. 

This is a modified cento, "(collage poem) a poetic form composed entirely of  lines from poems by other poets." In this modified form, I read many slicers by the writers listed below and chose one line from each of their collection of slices to create a collage of thoughts.)

What Slicers Know! heart is lifted up. -Diane Anderson
Mornings in our house are a tightly choreographed dance. -Amanda Potts
Granna is getting in on the action. We sing and read together. -Glenda Funk
I am thankful for a world full of contrasts. -Celia Fisher 
At the end of the day, it's a community of people coming together. -Schuyler Becker 
Conversations and connections continue. -Ramona
Poetry is a blessing, a treasured miracle, a gift I cherish. -Kim Haynes Johnson
I can't think of a better way to end the week and begin the weekend, -Debbie Lynn
Then readers seeing themselves in the pages of stories-Brian Rozinsky
We are writers and we will see this ride through to the end.-arjeha
Remember these days! I say, Write now! -Fran Haley
What is yet to come I have to wait and see. -Terje Akke 
      An enjoyable quote by Terje Akke to close the poem.

I designed this collage poem to showcase slicers' skillful writing, their perseverance and dedication to their craft, and their love of words. Click on each name in the poem to link to each slicer's blog. 

Friederich Nietzsche said, "A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends." Thank you, slicer friends and Two Writing Teachers, for opening the doors to continued inspiration.

My Slice of Life
16th Annual March SOLSC! #SOL23

Monday, March 27, 2023

Slice of an Idea

Did you ever wake up and feel disoriented?  Today, a series of images rushed through my sleep. They were disturbing so my mind shifted to pleasant thoughts. All of a sudden, I felt the morning open with clarity. 

Waking up with an idea is fascinating so I opened my digital notebook and began writing. Then, I read the introduction to today's Slice of Life by Morgan Davis which linked me to first-time slicer, Schuyler Becker's blog. Morgan's question piqued my interest in mining my story and Schuyler noted "maybe it's okay to not know what I'll write or what I should write". I did not plant a seed of an idea for today's writing. It serendipitously appeared. The beauty of writing is to go with the flow, explore our surroundings, and just be present for ideas to appear.

Maybe a gray day feels gloomy, seemingly unable to find
a bright spot until I fling open the shades and stare at 
my sole weeping cherry tree. I notice several
buds dropping to the ground. Why?
A tiny bird feasts on my buds,
pecking away.
©CVarsalona, 2023

My Slice of Life
16th Annual March SOLSC! #SOL23

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Into the Spring Fog

I woke to 44 degrees weather, soft raindrops, and a sky of muted gray. There was silence in the neighborhood as if it was the middle of the night. As I embarked on my shopping run, I turned onto the main roads to find cars lit with headlights, window wipers swishing, and a small number of cars on the road. What struck me was the mood that was being evoked by the mixture of the rainstorm, cloudless sky, and the piping in of slow instrumental music. The name of the piece popped up on the dashboard, Still/Sound.

Wrapped in Morning Fog

on silent footsteps
it came

I drove cautiously
enjoying the scenery
waiting for spring's renewal
©CVarsalona, 2023

My Slice of Life
16th Annual March SOLSC! #SOL23

Grandpa's Birthday

"Birthdays are special events in my family." 

The birthday person has the privilege of choosing the food and cake of the day. It is up to the family to organize the day with favorites and have a cake ready, whether it is homemade or bakery-bought. Homemade cakes were delicious specialty items for the birthday person. That tradition has lasted throughout the years as did the signing of Happy Birthday. My mother baked and designed a cake around a theme chosen by the birthday person. An at-home party with friends was also a favorite. Presents followed. I will never forget my father-in-law's tale of his childhood birthdays. "When I was a little boy, my birthday meant I could have an extra meatball for dinner." That story has been told many times to my children and now to the grandgirls. Each person has their own recollection of a childhood birthday with the family. I remember standing on a chair so I could blow out all of my candles while everyone sang Happy Birthday.

Today was my husband's birthday. He has been talking about a prime rib dinner for the last two weeks but last night, all of us decided to try an Italian restaurant, The Esposito's Fairfax, with authentic Italian recipes. Of course, this reminded me of my Nonnie's fabulous homemade pasta, huge pots of pasta sauce, and fried meatballs. 

Each person has their own recollection of a childhood birthday with the family. I remember standing on a chair so I could blow out all of my candles while everyone sang Happy Birthday. 

Birthdays are special!

As the king or queen of the day,
You choose the storyline.

As the years pass on,
Recollections of cakes, candles, and song
Build a bridge of happy memories.
©CVarsalona, 2023
Happy Birthday, Richard!
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
Best Presents from Sierra and Aurora
Happy Birthday signs, a handmade crown, and a delicious cake

On each birthday, let's remember this inspirational quote from Emily Dickinson,
"We turn older with years but newer every day."
My Slice of Life
16th Annual March SOLSC! #SOL23

Friday, March 24, 2023

Enjoying Springtime

“Let us find inner freedom in each lucky moment that we encounter, like a sun-basking butterfly that finds peace on a cherry blossom petal.”

 – Erik Pevernagie

The weeping cherry tree planted in my Virginia garden stands tall in its early stages of development. According to legend, the gift of the cherry tree brings good luck and future happiness in the days to come. I thought the beautiful little buds were going to fall down during the daylong rain but they did not so I can continue to enjoy the sight.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for providing a meeting place for reflective writers around the globe. I am offering this slice for 24 of the 16th Annual SOLSC! #SOL23 March Writing Challenge. It is Multi-lit Friday so in honor of my international slicer friend, Terje Akke from Estonia, I ask: "Kas sa naudid kevadet?" (The translation should read, "Are you enjoying spring?")

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Going Rogue

I'm "going rogue" this week. No, I am not behaving in an erratic or independent manner but I am deviating from the structure of the etheree, a poetic format. What's on my mind? I enjoy the beginning of spring in Northern Virginia as it brings freshness to the air, warmer temperatures, and cherry blossoms. When I moved here in March 2021, I wanted to plant a weeping cherry tree to decorate my lawn area near our patio. I had a weeping tree in my meditation garden when on Long Island. Yesterday, the tree started blooming. Today, more buds were noticed. The temperature rose to 81 degrees. 

Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. are peaking.

While desiring to visit the Tidal Basin where hundreds of visitors are touring this week.  There are eleven varieties of cherry blossom trees but the cold weather and rain will arrive tomorrow. I will watch the news sharing the majestic beauty of the trees that reached their peak yesterday. 

Next Friday, the Poetry Sisters are sharing their etherees written during March. This ten-line form begins with a single syllable, and each line expands by one syllable until the tenth line has ten. They are continuing with their 2023 theme of transformation. Each writer will submit their poem to Tanita Davis' blog

Below is the modified etheree that I wrote and will continue to refine during this coming week. 


transforms earth's
barren visual presentation
flirts with nature's greenery
flings open its budding petals 
while dancing under a canopy of blue
spring removes any doubt of seasonal change
brings renewal and hope to earth and humanity
as watchful eyes wait patiently for cherry blossoms to
bring glorious gardenscapes of color that make one's heart sing
©CVarsalona, 2023, draft

It's time to join Poetry Friday RoundupThank you author/poet, Rose Cappelli for hosting Poetry Friday this week. Click here.

Logo by Linda Mitchell


Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge Day 23.