Friday, April 28, 2023

Springsations Creations

While Spring had fluctuating temperatures, winds, and rains, National Poetry Month, continued to blossom. During Poetry Month, poetry flowed abundantly at each of the Poetry Friday blogs. When visiting a Poetry Friday Roundup blog, you enter a domain of poetic goodness, a place that holds the breathings of hearts, wonders, joys, and possibly pain. Creative play is encountered, as well as voice.

Now please step into the Creativity Zone where poets write, dreamers dream, and artistic expressions mature from a seed of an idea to an image poem. Discover Springsations, writers' emotional response to what is seen, heard, felt, smelled, and touched during this season of renewal and joy.

Since Poem in Your Pocket Day 2023 occurred yesterday when I started writing this blog post, tuck the above poem in your pocket to inspire your writing.
Have you seen the vivid new additions to Springsations  Gallery Padlet?
The deadline for submitting an image poem has been extended to May 5th.
Thank you to Poetry Friday poets, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Linda Baie, Bridget Magee, Irene Latham, and Rose Cappelli, for adorning the walls of Springsations Gallery Padlet. Share a poem or carry one of the poems you find on my padlet.

Please join the Poetry Friday Roundup this week where you will find many poetic voices illustrating their latest National Poetry Month projects. Ruth Hersey, teacher-poet working in Uganda, is our host this week. She asks that we pull up a chair to enjoy the variety of poetic goodness. Please click here.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Poetic Voices Rise During National Poetry Month

It's April, National Poetry Month, a sensational time of the year for writers, poets, and individuals who love poetry. Part of a quote from a historian, poet, and writer, Aberjhani, resonates with me as I continue writing almost daily since February.

"Individuals oftern turn to poetry, not only to glean strength and perspective from the words of others, but to give birth to their own poetic voices..."

My Poetic Voice Fills with Stories

Look, I found another egg!

A smiling little princess
dressed in Easter finery beams with pride.

Her basket brims with colorful treasures
hidden by a watchful Easter bunny.
Springtime wonders truly exist.
©CV, 2023

moon strolls through sky
mingling with starfriends -
pause for a light kiss
©CV, 2023
(The above poem was based on Laura Purdie Salas' NPM project's pile of words.)

Voices of Friends Fill the Spingsations Gallery, Vol. 2 at My Padlet

On Tuesday, I shared four poems by fellow writers, Jane Heitman Healy, Denise Krebs, Matt Forrest Esenwine, and Bob Hamera, a.k.a. arjeha. Click here to view my Tuesday Slice of Life with their image poems for Springsations Gallery.

This week, I am delighted to showcase a new set of image poems for Springsations Gallery shared by: 

an Anonymous writer, Janet Scully, and Carol Labuzetta
Elizabeth Neubauer, Leigh Anne EckFaige Meller 

If you are interested in creating an image poem please see the invitation here. It is due by April 30th.
The above quote by Rainier Maria Rilke is at Good Housekeeping Spring Quotes.

Today's Poetry Friday can be found on Karen Edmisten's blog. She offers an inspirational quote by Ted Kooser that is a fitting opening to her post and a close to mine.

"A poem is a record of a discovery."

The above PF logo was created by Margaret Simon.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

echoes of spring

Let yourself become living poetry!

Yesterday, spring was in its glory. Warmth swaddled earth. Birds chirped their song of praise and the woods showcased its bent-over limbs. While walking I noticed little wishweeds anchoring the path, waiting for gentle hands to send their white, feathery tufts parachuting into the calmness of afternoon. 
be silent.
listen to the sounds of earth
whispering grasses call
rippling creek burbles
be present in its movement
springsations echo
©CV, 2023, haibun
May you find peace in your spring days!

I invite you to add your poetic thoughts to the online Springsations Gallery. Vol. 2.

You can see some of the artistic expressions in the gallery by clicking here.
The sample below shares two slicers' image poems, Denise Krebs and arjeha.

I join Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life.

Monday, April 17, 2023

2023 Kidlit Progressive Poem Day 17

Welcome to the Kidlit Progressive Poem that was originally created by Irene Latham and is now organized by Margaret Simon. I have participated in this collaborative poem since 2016. 

This year Mary Lee Hahn kicked off the Progressive Poem with a request to "Write me a story that ends with sudden clarity." Now, mid-story, I  received the poem that adds a twist to the story from Linda Baie. I debated throughout the day on how I should continue the poem and finally decided on adding a bit of whimsy with a touch of reality.

Suddenly everything fell into place
like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in.

When morning first poked me, I'd wished it away
my mind in the mist, muddled, confused.

Was this a dream or reality, rousing my response?
The sun surged, urging me to join in its rising,

Rising like a crystal ball reflecting on morning dew.
I jumped out of bed, ready to explore the day.

My feet pull me outside and into the garden
Where lilies and bees weave...but wait! What's that?

A bevy of bunnies jart and dart and play in the clover. 
A dog barks and flash, the bunderstorm is over.

I breathe-brave, quiet. Like a seed,
as the day, foretold in my dream, ventured upon me. 

Sunbeams guided me to the gate overgrown with wisteria
where I spotted the note tied to the gate. (Linda Baie's line)
My Line:
As I reached the gnarled gate, pollen floated like fairy dust into my face. Aaah Choo!
I pass the poem to Marcie Atkins. Will she reveal the note or not?

NPM 2023 Progressive Poem Calendar

April 1 Mary Lee Hahn, Another Year of Reading

April 2 Heidi Mordhorst, My Juicy Little Universe

April 3 Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference

April 4 Buffy Silverman

April 5 Rose Cappelli, Imagine the Possibilities

April 6 Donna Smith, Mainely Write

April 7 Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche

April 8 Leigh Anne, A Day in the Life

April 9 Linda Mitchell, A Word Edgewise

April 10 Denise Krebs, Dare to Care

April 11 Emma Roller, Penguins and Poems

April 12 Dave Roller, Leap Of Dave 

April 13 Irene Latham Live You Poem 

April 14 Janice Scully, Salt City Verse

April 15 Jone Rush MacCulloch

April 16 Linda Baie TeacherDance

April 17 Carol Varsalona, Beyond LiteracyLink

April 18 Marcie Flinchum Atkins

April 19 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in My Orchard 

April 20 Cathy Hutter, Poeturescapes

April 21 Sarah Grace Tuttle at Sarah Grace Tuttle’s Blog, 

April 22 Marilyn Garcia

April 23 Catherine at Reading to the Core

April 24 Janet Fagal, hosted by Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference

April 25 Ruth, There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town

April 26 Patricia J. Franz, Reverie

April 27 Theresa Gaughan, Theresa's Teaching Tidbits

April 28 Karin Fisher-Golton, Still in Awe Blog

April 29 Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog

April 30 Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing

Friday, April 14, 2023

Reflecting on Springtime Joy

Spring adds new life and new joy to all that is.
-Jessica Harrelson

This year springtime brings fluctuating weather patterns and the burst of blooms earlier than expected. Tree-lined roads share their blossomed branches with passersby. Birds chirp, tweet, and spread their birdsong every morning.  Spring welcomes warmth, color, and the renewal of life.  

I cordially invite you to add your digital inspiration to
Springsations Gallery of Artistic Expressions.

The invitation with all information needed can be found HERE.
The deadline to offer original artistic expressions is April 30, 2023, the end of National Poetry Month.
I extend a thank you to Bob Hamera and Matt F. Esenwine for contributing their original image poems to my Springsations Gallery of Artistic Expressions Padlet. Their digital artistic expressions will become part of the Springsations Gallery.

 I also extend a thank you to Marcie Flinchum Atkins and Irene Latham for sending me a postcard for National Poetry Month.

Sent by Irene Latham with illustration by Melanie Mikecz
Now it's time to stroll over to Jone MacCulloch's blog who is this week's Poetry Friday host. I am eager to visit her National Poetry Month project, Classic Found Poetry Palooza. There are interesting poems created from different classics.

Please consider offering a poetic/digital artistic expression for Springsations Gallery. 

Please stop by my blog on April 17, 2023, Day 17 of this year's Progressive Poem will be at my blog.  I am looking forward to reading the line Linda Baie will add to the poem that she will pass on to me.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Easter - A Day of Joy

Easter is a day of joy filled with many childhood memories. The following quote by an unknown speaker reminds me of the order of importance on Easter Sunday.  "It’s not about the bunny, it’s about the Lamb (of God)."  

Easter always started with a beautiful special Sunday Mass. Many Easter hats paraded into St. John Neuman Church. After Mass, each family went home to a brunch followed by an Easter egg hunt. This year, my little grandgirls took part in the same traditions that were shared by my own children. Their day started with flouncy Easter dresses and photos after Mass. 

While dinner was being prepared, the girls waited patiently for the Easter egg hunt to take place in their beautiful nature-surrounded backyard. 

When the egg hunt festivities were ready, the extended family cheered the little grandgirls and their one-year-old cousin onward to search for the eggs the Easter Bunny left in the yard. 

The excitement mounted as the girls moved from the backyard to the front yard.
They peek.
They shriek.
They see another treasure.
Egg hunting is such a pleasure!
©CVarsalona, 2023

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for providing educators with a space to communicate with other reflective writers.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Easter Preparation

With the return of warmth and sunshine, this week is an ideal one for holiday preparations. I busily prepare for Easter both reflectively and decoratively to remember that it is Holy Week. While the house is decorated with bunnies and flowers, there are also blessed palms, and crosses. It is the time to fast and feast with the family as we move through Holy Week. 

Spring has arrived bursting forth with color and joy. 

I Invite YouTo:

Join my Springsations Gallery of Artistic Expressions Vol. 2.

Please click here for more information.

is hopping with
springtime joy and blessings,
baking, decorating, shopping
stop by
©CVarsalona, 2023, cinquain
I created a Springsations Gallery of Artistic Expressions-Vol. 2 for NPM 2023. Please click on the link here for further information. The deadline is 4/30/2023.

Throughout the week I created a variety of poems using different formats that you will find on my padlet.
Linda Mitchell surprised me this week with a lovely NPM 2023 poetic greeting with one her words. 

One of my Decorated Areas with Linda Mitchell's poetic collage art.

Thank you to Margaret Simon for wearing many poetry hats and still hosting Poetry Friday today. Travel over to Margaret's blog here to discover her different poetic projects. Margaret shared the following graphic 

Reflecting on Spiritual Practices-SJT

While growing up, the week before Easter was filled with a variety of rituals and routines. We continued to abstain from meat on Good Friday and "gave up" eating chocolate and candy.  There were also spiritual practices during Holy Week that encouraged us to reflect. 

Palm Sunday was one of my favorite days of Holy Week. Mass was a joyous celebration honoring the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Priests processed into the church while the parishioners waved blessed palms. The palms were brought home and transformed into small crosses and crowns of thorns. My mother and uncle created artistic treasures that I have kept for years. I  continued these practices with my own family. This year's palms were fresh and lovely but I forgot them in the car so they dried making crosses difficult. The long palms were added to an artificial bouquet in the foyer. and I had a braided cross from last year so I redesigned it to remind me of my mother's craft and the greatness of Christ's loving sacrifice for humanity. 

hands weave palms - a small act of love and faith
hands weave palms - a small act of love and faith
©CVarsalona, 2023

During Holy Week a suggestion is to live as children of the light performing actions good, just, and true. (Ephesians 5:1-9) This message led me to reminisce on Jesus' humble action, the washing of feet, on what we now call Holy Thursday. This humbling yet powerful act is part of the Holy Thursday Mass and dates back to Jesus washing his disciples' feet after the Last Supper. 

Christ Washing the Disciples’ FeetDrawing by  Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669),Drawn between 1640-1650, reed pen and brown ink, with some areas deliberately rubbed with a wet finger or wet brush; framing line in greyish-brown ink  © Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Lesson Learned from the Washing of Feet Ceremony
Jesus came to serve, not to be served.
As a leader, He acted
with loving kindness
 and care for others.
Through actions,
He modeled
how to share
©CVarsalona, 2023

This month's host for Spiritual Journey Thursday is the international teacher/poet, Ruth Hersey. She chose the topic, Origins, and posed the following question: What are the origins of one of your spiritual practices? 

After reading the above, you should understand that the origins of my spiritual practice go back to childhood. Through family practice, I learned the vastness of God's gift of unconditional love. As I grew, I realized that many people around the world do not understand the depth of selfless, caring love for one another. Thank you, Ruth.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Finding Springsations!

It's National Poetry Month and I am delighted to see so many slicers and poetry friends writing poems this month. Each year, Spring arrives of its own accord, renewing the world as it bursts forth with color and joy. While there is a twist to Spring's entrance in many parts of the country this year, I have once again decided to write with an optimistic touch. 

My first gogyohka poem, a five-line poem with one phrase per line, an off-shoot of the tanka form developed by Enta Kusakabe in Japan (Writer's Digest) was introduced to me by my slicer friend, Leigh Anne Eck. I added it to Leigh Anne's nature-inspired writing challenge, Solace and Connect with gratitude for her invitation. 

I cordially invite slicer friends and their students to join my newest Gallery of Artistic Expressions.

You may be familiar with my Galleries of Artistic Expressions as a contributor and/or reader. They are museum-like showcases that blend poetry and art with technology to virtually present the wonders of nature in a poetic manner. Past galleries are filled with a multitude of strong voices writing with positivity. Perhaps, you are interested in joining me. Please read my introductory blog, One poem based on the title of the gallery is requested to be placed on the Springsations Gallery of Artistic Expressions Vol. 2 for NPM 2023 padlet. I will share everyone's offerings at my gallery.

  • I join Two Writing Teachers at Slice of Life after 
  • the 16th Annual #SOLSC! #SOL23