Friday, June 30, 2023

"Moon in June"

Who isn't smitten by the moon's glow on a summer night? When Irene Latham our host of Poetry Friday invited the Poetry Friday community of poets to a "Moon in June" themed Roundup, I immediately responded yes.

Join me as I dance in the light of the silvery moon and hold a shining light up to Irene's latest book which will debut on August 8, 2023. Irene is designing an educator's resource filled with many moon-related poems. School Library Journal  has already announced that Irene's new book is "a lovely picture book that mixes poetry and history about the moon." 

To get in the mood for our Moon in June get-together, listen to

The moon, like a flower
In heaven's high bower, 
With silent delight,
Sits and smiles on the night.
-William Blake, Night

Below you will find a photograph I took of a moonslice with my iPhone in 2021.
night-sky wonder
moonslice sits in silence
community sleeps
© CV, 2021

moon strolls through sky
mingling with starfriends -
pause for a light kiss
©CV, 2023
Photo by Jone Rush MacMulloch


Are you ready to fly to the moon and back? 
Leisurely listen to my MoonSong playlist and take a look at Irene Latham's padlet,
Welcome to the Museum on the Moon!, filled with poems, new, and curiosities in celebration of THE MUSEUM ON THE MOON: CURIUS OBJECTS ON THE LUNAR SURFACE by Irene Latham.

I moondance with stars
under sky's dark canopy-
lunar bliss
©CV, 2023
Be sure to visit POETRY FRIDAY hosted by Irene Latham.


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Ant Parade

This weekend, I found a question by writer, Haruki Murakami, "I wonder what ants do on rainy days?” Well, I can poetically speak to that query. 

Alarmed by an ant parade that traveled from the rainy outdoors to my beautiful kitchen, I immediately called the bug control company. I already had one invasion a couple of months ago and was not keen on seeing another group of ants parading around my countertop and up and around my toaster and coffee maker. While waiting for the pest control tech, I thought about the medium-sized and minuscule ants who chose my house to take their weekday stroll. Perhaps, they were seeking refuge from the heavy rainfall or looking for food for their colony. At any rate, I just could not have the ants munching in my kitchen while making something to eat. After researching, I found Home and Gardens answered my question before the tech came for the service call. "Ants forage for food in spring and summer months, sending out search parties that scavenge for anything they can find." 

Ant Parade

Tiny ants are out today.
Their search party leads the way
Sloshing through the rain outside,
Looking for a place to hide.

I thought it quite a sight to see
Wiggling ants parading busily,
Marching to the leaders' steps,
balancing with no missteps.

But woe was me when the tech
Intervened to stop their trek.
When bait was laid in their path,
Ants were caught and full of wrath.

But wise as ants are supposed to be
They wiggled themselves to be free.
I watched them march through the wall
to their ultimate downfall
©CVarsalona, 2023

I was when fascinated by the ant parade happening. While watching the marching search party, I kept thinking about Jack Prelutsky's Skeleton Parade poem. The good news is that the pest control tech found the ant colony outside in my rose garden and treated the area. Now I can cook and bake in my kitchen in peace. 

With an original poem and a piece of digital art, I join Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Summer Solstice

“One way of celebrating the Solstice is to consider it a sacred time of reflection, release, restoration, and renewal.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach


To most people, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Celebrations begin, garden flowers continue to blossom, and children eagerly await their summer break.  On nature's calendar, the Summer Solstice begins the summer season. This year the long day of the Summer Solstice brought a turnover from springtime to summertime

Seasonal Shuffle
Spring dressed in 
flowery finery to welcome summer.
It was the time
for blooming brightness to
restore the earth and simply
indulge in a new season meant to be.
©CVarsalona, 2023

Paul Laurence Dunbar captures the delight of summer in the last couplet of his poem, In Summer Time.

'Tis wealth enough of joy for me 
in summer time to simply be.

I read these lines repeatedly for joy was my 2017 one word and be, my guiding one word this year. The last line in Dunbar's poem, in summer time to simply be, became the strike line in my Golden Shovel poem, Seasonal Shuffle. 

Please note that many of my previous poems revolve around nature as a bountiful giver. Usually, the Summer Solstice is a joyous time to listen to nature, slow down,  soak in the sun's peaceful bliss, and relax. This July 21st, Mother Nature offered earth a darker shade of summer and will continue to water our neighborhood with daily rain-an interesting beginning to summer.

For those who believe in the power of positivity, see the Summer Solstice as a guide on your "slow down" summer journey. Begin the walk to add balance to your life, release negativity to see cups as half full not empty, and rest to restore your spirit. Use each summer day to recharge and renew your energy.

Now at the beginning of the Summer of 2023, meet me
Where pathways meet and pathways part,-
To walk with Nature heart by heart.
Italicized lines are from Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem, In Summer Time.


Tomorrow is Poetry Friday with our host, the master poetic collage artist, Linda Mitchell. She will celebrate poetic goodness in style with her clunker challenge. I look forward to collecting clunker words or thoughts to engage in word play at the Creativity Zone. 

Logo created by Michelle Kogan

Friday, June 16, 2023

Goodby Kindergarten

It was a beautiful day six years ago just like today. My husband, son, and I were driving from Long Island to Virginia to arrive in time for the arrival of our first grandchild when my phone started ringing. Sierra  Kathryn was just born and we were still at least two hours away. Fast track to yesterday, Sierra, my oldest granddaughter celebrated her 6th Birthday. Plus, today she finishes her year of Kindergarten. It is difficult to believe that time has past so quickly and Sierra is now ready for 1st grade. Last night, we celebrated with the extended family.  Without further ado, I share snippets of the outside dinner party through a series of photos.

Homemade number cookie I baked for the dinner party
Sierra enjoys her cookie.
She attempts to read her birthday cards.
I am proud to see her trying.
Two sisters enjoy the celebration at Medium Rare.

Recently, I read Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's blogs which spoke about occasion poem and making souvenir poems. Below is my souvenir poem that I will read with Sierra.

Your kindergarten life,
a whole year of delight,
whooshed away
in a fantastic way!
Your sweet teacher was swell!
It's time to bid friends farewell. 
Memories will last
through your summer-life dash.
Then, first grade will come
for more school-life fun.
©CVarsalona, 2023

Thanks to Anastasia Suen for sparking a poem for her June #smallpoem challenge.
sweetened sangria
delicious and bright
as the birthday girl
raise a glass to celebrate
©CVarsalona, 2023

Last year, my artist and poet friend, Michelle Kogan created a 5th-year birthday card for SierraThis week she is hosting Poetry Friday here. You can find much poetic goodness on her site, including the Poetry Friday community blog posts. I look forward to joining everyone this morning.

Logo created by Michelle Kogan

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Ice Cream Small Moment

"If life is a bowl of dark ice cream, small moments are colorful sprinkles all over it."

Ice cream is such a treat. It is no wonder that local magazines, news, and social media share information on the "ice cream trail" and what are the "best" spots for a good treat. Ice cream parlors, shops, and stands are favorite outings for our family. Now, the love of ice cream has been passed on to my little grandgirls.

From years of tasting delectable flavors and types of ice cream, we were ready for taste tests when traveling to Central New York for my Uncle's funeral. We were lucky that the internet found an ice cream trail in small towns of Central New York.

Ice cream flavors have come a long way since vanilla and chocolate days. I remember my childhood when the Neapolitan flavor was in vogue. Then, the chocolate dip cone became the rage. One of my high school jobs was at Friendly's. When the store first opened, I was the waitress behind the counter, scooping out sundaes and cones for customers. Then, I grew into an adult with a sweet tooth looking for the best ice cream in a new locale. We found one in Verona, NY, Nicky Doodles. We were happily surprised when the parking lot was crowded. Many families were enjoying the ice cream and custard treats outside under picnic tables. 

After deliberating on what would make a double-scoop ice cream a wonderful treat, each one of us asked for something different.  As the evening hours drew to a close, I sat down to enjoy a double-dip cone of coconut chocolate almond and dark chocolate raspberry. My husband and son chose different flavors of custard. We were delighted with our choices and I made sure that I rolled the flavors in a slow-motion, taste-licking way. I don't remember tasting a combination of flavors better than this one.


join me for a treat
custard, ice cream
delicious, not too sweet
an ideal summer dream
double dips, cones, cups 
tongue-licking smacks
taste buds erupt
sit down and relax
under an evening sky
of sprinkles galore
breathe, be, and sigh
it's ice cream I adore
©CVarsalona, 2023
-Slice of Life Small Moment-
delicious enough to be repeated many times this summer

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the space to write with a community of reflective writers.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Thoughts for June Days

"June is the time for being in the world in new ways, for throwing off the cold and dark spots of life." - Joan D.Chittiste

The floral beauty of June
arrived at May's edge. It was
quietly waiting, not
overstated with unmade,
messy beds for 
days of restless wind.
It busted in with bees and
abundance for days of minimal stress.
©CVarsalona, 2023

The strike line for the golden shovel poem is "June was not made for wind and stress" from  Why Was June Made? by Annette Wynne.  Click here to read the poem. 

June is bustin' out all over!
Enjoy the lushness of each June day because

Springsations Gallery is singing its swan song so pause to see the range of poetic tributes to the spring season. Click here to see the Springsations Gallery. Thank you to Marcie Flinchum Atkins and Donna Smith for adding their image poems to the Gallery. 

It's Poetry Friday with our host, the nature-loving poet, children's author, and  photographer, Buffy Sliverman. Join me at Buffy' website for an exploration of poetic goodness.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Life Is a Journey

"For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die... a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance..." -Ecclesiastes 3-22

Last week, the above Bible verse, became a reality. Birth and death occurred in the same period. I felt I was at a crossroads in life. The circle of life was happening in both a sad and joyful manner. You can read more about this here

In reference to death, my family paid tribute to my 94-year-old Uncle in a Central New York town, Rome, New York. A spirit of peace filtered through the church as I walked in. The church was as I recalled it from my childhood days when I attended Mass with my Nonnie. A few new pieces beautified the inside and outside of the building. A magnificent life-size Pieta, 1 of 100 created, was installed as a shrine in the back of the church. It reminded me that the passing of life can be a beautiful spiritual event. 

In the courtyard, my son noticed a bench with my grandmother's and grandfather's names inscribed. It was comforting to think that my Uncle John honored them and now it was his turn to be honored. A spirit of peace filtered through the church during the visiting hour, Mass, and burial.

It was touching to read my daughter's Facebook post about the birth of her third little girl and the passing of her great uncle, "It seems fateful that with her birth, as one angel comes to this earth, another one leaves it." The circle of life came full forward. The journey on earth is starting for our newborn, Lila Joy, while my uncle begins his journey in heaven. One of the caregivers at Francis House, the hospice setting, told my sister about a ritual they practice. When a resident expires, a window is opened so the spirit can move to a new home. She also said that my Uncle Johnny would be Lila's special angel. Each person, newborn and elder, embark on a spiritual journey comprised of many layers. 

life is a journey of faith with family:
life is a journey of faith with family
©CVarsalona, 2023

Pause now to listen to Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds that reiterates the Bible verse from Ecclesiastes. It is now time to turn my thoughts to the family's journey of birth, death, weeping, laughing, mourning, and dancing for the walk is upon us. It is also the turning of seasons from spring to summer. This time each year, we shall celebrate life with Lila Joy and remember an uncle who believed in the goodness of family life.


I now turn my thoughts to Spiritual Journey Thursday. On the first Thursday of each month, the Spiritual Journey Thursday community meets to discuss a topic chosen by the host. This month, Dave at Leap of Dave is our host. Dave posed some questions about our spiritual journey for us to ponder. The nature photography digital graphic that I created shares part of a duck family I came upon in Central New York after the funeral. Family is important on our walk as is nature. It is a vital part of creation and every matter unto heaven. 

Today is also Poetry Friday. Each week, a community of poets from across the globe gather together to share poetic goodness. This week, Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is our host.  

I look forward to reading both Spiritual Journey Thursday and Poetry Friday writers' blog posts. Before I say goodbye, I would like to add a couple more digital inspirations/image poems that I worked on this week.

©CVarsalona, 2023, This Photo Wants To Be A Poem (Photo by Margaret Simon)

©CVarsalona, 2023, Designed in Graphite and FotoJet
in Response to Anastasia Suen's #smallpoem challenge