Sunday, April 14, 2024

Traveling Progressive Poem

The Progressive Poem has traveled for 13 days this month. It is my turn to add lines to the community poem that is a journey of courage. Reading through Days 1 through 13, I am reminded of a poignant story told by one of my elementary students years ago. Amid civil unrest in El Salvador, the child and his siblings left their homeland to move to Long Island. 

Join me as I integrate the student's story into my lines for Day 14. I also added the art of Juan Lopez-Bautista's Border Stories presented at the Sella-Granata Art Gallery, Woods Hall, UA campus (October-November 2021). Be sure to click here and here to view the full exhibition that touched my heart. 

cradled in stars, our planet sleeps,
clinging to tender dreams of peace
sister moon watches from afar,
 singing lunar lullabies of hope.

almost dawn, I walk with others,
keeping close, my little brother.
hand in hand, we carry courage
escaping closer to the border.

My feet are lightning;
My heart is thunder.
Our pace draws us closer
to a new land of wonder.

I hum my own little song
like ripples in a stream
Humming Mami's lullaby 
reminds me I have her letter

My fingers linger on well-worn creases,
shielding an address, a name, a promise-
Sister Moon will find always us
surrounding us with beams of kindness

But last night, as we rested in the dusty field,
worries crept in about matters back home.

Day 14
I huddled close to my brother. Tears revealed
the no-choice need to escape. I feel grown. 


Juan Baptiste Lopez from "Border Stores"
at the Sella-Granata Art Gallery

I pass on the torch of writing to Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities.

The Kidlithosphere Progressive Poem was started in 2012 by Irene Latham as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month as a community of writers. In 2020, Margaret Simon became the organizer of the Progressive Poem. Margaret created the above gorgeous graphic for the 2024 Progressive Poem .

Meet the writing team creators of the community Progressive Poem 2024. 

April 1 Patricia Franz at Reverie
April 2 JJone MacCulloch
April 3 Janice Scully at Salt City Vers
April 4 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
April 5 Irene at Live Your Poem
April 6 Margaret at Reflections on the Techee
April 7 Marcie Atkins
April 8 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a God Forsaken Town
April 9 Karen Eastlund
April 10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
April 11 Buffy Silverman
April 12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
April 13 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
April 14 Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink
April 15 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
April 16 Sarah Grace Tuttle
April 17 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
April 18 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference
April 19 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
April 20 Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
April 21 Janet, hosted here at Reflections on the Teche
April 22 Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading
April 23 Tanita Davis at (fiction, instead of lies)
April 24 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
April 25 Joanne Emery at Word Dancer
April 26 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
April 27 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
April 28 Dave at Leap of Dave
April 29 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
April 30 Michelle Kogan at More Art for All
I hope more of my poetry friends, plus writers, bloggers, artists, photographers, and friends join in the Poetry Parade. The Poetry Parade Padlet is available for your artistic expressions. Laura Purdie Salas and Denise Krebs added their image poems to the gallery.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Life Awakens in Spring

It's springtime in Virginia, a time to celebrate nature's transition to warmer weather and the burst of cherry blossom trees. In between sunshine moments, gray April showers sprinkle crystalline drops as nature takes center stage There are many reasons to celebrate springtime. For Poetry Friday nature lovers, poetry love is in the air. It swooshes across the open sky, echoes nature sounds, and opens hearts to the beauty of a spring day that quietly whispers in the wind. 
Morning Springs Open
morning light
streams in
unfolding spring's verdant palette of green
hidden buds buried in earthen soil sprout
breathe in
nature's perfume
peace surrounds
©CVarsalona, 2024, trinet poem

Are you ready to sing praises for a spring morning?
I invite you to be creative.
Snap a spring photo that speaks to you.
Write a poem and mesh the two together.

JOIN ME at The
Padlet, the container for my next
Poetry Parade Gallery of Artistic Expressions

Thank you, Denise Krebs, for being the first colleague to add your spring image poem to the Poetry Parade Padlet.


I am now ready to join the Poetry Friday Roundup with this week's Poetry Friday host, poet-educator friend Jone Rush MacCulloch. She is sharing a fabulous interview with Carol Labuzzetta, the publisher of a new anthology, Picture Perfect Poetry: An Anthology of Ekphrastic Nature Poetry for Students. I am honored to have several poems and a nature photo in Carol Labuzzetta's book.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Solar Eclipse 2024

Parts of North America silently waited for nature's moments of totality. on April 8, 2024. News stations aired programs. Libraries distributed solar eyeglasses. People huddled in parks, yards, and special event areas to watch a spectacular sight, the moon passing between Earth and the sun. News stations captured the event minute by minute as the moon blocked the view of the sun. We watched ABC News coverage. Each area from Mexico to Maine shared their 4 minutes of totality as the sun darkened the sky followed by sunlight. 

My son, husband, and I moved between the news and our backyard as we waited for the event. Then, the sky clouded. What would we see? My son asked Siri, "What time will the eclipse occur here in Northern Virginia? Much to his surprise, we would only see a partial eclipse. Regardless, I decided to capture the event even without solar glasses. How did I do this? I cleverly moved my iPhone toward the sky but did not face the sky. I started clicking my iPhone camera. Click! Then, I remembered the Pink Floyd song, Total Eclipse of the Sun, that my husband likes. You can listen to it below and then read my trinet poem introduced to me by the Australian poet, Alan J. Wright during a Poetry Friday Roundup. This poem has seven lines and lines three and four have six words in each line. All the other lines have two words per line. The trinet has no restrictions for rhyme, subject, or syllable. 

Total Eclipse of the Sun

The above photo was captured while watching the sky, shapeshift. Can you see the yellow light around a black object in the middle of the photo? Shortly after I took the photo, the sky became more gray in color and the weather became cooler. What a surprise! I came inside to watch ABC's coverage of the awesome totality moments-solar eclipse in New York State. I can imagine how fabulous it was to be there. 
Please consider offering one image poem of
for my 2024 National Poetry Month Project
See more information on my new Gallery of Artistic Expressions and take a peek at my Poetry Parade Padlet. which will showcase my poems and other artistic expressions by writers, poets, and others.

I offer this Slice of Life to Two Writing Teachers. with gratitude for accepting my slice late.

Friday, April 5, 2024

New Ideas for NPM Month

Dear Springtime,
Recently, showers have splashed across pavements and fogged windows while blurring your spring colors. As a troubadour of nature, I pause to honor the earth and nature's seasonal transition during April's National Poetry Month. Through the lens of nature photography, digital graphics, and poetrylicious poetry, I wish to restore a colorful lens to my everyday life and renew my spirit of creativity. I will wait patiently for your palette of colors to pop and the weather to warm. 
Sincerely, Your Faithful Follower

With pleasure, I invite my poet friends, writers, artists, and nature lovers to capture the splendors of a springtime moment and  join me as I write 
for my 2024 National Poetry Month Project
Join the Gallery of Artistic Expressions, Poetry Parade 

Capture the splendors of Springtime with your creativity.
Your options are:
      • an original poem superimposed on a photo (image poem)
      • a collage poem with scrapbook art
      • a postcard poem
      • a playlist of springtime music
      • inspirational quotes on springtime
    • Please add your offering to my Poetry Parade Padlet here.

As Myra Garces-Bascal stated in a previous Poetry Friday, "Poetry requires one to pause, consider, and stare at the marvel of the world. the intricacies of a leaf, or be still enough to let melody wash over one's soul."

While cruising on the Potomac yesterday, I searched for the treasured cherry blossoms but many were whisked away with the rains. While this was disappointing. nature did offer a glimpse of a few beautiful cherry trees at the entrance to the docks.

Below is my image poem from yesterday's Lunch Cruise in Washington, DC.

It is time to join the Poetry Friday Roundup at Irene Latham's blog.

rene has poetic goodness to share with her recent public community poetry project in Blount County, Alabama. I was happy to share some of my image poems for her project. Irene is also showcasing the beginning of the Progressive Poem up to her fifth line in the poem. I am excited to read the line for the day each morning. Besides all of this news, there is more. Irene shared her ArtSpeak: FOLK ART poem, titled Prayer. Thank you, Irene, for being this week's hostess.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Everyday Miracles

Are there times in your life when you pause to breathe in and breathe out the gentle rush of the wind or stand in awe of a small flower growing in a spot you did not plant? The act of wondering strengthens our ability to find calm in an upside-down world but challenges are ever-present. It is faith that helps us journey onward. 

Bob Hamera, aka arjeha, is this month's host of our Spiritual Journey community of writers. His topic concerns: "What miracles have graced your life?" He also found a song, Flower Drum Song, "A Hundred Million Miracles" to reflect upon. In response to Bob's questions, I have witnessed everyday miracles, such as the awakening of seasons and my little grandgirls enjoying nature's bounty. I have seen medical miracles, the continuance of life after the traumatic birth of my son who almost died the first week in ICU, and the celebration of twenty years of remission from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Both of these events brought fear and anxiety into a fragile life but faith sustained me through the power of prayer and medicine. 

Miracles are not magical. They are precious, spiritual gifts bestowed on the land and the living. They are powerful signs from God, the Divine Giver. The free graphic below speaks of the greatest miracle, the rising of the Lord from the depths of death.
By The Girl Creative blog

I found a poem by Walt Whitman, Miracles, that is uplifting. It starts with a question and follows with "As to me I know of nothing else but miracles". I believe in miracles but I need to pause more often to fill my heart with the joys of small, everyday miracles.


Why, who makes much of a miracle?
Strike line from Walt Whitman's Poem, Miracles

I am blessed by miracles big and small. Then, why 
do I question nature's nurturing of the earth? Who 
hears my heart beating so fast that it makes
me rush into daily life? Much
perseverance is needed on this journey of
faith. I commit to pause more and be thankful for each miracle.                        
©CVarsalona, April 2024


Welcome to my Poetry Parade
for National Poetry Month 2024

I invite you to join my Poetry Parade this month.
If interested, create an image poem on any spring topic,
such as nature, sports, animals, etc.
I will create a Poetry Parade Padlet to insert your poem.
More information will be offered later in the week.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

National Poetry Month Marches In

It's time for another Poetry Parade during National Poetry Month. April is the month I refine past poems and write new ones. Spring brings renewal to life, so I dedicate this month to a revival of life. Some of my poems need to be revived and others need to blossom. 

During the month I will visit other Poetry Friday friends who enjoy playing with words and writing poetrylicious poetry. Another wonderful stop this month is the 2024 Progressive Poem, now directed by Margaret Simon. Click here to see the opening lines. Leo Tolstoy's statement below with my digitized nature background inspires me to observe the season's evolution and add new plants, poems, and digital artwork to my collection of spring's blossoming time.

April comes once each year
with raindrops spilling onto earth.
Winter does not disappear 
as daffodils begin rebirth.

With raindrops spilling onto earth
blossoms whisper in delight.
Daffodils begin rebirth.
Little buds try to sprout upright.

Blossoms whisper in delight
as the weather turns and tosses.
Little buds try to sprout upright.
Earth pleads its causes.

As the weather turns and tosses,
 nature continues nurturing life.
Earth pleads its causes
Despite environmental strife.

Winter does not disappear
but slowly pauses and retreats.
April comes once each year.
Spring refreshes and takes its seat.
©CVarsalona, March 2024, pantoum

Welcome to my Poetry Parade
for National Poetry Month 2024

I invite you to join my Poetry Parade this month.
If interested, create an image poem on any spring topic,
such as nature, sports, animals, etc.
I will create a Poetry Parade Padlet to insert your poem.
More information will be offered later in the week.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for the March 2024 Slice of Life Story Challenge. 
Even with life's interruptions, I wrote 20 slices during the month-long writing challenge.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Easter Sunday Thoughts

Today, morning broke with sunshine that pierced through the sky. Churchbells chimed in sync to verify the truth. Resurrection Sunday brought renewal to life, whether it be human life or nature's tending to the earth. Spring's path will continue with its sweet scents floating through the sky like burning incense rises and perfumes an altar. 
As the 40 days of Lent ended, so has the 31 days of the 17th Annual Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge. Challenges may have created pauses along the way but faith brought each writer closer to the end of a faithful journey. May each new friend I met find continue to write with zest and the many slicers I have met throughout my 10 years of slicing continue to meet each Tuesday of the year. I look forward to continued friendships.

As evening slows life down,

Memories of this Easter Sunday family day

Spins around like a top.

Faith and love connect.

Blossoms open.

Hearts renew.

©CVarsalona, 3/31/2024

Successful Easter Egg Hunt  

Day 31 ends the journey. I extend sincere gratitude to the leaders of Two Writing Teachers for opening their space that brings reflective writers together from across the globe.