Friday, March 29, 2024

The Easter Triduum

Last night started the Sacred Tridum, a solemn three-day period leading to Easter Sunday. These final days of Lent are honored by my family each year. I offer a sigo poem from today's Good Friday service,  7 Last Words.

A sigo consists of three lines of 14-16 syllables each. Each line contains a pause near the middle. The first half of the line contains six to nine syllables; the second half should contain no fewer that five syllables. The first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a turn, and the third provides closure.  
 The Sacred Tridumm
Disciples gathered at the Lord's supper unaware
treachery brewed within, scourging, crowning with thorns, crucifixion
until Resurrection Sunday when a miracle evolved.
Draft©CVarsalona, March 2024, sigo

icon written by Julia Stankova

gathering of friends

sleeping not waiting
as requested

do we also not listen
not hear spoken words
time to awaken and renew commitment
©CVarsalona, March 2024, cherita

Thank you arjeha, aka Bob Hamera, for suggesting a sijo poem. 

Day 29. The month-long writing challenge is nearing an end. I am delighted to have met new slicers while chatting with writers who have become friends.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Poetry Peeps Challenge as March Marches On!

A few years ago, I was invited to view my first hummingbird. It looked like a little fairy as it flitted around my friends' upper deck. I tried to take a photo but it popped up and down playing peek-a-boo with me. Hence, no photo was captured, but I was delighted ans inspired by the tiny bird's sight.

The above creative invitation is from the Poetry Sisters.

Pantoum poems are marvelous nuggets of repetitive lines.
You can read more about this poetic form here.

Hummingbird's Flight

a small fairylike bird hummed
while moving through the windless sky
with no care in the world, it shunned
my camera as if it were shy

while moving through the windless sky
playing peekaboo it avoided
my camera as if it were truly shy
then flitted away - beak pointed

playing peekaboo it avoided
photos though fancily dressed
then flitted away - beak pointed
flying backward toward the west
©CVarsalona, 2024

I also penned a pantoum to two seasons, winter and spring  
You can read my "Seasons Transition" blog post with the pantoum here.

Exciting News!
Laura Purdie Salas' new kidlit book, Oskar's Voyage, arrived. 
Stay tuned for my book review of this amazing story.

 is hosted this week by
 one of the talented Poetry Sisters, Tricia Stohr-Hunt,
Enjoy the Poetry Friday Roundup!

I also offer this Slice of Life to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge.
Day 28 with thanks for their month-long writing challenge.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Weird Words

Being a wordynerdy writer is wordplay fun. I remember my upper elementary years. My teacher told the class to have a dictionary nearby while reading. That was a boring idea but I bought the dictionary. I learned soon enough that I needed the book to enhance my vocabulary. Years later, I still love learning new words and was excited when Leigh Anne Eck invited Two Writing Teacher writers to her March 2024 SlicerParty with its theme, Word Buffet

I responded to Leigh Anne with five interesting words for her word buffet. You can see the five words I sent her for the party here. Today, I found a list of weird words and chose 6 to send to Leigh Anne as party favors.

enjoy lounging lazily or dawdling.
They may be lackadaisical wanderers
or overconfident whippersnappers
but they seldom make a kerfuffle.
A lollygager may say, "Poppycock!
 I enjoy strolling with my faithful kennebaker".
draft ©CVarsalona, 2024

Can you guess the meaning of the underlined words? Check out the link here. Have fun expanding your lexicon with some of the weird/not-so-common words.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Invitation Accepted to the March Slicer Party

Are you interested in wordplay and crafting? I find both stimulating so when Leigh Anne Eck invited slicers to her 2024 March Slicer Party, I said, "Yes, I'm interested". 

Thank you, Leigh Anne, for hosting the Word Buffet. 

Here are my 5 nerdywordy choices: ebullient, emulate, fortuitous, garrulous, and nudiustertian. Can you match the words with their definitions?

Definition Bank

strive to equal or match               ___________________
happening by chance                   ___________________
full of trivial conversation            ___________________
          lively and full of enthusiasm        ___________________
day before yesterday                   ___________________
When attending a word party, being garrulous is not polite.  Instead, be full of enthusiasm. Make sure that you RSVP in advance, preferably the day before yesterday. Emulate the hostess when sharing your nerdy words. Enjoy chatting and playing with other slicers. Perchance, the words, and their definitions will become part of your extensive vocabulary.

Since my clock-in time was after 12 midnight, I offer this slice for Day 26 of the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Winter-Spring Tug of War

When I woke up yesterday morning, I could barely see outside. The rain came tumbling down, making a trip to the hair stylist unpleasant. Luckily, my husband saved the day and drove me thinking there would be little traffic. What a surprise to find that the highway was filled with huge trucks and drivers in a rush. In addition, the temperature was colder than expected. The heavy rainstorm and cold winds did not stop the traffic. We were surprised to see several trucks lined along the highway waiting for the unrelenting rain to stop. The long trip was filled with pounding rain until I reached my destination. 

I reflected on yesterday's poem, Season's Transitions. The first stanza is below

winter winds wistfully whisper
a tingling tune across night sky
rejecting departure, earth's resistor  
allows spring to sashay by

You can read the full draft of the poem here and then
see what you think of my image poem below.

waves of water slide
down in unstoppable rain
seasons' tug-of-war
©CVarsalona, 2024

I offer this Slice of Life to the 2024 Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge on Day 24 instead of 23. After the storm, the long ride to the hair stylist, and Saturday night Mass, I fell asleep while writing this slice (not an unusual experience for me this winter).
Day 24

Will March exit like a lion or lamb?

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Seasons Transition

Spring is here but Winter holds on with its brisk winds and upcoming storm.

It's time to remember: "No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." (Hal Borland)

My dwarf weeping cherry tree enjoyed
its first bloom at the end of winter. 
It's now waiting for spring to nourish it. 


winter winds wistfully whisper
a tingling tune across night sky
rejecting departure, earth's resistor  
allows spring to sashay by

a tingling tune across night sky
welcomes brisk weather 
allowing spring to sashay by
until seasons blend together

welcoming brisk weather
spring sun sways
until seasons blend together
in a playful way

spring sun sways
reigning as the sole survivor
in a playful way
spring becomes the advisor
Draft, CVarsalona, March 2024, pantoum

Heartnote to Spring
"Blossom by blossom the spring begins." 
Algernon Charles Swinburne

My pear tree showcases her white blossoms.


I am ready to offer my blog post to Poetry Friday and 2024 Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge.

Logo created by Tanita S. Davis

Thank you to poet and author Rose Cappelli for hosting this week's Poetry Friday Roundup. She offers a post on her new birdfeeder and the number of birds making frequent visits. Click here to find more poetic goodness.

I am also offering this Slice of Life to the 2024 Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge. Click here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

March's Special Moments

While reflecting on my March slices, I realize that each heartnote I created evolved into a special moment. Join me as I gather the titles of each slice written during the 17th Annual March Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. I pause for a moment to decide what format I shall use before penning a quick pile-up poem that summarizes fourteen days of writing. 

new month
with new challenges
there was swimming glee
that gathered fun family goodness
a heartnote of praise to teachers
some slices were one of those days
another, a call to action on Women's Day
there was Oscar glam at the preshow jeweled event
shopping day with friends was pure fun followed by springlike
weather on a late winter day when I wrote Game On!
I celebrated National Reading Month with story time while wearing the green
and lastly, there was St. Paddy's Day cookie humor delivered by my grandgirl
some days I fell asleep while writing, other days I wrote of special moments.
©CVarsalona, March 2024

What shall I write next??? 

Stay Tuned.

In the meantime, visit other slicers at Two Writing Teachers, the meeting place for reflective writers from across the globe. Click here.

Slice of Life Day 20.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

St. Paddy's Day Cookie Humor

Sometimes, two words sound alike but their meanings are so different. Sometimes, my 4-year-old grandgirl likes to be silly as in yesterday's Wearing of the Green Slice of LifeThinking that she was being silly during the recent cookie-making experience, I misunderstood what she said. 

"Grandma, where is the likker?

Looking puzzled, I turned to the baking area and spotted the Creme de Menthe bottle I used to make the green frosting for the cookies."

"Oh, no. She spotted the bottle? How did she know that word, liquor? I said to my son, who was also puzzled by the repetion of the first question.

I paused, then questioned her, "What are you talking about, Aurora?

"Grandma, I said, where is the likker?"  

Click! The light bulb went on for me.

 "Aurora, did you mean this mixing piece that we used to make the cookies?


The mystery was solved. My son and I were relieved. Aurora smiled in between licks of leftover cookie dough.        

comical assumption
on Grandma's part
toddler baker unaware of
©CVarsalona, March 2024
-draft- Elfchen poem

Out of the Mouths of Babes -

Take a Bite. It's good!

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for offering a Writing Challenge during March.
Slice of Life Day 19.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Wearing of the Green 2024

What is St. Patrick's Day without a bit of green? This color can be found in clothing, decorations, baking, and balloons. It did not originate in Ireland although many people thought it did. 

My house was decorated with green decorations and mementos. Postcards from the turn of the 20th century were spread around the house as a reminder that St. Patrick's Day has been a part of the American culture for years. So you would expect that I would have festive green clothes for my little grandgirls to wear. 

The tulle skirts and green ribbons were at the grandgirls' home, not mine. I improvised when the middle child of the family spent the weekend. The Dollar Tree store had a giant sequin bow. It was a becoming look for my toddler grandgirl who decided to be silly for the camera. If you stopped over you would see that her cookies were green but that is another story...

I hope your weekend was as festive as mine.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for offering a Writing Challenge during March.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Celebrating National Reading Month

Did you know that March is National Reading Month! 

March was chosen to honor Dr. Seuss's birthday. 

When I was a child, I fell in love with reading and libraries. There were so many to choose from in my city's grand public library. It was a magnificent structure in downtown Syracuse, NY that opened my eyes to magical wonders. The stacks in the children's library were filled with books about faraway places and times. I spent hours mulling over the precious publications and always walked away with a new stack of books.

But that library was not the only one that amazed me. Each summer when I visited my Nonnie in Rome, NY, we would spend time walking to the library. My love for reading increased with age. It's not surprising that booklove was one of the reasons why I studied to become a reading specialist. 

My first classroom had a small area for books nestled in the corner of the cafeteria. My high school students were not readers but I had an intense desire to introduce them to the pleasures of reading. From there, I was asked to start a reading program for 7th graders in another impoverished setting. My love for books continued to grow as did the libraries I shared with K-12th grade students. To entice the elementary students to read, I offered schoolwide read alouds during holiday times. The teachers and I celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2nd wearing Cat in the Hat hats and reading to students. Then, after 25 years in classrooms as a reading specialist, I moved to central administration as a districtwide director of language arts. In that capacity, I was able to open libraries for classroom teachers in each of the 5 elementary schools. Now, I enjoy reading to my grandgirls with books I have collected over the years.      

Heartnote to Students

open doors
to new pathways
enlighten, delight, and become

reach out
to all ages
as guides into literacy

ignite imagination
offering content and
creative illustrations for story

comes in
many forms
books offer pleasure, intrigue,

©CVarsalona, February 2024
Elfchen poems

I am celebrating the month of March by reading and writing daily. I am also celebrating my six-year-old year-old grandgirl's accomplishment as a reader. As a first-grade student, she reads fluently and enjoys chapter books now. I applaud all the parents who read to their child/children when they are little and continue to enjoy the pleasure of family reading at bedtime. 

Once again I  am sliding into Day 16 of the 2024 Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge before the midnight hour clocks in.2024 Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge.
Day 16