Sunday, April 15, 2018

Celebrate the Struggle

I've noticed that when I am in a time crunch life intersects and derails my plans? Has this ever happened to you?


Fails Me 
Leads Me On!
©CVarsalona, 2018
My thoughts in

Introduced to me by my poet friend, Donna Smith here.
Format: -12 lines of 60 syllables written in iambic meter 
-3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4 syllables each 
-Rhyme scheme: aabb, ccdd, eeff

When my iMac starts to mutter,
I clear clutter.
A mess I fear.
Strange things appear.

I call the genius on the phone-
In what time zone???
Doesn't matter.
Starts to chatter.

One big, endless conversation,
No oration.
Need to backup.
©CVarsalona, 2018

There it is, in a nutshell. Oh, did I mention that I also needed a new router? Now I am having issues with my printer that no longer connects to the iMac. I will need to make another phone call to Optimum now. 

When it rains it pours but I still celebrate the struggle because it will lead me to clean up my office clutter, post my winter gallery, and get a new iMac.

I created a video poem to advertisie the release of Winter Wonderland Gallery 
during 2018 National Poetry Month.  

You may enjoy checking out Wonderopolis' Wonder of the Day #883, 
"When Is Technology Old."

I am celebrating this week's technology struggle with Ruth Ayres and her writing community at #celebratelu.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Shh! It's a Surprise

Suspense is mounting. It is a surprise party at the Poetry Friday Roundup
and Robyn Hood Black is hosting the event. 

No gifts required! Just heartfelt wishes and comments at Robyn's blog site for a very special poet's birthday. You can access it the Poetry Friday Roundup here.


Link to Buncee here

Thank you Lee for spreading poetry love throughout the world.
I'll never forget the day I heard you speak at a literacy conference and then, excitedly waited for you to sign Pass the Poetry Please.

You are the consumate

poetry passer
pens crafted thoughts on pages-
master word packer
©CVarsalona, 2018

different hosting each week - Wonderful sharing of all things poetry! 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

My Turn-Progressive Poem Day 12

Welcome to Day 12 of the 2018 Progressive Poem hosted by the wonderful children's author, Irene Latham. Needless to say, I have not only eagerly anticipated this day but felt nervous twitches. It's my turn to take this year's poem one step further.

Initial Thought:
My poetry colleagues have been busy building a delightful tale from Liz Steinglass' opening line, "Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched." Upon my initial read, I thought Liz's words, nestled and cozy, set up the right scene, while the word stretched gave rise to a new movement, the awakening of spring. I started thinking about the first few days of spring on Long Island when #winterinspring was the norm. The hope of spring was tucked inside the layers of snow.  Questions arose. Will the poem evolve into a discovery of springtime with the little seed as the main character? What will the seed become as she rises from her earthen bed? 

During Reading Thought:
You can imagine my surprise when the seed turned into a beautiful, playful child named Jasmine "who danced with the pulse of a thousand stars." An adventure started and soon new characters were introduced, Moon and Owl. When readto Matt Forrest Esenwine's line on Day 10, "Secure in talons' embrace, Jasmine rose," I stopped to ponder. Matt spoke of moving into unchartered waters. I wondered where Brenda Harsham would take the poem so I studied each line, again and again. I thought about how I might weave my thought not expecting Brenda's very interesting Act II take-off: "and set. She split, twining up Owl's toes, pale."

After Thought:
Where was I to go with the ending word being pale? I started off with  Jasmine being "pale but unshaken" about an upcoming flight but scratched that because I didn't think that pale fit when referring to her. Then, I turned to alliteration but could not find the right action word to match moonbeams.  I deliberated again, reviewed my notebook ideas on owl movement, flight, and the word "split", I turned to the digital I created for my notebook, Believe in the Magic!  I hope I found the magic that makes this poem move one step further.

2018 Progressive Poem 

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.              
Oh, what wonderful dreams she had!                         
Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with
the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine
invented a game.
"Moon?" she called across warm, honeyed air.
"I'm sad you're alone; come join Owl and me.
We're feasting on stardrops, we'll share them with you."
"Come find me," Moon called, hiding behind a cloud.
Secure in gentle talons' embrace, Jasmine rose
and set. She split, twining up Owl's toes, pale

moonbeams sliding in between. Whoosh, Jasmine goes.

The poetic journey continues with my friend, Linda Mitchell. Where will she take Jasmine as she wanders through the midnight sky?

You can read more about the Progressive Poem's background here and the conversation Heidi Mordhorst had with Irene Latham and Liz Steinglass on Day 1.

Please follow along to see how the poem develops. 
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Kat at Kat's Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

#Winterinspring Continues

Monday Morning

Sunshine meets morning. 
Weather report breaks through. 
"It may look like a spring day 
But it's really more like a
Warm February or early March day."
Out the door to yoga class-
Jacket and hat in hand. 
Brr-37 degrees-
Chill in the air!
Rush, rush to class.
Ah, studio warmth!
Leaving feeling refreshed.
See an open-top convertible
pass on by-
Man in a winter hat
Enjoying a brisk ride.
It takes all kinds
to live life to its fullest!
#Winterinspring smiles.
@CV, 2018

Poetry Slice

Monday, April 9, 2018

Celebrate #SixWordSunday

Professional and personal writing envelop me.
My grandbaby knows how to wave.
Snow passed us by; #winterinspring remains.
Poetic voices soar on Twitter Monday.
I celebrate #SixWordSunday with a short visual entry for #NPM18 and #celebratelu, the Celebrate This Week writing community hosted by Ruth Ayres.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of Winter Wonderland Gallery.

Friday, April 6, 2018

NPM 2018: #winterinspring

For those who are familiar with this year's changing weather patterns in New York State, you will not be surprised at this bit of interesting information.  On Easter Monday, Lady Winter dropped in on Long Island leaving her calling card, but left no traces of snow in Syracuse where I was visiting my sister for our family's Easter gathering.  Then, on Tuesday, as we traveled back to Long Island, pelting rains and grey skies followed us all the way home. There was a chill in the air, reminding me that winter was making its presence known in the early days of spring.

Just when spring seems to be in the air
and the forsythia starts to bloom,
#winterinspring knocks on the door
of earth's soon-to-be snowy room.
©CV, 2018
Does this give you a hint at what is coming soon to Long Island? If you guessed snow, you are correct. I created the hashtag, #winterinspring, because of changing weather patterns here on Long Island. While some are dismayed, I am enjoying the weather play that has provided me with rich content for my poetry writing this month. Of course, the #winterinspring motif is also a great backdrop for me while I continue to design my global winter gallery of artistic expressions, Winter Wonderland. Stay tuned for the gallery's grand opening during National Poetry Month. 

Speaking of National Poetry Month, please join me this Monday night at 8 p.m. EST for an amazing Twitter chat with #NYEDChat and #WonderChat as we explore "Poetry Is for Everyone" with my guest moderator poet friends, Irene Latham, Laura Purdie Salas, and Charles Waters. John MacLeod from Wonderopolis will moderate with me and send out each question we have designed during the chat. Here is your sneak peak.

Today I join Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm for Poetry Friday where she is celebrating National Poetry Month with her "1 Subject 30 Ways" poem project. 

Special Thanks to Jama Rattigan for mention in her comprehensive National Poetry Month happenings' post that you can find here

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Poetry as a Spiritual Practice of the Heart-SJ1stT

As a traveler on a spiritual journey, I have often faced stops along the road that left me grappling for ways to express the depths of human experience. Whether these stops have been heart-wrenching or joy-filled, it is with faith that I have moved forward. Poetry has been a beautiful way to express the inexpressible. Poetic writing often rises as a spiritual practice of the heart.

When I read the above quote by Robert McDowell, I paused to reflect on how this quote applies to my life and my practice. I recall starting my journey as a lifelong writer in my childhood years. I found the power of word weaving and continued to write throughout high school and even toyed with the idea of getting a Masters degree in creative writing. Poetry was the platform to express the echoes of my heart but I was not confident enough at that time to believe in a path as a professional writer. It has taken years of practice to understand the power of voice and vulnerability in writing and with faith and hope be able to send my thoughts out for public viewing. 

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." -Hebrews 11:1

When I found this scripture quote offered by fellow writer, Glenda Funk, in one of her monthly slices I decided to make it a cornerstone of the SJfirstT blog post. Not only is faith a predominant part of my life but so is hope. It is the faith of believing in the unseen with a hopeful heart that makes the journey worth the challenges along the way. 

Poetry is the soul's expression of the journey onward within a world of flux and change. It rises in a stream of conscious awakenings as a spiritual practice of the heart. 

You can see an enlarged version of this Buncee here.

It is with faith in the power of community writing that I dedicate this Spiritual Journey first Thursday post and open the site up for commentary and reflection from my fellow SJfirstT travelers. With the topic, Poetry as a Spiritual Practice of the Heart, I salute National Poetry Month.

Thank you, Irene Latham, for leading 
the Spiritual Journey first Thursday community of writers.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Bringing Back the Bonnet

When growing up, Easter Sunday was always a day for being fashionably dressed. A bonnet was an essential piece of clothing so when I had children it followed that my daughter would have a beautiful bonnet to wear for Easter each year. 

Now that my daughter has a daughter, the ladies in the family needed to find the right bonnet for Sierra's first Easter. One day last year, I found in the attic my daughter's baby coats and matching bonnets that my mother had lovingly packed away. My sister had them cleaned so we could choose one that would be just the right bonnet for Easter Sunday. 

Sierra is a wonderfully pleasant and happy baby and has the just right temperament to allow me to dress her in style. For Easter Sunday Mass at the Cathedral in Syracuse, she wore he new dress and her mother's bonnet. As a quiet, little observer of life, Sierra took in what was happening around her in church. Many parishioners stopped to comment not only on her quiet mannerisms at Mass but her stylish bonnet. 

While you may think that this bonnet was her only chapeau for the day, you would be incorrect. There were two other surprises for Sierra. My sister and I both bought the same hat for her but in different colors and I bought bunny ears that Sierra enjoyed wearing throughout the day. 

Bringing Back the Bonnet

"wearing of" 
springtime adornments 
a timeless tradition-
2018 easter joy
©CV, 2018

Sierra allowed me to bring back the tradition of the Easter bonnet. 

"In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade."

I am excited to share this piece of personal story with the Two Writing Teachers' community of writers with whom I wrote a slice a day for 31 days this past March. Happy Spring to all. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Musings #31: Sliced to the End

Friday Morning
In the greying fog of morning, we packed the car and headed north as we had done so many times over the past years. We were bound for my childhood home, Syracuse. The ride seemed easy, a rare phenomenon on the route from Long Island to the Tappan Zee Bridge. As we crossed over the newly constructed passageway north, we were struck by the beauty of the angular steel. Then, as so many times over the years, tension was released and life seemed to slow down. 

Late Friday Afternoon
We arrived safely at my sister's house in time for the Good Friday service at the Cathedral and a wonderful evening dinner. 

Saturday Morning
I rise to see my little grandbaby moving her arms in different directions, waking to morning in a new environment. All the anticipation for a family holiday weekend in Syracuse has finally turned into a reality. Beside being with Baby Sierra, there is an extra bonus to this sunny day-no snow on the ground and spring in the air. I start this last slice to finish the 31 days of writing for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge at Two Writing Teachers but place it aside because the family is off to see the Easter Bunny.

Saturday Late Afternoon
Unfortunately, the Easter Bunny looked a bit bedraggled and the line was about two hours long. A change of plans is in order. Since there are no other Easter Bunny showings nearby, I turn my attention to finding a delicious birthday/Easter cake for tomorrow. The chase is on. Returning back to my sister's house, I find a few moments to finish this slice while Sierra sleeps.

High Points of This Past Month
-Meeting many new connected educators during the March writing challenge.
-Slicing with former friends, commenting, and supporting each others' writing  journeys.
-Finishing my collection of slices under the title March Musings 2018.
-Anticipating the awaited Easter weekend happening with my grandbaby.

As the month comes to a close, I sit quietly. I celebrate family gathering together for Easter, writing challenges, and Sierra's first Easter. Tomorrow is another day of joy. 

I join Ruth Ayres at Celebrate This Week to celebrate the writing process
and Two Writing Teachers for providing the space to write in community with others.
Day 31-I made it to the end of this writing challenge!

Friday, March 30, 2018

March Musings #30: Poetry Is for Everyone

Dear Readers,

As we near the beginning of April, not only is spring in the air (finally) but National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world, is being celebrated. To honor the impact of poetry on our culture and in our lives and promote #poetrylove, 
#NYEDChat and WonderChat will host a long-awaited poetry chat. My amazing poetry friends, Irene Latham, Laura Purdie Salas, and Charles Waters, will guest moderate. John MacLeod from Wonderopolis will moderate alongside me. 

Save the date, April 9th at 8:00 pm EST for our combined Twitter chat, Poetry Is for Everyone. There will be announcements, reminders, and a countdown to call everyone into this global chat because poetry is not just for the educational world. Stay tuned for more because John MacLeod from Wonderopolis, the three poets, and I have been planning this chat for months and we want to spread #poetrylove across the Twittersphere.

Here's a digital inspiration on poetry that I created for you to ponder.

Everyone has keepsakes. Which ones do you have hidden in your soul? 

Will you join me to celebrate poetry this April during any of the following happenings?

-I will host Spiritual Journey 1st Thursday on April 5, 2018 at my blog site, Beyond LiteracyLink. The writing prompt that I will be using is "Poetry as a Spiritual Practice of the Heart".
-I will unveil my winter gallery of artistic expressions, Winter Wonderland.
-I will be part of the annual Progressive Poem organized by Irene Latham. I will add my one line to the poem on April 12, 2018.
-I will write digital poems on springtime and later in the month send out an invitation to my spring gallery

Thank you for being a faithful reader and poetry lover.

P.S. I am heading over to my poet friend, Heidi Mordhorst's blog to celebrate Poetry Friday. Then, I will be making my appearance at Two Writing Teachers for Day 30 of the March Slice of Life Challenge.