Posted in Poems/Poetry, Victoria C. Slotto


The ants rush toward sweetness. I take away the melon, but first I spill a little melon juice on the counter.
Mary Oliver
Sand Dabs, Eight


A drop of Buddhist grace seeps in my core.
I hesitate then spray to check those ants
but guilt ensues, weighs heavily in my soul,
Yet, should spider dare invade, I squash.

Last week I wept—a neighbor’s trees chopped down.
I wept for feathers scattered in our yard,
for eggs unhatched, abandoned in their nest,
for grazing cows and sheep, doomed to be slain.

And do we know for sure grain feels no pain?
That brainless lobsters know no suffering
when dropped in boiling pots for our delight?
Does life exist to feed on other lives?

But soon enough I, too, shall go away—
my life snuffed out much like a candle’s flame.
And so the cycle’s endless rhythm flows,
as well it must make room for seedling’s growth.

Photo: Teri Herzog
Photo: Teri Herzog

– Victoria C. Slotto

© 2014, essay, Victoria C. Slotto, All rights reserved; photographs as indicated 

2940013445222_p0_v1_s260x42034ff816cd604d91d26b52d7daf7e8417VICTORIA C. SLOTTO (Victoria C. Slotto, Author: Fiction, Poetry and Writing Prompts) ~ is an accomplished writer and poet. Winter is Past, published by Lucky Bat Books in 2012, is Victoria’s first novel. A second novel is in process. On Amazon and hot-off-the-press nonfiction is Beating the Odds: Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia. Victoria’s ebooks (poetry and nonfiction) are free to Amazon Prime Members. Link HERE for Victoria’s Amazon page. Victoria’s poetry collection is  Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012, Beautifully done.

Writers’ Fourth Wednesday prompt is hosted by Victoria from January through October. Victoria’s next Fourth Wednesday writers’ prompt will post at 12:01 a.m. PST on July 23. Please join us. Mister Linky will remain open for seventy-two hours so that you can link your response to this blog. If you find Mister Linky too cumbersome to use, please feel free to leave your link in the comments section on Wednesday. Victoria and Jamie will read and comment and we hope you will read each other’s work as well, comment and encourage. 


RN, former hospice nurse, kidney transplant survivor, spiritual seeker, novelist, poet—Victoria C. Slotto is the author of two novels: "Winter is Past" and "The Sin of His Father", a collection of poetry: "Jacaranda Rain," and a Kindle Single: "Beating the Odds--Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia, " all of which are available in e-book and print formats. Use the link on my blog or visit my website at to purchase. Thank you!

6 thoughts on “Nurture

  1. What a beautiful, thoughtful poem, Victoria. I also feel guilty when I sweep the ants from my kitchen. I try to be gentle and flick them outside, but the broom probably hurts at least a few of them. All life is precious, even those spiders and ants. It can be hard to find a balance that appreciates and honors both sets of lives (human and otherwise).


  2. I had to nod in recognition, Victoria–every spider in our house is a moral dilemma, which we try to solve with a glass and a piece of paper. But when I am alone in the basement late at night and discover a great big spider, with no one to call to come monitor the thing while I run for “the spider trap,” I have resorted to violence–and feel very guilty afterwards, knowing that I would be embarrassed were my children to catch me in the act. Thank you for a thoughtful poem.


  3. i think we should all experience this moral dilemma in our lives, at some point. i think we should all take a minute to ponder about “the circle of life” – in which, to quote from a cartoon that is very dear to me, lions eat the antelopes but when they die they become the grass which antelopes eat. our presence on earth is a passage, and we should make the most of it while we’re here.
    this is a very deep topic you chose to express here, Victoria, and your text does it justice. beyond the beautiful poetry, the message is so well stated!


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