Posted in Poems/Poetry, Victoria C. Slotto

Your Wild and Precious Life

"Woodsy" for Wilderness
“Woodsy” for Wilderness (c) 2014, Jamie Dedes

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

A flock of starlings startled me this morning
flying randomly between city sky scrapers
before settling into formation
and heading toward the mountains.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

A perfect fence, white pickets,
with perfect shadows.
Is it there to hold in or keep out?
Or is it just there?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

In May, along the river walk,
an abundance of pink wild roses, snarly branches,
rival our well-planned gardens
with their playfulness.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

My sister’s husband deferred retirement
so they would have more money.
She died the month before their trip to the Amazon.
He cancelled their plans and never went back to work.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

–Victoria C. Slotto

Note: I think this is a good example of how the wilderness can inspire poetry.  Can you share something you’ve written that was inspired by a trek into the wilderness. You can link your own work to this post via Mister Linky below. Victoria C. Slotto

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.


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!

12 thoughts on “Your Wild and Precious Life

  1. It looks like Mary Oliver gets credit for this entire poem since her name is at the bottom, but she contributed just the one verse and Victoria created the rest, correct? I do like this one; thanks, Victoria for sharing it here!


    1. The entire poem is by Mary Oliver. I dropped the ball when I set this one up to post. Sorry about that. Thanks for your comment, Priscilla. It was an alert. 🙂 Happy Labor Day ~


      1. On Victoria’s blog post of this, she wrote: “Written in response to the prompt I’m offering for dVerse Meeting the Bar–Patterns. I’ve included patterns in the structure of the poem, using a short verse from one of Mary Oliver’s poems as the refrain.” I’m confused.


        1. She popped in the post from her blog and just didn’t delete that piece. It’s from the original and was part of a dVerse event, but we decided it was also a good post for this week. I meant to clean it up for clarity and dropped the ball. This is why I am turning things over to Terri. I keep doing things like this. 😦


          1. Actually, the entire poem by Mary Oliver is titled “The Summer Day” and the last line is the refrain (“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”) that Victoria is using in this new piece that she posted. The stanzas between the refrain must certainly be Victoria’s. Right?


            1. I was under the impression that Oliver used the lines in two different poems, one “The Summer Day” … but I don’t have all my books unpacked yet so I can’t look it up.


  2. CLARIFICATION I used only the two lines of Mary Oliver as a refrain…the one in italics. The original post shows them as separated from my stanzas. Don’t know exactly what happened. The opening is supposed to be Oliver’s lines refrain with credit to her, not to be credited at the bottom. I would not copy a poem of a poet in its entirety unless it were in the public domain because of copyright issues.


Leave a Reply to Jamie Dedes Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.