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.

Posted in Contributing Writer, Poems/Poetry

Hot Chocolate With Mary


the work of Victoria C. Slotto

The leaves of an elm splash
dappled sunlight on the forest
floor. A chill lingers in the
air so we share hot chocolate
from a thermos, pour the creamy
liquid into insulated mugs.

Age does not prevent her
from sprawling on the earth
she loves so passionately.
She leans against the tree’s
stout trunk, says, “I’m yours.”

My mouth is dry like when
the dentist stuffs it full of
cotton rolls. Disbelief numbs
me till she laughs—a sound
as real as songs of her beloved
birds that sing their prayers
in unison from the surrounding
branches and marshy meadows.

“I’m yours,” she says again,
reminding me I’m here to do
the interview I’ve wished for,
nurtured in my imagination
since I discovered her.

“Your life,” I coax, knowing
that but a single word suffices.

As for myself
I swung the door open and there was
The wordless singing world. And I ran for my life.

“You ran to it?”

“Yes, immersed myself in beauty.”
While on and on the sparrow sings.

“And aging? If you don’t mind, that is.”

In the deep fall, don’t you imagine the leaves think
how comfortable it will be to touch
the earth…?”

…and what shall I wish for myself but,
being so struck by the lightning of years
to live with what is left, loving.

“Any regrets?”

There wasn’t
time enough for all the wonderful things
I could think of to do

In a single day…

“If you could choreograph your death?”

…Maybe on a midsummer night’s eve,
And without fanfare.

“About death?”

So it is
if the heart has devoted itself to love, there is
not a single inch of emptiness. Gladness gleams
all the way to the grave.

“And after?”

If there’s a temple, I haven’t found it yet,
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of grass
and the weeds.

She takes her leave.
I watch her walk across the fields,
stopping to listen
or to follow the flight of a heron.
She’s alone now
with Percy her dog
and memories of having lived well.

I would do just about anything to spend an hour with Mary Oliver, a poet who has touched my life and my writing so deeply. This is an imagined interview. The responses in italics are all snippets of her poetry chosen from  New and Selected Poems, Volume Two.

– Victoria C. Slotto

Victoria and Dave Slotto
Victoria and Dave Slotto
Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer's Expo March 2012
Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer’s Expo March 2012

VICTORIA C. SLOTTO (Victoria C. Slotto, Author: Fiction, Poetry and Writing Prompts) ~  a Contributing Writer to Into the Bardo ,attributes her writing influences to her spirituality, her dealings with grief and loss, and nature. Having spent twenty-eight years as a nun, Victoria left the convent but continued to work as a nurse in the fields of death and dying, Victoria has seen and experienced much. A result of Victoria’s life experience is the ability to connect with readers on an intimate level. She resides in Reno, Nevada, with her husband and two dogs and spends several months of the year in Palm Desert, California.

Winter is Past is her first novel. It was published in 2012 by Lucky Bat Books. She has a second novel in process and also a poetry chapbook. Victoria is also an accomplished blogger and poet who has assumed a leadership role in d’Verse Poet’s Pub. You can read more ofher fine poetry HERE.