Repost: Clearing for Bluebells

I originally posted this poem last June. It was inspired by a post from Laurel’s Reflections (there is more about that below, with a link to her original post), who I am thinking about today.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

I am long gone
from that small coppice
where one man’s purpose
was all I had.

His saw, his scythe
cut through the clutter
to shed some light where
the ground was soft.

Fires were set
to burn away brash
and warm us at last
on such cold days.

We’d stop for lunch
and speak of nothing
except the birdsong
leaving winter.

He loved my hair
and constant silence
and woman’s promise
to stay for hope.

My hands, my heart
wanted to be his
working with nature’s
way of growing.

Clearing the way
for sunshine and rain
growing love not blame
from what was past.

Bluebells, bluebells
in sight and fragrance
I have come back since
just as he thought

I would.

Without darkness, Nothing comes to birth, As without light, Nothing flowers. May Sarton (American poet, novelist, and memoirist, 1912 – 1995)

I must acknowledge Laurel’s Reflections  as the inspiration for this painting and poem, specifically her post of  May 15, 2012, Bluebells and Other Delights where she shared some photographs taken on a family day out to Emmett’s Garden in Kent, UK. This post is dedicated to Laurel with wishes for her continued moving out of a tragic darkness into a flowering life.

Laurel has since moved back to South Africa where she and her lovely family are thankfully thriving.

This time around, I will add this wonderful YouTube clip I found: ‘Sea of Bluebells – Jenkinstown, Kilkenny early May 2013’. When I lived in England -in Wroxton, Oxfordshire – there was a coppice on the Abbey grounds (which I helped to clean up to bring in more light), and besides the blur of purple-blue, I recall the subtle but permeating hyacinth-scent …




©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

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A House Near Luccoli is an Audiobook!

A House Near Luccoli with G ClefForgive me for another promotion of my novel, but I am excited because …

A House Near Luccoli is now available as an Audiobook!

Thank you to my publishers, All Things That Matter Press!

Click here to listen to a sample from the first chapter:



 April 1681

CHAPTER ONE

She didn’t fuss with her hair or use the vain clutter of the dressing table except to waste time rearranging it. Eventually she turned to what was behind her. Laid over a small unmade bed and the chair beside it were two fancy gowns, creased and dated, suiting a younger shape and needing somewhere to go. She was sure she wouldn’t wear them again.

“Donatella? Are you in your room?”

The lace might be salvaged, for she couldn’t be without lace, at least around her neck and, at most, edging her sleeves as well. Otherwise she dressed serviceably, invisibly, in gray or dark blue.

She no longer thought of being bolder or more submissive or, in a city on a bay-becoming-the-sea, swept away at last.

It was as if someone else recalled a ship, who sailed on it, and walking down a shady alley with a stranger. There was always the temptation of mixing imagination with reality, especially as the past was otherwise inalterable. Her reflection was plain in the mirror, her hair quickly pinned, her face flushed.

“Donatella, I need you!”

She moved to a corner table, begging light from a narrow window, cleaning brushes and closing colors yet to finish curled pictures of spring or begin the next season before it did. She had painted in brighter places, dreamed in them, too, and didn’t care who saw her as a dreamer, until she committed herself to being withdrawn and forgotten like a lunatic huddled in a corner, hardly knowing the difference between a smile and a frown.

“You might answer me!”

She took the green dress off the bed and pretended to wear it for a small stroll around the room. Then she walked into the hall as if out into the city; her city, at least, as it was also born of land and sea, formed by highs and lows, ruled by outer constraint and inner abandon, safe and sorry in disguise. Of course Genova had a conceit she couldn’t have, knowing its purpose and hiding or flaunting its features of beauty. Once she saw all its wonders and woes from the esplanade of Castelletto, the mountains closer and the Lanterna further away. Perhaps she made out her house; if not its signature portal of Saint George and the Dragon, then a signifying shine on its roof’s slant. It was a prestigious place to live depending on how she looked at it, whether connected up to a parade of palaces, across divides or down crooked stairways to the port. She was patron and prisoner of a gated entrance and more rooms than the closeness of the surrounding dwellings allowed, aspiring staircases growing them similarly into multiple stories. She could have done without so much unused furniture, mirrors, and silver to be cleaned but was greedily accustomed to a tenanted wealth of paintings, tapestries, frescos, and stained glass not created for outside views.

“There you are. What are you doing?”

Donatella had barely reached the doorway of her bedroom, throwing the dress in, not caring where it landed.

“Oh, it’s so sudden.”

Her aunt gave her a key and feather duster for gentler work than Nubesta carrying broom and bucket, hastening an end to the long vacancy of the third floor apartment, a little unnerving to step into its past. It offered another chore for the young maid complaining about wiping tall windows while Donatella removed furniture covers and thought of her mother sitting there, writing more letters than she ever received. The girl opened a window and the room to the street below, a rag-waving hand jumping out. “Up here! Up here!”

Donatella felt a shiver that shouldn’t have surprised her, the bumping and cursing of the movers fading into music and poetry from La forza dell’amor paterno as performed at the Teatro Falcone on Christmas Monday 1678. She had worn the green dress, agreeing to excessive curls and anticipation, Nonna encouraging her to fan away smoke from the chandeliers and smile although her shoes pinched. After the first act the sonnets fell from garlanded boxes for those luck enough to catch them; as much enthusiasm when the opera was finished.

Thank you to all who have read the novel, to those who have offered reviews (more are always welcome), and to any who – hopefully – are considering a read … or listen!

The 1st draft of the sequel is getting closer to completion!

I appreciate your support and love your feedback.





donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

The New Lodger, Azaleas, and a Musical Snippet

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

The azalea flower was suggestive of the new lodger, with a passion for color itself, spraying out from its dramatic center like a cat’s whiskers for effect and purpose, rising stealthily through the shade to reach for the wind as much as the sun. After a nap and persuading her grandmother to try a little broth, Donatella spent the afternoon where buzzing wisteria and honeysuckle blurred the angles of walls also stepping up with budding hibiscus and geraniums to larger terracotta pots of bay and lemon trees surrounding a sunny plateau. A city sky was more available there than in the street, flat baskets drying basil, a rusty ironwork table and several chairs reminding how lunch or supper used to be taken for granted.

A House Near Luccoli Front View color adjusted cropped resizedFrom Chapter Three of A House Near Luccoli, published by All Things That Matter Press, my novel imagining an intimacy with the legendary 17th century Italian composer, Alessandro Stradella.

I recently followed an early music ensemble on Twitter called The Sonnambula Viol Consort. This consort is based in New York City. It’s director, Elizabeth Weinfield, contacted me through my website to thank me for connecting, and for my interest and work on Stradella. She also let me know of some Stradella concert activity that has been happening recently at Columbia University , sponsered by Artek Recordings, which included a lecture by foremost Stradella biographer, Carolyn Gianturco (who has read my novel and engaged me in some interesting email conversations as a result). It is so good to see Stradella being celebrated again!

Here is a snippet from Stradella’s Giovanni Battista, a rehearsal for the recent concert referred to above.

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Alone Together – For Mother’s Day

Oh, those early years when all my shyness wanted was to go home to you. You trusted me on sick days and walked miles on your lunch hour to bring me paper dolls and make sure I was safe.  

I was the child you wanted me to be.

Copyright 2012 by JM DiGiacomo

Copyright 2012 by Diane’s mom, June

You gave me many gifts, like the gods and goddesses gave Pandora: a sense of beauty, charm, music, curiosity and persuasion. In particular there was a book, large and beautifully bound, its writing in columns and essence carved in wood.

You were as naïve as I was.

For it was also a box of unknowns, like Pandora’s, that unleashed more than either of us bargained for. I preferred the version of the myth that claimed good things were allowed to escape. All except for one.

We never lost hope.

You put the faraway in my hands, so how could I not want to go there? Of course, you meant for me to travel pages not miles.

You said you would never forgive me.

How many months we didn’t speak; how many years we paid dearly for conversations in such different time zones, trying to being ordinary when it was all so impossible.

We were both alone with our mistakes.

I never thought it would be that difficult to be away from you. My youth was lost, not to romantic discontent but missing what was true.  

How could you ever forgive me?

Perhaps you did a little. When you traveled as I did, because I did: over the sea, to another country, to places you had and hadn’t visited. You walked up the hill, heard your heels on the cobblestones and voices of the dead, inhaled the mist, saw the parsonage, the windswept trees and moors, and turned the pages back.

I didn’t see if you eyes sparkled, but I like to believe they did.

Bronte Parsonage, Haworth, West Yorkshire, England
Painted in the 1970’s.
Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

“I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any part of it.”
―    Emily Brontë,    Wuthering Heights

Written for my mom on Mother’s Day,
Sunday May 12, 2013.

Blessings to all who nurture and care, love and forgive, and who never lose hope.



donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Nature Insight: Bog Chorus (Repost)

The frogs are singing again, and as I haven’t come up with anything new this week, here is a timely repost!

If I could sing
all day, all night,
then being
nobody
would be alright.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

If I could send
a clear high note,
then I might
keep my head
and heart afloat.

If I could be
content to bring
one more voice,
all might muse
a hope of spring.

I take a leap
though just a frog,
not for praise
but the mud
in my cool bog.

Inspired by the frogs singing in my vernal pond and Emily Dickinson’s poem:

And please check out Grace Pieces recent ‘re-write’ of this Emily Dickinson poem:

“I’m Somebody!  Who Are You?”


©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.