Just a Little Foolishness


It might be a day to feel left out, just another Saturday, ordinary and one-of-a-kind, when I’m singularly content with being single.

It might verge on narcissism to send a valentine to myself; although, I think, no more so than to expect one from another.

I have not had the attention of a lover to last a lifetime—although, who knows into eternity. Does that mean I’m lacking or lonely or left out of romance?

Not at all.


Everywhere is an embrace; the place I find myself is full of possibilities for engagement.

I cannot look at the moon and believe I am unloved, sense a breeze and be unmoved, know the birds’ song and feel forgotten.

There are flowers enough to romance me, even in winter I can paint them into view.

There are fires to warm me that I build myself.

Cats gaze into my soul as devotedly as I gaze into theirs.

Music seduces me constantly.

Creation is my purpose, and my words creative enough to convince me my imagination is the only lover I need.

And so I am foolish still.



A thoughtful face can ease the heart that thoughtlessness has given pain


“What a fool you must be,” said my head to my heart, or my sterner to my softer self.”
~ Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey



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 Perfection of Reclusion

Daffodil buds were growing out of the mud. Pastoral views overlooked what I had come to walking so far with one who would leave me that youthful February of awkward rendezvous and sixteen aging years with glimpses of sun in-between the clouds. Something to go back to even if I never could.

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

A story emerging from the memory of my imagination has, more than once, become my life. Well, that was when I thought I was the story. Now I know I’m just the teller of the tale, a balladeer singing the music of silence. A freeing realization and, perhaps, a necessary one for my evolution into a writer whose most creative stimulation is as an onlooker, a solitary soul, a lover of love without a lover, a childless woman with many offspring, a traveler going nowhere and so anywhere. An elusive chanteuse more comforted by ghosts and longings than is good for me, I prefer possibility over certainty and need to disappear for the words to appear—often in conflict with these striving, competitive and extroverted times, but never without a vision, interest or objective in hope of satisfying my muse.

I recently came across an opinion that the perfection of Emily Dickinson’s “art” was the perfection of her reclusion. Another way of putting it might be that the perfection of her “art” was her lack of distractions. Like striving and competition. Like thinking what her poetry should be.  Like wondering if anyone would ever know it lived. She asked if her poems breathed and was told they weren’t publishable. How very fortunate her lack of participation in what she called “the auction of the mind” didn’t prevent her breathing into eternity.

What motivated her to write nearly 2000 poems when no one was waiting for her fragmented and faint scribbles on scraps of paper, envelope flaps, and even a chocolate wrapper? Some creative individuals need an incubating space around them—a chrysalis as William Du Bois described it—for longer than others, even forever; like Emily Dickinson, her spirit perpetually on the verge of emergence into its winged perfect state.

For me, that is the essence of creativity no matter what medium it finds its expression through or whether anyone but its creator is involved in it: always in a state of metamorphosis, within its cocoon seemingly inactive while preparing for birth. The timing is its own, for it knows when it is ready to fly, very few eyes noticing its colors in flight all the more beautiful when unconscious of being noticed or not.

Like those daffodils that weren’t there and then they were—reaching up, opening, sighing, and shriveling down—not for me or anyone else, not for anything defined by ego or expectation, not for anything but the earthly and unearthly breath of being.

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton


Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. ~ Anaïs Nin


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.

Time to Express My Gratitude…

It’s almost a year
I began speaking here,
of what I was doing,
of what I was wooing,
it was all about selling
a story long in telling,
finding friendship all around,
voices without a sound,
convivial sense of unity
a most eclectic community,
more than imagination
with the
breadth of our conversation…

As the 1st anniversary of my blog approaches I devote this post to my heartfelt appreciation for the generous, imaginative and interesting friends who have supported and encouraged my writing and artwork. You have helped to draw me out of creative isolation, connecting me to a world of fellow artists, humanitarians, naturalists, questioners and believers. With your beautiful words and pictures, your affecting joys and sorrows, your wit and wisdom, your compassion and courage, you have welcomed me into your homes and hearts, cultures, and causes, tragedies and triumphs.

As an essentially private person, it is so satisfying to share with those who appreciate and understand the creative process, especially as it can be more introspective than extroverted, evasive even as it wants to be revealing. The magic of social media to connect is still less than the miracle of making connections that are so intellectually, empathetically, artistically, and spiritually appropriate and even transforming. There is something more at work here than cyberspace. 

For through the miracle of your talents and thoughts and spirits,  I am constantly inspired and restored.

There are a few awards that I am LONG overdue in publically acknowledging. First Ina who nominated me for the 7X7 award–if you are not familiar with her wonderful poetry and prose then please check it out @ http://inaweblogisback.wordpress.com/.  Also Caddo who nominated me for the Soul-Song and Mrs Sparkly’s 10 Commandments Awards–again, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to experience her words and wisdom @ http://caddoveil.wordpress.com/.  Heartfelt thanks to you both, my dear friends!

If there is anyone I have omitted, please accept my apologies and know that I deeply appreciate your consideration.

I invite all who read this to check out my blog roll, which I recently updated. The wonderful thing about awards is that they introduce us to new sites and in turn forge new friendships. Reblogging is also an excellent way to share and something I will be doing a few times a month at least. It just feels right that as my blog moves into its second year, it should represent the offerings of the community it belongs to as well as my individual work.

Thank you! Thank you! Happy summer and blessings to all!


©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.

More Awards to Acknowledge and Pass On

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu translated from French

Over the past few weeks I’ve been nominated for various awards.  I apologize for the delay in ‘publicly’ thanking:

 AngelaMarie @ One-In-One Creation for the Soul-Song Award for my post: Tears and Sun

Jane Thorn for the Versatile Blogger Award

Caddo Veil for TWO! the One Lovely Blog Award and the Reader Appreciation Award

Betty Hayes Albright @ Seasonings for the Genuine Blogger Award

Shilpa @ My Mystic World for the Liebster Blogger Award

I accept these acknowledgments with heartfelt appreciation, especially for the honor of  highlighting other very special blogs.

Please make it a point to visit their creative and inspiring blogs as soon as you can.  And don’t forget the nominees listed below!

I also want to  take this opportunity to apologize to those bloggers I follow and who follow me, as I’m not always able to get to your posts as quickly as I wish.  My goal is to savor and make my comments worthy of the time and talent and thought (and heart and soul) that you put into your posts. Thank you all for sharing so much!

Now, for the nominations (with no slight intended to any of the superb blogs I’ve connected with–please see my blog roll):

Soul-Song Award goes to:
AngelaMarie of One-in-One Creation who from a retreat into her own quiet and sacred place offers the blessedness of our place on this earth and responsibility for its care in her poem A Passing Place .

Laurel of Laurel’s Reflections  who ponders the realization that the answer is not anywhere ‘out there’…not within another person or object…A Lesson (that) is Seldom Learnt Only Once.

Christine of Journey into Poetry who shares a recovery that is really about discovery in Surrender.

Savira of Reflections regarding her experience of coming face to face with extreme poverty, homelessness and hunger in…..  Lost in Her world

Genuine Blogger Award goes to:
of AJ Barlow for lyrical, inspirational and motivational poetry.

Versatile Blogger Award goes to:
Kathryn of Kiwsparks who entertains and enlightens as artist, writer and designer.

One Lovely Blog Award goes to:
Granbee for her sometimes whimsical, often profound, and always unique reflections and storytelling through poetry and prose.

Liebster Blog Award goes to:
Smallsmallacts offering outstanding photographs, of travels and observations,  accompanied by philosophical and insightful reflections.

Reader Appreciation Award goes to (this is a new one–to me, at least–and the rules call for six nominations of blogs I haven’t nominated previously. Well, I’m going to break that one for sure!):

Laurel’s Reflections
Verse not Prose
Caddo Veil

Please note my gratitude to ALL the readers and seekers who come here often or from time to time!

Awards to Gratefully Accept and Pass On

To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower… hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour…’ William Blake

I have been nominated for a couple of awards over the past few weeks and am “officially” accepting them at last! It’s so encouraging to be thought of by fellow bloggers in this way , especially as it gives me the pleasure of re-directing my followers to their excellent blogs as well as the chance to highlight some others I have come to enjoy and admire.

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Ethel and Thomas Davis of fourwindowspress (find inspired artwork, photography, essays and other writings) AND by Subhakar Das of FicFaq (about writing and the writer’s life).

I was nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by AZ of Verse Not Prose ( poetry and reflections of a very mature, wise and talented young woman). AZ has just begun a second blog Andrea Nadine Muses .

Thank you Thomas, Ethel, Subhakar and AZ! I encourage all to visit their blogs as soon as possible!

And now it is my turn to do some nominating and I strongly encourage my readers to visit the following ten blogs (in no particular order) which I have not nominated previously:

For the Versatile Blogger Award:
http://tigergrove.wordpress.com Heather Whitney Gibson’s poetry, music &  art
http://francisbarkerart.com David Francis Barker’s artwork and poetry
http://justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com poems and reflections
http://ericasosney.wordpress.com Erica Sosney’s poetry &  passion for music
http://thebackgroundstory.com Stories from various authors

For the Kreativ Blogger Award:
http://raindancepoetry.wordpress.com Betty Hayes Albright’s poetry
http://angelajanegraceblog.com/poetry Angela Jane Grace’s poetry
http://inaweblogisback.wordpress.com/ Ina’s fiction & poetry
http://ajpoetry.wordpress.com AJ’s poetry with purpose
http://contemplativemoorings.wordpress.com poetry by Michael Marsters

I hope all of the above bloggers will accept their awards. It is not required that the awards be passed on, but below are the ‘rules’ to be followed or not:

Nominate fellow bloggers (I will leave the number up to you).
Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
Share 7 random things about yourself.
Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Add the Versatile and Kreativ Blog Award logo on your blog post.

And please visit other wonderful sites on my blogroll!

Last AND least, here are seven random things about me:
1. I live in a log cabin.
2. I once lived in an English Abbey.
3. I developed an English accent when I lived in the UK so “no one” knew I was an American (proved interesting…).
4. I worked for PBS as a volunteer coordinator.
5. I wanted to be an actress and singer.
6. I’m of English & Italian extraction, with a little French and Dutch thrown in.
7. I’m fascinated (and humbled) by the lives of the saints.

Wishing everyone a Healthy, Peaceful and Fulfilling New Year!

Season’s Greetings and Thank You

I want to take this opportunity to thank all who have made my emergence into blogging such a satisfying and encouraging experience. The best part has been connecting to your talents, reflections and insights that have so often humbled mine. I can’t express enough appreciation for your time and interest in visiting my site and regularly commenting on my posts. Gaining your virtual friendship has made a great difference in my life.
Whatever this time of year means to you, I hope it is blessed with health, joy, peace and love. And I must add: may your imaginations, creativity and sensitive spirits flourish throughout the New Year and long beyond!

A peak o’er the walls of winter
Out of the neglect of time,
Old acquaintance to remember
With sentiments sublime;
For friends of heaven and earth
The constancy of conflict to cease,
Leaning towards a new year’s birth
Holding together the hope of peace.

©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.

Cats Between the Lines

Cats must be there. Even as I wander long ago and faraway, they follow me, rub my legs, curl on my bed and beg my attention without disturbing it. Their purring is my mantra too, so natural and deliberate at the same time, encouraging the perfect rhythm of my heart. They are soft to the touch yet strong enough in their will. One swipes at my pen to remind me not to take it all so seriously; another paws my arm, pleading, eyes green with envy for the obsession that seems to leave him out. Oh, no. How can I tell him? With a turn and a bow and a stroke he’s reassured; with an Eskimo kiss he’s a distraction but—as one of my favorite writers, Colette, once noted—never a waste of time. Yet another stretches, slithers and yawns like a serpent enticing me to a nap. And then I realize I’m being watched, by that scamp who only sleeps to run and jump and wrestle when he’s awake, small and smart and certain I can’t grab him before he runs away again.

Cats know more than they ever say, probably for the best if progress is ever to be made. A leonine length with legs neatly crossed and head shaped for stillness sets me wondering if any activity could be better than none. Oh, I know. I must make a living, eat and drink and pretend to hunt. So I do so with their goal in mind, eyes squeezed closed and whiskers and paws and tail twitching, to savor sleep as much as success—for the dream of the mouse even more than its taste.  

Cats can be characters, as many as I’ve had there’s no end to the possibilities. I can dress them up and use them in stories that otherwise might not welcome them. I suspect they’d be flattered if they knew, that they expect me to take them everywhere I go and include them in everything I do. Saying that, they realize being ignored is freedom from expectation, especially if turned into a choice. And vanishing is just another way of being found.

Cats must be there whether off by themselves or entwined with each other blending colors and creeds, laying on my feet or an angel at my shoulder, between the sheets…or novel pages which means manipulating history a little for their appearances. Even as they don’t seem relevant, I hear their breathing and know I’m still alive, remember their passing and feel them present, anticipate more to come and believe they too will save me—persuading my life and writing to pay tribute to what is here and gone and yet to be created.

 Image Courtesy of Google

©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.

Creative Writing for Creative Readers

Like many writers in “purgatory”(to borrow an apt word from James Herriot of All Creatures Great and Small fame) while trying to get published, I’ve encountered the question of which genre my novel belongs to. One of the cardinal rules in submitting a manuscript to literary agents or publishers maintains that an author needs to have a clear idea of its potential readership. My experience so far seems to confirm that without conformance to the idea that a book will only be read for its genre, “the heaven” of being third party published requires extra prayers.

It’s hard enough to research and narrow down the vast lists of agents and their specialties with a work that is fairly easy to categorize; even then it’s a game of throwing one’s creative labors to chance in hopes of scoring an advocate. It’s nearly impossible when you didn’t think about which bookseller’s “aisle” it should be placed in until it was too late—and, to make matters worse, if even at that point you’re very glad you didn’t.

Why shouldn’t a novel (or short story or poem or painting or symphony) be marketed as a commodity? After all it eventually needs to be sold to be of any value, right? Certainly this is the choice that confronts artistic souls again and again, whether to treasure their vision and voice or surrender to what potential financial profit might see and say for them.  “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay” Mark Twain advises. Often the rest of the quote is omitted: “If nobody offers to pay within three years, the candidate may look upon this circumstance with the most implicit confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for!” Well, I haven’t quit my “wood sawing” job! But still I write and believe that in spite of any cynicism, freely doing something is the only way of getting it done for whatever the rewards may be.

I create (and live) best in a naive bubble which doesn’t think of formulas for success or how to classify the result or even whether anyone else cares what I’m doing—yes! that’s nirvana for me!  It sounds selfish and is selfish, as meditation or any sacred practice is—a quiet place amid the chatter so words can actually be my friends, unity between my desires and abilities, patience with my highs and lows, amazement for how large and small a story is, knowing what I want to accomplish and through study and imagination finding the inspiration and perseverance to do so. The writing comes as so much in life does—turning out exactly or nothing like envisioned. It can’t be neatly wrapped as then and there or here and now, as something out of this world or too much in it, as romance or mystery or thriller, as uplifting or depressing, for this market or that. It might be for very few or very many; perhaps only the unknown should be the judge of that.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.”

That is the gift that all the arts offer all of us—where the selfishness becomes sharing the inventors in ourselves, the unlimited possibilities of our intellects and imaginations and hearts and spirits, an adventurousness that suspects there is much to discover if we go where we’ve never gone before. That is what I’ve realized as a reader and writer for whom there’s much yet to experience beyond what I ever thought I wanted to.

Creative readers (including those who don’t yet know they are)—do you ever think of what the categorizers are keeping from 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.