Poet and Flash Fiction Writer - Salvatore Buttaci

Poet and Flash Fiction Writer – Salvatore Buttaci

One of the first poets that I had come to rely upon to inspire my own muse, honors us with his presence this week as our co-host. A writer most of his life, you couldn’t go wrong learning a thing or two from this retired educator (I’ve taken much from his work – all lessons well learned!). Of course I write of Salvatore Buttaci.

In Sal’s words:

Salvatore Buttaci is a retired English teacher and professor who has been writing since childhood. His first published work, an essay entitled “Presidential Timber,” appeared in the Sunday New York News when he was sixteen. Since then his poems, letters, short stories, and articles have been widely published in The New York Times, Newsday, U.S.A. Today, The Writer, Cats Magazine, Creative Bloomings, A Word with You Press. and elsewhere in America and overseas. He was the 2007 recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award.  

 He is the author of two flash-fiction collections published by All Things That Matter Press:

Flashing My Shorts available at

200 Shorts available at

 His book, A Family of Sicilians … is available at .

 If Roosters Don’t Crow, It Is Still Morning: Haiku and Other Poems (Cyber-Wit Publications) is available at

 In 2001, Pudding House Publications included his work in the Greatest Hits Series with his chapbook, Greatest Hits: 1970-2000.

 His latest poetry chapbook, What I Learned from the Spaniard… is available at


Visit Sal’s blog site at

He lives with his wife Sharon in West Virginia.


PROMPT #146 – “LINE PLEASE!” – Use any or all of these lines in your poem. Or use one as your title.

“Evening is a shroud”
“Shared, but not divided”
“Over time and distance”
“Love lies buried”
“Where we always laugh and dream”



Darkness covers all,
cloaking everything enveloped in her sad embrace.
Her face is hidden, masked and concealed,
not to be revealed in the muted moonlight.
Even stars bright lose their luster, remaining
only a cluster of distant orbs. Evening absorbs
and devours, leaving a pall over the crowd.
Evening is a shroud.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014



Over time and distance
I contemplate the love we knew,
Replay those happy days
Now shadows in my memory.

It’s so hard believing
Love lies buried beneath the years
We walked the world as one,
Certain love would last forever.

You are somewhere out there.
I am adrift on lonely seas.
Evening is a shroud
Do you likewise mourn for our love?

The promises we made,
Meant to be shared, not divided,
Have all been tossed away,
Ashes in the barrel of time.

These nights I go to sleep
Where we always laugh and dream
And once more renew vows
We one day swore before God.

© 2014 Salvatore Buttaci


    • Such wonderful poems to kick-start the rest of us! Glad to see you manning the wheel-house Sal, always happy to have you aboard any ship I’m sailing…this promises to be an interesting week as always…

  1. It will be difficult to surpass either of the examples placed before us on the path through this week’s garden. Great job, Walt and Sal. Sal, you’ve come to teach formally this week and your example has begun a fine lesson indeed.

    • They did set the bar rather high, didn’t they. I think I’ll need to chew on this awhile.

    • Over Time and Distance

      Left to our own devices
      (and vices)
      we may find
      that for all of our
      distances traveled
      and travailed,
      we have only beaten
      down a
      solitary path–
      Leaving thread-bare
      the carpet of time.
      Leaving ourselves burried
      beneath it.
      durge of our days
      a construct of shredded
      second chances,
      shrapnel of sensibilities–
      incapable of
      piecing together any
      pertinant passages.

      By letting the light and energy
      of the Universe
      guide our way,
      we may
      discover the thrill of
      moving Over time-
      To great distances.
      Memorable indeed.

      Ellen Evans (c) Copyright -2014
      [A ‘line’ poem for CB 3.16.14]

  2. Just a wee one for now.


    When dusted stars glint upon velvet skies
    And Moon walks slowly along her nightly path,
    I stand where we always laugh and dream,
    Watching as night swallows day at the edge
    Of our meadow, amid daisies and blankets,
    Where our love lies buried, with earth shared
    But not divided from us, rather our gift returned
    Over time and distance while evening is a shroud.

    We planted our love, deep within soil of our hearts
    And now reap the flowers grown to scent life’s night.


    Evening is a shroud,
    That covers the plot
    Of mellow land allotted for us.
    Gladly shared but not divided,
    Where our love lies buried,
    Deeply rooted, knotted, glorious.
    Seeking earth beneath;
    It stretches southbound, seeks it’s way underground, for a spring of water.
    In order to sustain its stature atop soil,
    Supply lovely branch, budding limb.

    Over time and distance,
    Our love has grown scenic, as refined garden;
    Trimmed to art, stately manicured,
    Has flown wild to the meadows,
    It’s seed reaching distant lands,
    Where we always laugh and dream.
    Gleam as robust fruit;
    Fat-n-plump, in fibrous suits of skin,
    Soothing to the eye, precious seed within.
    And together we waltz; in the night watches,
    As the moon delights gracefully, applauds,
    We compose the aubade, to greet the dawn.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas


    Over time and distance,
    Our love
    has stretched,
    In linear fashion.
    Now has grown, three-dimensional,
    In depth, width, height of passion.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas


    Love lies buried,
    In hearts where sown.
    Waiting, for opportunity…
    For light, watering, nourishment—
    To be grown.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas


    Evening is a shroud;
    The nightly garment,
    That snugly wraps the day away
    In time’s past.
    Is evidence, that a new day
    Is coming.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas

  7. Let’s stay where we always laugh and dream

    Let’s stay
    Where we always laugh and dream
    In ecstasy
    Our heads blowing steam
    Smooth kisses
    Massages and ice cream
    Let’s dream
    Where we always laugh
    Or scream
    Let’s go take a bath
    So clean
    Swept downstream
    So lost
    Taken away and stay
    Where we always laugh and play
    So Pray
    To be merry
    As merry can be
    Off the cliff
    Still rolling
    In a barrel of laughs
    In stream
    Still going
    We’ll teem
    In tickles and cream
    Don’t stop
    Don’t think
    Or blink
    Just dream
    Where we always

  8. When Light Becomes Blind

    Walking in the gloaming
    my eyes misty with the haze
    between light and dark,
    I let my thoughts settle
    and my memories spark.

    As I walk
    and breathe in the arriving night,
    those memories whisper
    before my eyes,
    like the coming of the winter white.

    The twilight dissipates
    as evening becomes a shroud,
    wrapping my mind
    and my surroundings
    in the darkness that leaves light blind.

  9. Our House

    There is no limit
    within these walls,
    no barriers of the mind.

    For here is where
    we always laugh
    and dream against time.

    So come stop by
    and play with us,
    for laughter fills this house
    and darkness hides in corners,
    languishing for now,
    pushed back by dreams
    allowed unleashed
    to dance along the halls.

    For here is where
    we always laugh
    and dream against time.

    There is no limit
    within these walls,
    no barriers of the mind.

  10. Pingback: Drawing Shade | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  11. Drawing Shade

    Evening is a shroud,
    but not divided.

    Silence gathers loud
    over time,
    as distance rhymes
    its rhythm with

    Love lies;
    buried are the truths
    we thought we knew
    by night.

    Morning is a cloud
    rain spent, heart bent
    to that
    higher place
    where we
    always laugh and dream.

    as it seems.


  12. One more and then I have to get back to work on longer projects. I’ll pop in to comment frequently.

    Mind’s Eternity

    Whispered love happens
    Where we always
    Laugh and dream,
    Painting pictures
    For tomorrow’s memories,
    Shared when evening is
    A shroud forever
    Veiling our lives over
    Time and distance,
    Far from others’ eyes,
    Knowing life and
    Love lies buried
    Within hearts close by.

  13. Evening is a Shroud

    Sunset: day’s death dawns
    Souls lie asleep in darkness
    Resting, remaining
    Waiting for resurrection
    When brilliant morning sun shines

  14. Shared, but not Divided

    There’s enough love to go around
    For God is love
    Love’s dimensions do astound
    There’s enough love to go around
    His gifts of kindness abound
    May our actions stem thereof
    There’s enough love to go around
    For God is love

  15. Is there a way to make the print bigger either on my side or yours? I have a hard time reading this.

  16. Wowser, Walt and Sal! Great poems to get us going and an interesting batch of lines to ponder. Here goes.

    Solving for X

    Sunrise blinks, dawn red-eyed
    sleepless, blurred berry stains
    tinting dawn, yawning
    toward discovery, solutions.

    There, in the east, start
    your journey with a chance
    to practice hope, to toil
    and grow, your new visions

    warming the day, all
    shared but not divided.
    Somewhere out there,
    love lies buried

    like a horded treasure
    long ignored, pursued
    without a shovel or a heart
    readied for joy.

    Find your way through travail
    over time and distance to
    where we always laugh and dream,
    a happy place, marked by riddle.

    Feel the path. Hurry along.
    It is already noon, a falling sun
    casting long shadows, and
    evening is a shroud.

  17. Trickles and Crevices

    By David De Jong

    Love lies buried at the foot of the cross,
    Stained in suffering, holy blood, and mire.
    Rescued from my brokenness, death and loss,
    I’ll surrender my will to His desire.

    Over time and distance the truth was clear;
    How mercy brings its hope amongst the pains,
    How hope was a seed to erasing tears,
    How grace could survive and destroy the chains.

    Now evening is a shroud of His peace,
    Stillness and beauty with redeeming rest.
    So I may stand alongside deep rooted trees,
    And breathe His spirit well within my chest.

    My burden is shared but not divided,
    For He holds the balance I could not bear,
    And broke no silence all the while chided,
    Unlocking gates to the heavenward stair.

    Meet me there, where we laugh, and always dream.
    See how purpose led our paths, joy or pain,
    Like water, through a granite mountain stream,
    Trickles and crevices, all not in vain.

  18. “Where we once laughed and dreamed”

    Abandoned in the thirsty sea,
    I weep here
    where my love lies beneath beds of reeds,
    sodden and deceived

    I named our love
    It was my quest to gift
    it to you freely—

    I naive.
    Basking in your passionate
    sun-beaten chicanery and wile.

    For all the gold I shed
    over time and distance,
    I harvested a stone.

    A dusty agate
    to chain to a bracelet
    and abandon
    in my drawer of coral shams.

  19. Over Time and Distance
    Our memories fade out
    Over time
    We move away and soon forget
    We do, without a doubt
    Seems a crime
    We cast friends off like an old debt

    But still they live inside
    Little bits
    Which complete our total story
    Big secrets we confide
    Greatest hits
    Fun adventures, guts and glory

    Memories in layers
    Like grains of sand make up a beach
    They’re mixed within our love and prayers
    They subsist
    Whether or not they are in reach

  20. Love is not Divisible

    Ask any mother and she’ll say
    “love is shared, but not divided.”
    Like the loaves and fishes
    it multiplies
    with every child she bears.

    Grandma, you can tell me
    I won’t get mad.
    Who do you love the best?
    I love all my grandchildren
    there is no best.

    No, really, you can tell me.
    I promise I won’t be hurt.
    Oh, my first born grandson
    I don’t love any the best
    but you I have loved the longest.

    He grinned from ear to ear.

  21. Six-foot Deep

    There are things that lie in the bottom
    of a six-foot deep hole:

    a vessel interred in a silk-lined box,
    carefully selected clothes and a good
    pair of shoes. Things, only. Things that lose
    all value when the first piece of dirt falls.

    There are things never found in the bottom
    of a six-foot deep hole:

    the sound of your voice does not echo
    in that void, or the memories of places
    where we always laugh and dream, or the touch
    or your hand over time and distance.

    Love lies buried in many places, but not
    at the bottom of a six-foot deep hole.

  22. A Special Place
    There is a special place out there
    where we always laugh and dream
    with morning fluffs
    and golden palms
    Where afternoon clouds bring happiness
    that is shared, but not divided
    just distributed openly
    across silvered feathers
    Where evening is a shroud
    of shimmering velvet
    under which
    love lies buried
    In shadows and light
    resurrected in different forms
    over time and distance
    again and again—

  23. Our Love is Pi

    Once upon a time,
    We were two dots,
    Separated, lost on the grid.
    But over time and distance;
    Our curved paths have crossed,
    Intersected, into perfect circle.
    How could this be?
    That we could enter,
    A history, that is now
    Equidistant from love,
    Our center?
    How could you and I,
    Our love be pi?

    Its true.
    Our love is pi,
    In full circle.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas

  24. Okay. I can write emotion-filled poetry. I feel clumsy with almost anything else. . . But today I felt the compulsion to try again. Today is the anniversary of when I learned my daughter had died; so this is a deliberate celebration of God’s eternal, overwhelming love.

    LOVE IS. . .
    Love lies buried ‘neath the deepest sea
    Furrows spuming tendrils to the light
    Rhythms swell and spread, a crescendo
    Tide wipes sand of doubt away for now

    Love alone is tender, good for warmth
    Evening is a shroud that love unveils
    Laser beam lights one step, and N more
    Blessed, not burnt, at sun’s inner core.

    Over time and distance love endures
    Weathering both boulders and pebbles
    Rarified air while hiking Zion’s Mount
    Where we always laugh and dream

    Misery may engulf but not drown it
    Passion’s zeal may scorch but not burn it
    Not even Paradise will complete it for
    Love lies buried enfolded in God’s heart

    By Darlene Franklin c2014

  25. Welcome Sal! You and Walt started off with wonderful poems.


    Over time and distance
    rests a place where we
    always laugh and dream.
    I cannot find that space
    of shared, but not divided
    thought. Love lies buried,
    and I wander, lost.
    Evening is a shroud
    wrapped blackly ‘round
    my shoulders.

  26. PLEDGE

    In death
    let us forsake
    the complaints of this life
    for a new heaven and new earth
    where we always laugh and dream.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  27. Pingback: For You | Metaphors and Smiles

  28. For You

    The sun’s gone once round
    and I dream of your earthen chrysalis,
    how spiraling roots embrace you
    building a sanctuary of your bones,
    now pearlescent
    now egg shell white-
    now an ivory cathedral flowers from the tangles
    where you, in a preferred cover,
    were once lovingly cocooned;
    your heart’s rhythm released its drum
    and given to Gaia
    a new song has risen.

    Fortune was mine
    in having the privilege
    of calling you friend.

    The knowing rain fell hard
    the day I prepared loam
    making inky the soil
    and nearly a year gone since,
    the water, it visits me again.
    I anticipate the coming of color,
    there, where love lies buried
    I look forward to the blue surge of blooms
    like an angel visiting my soul-
    forget you, I never will.
    For now, I nurture this place of grief,
    this tender place of truth within;
    I honor it with light
    a single flickering flame,
    a lone votive burns for you.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    This is written for my sweet girl, Jade…she was my fifteen year old doggy friend…her passing is approaching a year in May and she’s been on my heart a lot this week with Spring on the way.

    Our two other dogs Locke and Chaos and our cat Dakota are there too and when we laid to rest the first of them, Locke I placed a sprig of Forget-Me-Nots and a prayer on the grave…

    The following spring it sent seeds to soil and every year the patch of cornflower-blue-blooms thicken richly and each year I’m so thankful – for nature, for her creatures for the gift I was given in being allowed the time I had with these special animals.

  29. Thank you so much Sal, for sharing your story with us and for co-hosting this week…very much appreciated! I love how your poem weaves all these lines in so smoothly…well done!!

    Thank you Walt for holding up the garden hoe 🙂 and for your poetic example as well, your poem sets that heavy tone perfectly for that line.

  30. Romance of Light-bearers

    Evening is a shroud,
    A cloak, that clouds the scaling eye.
    Although moonbeams saunter, pierce the open sky.
    The night is shared, but not divided by day.
    The day is shared, but not divided by night.
    Like two sides of brilliant coin, shine with all their might.
    Perfectly paired, for the heavy task at hand.
    Over time and distance, their love still stands,
    On the fence of the dawn.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas

  31. Over Time and Distance

    Over time
    We sustained the years
    With a kiss.

    And distance,
    We journeyed
    The hills.

    Over time,
    We grew old

    And distance,
    Eternal mile.

    Over time,
    Vibrant love

    And distance,
    A lengthy smile.

  32. Our Love Birth

    On the clouds;
    Where we always laugh and dream,
    Each wrung dry.
    We fell in love,
    In a stampede of rain,
    And cherished the stride.

    We watered
    The Earth, where the springs
    Ran dry.
    It gave birth,
    Where our love lies buried.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas

  33. Tides of Ectasy

    Over time and distance travail,
    We ran with the bellows of the wind.
    On it’s expansive wings we set sail;
    Unto venerable sea, and fell prey to relentless tides of ecstasy.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas

  34. EVENING…

    is a shroud
    where we always laugh
    and dream. Love
    lies buried…
    it’s shared, but not divided,
    o’er time and distance.

    P. Wanken

  35. Pingback: Evening… | echoes from the silence

  36. Your poem solves the mystery of assembling the lines in the proper order that expresses the proper sentiment.


    The word came today
    and there’s a strong possibility
    We may be returning
    to where love lies buried
    A tiny village in southern Italy
    which so easily
    transports us
    over time and distance
    Back through the ages as we join
    others to continue to excavate
    layers of civilizations,
    First discovered
    by a simple farmer
    hand-plowing his field
    when he unearthed
    a mostly intact Venus statue

    Evening is a shroud
    there where both
    bones and other evidence
    of cultures long past awaits
    Those willing to unwind history,
    spoonful by careful spoonful
    But the carrying out
    of these tedious tasks
    is a daytime endeavor
    Where the chores are shared,
    not divided
    But the law of the land
    insists all must be
    completed and reshrouded
    before sunset.

    Much grumbling ensues
    about this enforced cessation
    but in the end
    It works well
    that all of us
    are compelled to return
    to the bunkhouse
    to shower off the day
    Where the aromas of cilantro,
    rosemary, garlic, and ziti,
    or whatever pasta the chef
    has whipped up that evening,
    greet us as we trudge wearily
    through the gates.

    It is a humble
    dwelling place
    but we are
    a comradely group
    and it is where we
    always laugh and dream,
    recharge our weary selves,
    prepare for another day.

  38. Love’s Coordinates

    Drop the plumb line.
    Test the depth.
    Calculate the risk.
    Measure each breath,
    I take,
    For you.

    Take a steady hand.
    Seize the surgeon’s scalpel.
    Find my heart,
    And know
    The truth.

    Obtain the values.
    Plot the coordinates.
    Eagerly determine,
    Over time and distance,
    The location
    of my heart.

    Commit it to memory,
    Its exact position.
    Take the route.
    Remember the road.
    And plunge into journey,
    For me.

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas


  40. When Shadows Grow Long

    The bright day of reality fades into the misty, obscure cloak of twilight
    and before the dark night engulfs the mind, the heart is wrapped, enveloped,
    safely concealed, for evening is a shroud, not we hope for the long sleep
    but merely to hold us safe ‘til dawn. Dawn, ‘ere the hope of man, still so far away,
    still hiding, waiting we hope: those of us with gods pray and those without trust the stars
    to do as they have ever done.

    A lone voice in the darkness calls, beckons, sways, persuades and draws near the quiet, hopeful, still fearful soul from solitude. A friend in need, a friend in deed, a fellow traveller who knows full well the stumbling, rock strewn path that must be trod; who has seen the demons from which we hide and bid them retreat back to their lair. The voice of kindness, the voice of wisdom, the voice of reason, holding mind and body together, and though their heart must care for others their love is shared but not divided. It is balanced, unconditional,
    all-encompassing and soothing to all who are so privileged to bathe in its rays. In its glory.

    Long since parted the two minds, the two souls, the two hearts remain as one. As brother, sister, as kindred spirits. the love, the friendship, the loyalty that has endured over time and distance lessens not as the dark cold night creeps in. The long dark tunnel that only love and faith can foretell of its finality; that foresee day’s light at its end. And so we speak of love, and what is that beast? What colours does it wear? Whose pennant doers it fly? A heart made hard by too many wounds, too many spears, too many thrusts of the bitter sword , and too many stings from Cupid’s poisoned arrow has its own remedy, its own recourse. A life filled with so much – too much- to do, a world to see, an endless journal of blank pages to fill with endless tales from an endless journey. And yet love remains. Deep down inside the cold hard shell, love lies buried and once stirred may rise. may crawl forth to seek the light, to raise the fight and what then? What course will be taken, what actions set afoot? We know not, merely suspecting, fearing the worst and travel on denying. Denying love. Denying the long dark night. Denying the simple fact that being alone sometimes really does mean being lonely…

    …a glimmer on the far horizon, a crack of a smile, the light bids adieu, farewell, bon voyage to the night. We have survived once more. The rusty blade of self pity, the dull razor of self-doubt remain un-blooded and return safely to their scabbards. The spirits rise and the heart soars, greeting the dawn as a promise, as the kiss of a maiden fair. As spring is to winter, so the day is to night, so the sun is to the darkness and once again we stand. Stand tall and proud, stand refreshed from slumber and gaze upon another blank page, another unadorned canvas and stride forth beneath the warming, loving, life-giving sun into the day, into the adventure, into a land where we always laugh and dream…

    …until twilight beckons and the shroud closes tight once more.


  41. “One Day, in the Woods”

    I imaging the woodpecker
    to be tapping out a message,
    which carries over time
    and distance
    to where Spring’s love
    lies buried,
    by Winter’s bitterness
    and distance
    the woodpecker’s rhythm
    is joined by the blatting
    of the cackling goose
    and the calls
    of small children
    searching for first blooms.
    So Spring stretches her arms
    and runs a finger
    down the back of Winter’s neck
    and he melts.

  42. Love lies buried
    Under snow and more snow
    The shovel is shared but cannot divide the mounds
    Into reasonable removal.
    Evening is a shroud of snow fog and spring in shadow,
    Spring where we can laugh and dream
    For now love lies buried.

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