Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tomorrow's Poem

Tomorrow I will post the Scavenger Hunt Poem for Poetry Friday!

Tomorrow is the last day in March.  I can hardly believe it.  March has gone by rather quickly.  Though I don't like the late snows of March that well, I do sort of hate to see it go.  I like the month of writing and reading, of visiting and having guests over.  The SOL community is such a welcoming and fun group to be a part of. (yes, I know that's a preposition at the end)  I wish it could go on forever.  But I know we'd most likely run out of steam eventually. 

For those who are wanting more day by day stuff happening, there will be a new challenge that opens up on the first of April.  It is the AtoZ Challenge.  You write to a letter of the alphabet, starting with A, going in order to Z, one letter a day, starting with A on April 1.  No posting is done on Sundays though.  That way all the alphabet is complete on April 30!
Here are some links if you are interested in participating.  Your link is put in the comments each day JUST like you did for the SOL challenge.

There are all kinds of blogs and posts happening for the month of April.  I have done this challenge for a number of years now, (oh, just looked it up - started 2012) combining it with Poetry Month, writing a poem a day in April.  This year I am continuing my quest for vanity plates starting with each letter of the alphabet.  I think I have just about all of them now, and a few more.  I have my poem ready for Saturday.  I think, as much as I'll miss the SOL and March, I'm ready for the next chapter!  Onward to A!  Oh, it would have been so awesome to find a license plate that said "APRIL"!

Blogging from A to Z
or Blogging from A to Z (Wordpress Site, if you have trouble linking on the first one, go here - it's a duplicate site)
The gracious hosts of the A to Z Challenge are:
Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
eremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Zalka Csenge Virag @ The Multicolored Diary
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

J Lenni Dorner @ Blog of J. Lenni Dorner
Here are some pages from other years doing the AtoZ... just to get an idea...
A is for Arms - I did this in 2012 using Tagxedo and all the words from my poem about arms.
A is for Amy Sue - This was 2013 using lobster boat names. 
A is for Animal Hide & Seek - I featured books by Maine authors.  Dahlov Ipcar was my first, being from our town.  She died earlier this year.  Her art and books will be treasures forever. 
A is for Airport - Signs that were strange or funny that I found in 2015
A to Z on a Plate - I found vanity plates in Maine and wrote a poem to each.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Gearing Up

It is almost April!  I love April.

The osprey come back in the first 8 or so days of April.  I love seeing them arrive and start fussing with their hodgepodge of a log home.  The couple always arrives one or two days apart.

No snow lasts for long.  Even blizzards in April melt quickly even when they are deep.  A good snow in April even helps the mountainous snowbanks in the shopping malls melt more quickly.

The snowbanks now are coated in black, gray and brown dirt scooped up and plunged into the snow as the snowplow shoves it to the side of the parking lots.  They look like scoops of ice cream with sprinkles.  Or chocolate chip ice cream...or maybe vanilla ice cream with chocolate cookie crumbs in it.  Kind of.

These snowbanks don't melt well in the sun for some reason.  You would think they would, for as they melt the dark dirt gets more concentrated on the surface of the snow, and dark draws the sun's heat.  But it doesn't seem to.  Those snowbanks last and last and last.
You can almost count the storms by reading their layers...

Snow Banking

I need to make a deposit
said the snowplow in the street
and promptly scooped the snow up
and dumped it at my feet.

By Donna JT Smith

Tuesday, March 28, 2017



Today I tried to write a post about the squawking crows, and ended up writing another poem.   I'm not putting the crow poem here; it is being filed with the geese poem and a couple others waiting to see if my motivated self actually does something with them, or the procrastinator wins with another cup of coffee.

Instead then, I started writing a post squawking all about me and blah, blah, blah!  You know how you think you want to say something, and then you realize it is just to hear your self talk?  That was that.  Eeesh!  I hate that.  No one wants to hear that.  So I shut myself up and deleted it.  You wouldn't have enjoyed reading it.  I didn't enjoy reading it.  Sometimes you just have to shut up.

I had three long paragraphs.  And I've just deleted them.  Now I have three short paragraphs.  And I'm much happier with them.

My photo of a nice winter beach day

If you don't have nuthin' good to write, 
don't write nuthin' at all.

But if there's a glimmer
the least little shimmer
Than let it all on the page fall.
I don't want to write
About any plight
Like ships torn asunder at sea
So you needn't wonder
If that sort of blunder
Is really the story of me.

by Donna JT Smith

Monday, March 27, 2017


This started out as a post about the crows.  But as I sat here waiting for the coffee to brew and then having to feed the cat who would not let me type anything until he was happier, I glanced at a glass.  This glass was one we got free at our mall here in our small, happy town.  I started thinking about all the free glasses we've gotten at the mall.   The Mall is a section of the transfer station, where people leave things that have not seen all the use they are capable of for others to pick up and take home.

We visit this section each time we go there.  We've gotten ice cream sundae cups, bikes for the grandkids, books and frying pan lids and a kitchen table, which I am hoping to use in Friendship next month... I've brought them mugs, clothes and plant pots.

Mostly we get small juice glasses.  We started picking up small glasses just for ourselves for reasonable portions of any drink.  We picked them because they felt good in the hand, and looked pretty on the shelf.  They are now taking up quite a large portion of our cupboard, and we find that we like them better than our huge glasses.

As each of the grandchildren became old enough, they use these when they visit.  This last visit they were able to pick the glass they wanted to use at each meal.  For some reason I get so much pleasure in having them pick the glass they would like. So far no fights have happened and they aren't just stuck on one glass - like a dirty one, so I would need to wash it!
Group shot
I decided to take a picture of the one my husband got this weekend at the mall.  It is really very pretty.  Then I took out the rest, too!  Maybe a group shot would be nice.  So I got the family together in a reunion pose.  But as I was setting them out, I noticed that the light through each glass was magnificent, and decided to focus on that instead of their meager start and purpose.
Newest addition
When I took the picture, I had to take more.  Look at the light through the glass!  Do you think they made the glass to look pretty or make the the glass so that its shadow would be pretty?  Do you think the glass designer knew?  Have you ever looked at your glasses this way?  I hadn't.  Now I'm thinking it is the next step in picking out a glass.  Right size, right feel, right look, right shadow.

You know you have to go back and look at them again.  I did.  I haven't even put them away yet.  I want to look some more.  The fancy ones don't have quite as nice a shadow as the plainer ones do, but there's still a shine inside.
Fancy glass... still pretty.

A bit like life and people, don't you think?  Go talk to someone who doesn't look like they have much that looks out of the ordinary about them.  See what shadows they are own.  I'm always surprised.
Plain glass... shadow looks like a clam shell?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Geese Murmurs


This morning as I took the dog out at the cold, gray crack of dawn, I could hear the geese gathered past the trees, at the foot of the hill, at the river.  They were murmuring in those low almost human "voice in the distance" sounds they make.  It sounded as if they were quietly taking attendance.
"I'm here.  You there?"
"Yup, I'm here.  Where's Joe?"
"Joe, who?"
"You know."
"Oh, yeah.  He's here."
"I'm over here."
"Hi, Joe."
"Babs with you?"
"Yeah, she's here."
"All here."
"Yup, all here."

And then quiet.
They must have determined that they are all accounted for after the dark night.
No coyotes had supper here last night.

Then there were the crows. They'll have their day here tomorrow.

Have a good day.  Touch base with friends today.  Make sure they know you are here and all is right.  Then take a nap.

I wrote a poem today about the geese, but decided not to publish it here.  Maybe you will read it someday when I become a famous poet and my book is in your library.  Or maybe just my grandchildren will read it.  That's good enough for me.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sharing My Ditty Ode

You may have already seen this if you visited Michelle Barne's blog this week.  She has a challenge to write an ode to an inanimate object at Today's Little Ditty this month.

I happened to be sitting in the kitchen beside a big box of tissues when the call for an ode came through.  Those tissues seemed open to the idea for an ode just for them.
So I oded them.  I also acrosticated them.

Guidelines for the Ode to an Object:
Choose an object (a seashell, a hairbrush, a bird nest, a rolling pin). It should not be anything symbolic (such as a doll, a wedding ring, or a flag). Write five lines about the object, using a different sense in each line (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Then ask the object a question, listen for its answer, and write the question, the answer, or both.
An Ode to a Tissue (and an acrostic)

The faintest whiff of clean, starched sheets 
In white, you lie flat, stiff, well pressed, waiting as
Shaking fingertips flounder, feeling for your straight, thin edge
Silently you caress my face, no, you are quietly humming
Unduly seasoned with salt from my tears.
Eternally crumpled, rolled up in a ball, do you have any regrets?
Shush, so happy to help.
Donna JT Smith 

This may seem like cheating to put this up today, but I have places to go and things to do today.  I hope you are able to try out a few lines at least of the scavenger hunt sometime this weekend.  I will post both poems next Friday!
The link to the padlet with the clues is at the top of my page just above the pages tabs and below the title. AND it is to the RIGHT in the navigation bar along with a QR code for accessing it on your mobile device quickly and easily to take with you on your phone...  I don't know how necessary that is, BUT since it can be done, why not do it?  That's my motto.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Poetry Friday

Today is Poetry Friday, and Catherine is hosting at Reading to the Core.
The game is afoot!

I'm posting the Scavenger Hunt I quickly put together when Tabatha Yeatts thought maybe I could challenged me to make an online version of what her very gifted and talented and obviously LOVING daughter did for her birthday!  I cannot help but steal a good idea, or fall for a challenge, so I did. 
See here for historical, birthdatical references...
Click on the cake!

To post clues, I stole Michell H. Barnes idea of using a padlet.  She uses one for people to post poems, I thought it might work for a Scavenger Hunt.  Let's see!

I will be posting POSTED a second scavenger hunt on the padlet, too, after some poems become available through the Poetry Friday linkups today.  So if you have done the first scavenger hunt and want more, there will be IS a new one very soon!

If YOU want to make a hunt for the rest of us to solve, create your own box on the padlet with the clues.  Click anywhere on the padlet to create an editable box.  See how I formatted it, with:
  • name of blog linked (you don't need the date)
  • P for # of poem on the page
  • L for which Line to go to in the poem
  • W for which Words in that line to use. 
In creating a hunt, please limit your poem selections to those listed as participating in Poetry Friday this week.  It will enhance our readings and visits to the bloggers here this week!

My suggestion, from the limited experience I've had, is that you should try a short poem first...maybe only 4 lines.  It can be time consuming and your family will not know you anymore.  I only made this one long because I have CLIGS - "Can't Let It Go Syndrome" - or maybe I just wanted to see how many I could get... ok, maybe that's the same syndrome.

When you are in a hunt or if you are making one, remember these rules for Poetic Success.
  • Click on the links in order.  
  • Look for the poem, line and words.  
  • Copy them down in the order given. Tah-dah... a poem.  The first one has 9 lines
  • If you have done the poem, you can post the completed poem on your page.
  • Then in the comments in the padlet box where you found the clues, or in the comments on this page, put a link to show where your poem is so others may cheat check to see how you did. (See the comments box on the padlet to see how I put mine in)
The link to the March Scavenger Hunt padlet is at the top of this blog right under my header.  Click on that to get started!

My second hunt will be up later today or Saturday.  I need time to see what's there!  If you post a hunt to the padlet, I will see if it works out to post it also on my page one of the days this next week for extra coverage and opportunity.
Don't forget to wear a badge if you do either part of a scavenger hunt.  You may wear it for the rest of your life.  Or your blog's life anyway.

Questions?  Comment so I can help out.  Broken stuff?  Let me know so I can fix it!

Next month is:
  • Poetry Month 
  • and the AtoZ Challenge.  I will be posting a poem a day - and my theme this year is again Vanity Plates in Maine.  Oh, we have more!  I will post a plate and a poem a day all month long.  
  • And we'll try to get a Scavenger Hunt in, too.  
  • Oh, and the Progressive Poem.  
  • Oh, and a trip to PA for my grand daughter's birthday 
  • and my daughter's birthday, kind of.  
  • AND I'm moving?  
Ok, no problem.  I've got this.  I forgot my poem.  Double Haiku.

The Writer

Where are you going
bags packed with punctuation,
words, white space and heart?
To scribe my story,
 of unpacked thoughts and burdens
on white space, with heart.
 by Donna JT Smith

Hope to have something for ME to solve on the padlet!  I have extra time now!

Insecure about Social Security

SOL17 (if you were here earlier, Blogger messed this up big time... or Padlet did.  This is alllll new...and good.)

It is Thursday and my husband is on his way to the Social Security office AGAIN.  We have tried and tried to get our SS untangled, but they keep tangling it up again.  We get letter after letter from them explaining how much we aren't getting THIS time, and how much they are taking out for the prior months (that they've made mistakes on).  I did not know that retirement was going to be a full time job at the Social Security office, but so far it has.  And it seems to be a money loser.

I'm hoping when their fixes to their mistakes finally catch up with their paperwork that they will repay the back-pay money they took out.  I'm not too optimistic about it.  At this point, I'll be happy to simply stem the flow.

I can't tell you how weird it is to both be retired now.  It is both weird and scary.  We shouldn't be scared; we prepared for this.  We have funds set aside in various nets.  But there is something about sitting here in the boat with your nets full, releasing them one by one and hoping that you don't run out of them before YOU have run out; or hoping that the boat won't sink, leaving you without boat or nets.

I have to put that aside.  Those worries are not for me to deal with.  The worrying time is done.  Now it is time to just do.  We WILL be fine.  I have my assurance of that.  I just need to hold up my faith to ward off the worry.  Set worry in its place...the backseat of life.

No Worries, No Regrets

I shall not give over to worry
that stalks in the shadowy dark;

I will cling to the hope of tomorrow
and pull myself up to embark

on the journey of life that awaits me,
a future to flame from a spark;

be gracious in walk and grow kindness,
embrace what is tried and found true;

don't ever regret to go boldly
and reach for the good that is new.

the good in tomorrow is out there
past worries just waiting for you .

by Donna JT Smith
My OLW last year - BOLD  and this year's word - REACH both helped out today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Poem and Keep Scavenging

SOL17 - 22

Hey, Hunters of Slices, Hunters of Poetry!  I didn't have any idea of today's post until last night, late.  Oh, and I just found my "Ode to a Tissue" posted at Michelle H. Barnes Today's Little Ditty.  Hope you can visit her.  It's tear-jerker - well, in a way...

Whilst reading last night instead of going to bed as I was supposed to be doing, I came across a cinquain Mrs. Surridge on her blog, Stuff, wrote about her pillow (I'm sorry, Mrs. Surridge, I don't know your first name!  I've looked and looked for it.  I feel like I should know you better!).

Her pillow was soft, fluffy, good for lounging, very welcoming - such a nice "friend" when you are in need of relaxation.  It was a lovely read.

But then she just had to ask, "Does that give away what I'm thinking?"
"Yes, I believe I know what’s on your mind" - sleep! (as I should have been doing right then); but then, came the "aha" moment and I added "….or what your mind’s on,"  as in your mind/brain is lying on the pillow!

And then it started, my mind was evidently not ready for the pillow yet.  With her poem, her picture of her pillow and my comment, a different view of that friendly pillow evolved:
A pillowcase I made; my grand daughter uses it when she visits!
Pillow Fight

My pillow’s on my mind
And I just want some sleep,
My mind’s on my pillow
While I’m still counting sheep;
They’re soft and they’re fluffy
But I can't keep from blinking;
My mind’s on my pillow,
I need to stop my thinking.
I have to get some rest
And end this endless night;
You, my dearest pillow,
Have provoked this mindless fight.
And now you must desist
And let me get my rest;
I’ve tossed and I’ve turned
While you have done your best
To keep me from my sleeping
You’re lumpy, scratchy, hard -
I'm thinking I’ll just go throw you
Right out into the yard!
What’s that I hear you saying?
You’ll try to be more billowy?
You want just one more chance
To behave a bit more pillowy?
Okay, I'll give you one more try
You must let me catch some z's,
To close my eyes and count my sheep
And end this pillow fight, please!

by Donna JT Smith

There.  Done.  Sleep.
Don't you love it when one post leads to another?  The beauty of SOL...

If you are wanting to do the
click on the logo.  
It will take you through time, back to yesterday, where all the directions were, and all the clues were.  I will have the same hunt posted for as long as anyone wants to do it.  There's no time limit on it, though on Friday I will have links to all the places the poems have been posted, AND I will have a new one up.  You are free to do this one still.  It's good practice!

Friday's will be longer, AND I will have a padlet to use, so that you can post your own clues there.  More on that Friday.  But be thinking about creating your own poem from this Friday's

We have a few people who hunted down the words to yesterday's poem.
Here are links to their poems on their blogs:
TabathaYeatts:The Opposite of Indifference     Musings     Person 3?

And don't forget, you get to wear a badge when you finish hunting down the words!

 Happy hunting, happy slicing, happy happy!

And just for fun... notice that at the top of my blog there is a link to the Padlet already.  AND I have included right here, a QR code to get to the padlet on your mobile device.  Just a fun think thing to try.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Scavenger Hunt for World Poetry Day

SOL#17, Day 21 -
It is World Poetry Day!  And one day into Spring!  So there has to be a poem today.  Today there will be two poems then, in a fashion.

First, today I am sharing a website that I used pretty frequently with my first graders, and then some with older students when I taught technology at the elementary schools.
I am sure that teachers have been here before.  But just in case you haven't, here is a treasure trove of Poetry and Writing resources and tools.  I used to use the interactive parts with my students in computer lab, as a whole group activity in the room, or in a writing center.  I also just like to play around with it myself.  There is a cool "found poem" part that has a large word bank with the option of creating your own "magnetic" word to use.  Then you can save it to work on later, save it as a .pdf or email it.

My poem today is a found poem from 6 blogs today.  As I was visiting I pulled out phrases from each of the sites and composed this poem:

Beautiful sun glistening
Scoffing at the wind
Sending warmest wishes
Tossed on an updraft
On a frosty March morning
The welcome mat's out, Spring,
Come back!

These lines were taken from my post, Mainely Write on 3/20, Reading to the Core 3/17, Life on the Deckle Edge 3/16, Crackles of Speech 3/17, Live Your Poem 3/17, Violet Nesdoly/Poems 3/17, Dori Reads 3/17

It was an experiment in found poetry - lines found on each of the above sites.

You do not have to read the rest of this post, unless you want to.  This is an experimental challenge in Found Poetry, a scavenger hunt, below.  Another way to celebrate World Poetry Day, if you have time.

I will link to it all this week at the bottom of my posts for those looking for it again when they have free time!

Then I adapted the plan, with the help of Tabatha Yeatts and Linda Baie as guinea pigs...very cute and kind's just an expression.  I don't know why we couldn't have used butterflies or bunny rabbits more in experiments.  But I digress.

So to further celebrate World Poetry Day I have a
It is the first hunt of Poetry Hunting season (April being Poetry Month...)!
I have set up a Padlet to use starting next week for anyone who wants to submit a list of clues to their poem.  That will open on Friday.

Where did this come from?  Who is responsible for challenging me to do something, anything... with this?  Well, here is the short history of the

It all started when Tabatha Yeatts was born.  It would seem that the hunt should have a long history, but it doesn't.  It also has to do with a daughter of hers, who gave her a very special gift for her birthday.  This may have been done before, but I don't know of it, so there.  I have adapted this concept, so that many can play at once.  Literature is all around us.  So we are going to use the literature that we all have right here on our blogs!

Here's what you have to do to join the hunt:

1. First get yourself something to drink and maybe a snack.  Do not do this challenge until you have had sustenance. 

2. Make sure you are connected to the Internet and you have your computer in front of you - just like you do now.  Done!

3. I've linked to the pages where the poems are found.  You don't have to go looking for them!  Yay!  This time.

4. Below you will find the clues to a poem.  Read them, memorize them and then eat the paper so no one...

5. Do not really eat the clues, as it is not on real paper and you could get hurt.

6. Read the clues, and keep this page open so you can refer to them. 

7. Get something for recording the words as you find them. Paper and pencil, or open a document to copy and paste the words as you find them.

8. Now, get ready to FIND THAT POEM!  Look at the first clue.  It will tell you the blog's name.  It is one that was listed in the Poetry Roundup listing on March 17 (or 16). Open that blog post. You just have to click on the name; it is linked.

9. Read the next part of the clue.  Look for the P - it stands for Poem,.  It will tell you which poem it is on their page.  Some people have more than one poem listed.  Find the correct poem.  The number after the P is the poem number (1 would be the first poem on the page, 2 would mean the word will be in the second poem, etc.)

10. Once you have the correct poem, look at the clue again.  L stands for Line.  Count down the correct number of lines.  Titles don't count as lines.  If the L is 0, then that will mean the words are in the title line!  Sometimes there is only a part of a poem on the page, and you may have to click another outside link to get to the rest of the poem to get to the correct line where the rest of the poem is.

11. When you are on the correct Line, check the clues again.  W stands for Word/Words.  It is the number of the word or words being used.  So if there are 7 words in the line, and it says W3-5, you would use only the third, fourth and fifth words of that line.

12.  Take a sip of coffee, water, etc. 

13.  Carefully copy those words down in order.

14.  Do not do the directions in any other order.

15.  Do not do the clues in any other order.

16.  All clues are in the correct order to complete the FOUND POEM. 

17.  Post the found poem on your page.

18.  Put the link to your page here in comments so others may see it, when you have completed the

19.  Take one of these badges to show you are a Scavenger Hunter Extraordinaire.  Display it proudly!
The Badge - either
20.  Towel off and get another coffee - or water.

NOW for the clues!!!
  1. A Journey Through the Pages - 3/17/17 -  P4  L1 W1,2
  2. Life on the Deckle Edge - 3/16/17 - P1 L2  W 1-4
  3. Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference - 3/17/17 - P2  L3  W1,2
  4. A Word Edgewise - 3/16/17 - P1 L7  W 2-5
  5. A Teaching Life - P1  L16  W 2,3 
  6. A Day in the Life 3/17/17 - P1 L 7 W 3,4 
  7. Kathryn Apel 3/17/17 - P1 L 5 W 3-9 
  8. Random Noodling - 3/16/17 - P1 L2 W 2-4 
  9. Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet - 3/16/17 - P1 L1 W 2-4 
This is a 9 line poem when you are finished.  I have double and triple checked it for errors... but I suppose I could have done something really not good.  If you keep coming up with something not making sense, leave a comment explaining.  I will need to fix it!

Stay tuned for the next
Don't forget to post
1. the poem on your site
2. leave your link in the comments so people can to there and see
3. let your blog wear the badge with pride - so far it is not on a shirt, so only your blog can wear it.

On Friday, I may try another, if this goes well...